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Al-Shabaab storms Kenyan university

Posted on: June 6th, 2019 by
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At least 14 people were reported killed on Thursday when Islamist militant group al-Shabaab stormed a university campus near Kenya’s border with Somalia, taking Christian students hostage and battling security forces over several hours.


Police and soldiers surrounded and sealed off Garissa University College and were attempting to flush out the gunmen, the head of Kenya’s police force, Joseph Boinet, said.

Al-Shabaab, which has links to al Qaeda and a track record of raids on Kenyan soil, claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack, in which scores were wounded.

Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military operations spokesman, said it was holding many Christian hostages inside.

“We sorted people out and released the Muslims,” he told Reuters. “Fighting still goes on inside the college.”

“The attackers shot indiscriminately while inside the university compound,” Boinet said in a statement, adding police had been guarding the university’s four hostels at the time.

At least 14 people had been killed, a policeman at the scene said, while the Red Cross said 50 students had been freed. Others managed to escape the compound unaided.

“We heard some gunshots and we were sleeping so it was around five and guys started jumping up and down running for their lives,” an unnamed student told Reuters TV.

Sixty-five people were wounded, the country’s National Disaster Operation Centre said on its Twitter feed.

Four had been airlifted to Nairobi for treatment. “We have 49 casualties so far, all with bullet and (shrapnel) wounds,” said a doctor at Garissa hospital.


Al-Shabaab, which seeks to impose its own harsh variant of sharia law, had separated Muslims from Christians in some of its previous raids in Kenya, notably late last year in attacks on a bus and at a quarry.

Its repeated raids, together with attacks on churches by home-grown Islamist groups, have in recent years strained the historically cordial relations between Kenya’s Muslim and Christian communities.

Thursday’s attack also marked a setback in a drive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to persuade foreigners the country is safe to visit.

On Wednesday, he urged Kenyans abroad to help woo tourists back despite the wave of militant violence, criticising a warning from Australia of a possible attack in Nairobi and an advisory from Britain urging its citizens to avoid most coastal resorts.

Kenyatta was due to address the nation about the Garissa attack later on Thursday.

Grace Kai, a student at the Garissa Teachers Training College near the university, said there had been warnings that an attack in the town could be imminent.

“Some strangers had been spotted in Garissa town and were suspected to be terrorists,” she told Reuters.

“Then on Monday our college principal told us …that strangers had been spotted in our college… On Tuesday we were released to go home, and our college closed, but the campus remained in session, and now they have been attacked.”

Al-Shabaab had previously carried out attacks in Garissa, which lies around 200 kilometres (120 miles) from the porous Somali border.

Many Kenyans living in the crime-ridden frontier regions blame the government for not doing enough to protect its citizens from the militants.

Having declared it would punish Kenya for sending troops into Somalia to fight it alongside African Union peacekeepers, it was also responsible for a deadly attack in 2013 on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

(Additional reporting by Joseph Akwiri, Edith Honan and Humphrey Malalo; Writing by John Stonestreet; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

At least 54 dead in Russian trawler sinking

Posted on: June 6th, 2019 by
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At least 54 crew on a Russian fishing trawler died and 15 were missing after it sank in freezing waters off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Western Pacific Ocean late on Wednesday, officials in the area said.


Sixty-three of the 132 people on board the Dalniy Vostok were rescued with the sea’s temperature near zero degrees Celsius

, Viktor Klepikov, coordinating captain of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky maritime rescue coordination centre, told Reuters.

“The rescue operation is going on, we are still looking for 15 people,” Klepikov said. “At this time we do not know what might have caused the tragedy.” Russia’s TASS news agency cited a deputy head of the Kamchatka region as saying the crew might have violated safety rules by exceeding the capacity of cargo storage.

“According to preliminary information, the shipwreck occurred while hauling a 100-tonne fishing seine,” TASS cited Sergei Khabarov as saying.

The Russian Interfax news agency cited an unidentified source at the region’s rescue centre as saying that large amounts of drifting ice might have damaged the body of the ship, which sank within 15 minutes.

Russia has a dismal air, road and water safety record, with negligence and corruption often the cause of accidents.

In 2011, an ageing, overcrowded tourist boat sank in Russia’s Volga River, killing nearly 130 people in one of the worst post-Soviet ship disasters.

The trawler was carrying 78 Russian nationals, as well as 54 foreign nationals from Myanmar, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Vanuatu.

It sank in the Sea of Okhotsk, 330 km west of Krutogorovsky settlement in the Kamchatka region and 250 km (155 miles) south of the city of Magadan.

The home port of the trawler, which was owned by Magellan LLC, was Nevelsk in Russia’s Sakhalin region.

(Writing by Lisa Shumaker and Lidia Kelly; Editing by Paul Tait)

Good friend O’Meara thinks Tiger will play at Augusta

Posted on: June 6th, 2019 by
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Former world number one Woods, whose ranking has plummeted to a mind-boggling 104th, has struggled badly for form and fitness this season and has played only twice on the PGA Tour.


His manager Mark Steinberg told Reuters earlier this week that the 39-year-old American had played 18 holes at Augusta as he continued to assess whether his game would be “tournament-ready” for the first major of the year.

“Deep down I think he will play,” said O’Meara at a media viewing of Woods’ first U.S.-designed golf course at BlueJack National, an hour’s drive from Houston.

“I hope he plays but I also understand he is doing what he needs to do for him. Everybody struggles in the game of golf and no-one is immune to struggling.

“Let’s face it, for a long time Tiger didn’t have to struggle and nobody dominated a sport like he did,” added O’Meara.

The 1998 Masters and 1998 British Open champion said 14-times major winner Woods always gets extra motivation when he is written off.

“He certainly dominated golf for quite a while but then a couple of years ago when I didn’t think he was swinging the club that well he won five tournaments in a season and was named ‘Player of the Year’,” said O’Meara.

“He’s the kind of athlete and individual that when people start to doubt him … that is a good motivating factor for him to turn it around.”

The Houston native, who now plays on the Seniors Tour, has been signed up by the Tiger Woods Foundation as an ambassador for the BlueJack National.

“I was around Tiger for the first 11 years when he came out on tour and he had a big impact on my life and my career,” said O’Meara.

“I may not have won the two majors I won in ’98 if Tiger had not come into my life. He’s been a great friend.”

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

World Autism Awareness Day: Push for more awareness in culturally diverse communities

Posted on: June 6th, 2019 by
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For Kirsty Lee and her parents, ordinary family outings such as trips to the supermarket or birthday parties are full of worry.



They face the anxiety that strangers will think the 11-year-old naughty if she suddenly screams, lashes out or runs away.

This is because Kirsty has autism, a lifelong developmental disorder. 

People with the disability typically struggle with communication and social interaction. They may also display repetitive or restricted behaviour.

Kirsty was diagnosed with autism at three years old. But her parents spotted something was not quite right early on.

“When Kristy was about 18 months I and my husband compared her with our friend’s child. And we saw she was different,” said mother Nhung Nyugen. 

“Kristy didn’t respond to her name. She didn’t know how to play with her toys. She preferred to play by herself. She cried or hid away when visitors came.”

One in every 100 Australian children suffers from autism, but public awareness is still lacking.

On World Autism Awareness Day, organisations that help the 115,000 Australians with the disorder are seeking to demystify the condition.

“Some cultures see autism as a curse on the family. Something shameful. What we are trying to say is, yes autism is a lifelong condition, but there is support out there for them.”

Positive Partnerships has released a short animated video to highlight the challenges some families from diverse cultural backgrounds face when dealing with the disorder. The film ‘A Family Journey’ is available in seven languages.

“Some cultures see autism as a curse on the family. Something shameful. What we are trying to say is, yes autism is a lifelong condition, but there is support out there for them,” said Positive Partnership’s Karen Jones. 

In another short film ‘Spectrospective: Stories of Autism’, which is being screened in Victorian cinemas on Thursday, people share what it’s like living with autism. The project was initiated by Amaze, the peak organisation for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Victoria. 

Its chief executive Fiona Sharkie hopes the film will raise awareness of the disability. 

“When you have met one person with autism you have seen one experience of autism. It presents very differently in every different person. We say there are no two people with autism that are the same,” Ms Sharkie said.

World Autism Awareness Day is on April 2. 


Hockeyroos beaten 4-1 by China

Posted on: May 7th, 2019 by
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A Hockeyroos side featuring a mix of senior and junior women went down to China 4-1 in the opening match of a three-game series at Sydney Olympic Park on Thursday night.


Clinical penalty corners carried the visitors to victory, the first after just two minutes from Qiuxia Cui.

China also scored through penalty corners in the 26th and 43rd minutes through Mengyu Wang and Quianquian Bao, respectively.

Four minutes later Emily Smith, with help from Amelia Spence, broke the ice for the Hockeyroos, scoring from a field goal in the 47th minute after excellent build-up play from Mariah Williams.

The goal gave Australia hope at 3-1 but a quick counter-attacking field goal from Meiyu Liang ten minutes before the final siren completed China’s night.

Queenslanders Savannah Fitzpatrick and Renee Taylor and New South Wales player Kate Hanna made their senior international debuts in what was Australia’s first competitive match since winning gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, eight months ago .

Captain Madonna Blyth said it would take time for the new players to get comfortable.

“We’re lucky that we’ve got the depth coming through and that we can blood three new players in this tournament as well as a couple of girls that have only had a handful of games.

“To get back out there and to get back into the pace and speed of international hockey is great leading into our tournament coming up in New Zealand, so the next couple of games for us is really important in our development and we want to make sure that we get off to a better start on Saturday.”

Coach Adam Commens said the inexperience of the team was obvious.

“Not only did we have three debutants but we had a number of players playing in new positions.

“We started off pretty slowly and I thought our second half was a better performance. I think we saw that if you give China space they’re able to move the ball well and they were really efficient in their finishing tonight.

“I certainly think we need to get back to a more aggressive style of defending.

“Our trademark hockey is having a really smothering style of defence and tonight we didn’t see that at all.”

Commens said he was happy with the performances of the debutantes.

“I thought they showed glimpses of what we’re after with the Hockeyroos. Certainly you don’t expect them to be world’s best in their first performance but they showed some great composure at times and some good level of skill and they worked hard and that’s all you can ask.”

The second match is on Saturday afternoon, also at Sydney Olympic Park.

Injuries pile up as Bayern’s Ribery out for Dortmund derby

Posted on: May 7th, 2019 by
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Frenchman Ribery was ruled out with a nagging ankle injury, joining Arjen Robben and David Alaba, out for seven weeks with a ligament tear, on the sidelines but club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes the squad is big enough to compensate for the absences.


“Alaba’s injury is obviously very painful for us,” Rummenigge told the club website, following the Austrian fullback’s injury while on international duty on Tuesday.

“But we cannot change it and it would be a mistake if Bayern started to lament now,” he said adding the Bavarians had enough depth in their squad to compensate for the absences.

“No need to complain about Ribery either. If he does not feel well, if he is in pain then he cannot play.”

Bayern have had to deal with injuries to key players this season but have been extremely consistent, losing just twice in the league to open up a 10-point gap at the top as they cruise towards their 25th German league title.

Last season’s runners-up Dortmund never got their season off the ground, languishing in last place right after the winter break before a seven-game unbeaten run saw them bounce back and chase a European spot with eight matches left in the campaign.

“One does not have to be a big prophet to know that Borussia Dortmund are not happy with their current position in the table,” Rummenigge said.

“But they still have a chance for a Europa League spot. We have to prepare for that and the fact that it will be hard. It will be a difficult game and we have a lot of respect for our opponents.”

There is no love lost between the two clubs as Bayern have snapped up Dortmund’s Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski in the past seasons, both crowd favourites at the Ruhr valley club.

Dortmund’s good run in the past two months has raised hopes among fans of winning the one game that could prove decisive for their season.

Defeat at home would not just be a further prestige blow after their loss in Munich earlier in the season but would also see them lose ground in their bid for a top-six finish with Dortmund in 10th spot on 33 points.

“We have to do a lot of things right, play like we did against Schalke 04 (in a 3-0 win). We want to win if we want to keep an eye on the Europa League,” Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang told reporters.

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Pietersen not in our focus – frustrated Moores

Posted on: May 7th, 2019 by
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Sacked after the 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia last year, Pietersen rejoined county side Surrey last week to boost his comeback bid.


Incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves has hinted at a recall but Moores refused to be distracted by the issue before the squad flew out for the tour of West Indies.

“Kevin is not on this trip so I don’t need to focus on Kevin at all,” he told a news conference on Thursday. “I understand Kevin’s a huge subject but I don’t think we can be drawn into that.

“My focus is to support Alastair (Cook). I always support the captain and work with those 16 players to try and make sure we put the best 11 out.

“The frustration for me is that people whose dreams are being made by going on this tour aren’t being mentioned,” added Moores who is in his second spell as coach and fell out with Pietersen during his first tenure.

“They are not getting any air time and it’s frustrating. We’ve got some very, very good players. That’s very exciting.”

Opening batsman Cook said Pietersen’s fate was in the hands of the ECB.

“Contrary to what a lot of you guys read in the media, I am a long way away from that decision-making,” said the England test skipper.

“It is not down to us. We’ve got 16 guys going to West Indies who are desperate to start turning around English cricket from what’s happened over the last three months.”

Under new one-day skipper Eoin Morgan, England were woeful in the recent 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and were knocked out in the first round.

“We need to get back to winning ways,” said Cook. “In terms of a brand of cricket it’s about trying to win this series and that’s all these 16 guys and the support staff can focus on.

“Everything else, the ECB, the hierarchy, have to deal with that.”

After two practice games in St Kitts, England take on West Indies in the first test in Antigua starting on April 13.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty, editing by Tony Jimenez and Pritha Sarkar)

Rodgers says Liverpool won’t be selling Sterling

Posted on: May 7th, 2019 by
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“I’m quite relaxed about it.


It’s part of the modern game. He has got two and a half years left on his contract and is going nowhere this summer,” Rodgers told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match with Arsenal.

Sterling, in a non-permissioned interview with the BBC, denied on Wednesday he was a “money-grabbing 20-year-old” but said he was in no rush to sign a new contract.

The forward has been offered an eye-watering 100,000 pounds ($148,300) a week to sign a fresh deal, according to media reports.

Rodgers, who has had to deal with rumours about Sterling for most of the season, said Liverpool did not need to let the player go.

“If the club isn’t going to sell, it won’t sell — it’s as simple as that,” he added.

“For us it’s about continuing the nurturing and developing of a young player who has made huge strides in the last couple of years and for me that is the only thing to concentrate on over the remaining games until the end of the season.”

Rodgers confirmed a point made by Sterling in the BBC interview that a new contract would not be discussed until the end of the season at the earliest.

The manager also said the reported interest shown in the player by Arsenal did not detract from Liverpool’s aspirations.

“His ambition is to win trophies and be successful and that’s perfectly aligned with what we are trying to do,” explained Rodgers.

“Arsenal are a fantastic football club but this is Liverpool, one of the great clubs of the footballing world and it is an honour for Raheem to be playing here in front of our great supporters.

“But he understands that. He has developments to make on and off the field and this is a great place for him to be.”

It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets from Liverpool and Arsenal fans on Saturday.

(Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Tony Jimenez)

Morocco’s Nations Cup ban overturned by CAS

Posted on: May 7th, 2019 by
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“The suspension .


.. of the next two editions of the African Nations Cup … is annulled and the fine imposed to the Royal Federation of Moroccan Football is reduced to $50,000,” CAS said in a statement on Thursday.

CAF had barred Morocco from the 2015 edition, after the country refused to host the competition citing Ebola virus fears, and suspended them from the 2017 and 2019 editions while also imposing a fine of $1 million.

CAS has not ruled on CAF’s claim for 8 million euros (6.14 million pounds) in damages to itself and television and marketing partners for having to move this year’s finals to Equatorial Guinea at late notice.

“The question related to the compensation of the possible damage caused by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation to the CAF may still be examined by another jurisdiction,” said the Swiss-based organisation based in Lausanne.

In January, CAF’s executive committee found the federation financially liable for costs after Morocco had been officially stripped of hosting rights two months earlier.

Morocco appealed to CAS, sport’s highest tribunal, and accused CAF of being against the development of the game in Africa by refusing them permission to participate in the 2017 and 2019 editions.

Thursday’s announcement will be a blow to CAF president Issa Hayatou who took a hardline stance against the country’s initial request to postpone this year’s finals for several months because of the fight against Ebola in west Africa.

Last week Tunisia withdrew a CAS appeal against a similar sanction after CAF had threatened to ban the country from 2017 qualifying unless they apologised for accusing African football’s governing body of bias.

As part of a compromise, Tunisia will be allowed to play in qualifying that starts in June.

Tunisia made the allegations after a controversial defeat to Equatorial Guinea in the Nations Cup quarter-finals in January.

The draw for 2017 qualifying will be made in Cairo next week.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson and Julien Pretot, editing by Tony Jimenez; [email protected]广西桑拿, +27828257807 Messaging mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters广西桑拿,@reuters南宁桑拿,)

Germanwings unaware of pilot’s depression

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by
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Germanwings says it was unaware that the co-pilot of its plane which crashed in the French Alps last week had suffered from depression during his pilot training.


Investigators believe co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the Airbus A320’s cockpit and intentionally crashed Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf into a French mountainside on March 24.

All 150 people on board the plane were killed.

German airline Lufthansa confirmed on Tuesday that it knew six years ago that Lubitz had suffered from an episode of “severe depression” before he finished his flight training.

“We didn’t know this,” said Vanessa Torres, a spokeswoman for Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings, which hired Lubitz in September 2013.

She declined to explain the discrepancy, citing the ongoing investigation. Torres noted that Lufthansa has said Lubitz held a “fully valid class 1 medical certificate” on the day of the crash.

The news came as Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt and the German Aviation Association, which represents German airlines, announced the creation of an expert task force to examine what went wrong in the Germanwings crash.

The panel will consider whether changes are needed to cockpit doors or pilot procedures for passing medicals and will discuss “the question of recognising psychological peculiarities,” Dobrindt said.

Aviation association chief Klaus-Peter Siegloch said the task force will work “very quickly” but “it is very important that we do not reach over-hasty conclusions.”

“We have no taboos about what the task force will discuss,” said Siegloch, adding that any conclusions will be shared with international air safety organisations.

France’s air accident investigation agency has already said it will examine cockpit entry and psychological screening procedures.

German prosecutors say Lubitz’s medical records from before he received his pilot’s licence referred to “suicidal tendencies” but visits to doctors since then showed no record of any suicidal tendencies or aggression toward others.

The A320 is designed with safeguards to allow emergency entry into the cockpit if a pilot inside is unresponsive. But the override code known to the crew doesn’t go into effect if the person inside the cockpit specifically denies entry.

At the crash scene, investigators said Thursday they have found mobile phones amid the crash debris but the phones haven’t yet been thoroughly examined.

The French magazine Paris-Match and the German tabloid Bild say they have seen a mobile phone video from the final moments of Flight 9525. Authorities have said investigators have no such video but didn’t rule out the possibility that some videos like that may exist.