• Rodman sings Happy Birthday to North Korean leader after outcry

    Date: 2019.01.16 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    Rodman brought a team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, to mark the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un with an exhibition game.

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    The birthday is believed to have been on Wednesday though that has not been confirmed.

    “It started out as surreal, then people joined in and it sort of faded a bit, but it seemed pretty heartfelt from Rodman’s side,” said Simon Cockerell, a tour guide who watched the game in Pyongyang, said of Rodman’s birthday singing.

    “It was unexpected, and probably unplanned,” he said. “Kim Jong Un appeared to smile, but he didn’t appear to expect it.”

    Cockerell, whose company Koryo Tours took a group of tourists to the game, said the audience had stood and cheered Kim for up to six minutes when he appeared with his wife.

    “Dennis Rodman gave a charmingly shambolic speech where he thanked Kim Jong Un and his wife for showing up, along with the other players for being brave enough to come with him and join in his ‘engagement effort’.”

    This was Rodman’s fourth trip to Pyongyang. On previous visits, he spent time dining as a guest of Kim, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship, though he did not meet Kim on his third trip.

    The visit come weeks after the execution of Kim’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who until then was one of the most powerful figures. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has described events in North Korea as a “reign of terror.

    Rodman has said he would not interfere in North Korea’s politics but he raised an outcry at home when, in a television interview on Tuesday, he appeared to suggest that Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae was to blame for his captivity.

    During an expletive-ridden interview with CNN about his trip, Rodman seemed to say Bae, held in North Korea since November 2012 and convicted in May on charges of crimes against the state, was responsible for his situation.

    “If you understand what Kenneth Bae did … Do you understand what he did in this country? Why is he held captive in this country?” Rodman said, declining to respond to questions to clarify what he meant.

    Bae’s sister, Terri Chung, said her family was “outraged” by his comments and he could “do a lot of good” by using his access to the North Korea leader to advocate on Bae’s behalf, rather than “hurl outrageous accusations” at her brother.

    “He is playing games with my brother’s life,” Chung said in a statement. “There is no diplomacy, only games, and at my brother’s expense.”

    “He is clearly uninformed about Kenneth’s case, and he is certainly not in any position to pass judgment,” Chung said, adding that Bae never had hostile intentions against the state.

    “ONLY 31”

    Asked about Rodman’s comments, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, “I’m not going to dignify that outburst with a response,” emphasizing that the trip was private travel that was not endorsed by the U.S. government.

    “I’m simply going to say that we remain gravely concerned about Kenneth Bae’s health, and continue to urge DPRK authorities to grant his amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds,” Carney said.

    Bae, 45, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for state subversion in North Korea. He was detained in 2012 as he led a tour group through the northern region of the country. The country’s Supreme Court said he used his tourism business to form groups aimed at overthrowing the government.

    Following a visit to her son in October, Bae’s mother, Myunghee Bae, said her son was “alone and ailing.”

    A devout Christian, Bae has acknowledged he conducted religious services in North Korea, which has long been hostile to Westerners advocating religious causes.

    U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized Rodman and the other Americans for what he called an “ill-advised” trip.

    “As North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un continues to starve and oppress his citizens, it is unthinkable that a few fading celebrities would use such an opportunity to reward his brutal regime,” he said.

    Rodman has faced both ridicule and harsh criticism for his trips to North Korea, which some U.S. politicians and activists view as serving only as fodder for North Korean propaganda.

    But he defended his visit, saying it would help “open the door” and was a “great idea for the world.”

    “It’s amazing how we thrive on negativity. Does anyone know this guy’s only 31 years old?” he said of Kim, whom he calls his friend.

    “Dennis, he could be 31, he could be 51,” said CNN interviewer Chris Cuomo. “He’s just killed his uncle. He’s holding an American hostage.”

    (This refiled version of the story corrects dateline, no change to text)

    (Reporting by James Pearson in Seoul, Doina Chiacu, Roberta Rampton and Peter Cooney in Washington, David Stanway in Beijing, and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Steve Orlofsky, Dan Grebler, Leslie Adler and Elizabeth PIper)

  • Ice hockey – Ovechkin leads Russian bid for gold in Sochi

    Date: 2019.01.16 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    Forward Ovechkin is among 15 NHL players named in the squad, but Russia’s head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov is also banking on the strength of the domestic Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

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    Ten players made the cut from the Russian-dominated competition, one more than Bilyaletdinov’s predecessor, Vyacheslav Bykov, selected four years ago for the Vancouver Games.

    Ilya Kovalchuk, a former NHL forward with the Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils who joined SKA St Petersburg in the KHL last year, is among the top players from Russian teams.

    Along with Ovechkin, those drawn from the NHL include Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings and Evgeny Malkin of the Pittsburg Penguins, both strong attacking players.

    Dynamo Moscow’s key player, the hard-working, experienced 31-year-old forward Sergei Soin, was a surprise inclusion.

    “In terms of Sergei Soin, just like Alexander Eremenko, he’s a two-time Gagarin Cup (KHL playoffs) winner and won’t be intimidated by high profile players,” said Bilyaletdinov.

    “He will be able to help out when we are shorthanded and will help to limit the offensive play of our opponents,” he added on the official website of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia (www.fhr.ru).

    HIGH HOPES

    Russia also have high hopes for Valeri Nichushkin, 18, who signed a three-year contract with the Dallas Stars last year after helping Traktor Chelyabinsk reach the KHL final.

    “Valeri Nichushkin was called up after we saw him play for the Dallas Stars during our trip to North America (in November),” added Bilyaletdinov.

    “At the moment, he is in excellent form. You could say we are putting our faith in him, but he is an exceedingly talented player and I’m sure he’ll justify his selection.”

    The Sochi Games are the first Olympics to be held in Russia since Moscow 1980 and the hosts will be under pressure to deliver.

    Ice hockey is among the sports where Russia is seen as having a strong chance of winning a gold medal.

    Russia’s men’s ice hockey team are number three in the International Ice Hockey Federation rankings behind Sweden and Finland, having been top for the previous four years.

    The Soviet Union won seven men’s ice hockey gold medals in the nine Olympics held between 1956 and 1988 but Russia have failed to win an Olympic medal since 2002 when they claimed bronze in Salt Lake City.

    In the preliminary round, Russia will face Slovakia and the United States after their first Group A game against Slovenia on February 13. The men’s competition takes place from February 12-23.

    Squad

    Netminders: Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets), Semyon Varlamov (Colorado Avalanche), Alexander Eremenko (Dynamo Moscow).

    Defence: Anton Belov (Edmonton Oilers), Vyacheslav Voynov (Los Angeles Kings), Alexei Yemelin (Montreal Canadiens), Andrei Markov (Montreal Canadiens), Evgeni Medvedev (Ak Bars Kazan), Nikita Nikitin (Columbus Blue Jackets), Ilya Nikulin (Ak Bars Kazan), Fedor Tyutin (Columbus Blue Jackets).

    Forwards: Artem Anisimov (Columbus Blue Jackets), Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings), Ilya Kovalchuk (SKA St Petersburg), Denis Kokarev (Dynamo Moscow), Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto Maple Leafs), Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins), Valeri Nichushkin (Dallas Stars), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Alexander Popov (Avangard Omsk), Alexander Radulov (CSKA Moscow), Sergei Soin (Dynamo Moscow), Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues), Alexei Tereshchenko (Ak Bars Kazan), Viktor Tikhonov (SKA St Petersburg)

    (This refiled version of the story adds dropped word Russia in paragraph 15)

    (Additional reporting by Dmitriy Rogovitskiy; editing by Toby Davis and Ken Ferris)

  • Asylum seekers allege mistreatment by Australian navy

    Date: 2019.01.16 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    One of the migrants, Yousif Ibrahim from Sudan, said they were handcuffed, called insulting names, and one was beaten with shoes before and during their voyage back to Indonesia, where they arrived Monday.

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    The 28-year-old also said four people were left with burn marks on their hands when they were forced to hold on to a hot pipe on their boat as punishment for wanting to go to the toilet.

       

    “We asked for water, they didn’t want to give us. They called us inhuman words, like illegal refugees, monkeys from Africa,” he told AFP.

       

    Another asylum seeker speaking to local media made similar claims. Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison refused to comment on the claims but insisted that Australian personnel act with the “highest levels of professionalism”.

       

    Ibrahim was among 45 immigrants, mostly from Somalia and Sudan, who set off from Indonesia, a major transit point for would-be refugees, to make the treacherous sea crossing to Australia last month.

       

    But they were picked up on an island in Australian waters by officers from three Australian navy vessels and towed back to Indonesian waters, he said, as part of Canberra’s hardline border protection policies.

       

    It was the first reported instance that the Australian navy has turned a boat back without informing Indonesian authorities, and prompted fresh anger in Jakarta at Canberra’s policies.

       

    After stopping on the island, the asylum seekers found themselves surrounded by members of the Australian navy, Ibrahim said.

       

    “They told us to go back to the boat, we refused. Then they used violence against us. One tried to run but they beat him with shoes,” he said, speaking from a hotel in Kupang, eastern Indonesia, where they are being housed while their cases are processed.

       

    “They have pistols and weapons. We are afraid.”

       

    He said the migrants were handcuffed and taken back to the boat. They were released from the cuffs on the boat and then towed for four days towards Indonesia before the Australians left. They arrived on their own in Rote Island, eastern Indonesia, on Monday.

       

    Hidayat, a senior police officer from the Rote Island area who goes by one name, said one migrant had complained he was forced to hold part of a hot engine and had a blister on his hand.

       

    A Somalian migrant Marke Abdulah Ahmad, who was on the boat, also said the asylum seekers were subject to abuse.

       

    “We were tortured and inhumanely treated by the Australian military,” he was quoted as saying by Indonesian news website Tempo.

       

    Morrison refused to comment on the reports in line with his conservative government’s decision not to discuss “on-water” activities that are part of its hardline policy, known as Operation Sovereign Borders.

       

    But he added: “All personnel involved in border protection operations associated with Operation Sovereign Borders conduct their roles with the highest levels of professionalism, integrity and personal courage in extremely trying and challenging circumstances.”

  • Fighting as Syria civilians await aid

    Date: 2019.09.18 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    Fighting has erupted around besieged rebel-held districts of the Syrian city of Homs with the UN poised to deliver aid to desperate civilians on day two of a humanitarian truce.

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    The regime and activists traded accusations over responsibility for the clashes, a day after 83 children, women and elderly people who had survived more than 600 days in the war-battered enclave were evacuated.

    The evacuation and planned aid delivery were made possible by a surprise UN-brokered deal between the government and rebel commanders on the ground to observe a three-day “humanitarian pause” in hostilities.

    But five explosions were heard early on Saturday in the besieged neighbourhoods, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

    “The armed terrorist groups broke the truce this morning in the Old City of Homs by launching mortar rounds at the police headquarters in the Saa area,” Homs provincial governor Talal al-Barazi said.

    State news agency SANA quoted him as saying military commanders were told to exercise maximum restraint “to allow the evacuation of civilians”.

    But activists accused regime forces of breaking the truce.

    “The besieged areas have been pounded with mortar rounds since Saturday morning,” the Unified Media Office activist group in the besieged areas of Homs said.

    “The shelling is also targeting the road on which the humanitarian aid is supposed to be transported,” the statement said.

    The exiled opposition expressed concern the promised aid delivery could be aborted, saying it would be “devastating to those innocent civilians who remain within the area under siege”.

    “We call on the world to look carefully at what happens in Homs in the coming hours and days.”

    Desperately needed food and medicines have been held up for months in a UN warehouse in a government-controlled area just kilometres from the trapped civilians, awaiting a ceasefire.

    UN officials said the trucks would carry emergency rations, medical kits and bedding, as well as cash and other support for the “immediate needs both of those who choose to be evacuated from the area and of those who remain inside”.

    Even after Friday’s evacuation of the first batch of civilians who chose to leave, hundreds more women, children and elderly remain among the 2500-plus residents still trapped.

    UN spokesman Farhan Haq said there had been sporadic shooting during Friday’s evacuation, but that both sides broadly observed the ceasefire.

  • Sparkling Liverpool smash Arsenal

    Date: 2019.09.18 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    Liverpool have demonstrated that their Premier League title credentials are alive and kicking with a stunning 5-1 demolition of leaders Arsenal at Anfield.

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    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had claimed during the week that the best his side could hope for was a top-four finish, but the claim rang hollow after the hosts scored four times in the first 20 minutes against Arsene Wenger’s shellshocked Arsenal.

    The opening goal, after 51 seconds on Saturday, set the tone for a half of complete Liverpool domination, with Martin Skrtel scoring twice and Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge also finding the net to raise serious questions about Arsenal’s own ability to win the league.

    The opening minute saw Per Mertesacker haul back Luis Suarez to concede a free-kick that Steven Gerrard curled menacingly into the six-yard area, where Skrtel volleyed past Wojciech Szczesny with his knee.

    That electrifying start had the passionate Anfield crowd in fine voice and Arsenal looking increasingly baffled and on the back foot, especially when Sturridge tested Szczesny with a couple of low shots.

    After 10 minutes the lead was doubled, with another set-piece exposing the glaring deficiencies in the Arsenal defence.

    Gerrard’s right-wing corner was met by the unmarked Skrtel, who placed a perfect glancing header over the leaping Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and into the top-left corner.

    It should have been three moments later when Philippe Coutinho and Suarez combined intelligently to send Sturridge clean through on goal, only for the usually efficient striker to chip wide with just the goalkeeper to beat.

    Then Suarez latched onto a clever Gerrard corner and connected with a thunderous 20-yard half-volley that crashed against the Arsenal post.

    Mertesacker headed just wide from a Santi Cazorla corner as the Gunners momentarily threatened, but the game was effectively over as a contest as early as the 16th minute when Sterling made if 3-0.

    The ineffective Mesut Ozil was bullied off the ball in midfield by Jordan Henderson, who sent Suarez sprinting down the right wing.

    The Uruguayan, Arsenal’s primary transfer target of the last close season, produced the perfect cross for Sterling to convert from six yards.

    If Wenger thought his side had struck rock-bottom, he was to be proved wrong three minutes later when Coutinho’s through ball played Sturridge clear of the Arsenal back line and the striker kept his calm to bend the ball past Szczesny.

    Suarez, just before the interval, and Sturridge, just after it, threatened to add to the rout, but any suggestion that Liverpool would settle for their four-goal lead was removed in the 52nd minute.

    Kolo Toure’s lobbed pass sent Sterling clean through on goal and the winger converted at the second attempt after Szczesny had blocked his initial effort.

    Sterling should have completed his hat-trick three minutes later, but he failed to turn in Gerrard’s free-kick, while a magnificent 25-yard free-kick from Suarez was flying into the top corner until Szczesny made a superb save.

    Gerrard’s trip on Oxlade-Chamberlain finally allowed Arsenal to put themselves on the scoreboard as Mikel Arteta successfully converted a 69th-minute penalty, before forcing Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet into a fine save soon afterwards.

    Liverpool might have won even more handsomely, however, with Coutinho and the irrepressible Sterling both going close in the final stages.

  • Ukraine leader consults Putin amid crisis

    Date: 2019.09.18 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    Ukraine’s embattled President Viktor Yanukovych has returned to protest-hit Kiev after holding private talks with his Russian counterpart and ally Vladimir Putin about a suspended Moscow bailout loan.

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    The late Friday chat on the sidelines of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi came amid intensifying pressure from the opposition on Yanukovych to cede some of his broad powers and appoint a new pro-Western government.

    Neither Russian nor Ukrainian officials disclosed the details of the two leaders’ conversation except to say that it was brief and held at Sochi’s Fisht stadium where the Games’ opening ceremony was held.

    “There was no official bilateral meeting. That was not a part of (the president’s) program,” a Ukrainian administration spokesman said.

    Yanukovych had been expected to discuss with Putin the fate of a $US15 billion ($A17 billion) Russian bailout whose delivery has been effectively frozen pending the formation of a new government.

    The ex-Soviet nation of 46 million was thrown into its worst crisis since independence in November when Yanukovych ditched an historic EU pact under Russian pressure in a stunning reversal that sparked deadly protests.

    The sustained protests that followed have since then played out as a titanic struggle for the country’s future between Russia and the West.

    Yanukovych must now decide whether to submit to protesters’ demands by taking a more conciliatory approach toward a new agreement with the European Union – a possibility that prompted Russia to suspend its loan after issuing just one instalment of $US3 billion in December.

    The protracted crisis has seen Ukraine’s borrowing costs spike and the currency lose nearly 10 per cent of its value as frightened consumers rush to cut their losses by stocking up on dollars and euros.

    Leading Ukrainian politicians are expected to meet on Monday to discuss opposition proposals to slash presidential powers and return to a constitution the country had until 2010 that granted extended powers to parliament.

  • Afghan civilian casualties rise

    Date: 2019.09.18 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    The number of civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan rose 14 per cent last year, the UN has said, as NATO troops draw down after more than a decade of war.

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    A total of 8615 civilian casualties were recorded in 2013, with 2959 killed and 5656 wounded, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s annual report.

    The death toll almost reached the record of 2011, with UNAMA saying that civilians killed or wounded in the crossfire of fighting between government and Taliban-led insurgent forces marked a new trend last year.

    UNAMA put this down to the reduction of ground and air operations by the US-led NATO force as it withdraws by the end of 2014.

    Afghan forces have been taking an increasing role in the fight against the Taliban as the coalition pulls out.

    More than 50,000 NATO-led combat troops who are still in Afghanistan are due to leave by the year-end.

    Last year also marked the highest casualties for women and children with a 36-per cent increase in women and 34-per cent increase in children’s casualties, the report added.

    Most of the casualties to women and children were caused by “ground engagements” and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the Taliban’s weapon of choice.

    The total rise in deaths, up seven per cent from 2012, and injuries, up 17 per cent, reverses the decline recorded the previous year.

    “The trend has been reversed in comparison to what we were telling here last year,” Jan Kubis the UN envoy in Afghanistan told reporters.

    “In 2012, we were very happy to report the decrease, not anymore, unfortunately.”

    The death toll almost matches the peak figure of 3133 recorded in 2011. The conflict has claimed the lives of 14,064 civilians in the past five years.

    Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the report was “biased” and blamed Western forces for civilian casualties.

  • Ireland pummel Wales to lift Six Nations hopes

    Date: 2019.09.18 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    In the latest sign of a revival under new coach Joe Schmidt, the Irish went 13-0 up in the first half after flanker Chris Henry forced his way over the Welsh line.

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    Flyhalf Jonny Sexton kicked four penalties and his replacement, Paddy Jackson, surged across the line in the 79th minute and converted his try to seal Wales’s first away loss in the Six Nations since 2011.

    “We haven’t done the jersey justice over the past couple of … years,” said Ireland’s man of the match Peter O’Mahony “It’s time we start to make this place into a bit of a fortress.”

    Ireland endured their worst Six Nations championship in 14 years last season, winning just one game and narrowly avoiding a first wooden spoon since a whitewash in 1998 by finishing ahead of France on points difference.

    The poor performance spelled the end of Declan Kidney’s five-year tenure and two times Heineken Cup winning coach Schmidt took charge in November and brought Ireland within 30 seconds of a famous victory over world champions New Zealand.

    Having beaten Scotland in their opening match last weekend, Ireland will travel to England in two weeks’ time in search of the Triple Crown.

    Wales will need to show a drastic improvement to beat France in Cardiff if they are to keep their hopes alive of becoming the fist team to win three consecutive outright Six Nations titles.

    Ireland got the better of scrappy early exchanges with Sexton converting two penalties in the first 20 minutes.

    Their breakthrough came after half an hour when a Sexton chip forced Wales to concede a five metre line-out, allowing Henry to touch down from the resulting Irish maul. Sexton converted to leave it 13-0 at halftime

    Wales, who squeezed past a dogged Italy 23-15 in their opening match, grew sloppier as Ireland upped the intensity in the second half.

    Ireland held off a wave of Welsh attacks with captain Paul O’Connell providing some crucial tackles, but Leigh Halfpenny managed to convert a spell of Welsh pressure into three points from a penalty after 55 minutes.

    A probing attack brought Wales within centimetres of the Irish line, but English referee Wayne Barnes handed Ireland a penalty to clear after deeming the visitors guilty of a double movement and there was no way back.

    Ireland then stormed back to score a last-minute try with scrumhalf Conor Murray offloading to Jackson to complete Wales’ humiliation.

    (Editing by Ed Osmond/Rex Gowar)

  • Bjoerndalen upsets top guns to match record

    Date: 2019.08.17 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    After a 10km effort punctuated with two shooting sessions, the 40-year-old Norwegian matched compatriot Bjorn Daehlie’s Winter Games mark.

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    Bjoerndalen, who now has seven gold medals to his name, trails eight-times Olympic cross-country skiing champion Daehlie on only ‘gold difference’.

    “I did everything the way I should today,” Bjoerndalen, whose previous individual victory came in a pursuit on Feb 12, 2012, told Norway’s TV2.

    “It was a perfectly paced race. I did things the way I know best.”

    He missed one of 10 targets but shot fast and skied flawlessly to beat Austrian Dominik Landertinger, who took silver, by 1.3 seconds. Bronze medallist Jaroslav Soukup of the Czech Republic finished 5.7 seconds off the pace.

    Pre-race favourites Martin Fourcade of France and Norwegian Emil Hegle Svendsen were sixth and ninth respectively.

    Russian Anton Shipulin ended a frustrating fourth, 0.7 seconds from the podium as the host nation were left still waiting for their first medal of the Games.

    It quickly appeared that Bjoerndalen was back to his awe-inspiring best in the Laura Complex’s crepuscular scenery.

    A perfect prone shooting session put him in a good position and despite a mistake in the standing shooting, Bjoerndalen used perfectly-prepared skis to make up for lost time.

    Overall World Cup leader Fourcade underlined the importance of the skis.

    “There are a lot of things to analyse,” he told reporters. “The speed on the skis, for example. The Norwegians skidded better.”

    It was Bjoerndalen’s third sprint Olympic title after his 1998 and 2002 triumphs.

    “He deserves it. He is a professional who has helped our sport evolve,” his former great rival Raphael Poiree of France had told reporters this week when asked if Bjoerndalen could win a 12th medal.

    “He is a perfectionist. There are not a lot of athletes like him. It’s been hard for him in the past three years. I think he had trouble accepting he had changed. But he learnt a lot.”

    Bjoerndalen now looks set to beat Daehlie’s record as he will certainly take part in the relay event that Norway will start as one of the hot favourites.

    “Last year, everybody talked about him and that he needed to retire,” said Fourcade.

    “But I was one of the ones who trusted him and I always told him that he had to follow his own way. Today he shut the mouths of all the people who were speaking about him.”

    (Editing by Ed Osmond)

  • World’s eyes turn to sport as Russian Winter Games hit stride

    Date: 2019.08.17 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    The United States claimed the first gold in the slopestyle event held amidst the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains, some 40 km (25 miles) northeast of the Black Sea resort town of Sochi where the main Olympic park is located.

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    On a clear, crisp day, U.S. snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg leapt and twisted high in the air, riding an almost flawless first run to win the slopestyle crown.

    Rock music blared and fans danced as the event, which bears similarities to skateboarding, made its debut in an initiative to attract a younger demographic to Winter Olympic sport.

    “I have no idea what’s actually going on. This is the craziest thing that ever happened,” Kotsenburg said.

    President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on hosting a safe and successful Games.

    Some 37,000 security personnel are on high alert in Sochi over threats by Islamist militant groups based in nearby Chechnya and other north Caucasus regions to attack the February 7-23 Games, the most expensive ever at a cost of $50 billion (30 billion pounds).

    Security analysts believe an attack is more likely elsewhere in Russia to humiliate Putin, who launched a war to crush a Chechen separatist rebellion in 1999.

    Twin suicide bombings killed at least 34 people in December in Volgograd, 400 miles (700 km) northeast of Sochi.

    Now the Games are up and running, Putin hopes they will project Russia as a resurgent power that has finally shed the shackles of its Soviet past.

    The opening ceremony on Friday night before 40,000 spectators and millions more watching on television tried to do just that, taking viewers on a race through Russian history with spectacular set pieces on a gargantuan scale.

    HITCHES HIDDEN, CHOICES QUESTIONED

    The event, at the gleaming Fisht Stadium built on the shores of the Black Sea, was not without its problems.

    One of the five Olympic rings failed to open properly, and when Russian state television noticed, footage of a successful rehearsal was used instead to conceal the glitch.

    On Saturday, Russia’s Games chief Dmitry Chernyshenko was questioned about the choice of triple Olympic figure skating champion Irina Rodnina to light the Olympic flame – a huge honour in the sporting world.

    A national hero in Russia and member of parliament loyal to Putin, she caused an outcry in the United States last September by re-tweeting a photoshopped picture showing President Barack Obama chewing and a hand waving a banana in front of him.

    “Irina Rodnina is from the club of three-times gold medallists and one of the most respected in the world,” Chernyshenko told reporters. “The Olympic Games are not about politics,” he said.

    Nevertheless, Putin held a meeting on Friday with Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovich, who was in Sochi for the opening ceremony despite a political and economic crisis at home that has brought thousands of protesters onto the streets.

    The following day, Moscow cranked up pressure on its neighbour by linking the disbursement of a sorely needed tranche of a $15 billion aid package to Kiev with the repayment of a hefty gas bill owed to Russian firms.

    GOLD RUSH

    Five gold medals were up for grabs on Saturday. The action concludes around midnight with the floodlit women’s moguls.

    There were plenty of empty seats at Sochi venues on Saturday. Organisers said about 70 percent of tickets had been sold for the Games overall, and that some venues’ seating capacity had to be reduced for security reasons.

    Following Kotsenburg’s victory, Norwegian Marit Bjoergen, dubbed the “Iron Lady” and the most successful athlete of the 2010 Games with five medals, won the cross-country skiathlon.

    Sven Kramer of the Netherlands successfully defended his 5,000 metres title in an Olympic record time at the Adler Arena.

    And Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen matched compatriot Bjorn Daehlie’s Winter Games record of 12 medals when he won the biathlon men’s 10 km sprint.

    Women’s ski jumping got its first Olympics run out with a training session, after a campaign to have the sport included.

    Looking ahead to Sunday’s big draw, the men’s downhill, American Bode Miller laid bare the dangers faced by competitors when he said the treacherous Rosa Khutor piste “could kill you”.

    The veteran clocked a speed of 132.59 kilometres (82.4 miles) per hour as he topped the timesheets in the final training run for the race, but was shaken after seeing team mate Marco Sullivan narrowly escape a serious crash.

    “Not kill myself was the primary (objective),” Miller said.

    (Additional reporting by Karolos Grohmann, Timothy Heritage and Keith Weir in Sochi, Martyn Herman, Julien Pretot, Nick Mulvenney and David Ljunggren in Rosa Khutor and Alexei Anishchuk in Bocharov Ruchei; Writing by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

  • Kallis call looms for settled SAfricans

    Date: 2019.08.17 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    Like Australia, South Africa are dealing with the absence of their star allrounder.

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    Unlike the visitors, they’ve been in planning for over a month.

    When the opening match of the three-Test series begins on Wednesday in Centurion, Jacques Kallis will not be there.

    For the first time in almost 20 years, the Rainbow Nation’s aspiring allrounders have reason to believe they can become a mainstay of the Test side.

    In the opening Test against Australia, it’s expected either Wayne Parnell or Ryan McLaren will replace Kallis.

    Left-armer Parnell played three Tests in 2010 but then fell out of favour, while McLaren featured in 27 one-dayers for South Africa in 2013 in what was a breakthrough year.

    Both impressed Proteas bowling coach Allan Donald while playing for a Composite XI in a recent three-day clash with South Africa.

    “Wayne bowled with good pace and good control. As did Ryan,” Donald said earlier this week.

    Coach Russell Domingo suggested after the warm-up game that he had a reasonably clear idea on the first post-Kallis XI, but would assess the conditions in Centurion before making a final call.

    Domingo all but confirmed spinner Robin Peterson would play, despite the venue having a WACA-like reputation for being pace friendly.

    “It’s tough. I’ve always been a big fan of having a specialist spinner in my attack. It just gives a lot of balance to the side,” Domingo said.

    Perhaps the biggest void left by Kallis is at No.4 in the batting order, where he scored the majority of his 13,289 Test runs.

    Faf du Plessis will shift up to second drop in a reshuffled order, with Domingo confident the switch will suit the 29-year-old.

    “Faf batted at four against India when he batted all day. He’s done it a lot for the Titans (in first-class cricket),” Domingo said of du Plessis, who scored a classy ton in the match against a Composite XI.

    “It’s not like he’s not used to doing it.

    “Whether you’re batting at four or batting at five, there’s not that big a difference.

    “Occasionally you’ll walk in at 2-10, but more often there will be some sort of foundation. So No.4 or No.5 shouldn’t be too much of an issue.”

  • Chelsea top as Arsenal are crushed at Liverpool

    Date: 2019.08.17 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    High-scoring Manchester City, who started the day in second place and could have gone top, slipped to third after failing to find the net for the second successive game in a 0-0 draw at Norwich City who defended heroically for most of the match.

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    With 13 games remaining, Chelsea are top with 56 points, followed by Arsenal on 55, City with 54 and Liverpool on 50.

    Everton (45) and Tottenham Hotspur (44), who are fifth and sixth respectively, meet at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

    Chelsea, described by manager Jose Mourinho this week as “the little horse” competing against the “big horses” of Arsenal and City, got their noses in front in the most open title race for years with a comprehensive win over Newcastle.

    The visitors had no answer to Hazard’s artistry with the Belgian playmaker scoring in the 27th and 34th minutes with his third goal coming from the penalty spot after striker Samuel Eto’o was fouled by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

    Mourinho though was unhappy with Chelsea’s first half performance despite them leading 2-0 at the break although he praised Hazard and said he could not understand why he had not won a Player of the Month Award yet this season.

    “We gave them too much freedom to play,” he told Sky Sports, “but after that we completely controlled the game.”

    Asked what he thought of Hazard’s fine individual display Mourinho said: “He is a player that for some reason has not had one single Player of the Month in this Premier League.

    “That is quite surprising for me. Perhaps this country is so full of tremendous players that he hasn’t had an award.”

    ARSENAL CRUSHED

    In the early game, Liverpool made a mockery of Arsenal being top, crushing them with a stunning display of attacking football that produced four goals in an astonishing first 20 minutes from Martin Skrtel (2), Raheem Sterling (2) and Daniel Sturridge.

    Mikel Arteta scored a second half consolation for the Gunners from the penalty spot.

    The victory put Liverpool back in the title race and as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger conceded afterwards, raised questions about his side’s title ambitions.

    Arsenal had only conceded four goals in their last eight unbeaten league matches, before Liverpool went on the rampage.

    Despite the emphatic win and Liverpool’s total dominance, which led bookmakers to cut the Merseyside club’s title odds from 25-1 to 12-1, coach Brendan Rodgers played down any talk of winning the league.

    “Everything about our game was incredible today, it was an amazing performance against an outstanding team. To be fair, the title has not been a target, but we are improving and everything we did today was outstanding,” he told BT Sport.

    Wenger said: “It was a very poor day. Of course, it raises some questions today because we were caught many times and were naive.”

    Arsenal will have a quick chance of avenging their first league defeat at Anfield since 2007 when the two sides meet in an FA Cup fifth round tie at the Emirates next weekend.

    MORAL VICTORY

    Although Norwich and Manchester City failed to produce a goal at Carrow Road, the result was something of a moral victory for the home side who had lost 7-0 at The Etihad in November.

    The visitors, who have 68 league goals this season and 115 in all matches, also failed to score in a 1-0 home defeat by Chelsea on Monday and only had two shots on target on Saturday.

    Coach Manuel Pellegrini told the BBC: “We are frustrated because we could not win, but we did all we could do but in front of us there was a team who defended very well.

    “Every team will drop points, but we are still two points behind the leaders and we have 39 points to play for so we will continue exactly the same.

    Although there were no goals at Norwich there were plenty everywhere else which had a big impact on the bottom half of the table where eight of the 11 sides played each other.

    There were wins for Crystal Palace, who beat visiting West Bromwich Albion 3-1 with debutants Thomas Ince and Joe Ledley among the scorers, while West Ham United improved their chances of staying up with a Kevin Nolan double securing a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa.

    Palace climbed to 13th and West Ham to 14th but Sunderland’s relegation fears increased with a 2-0 home defeat by Hull City, after defender Wes Brown was sent off in the third minute for his third dismissal of the season, and they stand only a point above West Brom who slipped into the bottom three.

    (Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by Ken Ferris)

  • IOC boss Bach impressed by slopestyle ‘cool guys’

    Date: 2019.08.17 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Response: 0

    After meeting the three medallists from Saturday, American Sage Kotsenburg, who topped the podium, Staale Sandbech of Norway and third-placed Canadian Mark McMorris, Bach hailed the arrival of a new generation of athletes at the Sochi Games.

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    “It looks very spectacular,” Bach told a small group of news agency reporters. “I just met the three medallists and they are cool guys.

    “They found it (competition) cool and now they wait for the party. When you win you have party.”

    The event was included in the Sochi Olympics as the IOC is eager to revamp the sports programme to attract new sponsors and a new generation of viewers and fans.

    Asked about the sport, its athletes and their daredevil approach to the competition, Bach said it was a sign of changes in the Olympics.

    “You know, that’s the new generation,” said the German lawyer.

    As well as kudos for the Olympic newbies, Bach had special praise for a Games veteran after 40-year-old Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won Saturday’s biathlon sprint to claim a record-equalling 12th Winter Games medal.

    The Norwegian became the oldest Winter Games gold medallist and matched compatriot Bjorn Daehlie’s medals mark.

    Bjoerndalen now has seven golds to his name.

    “He won?” Bach asked with surprise when reporters told him the Norwegian had once again claimed gold.

    “Oh, chapeau (hats off to him),” said the German. “This is an amazing comeback.”

    Bjoerndalen had not won an individual race for two years with many questioning why he was not retiring.

    “Everybody thought it was over because he did not do so well. But with this comeback, it’s amazing.”

    (Editing by Peter Rutherford)