Diana Taurasi Expected to Compete in Historic Sixth Olympics at 2024 Paris Games

Diana Taurasi is headed to the 2024 Paris Games.

The United States is expected to take the 41-year-old Argentine American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury, a five-time Olympic champion, for a sixth Olympics.

Diana TaurasiTaurasi will break the record for most Olympics played in the sport of basketball.

Five players, including former Taurasi teammate Sue Bird, have competed in five.

Taurasi, who will turn 42 on Tuesday, will be joined by her Mercury teammate Brittney Griner.

This will be Griner’s first time playing internationally since she was detained in a Russian prison for 10 months in 2022. She said she’ll play abroad only with USA Basketball.

Joining the pair will be Olympic veterans Breanna StewartA’ja WilsonNapheesa CollierJewell Loyd and Chelsea Gray.

Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young, who helped the U.S. win the inaugural 3×3 gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games in 2021, will also be on the team.

First-time Olympians are Alyssa ThomasSabrina Ionescu and Kahleah Copper.

All three played on the American team that won the World Cup in Australia in 2022.

The U.S. women have won every gold medal in women’s basketball since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The U.S. team will get together to train for a few days in Phoenix in July. Then it’s off to London for an exhibition game against Germany before heading to France.

The Americans will play Japan, Belgium and Germany in pool play at the Olympics.

The U.S. team will be coached by longtime Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve, who has extensive USA Basketball experience.

Reeve, like former Olympic coaches, was allowed to give feedback on team makeup but was not part of the group that picked players.

Keyrol Figueroa Signs Professional Contract with Liverpool F.C.

Keyrol Figueroa has a new deal…

The 17-year-old Honduran soccer player and United States youth international has signed a professional contract with Liverpool F.C., the Premier League club announced Tuesday.

Keyrol FigueroaFigueroa, a forward, has been impressive since moving to the Merseyside club when he was 14 and has consistently scored at different age levels.

Liverpool described him in a statement as a “prolific goalscorer.”

Figueroa, who can also play as a wide attacker, scored seven goals to help the United States reach the final of the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship in 2023.

He played in last year’s Under-17 World Cup, where the U.S. was eliminated in the round of 16 by Germany.

Having advanced through Liverpool’s academy, Figueroa recently scored for the Under-18s team against Wolverhampton.

Figueroa is the son of former Wigan and Honduras defender Maynor Figueroa.

Ada Limón Named to Time Magazine’s 2024 Women of the Year List

Ada Limón has earned a special place in Time

The 47-year-old Mexican American poet, the first Latina to be Poet Laureate of the United States, has been named to Time magazine’s annual Women of the Year list.

Ada Limon,The Time list is designed to recognize “extraordinary leaders working toward a more equal world.”

In 2022, Limon was appointed the 24th poet laureate of the U.S., a role previously held by the likes of Tracy K. SmithJoy Harjo, and Rita Dove.

Last spring, she was granted a two-year second term. And in October came the announcement that she’d won a MacArthur “genius” grant.

These are the achievements most writers only dream of—but there was one invitation that even the most inventive of poets would not have imagined: NASA reached out. It wanted Limón to compose an original poem to be launched into space.

“As soon as I hung up, I thought, Oh, no,” Limón says.

Her poem “In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa” will be engraved inside the Europa Clipper, a spacecraft set to launch on October 10 and begin orbiting Jupiter by 2030.

Out of this world though the commission may be, it’s a fitting one for a poet dedicated to exploring the ties between the human experience and the universe we all share.

“When I’m in my darkest space, as a poet and as a human, turning to nature is the one thing that will bring me back to myself,” Limón says. “It’s very hard to write from a place of fear and isolation. If you can, connect to the natural world—a tree, a shrub, whatever you can set your sight on for a moment. We’re not alone.”

This summer, Limón will embark on a tour across the U.S. to unveil poetry installations in seven national parks as part of her signature program as poet laureate, dubbed You Are Here—which is also the title of an anthology she’ll publish in April. From Washington to Florida, Limón will convene people from all walks of life to celebrate both poetry and the land.

Other Class of 2024 honorees this year include actor, writer and director Greta Gerwig; actor Taraji P. Henson; singer, songwriter and actor Andra Day; tennis player Coco Gauff; Global CEO of Chanel Leena Nair; co-founder and leader of the Israeli movement Women Wage Peace Yael Admi; founder and director of Women of the Sun Reem Hajajreh; president and chairwoman of nonprofit Nadia’s Initiative Nadia Murad; medical scientist and professor of research on hyperemesis gravidarum Marlena Fejzo; founder and executive director of The Chisholm Legacy Project Jacqui Patterson; and economic historian and labor economist Claudia Goldin.

Time will host the third annual invite-only Time Women of the Year Gala on Tuesday, March 5, in Los Angeles. The event will feature appearances and remarks from Women of the Year honorees, the presentation of a Time Earth Award, as well as a special musical performance by Andra Day.

A24 Releases New Trailer for Wagner Moura’s “Civil War”

There’s more war in Wagner Moura’s life…

A24 has released a new trailer for Civil War, starring the 47-year-old Brazilian actor, director and filmmaker, giving viewers a new gl;impseat the domestic carnage in store in the original action film.

Wagner Moura

The footage kicks off with an address from the President, played by Nick Offerman, who calls citizens to arms against “the Florida alliance and the Western forces of Texas and California” for their secession from the United States.

The trailer also teases new battle sequences taking place in New York City and Washington, D.C. — including a rocket launch obliterating the Lincoln Memorial.

Civil War is written and directed by Alex Garland, who previously teamed with A24 for the sci-fi thrillers Ex Machina and Men. He also helmed Annihilation and has notched screenplay credits for“28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd. He created, executive produced and wrote the FX limited series Devs.

“Civil War” stars Kirsten Dunst as a war photographer. The ensemble also includes Offerman, Moura, Cailee Spaeny, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jesse Plemons and Sonoya Mizuno. A24 produces, alongside Gregory Goodman and DNA’s Andrew Macdonald and

Unlike the limited rollout of some A24 movies, “Civil War” will hit theaters nationwide with a wide release on April 12. The film is also getting premium large-format play with bookings in Imax auditoriums.

Alex de Minaur to Face Alexander Zverev in United Cup Semifinals

Alex de Minaur is preparing for another battle at this year’s United Cup.

The 24-year-old Uruguayan & Spanish Australian tennis player, who pulled off a major upset by beating ailing World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the mixed-gender tournament, will face Alexander Zverev in the semifinals as hosts Australia battle Germany.

Alex de Minaurde Minaur is looking to break Zverev’s dominance against him, with the Aussie holding a single win against the German Grand Slam finalist in their head-to-head record (6-1).

But de Minaur and the Aussies will enter the semis with supreme confidence, having beaten the defending champions, the United States, to win their group before knocking out Serbia in the quarterfinals, with de Minaur picking up his first win against Djokovic.

“I think he’s playing one of the best tennis of his life. Beating Novak in straight sets, that kind of always shows that you’re playing really well.” Zverev said of his upcoming opponent. “The last time we played was Rome 2022, so that’s a while back. Things have changed a little bit. I think he’s gotten a lot better, closing in on the Top 10 as well.

“Of course it’s better to have that kind of head-to-head record than the opposite, but I’m expecting a tough match. Especially here, I think he’s going to be very motivated and the whole team, Australia, is going to be very motivated — and the crowd definitely plays a factor in that. But I’m looking forward to another tough match.”

While both de Minaur and Zverev are in red-hot form, their singles counterparts have not matched their success so far at the United Cup. Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic brings a 1-2 singles record into the semis, while Germany’s Angelique Kerber is still seeking her first singles win of the event.

“Perth treated us pretty nicely,” de Minaur said. “We had a great time over there, we played some great tennis and obviously the goal was to make it to Sydney and I think we’re all very happy to be here.”

France will play Poland in the other semifinal match on Saturday.

The final is set for Sunday, at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.

Brandon Vázquez to Reportedly Join Liga MX’s C.F. Monterrey

Brandon Vázquez s headed south of the border

The 25-year-old Mexican American professional soccer player, a forward for the United States and FC Cincinnati, is set to join Liga MX‘s C.F. Monterrey after agreeing to contract details on Wednesday, according to ESPN MX.

Brandon Vázquez,Monterrey and Cincinnati reached a deal last week for the player, who’ll sign a four-year contract with the Mexican club and arrive for preseason training in the coming days.

The Athletic was the first to report the story, adding that the fee for Vazquez will be in the region of $7.5 million with another $1 million in potential add-ons and a sell-on clause.

Vazquez reportedly had interest from European clubs, as well as from Liga MX powerhouses Chivas, which attempted to sign the player in 2023.

Before eventually agreeing to a contract deal with fellow Liga MX side Monterrey, the striker told ESPN last summer that he believed Cincinnati would provide “the fastest route and best route to get to Europe” after a deal was turned down for Chivas.

Thanks to his 28 goals scored in his last two seasons, the forward earned an MLS All-Star appearance in 2022 and a Supporters’ Shield titl in 2023 with FC Cincinnati, which lost to eventual champions Columbus Crew in the semifinals of the MLS Cup playoffs.

He previously played for Atlanta United FC (2017-19), where he clinched an MLS Cup title in 2018 and a U.S. Open Cup title in 2019, although Vazquez had a minimal role with just three goals in just as many MLS seasons.

A native of Chula Vista, California, Vazquez was developed as a Liga MX youth academy product across the border with Club Tijuana, but only made one appearance for the senior team through a domestic cup match.

Eligible for both Mexico and the United States at the international level, Vazquez eventually made his senior debut for the USMNT in 2022 and has gone on to collect four goals across eight USMNT appearances.

Vazquez told ESPN in 2023 that “nobody” from the Mexican federation had reached out to him before he committed his future to the U.S.

Mariah Carey Makes Special Visit to the White House

Mariah Carey is in the (White) House

The 54-year-old half-Venezuelan American Grammy-winning superstar made a special visit to see the president and vice president of the United States.

Mariah Carey, White HouseAs shared on Instagram this Wednesday (December 20), the vocalist recently swung by the White House in Washington, D.C., to meet with President Joe Biden and his second in command, Vice President Kamala Harris.

Carey’s 12-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe, whom she shares with ex Nick Cannon, also got to visit the Oval Office and chat with the leaders of the nation.

While there, Carey posed for photos with both Biden and Harris, as well as with her kids in front of the White House’s impressive Christmas decorations.

“Last week I had the pleasure of meeting President Biden & Vice President Harris at the White House to ring in the holiday season!” the singer captioned the pictures, which the White House also shared on its official account. “While there, we got to see all the festive decor and spread some cheer! 🎄❄️☃️”

And what does an international superstar wear to greet the POTUS and VP? A sequined tweed suit jacket and dress, complete with pink trimming and matching heels.

Later, Carey and the president jointly posted a video of their first meeting, both of them professing “I’m a fan” to the other while shaking hands.

The hitmaker is fresh off the finale of her Merry Christmas One and All! Tour, which wrapped with a special show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande joined Carey onstage to perform “Oh Santa!,” marking the trio’s first time performing the remix live since releasing it in 2020.

Carey also just claimed her 13th week atop the Billboard Hot 100 with her evergreen holiday smash “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

The track also scored a record-breaking 16th week atop the Billboard Global 200 earlier this week.

A24 Releases First Trailer for Wagner Moura’s Action Epic “Civil War”

It’s War time for Wagner Moura.

A24 has released the first trailer for he action epic Civil War, starring the 47-year-old Brazilian actor, director and filmmaker.

Wagner MouraHailing from Alex Garland, the film will be released in theaters (including on IMAX screens) on April 26, 2024.

While the film’s plot has been kept under wraps, it’s now described as chronicling a race to the White House in a near-future America balanced on the razor’s edge.

Moura, Kirsten Dunst and Cailee Spaeny appear to play journalists at a time when the United States has become a literal battleground, with 19 states seceding from the Union.

While not previously announced as part of the cast, Nick Offerman is introduced in the trailer as playing a fascist U.S. President, who’s at war with the so-called “Western Forces” of Texas and California. Also making an appearance as a threatening figure along our central trio’s path to D.C. is Dunst’s husband, Oscar nominee Jesse Plemons. Rounding out the cast are Stephen McKinley Henderson and Sonoya Mizuno.

Garland directed Civil War from his own script. In addition to serving as distributor, A24 produced the film alongside Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA and Gregory Goodman.

Moura’s previous credits include the films The Gray Man, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,and Wasp Network, as well as the television series Narcos.

Alex de Miñaur Helps Lead Australia to Davis Cup Finals

Alex de Miñaur has helped lead Australia back to the Davis Cup final…

The 24-year-old Uruguayan & Spanish Australian professional tennis player and Alexei Popyrin put Australia back into the Davis Cup final for a second straight year after winning their singles matches in a 2-0 victory over Finland on Friday.

Alex de MinaurPopyrin gave Australia a 1-0 lead in the semifinal match after beating Otto Virtanen 7-6 (5), 6-2. de Miñaur then finished off Finland by beating Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-3.

Novak Djokovic‘s Serbia will face Jannik Sinner‘s Italy on Saturday in the other semifinal match on the indoor hard court at Martin Carpena Arena in Malaga, Spain.

Popyrin edged Virtanen in the first set, saving a set point when trailing 6-5 and forcing a tiebreaker that he clinched when his opponent slapped a forehand long.

Virtanen was Finland’s hero in its upset of defending champion Canada on Tuesday, winning both his singles and doubles matches. But his serve let him down against Popyrin in the second set when his fifth double-fault cost him a break.

“(That was) probably the biggest win of my career so far,” Popyrin said. “To win a match that means so much for us is an honor and something I will never forget.”

de Miñaur converted five of 18 break chances against Ruusuvuori. He ended the match by landing a backhand winner on the sideline.

Australia has the second-most Davis Cup titles, with 28 to 32 for the United States, but its last success came in 2003.

Alejandro Zendejas Commits to United States Men’s National Soccer Team

Alejandro Zendejas is picking sides…

The 25-year-old Mexican soccer star, a dual national, says he is committing to the United States national team over Mexico.

Alejandro ZendejasZendejas, who plays forward, made his U.S. debut in a January 25 exhibition against Serbia but remained eligible to ask FIFA for a one-time switch of affiliation to Mexico.

“I am excited for this next chapter, and earning my place with the USMNT,” Zendejas said. “Thank you to everyone for the incredible support.”

The announcement concludes a bizarre tug-of-war between the U.S. and Mexico, one in which Zendejas initially played for the U.S. at the youth level, including at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he was a teammate of Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams.

But upon joining Liga MX side Chivas in 2016, Zendejas said he would reject future U.S. call-ups and would play for Mexico.

Zendejas went on to play for El Tri at the youth level, and later the full Mexico national team in a pair of friendlies against Ecuador in 2021 and Guatemala in 2022.

But Zendejas never filed the required one-time switch with FIFA to become eligible to play for Mexico, which was necessary because he had played for the U.S. in official competition.

Mexico was ordered to forfeit five matches (three at the youth level) and fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,900) by FIFA for using Zendejas while he was affiliated with the United States.

That development saw Zendejas return to the U.S. fold, and he played in the January friendly earlier this year against Serbia.

Now he will be available to play for the U.S. in the CONCACAF Nations League games later this month.

“I am very proud of being Mexican-American. Values from both cultures have made me the person I am today,” Zendejas said in a statement Tuesday. “Making a decision on your international career is very difficult, and I believe in following your heart. Mine tells me that my future lies representing the USA.”

Zendejas was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, but was raised in El Paso, Texas. He is a product of the FC Dallas Academy, and he made his team debut with the club in 2015.

He made his MLS debut against Houston on May 1, 2015, and transferred to Chivas in June 2016, then went on loan to Zacatepec in June 2017. Zendejas transferred to Necaxa in June 2020 and to Club America in January 2022.

His aforementioned move to Chivas saw him struggle for playing time, but the loan to Zacatepec saw Zendejas find his footing in the pro game, and he eventually moved to Necaxa on a free transfer.

After scoring 11 goals in 50 league matches, Zendejas moved to Club America in January 2022. He has been a steady and at times spectacular contributor for the Aguilas, scoring 13 goals in 43 league matches.

In terms of the USMNT, Zendejas will provide additional depth at the wing positions, but he faces stiff competition from the likes of Chelsea’s Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna, Leeds United’s Brenden Aaronson and Lille’s Timothy Weah.