NDTV

Abused On Social Media, Sushma Swaraj Responds With A Twitter Poll


Sushma Swaraj had last week hoped to shame the trolls that flooded her timeline with abuses. (File)

New Delhi: 

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has been badgered on Twitter for days after an inter-faith couple, allegedly harassed over religion by officials, got their passports after complaining to her on social media.

On Saturday, she marked out about a dozen tweets by “liking” them on Twitter and asked people to vote.

The poll asked if they approved them.

“Friends: I have liked some tweets. This is happening for the last few days. Do you approve of such tweets? Please RT,” the foreign minister tweeted.
 

Ms Swaraj had last week apparently hoped to shame the trolls that flooded her timeline with abuses, crude comments about her health and communal invectives. She invited people to go through some of the tweets she had received while she was travelling abroad.

This morning, her husband Swaraj Kaushal received another. This one suggested that Mr Kaushal, a former Mizoram Governor, should thrash his wife when she is back from work to teach her a lesson.

A top lawyer, Mr Swaraj called out the author of the abusive tweet, Mukesh Gupta, who claims to be an engineer and has “IIT Delhi” as part of his Twitter handle.

Ms Swaraj was travelling out of the country on an official visit to Europe when Tanvi Seth and Anas Siddiqui, the couple from Noida who had an interfaith marriage, alleged in a series of tweets that they were humiliated and harassed by a passport officer assigned their case at Lucknow.

After a storm on Twitter, the foreign ministry ordered the transfer of the official Vikas Mishra and sent him a notice for an explanation. He told television channels later that he had gone by the rules.

The foreign ministry, which runs passport offices across the country, also gave the couple their new passports the same day.

Of the millions who follow her on Twitter, there were some who saw the ministry’s stand from a religious prism and accused her of minority appeasement.

The Congress and several opposition leaders have extended their support to the union minister. But not many top BJP politicians appear to have come forward in her support on social media. In one tweet, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi complimented her for the grace and dignity with which she had handled the trolls. But her newly-discovered critics have accused her of playing the victim card and floated their own Twitter polls.

Last year, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan too had to hit delete his support of the Supreme Court ban on sale of firecrackers after he was trolled by a section of social media that called the ban “anti-tradition”.

A few months later, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ wife Amruta found herself at the receiving end of heavy criticism for promoting a Christmas-themed charitable event in Mumbai.



Read Full Story

Sen. Tim Scott calls race discussion with Trump 'painful,' 'uncomfortable,' but 'hopeful'

Sen. Tim Scott calls race discussion with Trump ‘painful,’ ‘uncomfortable,’ but ‘hopeful’


“Yeah, they’re hard. They’re painful. They’re uncomfortable, to sit in the Oval Office and have a conversation with the President about things that you strongly disagree about,” Scott said in an interview on CNN’s “The Van Jones Show” airing Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Scott, the first black senator elected in the South since Reconstruction, met with Trump for 40 minutes at the White House last year after the President faced bipartisan criticism for drawing equivalence between white supremacists protesting the removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia, and counterprotesters.

Scott told host Van Jones that he and the President didn’t end their conversation in agreement, but he felt the talk was constructive.

“He didn’t change his perspective. I certainly can’t change my perspective. Mine’s educated by my experience,” the South Carolina senator said, adding, “But the way it closed, I thought, gave me reasons to be hopeful.”

Scott recalled that the President told him, “‘Tim, I don’t see what you see. What can I do to make things better?'”

“That was a shocking response,” Scott said. “I was surprised after the conversation that his response was, ‘Help me see a better light.'”

The outcome of their conversation, Scott said, was Trump’s support of the senator’s “opportunity zone” legislation, which made it into the GOP tax overhaul and uses tax incentives to encourage businesses to invest in low-income communities.

“And my answer is always not for him to speak about issues in the way that he doesn’t sincerely believe, but for him to actually do something,” Scott said.

Scott has previously told CNN that he doesn’t believe the President is racist, but “without question” can be racially insensitive.



Read Full Story

Admiral on why China disinvited from war games

US trying to make friends, counter China with massive naval exercise


But as ships were arriving in Hawaii for RIMPAC, China was completing a series of naval exercises of its own, with a series of live-fire naval drills off Taiwan that began on June 17.

That the two sets of exercises overlap only serves to reinforce the differences between the two super powers, as both countries vie for military influence in the Pacific.

RIMPAC is about “building relationships,” US military leaders said at a press conference in Hawaii on Thursday, pointing out Indo-Pacific nations making first-time or upgraded contributions to the exercises, including Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, which all have claims in the South China Sea.

“We work together, build relationships here, so later on … it’s hard to turn down a friend,” said Vice Adm. John Alexander, commander of the US Navy’s 3rd Fleet told the Pearl Harbor gathering marking the beginning of the games.

And RIMPAC shows the US Navy is better at making friends than its Chinese counterpart, analysts say.

“China’s absence means that it loses an opportunity to … establish professional and potentially personal relationships with its regional and global naval counterparts,” said Carl Schuster, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center.

Beijing does not host any naval exercises on the scope of RIMPAC, Schuster said.

“There is a bit of the ‘I’m the popular kid on the block’ approach to all this,” said Peter Layton, visiting fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute in Australia, pointing out that the US Navy knows how to show off its and its partners’ capabilities.

Among the planned RIMPAC missions are new missile demonstrations, amphibious exercises, mine clearing and anti-piracy exercises, according to the US Navy.

Expect all to be well publicized with tweets, photos and videos and postings on the RIMPAC Facebook page.

“It highlights in graphic media detail lasting a month that navies want to exercise with the US Navy,” Layton said.

And the presence of the South China Sea nations at RIMPAC shows loyalties in the region remain very much in play, said Layton.

Making friends and extending influence

Washington has periodically sent warships within boundaries declared by China around disputed islands, but those so-called “freedom of navigation operations” have not been joined by other Southeast Asian navies.

RIMPAC gives those Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) a chance to show “passive support” for the US position, Layton said.

Republic of Singapore Navy guided-missile frigate RSS Tenacious arrives at  Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in preparation for RIMPAC 2018. Singapore is one of seven ASEAN nations participating in the exercises.

The 10 ASEAN nations include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. All but Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are at RIMPAC.

“ASEAN states might not be willing to sail with the US Navy through the disputed waters but they are keen to exercise with the US Navy and show solidarity that way,” Layton said.

“Vietnam for the first time attending this year’s exercise is significant in that regard. The Philippines involvement similarly indicates they wish to hedge their bets and remind China they have other options,” he said.

Broad coalition

Outside of Southeast Asia, the US is giving important roles to other allies.

Canadian and Japanese admirals will be in the Nos. 2 and 3 overall command positions and Australian and Chilean commanders will the maritime and air components respectively.

Members of the Canadian 2nd Battalion Royal 22e Régiment wait to take off during loading and offloading drills for the MV-22 Osprey during Rim of the Pacific exercises on Thursday.

“The trust built in RIMPAC will pay dividends when we all respond together to crises that may arise,” Adm. John Aquilino, the commander of the US Pacific Fleet, said at Pearl Harbor on Thursday.

China, meanwhile, sent a flotilla of warships for a week of “real combat training” around Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory but has been a self-governed, democratic island since 1949 following a civil war on the Chinese mainland.

Beijing said the combat exercises were “directed at separatist elements advocating “Taiwan independence,” according to a report from the state-run Xinhua news service.

The Chinese military said two warships from its Eastern Theater Command spearheaded the exercises — with added units from air and coastal defense forces — in the Taitung Strait, the Bashi Strait and the Taiwan Strait, according to Xinhua.

Highlighting that the exercises were conducted by the Eastern Theater Command, formed during a Chinese military reorganization in 2016, was important, according to Schuster, the former US Navy officer now a Hawaii Pacific University professor.

“It means the PLA Navy and the joint command structure are getting better, more capable and they want Taiwan and the United States to know it,” he said.

UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters take part in Taiwan drills  simulating Chinese attacks in June 2018.

The exercises came while US Defense Secretary James Mattis, who had pulled China’s RIMPAC invitation in early June, visited leaders in Beijing.

State Department requests US Marines for Taiwan in move that could anger China

They included President Xi Jinping, who made his position on the South China Sea clear.

“Our stance is steadfast and clear-cut when it comes to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi said, according to state media, adding that “any inch of territory passed down from ancestors cannot be lost while we want nothing from others.”

Alternative alliances

Beijing isn’t showing any envy of RIMPAC either. On Thursday, the Defense Ministry announced its planning naval drills with the 10 ASEAN nations later this year, aiming to “enhance mutual trust, expand exchange and cooperation, and safeguard regional peace and stability,” Xinhua reported.

Meanwhile, Layton says for all the US military’s talk of building relationships, there’s one person who could burn them down during the month of RIMPAC — Donald Trump.

The US President has meetings with NATO and European Union leaders as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for July.

“Donald Trump is widely expected to insult the Europeans and the Canadians, and actively try to damage NATO and the EU, while heaping praise on Putin for Syria and the Ukraine,” the Australian analyst said.

“Some EU nations and maybe others may wonder why they are supporting a US exercise in the Pacific,” Layton said. “Trump in attacking allies and friends will undo for all participants some of RIMPAC’s soft power aspects.”



Read Full Story

Man arrested for starting Colorado wildfire

Man arrested for starting Colorado wildfire


TAOS, New Mexico (Reuters) – A man was arrested on Saturday on charges of starting a forest fire in Colorado that has destroyed structures and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes in one of dozens of wildfires raging across the drought-hit U.S. southwest.

Flames rise past a ridge during efforts to contain the Spring Creek Fire in Costilla County, Colorado, U.S. June 27, 2018. Costilla County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via REUTERS

Jesper Joergensen, 52, was taken into custody for suspected arson that started the Springs Fire, the most active of around 10 blazes in Colorado, the state hardest hit by fires, according to Costilla County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Joergensen is not a U.S. citizen and will be handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement once he has faced arson charges, said a Costilla County detention officer. The officer could not immediately say what nationality Joergensen held.

The fire has scorched over 38,000 acres (15,378 hectares) between the towns of Fort Garland and La Veta in southern Colorado, forcing more mandatory evacuations of homes and ranches on Saturday in a mountainous area of public and private land. The fire continued to grow, fueled by temperatures in the mid 80s Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) and had zero percent containment as of Saturday afternoon.

Flames rise from a treeline near an emergency vehicle during efforts to contain the Spring Creek Fire in Costilla County, Colorado, U.S. June 27, 2018. Costilla County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via REUTERS

Air tankers and helicopters dropped fire retardant and water on the blaze. Authorities asked evacuated residents not to fly drones to check on their properties as the devices posed a danger to aircraft and would force them to be grounded.

An unknown number of structures were consumed by the fire, said Bethany Urban, a public information officer. No injuries have been reported.

Gusty winds, single-digit humidity and hot temperatures have fueled the fires and could ignite new blazes in the U.S. West, the National Weather Service said in several warnings.

The largest wildfire in Colorado, the 416 Fire, has charred almost 47,000 acres about 13 miles (21 km) north of Durango in the southwest corner of the state, and is 37 percent contained, said public information officer Brandalyn Vonk.

About 10 smaller wildfires were burning in New Mexico and three in Arizona, with much of the two states suffering extreme or exceptional drought conditions.

All but the northeastern corner of Colorado is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Editing by Grant McCool



Read Full Story

NDTV

After Protests Against Gang-Rape In Madhya Pradesh, Politics Takes Over


Thousands of people took to the streets protesting the rape of a 7-year-old girl. (Representational)

New Delhi: 

After spontaneous protests erupted in parts of Madhya Pradesh to seek death penalty for the men who brutalised a seven-year-old girl in Mandsaur, political parties moved in on Saturday. The Congress launched a blistering attack at the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for doing “absolutely nothing” for the safety of women and demanded the probe be handed over to the CBI.

A political row also erupted over BJP lawmaker Sudarshan Gupta telling the girl’s parents to “say thank you” to a BJP leader for calling on them. A video clip that captured Mr Gupta’s advice to the parents has been circulated widely, triggering a sharp reaction against the ruling party lawmaker. 

“In terms of insensitivity, the incident has reached its peak when a BJP MLA from Indore introduces the MP of Mandsaur to the parents of the victim and says how they should feel glad that he has paid them a visit,” Congress’ Priyanka Chaturvedi said.

The legislator, who has been badgered by the opposition, has since then claimed that his comments were misconstrued but given an unqualified apology.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Congress leader who heads the party’s campaign committee for the assembly elections later this year said, “I am requesting for the CBI probe because the reasons behind this case need attention”. He held Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the BJP, which has been in power for 15 years, responsible for the horrific rapes in Mandsaur and elsewhere.

The young girl, a Class 2 student, was standing outside her school on Tuesday, waiting for her parents to pick her up outside when she was lured away by the two men, Irfan and Asif. They raped her, tortured her and then slit her throat before walking away, leaving her to die.

The girl, found brutalised some 700 metres from her school, did survive. But she is still battling for life.
The police made the first arrests on Wednesday night and caught Irfan Khan, the man spotted in a CCTV footage leading her away. Asif, the second suspect, was arrested on Friday.

But as word about her injuries spread, thousands of people came on the streets in Mandsaur this week to demand that the police hand over the accused to them for instant justice.

Mandsaur’s top police officer Manoj Singh told Reuters that investigators are just waiting to speak with the seven-year-old girl once before filing formal charges in court.

Asked why the Congress wanted the case to go to the CBI when the police had made the arrests, Mr Scindia said he was just saying that “action should be taken as soon as possible”.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the accused should be sent to the gallows and deserved no mercy. He has ordered the police to quickly file charges against the accused and send the case to a fast track court.

The back-and-forth was much bitter on social media.

After Rahul Gandhi tweeted that the brutality the girl was subjected to, sickened him, the BJP’s Amit Malviya hit out, saying the Congress had used the crime as a “political tool”.

He also countered a Congress tweet that said a female was raped every 15 minutes.

This translates into 35,000 rapes annually, which is closer to the total rapes in the entire country, Mr Malviya added.



Read Full Story

Weakened Merkel to face judgment of her Bavarian allies

Weakened Merkel to face judgment of her Bavarian allies


BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political future rests in the hands of the Christian Social Union (CSU) on Sunday, when the Bavarian party’s leadership meets to decide whether to accept migration deals she brought back from Brussels.

FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a news conference following the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium June 29, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Nine months after elections that saw her lose votes to the far right, a weakened Merkel was forced to turn to European Union neighbors to help resolve a conflict with her allies after they rebelled against her immigration policy.

The party’s leader, interior minister Horst Seehofer, threatened to turn migrants back from the Bavarian border, a move that would almost certainly precipitate a government collapse.

At a Brussels summit this week, leaders hammered out a deal to share out refugees on a voluntary basis and create “controlled centers” inside the European Union to process asylum requests.

Separately, Merkel announced deals with 16 EU countries for returning some refugees, and proposed setting up reception centers where others would undergo an accelerated asylum procedure, in a hardening of the open-door asylum policy she introduced in 2015.

FILE PHOTO: Migrant women and a child, part of a group intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea, are seen after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Motril, Spain June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photo

Bavaria’s premier Markus Soeder, mindful of October regional elections in which he faces a stiff challenge from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), took credit for pressuring Merkel to reach a deal.

“It goes absolutely in the right direction,” he said, but added he would keep up the pressure to obtain more clarity on the details.

While most analysts expect Merkel to survive the clash with the CSU, it is unlikely to be the last occasion on which the sister party seeks to distance itself from a chancellor it sees as too centrist for its own supporters.

Underlining the uncertainty over what had been agreed, Hungary, whose Prime Minister Viktor Orban has positioned himself as Merkel’s nemesis in the immigration debate polarizing the continent, denied it had signed any agreement.

Although a document circulated by Merkel to her coalition partners said Hungary was one of 14 countries that had agreed “on a political level” to take back some migrants who had passed through other EU countries on their way to Germany, the government said it had signed no such deal.

The AfD, holding its party congress in Bavaria, where it hopes to take votes from the CSU in October, sought to capitalize on the confusion.

“She will fall, however much she flails her arms around,” he said, describing the Brussels deals as “so much hot air”.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Robin Pomeroy



Read Full Story

The glamour of the LGCT and GCL in 2018

LGCT Monaco: Irishman Shane Breen pulls off shock first win


Breen and his horse, ten-year-old Belgian-bred stallion Ipswich van de Wolfsakker, beat last year’s winner, Alberto Zorzi of Italy and Fair Light van T Heike by 0.16 seconds to clinch his first win in his fifth season on the Tour for the world’s top show jumpers.

“I’m just ecstatic, it’s the first time I’ve won a Global Champions Tour Grand Prix, and I am just over the moon,” Breen said in a televised interview. “Ipswich was just incredible, every jump, he just kept giving more, and giving more, and I thought, I was just enjoying it. It was lovely.”

Breem, 43, said he realized he had to make up a little bit of time on Zorzi as he entered the last stretch of the six-horse jump-off in the small, technically challenging sandy arena in Monte Carlo.

“Then I thought, don’t panic, we will just make it up somewhere,” Breen said after producing a clear round in 35.56 seconds. “He is naturally quite quick, so when I jumped the second last, I saw a stride to the last, and I said ‘here goes.'”

Watched by Prince Albert II of Monaco, his sister Princess Caroline and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Zorzi set the pace with a clear round of 35.72 seconds. Ireland’s Denis Lynch and RMF Bella Baloubet were in third place in 40.43 seconds.

Although Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands, the reigning overall champion, produced the fastest time (34.16 seconds) with Cas, he finished fourth with four penalties.

Ponies

Born in Limerick, Ireland, Breen is now based in Hickstead, England. He got his first pony when he was five, and hunted throughout his childhood. He once said he became a show jumper “because I’d always been mad keen on horses, and I was desperate to get out of school.”

Breem’s Monaco victory means he has qualified for the lucrative playoffs in Prague at the end of December.

“It’s fantastic, 18 riders go to it and I’m just so delighted, a huge pot of money there and I am just over the moon,” said Breen.

Tops-Alexander remains overall leader

Although the top three on the overall leaderboard, Edwina Tops-Alexander of Australia and Britons Ben Maher and Scott Brash, all competed in Monaco, none of them managed to reach the jump-off.

Brash and Maher both had four penalties, while Tops-Alexander had eight.

After nine of 16 legs, Tops-Alexander remains the overall leader with 186 points, followed by Maher with 172 points and Brash with 157 points.

Both Brash and Tops-Alexander are trying to become the first rider to win the overall LGCT title for a record third time.

Global Champions League

Earlier in the day, Rome Gladiators won the Longines Global Champions League team event after Belgium’s Constant Van Paesschen and Brazil’s Marlon Zanotelli each produced two clear rounds in the two-day team competition.

Maher and Switzerland’s Marcus Fuchs of London Knights were second, followed by Smolders and Ireland’s Mark McAuley of Montreal Diamonds.

Although the Knights remain the overall leaders with 199 points, followed by Valkenswaard United with 183 points, their Monaco victory means the Gladiators soared up the overall leaderboard to third place with 137 points.

Only the top 16 teams will qualify for the GC Play Offs and GCL Super Cup in Prague, where a record €12 million in prize money is up for grabs.

The next leg of the LGCT will be staged in Paris on 5-7 July.



Read Full Story

World Cup 2018: Edinson Cavani speechless after destroying Ronaldo's dream

World Cup 2018: Edinson Cavani speechless after destroying Ronaldo’s dream


Edinson Cavani was left struggling for words after his sensational brace helped Uruguay defeat Portugal 2-1 in the round of 16 at FIFA World Cup 2018. On Saturday at Sochi’s Fisht Stadium, Cavani scored twice to send Ronaldo packing in what was possibly his last World Cup appearance.

Cavani put Uruguay ahead in the seventh minute when he evaded the Portugal defence to meet Luis Suarez’s pinpoint cross with a bullet header at the far post.

Pepe headed Portugal level in the 55th minute, the first goal Uruguay have conceded in the tournament, but Uruguay regained the lead seven minutes later when Rodrigo Bentancur found Cavani and he curled a brilliant first-time shot past Rui Patricio from the edge of the penalty area.

Portugal dominated possession but their attack did not have enough bite to break through the Uruguay defence twice, leaving their captain Cristiano Ronaldo a frustrated figure throughout the match.

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGE

The Real Madrid forward could not add to his four goals in the first two matches, failing to improve his record of failing to score in all six World Cup knockout matches he has played.

HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Cavani will surely be the toast of the nation. Earlier in the evening, France had knocked out a major South American country, Argentina. Later in the night, a South American country rallied hard to dash the hopes of the 2016 European champions.

Messi, Ronaldo dreams dashed as Argentina, Portugal bow out

Understandably, the 31-year-old PSG striker was ecstatic.

“I am happy for what happened today, I hope we can go further,” Cavani said. “It’s exciting…there are no words to describe this. Really, really, really happy – look at our fans! I want to continue dreaming,” he said at the end of the match.

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGE

Meanwhile, Portugal coach Fernando Santos said the result was not fair.

“It’s not a fair result, we did enough for another result,” Santos said. “Uruguay scored with their first shot on our goal. We are very sad but that’s football.”

Edinson Cavani sends Uruguay into quarter-finals

Uruguay will play France in the last eight in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday.

(With Reuters inputs)



Read Full Story

Edinson Cavani of Uruguay celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal on Saturday, June 30, in Russia.

Uruguay beats Portugal to end Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup


The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Edinson Cavani of Uruguay celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal on Saturday, June 30, in Russia.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal reacts as he is shown a yellow card by referee Cesar Ramos in the match between Uruguay and Portugal on Saturday, June 30.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Lionel Messi of Argentina reacts on Saturday, June 30, 2018, after his team is knocked out of the World Cup by France. France won 4-3.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the match between France and Argentina.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

An Argentine fan reacts after France beats Argentina.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Gabriel Mercado of Argentina scores his team’s second goal past Hugo Lloris of France.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

France’s players celebrate after Benjamin Pavard scores his team’s second goal.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

France’s fans celebrate during the match between France and Argentina.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Senegal fans salute before the match on Thursday, June 28, against Colombia.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Colombian defender Yerry Mina controls the ball during the match against Senegal. Mina headed in a second-half goal to lift his team to a 1-0 victory — and first place in Group H.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Colombia’s Juan Quintero jumps over Senegal’s Idrissa Gana Gueye. Senegal finished with four points in Group H, the same as Japan, but Japan advanced on the “fair play points” tiebreaker. Japan had two fewer yellow cards in the tournament than Senegal.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Poland’s Jan Bednarek, left, competes for the ball with Japan’s Gotoku Sakai on Thursday. Poland won 1-0, its first win of the tournament, but Japan advanced to the next round.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Poland forward Robert Lewandowski dribbles through two Japan players.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Japan supporters clear litter from the stands after the match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Belgium’s Adnan Januzaj curls in a stunning goal against England on Thursday. It was the only goal of the match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

The Belgium-England match was notable for how many top players didn’t see the field. With both teams already assured a spot in the knockout stage, many of their usual starters took the night off. Among those on the bench for Belgium were captain Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri, center, celebrates with his teammates after scoring the winning goal against Panama on Thursday. Tunisia won 2-1.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Panama players celebrate after an own goal gave them an early lead against Tunisia.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Germany’s Marco Reus reacts after his team lost to South Korea and was knocked out of the World Cup on Wednesday, June 27. The defending champions lost 2-0 and finished at the bottom of Group F.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

South Korea’s Lee Jae-sung, left, chases down a ball with Germany’s Jonas Hector.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Ludwig Augustinsson celebrates after scoring Sweden’s first goal in its 3-0 victory over Mexico on Wednesday. The result meant that Sweden would top Group F and Mexico would finish in second.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Mexican defender Hector Moreno heads the ball in front of Swedish forward Marcus Berg.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Brazilian defender Thiago Silva celebrates Wednesday, June 27, after his powerful header gave Brazil a 2-0 lead over Serbia. Brazil won Group E with two victories and a draw.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Brazil’s Willian and Serbia’s Filip Kostic fight for the ball during Wednesday’s match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Brazilian star Neymar controls the ball during the Serbia match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Switzerland’s Blerim Dzemaili celebrates after scoring the first goal Wednesday in his team’s 2-2 draw with Costa Rica. Switzerland finished second in its group to advance to the knockout stage.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Kendall Waston had a goal for Costa Rica in the match against Switzerland.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Costa Rican defender Cristian Gamboa vies for the ball with Swiss defender Ricardo Rodriguez.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Argentina star Lionel Messi rides on the back of Marcos Rojo after Rojo’s late winner against Nigeria on Tuesday, June 26. With the 2-1 victory, Argentina clinched a spot in the next round of the tournament.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Rojo controls the ball earlier in the match against Nigeria.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Argentina legend Diego Maradona was in the crowd once again, drawing attention from fans just as he did when he was a player.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Croatia’s Josip Pivaric prepares to chest the ball during the team’s 1-0 win against Iceland on Tuesday. Croatia is 3-0 so far in the tournament.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Croatia supporters kiss ahead of the match against Iceland.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Danish players acknowledge fans after their scoreless draw with France on Tuesday. Both teams advanced to the knockout stage.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Denmark’s Martin Braithwaite, left, is tracked by France’s N’Golo Kante, center, and Presnel Kimpembe.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Australian player Mark Milligan is joined by his children after a 2-0 loss to Peru on Tuesday.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Milligan stretches to clear a cross.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Aaron Mooy tugs on the jersey of Peru’s Paolo Guerrero.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Portugal’s Ricardo Quaresma, left, is embraced by Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring against Iran on Monday, June 25. Iran scored late to tie the match, but the 1-1 result was enough to see Portugal into the next round.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

An Iran fan enjoys the pre-match atmosphere.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Iranian forward Sardar Azmoun shields the ball from Portuguese defender Jose Fonte.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Moroccan goalkeeper Munir catches the ball against Spain.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Egyptian star Mohamed Salah reacts after Saudi Arabia’s winning goal in second-half stoppage time on Monday. Egypt lost all three of its matches at this World Cup.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Salem Al-Dawsari celebrates with a flip after scoring the match-winning goal against Egypt.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Russia’s Artem Dzyuba, in white, competes with Uruguay’s Sebastian Coates during Uruguay’s 3-0 victory on Monday. Uruguay won all three of its matches in the group stage. This was Russia’s first loss.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

A Uruguay fan, right, poses with a Russia fan before the match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez, left, reacts after the second goal deflected past Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Colombian forward Falcao celebrates after scoring against Poland on Sunday, June 24. Colombia won 3-0.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Colombian defender Yerry Mina opened the scoring with a header in the first half.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

A Colombia fan before the Poland match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Senegalese players huddle up before the second half of their match against Japan on Sunday. The two teams tied 2-2.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

A shot of the crowd at the Ekaterinburg Arena during the Japan-Senegal match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

English striker Harry Kane celebrates after scoring a penalty in the 6-1 rout of Panama on Sunday. Kane finished with a hat trick.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Panama players gather after their defeat.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

German players celebrate after Toni Kroos scored on a late free kick to stun Sweden 2-1 on Saturday, June 23.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

South Korea’s Ki Sung-yueng, right, argues with Mexico’s Edson Alvarez as Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa lies on the ground on Saturday. Mexico won 2-1 to clinch a spot in the next round.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

South Korea’s Lee Yong, left, duels for the ball with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

A Mexico fan waits for the start of the match against South Korea.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku scores against Tunisia on Saturday, June 23. He had a pair of goals in the match, which Belgium won 5-2.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Captain Eden Hazard also scored two for Belgium.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Players watch the ball during the Belgium-Tunisia match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen, left, challenges Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Serbia on Friday, June 22. Switzerland won 2-1.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Swiss players defend Serbia’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer catches the ball over Milinkovic-Savic.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Nigerian midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo kicks the ball during the 2-0 victory over Iceland on Friday.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Ahmed Musa celebrates after scoring his second goal of the match against Iceland.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Iceland fans perform their famous viking clap.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Neymar celebrates his last-second goal that finished off Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Costa Rica on Friday.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Neymar taps in his goal late in the match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Croatian players celebrate the second goal in their 3-0 victory over Argentina on June 21. The victory clinched them a spot in the knockout stage.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Croatia’s Luka Modric is tackled by Argentina’s Nicolas Tagliafico.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Willy Caballero is dejected after his flubbed clearance gifted Croatia its first goal.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

France’s Kylian Mbappe, right, celebrates with teammate Antoine Griezmann after scoring against Peru on June 21. It was the only goal of the match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Peru’s Andre Carrillo is challenged by French players Paul Pogba, left, and N’Golo Kante.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

A Peruvian supporter waits for the start of the match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Australia’s Robbie Kruse, foreground, and Denmark’s Henrik Dalsgaard go for a header during the teams’ 1-1 draw on June 21.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Australia’s Joshua Risdon jumps over Thomas Delaney.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Spain’s Diego Costa, right, celebrates with teammate Isco after scoring against Iran on June 20. Spain won 1-0.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

A fan has his face painted with the colors of the Spanish flag on June 20.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Referee Andres Cunha speaks with Iranian midfielder Ehsan Hajsafi during the match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal in Portugal’s 1-0 win over Morocco on June 20. It was his tournament-leading fourth goal.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Uruguay fans cheer outside the stadium before the match with Saudi Arabia on June 20.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Saudi Arabia’s Fahad Al-Muwallad, left, challenges Uruguay’s Diego Godin.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring for Uruguay in the 23rd minute. It was the only goal of the match, and the final result meant Uruguay and Russia would both advance to the tournament’s knockout stage.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Mohamed Salah kisses the ball before scoring a penalty for Egypt on June 19. Russia won, however, by a final score of 3-1.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Egypt’s Tarek Hamed, left, and Russia’s Aleksandr Golovin compete for the ball.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Russia’s first goal came when the ball deflected off Egypt’s Ahmed Fathi.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Members of the Senegal team celebrate after defeating Poland 2-1 in their match on June 19.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Japanese defender Gen Shoji climbs over Colombia’s Radamel Falcao to win a header in their World Cup opener on June 19. Japan won the match 2-1.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

The referee shows a red card to Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez in the third minute. Sanchez was deemed to have deliberately handled the ball in the box.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

English players celebrate Harry Kane’s first goal in the 2-1 win over Tunisia on June 18. Kane later added the winner in second-half stoppage time.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

A Tunisia fan shows his dejection after the final whistle.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Belgium’s Dries Mertens, right, competes for the ball with Panama’s Jose Luis Rodriguez during their World Cup opener on June 18. Mertens scored a goal in Belgium’s 3-0 victory.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Panamanian forward Gabriel Torres controls the ball during the match against Belgium.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Sweden’s Pontus Jansson, top left, and South Korea’s Ki Sung-yueng try to head the ball during Sweden’s 1-0 victory on June 18.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Switzerland’s Steven Zuber celebrates after scoring a goal against Brazil on June 17. The two teams tied 1-1.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho and Switzerland’s Breel Embolo compete for the ball.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Brazilian star Neymar recently came back from a foot injury.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Mexico’s Hirving Lozano, left, celebrates with Jesus Gallardo after scoring the only goal in the upset victory over Germany on June 17. Germany won the World Cup in 2014.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Fans wave German flags before facing off with Mexico.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa makes a late save against Mario Gomez.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Marcos Ureña runs onto the pitch during Costa Rica’s opening match against Serbia on June 17. Serbia won 1-0.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Croatian players celebrate after Luka Modric scored the second goal of their 2-0 win against Nigeria on June 16.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Nigerian captain John Obi Mikel runs with the ball during the Croatia match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Denmark’s Yussuf Poulsen reacts after he scored a goal against Peru on June 16. It turned out to be the only goal in the match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Peru’s Luis Advincula, left, and Denmark’s Martin Braithwaite fight for the ball.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Argentina star Lionel Messi appears downcast at the end of a 1-1 draw with Iceland on June 16. Messi missed a penalty in the match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Messi and Iceland’s Hordur Magnusson struggle for the ball.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Fans of France share a kiss before the team’s opening match with Australia on June 16.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

French midfielder Paul Pogba keeps his eye on the ball against Australia. His shot deflected off an Australian for the match-winning goal.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his first-half penalty against Spain on June 15. He added two more goals in the 3-3 draw.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Spanish defender Nacho, left, competes for a header with Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes. Nacho conceded the early penalty to Ronaldo but responded with a second-half goal.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Portuguese defender Raphael Guerreiro controls the ball in the match against Spain.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Morocco’s Aziz Bouhaddouz lies on the ground after heading the ball into his own net late in stoppage time on June 15. The whistle was blown just a few moments later, and Iran won 1-0.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Iran’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh grimaces in pain in front of Morocco’s Romain Saiss.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, left, and Egypt’s Sam Morsy battle for the ball on June 15. Uruguay won 1-0.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Fans watch the Egypt-Uruguay match from temporary seats set up at the Ekaterinburg Arena. The seats had to be installed to meet FIFA’s minimum-seating requirement.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Egyptian midfielder Abdallah Said heads the ball during the match against Uruguay.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Fedor Smolov fights off two Saudi defenders during the tournament opener, which Russia won 3-0 on June 14. Russia and Saudi Arabia came into the match as the lowest-ranked teams in the tournament.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Fans watching from Yekaterinburg, Russia, celebrate Russia’s first goal.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

The ball flies past Saudi Arabian goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf for Russia’s fourth goal.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

A fan wears body paint in Russia’s colors before the opening match.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the crowd before kickoff at the Luzhniki Stadium.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Performers take part in the tournament’s opening ceremony.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

British pop star Robbie Williams headlined the opening ceremony.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Russian soprano Aida Garifullina sings during the opening ceremony.

The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Portugal’s Jose Fonte, in white, challenges Uruguay’s Luis Suarez in the match between Uruguay and Portugal.



Read Full Story

Bavarian CSU welcomes Merkel's migration deals ahead of Sunday crisis meeting

Bavarian CSU welcomes Merkel’s migration deals ahead of Sunday crisis meeting


BERLIN (Reuters) – Bavaria’s premier welcomed deals on migration brought back from Brussels by Angela Merkel, giving the clearest signal yet that his party was prepared to back down in a standoff with the German chancellor that has risked bringing down her government.

FILE PHOTO: Migrant women and a child, part of a group intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea, are seen after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Motril, Spain June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photo

In a document sent to the leaders of her coalition partners and seen by Reuters, Merkel listed 14 EU countries, including some of those most outspoken in their opposition to her open-door refugee policy, which had indicated they were prepared to take back migrants.

However, Hungary and Poland denied they had agreed to any deal.

“It goes in absolutely the right direction,” Bavarian premier Markus Soeder said on Saturday, taking credit for keeping up the pressure for a deal.

The leadership of Bavaria’s CSU conservatives, working to claw back voters lost to a far-right party before regional elections in October, is meeting on Sunday to decide whether to accept the concessions Merkel secured.

FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a news conference following the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium June 29, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

A refusal to do so could rupture the party’s 70-year alliance with Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), depriving her of a majority in Europe’s economic powerhouse.

The dispute over how to handle migration has plunged Merkel’s three-month-old “grand coalition” into crisis and weakened the conservative leader, who has served for nearly 13 years, forcing German officials to scramble to try to reach deals with individual EU members.

The agreements, hammered out during through-the-night talks at an EU summit in Brussels, would speed up the process of repatriating refugees whose presence in the EU was first recorded in those 14 countries.

Under a separate deal with Greece and Spain, Berlin agreed to take refugees in the two countries who wanted to be reunited with family members already in Germany. In return, the two countries will take from Germany some people regarded as migrants, not refugees.

The document also proposed establishing reception centers in Germany for refugees arriving at the border with Austria who had earlier been recorded entering another European country, allowing them to be subjected to an accelerated asylum assessment process.

The country-by-country agreements or statements of intent are separate from the broader summit conclusion to share out refugees arriving in the bloc on a voluntary basis and create “controlled centers” inside the EU to process asylum requests.

FILE PHOTO: Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Soeder addresses a news conference after a joint Austrian and Bavarian cabinet meeting in Linz, Austria, June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

But substantial confusion remained over what the 14 countries had agreed to.

“No such deal has been reached,” Hungary’s government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said when asked about the document, which says the 14 countries “consented on a political level” to making such an agreement.

Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Artur Lompart said: “There are no any new agreements regarding the reception of asylum seekers from EU countries.”

Under the EU’s Dublin convention, largely overlooked since Merkel’s 2015 decision to open Germany’s borders, asylum seekers must lodge their requests in the first EU country they set foot in.

“It is impossible for a migrant to enter Hungary without entering another EU member earlier,” Kovacs added, saying this meant any agreement would be impossible.

Hungary has an external border with Serbia, but most asylum seekers who reach the country first entered the EU in Greece.

Handelsblatt newspaper also reported that a Czech government spokeswoman had also denied entering such an agreement.

The other countries named in the document circulated in Berlin are Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Sweden.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Sandor Peto in Budapest; Additional reporting by Anna Koper in Warsaw; Writing by Thomas Escritt, Editing by Alison Williams and Robin Pomeroy



Read Full Story