WeekFacts http://www.weekfacts.com News Facts Today Sat, 23 Feb 2019 04:32:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://www.weekfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/cropped-weekfactsicon-32x32.png WeekFacts http://www.weekfacts.com 32 32 133114583 Nets finally have their health, but now the real challenge begins http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/nets-finally-have-their-health-but-now-the-real-challenge-begins/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/nets-finally-have-their-health-but-now-the-real-challenge-begins/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 04:32:34 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519749 The Nets are the healthiest they have been all year as they head into the final 22 games of the season. And yet, they are now left with one of their biggest challenges: Trying to figure out how they all fit together. “We just need time, but we’re pressed for time,” coach Kenny Atkinson said […]

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The Nets are the healthiest they have been all year as they head into the final 22 games of the season.

And yet, they are now left with one of their biggest challenges: Trying to figure out how they all fit together.

“We just need time, but we’re pressed for time,” coach Kenny Atkinson said Friday before the Nets flew to Charlotte, N.C., for Saturday’s game. “I think part of getting healthy again is just getting that chemistry and getting our lineups right. That’s where we’re a little — confused is the wrong word, but we’re trying to figure it out what the best thing is and who’s getting the minutes and all that. It’s almost like another new season for us with all our returning players.”

Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) is the only regular left on the injury report, as the Nets have gotten Caris LeVert, Allen Crabbe and Jared Dudley back on the court in recent games. The reinforcements have not paid immediate dividends, though, as the Nets are stuck in a 2-6 skid that started before the All-Star break and continued with Thursday’s home loss to the Trail Blazers.

Not long ago, the Nets (30-30) were one of the hottest teams in the NBA, surging into a playoff spot while having players step up and thrive despite the beat-up roster. They are still in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, but as of Friday afternoon, they led the seventh-place Hornets by one game (Charlotte beat the Wizards, 123-110, on Friday night), giving Saturday’s meeting more importance. The difference between sixth place and 10th place was only three games, with the race tightening by the day.

“We gotta make up ground,” Atkinson said.

Figuring out how to get LeVert and D’Angelo Russell playing at a high level together may go a long way toward achieving that goal. LeVert was putting together a breakout season before dislocating his foot in November, but Russell began to thrive in his absence.

“And they were great when they played together earlier,” Atkinson said. “That’s one of the things I loved about Caris, they had great chemistry. So just getting that chemistry back, that’s part of it. It just doesn’t happen in practice. We need more games.

“The issue there is our runway isn’t as long. We don’t have a 60-game runway to say, ‘Oh man, let’s figure this out.’ ”

In four games since returning, LeVert is shooting 36.2 percent and just 3-for-15 from 3-point range, averaging 10.3 points and 4.5 assists.

“I think he needs one really good game, one of those authentic Caris LeVert games,” Atkinson said.

The other area of emphasis for the Nets is figuring out their power forward spot, where Treveon Graham, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jared Dudley were ineffective Thursday night. They combined to shoot 1-for-10 from the field, and the Nets were outrebounded 60-49.

“Everybody has their strengths,” Atkinson said. “There’s offensive strength, there’s defensive strength, it’s just up to us to figure it out. We’ve got a lot of good players. Like I said [Thursday], we got a lot of different ways. I think right now it’s going to be game-to-game and matchup-to-matchup. We’ll figure it out.”

But that’s the Nets’ conundrum — they’re trying to figure it out on the fly during their final 22 games, with each one of growing significance as they try to secure their playoff spot.

“These games are going to be real important, starting with [Thursday],” Graham said. “We let that one go, but I feel like, again, once everybody gets back rolling from the All-Star break I think we’ll be fine. These are definitely winnable games that we can go in there and get. Hopefully everybody’s on track and ready to go.”

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Bryce Harper takes a second meeting with the Phillies http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/bryce-harper-takes-a-second-meeting-with-the-phillies/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/bryce-harper-takes-a-second-meeting-with-the-phillies/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 03:53:50 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519690 Bryce Harper appears to be doing his due diligence before finally choosing a team to play for. The former MVP met with Phillies owner John Middleton in Las Vegas on Friday, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The meeting was more of a “meet-and-greet” according to ESPN and no deal is expected to be agreed to […]

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Bryce Harper appears to be doing his due diligence before finally choosing a team to play for.

The former MVP met with Phillies owner John Middleton in Las Vegas on Friday, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The meeting was more of a “meet-and-greet” according to ESPN and no deal is expected to be agreed to Friday.

The Phillies, who also met with the outfielder in January, are considered the favorite to land Harper’s services with the Giants, Padres, White Sox and Nationals still in the running.

Nationals owner Mark Lerner told NBC Sports on Friday that the club has “moved on” from Harper and wished him “nothing by the best.” He did not completely rule out Harper, who the Nationals offered a 10-year, $300 million contract to before the end of the regular season, still returning to Washington.

“But there’s always that, the door’s cracked a little bit,” Lerner said.

The White Sox are also not in “aggressive pursuit” of Harper after missing out on Manny Machado, according to MLB Network. Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres earlier this week. San Diego general manager A.J. Preller, however, didn’t rule out the team making another big signing.

“We’re always open-mined to looking at improving our club,” Preller said. “We understand we want to be at the top part of the standings. We have a lot of work to do from that standpoint.”

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China’s Xi Jinping calls for trade deal in letter to Trump http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/chinas-xi-jinping-calls-for-trade-deal-in-letter-to-trump/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/chinas-xi-jinping-calls-for-trade-deal-in-letter-to-trump/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 01:58:39 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519552 Chinese President Xi Jinping sent President Trump a friendly letter on Friday, calling on the US and his own country to redouble efforts to cut a trade deal before a March 1 deadline. In the message, Xi said he asked Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to give Trump “my warm greetings and best regards.” Xi’s […]

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Chinese President Xi Jinping sent President Trump a friendly letter on Friday, calling on the US and his own country to redouble efforts to cut a trade deal before a March 1 deadline.

In the message, Xi said he asked Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to give Trump “my warm greetings and best regards.”

Xi’s message also noted that Trump sent him a “lovely” video “made by his grandchildren on Chinese New Year.”

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‘It’s finally over’: Manny Machado calls the Padres a perfect fit http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/its-finally-over-manny-machado-calls-the-padres-a-perfect-fit/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/its-finally-over-manny-machado-calls-the-padres-a-perfect-fit/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 01:58:13 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519518 PEORIA, Ariz. — Manny Machado pulled on a dark blue San Diego hat and slipped a crisp No. 13 Padres jersey over his broad shoulders. “It’s finally over,” Machado said with a grin. Finally, indeed. Machado joined his new team on Friday, a day after finalizing a $300 million, 10-deal contract that signals the Padres […]

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PEORIA, Ariz. — Manny Machado pulled on a dark blue San Diego hat and slipped a crisp No. 13 Padres jersey over his broad shoulders.

“It’s finally over,” Machado said with a grin.

Finally, indeed.

Machado joined his new team on Friday, a day after finalizing a $300 million, 10-deal contract that signals the Padres think their loaded farm system is just about ready to help the club return to playoff contention. The blockbuster deal with spring training already in full swing is the highest ever for a free agent and second only to Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million, 13-year agreement.

After months of speculation that roped in Machado’s family and friends and tested the patience of fans in several cities, the All-Star slugger is headed for the sunshine and beaches of San Diego.

“With the players, coaching staff and front office, you know it was just like a perfect fit for us,” Machado said.

San Diego had just 66 wins last year in its eighth consecutive losing season. The Padres have never won the World Series, but they have a group of highly regarded prospects on the brink of the majors — led by shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and left-hander MacKenzie Gore.

Making room for Tatis, the 26-year-old Machado will play third in an infield that also includes first baseman Eric Hosmer, who agreed to a $144 million, seven-year contract last February.

Bryce Harper, Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remain on the free-agent market, and general manager A.J. Preller isn’t ruling out another big addition.

“We’re always open-minded to looking at improving our club,” Preller said. “We understand we want to be at the top part of the standings. We have a lot of work to do from that standpoint.”

Machado hit .297 last year and set career bests with 37 homers and 107 RBIs. A four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, he has a .282 career average with 175 homers and 513 RBIs in seven big league seasons.

Machado was traded from Baltimore to Los Angeles in July and helped the Dodgers to their second straight World Series appearance — and loss. But he caused a stir during the NL Championship Series when he failed to run out a grounder and later said: “Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle’ and run down the line and slide to first base.”

Asked if his comments were brought up during free agency, Machado said it was the kind of stuff “you leave in the past.”

“You address it at the moment and you just move forward from it,” he said.

Machado shifted from third base to shortstop at the start of last season and had expressed a preference to stay at that position. But he maintained it was only one factor of his decision-making process.

“Shortstop was a big key, but at the end of the day it’s always a matter of what team, what position, how would it be?” he said. “I’ve played third base my entire life, moved over obviously because I’ve always wanted to, the spot was open, but coming here to come play third base, I saw a great opportunity to help out other guys, help out young guys, help out Tatis.”

The Padres had been searching for a third baseman all offseason. Preller had been in contact with Machado’s camp, but the team got more serious in its pursuit about six weeks ago.

The deal was finalized after team chairman Ron Fowler and general partner Peter Seidler had a two-hour lunch with Machado on Wednesday in San Diego.

“They knew about the organization. They knew what our priorities were with family and I think that helped us sign them,” Fowler said. “Obviously 300 million didn’t hurt, but I think this is where they wanted to be.”

Machado also was hotly pursued by the Chicago White Sox, another struggling club looking to add a marquee player to its strong farm system. Chicago’s offer was worth $250 million over eight years, with the potential to go even higher with options years that could become guaranteed. The White Sox also traded for Yonder Alonso, Machado’s brother-in-law, and signed outfielder Jon Jay, one of Machado’s close friends.

But Alonso and Jay also spent time in San Diego earlier in their careers, and Machado said they enjoyed the experience.

“They talk great about San Diego. They never stop talking about it,” he said. “Yonder loves it, Jon Jay as well. So they’re just happy for me, for my family and for our situation.”

The Padres took out insurance to cover the entirety of Machado’s deal, but Fowler declined to say how much it cost. He didn’t seem to mind the extra cash too much, either.

“I guess my state would be I’m much happier as to where we are now than where the White Sox are,” Fowler said.

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Zion Williamson not expected to play vs. Syracuse http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/zion-williamson-not-expected-to-play-vs-syracuse/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/zion-williamson-not-expected-to-play-vs-syracuse/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 01:42:11 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519543 Zion Williamson is expected to miss Duke’s game Saturday at Syracuse after suffering a Grade 1 right knee sprain Wednesday, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, citing a source. Williamson is moving around and optimistic about returning in the next week. He is listed as day-to-day and is “progressing as expected,” Duke said in a statement […]

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Zion Williamson is expected to miss Duke’s game Saturday at Syracuse after suffering a Grade 1 right knee sprain Wednesday, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, citing a source.

Williamson is moving around and optimistic about returning in the next week. He is listed as day-to-day and is “progressing as expected,” Duke said in a statement Thursday.

The expected future No. 1 pick limped off the court 36 seconds into Duke’s loss against No. 8 North Carolina and never returned.

So far this season, he is averaging 21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals while shooting 68 percent from the field.

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Dustin Johnson leads at Mexico Championship, Tiger making up ground http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/dustin-johnson-leads-at-mexico-championship-tiger-making-up-ground/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/dustin-johnson-leads-at-mexico-championship-tiger-making-up-ground/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 00:55:44 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519432 MEXICO CITY — Dustin Johnson putted for birdie on every hole Friday and shot a 4-under 67, leaving him bogey-free for 36 holes and two shots ahead of Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar going into the weekend at the Mexico Championship. Tiger Woods got back in the game with a 65, and one shot from […]

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MEXICO CITY — Dustin Johnson putted for birdie on every hole Friday and shot a 4-under 67, leaving him bogey-free for 36 holes and two shots ahead of Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar going into the weekend at the Mexico Championship.

Tiger Woods got back in the game with a 65, and one shot from a fairway bunker that dazzled the gallery. He still was six shots behind.

Johnson, who won at Chapultepec Golf Club two years ago when he was at the top of his game, was at 11-under 131.

McIlroy birdied his first two holes and quickly built a three-shot lead, only to be undone by a four-putt from the fringe at No. 9 that slowed his momentum. He had to settle for a 69. Kuchar had a 67. Phil Mickelson, who shot a first-round 79, shot a 65, the low round of the day. But he’s still well back at 2-over par.

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Rangers playing it cool as first big domino falls before NHL trade deadline http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/rangers-playing-it-cool-as-first-big-domino-falls-before-nhl-trade-deadline/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/rangers-playing-it-cool-as-first-big-domino-falls-before-nhl-trade-deadline/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 00:46:34 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519355 The first big domino has fallen, and the Rangers were still publicly playing it cool. As Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline bears down on the NHL, and even after the Senators dealt winger Matt Duchene to the all-in Blue Jackets on Friday afternoon, the Blueshirts held the party line. That means coach David Quinn continues […]

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The first big domino has fallen, and the Rangers were still publicly playing it cool.

As Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline bears down on the NHL, and even after the Senators dealt winger Matt Duchene to the all-in Blue Jackets on Friday afternoon, the Blueshirts held the party line. That means coach David Quinn continues to expect his lineup for Saturday’s matinee at the Garden against the Devils to contain those key pieces of the club’s the roster, including forwards Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes, along with defenseman Adam McQuaid, who are more than likely going to be traded.

“As I stand in front of you today,” Quinn said after Friday’s practice, “guys that are on the roster will be in the lineup, until I’m told differently.”

It has been a tough few weeks for the Rangers, who have had to deal with all of the noise concerning the future of their teammates, most notably Zuccarello and Hayes. The group has held it together pretty well, but a desultory 4-1 loss to the Wild at the Garden on Thursday night might have been the culmination of the mentally trying time catching up to them.

“It’s going to be hard not to be distracted,” said defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who went through this whole thing when he was traded from the Blues to the Capitals just before the 2017 deadline. “We have to keep our heads on straight and focus.”

It briefly seemed Thursday as if the club’s plan of playing the trade pieces before the deadline was backfiring. McQuaid got hurt late in the first period and didn’t return. Quinn calmed those nerves after the game, saying McQuaid was “actually fine” and only held out due to “precaution.” The hulking righty-shooting defenseman, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent, was a full participant in Friday’s practice.

But it seems like the precaution is not extending to Saturday — assuming none of the above-mentioned players has been traded by then. The Rangers then go to Washington for a Sunday afternoon match before having Monday off to sit by their phones and wait.

“It’s the reality of the league,” said Quinn, whose only other experience with this time of the year in the NHL was when he was an assistant with the Avalanche in 2012-13. “I went through it as an assistant, but it’s a whole different situation when you’re driving the bus, not a passenger on it. It’s real. Every team is going through it. We’re not the only team going through this.”

The market is clearing up a little bit now that Duchene has been moved for a first-round pick, two prospects, and another conditional first-round pick if he ends up signing a new contract with Columbus. The Senators also hold another key cog in establishing the market with winger Mark Stone, who is likely to bring back a little bit less than that.

Some teams that logically are interested in Stone also are looking at Hayes — including, but not limited to, the Bruins and Jets. If Stone moves first, expect Hayes to be not far behind.

And expect there to be little hesitation from outside bidders to up an offer for Zuccarello once things start moving. After a slow start to the season — with the likelihood of a trade hanging over the head of the sensitive and thoughtful Norwegian — Zuccarello has since played his best hockey since the New Year. That is a fact surely noticed around the league.

“It’s not easy to do what he did and turn it around. He struggled early, he was the first guy to admit it,” Quinn said. “To be able to do what he’s done over the last several weeks, it almost confirms everything we know about him.”

For now, the plan is to not let the inevitable moves affect the current lineup. But of course that could change at any moment, which is what makes it tough to actually take the ice.

“We’re all humans, emotions play a big part in,” Quinn said. “Not only for the guys that have been talked about that might be on the move, but guys that they have been here with for a long time. It affects everybody.”

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Giants awarded a fifth-round pick for NFL Draft http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/giants-awarded-a-fifth-round-pick-for-nfl-draft/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/giants-awarded-a-fifth-round-pick-for-nfl-draft/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 00:06:29 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519309 The Giants have another draft pick to play with. The NFL awarded the Giants a fifth-round pick Friday as part of its compensatory formula. The Jets received no compensatory picks. The additional pick gives the Giants 10 selections in next month’s draft, providing general manager Dave Gettleman with plenty of ammunition to trade up if […]

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The Giants have another draft pick to play with.

The NFL awarded the Giants a fifth-round pick Friday as part of its compensatory formula. The Jets received no compensatory picks.

The additional pick gives the Giants 10 selections in next month’s draft, providing general manager Dave Gettleman with plenty of ammunition to trade up if he wants to.

Eight of the 10 picks come on the third day of the draft. As it stands now, the Giants have one first-round pick (No. 6 overall), one second-rounder, no third-round picks, two in the fourth, three in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.

The fifth-round pick the Giants received Friday is the 33rd pick in the fifth round, No. 171 overall.

The NFL awards teams compensatory picks based on a formula that has to do with how many free agents the team lost and signed in the prior year. The Giants lost Ross Cockrell, D.J. Fluker, Devon Kennard, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg and Geno Smith in 2018. They signed Cody Latimer, Kareem Martin, Nate Solder and Michael Thomas.

Previously, the Giants lost their third-round pick after selecting cornerback Sam Beal in the supplemental draft. They added a fourth-round pick in the Eli Apple trade to the Saints and a fifth-round pick in the Damon “Snacks” Harrison trade with the Lions. They attained two seventh-round picks in trades with the Rams and Vikings in the Alec Ogletree and Brett Jones deals, respectively. They lost their own seventh-round pick in a trade with the Broncos for punter Riley Dixon.

The Cardinals, Patriots and Redskins each received four compensatory picks — the most awarded this year. The Bengals, Rams and Vikings each received three.

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Velazquez fundraising email boasts about wrestling power from ‘old white men’ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/velazquez-fundraising-email-boasts-about-wrestling-power-from-old-white-men/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/velazquez-fundraising-email-boasts-about-wrestling-power-from-old-white-men/#respond Fri, 22 Feb 2019 23:54:41 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519235 Rep. Nydia Velazquez sent out a fundraising email boasting that she’s fought to wrest power from “old white men.” But there was a problem with the pitch: some of the people she’s soliciting for donations to her re-election campaign are … old white men. “When I was first elected to Congress, I ran against the…

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Rep. Nydia Velazquez sent out a fundraising email boasting that she’s fought to wrest power from “old white men.” But there was a problem with the pitch: some of the people she’s soliciting for donations to her re-election campaign are … old white men. “When I was first elected to Congress, I ran against the…

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Kate Beckinsale shines in twisty Amazon thriller ‘The Widow’ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/kate-beckinsale-shines-in-twisty-amazon-thriller-the-widow/ http://www.weekfacts.com/2019/02/kate-beckinsale-shines-in-twisty-amazon-thriller-the-widow/#respond Fri, 22 Feb 2019 23:47:31 +0000 http://nypost.com/?post_type=article&p=13519190 When a British woman travels to Africa to search for her missing husband, she becomes the heroine of her own survival story in the suspenseful and smartly paced Amazon original series “The Widow.” premiering March 1. Georgia Wells (Kate Beckinsale) sees her husband Will (Matthew le Nevez) off at the airport in Wales and later […]

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When a British woman travels to Africa to search for her missing husband, she becomes the heroine of her own survival story in the suspenseful and smartly paced Amazon original series “The Widow.” premiering March 1.

Georgia Wells (Kate Beckinsale) sees her husband Will (Matthew le Nevez) off at the airport in Wales and later receives a call from a friend in the Democratic Republic of the Congo saying that his flight has gone missing. Three years later, after seeing a man on cable news who resembles Will, the reclusive Georgia is convinced he is alive and off she goes, determined to find a man everyone else assumes is dead. She is desperate and understandably impatient with the locals, employing questionable tactics to track down the right people to talk to.

Georgia confides her anxieties to Judith (Alex Kingston), Will’s former boss at a government aid facility, and Martin Benson (Charles Dance), a friend of Georgia father’s with a background in British military intelligence — but won’t rest until she’s on her own, charging ahead.

In a parallel story, a survivor from the plane crash that allegedly killed Will surfaces in Rotterdam, Holland. The impact of the terrifyingly staged crash caused his retinas to hemorrhage and he is now blind, masking his identity by using the name of another passenger from the same flight. A key figure from the missing husband thread overlaps with the secondary survivor story in surprising ways.

It takes a little while — and a few near-death experiences — for Georgia to realize that the more she learns, the less she really knows. Add to the mix the enigmatic figure of Pieter Bello (Bart Fouche), a former South African infantry officer gone rogue, who rounds up children to serve as soldiers in the local militia, and the portrait of the lush but savage Congolese landscape becomes even more forbidding.

Beckinsale brings a stylish ferocity to the role of Georgia, who seems to look right through people, exposing their lies. Kingston, a regular for several seasons on NBC’s “ER,” is reliably empathetic as Judith, who tries to reason with Georgia (“People don’t just walk away from plane crashes without telling anyone,” she says), and the poker-faced Dance exhibits the same flair as a behind-the-scenes operator that he displayed as Tywin Lannister on “Game of Thrones.”

Unlike many network series which dump information in your lap right off the bat like a load of wet laundry, “The Widow,” skillfully written by Harry and Jack Williams, doles out its clues on a need-to-know basis. The viewer is drawn, as Georgia is, to a world where well-meaning people somehow survive against great political odds, and you think, “Oh, she’ll find her man.” And then come the jolts and the reversals and you realize, as Georgia does too late, that she is a stranger in a stranger land — and she may not escape.

It’s a smart addition to the Amazon TV lineup.

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