A number of tennis fans may think about how they might charge playing against the world’s best.

Yet few expect to be challenged during a friendly match on a public court.

That’s precisely what happened in San Francisco on sunday when 23-time time grand slam champion Serena Williams approached two clueless recreational tennis players if she might allotment a court with them.

The exchange was captured and published on Williams’ Snapchat account.

“Just having a stroll at night and I’m thinking about asking these guys if I can hit with them just to see their reaction,” the world No. 1 can be heard saying as she approaches the court.

Understandably, the reaction was one of shock.

“Holy crap,” one of the men can be heard saying.

Williams was welcomed onto the court but, because she didn’t have tennis shoes with her, ended up playing in a pair of knee-high boots.

The moral of the story? “You never know when I could be coming to a tennis court near you,” Williams said.



For Republicans willing with disassemble Obamacare, President Donald Trump’s prime-time location on congress tuesday night is molding dependent upon likewise a high-stakes proposition.

More than five weeks after Inauguration Day, Trump is set to deliver a speech that lays out his vision for the country and highlights his most urgent policy priorities. Trump has said that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is at the top of his agenda – but so far, his public remarks about overhauling the health care system have proved to be a mixed bag for fellow Republicans.

Looking into monday, on the eve for as much joint location to Congress, Trump might have been characteristically gruff. “Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said about health care reform during a meeting with governors. “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

The comments acknowledged the myriad of problems GOP leaders have confronted in their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“It’s complicated. In fact, it’s almost impossible, but we’ll figure it out,” said GOP Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want to see Trump offer more specifics on health care – and publicly back the House GOP plan, sources tell CNN.

Throughout a meeting during those White House looking into monday, Ryan might have been provided for those feeling that the organization will be grasping a significant part of the house GOP want looking into Obamacare furthermore that the President will make that clear for as much discourse.

This should help reassure House Republican leaders and their aides, some of whom had been growing increasingly concerned by the President’s unwillingness to embrace – or, many believe, fully understand – the congressional approach to health care.

If Trump doesn’t better articulate his support for their plan, “it is in trouble,” a GOP Hill aide said earlier in the week.

“This is a critical moment for him to get behind this,” another senior Republican congressional aide said.

Top Republicans have been slowed down by numerous intra-party disagreements, including over how much of the health care law to repeal and how fast.

Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus Chairman, told CNN monday that he would not support a draft of the House GOP leadership’s repeal bill that was leaked last week. Rep. Mark Walker, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, announced his opposition hours later. A widespread defection within the conservative wing of the party could tank the party’s efforts to repeal Obamacare altogether.

Republicans are hoping that Trump will seize Tuesday night’s closely watched speech to send a unifying message on Obamacare.

“We talk about (health care) all day every day so we’ve got lots and lots of ideas. They need to be brought together in a single course and agreed on. That’s where we need to be,” Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch told CNN. “He’s the president. He needs to be part of this also.”

The leaked House bill revealed Republicans are eying major cuts to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion – a tension point for some Republican governors who have benefitted from the boost in federal dollars. The plan also included a defunding of Planned Parenthood, something that moderate Republicans like Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski have already drawn a line against supporting.



Donald Trump needs to make a sale.

The businessman-turned President need as much best possibility on lighted energy behind as much organization security tuesday night the point when he strides under those house chamber amid the display about as much to begin with deliver should a Joint Session about Congress.

Trump will venture up of the speaker’s platform after a tumultuous five weeks previously, office, to which he need began settling on beneficial for as much race guarantees as well as whipped up debate furthermore disturbance for as much quintessential political style.

In this way there may be little sign that those new President’s authoritative agenda, which incorporates repealing also trading Obamacare, an enormous assessment overhaul, what’s more a trillion-dollar framework program, is anyplace close to hailing will fulfillment.

That might rapidly turn out to a chance to be an issue to those President as a result there is just to such an extent he might do by flexing as much force through official requests – as much fundamental strategy to date of indicating that he may be heading adrift the country for another course.

So Trump is under intense pressure to show that his White House can be effective in delivering on the sweeping changes he has promised by working with allies on Capitol Hill. The President may also see the need to reach out to Democrats who may be locked out of power in Washington but have the numbers in the Senate to frustrate Trump – notably by slowing down the confirmation of his top cabinet members.

Trump aides are promising an “optimistic” speech designed to rally Americans toward a hopeful future, and say the President’s topics have been influenced by a series of “listening” sessions he has held in his first weeks in office with business executives, union leaders and blue collar workers.

He will start off by noting that he made big promises in the campaign – and that he has kept some of them already, including pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade deal and putting job creation at the center of his political agenda.

The President plans to talk directly to the country and stress the need to solve “real problems for real people,” a senior administration official said.

Following a string of raucous lawmaker town hall meetings in recent weeks, it is imperative that the President spells out a message that his own troops can get behind and explain to their own voters back in their districts.

Republican lawmakers have been left particularly exposed by the apparent lack of a plan to reform the Affordable Care Act, amid boiling anger among many Americans who fear losing their health care.

Despite voting multiple times to repeal the law during the Obama administration, Republicans have failed to show that they have a clear plan for a replacement, and Trump’s frequent but unspecific promises to produce a much better health care system have done little to alleviate the pressure.

“Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said, when talking about health care at a meeting of governors on Monday. “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

The President also needs to use Tuesday’s address to buy himself some political time. Trump’s approval ratings are hovering at depths never seen for a modern president so early in his administration.

Some 44% of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing, while 48% disapprove, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll published on Sunday.

Trump remains a highly divisive figure, after the most negative presidential campaign on record, although has consolidated the support of many Republicans. Still, his White House is struggling to fend off a controversy about alleged ties between his campaign and Russia.

Trump’s fast start in office, engineered by a flurry of executive orders fulfilling campaign vows was meanwhile derailed by the chaotic rollout of his travel entry ban on the citizens of seven predominately Muslim nations, which was stayed by federal courts. An amended plan is due to be unveiled this week, so Trump has a chance to explain the need for the ban to voters in a way he neglected to do the first time around.

The address also comes at a moment when the White House is fleshing out the ideological foundation of the Trump presidency. The President’s top political aide Steve Bannon spoke last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference of a relentless effort to dismantle the “administrative state” and a crusade against regulations Republicans believe have crushed innovation and economic growth.

Trump’s discourse of the same meeting struck stark topics of investment patriotism furthermore an America First remote approach.

What’s more in the principal subtle elements of as much imminent plan uncovered around monday, Trump provided for notice of a 10% spike On guard using will a chance to be financed toward soak cuts In different legislature offices what’s more a diminishment done outside support.

On a nod to an additional focal topic from claiming Trump’s campaign, a few relatives for individuals murdered toward undocumented transients will be for in the first place woman Melania Trump’s box on the house gallery for the deliver. They incorporate Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver, widows from claiming criminologist Michael Davis and representative sheriff Danny Oliver, who were California police officers slaughtered same time on obligation for 2014.

Trump will likewise highlight as much selection for Judge Neil Gorsuch of the preeminent court at those in the first place woman may be joined by Maureen Scalia, widow about Justice Antonin Scalia who Gorsuch will trade in he will be affirmed.



Hollywood and Washington conservatives have never gotten along.

But the call to action in this town is hitting a new level during the early days of President Donald Trump’s administration. The entertainment industry’s general antipathy toward Trump was on full display Sunday at the Oscars, where references to the President’s controversial actions during his first month in office were center stage.

“I want to say thank you to President Trump,” host Jimmy Kimmel said in his opening monologue. “I mean, remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?”

In a reference to Trump’s targeted travel ban and his administration’s stance on immigration, Kimmel joked that in Hollywood “we don’t discriminate against people based on where they’re from, we discriminate against them based on their age and weight.” He trolled Trump on Twitter and also offered fake mockery of Meryl Streep, who was targeted by Trump earlier this year after she attacked him in a fiery speech at the Golden Globes.

Beyond the jokes which were threaded throughout the evening, perhaps the strongest anti-Trump statement of the night was from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who won the Oscar in the foreign language category for “The Salesman.” He announced days earlier that he would not travel to the Oscars as a form of protest against Trump’s travel ban – blocked by federal courts – affecting seven predominantly Muslim nations. In a statement read by his associate, Farhadi said his absence was out of respect for the people of his and the other six countries.

“Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war,” Farhadi’s statement said. “These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression.”

Of course, protests from Hollywood often play in the GOP’s hands. Republicans have long dismissed criticism from the entertainment industry as further proof that it’s out of touch, part of the “coastal elite” and an ATM for the political left. Trump, who is leveling similar charges against the news media and announced this weekend he won’t attend the black-tie White House Correspondents’ Dinner, is sure to do the same.



White House press secretary Sean Spicer recently checked his aides’ cell phones to ensure they weren’t communicating with reporters as part of an aggressive effort to stem the recent tide of White House leaks.

Spicer called staff into his office last week to reiterate his frustration with the leaks, sources with knowledge of the matter said. He informed them that the use of encrypted texting apps, like Signal and Confide, was a violation of the Federal Records Act.

Then, with White House counsel Don McGahn standing by, Spicer asked his staff to provide him with their cell phones so he could ensure they were not using those apps or corresponding privately with reporters.

Spicer asked to review both his staff’s government-issued and personal cell phones, the sources said. He also specifically asked his staff not to leak information about the meeting or his efforts to crack down on leaks to the media, one source said.

The meeting, which Politico first reported, comes as the White House increases security measures to address President Donald Trump’s anger over leaks from administration officials and staffers.

Spicer, who declined to comment on the meeting, was particularly frustrated with the fact that the decision to appoint Mike Dubke as White House communications director, which CNN first reported, was leaked to the press a week earlier, the sources said. Spicer and Dubke are friends, and Spicer had backed his appointment.



President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal will look to increase defense and security spending by $54 billion and cut roughly the same amount from non-defense programs, the White House said Monday.

“This budget will be a public safety and national security budget,” Trump said at a bipartisan gathering of US governors at the White House Monday, vowing substantial increases in defense, law enforcement and infrastructure spending.

The majority of “lower priority programs and most federal agencies” will see a reduction in their budget as a result of the proposal, according to an official at the Office of Management and Budget speaking with reporters on background.

The official said those cuts will come through “unauthorized programs” and places “where there is duplication, where consolidation needs to occur.”

Few details were provided on how the cuts will be made, but a Trump administration official told CNN that all $54 billion will be cut in fiscal year 2018. Multiple officials have also made clear over the last 48 hours that the Environmental Protection Agency and foreign aid will be cut significantly under the new plan.

The budget, one OMB official said, expects “the rest of the world to step up in some of the programs this country has been so generous in funding” over the years.

Foreign aid makes up roughly 1% of the federal budget and includes a host of programs meant to help implement national security policy. While foreign aid has long been a target for conservatives, cuts to these programs are unlikely to get the Trump administration close to the $54 billion in proposed overall cuts.

The budget blueprint, which will outline in the clearest terms to date what Trump’s policy priorities will be as president, fits with Trump’s pledges to increase defense spending and cut government waste as a candidate.

Congress is not mandated to follow Trump’s budget plan and in the coming weeks Republicans on Capitol Hill are expected to call administration officials to Congress to explain their proposal. The administration will also work with agencies to figure out how they will focus on cuts to their funding.

Trump said throughout the 2016 campaign that he would focus on spending cuts and tax reform, rhetoric that helped woo Republicans who questioned his commitment to other conservative principals.

“I want the American people to know that our budget will reflect their priorities,” Trump said in a budget meeting earlier this month. “We’ll be directing all of our departments and agencies to protect every last American and every last tax dollar. No more wasted money.”

Trump’s closest advisers have also previewed dramatic changes to the federal government budget. At the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, Steve Bannon, a top Trump aide, said that new administration’s aim was “deconstruction of the administrative state,” a comment many federal workers saw as a pledge to weaken regulatory agencies.

Monday, Trump vowed “a budget of great rationality” that would be unveiled in “great detail” during his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening.

He wasn’t specific about where he planned to cut spending, saying only he aimed for a more streamlined federal government without listing any specific agency or program that might see its budget slashed.

“We’re going to do more with less,” Trump said, promising a government that’s “lean and accountable to the people.”

“With 20 trillion dollars in debt, the government must learn to tighten its belt,” Trump said.

Trump’s proposed cuts have already been met with concern inside the federal government’s bureaucracy. EPA employees have told CNN that many inside the agency are still in denial about the incoming cuts to their budget, despite the fact that Trump and Scott Pruitt, the newly approved EPA administrator, pledged to trim the agency.

“It is clear to me, and will be to most agency employees very soon, that Mr. Scott Pruitt has been nominated and confirmed as administrator of the US EPA in order to make significant and substantial changes to the agency,” John O’Grady, the president of the union that represents EPA employees, said in response to the proposed cuts.



Claudio Ranieri has admitted his “dream died” when he was sacked by Leicester City Football club nine months after winning the English Premier League title.

In one of the most unlikely success stories in sports history the Italian guided the club to its first league title, despite starting the season as 5000-1 outsider.

But the Foxes’ fairytale did not continue into this season, and with Leicester a point away from the drop zone – they could become the first defending champions since 1938 to be relegated – the club parted company with Ranieri Thursday.

In a statement issued through the League Managers’ Association, Ranieri said: “After the euphoria of last season and being crowned Premier League champions all I dreamt of was staying with Leicester City, the club I love, for always. Sadly this was not to be.”

The 65-year-old thanked Leicester’s fans for last season’s “amazing adventure” and his wife, agents and the club’s backroom staff.

He added: “No one can ever take away what we together have achieved, and I hope you think about it and smile every day the way I always will.”

“It was a time of wonderfulness and happiness that I will never forget. It’s been a pleasure and an honor to be a champion with all of you.”

Ranieri was awarded The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award last month for leading the Foxes to a first league title since its 1884 formation.

Three weeks before his sacking, the club released a statement declaring its “unwavering support” for the former Chelsea manager.

But less than 24 hours after Wednesday’s 2-1 first leg Champions League defeat by Sevilla – the crucial away goal still gives the Foxes hope of reaching the quarterfinals – Ranieri was relieved of his duties.

In a statement, Leicester’s Thai owners said the club’s “long-term interests” had been put above “personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be.”

The Foxes have won just five league games this season and were knocked out of the FA Cup on February 18.

They are the only side in the top four English divisions without a league goal in 2017.

“This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since (Thailand-based) King Power took ownership of Leicester City,” the club’s vice chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, said Thursday.

“But we are duty-bound to put the Club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be.”

Ranieri’s sacking sent reverberations through the football world, drawing strong condemnation across the board from fans to rival managers.

Ex-Manchester United and England defender turned TV pundit Rio Ferdinand expressed shock, while former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen called it a “total and utter disgrace.”

“I’ve lost a lot of love for the beautiful game today. The players and fans of Leicester have been massively let down,” Owen tweeted.

Gary Lineker, a former England national team captain and Leicester’s most prominent ex-player, called the move “inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad.”

Leicester City said its board will now start looking for a replacement and will make no further comment until that process is complete.



New national security adviser H.R. McMaster is already setting a strikingly different tone than his ousted predecessor, Michael Flynn, and President Donald Trump, saying the term “radical Islamic terrorism” isn’t helpful for US goals.

At an all-hands meeting of the National Security Council on Thursday, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said jihadist terrorists aren’t true to their religion and that the use of the term “radical Islamic terrorism” doesn’t help the US in working with allies to defeat terrorist groups, an official present at the session confirmed to CNN.

McMaster also spoke in starkly different terms about Russia, saying the talk about Moscow being a friend of Washington is over, the source said.

The national security adviser’s comments Thursday, which were first reported by The New York Times, and a separate email to all staff on Wednesday have buoyed the low morale at the agency, which has been largely sidelined in recent weeks because of the questions surrounding Flynn’s conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kilsyak. The retired lieutenant general resigned last week after admitting he misled Vice President Mike Pence over conversations with the Russian ambassador about US sanctions. Career staff have described the NSC as a dead zone, with little activity while Flynn was in the throes of the controversy.

Flynn’s deputy, K.T. McFarland, was present Thursday when McMaster spoke to NSC staff, the source said.

On Friday, during his remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the President again used the term “radical Islamic terrorists,” as he often did on the campaign trail when criticizing President Barack Obama for not saying it.

“So let me state this as clearly as I can, we are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” Trump said. “We will not be deterred from this course, and in a matter of days we will be taking brand new action to protect our people and keep America safe. You will see the action.”



The Guardian, New York Times, CNN and more were barred from ‘gaggle’ hours after Trump once again called much of the media an ‘enemy of American people’.

The White House barred several news organizations from an off-camera press briefing on friday, handpicking a select group of reporters that included a number of conservative outlets friendly toward Donald Trump.

The “gaggle” with Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, took place in lieu of his daily briefing and was originally scheduled as an on-camera event.

But the White House press office announced later in the day that the Q&A session would take place off camera before only an “expanded pool” of journalists, and in Spicer’s West Wing office as opposed to the James S Brady press briefing room where it is typically held.

Outlets seeking to gain entry whose requests were denied included the Guardian, the New York Times, Politico, CNN, BuzzFeed, the BBC, the Daily Mail and others. Conservative publications such as Breitbart News, the One America News Network and the Washington Times were allowed into the meeting, as well as TV networks CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC. The Associated Press and Time were invited but boycotted the briefing.

The decision to limit access to Spicer, hours after Trump once again declared that much of the media was “the enemy of the American people” while speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, marked a dramatic shift.

While prior administrations have occasionally held background briefings with smaller groups of reporters, it is highly unusual for the White House to cherry-pick which media outlets can participate in what would have otherwise been the press secretary’s televised daily briefing. The briefing has become indispensable viewing for journalists trying to interpret the often contradictory statements coming out of the Trump administration, and Spicer’s aggressive handling of the press and delivery of false or misleading statements have already been memorably mocked on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

“Gaggles” – more informal briefings – with the press secretary are traditionally only limited to the pool when they conflict with the president’s travel, in which case they often take place aboard Air Force One. At times, impromptu gaggles form with reporters who spend their days in the White House, but denying outlets wishing to participate is extremely uncommon.

Lee Glendinning, editor of Guardian US, said in a statement: “This is a deeply troubling and divisive act. Holding power to account is an essential part of the democratic process, and that’s exactly what the Guardian will continue to do.”

The White House Correspondents Association president, Jeff Mason, said the organization’s board was “protesting strongly” against the Trump administration’s action.

“We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not,” Mason said. “The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”

The executive editor of the New York Times, Dean Baquet, said “nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties”.

The BBC has sought clarification from the White House on why its representative was denied access. Its Americas bureaux editor, Paul Danahar, added: “Our reporting will remain fair and impartial regardless.”

Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the White House, said: “Claims that outlets were excluded are not factual.”

In a statement, she added: “The pool was there, so various media mediums were represented.” The pool is a system by which a small group of reporters take turns covering the president and share their reports of his activities with a larger group.

Contrary to Grisham’s statement, outlets who made requests to attend were told this would not be permitted.

When the Guardian asked to participate, pointing to its possession of a “hard pass” that grants daily entry to the White House, an official declined.

“No, unfortunately a hard pass does not necessarily guarantee entry into the gaggle,” Catherine Hicks, a junior White House press aide, emailed in response.

“The gaggle today is just today’s pool with the addition of a few others here at the White House.”

Some outlets lingered in the West Wing hallway out of frustration but were asked by a Secret Service agent, upon instructions from the White House press office, to leave the area.

Earlier on Friday, Trump continued his assault on the press in a speech before the nation’s largest gathering of conservative activists.

He said the press should not be allowed to use anonymous sources, a restriction on free speech he has not suggested before. “You will see stories dry up like you have never seen before,” Trump predicted.

“As you saw throughout the entire campaign, and even now, the fake news doesn’t tell the truth,” Trump said at CPAC.

“I say it doesn’t represent the people, it never will represent the people, and we’re going to do something about it.”

Trump’s comments came on the heels of revelations that his chief of staff spoke with top officials at the FBI about the bureau’s investigation into potential links between the president’s associates and Russia. The White House lambasted the reports, which appeared in CNN and the Associated Press, but in doing so confirmed the conversations between Reince Priebus, the FBI director, James Comey, and his deputy, Andrew McCabe.



Damage to buildings, power cuts and travel disruption likely, warns Met office.

The worst storm of winter is set to bear down on the UK, bringing with it gales and blizzard-like conditions.

Winds of up to 80 mph and heavy snow were likely to disrupt travel, damage buildings and send debris flying, forecasters warn.

Severe weather warnings have been put in place for much of the UK, and amber alerts – telling people to “be prepared” – stretched across the much of the North and the Midlands.

More snow than initially expected is forecast for Scotland and northern England, with accumulations of up to 15 cm predicted in many areas.

Northern Scotland was set to be hit by winds of up to 80 mph on Wednesday before Doris arrives from the Atlantic on Thursday, the Met Office said.

Further south, blustery gales overnight will subside over the course of the day, before picking up again in the evening.

Amber warnings predicted gales and heavy rain in parts of North Wales, the Midlands, and east and north-west England, while winds as fast as 60 mph were also expected to batter southern England.

“We have got a fairly active area of low pressure coming in from the Atlantic,” said Met Office forecaster Emma Sharples.

“It is strengthening as it moves eastwards to the UK.”

The Met Office’s amber weather warning alerts people that “whilst the strongest winds look to be only short-lived, damage to structures, interruptions to power supplies and widespread disruption to travel networks are likely, with a danger of injury from flying debris”.

A weather warning for snow is also in place for Scotland, which could see treacherous blizzard-like conditions.

Storm Doris is expected to move on quickly, with the worst of the weather gone by Thursday evening.

While further Atlantic gusts will bring more rain and wind through the weekend and into next week, they are not expected to reach the heights of Doris.

Storms with the potential to cause substantial impact are named by the Met Office and Met Eireann, moving through the alphabet.

The first was named Abigail in November 2015, after members of the public suggested monikers for the “name our storms” project.

Storm Doris contrasts with Monday’s temperatures, where visitors to Kew Gardens, west London, enjoyed the warmest day of the winter so far, at 18.3 C.

Parts of London and the south of England had temperatures warmer than Ibiza, southern Spain and Menorca.