Soccer Football – Women’s International Friendly – England v Denmark – The Banks’s Stadium, Walsall, Britain – May 25, 2019 England’s Jill Scott celebrates scoring their second goal with Rachel Daly Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
May 25, 2019
(Reuters) – England beat Denmark 2-0 in their penultimate warm-up match before the women’s World Cup, with goals from Nikita Parris and Jill Scott in either half giving the Lionesses the win in Walsall on Saturday.
Phil Neville’s side initially struggled to keep the ball but had the chance to take the lead in the 17th minute when Ellen White was put through on goal on a counter-attack, only to see her effort go wide of the far post.
The hosts were also fortunate late in the half when Signe Bruun bundled the ball into the England net but the goal was disallowed for a handball.
Parris, who recently moved to Champions League winners Olympique Lyon, helped to settle the team’s nerves in first-half stoppage time when she pounced on a poor clearance at the edge of the box and her shot crept past goalkeeper Katrine Abel.
Skipper Scott made it 2-0 with a header from close range in the 59th minute after she made an unmarked run from midfield to get on the end of Beth Mead’s cross.
England play one more warm-up game against New Zealand on June 1 before heading to France for the World Cup where they will begin their campaign in Group D against Scotland on June 9 before taking on Argentina and 2011 champions Japan.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)
Russian jet fighters fly over a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula with a cargo ship beneath it after three Ukrainian navy vessels were stopped by Russia from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea, Crimea November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Pavel Rebrov
May 25, 2019
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Moscow must release 24 sailors who were aboard three Ukrainian vessels it intercepted in November as they crossed a strait between Russian-annexed Crimea and southern Russia, an international maritime tribunal said on Saturday.
The Russian navy had captured the Ukrainian sailors and their vessels in the Kerch Strait, which links the Black and Azov seas, on Nov. 25, 2018 after opening fire on them.
The Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) said Russia had to release the sailors and vessels immediately and both nations should refrain from taking any action which might aggravate the dispute.
“The Tribunal notes that any action affecting the immunity of warships is capable of causing serious harm to the dignity and sovereignty of a state and has the potential to undermine its national security,” ITLOS President Jin-Hyun Paik said.
Ukraine has already demanded the sailors’ release and the return of the impounded vessels, yet Moscow has not heeded the request or similar calls by the EU.
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Saturday it had not participated in the hearings, adding it intends to defend its point of view that the arbitration lacked the jurisdiction to consider the Kerch incident.
The ITLOS was established to settle maritime disputes by the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, of which both Ukraine and Russia are signatories. But it has no means of enforcing its decisions.
A bilateral treaty gives both Russia and Ukraine the right to use the Sea of Azov, which lies between them and is linked by the narrow Kerch Strait to the Black Sea. Yet tension has risen since Russia annexed Crimea, with both countries complaining about shipping delays and harassment.
Russia, which annexed Crimea in 2014 and built a road bridge linking it to southern Russia straddling the Kerch Strait, has vowed never to give Crimea back to Ukraine. It accuses Kiev of staging a provocation in the Kerch Strait and its sailors of crossing illegally into Russian waters.
Russia’s FSB security service said it had been forced to act in November because the ships – two small Ukrainian armored artillery vessels and a tug boat – had illegally entered its territorial waters.
“The Tribunal’s order is a clear signal to Russia that it cannot violate international law with impunity,” Ukraine Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal said on Facebook, adding she expected Russia to comply with the order quickly.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said if Russia releases the Ukrainian sailors and ships it could be the first signal from the Russian leadership of its readiness to end the conflict with Ukraine.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt; Additional reporting by Natalia Zinets in Kiev and Polina Devitt in Moscow; Editing by David Holmes)
On Thursday night Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” featured rare prime time coverage of the bombshell leaked OPCW report which refuted key events surrounding the April 2018 alleged chemical gas attack in Douma, Syria — which resulted in massive US and allied airstrikes on Damascus, nearly leading to a major war at the time. And now new allegations are looming which could once again lead to US airstrikes on Syria.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the international chemical weapons watchdog group which has worked in tandem with the UN to investigation claimed Sarin and chlorine gas attack sites in Syria. The smoking gun document, Tucker said in opening remarks, vindicates his and others’ past skepticism. He said:
“Now a leaked document shows there was good reason to be skeptical.”
Mainstream media has ignored the leaked #OPCW report that sheds doubt on the Syrian govt’s involvement in the alleged chemical attack in Douma last year. Tucker Carlson is the exception. Here he discusses the leaked report w/#TulsiGabbard who also talks about #Iran. #Syria pic.twitter.com/2Id5BqxuXw
— Walid (@walid970721) May 24, 2019
But here we are again — one year later — with yet another chemical attack claim near Idlib on Sunday, which the US State Department says it is investigating, vowing to “respond quickly and appropriately” if Assad is found guilty of using the banned weapons, according to an official statement.
But crucially, as Tucker Carlson pointed out on his show Thursday evening in reference last year’s Douma events, “At the time that happened this program was pretty much the only show on mainstream television to show any skepticism about the official narrative of the attack.”
Introducing a segment with Democratic presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard, a known longtime skeptic on Syrian regime change, Carlson reviewed the prior two American attacks on the Syrian government, noting “Justification for both attacks was an alleged aerial chemical weapons attack on anti-Assad rebels in Douma, Syria.”
Congresswomen Gabbard told the Fox host during the interview that the leaked document presents major reasons to doubt the official narrative concerning both Douma and the most recent claims out of Idlib being advanced by the al-Qaeda groups Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP). She said she is reaching out to both the UN and OPCW for answers.
Referencing current and past Syria chemical attack claims, Tucker agreed that, “I’m beginning to suspect that we’re being played here.”
The document, whose authenticity the OPCW has confirmed, contends that the official story which was used to justify an air strike by the US, UK and France about poison gas being dropped on civilians from Syrian government helicopters is scientifically implausible, saying “In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft.” — Establishment Narrative-Managers Struggling With New Syria Plot Holes
Rocket scientist and MIT professor emeritus Theodore Postol has also weighed in to say the new evidence reveals the “attacks were staged”.
— accuracy.org (@accuracy) May 21, 2019
Writing for The Independent, world-renowned Middle East war correspondent Robert Fisk summarized the significance of the leaked report. This comes just as once again US war rhetoric against Damascus is looming.
Fisk wrote in his report:
The OPCW officially maintains that these canisters were probably dropped by an aircraft – probably a helicopter, presumably Syrian – over Douma on 7 April 2018. But the dissenting assessment, which the OPCW made no reference to in its published conclusions, finds there is a “higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft”.
It is difficult to underestimate the seriousness of this manipulative act by the OPCW. In a response to the conservative author Peter Hitchens, who also writes for the Mail on Sunday – he is of course the brother of the late Christopher Hitchens – the OPCW admits that its so-called technical secretariat “is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised [sic] release of the document”.
Importantly, the OPCW has confirmed the authenticity of the report, authored by an expert that had spent most of his career as an on the ground technical investigator since the OPCW’s inception.
The leaked OPCW document can be accessed here.
Though there’s largely been a mainstream media blackout on the leaked document, it’s possible it could slowly trickle into media discourse following Fox’s prime time coverage on Tucker’s show.
Fisk further articulated that the document is a game-changer at the conclusion of his article, saying, “Put bluntly, the paper is suggesting that the location of the cylinders was a set-up, that someone inside Douma immediately after the bombings of 7 April 2018 – and no one, not even the Syrians or Russians, deny there was conventional bombing and shelling that night – placed the cylinders in the locations in which they were subsequently examined by the OPCW.”
With the potential for a new round of attacks by US forces against Assad based on fresh chemical attack claims out of Idlib, we wonder, did President Trump catch Tucker’s show on Thursday night?
FILE PHOTO: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sits for an interview with Reuters in New York, New York, U.S. April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
May 25, 2019
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday that the U.S. decision to deploy more troops to the Middle East in response to the perceived threat from Iran was “extremely dangerous” for peace.
The United States said it was sending 1,500 troops to region in what it called an effort to bolster defenses against Tehran, and it accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for attacks on tankers this month.
“The Americans have made such allegations to justify their hostile policies and to raise tensions in the Persian Gulf,” Zarif told state news agency IRNA.
“Increased U.S. presence in our region is extremely dangerous and it threatens international peace and security, and this should be addressed,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries without congressional approval.
It follows decisions to speed up the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group as well as to send bombers and additional Patriot missiles to the Middle East.
Separately, a Revolutionary Guards commander said the security of the Strait of Hormuz, an oil shipping route, was linked to Iran being able to export its oil, the semi-official news agency Fars reported.
“Major General Gholamali Rashid said that talking about security and stability in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz is not possible without considering the interests of the Iranian nation, including the export of oil,” Fars said.
Iran has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz if the United States tries to strangle Tehran’s economy by halting its oil exports through increased sanctions.
Separately, an Iranian military official said Iran could sink U.S. warships in the Gulf, while another said it was unlikely for a war to start in the region.
“America…is sending two warships to the region. If they commit the slightest stupidity, we will send these ships to the bottom of the sea along with their crew and planes using two missiles or two new secret weapons,” General Morteza Qorbani, an adviser to Iran’s military command, told the Mizan news agency.
Western experts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, although there are concerns about its missile program and particularly its long-range ballistic missiles.
“We believe rational Americans and their experienced commanders will not let their radical elements lead them into a situation from which it would be very difficult to get out, and that is why they will not enter a war,” Brigadier General Hassan Seifi, an assistant to Iran’s army chief, told Mehr news agency.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Sam Holmes and Angus MacSwan)
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock is seen outside Downing Street, as uncertainty over Brexit continues, in London, Britain April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
May 25, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – British health minister Matt Hancock said on Saturday he would enter the contest to be the next leader of the Conservative Party, the fifth candidate to say they would run to replace Theresa May as prime minister.
Hancock follows former foreign minister Boris Johnson, who is seen as the favorite, current foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and former work and pensions minister Esther McVey in joining the contest.
May announced on Friday she would step down as Conservative leader on June 7 after admitting defeat in her bid to get parliament to pass a divorce deal she agreed with the European Union.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Alexander Smith)
FILE PHOTO: Former Honduran president Porfirio Lobo holds a news conference at his house following accusations by the National Anti-corruption Council of embezzlement during his government, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Feb. 4, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera/File Photo
May 24, 2019
TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – An international anti-corruption mission in Honduras said on Friday it is investigating former president Porfirio Lobo on suspicion of involvement in laundering illegal drug money as part of a wider probe into his 2010-14 administration.
The anti-graft unit of the Organization of American States (OAS) said the probe into Lobo began after Devis Leonel Rivera, a leader of the “Los Cachiros” drug cartel, testified in a U.S. court that he had given money to Lobo’s 2010 election campaign.
Rivera said Lobo “suggested to him that in exchange for donations to his political campaign, they would create companies that would be given contracts once he had won the presidential election,” Luiz Guimaraes, spokesman for the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), told reporters.
A lawyer for Lobo, who has repeatedly denied any involvement in or links to drug traffickers, declined to comment.
The revelation came as MACCIH said it was investigating 12 people, including a former cabinet minister, Lobo’s son Fabio and Rivera on suspicion of laundering drug money in a case that has been nicknamed “Narcopolitica” by the mission.
Lobo was not among the 12, but was being investigated as part of the wider probe, said Guimaraes, a Brazilian.
Prosecutors believe the money laundered in the case went through 21 public works contracts for companies set up by Los Cachiros with the ministry for public works worth an estimated 68.3 million lempiras ($2.8 million), according to the indictment.
Most of the works were never carried out, Guimaraes noted.
The investigators believe that Fabio Lobo, who in 2017 was sentenced to 24 years in prison by a New York federal court for drug trafficking, made sure Los Cachiros won the contracts.
Lobo’s former public works minister Miguel Pastor, as well as two other officials accused by the MACCIH, turned themselves in to prosecutors on Thursday night in Tegucigalpa.
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia, editing by G Crosse)
FILE PHOTO: Niki Lauda, President of Niki low cost airline and former World Champion Formula One driver, answers journalists questions at the Vienna international Airport, December 15, 2010. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
May 24, 2019
By Steve Keating
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – The heartbreak of Niki Lauda’s death has washed over the Indianapolis 500 paddock this week but there are no formal tributes planned to honor the three-times Formula One world champion, IndyCar said on Friday.
Although Lauda never raced IndyCar, the Austrian touched many lives across the North American racing scene, from team owner Roger Penske to the polesitter of Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, Frenchman Simon Pagenaud.
Lauda, one of the sport’s greatest heroes, died on Monday in hospital in Zurich at the age of 70, plunging Formula One into a week of mourning in the run up to Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Ferrari said they would honor their late champion, who won two of his titles with the Italian team while McLaren, with whom the Austrian won his third title in 1984, said they would also have something on their cars.
Mercedes, where Lauda was non-executive chairman, will wear black armbands and have a tribute on the famed Silver Arrows cars.
IndyCar told Reuters it currently has no plans to pay homage to Lauda during Sunday’s pre-race ceremonies and is not aware of any team preparing tributes.
While the outpouring of grief has been more private at the Brickyard, it is no less heartfelt.
Penske, who owns IndyCar’s most successful outfit and operated a Formula One team in the mid-1970s racing against Lauda, told Reuters he was devastated by news of the Austrian’s death.
“I’ve known Niki for so many years and he has always been a winner,” said Penske, whose last victory as an F1 owner came in 1976 on Lauda’s home track at the Austrian Grand Prix.
“He’s a guy you could call anytime and he has been a friend and it is just so sad to see him leave the sport and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Pagenaud, who drives for Penske and will start Sunday’s race from pole, said on Twitter that Ayrton Senna may have been his childhood idol but he always felt more like Niki Lauda.
“Niki Lauda was a pure example of hard work pays off! My Hero and I wish I was a Senna but I often think I was born more like a Lauda! Thank you Niki,” tweeted the Frenchman.
Bravery is the currency that will get you onto Victory Lane at the Brickyard and for many of the 33 drivers on the starting grid on Sunday there was none braver than Lauda.
The Austrian suffered horrific injuries in a fiery crash at the Nuerburgring in 1976 yet weeks later was back in his Ferrari.
Canadian Robert Wickens, who was left paralyzed in a near fatal crash at an IndyCar race at Pocono last year has used Lauda as motivation to get back on his feet and into a race car.
In contrast, Dario Franchitti, a three-times Indy 500 winner, said it was Lauda who convinced him not to return to the cockpit after a 2013 crash left him with fractured vertebrae, a broken ankle and a serious concussion.
“I was fortunate to spend a little bit of time with him, he gave me some advice about the temptation to get back in a racing car and he put it in his usual blunt way and I took that advice,” said Franchitti.
“When I was a kid, when I was five-years old, I wanted to be Mario Andretti and Niki Lauda that was my dream.
“Spending that time with him was special.”
(Editing by Toby Davis)
FILE PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft sits on launch pad 39A prior to the uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
May 24, 2019
(Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX has raised more than $1 billion in financing in the last six months as it aims to roll out an ambitious high-speed internet service by using a constellation of satellites to beam signals from space.
The company raised https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1181412/000118141219000004/xslFormDX01/primary_doc.xml $486.2 million in an equity offering, starting December, and another https://bit.ly/2W1QMJD $535.7 million in an offering that began in April, its regulatory filings on Friday showed.
The rocket company on Thursday launched the first batch of 60 small satellites into low-Earth orbit for Musk’s new Starlink internet service.
Musk sees the Starlink venture as an important new revenue stream for his California-based company, whose launch service income he expects to top out at around $3 billion a year.
At least 12 launches carrying similar payloads are needed to achieve constant internet coverage of most of the world, Musk said. For now, Starlink is only authorized for U.S. operations.
(Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)