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Tennis First Grand Slam Title Was Overwhelming Says Stephens

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MELBOURNE – Without a victory since her stunning U.S. Open triumph last September, American Sloane Stephens admitted on Saturday that the experience of becoming a grand slam winner had been “overwhelming”. “I think it’s always a tough transition when you go from not playing tennis for 11 months to winning a grand slam,” Stephens told a news conference at the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.

“It’s never going to be anything you expected. In terms of that, it’s a little bit overwhelming.” The 24-year-old has lost all six of her matches following her win at Flushing Meadows, struggling to cope with the expectations and extra demands on her time.

“I think it’s hard,” she said. “I thought winning the U.S. Open was, like, the hardest two weeks of my life. I‘m, like, exhausted. ”But after the U.S. Open, after the match, I did three-and-a-half hours of press… and I was like, ‘this sucks, what have you done’? “I think things like that have changed. There’s obviously more demand. These things are mandatory now. With that, it’s been a bit challenging. But I only do the things that are mandatory, so it’s easy.”

Despite her poor form, Stephens goes into the Australian Open with a chance to back up her U.S. Open victory. Her disappointing results, she said, were not a huge concern. “I think you have to kind of put everything in perspective, evaluate where you are,” she said. “I think personally I had a lot of things going on. I‘m not going to look back on it. It’s a new year, new season. I‘m hoping not to get injured. There’s tons of things to look forward to. I‘m not going to dwell too much on that.”

Stephens’ victory in New York came completely out of the blue, having only returned from a long-term foot injury which required surgery. Having won a grand slam once, though, why not again? “I would like to win another grand slam,” she said. “It was tough. Obviously, it’s doable because I did it. I’d definitely like to do it again.”

Seeded 13th, Stephens will begin her Australian Open campaign with a first round encounter against China’s Zhang Shuai.

Reporting by Simon Cambers;

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Who Is Chloe Ayling, Why’s She Linked To David Walliams And Was The Model Kidnapped By The ‘black Death’ Group?

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BRIT model Chloe Ayling was allegedly kidnapped in Italy with the intention of being auctioned as a sex slave.

The 20-year-old mum-of-one claimed she was taken captive by the “Black Death” group in July 2017 before being freed six days later – here’s how the investigation has unfolded.

Chloe Ayling was kidnapped and almost sold into sex slavery by a shadowy criminal gang, according to prosecutors

Who is Chloe Ayling?

Chloe Ayling is a 20-year-old British glamour model and Instagram star.

The mum-of-one was allegedly snatched by an infamous sex trafficking gang and held captive for six days in a remote Italian farmhouse.

She claimed masked men snatched her after luring her to Milan with promises of a lucrative photoshoot which turned out to be fake.

She told police she was then drugged and stuffed inside a bag before being auctioned on the dark web for £250,000.

Describing her alleged abduction she said: “A person with black gloves placed a hand over my mouth from behind while a second person wearing a balaclava gave me an injection in my right arm.

“I believe I lost consciousness because when I woke up, I was wearing just my pink undershirt made of chenille, and the socks I am now wearing, and I realised I was in the coffin of a car, my ankles and wrists in handcuffs, with a black tape covering my mouth, inside a bag where there was just a small hole in the zipper that allowed me to breathe.

“They had taken off my jacket, my blue jeans, and sneakers.”

She later told This Morning she had expected to die, saying: “I was just hoping for a non-painful death.”

Who are the Black Death Group?

The so-called Black Death group is described as an organisation operating deep within the “dark web”.

It is rumoured to be responsible for a network of kidnapping and people trafficking.

The name is notorious on sections of the internet due to the scale and depravity of its alleged offences, though it’s not clear if the photos it uses touting women for sale are authentic.

It has been reported that users of the dark web pay huge fees to buy women who have been kidnapped from across Europe.

A 2015 article by Vice’s Motherboard stated their reporter had found images of women chained up with the victim being offered for sale for £115,000.

Splash News The Black Death Group were the gang behind Chloe’s abduction, it was claimed

Who are Lukasz Herba and Michal Konrad Herba?

Police say Lukasz Herba tried to sell Chloe online for £270,000

Polish-born Lukasz Herba, 30, has been accused of abducting Miss Ayling. He denies knowingly taking part in her kidnapping.

Police say Herba demanded £250,000 to stop a human trafficking auction, hosted on pornographic sites on the dark web.

Lukasz was arrested on July 17 after delivering Chloe to the British consulate in Milan.

She claims he took pity on her after she told him she had a two-year-old son.

The alleged kidnapper told police he had no idea of the kidnap plan when he was paid £500,000 by Romanians to pose as a photographer and meet Ms Ayling.

He said when he found out they were planning to kidnap her he backed out of the plan.

On August 16, police announced they had also arrested Herba’s brother, Michal Konrad Herba, using a European Arrest Warrant after a raid in the West Midlands.

On September 29, a judge ruled that Michal should be extradited to Italy to face trial.

Michal’s lawyers suggested the entire case may be a “sham” invented as a “publicity stunt” to boost Ms Ayling’s career.

But at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, District Judge Paul Goldspring said the 36-year-old should be extradited to Italy to join his brother, Lukasz, to face allegations they kidnapped the model.

The judge told Herba: “I have decided you should be surrendered to Italy to face trial for the kidnap.”

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Irish Pm Calls For Urgent Restoration Of Northern Ireland Government

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DUBLIN – Ireland’s Prime Minister called for the urgent restoration of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government on Monday after talks to end a year-long political stalemate broke down yet again last week.

Both the British and Irish governments have said they want to get the talks back on track but neither have suggested when Irish nationalists Sinn Fein and the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) should return to the negotiating table.

The British province has been without a devolved executive for over a year since Sinn Fein withdrew from the compulsory coalition with their arch-rivals that has been central to a 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of violence there.

“The (Irish) government will continue to engage with the parties in Northern Ireland and the British government to support the urgent formation of a new executive,” Varadkar said in a statement after meeting with Sinn Fein and speaking to British Prime Minister Theresa May by phone.

Before meeting Varadkar, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said there should be no delay in resuming talks that she and both governments believe were close to a successful outcome before the DUP pulled out over a disagreement on additional rights for Irish-language speakers.

DUP leader Arlene Foster reiterated her call for London to take further financial control of the region, saying her party remained committed to devolution “but not at any price”.

Britain has already had to take steps toward governing the region directly for the first time in a decade and many fear a return to full British direct rule would further destabilize a delicate balance between nationalists and unionists.

Britain has said it is absolutely committed to restoring the power-sharing administration and Varadkar repeated on Monday that his government did not want to see the introduction of direct rule across the border.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin;

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Sylvester Stallone Dead Hoax – Rocky Actor Tells Fans He’s ‘alive And Well’ After Rumours Of His Death Sweep Social Media

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SYLVESTER STALLONE has put the bizarre rumour he is dead to bed as he tweeted declaring he is “still punching” this evening.

The Rocky star told fans to “ignore this stupidity” and confirmed he is “alive and well” after the rumour swept the internet.

The actor confirmed to fans he is still alive after a rumour of his death took off today

He added: “Remember to always grab LIFE by the throat and do not let go until you succeed.”

This isn’t the first time he has had to bat of rumours of an early demise – Facebook users reported seeing a fraudulent message in September 2016 claiming Stallone had been found dead at his LA home.

It was later exposed as a hoax after it emerged it was linked to a website known for creating and sharing celebrity death hoaxes.

But the rumour has now returned to social media a year-and-a-half later.

He added on an inspirational message as he said he is still ‘alive and well’

AP:Associated Press Wild online rumours are claiming Sylvester Stallone is dead again

The return of the hoax appeared to have been sparked by him sharing a fan poster for Creed II – the next instalment in the Rocky film series.

After seeing Sly’s face on the advert, some people on social media – still convinced that he was dead from the last hoax – reacted with confusion.

RIP messages began to circulate online, with some claiming Sly had died from prostate cancer.

The rumour was fuelled by fake news articles being shared online

Twitter users were seen asking each other if the Rocky star had really passed away as the Chinese whispers spread like wildfire.

One wrote: “Is Sylvester Stallone dead or is Facebook lying again?”

Another wrote: “Omg I thought Sylvester Stallone was dead!! I hate the Internet”

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