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Lady Gaga, car horns trumpet Biden’s grand campaign finale

PITTSBURGH  (AFP) – Honking horns, huge American flags, and pop superstar Lady Gaga: on the eve of the presidential election, Joe Biden brought an air of spectacle to workers’ stronghold Pittsburgh as he capped a campaign largely curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. US singer Lady Gaga performs prior to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaking during a Drive-In Rally at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 2, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) “The power’s in your hands, Pennsylvania!” the Democratic White House nominee thundered late Monday to several hundred supporters gathered for a drive-in rally in what has become the pivotal state in Biden’s battle against President Donald Trump. “It’s time to stand up and take back our democracy,” the 77-year-old added, prompting a crescendo of car horns outside the stadium that is home to the Pittsburgh Steelers American football team. In the biting November cold, Biden took up the clarion call of a campaign that he launched 18 months ago: “This is a battle for the soul of America,” he said. “We have to win this.” Lady Gaga, clad in a white sweatshirt with “Joe” printed on the front, listened and applauded from her stage. Minutes earlier she had peeled off her gloves and sat down at a white piano to give a short but inspired musical warmup to the Biden headliner. “Gloves off because it’s a fight — a fight for what you believe in,” she said before launching into her hit “Shallow.” The 34-year-old Grammy winner called on the audience to vote for Biden because “we needed somebody that was going to bring us all together for this moment, for this very important moment.” “No matter who wins tomorrow, we’re going to have to do this together. Tomorrow’s got to be peaceful,” she added somberly, in an allusion to the tensions that have swelled in the United States ahead of the poll. The singer, who once lived in Pennsylvania, has been in this position before. In 2016, she helped close out the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who lost in a shocker to Trump. ‘End of Trump era?’ Dancing in the parking lot was Jamie Scafuri, a 26-year-old hairdresser, who came with friends invited by someone who works for the campaign. “We’re hoping that it’s the end of the Trump era,” Scafuri told AFP. “We’re hopeful. That’s why we’re here.” These drive-in rallies have become a staple of the Democrat’s mostly low-key campaign, which has scrupulously adhered to social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines to guard against the coronavirus, which has already killed more than 230,000 Americans. But despite efforts to put on a show at least partly resembling concert-infused mega-rallies that have traditionally marked the end of a campaign, the cars parked at distance, sparse spectators and few journalists allowed to enter makes it clear: the pandemic has upset the face of American politics in 2020. “Stay close to your cars!” urged an announcer as fans rushed forward for the arrival of Lady Gaga, in scenes far removed from the massive Trump rallies that often bring thousands of supporters packed together, very often without wearing masks. But here, Biden’s supporters understand the constraints. “I feel safe being here around our car with masks on, but it’s a great opportunity to celebrate life for sure,” Scafuri said. Biden is “a pro-science, pro-healthcare candidate, so it makes sense that he would want to protect his constituents,” added Scafuri’s friend Katie Soulen, 32, who owns the salon where they work. Trump ‘don’t care’ about us Biden is coming full circle with his campaign. The former vice president launched his White House candidacy — his third, following disastrous bids in 1988 and 2008 — in April 2019 in this blue-collar city. Even then, in the cradle of the American steel industry now remaking itself as a tech hub, Biden predicted that a victory against the Republican president would “happen here,” in Pennsylvania. Biden has a slight lead in the pivotal state, which Trump won by less than a percentage point in 2016. But the polls have tightened in recent days, and after the brash billionaire’s shock victory four years ago, some Democrats are nervous. But Bob Wilson, born and raised “right where we stand” in Pittsburgh, is confident that Trump will be defeated. “No, we’re gonna crush him… We’re gonna beat him in every state,” the 68-year-old retired truck driver, now a union official, said as he waited for Biden in the large parking lot at Heinz Field, named after the giant food processing company founded here in the 19th century. Trump is “not qualified” and “don’t care about nobody but himself,” he added......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

Zamboanga siblings Drex and Denice look to impress at ONE: A NEW BREED

The Zamboanga siblings join ONE Championship’s long list of successful broods when The Home Of Martial Arts returns this Friday, 28 August, at ONE: A NEW BREED in Bangkok, Thailand.  Top-ranked Filipina atomweight Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga looks to keep a stronghold on her number one contender status when she faces Watsapinya “Dream Girl” Kaewkhong in a mixed martial arts bout.  Making this special for “The Menace” is the fact that she will be competing with her older brother in Filipino World Champion Drex “T-Rex” Zamboanga, who is slated to make his ONE debut against Detchadin Sornsirisuphathin. “I’m very happy to be competing once more, because it’s been awhile since I last fought, so I’m grateful to be a part of this card in Thailand,” she said.  “Aside from actively competing once more, what makes me really happy is I’ll be fighting alongside my brother on the same card.” The younger of the Zamboanga siblings has already made her presence felt in The Home Of Martial Arts.  The undefeated Filipina scored convincing wins over Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan and former ONE Atomweight Women’s World Title challenger Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi, earning her the right to face longtime division ruler “Unstoppable” Angela Lee as announced by ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.  A dominant performance here for the Filipina would only make her case stronger.  Also competing on the card is Filipina-American KC “Pinay Fight” Carlos, who will look to pull the upset-rug from underneath the rolling Wondergirl Fairtex in a strawweight Muay Thai battle.  In the card’s headliner, Stamp Fairtex defends her ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title against Allycia Hellen Rodrigues while “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai battles Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in the ONE Muay Thai Bantamweight Tournament Finals, where a shot at reigning World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao is at stake.  ONE: A NEW BREED will air Friday, 28 August, in a closed-door, audience-free setting in Bangkok, Thailand. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2020

MMA Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell plays peacekeeper in California protest

Legend has it that former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell got his “The Iceman” moniker from keeping cool and stress-free before the fight.  As it turns out, Liddell can keep himself pretty cool and collected in pretty much any high-stress situation.  As seen on a news report from ABC 7 in the United States, Liddell kept his chill as he helped diffuse a high-tension situation at a George Floyd protest in Huntington Beach, California.  In the video, Liddell can be seen breaking up altercations and getting in between protesters who appear to be losing their tempers.  Protests have been widespread all over the United States in the past few days as people have rallied against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, an un-armed African-American man who was violently and forcefully subdued by Minneapolis Police, which resulted in his tragic death.  Some of the protests have been peaceful while others have escalated into vandalism, looting, destruction of property, and even violence.  Liddell, according to the report, was out in the streets looking to make sure that things didn’t go off the rails as business owners feared for their establishments and their own safety.  “It’s good to see people defending their city, and it’s terrible, violence begets violence. Violence doesn’t help anybody,” Liddell said.  “We all know what happened was wrong, everybody I know thinks it was wrong, it’s hard to watch,” Liddell continued, talking about the footage of Floyd being choked to death as a police officer knelt on his neck.  Liddell however says that violence, destruction, and looting isn’t the right way to go about protesting.  “But this does not help, destroying cities, destroying people, hurting people does not do any good for anybody. So hey, protest all you want, just do it peacefully.”  Another light heavyweight great, Jon Jones, was also seen actively trying to prevent destructive protesting in his area in New Mexico.  The 50-year old Liddell is best known for his career with the UFC, which spanned from 1998 to 2010. In 2005, Liddell captured the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship and defended it four times. In 2009, Liddell was inducted to the promotion’s Hall of Fame.  In 2018, Liddell came out of retirement after 8 years to face long-time rival Tito Ortiz in a trilogy bout which was the headliner of Golden Boy Promotions’ first MMA show. Liddell lost to Ortiz by KO in the first round.  (READ ALSO: MMA legend Tito Ortiz says he's been offered a fight with Mike Tyson).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2020