Monthly Archives: July 2019

Rivers ‘resting comfortably’ in hospital

Joan Rivers is resting comfortably in hospital with family by her side, says the comedian’s daughter.

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Rivers was rushed to The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York from a doctor’s office on Thursday after going into cardiac arrest.

In a statement, Melissa Rivers said her mother was “resting comfortably” with family. She did not elaborate on the 81-year-old comedian’s condition.

“We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers,” Melissa Rivers said. She offered thanks for the “overwhelming love and support for my mother”.

Earlier, The Mount Sinai Hospital spokesman Sid Dinsay confirmed that Rivers had been brought there.

New York City police officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she was taken to the hospital just after 9.30am local time on Thursday. It was unclear why she was visiting the doctor’s office.

Rivers’ representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The entertainer has logged a half-century in show business and gave rise to red carpet commentary – and the snarky criticism that often accompanies it. Her signature red carpet query: “Who are you wearing?”

She continues to maintain a busy schedule, and was to perform a show on Friday at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey. That show has now been postponed.

Rivers spoke at an employee event at Time Inc in New York on Wednesday night and appeared healthy, practically jogging when she walked in to take her seat, said Shira Blum, an online project manager.

“She seemed totally healthy,” Blum said. “She was very energetic, hilarious, funny. And it was such a shock, a surprise to hear the news this morning.”

Rivers took questions and said she wakes up every morning and “is thankful that everything works”.

The host of Fashion Police on E! network, Rivers also presides over an online talk show, In Bed With Joan and co-stars with her daughter on the WEtv reality show, Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?

Her latest book, Diary of a Mad Diva, was released this year.

In 2009, Rivers emerged as the winner of The Celebrity Apprentice. A documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, premiered in theatres in 2010.

A native of New York, Rivers originally entered show business with the dream of a theatrical career, but comedy became a way to pay the bills while she auditioned for acting roles.

After proving herself in comedy clubs, Rivers was a smash on her first booking on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1965.

“God, you’re funny,” Carson told her.

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Serena roars on as Ivanovic stunned at US

Serena Williams has eased past compatriot Vania King 6-1 6-0 to record her 80th US Open win but former world No.

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1 Ana Ivanovic became the second top 10 seed to suffer a shock early exit.

World No.1 Williams, chasing a third successive New York title, her sixth in total and an 18th major, fired 25 winners past King on Thursday and broke serve six times, wrapping up victory on a windswept Arthur Ashe Stadium in just 56 minutes.

It was her second win over an American at the tournament this week after beating teenager Taylor Townsend and next she will face another in Varvara Lepchenko for a place in the last 16.

“It’s so hard to play in the wind but I am happy to get through a solid match with the conditions today,” said the top seed.

“It wasn’t easy, but you have to be able to adjust. I had fun out here, I enjoy playing out on Arthur Ashe court.”

Williams came into the US Open without a major this year but with five tour titles.

One of those came in Cincinnati where she defeated former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic whose Flushing Meadows campaign was ended by Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

Ivanovic, the eighth seed, lost 7-5 6-4 to the 42nd-ranked Pliskova who has reached the third round at a major for the first time.

The Serb followed fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska out of the tournament after the Pole had been beaten by Peng Shuai 24 hours earlier.

Ivanovic came into New York as a potential title contender having captured trophies at Auckland, Monterrey and Birmingham this year while returning to the top ten for the first time in five years.

But the former French Open champion was undone on Thursday by 29 unforced errors while facing 13 break points as she crashed to her earliest exit in New York in six years.

“It’s very disappointing. It’s never easy to finish this early,” said Ivanovic, whose summer build-up had included a runners-up spot behind Serena Williams at Cincinnati.

“I’m definitely going to assess what went wrong and what I can work on. I really felt it wasn’t my game out there today.”

Ivanovic’s fellow former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka, the runner-up to Williams for the past two years, made it to third round, winning nine games in succession from 0-3 down to defeat Christine McHale of the United States 6-3 6-2.

“She started really well and was hitting her targets. I was on the back foot but eventually I got my momentum,” said Azarenka.

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Rooney named England captain and fulfils ‘dream’

Rooney, who succeeds Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, will lead his country in a friendly against Norway on September 3 and their opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland on September 8.

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“To be named as England captain is a dream come true for me personally and, of course, for my family,” Rooney, who has scored 40 goals in 95 international appearances, said in a statement.

“It is something I will take massive pride in doing.

“As a kid I always loved the occasion of watching a big England game on the television,” the 28-year-old added. “Back then I had a burning ambition to play for my country. Now to be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Coach Roy Hodgson made the announcement at a media conference at Wembley as he unveiled his squad for the fixtures against Norway and Switzerland.

“I gave it a lot of thought but Wayne is an obvious choice,” Hodgson told reporters.

“He deserves it – his commitment to the cause, his experience. He has captained England in the past and, of course, he has that responsibility at Manchester United now.

“I’ve had a long conversation with him and he’s prepared to accept the pressures that the England captaincy brings. It’s important that the player wants to take on that enormous responsibility.”

Hodgson, under pressure as England coach for the first time after his team’s poor performance at the World Cup, said he believed Rooney was well suited to the role despite lingering question marks over the player’s maturity and temperament.

Rooney, who has had on-field disciplinary problems in his career, was sent off playing for England against Portugal at the 2006 World Cup and against Montenegro in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

He was also heavily criticised after mouthing the words “nice to see your home fans boo you” following England’s dismal 0-0 draw with Algeria at the 2010 World Cup.

But Hodgson said: “I’ve got to judge him on the two years I’ve been with him.

“It’s not for me to look back too much and whatever misdemeanours the player may have had. In the two years with me I’ve had no reason whatsoever to question anything about his character or desire to play for his country or his wholehearted willingness to offer himself in every situation.

“I’m not concerned about anything else, but he has that baggage with him and he will have to accept that as an added part of the pressure.”

‘HIS TIME’

Hodgson said he would “shy away” from the theory that the captaincy would bring more out of Rooney as a player. But he added: “With his 95 caps, goals and all the things he has done, what we’ve seen is his willingness to take responsibility. All I can hope is that he continues to play well and shoulders the responsibility as well as the captains before him.

“When you name a captain it does go through your head that it will make it a lot harder if I had to drop him.

“I don’t think Wayne would expect me to keep him in the team just because he is captain. I’d like to think if it was necessary I would do (drop him) and I’m pretty convinced he would accept it.

“We’ve got players like Joe Hart and Gary Cahill, in that they are experienced players… and play for big clubs. It would be harsh on them to say Wayne was the only choice. But had I chosen them, it would have been unfair on Wayne Rooney – for most people it was his time and moment.”

Rooney, born in Croxteth in Liverpool, said he would talk about the role with Gerrard, the midfielder who retired from international soccer after England’s disappointing World Cup in Brazil.

“I have played under some fantastic captains at both Manchester United and England and would hope that I have picked up some of their strongest qualities,” Rooney said.

“I intend to speak with Steven about different aspects of the role. We had a great relationship from the moment we played together for our country right up to our final game in Brazil. I am sure if I ever need to seek his advice he will be there to help.”

He added: “I hope I will have the full backing of the fans. I am their type of player once I am on that pitch. My only thought is to win and give everything I have got. Sharing that desire will be the way I want to captain the team.”

Rooney became the then youngest player to play for England when he made his debut against Australia in a friendly in 2003 aged 17 and 111 days.

He has captained England on two previous occasions, and played in five major tournaments, but, like every player of his generation, has not tasted significant success in an England shirt.

His first goal at a World Cup finals did not arrive until this year, when he scored in England’s 2-1 defeat by Uruguay in the group stage.

He is, however, on course to break Bobby Charlton’s all-time goalscoring record of 49 England goals. Rooney is currently fourth on the list, behind Charlton, Gary Lineker (48) and Jimmy Greaves (44).

(Writing by Stephen Wood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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Support for Scottish independence up: poll

Support for Scottish independence is increasing three weeks ahead of a referendum, a poll suggests, amid attempts by British Prime Minister David Cameron to make the business case for retaining the union.

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Cameron on Thursday urged Scottish people to reject independence in a rare speech in Glasgow in which he argued the union was a strong economic advantage.

However, the ranks of those who want to end more than 300 years of union with the rest of the United Kingdom appear to be swelling.

A Survation survey published on Friday said 47 per cent of respondents would vote “Yes” to independence, compared with 53 per cent who would vote “No”, excluding people who were undecided.

This was a considerable narrowing of the gap between the two sides in a similar poll three weeks earlier, in which 43 per cent said they would vote “Yes”, versus 57 per cent who would vote to remain in the union.

The poll was commissioned by the Scottish Daily Mail newspaper to assess reaction to the final public debate between the leaders of the pro and anti-independence campaigns.

“Yes” campaign leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond was widely seen to have won the debate against “No” campaign leader Alistair Darling.

Cameron said the union between Scotland and England was the “greatest merger in history” as he addressed a conference of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in Glasgow.

His visit came on the day that 200 company heads signed an open letter to say independence was in Scotland’s “best interest” – underlining the polarised views over the issue three weeks from the September 18 referendum.

Questions over whether Scotland’s economy could do well alone have been at the heart of the campaign.

The “Yes” and “No” camps have traded statistics and accusations on everything from whether Scotland could keep using the pound to what share of Britain’s debt it should take on if it broke away.

Cameron had kept a low profile on the campaign trail, due to his Conservative Party’s unpopularity in Scotland.

But he re-entered the fray in his speech on Thursday, saying the UK was “one of the oldest and most successful single markets in the world” and that Scotland does twice as much trade with the rest of the UK as the rest of the world put together.

“Our single market is one of our union’s greatest advantages. If we stay together, Scottish businesses have better opportunities, Scottish consumers have more choice and Scottish people have more secure jobs,” Cameron said.

“Why put that great advantage at risk by going into the great unknown?”

Outside the venue for Cameron’s speech, about 120 protesters gathered, chanting and waving the Scottish blue and white flag and banners with slogans such as “Another Scotland is Possible”.

“I’ve got friends and family who go to a food bank every day to get food to feed their kids because the living wage they’ve got is not enough,” said Michael Larkin, 34, an illustrator.

Other protesters criticised the austerity policies of the Conservative party, which has just one MP out of 59 in Scotland, where the opposition Labour party is far more popular.

“David Cameron isn’t welcome in Scotland because Scotland don’t vote Tory (Conservative),” said Samuel Cook, 18, a student.

“I want independence because I want Scotland to make its own decisions. I want to get rid of the Tory party because Scotland has a Tory government we do not vote for,” he said.

The pro-independence campaign argues that the British government’s economic policies are unfairly skewed in favour of London and southeast England.

Think tank Capital Economics added to the debate on Thursday, warning that independence could lead to significant capital flight from Scotland’s giant finance industry.

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Kyrgios wants more ‘impact’ at the US Open

Teenage excitement machine Nick Kyrgios is refusing to place a limit on how far he can go after continuing his captivating grand slam run at the US Open in New York.

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Kyrgios will play Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo on Saturday for a place in the last 16 after sweeping past Andreas Seppi in a second-round serving masterclass at Flushing Meadows.

“If I play like I played today, just do whatever I can to recover and keep having fun, I can make an impact,” the 19-year-old said after his 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 dispatch of the experienced Italian.

Fans flocked to Court 5 to see tennis’s new Kid Dynamite in action, filling every nook and cranny, and he didn’t disappoint, jamming down another 22 aces – taking his tournament tally to 48 in six flawless sets – in the near-two-hour clinic.

Kyrgios didn’t drop serve once and said he was pumped to have followed up his giant-killing quarter-final run at Wimbledon – where he took down Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet – with a last-32 showing in New York.

“It’s always a good feeling to win another match at a grand slam, especially new ground for me,” he said.

“(I’ve) never made it past the first round at the US Open main draw. To have gone to the third round, having beaten some quality opponents, feels good.”

Almost certain to replace Lleyton Hewitt as Australia’s new No.1, Kyrgios said it was easy to stay focused knowing next up is Robredo, the seasoned 14th seed who took out his boyhood idol Roger Federer in the fourth round last year.

“He’s probably one of the most experienced players on tour,” Kyrgios said.

“He’s still playing some really good tennis. I know I can’t get too confident. I’m going to go out there, have fun, just play my game and see how it goes.”

Kyrgios’s victory – and a watershed win for Casey Dellacqua – softened the blow of fellow Australian Samantha Stosur’s shattering defeat to unseeded Kaia Kanepi on Thursday.

Stosur departed Flushing Meadows shell-shocked after blowing two match points and a 4-1 lead in the third-set tiebreaker.

“I’m just really disappointed right now,” said Australia’s 2011 champion.

“It’s one of those matches where you walk off and think `what just happened?'”

Dellacqua, though, lived up to her newfound seeded status to reach the third round for the first time, overcoming a one-set deficit, some dubious umpiring and 40 unforced errors to defeat Chinese qualifier Qiang Wang 4-6 6-4 6-2.

The free-swinging left-hander will play unseeded Karolina Pliskova on Saturday after the Czech upset eighth seed Ana Ivanovic 7-5 6-4.

The other Australian in action on Thursday, Matthew Ebden, was trounced 6-1 6-3 6-4 by No.23 seed Leonardo Mayer from Argentina.

Four Australians remain in the singles, with Bernard Tomic and Sam Groth taking centre stage in feature matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday.

Tomic takes on Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer for a place in the last 32 before Groth and five-times champion Roger Federer clash in a second-round showstopper under lights on Friday night (9am Saturday AEST),

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