Hatem Ben Arfa will miss the start of Newcastle United’s Europa League campaign due to a suspension dating back to 2010.The French international is unavailable for both ties against Greek side Atromitos due to a three game suspension picked up at former club, Marseilles.Man of the match in the Toon Army’s Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur, the 25 year old misses out after seeing red for the French side in a 2-1 home defeat to Benfica.It is doubtful whether Saturday’s match-winner would have been selected for Thursday’s clash in Athens anyway, with several key players likely to be rested for the Geordie outfit. Magpie manager, Alan Pardew is said to be prioritising Saturday’s league clash with Chelsea over Europe’s secondary competition.Pardew may use the mid-week fixture to blood youngsters such as Sammy Ameobi and Harris Vuckic, whose first team opportunities were restricted last term.The Toon Army are back in European competition after a six year hiatus, after upsetting the odds to finish fifth last season.
BATTING FIRST HOBART, Australia, (CMC): West Indies Women’s captain, Stafanie Taylor, suffered the shame of a first-ball duck, as her Sydney Thunder crashed to a six-wicket defeat to Hayley Matthews’ Hobart Hurricanes, in the Women’s Big Bash yesterday. In a contest at Bellerive Oval, Thunder were held to 115 for nine off their 20 overs, and Hurricanes eased to their target in the penultimate over, despite a failure from Matthews. The defeat left the reigning champions third from bottom on 10 points, while Hurricanes jumped to third in the standings on 13, as they continued their push for a playoff spot. Opting to bat first, Thunder suffered a huge blow off the fifth delivery of the game’s first over, when Taylor was caught at the wicket off seamer Julie Hunter. However, captain Alex Blackwell struck 49 from 50 balls in a 53-run, second-wicket stand with opener Rachael Haynes, whose 36 came from 32 balls. They were the only two to pass 20, and two of three in double figures, as Thunder crumbled from 80 for two in the 14th over, losing seven wickets for 35 runs. Right-armer Amy Satterthwaite destroyed the innings with five for 17 from her four overs, and though off-spinner Matthews finished wicket-less, her four overs cost just 22 runs. In reply, the hosts got a top score of 38 from opener Erin Burns, and an unbeaten 34 from captain Heather Knight, as they comfortably overhauled their target with 10 balls remaining. The teenaged Matthews, batting at number five, made just two before she was bowled by Indian medium pacer Harmanpreet Kaur in the 15th over at 89 for four.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN JOSE – A Nevada couple who planted a severed finger in a bowl of Wendy’s chili to extort money from the fast food chain were sentenced Wednesday to prison terms of at least nine years. Anna Ayala, 40, who said she bit into the digit, was sentenced to nine years. Her husband, Jaime Plascencia, 44, who obtained the finger from a co-worker who had lost it in a workplace accident, was sentenced to more than 12 years. “Greed and avarice overtook this couple,” said Judge Edward Davila in Santa Clara County Superior Court, adding that the pair “lost their moral compass.” The two pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to file a false insurance claim and attempted grand theft with damages exceeding $2.5 million for the finger fraud, and unrelated additional charges. In a tearful plea for leniency, Ayala apologized to the gallery and said the incident was “a moment of poor judgment.” Ayala had said she retched March 22 after biting into the fingertip while dining with her family at a Wendy’s in San Jose. Forensic testing later showed Ayala never chomped on the finger, but she described the incident to television news crews. “There’s no words to describe what I felt, it’s sick, it’s disgusting,” she said in one clip played before sentencing. “Just knowing there was a human remain in my mouth is tearing me apart inside.” Although authorities suspected a hoax – in part because the finger wasn’t cooked – word of the stomach-turning find quickly spread around the world. The Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s International Inc. claimed it lost $2.5million in sales because of the bad publicity and dozens of workers at the company’s Northern California franchises were laid off. No Wendy’s employee was missing a digit at the San Jose restaurant, and no chili suppliers reported finger injuries at their plants. “I felt so bad for the fear of what people would think of me,” testified Hector Pineda, who made the chili and initially came under suspicion. “We are the ones that have suffered.” Denny Lynch, senior vice president for Wendy’s, asked the judge to send a message that “consumer fraud is a serious crime that demands a severe penalty.” The couple must pay about $170,000 in restitution for workers’ lost wages. The judge also ordered them to pay nearly $21.8 million to Wendy’s International and JEM Management, which owns the restaurant. Both corporations agreed not to collect from the couple, provided they never benefit from the ruse. In April, Ayala was arrested at her suburban Las Vegas home for filing a false claim against the restaurant chain. Investigators found a pattern of legal claims she brought against businesses in her name or for her children. A lengthy search for the finger’s owner eventually pointed to one of Plascencia’s co-workers, who lost it in an accident at the paving company where they worked, police said. Plascencia bought the tip of Brian Rossiter’s right ring finger for $100 and told him what he and Ayala were plotting, according to court documents. Rossiter later told police the couple offered him $250,000 to keep quiet. During a recorded jailhouse phone call, Ayala bragged about how other inmates were asking for her autograph, according to a transcript of the call. Ayala was also convicted of defrauding a woman by selling a motor home she didn’t own and Plascencia was convicted for failing to pay child support.