France steadies NASCAR during credibility crisis
With Parker having a quiet game for once, Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw provided the scoring as France won its first major basketball title by beating Lithuania 80-66 on Sunday. It was a victory that ended a decade of frustration for Parker and a talented French generation, which lost the final against Spain two years ago and took bronze in 2005. “It’s been an unbelievable journey chasing this title,” Parker said. “I would change nothing.” The San Antonio Spurs guard led France to the under-18 world championship title in 2000, and said he made a promise back then that he would give the senior team its first international success as well. Thirteen years later, it’s mission accomplished. “I went to everyone’s room last night in the hotel and I told them that there was no way we were going to lose this game,” Parker said. France broke open a close game by finishing the third quarter with a 14-0 run that kept Lithuania scoreless for four minutes. The French lead grew to 22 points with three minutes remaining in the third and Lithuania never came close to a comeback. Batum had 17 points and Diaw added 15, while Linas Kleiza led Lithuania with 20. Parker finished with 12 points, after scoring just four through the first three quarters. But his scoring and leadership during the run to the final including 32 points against defending champion Spain in the semifinals earned him the tournament MVP award. “We had a perfect plan, the coach said they would double-team me and that I had to trust my teammates and not to worry if I don’t score much,” Parker said. After finally capturing that elusive gold in France’s record 36th appearance in the tournament Parker led the French team into the stands to celebrate with their fans after the final buzzer. Spain beat Croatia 92-66 earlier Sunday to earn the bronze medal.
France expects U.N. council to agree on Syria arms measure
We debate issues sometimes. I’m proud to say sometimes I win. I’d like to win all the time,” said Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and the late Bill France Jr.’s biggest adversary. “But I don’t. We’ll continue to go down the road with him.” In this case, Waltrip said MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman had a dialogue with France, but it didn’t make a difference. “They were pretty well set on their decision, and we elected to accept the penalties and try to move forward,” Waltrip said. It’s impossible for France to not have similarities to his father, who had zero tolerance for anyone who messed with his show. “In our family, the way everything works, you grow up around the dinner table, so he was getting a pretty good education from Bill when he was very young,” said Jim France, Bill’s brother and the current executive vice president of NASCAR. But Brian’s vision often differed from his father’s in that France thought bigger and broader from an early age. His first big coup came before he was chairman in a move that helped NASCAR take the final step away from a regional niche sport. France ended the practice of individual tracks negotiating their own television deals with NASCAR’s first national TV package in 1999. The deal with NBC Sports, Turner Sports, FOX and FX cable tripled the number of Cup races shown on broadcast television when the contract began in 2001. “Part of the evolution of being a regional sport and becoming national, getting international recognition, you have to elevate your game, and those are things Brian recognized from the very beginning,” Jim France said.
The United States blames Assad’s government and said the sarin gas used in it killed more than 1,400 people. Assad’s government blames the rebels for that attack. Russia and China have blocked three U.N. resolutions meant to pressure Assad during Syria’s civil war, raging since 2011. Russia accused the West on Sunday of trying to exploit the deal between Moscow and Washington to push through a council resolution issued under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which could authorize sanctions or military intervention if the Syrian government reneges on its commitments. “For it to be acceptable to France … the resolution should foresee that measures under Chapter 7 are taken if Syria does not comply with its commitments in line with the Geneva agreement,” Fabius said. He added the resolution should also call for those behind the chemical attack to face justice. PUTIN’S WARNING Ahead of the General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a fresh warning of spillover from the Syrian civil war. In the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, he told former Soviet allies that Islamist militancy fuelling the war in Syria could reach their countries, some of which have Muslim majorities. Russia, which has a large Muslim minority of its own and is fighting an Islamist insurgency, has accused the West of helping militants by seeking Assad’s removal without paying enough attention to the potential consequences.