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Headlines: Saturday, October 19, 7:35 PM
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been fined $12,500 for criticizing officials after a Week 6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Sources informed NFL Network of the fine Saturday. Los Angeles Rams linebacker Clay Matthews and Detroit Lions cornerback Tracy Walker were also fined for criticizing officials after their Week 6 games. Mayfield completed 22 of 37 passes for 249 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in the 32-28 loss Oct. 13 in Cleveland. After the game, he told reporters the referees were "pretty bad." He specifically took issue with a blindside block penalty against Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry and a non-call of a face mask committed on running back Nick Chubb. "The refs are never an excuse," Mayfield said. "I will probably get fined for saying this, but it was pretty bad today. The guy is squared up with [Landry], running at him and he is lowering his head into Jarvis. What is [Landry] supposed to do? Avoid him? This is not bull fighting. I don't know. It ticks me off." Mayfield has completed 56.6 percent of his throws for 1,496 yards, five scores and a league-high 11 interceptions in six starts this season. The Browns have a Week 7 bye before facing the New England Patriots Oct. 27 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Archaeologists in Egypt on Saturday opened the coffins of two of the 30 mummies discovered earlier this year and estimated to be 3,000 years old. In April, the remains were found by accident under a mound behind the Asasif Necropolis on the west bank of the Nile river. The archaeologists were conducting an unrelated dig when one coffin was found, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general for Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told NBC News. On Saturday, two of the coffins were pried open during a ceremony in Luxor. The others were opened earlier. The coffins, which were adorned with paintings and inscriptions, contained preserved mummies of 23 adult males, five adult females and two children. The adults were most likely priests. "This discovery is one of the largest and most important discoveries that have been announced during the past few years as it includes so far more than 20 colored wooden human coffins, in a distinct state of conservation, colors and inscriptions in full and are still closed, and were revealed in the situation that left them," the Antiquities Ministry wrote on its website. "The ancient Egyptian where they were found gathered in a cache in two levels, one above the other." On Tuesday, the ministry posted on Twitter images from the site. The coffins were found sealed "as the ancient Egyptians left them," according to the ministry. During the news conference, archaeologists pried open two of the coffins to uncover mummies wrapped in cloth -- one man and one woman. A piece of skull was visible among each one. The gender was determined by the shape of their hands. The women were buried with their hands open while men's hands were closed. The coffins are believed to be much older than most tombs at the Asasif Necropolis in the ancient town of West Thebes that date to the Late Period, which ended in 332 B.C. The newly excavated tomb is one of several ancient burial sites located in the ancient city. "The mission has mapped around 300 tombs dating back from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, located in the area surrounding the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan, on the Aswan West Bank," ministry officials wrote. "The Egyptian archaeologists had already excavated 25 tombs in the area from 2015 to 2018." Because these coffins were buried in the sand, they were completely intact, instead of being destroyed by termites. They will be displayed in the Grand Egyptian Museum to open in Giza near Cairo next year. Luxor is 409 miles south of Cairo.
Oklahoma's Sooner Schooner horse-drawn wagon tipped over and crashed during a football game between the Sooners and West Virginia on Saturday in Norman, Okla. The incident occurred in the second quarter after the Sooners' fourth touchdown in the 52-14 victory. There were no major injuries as a result of the accident. Spirit squad members led the covered wagon out of the tunnel and onto the field before making a sharp turn. The angle of the turn and rate of speed resulted in the wagon tipping and two members fo the spirit squad being ejected from the vehicle. The horses -- named Boomer and Sooner -- ran off while still attached to the wagon's wheels and were not injured. "The Sooner Schooner tipped over today," the Oklahoma athletic department said in a statement. "We believe it was the result of weight distribution among riders in the rear of the wagon. Three individuals were evaluated at the stadium and released. All others reported that they were uninjured. "Upon initial evaluation, it also appears the ponies are uninjured. Medical staff responded immediately as did the expert horse handlers and veterinarian who staff all games. We are grateful that the injuries were not serious and for the staff members who responded so well." The Sooner Schooner takes the field at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium after every Sooners score. It was introduced in 1964 and became the Sooners' official mascot in 1980.
After criticizing President Donald Trump's comments on Ukraine scandal, Republican U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney said Saturday he would retire at the end of his term in 2020. Rooney, 65, who is in his second-term as a congressman from southwest Florida, told Fox News host Leland Vittert Saturday he would not run for re-election in 2020. "I've done what I came to do," Rooney told Vittert, adding that he got offshore drilling banned and money for the Everglades. He also wanted to model term limits. "People need to realize," Rooney said. "This is public service, not public life." A day before his retirement announcement CNN reported on Rooney's criticism of Trump's comments on the Ukraine scandal, which is at the center of a House impeachment inquiry. Rooney, who is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Community, told CNN that Trump had denied he engaged in a quid pro quo, but White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed there was one Thursday. Mulvaney said that the United States withheld nearly $400 million in U.S. security aid to Ukraine to put pressure on the country to investigate a Democratic National Committee server in the 2016 election. But later in the day, retracted that he ever said that in a written statement. Rooney said that he wanted to get more information and was open to impeachment unlike many of his Republican colleagues who have called the investigation a "witch hunt." "I don't think this is as much as Richard Nixon did," Rooney said. "But I'm very mindful of the fact that back during Watergate everybody said it's a witch hunt to get Nixon. Turns out it wasn't a witch hunt to get Nixon but it was absolutely correct." He said fellow Republicans may be afraid to express similar skepticism. "It might be the end of things for me," Rooney told CNN. "Depending on how things go ... I didn't take this job to keep it." A whistleblower complaint surfaced last month, which is behind the impeachment inquiry. The nine-page complaint by an unidentified intelligence official addresses a July 25 phone call where President Donald Trump pressed Ukrainian president Volydymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden's son "as a favor." The complaint also said Trump pressured the Ukraine leader to look into a conspiracy theory regarding the 2016 election. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden in Ukraine. Before Rooney was elected in 2016, he oversaw construction projects for the libraries of two former Republican presidents and some Texas stadiums for his company. He also served as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush. He is not related to U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, who served a district in the St. Petersburg area of Florida until last 's year election and whose family owns the Pittsburgh Steelers. He etjoins several other Republicans announcing retirement in 2020. Rep. John Shimkus, who announced in August he would not see re-election after more than two decades representing southeast Illinois as a Republican, was also recently critical of Trump for a separate reason. Shimkus said he would not support Trump after his move to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. "Pull my name off the 'I support Donald Trump list," Shimkus said he told staff in a KMOX NewsRadio 1120 interview, adding the decision was "despicable," and he is "saddened for the Kurdish people."
The Toronto Raptors have agreed to a $130 million contract extension with forward Pascal Siakam. Siakam's agents informed ESPN of the deal Saturday. The Raptors completed the four-year extension ahead of Monday's deadline for 2016 NBA Draft class extensions. Siakam joined the Raptors as the No. 27 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward averaged a career-high 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 80 games last season for the Raptors. Siakam, 25, posted 19 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game during the Raptors run to the 2019 NBA Finals. The Raptors host the New Orleans Pelicans in their first game of the season at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Unranked Illinois came back from a nine point deficit to upset No. 6 Wisconsin Saturday in Champaign, Illinois. James McCourt hit a 39-yard field goal as time expired to complete the biggest upset of the college football season, leading the Fighting Illini (3-4) to a 24-23 victory over the Badgers (6-1). Illinois won the game despite losing the time of possession battle 40:49 to 19:11. The Badgers had three turnovers in the loss. The win was Illinois' first Big Ten victory against a ranked team since 2007. "We've been close a couple times, where we felt like we had a chance to win the game," Illinois coach Lovie Smith told the Big Ten Network. "We had a great game plan and we are healthy now. When we are healthy, we are a pretty good football team. All the credit goes to these guys. We finally finished a game." The Badgers took a 7-0 lead with quarterback Jack Coan connecting with Jake Ferguson for an 18-yard touchdown on the first drive of the game. Wisconsin added a field goal for a 10-0 edge before Illinois added their first touchdown with Brandon Peters finding Donny Navarro for a 48-yard score. The Badgers added a field goal before scoring another touchdown in the second quarter, with Jonathan Taylor scoring on a five-yard run. Illinois closed the gap to 20-14 with a 43-yard Reggie Corbin touchdown run in the third quarter before the Badgers pushed the lead back to 23-14 with another field goal. Taylor fumbled in the fourth quarter, giving the ball back to Illinois. The Fighting Illini went on a four-play, 75-yard scoring drive, capped off with a Brandon Peters touchdown passes to Josh Imatorbhebhe to make the score 23-21. Tony Adams intercepted Coan on the Badgers' final drive of the game, giving the ball back to the Fighting Illini. McCourt's game-winning kick ended a 9-play, 32-yard drive. Peters completed 9 of 21 passes for 174 yards and two scores in the win. Coan completed 24 of 32 passes for 264 yards, one score and an interception for Illinois. Taylor had 28 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown for the Badgers. Wisconsin faces Ohio State at noon Oct. 26 in Columbus, Ohio. Illinois battles Purdue at noon Oct. 26 in West Lafayette, Ind.
The controlled demolition of two cranes at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site has been delayed from Saturday until Sunday to better prepare the area, the city of New Orleans announced. The city had planned to take down the cranes one week after two floors collapsed. The Krewe of Boo parade, scheduled nearby for Saturday, had been originally canceled. "The cane demolition at the #HardRockCollapse postponed to Sunday. #KreweOfBoo will roll tonight at 6:30pm on alternate route," the city posted on Twitter. "There will be LARGER temporary evacuation & exclusion zones put in place." Small explosives were placed at the site so the cranes can collapse in a precise location. The city had planned to place evacuation door hangers at residents' homes four hours before the demolition. Officials want to avoid major gas line and electrical wires that service the French Quarter and the Central Business District. The New Orleans Fire Department is requesting utilities to be shut off in the evacuation zone. The Louisiana Department of Environment has been monitoring for dust particles at the construction site. "There are no dust particles being picked up," the agency posted on Twitter. "Monitoring will continue during and after the controlled collapse." The 18-story building collapsed on Saturday, killing three people and injuring 30 others. Fire Chief Tim McConnell said 112 people were working inside the building at the time of the collapse. McConnell said the upper six to eight floors of the planned Hard Rock Hotel collapsed. Florida-based Hard Rock International is building an 18-story hotel with 350 rooms for hotel guests along with 62 one- and two-bedroom units for purchase. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in Orleans Parish after the collapse. The city also has been threatened by tropical weather, including strong winds.
Afghanistan's election commission has delayed announcing results of the presidential election. The results from the Sept. 28 election were due Saturday. "Regrettably, the commission, due to technical issues and for the sake of transparency, could not announce the presidential election initial poll results," Hawa Alam Nuristani, head of the Independent Election Commission, said. Nuristani said she hoped the results will be released "as soon as possible." The top opponents, President Ashrafent Ghani and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, both have declared victory and said they wouldn't accept defeat because of suspected flaws in the voting process. The United Nations and the U.S. Embassy have asked all candidates to accept the results. In 2014, presidential election results were marred by fraud. The United States brokered a power-sharing deal between Ghani and Abdullah. "The IEC and [Electoral Complaints Commission] have a challenging task to review votes and process complaints, concerns, and allegations of fraud from across the country," Alice Wells, the U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, earlier told Khaama Press. Biometric devices were used to confirm the identities of voters. A photograph and fingerprint were obtained from each. One election official told The Washington Post that up to 500,000 votes cast without biometric information were expected to be disqualified. The election commission estimated around 2.7 million Afghans voted, less than one-third of those registered. "A number of observers ... are illegally disrupting the process of the elections," Nuristani said. Each presidential campaign sent observers to polling stations across the country on election day and during the process for counting votes.
The death toll from an Afghanistan mosque bombing rose to 73 people Saturday as the village of some 70 families buried its dead. The bombing Friday devastated Jawdara village in eastern Afghanistan, leaving the equivalent of a man from each family dead. The village was already struggling after Islamic State militants cut the water supply earlier this year. Funerals were held Saturday with hundreds in attendance. The Times reported that the blast occurred when a suicide bomber came into the mosque Friday during the men's prayer. "The village is ruined," said local religious leader Mawlawi Sadaqat, who led prayers during burials. "Each house is left with orphans." The women of the village dug bodies from the rubble with help from people from neighboring areas in Nangarhar province. The village's only doctor, Mohammed Aref, along with some of his family members, and two teachers, were among the victims. Twenty-three of the 73 victims were teenagers or younger. The blast also injured at least 36 people as worshipers gathered for Friday prayers, officials said. More than 100 people had been worshiping at the time of the blast, villagers of the surrounding Haskamena district said. Villager Gulab Shinwari said he saw "a heartbreaking scene" when he got to the blast site. The Taliban has denied responsibility for the attack, with Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, condemning it as a serious crime. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "strongly" condemned the attack, with his office spokesman saying there must be accountability. On Thursday, the United Nations stressed the need to do more to address civilian casualties, which are at record-high, according to the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan's third-quarter figures.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that Turkey will resume targeting Kurdish "terrorists" in northern Syria once the 120-hour pause in fighting ends Tuesday if an agreement with the United States is not reached. Erdogan's declaration comes amid reports from Syrian Kurds and Turkish-backed forces the stoppage of fight "is not holding," CNN reported. The Turkish government has insisted that the agreement is not a cease-fire and instead a pause. If the agreement "is not implemented, then we will continue crushing heads of terrorists a minute after 120 hours" Erdogan said at an opening ceremony at an event in the central Kayseri province of Turkey "If promises given to Turkey are not kept as in the past, we will resume the operation after pause," Erdogan said. He agreed Thursday with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on a 20-mile safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria through Tuesday. Erdogan added the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- which were under protection of Russia -- were present at some areas of Turkey's counter-terrorism operation. "We will discuss the issue with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. We need to find a solution." Turkey wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by the acronym PKK, and its Syrian offshoot, the People's Protection Units, known as YPG. The YPG is one of the main groups in the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of fighters who oppose the Assad regime. The PKK has been listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Despite the pause in fighting, clashes have been reported in the border town of Ras al-Ayn, which is one of the targets of Turkey's weeklong offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters. On Sunday, President Donald Trump announced the United States was removing all forces from Syria. The SDF told CNN that shelling by the Turkish military and the Syrian rebel proxies hit civilian areas in Ras al-Ayn, including a hospital. Five fighters were killed in the attack, SDF said. "SDF are committed to the cease-fire, but from last night until this morning we are seeing shelling on Ras al-Ayn by the Turkish military and its mercenaries on SDF and civilian Kurdish targets, and in particular on the Ras al-Ain hospital in the city this morning," SDF Press Commander Merivan Qamishlo said. But Turkey's Defense Ministry accused Kurdish-led fighters of carrying out 14 "attacks and harassments" the past 36 hours, mostly in Ras al-Ayn. It said the Syrian Kurdish fighters used mortars, rockets, anti-aircraft and anti-tank heavy machine guns, according to Stars & Stripes. Turkey was "completely abiding" by the accord, the Defense Ministry said, and it was in "instantaneous coordination" with Washington. Turkey also said it has recaptured 41 suspected Islamic State members who fled a detention camp earlier this week. Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 195 other suspected Islamic State members were recaptured. They would be relocated to areas controlled by Turkey in northern Syria, including Afrin and al-Bab, he said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkish-backed Syrian fighters have prevented a medical convoy from reaching Ras al-Ayn. The factions closed the road ahead and behind, leaving the caravan "stuck" outside Ras al-Ayn, the organization said.