Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius’ bathroom door, cricket bat appear at murder trial

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Oscar Pistorius‘ murder trial Wednesday focused on a recreation of the bathroom where his girlfriend was shot, including the exact door Pistorius shot through, the cricket bat he said he swung at the door and a model of the toilet she sat on.

Pistorius said in an affidavit last year that he shot through the bathroom door at what he thought was an intruder, without wearing his prosthetic legs on Valentine’s Day 2013.

He then realized he may have shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, put on his prosthetic legs, tried to kick down the locked door and then bashed open the door with a cricket bat to find Steenkamp inside.

On Wednesday, forensic analyst Col. J.G. Vermeulen took the cricket bat and swung it at the door while on his knees during testimony inside a Pretoria, South Africa, court room.

Vermeulen said he believed Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, was not using his prosthetic legs when he swung the bat at his bathroom door on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013.

That contradicted Pistorius, who said in his affidavit last year that he was wearing prosthetic legs at the time.

“I put on my prosthetic legs, ran back to the bathroom and tried to kick the toilet door open,” Pistorius said in a statement. “I think I must then have turned on the lights. I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door.”

Pistorius’ defense said Wednesday that he swung the bat at the door with his prosthetic legs on and with a bent back.

Pistorius could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He shot four times through the bathroom door, hitting Steenkamp inside.

The prosecution asserts Pistorius shot through the door after an argument with Steenkamp. Pistorius has said he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

The trial is expected to resume at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Here’s NBC News’ coverage of the Pistorius trial.

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No Zika cases from Olympics, WHO says

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 12:  An aerial view of the Christ The Redeemer statue (F) and the Maracana Stadium (B) on November 12, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
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There have been zero Zika virus cases stemming from the Rio Olympics, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

“From the reports WHO received from national health authorities, there have so far been no laboratory confirmed cases of Zika virus in anyone associated with the Olympics,” the organization said in an online update Thursday.

Earlier this summer, several athletes cited Zika concerns in skipping the Olympics.

The World Health Organization said before the Rio Games that the Olympics posed “a very low risk” of accelerating the Zika virus spread around the world.

Thousands of athletes will come to Rio for the Paralympics that run from Sept. 7-18, which is still during Brazil’s winter, lessening the Zika risk.

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Devon Allen weighs turning pro in track and field

Devon Allen
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University of Oregon hurdler and wide receiver Devon Allen said he “thinks” he’s turning pro in track, but also said he hasn’t really decided if his NCAA track career is finished Thursday.

“There’s not really much more I can do in college track other than break the collegiate record,” Allen said.

Allen, a University of Oregon junior, finished fifth in the Rio Olympic 110m hurdles on Aug. 16 after winning the Olympic Trials on July 9.

Allen can turn pro in track and field and still play football for the Ducks, so long as he keeps his track and field profits to prize money and not endorsement deals.

He’s definitely planning on playing for Oregon’s football team this season, perhaps even in the season opener Sept. 3.

As for track season next winter and spring, that’s looking unlikely. Allen noted that he has won NCAA individual and team titles.

The only missing piece is the NCAA record of 13.00 set by former world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah. Allen’s personal best is 13.03.

It’s clear that Allen would like to be a professional in both track and football.

“The NFL is something I’ve been dreaming about doing, just like I dreamed about running in the Olympics,” said Allen, who caught nine passes for 94 yards last season, coming back from tearing knee ligaments in the Rose Bowl. “I kind of accomplished that Olympic dream, obviously, in four years, I want to win a gold medal, so that’s one more step to that dream. Now my next dream is to play in the NFL.”

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