Oscar Pistorius

Ballistics investigator testifies at Oscar Pistorius trial

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Oscar Pistorius fired at a slightly downward angle when he fatally shot his girlfriend last year, a police ballistics investigator testified at the double amputee Olympian’s murder trial Tuesday.

Pistorius and the prosecution agree that he was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he shot through his bathroom door on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013, killing Reeva Steenkamp.

South African police Capt. Christian Mangena said he reconstructed the scene of the shooting inside Pistorius’ Pretoria home one month later.

Mangena received and reassembled the broken bathroom door that Pistorius shot through from the outside, brought the door back inside Pistorius’ house and measured the height of four bullet holes.

One of the bullets left a ricochet mark on a wall inside the bathroom where Steenkamp was hit. Mangena said he used a rod and laser to determine that Pistorius fired that shot from a downward angle of five to six degrees.

Mangena also said he was present when height measurements of Pistorius with and without his prosthetic legs were taken.

The highest bullet mark on the door was 104.3cm. Pistorius stood 184cm with his prosthetic legs and 155cm without them, Mangena said. His elbow level was 126cm with his prosthetic legs and 96cm without them.

Pistorius said that when he shot, he was not wearing his prosthetic legs and felt extremely vulnerable, believing he was firing at an intruder inside his locked bathroom. The State argued last year that Pistorius was wearing his prosthetic legs, but the prosecution now believes Pistorius was not wearing them as he said.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

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

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

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MLB Players Association head says ‘continuing dialogue’ about 2020 Olympics

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SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Major League Baseball Players Association says it will be difficult for big leaguers to participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball returns to Olympics after a 12-year absence for the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled for July 24-Aug. 9 — in the middle of baseball’s season.

“There are challenges with the schedule, and there are challenges with major leaguers being involved,” Tony Clark said Thursday at the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training camp.

In 2008, players on major league 25-man rosters and disabled lists on June 26 were ineligible to play. The U.S. roster included 17 players from Triple-A, seven from Double-A and college pitcher Stephen Strasburg, now with the Washington Nationals.

“It doesn’t mean that we are not continuing to have dialogue. We have going back. We will going forward. Where we land, I don’t know,” Clark said. “One of the things we were able to discuss during this round of bargaining were some additional flexibility in the schedule moving forward. Maybe there are some opportunities for a broader discussion than there have been a year ago. We’ll have to wait and see. We haven’t had that kind of substantive sit down yet.”

Many players are preparing for the fourth edition of World Baseball Classic, an international tournament launched in 2006 that is co-owned by Major League Baseball and the union. Clark hopes to see a fifth edition in 2021.

“I see no reason at this point why it wouldn’t,” he said. “I’m hopeful it continues, understanding that the world we live in four years from now may be different from the one we’re in now.”

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Lance Armstrong’s $100 million trial set for November

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 20:  Lance Armstrong (C) heads out with cyclists on December 20, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. The disgraced Tour de France rider is in New Zealand to film a commercial, and put out a call on social media for local riders to join him on a ride along the Auckland Waterfront.  (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong‘s $100 million legal fight with the federal government has been set for a November trial.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Thursday set a Nov. 6 trial start in Washington. Armstrong’s legal team had asked to postpone trial until 2018 because of a potential scheduling conflict.

The government wants Armstrong to pay back the $32 million the U.S. Postal Service paid his team for sponsorship, plus triple damages.

Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis initially filed the whistle-blower case in 2010, accusing him of violating the sponsorship contract by taking performance-enhancing drugs. The government joined the case in 2013 after Armstrong admitted cheating and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for cheating, could collect up to 25 percent of damages awarded.

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