Oscar Pistorius

Prosecution’s case end in sight after Oscar Pistorius’ iPad search history revealed

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The prosecution expects to close its case against Oscar Pistorius by early next week after calling four or five more witnesses, it said at the double amputee’s murder trial Wednesday.

The trial was adjourned until Monday to allow the prosecution more time to consult with potential witnesses. Pistorius is expected to testify after the prosecution closes it case.

“I am advised that I will have an opportunity to deal with a comprehensive version of the events when I testify,” was read by one his lawyers as part of his plea explanation on March 3, the first day of the trial.

Also Wednesday, a technology expert testified while court-room screens displayed the web search history of one of Pistorius’ iPads from Feb. 13, 2013, the day before he fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The searches, according to court reports, included queries for cars — Ford Ranger, Aston Martin, Autotrader SA, Daytona Group, Morgan Aeromax — and pornography.

Earlier, ballistics investigator Capt. Christiaan Mangena said Steenkamp was most likely standing and facing a closed bathroom door when she was hit in the right hip by the first of four shots by Pistorius through the door on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013.

Pistorius has said he thought he was firing at an intruder locked inside his bathroom with his 9mm pistol. The prosecution asserts Pistorius killed Steenkamp after an argument. He could face 25 years in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The impact of Pistorius’ first shot caused Steenkamp to fall back onto a magazine holder, Mangena said. Two more shots hit Steenkamp in the right arm and head. The shot that hit her head went through her left hand as Steenkamp had raised her arms after the first bullet and into a “defensive position,” Mangena believed.

Mangena also said Pistorius was most likely not wearing his prosthetic legs when he shot through the door, which agrees with Pistorius’ and the prosecution’s version of events.

Also Wednesday, police blood splatter expert Col. Ian van der Nest testified that Steenkamp’s body showed no signs of “blunt force” wounds outside of the bullets that struck her.

He said blood splatter marks in Pistorius’ Pretoria home were consistent with Pistorius’ version of events that he carried Steenkamp downstairs after retrieving her from the bathroom where she was shot.

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

Here’s prosecutor Gerrie Nel having a tablet malfunction Wednesday:

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Kobe Bryant announces retirement but remains in contention for Rio team

Kobe Bryant
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Veteran basketball player and 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kobe Bryant has announced he will retire from professional basketball after the end of this season. However, ESPN reported that the chairman of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo, said that Bryant “remains in contention for Team USA spot for Rio 2016.”

In the form of a poem titled “Dear Basketball” on the Player’s Tribune, Bryant wrote:

This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

Bryant played on the U.S. national team from 2007 to 2012. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics he scored 20 points in the gold medal game to win gold over Spain. He helped the U.S. men to gold again in 2012, then said that it would be his last Olympics.

But he’s changed his tune in recent months. Bryant told the Associated Press in November that he’d like a shot at another Olympics.

“I would like to play,” Bryant said. “I think it’d be awesome. A beautiful experience.”

If he were selected and won again, Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony would become the first U.S. male basketball players to win three gold Olympic medals.

In the AP interview Bryant spoke glowingly of his Olympic teammates. “It would mean the world to me to be around those guys,” he said. “I think to be able to have a chance to continue the relationship that I already have with most of those guys, talking and just kind of being around each other and understanding that this is it, it’s just us being together, that would be fun.”

He also said he believes he’d be an asset to the team, stating, “I feel like I can add value from a leadership perspective and a defensive perspective. I can still move extremely well defensively.”

Bryant’s age will likely be a concern, as his 38th birthday is just two days after the gold-medal game on August 21st, 2016.

Colangelo said that they will be looking at “all of our players” this season, and Bryant’s retirement announcement “doesn’t have any bearing” on whether he’d be selected for the 2016 Olympic team.

The 12 player team will be selected in June 2016.

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Mikaela Shiffrin wins back-to-back slalom races at Aspen World Cup

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“I think there’s something special about Aspen,” Mikaela Shiffrin told NBC after winning two slalom races in as many days.

After Saturday’s history-making win, when Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in the U.S. and was the first American woman to win a slalom race at the Aspen World Cup stop, the twenty-year-old won again by a large margin. After winning by 3:07 seconds on Saturday, Shiffrin told reporters, “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”

But on Sunday her lead over the second place finisher, Frida Hansdotter of Sweden, wasn’t much shorter: 2:65 seconds. And this was with an early mistake that left her off balance for a moment in her final run.

In third place was Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic.

Watch Shiffrin’s final run:

This weekend also saw a podium finish for American Travis Ganong. Racing the downhill event at Lake Louise yesterday, Ganong finished third behind Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who is recovering from an Achilles injury that prevented him from competing the majority of the last season, and Peter Fill of Norway. Ganong cAksel Lund Svindal of Norwayouldn’t quite repeat his success in the Super G event on Sunday, finishing fourth.

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