State & National News

August 28, 2014 - 5:21am
8 min 35 sec ago

MUNICH (AP) — A Bayern Munich official says the Bundesliga champions are set to sign midfielder Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid.

Bayern financial director Jan-Christian Dreesen says Alonso was expected in Munich on Thursday for his medical. Alonso and Bayern have "in principle" agreed on a transfer and the two clubs are "in friendly talks" about a deal expected to be completed within a couple of days.

Alonso won the 2008 and 2012 European Championship...

August 28, 2014 - 5:13am
8 min 35 sec ago

DOUALA, Cameroon (AP) — Cameroon is the latest team in African Cup qualifying to express fears over Ebola and request a venue change for a game, this time over another outbreak of the deadly virus in Congo.

Cameroon's request relates to its Sept. 6 qualifier in Congo, where 13 people have died in a new outbreak which experts say is unrelated to the one in West Africa that has killed more than 1,400 people.

Still, Cameroon football federation...

August 28, 2014 - 4:25am
8 min 35 sec ago

The tail end of the NFL preseason signals something much more festive for tens of millions of fantasy football players around the world: the nearing of draft day.

It's the main event — why you pore over niche websites, check trusted experts on Twitter and dissect projections on spreadsheets — everything goes toward proving you're the best at picking which players will have the best performances, delivering you a fantasy title in Week 16 or 17 of the regular season....

August 28, 2014 - 4:22am
8 min 35 sec ago

MONACO (AP) — Michel Platini will not challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Iceland football association president Geir Thorsteinsson says Platini told officials at a closed-door UEFA meeting Thursday that he will not be a candidate in FIFA's election in May.

Thorsteinsson says "we went for peace. I think it is the logical decision."

Platini was expected to avoid a contest against Blatter after a successful World Cup...

August 28, 2014 - 4:17am
8 min 35 sec ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Josh Shaw has been an exemplary teammate and a valuable leader at Southern California, earning his fellow Trojans' trust and praise after transferring home to help his family two years ago.

His teammates and coaches say they had no reason to doubt the cornerback when he explained his two sprained ankles with an elaborate story about saving his nephew from drowning.

Shaw's tale turned out to be fiction, and USC is left wondering...

August 28, 2014 - 3:56am
8 min 34 sec ago

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Open fans can't seem to get enough of practice.

That's right, practice.

In a new feature this year, the first stage of a planned renovation to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, elevated stands loom over five practice courts and allow fans to watch stars like Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Nojak Djokovic groove their strokes, tinker with strategy and sometimes bicker with coaches.

Hundreds of...

August 28, 2014 - 3:53am
8 min 34 sec ago

The U.S. and Spain played a pair of classics in the last two Olympic gold-medal games — the Americans winning both — and fans would love to see them meet again in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

That could only happen if they both reach the Sept. 14 championship game in Madrid, as the world's No. 1 and No. 2 teams are on opposite sides of the bracket for the 24-team tournament.

There is plenty of good action in the meantime. Play begins Saturday at...

August 28, 2014 - 3:41am
8 min 34 sec ago

A new era in college football is here.

After years of deriding the BCS, fans will finally get what they — well, most of them — wanted with the new College Football Playoff.

It's new, it's exciting and, as was the case with the old system, will probably cause plenty of complaining since only four teams get a chance to play for the title.

It all starts with a handful of games this week before the full rollout on Saturday....

August 28, 2014 - 3:39am
8 min 34 sec ago

A subtle change to the NFL rulebook resulted in an 822 percent increase in illegal contact penalties through three weeks of the preseason.

Now the key question is not whether those calls will continue to rise in the regular season, because NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino is sure they will. He also says that's a good thing.

"We don't think this is a mistake at all," Blandino said. "It's going to provide more consistent officiating, and...

August 28, 2014 - 3:36am
8 min 34 sec ago

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The change made by the Kansas City Chiefs a few years ago was subtle — one word, really — yet it ushered a pronounced change in the way the franchise viewed its most important fans.

Season-ticket holders became known as "season-ticket members."

Suddenly, the entire paradigm shifted. No longer were Chiefs fans merely customers, buying a ticket, attending a game and then heading home afterward. Rather they began to feel as...

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