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Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Dies at 74

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Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Dies at 74

The man simply known as “The Greatest” has died. Muhammad Ali inspired millions with his dominance in the ring and his humanitarian efforts outside of it.

He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in west Louisville in January 1942. During which time World War II was taking its toll on the world economy and morale. In Louisville, segregation was law. For a young African-American man, obstacles were plenty and opportunities were few.

Clay first stepped into a boxing ring at the age of 12. He took up boxing and showed considerable promise, spending much of his time training in Smoketown.

In 1960, at age 18, Clay won gold at the Rome Olympics. But his return to Louisville was marked with more obstacles. Clay was refused service at a local diner, and rumors circulated that, out of anger, the best amateur boxer in the world tossed his gold medal into the Ohio River.

Later in 1960, Clay took that racial adversity and won his first professional boxing title at Freedom Hall.

Clay called on that inner strength again in 1964 while fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world.

“If Sonny Liston beats me, I’ll kiss his feet in the rain, tell him he’s the greatest and catch the next jet out. That’s what I think about Sonny Liston.”

Ali won, surprising everyone but himself.

One day after his heavyweight win, Clay joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

“I would like you to call me by my name now … Muhammad. Muhammad Ali.”

Soon after, Ali was forced to fight an opponent that didn’t wear boxing gloves. In 1967, the war in Vietnam had escalated. For religious reasons, Ali refused the draft three times.

“My intention is to box and win a clean fight. But the war, the intention is to kill.. kill.. kill.”

He was arrested, convicted and banned from boxing. Three years later, the United States Supreme Court reversed Ali’s conviction, allowing him back in the ring.

“I’m gonna float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.”

Ali rumbled in the jungle, thrilled in Manilla and quickly regained his heavyweight title — the first to accomplish such a feat after a three year absence. It was yet another obstacle overcome by Ali.

He retired in 1981 with 56 wins and 37 knockouts. He is the greatest.

Humanitarianism 

Ali dedicated his life to helping others.

He once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” It’s a sentiment Ali lived by.

Long before he retired from boxing, and consistently since, Ali’s athleticism took a back seat to his humanitarianism.

“I think he was probably one of the first athletes to do humanitarian work. If you think about his first professional fight, he gave his money to Kosair Children’s Hospital, so that began the long journey of humanitarianism,” Greg Roberts, with the Muhammad Ali Center, said.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Ali held exhibition fights to benefit hospitalized veterans and used proceeds from fights to send aid to drought-stricken nations in Africa.

During the first Gulf War, Ali traveled to the Middle East, of his own accord, to seek the release of 15 hostages. The hostages were freed as a result of his intervention.

In Louisville, he made numerous anonymous tuition grants to local colleges.

That means many of the people who received the grants never knew their education had been paid for by Ali.

He even traveled to Afghanistan on behalf of the United Nations as a messenger of peace.

“When you talk about the legacy of Muhammad Ali, there are so many things, so many lessons, that this man understood innately, that were just part of the fabric and core of his being. It serves as a blueprint or a road map for children, for adults and for so many of us,” Ali’s wife, Lonnie Ali, said.

The Muhammad Ali Center

The Muhammad Ali Center opened in November 2005, but it’s only partially a tribute to Ali himself.

“How do you inspire children once Muhammad is gone? What’s going to keep this alive so they can take these lessons that maybe this individual has, and pass this on to children and others to inspire them to be the greatest they can be? That’s why (the Ali Center) is here, it’s not as much a tribute (as a) possibility,” Lonnie Ali said. “Anything is possible; don’t give me excuses, don’t offer excuses, don’t find excuses, stop making excuses — just get out there and do it.”

Local leaders and athletes honored Muhammad Ali at a ceremony in Louisville in February 2000. They spoke of Ali’s achievements, calling the former boxing champ a hero for encouraging so many other people to purse their dreams.

“He’s a treasure to the city and the state, but he’s also a treasure to the world and we’ve been given the privilege to protect Muhammad’s legacy,” Roberts said.

Muhammad Ali Honors

Muhammad Ali was considered one of the most recognized sports figures in the world.

He received numerous awards over the years for his work inside and outside of the ring.

Ali was inducted into Kentucky’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 1999 he was honored with a special Athlete of the Century Award.

In 2005, Ali received the presidential Medal of Freedom; in 2009, he received the NAACP President’s Award; and Sports Illustrated named Ali the ‘Sportsman of the Century.’

Ali’s story isn’t about being the greatest, it’s about finding the greatness within.

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

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Three Disney World Employees Among 17 Arrested in Florida Child Sex Sting

Three Disney World employees were among the 17 people arrested in a child sex sting operation in Florida, law enforcement officials announced on Wednesday.

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Three Disney World Employees Among 17 Arrested in Florida Child Sex Sting

Three Disney World employees were among the 17 people arrested in a child sex sting operation in Florida, law enforcement officials announced on Wednesday.

In the operation, dubbed “Operation Child Protector,” undercover officers posed as 13- and 14-year-old children on social media and online dating apps between July 27 and Aug. 1.

The undercovers made contact with each of the suspects before proposing they meet at a location in Polk County, where they were busted.

In total, the arrests led to 49 felony and two misdemeanor charges. Those arrested were aged 26 to 47. All were from Central Florida except for one 33-year-old man from California.

“What you see on this board … are deviants. Incredible deviants,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference on Tuesday, motioning to photos of the alleged pervs. “They travel from as far away as Clewiston, Florida. One even came from Los Angeles.”

“Much to their chagrin, instead of meeting with young children, they were met by law enforcement officers who were online undercover posing as children.”

Kenneth Javier Aquino, 26, a lifeguard at Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World, was arrested while still wearing his Disney polo shirt and swimsuit, according to the sheriff’s office.

Aquino engaged in an online conversation on social media with an officer, posing as a 13-year-old girl, authorities said. He then asked the “girl” to send photos, and sent her an explicit video of himself, police said.

Aquino told officers he is a Navy veteran and has a pregnant girlfriend.

Jonathan McGrew, a 34-year-old custodian at Disney World, was nabbed by an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

disney-world

McGrew allegedly told the “girl” that he wanted her to come over and have sex with him and his girlfriend, 29-year-old Savannah Lawrence, who also works as a custodian at tourist mecca.

McGrew sent her explicit videos of him and Lawrence performing sexual acts on each other, authorities said.

A rep for Disney World didn’t immediately return a message.

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China Reports First Human Death from Monkey B Virus

China has reported the first human infection and death in the country caused by a rare infectious disease found in primates known as the Monkey B virus.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a 53-year-old veterinary surgeon who worked in a research institute specializing in nonhuman primate breeding in Beijing dissected two monkeys in March and became ill about a month later.

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China Reports First Human Death from Monkey B Virus

China has reported the first human infection and death in the country caused by a rare infectious disease found in primates known as the Monkey B virus.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a 53-year-old veterinary surgeon who worked in a research institute specializing in nonhuman primate breeding in Beijing dissected two monkeys in March and became ill about a month later.

He began experiencing nausea, vomiting, fever and neurological issues, and died in May.

Blood and saliva samples were tested and researchers in April found evidence of the Monkey B virus, also known as the herpes B virus.

Researchers said a male doctor and female nurse who were in close contact with the victim tested negative for the virus.

The Monkey B virus is prevalent among macaque monkeys but infection among humans is extremely rare. Since the virus was identified in 1932, just 50 cases have been reported, with the majority of those in North America. Untreated B virus infections in humans are serious, however, with a fatality rate of about 80 percent.

Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, and progress to more serious complications such as swelling of the brain and spinal cord.

Laboratory workers and veterinarians in close contact with the animals are most at risk as people typically get infected with the virus if they are bitten or scratched by an infected macaque, or have contact with the monkey’s eyes, nose or mouth.

But the virus is unlikely to mutate in a way that poses a problem to the general population. Just one case of human-to-human transmission of the virus has ever been documented.

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U.S. Remembers 9/11 Terrorist Attacks as The Pandemic Changes Tribute Traditions

Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes that have been altered by coronavirus precautions and woven into the presidential campaign, drawing both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden to pay respects at the same memorial without crossing paths.

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U.S. Remembers 9/11 Terrorist Attacks as The Pandemic Changes Tribute Traditions

Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes that have been altered by coronavirus precautions and woven into the presidential campaign, drawing both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden to pay respects at the same memorial without crossing paths.

In New York, a dispute over coronavirus-safety precautions is leading to split-screen remembrances Friday, one at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza at the World Trade Center and another on a nearby corner. The Pentagon’s observance will be so restricted that not even victims’ families can attend, though small groups can visit the memorial there later in the day.

Trump and Biden are both headed — at different times — to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Trump is speaking at the morning ceremony, the White House said. Biden plans to pay respects there in the afternoon after attending the observance at the 9/11 memorial in New York.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence is also due at ground zero — and then at the alternate ceremony a few blocks away.

In short, the anniversary of 9/11 is a complicated occasion in a maelstrom of a year, as the U.S. grapples with a health crisis, searches its soul over racial injustice and prepares to choose a leader to chart a path forward.

Still, 9/11 families say it’s important for the nation to pause and remember the hijacked-plane attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the trade center, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001, shaping American policy, perceptions of safety and daily life in places from airports to office buildings.

“I know that the heart of America beats on 9/11 and, of course, thinks about that tragic day. I don’t think that people forget,” says Anthoula Katsimatides, who lost her brother John and is now on the board of the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum.

Friday will mark Trump’s second time observing the 9/11 anniversary at the Flight 93 memorial, where he made remarks in 2018. Biden spoke at the memorial’s dedication in 2011, when he was vice president.

The ground zero ceremony in New York has a longstanding custom of not allowing politicians to speak, though they can attend. Biden did so as vice president in 2010, and Trump as a candidate in 2016.

Though the candidates will be focused on the commemorations, the political significance of their focus on Shanksville is hard to ignore: Pennsylvania is a must-win state for both. Trump won it by less than a percentage point in 2016.

Around the country, some communities have canceled 9/11 commemorations because of the pandemic, while others are going ahead, sometimes with modifications.

The New York memorial is changing one of its ceremony’s central traditions: having relatives read the names of the dead, often adding poignant tributes.

Thousands of family members are still invited. But they’ll hear a recording of the names from speakers spread around the vast plaza, a plan that memorial leaders felt would avoid close contact at a stage but still allow families to remember their loved ones at the place where they died.

But some victims’ relatives felt the change robbed the observance of its emotional impact. A different 9/11-related group, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, set up its own, simultaneous ceremony a few blocks away, saying there’s no reason that people can’t recite names while keeping a safe distance.

The two organizations also tussled over the Tribute in Light, a pair of powerful beams that shine into the night sky near the trade center and evoke its fallen twin towers. The 9/11 memorial initially canceled the display, citing virus-safety concerns for the installation crew. After the Tunnel to Towers Foundation vowed to put up the lights instead, the memorial changed course with help from its chairman, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Tunnel to Towers, meanwhile, arranged to display single beams for the first time at the Shanksville memorial and the Pentagon.

Over the years, the anniversary also has become a day for volunteering. Because of the pandemic, the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance organization is encouraging people this year to make donations or take other actions that can be accomplished at home.

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