Steph Curry hilariously trolled by Sacramento Kings over moon landing comments (VIDEO)


Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry’s recent comments about the moon landings have created headlines in and around the NBA, and on Friday night the Sacramento Kings used them to troll him before their game.

Curry’s Warriors were facing off against the Kings at the Golden 1 Center, and as the starting lineups were being announced over the PA the Kings took a playful swing at Curry and his controversial comments, where he had appeared on The Ringer’s ‘Winging It’ podcast and said that he “didn’t think” that the moon landings had taken place.

READ MORE: ‘Obviously I was joking’: NBA star Steph Curry backtracks on moon landing conspiracy comments

The comments were widely mocked and criticized, leading Curry to backtrack, telling ESPN: “Obviously, I was joking when I was talking on the podcast.

“I was silently protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, ‘Oh my God, he’s a fake-moon-landing truther’ whatever you want to call it, yada, yada, yada.”

The Kings nonetheless took full advantage, trolling Curry by playing the children’s song “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, We’re Going To The Moon” by the Kilboomers over the PA while showing a video clip of an astronaut walking on the moon.

It drew laughs from the Warriors players, including Curry himself.

But that wasn’t all. Kings staff members held up cardboard cutouts of astronauts and the moon from behind the basket during the first quarter as Curry’s teammate Kevin Durant shot free throws.

When asked about it in a post-game media scrum, Curry admitted the trolling surprised him, but he approved of the effort.

“That caught me off guard,” he said. “That was solid, that was solid. ‘A’ for effort, for sure.”

Curry found himself the target of ridicule after his appearance on The Ringer’s ‘Winging It’ podcast where he shot the breeze with teammate Andre Iguodala and Atlanta Hawks stars Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore.

“We ever been to the moon?” Curry asked.

Voices in the background said, “Nope,” and Curry continued: “They’re going to come get us, I don’t think so either. Sorry, I don’t want to start conspiracies.”

Curry’s comments swept the nation and, much to his surprise, soon became a huge story. But one positive did come out of it all.

NASA got in touch with the NBA ace and invited him to visit their facility in Houston for a special tour, an offer he said he would “1,000 percent” accept.

As for the Kings’ trolling on Friday night, it didn’t work. The Warriors won 130-125.

Record-setting spacecraft captures intense up-close image of the sun (PHOTO)


NASA has flown a probe closer to the sun than any spacecraft ever ventured before, capturing an incredible picture just 16.9 million miles from the surface of our star.

The Parker Solar Probe flew extremely close to the sun, smashing the previous distance record of 26.55 million miles (42.72 million kilometers) and speeding through space at 213,2000 miles per hour – the fastest any man-made spacecraft has ever travelled.

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Now, NASA has revealed the groundbreaking image Parker captured during a speeding flyby on November 8. It shows a bright coronal streamer (essentially, solar material within the sun’s atmosphere) emanating from the left of the image.

The space agency says that the bright object near the center of the image is Mercury, while the dark spots are a result of background correction.

It was high-time for a spacecraft to inch closer to the sun. The previous record for closest approach and speed was held by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft from April 1976.

Parker is expected to repeatedly break its own records throughout its seven-year mission, making 24 close passes by the sun. It’s final close approach in 2024 will take it just 3.83 million miles from the sun’s surface.

The Parker Solar Probe battles brutal heat and radiation during its mission to draw unprecedentedly close to the sun. It will provide crucial close-up observations of the star and answer questions about its inner workings that have puzzled scientists for decades.

We don’t know what to expect so close to the sun until we get the data, and we’ll probably see some new phenomena,” said Nour Raouafi, Parker Solar Probe project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

Parker is an exploration mission – the potential for new discoveries is huge.”

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‘I know how to СUT WELL’ – Erdogan, quoting one of Khashoggi’s murderers


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed new disturbing details about the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, saying one of the killers was a senior Saudi military official.

According to the Turkish leader, the Saudi intelligence chief “is heard saying in the recording that it is a disaster” that Khashoggi has been drugged.

“‘I know how to cut well,’ the other man responds. Why? Because he is a forensic expert. He is a senior military guy. Everything is there in the recordings,” Erdogan said in a speech at the Jerusalem Platform event in Istanbul on Friday, as cited by Hurriyet Daily News.

A prominent Saudi dissident, Jamal Khashoggi disappeared in early October after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Riyadh later claimed that he was killed as a fight spontaneously broke out in the building. Ankara, however, insists the journalist was assassinated by a ‘hit squad’ dispatched from Saudi Arabia. His body has still not been found.

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Through a series of media leaks, Turkish officials have been alleging that Khashoggi was beaten, drugged and cut to pieces by a bone saw. This week, citing its own sources, CNN reported that the audio recording of the journalist’s last moments captured him saying “I can’t breathe,” which was followed by the sounds of his body being dismembered.

Earlier reports have suggested that the alleged perpetrators called up an aide of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and informed him that their mission was accomplished.

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Russia may participate in construction of Trans-African railway


Moscow is ready to take part in the ambitious project of constructing a cross-continental railway line which will connect East and West Africa. That’s according to the Russia-Sudan intergovernmental commission.

“The Sudanese side expressed interest in participation of the Russian companies in constructing of the Trans-African railway over Dakar – Port Sudan – Cape Town,” said the commission in a document seen by TASS.

It added that “The Russian side confirmed readiness to work out the opportunity for participation… but asked for [the] provision of all the financial and legal characteristics of this project.”

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The Trans-African railway line is part of the African Union’s plans to connect the port of Dakar in West Africa to the port of Djibouti in East Africa. It will run through 10 different countries (many of them landlocked) and is expected to boost trade on the continent.

The route will be the expansion of the existing Trans-African Highway 5 (TAH5). The first phase of the project will be an estimated $2.2 billion upgrade to 1,228 kilometers of existing rail between Dakar, the capital of Senegal, and Bamako, the capital of neighboring Mali.

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READ MORE:China’s New Silk Road to significantly boost global trade

The project has already attracted Chinese investment in African infrastructure through Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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

‘No evidence provided by Austria to show Russian biathletes guilty of doping’ – ambassador


Russia’s ambassador to Austria has said that no proof has been provided to show Russian biathletes are guilty of doping offences, after Austrian police made an unannounced visit to the team’s camp in Hochfilzen.

Officers questioned Russian athletes and officials – who are in Austria preparing for a Biathlon World Cup event – on Wednesday over allegations of doping from 2017.

Taking banned performance-enhancing drugs can carry criminal charges in Austria, with athletes facing up to three years in prison if found guilty.

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Following a meeting between a lawyer and representatives of the Austrian prosecutor’s office, the Russian Embassy in Vienna said that no evidence had been provided of any guilt.

“In accordance with the information we have at the moment about the investigation opened by the Austrian authorities into athletes and specialists of our national team, Russian Ambassador in Austria Dmitry Lyubinsky notes that no evidence was provided to prove that our athletes are guilty,” the embassy said, TASS reported.

“The presumption of innocence is in force. There are no restrictions for freedom of movements for the team,” it added.

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The International Biathlon Union (IBU) said on Saturday that its Executive Board had discussed the ongoing Austrian police investigation, but that “no action is warranted at this time.”

“In part, this is because the Austrian authorities have not provided any additional information to the IBU concerning the ongoing investigations beyond what was published,” it added.

The Executive Board sees that no action is warranted at this time. In part, this is because the Austrian authorities have not provided any additional information to the IBU concerning the ongoing investigations beyond what was published. (2/3)

— IBU (@biathlonworld) December 15, 2018

Prominent Russian biathlon pundit Dmitry Guberniev has posted the names of those reportedly under suspicion, including 2014 Olympic relay champions Anton Shipulin and Alexey Volkov, Sochi medalist Evgeny Garanichev, as well as Alexander Loginov. 

The case reportedly centers on claims of manipulating blood transfusions at the 2017 World Cup event in Hochfilzen.  

READ MORE: WADA to access Moscow anti-doping lab data next week

The news of the police investigation drew an angry response from the Russian Foreign Ministry, with spokesperson Maria Zakharova dismissing the allegations as “wild.”

READ MORE: ‘Wild allegations’: Russian Foreign Ministry hits back at Austrian doping probe into biathlon team

I really don’t understand what’s going on in Europe and what traditions have started to emerge there to make a night raid on the Russian camp on the eve of important sports competitions.

“They created a strange, destabilizing and depressing situation of threats while trying to explain something and hand over some notifications,” she said.

Ukrainian trooper who wore Nazi SS insignia thought it was a kind of… PIRATE FLAG?!


An elite Ukrainian airborne trooper who was pictured wearing an emblem of a Nazi unit during a visit of the president, claims he thought the skull and bones was simply a pirate flag.

The insignia of the 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf, which the soldier showed off last week on his chest next to a Ukrainian flag, is a version of the ‘death’s head’ symbol, which was used since at least the times of the Knight Templars. The Jolly Roger features it too, so we should perhaps give the benefit of the doubt to the young warrior, who may have just made a blunder in trying to connect with his inner adventurer by putting the skull and bones on his uniform.

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“I want to stress that I used it out of ignorance thinking it to be a kind of a pirate flag. I acknowledge my mistake and am prepared to take responsibility for it,” the man said in a video statement published on Thursday by Ukraine’s airborne troops, to which he belongs.

This is a ridiculously easy mistake that some Ukrainian men connected to the military or paramilitary seem to be making these days. Take, for example, Viktor Vasyanovich, a veteran featured in an exhibition produced in 2016 by a Ukrainian glamour magazine. For some reason, he wore a hoodie with the exact same insignia when giving an interview about the project.

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Of course, it later turned out that under the hoodie he had the Nazi eagle and swastika, but he probably inked it by mistake too. It could just as easily belong to an Indian ornithology association or something. Who would have thought that a couple of honest mistakes would force the organizers to withdraw his bare-chested photo when the exhibition was brought to the European Parliament?

Or take Natalia Kotskovitch, a journalist with the news channel owned by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. She probably didn’t know that the gesture used as a salute by Ancient Roman generals and neo-pagans had something to do with Nazism. So when she posted pictures of herself performing the salute, it must have been out of ignorance, right?

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Or take another striking resemblance involving Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion, which used several floodlights for one of its ceremonies – but that probably had nothing to do with the ‘Cathedral of Light’ arrangement used by the Nazis. Just a coincidence again?

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In his video address, the pirate-spirited soldier and a couple of his fellow troopers say how sorry they are that his mistake helped to fuel “Russian propaganda,” spreading “lies” about the Ukrainian armed forces.

They end with a resounding “Glory to Ukraine, glory to heroes!” – a phrase recently adopted as the official slogan by the nation’s military. Sure, it may have been used by Nazi-collaborating units of Ukrainian nationalists during World War II, but why would anyone object to the modern-day use of the phrase or perceive it as having Nazi connotations? Kiev considers it patriotic and nothing more.

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France counting up billions in lost revenues after weeks of Yellow Vest protests


The Bank of France has lowered the country’s economic growth forecast for this and next year from 1.6 percent to 1.5 percent, warning that the longer the unrest lasts the greater the losses will be for the national economy.

Shortly after slashing its assessment of economic growth, in the final quarter, in half, the central bank has cut overall growth on Thursday. Meanwhile, the regulator remains optimistic about unemployment which they expect will continue to fall.

While the new figures show that the economy is expected to slow just 0.1 percent in 2018 and 2019 compared to previous assessment, in real money the sum is quite significant. It may cost the protest-riven EU country up to $28 billion based on the IMF forecast for the country’s GDP for 2018 of almost $2.8 trillion.

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“Overall the more the movement lasts, the bigger the loss for the French economy,” Governor of the Bank of France, Francois Villeroy, told French business newspaper Les Echos.

The chief official of the French central bank added that the forecasts do not include French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent concessions he made in attempt to quell raging protests. Macron’s measures, including the promises to increase minimum wage and introduce special tax exemptions, will cost the country between 8-10 billion euros ($9-$11.3 billion), the junior minister for public accounts announced earlier this week.

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Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service said that the French government measures can weaken the near-term fiscal picture and may increase the budget deficit next year.

The nationwide Yellow Vest movement which began as protests against the government proposed fuel tax hikes and escalated into a general revolt against economic policies started on November 17.

READ MORE: Are French protests just about fuel tax hikes? RT’s Boom Bust finds out

Last week’s violent demonstrations resulted in more than 200 people injured and a record number of detentions across France, with more than 1,700 people arrested. Despite President Macron’s pledges and the deadly Strasbourg Christmas market shooting, protesters are still unwilling to give up and are eager to take to the streets for the fifth consecutive weekend.

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

Syria aiming to compete at 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games


The Syrian Olympic Committee has announced plans to send athletes to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, with a focus on wrestling, boxing, swimming and track and field.

The head of the Syrian Olympic Committee, General Mowafak Joumaa, said that intense preparations for the Games have been held since the Rio Olympics, where the country was represented by seven athletes in five different events.

READ MORE: IOC to create refugee team for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Right after the 2016 Rio Olympics we have started preparing athletes who might compete at the 2020 Games in Tokyo,” Joumaa said, TASS reported.

We have quite talented long-distance swimmers who could display decent results if they qualify [for the Games]. We do hope that after a long absence the Syrian football team will be represented at the Olympics for the second time in history.”

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Syria made its Olympic debut in 1948 and have claimed three medals so far during 13 Olympic appearances.

The country’s sole gold was won by Ghada Shouaa in the women’s heptathlon at the 1996 summer Games in Atlanta, USA. The two other medals came from wrestler Joseph Atiyeh, who grabbed silver at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, and boxer Nasser Al Shami, who finished third in the men’s heavyweight category at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Earlier, Joumaa said that Syria will make efforts to develop winter sports in an attempt to make a historic appearance at the Winter Games.

READ MORE: ‘Women should be fighters at home’ – Khabib risks sexism backlash over comments (VIDEO)

We are planning to encourage Syrians living abroad, particularly in Europe, to participate in the Winter Olympics under the Syrian flag,” he said.

We do not have a cold enough climate to develop these sports, but the Syrian Olympic Committee still plans to expand its work aimed at promoting winter sports [in Syria],” Joumaa added.

‘No brainpower’: Chelsea hit out at own fans for anti-Semitic chants at Europa League game


Chelsea football club have condemned a section of their own fans after they were heard making anti-Semitic chants during the team’s trip to Hungary to face MOL Vidi in the Europa League.

A small group among the estimated 1,200 Chelsea fans at the Groupama Arena in Budapest were reportedly heard chanting “Barcelona, Real Madrid, Tottenham are a bunch of Yids… Yiddos,” during the early stages of Thursday night’s match.

Chelsea issued a statement condemning the taunts as “abhorrent” and accusing the fans behind them of lacking “brainpower.”      

“Anti-Semitism and any kind of racial or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans,” a spokesman said.

“It has no place at Chelsea or in any of our communities.

“Any individuals that can’t summon the brainpower to comprehend this simple message and are found to have shamed the club by used using anti-Semitic or racist words or actions will face the strongest possible action from the club.”

It comes less than a week after a group of Chelsea fans were seen hurling abuse at Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling during a Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge.

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One fan was allegedly filmed calling the England international a “f***ing black c***,” although the supporter himself has denied using those words.

Four fans were handed “indefinite bans” over that incident, which the Metropolitan Police are also investigating.  

The Chelsea hierarchy are said to be furious at the latest blow to the club’s reputation in Budapest – not least because Russian owner Roman Abramovich is Jewish.  

READ MORE: ‘I didn’t call him a black c***, I called him a Manc c***’: Chelsea fan defends Sterling abuse

“It was a chant that Chelsea supporters have done in the past and it references Tottenham supporters using the ‘y’ word, the anti-Semitic derogatory word about Jewish people,” journalist Matt McGeehan told the BBC.

“I understand that Chelsea are angry from the top to the bottom of the club – the very top actually because owner Roman Abramovich is Jewish.

“They are furious. Not just that this has happened again to their club but because of the proximity to the incident last Saturday with Sterling.”

UEFA will await the referee’s report into Thursday’s match – which ended 2-2 – before deciding on taking any action.

In October, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said the club were prepared to send racist fans on educational trips to the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland.

READ MORE: Chelsea to send racist fans on educational trip to Auschwitz death camp

If you just ban people, you will never change their behavior,” Buck said at the time. “This policy gives them the chance to realize what they have done, to make them want to behave better.”

Green balls of fire! Comet to light up sky in closest pass for the next 20 years (VIDEOS)


As the Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak another celestial firecracker is inbound, making its closest approach to the Earth for the next 20 years and adding a festive greenish hue to the weekend’s skies.

The annual Geminid meteor shower is the last, and strongest, meteor shower of the year. It will shoot green fireballs across the skies on Friday. Most meteors will be visible in the North American sky, peaking about 7:30am ET Friday, reaching a maximum of about 100 per hour before dropping off to an average of 30 to 40 per hour into the weekend.

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The grand finale of the cosmic pyrotechnics display to see out 2018 will be the Comet 46P/Wirtanen, which is making its closest approach to Earth (within 7 million miles) for the next 20 years, peaking on Sunday, in one of the best and brightest near-Earth passes by a comet in four centuries.

Unfortunately, the full moon will act as somewhat of a party pooper, adding a bit of lunar noise that will make the comet’s greenish hue a little more difficult to see in all its glory, despite it being the brightest comet visible in 2018.

“It’s not expected to have a big spectacular tail; it’s going to be a smear,” Matthew J. Holman, senior astrophysicist and director of the Minor Planet Center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told AccuWeather.

“It may not be obvious to people what they are seeing, and they may need to use what we call averted vision, meaning you don’t look right at the thing, but you look away from it and look in your peripheral vision.”

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, which passes near the Earth roughly every five and a half years will be at its best on Sunday, December 16. The current, most optimistic projections consider Comet 46P/Wirtanen at a magnitude 3, just slightly brighter than the dimmest star in the Big Dipper.

It will be difficult to spot without a telescope or binoculars, especially for those in urban areas.

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The comet is less than a mile across, and pales in comparison to its famous contemporaries such as Halley’s Comet and Hale-Bopp. You can check here to find out when the best viewing time in your area will be over the weekend.

The next comet to make such a close approach to Earth will be 249P/LINEAR 53 on Nov. 4, 2029.

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