Belgium, Portugal and France run riot in European World Cup qualifying

first_imgThe fastest goal in World Cup history capped a night of 6-0 routs and the Netherlands’ further fall in European qualifying on Monday.Seven seconds ticked by when Belgium forward Christian Benteke’s shot finished his surging run through the Gibraltar defense which kicked off but coughed up the ball.Benteke beat the 8.3 seconds that FIFA timed Davide Gaultieri taking to score for San Marino against England in 1993 and set the tone for the visiting Belgians’ 6-0 win.Portugal also won 6-0 but needed only a single, excellent goal from Cristiano Ronaldo to dominate the Faeroe Islands.Instead, 20-year-old Andre Silva stepped up with a first-half hat-trick in just his fourth international match – perhaps finally pairing Ronaldo with a true penalty-area predator for the freshly crowned European champion.Dutch decline has been steep since it followed runner-up and third-place finishes at the last two World Cups with failure to qualify for an expanded Euro 2016.A 1-0 loss at home to France was the latest setback, sealed by Paul Pogba’s powerful shot from 30 meters (yards) in the first half.Belgium and France top their groups, though Portugal trails Switzerland which won its third straight qualifier, 2-1 at lowly Andorra.Only the nine European group winners advance directly to play in Russia and four runners-up will qualify through a playoff round.Here is what happened on Monday:GROUP AFrance lived up to its billing as favorite in the group thanks to Pogba’s goal and a late save by Hugo Lloris.Sweden continued to show it can play without retired superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, going level with France on seven points by beating Bulgaria 3-0.advertisementThe Dutch have four points and, despite drawing 1-1 in Sweden last month, are already playing catch up.While Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg looked like he could have kept out Pogba’s goal, his second-half saves kept his team in the game.”Maarten knows that he would usually save that (Pogba shot) with one hand in training,” Netherlands coach Danny Blind said.Injured Dutch stars Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben did not start and Quincy Promes limped off just 16 minutes in.France coach Didier Deschamps said Pogba was “decisive … not just because of his goal, but also by winning the ball in midfield and distributing well.”Also, Belarus took the lead in the 80th and Luxembourg equalized five minutes later in a 1-1 draw. (Also read: Spain beat Albania 2-0 in World Cup qualifier)GROUP BPortugal’s second 6-0 win inside four days was not enough to top the group but points to a bright future.Andre Silva, the Porto prospect, scored in the 12th, 22nd and 37th minutes before Ronaldo added a fourth midway through the second half in a comfortable visit to the North Atlantic. Goals from Joao Moutinho and Joao Cancelo in stoppage time completed the drubbing.Silva has replaced Eder, the Euro 2016 final scorer against France, and looks there to stay, now with four goals in four games to complement Ronaldo’s career tally of 66 for Portugal.Ronaldo’s goal Monday was a rising left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area.Switzerland was less impressive in edging to a 2-1 win over Andorra which had not scored in World Cup qualifying since September 2009.It was worth waiting for, after Fabian Schaer’s 19th-minute penalty and Admir Mehmedi’s 77th-minute header put the visitors in control. Then Alex Martinez fired in a shot from distance in the 90th.Switzerland has nine points, three points clear of Portugal. Hungary is third, with four points, after winning 2-0 in Latvia.GROUP HBelgium needed only a World Cup-record seven seconds to prove the gap between No. 2 in the FIFA rankings and Gibraltar, which is dead last.Two lazy backward passes into the game, Benteke stole the ball, cut through the defense and made history.Benteke scored two more, one a wonderful backheel, to lead Belgium to match its biggest away victory. The other scorers were Mertens, Eden Hazard and Axel Witsel against a team playing its first World Cup qualifying campaign after gaining FIFA membership in May. (Also read: World Cup qualifiers: Mario Mandzukic stars in Croatia win, Wales held by Georgia)Belgium has a perfect nine points atop the group. Greece is the main challenger after it won 2-0 at Estonia to stay perfect through three matches. Also, Bosnia-Herzegovina beat Cyprus 2-0.It was further evidence that the Red Devils, a dispirited team after an earlier-than-expected quarterfinal exit from Euro 2016, have found their groove under new coach Roberto Martinez.advertisement”It is a terrific moment for Belgian football,” Martinez said. “It showed the focus we had.”last_img read more

Bayern back under-fire Kovac amid Wenger rumours

first_imgBayern Munich officials have offered their support to under-fire coach Niko Kovac after press reports linking the club with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.The German giants, on the back of six successive Bundesliga titles, find themselves stuck in an uncharacteristic slump .A four-game winless run heading into the international break has Bayern sat sixth in the table, four points adrift of leaders Borussia Dortmund.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Pressure has built on Kovac as a result, with calls for change on the field and in the dugout starting to mount in intensity. Bayern fuelled speculation regarding a possible managerial change just a few months after handing Kovac the reins after calling a press conference on Friday. President Uli Hoeness, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic were all in attendance, with the announcement of Jupp Heynckes’ return as coach taking place the last time those three joined forces at a media call.Rather than announce a change in the dugout, though, the trio came out in defence of Kovac and hit out at his treatment in the German media.Hoeness said: “I was accused of not publicly defending Niko Kovac. For that I have to clarify something. Why? We appreciate his work. We do not have to publicly back ourselves. This is disrespectful and outrageous, what happens here. This club will now unite in public again.”Salihamidzic added: “Niko knows we’re behind him, it’s outrageous what’s going on here.”Rummenigge, meanwhile,  took aim at the press , insisting that some of the reporting had been “sly” and “degrading”. He said: “It is an important day for FC Bayern because we will not allow this degrading, sly factual reporting to continue. From today on we will protect our players, our coaches and also the club.”Niko Kovac Bayern MunichThose words will be music to Kovac’s ears, with the Croat having held his own pre-match press conference on Friday in which he talked up the positvity and passion within his Bayern squad.He said: “The fact is, the results are not right.”In the first games, the number of scoring chances was the same as in the last four. The problem is that they were not converted. “It was a good approach, but ball did not want to go in. We will not question everything and turn everything. We need that little bit of luck. “The mood is positive. We also want and have to be positive. The passion is there. “Life consists of failure and success. I can assure you that we have trained really well. Everyone desperately wants to play and win.” While Kovac is set to remain in his role for now, having penned a three-year contract upon his appointment,  Wenger is among those to have been mooted as a possible successor  if change is sought.The experienced Frenchman has been out of work since bringing a 22-year reign at Arsenal to a close over the summer. Wenger has been quizzed on the Bayern rumours and stopped short of ruling himself out of a future role in Bavaria. He told Bild when discussing the current situation at Bayern: “It’s important that Hoeness and Rummenigge organise the transition. “I think the power should stay within ex players. People like Philipp Lahm and Oliver Kahn, it’s important that they take over. Football lives within you. You don’t learn that at university.”Wenger was, however, reluctant to add himself into contention for a position at Bayern if one becomes available, adding: “That’s not a topic for me. Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge trusted Niko Kovac and they have to hold on to him.”last_img read more

French Open: World No. 1 Angelique Kerber crashes out in first round

first_imgAngelique Kerber has not been playing at all like someone ranked No. 1 this season, and on Sunday she became the first woman seeded No. 1 to lose in the French Open’s first round in the professional era.Kerber, who ended Serena Williams’ stay atop the WTA rankings last year, was gone from Roland Garros by lunchtime on Day 1, putting up little resistance while being beaten 6-2, 6-2 by 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.”Well,” Makarova said when informed of the history made by her victory, “that’s unbelievable.”Angelique Kerber has achieved a dubious record. First time a women’s top seed have lost the opening round @ #FrenchOpen during the Open Era- Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) May 28, 2017Shocker! ??Angelique Kerber becomes the first WTA No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of Roland-Garros. #RG17 pic.twitter.com/iu4CrZNMPn- Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 28, 2017Kerber won the Australian Open and U.S. Open, and was the Wimbledon runner-up, in 2016, surging to the heights of tennis. But this year has been much more of a struggle: The German has a 19-13 record, losing 4 of her past 6 matches.Her strokes were off all match against Makarova, who has reached two major semifinals, but never been past the fourth round in Paris. Makarova even pointed out that she never before had played a singles match in the tournament’s main stadium (she was the 2013 French Open women’s doubles champion).Kerber had only four winners and 12 unforced errors in the first set and didn’t even earn a break point until the last game, which Makarova won, anyway. Makarova then raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set.advertisementKerber showed some signs of getting into the match, smacking a cross-court forehand passing winner, leaning forward and yelling as she took a game to get within 3-1. But that was about it. In the last game, Kerber had seven break points but Makarova fought off each one before holding to win.”It was really tough. She’s a No. 1 and she’s a great player and I knew that I have to win it; she’s not going to miss it,” Makarova said. “I was also fighting with my emotion.”In the preceding match on Court Philippe Chatrier, Petra Kvitova was back competing in a tournament, less than six months after a knife attack at her home.Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, had very little trouble in her return, beating 86th-ranked Julia Boserup of the United States 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes.”I think it doesn’t really matter how I played, but I won,” Kvitova said. “I won already, before.”Indeed, just being there under a cloud-filled sky at Roland Garros was a victory for Kvitova, who needed surgery on her left hand – the one she holds her racket with – after being stabbed by an intruder in the Czech Republic in late December. She was undecided until late last week whether to even try to play in the French Open.”It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m really glad that we made this decision that I’m going to play here,” Kvitova told the crowd during an on-court interview.Then, addressing her guest box, which included her parents and brother, she said: “Thank you for everything you helped me through (in) this difficult time.”In one other early result of significance, 2015 U.S. Open runner-up Roberta Vinci exited the French Open in the first round for the fourth year in a row. The 31st-seeded Vinci, most famous for ending Williams’ hopes of a calendar year Grand Slam by beating her in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows in 2015, lost to Rio Olympics gold medalist Monica Puig 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.On Sunday, several members of Kvitova’s entourage wore black T-shirts with white capital letters on the front that read, “Courage. Belief. Pojd.” That last word, which is the Czech equivalent of “Come on!” and was spelled on the shirts with a red heart instead of the “o”, is often yelled by Kvitova to celebrate particularly good shots.There was quite a bit of that against Boserup, who was making her debut in the French Open’s main draw and facing a lefty for the first time.When it was over, Kvitova dropped her racket near the baseline and removed her blue headband. As she walked to the net for a handshake, her eyes welled with tears.last_img read more

I don’t decide Philippe Coutinho’s Liverpool future: Juergen Klopp

first_imgLiverpool manager Juergen Klopp said on Saturday he has no control over whether Philippe Coutinho will stay at the club or move to Barcelona.Coutinho emailed a transfer request to the club on Friday after Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, issued a strongly worded statement saying the midfielder would not be sold in the transfer window.Barcelona have had two bids rejected by Liverpool for Coutinho, who is keen to move to Spain, according to British media reports.Coutinho missed Liverpool’s 3-3 draw with Watford on Saturday.Reuters PhotoAsked about the Brazilian’s situation, Klopp said: “As a manager of a football club, I have bosses that decide, for example, just in general, if we sell a player or we don’t sell him. Then I have to accept it.”If they don’t sell him, then I am not involved any more. I’m responsible for all of our players, not just one or two or three, but all of them.”I can’t say anything about it, the only thing is I work with the players I have. That’s what I’m always doing.”The German said he did not think Coutinho’s transfer request changes his situation.”I don’t think (it changes anything). It was pretty clear what the club said about it. That’s all,” he said.”You have to ask the club. I don’t make the decision. I didn’t see the club insiders today. You have to ask them.”Asked if Coutinho had let down his team mates with his request, Klopp said: “I am not part of the discussion with the group.”advertisementKlopp has already said that Coutinho will not be fit for Liverpool’s Champions League qualifier in Hoffenheim on Tuesday.Burnely beat Premier League champions 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.last_img read more

Pankaj confirms medal on Asian Snooker Tour

first_imgDoha, Sep 28 (PTI) Nineteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani continued his fine form in the first leg of the Asian 10-red Snooker by storming into the semifinals here on Friday. Advani registered a comprehensive victory over seasoned multiple world champion Darren Morgan. After dropping the first frame to his Welsh opponent, Advani picked up the pace and took control of the high quality quarterfinal clash involving two heavyweights of cue sports.In the best-of-nine tie, Advani won five frames on the trot to confirm another medal for India and set up a mouth-watering clash with in form Brendan O’Donoghue of Ireland.As the lone Indian left in the fray, after Manan Chandra, Varun Madan and Kamal Chawla failed to qualify to the last-16 knockout stages, Advani made the most of his experience to advance in the tournament defeating Haris Tahir of Pakistan 5-2 before facing Morgan. Results: Quarterfinal: Pankaj Advani defeated Darren Morgan (Wales) 5-1: 12-92(58), 47-27, 50-13, 58-18, 62-36, 45-14.Pre-quarterfinal: Pankaj Advani beat Haris Tahir (Pakistan) 5-2: 55-31, 42-44(44), 48-47, 0-73(51), 67(67)-0, 48-1, 49-25. PTI BSBSlast_img read more

Manchester United thrash Chelsea 4-0 in their Premier League opener

first_imgMarcus Rashford struck twice as Manchester United opened their Premier League account with a resounding 4-0 victory over Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday.It was an awful start for the new Chelsea boss in his first competitive game on the bench for his old club who struck the woodwork twice in the first half but paid for their defensive frailties as Anthony Martial and Dan James also scored.”Four mistakes for the goals. We have to be self-critical for that. We controlled the first half hour but made some poor decisions. We should be in the lead at the break,” said Lampard, who took over from Maurizio Sarri in the close season.”They have pace and if you turn over the ball and allow them to run in behind you they can hurt you.”We were comfortable in the first half. But there are lessons there. You can’t make mistakes at this level. But if you look at the game, it is not a 4-0 game,” added the former Chelsea and England midfielder.It may indeed have been a harsh scoreline for the visitors but for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United team with Harry Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender, and right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka making debuts, it was a dream start to the campaign.The win was United’s biggest over Chelsea in a top-flight match since the same scoreline in March 1965 under Matt Busby.Not only did Rashford strike twice but his attacking partner Martial also found the target after the break and the victory was rounded off by substitute James, a close-season signing from Swansea City, marking his United debut with the fourth.advertisement”It is a great start for myself and the team. We rode our luck a bit first half but second we were much more ourselves,” said Maguire,” who joined United for 80 million pounds ($96.27 million) from Leicester City on Monday.”It is the first game at Old Trafford so I think there were nerves. We gave the ball away in dangerous areas. We moved it nicely second half and our front three are so dangerous on the break,” added the centre-half.But while the crowd celebrated their new-look side’s perfect start, it was evident until Martial made it 2-0 in the 65th that there is still much work to be done to get United anywhere near the level of title favourites Manchester City and Liverpool.The 41-year-old Lampard handed starts to youngsters Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, back at the west London club after loan spells in the Championship (second-tier), with American Christian Pulisic on the bench, and his side started brightly.Abraham crashed an early drive against the United bar and Mount then tested David De Gea with an effort from distance.With Pedro and Ross Barkley causing problems in the channels, Chelsea were moving the ball with confidence and United’s midfield were often chasing shadows.But against the run of play the hosts got in front with an 18th minute Rashford penalty after the England forward was pulled down by Kurt Zouma.Chelsea responded well, however, and went close to an equaliser when Emerson struck the post shortly before the break with a left-foot drive from a tight angle.But the game turned decisively in United’s favour when, after a Rashford led counter-attack, Martial bundled in a low cross from Andreas Pereira.Two minutes later, Chelsea’s defence was again exposed when Rashford timed his run to perfection, latched on to a long ball from Paul Pogba and beat keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with a confident finish.Another counter-attack led to United’s fourth goal when Pogba fed Welsh winger James who, after initially hesitating, fired into the far bottom corner via a deflection.That was the icing on the cake for United and, while the team remains a work in progress, the mood around Old Trafford was back to its jubilant best.Read more | Great achievement to play 300 ODIs: Chris GayleAlso see:last_img read more

Michigan Football Reportedly Hiring Longtime NFL Assistant Coach

first_imgGeneral view of Michigan Stadium during the Michigan Football Spring Game on April 1, 2016 at Michigan Stadium.ANN ARBOR, MI – APRIL 01: General view of Michigan Stadium during the Michigan Football Spring Game on April 1, 2016 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Michigan’s football program is reportedly hiring a longtime NFL assistant coach, as Jim Harbaugh is adding to his staff. The former NFL assistant coach will reportedly be serving as an analyst/assistant coach.Pat Perles, a longtime NFL assistant coach, will reportedly be joining Harbaugh’s staff in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He’ll be serving as an analyst and an assistant offensive line coach.ESPN NFL insider Field Yates had the details:“Michigan is hiring Pat Perles as an analyst/assistant OL coach. A very well regarded longtime NFL coach/scout,” he reports.Michigan is hiring Pat Perles as an analyst/assistant OL coach. A very well regarded longtime NFL coach/scout.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 11, 2019Michigan’s coaching staff has had quite a bit of turnover this offseason, with a couple of coaches leaving for other jobs.Harbaugh has made some big hires, too, landing highly-regarded Alabama assistant coach Josh Gattis, who is taking over the offense for the Wolverines.Michigan is coming off a somewhat disappointing 2018 season. The Wolverines started the season with Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff hopes, but ended up finishing 10-3, losing to Ohio State in blowout fashion and to Florida in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.The Wolverines have yet to officially announce this coaching hire.Stay tuned.last_img read more

Minister Samuda Impressed with Operations at Plant Quarantine Unit and Export Centre in Montego Bay

first_imgMinister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Hon. Karl Samuda says he is impressed and highly satisfied with the quality of operations at the Ministry’s Plant Quarantine Unit and Export Centre, at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James. “I am very impressed and I am happy to know that this level of surveillance that is being carried out here enables us to export our produce without being confronted with any negative reactions when it arrives at its destination,” Mr. Samuda said.The Minister was speaking with JIS News following an extensive tour conducted of the facility, which was led by Export Complex Manager, Dalton Hastings, on Friday (October 13). The Plant Quarantine Unit has the responsibility to ensure that harmful pests and diseases do not enter Jamaica, and that only the highest quality, pest free produce is exported from the country.The Unit is headquartered in Kingston and operates two export complexes, one at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and the other at Sangster.Minister Samuda said he was also “surprised” to see the extent to which the unit is engaged in all aspects of securing the country’s exports.“For instance, the whole section dealing with fumigation and the care that is being taken to ensure that every item that is packaged and exported are properly fumigated, and offers the maximum safety to the customers at their destinations,” he addedMeanwhile, Minister Samuda said his Ministry would be examining ways in which it could contribute to the expansion of the Montego Bay facility, which he added, is being funded without any additional special budgetary requests. “It is not funded by the budget by special line provision.  They earn money and those resources put together with the Ministry’s ability to provide the necessary funds required to keep it going efficiently, is being done,” he explained.last_img read more

Icy Road Conditions Expected

first_imgDrivers are asked to be extra cautious over the next 24-to-48 hours as dramatic drops in temperature will produce slippery road conditions. “Yesterday’s wet roads, plus snow we’re getting today, will quickly ice over making driving treacherous,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Geoff MacLellan. “You’re really going to need to slow down and allow extra travel time. Leave plenty of room between yourself and the car ahead of you.” While winter maintenance crews are salting today, salt is not as effective in extremely cold temperatures. Sand will be used once the mercury dips below -10 degrees Celsius. In addition, snow squalls are expected to produce winter white-out conditions in many areas of the province. Drivers should drive to conditions and turn their lights on so tail lights are visible. It is also a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car and have winter tires installed. Winter tires improve stopping time and provide better grip on snow and ice covered roads. During any winter event plow operators work 24/7 to ensure roads are safe. The department has more than 400 pieces of snow and ice clearing equipment deployed across the province. Nothing is held back. Nova Scotians can check road conditions, view highway cameras, plowing priorities, and track plows using the live plow-tracker tool, and much more at novascotia.ca/tran/winter. During a storm or any winter event, follow @NS_TIR on Twitter and 511 for the latest road condition updates.last_img read more

Leaders Pay Tribute To Elie Wiesel

first_imgUnited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he was “deeply saddened” to learn the passing yesterday of Elie Wiesel, a powerful voice for Holocaust remembrance and long-standing UN Messenger of Peace.“The world has lost one of its most important witnesses — and one of its most eloquent advocates of tolerance and peace,” the UN chief said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.“Elie Wiesel turned the nightmare of his youth into a lifelong campaign for global equality and peace,” Mr. Ban said. “As a UN Messenger of Peace since 1998, he called for constant vigilance in combatting anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred.”According to the statement, Mr. Wiesel was a regular presence at the UN, including at the first-ever International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and often spoke about his experiences at the Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp and appealed to the world to “reject indifference” in the face of genocide, discrimination and other horrors.Extending his condolences to Mr. Wiesel’s wife, family and all others touched by this loss, the Secretary-General said that the UN is grateful for Mr. Wiesel’s contributions and remains strongly committed to Holocaust remembrance and the wider struggle for human rights for all, the spokesperson added.Bill and Hillary Clinton also paid tribute to Wiesel:“Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Elie Wiesel. We join all those around the world in mourning his loss and giving thanks for his life.“Elie shouldered the blessing and the burden of survival. In words and deeds, he bore witness and built a monument to memory to teach the living and generations to come the perils of human indifference.“As he often said, one person of integrity can make a difference. For so many, he was that difference—including at the dedication of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1993 when he urged me to stop the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia; at the White House Millennium Lecture Hillary invited him to give; and in all his wonderful books and lectures.“We send our deepest sympathies and prayers to Marion and Elisha, always grateful for the great love they shared with Elie and the strength it gave him, and for all the kindness and friendship he gave us.”last_img read more

Province of Alberta puts residential school experience on education curriculum

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe province of Alberta announced today its education curriculum will now include lessons on residential schools. The announcement was made at the final Truth and Reconciliation national event in Edmonton.APTN’s Keith Laboucan reports.last_img

Casablanca Bans Street Musicians from Place Maréchal

Rabat – Casablanca’s local authorities banned street musicians from performing in Place Maréchal, after confiscating their instruments last week.The wilaya of Casablanca issued a decision restricting street musicians from holding street performances in Place Maréchal in Casablanca, reported Al Massae in its Wednesday, March 15 edition.The decision followed numerous noise complaints of local residents, according to Al Massae. The group of musicians, who have spent proximately eight months performing in Place Maréchal, explained to Al Massae that the locals are actually supportive of the artistic scene in their neighborhoods.They added that they are “only participating with their humble talent in nourishing the artistic sector in Morocco.”Casablanca’s local authorities went as far as to confiscate the artists’ instruments. The musicians affected by this ban were obliged to sign an agreement to no longer play music in Place Maréchal in order to retrieve their instruments.The artists explained that “there is no valid reason to what the authorities did. The least they could have done was to inform us of the decision before taking away our instruments, and unexpectedly prohibiting us from playing music.”Before performing in a public space, artists must now inform local authorities to obtain permission. The Racines Association for Cultural Development in Morocco and Africa has launched a petition to negate the wilaya’s decision. read more

Thousands still fleeing Ugandan rebel attacks in eastern DR Congo – UN

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a “staggering” 540,000 Congolese have been uprooted in Orientale province by deadly attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) since last September.This includes at least 125,000 people known to have been driven out of their villages in the province’s Haut Uele district in the past three weeks, UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva today.Among other atrocities, the LRA is accused of widespread killings, kidnappings of civilians and raping of women. Over the past year, it has reportedly killed some 1,270 people and abducted 655 children in Orientale province, in addition to causing widespread destruction to homes, health centres and schools. Mr. Mahecic said UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies have provided much needed supplies to some 11,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) near Dungu, the capital of Haut Uele district, but insecurity and impassable roads continue to hamper relief efforts. “Moreover, as the number of IDPs increases, friction over the meagre resources has erupted between the displaced and host families who have been stretched to the limit,” he stated, adding that some of the host families have been hosting the displaced since last September when attacks started in the area. The attacks by the LRA have also forced an estimated 8,000 Congolese to flee to neighbouring South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR). 28 August 2009Civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are continuing to suffer at the hands of a notorious Ugandan rebel group, whose attacks have forced at least 125,000 people in Orientale province to flee their homes in the last three weeks alone, the United Nations refugee agency reported today. read more

Lanka still has reconciliation issues in north

Sri Lanka still needs to focus on post-war rehabilitation challenges to affect real reconciliation, British High Commissioner John Rankin said in a statement.In the statement released after John Rankin visited the former war zone in the Northern province, he called on the Sri Lankan government to investigate disappearances and resolve land issues that prevent people from leading normal lives. Rankin urged the Sri Lankan government to look into the issues and pledged continued support from the British government to promote reconciliation.“I hope post-conflict issues can be further resolved in the context of continuing reconciliation and development processes. The British government will continue to assist in such efforts, in support of peace, security and prosperity for the Sri Lankan people.” Sri Lanka ended a three decade war in 2009 with the Tamil Tiger rebels who had fought for a separate homeland for the minority Tamil in north and east Sri Lanka, and has resettled over 300,000 people since then but challenges of livelihood and security remain despite government insistence that normalcy has been restored. (Xinhua-ANI) “I have seen some of the continuing challenges faced by people after so many years of conflict and displacement. Land issues built up over decades remain complex; some people do not know what happened to lost loved ones; and many women heads of household face difficulties playing the dual roles of bread winner and care provider,” he was quoted as saying in the statement. read more

Central Bank warns of financial scams using email social media

The attention of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has been drawn to recent grievances received from the general public regarding financial scams spreading through phishing emails and social media messages.CBSL has noticed that the image of the Head Office building, the Logo of CBSL, names of senior officials of CBSL, are being used by scammers and fraudsters to solicit money from the public by disguising such scams as being sent from a trustworthy entity. CBSL has already reported this matter to relevant Law enforcement authorities for necessary action.Hence, the general public is requested not to be victims of such financial scams and to respond to such promises of monetary giveaways by first contacting respective institution/ company that the suspicious email claims to be from to confirm the authenticity of such emails and if found to be a scam, to inform the nearest Police Station for investigations immediately. (Colombo Gazette) Recipients of these emails are informed of having won a large cash prize in foreign currency through a mobile number draw or through a certain well-known international brand promotional campaign and are persuaded to deposit certain amount of funds to claim the prize. Fake email addresses such as cbs.banklanka@asia.com, info@cbsl-lk.com, customercare@cbsl-lk.com etc. are used to send these emails. Further these emails deceive the email recipients, by attempting to obtain personal information including passport/ national identity card numbers, bank account details etc. for authentication purposes, to send cash prizes.In this regard, the Central Bank informed the general public that the CBSL has no involvement with such reward schemes. read more

Bangladesh one year on UN welcomes initial payments to survivors of factory

The Coordination Committee, chaired by the International Labour Organization (ILO), yesterday paid 50,000 BDT (Bangladeshi Taka) – about $645 – to each victim and the families of those who died in the 24 April tragedy, when the factory collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital, killing more than 1,000 mostly female workers, and wounding thousands more. “These initial payments are good news, now it needs to be ensured that all legitimate claims are honoured and that the injured victims or their surviving families receive full entitlements for their losses,” said Gilbert Houngbo, ILO Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, welcoming the payments that were announced at a ceremony in Dhaka.“More donations to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund are needed to reach the $40 million target and ensure fair treatment for victims and their families, who are struggling to rebuild their lives,” Mr. Houngbo added.According to a news release, this first round of payments, which also includes non-injured workers present at the factory at the time of the accident, is in line with the decision of the Coordination Committee to provide all victims a meaningful sum in advance of the 24 April anniversary of the factory collapse. The Rana Plaza Arrangement and its Geneva-based Trust Fund were set up in September 2013 and are supported by voluntary contributions made by global brands and others. The Fund has so far received only about $15 million of the approximately $40 million total estimated amount calculated to compensate all the workers, according to the ILO.“Our first priority is to get compensation to the victims,” Mr. Houngbo said in a video statement, adding that ILO is also set to work with the Government of Bangladesh and the wider international community to tackle “structural challenges” so incidents such as the Rana Plaza collapse never occur again, and to help Governments achieve the minimum institutional capacity to ensure safe working environments for garment workers. He said the ILO was backing a systemic approach that ensures that any policy measures are implemented in ways that keep productive capacities competitive. Such an approach would protect and promote workers’ rights and improve living and working conditions. While the issue was a priority matter for Bangladesh and other major garment-producing countries, Mr. Houngbo stressed that “everybody has to do their part” – from consumers, who might be asked to pay $1 or 1 euro more to ensure safe working conditions and improved livelihoods, to employers, workers’ unions and major corporations.There would need to be a major effort to ensure that that extra dollar or euro “goes to the workers pockets and does not end up at the contractor or subcontractor level. These are the issues that we will be examining with the international community in months and years to come,” he said. Mr. Houngbo, who is in Dhaka ahead of the anniversary, is due to meet with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Government ministers, employers’ and workers’ organizations, ambassadors and representatives of initiatives involved in improving working conditions in the country’s ready-made garment sector.Tomorrow he is expected to address a high-level event – One Year after Rana Plaza: Progress and the Way Forward – organized by the Government of Bangladesh and the ILO. read more

Week In Brussels – Week ending Thursday 28 April 2011

DOWNLOADOn this page you will find the current news from Brussels. These weekly reports are archived every Friday. Week in Brussels can be e-mailed to you on a regular basis if you register for News Alerts.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

GERMANY 2017 France to fight for the final after six years

France handballGermany 2017handball France are ready to fight for the medals at Women’s World Championship 2017 in Germany! Girls led by Olivier Krumbholz had no troubles in encounter with brave and highly motivated Montenegrian squad 25:22 (12:10).After bronze medal at Women’s EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden, but also silver at Olympic Games in Rio, Pinneau and her team-mates are eager to take another medal at world’s stage where they haven’t been at three-medal podium since losing final in 2011.France – Montenegro 25-22 (12-10)France: Allison Pineau 5, Siraba Dembele 4, Alexandra Lacrabere 4, Grace Zaadi 3, Manon Houette 3, Estelle Nze Minko 2, Gnonsiane Niombla 2, Blandine Dancette 1, Camille Ayglon 1Montenegro: Katarina Bulatovic 9, Jovanka Radicevic 4, Milena Raicevic 3, Durdina Jaukovic 2, Tatjana Brnovic 2, Jelena Despotovic 2 ← Previous Story First Swedish WCh semi-final ever! Next Story → Norway to meet Russia for a spot in the semifinals read more