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China tightens access to Tiananmen Square, 24 detained in Hong Kong on anniversary of 1989 protests

South Florida Local News - 8 hours 36 min ago

BEIJING (AP) — China tightened access to Tiananmen Square in central Beijing on Sunday, the anniversary of the military suppression of 1989 pro-democracy protests that left a still unknown number of people dead and discussions and commemorations forbidden within the country.

In Hong Kong, which had been the last Chinese-controlled territory to hold commemorations, eight people, including activists and artists, were detained on the eve of the anniversary of the crackdown, a move that underscored the city’s shrinking room for freedom of expression. Another 16 or more people were detained around Victoria Park on Sunday.

The large public space with its lawns and sports grounds used to be the scene of an annual candlelight gathering to remember the hundreds or thousands killed when army tanks and infantry descended on central Beijing on the night of June 3 and into the morning of June 4, 1989.

Discussion of the seven weeks of student-led protests that attracted workers and artists and their violent resolution has long been suppressed in China. It also became increasingly off-limits in Hong Kong since a sweeping national security law was imposed in June 2020, effectively barring anyone from holding memorial events.

The death toll from the 1989 violence remains unknown and the Communist Party relentlessly harasses those at home or overseas who seek to keep the memory of the events alive.

In Beijing, additional security was seen around Tiananmen Square, which has long been ringed with security checks requiring those entering to show identification. People passing by foot or on bicycle on Changan Avenue running north of the square were also stopped and forced to show identification. Those with journalist visas in their passports were told they needed special permission to even approach the area.

Still, throngs of tourists were seen visiting the iconic site, with hundreds standing in line to enter the square.

Ahead of the anniversary, a group of mothers who lost their children in the Tiananmen crackdown sought redress and issued a statement renewing their call for “truth, compensation and accountability.”

Human Rights Watch called on the Chinese government to acknowledge responsibility for the killing of pro-democracy protesters.

“The Chinese government continues to evade accountability for the decades-old Tiananmen Massacre, which has emboldened its arbitrary detention of millions, its severe censorship and surveillance, and its efforts to undermine rights internationally,” Yaqiu Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

While Hong Kong, a former British colony handed over to Chinese rule in 1997, uses colonial-era anti-sedition laws to crack down on dissent, the persistence of non-conforming voices “lays bare the futility of the authorities’ attempts to enforce silence and obedience,” Amnesty International said.

“The Hong Kong government’s shameful campaign to stop people marking this anniversary mirrors the censorship of the Chinese central government and is an insult to those killed in the Tiananmen crackdown,” Amnesty said.

Beijing-appointed authorities in Hong Kong have blocked the Tiananmen memorial for the last three years, citing public health grounds. In 2020, thousands defied a police ban to hold the event.

Despite the lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions, the city’s public commemoration this year was muted under a Beijing-imposed national security law that prosecuted or silenced many Hong Kong activists. Three leaders of the group that used to organize the vigil were charged with subversion under the law. The group itself was disbanded in 2021, after police informed it that it was under investigation for working on behalf of foreign groups, an accusation the group denied.

After the enactment of the security law following massive protests in 2019, Tiananmen-related visual spectacles, including statues at universities, were also removed. Most recently, books featuring the events have been pulled off public library shelves.

Asked whether it is legal to mourn the crackdown in public as an individual, Hong Kong leader John Lee said that if anyone breaks the law, “of course the police will have to take action.”

Many Hong Kongers, who were unclear what authorities might consider subversive, tried to mark the event in low-profile ways on Sunday.

Chan Po-ying, leader of the League of Social Democrats, held a LED candle in one hand and two yellow paper flowers in another. She was taken away by police officers from a stop-and-search area.

Public broadcaster RTHK reported that it understood police would deploy up to 6,000 officers to patrol the streets, including Victoria Park and government headquarters.

At Victoria Park, scenes of people rallying for democracy have been replaced by a carnival organized by pro-Beijing groups to mark the city’s 1997 handover to China.

By about 7:30 p.m., another 10 people, including activists and a former head of The Hong Kong Journalists Association, were taken away by police in shopping district Causeway Bay, where Victoria Park is located. It was unclear if they were being arrested.

Sunday’s events reflected the political chill that has sparked a rise in emigration to Britain and other countries and a deep ambivalence among a population that had been strongly engaged in local politics.

A commemoration was held in Taipei, the capital of the self-governing island democracy of Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory to be annexed possibly by force. More than 500 participants turned out to light candles, hear speeches and chant slogans under a heavy rain.

Kacey Wong, an artist who is among the scores of Hong Kong residents who have moved to the island, said the more than 30 years of commemorating the 1989 protests had made it a part of life.

Wong said an artist friend, San Mu, had been detained along with others while attempting to stage a public street performance in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong.

“So, it’s all engrained in our subconscious that we should care and practice our sympathy towards other people who are yearning for democracy and freedom,” Wong said.


Associated Press writer Kanis Leung in Hong Kong contributed to this report.

‘Blinding downpours’ possible Sunday in South Florida, forecasters say

South Florida Local News - 8 hours 41 min ago

Short-lived Tropical Storm Arlene has fizzled out, but South Florida is not yet free from the rain and thunderstorms that have intermittently rolled in over the last week.

Thunderstorms are expected throughout Sunday, bringing the possibility of lightning, gusty winds and flooding, the National Weather Service Miami said in a briefing. A few storms may be severe, the weather service said Sunday.

Broward County can expect storms after 2 p.m. and before 10 p.m., forecasters said. Experts estimated at least an additional three-quarters of an inch of rain, with more possible during thunderstorms.

Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade County remain under a flood watch until midnight. Trees and powerlines could be damaged by winds, according to the forecast.

The center of what was Arlene was located just south of the Florida peninsula about 10:30 a.m., making for another storm-prone day until what is left of the system moves farther east away from South Florida, the weather service said in a tweet.

The center of the remnant low is just to the south of the FL peninsula and the majority of the unsettled weather is displaced significantly to the east of this circulation. One more active afternoon is likely until the center of circulation is able to push further east of SFL pic.twitter.com/L9f0PzytmO

— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) June 4, 2023

Cities across Broward and Miami-Dade County have received between 1 and nearly 5 inches of rain between Friday and Sunday morning, according to the weather service’s data. Lantana in Palm Beach County had the most rain over the last three days, with a total near 6 inches.

After Sunday, showers aren’t likely until Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the forecast said.

Arlene formed Friday and dissipated into a remnant low Saturday night about 135 miles west-southwest of the Dry Tortugas. The National Hurricane Center does not predict any tropical cyclone activity during the next two days.

Colorado State University experts predict this hurricane season to see near-average activity, with 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

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The next named storm to form will be Bret. The Atlantic hurricane season runs until Nov. 30.

Tales from the NBA Finals: The Heat’s bad babysitter, Highsmith, Bam’s mom and Butler’s hero

South Florida Local News - 10 hours 55 min ago

DENVER – It is a somewhat unrelenting process, the entire rosters of the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets marched into the arena the day before game days for NBA Finals media sessions that range from televised podium Q and A’s in two separate broadcast areas to free run of the court with the other players.

Already there have been two such media days at Ball Arena, with two more this coming week in Miami at Kaseya Center ahead of Wednesday’s Game 3 and Friday’s Game 4.

But it also is a time to exhale from the rigors of practices, film sessions, and, yes, the games themselves, including Sunday’s Game 2 of the best-of-seven series.

So whether it’s why Haywood Highsmith is named Haywood Highsmith, to whom Kevin Love wouldn’t recommend from the Heat roster as a babysitter, there also has been the human side to the championship-series equation.

* * *

The name is Haywood Highsmith, as in the defensive-minded Heat forward, not Highsmith Haywood.

But not even intrepid investigation into the genealogy of the surname at the series’ first media day was able to unearth background on the surname.

Q. “What’s the story behind your first name?”

Highsmith: “I’m a junior, so it was my father’s name. You’d have to ask his father, but he’s not alive right now. I don’t know the story behind it, honestly.”

Q. “Do you hear about that a lot? That’s like a classic name.”

Highsmith: “Yeah, I’ve heard it’s like an old name. I’ve heard it’s a last name, too. So yeah, I don’t know. I’m a junior. I don’t know the story behind it.”

Q. “What about Highsmith? You’ve got an epic name.”

Highsmith: “I’ve heard that. Yeah, I don’t know. Just my father’s last name, as well. I don’t know. I guess I’ve got like H’s in my family or something.”

* * *

During that same media session, Heat forward Kevin Love was asked, “Who is the last guy on the Heat you would let babysit your kids?”

Love, 34, who is married to Canadian model Kate Bock, does not have any children.

No matter, Love, willing to play along, still mulled the question.

“Last guy on the Heat I would let babysit my kids? I don’t know,” he said. “Everybody’s pretty damn responsible. Probably Nikola [Jovic] just because he’s so damn young.”

Jovic, the rookie forward, turns 20 Friday.

“That’s the only thing I can think of,” Love said. “He’s still a child himself. That would be tough.”

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* * *

It is not uncommon for Bam Adebayo to pause even his televised media sessions to take a call from his mother, a concern the Heat center had during his first interview opportunity at the Finals.

“I hope she doesn’t call me during media,” he said with a smile in front of a microphone on the podium.

But the devotion and appreciation for what Marilyn Blount provided as a single mother runs deep.

Asked how he derived his confidence to make it to this stage, Adebayo did not pause.

“It’s been my mom because she’s been a leader in my life, since I’ve been born,” he said. “Seeing my mom go through every adversity, all the adversity she’s been through, my mom walked to work, my mom was a single parent, we lived in a single-wide trailer. I lived off of $12,000 a year from my mom. Having that type of person lead, I feel like it was just bound for me to be able to get in that mold.

“Definitely uncomfortable when you first start being — when people start looking at you and saying you have to be more vocal, you have to be a leader of the ship. I just look back at those days how my mom just lived for me, and it was by example.”

* * *

For some, lining up tickets for the Finals is a distraction. For Heat forward Jimmy Butler, it is an expectation.

That had him during an initial Finals media session noting that he is counting on soccer star Neymar finding his way to Miami for one of the upcoming games.

“Yes, he’d better be there,” Butler said. “So Ney, I know you’re looking somewhere. You’d better be there. But that’s my guy, too.

“Part of my routine on game days and off days is I watch all types of sports of people who inspire me to be great. He’s one of them. So, I’ve probably seen each one of his highlight videos on YouTube way too many times, Sasha [Alexander Zverev] tennis, Carlito [Carlos Alcaraz] tennis, you go down – Serena [Williams], everybody. I love greatness in any way that you view it.

“He’s obviously a close friend of mine, so I pay attention to him a lot. But with him in my corner, I think I’ll be OK.”

* * *

As could be expected, with so much conversation during the Finals, there tends to be a fish story, or two.

In this case, an actual fish story.

With the Heat and Nuggets two of the final four teams standing in the 2020 pandemic quarantine bubble at Disney World, both coaching staffs gravitated toward the fishing area.

“We didn’t necessarily hang out with them in the bubble,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “but competitors recognize competitors and we would acknowledge them. We didn’t have to face them in the [2020] playoffs, but we always just seemed to bump into them.

“The staffs would bump into each other out on the lake. For whatever reason, we were all fishing out there, and those were the two organizations that were doing it. I have no idea why.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone picked up the story from there.

“They had a guy,” Malone said. “I forget the coach’s name, but this guy was catching all the fish, so there’s no fish left for anybody else.”

The coach – and fishing magician – was Spoelstra’s lead assistant, Chris Quinn.

Broken promises at Lauderdale soccer stadium | Letters to the editor

South Florida Local News - 11 hours 11 min ago

Hooray for Fort Lauderdale District 1 City Commissioner John Herbst for having the backbone to stand up to the dazzling notoriety of soccer star David Beckham et al and his pricey lawyer-lobbyist.

They can afford the best legal counsel on the market, so they know what’s in an agreement and what isn’t. Cities do not do multimillion dollar business agreements on a handshake unless they’re awe-struck by fame and forget the rules of law.

As a taxpayer, I’m not dazzled. Enough with the giveaways.

Michael Laughlin / Sun SentinelFormer Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, an attorney, was hired by the city to mediate a long-running dispute over the redevelopment of the former Lockhart Stadium site.

Thank you, former Mayor Jack Seiler, for all you are doing to mediate the agreement and not caving to lobbyist pressure.

If people can’t attend games because there’s no place to park, then just cancel the games and send fans home. That’s on Beckham United, not the city of Fort Lauderdale, according to their signed agreement.

They broke their promise to us, and to all soccer fans in Broward County, plain and simple.

Shame on Beckham United and those who represent them.

Amy Hamilton, Fort Lauderdale

Conservative reverberations

As their annual Leadership Blue event approaches, it’s important that Florida Democrats remember the shortcomings of the previous election cycle. With a Gov. Ron DeSantis having carried 62 of 67 counties in Florida, it will take more than just opening checkbooks to support the issues Democrats care about.

As a recent University of Florida graduate, I like to think I have my ear to the ground. Former Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse’s recent implant into Gator Nation inspired me to listen harder, but I am only hearing more and more conservative reverberations — even in Broward County.

If you don’t want it to be assumed that your child is carrying a firearm in a backpack; if you worry that you might not make next month’s rent due to spiking insurance premiums; or if you want the freedom to make your own decisions about your body, you need to make that known. Not just to your family, but to your friends, neighbors and elected officials, too.

Spencer Bober, Hollywood

A warning from Canada

What will it take for our state to legislate against automatic weapons purchases? How many more shootings must we witness in schools, clubs and, most recently, on the Broadwalk in Hollywood? If for no other reason, when will this keep people from vacationing here, considering Canada just issued a travel advisory due to our high level of gun violence?

Stacie M. Kiner, Hypoluxo 

The spine that isn’t

In their usual self-congratulations for dubious achievements, such as building “bike boxes” when there is just one, the Boca Raton City Council is taking credit for the downtown spine.

The spine was meant as a wide pedestrian thoroughfare linking Royal Palm Plaza and Mizner Park. It would be lined with stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues — Boca Raton’s version of the Champs-Élysées in Paris, as it were.

It was never seen as just a path, straight or otherwise, because there were already sidewalks in place for that purpose.

But the city council is now championing an achievement that isn’t. City officials claim that a pedestrian path through Aletto Square is the new spine. In no way does this even partially fulfill the spine envisioned by the early giants of Boca Raton planning. They can all pat each other on the back as much as they want, the spine is dead.

Even Mayor Scott Singer can’t pull off this miracle.

Alan Neibauer, Boca Raton

SCOTUS will end affirmative action, and universities will keep doing it | Opinion

South Florida Local News - 12 hours 11 min ago

It’s that time again — Supreme Court opinion time.

Sometime this month, our nation’s highest court will hand down the latest of its long (although for many, not eagerly) awaited decisions addressing a legal issue at the core of America’s cultural divide. This case — more accurately, these two cases — concern the use of race in admissions programs at colleges and universities.

The cases arise out of admissions programs at two institutions: Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Americans situated all across the ideological spectrum who hold views about the issue colloquially dubbed affirmative action can learn a great deal if they read the transcripts from October’s five hours of oral argument. And that’s saying something, because legal transcripts — even those from hot-button cases — have a reputation for being staid and unilluminating.

Among the exchanges to be gleaned from the transcripts, an especially telling one stands out. After Harvard’s lawyer reluctantly conceded that, for some applicants, race indeed proved to be the determinative factor, as it may for an oboe player during an admissions cycle in which the Harvard-Radcliffe orchestra found itself in need of an oboe player, Chief Justice John Roberts replied tersely: “We did not fight a Civil War about oboe players.”

Peter K. Rofes is professor of law at Marquette University Law School.

Challengers allege that the program used by Harvard — a private institution — clashes with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by using race and subjective inferences about race in a manner that illegally disadvantages Asian-American applicants.

These same challengers contend that the program employed by UNC — a public institution — violates not merely Title VI but the equal protection guarantee of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. In the UNC case, challengers allege that white and Asian-American applicants get the constitutionally short end of the admissions stick because UNC’s process affords African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians an inappropriate bump.

Each case has consumed the better part of a decade of the legal system’s time and resources.

In each case, challengers contend that the university persists in employing a race-conscious admissions policy in ways forbidden by law and inconsistent with the constraints of Supreme Court precedent. By so doing, challengers contend, each program impedes our move toward a nation in which individuals, to borrow from Dr. King, no longer are judged by the color of their skin.

And in each case, the university has structured its defense around a pair of core propositions.

One is that, to the extent it employs race in its admissions process, it does so to achieve an objective approved by a majority of the nation’s highest court for nearly a half century: to secure the educational benefits alleged to flow from a diverse student population.

The other is that were it forbidden to take account of race in the admissions process — were it required to undertake the admissions process genuinely blind to the race of applicants — it would be unable to achieve that first objective, unable to matriculate a student class that produces the benefits of diversity that the university seeks.

At the trials, each side wove its story with facts, anecdotes, experts, empirical analysis, a bit of histrionics, and slices of law.

And in each instance, the trial court awarded victory to the university.

Those victories almost certainly will be short-lived.

Yet this fact, although it will dominate the national conversation for a day or three, will not be among the most important consequences of the announcements by the justices.

Far from it.

Instead, look for two other phenomena — one conspicuous, immediate, and ephemeral, the other hidden behind closed doors on campuses across the land — to represent the most significant takeaways after the justices deliver their pair of verdicts.

As to the first: The nation’s intelligentsia will swiftly seek to delegitimize the dispositions, often even without reading the decisions themselves. Airwaves and social media will be dominated by those who toss the pair of cases into a rhetorical bucket alongside the court’s recent decisions on abortion, religion in the public square, and threats to roll back rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community, including the right to marry the person they love. These critics will lambast the cases with allegations that they amount to a mix of nothing more than raw political power and a smug lack of respect for the accumulated wisdom of the past. These features, they will tell us, have infected a Supreme Court majority made possible only by the court gifting the 2000 election to the GOP and then fortified by Mitch McConnell’s refusal to give Merrick Garland a hearing in the wake of the death of Antonin Scalia. Expect, too, that critics will pepper their outbursts with shots at Justice Clarence Thomas, weaving in mention of both Harlan Crow and Anita Hill.

This will be the message.

It will be loud.

It will be repetitive.

It will be trumpeted by those who have devoted not a day of their adult lives working on university campuses, let alone doing the onerous admissions work on those campuses.

And, within a few days, the noise will recede — to be replaced by a development few commentators will ever see. Let us call this second development the civil disobedience of the American university.

Given the way our legal system works, the current affirmative action cases focus principally on the admissions processes at two institutions of higher learning: UNC and Harvard. Yet little doubt exists that the principles announced will be intended by the court to govern the actions of the nearly 5,000 colleges and universities not parties to the case. Indeed, a compelling slice of evidence for this fact is the massive time, energy, money, and expertise invested by these institutions over the past few years in crafting strategies to circumvent principles of constitutional and statutory law the justices have not even yet handed down. To put it in today’s vernacular: The writing is not merely on the wall. It can be found on whiteboards and PowerPoint slides, in electronic files and email messages, on campuses (real and virtual) spanning from New England to California, from the Pacific Northwest to the Deep South.

Quite simply, America’s institutions of higher learning will continue to craft and administer admissions programs that take account of race — even after the nation’s highest court instructs them in no uncertain terms to cease doing so. They play the long game, comfortable that the obstacles rejected applicants must surmount to learn the truths about their rejections are sufficiently burdensome that those truths will continue to go undetected.

Nor should this impending development surprise us.

After all, American educators have an impressive history of acting as if they are entitled to flout the law; that they — rather than those who make, construe, and enforce the law — should be the ultimate arbiters of the legality of their own actions.

Beginning in 1954, a unanimous declaration from the nation’s highest court that racial segregation in K-12 public schools violated the constitutional equality owed to African-American schoolchildren met with a generation of resistance. Educators played no small role in that resistance. Moreover, even a cursory study of mid-20th-century American history makes clear that such resistance proved as vigorous and unstinting in the Northeast and Upper Midwest as it did in places the nation’s intelligentsia enjoys mocking as populated by hayseeds, bumpkins, and, yes, racists.

In the aftermath of an 1832 Supreme Court decision rarely mentioned in American law schools these days, President Andrew Jackson is said to have observed to the effect that, fine, now that Chief Justice John Marshall has made his decision, let him try to enforce it. The remark may well be, you should pardon the expression, fake news.

Later this month, the nation’s highest court will tell the nation’s colleges and universities once and for all to stop perpetuating race-consciousness in their admissions programs.

Do not for a moment believe that the pronouncement will serve to end such race-consciousness.


Because the resistance to that command — a resistance that will unfold for decades out of view of Americans and those whose collective job it is to deliver news to Americans — will be anything but fake.

Peter K. Rofes, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is professor of law at Marquette University Law School. The views he expresses are his alone and should not be attributed to Marquette University.

Could Broward soon host a cricket World Cup? A stadium would first need upgrades

South Florida Local News - 13 hours 11 min ago

Broward commissioners will consider a request to double, if not triple, the number of spectator seats in the county’s international cricket stadium, among other upgrades, in the hopes of turning it into a “world cup”-caliber destination.

The estimated cost: $3 million.

Cricket, a bat-and-ball game, has long been common overseas, but it’s still growing among Americans.

Broward’s Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, situated near West Sunrise Boulevard and State Road 7, is home to the only stadium in the United States sanctioned by the International Cricket Council. And although Lauderhill has been the site of games with international teams over the years, including India and the West Indies, Broward has its eyes on the big prize: the June 2024 World Cup Games.

It could be the first time the cricket World Cup is played in the U.S. But at least two other venues are working to get sanction approval to try to become the host, said Dan West, the county’s Parks and Recreation director.

The $3 million request by the county’s Parks and Recreation Department would be used for a new scoreboard and to build new seats to better position the county’s stadium to be chosen, he said.

“In order to host a World Cup game you have to have certain criteria that has to be anywhere in the world,” he said. “They have identified certain things they need to have.”

There are now 5,000 seats, when there could instead be 12,000, maybe even 15,000. There also needs to be a media staging area. And the scoreboard is from 2007 and has “outlived its usefulness” and getting repeated electronic repairs.

The cost will probably exceed $3 million, but it’s a start, county officials said, and reoccurring funding could make more changes.

The county’s budget hasn’t been signed off on yet — further discussions will happen this summer and approval will come in the fall — but departments will make their appeal to fund their wish lists.

If approved, the $3 million would be funded by taxpayers through property taxes in the next fiscal year, which starts in October.

Last month, a team from the ICC and Cricket West Indies “spent several days assessing the stadium and grounds, making recommendations to enhance the facilities to bring them to the standards for a World Cup,” West said.

West called more seating a “crowd pleaser.” And he’d like to see a second scoreboard as a backup, and that could eat up at least $1 million alone.

The goal: “billions” of eyeballs on those televised games, which will have video snippets of not just the stadium, but the surrounding community. And West hopes that translates to future tourism.

Former Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan, who wrote a book called “Cricket, Lovely Cricket: How International Cricket Came to the United States,” turned pursuing cricket into part of his legacy. The stadium was built in November 2007, and the first international game was played May 2010, he said.

In 2012 he was inducted into the Cricket Hall of Fame in Connecticut for his efforts to bring cricket to South Florida and to build the Central Broward Regional Park cricket stadium.

Kaplan said the creation of the multi-use park “was to create an economic engine to not only Lauderhill, but Broward County, mostly on an international scale was the intention. We were trying to make this a signature place to be.”

“I applaud them for wanting to put more resources into the facility,” he said. “I met people around the world and Lauderhill is a known city in India and Sri Lanka, they’ve never heard of Fort Lauderdale but they heard of Lauderhill, because of the cricket.”

Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at lhuriash@sunsentinel.com. Follow on Twitter @LisaHuriash

ASK IRA: Are Heat already at make-or-break in NBA Finals?

South Florida Local News - 14 hours 6 min ago

Q: Lose Sunday and it’s over. – Davis.

A: Just like it was over after losing to the Hawks in the play-in opener? Just like it was after trailing the Bulls in the fourth quarter of the ensuing all-or-nothing second play-in game? Just like it was over when the Heat were reduced to No. 8 playoff seed against the No. 1 Bucks? Just like it was over when having to play as the road team at Madison Square Garden? Just like it was over after Derrick White’s putback winner with one-tenth of a second to play in Game 6 against the Celtics? (OK, starting to sound like John Belushi as Bluto in “Animal House,” when he rousingly offered, “What? Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! It ain’t over now, ’cause when the goin’ gets tough, the tough get goin’. Who’s with me? Let’s go! Come on!”)


Q: Memo to Nuggets: Please give us the same looks on Sunday. Please. – Douglas.

A: And they likely will, particularly if Nikola Jokic continues to play in a drop on defense. But the Heat also have to be careful about being seduced into solely accepting midrange jumpers, which was part of the reason Bam Adebayo exceeded his career high for shots in a game in Game 1. Some of those Heat looks have to continue to come from behind the 3-point line. The Nuggets are going to score; they have reached the point of almost unstoppable. That means generating enough points to stay competitive. And that means scoring in threes at least part of the time. Open two-point shots are good. Open three-point shots are better. The open shots will be there. It’s about eating from the correct shot menu.

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Q: “Lead Us” Omer Yurtseven. – Ronnie.

A: I can almost guarantee that if there is a Heat “Lead Us” moment in the postgame locker room after a victory in the NBA Finals, it will not be coach Erik Spoelstra having Omer Yurtseven bringing the team together in the locker-room huddle. With all due respect to Omer and his still-intriguing NBA possibilities, that ship has sailed. You don’t go from not playing someone at all to any type of leading role. Omer already is an NBA-level rebounder and scorer – which also tells you, by his lack of playing time, what the staff thinks about his defense. The Heat are at the stage of the season where it’s about solutions, not experiments. Omer’s struggles with lateral movement on defense are not something a staff turns to at moments like this. Yes, I, too, would have liked to have seen more of Omer during the regular season. But I’m also not in practices, where the staff makes such determinations about playability.

Dave Hyde: Paul Maurice shows Panthers how to handle Game 1 loss — ‘Everybody can breathe’

South Florida Local News - 18 hours 3 min ago

LAS VEGAS — How did they take that dismal third period?

How do you think they took it?

“On the gradation of tough, root canal to eating oatmeal, it was closer to a root canal,’’ Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.

He followed that good line with a purposefully deadpan stare, his flat, facial features saying it was OK for you to smile, even beckoning you to do so, even if his comic delivery demanded no reaction himself.

Less than an hour after the Panthers played their biggest and sloppiest period of the playoffs to turn a tie game into a 5-2 loss to Vegas, there was Maurice explaining what it all meant. And, more importantly, how his team should digest it heading into Monday’s Game 2.

“Everybody can breathe,’’ Maurice said in a crowded press room asking what went wrong in this Stanley Cup Final opener. “I feel like you people, you’re tight.”

That deadpan stare again. His exercise at humor is, in an entertaining way, also an exhibition of clenched strength. His mind is no doubt breaking down tactical issues even as his voice is dripping with some necessary perspective.

“The losing team talks of too many of something and the winning team talks about the fabulousness of all the other things and it’s 2-2 until that puck’s turned over,’’ he said.

It was actually 2-2 until Zach Whitecloud put the kind of distant shot that’s not eluded Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky these playoffs, then 3-2 until Matthew Tkachuk turned over the puck for a point-blank goal, then 4-2 until an empty-net score sent Vegas happy into the night.

Here’s the larger point: Maurice understands there will be strategic refinements to make, starting with a power play that’s fueled many good nights these playoffs but was 0 for 3 in Game 1.

“I’ve got faith in my group that we’ll learn,’’ he said.

The other side, the mental ability to manage a tough series, is equally as important. That demands the coach understand what moves his team, to tap into the team’s emotional taproot.

This brand of humor and perspective wouldn’t work for the Miami Heat, a defiant team playing on the edge of angry. Coach Erik Spoelstra talked after that crushing Game 6 against Boston with a raw and real voice about how they’d be ready for Game 7. That was their way.

The Panthers are a different animal. They’re a team with constantly evolving player nicknames. They award an actual T-bone to the player with the most “dog” in him in a particular game (meaning a winning game). The player has to then gnaw on it before everyone.

This is armor the Panthers use to help this run. They’re laughing as they line up outside the locker room to take the ice, though what they’re often laughing at is known only to them.

“I don’t understand half of what they’re saying,’’ Maurice said.

Maurice has been a NHL head coach since 28, and one manner he’s improved besides the tactical ideas of hockey is in loosening up his personality. He’s talked of the importance of letting others see he’s having fun. To laugh, when a human touch is needed.

Sometimes a good coach pretends it’s all fun, too, if it serves the larger purpose of keeping his team relaxed. That’s the idea after an odd opener. Both teams played physical, but neither team looked singularly sharp. Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said they didn’t play their best game. Nor did the Panthers.

“We didn’t score on our best chances, they didn’t score on their best chances,’’ Maurice said. “A couple (Vegas) point shots snuck there way through. We sneak one through. The best chances teams had the goalies made gave saves on.”

The Panthers power play has to have impact. So does Tkachuk, who didn’t influence the game much beyond a few scrums, the final of which got him and Sam Bennett kicked out of the game after it had been decided.

“Eh, so, they got the first one,’’ veteran Eric Staal said.

“This is going to be fun,’’ Carter Verhaeghe said of the physical style this night took. “That’s how you want it.”

One game, they were saying. One missed chance. The Panthers haven’t missed many chances in winning 11 of their previous 12 playoff games. They also haven’t started a series with a loss since the first round against Boston.

“We lost the first game against Boston and got a little better,’’ Maurice said. “We lost two more and then got a little better.”

The idea is to get a little better in Game 2. At least the tact the coach will push. And this team will accept. All the while, telling themselves: Breathe.


New coach, same outcome as Inter Miami dispatched at home by D.C. United

South Florida Local News - 19 hours 47 min ago

FORT LAUDERDALE — Christian Benteke scored an insurance goal in the 90th minute that proved to be the difference as D.C. United held off Inter Miami 2-1 on Saturday night.

Benteke used an assist from Victor Pálsson to score his eighth goal of the season, giving DC United (6-6-5) a 2-0 lead.

It was the difference in picking up three points after 20-year-old defender Ian Fray took a pass from Robert Taylor in the second minute of stoppage and scored his first career goal in his fifth appearance for Inter Miami (5-11-0).

Neither team scored until United defender Donovan Pines found the net for the third time this season, scoring unassisted in the 76th minute.

Inter Miami lost its fifth straight match. The club’s struggles continued under interim manager Javier Morales, who was handed the reins after Phil Neville was fired earlier in the week.

DC United improves to 4-1-1 all-time in the series and 2-0-1 in road matches with Inter Miami. United got back in the wins column after struggling to a 1-3-3 record in May. It was the fourth win in the club’s last 20 road matches in all competitions.

Inter Miami has interim manager Javier Morales after Phil Neville was fired this week with the club losing 10 of its first 15 matches.

Drake Callender turned away four shots in goal for Inter Miami. Tyler Miller did not save a shot for DC United.

DC United travels to play Atlanta United on Saturday. Inter Miami travels to play the New England Revolution on Saturday.

Vegas dominates third period, lands first punch in 5-2 win over Panthers in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/03/2023 - 20:15

LAS VEGAS — The Stanley Cup Final started with lasers and fireworks, decibel-deafening music and boom-boom sound effects, all in a technologically entertaining pre-game package off the Vegas Strip right down to Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble” throwback cheer.

And then the show started.

And they did rumble, and tumble, all the way until the Vegas Golden Knights took over a tie game in the third period Saturday night for a 5-2 win in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.

It was physical, sometimes breathtakingly brutal, start to the Final as each team tried to mark its territory in Game 1. Whether it was stage-setter for as physical a series as the Panthers’ opening one against Boston will take form in Game 2 on Monday night in Vegas.

This one ended in an uncommon way for a Panthers’ postseason that’s thrived on close wins. In a 2-2 game, defenseman Zach Whitecloud made a somewhat pedestrian shot from inside the blue line for the game-winner, one that found its way under Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky’s glove nearly seven minutes into the third period.

The Panthers had an ensuing power play that didn’t produce, a theme this night as they went 0 for 3 on the man advantage. Vegas then put away the game when Matthew Tkachuk’s clearing pass was batted down by the Golden Knights’ Mark Stone in front of the Panthers’ net.

His shot and goal made it 4-2 with just 6:28 to go. Reilly Smith, another former Panther, added an empty net goal for the 5-2 final.

There was an on-ice melee soon after that to close the game and the Panthers’ Smash Brothers, Tkachuk and Sam Bennett, were given game misconducts, as was Vegas center Chandler Stephenson.

That’s pretty much how Game 1 opened, too. Even Vegas goalie Adin Hill was involved in the pushing and punching midway through the first period as team made on-ice introductions in the Final.

Only Panther wing Nick Cousins was hit with a two-minute roughing penalty after that first-period scrum. (“Shame! Shame!” the Knights fans chanted at him.)

The result wasn’t the scripted one here. The Panthers’ Eric Staal took the puck behind the Vegas net and scored on a short-handed wraparound.

The Panthers’ penalty-kill gave that back later in the period. Jonathan Marchessault, who went to Vegas from the Panthers in the expansion draft in 2017, scored on a tic-tac-toe passing-sequence play.

Both goalies had their moments. Vegas wing Brett Howden and Stone each broke in alone on Bobrovsky in the first period and came up with nothing.

Early in the second period, Cousins had the puck at the goalmouth of an empty net when Hill reached back and somehow stopped the puck with his stick.

Midway through the second period, Vegas began controlling the puck in the Panthers end. On one sequence, Shea Theodore walked in from his defensive position and beat Bobrovsky low for his first playoff goal.

It looked to stay that 2-1 into the second period when Panthers center Aleksander Barkov won a face-off with 12 seconds left. Anthony Duclair picked up the pick behind Barkov and put it in the net with 10.2 seconds left in the period.

For the Panthers, the power play will be a point of focus entering Game 2. They’d scored on a healthy 27.9 percent of power plays these playoffs and were four-of-16 in the previous series against Carolina’s top-killing unit.

Vegas entered Game 1 killing penalties at a 61.7 percent, the worst of any team that advanced past the first round.

But Vegas killed all three penalties this game. They also came up with some third-period heroics like the Panthers have. And so they’re up 1-0 heading to Game 2.


15 year old hospitalized in serious condition after Lauderhill shooting

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/03/2023 - 08:21

A 15 year old was hospitalized in serious condition after a shooting in Lauderhill early Saturday morning, officials say.

The shooting occurred around 5 a.m. in the 5900 block of Northwest 21st Street, Lauderhill Police Chief Constance Stanley told reporters at an anti-gun violence event in Lauderhill that took place later the same day.

Lauderhill Fire Rescue transported the victim to Broward Health Medical Center in serious condition, Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Levy said.

The victim was in surgery, Stanley said around 9 a.m. Police had no information on the suspect.

Shootings among young people have become a growing problem in Lauderhill over the last few years, according to Stanley, one of many things touched on at Saturday’s event.

“We have seen an uptick in youth playing around with guns,” she said.

Chris Perkins: Dolphins’ needs should override fantasy of DeAndre Hopkins

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/03/2023 - 08:12

The Miami Dolphins don’t need wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

The Dolphins do, however, need a quality backup left tackle, a quality receiving tight end, a workhorse-type running back, and better interior offensive and defensive line depth.

For those reasons, I’m not in favor of the chatter that says the Dolphins should acquire Hopkins.

Let’s be clear. Hopkins would make the Dolphins’ wide receivers better as a group.

But the Dolphins have more important needs, and filling those needs would make the entire team better.

Plus, Hopkins, the 30-year-old star free agent who was recently released by the Arizona Cardinals, would likely consume a large portion of the $13.6 million that became available to the Dolphins on June 1 via the Byron Jones release. That’s not good.

I understand the chatter. I understand the Hopkins interest.

Hopkins is a beast. I like Hopkins.

He’s a three-time All Pro and a five-time Pro Bowl selection in 10 seasons.

Hopkins could use his strong hands, physicality and route-running skills to work underneath, almost in the fashion of a tight end for the Dolphins.

In that role, Hopkins would be a great complement to speedy wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and a great help to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Hopkins would also be a great aid to Mike McDaniel, giving him more viable options in his second year in his roles as head coach and offensive play-caller.

Going a step further, Hopkins would be one of the league’s best No. 3 wide receivers, far better than the Dolphins’ likely No. 3 receiver, Braxton Berrios. 

But that’s part of the problem with the Dolphins acquiring Hopkins – he’d be a No. 3 wide receiver.

And in that role, he’d be too expensive.

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The Dolphins have about $13.9 million available, according to overthecap.com.

If big money is a major factor in where Hopkins signs, and if Hopkins seeks anything close to the one-year, $15 million deal Odell Beckham Jr. got from the Baltimore Ravens, the Dolphins should keep it movin’.

It’s not financially wise for the Dolphins.

Whether or not money is a major factor it’s interesting to note Hopkins has hired an agent after previously representing himself. 

The most recent reports say there’s a chance Hopkins goes to Cleveland to reunite with Browns quarterback DeShaun Watson, who he teamed with in Houston.

He’s also reportedly expressed interest in reuniting with Houston, the team that drafted him in the first round in 2013, and that possibly gives him a way to create a market and play teams against one another. In other words, it might be enough to create a bidding war.

The Dolphins don’t need a star No. 3 wide receiver, and they certainly don’t need to engage in a bidding war for a No. 3 wide receiver who might want upwards of, say, $8 million per season, just to be conservative. 

One of the most urgent needs right now is backup left tackle. Starter Terron Armstead, a Pro Bowl selection in 2022, nursed several ailments last season and remains a major injury concern. 

Armstead, one of the team’s best players regardless of position, can’t be replaced directly. But having a quality backup helps cushion the blow greatly. The Dolphins might not have such a backup now, but perhaps that player becomes available after training camp cuts, or early in the regular season, or at the trade deadline. It’d be nice to have money available for such an acquisition.

The same goes for Minnestoa Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and his possible availability. Cook would be much better use of a salary that’s upward of $8 million than Hopkins.

Going in a different direction it’s tough to gauge the Dolphins’ depth at interior offensive and defensive line at this point. For the most part, we know the starters. But we haven’t seen the backups in pads. If changes are necessary, and that’s sometimes the case, it’d be nice to have money available.

The same goes for a receiving tight end, which remains a need, although it’d likely be a low- to mid-priced option.

Acquiring quality talent is almost always a good thing. But in this case the Dolphins must strike a balance with the Jones money.

Consider this:

The Dolphins could have perhaps the best trio of wide receivers in the league and (again) struggle on the offensive line, or they could have the perhaps the best duo of wide receivers in the league and, for a change, be pretty good on the offensive line.

I’d rather try playing a season with the second option.

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