Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool, Premier League: as it happened

Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool - Mario Balotelli makes his debut Latest score, news update, live match report and result from White Hart Lane

Raheem Sterling gives Liverpool the lead at Tottenham

FULL TIME: TOTTENHAM 0 LIVERPOOL 3 Eyes were on Mario, but Raheem Sterling was the man for Liverpool. He scored a nice goal and really gave Spurs a tough time, Gerrard got a penalty and exciting young full back Moreno scored a cracker. The Liverpool centre backs were shaky but with Adebayor barely present and the Spurs attackers failing to make much of an impression, it hardly mattered. Spurs look a very long way short of the top four on this evidence. Encouraging for Liverpool on several fronts. Thanks for reading. Cheers.
90+ mins: There will be three minutes added on. Luis Enrique has replaced man of the match Raheem Sterling. Liverpool a bit sloppy at the back in the closing stages but it matters not, because here is the final whistle.
89 mins: Spurs pressing hard for a consolation, Adebayor reckons he should have had a penalty - and you have to agree. Lovren has practically ripped his shirt off in the area there, and that really should have been a pen.
87 mins: Lamela hasn't given up, he's played okay and has won a corner down the left.
84 mins: Niall Quinn is backing his fellow forward to the hilt here. The anonymous Adebayor is offside, ruining a useful bit of play by his colleagues. Quinny: "he's just drifted offside." Picture shows Adebayor wandering around fully 8 feet off.
83 mins: Decent move from Spurs, handy cross in from Davies but Liverpool deal with it well.
81 mins: Neat little move between Sterling and Sturridge ends with the latter trying to curl the ball wide, but he cannot quite get enough action on it. Dino Mazzone from Montréal writes

78 mins: Spurs have a good position but seem to be totally unsure of themselves in the final third, they end up passing the ball backwards twice until it ends up with Andros Townsend who takes a touch, looks up, and plays a precise 40 yard ball out for a throw. No Spurs player within 15 yards of that pass. We're not going to be calling him Super Sub at this rate. Wasn't he the saviour of English football about 18 months ago?
77 mins: Here come Liverpool again, passing it around nicely and enjoying themselves on a pleasant North London Sunday afternoon.
75 mins: Hull have got one back v the Villa.

73 mins: After Spurs give it away yet again, Sterling feeds Henderson for a so-so shot.
71 mins: Danny Rose taken off and limps down the tunnel, we hear that he has a thigh problem. That is a shame for the lad, who was named in the England squad recently. Ben Davies gets a chance.
69 mins: A simply wonderful run from Raheeeeeeeeeeem, beating players at will, twisting this way then that, finding some space in the area, only the keeper to beat, but then a pathetic dribbler of a toe-poked shot denies him Goal of the Season.
67 mins: Sterling still fancies it, another electric run from him. From the resulting corner, Lovren heads over. Kevin Parker writes:

65 mins: Liverpool firmly ensonsced in the Tottenham half, a spell of pressure ends with Sturridge shooting harmlessly over. Shepherd Maoneke writes:

61 mins: Mario has run his race for today; he's taken off in favour of Markovic. Can is on for joe Allen. Damian Durrant with a timely email:

GoalGOAL! Alberto Moreno with a sensational solo effort! He robs Andros Townsend of the England man's first touch and starts haring down the left. Andros cannot get near him! Moreno surges forward and cracks a hard low shot across the goal, it beats the keeper Lloris at his left hand and nestles into the corner of the net for a splendid third goal that surely clinches the game. Tottenham 0 Liverpool 3 (Moreno 60)
59 mins: Andros Townsend and Mousa Dembele come on, can they provide some spark for Spurs? Eriksen and Bentaleb subbed off.
58 mins: Game quiet.
57 mins: Mario quiet.
56 mins: Adebayor quiet


St Louis Rams cut Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player

Michael Sam

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team, has been cut by the St Louis Rams .

The Rams announced their final 53-man roster for the new season, which begins on Thursday, shortly before the 4pm eastern time cut-off and after a nervous Saturday for Sam and other NFL hopefuls.

Using Twitter, Sam said : “I want to thank the entire Rams organisation and the city of St Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to show I can play at this level. I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career.

“The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known. The journey continues.”

Sam could still play in the NFL this season, with another team. He could also return to the Rams as a practice-squad player.

The Rams’ head coach, Jeff Fisher, told a news conference there would be “no challenges whatsoever” for any team which picked up Sam.

“There’s no challenge with respect to Mike Sam,” Fisher said. “He’s not about drawing attention to himself. He kept his head down and worked and you can’t ask anything more out of any player for that matter.”

Fisher said Sam’s failure to make the Rams roster was “a football decision”.

On Saturday, the defensive end attended the University of Missouri’s season opener against South Dakota, shaking hands with well-wishers on the sideline. At the 4pm deadline he was introduced to the crowd; looking at his phone, he then walked to the locker room.

The Rams’ decision reopened a debate that has flowed around the NFL since Sam came out in public, in February. Then, the co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference, who had come out to his Missouri team-mates before the preceding college season, told the New York Times: “I’m Michael Sam, I’m a football player, and I’m gay.”

Soon after, speaking anonymously, eight NFL coaches and executives told Sports Illustrated  they expect a significant drop in Sam’s draft position.

In May, Sam was picked by the Rams 34th in the final of seven draft rounds and 249th out of 256 picks overall, leading to further debate about whether his sexuality had influenced his lowly placing.

A post-draft kiss with his boyfriend also led to controversy. A Miami Dolphins player, Don Jones, was disciplined by the league after tweeting “omg” and “horrible” after ESPN aired pictures of the kiss.

At the time, coach Fisher called the pick a “second historic moment” for the Rams, who in 1946 signed the running back Kenny Washington, the first black player in American football’s modern era.

President Barack Obama said Sam’s selection represented “an important step forward in our nation’s journey”. In July, Sam accepted the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award , which is given by the sports network ESPN to “individuals who have shown strength in the face of adversity and stood up for their beliefs”. Previous winners of the award include Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King and Nelson Mandela.

On Saturday Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.com  used Twitter to say the Rams’ decision to cut Sam was “disappointing at best”, and added: “Now the other 31 NFL teams are on the clock.”

Michael Sam in uniform

Sam, who told the press after his decision to come out that he was “determined to be great”, played for the Rams during NFL preseason. After his first game, a 26-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints, he said: “You know, I can play in this league. I can play in this league.”

He played in the Rams’ last preseason game, on Thursday, leading the team with six tackles in a 14-13 defeat by the Miami Dolphins. Afterwards, coach Fisher said: “I didn’t really see anything good nor bad out of him, but we’ll look at the tape. But he played hard, got a lot of snaps.”

Fisher added that he thought Sam “can play in this league”.



Sunderland 1 United 1

Manchester United and Sunderland had to settle for a point apiece after Juan Mata’s first-half strike was soon cancelled out by Jack Rodwell’s header.
The Reds took the lead after 16 minutes when Mata stabbed home a cross from Antonio Valencia, but the Black Cats drew level 15 minutes later when Rodwell – making his home debut following his move from Manchester City – headed home from a corner.

Robin van Persie was back in action following an extended break due to his World Cup exertions, while there were two other changes from last weekend’s defeat to Swansea: the return of Antonio Valencia in the right wing-back role, and Tom Cleverley in for the injured Ander Herrera. Adnan Januzaj made a return to the scene of his remarkable full debut last season, but had to settle for a place on the bench while Sunderland once more had the former United stalwarts John O’Shea and Wes Brown in their ranks, both of whom were loudly serenaded by the travelling Red army.

The spoils were shared in an entertaining if untidy first half, with the dangerous Connor Wickham the main outlet for Sunderland’s attacking moves. The home side enjoyed a brighter start than the Reds but fell behind after 17 minutes. Van Persie fed the ball out to Antonio Valencia who drove into the box and fired a ball across the six yard box, where Mata was in place to stab the ball home after 17 minutes.

United grew in confidence, but the home side edged their way back into the game and were on level terms after 30 minutes. Seb Larsson swung in a corner and Jack Rodwell headed home powerfully from six yards out. The Black Cats came close to  grabbing the lead five minutes before the break when Scotland international Steven Fletcher's overhead kick flew past the post.

Who's paying the new Obamacare tax? You


When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it required health insurers, hospitals, device makers and pharmaceutical companies to share in the cost because they would get a windfall of new, paying customers.

But with an $8 billion tax on insurers due Sept. 30 — the first time the new tax is being collected — the industry is getting help from an unlikely source: taxpayers.

States and the federal government will spend at least $700 million this year to pay the tax for their Medicaid health plans. The three dozen states that use Medicaid managed-care plans will give those insurers more money to cover the new expense. Many of those states — such as Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee — did not expand Medicaid as the law allows, and in the process turned down billions in new federal dollars.

Other insurers are getting some help paying the tax as well. Private insurers are passing the tax onto policyholders in the form of higher premiums. Medicare health plans are getting the tax covered by the federal government via higher reimbursement.

State Medicaid agencies say they have little choice but to pay the tax for health plans they hire to insure their poorest residents. That's because the tax is part of the health plans' costs of doing business. Federal law requires states to pay the companies adequate rates.

"This situation results in the federal government taxing itself and taxing state governments to fund the higher Medicaid managed care payments required to fund the ACA health insurer fee," said a report by Medicaid Health Plans of America, a trade group.

Meanwhile, many Medicaid managed-care companies have seen their share prices — and profits — soar this year as they gained thousands of new customers through the health law in states that expanded Medicaid. More than half of the 66 million people on Medicaid are enrolled in managed-care plans.


A KHN survey of some large state Medicaid programs found the tax will be costly this year. The estimates are based in part on the number of Medicaid health plan enrollees in each state and how much they are paid in premiums. States split the cost of Medicaid with the federal government, with the federal government paying, on average, about 57%.

• Florida anticipates the tax will cost $100 million, with the state picking up $40 million and the federal government, $60 million.

• Texas estimates the tax at $220 million, with the state paying $90 million and the federal government, $130 million.

• Tennessee anticipates it will owe $160 million, with the state paying $50 million and the federal government, $110 million.

• California budgeted $88 million, with the state paying $40 million and the federal government, $48 million.

• Georgia estimates the tax on its plans at $90 million, with the state paying $29 million and the federal government, $61 million.

• Pennsylvania predicts the tax will cost $139 million, with the state paying $64 million and the federal government, $75 million.

• Louisiana estimates the tax will cost $27 million, with the state paying $10 million and the federal government, $17 million.

Texas is believed to be the only state that has not yet agreed to cover the tax for its health plans, according to state Medicaid and health plan officials. "The premium tax is just another way that the costs of the Affordable Care Act are pushed down to states and families," said Stephanie Goodman, spokeswoman for the Texas Medicaid program.

Medicaid officials in other states complain that paying the tax reduces money they could have spent on covering more services or paying providers.


"I do not feel I am getting anything in return for this," said Tennessee Medicaid Director Darin Gordon.

Officials won't know exactly how much states owe until the Internal Revenue Service sends bills to insurers at the end of August and the Medicaid plans submit those to states.

The health insurer tax is estimated to bring in at least $100 billion over the next decade from all insurers, government auditors estimate.

Most non-profit Medicaid health plans are exempt from the tax, which the trade group says gives the non-profits a competitive edge vying for state contracts. "We consider this tax so badly construed that it should be reconsidered because it makes no public policy sense," said Jeff Myers, CEO of Medicaid Health Plans of America.

The trade group, which represents both non-profit and for-profit Medicaid plans, also opposes the tax because it takes money from Medicaid programs that could be used to pay plans to improve care, he said.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services declined to comment on how states and the federal government are covering part of the tax.

Timothy Jost, a consumer advocate and law professor at Washington & Lee University in Virginia, said the lawmakers intended to cover the costs of the law by including as many groups paying in as possible.

While it may be unusual for the federal government to essentially tax itself, Jost said, the situation is no different from the federal government paying a contractor to provide a service, then having that contractor use some of those dollars to pay state sales tax or federal income tax.

"This tax should not have surprised anyone, and it should have been worked into contract prices," he said.

Paul Van de Water, senior fellow with the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said neither health plans nor states should be complaining about the taxes because both are benefiting from the law.

"States are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act because with more people getting insured, it is driving down their uncompensated care costs," he said. He noted that is true even in states that did not expand Medicaid under the health law.

"People always like to get a benefit and not have to pay for it," he said. "If we did not have this tax, we would have had to raise the money somewhere else."

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation

source: usatoday

Filipino peacekeepers safe from rebels in Golan Heights

AFP 532854499

More than 70 Filipino U.N. peacekeepers are now safely away from Islamist militants in the Golan Heights as clashes continue against al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels, according to the Philippine military.

Thirty-two peacekeepers were been rescued after militants surrounded their camp, trapping them for two days, activists and officials said.

Other U.N. peacekeepers were able to flee from a different encampment that was also surrounded by rebels of the al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, they said.

Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said Sunday in the Philippine capital, Manila, that the remaining Filipino peacekeepers separately moved to positions that were safely away from any further threat.

According to Catapang, the Filipinos were surrounded by the rebels and had to return fire in self-defense before managing to escape after a seven-hour siege.

Catapang said: "We may call it the greatest escape."

The clashes come after Syrian rebel groups, including the al-Nusra Front, overran the Quneitra Crossing — located on the frontier between Syrian- and Israeli-controlled parts of the Golan Heights — on Wednesday, seizing 44 Fijian peacekeepers.

The peacekeepers are a part of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) which has been in place since 1974 to maintain the cease-fire between the Israeli and Syrian forces, the website states.

UNDOF has 1,223 troops from six countries: Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal, Netherlands and the Philippines.

Contributing: The Associated Press

source: usatoday

Australia to provide arms in U.S.-led mission against IS


CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian military aircraft will soon fly guns and ammunition to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil to help Kurds fight Islamic State militants as part of a U.S.-led multination mission, Australia's prime minister said on Sunday.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government would join the United States, Britain, Canada, France and Italy in delivering rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and assault rifle ammunition at the request of the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

"While we understandably shrink from reaching out to these conflicts, the truth is that these conflicts reach out to us," Abbott told reporters.

"None of us want to get involved in another Middle Eastern war, but it is important to do what reasonably can be done to avert potential genocide," he added.

Australia will use air force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster planes based at al-Minhad Air Base outside Dubai to deliver weapons and ammunition provided by East European countries.

Australia has said it has F/A-18 Hornets standing ready to join U.S. airstrikes in Iraq if requested by the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

Abbott said Sunday the United States had not requested that Australia play a combat role. If such a request were made, Abbott said it would be considered if it fits the criteria of an achievable overall objective with a clear role for Australian forces. Safety risks must be considered and an overall humanitarian purpose must be in accordance with Australia's national interest, he said.

Australian C-130s had previously made humanitarian airdrops including food and water to thousands of people stranded by fighting on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.

Defense Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin revealed that an Australian C-130 had on Sunday made a humanitarian airdrop of food, water and hygiene packs to the besieged Iraqi town of Amelie — enough for 2,600 people for a day.

Binskin said the weapons would not be air-dropped, but handed over to Kurdish peshmerga officials.

The opposition Labor Party, which opposed Australia sending 2,000 troops to back U.S. and British forces in the 2003 Iraq invasion, has supported the latest Australian involvement in delivering weapons and munitions to the Kurds.

Australia estimates 60 of its citizens are fighting for the Islamic State group and another al-Qaeda offshoot, Jabhat al-Nursa, also known as the Nusra Front, in Iraq and Syria. Another 15 Australian fighters had been killed, including two young suicide bombers.

The government warns that the Islamic State movement poses an unprecedented domestic terrorism threat. Australia has proposed tough new counterterrorism laws and announced $590 million in new spending on intelligence, law enforcement and border protection agencies over the next four years to enhance security, including a roll out of biometric screening at airports.

Britain on Friday raised its terror threat level to severe, the second-highest level. But Australia announced on Saturday that its threat level remained at medium, a level that had not changed in more than a decade.

Abbott did not believe Australia's increased military involvement in Iraq would necessarily increase the domestic terrorist threat.

"There is a certain type of terrorist organization that hates us not because of what we do, but because of who we are and how we live," he said. "And who we are and how we live I hope will never change."

The announcement from the Australian leader comes hours after the Pentagon announced late Saturday night that U.S. warplanes conducted a fresh round of airstrikes and emergency aid drops at a new site in Iraq to thwart Islamic State militants threatening a town populated by an ethnic minority. The strikes and humanitarian aid missions were flown near the town of Amirli, home to Turkmen.

The operation is similar to the one mounted at Mount Sinjar, not far away in northern Iraq, to help save Yazidis, a religious minority that IS had besieged.

"These military operations were conducted under authorization from the commander-in-chief to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to prevent an (IS) attack on the civilians of Amirli," Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement. "The operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this emerging humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli."

Saturday's strikes and drops widened the U.S. effort to confront the IS, which has seized territory from Syria and across northern Iraq. Its brutal tactics, including the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, have heightened the sense of urgency to confront them.

U.S. fighter jets attacked and destroyed three IS Humvees, a tank, an armed vehicle and a checkpoint near Amirli, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East. Also, U.S. cargo planes dropped 109 bundles of food and water. Australian, British and French aircraft also flew humanitarian missions.

Since early August, the 118 airstrikes have mostly focused on areas around Mosul dam in northern Iraq. IS fighters had seized the dam and sparked fears that its destruction could inundate Iraq's most populous areas, including Baghdad. There were also concerns that IS, whose string of conquests had been unbroken, might overrun Irbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region.

The airstrikes have allowed Kurdish fighters and Iraqi special forces to retake the dam and push militants back from Mosul. This week, several Western countries have agreed to send arms to the Kurds.

Saturday's effort expands the target list and widens the effort against IS. American spy planes have begun surveillance missions on potential IS targets in neighboring Syria where the militants got their start.

The Pentagon estimates operations in Iraq cost $7.5 million per day.

Contributing: Associated Press

source: usatoday

Reggie Rockstone suggests a clean interaction platform for Media & Sarkodie


Hiplife ‘Grandpapa’, Reggie Rockstone has called for calm between Ghanaian Online Art writers and other media practitioners who have explicitly announced suspending publications on the one time BET Award winner, Sarkodie.

In an interaction with Razz Newspaper , he said that , in as much as he doesn’t agree with the people calling on Sarkodie to apologize for the lyrics of his song, ‘Free Press,’.

Reggie Rockstone thinks there’s a need for a clean platform to be given to the artiste to meet the media so he can explain the concept of the song to them, since there are lot of things he said that needs to be addressed.

He continued that, the reasons why he’s suggesting a meet-up between the media and Sarkodie is that, he thinks a section of the media have misquoted some of the words in the song.

He also said that, although it will be a difficult thing to organize, he has made efforts to speak to the Executive member of the online Writers Association (GOAWA), Mustapha Inusah (Attractive ) and other sections of the media and after that, he will contact the artiste involved , since the task of getting in touch with Sarkodie is not a tough one.

Giving details about some of the things he would want to be discussed at the meeting , he said "I will be happy if the meeting will not only be about Sarkodie but the way forward for us all to sit down and think about how to promote Ghanaian music, because , there seems to be a miscommunication between the media and Ghanaian Artistes."

He also said, it won’t be prudent if the meeting is just for the media to punch holes and for Sarkodie to also hit back on some of the things he thinks the media are doing wrong.

He added that, Sarkodie did not insult anyone in his ‘Free Press’ music, and doesn’t understand why a section of the media sees it as an insult.

"My understanding is that if you have written any false story to downplay Sarkodie’s career, then the song goes to you. if you write with integrity, then I don’t think you will see anything wrong with the song, Sarkodie is not a kid, he thought before composing the song, and did not mean to insult the media," he said.

Speaking about the song, he said. "the song is more of an expression of how he feels, it might not sit well with a section of the media but a lot of times, the media should not take it personal because the media has also written stuff that perhaps wasn’t intended to offend whom it was written about."

To Reggie Rockstone, Sarkodie is not the only musician who’s not happy with the Ghanaian media, but rather, other musicians are also not happy about how the media put more effort in thwarting their hard work, so he believes when a general meeting is called, all these issues will be solved and the ‘Disputing parties’ will all shake hands and move forward.

Source: Razz Newspaper

Spain goes with youthful squad after World Cup fiasco


MADRID (AP) — Vicente del Bosque unveiled a rejuvenated Spain squad on Friday after the debacle at this summer's World Cup and the retirement of three key players from the team's most successful era.

While stalwarts Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso and David Villa retired from international competition after Spain flopped in its world title defense, Del Bosque has also dropped mainstays Fernando Torres, Pepe Reina and Juan Mata.

The Spain coach named a squad that features four new faces for next Thursday's friendly in France and Spain's opening 2016 European Championship qualifier against Macedonia on Sept. 8.

"This is a squad for the present but designed looking toward the future," Del Bosque said. "This is a special list given recent events. It comes after our poor showing at the World Cup, and we have to look ahead."

Unfit Ronaldo to miss Portugal Euro 2016 qualifier
Atletico midfielder Raul Garcia, Valencia striker Pablo Alcacer, Athletic Bilbao defender Mikel San Jose and Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla all got their first calls.

Del Bosque also included Chelsea striker Diego Costa despite what the manager says is only a "knock" he had received in practice with his new club.

Spain won the 2010 World Cup and the European championship in 2008 and 2012. But the same core of players was overrun by the Netherlands and Chile in stinging losses to open this summer's World Cup.

Del Bosque described Spain's' failure to advance to the knockout rounds in Brazil as "a debacle, a disaster," but he said that it had not left any lasting damage inside the team and would not alter his commitment to Spain's possession-based playing style.

A total of eight players from Spain's World Cup squad were absent from the list.

Gerard Pique and Javi Martinez were unavailable because of injury.

Real Madrid right back Dani Carvajal and Bilbao holding midfielder Andre Iturraspe also made the squad. Both players have been called up by Del Bosque before but neither has debuted.

Spain now turns to rebuilding in the hopes it can defend its European title in 2016. Along with Macedonia in Group C, Spain will face Ukraine, Slovakia, Belarus, and Luxembourg.

"We have two difficult games ahead," said Del Bosque. "First we have France and then we want to start qualifying on a good foot against Macedonia."


Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), David de Gea (Manchester United), Kiko Casilla (Espanyol)

Defenders: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Juanfran Torres (Atletico Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao) Marca Bartra (Barcelona)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion (Atletico Madrid), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Raul Garcia (Atletico Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), Francisco "Isco" Alarcon (Real Madrid), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic)

Forwards: Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Diego Costa (Chelsea), Paco Alcacer (Valencia)


PHOTOS: Agony of defeat at the World Cup

Argentina's Pablo Zabaleta lies on the pitch as Lionel Messi stands beside him after losing to Germany in the final.

Argentina's Sergio Aguero lies on the pitch after losing to Germany in the final.

Lionel Messi after the loss to Germany.

Brazil's Oscar and David Luiz after the loss to the Netherlands.

Cristiano Ronaldo to miss Portugal's Euro 2016 qualifier


LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo is unfit and will miss Portugal's opening 2016 European Championship qualifier against visiting Albania.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento said Friday that the country's star forward, who has been playing for Real Madrid at the start of the Spanish league season, was ruled unfit to play in the Sept. 7 match by the Portuguese Football Federation's medical department.

"Regardless of whether he has been playing more or less regularly, at the moment he can't play," Bento told a news conference. He did not elaborate.
Ronaldo's absence renewed speculation about the seriousness of a left-leg injury that hindered him at the World Cup in Brazil. Ronaldo initially said he was fit at that tournament but later conceded he was playing at less than 100 percent as Portugal made a disappointing first-round exit.

The 24-man squad features four players who earned their first call-up as Bento said he was aiming for a "gradual renewal" of his team.

Defender Ruben Vezo, midfielders Adrien Silva and Pedro Tiba, and strikers Ricardo Horta and Bruma will be seeking their first cap.



Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Dynamo Zagreb), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Anthony Lopes (Lyon).

Defenders: Joao Pereira (Valencia), Ruben Vezo (Valencia), Andre Almeida (Benfica), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Antunes (Malaga), Ricardo Costa (Al-Sailiya), Neto (Zenit St. Petersburg).

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Adrien Silva (Sporting Lisbon), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Andre Gomes (Valencia), Pedro Tiba (Braga).

Forwards: Nani (Sporting Lisbon), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Bruma (Galatasaray), Eder (Braga), Ivan Cavaleiro (Depeortivo la Coruna), Ricardo Horta (Malaga).

Bayern Munich completes transfer for Xabi Alonso


MADRID (AP) — Xabi Alonso said he is motivated to make a new start with Bayern Munich after the German champion completed its acquisition of the midfielder from Real Madrid on Friday.

Alonso agreed to a two-year contract and will play under fellow Spaniard Pep Guardiola, the former coach of Madrid's fierce rival, Barcelona.Alonso said he felt his time had ended at Madrid after he helped it win its 10th European Cup last May, the long-awaited "Decima."

"After winning the 'Decima' last season I felt that a new cycle would begin for the club, and for myself," said Alonso. "I had the need to begin a new chapter and start fresh. I needed new motivations after we won the 'Decima' to be able to play at my full potential."

Bayern had said on Thursday it was close to inking the deal for Alonso. He will help fill the void left by the injury to Javi Martinez.

Neither club released financial details of the transfer. Media reports place it in the 10-million euro ($13-million) range.

The 32-year-old midfielder, known for his passing and tactical know-how, also helped Madrid win the Copa del Rey last season and in 2011 and the Spanish league in 2012.

Alonso retired this summer from international competition after helping Spain win the 2010 World Cup and the European championship in 2008 and 2012.

Madrid signed Toni Kroos from Bayern this summer, along with Colombia's James Rodriguez, increasing competition for playing time in its midfield.

Alonso is the second important player to leave the European champions this week after Angel Di Maria signed with Manchester United.

EU set to slap new sanctions on Russia


European Union leaders are poised to slap additional sanctions on Russia because of what they condemn as a continued destabilization of Ukraine and a deepening military involvement by Moscow.

The 28-nation bloc's heads of state and government on Saturday were also set to discuss possible further assistance for Ukraine as the country's president, Petro Poroshenko, was expected to brief the leaders in Brussels on the situation.

Additional EU sanctions would aim at inflicting more economic pain in hopes of changing what is viewed as Russian meddling in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces say one of their fighter jets has been shot down by a Russian missile in combat against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

A brief statement posted Saturday on the Facebook page for the so-called operation against separatists said the Su-25 was hit on Friday, and that the pilot ejected and was uninjured. The statement said the plane was hit by a missile from a Russian launcher, but did not give more detail.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine between the military and Russian-backed separatists has left almost 2,600 people dead, according to U.N. figures. NATO said this week Moscow has slipped at least 1,000 Russian soldiers and much heavy weaponry into Ukraine.NATO estimates at least 1,000 Russian soldiers are in Ukraine and Ukraine claimed this week that Russian tanks and armored vehicles entered the country as rebels open a new front along the Azov Sea coast. Russia consistently denies both that its forces are in Ukraine and allegations that it is supplying the rebels.

In a blunt statement Friday, NATO condemned Russian military action in Ukraine, saying its troops have "illegally crossed the border" as part of a "dangerous pattern over many months" to destabilize its neighbor.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking after a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine commission, was unsparing in his criticism of Russia, charging that its forces were directly engaged in military operations inside Ukraine, continued to supply separatists with tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and rocket launchers and had fired on Ukraine from both Russian territory and within Ukraine itself.

"This is a blatant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Rasmussen said. "It defies all diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution."

Russia has denied its troops have operated inside Ukraine, despite NATO's release of satellite images on Thursday showing what the Western alliance said were Russian tanks, armored personnel carries and artillery moving around in eastern Ukraine.

The Associated Press reported that Russian-backed separatists held control Friday of the coastal town of Novoazovsk on the new front in the Ukraine conflict. The separatists also announced their intention to keep pushing west toward a major port city. None of the half-dozen tanks seen by Associated Press reporters in the town of about 12,000 people bore Russian markings, but the packaging on their field rations said they were issued by the Russian army.

Speaking at a youth forum in central Russia on Friday, President Vladimir Putin said Russia "is far from getting involved into any large-scale conflict."

"We do not want and do not intend to do this," Putin said, but noted that Russia is one of the world's most powerful nuclear nations. "This is a reality, not just words," the Russian leader said.

He also declared that Russia is building up its nuclear and military arsenal.

"We must always be ready to repel any aggression against Russia and our partners should always be aware that no matter in which condition their governments may be or which foreign policy concepts they may pursue, it is better not to come against Russia as regards a possible armed conflict," Putin said, the Russia news agency ITAR-TASS reports.

Regarding Ukraine, Putin said Kiev insists it wants talks to resolve the crisis but keeps pushing its military to try to quickly establish order there.

"This is not happening and it is important to realize it and to force the Ukrainian authorities to start thorough negotiations, not only on technical issues, which are certainly of extreme importance, but on substantive (issues) as well," Putin said.

In a separate news conference in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed Western claims of Russian intervention in Ukraine as more "wild guesses."

"There have been reports about satellite imagery exposing Russian troop movements. They turned out to be images from videogames. The latest accusations happen to be much the same quality," he said, according to the state-run Russian news agency RT.com.

Nearly 2,600 people have died in clashes between Ukrainian armed forces and Russian-back rebels since April, according to a new U.N. report.

Rasmussen, the NATO chief, said in his remarks that the Western alliance would help Ukraine reform and modernize its armed forces "with a view to make them stronger" and could put forward additional assistance at the NATO summit in Wales next week that will be attended by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The White House says the Ukrainian president will meet with President Obama in Washington Sept. 18.

European Union foreign ministers will consider harsher sanctions on Russia during their meeting in Milan on Friday. The EU and the U.S. have already imposed sanctions on Russian institutions and officials, while Russia has responded by banning food imports.

In Kiev, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said the government has offered a bill that would cancel the country's non-aligned status as a first step toward joining the European Union and, eventually, NATO.

The crisis began last November when thousands of protesters took to the streets of Kiev after pro-Russian prime minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was later ousted and fled the country, refused to sign an agreement that would have integrated Ukraine's economy closer to the European Union, making it less dependent on Russia.

Ukraine charged that Russian military convoys entering Ukraine in the past week opened a new front in the fighting that had largely focused on territory around Donetsk and Luhansk in the industrialized eastern regions. Rebels have declared the two areas as independent republics.

Earlier, in Moscow, Putin issued a rare, direct address to the separatists, lauding their latest offensive and calling on rebels to open a humanitarian corridor to allow encircled Ukrainian army units to withdraw and return to their families.

Putin said the Ukrainian soldiers "did not participate in the military operation of their own volition" and were only following orders. He asked for their release, "so as to avoid any needless loss of life."

Separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko later told Russian TV that his fighters had agreed to Putin's request, provided that the Ukrainian troops turn over heavy weapons and ammunition.

Contributing: William Cummings; the Associated Press

source: usatoday.com

Artist hides $16K in gold bars on beach


It's the kind of art project that even people who hate art projects can love: A German artist has hidden about $16,000 worth of gold bars on a beach in Folkestone, England, reports the Guardian.

Lucky treasure hunters can keep any they find. Artist Michael Sailstorfer calls the project Folkestone Digs, and the curator of the Folkestone Triennial art festival, of which the project is a part, says he's interested in seeing what people do with the gold.

"Do you take it to the pawnbrokers or do you take it to Sotheby's?" he asks. "Or do you keep it on the mantlepiece because you think it is going to be worth more later?"

It's likely too late for any curious Americans to take up the hunt. The art project was unveiled Thursday, and about 150 people began digging for the 30 gold bars when the tide went out, reports the BBC.

It's not clear how many have been found, however, because participants don't need to report in. "We will never know if the gold has been found or not," says the curator.

He adds that organizers are hoping diggers will create art — in the form of sandcastles — while searching. "It is a participatory artwork," he says. "Some people will get lucky, some people will not get lucky — and that's life." (Americans who want to search for hidden treasure should check this mysterious book out.)

soure: usatoday.com

Police cautions NPP ahead of Sunday’s congress

DCOP Yohuno

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been cautioned by the Ghana Police Service to resolve its internal matters in time ahead of its Special Electoral College on Sunday so that the incident that occurred at the party’s headquarters on Tuesday, August 19, does not recur.

There was a clash between the party's security personnel and some men said to be personal guards of the party's General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, on that day.

Speaking to TV3 on Friday, August 29, the Greater Accra Regional Commander of the Ghana Police Service said when the incident occurred that day and the police rushed in to restore calm, some members of the party prevented the officers with the reason that the incident was an internal matter.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Christian Tetteh Yohuno said the police do not wear any political colours and will do everything to ensure peace and security where there is conflict and violence in the country.
“All that we are saying is that the police are for all,” DCOP Yohuno said, “so when you have security challenges, quickly you should call on us.”
He said but for the insistence of the police to enter the premises of the NPP that day, the violence would have turned bloodier.
As regards Sunday’s special congress, DCOP Yohuno said the police are ready.
“We are prepared,” he stressed.“We are ever prepared to make sure that we give them the needed security to have a very free and fair election.”

Source: tv3network.com

Ghana to establish helicopter service center

Dimitry Suslov With John Mahama FSH

President John Dramani Mahama has announced that government is in talks with a Russian firm to establish a helicopter service center in the country to serve helicopters of the United Nations “and other organizations in West Africa."

The center when completed will provide services to MH17 helicopters that ply within the subregion.

President Mahama made this known on Friday, August 29 when new Russian ambassador Dimitry Suslov called on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra.

“We are in discussion with Rosoboronexport to establish a helicopter service center here in Ghana,” President Mahama announced.

Rosoboronexport is the sole state intermediary agency for Russia’s exports and imports of defence-related products.

President Mahama also called for peace between Russia and Ukraine.

Mr Suslov pledged his state’s commitment in deepening the bilateral relationship with Ghana.

Source: tv3network.com

Accra cemeteries full

Cemetery Accra Post

All the major public cemeteries in the Accra metropolis are full to capacity and may no longer be able to contain more bodies, the Accra Metro Director of Public Health, Dr Simpson Anim Boateng, has revealed.

The Awudome Cemetery, the largest in the metropolis, is full and so is the Osu Cemetery. But per our traditional reverence to the dead, Ghanaians are not taking advantage of cremation to ease the pressure on cemeteries, especially in the capital city.

Consequently, the AMA has resorted to reburial and burying in between spaces as the only solution to the problem.

In an interview with The Mirror, Dr Boateng said, “at the moment, all our cemeteries are full so instead of digging six feet to bury one body, we bury two people in a six-feet hole, so we are able to accommodate more bodies. We also re-use old graves that have no tombstones on them,” he explained.

He said the assembly had plans to reconstruct the southern part of the Awudome Cemetery, which is no longer in use, for future burials.

Dr Boateng advised the general public to stop loitering in and around cemeteries.

“For some time now, we have realised that people play on the tombs, relax on them and even sell and eat food in the cemeteries. This is a bad practice and very unhygienic. We have tried several times to keep these people away, but they keep coming back. Occasionally, a task force is sent to the cemeteries to send these people away,” he said.

Maintaining the public cemeteries also poses another challenge to the assembly. A large part of the Awudome Cemetery, for instance, is overgrown with weed. It has also become a den for criminals who attack victims around the cemetery at night.

“It is very dangerous to walk around there at night because some people hide in the bush and attack innocent people. If you are unlucky, you might even be injured by those criminals,” Naana Addy, a resident of Awudome Estate, told The Mirror.

The Osu Cemetery has been turned into a business centre by some food vendors and hawkers during the day.

The deteriorating state of public cemeteries has led to the emergence of the new business of private cemeteries. One of such facilities is the Gethsemane Memorial Garden at East Legon.

The facility offers different burial services and charges a relatively higher amount, compared to the public cemeteries.

Some people also prefer to bury their relatives and friends in their homes and other places, outside the cemeteries.

Since land is becoming more and more scarce in Accra, the Accra Metro Director of Public Health has advised that it is important to move away from the traditional burial to cremation.

The Osu Crematorium in Accra, he said, is mostly patronised by foreigners, and though it will be difficult to move away from burial because of our culture, cremation is the ideal solution to the overcrowding in cemeteries.

“No matter the size of the cemetery, it would eventually get full to capacity, and we cannot forever keep creating new cemeteries,” Dr Boateng noted.

Source: Graphic Online

“Naughty” NPP being pampered by the media – Asiedu Nketia

Asiedu Nketiah NDC Gen Sec

The General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has accused the media of “pampering” the main opposition New Patriotic Party.

According to the former MP, the seeming media soft-spot for the opposition party makes them “get away with serious misconducts” without proper scrutiny.

The Danquah-Busia tradition was recently engulfed in internal wrangling over some administrative changes being undertaken in its communications directorate by General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong and Chairman Paul Afoko.

The matter was widely reported by the media, but General Mosquito, as Nketiah is popularly called, said the media, in his view, appears kinder to the NPP compared to his party.

“They are being treated like a spoilt child who is untouchable at home. Because the media is soft on them, they take many things for granted.

“We (NDC) are not asking the media to give us preferential treatment, we are only asking you to be objective in dealing with all parties on national issues,” he told Adom FM.

Source: starrfmonline.com

U.K. raises terror threat level to 'severe'

The United Kingdom raised its terror threat level to "severe" on Friday in response to events in Iraq and Syria.

"What we're facing in Iraq now with ISIL is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before," U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said in a news conference from 10 Downing Street, referring to the Islamic State by its former name, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

"With ISIL, we are facing a terrorist organization not being hosted in a country but actually seeking to establish and then violently expand its own terrorist state," he added.

There is no specific threat or information suggesting that an attack is imminent; however, the "severe" threat level indicates a terrorist attack is "highly likely." Severe is the second-highest of five possible threat levels.

"This is not some foreign conflict thousands of miles from home that we can hope to ignore," Cameron said. "The ambition to create an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and Syria is a threat to our own security here in the U.K."

In the U.S., there were no current terror alerts on the National Terrorism Advisory System, according to its website.

"I don't anticipate at this point that there is a plan to change that level," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at a press briefing Friday.

U.S. intelligence shows "no evidence or indication right now that ISIL is actively plotting to attack the U.S. homeland," he added.

Earnest said that the threat to the U.S. is "not dissimilar" to that faced by the U.K., but he also noted that there are "a relatively large number of individuals with British passports who have gone to the region," while the number of Americans who are there is "somewhat lower."

"For a number of months now, we have been monitoring those individuals that have Western passports, that are citizens of Western countries, either United States or in Europe, who have made the decision to travel to Syria or take up arms alongside ISIL," Earnest said. "They pose a threat because they've received military training, they are now battle-hardened, and they've demonstrated a willingness to risk their lives for their cause."

The Department of Homeland Security and FBI are not aware of any specific, credible threats to the USA from the Islamic State, Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

"At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security is mindful of the potential for homegrown violent extremism inspired by radical ideology overseas, and, both through law enforcement and community outreach, we are taking steps to counter that potential threat," Johnson said.

A number of steps have been taken to enhance aviation security at overseas airports in recent weeks, as well as track foreign fighters who travel overseas, Johnson said.

"We are contemplating additional security measures concerning foreign fighters," he added.

STORY: Stocks lower as U.K.raises terror threat level

Britain has grown increasingly worried about the number of British citizens becoming radicalized with the intention of returning home to carry out attacks.

Speaking about the "poisonous ideology of Islamic extremism," Cameron said that at least 500 people have traveled from the U.K. to Syria and Iraq to fight with militant groups.

"We will always take whatever actions necessary to keep the British people safe here at home," he said, adding that the U.K. has already taken steps to stop suspects from traveling by seizing passports, barring foreign nationals from re-entering the country and depriving others of citizenship.

AFP 532836451

Further steps are needed, Cameron said, explaining that he would be working on new legislation that makes it easier to take people's passports away.

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Center sets the national threat level based on the latest intelligence. The threat level for the U.K. last changed in July 2011, when it was reduced to "substantial."

The last time the threat level reached "critical," the highest level, was in late June 2007, after a car on fire was driven into Glasgow Airport and bombs were discovered in vehicles in London.

Contributing: Gregory Korte in Washington, D.C.

source: usatoday.com

Analysts: U.S. needs 'local ally' against Islamic State

AP Syria

As President Obama considers airstrikes in Syria and calls for an international coalition to fight the Islamic State, analysts say no country in the area other than Syria would be a likely candidate to send needed combat troops against the militants.

"You cannot defeat terrorists or an insurgency unless you've got boots on the ground," said Chris Harmer, a former U.S. military strategist now at the Institute for the Study of War.

In the last 18 months, Islamic State militants have battled Assad's military, Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra, Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish peshmerga — and "they defeated all of them," Harmer said.

"The idea we're going to destroy these guys with air power (alone) is a non-starter," he said. "You have to have somebody go head-to-head with (Islamic State) and defeat them. You have to have a local ally to go in with you."

STORY: Islamic State kills more than 150 captured Syrian troops

A year after Obama almost launched airstrikes against's Syria, the United States is now attacking the regime's most powerful enemy — Islamic State militants who control territory spanning Syria and Iraq. And nearly three weeks after the U.S. began targeted airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State, Obama is weighing whether to move those tactics into Syria but insists there will be no coordinating with President Bashar Assad, who has slaughtered more than 200,000 of his people.

In a news conference Thursday, Obama said defeating Islamic State militants in Syria does not mean siding with Assad.

"We will continue to support a moderate opposition in Syria to give people a choice other than ISIL (Islamic State) and Assad," Obama said. But he said the plans are still in the works. "We don't have a strategy yet."

Shadi Hamid, an analyst with the Brookings Institution, said the only viable alternative is to partner with Syrian opposition groups. But lacking significant Western support, their numbers have dwindled and they are currently disorganized and at risk of losing their last major stronghold in the city of Aleppo, where they are sandwiched between offensives by the Syrian government forces and the Islamic State.

"If we don't do anything to boost the rebels, then any airstrikes against (the Islamic State) will benefit the Assad regime," Hamid said. "We may not like that, but that is the inevitable result."

Ryan Crocker, a former ambassador to Syria under President Clinton and to Iraq under President George W. Bush, pointed out that Iraq regained control of the Mosul Dam this month from Islamic State militants with help from ground troops, bolstered by U.S. airstrikes. He said ground forces from somewhere also will be needed in Syria.

"The question is who?" Crocker said. "There's a reasonably good chance Assad will fill the void if the Free Syrian Army doesn't."

The Islamic State earlier this week took the Syrian government's Tabqa air base, and Syrian airstrikes have targeted the militant group in eastern Syria. But until recently, the two groups have had a defacto alliance. The Islamic State makes money through oil sales to Assad from wells in territory the group controls, and the two share a common enemy: the other rebel forces, Hamid said.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said this week that Syria was willing to participate in a coalition including the U.S. and Britain, but any violation of Syrian airspace would be considered "an act of aggression."

World powers "will soon have to choose what is more important: a (Syrian) regime change to satisfy personal antipathies … or finding pragmatic ways to unite efforts against the common threat," Moallem said, according to Al Arabiya News.

Syria would welcome U.S. involvement, because that would create a perception of collaboration with the Assad regime, former State Department official Fred Hof wrote this week in The New Republic.

That perception, though, could drive a wedge between the U.S. and its regional partners — Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, which bankroll the Syrian opposition with hopes of toppling Assad, and which regard Iran, Syria's main ally, as their chief rival and threat in the region.

Such a rift could help Assad stay in power and strengthen Iran, wrote Hof, a resident fellow at that Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

Edward Djerejian, former U.S. ambassador to Syria, said the United States should build up moderate elements in the Syrian opposition to enable them to take over the area that the Islamic State now controls.

"No outside country, not the Turks, not Jordan, not Iraq," is likely to send troops, "and the FSA (Free Syrian Army) isn't powerful enough to do it," Djerejian said. Unless the moderate Syrian opposition is built up with American assistance, "it ends up being the Syrians," he said.

Abu Moussa al-Ansari, a fighter with the Islamic State militant group, fires his weapon. He was killed in an Aug. 27 battle for the Tabqa air base in Raqqa, Syria. Governments and other groups in Syria and Iraq are battling the well organized and funded militants for control.

soure: usatoday.com

Casual worker rewarded with €1,000 for his honesty

John Mba Honesty Reward

For his high sense of honesty, a casual worker of the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA), Mr John Mba, has been presented with 1,000 euros and also made a permanent staff of the Dock Labour Company.

He has also been named as an Integrity Ambassador, who would spearhead an integrity campaign by the GPHA, aimed at eliminating bad practices at the Tema Port.

Mr Mba, according to the Director of Marketing and Public Relations of Tema Port, Mr Paul Asare Ansah, returned 1,700 Euros he found at the Golden Jubilee Terminal while carting goods for a client.

"But instead of taking away the money, an option that many people in need in these trying times would choose, Mr Mba handed over the money to the port security officials who then handed it over to management," Mr Ansah said.

More than one-and-half years after the amount was found, Mr Ansah said no individual or company had come to claim it hence the decision to give the 1,000 euros to Mr Mba.

He also said the authority had presented the remaining €700 of the amount to the Remar Christian Centre as the payment of a year’s tuition fees for 34 needy children at the school.

"The act of honesty displayed by Mr Mba falls in line with our business integrity initiative programme being rolled out with the aim of addressing the issues of extortion and corruption within our two ports," Mr Ansah emphasised.

He added that the GPHA believed that the campaign would rid the ports of bad practices and further reduce corruption at the ports.

He said he was hopeful that the example set by Mr Mba would be emulated by the other employees and clients in the day-to-day operations at the port.

Source: Graphic Online

U.S. says Russia has 'outright lied' about Ukraine


The United States told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that Russia has "outright lied" over its military activity inside Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian armed forces.

The accusation came hours before President Obama said the United States "is not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem" but trying to mobilize international pressure on Moscow.

"Russian soldiers, tanks and air defense have supported and fight alongside separatists as they open a new front in a crisis manufactured and fueled by Russia," Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the council.

She noted that it was not the first time Russia has been called by the council to account for its activities inside Ukraine.

"At every step, Russia has come before this council to say everything but the truth," Power said. "It has manipulated, obfuscated and outright lied."

In response, the Russian ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said, "Everyone knows there are Russian volunteers in eastern Ukraine. No one is hiding it."

He said the conflict was Ukraine's fault, calling it the "direct consequence of the reckless policy of Kiev, which is conducting a war against its own people."

Rather than blame Russia, he said, the United States should "restrain your geopolitical ambitions. Countries around the world would breathe a sigh of relief."

The Ukrainian envoy, Oleksandr Pavlichenko, accused Russia of intentionally undermining peace efforts.

Churkin asked if Kiev's demand for separatists to disarm was an attempt to provoke more violence.

Pavlichenko replied that Kiev is "ready to engage on a whole range of issues" and the only non-negotiable issues are Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and its "European aspirations."

At the White House, Obama ruled out a U.S. military response.

"It is not in the cards for us to see a military confrontation between Russia and the United States in this region," he said during a 30-minute news conference.

He said he did not see the moves of the past week as an invasion but "a continuation of what's been taking place for months now ... not really a shift."

"This is not a homegrown, indigenous uprising in eastern Ukraine," he said. "The separatists are backed, trained, armed, financed by Russia. ... We've seen deep Russian involvement in everything they've done."

He echoed Ukrainian claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected attempts to resolve the conflict peacefully.

"We have not seen any meaningful action on the part of Russia to actually try to resolve this in a diplomatic fashion," Obama said.

He spoke earlier in the day with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the Russian incursion, and both agreed the United States and European Union would have to consider expanding sanctions on Moscow, the White House said in a statement.

The U.N. Security Council convened the emergency meeting hours after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who will meet with Obama at the White House next month, declared that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine" in support of separatist rebels.

The meeting, called by Lithuania, followed charges Thursday by NATO officials of a significant increase of Russian military activity — including evidence of combat soldiers — in eastern Ukraine. Russia has strongly denied such allegations.

"Russia has to stop lying and has to stop fueling this conflict," Power said. "The mask is coming off. In these recent acts, we see Russia's actions for what they are — a deliberate effort to support and now fight alongside illegal separatists in another sovereign country."

Power said Russia's actions in the past 48 hours "have spoken volumes," and she called on the Security Council to take immediate action.

"How can we tell those countries that border Russia that their peace and sovereignty is guaranteed if we do not make our message heard on Ukraine?" she asked the council. "The cost of inaction is unacceptable."

Jeffrey Feltman, U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, opened the Security Council meeting by saying its immediate focus "must be to find ways to reverse the dangerous escalation of fighting that has occurred over the past 24 hours and move quickly away from armed conflict and toward political solutions and dialogue."

Worried moms: Probe of Russian troops deaths?

Ukraine has charged that at least two convoys of Russian military equipment entered southeastern Ukraine this week to open up a third front in the fighting between Ukrainian armed forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern regions.

More than 2,000 people have died in clashes in eastern Ukraine, according to a recent U.N. report. Russian-backed rebels have declared two regions as independent republics and the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk have been largely surrounded by Ukrainian forces.

NATO Ukraine

Poroshenko, who discussed the crisis with Putin two days ago, called for U.N. action in a televised statement to the nation, saying, "The world must provide assessment of sharp aggravation of the situation in Ukraine."

"Russian military boots are on Russian ground," said Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk., who also appealed to the United Nations for a response to a "growing military threat from Russia."

In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron said there is "mounting evidence that Russian troops have made large-scale incursions" into southeastern Ukraine. Such actions are "completely unacceptable and illegal," he said, urging Russia to find a political solution to the crisis, or "there will be further consequences."

In Brussels, Brig. Gen. Nico Tak said at NATO headquarters Thursday that the alliance noted a "significant escalation in both the level and sophistication of Russia's military interference in Ukraine" in the past two weeks.

"Russia is reinforcing and resupplying separatist forces in a blatant attempt to change the momentum of the fighting, which is currently favoring the Ukrainian military," Tak said.

NATO produced satellite images as "additional evidence that Russian combat soldiers, equipped with sophisticated heavy weaponry, are operating inside Ukraine's sovereign territory."

Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, wrote on Twitter that Russian troops are directly intervening in Ukraine because of a flagging military effort by rebels.

"Russian-supplied tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and multiple rocket launchers have been insufficient to defeat Ukraine' armed forces," Pyatt wrote. "So now an increasing number of Russian troops are intervening directly in fighting on Ukrainian territory. "

As charges of a Russian incursion mounted, Andrey Kelin, Russia's representative to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has an international monitoring group in Ukraine, denied the allegations. "We have said that no Russian involvement has been spotted, there are no soldiers or equipment," he said, the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reported.

"Accusations relating to convoys of armored personnel carriers have been heard during the past week and the week before that," he said. "All of them were proven false back then and are being proven false again now."

Ukraine said this week that it had captured 10 Russian paratroopers who had crossed into Ukraine and showed video of some of the men being interviewed. Putin suggested the soldiers crossed the unmarked border by accident while on training exercises.

After his meeting with Poroshenko in Belarus, Putin said a possible cease-fire plan did not come up. He said a solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine is "not our business; it is a domestic matter for Ukraine itself." He said all Russia could do was "support the creation of an environment of trust."

A pro-Russian leader conceded that as many as 4,000 Russian citizens are fighting alongside the rebels but are doing so strictly voluntarily.

"Many former high-ranking military officers have volunteered to join us. They are fighting with us, considering that to be their duty," Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic in Ukraine, told Russian TV, the BBC reports.

"There are also many in the current Russian military that prefer to spend their leave among us, brothers who are fighting for their freedom, rather than on a beach," Zakharchenko said.

In Mariupol, a city of 450,000, a brigade of Ukrainian forces arrived at the airport, while deep trenches were dug a day earlier on the city's edge.

In Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city, 11 people were killed by shelling during the night, the city administration said in a statement.

"These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. She voiced concern about overnight deliveries of materiel in southeast Ukraine near Novoazovsk and said Russia was being dishonest about its actions, even to its own people.

Russian forces, she said, are being sent 30 miles inside Ukraine, without them or their families knowing where they are going. She cited reports of burials in Russia for those who've died in Ukraine and wounded Russian soldiers being treated in a St. Petersburg hospital.

Contributing: Oren Dorell in McLean, Va.; Michael Winter; Associated Press

SOURCE: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/08/28/ukraine-town-under-rebel-control/14724767/

Mahama calls for combined efforts against Ebola

John Dramani Mahama Vice President

President John Dramani Mahama Thursday said governments of the sub-region must jointly provide the necessary human and material support towards developing effective measures that would stem the spread of the Ebola Viral Disease.

"Yes, this is a serious crisis requiring our full attention, vigilance and urgent support and we will do everything to defeat this disease," President Mahama, who is Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States said (ECOWAS).

President Mahama was opening an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly of Health Ministers of the Sub-region on the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in parts of the sub-region.

The meeting, which is also a sequel to the one held by experts from the Sub-region, would among other objectives help the Ministers to share views on how to boost the implementation strategies in the fight against the disease .

“Ebola has stigmatised our countries, and we have no choice but to combine our resources to fight it,” President Mahama said.

President Mahama, however, warned against the use of traditional practices that could negate and undermine the fight against the disease and called on the Ministers to put up a strong surveillance system that would ensure total compliance to the directives of the World Health Organisation and other authorities.

He said although the disease was only prevalent in four countries; Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, it had tainted the entire continent in terms of economic activities and tourism.

President Mahama explained that the economies of the affected nations and others in the continent were currently suffering from the effects of the disease as tourists who hitherto visited those countries on holidays were changing their tourist destinations for fear of the disease.

Such a development, he said, could subsequently have negative repercussions on the economies of African countries that depended on tourism and other economic interactions for their development.

Therefore, the affected countries needed support and he would use his position as the ECOWAS Chair to galvanise that support to empower them to live comfortable and refreshing lives in the coming years, he said.

The ECOWAS Chairman, however, asked African leaders not to lose sight of malaria that had over the years claimed numerous lives in the entire continent in their efforts to deal with the Ebola disease.

President Mahama said Ghana had adopted numerous workable measures to prevent the spread of the disease and gave the assurance that more attention would be provided in the coming days to ward it off the borders of the nation and other countries.

Dr Louis Sambo, African Regional Director of World Health Organisation, said the current outbreak was not only the highest in the region but had also stretched countries in terms resources and image building.

He appealed to Heads of State in the sub- Region to declare national emergencies on the disease as its repercussions were impacting negatively on the countries and the people.

However, Dr Sambo appealed to them not to impose international bans on people from the affected countries as that could stigmatise them.

The Regional Director rather advocated screening and quarantine systems at various ports to stem its spread.

Dr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Minister of Health, called for the scaling up of measures that would help to contain and control the spread of the disease into neighboring countries.

Although Health Ministers of some of the affected countries could not attend the meeting due to flight problems, they were represented by their High Commissions and Embassies in Accra.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

So far, more than 960 people have died out of the over 1,700 cases reported, this year, from Guinea, Sierra-Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

Fever, body aches, and sore throat as that of malaria and typhoid, are seen at the initial stages of Ebola infection.

As the infection progresses, patients experience severe internal bleeding with blood leaking out of their mouth, eyes, ears and the vessels.

Symptoms can begin on four to nine hours or days after infection and the incubation can last up to 21 days.

Ebola cannot spread through the air like flu. It is fragile in nature so can be checked with soap solution, detergents and disinfectants.

Getting an infection requires direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, saliva, sweat, and semen.

The first Ebolavirus species was discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically.

Source: GNA

Appiah-Menkah: In-fighting likely to cost NPP 2016 elections

Apente Appiah Menka NPP

A founder-member of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Akenten Appiah-Menkah, has said the party is likely to lose the 2016 elections if it does not unite in purpose behind a single candidate.

The businessman is among the Ashanti Regional Elders of the NPP who are urging the party to rally behind whoever emerges with the highest votes after Sunday’s super delegates’ conference meant to whittle down the number of flagbearer aspirants from seven to five.

The Elders believe, such a measure will save the party money and time.

But, some of the aspirants have dismissed the suggestion. One of them, former information minister Asamoah Boateng told Asempa FM, the proposal violates the constitution of the party.

However, Appiah-Menkah insists such a gesture will showcase a united party to the electorates ahead of the elections.

“In this country, it appears governments are changed every eight years. It happened under [John] Rawlings and [John] Kufuor but if we are not careful, these things we are doing are going to affect us in 2016,” he told Accra-based Okay FM.

The main opposition party has been in the news in recent times over some administrative changes being effected by its general secretary, Kwabena Agyepong and chairman, Paul Afoko.

Source: starrfmonline.com

Teacher charged for defilement

Court Law Mallat

A Takoradi Circuit Court “B” on Wednesday remanded a teacher, Jeremiah Essilfie in Police custody for allegedly defiling a pupil of the Wood Methodist Junior High School in Takoradi in the Western Region.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement and is to re-appear before the court on September 15, this year.

Prosecution did not read the fact of the case.

Mr. Charles Nimako, Presiding Judge failed to yield to an application by the counsel of the accused to grant him bail.

The 33-year-old teacher, John Jeremiah Essilfie was arrested on Sunday August 24 by the Sekondi Police for allegedly defiling and impregnating the school girl.

Source: GNA

CBS 2 Sources: Joan Rivers Rushed To Hospital, Went Into Cardiac Arrest

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital Thursday morning, sources tell CBS 2.
Rivers, 81, was having a procedure done on her vocal chords on the Upper East Side when she stopped breathing shortly after 9:30 a.m., sources said.
Sources tell CBS 2 Rivers went into cardiac arrest.
The hospital released a statement confirming Rivers is being treated there.
“This morning, Joan Rivers was taken to The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she is being attended to. Her family wants to thank everybody for their outpouring of love and support. We will provide an update on her condition as it becomes available,” hospital spokesman Sid Dinsay said.
Rivers was scheduled to perform Friday night at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. That show has been postponed, 1010 WINS reported.

View image on Twitter

Rivers, a long-time Manhattan resident, has had a long and varied career.
Her appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1968 helped launch her career. She went on to host numerous shows on television, winning an Emmy Award for her daytime talk show in 1989.
Rivers has written 11 books and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1994.
Rivers, along with her daughter Melissa, appears in the reality television show Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best.

source: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/

Ebola outbreak could lead to food crisis, U.N. says


The Ebola health crisis threatens to turn into a much broader "food crisis" in some of the world's most impoverished countries, according to the United Nations' World Food Program.

The program is scaling up its operations in West Africa to provide food to 1.3 million people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The food will go to people being treated for Ebola; their relatives; and those who have been quarantined by their governments, in an effort to halt the spread of Ebola.

"The food chain is threatened at many levels," the World Food Program said in a statement. Hundreds of families have lost loved ones, many of whom were their family's breadwinners.

Farmers are leaving their crops as they flee areas ravaged by Ebola, according to a statement from the food program. People are not able to travel and trade freely, as countries close borders and international airlines cancel flights, says Michael Stulman of Catholic Relief Services. People are also not able to hunt for bush meat, a practice that has been banned in some places due to the high risk of contracting Ebola while butchering the animals. Bats and apes can carry Ebola.

"We have already seen alarming price increases on imported food commodities such as rice," Stulman says. "The harvest this season is going to be seriously compromised because many people have been unable to access their farms due to the travel restrictions and other emergency measures in place."

Food prices in affected countries are already rising, Stulman says. The cost of a 110-pound bag of rice, for example, has risen from $37.50 to $45.40 for local rice in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. The cost of imported rice rose $15.50.

Palm oil vendor Pauline Haba pours palm oil from a container on Aug. 26. Her business is suffering because no one wants to buy her palm oil, which comes from an area where the Ebola outbreak has cost many lives in Conakry, Guinea.

"The operating environment is already very challenging, and as airlines begin canceling flights and closing borders in West Africa, this is disrupting the response effort," Stulman says. "Organizations that normally respond to an emergency are now being cautious because there isn't reliable and consistent transportation to and from the affected region. It also makes it more difficult to send life-saving supplies and equipment to the affected countries."

Aid agencies are concerned about the possibility of seaports being cordoned off, Stulman says. If "the vessels take similar steps as the airlines, then we have a major problem," he says.

Getting to West Africa has become more difficult as airlines have canceled flights because of the epidemic. One of AmeriCares' five shipments was delayed after a shipping company refused to go to Sierra Leone, says Garrett Ingoglia, AmeriCares' vice president of emergency response. The group chartered its own plane to get around these difficulties.

source: usatoday.com

Failed phone call is newest Flight 370 clue

A new clue has brought a bit of hope to the search for Malaysia Airlines' doomed Flight 370.

A closer review of one of the first failed efforts to contact the Beijing-bound flight from Malaysia as it vanished from radar March 8 has convinced authorities to focus their search on a southern section of the vast search zone over the Indian Ocean.

The review suggested the Boeing 777 may have turned south earlier than thought, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss told The Star newspaper in Malaysia.

"The search area remains the same, but some of the information that we now have suggests to us that areas a little further to the south — within the search area, but a little further to the south — are of particular interest and priority in the search area," Truss said.

The jet is believed to have crashed more than 1,000 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia. Dozens of ships and planes have attempted to search a massive swath of the Indian Ocean, but no sign of the plane or it 239 passengers and crew has been found.

Investigators have long been aware of satellite phone calls, but it has taken until recently for them to develop methods to analyze the phone data to glean clues about the plane's direction, Truss said. It was through a similar analysis of satellite data from the plane's jet engine transmitter that investigators were able to define the current search area.


By the time the calls were attempted, the plane had become invisible to civilian radar. It had flown west without communications past Sumatra, Indonesia, and beyond the range of Malaysian military radar.

Truss told The Star that during efforts to map Flight 370's location when Malaysia Airlines tried to contact the jet, it was "suggested to us that the aircraft may have turned south a little earlier than we had previously expected."

"After MH370 disappeared from the radar, Malaysia Airlines ground staff sought to make contact using a satellite phone. That was unsuccessful," he said.

"But the detailed research that's being done now has been able to ... trace that phone call and help position the aircraft and the direction it was travelling."

A photograph released on April 15 shows operators aboard the ADF Ocean Shield prepare to launch a U.S. Navy Bluefin-21 robotic submarine to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet in the Indian Ocean.A photograph released on April 15 shows operators aboard the ADF Ocean Shield prepare to launch a U.S. Navy Bluefin-21 robotic submarine to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet in the Indian Ocean. (Photo: U.S. Navy MC1 Peter D. Blair via AFP/Getty Images)

A photograph released on April 15 shows operators aboard the ADF Ocean Shield prepare to launch a U.S. Navy Bluefin-21 robotic submarine to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet in the Indian Ocean.

It could take up to a year to scour 23,000 square miles of the Indian Ocean seabed and cost $48 million.Two survey ships are mapping the newest search area before any underwater minisubs are deployed.

The reason the search area remains so large is that the satellite handshakes used to track the plane only suggest its path and last known location. But fuel and gliding could have kept the plane in the air long after that.

By calculating the plane's fuel and speed, searchers are making an educated guess about where the plane might be. After the fuel ran out, the plane could glide 15 times farther than its height, so depending on how its controls were set it might have glided nearly 100 miles after the fuel ran out, according to Al Diehl, a former crash investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.

"The final partial handshake is the most definitive piece of data we have about the plane's location," Diehl said. "It's a cone of uncertainty, just because of the aircraft's ability to glide without power."

For lack of detail, it could still take months to find the plane – if it is within the area where searchers are concentrating.

"Unless they just luck out," Diehl said.

Chinese Vice Minister of Transport He Jianzhong, who also attended a Canberra meeting Thursday where details of the continuing search were hammered out, said ministers of several countries had agreed that the search will not be interrupted or given up. Most of the lost passengers, 153, were Chinese.

Contributing: Associated Press; Bart Jansen in Washington, D.C.

source: usatoday.com

Featured Video

Category 3

Support : Creating Website | Johny Template | Mas Template
Copyright © 2011. HOT ISSUES - All Rights Reserved
Template Modify by Creating Website
Proudly powered by Blogger