Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius trial Day 2 video clips, recap; Reeva’s mother forgives

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Oscar Pistorius buried his head in his hands on the second day of his murder trial while it was detailed how bullets hit girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Three witnesses of the Valentine’s Day 2013 killing from homes near Pistorius’ Pretoria house testified Tuesday as to what they saw and heard on that night. A third Afrikaans-English interpreter was brought in, and the judge warned media for showing a photograph of one of the witnesses on live TV.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run at the Olympics in 2012, shot and killed Steenkamp on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013 in his Pretoria, South Africa home.

He has said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder in his bathroom when he shot four times through the door and killed her. The prosecution asserts Pistorius shot her after a fight. Pistorius could face life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder with a minimum of 25 years.

On Tuesday, the first witness, Dr. Michelle Burger, finished answering more than three hours of questions over two days in tears inside a Pretoria courtroom.

Burger said she heard a man and woman scream amid gunshots. Pistorius, in his statement last year, made no mention of hearing Steenkamp scream.

Burger’s husband also testified Tuesday to hearing a man and woman scream. Another witness who lived in the same community as Pistorius said she heard arguing that lasted about an hour.

The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday at 2:30 a.m. ET.

Also Tuesday, “TODAY” aired an interview with Steenkamp’s mother, June, who did not attend court on the second day of the trial.

June Steenkamp was there Monday, and she explained why.

“I wanted to see Oscar face to face, and that he would know that I was there,” June Steenkamp said. “It doesn’t matter to me what happens to Oscar because my daughter is never coming back.”

Can she forgive Pistorius?

“It’s actually important to forgive him, for me, because I don’t want to live with bitterness in my life,” she said. “One has to forgive, even though if he made a mistake. It’s an enormous mistake.”

Here’s NBC News’ full recap from Tuesday’s proceedings.

Here’s video of Pistorius putting his head in his hands as details are explained of how the bullets from his gun struck Steenkamp (click the lower left play button, pause a few seconds, and click it again to start from the beginning):

Here’s video of the first witness, Burger, crying on the stand (click the lower left play button, pause a few seconds, and click it again to start from the beginning):

Here’s some atmosphere from Pretoria via Twitter:

Here are photos from Pretoria via The Associated Press:

source: AP
Journalists swamp Pistorius, as escorted out by his private security and police officers.
source: AP
Oscar Pistorius talks with brother Carl.
source: AP
Pistorius writes on a document in the dock.

Here are South African Monday PM newspaper front pages:



Yuna Kim happy that ‘absurd’ situation is finished

Mikaela Shiffrin runner-up in World Cup season opener

SOELDEN, AUSTRIA - OCTOBER 22: Mikaela Shiffrin of USA in action during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on October 22, 2016 in Soelden, Austria (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
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Mikaela Shiffrin‘s bid for a first outright World Cup giant slalom victory was denied by World Cup overall champion Lara Gut on Saturday, opening what could be a season-long battle between the two.

The Swiss Gut dominated to win the first race in Soelden, Austria, by 1.44 seconds over Shiffrin combining times from two runs. It marked the second-largest women’s margin of victory in Soelden history.

“It’s a big relief to walk away from today with a podium,” Shiffrin said. “It’s always great to win, but I’m starting off on the right foot. I can be happy with that, but I know I can do better.”

Italian Marta Bassino was third. Full results are here.

“I put myself so much under pressure until this morning,” said Gut, who led Shiffrin by 1.42 seconds after the first of two runs. “Sometimes, it’s horrible. You get into the race, and start thinking instead of just skiing. I’m happy I had a fast first run because the second run was just a fight.”

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion, shared victory with Austrian Anna Veith in Soelden in 2014 and finished second to Italian Federica Brignone last year.

Lindsey Vonn and Veith, both coming back from season-ending knee injuries, skipped Soelden.

Gut and Shiffrin could be the top World Cup overall title contenders with Vonn focusing on speed events and Veith’s readiness uncertain. Shiffrin had finished fifth, sixth and fourth in the overall standings before placing 10th last season, when she missed two months due to a right knee injury.

Gut, 25, won six races across four disciplines last season, showing the kind of all-around prowess that Shiffrin can’t yet match. Shiffrin is the world’s best slalom skier and showed she is elite in giant slalom on Saturday, but she has scant experience in downhill, super-G and super combined races.

“Lara’s given us a good pace to chase,” Shiffrin said. “When she comes down, and she’s that far ahead and just taking every gate like it’s the last gate she’s going to ski, it’s really cool to see.”

The men open their season in Soelden on Sunday (4 a.m. and 7 a.m. ET, NBC Sports app; 9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

The women next race a slalom in Levi, Finland, on Nov. 12.

Shiffrin has won 11 straight slaloms dating to 2015, including her last eight World Cup slaloms, the longest streak since four-time Olympic champion Janica Kostelic won 10 straight from 1999 through 2001.


Ashley Wagner tops Skate America short program

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HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Ashley Wagner topped the Skate America short program Friday night with 69.50 points, building on her second-place finish from last season’s world championships.

Japan’s Mai Mihara, making her Grand Prix Series debut at 17, was second at 65.75, and U.S. champion Gracie Gold third at 64.87.

The free skate will determine the champion Saturday at Sears Centre Arena (live on NBC and the NBC Sports app at 4:30 p.m. ET). Full results are here.

Wagner performed with a fierce and determined style, delivering a technically solid and entertaining program to “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurhythmics.

“I capitalized on the momentum (from worlds) going into the summer,” said Wagner, the 2012 Skate America winner. “It inspired me to train even harder than I had been because it showed me that my training got me onto that podium. It motivated me and made it a realistic goal to get onto that Olympic podium, and I can almost taste it. It’s a totally new season. I’m hopefully a different athlete from that Worlds event and I think it’s just about building on that from here on out.”

Mihara fell during her warmup, which she said relaxed her during her performance.

“I think for my first Grand Prix event, I did a good job,” she said.

Gold, coming off a disappointing fourth-place finish in the world championships, fell on her triple flip, but otherwise was solid in her performance to a tango.

“I had a hiccup on the triple flip, but I went after everything,” Gold said. “I just need to keep working on the program and just keep getting it out there.”

Gold said the months after the world championships were difficult and affected her training.

“It was a pretty hard summer,” she said. “I had trouble getting going and getting my feet under me for some reason. I felt I had let myself down. No one else felt the intense shame that I felt, but it was just so internal that I had trouble getting back out there. But as soon as I got the momentum going, I’ve been feeling excellent.”

Three-time World champion Mao Asada of Japan, hampered by a knee injury, was fifth.

In pairs, Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov took a commanding lead program with a score of 75.24. Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, who missed last season with a knee injury to Denney, were second at 67.29, and Canadians Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau followed at 66.49.

Tarasova and Morozov, fifth at the world championships, received high marks on their opening triple twist as well as their lifts, spins and footwork.

“Today we have a short program we did well,” Morozov said. “We have a personal best and were glad to have this moment.”

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