Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Kabul bomb: 'It felt like an earthquake, then everything came down'

Civilians in Afghan capital describe horror as huge explosion kills more than 80 and injures at least 350 in embassy district
 People wounded in the bomb blast in Kabul on 31 May.
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Donald Trump ready to withdraw from Paris climate agreement, reports say

Trump tweets that he will be announcing decision ‘over the next few days’, withdrawal would sorely weaken landmark deal by nearly 200 countries
 Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he would reach a final decision in a few days, shortly after a wave of reports said he was about to exit from the deal.
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Kabul: at least 80 killed by massive car bomb in diplomatic quarter

Blast near the German embassy leaves more than 360 injured, Afghan interior ministry says

Scores of civilians have been killed after a massive explosion in a highly secure diplomatic area of Kabul left at least 80 people dead and wounded more than 360, the Afghan public health ministry has said.
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Posthumous wedding for police officer killed in ​Champs-Élysées attack

Etienne Cardiles’ marriage to the late Xavier Jugelé is attended by Paris mayor Hidalgo and former president Hollande

The partner of a police officer killed by a gunman on Champs-Élysées in Paris in April has married him posthumously, Le Parisien has reported.
 Xavier Jugelé was one of the first responders to the attack on the Bataclan theatre in November 2015.
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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Germany steps up attack on Trump for 'weakening' the west

Foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said ‘short-sighted’ US policies stood against the interests of the EU, after Merkel warns Europeans can’t depend on US

Germany has unleashed a volley of criticism against Donald Trump, slamming his “short-sighted” policies that have “weakened the west” and hurt European interests.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump
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Philippine army battles to contain Isis attacks from spreading to second city

Curfews and heavy military presence in Iligan, a city of 350,000, amid fears Islamist militants may seek to expand conflict
A view of the Maute group stronghold with an Islamic State flag in Marawi City in southern Philippines.
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Manuel Noriega, former Panama dictator, dies at 83

Death of notorious leader announced by President Juan Carlos Varela on Twitter. Manuel Noriega, Panama’s former dictator, has died aged 83.
 Manuel Antonio Noriega was put into an induced coma in March after brain surgery.
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Scott Disick REVENGE CAMPAIGN AGAINST KOURTNEY Killed Relationship with Kardashians

Scott Disick is dead to the Kardashians -- with one big exception -- after what they believe is a vicious campaign against Kourtney.
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Monday, 29 May 2017

Isis-backed militants struggle for control in the southern Philippines

The death toll in Marawi city, where martial law has been imposed, stands at 85, with Islamic State claiming responsibility

Fears are growing that a violent attempt by local militants to seize a city in the island of Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, marks the beginning of a wider attempt by Islamic State to open a new south-east Asian front in its campaign of global jihad.
 Philippine marines advancing on a militant base in the city of Marawi in the Philippines. Martial law has been declared in the area.
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Vladimir Putin is a bigger threat than Isis, John McCain says

Republican also says he is concerned by reports Jared Kushner discussed setting up a secret communications channel between Moscow and Trump’s team

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is the biggest threat to global security, even greater than Isis, John McCain has declared on his tour of Australia.
 US Senator John McCain during a meeting with the Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop in Canberra on Monday.
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Rihanna's Obsessed Fan Released After Arrest, VOWS TO CONTINUE PURSUING HER

Rihanna is still being targeted by the man who was arrested outside her NYC crib this week ... TMZ has learned.
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MI5 opens inquiries into missed warnings over Manchester terror threat

Security service will explore whether it was guilty of failings, as raids take place in Moss Side and rising terror threat sparks political war of words
 Police officers guard the entrance to a street in Moss Side where raids took place on Sunday.
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Monday, 22 May 2017

Billboard Music Awards: Drake sweeps past Adele's record with 13 wins

Canadian rapper, who walked into the show Sunday with 22 nominations, won top artist, top male artist and top Billboard 200 album, among others Drake has surpassed Adele’s record at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, picking up 13 awards.
Rapper Drake breaks awards record
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Real Madrid, champions again, but with a coach who is only just starting

Madrid scored in every game this season. They are one game from a first league and European Cup double in 59 years. This is historic, even for them
Real Madrid’s head coach Zinedine Zidane is thrown into the air by his players after winning the title.

For a moment there Marcelo looked a bit worried. Danilo, Casemiro and Lucas Vázquez bundled back out of the press room a little less noisily than they had bundled in, chanting and spraying champagne about.

Álvaro Morata followed them, getting out of the manager’s chair and taking the bottle off the desk as he departed. The Brazilian pushed him towards the door but then paused.

Glancing down a little sheepishly, he picked up the TV they’d knocked as they bounced around and set about trying to fix it. From one side, Lucas said something: “Come on.” From the other, Zinedine Zidane smiled that smile and held out an arm. So Marcelo gave up, laid the screen down, hugged his coach and left, letting out a whoop when he went.

Through the door to the right, round the corridor to the left and up the slope at one corner of the Rosaleda, Real Madrid’s league title winners were starting to head to the bus, most wearing T-shirts the kitman had handed out at full-time on the final day, 33 on the back. Keylor Navas, head shaved as promised, dedicated the title to children with cancer and vowed to fight for his future.

Pepe and Málaga midfielder Duda, who’d just played his last game, hid in a quiet corner drinking from cans wrapped in white paper. Cristiano Ronaldo was insisting he’s no saint, but not the devil either. Isco said: “Relax, I’m staying.” And staff embraced. The driver was beaming.

Back in the press room Zidane wasn’t fixing anything but he had been left to tidy up. He shook a bit, wiped the champagne from his suit, straightened his chair and sat back down, composing himself, as if it had never happened. Now, what were we saying?

What he had been saying before the noise had risen, the door flung open and the players paraded in, soaking him and singing campeones was that this was the happiest day of his career. Yes, Zidane, World Cup winner, European champion with club and country, Champions League winner six months after becoming first team coach, said this moment, not those, was his best. If he wasn’t going wild, that’s just him. “I’d like to get up here and dance. I’m not going to, but on the inside I’m very, very happy,” he said.


This was still Zidane’s floor, his chance to explain what it all meant, the moment he had been working towards. So he spoke quietly and everyone listened. Asked if he had enjoyed it, he replied:

“Today.” After nine months, all that “suffering” – a word he repeated endlessly all year – at last he could and it meant everything. He repeated what he’d said before he was interrupted: this was the best moment of his career, one he’d like share with his brother, “even though he doesn’t understand anything I say in Spanish … There are no words to define this … We live for this … The league is the top … Spectacular.” Asked if there had been tears, he replied: “No … maybe later.”

All of which might read like a bit of an exaggeration, but there was something in it. There was a lot in it, in fact. Ronaldo scored and Real Madrid won the league: it sounds normal but it is not. Ronaldo is 33 and he joined Madrid back in 2009, yet until Sunday night he had won just one league with them.

Madrid hadn’t won it the year before he arrived, either. Of the first-team squad, only eight had ever won a league anywhere. This was Real Madrid’s 33rd title but it was also their first in five years, their second in nine. Not just any club – Real Madrid, the biggest, richest, most successful club there is.

It wasn’t enough. Over the previous eight seasons, Barcelona had won six, Madrid just one. Atlético had as many. If the league is the true measure of a team, the biggest club of all didn’t measure up.

Even the 10th, 11th and 12th (yes, 10th, 11th, and 12th) European Cups, while they eclipse everything, didn’t entirely rid them of that nagging realisation. So the club that built its identity through the European Cup made the league its priority.

They did so very publicly: from the start, they said it, led by Zidane: it was about taking the title. As it turns out, they could yet take both. Madrid are one game from a first league and European Cup double in 59 years. Their last eight continental titles came without the domestic title. This is historic, even for them.

For much of the season, this campaign defied easy analysis. Madrid went 40 games without defeat, yet daft though it may sound, they did not always convince. By the end, though, they did – more than Barcelona, even if the gap was only three points, a solitary win. “They deserve it,” said Andrés Iniesta.
 Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after Madrid won La Liga.

Madrid won the league because Barcelona lost it too of course. For all the brilliance of the front three, and a record 116 goals scored, they never rid themselves of that sense of vulnerability, the dependence on Lionel Messi, and that was underlined in Europe.

Too often the team once defined by their midfield didn’t really have one. Luis Enrique’s side won at San Mamés, the Bernabéu, Mestalla, the Pizjuán and the Calderón, but the final day, when they had to come from behind against Eibar, ultimately felt like it defined their season more.

The cover of Sport read simply: “Oh no.” Barcelona had been beaten by Alavés, Celta and Málaga. They went to Deportivo three days after that win against Paris Saint-Germain and lost, their fate definitively out of their hands.

Madrid weren’t about to let them take it back again; even defeat in the clásico didn’t do that.

Madrid’s late goals – in a quarter of their matches they had taken points by scoring in the last 10 minutes – were replaced by early ones, more assuredness. At the same time, they knocked Bayern and Atlético out of Europe.

In their last six league games the list of minutes in which they got their first goal reads: 1, 27, 3, 10, 10, 2 (although against Valencia they then needed a late winner). On the final day, they were leading after one minute and 37 seconds, Ronaldo striding through to score, any drama or tension gone.

Those final three matches were supposed to be hard but Sevilla, Celta and Málaga were all defeated. Ten goals, they scored.

Madrid scored in every game this season, and via every route. Via pretty much every player, too. Not including the three goalkeepers, only Fábio Coentrão – a case apart – and Dani Carvajal didn’t score.

Nineteen others did. This title was all of theirs, not just something some players watched others win from the bench or the stands. Obsessed with physical condition, Zidane talked about effectively having to play two seasons in one and didn’t just rotate two or three players at a time; as spring came, he rotated eight or nine. Even Kiko Casilla, the back-up goalkeeper, was given minutes.

The substitutes offered solutions, the strength in depth extraordinary. Most weeks, the men sitting on the bench would make up a five-a-side team to take pretty much anyone on. By the April and May, they weren’t sitting on the bench most weeks any more.

As the second string went away and won four weeks in a row, it was tempting to adapt Bill Shankly’s famous quote; there are two great teams in Madrid – Real Madrid and Real Madrid reserves. At times, they were better than the first-choice side had been, yet they were helping the first-choice side be better too.

There was frustration, sure – James Rodríguez and Morata both admitted as much – and some were uneasy with Zidane saying the BBC were non-negotiable, while exits will be sought in the summer, but ultimately they were all made to feel like participants. By the end 20 players reached 1,000 minutes or more. Madrid’s second and third top scorers, Isco and Morata, were not regular starters. Nor was James, but he got eight goals and six assists.

Isco was not a starter to begin with, anyway. By the end, with Gareth Bale’s absence, he was. Others had stood out over the course of a season which went through various phases – Marcelo, especially – but as it reached the final, decisive weeks, Isco was Madrid’s most impressive player, alongside Ronaldo. With Isco, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric took a step forward too. There was control now.

There were also goals. It felt appropriate that the goal that settled it was made by Isco and finished by Ronaldo, whose season was turned back to front and ultimately proved much the better for it. The story of 2016-17 was Madrid’s supporting cast until the final weeks – and then it was him again.

Back in August, Zidane sought Ronaldo out and explained his plan to protect the Portuguese, trying to convince him that it was not just a case of how many goals he scored, but which goals he scored.

He told him, too, that this was a path to prolonging his career; not just a way of reaching the end of this season in better shape but reaching next season too and the season after that. There was no point in flying through September and October only to struggle to the finish line in May, as he had done for the last few years. Ronaldo listened. That conversation now looks like Zidane’s greatest success.

“I have played seven, eight games fewer than previous seasons and that showed at the end: we have managed it more intelligently,” Ronaldo said. In fact, it is 11. “These are the games things are decided in,” he added, and it is his goals that have decided them. He has scored 40 this season, 14 of them in the last 40 days. At the Rosaleda, he got the goal that took Madrid towards a title that had resisted them and, as he put it, left them “one step from making history”. All that under a coach who is only just beginning.

Four years ago, Zidane admitted that he didn’t know if he would make a good manager but he wanted to find out. He’d had enough of hanging about, doing nothing in particular; he wanted to do something real. So he prepared – properly.

Others were not convinced, including at the club, but increasingly he was. On the day he was presented he was asked what counted as success. “Winning everything,” he said. It seemed implausible that day, but it turns out he was right.

After five months he won the European Cup, now he has won the league – and this success feels much more like it is his than Milan did, the doubts that surrounded him decreasing by the day.

It had been long and hard he said, but the satisfaction lay in precisely that – in the work, the leadership, the sense of responsibility. “I live what I am doing with passion,” Zidane said. “After nine, 10 months, to win the league five years later … pfff … there are no words. When you are at Real Madrid you know the expectations are high and I like that. I lived that as a player but this is my happiest day because as a coach it changes completely.”

Madrid had won the league, at last. What now, Zidane was asked. After all, there is another European Cup final to come too.

Sitting there soaked in champagne, the bus waiting outside to take them to the airport and from there to Madrid, where they were due to land at 2am and where a crowd had been gathering before the game had even ended, so sure were they that the wait was over, Zidane smiled. “Now? Now, we’re going to celebrate,” he said. “We’ll go to Cibeles to see the people because the people have to see their team.”

Talking points

• There were tears on the final day; there was Fernando Torres too. The Kid, who is no longer a kid, scored twice in the opening 10 minutes of the last ever Atlético Madrid match at the Vicente Calderón. Nostalgia took hold, the club’s title winners brought together for a giant team photo, banners round the stadium recalling the men and the moments that marked the place over 50 years, the feelings too, and a huge mosaic declared: “How I love you.”

They walked down Melancholics’ Way for the last time, its name more appropriate than ever before – and it has long been appropriate. It was a mess, it was falling down, but it was home. Now they’re moving to A Stadium Called Wanda, right over on the other side of the city, another world, and things will never be the same again. There may yet be hope that they might still be quite good, though. Afterwards Diego Simeone confirmed that he was staying. “There is a future at this club and it is all of us,” he said.

• And in the very last minute, it came. Juanmi’s 94th-minute header took Real Sociedad into Europe at the expense of Athletic (for now, at least). “We deserved it,” manager Eusebio insisted.

They’ll be joined by Villarreal, who won at Mestalla, where caretaker coach, former player and long-time match-day delegate Voro was saying goodbye at the end of his fifth and final spell in charge of the first team. “It’s been a difficult journey,” he said. Where it takes him now is not clear, but it’s not likely to be far – they’re looking for a role for him at the club.

• “It was beautiful,” Eduardo Berizzo said as he left Balaídos for the last time. He said he had done everything he could to stay, but that it was not to be. The fans knew who they blamed, chanting their support for him and their rejection of the president.

• And so Tony Adams finished his season in the sun by equalling La Liga’s record with his clean sweep. Seven games, seven defeats, 17 conceded and second division bound – bottom.

• Sevilla won 5-0, racked up their second best-ever points tally, and finished in a Champions League place, but still they whistled manager Jorge Sampaoli, who headed off down the tunnel at the end of the game. Asked why he thought the fans whistled him on the eve of the game, he said: “Because the journalists have won – they got what they wanted.”

More to the point, they whistled because they felt he hadn’t told the truth, because they couldn’t understand why he hadn’t admitted his desire to coach Argentina sooner. “I’m not going for cash, if I go, I’m going because it’s my country,” he finally said. The AFA will have to pay his way out of his contract, though.

• Butarque party! Leganés, one of only four teams never to have been relegated from the first division, ended their season with a belting goal from David Timor – and a celebration to mark their survival.

Results: Granada 1-2 Espanyol, Sporting 2–2 Betis, Leganés 1–1 Alavés, Deportivo 3–0 Las Palmas, Sevilla 5–0 Osasuna, Atlético 3–1 Athletic, Valencia 1–3 Villarreal, Celta 2–2 Real Sociedad, Barcelona 4–2 Eibar, Málaga 0–2 Madrid.

Champions: Real Madrid

Champions League places: Barcelona, Atlético, Sevilla

Europa League places: Villarreal, Real Sociedad. And either Alavés (if they win the Copa del Rey on Saturday against Barcelona) or Athletic Bilbao (if they don’t).

Relegated: Granada, Osasuna, Sporting.

Pichichi: Messi, 37.

Top-scoring Spaniard: Iago Aspas, 19.

Zamora: Jan Oblak.

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2017 Billboard Music Awards: The 5 Biggest Jaw-Droppers

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards was a night of emotional moments and jaw-dropping performances. Kindly read on to catch the whole details respectively.
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Trump declares 'rare opportunity' for peace as overseas tour stops in Israel

US president and Israeli prime minister speak of hope for regional deal but words shed little light on how to achieve it

Donald Trump has said he has “a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace” to the Middle East after arriving in Israel on the second leg of his first foreign tour as US president.
From left: Reuven Rivlin, Donald Trump, Melania Trump, and Benjamin Netanyahu at the airport.
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Two Turkish teachers on 75-day hunger strike detained by police

Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça have been on strike after losing their jobs in purge that followed coup attempt

Two Turkish teachers who are on their 75th day of a hunger strike have been detained by police in Ankara.
 Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça on Sunday.
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Friday, 12 May 2017

Donald Trump admits 'this Russia thing' part of reasoning for firing Comey

President admits the allegations of collusion between his advisers and Russian officials played into sacking of FBI director
Trump: it was my decision to fire ‘showboat’ Comey
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Mexican woman who uncovered cartel murder of daughter shot dead

Human rights commission attacks government failure to protect Miriam Rodriguez, who was killed on mother’s day

Gunmen shot and killed a prominent Mexican activist and mother dedicated to searching for “disappeared” persons in the violent northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, authorities have confirmed.
Miriam Rodriguez’s colleagues said she received threats after a gang member escaped from jail, the BBC reported.
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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Trump fires FBI director Comey, raising questions over Russia investigation

US president cites Comey’s handling of Clinton email investigation, as ‘Nixonian’ move condemned by Democrats and civil society groups

Donald Trump has fired James Comey as FBI director in a move that has raised concerns over the independence of the bureau’s investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia in the run-up to last year’s US presidential election.
James Comey testifies in front of the Senate judiciary committee during an oversight hearing on the FBI last week.
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New South Korea leader Moon Jae-in willing to meet Kim in North

Former human rights lawyer vows to move quickly to solve national security crisis and bring lasting peace to peninsula

South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, has said he would be willing to go to North Korea to meet the country’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, if it meant bringing lasting peace to the Korean peninsula.
South Korean president Moon Jae-in and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, wave to well-wishers as they arrive at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Thursday.
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Boko Haram’s Abduction Of Chibok Girls Was Real – PDP Senator, Ben Ndi-Obi

Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ben Ndi-Obi, has debunked insinuations in some quarters alleging that the story of the schoolgirls abducted in Chibok three years ago by Boko Haram terrorists was a hoax.
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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

British jihadi Aine Davis convicted in Turkey on terror charges

Davis, who has been jailed for seven and a half years, is suspected of being a member of cell that oversaw videoed beheadings.

Aine Lesley Davis, one of the British jihadists who brutalised and beheaded western hostages in Syria, has been convicted in Turkey on terrorism charges and jailed for seven and a half years.
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Monday, 8 May 2017

Macron hackers linked to Russian-affiliated group behind US attack

Cybersecurity firms think group with ties to Russian intelligence was behind leak of emails and other documents belonging to French election winner’s campaign team
Emmanuel Macron arrives on stage at the Louvre after winning Sunday’s presidential election.
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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Woman who laughed at Jeff Sessions hearing convicted for being 'disorderly'

Desiree Fairooz, an activist with Code Pink, found guilty of ‘disorderly or disruptive conduct’ with intent to disrupt congressional proceedings
Desiree Fairooz confronts Condoleeza Rice in 2007. Fairooz has been convicted after laughing during a confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions as attorney general.
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Judge dismisses case of woman who gave water to pigs headed to slaughter

Canada judge says Toronto activist Anita Krajnc did not interfere ‘with the lawful use’ of property in case that rallied animal rights activists
Anita Krajnc in 2015. The case against the Toronto activist has been dismissed by a judge.
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European commission dismisses Theresa May claims as electioneering

EU executive says it is not naive and understands motivations behind PM’s accusation of election interference
Theresa May said a hardening of the commission’s stance had been timed to affect the election.
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Girl Scout confronts neo-Nazi at Czech rally

Widely shared photo shows 16-year-old Lucie Myslíková standing up to a rightwing demonstrator in Brno
 Czech girl Scout stands up to neo-Nazi at rally.
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