‘I’m extremely sorry’: Jon Jones apologizes to female journalist for press conference jibes


Newly-crowned UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones sought to make amends with a female MMA journalist he criticized ahead of his UFC 232 victory over Alexander Gustafsson on Saturday night.

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© Global Look Press / Simon HastegRd |© YouTube / Ultimate Fighting Championship

The event was switched from Las Vegas to Los Angeles at just six days’ notice to allow Jones to compete in the main event after an abnormality appeared in his pre-fight drug test.

Anti-doping administrators USADA cleared him to fight, but there was a degree of skepticism among some sections of the fanbase and media, leading to some pointed questioning at the pre-fight press conference on Thursday.

Jones took particular exception to the direct line of questioning delivered by Swedish journalist Izabelle Kostic.

Responding to her initial question with a dismissive “Next question,” Jones then went on to criticize Kostic, saying “you suck,” and asking for “better journalism.”

It resulted in Jones receiving widespread criticism from media outlets covering the event, and when the fighter returned to the dais for the UFC 232 post-fight presser, he took the opportunity to apologize directly to Kostic after spotting her among the gathered media.

“Sister here with the camera,” he said, addressing Kostic, “I was extremely disrespectful to you and I’m sincerely sorry.

“I was ready to fight and felt maybe a little of an attack, and I was not in the mood to lose.

“I was just not in the mood to lose, not even a verbal argument. I’m so sorry for disrespecting you.”

While Kostic did not respond verbally via the microphone at the presser, she did acknowledge Jones’ apology via social media, saying he “chose to be the bigger man.”

Jones’ apology came in the immediate aftermath of his dominant third-round knockout victory over Sweden’s Gustafsson in their world title rematch in Los Angeles.

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Jones then proceeded to call out old rival Daniel Cormier for a third bout, challenging the UFC heavyweight champion to drop back down to 205lbs to face him again.

Innovation nation: China driving growth in intellectual property filings


Some 3.17 million global patent applications were filed in 2017, up almost six percent year on year, according to the latest report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

“China is driving the growth in filings for patents, trademarks, industrial designs and other IP rights that are at the heart of the global economy,” it said.

The report said that the country recorded the highest application volume for each of those IP rights in 2017. Innovators and creators inside the country, as well as foreign entities, were seeking to protect and promote their work in one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies.

“Demand for IP protection is rising faster than the rate of global economic growth, illustrating that IP-backed innovation is an increasingly critical component of competition and commercial activity,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “In just a few decades, China has constructed an IP system, encouraged homegrown innovation, joined the ranks of the world’s IP leaders – and is now driving worldwide growth in IP filings.”

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China’s IP office received the highest number of patent applications in 2017, a record total of 1.38 million, followed by the US (607,000), Japan (318,000), South Korea (205,000), and the European Patent Office (167,000). Those top five offices account for 84.5 percent of the world’s total recorded patent applications.

Asia has strengthened its position as the region with most patent filings, with Asian offices receiving 65 percent of all applications filed in 2017, up from 50 percent in 2007.

The number of China’s industrial designs applications represents 50.6 percent of all industrial design applications filed worldwide. The number of trademark applications by Chinese innovators increased by about 55 percent, representing 46 percent of all trademark applications filed.

Owing to the support for high-tech industry and the protection of IP rights, China’s patent applications last year mainly concerned electronic devices and computing and digital telecommunications technologies.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Russia’s $75 trillion in resources is why sanctions are impossible


The country with the largest mineral reserves in the world, Russia, is the second top exporter of rare earth minerals. Its natural resources are estimated at tens of trillions of dollars.

It has abundant supplies of oil, natural gas, timber and valuable minerals, such as copper, diamonds, lead, zinc, bauxite, nickel, tin, mercury, gold and silver. Most of those resources are located in Siberia and the Far East.

Russia’s mining industry, which is the country’s second largest after oil and gas, accounts for a significant share of its GDP and exports. The country is among the top three producers of mineral commodities such as platinum, gold and iron ore. It is also the world’s largest producer of diamonds and palladium. The Ural Mountains have vast amounts of minerals while most deposits of coal, oil, gas and timber are located in Siberia.

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Russia is the world’s fifth largest producer of coal, with reserves of about 175 billion tons. Most of those mines are in Siberia and the Urals.

The timber industry, which is worth about $20 billion annually, is also a significant economic contributor to the Russian economy. The country’s fishing industry is the fourth largest in the world.

READ MORE: Russia stockpiles gold as Washington prepares to pile on new sanctions

The value of Russia’s resources is huge and, according to statistics, is estimated at $75 trillion. In comparison, the US natural resources are worth approximately $45 trillion while China’s stand at $23 trillion.

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Russian company Norilsk Nickel is one of the world’s leading producers of nickel and platinum metals, with roughly half of the world’s supply of palladium and nearly the same share of platinum. Production of palladium is very concentrated, much like that of its sister-metal, platinum. Russia and South Africa are collectively producing about three quarters of the world’s mined supplies. The output of the top producing country, Russia, was 81 metric tons in 2017.

READ MORE: US trade tariffs are economic sanctions in disguise, says Putin

Norilsk Nickel operates mines in Russia, Botswana, Australia, South Africa and Finland. The company’s revenue was almost $10 billion last year.

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Putin launches giant gem mine in Russia’s Far North (VIDEO)

The global leader in diamond mining, Russia’s Alrosa, accounts for almost a third of the world’s rough-diamond production. The main production facilities are currently concentrated mainly in Western Yakutia and the Arkhangelsk region. In total, Alrosa is developing around 30 fields. In November, it opened a huge new diamond deposit in Yakutia which was launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

READ MORE: Cheer up girls! Russia’s diamond producer promises huge gemstones soon

While launching the new field he said that “Russia is a country of enormous natural wealth, and the diamonds of Yakutia are another national treasure of which we are proud.” The launch of the new field “will strengthen Russia’s leadership in the global diamond market,” Putin said.

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‘It made me the greatest player of all time’ – LeBron on Cavs’ epic 2016 win over Warriors


LeBron James’ status among the NBA’s all-time greats is already secure, but the man himself feels his role in helping the Cleveland Cavaliers to their epic 2016 title win over the Golden State Warriors marks him out as the best.

James and the Cavaliers overcame the Warriors – a team feted by some as the best ever – by storming back from 3-1 down to win the title in an incredible finals series.

James was crowned Finals MVP for his role in leading the team back from the brink, scoring 41 points in Games 5 and 6, and then 27 in the last game.  

Speaking on the ESPN show More Than An Athlete, a clip of which was released by the broadcaster, James said: “That one right there made me the greatest player of all time.

“I was super, super ecstatic to win one for Cleveland because of the 52-year [title] drought [in the city].

“And then after I stopped, I was like … that one right there made you the greatest player of all time.”

“Everybody was talking about how they were the greatest team of all time, they were the greatest team ever assembled, and for us to come back, the way we came back in that fashion, I was like … you did something special.

“That’s probably one of the only times in my career I felt like, ‘Oh ****, you did something special.’ I haven’t had time to really sit back and think but that… that was a moment.” 

The championship win with Cleveland was James’ third, following back-to-back triumphs with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. He was also named MVP in both of those finals.

The 34-year-old Ohio native has faced inevitable comparisons with Michael Jordan, who clinched six championships and was named a six-time Finals MVP during his legendary career.

James joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer but the team has seen mixed fortunes so far this season, with talisman James sitting out the last few games with a groin injury.

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Direct comparisons in terms of titles are tough given the differing contexts, eras and various factors at play in defining greatness, but James will need to get a move on if he at least wants to match Jordan’s NBA championship haul.    

Lion bolts from enclosure in N. Carolina, mauls 22yo woman to death


A 22-year-old woman who had been interning at a zoo in North Carolina has been brutally killed by a lion who escaped from its cage while the enclosure was being cleaned.

Alexandra Black from New Palestine, Indiana was mauled to death in the lion attack at the Conservators Center, a 45-acre wildlife park in rural Caswell County, on Sunday.

Authorities attempted to tranquilize the lion several times but failed, so the animal was killed to allow emergency services retrieve Black’s body, Caswell County Sheriff Tony Darden Jr said in a statement.

She was a beautiful young woman who had just started her career, there was a terrible accident, and we are mourning,” Black’s family said in a statement to the Indy Star. “But she died following her passion.”

Black was a recent graduate of Indiana University and had only been working at the center for 10 days. However, this was her fourth such internship.

Just arriving in Burlington – where a lion at the Conservators’ Center mauled a worker to death today. We’re being told the animal somehow left a locked area. The nonprofit is closed until further notice. #ABC11pic.twitter.com/BmcWEsCcvT

— Elaina Athans (@AthansABC11) December 30, 2018

The attack took place as a team of keepers cleaned the lion’s enclosure. The clean-up was led by a professional animal keeper, but the park had not been accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, which gives members advice on how to ensure staff and visitor safety, reports USA Today.

This is the worst day of my life. We’ve lost a person. We’ve lost an animal. We have lost the faith in ourselves a little today,said the center’s executive director, Mindy Stinner.

READ MORE: New Russian law forbids killing & mistreating animals, restricts petting zoos & illegal circuses

The wildlife site houses more than 80 animals and 21 species, and employs more than a dozen workers. The name of the lion was not immediately made available although several reports claim it was a male lion named Matthai. The center posted on Friday about its 15 African lions, including “a very special lioness.”

The park will remain closed until further notice while law enforcement and Conservators Center officials investigate the tragic incident.

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‘DC is no champ champ’: Jon Jones issues clear challenge to Daniel Cormier – at light-heavyweight


UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has detailed his challenge to Daniel Cormier, saying his rival was never the legitimate 205lb champion and that the pair should meet for a third time to end the discussion once and for all.

Cormier has been a vocal critic of Jones since his knockout defeat to the controversial world champion was wiped from the record after Jones tested positive in 2017.

And after another anti-doping abnormality showed up in Jones’ pre-fight drug test, Cormier criticized Jones again, then reacted to his rival’s knockout win over Alexander Gustafsson by tweeting: “Dude starts with a head start every time.”

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Speaking at the UFC 232 post-fight press conference in Los Angeles, Jones addressed his rivalry with Cormier and clarified his challenge to the heavyweight champ.

“When it comes to Daniel Cormier he’s always quiet unless he’s speaking out to discredit me, my legacy, my achievements,” he said.

“He works his hardest to try to discredit and try to delegitimize the fact I beat him twice.

“And the only thing I want to delegitimize as a retaliation is his claim of being the light-heavyweight champion.

“He was never the light-heavyweight champion. He never beat me. This has been my era since 2011.

I want to make that loud and clear. DC is no ‘champ champ’

“When we talk about an asterisk next to my name, there’s gonna always be always going to be an asterisk alongside the idea of him being a ‘champ champ’.”

Jones then laid out very clearly his challenge to Cormier: face him at light-heavyweight and back up his claims of being a two-division champion or admit he was never the real champion to begin with.

“The only way he can shut me up on what I’m saying right now is to beat my ass. Simple,” he said.

“Me going to heavyweight would be making it extremely personal. And for me, I have no problem with DC. I have a problem when he comes out and goes ‘See I told you guys he’s a cheater! I told you he’s a cheater!’.

“I have no real problem with DC. I’m not going to go to heavyweight and try to take everything from him and destroy his legacy and all that type of stuff.

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“Is it possible that I could do that? It is possible. But I’m fine having mine, and he can have his.

“DC needs to admit to the people that he was never the light-heavyweight champion, or face me at light-heavyweight and shut me up.”

‘Dude has a head start everytime!’: Cormier mocks Jon Jones as social media reacts to UFC return


Controversial MMA star Jon Jones returned to the octagon to claim the UFC light-heavyweight title with victory over Alexander Gustafsson on Saturday night – sparking celebration as well as scorn online.

Jones made a comeback after an enforced 17-month layoff following a positive doping test in the run-up to his light heavy-weight fight against bitter rival Daniel Comier last year.

READ MORE: UFC 232: Jon Jones beats Alex Gustafsson to win light-heavyweight title in LA (AS IT HAPPENED)

There was further drama ahead of the bout against Gustafsson as Jones returned an “abnormal” drug test, reportedly explained by traces of the initial banned substance still being in his system.

The scandal led the UFC to move the entire UFC 232 card from Las Vegas to Inglewood after the Nevada state authorities refused to sanction Jones’ fight.

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While the man nicknamed ‘Bones’ put the controversy aside as he reclaimed the vacant light-heavyweight strap with victory over Gustafsson, he merely lit the touch paper for more social media reaction. 

Longtime rival Daniel Comier – who relinquished the light-heavyweight title on the eve of Saturday’s fight – suggested that Jones’ checkered past with doping violations meant that he always “had a head start” in fights.   

@dc_mma please don’t even consider fighting Jones again. You are the CHAMP CHAMP clean for an entire career and you are the man. If somebody has to cheat to beat you they will never deserve the rematch

— Sam Alvey (@smilensam) December 30, 2018

Others claimed that Jones – who moved his record to 23-1 with the win over Gustafsson – was peerless in the octagon and faced the biggest battle in keeping himself on the rails.

The only man who can stop Jon “Bones” Jones is, obviously, Jon “Bones” Jones — out of the Octagon. Hope he can keep himself together.

— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) December 30, 2018

Here’s the thing about Jon Jones you just have to accept: even if you think he’s a cheat, there’s *overwhelming’ evidence of high-level decision making fight IQ that can’t be aided by drugs. It’s so good to the point that his peers aren’t close in this regard.

— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) December 30, 2018

Dana White: “I’m gonna kill myself” if Jon Jones fails his drug test tonight

— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) December 30, 2018

Others added to the growing calls for former ‘champ champ’ Cormier and Jones, 31, to complete a trilogy of fights, after ‘Bones’ won the pair’s first fight in 2015 and KO’d Cormier in the second, only for it to be declared a no contest after Jones’ doping violation.

Jon Jones is once again the UFC 205lbs champion. It’s time. Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones 3 at heavyweight. It’s the biggest fight the promotion can put together right now. Jones attempting to become a two weight champion. Cormier attempting to get that W over his rival. #UFC232

— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) December 30, 2018

Jones called out Cormier after his win over Sweden’s Gustafsson – telling him: “Daddy’s home”.

Some felt that Cormier, 39, would not welcome a third clash against Jones, now that the latter was back in the octagon and seemingly free of any rust after his 17-month hiatus.

I don’t think it’ll ever happen, but goddamnit I want to see Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 3 at heavyweight so, so bad. #UFC232

— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) December 30, 2018

Some even suggested that if there was ever a man to stop Jones, it certainly wasn’t Cormier…

Whatever happens next as the Jon Jones Show rolls on, it will surely not be short on entertainment.  

Foreign hackers disrupted distribution of multiple US newspapers – report


Foreign hackers reportedly crashed vital software at the Los Angeles Times and several other US newspapers, triggering delays in production and widespread distribution problems.

The cyberattack is said to have begun late on Thursday and couldn’t be immediately fixed. It ultimately caused delays in production and delivery of the papers on Saturday, a source familiar with the situation told the Los Angeles Times, one of the publications targeted by the hack.

The attack came from a “foreign entity” aiming to “disable infrastructure, more specifically servers,” rather than steal the data, the paper’s source explained. The details of the hackers’ whereabouts and their exact motive remain unclear.

The culprits managed to shut down key software systems that store news stories, photographs and administrative information. The interference disrupted the printing process, causing the papers to be published late.

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Aside from the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and several other publications were also affected. They all share the software systems of the Tribune Publishing media company, which formerly owned the Los Angeles Times.

The San Diego Union-Tribune is said to have been hit particularly hard, as 85 to 90 percent of its Saturday edition didn’t reach its subscribers.

The local editions of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, which are printed at the Los Angeles Times’ printing plant, also saw delays in distribution.

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Another Tribune Publishing paper, the Florida-based Sun Sentinel, reported on Saturday that a computer virus had “shut down” its production and crippled its phone lines. When subscribers tried to call the paper, they were erroneously told that the numbers were out of service.

The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the reports of “a potential cyber incident” targeting the press and is working to “better understand the situation,” the department’s spokesperson Katie Waldman said.

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WATCH the terrifying moment a rescue helicopter crashes in UAE mountains


A rescue helicopter has crashed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), killing its four crew members. The aircraft spun out of control and plummeted to a fiery doom.

The helicopter, belonging to the UAE’s National Search and Rescue Center, crashed near the country’s highest mountain, Jebel Jais, on Saturday. Dramatic footage of the incident circulated on social media, showing the red and white aircraft plummeting to the ground.

The aircraft crashed on rough terrain, catching fire on impact. Its crew of four – two pilots, a navigator and a doctor – have been confirmed dead. The medical worker on board was reportedly a foreigner, while the three others were UAE nationals.

The helicopter was on a rescue mission to airlift an injured man from the mountain, but it crashed before picking him up. While the exact cause of the incident has yet to be determined, local media report that the helicopter may have tipped a zipline.

READ MORE: 6 people injured after jet bridge partially collapses at Baltimore airport

Jebel Jais mountain is home to the world’s longest zipline, which was unveiled earlier this year. It remains unclear whether the 2.83km (1.75 mile) ride was damaged during the helicopter crash.

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‘Baddest woman on the planet’: Reaction to Nunes’ stunning UFC 232 win over Cyborg


Social media has reacted with shock and awe to Amanda Nunes’ devastating KO win against Cris Cyborg which saw Nunes become the first ever female two-weight champion in UFC history.

READ MORE: Amanda Nunes stuns Cris Cyborg to become first female two-weight champ at UFC 232 

Nunes needed just 51 seconds to plow through her fellow Brazilian, ending the bout at UFC 232 in Inglewood, California, with a ferocious display of punching against a woman who had previously gone unbeaten in more than a decade.

The decisive win staked Nunes’ claim as the greatest female fighter of all time – and added Cyborg’s featherweight title to the Lioness’s bantamweight crown.

Cyborg’s scalp was the latest in a line of conquests for Nunes which also includes Ronda Rousey and Meisha Tate – and it led to the plaudits rolling in for the woman hailed as “the baddest on the planet.”

99 seconds: the combined time Amanda Nunes beat both Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg in. #UFC232

— Michael Stets (@Michael_Stets) December 30, 2018

Amanda Nunes is now the only female in UFC history to hold two belts at the same time. More importantly, I think she just became the greatest female fighter ever.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 30, 2018

Nunes defeated the two women who were considered as goats in 99 seconds combined lol

— Ajith (@devils_rjct) December 30, 2018

Between Rousey and Cyborg, Amanda Nunes has singlehandedly killed the most valuable women in the sport.

Brutally damaging to UFC.

Nunes isn’t in the same marketing ballpark as either of those two.

— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 30, 2018

Amanda Nunes hands Cris Cyborg her 1st knockout loss. Nunes is the first women’s UFC fighter to win a title in multiple weight classes.

Nunes joins Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier as the only fighters to simultaneously hold 2 UFC world titles. pic.twitter.com/HIQsXuWsUB

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 30, 2018