Tobias Harris Re-Signs with Magic: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Orlando Magic have a lot of young, promising pieces on the roster, and they have to make a number of critical, tough decisions as they try to evolve into an Eastern Conference contender.

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On Friday, Orlando elected to reward forward Tobias Harris with a four-year contract worth $64 million, per RealGM’s Shams Charania. NBA.com’s David Aldridge added that the deal would include no player, team or early termination options.

Harris started off his career with the Milwaukee Bucks before arriving in Orlando in his second season. The University of Tennessee product was one of six players involved in a trade centered around former Magic guard J.J. Redick.

The move has panned out rather nicely for the Magic, especially in light of their effort to secure Harris for the long haul.

Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler felt Orlando would have been unwise to allow Harris to walk away as a restricted free agent:

Harris has excelled as a prominent part of the Magic’s rotation, showing an ability to score the ball well in averaging 17.1 points per game in 68 games this past season. The 22-year-old’s range extended to the three-point line with more consistency too, as he shot 36.4 percent from deep.

“For us, consistency is the biggest key,” said Harris in May, per Fox Sports Florida’s Ken Hornack. “We have to be mentally strong in games. We lost a lot of games in the fourth quarter that we should have won, where we were up in the fourth quarter. That has a lot to do with focus and being able to grind out wins.”

Harris now figures to be a franchise cornerstone along with Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic. It remains to be seen what the Magic have in point guard Elfrid Payton, rookie shooting guard Mario Hezonja and athletic forward Aaron Gordon.

The timetable for Orlando to begin its ascent in the East is difficult to determine. With so many inexperienced contributors playing big minutes, chemistry and coaching from new boss Scott Skiles will be big determining factors.

Those elements will also go a long way in deciding whether it was a wise move for Harris and the Magic to stay together.

Cuomo Increases Fourth Of July Security, Says NY Is ‘Top Target For Terrorists’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday said New York State “remains a top target for terrorists” and urged residents to be on alert this holiday weekend amid recent terror attacks overseas and threats from ISIS and ISIS sympathizers.

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His announcement came as police departments across the Tri-State Area were stepping up security for the holiday weekend – particularly for the Macy’s fireworks display on the East River Saturday.

Cuomo said Friday that he has ordered enhanced monitoring of Fourth of July celebrations by the Office of Emergency Management after the federal government issued a terror warning for the holiday weekend.

“In response to the warning by the federal government, New York State is taking steps to increase monitoring and communication with our local, state, and federal emergency management and law enforcement partners through the holiday weekend,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Cuomo Increases Fourth Of July Security, Says NY Is 'Top Target For Terrorists'

nypd counterterrorism 0703 Cuomo Increases Fourth Of July Security, Says NY Is Top Target For Terrorists
Marla Diamond reports

Though there have been no reports of specific threats, the terror attacks in Kuwait, France and Tunisia last week, a wave of attacks in Egypt on Wednesday and the demand by ISIS for attacks against the enemy during Ramadan, which ends July 17, have prompted extra caution, CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported.

“ISIS is very well outspoken about how much they hate our freedom — who we are as Americans — and July the 4th is one of those natural dates, while we’re celebrating freedom, for them to be able to find some way to be able to poke us in the eye,” said U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma).

While officials said there are no credible threats, they have not taken any chances. The FBI has issued a warning to authorities nationwide about a possible terrorist attack.

“The intelligence community can’t fight this fight by themselves,” said former FBI Assistant Director Ron Hosko. “This is going to take bigger participation and awareness.”

On Saturday, July 4, as many as 7,000 extra NYPD officers will be patrolling the Macy’s fireworks display on the East River, where up to 3 million spectators are expected to attend.

“If you show up at the event you’re on the team. If you see something, say something,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism John Miller told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. We want to hear about it.”

NYPD officials say the area will be swept for explosives, trash cans will be removed, snipers will be strategically placed and 100 mobile cameras will be on the ground and in the air.

The NYPD will be closely monitoring its 7,000 security cameras, paying special attention to the ones in Lower Manhattan. The department has also deployed resources to Long Island City, Queens along the East River.

Police set up a mobile command center in Long Island City, and stationed officers throughout the area. The NYPD also set up barricades on the East River.

And on Staten Island, Harbor patrol is guarding the barges that are currently packed with fireworks, ready to launch tomorrow night.

“It’s good to know in the back of your mind that if something happens, they’re going to be there to protect you,” said Luis Okendo.

“I think NYPD does a great job of taking care of everyone here in the city, so we’ve got have faith in them,” added Jon Venick of Long Island City.

Precautions also have been taken on the water. A New Jersey State Police patrol boat will be out over the weekend, with officers watching for anything out of the ordinary.

“Our plan is to be, just heightened awareness to be out here looking for anything suspicious, suspicious boat traffic,” said Sgt. Jorge Puhlovsky with New Jersey State Police.

Many residents are not allowing any threat to deter their plans.

“I think the NYPD does a great job of taking care of everyone here in the city, so we have faith in them,” Long Island City resident Jon Venick told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.

Police will be extra vigilant, but are urging spectators to be aware as well. Anyone who sees anything suspicious is asked to call 877-NYC-SAFE. You can also call the New York State Terrorism Tips Line at 1-866-SAFE-NYS.

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South Korean navy officer arrested on charges of spying for China

Lieutenant commander in South Korean counter-espionage body accused of handing classified data to suspected spy while studying in China

A South Korean navy officer has been arrested for allegedly leaking military secrets to China, a defence ministry spokesman said on Saturday.

A lieutenant commander assigned to the Defense Security Command faces charges that he handed over classified information to a suspected Chinese agent while studying in China from 2009 to 2012.

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Whoa — Harry Styles Says One Direction’s Recent Shows Without Zayn Malik Are ‘Some Of The Best We’ve Had’

What do y’all make of this one?!

One Direction frontman Harry Styles says that the group has had some of their best shows recently, after Zayn Malik left the group earlier this year!

Whoa!!! Is that shade, or just reality?!

[ Related: Have You Picked Up The 1D Fragrance Yet?! ]

Speaking to reporters, Styles opened up about the North American and European legs of the group’s current tour, as well as how things have been going with Zayn:

“There have been incredible shows across Europe. Some of the best we’ve had! So we’re super excited about coming to America … The only changes have been that the parts Zayn sang have been picked up by different people. Other than that, the shows have been going absolutely great.”

Sounds like the group doesn’t miss Zayn very much! As for Story Of My Life, a song which Malik had a big solo, Styles is open about re-working songs to fit the rest of the group:

“It would be pretty devastating if we took that song out. Liam [Payne] stepped up to do the high notes. He kicks them in the bollocks every show. He doesn’t hold back … The other guys have picked up [Zayn's] parts. We all know the songs well enough to do that.”

Well, at least One Direction is maintaining their pop prince status, even after dropping a member of the group so recently!

What do U think — does 1D need Zayn, or have they figured it out as a foursome?!

[Image via Mats Andersson/WENN.]

Miguel Cabrera Injury: Updates on Tigers Star’s Leg and Return

Detroit Tigers’ superstar first baseman Miguel Cabrera left Friday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays with a calf injury.

Continue for updates.


Cabrera to Undergo MRI

Friday, July 3

The Tigers announced Cabrera suffered a strained left calf Friday night and will be evaluated further to determine severity.

Cabrera has been tremendously durable since making his MLB debut in 2003. The two-time American League MVP has never played less than 148 games in his 12 full seasons. 

The Tigers have been hovering around .500 all season, entering play on Friday at 39-39, so seeing Cabrera limp off the field isn’t what this team needs as it moves into the All-Star break next weekend. 

Daily Driver: 2015 Acura TLX

Filed under: Acura, Sedan, Luxury

Acura’s TLX may not be as sporting as models past, but it’s more refined than ever. We drive it for a bit, to find out if that’s enough to stave off boredom.

Continue reading Daily Driver: 2015 Acura TLX

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Fare Well, Liberty Bell

Fare Well, Liberty Bell

The 350-year marriage of Protestant Christian theology and American popular culture is over. Christianity, it may be sadly said, is no longer the preeminent social influence in American life. We Christians who dared to presume that America was ever all and only ours are, apart from some God-ordained awakening, unlikely to “get our country back.” We will live and work henceforth, as do most other Christians around the world, amidst a public square hostile to our beliefs.

Christian citizens of the United States of America nevertheless still have great reasons this day to lift thanksgiving to God for the blessings of liberty and to celebrate heartily the 239th anniversary of the nation’s declaration of its God-given rights and independence from tyranny.

In Gold We Trust Too

The mobilization of so-called “values voters” in U.S. elections since 1980 spawned a whole genre of “City on a Hill” histories portraying the American founding as the creation of a Christian nation, by Christians, for Christians. The influence of Christian theology, and more specifically Protestant Reformed theology, on the founding generation is inarguable, and the favor that God has shown this society thusly influenced seems historically evident. Yet, such favor hasn’t flowed to America as a Christian nation; rather, because it has been and remains a nation occupied by so many Christians.

The American Revolution was less about the formation of a Christian society, and more about a God-ordained convergence of Enlightenment thinking and Great Awakening passions, a history well-supported in Marvin Olasky’s Fighting for Liberty and Virtue: Political and Cultural Wars in Eighteenth Century America. This American garment was woven from the two different threads that Joseph Galloway referred to as “Presbyterians and Smugglers,” some in search of God, others in search of gold.

America has never been a single thread, but rather a cord of both worldliness and holiness. These strands were woven so tightly for so long that it became difficult, certainly for Christians, to see them as twain, but twain they have always been, and twain they are now parted.

The Twain Cities

Is the life of the American Christian now to be one of little more than nostalgic waxing, pharisaic finger-pointing, lamentation, and separatism? Never let it be so! Such would neither be American nor Christian. What is America without the engagement of its free citizens? How can a Christian be salt and light in a social ghetto or separatist’s undercroft?

No, we are, as Augustine wrote, citizens of two cities: the city of God and the city of man. For most of American history, at least culturally, we have resided in a duplex with a common street address. Now, we’ll be obligated to keep two quarters in different neighborhoods. But keep them we must.

At our American residence, we’ll remain “citizens,” a revolutionary moniker that declares our liberation from the yoke of human tyranny. This honorable name, “citizen,” distinguishes us from those who are “subjects” of earthly despots. The price of such liberty is, as Jefferson wrote, eternal vigilance.

At our Christian residence, our eternal address, we will be slaves, glad bondservants to the sublimely beneficent king of all kings. Until this king summons us to his throne, we Christians serve as both his subjects and, by his grace, as free citizens of the United States of America.

Six Legacies of the Reformation

Writing in The Genevan Reformation and the American Founding, David W. Hall identifies six legacies from the Protestant Reformation — interlocking themes that are deeply embedded in the idea of American citizenship. While these six legacies of Calvinism may no longer be quite so widely embraced by the popular culture, they remain on this 239th Independence Day, thank God, still championed and treasured by tens of millions of American citizens, not all of whom are Christians or even know that the liberties they treasure have roots in the Protestant Reformation, arguably the greatest human rights movement in all of human history. These ideas are now known throughout the world as American ideas:

  • A limited charter for the state (and conversely, opposition to totalitarianism)

  • Checks and balances (and divided powers) addressed to the reality of human depravity

  • A belief that all governments are judged by transcendent moral norms

  • A persistent opposition to secular authority as the primary basis for political structure

  • An abiding emphasis on the family as the essential building block of successful government

  • A view of the law as necessary and not subjective

The Liberty Bell, enshrined outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, though cracked, still rings. The descendants of Mayflower pilgrims and aspiring citizens alike share a heartfelt desire to honor its Old Testament exhortation to “proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants” (Leviticus 25:10).

No, we Christians do not bid thee, “Farewell, Liberty Bell.” We bid thee, “Fare well.” Fare well as you have through bloody wars. Fare well as you have through many economic cataclysms. Fare well as you have through periods of civil unrest, racial disharmony, and changing social mores.

We thank God, the author of our American liberty and source of the unalienable rights that our founding document declares and which our unique-in-all-the-world system of human government still mostly seeks to preserve.

Let freedom ring! Fare well, Liberty Bell. By God’s grace, fare well.


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Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life

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