Leicester City will go into the new year level on points with table-toppers Arsenal after drawing with Manchester City. It finished goalless at the King Power in Tuesday’s top-of-the-table clash and the point puts Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes behind the Gunners on just goal difference. Leicester lost their 10-game unbeaten record with a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool on Boxing Day, leaving some observers to wonder if their challenge at the top was about to falter.But Claudio Ranieri’s team silenced their critics with another superb performance as they more than held their own against Pellegrini’s men.Ranieri said: “I think we made a very good match. It was difficult but we played well, we created some chances.“I wanted to see how my players responded after the Liverpool defeat and they responded well.“This league is very crazy. I think the big teams have to stay at a high level, but sometimes it means nobody wants to win the league – it’s very strange this league.“It’s not easy for us but we want to fight with everybody. It’s a miracle what we’re doing.“I’d love this to continue but it’s not easy. I’d like my players to continue to fight like today. It’s fantastic.“I can only say well done to our players and our fans are unbelievable, they support us and they push us.”
Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has revealed the extent of his attempts to lure Barcelona maestro and close friend Lionel Messi to Manchester.Messi – who claimed an unprecedented fifth Ballon d’Or award last week – has been linked with a lucrative and ambitious move to both Manchester clubs and Chelsea in previous years.Aguero and Messi are international team-mates with Argentina and have close family ties and, while the prospect of the latter leaving Barcelona is unlikely, Aguero isn’t giving up.He said: “He already knows there’s no beach! I said to him, at the end of the day we spend most of our time at home.“We play every three days and just eat and rest between games – so the weather is not really that important.“So I told him Manchester is ideal as a city because you stay home, you play every three days, we can eat and play football together.”Aguero has missed large chunks of this season through injury after sustaining a problem on international duty, but admits he is now learning not to rush any recovery process in a bid to stay fit.“Right now I feel fit and well,” he added.“With the last injury I picked up on international duty I carried on playing when I should have come off.“That could have been avoided but you always want to play, especially for your country.“Argentina really needed to win, so I said to myself ‘I’ve got to play’.“Now I feel like I’m getting up to full fitness for games and missing as few as possible, that’s the most important thing.” 1
MANHATTAN BEACH: Ex-suspect in slaying of housekeeper finds hope as inmate is arraigned. By Denise Nix STAFF WRITER As Milton Gallardo made his first court appearance Thursday in the rape and murder of a housekeeper in Manhattan Beach, the man first accused of the crime said he’s still struggling to get his life back. Herbert Gonzalez, 28, said in an interview Thursday that he has no connection to Gallardo or the victim, 39-year-old Libia Cabrera of Lawndale. Gonzalez said he wants to see justice in the case – as much for Cabrera’s family as for himself. “That’s the only thing that will ultimately clear me, and clear my name,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez said he has felt bad for Cabrera’s family ever since the days when he would see them in court, when they thought he was involved in her rape and murder. “I can never imagine something like this happening to my mom,” he said. “It would destroy me.” Gonzalez has suffered his own pain, though, in the aftermath of the ordeal. He lost his job in the accounting department at an investment firm when he was arrested in January 2006. To pay his legal bills, his mother took out another mortgage on her Los Angeles home of 30 years. Gonzalez and his fiancee, who have been together since he was 13 years old, now live with his mother. And even though he’s been having trouble getting work, he does what he can to help pay her bills. He did get a job with the International House of Pancakes’ corporate offices when he was released. But when the television show “America’s Most Wanted” re-ran a segment in December that called him an outstanding suspect, he was fired. His criminal defense attorney, Joseph Shemaria, then gave him a job as a legal assistant at his law firm. At the time of his arrest, Gonzalez had just signed a deal with Virgin Records to play the saxophone and clarinet on two albums. But the deal, which included a tour with a stop at Madison Square Garden in New York, was pulled when he was in jail. For now, he has put his dreams of music, a wedding and a home on hold. “All of that was taken from me,” Gonzalez said. “It’s very hard because I worked hard all my life to stay on track. I’m a good person.” Unlike the case against Gonzalez, police now have DNA evidence linking Cabrera’s alleged killer to the crimes, prosecutors say. Gallardo, 25, was ordered to turn over a sample of his DNA following a conviction earlier this year for a car theft conviction. The specimen was added to the state law enforcement’s database, and allegedly matched DNA left on Cabrera when she was raped April 11, 2005. Gallardo, a Hawthorne resident, was an inmate at Wasco State Prison in Kern County when he was charged in the killing on Oct. 3. Cabrera, a mother of two, was bound and gagged, raped, and her neck was slashed at the home where she worked as a housekeeper. Her killer likely ignited a trail of clothes and bed linens that had been strung from an electric wall heater to her unclothed body, prosecutors say. They believe the fire was set to cover up the crimes. During his brief arraignment Thursday before Judge Thomas R. Sokolov in Torrance Superior Court, Gallardo pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and denied the special circumstances of killing during a burglary. The special circumstances make him eligible for the death penalty, but prosecutors have not yet decided whether he should face the possibility of lethal injection. Deputy District Attorney Jodi Link declined to give any more information about the case, including possible connections Gallardo had to Cabrera or the crime scene. Gonzalez was connected to the crime scene by a neighbor of Cabrera’s who was shown security video captured outside the apartment where Cabrera died in the 100 block of 28th Street. In the video, a man was seen walking around the Manhattan Beach neighborhood. The neighbor told sheriff’s homicide detectives she thought the man looked like Gonzalez, a cousin of her husband, according to evidence presented at Gonzalez’s March 2006 preliminary hearing. Investigators said they also believed the man, whose face isn’t clear but who had a receding hairline and prominent forehead, looked like Gonzalez. The case against Gonzalez was dismissed, however, when a judge determined that prosecutors could not use a confession he made to detectives because it was coerced. Gonzalez had originally denied knowing anything about the murder, but then – because he was ill, the detectives were unrelenting and he wanted the interrogation to end – he said he participated in it with his cousin. A white pickup truck also seen in the video footage was driven by his cousin, he told the detectives. But a contractor later came forward and said the truck belonged to him, and that he was working on a project in the area, said John Burton, Gonzalez’s civil attorney. Gonzalez, who served 195 days in jail, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the county, the Sheriff’s Department and the detectives who interrogated him. “We feel he was arrested without probable cause, and that he was subjected to prosecution based on fabricated evidence,” Burton said. Attorneys representing the county were not available for comment. “I look at this case, and this is just the most depraved, gruesome crime – I just can’t imagine anything worse,” Burton added. “But to go off half-cocked like this? The whole investigation was so wacky.” [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! 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By Elaine Regus RIVERSIDE PRESS-ENTERPRISE VALLE VISTA – Dogs and other animals are struck by cars every day, but it’s rare that someone is convicted of intentionally running one over. “It usually happens in the middle of the night on a rural road,” said Curt Ransom, regional program manager for the Humane Society of the United States. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.But if there are witnesses, then the driver of a Ford pickup who ran over two dogs on Highway 74 in Valle Vista may have to answer for his actions. Several witnesses told investigators that the truck swerved to strike a Labrador retriever and then made two U-turns before hitting a second dog, an Alaskan malamute. Witnesses said the driver made a third U-turn in an apparent attempt to strike a man who was trying to pull the dogs out of the road. Police are looking for the owner of a diesel-powered silver truck with raised suspension and loud exhaust that residents said had been in the area before. “It’s one thing for someone to maybe swerve and hit a dog and keep going, but it’s unheard of for a driver to keep turning around,” Riverside County sheriff’s investigator Jerry Franchville said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: The Sea Hawks defeat Santa Margarita to win Redondo Power Classic. By David Saunders STAFF WRITER Megan Saraceno and Devon Dykstra each had 11 kills to help host Redondo power through a familiar foe in Santa Margarita, 25-14, 25-20, to capture the Gold Division crown of the Redondo Power Classic Tournament. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Redondo beat Santa Margarita in the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA semifinals last season and edged it in the Durango Tournament this year. It was also the third consecutive time the Sea Hawks faced Santa Margarita in their own tournament final, so this was a rubber match of sorts. “We won two years ago and they won last year,” Redondo outside hitter Megan Saraceno said. “This group of seniors was 1-1 against them and we wanted to go out being 2-1.” Another senior, setter Lauren Allen, fed Saraceno and Dykstra regularly on the left side. The result, more often than not, was a kill. “Lauren was doing really well by keeping their middle off guard and giving us 1-on-1 on the outside. Our offense all came from her,” Saraceno said. Kenna Crouse had eight kills and Lauren Ciszek added five for Santa Margarita, which was overmatched at the net. Molly Goldbach had four blocks for Redondo. The balls she wasn’t able to stuff were usually dug out by Dykstra and her sister Lara, who had nine apiece to lead the team. Santa Margarita’s Christina Berry served three straight aces in the middle of Game 2 to draw her team within two, but Redondo didn’t allow the Eagles to narrow the gap any further. The two teams traded points until Taylor Moore’s kill ended a lengthy rally in which both teams handled the ball seven times. Saraceno promptly put away the game’s final point on the following play. Redondo had gone on an even longer streak to close Game 1, recording six straight points, four of which came on hitting errors by Santa Margarita. Allen and Saraceno were named tournament co-MVPs. Dykstra and Jessica Kalama also received all-tournament honors. All four players are entering the stretch run of their senior season, which they hope to punctuate with a win over visiting Mira Costa Thursday. “Everyone expects greatness from us. This win was very important because it is the starting point of the biggest part of our season,” Dykstra said. “I was really pleased with our performance. We had talked about playing with greater discipline and I felt we were in our spots and ready for any kind of a play,” Redondo coach Tommy Chaffins said. “If we continue to do that, we’re going to be tough to put the ball down against.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
West was taken to the hospital after being found unconscious in her Playa del Rey home. A Centinela Hospital spokesperson told “Access Hollywood” that West “was unresponsive and in cardiac arrest” when she arrived at the hospital. “They tried to revive her and were unsuccessful.” The doctor who performed the surgery, plastic surgeon Dr. Jan Adams, told TMZ that he did nothing wrong. He said the death was unforeseen and could have been caused by a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or massive vomiting. As for Aboolian’s assertion that he refused to conduct the surgery because of a medical condition that West had, Adams said “(Aboolian) is sleazy and manipulating the truth to elevate his own importance.” Donda West spent about 30 years at Chicago State University, rising to English Department head, but left teaching to manage her son’s career. She appeared on “Oprah” and other shows to talk about her life, raising her son and teen literacy. Over the past year, she was head of the Kanye West Foundation, which is aimed at keeping inner-city youths in school. She also recently published a book, “Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Star.” The rapper professed a close relationship with his mother and dedicated a song to her: “Hey Mama.” West raised her son alone after her husband left when Kanye was 3. In a statement, the rapper thanked everyone for the outpouring of support and kind words that have come in from across the country. “After working in higher education for 31 years, Dr. Donda West and Kanye West co-founded the Kanye West Foundation with the mission of helping to combat the severe dropout problem in high schools across the country,” according to the statement. “The first and signature initiative of the Kanye West Foundation is Loop Dreams,” the statement continued. “Designed to capitalize on students existing interest in hip-hop, Loop Dreams challenges students to learn more about what’s behind hip-hop culture in order to help them develop skills, express themselves creatively and be empowered.” In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made in Donde West’s name to the Kanye West Foundation/Loop Dreams Teacher Training Institute. Donations can be made by visiting the Foundation’s Web site, www.KanyeWestFoundation.org or by mail at Kanye West Foundation, 8560 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Andre Aboolian, told “Access Hollywood” he refused to perform the surgery on West just weeks before her death because of a pre-existing medical condition. “She was interested in some cosmetic procedures, and we had discussed that in order for her to go through with the procedures, which she was a good candidate for, she needed what’s called a medical clearance, which just about anybody over the age of 40 is required to have,” he said. “Because of Donda’s age, she was required to get some cardiac clearance to make sure her heart is in good shape to go through for the surgery.” He said that although she was a “good candidate” for the surgery, “she had a condition that was of concern.” He did not reveal the specifics of the condition, citing patient confidentiality. An autopsy scheduled for today in Los Angeles could determine whether the mother of rap star Kanye West died of complications from cosmetic surgery. Donda West, 58, was pronounced dead at 8:49 p.m. Saturday at Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center. The autopsy will include an inquiry into whether she died from “possible complications of surgery,” said Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner. The celebrity justice Web site TMZ.com reported that West underwent a “combined procedure” that included a breast reduction and tummy tuck.
“They all acknowledged they are professional people,” he said, “and they have not done that. But we still made it clear to them that under no circumstances may (they) go on anyone’s property without their consent.” Patrick Kellogg, a senior appraiser with Integra Realty Resources, said he personally supervised all the visits his staffers made to Baldwin Park homes. “There are cases when we entered the property to see if a property owner was there,” he said. “If they had an objection for us being on the property, they had the ability to stop us from being there.” Residents said city officials are ignoring their grievances. “The city doesn’t believe us,” Sembello said. “They don’t care about us. They have their own agenda.” City officials are rushing the project before two pending 2008 state ballot initiatives limiting eminent domain are voted on, according to James Treasure, co-president of the Baldwin Park Business Association, which was formed in opposition to the project. If passed, The Homeowners Protection Act would restrict city agencies from taking residential property through eminent domain and turning it over to private developers, said Kathy Fairbanks, a spokeswoman for Eminent Domain Reform Now, a California advocacy group. The California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act would do the same, except for commercial and residential properties, said Douglas Johnson, a fellow with the Rose Institute of State and Local Government. Neither would restrict eminent domain seizures for public projects, like roadways, he said. “If you have a blighted, rundown neighborhood, the city can come in and clean it up, but many cities have gone way too far in an effort to gain more (sales tax) revenue,” Johnson said. “These measures are a blow back for those cities that have gone too far.” Treasure – and other residents and business owners who would be affected by the project – claim the city is being “hush and hush” because of those initiatives. “We have not been properly informed,” he said, adding that officials are using back-door techniques to get the project approved. Treasure referred to a January letter from Bisno to Singhal that urges the city to move quickly on the project. “That letter was part of an open session discussion with the council,” Singhal said. “We did not try to hide this.” Mayor Manuel Lozano accused opponents of the project of misinforming residents and scaring them about the what the project would mean. “We don’t even know if this project is even going to occur or not,” he said. “Nothing is set is stone.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsBut many residents say the process has been unfair, and appraisers trespassed on their properties. “They tried to intimidate us,” said Cruz Baca Sembello, a resident on Clark Street who refused to have her home appraised. “They were forcing their way into people’s homes and yards.” City officials contracted four firms for the job – Lidgard and Associates, Integra Realty Resources, Crockett & Associates, Ltd., and The Rice Group Inc. The process wrapped up last week and city officials expect to send out offer letters soon. Chief Executive Officer Vijay Singhal said city officials did hear concerns from residents about forceful appraisers and met with representatives from all the firms. BALDWIN PARK – Residents living within the boundaries of a proposed downtown project say city officials are ignoring their accusations that appraisers have been too pushy. The City Council is considering a multimillion-dollar renovation of 125 acres along Maine Avenue and Ramona Boulevard. Bisno Development representatives – who are in an exclusive negotiation with city officials – are working on plans for 8,000 residential units, 3 million square feet of commercial space, 750,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space, a 300-room hotel and a 1,000-student charter school. City officials recently began appraising the 81 residential homes within the project area.
1 Arda Turan had to wait until January to make his debut for Barca Chelsea are planning to flex their financial muscles by bidding for Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan, claim reports in Spain.Turan only signed for the Catalans from Atletico Madrid last summer but was forced to wait until January to make his debut due to the club’s transfer ban. He has since made 20 appearances, scoring twice.His late availability made it difficult for the Turkish international to displace either Sergio Busquets or Ivan Rakitic at the heart of Barca’s midfield.Arsenal have been linked with a summer swoop for Turan in recent weeks but now, according to Sport, Chelsea are also keen on the 29-year-old and are prepared to enter a bidding war with their London rivals.The Blaugrana are thought to be reluctant to sell Turan so soon after landing him and want to give him a full season to try and force his way into the starting team before making any decision on his future.However, Turan is understood to be wary of the prospect of another season sitting on the bench and is eager to listen to offers from other clubs this summer.
Atletico Madrid secured passage to the 2016 Champions League final by beating Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.Xabi Alonso scored a deflected free-kick in the first-half to hand Bayern the lead on the night, and tying the game on aggregate.Bayern then had the chance to double their lead, after Jose Gimenez fouled Javi Martinez in the area. However, Thomas Muller’s spot-kick was fairly poor, and Jan Oblak did well to push it wide.Atleti drew level 10 minutes into the second period, Antoine Griezmann netting after a lovely through ball from Fernando Torres.Bayern retook the lead with 15 minutes remaining, Robert Lewandowski heading into the empty net following Arturo Vidal’s excellent header into the centre of the area.Torres then replicated Muller’s feat, striking a poor penalty at Manuel Neuer which the German keeper kept out wel.Neither team managed to find the back of the net again, ensuring Diego Simeone’s men qualifed for the Champions League final.You can watch all the key moments from the game below… 1 Antoine Griezmann celebrates his goal against Bayern
Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring for Lyon Paris Saint-Germain have muscled in on West Ham’s pursuit of Alexandre Lacazette.The Hammers had a £31m bid rejected by Lyon on Tuesday but are expected to return with a better offer later on in the summer.However, after hearing about West Ham’s approach, PSG have now rekindled their interest in the forward and are willing to stump up £40m.The French champions are on the hunt for a new striker this summer following the departure of the talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic.And Lacazette, who netted 23 goals in 44 appearances for Lyon last term, now appears to be the club’s No.1 target.Lyon would prefer to keep hold of their star man but a bid in excess of £35m is likely to tempt them into selling. 1