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South Carolina, Iowa, USC and Texas top women's AP Top 25; they are also 1 seeds in NCAA Tournament

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South Carolina, Iowa, USC and Texas top women's AP Top 25; they are also 1 seeds in NCAA Tournament


South Carolina, Iowa, USC and Texas are the top four teams in the Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll, a day after all four were chosen as the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament that begins later this week.

The undefeated Gamecocks remained the unanimous No. 1 choice from the 35-member national media panel Monday. They had a week off after winning the SEC Tournament. Iowa and USC also didn’t play last week after winning the Big Ten and Pac-12 tournaments, respectively.

Texas moved up one spot to fourth after winning the Big 12 Tournament last Tuesday. The Longhorns earned their first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament since 2004.

Stanford fell one place to fifth. UCLA, Ohio State and LSU were next. Notre Dame was ninth, the first difference between the poll and NCAA bracket as far as seeding. LSU was given a 3-seed in the NCAAs and the Irish a 2-seed.

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UConn remained in 10th after winning its 22nd Big East Tournament last week.

The AP will have a final poll after the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the 47-year history of the poll.

TOUGH REGION

Iowa’s NCAA regional features five teams that spent time in the top three of the AP Top 25 during the season. The Hawkeyes, UCLA, LSU, Kansas State and Colorado had turns up there. None of the other regionals has more than three teams that have done that. South Carolina is the lone team in its part of the bracket to achieve that.

CONFERENCE WATCH

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The Pac-12 got a conference record-tying seven teams in the NCAA Tournament, six of which are ranked in the poll, including three of the top six.

The ACC is next with five teams in the Top 25, and the Big 12 has four and the Big Ten three. The SEC, which got eight bids to the NCAAs, has only two teams ranked, matching the Big East. The West Coast and Mountain West join the MAAC with one team each.



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Dogfight uncovered in SC, 13 suspects arrested

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Dogfight uncovered in SC, 13 suspects arrested


COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said more than a dozen suspects are charged in connection with dogfighting uncovered over the weekend.

On Saturday two dogs were rescued from an active fight and taken to an emergency veterinarian in Richland County.

SLED and the Richland County Sheriff’s Office investigated the scene, where they seized multiple firearms and $84,000 in cash.

The following suspects were arrested and charged with animal fighting and baiting:

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  • Kenyata Jermaine Massey, 45, of Lancaster, SC
  • LaCharles Terrel Beatty, 32, of Richburg, SC
  • Eddrick Twitty, 44, of Heath Springs, SC
  • Howard Cockrell, 27, of Chester, SC
  • Carl Montero Brown, 23, of Chester, SC
  • Eric Deon Todd, 35, of Blythewood, SC
  • Kevin Breon Pickett, 36, of Richburg, SC
  • Daryl Bowman, 29, of Columbia, SC
  • Kareem Witherspoon, 48, of Heath Springs, SC
  • Glenn Housel, 51, of Newberry, SC
  • Patrick Heard, 45, of Elberton, GA
  • Kareem Lann, 25, of Chester, SC
  • Lataruis Antwan Robinson, 42, of Fort Lawn, SC

The investigation into the dogfight is active and ongoing. If you know anything about dogfighting in South Carolina, submit a tip to SLED via email.



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SC gas prices nearly flat over previous week as national price rises

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SC gas prices nearly flat over previous week as national price rises


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – Unlike the national average for a gallon of gasoline, South Carolina’s average fell, but only by less than a penny.

GasBuddy reported the average price of gas in South Carolina was $3.23 per gallon, a drop of a half-cent over the previous week, based on a survey of more than 3,000 state gas stations.

That puts prices 4.4 cents higher than a month ago but 7 cents lower than one year ago.

The lowest prices across the Tri-County area as of Monday morning was $2.89, reported in North Charleston.

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Click here to find the cheapest gas where you live.

Palmetto State gas prices ranged on Sunday from $2.89 to $3.69, a range of 80 cents per gallon.

But the national average price rose 4.3 cents over the last week, landing on $3.64 per gallon as of Monday morning. The national average is up 10.8 cents over a month ago and 1.1 cents lower than a year ago.

Patrick De Haan, the lead petroleum analyst at GasBuddy said the nationwide changeover to summer gasoline, one of the lead three factors causing prices to rise in the last few months is now behind us.

“However, it may take time for the largest pain point to be over: refinery maintenance. The next few weeks should see many refineries wrapping up their work and gasoline output should rise, putting downward pressure on gasoline prices soon,” he said. “While Israel’s retribution on Iran was somewhat surprising, it was also measured, with Iran virtually not even mentioning it publicly. As such, the price of oil has moved slightly lower, following the de-escalation that now appears to be taking place. I’m hopeful with reduced concern in the Middle East and an end to the seasonal factors pushing prices up that Americans will soon see relief.”

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The national average price of diesel has decreased 0.4 cents in the last week and stands at $4.01 per gallon.



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Ecuadorians vote in referendum to approve toughening fight against gangs

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Ecuadorians vote in referendum to approve toughening fight against gangs


QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador’s fledgling president got a resounding victory Sunday in a referendum that he touted as a way to crack down on criminal gangs behind a spiraling wave of violence.

An official quick count showed that Ecuadorians overwhelmingly voted “yes” to all nine questions focused on tightening security measures, rejecting only two more controversial economic proposals.

The quick count was announced by the head of the Electoral National Council, Diana Atamaint. It confirmed a private exit poll released hours before that indicated a resounding victory and sign of support for President Daniel Noboa, the scion of a wealthy banana exporting family.

Among the measures approved are President Noboa’s call to deploy the army in the fight against the gangs, to loosen obstacles for extraditing accused criminals and to lengthen prison sentences for convicted drug traffickers.

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Ecuador was traditionally one of South America’s most peaceful countries, but it has been rocked in recent years by a wave of violence, much of it spilling over from neighboring Colombia, the world’s largest producer of cocaine. Last year, the country’s homicide rate shot up to 40 deaths per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the region.

President Daniel Noboa arrives to vote in a referendum to endorse new security measures to crackdown on criminal gangs responsible for increasing violence, in Olon, Ecuador, Sunday, April 21, 2024.

Noboa has rallied popular support by confronting the gangs head on. That task became more urgent in January when masked gunmen, some on orders from imprisoned drug traffickers, terrorized residents and took control of a television station while it was live on the air in an unprecedented show of force.

Following the rampage, the 36-year-old president decreed an “internal armed conflict,” enabling him to use emergency powers to deploy the army in pursuit of about 20 gangs now classified as “terrorists.”

The referendum, in which more than 13 million Ecuadorians were called to vote, contained measures to extend those powers and put them on firmer legal ground.

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For some analysts, the Ecuadorian leader must show results to live up to people’s support.

“This gives him some vigor,” said Andrea Endara, analyst and professor at Casa Grande University. But “if the president does not begin to take actions to demonstrate that having voted ‘yes’ brings results to reduce insecurity, this support will quickly be diluted.”

Some of the measures approved imply changes to Ecuador’s constitution, but because they were previously endorsed by the Constitutional Court, Noboa only needs to publish them in the official gazette to go into effect. Some of those initiatives are the ones related to the use of the army and extradition.

For the changes that require changing some general laws, the president will have to send a reform proposal to the Assembly, which will have 60 days to process them.

Noboa, ahead of the final tally, celebrated the results. “We’ve defended the country,” he said in a message posted on social media. “Now we will have more tools to fight against the delinquent and restore peace to Ecuador’s families.”

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Noboa’s law and order rhetoric recalls the policies of El Salvador’s wildly popular president, Nayib Bukele, a fellow millennial, and could give him a boost politically as he prepares to run for reelection next year.

Noboa, is serving the final 18 months of a presidential term left vacant when fellow conservative Guillermo Lasso resigned amid a congressional investigation into allegations of corruption. Noboa was elected following a shortened but bloody campaign that saw one of his top rivals brazenly assassinated while campaigning.

“We can’t live in fear of leaving our homes,” Leonor Sandoval, a 39-year-old homemaker, said after voting for all 11 of the proposals.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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