Oscar Pistorius

Reeva Steenkamp texts to Oscar Pistorius: ‘I’m scared of you sometimes’


A text from Reeva Steenkamp‘s phone to Oscar Pistorius said, “I’m scared of you sometimes,” 18 days before Steenkamp was fatally shot by Pistorius last year, a cell phone analyst testified at Pistorius’ murder trial Monday.

Police Capt. Francois Moller said he and others read through 2,731 WhatsApp and iMessage messages on Steenkamp’s phone recovered from the scene of her death on Valentine’s Day 2013 and found 1,709 of the messages were between Steenkamp and Pistorius.

Moller estimated 90 percent of the messages were “normal conversations and loving conversations,” between Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, and Steenkamp, his model girlfriend.

The selected messages Moller read in a Pretoria court room Monday depicted problems in their relationship in the three weeks before Pistorius shot four times through a locked bathroom door in his home, hitting and killing Steenkamp inside.

“I’m scared of you sometimes, and how you snap at me and of how you will react to me,” Moller read as part of a text from Steenkamp’s phone of more than 500 words on Jan. 27, 2013. “You make me happy 90 percent of the time, and I think we are amazing together, but I am not some other bitch.”

The message said that Steenkamp was unhappy with Pistorius for leaving an engagement with a friend earlier than she wanted.

“I was not flirting with anyone today,” Moller read from the message. “I feel sick that you suggested that, and that you made a scene at the table and made us leave early. I’m terribly disappointed in how the day ended and how you left me. We are living in a double standard relationship where you can be mad about how I deal with stuff when you are very quick to act cold and offish when you’re unhappy.

“From the outside, I think it looks like we are a struggle, and maybe that’s what we are. I just want to love and be loved, be happy and make someone so happy. Maybe we can’t do that for each other cause right now I know you aren’t happy, and I’m certainly very unhappy and sad.”

Responses came from Pistorius’ phone later that day, apologizing and asking to call Steenkamp.

“I want to sort this out,” Moller read. “I don’t want to have anything less than amazing for you and I. I’m sorry for the things I say without thinking and for taking offense to some of your actions.”

The last message Moller read Monday came from Steenkamp’s phone to Pistorius’ phone on Feb. 8, 2013, six days before the fatal shooting.

“I regard myself as a lady, and I don’t feel like one tonight after the way you treated me when we left,” Moller read. “I’m a person, too, and I appreciate that you invited me out tonight, and I realize that you get harassed, but I am trying my best to make you happy, and I feel as though you sometimes never are, no matter the effort I put in. I can’t be attacked by outsiders for dating you and be attacked by you, the one person I deserve protection from.”

Pistorius could face up to 25 years if convicted of premeditated murder. He said he shot thinking there was an intruder locked in his bathroom on Valentine’s Day 2013. The prosecution said Pistorius shot after an argument with Steenkamp.

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

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

Oscar Pistorius trial extended to May

U.S. women’s gymnastics World Championships team analysis

Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles
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The U.S. women’s gymnastics team that will try to win a fourth straight global title at the World Championships in three weeks in Glasgow, Scotland, is arguably the most accomplished in American history.

It’s the first time a U.S. men’s or women’s team for Worlds has included two past Olympic or World all-around champions — Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas.

It’s the first time a U.S. men’s or women’s team for Worlds has included any past individual Olympic champions — Douglas and Aly Raisman.

Biles, Douglas and Raisman were three of the seven women named to the team by USA Gymnastics following selection camp competition in Texas on Thursday night.

The others are 2014 World Championships team members MyKayla Skinner and Madison Kocian; Brenna Dowell, who traveled to the 2013 Worlds but didn’t compete, and Worlds rookie Maggie Nichols.

One of the seven women must be designated an alternate before Worlds, as nations can use a maximum of six in competition in Glasgow.

The team includes zero women under the age of 18, a first in U.S. gymnastics World Championships history. That hasn’t happened at the Olympics since 1952, according to sports-reference.com.

The U.S. roster is without Olympic team champions McKayla Maroney, who hasn’t competed since the 2013 Worlds, and Kyla Ross, who announced her withdrawal from Worlds team selection on Oct. 1 without citing a reason. The other member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, Jordyn Wieber, is retired.

At Worlds, the U.S.’ biggest competition will likely come from the other three women’s gymnastics powers — China, Romania and Russia. Russia’s early roster includes three members of its five-woman 2012 Olympic silver medal-winning team, including Viktoria Komova, the Olympic all-around silver medalist.

An interesting competition within the U.S. team could be which two women advance from Oct. 24 qualifying into the Worlds individual all-around final Oct. 29. If more than two U.S. women compete on all four events in qualifying, then the two with the highest overall scores advance to the all-around final.

MORE GYMNASTICS: A look at recent Olympians’ comebacks

Here’s a look at the U.S. team and each gymnast’s credentials:

Simone Biles: The two-time reigning World all-around champion and three-time reigning U.S. champion. The 18-year-old Texan could become the first woman to win three straight World all-around titles. She could also break Alicia Sacramone‘s U.S. record for career Worlds medals. Sacramone earned 10 medals over five Worlds. Biles has nine in her first two, after bagging a U.S. women’s record five medals at a single Worlds in 2014. Biles has won nine straight all-around competitions, with her last defeat coming March 30, 2013.

Gabby Douglas: The Olympic all-around champion will compete at Worlds for the first time since her 2011 debut. She took 31 months off from competition after London 2012, returning in March. She’s finished fourth, second and fifth in three all-around competitions this year, with Biles winning all of those titles.

Aly Raisman: The Olympic floor exercise champion is also at Worlds for the first time since 2011 after taking a 31-month break following London 2012. She’s finished third, fifth and third in three all-arounds this year, all won by Biles. Raisman earned the P&G Championships floor exercise title in August over Biles, the two-time reigning World champion in the event.

Maggie Nichols: The Little Canada, Minn., native whose Twitter handle is @MagsGotSwag12, finished second in the P&G Championships all-around, behind Biles and ahead of Raisman and Douglas. She was third at the 2014 P&G Championships and looked destined for her first Worlds team then until dislocating her left kneecap the following week.

Madison Kocian: She’s the P&G champion on uneven bars, the only apparatus for which she was used in the 2014 World Championships team final. The last American to win an Olympic or Worlds uneven bars title was Nastia Liukin in 2005.

Brenna Dowell: She made the 2013 Worlds team and traveled to Antwerp, Belgium, but was designated the alternate with Biles, Ross and Maroney competing in the all-around in qualifying. At that Worlds (but not this one), a maximum of three women per country could compete per apparatus. She was also an alternate for the 2014 Worlds team and is strongest on uneven bars and floor exercise. Dowell, who is taking a year off from competing for Oklahoma University, is the first U.S. women’s gymnast with NCAA experience to make an Olympic or Worlds team since Sacramone in 2011.

MyKayla Skinner: Skinner finished third on vault and fourth on floor exercise at the 2014 Worlds and then second to Biles in the all-around at the American Cup on March 7. She was second on vault and third on floor at the P&G Championships in August.

MORE GYMNASTICS: Analyzing U.S. men’s World Championships team

Rio Olympic equestrian may be moved outside Brazil

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The head of the Brazilian Equestrian Confederation has warned that equestrian events at next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics might have to take place outside Brazil.

Luiz Roberto Giugni blasted the country’s Agriculture Ministry for delays in issuing documentation needed to allow horses brought into Brazil from Europe, the United States and Canada to leave the country.

He warned that if the ministry doesn’t act before the end of the month, “we run the risk of not having the event in Brazil.”

Regulations for bringing horses to and from Brazil are strict. The country is still subject to diseases affecting horses, including glanders, a lethal bacterial infection recently diagnosed in several horses here.

Guigni was speaking on Wednesday at an event in Sao Paulo.