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Ten killed in Somalia bombing

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿网 /

At least 10 people have been killed in a huge explosion targeting a senior official in the southern Somali town of Baidoa, police and hospital staff say.

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“The target was a pick-up truck transporting a senior local official,” police spokesman Mohamed Moalim Abdirahman said of the blast.

Medical worker Mohamed Adan said the hospital had received six dead bodies, and that “three others died from their wounds in the hospital”. Another dead body was collected by relatives direct for burial.

The town, which is under the control of government troops backed by African Union forces, was wrested off the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels two years ago.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Shebab have carried out a string of bombings and vowed to overthrow the war-torn country’s internationally-backed but fragile government.

Police sources said the blast had been a car bomb parked outside a busy bank.

The Shebab have been driven out of fixed positions in Somalia’s major towns by the UN-mandated AU force, but still regularly launch attacks that include bombings and guerilla-style raids.

Recent Shebab attacks have targeted key areas of government or the security forces, in an apparent bid to discredit claims by the authorities that they are winning the war against the Islamist fighters.

Continued conflict, compounded by poor rains and funding shortfalls, are threatening the few gains made in Somalia since an extreme famine nearly three years ago, with the United Nations and aid agencies warning the country could be sliding back into a food crisis.

A UN appeal for $US933 million ($A1.01 billion) in humanitarian aid for Somalia is so far only 15 per cent funded.

Some 250,000 people, around half of them young children, died in Somalia during the 2011 famine, according to the UN, which acknowledged it should have done more to prevent the tragedy.

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Fitzgibbons wins surfing title in Rio

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿网 /

Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons has shot up to second in the women’s world surfing title race after claiming her first win of the season in Brazil.

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Fitzgibbons defeated Hawaiian Carissa Moore in a tense final at Rio de Janeiro’s Barra Da Tijuca on Monday, her two-wave score of 16.27 bettering the reigning champion’s 14.67.

It’s the 23-year-old’s second crown at the Rio Pro, having triumphed in 2012.

“A lot of hard work went into this victory and I’m so happy,” Fitzgibbons said.

“There’s a great rivalry between myself and Carissa. We always have such great battles and I knew I had to step things up after the semi-final to take the win.

“The crowd was sending me great vibes out in the water and that really helped.”

The win has shot Fitzgibbons up two spots on the tour standings to sit just 6,300 points behind leader Moore – winner of the past two events.

Fellow Australian Tyler Wright, who lost to Fitzgibbons in the semi-final, is a further 500 points back in third, with Stephanie Gilmore in fourth.

Fitzgibbons is hoping to continue her good form in Fiji, the next stop on the tour beginning May 25.

“It’s a long year but I think I have a lot of strong surfing left in me,” she said.

“I’m really excited to get over to Fiji and try and get another result like this.”

Meanwhile Tahitian surfer Michel Bourez has bagged his second win on this year’s men’s world tour, toppling good mate Kolohe Andino 13.84 to 6.43 in the final.

Bourez beat Australian veteran Taj Barrow and South African Jordy Smith on his way to the decider.

“I didn’t expect to win two events in the same year so it feels brilliant,” said Bourez, now ranked world No.4.

“I’m really glad I came and to have a final against a good friend of mine is wonderful – he is someone I think will be huge in a few years.”

Despite being ousted by Andino in the semi-finals, 11-times world champion Kelly Slater – who scored the only perfect 10-point ride of the event – rocketed up three spots to take lead the men’s championship.

Australian semi-finalist Taj Burrow also gained three places to claim second on the standings, ahead of compatriot Joel Parkinson.

It was a disappointing round though for Mick Fanning, the defending champion dropping five positions to eighth overall after being knocked out in the second round.

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Taliban ‘spring offensive’ opens

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿网 /

The Taliban has begun its annual “spring offensive” with attacks across Afghanistan, including a suicide assault on government offices and multiple rocket strikes on two airports.

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At least 10 people have been killed after local leaders of the fundamentalist movement last week vowed the offensive would target US-led foreign forces and government facilities.

Afghanistan’s instability was also underlined on Monday by the release of an International Crisis Group (ICG) report warning that “the overall trend is one of escalating violence and insurgent attacks”.

It added that residents of Ghorak village in the southern province of Kandahar had resorted to eating grass after being blockaded for months by Taliban fighters.

On the first day of the Taliban offensive, officials said three suicide bombers entered the provincial justice department in the eastern city of Jalalabad, triggering a firefight with security forces that lasted several hours.

“All of the attackers were killed and their bodies displayed at the building,” Abdul Rauf Uruzgani, chief police investigator, told reporters.

“The dead were three justice department employees, two policemen, a 15-year-old boy who was caught up in fighting and another visitor.”

Two rockets exploded near Kabul airport at 5am, the exact time the insurgents had pledged to start a nationwide operation to cleanse “the filth of the infidels” from the country.

Four rockets were also fired at Bagram airport, the biggest NATO military base in Afghanistan, which lies north of Kabul.

There were no casualties in either airport attack. But two women and a policeman died in Ghazni province southwest of Kabul, when Taliban insurgents targeted several police checkpoints.

Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, Ghazni’s deputy governor who gave the casualty figure, said two police officers and six civilians were wounded.

The Taliban’s “Khaibar” offensive, is named after an ancient battle between Muslims and Jews. This year it has begun in the run-up to a second round of elections next month to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai, who has ruled since the Taliban regime was toppled in 2001.

About 51,000 US-led NATO troops still deployed in Afghanistan are set to withdraw by December, ending a long and costly battle against the Taliban, who launched a fierce insurgency after being ousted from power.

A small number of US troops may stay on from next year on a training and counter-terrorism mission, if a long-delayed deal is struck between Kabul and Washington.

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Stosur upsets Lisicki in Rome

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿网 /

Samantha Stosur has upset Germany’s Sabine Lisicki to move into the second round of the Rome Masters.

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Stosur beat the 15th-seeded Wimbledon finalist 6-3 6-3 on Monday.

Meanwhile, in the men’s competition, in-form Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori withdrew as expected from the Rome Masters with the lower back complaint that forced him to pull out in the third set of Sunday’s Madrid final with Rafael Nadal.

In a boost to the organisers Roger Federer, who missed the majority of the Madrid Masters after his wife gave birth to twin boys, decided to play in the Masters event, which he has never won.

“Oh and btw ciao tutti, I just arrived in bella Italia! Looking forward to Rome,” the Swiss tweeted after a mid-day arrival in the Italian capital.

Federer hit the practice courts to begin preparations for a second-round match against French journeyman Jeremy Chardy, while Nadal also arrived to prepare his bid for an eighth title at the Foro Italico.

The Spaniard will open play against talented Frenchman Gilles Simon, who beat local wild card Filippo Volandri 6-2 6-3.

Bulgarian 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov had to stage a comeback to defeat Simon’s compatriot Eduardo Roger-Vasselin 4-6 6-3 6-4 while the player the young Bulgarian beat in the recent Bucharest Open final Czech Lukas Rosol beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-2.

Croatian Ivo Karlovic beat Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

Nishikori, who won the Barcelona Open on clay last month, had given Nadal a real scare in the Madrid final before he finally had to call it quits at 2-6 6-4, 3-0.

He now has a fortnight to be ready for the French Open.

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After winning three Premier League titles in a row from 1999-2001 they endured a difficult season in 2001-02, finishing third, and needed to recruit the best defender in the country to steady the ship.

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Ferdinand, who 12 years on has announced he is leaving Old Trafford at the age of 35, fitted the bill perfectly.

The tall and elegant centre back had made his name at West Ham United from 1996-2000 before moving to Leeds United for 18 million pounds ($30.4 million) and becoming a cornerstone of the team which reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2001.

But as Leeds imploded with financial problems, United made their move to staunch the defensive instability which undermined the 2002 season and made Ferdinand the then most expensive player in British football history at 29.1 million pounds.

United manager Alex Ferguson wanted a linchpin for the next 10 years and Ferdinand duly obliged.

It all started smoothly as United won the title in Ferdinand’s first season at the club but then there was a major hiccup.

Ferdinand missed a mandatory drugs test in 2003 and was banned for the rest of a season in which Arsenal’s Invincibles won the title with an unbeaten record.

Restored to the staring lineup, Ferdinand began to show his true worth but Chelsea coached by Jose Mourinho proved an irresistible force and won the Premier League in 2005 and 2006.

In 2006, however, United moved to provide Ferdinand with a significant defensive partner by signing Serbian Nemanja Vidic from Spartak Moscow and it was a match made in heaven.

The muscular and feisty Vidic, who is also now leaving United after the club’s tortuous season, was perfectly complemented by Ferdinand’s more subtle defensive skills.

DOMINATING INFLUENCE

The pair blended superbly to provide Ferguson with the bedrock he wanted and three Premier League titles went to Old Trafford from 2007-09.

The 2008 Champions League final was the pinnacle of Ferdinand’s career and further Premier League titles followed in 2011 and 2013.

Hampered by injuries in his later years, Ferdinand proved less of an dominating influence than he would have liked but when he played there was always a sense of calmness in the United rearguard.

After guiding United to the 2013 Premier League title in his final season in charge of the club, Ferguson paid the ultimate tribute to his defensive rock who also played 81 times for England.

“Rio Ferdinand has had his best season at the club,” Ferguson said.

“We have had continual problems with the centre backs being fit. Although we have left him out of certain games because we have managed him the right way, at the most important times he has been there.”

That was Ferdinand. There when Manchester United needed him most in 12 magnificent years at Old Trafford.

(Editing by Mark Meadows)

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Ferdinand to leave Manchester United

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿网 /

“I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future and, after 12 fantastic years playing for what I regard as the best club in the world, I have decided the time is right for me to move on,” Ferdinand said on his website.

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British media reported that the 35-year-old Ferdinand, who played 454 times for United and scored eight goals, was not offered a new contract by the Old Trafford club.

He won six Premier League trophies, two League Cups, the Champions League and the Club World Cup after joining from Leeds United for 29.1 million pounds in 2002 to become the most expensive player in English football.

“I joined Manchester United in the hope of winning trophies, and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how successful we would be during my time here,” Ferdinand said.

“There have been so many highlights, playing alongside some great players who have become good friends, winning my first league title and also that fantastic night in Moscow (winning the Champions League) are memories that I will cherish forever.

“Circumstances didn’t allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team mates, staff, the club and the fans for an unbelievable 12 years that I’ll never forget. Winning trophies I dreamed about as a kid came true at this great club.”

Ferdinand has not decided whether he will continue playing.

“I am feeling fit and healthy, ready for a new challenge and looking forward to whatever the future holds for me,” he said.

(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Chile dreams of good World Cup showing

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿网 /

The sparkling form of Alexis Sanchez and some fine recent form have left Chile dreaming of progressing beyond the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time in more than half a century.

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Four years ago, Chile tumbled out of the tournament in their first knockout game, beaten by Brazil in a repeat of their exit at the same stage, also against Brazil, at the 1998 finals in France.

Brazil could well be waiting for Chile in the last 16 once more if they finish as runners-up in a demanding Group B which also includes defending champions Spain, a powerful but unpredictable Netherlands side and Australia.

Yet even with the possibility of another encounter with the Brazilians looming on the horizon, Chile – who finished third as hosts back in 1962 – will head to the tournament fearing no-one.

They finished South America’s qualifying tournament as very much the form team, winning five of their last six games in impressive style after a faltering start to the campaign was put firmly back on track when Argentinian coach Jorge Sampaoli replaced the sacked Claudio Borghi in late 2012.

La Roja served notice of their emergence in September last year, when they led twice against Spain in a Geneva friendly before the world champions scrambled a late equaliser to snatch a 2-2 draw.

They then outclassed England at Wembley, winning 2-0 courtesy of goals in each half from Barcelona forward Sanchez.

Only a 90th-minute Robinho goal denied Chile a draw with Brazil in another friendly in November, when they lost 2-1.

The Chileans were also unlucky to lose 1-0 to Germany in March, when they dominated the game to such an extent that German fans were reduced to booing their own team.

Under Sampaoli, Chile have resurrected the high-tempo pressing game they adopted to great effect under another Argentine, Marcelo Bielsa, who coached them at the 2010 finals.

Sampaoli has also benefited from the blossoming of Sanchez into a genuine world-class talent, and the 25-year-old will head to Brazil in the best form of his career.

Sanchez is ably supported in attack by Eduardo Vargas, scorer of both of Chile’s goals in the draw with Spain last September.

Vargas, who has spent the latter half of this season on loan from Napoli to Valencia in Spain, finished joint top scorer for Chile during qualifying, with five goals.

While Vargas and Sanchez will spearhead Chile’s attack, the South Americans also threaten goals in midfield through Arturo Vidal.

The dynamic Juventus midfielder has gone from strength-to-strength in Italy after shining at the World Cup in 2010, becoming one of Serie A’s most admired foreign players.

Vidal is in no doubt a more mature Chile side can improve on their last-16 finish of four years ago.

“The side that’s going to Brazil is twice as strong and intense as the one that lined up in the last World Cup,” he told the BBC earlier this year.

“I think all the players from 2010 have matured a lot and we’re a better team that plays better football.

“We know we have to at least beat one of the reigning champions (Spain) and (2010) runners-up (Netherlands). But we’ll go out to win every game we play.”

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Oddest hotel complaints revealed

January 28th, 2019 / / categories: 柳州桑拿网 /

An overly-handsome waiter, a snoring girlfriend and the sea being too blue are among some of the bizarre complaints made to hotel staff, according to a survey published Monday.

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Travel search engine Skyscanner quizzed 400 international hotel workers to draw up a list of the top ten unusual grumbles and diva-like demands.

Other complaints included sheets being too white, ice cream being too cold, the bath being too big and no steak on a vegetarian menu.

One customer asked for a discount after his sleep was disturbed by his snoring girlfriend, while another asked for a refund as his dog had had an unhappy stay.

Staff in a hotel in London’s Mayfair were taken aback when a client bemoaned the lack of an ocean view.

Equally eyebrow raising are some of the requests, including one for a dead mouse.

One guest asked for a bowl of crocodile soup, another for a bath of honey while one hungry punter demanded 15 cucumbers a day.

 

Most unusual complaints revealed by hotel staff:

1) The sheets are too white 

2) The sea was too blue

3) Ice cream too cold

4) Bath was too big

5) Girlfriend’s snoring kept guest awake

6) Guest’s dog didn’t enjoy his stay

7) Hotel had no ocean view (in Mayfair, London)

8) There was no steak on vegetarian menu

9) Waiter was too handsome

10) Mother of groom wasn’t given the honeymoon suite

 

Most unusual hotel requests revealed by hotel staff:

1) One glass of water on the hour every hour, throughout the night

2) 15 cucumbers a day

3) Toilet to be filled with mineral water

4) Bath of honey

5) Sound of goat bells to aid sleep

6) Only the right legs of a chicken

7) A dead mouse

8) Bath of chocolate milk

9) 16 pillows (for single guest)

10) Crocodile soup

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Alcohol consumption can not only lead to dependence but also increases the risk of developing more than 200 diseases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

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A report launched by WHO found harmful use of alcohol – drinking that causes detrimental health and social consequences for the drinker, the people around the drinker and society at large – led to 3.3 million deaths worldwide in 2012.

“This actually translates into one death every 10 seconds,” said Shekhar Saxena, the head of the WHO’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse department.

Globally, Europe is the region with the highest consumption of alcohol per capita, with some of its countries having particularly high consumption rates, according to WHO.

Trend analysis shows that the consumption level is stable over the last five years in the region, as well as in Africa and the Americas, though increases have been reported in the South-East Asia and the Western Pacific regions.

Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO assistant director-general for non-communicable diseases and mental health, said there is “no room for complacency”.

“More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption.”

On average every person in the world aged 15 or older drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol per year.

But 38.3 per cent of the population actually drinks alcohol, meaning those who do drink consume on average 17 litres of pure alcohol annually, WHO said.

The report also points out that a higher percentage of deaths among men than among women are from alcohol-related causes – 7.6 per cent of men’s deaths and 4 per centof women’s deaths – though there is evidence that women may be more vulnerable to some alcohol-related health conditions.

Alcohol consumption: A look at Australia

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The University of Otago has been lambasted by New Zealand’s employment watchdog for trying to fire an employee using information revealed in a suppressed court case.

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The employee, named only as B, turned up to his District Court appearance in June last year to find his boss in the courtroom taking detailed notes of proceedings.

The judge discharged the worker without conviction and issued an order suppressing his name and all details around the offending.

However, his manager Andrew Ferguson, returned to the university and reported the decision to three other managers, distributing a report on the case to several other employees, the Employment Relations Tribunal (ERA) revealed in a decision released on Tuesday.

After seeking legal advice, the university suspended the worker and launched a disciplinary investigation in which the man was almost fired before being issued a final written warning.

He complained to the ERA, arguing his treatment was unjustified given his bosses relied on information revealed only in the suppressed case.

The ERA has backed the employee, stating in its decision that the university’s behaviour was “not the actions of a fair and reasonable employer”.

It said the judge has opted to suppress details of the offending primarily to protect the man’s employment, but the university chose to ignore these comments and take action of its own.

“Its managers went so far as to both consider and recommend dismissal,” the ERA wrote.

“Ultimately they applied a lessor sanction but one which still disadvantages (the employee).

“I conclude those are not, in the circumstances and given the judge’s comments, the actions of a fair and reasonable employer.”

The watchdog ruled the university had breached the suppression orders by writing a detailed account of what happened in court and effectively publishing it by formally sharing the information with several others.

The ERA ordered the two parties to address remedies between themselves.