Wilson leads Seahawks over Eagles in NFL

Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Seattle Seahawks stifled Philadelphia’s high-powered offence in a 24-14 victory over the Eagles on Sunday.

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Wilson had 263 yards passing and ran for 48 to help the Seahawks (9-4) win their third straight.

The defending Super Bowl champions have victories over NFC West-leading Arizona (10-3), San Francisco (7-6) and Philadelphia (9-4) in the last three weeks.

The Eagles host Dallas (9-4) with first place in the NFC East at stake next week.

Tom Brady threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman midway through the fourth quarter, as the New England Patriots (10-3) beat the San Diego Chargers 23-14 for their eighth win in nine games.

The Patriots clinched their 12th straight 10-win season for the second-longest such streak in NFL history.

Brady completed 28 of 44 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns.

Denver’s C.J. Anderson ran for three touchdowns as the Broncos overcame a rare unsteady outing by Peyton Manning to defeat the Buffalo Bills 24-17.

Manning’s streak of 51 straight games with a touchdown throw – three shy of Drew Brees’ NFL record – ended on a sun-splashed, almost still afternoon in Denver, where the game-time temperature was a balmy 63 degrees.

Despite three turnovers, the Broncos (10-3) won their third straight game since changing from a pass-oriented attack to a run-heavy approach.

In Arizona, Kerwynn Williams rushed for 100 yards two days after being elevated from the Cardinals practice squad in a 17-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The NFC West-leading Cardinals (10-3) took the lead when Drew Stanton threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown in the third quarter.

Jamaal Charles scored two first-half touchdowns on a 63-yard run and 18-yard pass from Alex Smith, but the Chiefs (7-6) were shut out in the second half.

The Indianapolis Colts edged the Cleveland Browns 25-24 after Andrew Luck threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton with 32 seconds left, while Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes, including a 94-yarder to rookie Martavis Bryant in the fourth quarter that was the longest play from scrimmage this season, as the Steelers downed the Cincinnati Bengals 42-21.

In other games, the Baltimore Ravens played more than 17 minutes before picking up a first down, then overcame a 10-point deficit to beat the Miami Dolphins 28-13, the Oakland Raiders defeated the San Francisco 49ers 24-13, the Carolina Panthers trounced the New Orleans Saints 41-10 and the Detroit Lions downed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-17.

The St. Louis Rams have back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 1945 after a 24-0 domination of the Washington Redskins, the Houston Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-13, the Minnesota Vikings overgame the New Jets 30-24 in overtime and the New York Jets were 36-7 winners over the Tennessee Titans.

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Young gun Law wins omnium silver in London

Youngster Scott Law won Australia’s only medal on the closing day of the Track Cycling World Cup in London as the big guns of the team failed to fully fire.

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Anna Meares and Matthew Glaetzer didn’t make the women’s keirin and men’s sprint finals, respectively, after medalling at the previous World Cup in Mexico a month ago.

But Law proved he’s a rising star by riding a crafty points race at the end of the multi-event omnium to win the silver medal on Sunday night (Monday morning AEDT).

The 23-year-old was ninth in the scratch race, seventh in the individual pursuit and sixth in the elimination race on Saturday.

Then, on Sunday, he won the 1km time trial and the flying lap to head into the final event trailing Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria Rendon overall by 24 points.

In the 160-lap points race Law consistently edged out Bobby Lea in the sprints, meaning the American had to settle for bronze.

“Going into the last event I knew the Colombian was going to be tough to beat so trying to consolidate my second place was probably the best option,” the NSW rider told AAP.

“But if there was an opportunity to take a lap to put the Colombian under pressure I definitely was going to try for it.”

Law said Sunday night’s result was the best of his career.

“I don’t think it’s quite sunk in just yet,” he said.

“I’ve had some great wins over the years at the Australian level but I haven’t really been able to crack it at the international level.”

The 23-year-old will now try and break into the strong Australian team pursuit squad for the next World Cup round in Colombia and the World Championships in Paris in mid-February.

National endurance coach Matthew Gilmore says looking forward to the Rio Olympics in 2016 the team needs a versatile rider who can do the team pursuit and omnium.

Glenn O’Shea, the 2012 omnium world champ, is the obvious choice but Law could contend.

“If Scott keeps going the way he is he could potentially step into that Olympic team,” Gilmore told AAP.

“At the moment we’ve got some real upward pressure coming from our younger riders into the seniors which is critical so nobody gets complacent.”

Isabella King, part of the Australian team pursuit squad which won silver on Friday night, finished fourth overall in the women’s omnium on Sunday.

Olympic champion Laura Trott from Great Britain took gold ahead of Jolien D’hoore (Belgium) and Kirsten Wild (the Netherlands).

Glaetzer failed to make the quarter-finals in the men’s sprint after claiming gold in Guadalajara a month ago.

The 22-year-old set the third fastest qualifying time of 10.015 seconds on Sunday but subsequently lost to Russia’s Nikita Shurshin in the 1/8 finals.

Glaetzer then missed out on progressing via the repechage by just .001 seconds.

Twice world champion Meares was knocked out in the second round of the keirin and eventually finished eighth.

The track star had hoped to make the final after winning bronze in Mexico.

Australia finished the London meet with one gold secured by Amy Cure in the points race on Saturday night.

The team picked up three silver medals in the women’s team pursuit and the men’s team sprint on Friday night and with Law in the omnium.

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Sampras says US men’s game in sad decline

American legend Pete Sampras has lamented the decline of US men’s tennis, saying he doesn’t know anyone capable of breaking into the top ranks for his home country.

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The 14-time grand slam winner on Monday blamed the increasingly global and competitive nature of top-level tennis, saying it would “take time” before American men were dominant again.

“We haven’t had anyone at the top for a long time now,” said Sampras, who dominated the game along with compatriot Andre Agassi before retiring in 2002.

“It takes time to get American tennis back to where it was.

“The game has become so international. Players are playing all around the world.

“The world is getting hungrier and we (the US) are just not producing young kids with potential.

“Hopefully it’s just a phase and doesn’t last too long (to return to the top).”

Sampras, who retired at the age of 32, predicted the three big names of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal would continue to dominate next season.

“Novak Djokovic is the obvious choice. Roger is very motivated to get to No.1. Rafa is uncertain with his health but I feel like once he’s healthy he’ll be in the mix,” he said.

But the 43-year-old said Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, ranked 11 in the world, was one to watch.

“Grigor is someone that I think is ready to make that next step,” he said.

“He’s showing signs but I think he just needs to learn how to win but he’s got the talent.”

“I still see those three guys dominating. I see guys threatening them but when push comes to shove, I think you’ll see those three guys in the second week of majors, in the semi-finals and finals.

“It’s going to be an interesting year but I still see Novak, Roger and Rafa being the cream of the crop.”

Sampras lost his opening match at the new International Premier Tennis League on Sunday to veteran Australian Pat Rafter in the third leg of competition in Delhi.

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Davis tops NBA scoring charts

Anthony Davis scored 23 points to overtake Kobe Bryant for the NBA scoring lead as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Los Angeles Lakers 104-87 on Sunday night.

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Jrue Holiday had 22 points and eight assists, helping the Pelicans end a four-game road losing streak that included a 27-point drubbing by the Warriors on Thursday and a 20-point loss to the Clippers on Saturday night.

Bryant had 14 points in 31 minutes for the Lakers (5-16). Bryant and Davis entered Sunday 1-2 in the league in scoring average at 25.8 points and 25.3, respectively.

Jon Leuer scored a season-high 20 points and matched his career best with 12 rebounds, leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a 103-87 win over Miami.

Mike Conley added 18 points for Memphis, connecting on all eight of his shots, and Zach Randolph and Courtney Lee finished with 17 points apiece.

Dwyane Wade scored 25 points in Miami’s fourth straight loss.

Paul Millsap scored 23 points, Kyle Korver had 15 and Atlanta earned its sixth straight win, downing the Denver Nuggets 96-84.

The Hawks got off to a fast start, bolting to a 57-36 halftime lead.

Al Horford and DeMarre Carroll each had 11 points and combined for 17 Atlanta rebounds.

Wilson Chandler finished with a season-high 29 points for the Nuggets.

Jeff Green scored 25 points for Boston, and reserve Marcus Thornton had 21 in a 101-93 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Rajon Rondo had a triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for the Celtics, who won their third straight after a season-high five-game losing streak.

Kevin Durant scored 28 points, Russell Westbrook added 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Oklahoma City beat lowly Detroit 96-94.

The Pistons have lost 12 straight, two short of the franchise record. Detroit’s last win came on November 14 in overtime at Oklahoma City, a game that both Durant and Westbrook missed due to injury.

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Government funds ad blitz on university changes

The Abbott government is using taxpayer funds for an advertising blitz to sell its controversial higher education changes.

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It has justified the undisclosed expense by arguing students need to know more about the contentious changes, especially what is planned for the HECS loan scheme.

The Senate last week rejected a suite of measures that, among other things, was set to deregulate university fees.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has since tabled a modified version of his rejected legislation, which parliament won’t consider before February next year.

Students and academics have been strident in their opposition to the changes.

The advertising campaign, which began on Sunday, helps counter “myths and misconceptions” about the higher education system and raises awareness of HECS, a spokesman for Mr Pyne told AAP.

Feedback from potential students at 2014 careers fairs and university open days indicated a lack of understanding about the planned changes.

The campaign comprises television and newspaper ads as well as a website.

Mr Pyne won’t say how much the campaign will cost.

He and other government MPs have argued there is a need to counter the “$100,000 degree scare campaign” coming from Labor and the National Tertiary Education Union.

Universities Australia, which supports deregulation but wants some changes to the government plans, has recently been running its own advertising about the reforms.

Labor Leader Bill Shorten said spending taxpayer money on a plan already rejected by the Senate was an absolute disgrace.

“No amount of slick advertising will make this look any better,” he told AAP in a statement.

The Greens are similarly scathing, saying the choice of where to run ads just showed Mr Pyne was out of touch.

“If there are still students left watching TV, these ads will surely make them rush to Netflix and other online services,” higher education spokeswoman Lee Rhiannon said.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon labelled the ads an outrageous use of taxpayers’ money and thinly-disguised political advertising.

“If the government wants to run these ads, then the Liberal Party can pay for them, not taxpayers,” he told AAP.

Senator Xenophon, who helped block the initial legislation, will be issuing a formal complaint to the auditor-general.

“I’ve previously complained about the boat ads but at least that was government policy – this law hasn’t even passed.”

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Millions hunker down in Philippine capital

Millions of people in the Philippine capital are hunkering down as a major storm churns towards the megacity after killing at least 21 people.

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However, Hagupit has weakened from a typhoon after moving slowly across the central Philippines, fuelling cautious optimism the disaster-weary nation may avoid another calamity involving hundreds of deaths.

In Metro Manila, a sprawling coastal megalopolis of 12 million people that regularly endures deadly flooding, well-drilled evacuation efforts went into full swing on Monday as forecasters warned of heavy rain from dusk.

“We are on 24-hour alert for floods and storm surges … it’s the flooding that we are worried about,” Joseph Estrada, mayor of Manila, the original city of two million within Metro Manila, said.

Thousands of people, mostly the city’s poorest who live in shanties along the coast and riverbanks, crammed into schools and other evacuation centres across Metro Manila.

Schools were suspended, the stock market was closed, many office and government workers were told to stay at home, and dozens of commercial flights were cancelled.

The preparations were part of a massive effort led by President Benigno Aquino to ensure minimum deaths, after 7350 people died when Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated large parts of the central Philippines in November last year.

Millions in communities directly in the path of Hagupit over the weekend were sent to evacuation centres or ordered to remain in their homes.

The storm, the strongest to hit the Philippines this year with wind gusts of 210 km/h when it made landfall, caused massive destruction in remote farming and fishing towns.

Thousands of homes were destroyed, power lines were torn down, landslides choked roads and flood waters up to one storey high flowed through some towns.

Hagupit claimed at least 21 lives, with 18 of them on Samar island where the storm made landfall, Philippine Red Cross secretary-general Gwendolyn Pang said.

Sixteen people died in Borongan, one of the main cities along Samar’s east coast that faces the Pacific Ocean and about 50 km south of where Hagupit struck, according to Pang.

She said it was impossible to say whether the death toll would climb, with full damage assessments from some areas yet to come in and the storm still travelling across the country.

Hagupit’s sustained winds dropped to 140 kilometres an hour on Sunday, then continued to weaken after leaving the eastern Philippine islands and passing over the Sibuyan Sea southeast of Manila.

Its winds were down to 110 kilometres an hour on Monday and were expected to weaken further as it passed just south of the capital in the evening, according to local weather agency Pagasa.

However, Pagasa said the winds were still capable of doing major damage to homes, and heavy rains were expected within Hagupit’s 450-kilometre-wide weather front.

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No plans to shift 2018 Winter Games events

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics organisers said on Monday they had no intention of moving any events outside South Korea, following reports that some competitions may be shifted to Japan in an effort to save costs.

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“All necessary preparations are underway … on the assumption that all competitions will be held as planned,” a Pyeongchang organising committee spokeswoman told AFP.

“We are not considering the idea of holding some competitions elsewhere.”

The statement followed reports that the bobsleigh and luge events may be shifted to the Japanese city of Nagano.

The IOC is to vote this week on a series of reforms that would allow Pyeongchang and future hosts of the summer and winter Games — including Tokyo in 2020 — more flexibility in the sports they stage and where they stage them.

The reforms are aimed at making the Games more cost effective and sustainable for bidding cities.

Pyeongchang has run into financial difficulties in its preparations for 2018 and wants the South Korean government to pay more toward the cost of a new main stadium.

But another organising committee spokesman, Shin Moo-Chul, stressed that moving events to Japan was not being considered as an option, especially given current diplomatic tensions between Japan and South Korea over a number of territorial and historical disputes.

“It is our stance that holding some competitions in (Japan) will be very difficult, given the public sentiment here,” Shin said in an interview with KBS TV station on Monday.

The Japanese Olympic Committee also denied any ongoing discussions regarding Nagano hosting some events in 2018.

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Russia confirms commitment to doping fight

Sports minister Vitaly Mutko has confirmed Russia’s commitment to the fight to stamp out doping.

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In a letter addressed to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief Craig Reedie, the minister said Russia would welcome independent observers and was ready to help them in their investigation into doping accusations made in a German television documentary.

“The German documentary film aroused doubts in Russian sport’s purity,” the R-Sport news agency quoted Mutko as saying.

“The statements made by the athletes in the documentary cannot be left without notice.

“We welcome WADA observers and are ready to help them comprehensively in their investigation of the facts presented in the film.”

Last week Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA announced it would open an investigation into doping accusations made in the film.

“To check the validity of the facts that were shown in the German documentary film, which was broadcasted by ARD channel, RUSADA is opening its own investigation concerning the persons presented in the film and the information which they gave,” the agency statement said.

“At the end of the investigation RUSADA will publish its findings on the agency’s official site.”

The 60-minute documentary “Secret Doping Dossier: How Russia produces its Winners” was aired by state broadcaster ARD last Wednesday and pointed the finger at Russian Athletics Federation president and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev among others.

The documentary featured hard-hitting accusations by 800m runner Yulia Stepanova, who is banned until January for a doping violation, and her husband Vitaly Stepanov, who worked for RUSADA between 2008 and 2011.

Meanwhile, WADA promised to “ensure that all matters raised are fully investigated” in a statement published on their website.

The statement added: “WADA has in fact already received some information and evidence of the type exposed in the documentary. All of that information has been passed to the appropriate independent body within the international federation, the IAAF. We will await the outcome of that independent body’s deliberations.

“Insofar as the particular allegations against Russian authorities and others are concerned, these will all be carefully scrutinised and if action is warranted, WADA will take any necessary and appropriate steps under the (World Anti-Doping) Code.”

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US dancer upbeat before death: police

Rapper Earl Warren Hayes and his estranged wife, Stephanie Moseley, were trying to reconcile and she was optimistic about their chances only days before they were found dead, a US police detective says.

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The bodies of Hayes, 34, and 30-year-old Stephanie Elyse Moseley were found on Monday morning inside their Park La Brea unit in the Fairfax district after neighbours reported hearing gunshots and a woman screaming, police said.

Hayes was an acquaintance of professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr and police have asked to interview him following media reports that he may have spoken to Hayes before the murder-suicide, homicide detective Scott Masterson said on Tuesday.

“We know that there’s a relationship there,” Masterson said. “If he has anything significant to add to the investigation, we want to know.”

Two lawyers for Mayweather told The Associated Press that they had not heard from the boxer. He was due in San Antonio for a fight on Friday.

Moseley was a dancer and actress who appeared in the VH1 cheerleader drama Hit the Floor.

“We are incredibly saddened to hear the news of the passing of Stephanie Moseley,” VH1 said in a statement.

“VH1 and the entire Hit the Floor family send our thoughts and condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.”

Hayes and Moseley had been married for five years before separating “but they had recently gotten back together and were trying to work things out”, Masterson said.

Moseley had spoken to family members in Canada last Thursday and told them that “things were going pretty (well) and that she was upbeat and optimistic about things”, the detective said.

Investigators don’t know what made it turn so violent.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

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