Angel92's Blog

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro accused of crimes against humanity

Luisa Ortega, Venezuela’s ousted chief prosecutor <a href=""></a> has called on the International Criminal Court to capture President Nicolas Maduro and charge him over what she claims are crimes against humanity.

According to Luisa Ortega, who was fired from the Maduro government earlier this year, 8290 deaths took place between 2015 and 2017. She filed a complaint at The Hague.

“[They happened] under the orders of the executive branch, as part of a social cleansing plan carried out by the government,” she told reporters. “Nicolas Maduro and his government should pay for these crimes against humanity just as they must also pay for the hunger, misery, and hardship they’ve inflicted on the Venezuelan people.”

She added: “We have been forced to turn to an international organization because there is no justice in Venezuela.”

Venezuela arrests Citgo chief in anti-corruption dragnet

Venezuelan authorities detained the acting president of Citgo, the state-owned oil company’s U.S. subsidiary, and five other executives for their alleged involvement in a corruption scheme, officials said Tuesday.

The complaint filed by Luisa Ortega includes evidence against top officials like the Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino and intelligence chief Gustavo Gonzalez for being involved in the alleged abuses, which included 1,000 pieces of evidence.

Ms. Ortega was associated with Mr. Maduro, and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, for many years. Yet she broke with him this summer after Mr. Maduro pressed ahead with a plan to create powerful legislature called the Constituent Assembly.

The new constitutional assembly can override the traditional National Assembly, which the opposition has controlled since elections in 2015. The opposition decided to boycott the vote over the assembly, ensuring that it would be filled with allies of Mr. Maduro.

Indeed, the new, 545-member assembly voted to fire Ms. Ortega on its first day of operation, accusing her of being a “traitor”. Since then, she has fled the country and has toured different countries denouncing the government she <a href=""></a> once worked with.

Mr. Maduro has faced widespread international criticism and both the US and the EU have mposed fresh sanctions on the country. In turn, he has accused the US of trying to overthrow his government and his supporters have pointed out that some US officials backed a 2002 coup that briefly dislodged Mr. Chavex.

Wishful Thinking: Maple Leafs Fringe Players Can’t Replace Stars

This gives the Maple Leafs an incredible four-lines deep attack, but at the same time, Connor Brown probably needs/deserves to have <a href=""></a> more ice time.  The Team is weak on the back-end and they’re overall team defense is not very good.  They have three pending Unrestricted Free Agents.  Josh Leivo, Nikita Soshnivov and Kasperi Kapanen hardly ever play, but probably deserve to be in the NHL.

This leads to some fairly obvious math being done by observers of the team, such as the writers and readers of this site, and pretty much everyone else who is interested in the Maple Leafs.  The team needs to eventually make trades to improve team defense, and to move out some excess parts.

The main storyline seems to involve getting what you can for Bozak, JVR and Komarov, and then filling in the holes with Leivo, Soshnikov and Kapanen.

Only one problem with that: It’s impossible.

Tyler Bozak

Tyler Bozak is a centre. He gets points, but he’s not very good defensively.  If the Leafs upgraded on him, you’re talking about improving on someone who is probably very easily a top-ten third line centre.   So if you can do it, fine, but to do so is  a significant move towards winning a cup this season, as opposed to a necessity.   The main reason I want them to move Bozak is to put Nylander at centre, but if the team isn’t going to do that, it’s hard to imagine them getting a significant upgrade on Bozak in-season when there are other needs to address.

Besides, if they did, at least hypothetically improve on Bozak, he could easily be used as the fourth line centre and he’d be the best in the NHL at that position, by a mile.  Also, using Bozak as an asset to trade probably doesn’t accomplish much. It’s doubtful you could swap him for a player straight-up who’d improve the Leafs today.

Leo Komarov

The Maple Leafs are a mediocre to bad defensive team.  Their best defensive forward is Leo Komarov, and it’s not close.  Komarov can hold his own with Kopitar, Bergeron, Niederitter, Silfverberg and Joel Ward as one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL.

To think that any player the Leafs have on the Marlies or the in the Press-Box could step in and do what he does is preposterous.  Not even Kapanen, who is very good defensively, can hope to fill Komarov’s shoes in this department.

Therefore, given the make-up of this team and his role on it, he’s essentially untouchable.  They might not re-sign him – if cheaper or different options present themselves in the offseason – but they certainly can’t trade him right now.

The only thing to do is either re-sign him in-season or treat him like a rental.  But there is no way the Leafs can replace Komarov right now with Kapanen or even more laughably, Soshnikov.  If either of those players becomes half the defensive player Komarov is, the Leafs will be incredibly happy.  But for a team with designs on <a href=""></a> winning this year, neither one is replacing Leo Komarov today.

Van Riemsdyk

James van Riemsdyk has 11 goals in 21 games.   That is the fifth highest total in the NHL.

He’s either been in and around, or on pace for, 30 goals now for six straight years.  He is on a 40 goal pace.  He has a 52% Corsi and last year, he was the team’s Game Score leader.

But sure, Josh Leivo is going to step right into the lineup and replace him.

If the Leafs could somehow pull off a sign-and-trade where they got some actual value for JVR, and it improved their team, then I can see why trading him makes sense.

But if not, then let him walk or re-sign him.   Because JVR the rental player is 100% better than any other player you could hope to trade for as a “rental.”

The standard Rangers GM faces before franchise-altering decision

Jeff Gorton, the third-year general <a href=""></a> manager plotting the course for a Rangers team that is attempting to retool on the fly, will face moments of truth as the fork-in-the-road trade deadline approaches.

Of his predecessors, perhaps only Neil Smith in 1994 — who, urged by coach Mike Keenan to change the club’s makeup heading into the playoffs, ripped up the NHL’s best regular-season squad — dealt with as weighty a challenge as Gorton will confront at the deadline.

There are 10 who preceded Gorton, whose first day on the job was July 1, 2015 following four seasons as Glen Sather’s chief lieutenant and eight overall in the New York front office. And while it is too early to rate his performance, it is the time for The Post to rank the men who came before him.

From top to bottom:

1. Lester Patrick, 10/26-2/46: The job description was somewhat less complex back then, but the Silver Fox was largely responsible for the procurement of players who formed the greatest generation of Rangers in winning the Stanley Cup in 1928, 1933 and 1940 while going to the finals three other times. Was behind the bench from the inaugural 1926-27 season through 1938-39. Owns the ultimate tie-breaker with his iconic performance in Game 2 of the 1928 finals against the Montreal Maroons when, at age 44, the retired defenseman replaced the injured Lorne Carr in nets during the second period and limited his foes to one goal on 19 shots in the Blueshirts’ 2-1 overtime victory.

2. Neil Smith, 7/89-3/00: Despite the fact that it ended so darn bloody, it is impossible to minimize the GM’s role in building the only team to win the Cup on the Broadway over the last 77 years. When Smith took over, the Blueshirts had not won a thing since finishing first in the seven-team NHL in 1941-42. The Rangers captured the Patrick Division title in Smith’s first year on the job in 1989-90, won the Presidents’ Trophy in 1991-92 and then again in 1993-94 on their way to the momentous ride up the Canyon of Heroes. Traded bold and traded big, not always to his benefit. All that followed 1994 has kept Smith from being officially recognized at the Garden but does not diminish his standing in this ranking.

3. Emile Francis, 10/64-1/76: The beloved Father of the Rangers’ Modern Era, the Cat resurrected the franchise that had been an Original Six doormat and brought it to prominence by assembling what likely stands as the NHL’s best team never to win the Stanley Cup. Drafted brilliantly, traded aggressively but perhaps not always wisely in the eternal effort to find the one missing link. Greatest blunder was allowing Fred Shero to get away to Philadelphia after <a href=""></a> having coached clubs in the Blueshirts’ minor league system to three titles within eight years on three different levels. Francis’ choice of interim guys surrounding his own lengthy stints behind the bench — Boomer Geoffrion, Larry Popein and Ron Stewart — were particularly uninspiring.

4. Craig Patrick, 11/80-7/86: Generated a handful of extremely popular clubs coached by Herb Brooks that ultimately came as close as possible to derailing the Islanders’ dynasty before the Oilers did it in 1984. Draft picks included Brian Leetch (ninth overall in the GM’s final act a month before his dismissal), Mike Richter, John Vanbiesbrouck, James Patrick, Tony Granato, Tomas Sandstrom and Jan Erixon.


Star receivers Dez Bryant, Julio Jones active

The Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons will have top receivers Dez Bryant and Julio Jones, respectively, active for the NFC matchup. Bryant (knee/ankle) and Jones (sore ankle) missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday before returning on Friday. Jones was not included on Atlanta's final injury report, while Bryant was listed as questionable. The Cowboys are without kicker Dan Bailey (right groin), leaving Mike Nugent as the starter, and starting left tackle Tyron Smith (back/groin). Falcons linebacker Duke Riley (knee) is out and kicker Matt Bryant (calf) is active. Rams linebacker Robert Quinn is sitting out for the first time this season after missing the past week of practice with an unspecified illness. Matt Longacre will start against Houston in place of Quinn, who has 2½ sacks. San Francisco left tackle Joe Staley is back two weeks after breaking his orbital bone. Staley got hurt in Philadelphia on Oct. 29 and was expected to miss at least two games, but is back early to give a needed boost the Niners struggling offensive line against the New York Giants. Niners rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas is out with a knee injury after being listed as questionable.

Banged-up Seahawks need Duane Brown back against Falcons

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks better <a href=""></a> hope Duane Brown's sprained ankle heals in a hurry.

The status of Seattle's new left tackle was already going to be a big topic this week after he left Thursday night's injury-filled win over the Arizona Cardinals late in the second quarter and didn't return. But Brown's availability for next Monday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons looks even more important in light of what happened Sunday.

Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn sacked quarterback Dak Prescott six times in Atlanta's win over the Dallas Cowboys. That's tied for the second most in NFL history, one shy of the league record owned by Kansas City Chiefs great Derrick Thomas.

A brief history lesson: Thomas' seven-sack performance came in a 1990 game against the Seahawks, which Seattle actually won. On the final play from scrimmage, Dave Krieg escaped Thomas' grasp to avoid what would have been an eighth sack and hit Paul Skansi for a 25-yard touchdown pass as time expired to tie the score. Seattle then kicked an extra point for a 17-16 victory.

Back to Clayborn. Five of his six sacks came against backup left tackle Chaz Green, who was benched midway through the fourth quarter. Byron Bell replaced him and gave up Clayborn's sixth sack. Green was filling in for injured All-Pro Tyron Smith.

It's a position the Seahawks could find themselves in Monday night depending on how quickly Brown can recover. Matt Tobin replaced him against Arizona and, predictably, had a hard time blocking Chandler Jones. Rees Odhiambo, who started the first seven games before the Seahawks acquired Brown, was unavailable after being put on injured reserve a day earlier.

Coach Pete Carroll said postgame that he didn't know of the severity of Brown's injury. Brown's comments suggested that it won't be a long-term issue -- "I'll be fine," he told The Seattle Times. It is still a sprain, however, and it prevented him <a href=""></a> from returning in the second half, so there are no guarantees about his immediate availability.

Here are three other numbers that matter this week for the Seahawks (6-3) as they prepare to host the Falcons (5-4) in a rematch of last year's divisional-round playoff game, which Atlanta won 36-20.

Waiver Wire: Week 9

Welcome to the 9th edition of Waiver <a href=""></a> Wired for the 2017 season. One big bye week down, and one more to go this week. Thankfully, there are not many injuries to discuss – Jordan Reed will miss at least a week with a hamstring injury while Chris Hogan is dealing with a shoulder issue which could sideline him following the bye – but the biggest news was the NFL’s win in court on Monday which will cause Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension to immediately go into effect. That means the running back will be gone until Week 15 against the Raiders, a big blow to both the Cowboys’ and fantasy owners’ playoff hopes. Obviously, there is no replacement for Zeke, but there are some options out there on the wire.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-owns, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players worth keeping an eye on, and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

Three steps to fantasy football glory. Buy the Rotoworld Season Pass, stay up to date on all the breaking news at the Rotoworld News Page, <a href=""></a> and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @RMSummerlin on Twitter. Championship.


Four rookie former Tennesser Vols shine during NFL Week 8

Four former Tennessee Volunteers who <a href=""></a> are now rookies in the pros broke through during the NFL Week 8 games of the 2017 season.

While the current Tennessee football team continues to struggle, players from last year’s team are starting to make an impact in the pros. And for many, it all came together during the NFL Week 8 slate of games.

We start with Derek Barnett, the top draft pick from Tennessee. Barnett had slowly been developing, and he then broke through with three sacks in two weeks. He then had another huge game Sunday. Although he only had two tackles, one was a tackle for a loss.

The guy also had two quarterback hurries. Finally, the big play of the game, he blocked a field goal on special teams. So the guy was all <a href=""></a> over the field and looking more and more like an elite player as the Philadelphia Eagles dominated the San Francisco 49ers.

Mr. Reese Is Full of Mysteries; Giants GM Creates More Questions Than Answers in Rare Presser

You’d figure a bye week would give fans <a href=""></a> of the 1-6 New York Giants a rest from unleashing their anger on social media.

But when Senior Vice President and General Manager Jerry Reese spoke on Tuesday afternoon for a rare in-season appearance, the vitriol broke out like it was a whole new Sunday.

While Reese did take responsibility for the idle Giants’ brutal start, the longtime Giants’ general manager seemed to show no regrets over the decisions…or lack thereof…that have led to the Giants’ season ending before Halloween. Namely, Reese defended the Giants’ decision to remain with the same starting five on the offensive line.

“We felt like [they] had a lot of snaps together and we felt like those guys, when you have some continuity in your offensive line, that’s a help,” Reese said. “We have some young players. I think they have improved. We’ve run the ball some, a little better than we have in the past.”

Reese went on to call the line “comparable” to other units in the league. He didn’t specifically call out the line, and rather cited the offense as a whole, as well as the defense’s, inability to close games.

“There were a few close games where the defense could have closed some games out. Some tight games that last year we closed some games out. This time, we let some games go that we could have closed out. [The] offense could have closed a game or two out late in the game when we’ve been ahead. So, you have to do the little things,” Reese stated. “We’ve beat ourselves, not taking anything from anyone that beat us, but a lot of things are self-inflicted that happened to us and we have to clean those things up. It’s pro football. You have to do the little things right and it starts with preparation.”

When discussing the aforementioned five (John Jerry, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Bobby Hart and Ereck Flowers), the conversation inevitably turned to tackle Ereck Flowers, 2015’s ninth overall pick and frequent scapegoat for the line’s problems. Like he has so many times in the past, Reese defended the Miami product, <a href=""></a> citing he was “not the reason we’re 1-6” and that he has “improved”. More incredulous, however, was a question he asked reporters moments later.

“Is he going to be our long-term left tackle?” Reese said before instantly answering his question. “We don’t know that, but if you look at him compared to a lot of left tackles around the National Football League, there’s a bunch of comparables around.”


Knee Jerk reactions from the Steelers Week 7 win over Cincinnati

A knee jerk reaction is defined by Webster's <a href=""></a> as an immediate unthinking emotional reaction. I have those often. I know you in Steeler Nation are prone to them too. While watching a possible pivotal game of the 2017 season, I recorded my initial thoughts with no time to reconsider them.

The Steelers win over the Bengals was dominant, but I still had doubts during the game. I recorded my initial thoughts and share them with Steeler Nation. Take these in. As always, I welcome you to weigh in.

Vontaze Burfict started his usual chicanery on the second play of the game by trying to kick Rosie Nix in the face. Nix was smart to not retaliate.

I actually felt that Nix was the MVP of the game for not only paving the way for Lev Bell, but ultimately for neutralizing Burfict and being the team bodyguard.

If the season ended today, T.J. Watt is the Defensive Rookie of the Year.

CBS runs a lot of promos for Survivor. Andy Dalton looks just like Patrick Bolton from this season. Spoiler alert, they were both voted off the island.

I loved Artie Burns jumping the route and going for an early pick. It could have been disastrous, but it was a the move of a playmaker.

Hilton wears No. 31 well. Donnie Shell wore it well too.

Marvin Lewis' facial expressions makes me think he needs to secure a sponsorship with Dulcolax.

I'm liking Vance McDonald, but he's got to catch that ball in the end zone.

The fake punt was brilliant and stupid all at the same time. But it it's brilliant.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is becoming a valuable weapon for the Steelers. The hide-and-seek celebration was really ridiculous though.

Mike Tomlin's lack of clock management deserved the lip of Big Ben at the end of the half.

It’s weird to see the first penalty come at the four minute mark of the second quarter between the Bengals and Steelers.

Joe Mixon will emerge as one of the better backs in the league.

That was the ultimate stiff arm by Le'Veon Bell on Dre' Kirkpatrick.

Joe Haden is the X-factor for the 2017 Steelers secondary. Cleveland gave Steeltown a great gift.

This was Ben Roethlisberger's finest game of the season.

Overall...that was domination. A true <a href=""></a> statement win.

The Bengals looked demoralized and exhausted, but December 4 in Queen City will not be a cakewalk.

As I replay the game more and more in my head, my perceptions will alter. But for now, you just got a glimpse of the first thoughts that popped in my mind.

Something for everyone: This year's Philadelphia Film

To the Average Joe moviegoer who doesn’t hail from our fair city, they’d probably say all Philadelphia has offered to cinema is an <a href=""></a> notable filmography from M. Night Shyamalan and Sylvester Stallone bounding the stairs of the Art Museum.

However, anyone who’s ever gone to the Philadelphia Film Festival knows differently.

This year’s installation, slated to run beginning Oct. 19 and through Oct. 29, will screen films at Ritz East A, Ritz East B, Ritz Five and Prince Theater. What can the scores of excited attendees expect over the 10-day period?

“This year is built around oddities,” said Mike Lerman, PFF’s artistic director, adding that where previous iterations of the Fest tend to include more crowd-pleasers, this year will have something for everyone. The festival will kick off with a screening of the Craig Gillespie-directed biopic I, Tonya, featuring Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding, a two-time Olympian who hired an assailant to attack a competitor.

Shyamalan, director of this year’s hit psychological thriller Split, will present actor Bruce Willis with the second annual Lumiere Award on Oct. 23 at AKA Washington Square. The director-actor team collaborated on Philadelphia-set The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, and after Willis was spotted in South Philly late last week, it’s believed the pair have teamed up to film Glass, the sequel to Unbreakable, scheduled for release in 2019.

If Lerman and PFF executive director J. Andrew Greenblatt were to sum up their feelings about the festival in a word, it’d be “excited.” The two recently gave a few remarks about the upcoming festival.

Here’s what they had to say:

What movies are you most excited to be shown at the festival?

Greenblatt: That’s a very hard question. It’s a tremendous program, and I’m really excited for people to see it. I tend to default to the opening and closing films. I love I, Tonya and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. There’s so <a href=""></a> much throughout this festival that I do love, so many great films, and it’s hard to settle on one.

Lerman: I feel that way, too. It’s funny; I said I was going to make a hit list of the best films, but it ended up being the whole program. It’s a tough question to answer.

This is the festival’s 26th go-around. What’s unique about this year?

Lerman: This year is built around oddities. Many festivals in the past have been built around audience crowd-pleasers, but this year it’s more about hidden gems. The whole lineup is hidden gems; it’s a little odd, a little offbeat, it mixes up the tones, a little bit of adventure. That’s the idea behind it.

How do you decide which films to showcase?

Lerman: It starts with traveling the world and looking at the submissions and finding stuff we love. Past that, we work on negotiations, and what makes sense for the films, and we keep fine tuning and fine tuning it until we find the right fit.

What can someone who’s never been to the PFF expect?

Greenblatt: They can expect to see a collection of films that represent anywhere from around the world. Many of these films could be award winners at the end of the year at the Academy Awards. There are great foreign language films, a stellar crop of documentaries, some adventurous oddities; everything is in this lineup. You can’t go wrong with what you see – if you see something on the lineup that interests you, go see it.

What are your favorite movies that take place in Philadelphia?

Greenblatt: If we avoid the most common ones, the common answer is to say Unbreakable (directed by M. Night Shyamalan, 2000). That’s my favorite movie of Shyamalan’s, and it was way ahead of his time. I also love Twelve Monkeys (Terry Gilliam, 1995), and I’m a diehard Philly sports fan, so it’s hard for me not to talk about Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012).

Lerman: I really like High School by Frederick Wiseman (1968). I really like Blow Out (Brian De Palma, 1981).

If you could describe your feelings about <a href=""></a> the festival in a sentence, what would it be?

Lerman: I’m incredibly excited and there’s such a diverse lineup. Thrilled.

Greenblatt: My sentence was just going to be “excited.” I feel the festival is adventurous, exemplary of the times and something that needs to be seen.

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