Archive for September, 2019

  • Fighting as Syria civilians await aid

    Date: 2019.09.18 | Category: 上海按摩服务 | 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: 上海按摩服务 | 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: 上海按摩服务 | 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: 上海按摩服务 | 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: 上海按摩服务 | 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)