Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. EDT

CLLINTON EMAILS-INSPECTOR GENERAL Sessions fires former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he has fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a longtime and frequent target of President Donald Trump’s anger, just two days before his scheduled retirement date. The move, which had been expected, was made on the recommendation of FBI disciplinary officials. It comes ahead of an inspector general report expected to conclude that McCabe was not forthcoming with the watchdog office as it reviewed the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Though McCabe had spent more than 20 years as a career FBI official, Trump repeatedly condemned him over the last year as emblematic of an FBI leadership he contends is biased against his administration. UNIVERSITY BRIDGE COLLAPSE State: Voicemail about cracking in bridge wasn’t picked up MIAMI (AP) — Florida officials say two days before a catastrophic bridge collapse in Miami, an engineer left a voicemail saying some cracking had been found at one end of the span. However, the voicemail to the Florida Department of Transportation wasn’t picked up until after the collapse. The engineer said in the call he didn’t believe the cracking posed a safety issue. Federal transportation safety officials said Friday night that don’t know if any cracking was related to the collapse. The pedestrian bridge at Florida International university collapsed Thursday, killing at least six people. Authorities are slowly removing the debris, looking for more victims. TRUMP TARIFFS-CHINA Trump’s possible China tariffs send opponents scrambling WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is considering sweeping tariffs on imports from China, with an announcement possible as early as next week. And that has industry groups and some lawmakers scrambling to prevent the next front in a potential trade war that could reverberate Continue Reading

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 12:25 a.m. EDT

UNIVERSITY BRIDGE COLLAPSE Fallen bridge: As victims are found officials seek answers MIAMI (AP) — As Florida authorities work to identify the people who died in Thursday’s catastrophic bridge collapse, state and federal investigators will begin the task of figuring out how and why the five-day-old span failed. Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Dave Downey said Thursday night that his crew is using high-tech listening devices, trained sniffing dogs and search cameras in a race to find anyone still alive in the rubble. Officials said four people were found dead and at least nine others were injured and taken to local hospitals. The $14.2 million pedestrian bridge was supposed to open in 2019 as a safe way for students to cross the busy road. It linked the community of Sweetwater with the campus of Florida International University. MILITARY KIDS-SEX ASSAULT Congress demands Pentagon investigate child sex assaults Senior members of Congress are calling for hearings and investigations in response to an Associated Press investigation that details how the U.S. military frequently fails to protect or provide justice to the children of service members when they sexually assault each other on base. In separate letters sent Thursday to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, two senators requested action by the Pentagon’s inspector general and another demanded answers to detailed questions by early April. Separately, a congresswoman promised to hold a hearing before a House Armed Services subcommittee. The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. AP’s investigation showed how many reports of assaults and rapes among kids on military bases get lost in a dead zone of justice, with neither victim nor offender receiving help. TRUMP-TROPHY HUNTING Trump wildlife protection board stuffed with trophy hunters WASHINGTON (AP) — A new U.S. advisory board created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African Continue Reading

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EST

TRUMP-TRADE Lawmakers, business brace for rollout of Trump’s tariff plan WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers, business groups and U.S. trading partners are bracing for the details of President Donald Trump’s plan to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Trump is expected to announce the tariffs by week’s end. Trump’s trade and manufacturing adviser, Peter Navarro, says the proclamation the president intends to sign will include a clause that would not impose tariffs on Canada and Mexico immediately. More than 100 Republican House members are urging Trump to reconsider the tariffs, warning of unintended negative consequences to American workers and the national economy. In addition to lawmakers, business leaders are sounding the alarm about the potential economic fallout, with the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce raising the specter of a global trade war. NORTHEAST STORM Storm moves up East Coast dumping snow, knocking out power NEW YORK (AP) — The second major storm in less than a week is moving up the East Coast, dumping heavy snow and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses from Pennsylvania to New England. Some places saw more than 2 feet of snow by late Wednesday. Montville, New Jersey, got more than 26 inches. North Adams, Massachusetts, registered 24 inches and Sloatsburg, New York, got 26 inches. Major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor saw much less. Philadelphia International Airport recorded about 6 inches, while New York City’s Central Park saw less than 3 inches. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning through Thursday for most of New England as the storm continues to make its way through. TRUMP-PORN STAR-THE LATEST The Latest: White House: Arbitration won against porn star LOS ANGELES (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump has already won an arbitration case against an adult film actress who says she had sex with Trump and Continue Reading

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. EST

VETERANS HOME-SHOOTING-THE LATEST The Latest: Gunman booted from PTSD program before shooting YOUNTVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A family member of a psychologist among those taken hostage by a gunman at a California veterans home says his daughter-in-law recently kicked the man out of a program that offered treatment to Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and head injuries. Bob Golick said in a Friday afternoon interview with The Associated Press that his daughter-in-law Jennifer Golick called his son around 10:30 a.m. Friday to say she had been taken hostage in the building where she worked at The Pathway Home program. The son, Mark Golick, is Jennifer Golick’s husband. Bob Golick declined to discuss whether Jennifer was one of three Pathway workers authorities found dead in the building at around 6 p.m. Friday. Authorities did not identify the workers or the gunman because they said they were still notifying relatives. IRAN-WEIGHING CHANGE As economic problems pile up, Iran cautiously weighs changes TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran in recent months has been beset by economic problems despite the promises surrounding the 2015 nuclear deal it struck with world powers. Its clerically overseen government is starting to take notice. Politicians now offer the idea of possible government referendums or early elections. Whether change can come, however, is in question. Even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei acknowledged the depths of the problems ahead of the 40th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Iran today largely remains a state-run economy. It has tried to privatize some of its industries, but critics say they have been handed over to a wealthy elite that looted them and ran them into the ground. More than 3.2 million Iranians are jobless, government spokesman Mohammad-Bagher Nobakht has said. The unemployment rate is over 11 percent. ISRAEL-ETHIOPIAN IMMIGRATION Ethiopian-Israelis decry family Continue Reading

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 2:20 a.m. EST

GRIDIRON DINNER Trump trades good-natured barbs with media at Gridiron WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has engaged in a good-natured duel of one-liners with political rivals and the press at the annual Gridiron Dinner this weekend. Trump dished out sharp one-liners throughout his comments Saturday night, only occasionally lapsing into recurring themes about the 2016 election and media bias. Trump quipped: “I was very excited to receive this invitation and ruin your evening in person. That’s why I accepted.” The annual dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation, now in its 133rd year, traced its history to 1885. SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA-LEGISLATURE Florida lawmakers take up school-safety bill in rare session TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Senate is debating school-safety and gun regulations in the aftermath of the Parkland school shootings. The Senate started at 10 a.m. Saturday to debate a 100-page bill. Among other things, the bill would raise the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21 and create a waiting period to buy the weapons. Lawmakers debated dozens of amendments, including a complete ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. The Senate was originally scheduled to wrap up discussion by 1 p.m., but extended the rare Saturday session to 9 p.m. The final vote on the bill won’t happen until Monday. The bill is in response to the shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. Police say the shooter used an AR-15 assault-style rifle. CHINA-POLITICS-POWER GRAB China sets stage for Xi’s historic grab to rule indefinitely BEIJING (AP) — President Xi Jinping is poised to make a historic power grab as China’s legislators gather from Monday to approve changes that will let him rule indefinitely and undo decades of efforts to prevent a return to crushing dictatorship. This year’s gathering of the ceremonial National People’s Congress has Continue Reading

New sports business major to be offered at Lone Star College

By Julie Cornell, Special to The Villager Updated 12:00 pm, Friday, February 16, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-4', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 4', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Image 1of/4 CaptionClose Image 1 of 4 Image 2 of 4 Image 3 of 4 Image 4 of 4 New sports business major to be offered at Lone Star College 1 / 4 Back to Gallery Stephen F. Austin State University is partnering with Lone Star College to give Houston area students an opportunity to graduate with a sports business degree. The degree has been offered at SFA since 2015, but the new partnership brings the program to Lone Star College students beginning in the fall of 2018. "One of the things will be a real highlight-students don't have to come to Nacogdoches," said Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president. "Students can stay home and do all their coursework and come to Nacogdoches only when they come to graduate." To kick off the partnership, the two institutions signed an agreement on Thursday, Feb. 15 at Lone Star College University Center in The Woodlands. Becky Duncan-Ramirez, executive director of University Affairs at Lone Star College, said the major or minor program prepares students for opportunities in sports marketing, entrepreneurship, administration, representation and media. The administration of SFA brought the idea to LSC, Duncan-Ramirez added. Recommended Video: Now Playing: Indiana University, Bloomington Cornell University University of Virginia University of Texas, Austin Carnegie Mellon University New York University University of Michigan, Ann Arbor University of California, Berkeley Massachusetts Institute of Technology University of Pennsylvania Media: Wibbitz "Our team approved the program and has then supported SFA throughout the process," she Continue Reading

Donald Trump named Most Influential Person in sports business for 2017

President Donald Trump finished runner-up last week for Time magazine's Person of the Year, but he picked up another award on Monday.SportsBusiness Journal/Dailynamed Trump the Most Influential Person in sports business in 2017, citing his divisive rhetoric in the world of sports and the responses it prompted.The award recognizes the person who has most influenced sports business this year, whether that influence is "positive or negative," according to a story announcing the decision. Other recent recipients include NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Disney CEO Bob Iger and ESPN president John Skipper. MORE: Donald Trump calls LaVar Ball an 'ungrateful fool' MORE: Donald Trump calls NFL 'weak and out of control' In his first year as president, Trump has frequently lashed out at various sports figures and leagues. He has repeatedly slammed the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell over social justice protests during the national anthem. He has publicly feuded with LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of LiAngelo Ball, a former UCLA basketball player arrested in China. And when Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry said he would skip the team's customary White House visit, Trump took to Twitter and said the team wouldn't be invited to visit the White House anyway.Trump has criticized ESPN, with a White House spokesperson even calling for the network to fire Jemele Hill after she referred to him as a white supremacist on Twitter. The president has also made headlines with his frequent golf outings.Executive editor Abraham Madkour wrote about the decision that "this isn't the choice we wanted to make" and this year's discussion "split our newsroom unlike any I can remember.""Many refused to let the sports industry be tarred by Trump’s insults," Madkour wrote. "But Trump still had the loudest megaphone, and fueled the anger and tension that pervaded sports all year." Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] Continue Reading

Smaller fantasy sports businesses taking a hit as legislation continues to target daily fantasy sports giants DraftKings, FanDuel

Chances are, you've heard of DraftKings or FanDuel, the two giants of the fantasy sports world. But what about FantasyFreakingFootball.com? Yeah, not so much. The fantasy sports industry is made up of many more small businesses that are trying to innovate and compete in a developing market set by the two biggest DFS operators. But as legislation continues to advance in statehouses across the country that grants DFS legal clarity, many of these laws seem to hurt those small businesses. The result threatens to create a duopoly in the fantasy space with DraftKings and FanDuel, which both started as small companies, benefitting from laws that would appear to stifle startups and kill small fantasy businesses. "There's no doubt it'll crush the little guys," Garret Mathany, the co-founder of Fantasy Freaking Football told the Daily News. "It would be like Walmart coming into a small town." At the core of the concerns shared by Mathany and other small fantasy businesses are the lofty licensing fees included in bills like the DFS law recently passed in Virginia. That state, the first to officially legalize DFS, requires a $50,000 fee from operators. Proposed legislation in New York includes a $500,000 registration fee, a sum most small fantasy businesses would choke on. "That's not the kind of money smaller companies can come up with," Mathany said. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. Fantasy Freaking Football — it gets its name from the love-hate relationship fantasy players have with the game — makes a modest sum from selling draft kits specifically written for high-stakes season-long leagues. It's not even a DFS site, but because of an industry-wide crackdown even season-long fantasy businesses are feeling the pinch of government regulation. High-stakes leagues typically include an entry fee anywhere between $1,000 up into the tens of thousands of dollars and usually cater to elite-level players. The site Continue Reading

Jay-Z releases ‘Open Letter’: Rapper fires back at critics of his Cuba trip with Beyonce, sports business ventures in new song

Brooklyn's biggest ego has a new message for all the haters. In a new track recorded and released in 24 hours, Jay-Z insists he’s cashing out of the Brooklyn Nets — but not abandoning the borough or its arena. “Would’ve brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free/Except I made millions off it, you f---in’ dweeb,” he rhymes in his new track, “Open Letter,” directed at critics from Havana to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The message comes on the heels of Jay’s announcement he will sell his 1/15 of 1% share in the Nets so his new sports rep agency, Roc Nation Sports, can pursue NBA clients. League rules bar sports agents from owning NBA teams. The rapper has already signed Giants receiver Victor Cruz and Yankee star Robinson Cano. But as Jay-Z raps in the track, he remains invested in the arena itself. “I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seat/Y’all buy that bulls--t/you’d better keep your receipt.” Indeed, to paraphrase Jay-Z himself, he’s a business, man, not a businessman. “That whole stadium is engineered to generate money for Jay-Z,” said Zack O’Malley Greenburg, author of a biography on the hip-hop magnate. He noted the 40/40 Club and a store that sells Rocawear clothing are in the arena. Products in which Jay-Z has invested, such as Armand de Brignac Champagne, are also featured in the Barclays Center. Nevertheless, any mention of profits yielded through the arena rubbed some Brooklynites the wrong way. “As soon as he found a better deal for himself, he dumped (the Nets),” said Daniel Goldstein, a longtime critic of the development. “It’s about Jay-Z and his business and this is the best business move for him to do. It’s got nothing to do with the Nets or Brooklyn.” A source in Jay-Z’s camp said the “dweebs” he referenced were not Continue Reading


ONE SUSTAINING hope for Knicks fans who blame James Dolan for their misery is the idea that no one can afford to keep spending huge amounts of money on a losing prospect. Eventually he'll have to sell, right? Not when the team is just one part of a monopolistic cable empire. "They can sustain that as long as the Dolan family wants to," says sports business marketing guru Marc Ganis. "(The team) is still a 10% or so factor of the company's net operating income, so they can sustain that, considering the voting control the Dolan family has." Cablevision is publicly owned, and the Knicks are only one enterprise under its MSG holdings. The MSG segment of the company, which also includes the Garden, MSG Network, the Rangers, the Liberty, Radio City Entertainment and Fox Sports New York, is the only part of the company that lost money each of the past two quarters, according to Cablevision's financial statements. Among all its subsidiaries, Cablevision netted $1.4 billion, more than analysts had expected. All told, adding into the company's debts, Cablevision lost $58.9 million in the quarter, less than had been expected. Analysts agree that the company as a whole is improving significantly. The operating losses attributable to the Knicks, however, are staggering. MSG lost $12.3 million last quarter, after losing $11.9 million in the final quarter of 2005. And those figures include cash cow cable networks that mask other losses. "That speaks volumes to the losses of the teams themselves," Ganis said. "What it means for the team is that it's being run quite poorly." Most Knicks fans don't need an expert to tell them that, but Ganis says the losses represent more than a poor return on Dolan's investment. When the Knicks lose, they lose the interest of potential commercial sponsors. "If they ever even did get close to sniffing an NBA championship, sponsors would be throwing money at them," Ganis says. "But the performance on the court being as miserable as it Continue Reading