SAN FRANCISCO – Cheerful roars could be heard a block away from the downtown ballpark Saturday, and it had nothing to do with a Barry Bonds homer. The enthusiasm poured from thousands of Christian youths who had gathered – in one of the most permissive corners of the nation – for a rally to call for moral change and to decry homosexuality. Despite the strategic location for the two-day BattleCry event, the evangelical fanfare continued its final day Saturday without any fierce clashes. “I think we’ll just be able to do our thing today,” said Jeanine Rhoden, a spokeswoman for Teen Mania, the Texas-based ministry behind the extravaganza. Indeed, protesters were nowhere in sight Saturday as Christian rock bands and religious speakers roused the audience at AT&T Park, bringing them to their feet in song and prayer. Not surprisingly, however, passing motorists gave no signs of support – or car honks – as rally participants held up a large banner decrying “Homosexuality is sin” on the busy street outside the stadium. “People are welcome to come to the city to celebrate whatever, but I think they’re dead wrong,” said Thom Lynch, executive director of the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center. “And I feel sorry for some of the youth there that they’re being inculcated with a religious belief that doesn’t allow for any variances … at all.” The rally could have almost passed as any modern-day lollapalooza for teens – complete with entrepreneurs hawking “BattleCry” baseball caps and activists seeking signatures for a petition to support the First Amendment, namely the “freedom of religion.” But the impromptu prayer circles and arms raised in praise from church groups entering the stadium stood in contrast to the glamorized sex-and-drug culture that event organizers say are harming today’s youth. One rallygoer, Edward Sanares, the leader of a church youth group from Sunnyvale, found the spiritual rally uplifting. “It’s showing choices teens have to make in this society and that they should choose God,” he said. More than 20,000 people were registered to attend the two-day rally. It was BattleCry’s second appearance in two years. Last year’s inaugural event in the city known for its ultraliberal politics and gay marriages did spark some protests. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors had even passed a resolution condemning the “act of provocation” by an “anti-gay,” “anti-choice” organization that aimed to “negatively influence the politics of America’s most tolerant and progressive city.” This year, Lynch said, “it’s live and let be. After all, that’s what San Francisco is all about.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Sterling’s 31st minute goal ensured City took advantage of second placed Manchester United’s costly draw with Burnley on Tuesday.The only club in Europe’s five biggest leagues to have had a longer winning run is Bayern Munich, who earned 19 consecutive victories under Guardiola in 2013-14.City can equal Bayern’s mark in their next match at Crystal Palace on December 31.Unbeaten City have also won a record-equalling 11 successive away matches in the English top-flight, a total matched only by Chelsea in 2008.Only Everton have prevented City from collecting maximum points this season, and ultra-defensive Newcastle, who for long spells had 11 men behind the ball, rarely looked like adding their name to that select group once Sterling poked home.That the winger’s fourth strike in three games was the visitors’ only goal was a major surprise as they underlined the gulf in class between the top flight elite and the rest of the division.They wouldn’t have been flattered by a five-goal interval advantage as they posted a 20th consecutive unbeaten league game against their hosts.Sergio Aguero could easily have had a hat-trick, as the Argentina striker struck the post with a close-range volley from a Fernandinho pass.Aguero also saw his goal-bound header from a Kevin De Bruyne free-kick brilliantly saved by Rob Elliot, although the busy Newcastle goalkeeper could do little to prevent City from almost inevitably claiming the deadlock-breaking goal.Sterling swapped passes with De Bruyne, whose lofted pass perfectly met the England international’s run into the area to beat Elliot with a low shot which found the net off the foot of a post from a narrow angle.Newcastle briefly threatened an equaliser when, after a slip by England full-back Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi had to head Rolando Aarons’ chip off the line under pressure from Joselu.– One way traffic –It was a rare threat from the hosts, whose negative approach contributed to a fifth successive home defeat, the club’s worst run at St James’ Park for 64 years to leave them a point above the relegation zone.The loss of injury-prone skipper Vincent Kompany early in the first-half to a recurrence of a long-term calf problem proved to be the only downside for Guardiola.The Spaniard was able to breathe a sigh of relief when City’s Ilkay Gundogan escaped a serious injury when Newcastle winger Jacob Murphy somehow went unpunished for a reckless challenge on the midfielder.The interval did little to stem City’s momentum.It was again largely one-way traffic in the second-half as Aguero was again left frustrated when denied his side’s second goal by an assistant referee’s flag for offside after the forward dispatched the rebound when De Bruyne’s long-range effort came back off a post.Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles came perilously close to heading Aguero’s pass into his own net.But while the deficit remained at a single goal, theoretically at least the hosts retained hopes.These were raised when Dwight Gayle went down in the area late on under challenge from Danilo, only for the substitute to rightly earn a caution for diving from referee Andre Marriner.Gayle’s diving header as stoppage time approached flashed just wide, but anything other than a City victory would have been hugely unjust.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester City’s midfielder Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match against Southampton November 29, 2017LONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 27 – Manchester City surged 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League as Raheem Sterling fired the runaway leaders to a 1-0 win at Newcastle on Wednesday.Pep Guardiola’s side look certain to lift the title after extending their Premier League record winning streak to 18 matches.