Berian upset, Montano and Martinez tumble at U.S. trials

EUGENE, Oregon World indoor champion Boris Berian was upset in the men's 800 meters, while Alysia Montano and Brenda Martinez had their Rio hopes dashed when they became entangled in the women's race at the American Olympic trials on Monday.Collegiate champion Clayton Murphy surged past Berian to punch his Rio ticket in 1:44.76, 16 hundredths of a second faster than Berian who still made the team for Brazil along with Charles Jock.The biggest drama came in the women's race over two laps, however, with little-known Kate Grace winning in 1:59.10 after Montano and Martinez came together before tumbling to the track on the final bend.Without naming names, Martinez insisted she was clipped by a runner and Montano denied she was the guilty party."I don't know what happened to Brenda," the tearful Montano said. "She ended up tripping and I found myself jumping around her and someone kicked me out from behind. What can I do in that situation? I didn't touch anyone."Martinez said she had been unable to regain her composure after the incident."I just tried catching my fall but by then they were already making another gear, another move," said the 2013 world bronze medalist, who finished seventh in 2:06.63. A distraught Montano, who believes doping Russian athletes cheated her out of a medal at the 2012 Olympics, lay on the track before getting up, jogging a bit, then falling to her knees before eventually reaching the line in 3:06.77.Officials ruled the contact incidental and said there would be no disqualification.World indoor silver medallist Ajee Wilson claimed second in 1:59.51 with Chrishuna Williams taking third. Men's winner Murphy said he was not sure he could catch Berian after the indoor champion had sprinted to the lead after a hectic 350 metres. "But when I came off the top of the curve in second I had confidence that I could be in top three," said the 21-year-old.Berian, who two years ago was flipping hamburgers for a living, was philosophical about a defeat which still saw him clinch his place on the Olympic team. "It’s all worth it and I’m just so proud right now," the 23-year-old said. Olympic 10,000 metres silver medallist Galen Rupp, already on the American team in the marathon and 10,000, squeezed into Saturday's 5,000 metres final as the 12th qualifier, clocking 13:49.50.Woody Kincaid led qualifying (13:47.86) with the better known Ryan Hill and Bernard Lagat also advancing. The U.S. pole vault team for Rio will all be first time Olympians. World indoor silver medallist Sam Kendricks led the way with 5.91 metres for the win, while Cale Simmons (5.65m) and Logan Cunningham (5.60m) took the next two spots.The trials, at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field, take a day off on Tuesday before resuming on Wednesday. Only the top three finishers in each event qualify for Rio. (Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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'Walkers on water' overwhelm Italian lake installation

SULZANO, Italy A yellow fabric walkway floating on Lake Iseo in northern Italy has attracted twice as many visitors as expected and has been forced to close at night for essential repairs and cleaning.Last Saturday, Bulgarian-born artist Christo opened "The Floating Piers", a 3 km (two mile)-long walkway from Sulzano on the mainland to the Monte Isola and San Paolo islands, usually accessible only by boat.Authorities in the area 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Milan had expected around 40,000 visitors a day and to keep the walkway open around the clock. But after 97,000 came on Wednesday alone, they decided to close it between midnight and 0400 GMT. Made of some 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes covered with shimmering yellow fabric, the piers have suffered more wear and tear than expected. The linked cubes are anchored to the bed of the lake, forming a 16 meter-wide, 35 centimeter-high surface designed to move gently with the waves.Admission is free. Volunteers are on hand in case anyone falls into the water. The installation closes on July 3. (Writing by Isla Binnie; editing by Andrew Roche)

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Paris exhibition displays Chirac-like 18th century Japanese masks

PARIS Three antique Japanese theater masks that bear a striking resemblance to former French president Jacques Chirac will go on display from Tuesday in a Paris museum he set up 10 years ago and that will now bear his name."There are thousands of Chiracs in Japan," said Jean-Jacques Aillagon, who served as culture minister during Chirac's presidency, explaining that the late 18th century masks represent a Japanese theater character that was always carved with similar features.The museum, which specializes in early art from Africa, Asia and the Americas, will be renamed "Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac". The exhibition delves into his long-hidden passion for such works of art. The 83-year-old Chirac was better known for his taste for food and beer, and a pundit once said about him: "Men usually read Playboy hidden behind the cover of a poetry book, but Chirac reads poetry behind a copy of Playboy."Saying she also spoke in his name, Chirac's wife Bernadette told reporters: "France is never greater than when it engages with other cultures, other people. It's a strong message and one that is very relevant now." Chirac, a center-right politician who was a prominent figure in French politics for decades, was president from 1995 to 2007. (Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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Jewelry, sneakers and lots of paper towels at 'Whitey' Bulger auction

BOSTON Some of former Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger's preferences were made well known during the years he ruled the city's underworld: He didn't like snitches and expected absolute obedience from members of his gang.He also expected consistency in his footwear, judging by a catalog for a U.S. Marshals auction of his property set for next week in Boston.The items up for auction include four unworn pairs of men's Asics sneakers, size 9.5, and five packs of cushioned insoles, according to an auction catalog released on Thursday. The auction is intended to raise money for the families of the 11 people he was convicted of murdering or ordering killed in the 1970s and '80s when he ran Boston's "Winter Hill" crime gang. Bulger, now 86, fled Boston in 1994 on a tip from a corrupt FBI agent that arrest was imminent and spent 16 years on the lam with his girlfriend Catherine Greig, now 65, before the FBI caught up with them in a seaside apartment in Santa Monica, California, in 2011.The auction includes a mix of valuable items including a replica Stanley Cup ring, a yellow gold Claddagh ring and appropriately, given the outcome of his trial, a sterling silver "Psycho Killer Ring." It also includes more mundane items seized at the apartment, such as clothing, kitchen items and 30 rolls of paper towels. It seems the man found guilty of hiding bodies in the dirt-floored basement of a South Boston home appreciated the importance of cleaning up after himself. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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France to formally ratify Paris climate accord on June 15 - Minister

PARIS President Francois Hollande will formally sign the Paris climate agreement on Wednesday, June 15, making France the first industrialized nation to ratify the landmark accord, Environment Minister Segolene Royal said on Friday.France's Senate adopted a bill authorizing the government to ratify the agreement on Wednesday after a near unanimous vote by the lower house in May, Royal told a carbon pricing forum in Paris.Royal, who is the current chair of the United Nations climate talks COP21, said several other industrialized nations were expected to ratify the agreement by the end of the year. The Paris climate agreement aimed at limiting global warming was reached by nearly 200 nations last December in the French capital. (Reporting by Bate Felix, Editing by Dominique Vidalon)

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