Erdogan flies to Moscow for Syria ceasefire talks with Putin

first_imgTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan flew to Moscow on Thursday for talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin over a potential ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib, where their militaries are facing off in a war that has displaced nearly a million people in three months.A senior Turkish official told Reuters that a ceasefire was likely to be finally agreed at the meeting, after weeks of diplomacy failed to halt fighting between Turkey and allied Syrian rebels and Russian-backed Syrian government forces.”Political diplomacy will be more determinant today than military diplomacy,” the official said. More civilians die A Turkish security official said overnight clashes were “low in intensity for the first time in a while” ahead of the Moscow meeting, but Idlib residents reported heavy shelling by Turkish troops and air strikes by Russian and Syrian forces.At least 16 civilians were killed when Russian air strikes hit a gathering of internally displaced people near the town of Maarat Misrin in Idlib, according to civil defense workers helping clear the rubble and search for survivors.Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said the strikes hit civilians sheltering in a farm.Two witnesses also reported seeing more Turkish military reinforcements deploying into Idlib.The Turkish defense ministry said in the last 24 hours it destroyed four tanks, five rocket launchers and a dozen military vehicles in artillery and air strikes.Turkey hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees and says it cannot handle more. To extract more funding and support from Europe over Idlib, Ankara said it would not abide by a 2016 deal in which it stopped migrants crossing into the European Union in return for billions of euros in aid.Erdogan, who was due to meet Putin at 1100 GMT, said on Wednesday he expected his talks with Putin to reach a rapid ceasefire in northwest Syria.Turkey wants Russia to “use its influence to ensure the attacks stop, a ceasefire is established and the Sochi agreement is re-established,” another Turkish official said of the 2018 deal signed by Moscow and Ankara establishing a demilitarized zone on the edge of the Idlib region.The official added that US counterparts on Wednesday pledged Washington’s “unconditional” support for Turkish military and humanitarian activities in Idlib.James Jeffrey, the US special representative for Syria who met Turkish officials on Wednesday, told a conference in Istanbul on Thursday that while the United States supports Turkey, it still has “very serious concerns” over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defenses last year.Topics : Russian air strikes have propelled a push by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces to retake the last large rebel-held territory in the northwest.That has sparked what the United Nations says may be the worst humanitarian crisis in a nine-year war that has driven millions from their homes and killed hundreds of thousands.Turkey, which has the second largest army in the transatlantic NATO alliance, has funneled troops and equipment into the region in recent weeks to resist the government advance and avoid a wave of refugees over its southern border.The fighting has killed some 60 Turkish troops since early February and raised the prospect of a direct clash between Russia and Turkey, which operate on opposing sides of the front lines.last_img read more

Sudan-Ghana World Cup qualifier venue changed

first_imgGhana’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Sudan has been moved to the Al Merreikh Stadium in Omdurman on 7 June.The match was originally scheduled for the Khartoum Stadium on the same day but technical problems has caused the change in venue.The Sudanese FA explained that the floodlights at the Khartoum Stadium, an artificial pitch, has developed a fault which resulted in their decision to change the venue.This means the match will be played on a grass pitch.Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has adjusted to the change and secured the national stadium in Addis Ababa which is also laid with natural grass.FIFA has informed the Ghana Football Association about the latest development.Meanwhile it has been confirmed the kick off is at 17hrs GMT (8pm local time in Sudan)last_img read more

CAF boss Hayatou facing challenge

first_imgHayatou faces new challengeLibreville, Gabon | AFP | CAF executive committee member Ahmad Ahmad said Friday he will challenge long-serving Issa Hayatou in March for the presidency of the African football body.Cameroonian Hayatou, 70, has run CAF since succeeding Sudanese Abdel Halim Muhammad in 1988 and is seeking an eighth four-year term.The CAF confirmed in Libreville meanwhile that Hayatou was standing for a new term through to 2021.Ahmad, the Madagascar Football Association president, told reporters in Libreville that his candidacy had been accepted.“My candidacy for the position of Confederation of African Football president has been approved,” he said.Ahmad is in the Gabonese capital ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, which kicks off Saturday. Ahmad faces a huge task to unseat Hayatou as two previous challengers — Angolan Armando Machado and Botswana’s Ismael Bhamjee — suffered humiliating defeats.The presidential election will be held in Addis Ababa during the 60th birthday celebrations of CAF.Officials wanting to become president of the Cairo-based body must be part of the executive committee.Following a lead set by world governing body FIFA, CAF last year agreed that future presidents of the confederation will be restricted to a maximum of three four-year terms.This creates the possibility of former international middle-distance runner Hayatou remaining in power until he is 83.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Braves nip Leafs 4-3 to climb to within two points of Murdoch leaders

first_imgSaturday in Nelson, Aidan Geiger snapped an eight-game goal-scoring slump in a big way Saturday night against the Columbia Valley Rockies.The Calgary native scored three times, including the winner, to spark the Nelson Leafs to a 4-3  victory over the Eddie Mountain squad at the NDCC Arena.Geiger scored for the first time since arriving in the Heritage City in early October.Nelson improves to 12-3-2-1 on the season and maintains a four-point lead in Murdoch Division standings over Beaver Valley.The Nitehawks pasted Castlegar 7-2 Saturday in Fruitvale.Geiger opened the scoring in the first period, jumping on a pass to snap a quick shot past Brody Nelson in the Columbia Valley nets.After Leaf captain Aaron Dunlap scored with 10 seconds remaining in the first period to give Nelson a 2-0 lead.Geiger increased the margin to 3-0 with a goal in the second period before Rockies scored three straight to tie the game early in the third.Geiger then scored the winner midway through the final frame to complete the hat trick and give Nelson just enough offense to win for the fifth straight time.Sam Young, Carter Melnyk and Dario Piva replied for Columbia Valley.Adam Maida stopped 10 of 13 shots to register the win, his second in as many games. Nelson out shot Columbia Valley 23-13.Nelson completes its week Sunday with a road date in the Lilac City against Spokane.LEAF NOTES: Nelson’s leading scorer Matt MacDonald saw his point streak end at eight games. MacDonald is now tied with Robson Cramer for top spot in Leaf scoring after the mobile defenceman recorded two points in Sunday’s loss. Cramer was Nelson’s player of the game . . . Nelson was without head coach Dave McLellan, who was in the South Okanagan watching his son play in a Bantam Hockey Tournament. McLellan is expected back with the team for practice this week. Assistants Sean Dooley, Stathis Dimopoulos and Iain Parent coached the team. . . .Spokane has now won four in a row. . . .Sunday, Columbia Valley lost its fourth straight, and third on this road trip, after dropping a 7-3 decision Sunday in Castlegar. Spokane Braves snapped the five-game winning streak of the Nelson Leafs, edging the Murdoch Division leaders 4-3 Sunday in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action in the Lilac City.Tanner Stolz and Sean Collins scored less than a minute apart in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie to spark the Braves to the win.Nelson had just tied the game up in the third period when team captain Aaron Dunlap scored.Nelson led 1-0 after one period on a goal by Rayce Miller before the Braves took a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes on goals by Collins and Stolz.Nolan Percival scored the other goal for Nelson.Adam Maida was in goal to register the loss for Nelson, which out shot the Braves 38-33.The victory allowed Spokane to climb to within two points of Murdoch Division leading Nelson, dropping to 12-4-2-1.Beaver Valley and Castlegar are tied for third, each with 23 points.The Leafs continue a road swing with games next weekend in Creston Friday and back in Spokane Saturday against the Braves.Leafs Geiger scores hat-trick to spark Murdoch leaders past Rockieslast_img read more

Back from cricket, Australia’s Barty now French Open champ

first_imgDA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew In this image released Saturday, June 8, 2019 by the French Tennis Federation Australia’s Ashleigh Barty holds the trophy in the locker room after winning her women’s final match of the French Open tennis tournament against Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in two sets 6-1, 6-3, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. (Corinne Dubreuil, FFT, via AP Photo)PARIS — Ash Barty sat down to meet with reporters, crossed her arms and rested them on a table that held the French Open trophy she’d just won.Beneath the table, her white-and-black shoes were covered with rust-colored, clay-court dust.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess And now Barty should, in theory, be moving into the portion of the year that suits her the most: Wimbledon and its grass, where play begins July 1, followed by the hard-court season that includes the U.S. Open.It was after a first-round loss at Flushing Meadows in 2014 that Barty decided to step away from tennis. She had been a top junior player, who won the girls’ title at the All England Club, but the pressures and stresses of the professional tour were a lot to take as a teenager.So Barty walked away, becoming a pro in another sport: cricket.After almost two years away, she returned to tennis in 2016, originally with a ranking outside the top 600.But now, with a fresh perspective and a new confidence, she is a whole new person — on the court and off.“They go hand-in-hand. I think I have become a better person, and with that, I’ve become a better tennis player, as well,” Barty said. “I keep saying I have an incredible team around me who help me in every single facet of my life.”Barty had never been past the fourth round of a major until getting to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open this January. That helped her self-belief and it just kept increasing over the past two weeks.All traceable, in some way, to her time away from the sport.“Look, if she didn’t take a break, I’m not sure she’d still be playing,” Tyzzer said. “So I think the time away was the best thing for her.”She is the first Australian to win the French Open since Margaret Court in 1973. “I mean, I said to my team at the start of the year, I was just worried about falling over. And I can successfully say that we got to the end of the clay-court season and I did not fall over once,” she said with a smile. “So I’m pretty pumped with that.”The results the first five times Barty entered the French Open: three losses in the first round, two in the second round.“She looks forward to the grass-court season every time we play on clay,” joked her coach, Craig Tyzzer. “So I’m not sure what she’s going to expect now. She’s had a pretty good clay season now. So it’s going to be hard to top what she’s done here.”Sure is. But Barty does appear to have the required skill, the willingness to adapt within a match and the desire to improve that could make her someone to watch for years.She will move up to No. 2 in the rankings Monday, behind Naomi Osaka, who won the previous two major tournaments.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Ferguson beats Cerrone by TKO at UFC 238 MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport First question: At the start of 2019, which Grand Slam tournament did you think gave you the best chance at a title?“Certainly not here,” Barty replied Saturday night, without hesitation. “That’s for sure.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsHey, give the 23-year-old Australian credit for honesty.After all, right up until the past two weeks, which culminated with her 6-1, 6-3 victory over 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in the final, Roland Garros and its slow surface didn’t jump out as ideal for Barty. In the past, she had plenty of trouble with the way clay dulls powerful serves and other strokes, as well as the footwork it requires. LATEST STORIES Hers is a country with a proud history in tennis, of course.Court won more Grand Slam titles than anyone else, 24. Rod Laver, who was at Saturday’s final, is the only man to win a calendar-year Grand Slam twice. Plenty of other Australian names fill the sport’s record books.“I don’t think she thought she could win it,” Laver said. “Then, all of a sudden, her game improved. And then I think she said, ‘I’m in a new world. I’ve stepped up my level here.’”Who knows what’s next?last_img read more

Schools to Use Revised Family Life Curriculum September

first_imgThe Health and Family Life Curriculum has been revised for required use in all schools by September.Making his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 15, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said the revision was undertaken by a broad-based working group. He said the curriculum is now “positive, value-laden and age-appropriate”.“This Government, lead by this Prime Minister, lifts up to our children, the ideal of faithful love and marriage between a man and a woman, as the basis of a family, even as we insist on tolerance and love for those, who are disposed towards homosexuality. Let it be clear, we will not be grooming children towards same sex unions and we will not be distributing condoms in schools,” he said.“Restraint must be taught by example and precept. Sex education: yes. Condoms: no,” he stressed.He informed that with the revised curriculum guidance counsellors and their counterparts in the schools and community health care systems will “know what to do when a student is in danger of sexual abuse”.A controversial section of the curriculum was pulled for review after public outcry over the inclusion of homosexuality and other sexual activities.Contact: Chris Pattersonlast_img read more