World Cup Live: USWNT vs. Chile

Women’s World Cup: USA v Chile – rate the players

via BBC Sport

Women’s World Cup 2019: USA’s Carli Lloyd volleys home to open the scoring against Chile

via BBC Sport

Highlight: Lloyd Scores Her 2nd for 3-0 USWNT 🎥

via Twitter

Women’s World Cup 2019: USA’s Carli Lloyd volleys home to open the scoring against Chile

via BBC Sport

via Twitter

via Twitter

via Twitter

via Twitter

USWNT starting XI vs. Chile: Jill Ellis makes 7 lineup changes

via Pro Soccer USA

USA v Chile: Women’s World Cup 2019 – live!

via the Guardian

via Bleacher Report

Read More

from Update News Portal

A New Migrant Surge at the Border, This One From Central Africa

SAN ANTONIO — For months, a migrant-services center blocks from the Alamo in downtown San Antonio has been packed with Central American families who have crossed the border in record-breaking numbers.

But in recent days, hundreds of migrants from another part of the world have caused city officials already busy with one immigrant surge to scramble on a new and unexpected one. Men, women and children from central Africa — mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola — are showing up at the United States’ southwest border after embarking on a dangerous, monthslong journey.

Their arrival at the border and at two cities more than 2,100 miles apart — San Antonio and Portland, Me. — has surprised and puzzled immigration authorities and overwhelmed local officials and nonprofit groups. The surge has prompted Portland to turn its basketball arena into an emergency shelter and depleted assistance funds meant for other groups. Officials in both cities have had to reassure the public that fears of an Ebola outbreak were unfounded while also pleading for volunteer interpreters who speak French and Portuguese.

In San Antonio, the city-run Migrant Resource Center has assisted about 300 African migrants who were apprehended at the border and released by the authorities since June 4. Those 300 are just a portion of the overall numbers. Since October 2018, more than 700 migrants from Africa have been apprehended at what has become their main point of entry, the Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector, a largely rural stretch of Texas border that is nearly 200 miles west of San Antonio.

Migrants from around the world have been known to cross the southwest border, but the vast majority are those from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico. African migrants have shown up at the border in the past, but only in small numbers, making the sudden arrival of more than 700 all the more surprising to Border Patrol officials. From fiscal years 2007 to 2018, a total of 25 migrants from Congo and Angola were arrested and taken into custody in the Border Patrol’s nine sectors on the southern border, according to agency data.

Many come with horrific stories of government-sanctioned violence at home and treacherous conditions on their long journeys through South and Central America.

“It’s definitely an anomaly that we have not experienced before,” said Raul L. Ortiz, the Border Patrol’s chief patrol agent for the Del Rio sector. “We do know there are some more in the pipeline. We’re going to prepare as if we should expect more.”

In both San Antonio and Portland, elected officials, volunteers and nonprofit and religious leaders have rallied to assist the African migrants, donating money, serving free meals and operating overnight shelters. But their resources were already being stretched thin, and there was frustration among local officials about the federal government’s handling of the African migrant surge.

Many of the Central American asylum seekers apprehended at the border have solidified their travel plans by the time they are released by Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The migrants arrange to travel by plane or bus to join relatives already living in the United States.

But many of the recent African migrants do not have relatives in the country, so they are being released with no travel arrangements, a problem that local officials and nonprofit groups are forced to sort out. Some of the Congolese migrants in San Antonio said Border Patrol agents had chosen their destination cities for them, or encouraged them to select one of two cities, New York and Portland.

A Border Patrol spokesman denied those claims, saying the agency is not directing migrants toward any particular destination.

In Portland — the largest city in Maine, with a population of 66,417 — about 200 African migrants were sleeping on cots on Friday night in a temporary emergency shelter set up in the Portland Expo Center. The city has a large Congolese community, and has built a reputation as a place friendly to asylum seekers. It created the government-financed Portland Community Support Fund to provide rental payments to landlords and other forms of assistance for asylum seekers, the only fund of its kind in the country, Portland officials said.

The mayor of Portland, Ethan K. Strimling, said they welcomed African migrants, and a donation campaign for them had raised more than $20,000 in its first 36 hours.

“I don’t consider it a crisis, in the sense that it is going to be detrimental to our city,” Mr. Strimling said. “We’re not building walls. We’re not trying to stop people. In Maine, and Portland in particular, we’ve been built on the backs of immigrants for 200 years, and this is just the current wave that’s arriving.”

San Antonio officials said they had sent about 150 of the roughly 300 African migrants in the city to Portland. The others traveled to Chicago, Dallas, Denver, New York City, and cities in Florida and Iowa. Catholic Charities of San Antonio spent about $125,000 on airfare and bus tickets for African migrants in recent days, draining the funding it had planned on using to assist Central American migrants. Meanwhile, the $200,000 Portland government-assistance fund was already overextended by $90,000.

“No one has been prepared for anything like this,” said J. Antonio Fernandez, the president and chief executive of Catholic Charities of San Antonio. “We were thinking that we were going to spend $120,000 in three to four months. We spent everything in five days. We’re going to need help from people out there who want to help immigrants.”

On Friday, the migrant center — a former Quiznos sandwich shop in a city-owned building, across the street from the downtown bus station — was filled with about 100 migrants, roughly 30 of whom were from Congo and Angola, and the rest from Central America. Outside, African families stood talking in groups or sat on the sidewalk with their backs against the wall.

They did not hide their anguish or their tears. The Congolese spoke of fleeing violent clashes between militia fighters and government soldiers, widespread corruption and government-led killings. Some of them traveled to the neighboring country of Angola, then flew to Ecuador. From there, they said they had traveled by bus and on foot through Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico to the South Texas border.

One Congolese woman cried as she stood on the sidewalk. She said her 5-year-old daughter had gotten sick and died on a bus. “There weren’t any doctors, there wasn’t any medicine,” she said. “It’s too hard for me to talk about my story.”

A 41-year-old man from Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, said he and his 10-year-old son had spent four months traveling to the border with a group of about 10 families. The man, a Red Cross volunteer and mechanic who asked to be identified only by his first name, Alain, said he fled because he had been speaking out about government killings.

“I cannot go back now,” Alain said. “They will kill me. We prefer to live in freedom. In my country there’s no freedom, no democracy. We’re cornered. We’re prisoners in our own country.”

The most treacherous part of the journey for many of the Congolese was in the Darién Gap, a region of mountains, forest and swampland at the border between Panama and Colombia that is considered one of the world’s most dangerous jungles, where smugglers and armed criminals prey on migrants.

Alain said he was robbed at gunpoint there. A Congolese woman, sitting on the sidewalk outside the center, said in tears that she was raped in the Darién Gap jungle.

The woman, Gisele Nzenza Kitandi, 44, said migrants there had died because they were sick or dehydrated. Ms. Kitandi grew increasingly distraught, as she sat with her leg in a brace from being shot by Congolese government soldiers. She said she had no money for bus tickets for her and her children.

“I don’t even have one dollar,” Ms. Kitandi said.

Dr. Colleen Bridger, the interim assistant city manager of San Antonio, said the city would figure out a way to get the Africans the services and transportation they needed. The city and nonprofit groups have already spent more than $600,000 in direct expenditures in recent months on Central American and African migrant assistance.

“It’s not an option for us to say to people newly arrived in the United States that they’re not our problem and that they’re welcome to sleep on the park bench until they find enough money to buy food and bus tickets for their children,” Dr. Bridger said. “That’s just not who San Antonio is.”

Read More

from Update News Portal

Ranking the NFL Teams Best Set Up for the Future

0 of 10

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    A long-term vision is hard to execute in the NFL.

    Coaching and front-office personnel turnover comes with a win-now environment, so teams fortunate enough to win consistently tend to have the well-plotted plans.

    For some teams, a comfortable outlook centers around a star quarterback. In fact, it’s almost a requirement. But a mixture of available funds, upside at other positions and future assets doesn’t hurt, either.

    The following teams aren’t guaranteed to contend for the Super Bowl as soon as 2019. But the foundations they’ve constructed around clear-cut plans are so superb that they should not only stand the test of time but also let the squads compete for a while—if decision-makers continue to properly pursue the visions.

    These are the NFL teams best set up for the future.

1 of 10

    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    A team from the New York area probably isn’t the first to come to mind for a list like this.

    One of the city’s two squads continues to suffer public criticism for draft strategy and decisions at quarterback. The other is the New York Jets, who seemed to be doing fine until they abruptly fired general manager Mike Maccagnan well after the draft.

    But really, shoving that aside for a moment, everything else looks great for the future. Even after inking Le’Veon Bell to a contract, the Jets stand top six in cap space and have four more years of Sam Darnold on a rookie deal.

    Bell, by the way, is one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL and will join budding receiving weapons Robby Anderson and Chris Herndon in helping along Darnold, who only took 30 sacks a year ago behind a solid line.

    Don’t forget the defense, which corrected plenty of issues this offseason with the big signing of linebacker C.J. Mosley. Quinnen Williams, the draft’s third pick, will pair with Leonard Williams to form one of the NFL’s more formidable trench duos. Behind them, breakout star Jamal Adams patrols the field at safety.

    Provided the building strategy doesn’t change much, the Jets are in a good position to keep beefing up a quality roster well before Darnold needs an extension.

2 of 10

    Michael Wyke/Associated Press

    It’s almost easy to forget about the Houston Texans given the star power and up-and-down nature of the AFC South.

    Yet here they are. Deshaun Watson is just 23 years old and completed 68.3 percent of his passes last year for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns. The running game squeezed another solid year out of Lamar Miller. DeAndre Hopkins might be the league’s best receiver and almost causally put up 115 catches for 1,572 yards and 11 scores. He’s only 27, and Will Fuller V is 25.

    On the opposite side of the ball stands J.J. Watt, who quietly had another 16 sacks last year. Jadeveon Clowney and his nine sacks are back on a franchise tag with the front office presumably poised to use some of its top-10 cap space on a new deal. The secondary has a long-term leader in Justin Reid even if it is shuffling names right now—they’ll all get to play behind one of the best pass rushes in the league.

    The biggest road bump for Houston moving forward is the line that gave up 62 sacks of Watson last year. But two top-55 picks went to addressing that area, as did at least one free-agency move. If the coaching and line play improves and Watson adjusts to get the ball out quicker, everything about the Texans will scream contender for a long stretch.

3 of 10

    NELL REDMOND/Associated Press

    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is only 30 years old. The 2015 MVP has plenty of good football left in him, even if last year was an odd campaign and this summer is about his rehab.

    It helps that the Panthers keep getting stronger around him, though. Christian McCaffrey ripped off 1,098 rushing yards and seven scores last year while averaging five yards per carry and also led the team with 107 catches for 867 yards and six more scores. First-round wideout DJ Moore quietly had 788 yards.

    This offseason, the offensive line got a big upgrade with center Matt Paradis and even retained offensive tackle Daryl Williams before getting a possible starter in second-round pick Greg Little.

    No. 16 pick Brian Burns will boost a pass rush that only had 35 sacks last year. But Mario Addison had nine of those off the edge, and Kawann Short continues to be one of the most underappreciated interior linemen in the league. Joining him there is Gerald McCoy to form a tandem in front of Luke Kuechly and an improving secondary.

    Even with Newton’s contract, Carolina ranks among the top 20 teams in cap space. Newton will eventually need a new deal, but everything is coming along nicely for a team that could be a surprise contender again as soon as 2019.

4 of 10

    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    The Minnesota Vikings are something of an outlier on this list in the cap-space department.

    They don’t have much of it—but it isn’t hard to see why.

    Varying narratives surround Kirk Cousins, but he’ll be only 31 years old in August and during his first year in town completed 70.1 percent of his passes with 30 scores. He’s got a star running back behind him with Dalvin Cook and droves of interesting weapons, starting with Adam Thielen (1,373 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018) and Stefon Diggs (1,021 and nine).

    First-round pick Garrett Bradbury will join the fray and boost an offensive line that allowed 40 sacks of Cousins last year, and second-round tight end Irv Smith Jr. will flank the recently extended Kyle Rudolph. Defensively, Minnesota allowed only 21.3 points per game last year with 50 sacks and returns the major names.

    The cap situation seems bleak, but at the same time, the Vikings are top five in average age. The Rudolph extension created more space. Other contract restructures and cost-effective cuts are surely coming, and Everson Griffen’s $13.5 million contract for 2020 will probably come off the books, to name one possibility.

    Money is something of an afterthought for Minnesota because the players under contract have the jealousy-inducing combination of production, youth and upside to keep the Vikings in contention.

5 of 10

    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    The Chicago Bears aren’t doing too shabby for themselves either.

    Mitchell Trubisky is still on a rookie deal, and love or hate his future prospects, the team around him last year showed that even journeyman production can get the Bears far.

    Part of that is because the Bears fielded an offensive line that allowed Trubisky to get sacked only 24 times. An effective running game helped. Another facet was the passing game, headed by 2018 second-round pick Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson II and diversified with Tarik Cohen out of the backfield.

    Then there is the defense, which figures to keep doing the heavy lifting. Chicago stole Khalil Mack via trade last year and added him to a group with a budding top-10 safety in Eddie Jackson, a star corner in Kyle Fuller and one of the league’s most dominant players up front, Akiem Hicks. The result was the Bears allowed just 17.7 points per game and tallied 50 sacks.

    Chicago made mostly quiet moves this offseason and still ranks in the top half of the league in cap space and top 20 in average age. Its future is clearly built around shutting down the Kirk Cousins- and Aaron Rodgers-type players in the division, and that should keep taking the Bears far on an annual basis.

6 of 10

    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    The Dallas Cowboys are just fine regarding cap space—a conversation that will change once the front office starts nailing down extensions for key faces.

    But even when that number shrinks, the Cowboys will stick around in the contender’s circle for a long time.

    Dak Prescott, one of those guys who will eat up some cap, just completed 67.7 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions in just his age-25 season. Ezekiel Elliott, another, ran for 1,434 yards and six scores on 4.7 yards per carry. Yet another, Amari Cooper, came over and had 725 yards and six scores in nine games.

    That is enough to stay in contention for a long time, though it sure doesn’t hurt that the offensive line is one of the better units in football. And the defense hardly allowed 20 points per game, in large part because Leighton Vander Esch is one of the next great NFL linebackers. Demarcus Lawrence and his 10.5 sacks are back, and budding secondary members like Chidobe Awuzie and Byron Jones should keep improving as a result.

    Barring a gaffe by the front office, the foundation for a prosperous stretch of seasons is there.

7 of 10

    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    The Cleveland Browns haven’t seemed ready to carve out a path of extended playoff contention for a long time.

    But things in the NFL change quickly.

    Baker Mayfield inspired hope last year after the team moved on from Hue Jackson and finished the season with 27 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions, not to mention a handful of wins. A running game that averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year only got better with the arrival of Kareem Hunt.

    And speaking of arrivals, Odell Beckham Jr., who is still just 26 years old, is aboard and will pair with Jarvis Landry. Feel free to pepper in intriguing high-upside pieces like David Njoku and Antonio Callaway as starters.

    The defensive side isn’t too shabby either. Myles Garrett had 13.5 sacks last year, Larry Ogunjobi had 5.5, and Sheldon Richardson came over in free agency. A value-minded draft, led by Greedy Williams at No. 46, improved the depth of the foundation.

    The hype machine backing Cleveland at least makes sense at this juncture. Thanks to the (mostly) long-term outlook they’ve applied to the rebuild, the Browns are in a good financial spot too, which has them prepared to dole out big contracts if the roster realizes its potential.

8 of 10

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    This one doesn’t need a ton of explaining, right?

    Most everything else goes out the window with a player like Patrick Mahomes under center. He’s on a rookie deal, just 23 years old and one season removed from completing 66 percent of his passes for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns against just 12 interceptions.

    Mahomes is the sort of player who uplifts pretty much anything around him. Kareem Hunt might be gone, but the offensive line and threat of Mahomes don’t figure to have many problems since the other three players with 50 or more carries last year also averaged at least 4.5 yards. And even if Tyreek Hill isn’t available, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins will hit on expanded roles.

    The focus falls on the defensive side of the ball, which underwent a major overhaul with a base change. But even if the unit is a mess in its first year, Mahomes provides some long-term leeway. And the talent makes for a superb foundational block for future years too. Most teams would give up quite a lot to be able to build around Frank Clark, Tyrann Mathieu and Emmanuel Ogbah.

    Even if the defense struggles and Mahomes trends back toward the mean, the Chiefs have quality cornerstones and the youngest roster and can get creative with the cap if needed.

9 of 10

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    The guy who helped start an offense frenzy, Sean McVay, isn’t going anywhere.

    McVay’s staff might have been plundered this offseason, but he’s still the foremost offensive mind in the league when he isn’t grappling with Bill Belichick on the opposite sideline.

    A year ago, Jared Goff—just 24 years old—broke away from the silly bust label to complete 64.9 percent of his passes for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns against just 12 interceptions. Todd Gurley II ran for 1,251 yards and 17 scores behind an elite line, and four players caught 40 or more passes, including the underrated Cooper Kupp, who played only eight games.

    The defense wasn’t exactly a slouch either, which is what happens when a unit gets constructed around a generational player like Aaron Donald. He’s only 28, by the way, and coming off a season in which he tallied 20.5 sacks.

    Naturally, most of the offseason adds went to Donald’s unit in the form of helpful veterans like Clay Matthews and Eric Weddle. Second-round pick Taylor Rapp could end up starting, too. Even with those older players, the Rams are tied for the fourth-youngest roster, and their key pieces should keep the arrow pointing up so long as McVay can stay ahead of the curve.

10 of 10

    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Not too long ago, everyone seemed to have doubts about Andrew Luck given his shoulder injury.

    But the issue seems well in the rearview at this point. Luck is entering his age-30 season after a return campaign that featured a 67.3 completion percentage with 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns against 15 interceptions.

    Luck took only 18 sacks last year thanks to the remarkable commitment by the Colts to fix that problem. T.Y. Hilton is still around after going for 1,270 yards and six scores, and Eric Ebron was used situationally to the tune of 13 touchdowns. The running game averaged 4.2 yards per carry with a platoon approach led by Marlon Mack and his 908 yards and nine scores in 12 games.

    Even the defense surprised in 2018, allowing just 21.5 points per game. Darius Leonard was such a rookie star at linebacker that it’s easy to forget about 2017 No. 15 pick Malik Hooker, who continued to emerge. He’s flanked by quality upstart Pierre Desir as well as top-35 pick Rock Ya-Sin.

    The Colts entered the offseason viewed as a team ready to splurge on big names. Instead, they still have a top-five cap number, a top-10 average age and a top-five quarterback. They also make the most of their talent via scheme and coaching, prodding the best out of guys like Margus Hunt.

    While Indianapolis isn’t Belichickian in its level of impressive just yet, it sure seems poised to assume the role if New England ever steps aside.

Read More

from Update News Portal

Phaneuf bought out by Kings

Dion Phaneuf‘s contract was bought out by the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

The 34-year-old defenseman had two seasons remaining on a seven-year contract he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 31, 2013.

Phaneuf had six points (one goal, five assists) in 67 games with the Kings this season, and 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 93 games over the past two seasons.

He was acquired by Los Angeles with center Nate Thompson in a trade with the Ottawa Senators for forward Marian Gaborik and center Nick Shore on Feb. 13, 2018.

Selected by the Calgary Flames with the No. 9 pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, Phaneuf has 494 points (137 goals, 357 assists) in 1,048 regular-season games with the Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Senators and Kings. He has 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 55 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Read More

from Update News Portal

Paul Pogba Open to ‘New Challenge’ Amid Manchester United Exit Rumours

ANDORRA LA VELLA, ANDORRA - JUNE 11: Paul Pogba of France looks on prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification match between Andorra and France at Estadi Nacional on June 11, 2019 in Andorra la Vella, Andorra. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Ramos/Getty Images

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is open to leaving the club this summer.

Pogba has consistently been linked with a move away from the Red Devils over the past year, and rumours have continued to crop up following the end of the 2018-19 season.

The midfielder was asked by reporters in Tokyo about a possible transfer, and he spoke candidly about his situation at Old Trafford:

Like you said, there is a lot of talking and a lot of thinking as well. For me, I have been for three years in Manchester and have been doing great; some good moments and some bad moments, like everybody. Like everywhere else.

“After this season and everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well … I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else. I am thinking of this: to have a new challenge somewhere else.

Oliver Kay of The Times noted the Red Devils playmaker has wanted out at Old Trafford for a while:

Pogba has been linked with a number of Europe’s biggest clubs, including former team Juventus and Real Madrid.

The previous season was one of ups and downs for Pogba, although as Sky Bet noted, he was still a positive influence on the pitch in the main:

Pogba is a force of nature in midfield at his best. The Frenchman not only boasts strength and dynamism but also remarkable ingenuity in possession, whether that be in his dribbling ability or finding team-mates with incisive passes.

However, he has a propensity to amble through games. Pogba is prone to lapses in concentration, while often he can cling on to the ball for too long.

Football writer Daniel Harris thinks the Red Devils should look to cash in:

Bleacher Report’s Rob Blanchette understands why the player wants to move on and believes he would excel elsewhere:

If Pogba were to leave United, it would create a void in midfield and leave a dearth of productivity in the team. For manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, finding an adequate replacement would be a huge challenge in a summer when there’s so much work to be done at United already.

Pogba’s comments will alert Real Madrid and Juventus, and if the Red Devils do decide to sell, it would be intriguing to see where he ends up.

Los Blancos have already spent big this summer on Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy, among others. Meanwhile, Pogba enjoyed success during his four years at Juventus, helping the team win four Serie A titles.

Read More

from Update News Portal

How to Have a High-End Vacation for Less

Why pay top dollar for a luxury vacation when it’s possible to have it for less? A high-end trip without a premium price tag is possible anywhere in the world, but your approach needs to be tailored to your destination. Here, locals in five famously expensive cities — London, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Sydney — share luxury for less tips.

TIME IT RIGHT London has some particularly busy periods with sky-high hotel rates, according to Paula Fitzherbert, a lifelong Londoner and the head of communications for the five-star hotels Claridge’s, Connaught and Berkeley. They include June, during the Chelsea Flower Show, Ascot and Wimbledon, and the fashion weeks in February and September. These times asides, rates are least expensive on Sunday nights when occupancy is at its lowest. “A stay could be half the price, compared with another day of the week and you’re likely to get free amenities,” Ms. Fitzherbert said. The properties she represents try to offer Sunday night guests extras such as a bottle of Champagne, breakfast and a room upgrade.

James Manning, the global projects editor for Time Out London, encourages visiting either at the end of August or anytime in November. Flights and hotels are less expensive, and several noteworthy and free events take place. One of the largest street festivals in Europe, Notting Hill Carnival, is in August.

DINE AND DRINK SMARTLY Skip white tablecloth dining. Mr. Manning said that some of London’s casual and affordable restaurants, such as the Taiwanese spot Xu, outperform many expensive Michelin-recognized joints in atmosphere and flavor. To indulge in decadent cuisine for a bargain, head to a food hall in a luxury department store like Harrods or Selfridges, Ms. Fitzherbert said (she does, too). “You can buy small portions of rare cheeses and handmade chocolates, and the stores often give out free samples on weekends,” she said. She also suggested taking advantage of the widely available and attractively priced pre- and post-theater menus at otherwise expensive restaurants like The Ivy and Savoy Grill and enjoying an evening drink at an upscale bar like the Connaught Bar for less than $20 — an order usually comes with olives, nuts and other snacks.

FIND FREE OR CHEAP CULTURE Admission to most major museums, such as the Tate Modern, is free (special exhibitions usually have a fee), and venues such as Southbank Centre and Royal Opera House have free regular drop-in performances. (Time Out has a weekly update of the best free things to do in London). Most West End theaters release reduced price tickets (usually around $25) each morning for performances that evening. Ms. Fitzherbert also recommended trying an Off West-End show. Tickets can be half the price of the West End.

GO BEHIND THE SCENES At many institutions, you can go behind the scenes and have an exclusive experience without spending a lot. The Natural History Museum offers behind-the-scenes tours of its preserved zoological collection for around $19 a person. You can go backstage at the National Theatre and Royal Opera House for less than $20. And for a slightly higher budget, a guided tour of operational areas at Tower Bridge — including the immense underground bascule chambers, a marvel of Victorian engineering hardly ever open to the public — is around $63 per person.

SHOP THE MARKETS Columbia Road Flower Market, in East London, and Portobello Market, in Notting Hill — are prime destinations to buy one-of-a-kind collector-worthy goods at reasonable prices. “They’re popular with celebrities, and the people watching can be as much fun as the shopping,” Ms. Fitzherbert said.

[Sign up for our Travel Dispatch newsletter for weekly tips on traveling smarter, destination coverage and photos from all over the world.]

TIMING MATTERS Avoid visiting during fashion weeks (women’s, men’s and haute couture), The French Open (from the end of May into early June) and the International Contemporary Art Fair, in October. Prices can be lower in winter and in August, when Parisians tend to leave the city, but this is event-dependent, too, so it’s best to research what’s happening in town. The site for the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau lists the city’s major events.

STAY AT AN UNDER-THE-RADAR HIGH-END HOTEL For luxury at a less stratospheric price point than the city’s palace-designated hotels, stay at a lower-key but still luxurious property. Examples include the San Regis, hidden on a quiet street in the 8th arrondissement’s so-called Golden Triangle or the Jacques Garcia-designed Hôtel Bourg Tibourg, in the Marais. Research these lesser-known gems online — the site Paris Boutique Hotels lists several, as does Time Out Paris.

PALACE HOTEL ACCESS WITHOUT THE PRICE TAG With standard doubles often starting at $1,000 or more per night, Paris’s palace hotels are price-prohibitive for most people. But Elsa Bacry, a lifelong Parisian and the director of European partnerships for the luxury travel network Virtuoso, said locals get a taste of them by frequenting their casual bistros and brasseries such as 114 Faubourg, at Le Bristol. “They’re not a deal, but you’re not spending a fortune either,” she said. Parisians also like to have drinks at the hotels’ bars such as the rooftop L’Oiseau Blanc at The Peninsula Paris or Bar Josephine at the Lutetia. Hannah Meltzer, a Paris-based journalist, said that spa treatments, such as a caviar facial at the lavish day spa at the Four Seasons Paris, are another option.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE SIGHTS AND GROUP TOURS Paris has plenty of museums with free entry including the fine arts museum Petit Palais and Musee de la vie Romantique, or museum of romantic life. Admission to many others, including The Pompidou, is free on the first Sunday of the month while the Louvre offers free admission on the first Saturday evening of every month. Some monuments also offer inexpensive small group tours, such as the 90-minute, 10-euro tour at Versailles of Louis XIV and XV’s private apartments.

SHOP SALES AND THE OUTLETS To buy designer goods at a discount, Ms. Bacry suggested checking out My Little Paris, a site that lists private sales. Also, designer stores have sales in July and January, and La Vallée Village, an outdoor designer outlet shopping mall about a 45-minute train ride from central Paris, is full of deals.

AVOID THE CONVENTIONS San Francisco hosts a significant number of conventions all year, according to Teresa Rodriguez, the editor in chief of the San Francisco edition of WhereTraveler magazine. When one is going on, hotel rates can more than triple. Check the calendar for the Moscone Center, the city’s major convention venue, and plan your trip accordingly.

BOOK LESSER-KNOWN HOTELS OR RENT AN APARTMENT Debbie Kessler, who runs the San Francisco office of Protravel International and sells high-end trips to the city, said that travelers could save by staying away from well-known international brands and choosing a luxury boutique property instead. “They are far more reasonably priced than their big-name competitors,” she said. Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, for example, has four design-forward boutique properties in town. Booking an upscale hotel in Southern Marin County, about a 20-minute drive from San Francisco, is another money-saving option her clients use, taking Uber to get back into town. Ms. Rodriguez encourages visitors to rent a home through Airbnb or another rental site — you can stay in a historic Victorian home or sleek high-rise apartment for the fraction of the cost of a hotel.

DON’T SPEND ON HIGH-END MEALS Japantown is home to affordable sushi, ramen and shabu shabu places, while the Mission neighborhood has authentic and favorably priced Mexican. To sample the city’s famous crabs without blowing your food budget, buy them from one of the crab stands on Fisherman’s Wharf, and have them steamed and cracked. Ms. Rodriguez is a regular at a stand called Nick’s Lighthouse and enjoys the crabs, along with sourdough bread and wine with her family at Aquatic Park Cove, a park near the wharf with views of the bay and Alcatraz. Also, oyster specials abound: Woodhouse Fish Co., with two locations, for example, has $1 oyster specials on Tuesdays, and Plouf sells $1 oysters on weekdays at its bar from 6:30 p.m. until closing. Travelers keen on an upscale dining experience should know that some of the fanciest restaurants offer lower-priced menus in their bars. The three Michelin-starred Quince, for example, offers a five-course $180 menu in its bar area. While hardly inexpensive, that is less than the $295 eight to ten-course tasting menu in the main dining room.

SIGHTSEE WITH A TIGHT FIST Both Sigmund Stern Recreation Cove and Golden Gate Park have noteworthy free concerts, performances and events all year. Ms. Rodriguez said that Free Tours by Foot has free high-quality walking tours, including one in Chinatown. Also, the touristy Bay Cruise isn’t worth it. Instead, take an inexpensive ride on the commuter ferry from the well-known Ferry Building. (Ms. Kessler likes the ride to Sausalito.) There’s a bar on board so riders can savor a glass of wine while taking in the views.

WATCH FOR DEALS AT LUXURY HOTELS Singapore has no low or high season and sees consistent tourist traffic throughout the year, according to Howard Oh, the concierge manager at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, who is also Singaporean. So instead of having off-season rates, the city’s upscale hotels have promotions throughout the year. Mr. Oh recommended comparing rates offered by three luxury hotels you are keen on staying at and seeing which has the most attractive offers. “The deals vary, but you might find a discounted rate for a weekend stay with breakfast and other inclusions or a third night free with two paid nights,” he said.

DINE LIKE A LOCAL The food writer Annette Tan said that eating out in the city is generally expensive but that some neighborhoods are home to excellent and affordable restaurants. Keong Saik Road, in Chinatown, is lined with several, many of which aren’t Chinese. Cure, for one, serves modern European food with Singaporean accents. Another option is Gemmill Lane, a hidden alley off Amoy Street full of buzzy restaurants such as the French-Japanese Le Binchotan. Singaporeans also enjoy decadent high teas at the city’s five-star hotels. Ms. Tan recommended Regent Singapore, where a weekday high tea costs around $33 per adult and includes sandwiches, pastries, scones and cheeses, and the $37 tea at The Clifford Pier, overlooking Marina Bay, at the Fullerton Bay Hotel.

SKIP PRIVATE GUIDES Hiring a private guide costs about $45 an hour, Mr. Oh said, but a small group tour can be equally high-quality and costs around $6 per person, per hour. “The guides leading these tours are very knowledgeable, and you see the same sights you would on a private excursion,” Mr. Oh said. Companies offering such tours include RMG Tours and Tour East. Monster Day Tours also offers free walking tours.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE ART AND CULTURE Public art installations abound in Singapore, and they’re akin to open-air museums, Mr. Oh said. The Marina Bay District, for example, has several, including sculptures by Botero and Dali. Also, the Esplanade Theatres by the Bay holds almost daily free concerts and plays that feature local artists.

DOWNLOAD THE GRAB APP Grab is the Uber equivalent of Singapore (Uber does not operate in the country), and a less expensive way to get around than by taxi. A 10-minute ride costs less than $10, while the trip between the airport and the city center is around $20.

BOOK THE RIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS Carly Rea, the founder of Splendour Tailored Tours, advises staying at a five-star boutique hotel in a residential neighborhood, where nightly rates can be half of what they are in the touristy Central Business District. Ms. Rea recommended Spicers Potts Point, in Potts Point, an area full of homegrown boutiques, cafes and restaurants, and Paramount House Hotel, in Surry Hills. Josh Blake, the assistant chief concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and a longtime Sydney-sider, as locals are called, said that travelers who want to stay in the heart of town should be aware that several of the luxury hotels in the CBD, including Shangri-La and InterContinental, have club lounges. You pay a fee on top of your room rate, the lounge at the Four Seasons, for example, costs $96 for two people per day. But you get a concierge, a lavish breakfast buffet and a premium open bar with appetizers in the evenings.For longer stays, consider a home rental through Contemporary Hotels or Luxico. “You can find a fantastic two-bedroom apartment for a week for the same price as a standard hotel room in the CBD,” Ms. Rea said.

EAT LIKE A LOCAL Ms. Rea said that the tastiest and most affordable food in town is to be found at neighborhood spots. Bistro Rex, in Potts Point, a vibrant place showcasing seasonal dishes, is an example. She also recommended a meal at one of the city’s many inexpensive and delicious Asian-influenced restaurants where diners can bring their own alcohol. The Darlinghurst and Newtown neighborhoods are full of these. On Bondi Beach. a table at a casual seaside cafe is a less expensive and more authentic way to go than a pricey restaurant, said Mr. Blake. He suggested Speedos Cafe, a local favorite that serves health-focused dishes using seasonal and organic produce. Picnics are a longtime tradition for Sydney-siders, and it’s one that travelers should partake in, too.

BE A SAVVY SIGHTSEER Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a mainstay tourist activity, but it costs more than $120 and takes hours. Walking across the bridge is another option. “It’s free, the path is uncrowded and you get the same views,” Mr. Blake said. Also, skip a pricey private boat rental and enjoy Sydney’s skyline from a public ferry or water taxi. A ferry ride, depending on the route, is less than $10, while a 30-minute scenic ride in a taxi around the harbor costs about $70. Mr. Blake recommended the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly, a lively suburb with a scenic beach and a thriving surf community.

Read More

from Update News Portal

Blues fans revel in Stanley Cup victory parade

ST. LOUIS — Steve Deal staked his spot at the corner of Market and Broadway streets at 10 p.m. on Friday for the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup championship parade and rally, which began around noon on Saturday.

The native of Wentzville, Missouri, about 41 miles northwest of St. Louis, was helping his wife, Karen, and friends make sure they had a good place to see the parade, which ended where they stood.

“I’m on 37 hours [of no sleep] now,” Deal said. “I’m fine. I’ve waited 49 years for this parade. I was not going to sleep.”

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the parade route that ran on Market Street (from 18th to Broadway) or at the Gateway Arch for the rally to help the Blues celebrate their first Cup since joining the NHL in 1967.

Video: Best moments from the Blues Championship Parade

Elaine Collins of Chesterfield, about 22 miles west of St. Louis, was on Market Street around 7 a.m. on Saturday.

“It’s been the most incredible thing ever,” said Collins, who was wearing a white Blues jersey from the mid-1990s, which had trombones on the shoulders. “I used to watch the Blues all the way back when they were in the old arena, what we called The Barn. They had incredible players over the years, but nothing like seeing them go from last place January 3rd to winning the Cup. I wouldn’t miss this for everything.”

Fans cheered, took pictures and interacted with players who jumped out of their cars and trucks, including defensemen Vince Dunn, Robert Bortuzzo and Joel Edmundson.

“I’ve been a fan since I was 6 years old, and whether good or bad, I’m always a fan and always watching,” Beth Ladd of St. Louis said as she waited for forward David Perron to approach the crowd. “This has just been euphoric. I can’t even put it into words, so I can’t even imagine how they feel.”

There was intermittent rain during the first hour of the parade but storms that were expected to hit the city in the afternoon never materialized. John and Susan Kistler of St. Louis weren’t going to be thwarted by the weather anyway.

“I told her, I don’t care if it’s snowing. We’re going,” John Kistler said. “I’ve been watching [the Blues] since 1975 when my dad first turned me on to hockey.”

It was the first parade and rally to celebrate a sports championship since the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series in 2011. But Dave Anthes of St. Louis said the Blues celebration was, “a little different.”

“The last one for the Cardinals was great,” Anthes said. “But it’s the first one for the Blues, and the atmosphere here, there’s been an anticipation for so long that, for everybody, it’s a different feel.”

The Blues and their fans waited a long time for this celebration, and they were reveling in it all on Saturday.

“We’ve always been proud of the Blues, we’ve always been proud of the Cardinals, but this is the time we can say, ‘Yes! We got the Cup!’” Collins said. “It’s just awesome.”

Read More

from Update News Portal

Lakers Rumors: Latest on Kyrie Irving Joining LeBron James, Anthony Davis

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right, and Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving chat during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

A day after the Los Angeles Lakers finally landed Anthony Davis, a LeBron James-Kyrie Irving reunion is reportedly likelier than ever.

Sam Amick and David Aldridge of The Athletic reported Irving remains in play for the Lakers as they look to find a third star to pair with James and Davis.

The Aldridge report noted that Irving has wanted to play with Davis for “months,” which could give the Lakers a chance to land the All-Star point guard. Irving has been most regularly linked to the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets as he approaches unrestricted free agency. It seems like a virtual certainty that he will leave the Boston Celtics after two seasons.

That Irving and James would become teammates again seems laughable in some respects after their falling out in Cleveland. Irving’s trade request came in part because he was tired of playing second fiddle to LeBron, wanting to set out on his own terms.

The solo voyage proved tougher than expected. Irving butted heads with his young teammates in Boston, with frustration boiling over to the point Kyrie called LeBron in January to apologize.

“I had to call ‘Bron, and tell him I apologize for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips,” Irving told reporters. “I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that.”

“…He’s been in this situation, been there with me, where I’ve been the young guy, been the 22-year-old kid, wanting everything, wanting everything right now,” Irving continued.

“The responsibility of being the best player in the world and leading a team is something that’s not meant for many people. And ‘Bron was one of those guys that came to Cleveland and tried to really show us what it’s like to win a championship. And it was hard for him. Sometimes getting the most out of the group is not the easiest thing in the world. Fewer are meant for it or chosen for it. And I felt like the best person to call was him.”

LeBron has also hinted at a reunion on social media on multiple occasions.

A reunion still ultimately seems unlikely. Irving plans to sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While Roc Nation has players all around the league, the perception has been Irving signing with the company makes it likelier he’ll land in Brooklyn.

Jay-Z was a part-owner of the Nets before starting the sports representation arm of Roc Nation, and president chief of branding and strategy Michael Yormark is the twin brother of Nets president Brett Yorkmark.

The Lakers could have better luck at targeting Kemba Walker, who could be intrigued with the idea of leaving Charlotte for a championship contender. 

Read More

from Update News Portal

Lonzo Ball Could Be Exactly What Zion Williamson Needs in New Orleans

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) brings the ball up court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Zion Williamson is loaded with potential. He was likely destined for greatness, regardless of who his teammates were slated to be in his first few seasons of development. But the New Orleans Pelicans’ reported acquisition of Lonzo Ball may expedite the process.

Of course, Anthony Davis is the biggest piece of Saturday’s reported trade involving the Los Angeles Lakers, which saw three first-round picks, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart head to New Orleans, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. But the Pelicans also made out in the swap by getting a unique, team-first floor general in Ball.

There is certainly upside to everyone else on that end of the trade. Ingram is 6’9″ and has strong stretches as a point guard to his name. In 2017-18, from February 1 to the end of the season, Ingram averaged 17.7 points and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 51.6 percent from the three-point line.

Hart’s shooting numbers fell off a cliff in 2018-19, but he’s still around league average from three for his career (36.1%) and has shown positional versatility as a defender. And the draft picks, which include the No. 4 selection in Thursday’s draft, offer unquantifiable hope.

But Ball is the prospect who can move the needle for the Pelicans right away.

For his career, Ball has a 26.8 assist percentage, a 10.0 rebounding percentage, a 2.3 steal percentage and a 1.6 block percentage. No one in NBA history played at least 2,000 minutes and hit all four of those marks. If you drop block percentage from the equation, the entire list reads: Ball, Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd and Russell Westbrook.

SAN JOSE, CA - OCTOBER 12:  Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of their NBA basketball game at SAP Center on October 12, 2018 in San Jose, California. NOTE TO USER: User e

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

And all four of those numbers were slightly depressed in Ball’s second year, as he accepted a smaller role while playing alongside LeBron James.

During his rookie season, when he was the primary playmaker, it was easier to see the potential that made him the No. 2 pick of the 2017 draft.

“Lonzo Ball, for sure, presents some of the talents that Magic [Johnson] had,” Lakers legend James Worthy said midway through 2017-18, per’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “Not as tall, but he is 6’6″ and has the IQ, has a vision like no other.”

Ball seems to have eyes on the entire floor, whether he has the ball or not. And he rarely pounds the rock into the hardwood before he gets an assist. On the contrary, his touches seem to move on to the most open player almost immediately after he catches the ball.

His outlet passing is particularly impressive—praise generally reserved for bigs, since most guards seem intent on dribbling up the floor.

“As soon as players get used to the way he passes and they get some really good shooters around him, I think people will really appreciate him,” Worthy continued. “And they already have appreciated what he brings to the table, a very unselfish player.”

That unselfishness will do wonders for Zion, who figures to be one of the league’s most dangerous transition weapons from day one. If the big man is willing to run the floor, and his time at Duke certainly indicated he is, Ball will find him.

“Lonzo throwing lobs to Zion is everything the NBA needs!” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne tweeted.

On top of the fit with those two, Ball and Jrue Holiday figure to help each other as well. Sure, there’s some skill and role overlap, as there was with LeBron in L.A., but The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie pointed out an interesting separation of powers:

New Orleans has a chance to deploy two point guards whose strengths may help offset the other’s weaknesses. And, as Vecenie notes, defense is where the combination might be most dangerous.

Holiday and Ball can both defend positions 1 through 3. Switching all over the perimeter will be a cinch. Passing lanes will be synonymous with danger zones against this team. And when either one does get an interception, Zion will be off to the races. Good luck getting back on defense after all the turnovers New Orleans will force in 2019-20.

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Now, while there’s plenty to be excited about for New Orleans, it’s not all roses. Ball has a glaring weakness that seriously limits his short-term ceiling.

Among the 621 players who attempted at least as many career threes, Ball is 549th in three-point percentage. He’s also 562nd in effective field-goal percentage.

Unless or until he can develop into at least an average threat from deep, defenses will be able to go under screens on Lonzo-led pick-and-rolls and cheat down to the paint when he’s off the ball. That will make life tougher on his teammates, at least in half-court settings.

There’s no reason he can’t remedy that, though. Lonzo shot 41.2 percent from three in college. And his unusual mechanics don’t have to prevent effectiveness. After all, Kevin Martin shot 38.4 percent from three during his career with a similar corkscrew release.

If that three starts falling for Lonzo, pick-and-rolls with Zion will be a nightmare to defend.

The other obvious drawback to this trade is that the Pelicans didn’t just jettison the best player in the deal, they sent a top-three to top-five NBA player to the Lakers.

Making up for that may never happen.

But AD and his agent, Rich Paul, had the organization’s feet to the fire. They made Davis’ preferred destination publicly known, telling Sports Illustrated‘s S.L. Price that Davis would hit free agency in 2020 regardless, which understandably quelled interest around the league.

Davis and Paul got what they wanted out of this. But, given the circumstances, new team executive David Griffin and the Pelicans made out about as well as could be expected. And they might still get more.

Teams are already expressing significant interest in the No. 4 overall pick belonging now to the Pelicans, league sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “Talks are expected to continue over the next few days. This deal could get even bigger for the Pelicans.”

Even if it doesn’t, a team that just spent months dealing with the drama of Davis’ trade demand now has plenty of hope. And the Lonzo-Zion pairing might be the embodiment of that hope.

Read More

from Update News Portal

Blues draw more than 500,000 for Stanley Cup celebration

ST. LOUISAlex Pietrangelo had the Stanley Cup in his hands, the St. Louis Blues captain ending the parade but continuing the celebration of their first NHL championship in their 51 seasons.

“It’s been amazing, let me tell you,” Pietrangelo said to the crowd that gathered for a post-parade rally at the Gateway Arch. “This is unbelievable. Unbelievable. … We all know what it’s about. It’s about the fans, the family.

“I said in an interview at the end of the season: We’re a bunch of messed-up individuals together. From the coaches all the way down, here we go. Look at this. This is amazing. Amazing.”

Video: Best moments from the Blues Championship Parade

What started as a cloudy and rainy day ended in sunshine, with an estimated 500,000 people watching the Blues travel east on Market Street through downtown St. Louis on the way to the Arch.

“Beyond anything I could have imagined,” Blues owner Tom Stillman said. “I thought there’d be a lot of people, but it’s a block or two deep at some points. Wow.

“… What a jolt of energy for a city, and that’s the best thing that sports can do, is bring people together, bring positive energy to the home city.”

Players took turns walking the route with the Cup, including Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen. St. Louis native Pat Maroon walked with his young son Anthony, who later took to the stage and led a “Let’s Go Blues!” chant.

“I’m a hometown hero, baby!” Pat Maroon said to the crowd. “Put your glasses up right now St. Louis. We’re Stanley Cup champs baby!”

The Blues entered the NHL in 1967-68 and played in the Stanley Cup Final their first three seasons. This was their first time in the championship round since then, and their victory ended the longest active Stanley Cup drought.

Craig Berube, who took over as coach Nov. 19 and helped the Blues rise from last in the NHL standings, was greeted with chants of “Chief! Chief! Chief!”, his nickname from his days as a player.

“It’s awesome. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” Berube said. “What an incredible experience to be down here today, the parade and everything. It’s unbelievable. I’m so happy for the city and the fans. They deserved it, but more than anything, I’m so happy for our players because of how hard they played, prepared, through leadership coming through and winning that Cup.

“They came together at some point. It all started to work out. Leadership, character and hard work through January, February and most of March, being on the road that much and winning that many games, it just goes to show the hard work and character of our players.

“That’s why we’re Stanley Cup champions.”

Read More

from Update News Portal