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]深圳桑拿, +27828257807 Messaging mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters深圳桑拿,@reuters深圳桑拿网,)

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.

QPR boss Ramsey says race could affect future job prospects

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by
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Ramsey, who is the only black manager in the Premier League, has a contract until the end of the season having joined QPR as a coach in November before taking over as boss from Harry Redknapp in February.


“I think if it doesn’t work out for me here, as any manager of any race, you’re always in a position where it’s going to be difficult to get another job,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“When you get sacked you don’t always walk into another job…

“But as a black man it’s always going to be difficult anyway. The problems I’ve had in the past are still going to be there… It’s no secret that I have said that (black managers not getting as many opportunities) in the past.

“The fact that we’re still at this stage highlighting that I’m the only black Premier League manager shows that it’s not the norm to have people from ethnic minorities in this position. Until this becomes normal and not highlighted in such spectacular fashion, that racism will be evident.

“Obviously, I am in a very fortunate position to be manager of QPR but I would hope people don’t look on it as a token gesture. I have earned my stripes to be in this position.”

QPR’s director of football Les Ferdinand said last month that “covert racism” denies black managers the chance to be interviewed and called for a Rooney Rule-style law to be introduced that will give them that opportunity.

“The Rooney Rule is an important factor as there is an awareness that something needs to be done to affect the way people think in boardrooms,” said Ramsey.

“I am not just talking about race. I am talking about gender, homophobia and many other issues — general equal opportunities.

“Maybe there needs to be more awareness in the game of different factors that affect why people get jobs or not.”

Ramsey’s side are second bottom in the Premier League, four points adrift of the safety zone, and travel to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Apart from Ramsey, there are only three other black managers working in England’s top four divisions; Chris Powell at Huddersfield, Keith Curle at Carlisle and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Burton.

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Martyn Herman)

Finance News Update, what you need to know

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by
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The Australian dollar continues to fall ahead of US labour figures.


At 0630 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at 75.76 US cents, down from 75.93 cents on Thursday.

The Australian market is closed on Friday for the Good Friday public holiday.

The market on Thursday closed higher as prices for commodities such as gold and copper improved, though iron ore continued its fall.


WASHINGTON – The US trade deficit shrank sharply in February to the lowest level in over five years as the country’s oil import bill continued to drop, the Commerce Department has reported.

WASHINGTON – Orders to US factories rose in February, breaking a six-month losing streak.

WASHINGTON – The number of people seeking US unemployment benefits dropped significantly last week, showing signs of a strong job market.

WASHINGTON – Average long-term US mortgage rates barely moved this week, remaining close to historically low levels as the spring home-buying season gets underway.

FRANKFURT – The official account of the European Central Bank’s last policy meeting show top officials expressing determination to stick with the full $US1 trillion euros ($A1.32 trillion) of their planned stimulus – even though the 19-country eurozone economy shows signs of finally picking up.

NEW YORK – Target will close the last of its 133 Canadian stores by April 12, a little more than two years after the US retailer crossed the border on its first international expansion.

MOSCOW – US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil is suing Russia at the Swedish Arbitrage Court for back taxes it believes it overpaid on a joint project, the energy ministry says.

TOKYO – Japanese electronics giant Sony has announced the sale of half its stake in camera and endoscope maker Olympus Corp to fund internal restructuring measures.

NEW YORK – A pay bump for workers at some McDonald’s restaurants isn’t likely to ease the pressures the chain is facing over labour issues.

Lower-profile Tigers shine in AFL win

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by
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A Richmond stats sheet without Cotchin, Martin and Deledio among the top seven ball winners normally means an AFL loss.


Coach Damien Hardwick still expects those big names to produce, but was rapt that lesser lights drove Thursday night’s 27-point win over Carlton.

In his first game for the Tigers, former Geelong midfielder Taylor Hunt led the way with 27 disposals and first-gamer Kamdyn McIntosh (23 possessions) was a revelation.

That pair, along with Brett Deledio (18 disposals), were crucial in the second term when the Tigers rallied from a 23-point deficit.

They will most likely be without Deledio for the round-two game against the Western Bulldogs.

He was booked in the first minute of the game for a high bump on Simon White and surely will be suspended.

White tagged Martin (13 possessions) out of the match and captain Trent Cotchin (17 possessions) was also down on his usual output.

“We still expect our better players to play better than what they did tonight, but we always knew Carlton would come to shut down those guys,” Hardwick said.

“So it was pleasing for the Taylor Hunts of the world to step up and really deliver.”

In his third year at Richmond, McIntosh finally has made his AFL debut and it was one to remember.

His tackle on Dale Thomas in the opening minute left the Carlton star with a dislocated shoulder.

McIntosh then set the example for his better-credentialled teammates with a relentless workrate.

“He was very good – we always knew we had a player,” Hardwick said.

“He’s been three years in the making.

“His ability to work from contest to contest is very good.

“He still has a long way to go … there are still some things in his game that he can improve.

“But overall we ticked that box tonight.”

Another highlight was key forward Jack Riewoldt, who kicked four goals.

He was very emotional, pointing to the sky after two of his goals.

His cousin Madeleine, the sister of St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt, died in February after a long illness.

Hardwick noted that Blues forward Michael Jamison has done well on Riewoldt, but on Thursday night the Tigers spearhead won their duel

“The thing we spoke to Jack about is it might not be his night, but it can be his moment.

“He really stood up … he’s going to have a good year for us.

“It (playing football) is probably the one thing that can take his mind off that (grief) – together with Nick.”

Hardwick said Richmond paid for poor skills early, but improved their kicking in particular in the second term.

More than 16 million Syrians need aid assistance: UN

Posted on: April 7th, 2019 by
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Aid worth $US8.


4 billion is needed for 12.2 million people in Syria and 4.3 million refugees who have fled the country’s ongoing war, the UN says.

The latest figures say 3.8 million Syrians are refugees in neighbouring countries, but that figure will grow to 4.3 million by December this year.

A further 2.2 million people are internally displaced within Iraq, the UN’s 2015 Syria Response Plan and 2015-2016 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan says.

The required aid money is roughly $US500 per person.

The money will go towards food, shelter, education and health services, the UN said. 

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement Australia would pledge $AU20 million ($15.2 million USD) to the relief effort.

“This contribution at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait City will bring Australia’s total humanitarian assistance in response to the Syria crisis to $AU155.8 million since 2011,” Ms Bishop said.

Recently, Ms Bishop told reporters in Canberra that Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann had assured her there would be no further cuts to the foreign aid, after speculation about cuts to foreign aid. 

Last year, Australia’s foreign aid budget received cuts. 

The May 2014-2015 Budget and following Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014-15 contained $ billions of cuts to official development assistance, or foreign aid. 

In 2013, Australia gave away 32 cents in every 100 dollars of Gross National Income.

Ecclestone on women drivers – again

Posted on: March 7th, 2019 by
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What a shame that Formula One’s next stop is China.


Because its notoriously protest-intolerant government surely wouldn’t look kindly on crowds of demonstrators venting against Bernie Ecclestone’s latest putdown of women drivers.

Yet people should vent. Because there’s a whiff of sexual apartheid in the latest madcap suggestion from F1’s billionaire boss that teams should launch a championship exclusively for women.

Segregating female drivers in a separate, second-fiddle series that few fans will watch cannot be the best way to advance their cause. Instead, because F1 teams have been so resistant to change, the time has come to force their hand: Rule that they each must hire a woman driver and race them in at least two Grand Prix per season. More of that later.

To be fair to Ecclestone, perhaps his motivations are noble.

Perhaps he recognises that the enduring stranglehold of men on F1, with no women actually racing and too few in positions of power behind the scenes, undercuts its pretensions of being the most modern of sports.

Or having declared 10 years ago that “women should be all dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances,” perhaps the 84-year-old wheeler-dealer who built F1’s commercial success is becoming a campaigning feminist?

Or perhaps not.

Parading women like this smacks suspiciously of being more about money, an attempt to use them to revive F1 television audiences, rather than being an about-face for equality.

“I thought it would be a good idea to give them a showcase. For some reason, women are not coming through – and not because we don’t want them. Of course we do, because they would attract a lot of attention and publicity and probably a lot of sponsors,” Ecclestone said in comments reported by British media.

“They could race before the main event, or perhaps on the Saturday qualifying day so that they had their own interest,” he was quoted as saying. “It would be super for F1 and the whole grand prix weekend.”

Again, to be fair, Ecclestone has found some support.

Carmen Jorda, a Spanish driver training with the Lotus F1 team, told The Associated Press she would rather be a world champion among women than finish a distant second-best to men. She also said the intense physicality of F1 driving is a barrier to equal competition between women and men.

“That’s why a woman will never be in the top, because of the physical issue,” Jorda said in a phone interview. “I don’t want to fight for 10th or 15th. What I want to do is to win.”

In the opposing camp are women like Michela Cerruti, an Italian who recently raced in the electric Formula E championship, and former rally driver Michele Mouton, who now works with the FIA governing body of motorsport.

By email, Mouton wrote “I am annoyed and very disappointed!” that Ecclestone maybe is thinking “about women only for the show!”

In a phone interview from her home in Milan, Cerruti said she wouldn’t want to be part of a women’s championship “made, basically, to attract attention” and which would be “much less interesting than seeing women racing against men.”

“It is really absurd that there’s not a woman (racing) nowadays in Formula One,” she said. “In the past two or three years they could have taken one of us.”

Well said. F1 has had ample time. And now the time for excuses has run out.

If Ecclestone really wants to help women drivers, he must get them onto F1’s grid with the men. Not just training in simulators like Jorda and in occasional tests like Williams’ Susie Wolff, but by ensuring that every race has one or more women drivers.

That could be done by forcing every team to hire a woman as a third driver. Doing so would, in turn, force teams to do a much better job of scouting and nurturing female talent. The teams’ two main male drivers would also all be made to skip a minimum of one race per season, giving the seat to their female colleague.

That would guarantee two races per season for each woman. But it also would ensure the continued integrity of the drivers’ championship, because each man would still compete in the same number of races as all the other men. So Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and all the other leading contenders would, for example, all race 18 of the 19 times per season. Teams would be free to choose which races the men sit out and could, of course, bench them more than once if and when the women prove to be faster.

Just an idea, to move things along and get more women started.

But better, surely, than making them race alone.