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World Cup 101: How did soccer spread all over the world?

Soccer, also known as football, is played in nearly every country and is often called the world’s favorite game.

The game’s official history spans over 100 years, but people have enjoyed the sport of kicking around a ball for thousands of years, according to FIFA.

>> Read more trending news 

While the first World Cup tournament happened in Uruguay in 1930, early scientific evidence of the game is traced back to the second and third centuries BC in China, in a military exercise practiced by the Han Dynasty, the BBC reports

The Chinese game consisted of kicking a leather ball filled with feathers through a small net, fixed into long bamboo canes. The players couldn’t use their hands, relying on their feet, chest, back and shoulders. 

Another ancient form of the game is Japanese Kemari, which is still played today. The sport doesn’t involve any struggle for possession of the ball. Players stand in a circle and pass the ball to each other, trying not to let it touch the ground.

The modern game of soccer evolved after the Romans took their version of the game to Britain in the 1800s, FIFA states.

In 1863, school officials at Cambridge University began to divide the sports of soccer and rugby, as more people disapproved of the rugby rule that allows players to run with the ball. That year marked the birth of the Football Association.

British imperialists, missionaries and traders brought soccer to the African continent in the 1800s.

The game was quickly embraced, through schools, along the railways and local military, NPR reports.

The first documented professional teams in Africa were established in the 1880s, and the first international match was played in 1872, between England and Scotland. 

The first full league championship was celebrated in 1888.

FIFA was founded in Paris in May 1904. It had seven founding members: France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain (represented by Madrid FC), Sweden and Switzerland.

By the late 1930s, there were 51 FIFA members.

In 1950, after World War II, that number had reached 73.

Over the next half-century, football's popularity continued to attract new devotees and at the end of the 2007 FIFA Congress, FIFA had 208 members in every part of the world.

The United States, along with Mexico and Canada have been selected to host the World Cup in 2026. 

>>Read: North America wins vote to host 2026 World Cup

It will be the second time that the World Cup has been held on the continent.

The United States hosted the World Cup in 1994, held in nine cities across the country.

Teen turns himself in after shooting friend in face at swimming pool parking lot

An 18-year-old turned himself in to the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, after he shot his 16-year-old best friend in his left eye, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports

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Joshua Chestney accidentally shot his friend in the left eye while sitting in a SUV playing with his father’s pistol on Tuesday, Dallas police Chief Joe Duvall told WSB

The teens were parked in a gravel lot near a local swimming pool and Chestney was showing off with the gun when it went off, according to Duvall. It is unknown if Chestney had permission to have the gun.

Police said a large group of children were in the pool during the incident. They were moved to a building on the property until officers determined it was safe to return.

Duvall said the two teens had been target shooting earlier in the day and that the older boy had the gun in the truck when they came to the park.

“Apparently (it) belonged to his father. He had taken it from home earlier that day,” Duvall said.

The 16-year-old was put into a medically induced coma after he lost his left eye and was bleeding from his brain due to the bullet exiting the back of his head, police said. There has been no update on his condition.

Chestney was released from the Paulding County Adult Detention Facility on a $7,900 bond and has been charged with false report of a crime, pointing a gun at another and reckless conduct, according to jail records.

Police said any further charges against Chestney will be based on whether or not the teen survives.

Florida tower implosion: ‘It took 12 seconds to come down, 10 years to build’

Twin cooling towers in North Jacksonville, Florida, were imploded on Saturday morning, changing the landscape of the city as a result, Action News Jax reports.

Together, the towers are the second-largest structures of their kind to be imploded in the United States. 

“It took 12 seconds to come down, took 10 years to build them,” Bob, a former employee, told Action News Jax

>> Read more trending news 

The 464-foot towers were part of a large coal-fired electric generating plant, made of 100,000 tons of concrete, and nearly 20 tons of reinforcing steel rods.

It took more than 1,500 pounds of dynamite and 12,000 linear feet of detonation cord to bring down both towers simultaneously.

It was a bittersweet day for former employees of the St. Johns River Power Park -- which was jointly owned by JEA and Florida Power & Light -- and their families. 

Before the implosion Saturday morning, hundreds of people gathered to share a lifetime worth of memories.

The former workers who devoted three decades to the plant powering Jacksonville say the loss is overwhelming, but also a reminder of all that they've gained.

“We came from all over the United States. They went out and found the best coal fire employees that they could and we just became a family,” said Bob.

The former employees said while they are sad to see the towers go, they're also excited about the future and what this means for the environment.

JEA said closing the plant will reduce the utility's carbon footprint by approximately 30 percent.

Family members of employees said they vividly remember moving to Jacksonville in the 1980s as the towers were going up.

“I can remember in elementary school climbing into them when they were in outage and doing tours,” said Candice Samples-Morris.

Samples-Morris said her father and husband both worked at the plant. For her, the towers symbolize security and the ability to provide for her daughter, who has special needs.

“It provided insurance benefits and just that security as a kid ... it's kind of like our life,” Samples-Morris said.

Samples-Morris said her daughter will have constant reminders of the 464-foot towers that left a lasting impression on Jacksonville's skyline -- and their lives.

“All these guys are still a part of her life,” Samples-Morris said. “They pulled together and created their own family here.’

Russian bear in Moscow World Cup parade video sparks PETA outrage

A Russian bear spotted in the back of an open-top SUV playing an instrument during a World Cup celebration parade in Moscow is causing global concern.

PETA Germany sent a letter to Moscow’s mayor urging him to identify the bear’s owner, confiscate the animal and transfer it to a sanctuary.

Fox Sports host Rob Stone and correspondent Peter Staunton both shared videos of the bear on Twitter during Russia’s World Cup victory parade on Thursday, after the nation’s 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

>> Read more trending news 

The bear, sitting in the back of the car, appeared to play a vuvuzuela, a plastic horn that became popular with soccer fans during the South African World Cup. 

In the video, the bear is seen sitting next to a trainer. It raised its arms in a cheer before appearing get a treat. 

The same bear was filmed  riding in the sidecar of a motorcycle in Russia in September last year.

Other YouTube videos that appear to feature the bear show it playing a trumpet, dancing and hula hooping. Those videos date back to at least 2013.

“Bears used in performances are carted around in cramped cages, and trainers typically whip, beat, and otherwise torment them to teach them to obey out of fear,” PETA stated in its letter to Moscow. “It’s also dangerous to take these animals onto a public street: Bears can run up to 40 miles per hour, faster than any human. Those who have been denied everything that’s natural and important to them have also been known to lash out in frustration by biting, mauling, or otherwise attacking handlers and members of the public.”

Brother of NBA star Zach Randolph killed in shooting outside Indiana bar

A man shot and killed outside a bar in Marion, Indiana, has been identified as Roger Randolph, the brother of NBA star Zach Randolph of the Sacramento Kings, WTHR reports.

Investigators say the shooting happened at Hop’s Blues Room, south of downtown Marion, at about 5 a.m. Saturday, according to Fox 59.

>> Read more trending news 

A police officer heard the shots fired. He went to the bar and discovered Randolph lying between two cars in the parking lot. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police told WTHR that Zach Randolph was not at the scene.

Randolph has played 18 seasons in the NBA, including eight with the Memphis Grizzlies. He currently plays for the Sacramento Kings.

Investigators said they do not believe it was a random shooting and there is no danger to the public. 

Labor trafficking victim hidden ‘in plain sight’ in Ohio restaurant

On a typical day, Kendra Ross said she would work as many as 17 unpaid hours in a Dayton restaurant while under the control of what she later claimed in federal court was a cult, according to Dayton Daily News.

>> Read more trending news 

That didn’t include the hours Ross said she spent taking care of the house of the group’s leader, she told Dayton Daily News. She said she had to cook, clean and care for children who lived there.

Her years performing as an “unpaid servant or slave,” as she put it in her civil lawsuit filed in federal court, led to a recent $8 million award against the United Nation of Islam (UNOI), the group that Ross called a cult -- now known as Value Creators, led by a man named Royall Jenkins. 

Ross lived and worked in Dayton near the end of her time with the group. She said her victimization by the group also included time in Kansas City, Kansas, Atlanta, Newark, New Jersey and New York.

The case is unique, local officials said, because Ross’ plight was happening while customers visited the very-public Dayton restaurant where she says she was entrapped, the now-closed Food For Life Supreme restaurant.

Her case is also being cited as an example of what human trafficking can look like when it has nothing to do with the sex trade. Advocates fighting against trafficking have long noted it can be happening in any city and in many kinds of businesses.

“As this case shows, it’s happening literally in plain sight,” said Tony Talbott, the interim executive director at the University of Dayton’s Human Rights Center and also the director of Abolition Ohio.

“It’s so far out of our realm of what we think is possible that we don’t even realize it’s literally slavery taking place right down the street at that restaurant.”

Calls for comment for this article to Jenkins and the Value Creators were not returned. A woman who answered the phone number listed on the group’s website declined to comment for this story.

‘They took my childhood, my life’

Because her mother joined when she was young, Ross was associated for most of her life with the United Nation of Islam.

Jenkins founded the United Nation of Islam in 1978 when he split his group away from the national organization Nation of Islam. Jenkins has claimed he was taken by aliens or angels in a spaceship before being returned to rule on earth.

Asked in a February 2018 federal court hearing why she filed suit against UNOI and its entities, Ross said, “I know that what they’re doing is wrong and they need to be punished for it and shut down. And, I mean, they took my childhood, my life and, I mean, I can’t get that back. So I want them to pay for that.”

“This is a unique trafficking case,” said Ross’ attorney, Elizabeth Hutson. “It wasn’t some underground operation operating in the back of a massage parlor or a nail salon or the back of a bar at night where it was really hidden from public sight.”

Ross’ typical day

In the February 2018 hearing, Ross described for the judge a typical day for her. It included work at the restaurant from 6 a.m. until sometimes 11 p.m. Ross’ complaint said she sometimes took care of the house in which Jenkins stayed when he was in Dayton.

“So in the morning wake up, get myself ready, get the kids ready that were in the household, make breakfast, clean,” Ross said, according to a transcript provided by Hutson. “And when the transportation would come, I would get the kids on the bus and then go to whatever job I was going to be doing.

“Mostly it was at the diner cooking. And I would do that until I went home. And when I went home, there was more taking care of the children, cooking dinner, cleaning and -- and taking care of -- I don’t know, just basically took care of the whole household.”

Hutson said Ross was subjected to a non-legal marriage with a UNOI member while in Dayton.

“They restricted her access to the outside world,” Hutson said. “She didn’t form relationships or meaningful connections to anyone outside the group.”

Employees were ‘students’

Dayton Daily News reported in 2007 that the mission of Food For Life Supreme was to “transition people to a healthier lifestyle” by offering fish and vegetable based dishes.

The review said Food for Life Supreme was affiliated with the Kansas City-based University of the Art & Logistics of Civilization, and that employees were students from around the country who also did the intricate marble and slate tile work and carpentry still visible inside the building.

Hutson said that school was not an official entity, but a group that reiterated Jenkins’ teachings.

Forced labor a global problem

Ross’ case illustrates a side of human trafficking apart from sex trafficking and prostitution.

“I really think it’s important that we start focusing on the labor side of trafficking,” Talbott said. “Most people are pretty well aware of compelled prostitution or minor sex trafficking.

“It is a major international problem. It’s a problem here in the U.S., in Ohio, in Dayton. And it will continue to be a problem if we don’t increase awareness of it, both among the general public as well as law enforcement, the prosecutors, the detectives, the judges, so we can go after these folks.”

Experts say the duty to report suspicious situations falls to the average citizen, who may understand sex trafficking and prostitution but not forced labor.

“In a lot of ways, this was just kind of right out in the open,” Hutson said. “The phrase, ‘If you see something, say something’ is thrown around, but it certainly applies in this case.

“It really would take just a few people noticing that something looked off, particularly with the children who aren’t going to school and are working in these establishments.”

UNOI not on the radar

Dayton police, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the local Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice offices all said they didn’t get complaints about or investigate UNOI.

“There’s been no criminal prosecution,” Hutson said. “But hopefully this judgment might spark that.”

Talbott said he was surprised by Ross’ case.

“Yeah, I was,” he said. “I shouldn’t have been, in hindsight. It made sense. It all clicked. … It hadn’t been on my radar at all, this organization.”

The UD professor said finding cooperating criminal witnesses must be hard.

“Everyone you’re going to try to interview is a cult member, so they’re not going to cooperate with law enforcement,” Talbott said. “These are very, very difficult cases to prosecute.”

Cult used fear and intimidation

Ross’ complaint said she was subjected to “humiliating and degrading treatment” at UNOI businesses and households that “made it clear that she was little more than an unpaid servant or slave in the eyes of UNOI” and that she endured verbal, psychological and physical abuse.

“If someone had tried to interact with her, she probably wouldn’t have talked to them,” Talbott said. “She would have been very withdrawn. She would have been frightened and scared.”

In the February hearing, Ross said she feared trying to escape because there were tales of former UNOI members being killed.

“I just felt like I couldn’t leave, like, I would end up getting killed or something bad happening to me,” she said.

Hutson said Ross finally got away from UNOI by the combination of the group’s fracturing, the help of non-cult member relatives and various nonprofit organizations.

“Finally,” Hutson wrote in the complaint, “in 2012, at the age of 21, Ms. Ross gathered her courage and strength to escape from UNOI.”

Hotline provides assistance

Cincinnati FBI public affairs specialist Todd Lindgren said, “There is no specific information I can provide” about whether Value Creators is under investigation, but Lindgren urged people reporting about potential victims to call or text the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888.

“This hotline provides assistance with connecting to anti-trafficking services in the area of the caller and is not a government entity, law enforcement or an immigration authority,” Lindgren said in a statement. “Those who wish to report incidents of human trafficking or suspected human trafficking may call their local FBI office, local police department or 911 if it is an emergency situation.”

‘Better to say something’

Talbott said that following instincts and collecting information about what could be a possible trafficking situation will help law enforcement.

“You get all those little clues together,” he said. “Get as much information as you can as a private citizen without endangering yourself of endangering the potential victim and then report to the national hotline with as much detail as you can and they’ll help put the case together.”

Officials said recognizing signs is key because any person’s tip might be the third or fourth about a business.

“I always tell folks it’s much better to say something and be wrong than to just sort of shrug your shoulders and walk on by,” Talbott said.

Hotline calls increased in 2017

Nationally, the number of cases identified as suspected trafficking after a call to the hotline increased 13 percent in 2017, to 8,759, according to the Polaris Project, an anti-trafficking advocacy organization.

Ross hopes for justice

Hutson said the national hotline has heard from others in Ohio who may have been connected with Value Creators. Hutson said she would provide few details about Ross’ current life in order to protect her client and other possible victims.

The attorney said there’s no guarantee Ross actually will see the $8 million. In a statement provided to media, Ross thanked her attorneys and others.

“Mostly, I’m very happy that justice has been served and that Royall, UNOI and The Value Creators are exposed,” Ross’ statement said. “Although this legal win doesn’t change anything that has happened in the past, it makes me feel like some justice has been served.

“I’ll always live with the memories of what’s been done to me. To all of the members who are still a part of the Value Creators, and those who have left, it is not too late to get out, to be free and get help, justice and closure.”


Local, state and federal officials urge anyone reporting possible human trafficking to contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888. Callers can be anonymous and the resource is not run by law enforcement, immigration or government.


Talbott said the federal awareness campaign for human trafficking is called “Look Beneath the Surface.”

“The main way you all stop this, of course, is prevention -- prevent it from happening in the first place,” Talbott said. “But when you see it, how you intervene and help someone, people have to be educated on what the signs are.”

Talbot said some of the red flags of forced labor are:

• Untreated bruises or injuries or workers being unclean

• Inconsistencies in stories about how much they work

• Failure to make eye contact

• Looking scared but working really hard

“Even if you’re not a trained psychologist, you know when someone is acting oddly,” Talbott said.


• Massage parlors

• Nail salons

• Strip clubs

• Escort services

• Youth door-to-door traveling sales groups

• Construction work

• Independent restaurants/groceries

• Migrant farm workers

Trump: I want ‘my people’ to sit at attention the way North Koreans do for Kim Jong Un

President Donald Trump said during a Friday interview with “Fox and Friends” that he wants people to sit at attention for him, the way they do for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

>> Read more trending news 

“He is the head of a country, and I mean he is the strong head,” Trump told Fox News’ Steve Doocy. “Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

When he was pressed by a reporter to explain those remarks moments later, Trump said he was “kidding.”

“I'm kidding, you don't understand sarcasm,” the president said.

The president spent about 50 minutes on the White House lawn speaking to Fox News and other reporters in the unexpected appearance. 

North Korea has perpetuated human rights abuses for decades, according to human rights groups and the U.S government.

In his first five years in power, Kim has ordered 340 people to be executed. About 140 were senior officers in the country's government and military, according to a 2016 report from the Institute for National Security Strategy, a South Korean think tank.

Trump was later asked about how he was able to mourn the death of American Otto Warmbier, who was held hostage in North Korea and died after his release, while defending Kim Jong Un’s leadership and human rights record.

“I don't want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family,” Trump said. “I want to have a good relationship with North Korea. I want to have a good relationship with many countries.”

Florida woman, 105, recalls life of dance, drink and song

A 105-year-old Florida woman said she has no secret to longevity.

>> Read more trending news 

“I never expected to live this long,” Helen Granier of Palm Harbor told WTSP. “No one in my family ever did. I don't know (what the secret is)!”

Granier celebrated her birthday Friday at Coral Oaks Independent Living Facility, where she has lived the past nine years.

She reminisced about her life and how she went against the grain in her younger days.

“I used to drink beer and I smoked and everything,” Granier told WTSP. “I stayed out late, you know, dancing, and then I would go to work."

She loved to dance, but her husband prevented her from going to Las Vegas to test her luck.

“(My husband) wouldn't take me to Vegas, because he knew I liked to gamble. Oh, I loved to play the slot machines,” Grainer told WTSP. “So I went to Las Vegas after he passed."

Some memories are clear, as if they happened yesterday, Granier said. She was only 5 when World War I ended, but she said she remembered it. She does not recall getting her driver’s license.

“I don't even remember when I started to drive!" she laughed.

Naked man flees Massachusetts hospital, allegedly attacks man with hammer

A Massachusetts man was arrested after allegedly fleeing from a hospital while undressed and attacking a homeowner with a hammer during a break-in attempt. 

>> Read more trending news

Newburyport Police arrested Robert J. Girard, 26, of Amesbury, after a report of a "walk-away" patient from Anna Jacques Hospital late Thursday night.

Girard allegedly fled from the hospital after removing his IVs and a GPS-monitoring ankle bracelet.

About three hours later, officers responded to a call about a man breaking into a home just a few feet from the hospital and attacking a homeowner with a hammer.

Police found Girard on Lois Street, still undressed, and arrested him.

The victim in the assault, Patrick Chamberlin, 50, of Newburyport, was transported to Anna Jacques Hospital, and was treated and released Friday.

The police report described the incident from inside the home.

“He got out of bed and a man was standing in his bedroom with a hammer, the report said. "He said the man told him, ‘I don’t want to do this!’ and Patrick told him he did not have to."

Chamberlin said he was struck with the hammer at least twice before fighting off the attacker and chasing him downstairs. He fled through the unlocked basement door through which he broke in.

"My son heard some noises and the dog barked a couple of times," Chamberlin said. "So we got up and we looked up, and there and we’re like, 'OK, something’s going on up there.'"

“When this patient fled our emergency room, we followed our policy and procedure and immediately notified the police, and worked with them to help locate the individual," the hospital said in a statement.

Girard was charged with attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and aggravated burglary. He was also held on a probation warrant.

Connecticut woman, 90, invents pulley system to retrieve mail

A 90-year-old Connecticut woman invented a pulley system to retrieve her mail, allowing her to skip the walk to a busy street, WFSB reported.

>> Read more trending news

Betty Feret of Canton used to navigate her way to the mailbox daily but found it increasingly difficult.

"The last time I went, I tripped there and fell,” Feret told WFSB. “If I picked my foot up that much further, I wouldn't have fallen and that's when I thought, ‘You better start looking for something.’ And we did.”

Feret devised a pulley system with a clothesline running from her porch to the street, enabling her to get and send out her daily mail as the mailbox travels from one location to the other.

Mark Wilcox, a landscaper who has done work at Feret’s house for many years, put her idea into action.

"The top cable is what keeps it secure so it runs straight and doesn't sag,” Wilcox told WFSB. “Otherwise, the string would lose its tension and sag down real low.

“(Feret) put a clip in here and connects it to her mail, so if the mailman goes in there and it falls, she just has to grab the string and it won't be on the ground.”

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