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The next senior World Cup is in France, not Qatar

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — The "next" World Cup got plenty of hype in Russia. A massive cube was alight with video images of "Qatar 2022" in Gorky Park, while the ground floor of the high-end shopping mall at Red Square was devoted to displays touting the event. But apart from a social media campaign, there was little attention on the (actual) next senior World Cup: the women's tournament next year in France. That was surprising. In the past several years since scandal enveloped soccer's governing body, FIFA has made a point of proclaiming that it aims to raise both the role of women in the organization and the profile of the women's game. President Gianni Infantino appointed Fatma Samoura as the first female secretary general of soccer's international governing body in 2016, while also announcing the creation of a women's soccer division. The men's World Cup in Russia could have provided an opportunity to address equity in the sport while also pointing to the women's tournament next year. But France 2019 wasn't promoted much at all: No signs, events or displays in tourist areas. Samoura made some appearances, but was not visible during the awards ceremony following France's victory over Croatia on Sunday. Venezuelan forward Deyna Castellanos was deemed the women's soccer ambassador in Russia and she starred in a social media campaign anchored by the hashtag #DareToShine. But while the 19-year-old is considered a rising star in the women's game, Venezuela failed to qualify for France so the selection seemed odd. Infantino acknowledged more could be done for the women's game at his wrap-up news conference in Moscow. There's no doubt that the men's World Cup every four years is FIFA's financial juggernaut. But the women are the governing body's second-biggest commercial asset. "We have to invest in women's football. We are thinking of a new women's world league, because 50 percent of the world population, the ladies, need to be treated in the right way as well in a sport which is said to be macho like football," Infantino said. "We have to invest in women's football, we have programs and we have ideas." The call for greater equity in soccer is not new. In the run-up to the last Women's World Cup in 2015, a group of international players, led by U.S. star Abby Wambach, protested because the tournament would be played on artificial turf, which is considered by many to be inferior to real grass. The men's tournament had always been played on grass. Once the point was made about the turf, the tournament in Canada turned out to be a rousing success, attracting the biggest crowds of any FIFA tournament outside of a men's World Cup. It also broke TV rating records in North America, with the final drawing more viewers than any other prior men's or women's match in the United States. Following their victory over Japan for the trophy, the U.S. women went on to bargain for, and receive, a better contract with U.S. Soccer that brought them closer to the compensation level of their male counterparts. The Americans were not alone, national teams from other countries won more equitable contracts with their federations, including Australia and Ireland. France could provide FIFA an opportunity to showcase concrete change at the highest level, and the possible messaging couldn't get more perfect: France won a World Cup, and now will host it. Two issues stand out. It remains to be seen how much prize money will be increased in 2019. The U.S. women took home $2 million in 2015. In contrast, France's men earned $38 million for their victory on Sunday. And there's no word yet whether video replay will be used just as it was for the men for the first time in Russia. U.S. women's coach Jill Ellis was in Moscow the final week of the tournament for a media session put on by FOX, which has the domestic TV rights for 2019 France. She'd like to see an increase in prize money and the use of replay. "I don't know what the ramifications were in other countries, but you look at our own team, in our own country and the viewership and the attendance — there's no difference (with the men)," Ellis said. "So I think that FIFA 100 percent should look at our game as a game, not as a women's game or a men's game." ___ AP Sports Writer Ron Blum in Moscow contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJul 17th, 2018

PHI rowers pocket four golds in ICF World Championships

GAINESVILLE, Georgia—The Philippines claimed two more gold medals in the 2018 ICF World Dragon Boat Championships here by winning the 10-seater and 20-seater senior mixed 200-meter races held at the Lake Lanier Olympic Park. Led by veteran paddlers Hermie Macaranas and Mark Jhon Frias, the Filipinos sprinted to the finish with a sudden burst of speed in the final 50 meters for a 50.46-second clocking in the small boat that drew admiration from their world-class rivals. France settled for the silver medal in 53.056 seconds and towed third-placer Hungary (53.158), host United States (53.463), Italy (53.9) and Germany (54.437). "On a shorter course such as the 200m, you need produce faster and powerful strokes to become successful,’’ said coach Diomedes Manalo after the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation paddlers surpassed their medal tally in 2016 Moscow, Russia. The Pinoy paddlers followed exactly the game plan in capturing their fourth gold in the big boat, clocking 43.481 seconds to subdue Czech Republic (46.082) and United States (46.146).  Hungary placed fourth (46.791) followed by Germany (48.040) and Canada (50.242). Besides the four gold medals, the national team supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and Go For Gold has also pocketed two silvers in the small boat senior men’s 500m and big boat senior mixed 2000m race, respectively. "Congratulations to our dragon boat athletes for improving on their medal tally from their last world championship,’’ said Go For Gold top honcho Jeremy Go. "Despite all the struggle and adversity, our team has come out on top and continues to impress.’’ They defended the 20-seater senior mixed 500m title with aplomb after kicking off their world championship campaign with a convincing win in the 10-seater senior mixed 500m event. The Pinoy paddlers remain on track to secure another gold medal in the 10-seater senior men 200m on Sunday (Monday in Manila). Jordan De Guia, John Paul Selencio, Lee Robin Santos, Jonathan Ruz, Daniel Ortega, Reymart Nevado, John Lester Delos Santos will join hands with Christine Mae Talledo, Sharmaine Mangilit, Apple Jane Abitona, Raquel Almencion and Lealyn Baligasa in the big boat senior mixed 200m. Maribeth Caranto has been designated steersman and Patricia Ann Bustamante as drummer. During their world championship campaign two years ago, the Filipinos brought home three gold medals, one silver and a pair of bronzes. In the master division, the Philippines pocketed a pair of bronze medals in the small boat men’s and mixed 200m races.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

PFF President Nonong Araneta reveals exciting times ahead for Philippine football

Mariano “Nonong” Araneta is pumped up for Philippine football, and it's easy to see why. The Philippine Football Federation president has divulged exciting details of the federation's plans to develop the national training center in the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite. Plus the Azkals are also getting ready for a busy few months ahead. Araneta is keen on ramping up the federation's partnership with the Manila Jockey Club in SLLP, where the FIFA Artificial Turf Pitch is situated. Already a training ground for youth national teams and club sides, Araneta says that lighting towers will soon be installed that will permit nighttime play. “We are just waiting for AFC because the lights will be bidded out,” Explains Araneta. “Hopefully they will be installed by the end of the year.” The lights will feature an intensity of 900 lux, more than the accepted 800 lux minimum for televised matches. The lights will complement the hundreds of new seats that have already been put in place around the pitch. But that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the PFF has planned for Carmona. “We have spoken to Manila Jockey Club about transferring our headquarters there,” says Araneta. “We are ready to start the bidding and construction.” The PFF is planning to purchase a 3000 sqm parcel of land within the San Lazaro Leisure Park and build a complex with dormitories, classrooms for coaching and referee courses, and a gym. “The funds are ready, initially we will be getting US$1.5 Million from FIFA,” says Araneta, who says the federation will be selling their current building in Pasig to help fund the move. But Araneta says that another option is available, to buy a different 2000 sqm plot of land beside the artificial pitch that is separate from the 3000 sqm parcel. There a grandstand could be constructed, transforming the pitch into a stadium. The headquarters could then be situated under the seating while the other site houses the dorms, classrooms, and gym. More fields are also in the pipeline in the training center. Araneta says that two artificial turf mini-pitches measuring 40 by 20 meters will be made right beside the main pitch. These will also be lighted and can accommodate recreational play and festival competitions. Incredibly, there will be yet another pitch in the training center, a natural grass regulation field within the Manila Jockey Club's racetrack. “That is for our national teams so that if they are set to play on grass, they can train there,” explains Araneta. The middle of the racetrack already has a grass area where football is played. Manila Jockey Club and PFF have yet to decide if the new grass pitch will be a brand new one or if the current surface will be improved. “We want our activities to be there,” declares Araneta. “We have already had coaching seminars there. Schools can also use our facilities. The pitch is there to be used not to be seen,” he adds with a chuckle. Araneta is a former national team player himself and is also optimistic about the near future with the Azkals. The squad is facing two big tournaments in the coming months: the AFF Suzuki Cup in November and December and their maiden appearance in the AFC Asian Cup in January 2019. Araneta says the Azkals will travel to Bahrain during the September FIFA window to play a Bahraini club side, likely on Sept 7, before tangling with the Bahrain national team on September 11. There will also be a FIFA window in October, and Araneta says the Filipinos can enjoy at least one friendly at home. Araneta hopes that Rizal Memorial will still be available before it gets spruced up in preparation for the country's hosting of the 2019 SEA Games. “Our fans will get to watch our new team,” said the president with evident pride. Crunch time begins in November, with the Azkals in a five-team round-robin group with a new home-and-away format. The Philippines will host Singapore in Bacolod's Panaad Stadium on November 13 before playing either Brunei or Timor Leste away four days later. The two ASEAN minnows will square off in a two-legged qualifying series in September to to determine who makes the group stage. On November 21 the Azkals entertain Thailand in Panaad in what promises to be a mouthwatering contest, before closing their group stage against Indonesia, probably in Jakarta, on November 25. The semis will run from December 1 to 6, with the two-legged finals being held on the 11th and 15th. After a quick Christmas break the team jets off to the Middle East on December 26, where final preparations for the Asian Cup will commence in earnest. There are plans to play in Qatar against either a club team or their national side, and then perhaps a game in Kuwait before the team goes to the United Arab Emirates. The group schedule is as follows: January 7 against Korea Republic in Dubai, January 11 versus China in Abu Dhabi, then January 16 against Kyrgyzstan in Dubai. The top two will advance to the knockout round, but the Philippines can also sneak through as one of the better third-placers. But the senior national team isn't the only competition Pinoy football fans can focus on this year. The boys U15 national team were in action while the U16 girls play in an AFC competition. The U19 men also played in the AFF U19 Championship, where they beat Singapore 2-1. The senior ladies team also notched a win against the Lion City in their AFF tournament. Araneta says the very successful PFF Women's League from last year will be run again, and that the PFF also plans a youth league. Both will be partly funded by FIFA. Of course the Philippines Football League will continue, with a League and Cup phase. The realization of these plans will be one of the achievements of Araneta's presidency. Another will be his membership in the 33-person FIFA Council, which acts as a board of directors of the organization. Araneta was recently in Russia to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup along with other council members. Araneta is one of six Asians in the FIFA Council, alongside members from China, Malaysia, Korea Republic, Bahrain, and Bangladesh. He is the first Filipino to serve in this level of leadership in FIFA. The Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo native freely explains the benefit the country can enjoy from this connection. According to Araneta “we have firsthand information on funding, and the Philippines is part of the body that will decide on what's best for football.” He says that in the next cycle of FIFA funding he might be able to acquire an additional US$ 2 million for the development of the training center. The PFF President also enjoys the inside track when it comes to acquiring development funds from the Asian Football Confederation, since he also serves as the Chairman of the AFC Finance Committee. “All budgets pass through us. We know the funding, the revenues. We know when to ask for projects. Like the lights in Carmona, that was approved by the AFC development committee,” continues Araneta. But being part of the FIFA Council is not all glitz and glamor, confesses Araneta. He mentioned a recent Council meeting in Bogota, Colombia, that necessitated an arduous 33-hour trip through Europe for a stay that lasted just two days. Sometimes deliberations in FIFA meetings can stretch for as long as six hours. Immediately after the Bogota confab he jetted off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for another meeting. “It's no joke,” says Araneta, who is 64 years old. But the former striker and defender has no complaints and reveals his motivation to keep on going at the job. “I went to the Youth Football League. I visited the Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational. You see the kids playing there, you see kids play everywhere. The enthusiasm of the players is what keeps me going.” - RELEASE.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2018

Young and united, England looks good as a title contender

By Graham Dunbar, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — A famous song lyric neatly describes the upbeat feeling around England's rejuvenated national soccer team. It's not "football's coming home." Instead, try the old punk rock line: "If the kids are united, they will never be defeated." The positive emotions of England's young players are evident toward coach Gareth Southgate despite the 2-1 loss to Croatia in extra time in the World Cup semifinals. "You've brought belief and the love of football back. Thank you boss from the whole nation," 20-year-old forward Marcus Rashford wrote on his Twitter account Thursday. You’ve brought belief and the love of football back. Thank you boss from the whole nation ❤️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/2meUAFlIN5 — Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) July 12, 2018 Over-achieving in a first major international test for Southgate and many of the squad has banished the anxiety that harmed too many England teams in recent years. Rashford, a sharp and fast second-half substitute in Moscow on Wednesday, is not even the youngest of Southgate's players in Russia. At 19, Trent Alexander-Arnold impressed in the Champions League final for Liverpool in May, and weeks later started his first World Cup game, against Belgium. "It has been an honor to be a part of this special team. We will be back stronger," Alexander-Arnold wrote on Twitter early Thursday. Absolutely devastated that our journey is over! We enjoyed every moment as a nation, I’d like to thank all the staff and fans for being behind us. It has been an honour to be a part of this special team. We will be back stronger 💔🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 pic.twitter.com/LErwj4QqZm — Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) July 11, 2018 Alexander-Arnold, a quick, right-sided defender, will need to force his way into the team past Kieran Trippier, perhaps the standout success of England's tournament. Trippier delivered world-class corners, crosses and free kicks, including the fifth-minute goal against Croatia that raised hope of a first World Cup final berth since 1966. The Tottenham player gave an emotional endorsement of Southgate, who seems likely to guide England's team to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. "It all comes from the manager, unbelievable manager for me personally, the way he handles the team," Trippier said at the Luzhniki Stadium. "He sets the tone, he brought this team together." A relatively late bloomer at 27, Trippier is a rare England player who will turn 30 before kickoff in Qatar on Nov. 21, 2022. The four attackers who started Wednesday, including 24-year-old captain Harry Kane, are between 22 and 25. The heart of the defense — John Stones, Harry Maguire, plus goalkeeper Jordan Pickford — are in the same age bracket. It's a talent pool setting up England as a serious title contender in the coming years. There is still room for envy if England can bear watching the World Cup final on Sunday. In the midfield duels, France fields the elegance and power of Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante against Croatia's precise pair of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. There isn't likely to be a Modric-type player in England's team ahead of the 2020 European Championship to help retain the ball, pace the play, and manage the toughest games. Those are the kinds of qualities England needed after halftime against Croatia. "If we're in the position again, we'll be better off because of the experience of what we've just had," said 28-year-old Jordan Henderson, who was Liverpool's captain in that Champions League final loss to Modric and Real Madrid. The incentives are huge. Euro 2020 is being hosted across 12 countries, but England could qualify and be placed in a group based at Wembley Stadium, travel for two knockout rounds, then come home for the semifinals and final at Wembley. "The aim if we're at the Euros in two years' time is to go again," said Kane, who should be Southgate's chosen captain for years to come. Before qualifying starts next March, England is in a fascinating group for the inaugural UEFA Nations League, which starts in September. Spain, under new coach Luis Enrique, visits Wembley on Sept. 8. England then travels to face Croatia on Oct. 12. The return games will be completed by November......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 13th, 2018

2018 WORLD CUP: Tunisia reorganizes after loss of Msakni

By Bouazza Ben Bouazza, Associated Press TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — With creative forward Youssef Msakni sidelined, Tunisia will be fielding a team at the World Cup that includes several foreign-born players. Msakni carried the team to its fifth World Cup, capped by a hat trick in the penultimate qualifier in Guinea, but he picked up a cruciate knee ligament injury while playing for his Qatari club. Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul is expected to use a group of foreign-born players, mainly from France. The move that could unsettle a team already in robust shape after being unbeaten in qualifying. Tunisia's squad is a mix of players mainly from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, France and domestic leagues. Here's a closer look at the Tunisia team: COACH A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into World Cup qualifying for his second spell as coach after a brief tenure in 2013. Maaloul played for Tunisia for a decade from 1985-95. One of very few African coaches in charge of a national team, he has transformed Tunisia from a fairly dour, defensive outfit to one more willing to attack since he took over after the African Cup of Nations in early 2017. He needs to ensure the decision to bring in new players at the expense of some of the men who got Tunisia to the World Cup doesn't upset the team balance or alienate squad members. GOALKEEPERS Maaloul's biggest decision may be the first name on the sheet after saying he was yet to decide. Aymen Mathlouthi, who is beginning to show frailties at 33 and after 11 years in the team, can no longer be certain of his starting spot. Maaloul must figure out whether to drop the captain and sacrifice experience for 28-year-old Farouk Ben Mustapha, who has been highly-praised in the Saudi league. DEFENDERS Maaloul said he was leaning toward starting the World Cup with the formation used in friendly wins over Iran and Costa Rica in March. That would see 22-year-old French-born Ellyes Skhiri, who made his debut against Iran after a late call-up, start in central defense. Other contenders are 24-year-old home-based player Yassine Meriah, the experienced Syam Ben Youssef and Mohamed Amine Ben Amor. If it's a four-man back line, expect to see right back Dylan Bronn, another French-born newcomer. Ali Maaloul has been a regular on the left. Both can also operate as wingers in a five-man midfield if Tunisia goes with a three-man defense of big, strong center backs. MIDFIELDERS The challenge of filling the void left by Msakni will likely fall on France-born attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri. He played for the Tunisia and France youth teams before committing to Tunisia. Khazri was partnered in the center of midfield by Anice Badri in Tunisia's last match — forming a potent attacking threat. They are all versatile, operating as attacking midfielders or in a more advanced position in the forward line. Saif-Eddine Khaoui is a similar attack-minded midfielder who has forced himself into the team's plans. Ferjani Sassi has the role of shoring up the middle of the field as the holding midfielder. FORWARDS Depending on whether Khazri, Badri, Sliti and newcomer Khaoui are deployed, there may be room for one or perhaps no out-and-out strikers. Ahmed Akaichi and Taha Yassine Khenissi have experience of operating alone up front but recent formations could mean Tunisia's forward line will be based on the versatility of the four attacking midfielders. GROUP GAMES Tunisia plays England on June 18 and then face Belgium on June 23 before finishing Group G against Panama on June 28......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 1st, 2018

2018 WORLD CUP: Sweden not defined by just Zlatan

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Sweden has shed its major distraction: Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn't coming back for the World Cup. The Los Angeles striker, who retired from international duty in 2016 after scoring a record 62 goals in 116 games, will be a spectator from California when Sweden heads to Russia. The Swedes have moved on from the 36-year-old Ibrahimovic. Playing more as a team, they are a tighter and more efficient unit — as shown when they kept two clean sheets against Italy to advance to the World Cup via the playoffs. They beat France in their qualifying group and were undefeated at home. From having a lineup defined by one player, Sweden is now a team without superstars. Here's a closer look at the Sweden team: COACH Janne Andersson took charge after the European Championship in 2016 as the replacement for Eric Hamren, following a coaching career based solely with Swedish clubs. The highlight was leading Norrkoping to the Swedish league title in 2015. The 55-year-old Andersson values organization above everything and has made the national team defensively strong and a force on the counterattack. GOALKEEPERS Robin Olsen has established himself as the starting goalkeeper heading into the World Cup, having opted to play for Sweden over Denmark — where his parents were born. He is tall and lean, standing at 6-feet-6 (1.98 meters). DEFENDERS Ibrahimovic's decade-long reign as Sweden's player of the year ended last year when national team captain Andreas Granqvist won the "Golden Ball" award for the first time. Those who voted for Granqvist might have been influenced by the center back's stoic display in the two-legged playoff victory over Italy, which earned him a last chance to play at a World Cup. At 33, he is the experienced organizer of the defense — alongside the more youthful Victor Lindelof of Manchester United — and plays for Russian club Krasnodar, where the Swedes will be based for the tournament. MIDFIELDERS Emil Forsberg, a quick attacking midfielder who usually starts on the left wing, is the team's standout player and has become a big name in the German league because of his form for Leipzig. He had the most assists in the Bundesliga last season. A relatively late developer, he only made his international debut at the age of 23 so has experience of just one major senior tournament. Sebastian Larsson is the other high-profile player in the midfield, having played for the national team for a decade and in the Premier League with Birmingham and Sunderland after starting his professional career at Arsenal. FORWARDS Marcus Berg leads the forward line in the absence of Ibrahimovic and scored eight goals in qualifying. He remains key to Sweden's plans despite being out of the limelight, at least to European audiences, following his decision to join Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates from Greek team Panathinaikos in the 2017 offseason. He is top scorer in the Arabian Gulf League, showing he is in prime form heading to Russia. Ola Toivonen plays just off Berg and scored Sweden's best goal in qualifying, an effort from near halfway to beat France 2-1. GROUP GAMES Sweden opens Group F against South Korea on June 18. The team will then face Germany on June 23 and finish the group stage against Mexico on June 27......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 30th, 2018

Filipino gymnast Yulo pockets 3rd world cup medal in a span of 1 month

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo keeps on exceeding expectations. The 18-year-old Yulo, who is on his first year of competing as a senior, bagged silver in the men's floor event of the 2018 Doha World Cup in Qatar on Friday, March 25.  Finishing at 6th place ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 24th, 2018

Developing world says rich nations shirking on climate

Paris, France --- The failure of wealthy nations to deliver on short-term climate commitments could hinder the rollout of a landmark treaty, a bloc of 134 developing countries, including India and China, warned Thursday at UN negotiations in Bonn. The diplomatic spat has underscored the difficulty of reaching a consensus at the 196-nation talks. "If we do not respect decisions that we have made, then how can we build trust among the parties?" said Chen Zhihua, China's senior negotiator, referring to long-standing pledges by rich nations to enhance financial support and "revisit" targets for curbing greenhouse gas emissions before 2020. "And how can we lay a good foundation for t...Keep on reading: Developing world says rich nations shirking on climate.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 10th, 2017

What the Qatar crisis means for Hamas – CNN News

When Palestinian militant group Hamas announced its new charter to the world, it wasn't from Ramallah or Gaza City, but from the Sheraton hotel's gilded Salwa Ballroom in Doha. It was no surprise that Hamas chose Qatar. It's the home of outgoing Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, and much of his senior leadership. &'8220;Qatar is quite important for Hamas,&'8221; said H.A. Hellyer, a senior non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. &'8220;Qatar provides strong financial aid to the occupied Palestinian territories and is a safe haven for a number of Hamas leaders.&'8221; The recent crisis in the Persian Gulf region is putting that relationship in jeopardy. Earlier this month, nine countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed financial embargoes of varying severity. The announcement was the culmination of a feud that had been simmering for years. The nine countries accused Doha of assisting terrorist organizations, providing support for the Muslim Brotherhood and of being far too cozy with Iran. Ironically perhaps, Qatar's relationship with Hamas had not been among the biggest issues dividing the region. Unlike the US, Britain, and Europe, all of which designate Hamas as a terrorist organization, Arab states &'8212; including Qatar &'8212; do not. This was something Qatar's Foreign Minister sought to remind people in an interview with Russia's RT, in response to a call from his Saudi counterpart that Qatar stop supporting Hamas. &'8220;The US views Hamas as a terror organization. But to the rest of the Arab nations, it is a legitimate resistance movement. We do not support Hamas, we support the Palestinian people,&'8221; Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said. &'8220;Hamas' presence [in Doha] is coordinated with the US and the countries in the region, and it's part of our effort to mediate between the Palestinian factions to reach reconciliation.&'8221; For its part, Hamas says it is being squeezed unreasonably. &'8220;The Gulf Countries are pressuring Qatar to cut relations with resistance organizations. This is unacceptable and we refuse this pressure,&'8221; Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoom said in a statement to CNN. &'8220;We are a resistance movement and the whole world is a witness to this.&'8221; Hamas is seen as having been under a series of pressures for the last few years, reflected in some significant internal changes. Last month, a new leader was announced &'8212; Ismail Haniya taking over from long-time leader Meshaal &'8212; at the same time as the militant group issued its new charter. While Israel pointed to the fact the new document continued to espouse violent resistance, and a commitment to the &'8220;rejection of the Zionist entity,&'8221; others observers said the document's description of a Palestinian state with the borders existing on the eve of the Six Day War in 1967 provided evidence of a new moderation. As Hamas rank and file were digesting those changes, so the leadership was suddenly forced to pay careful attention to diplomatic developments. Hellyer sees two main reasons the nine regional allies are turning their attention towards Hamas. &'8220;First, Hamas has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood organization, which puts it in the firing line of Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia,&'8221; Hellyer says. &'8220;But I think this has more to do with a western audience. The Saudi rulers took advantage of Trump's recognition of them as a powerful actor in the region and that might have encouraged them.&'8221; Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, has been a thorn in the side of regional autocrats for years. Qatar's regional influence also comes from support for Islamists, whether it is the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas at one end of the spectrum, or Al Qaeda at the other. Doha has used this sway to negotiate with various groups including the Taliban, as well as to help negotiate ceasefires between Israel and Hamas. In late 2010 and into 2011, Qatar saw its influence throughout the Middle East rise sharply. Al Jazeera, already a thorn in the side of Arab autocrats, reported extensively on the Arab Spring. The Al Jazeera Arabic channel grew additional roots in Egypt after the uprising and election of Mohamed Morsy who hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood. The international community praised the new Egyptian president for bringing a swift end to a war between Gaza militants and Israel that same year. In the long run, though, as it unraveled across the region, the Arab Spring proved to be disastrous for Hamas, which saw the number of countries it could call a friend whittled away. &'8220;Hamas had very strong relations with Syria, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey and Iran,&'8221; says Mustafa Barghouti, an independent Palestinian politician. &'8220;Things have changed over time so they had to diversify relations.&'8221; Before 2012, the Hamas leadership was based out of Damascus. Tensions grew between the militants and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad as revolution gripped the country. Eventually, Hamas sided with the rebels and cut ties to some extent with Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran. &'8220;Hamas lost a lot in the uprisings,&'8221; says Hellyer. &'8220;This is one of the reasons why Qatar stepped in.&'8221; Qatar, a strong supporter of both the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas, took advantage of the situation. In the fall of 2012, the head of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, visited the Gaza Strip becoming the first world leader to do so under Hamas control. The emir inaugurated projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In the vacuum left [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJun 13th, 2017

World No. 1 Murray wins his opening match of 2017 in Doha

DOHA, Qatar — Top-ranked Andy Murray extended his winning streak to a career-best 25 matches by defeating Jeremy Chardy of France 6-0, 7-6 (2) in his first m.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Nations inch towards climate deal at marathon U.N. summit

KATOWICE, Poland – Nations on Saturday, December 15, inched towards a deal to implement the Paris climate goals, after all-night negotiations to hammer out a plan to limit global temperature rises exposed a range of conflicts. A senior negotiator told Agence France-Presse (AFP) at the COP24 summit in Poland that delegates ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated News3 hr. 1 min. ago

PH War Vets to Get 300% Hike in Pension Next Year

The 300-percent increase in the monthly old-age pension of Filipino senior war veterans was transmitted to Malacañang last Nov. 26 and is just awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature. In all likelihood, it will be implemented early next year, providing the more than 6,000 Filipino World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veterans a total of […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

10 major world events coming up in 2019

PARIS, France – Here are 10 major events taking place around the world in 2019: Brazil's president takes office January 1: Far-right former army captain Jair Bolsonaro officially starts his 4-year term as president of Brazil after winning October's election. Nigeria votes February 16: Africa's most populous nation and leading economy ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

Titans clash

BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT, France­ — England and Scotland will meet each other in their opening game at the 2019 women’s World Cup in France after being placed in the same group in Saturday’s draw alongside former winners Japan and Argentina. The ceremony at La Seine Musicale in this city just outside Paris also set reigning champion United […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

Juventus beats Inter 1-0 to open up 11-point lead in Serie A

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Mario Mandzukic often scores important goals and he did so again as he helped Juventus to a 1-0 win over title rival Inter Milan in the Derby d'Italia on Friday. The imposing Croatia striker headed home in the 66th minute after Inter had missed a couple of golden opportunities as Juventus continued its seemingly unstoppable march to an eighth successive Serie A title. Juventus has an 11-point lead over second-placed Napoli, which hosts lowly Frosinone on Saturday. Third-place Inter is now 14 points behind Juventus. Paulo Dybala had the first chance of the match but headed Cristano Ronaldo's cross over the bar after drifting into the penalty area. Inter had two great chances in quick succession. Mauro Icardi did well to hold the ball up and pick out a good run from an unmarked Roberto Gagliardini, but his scuffed finish came off the inside of the right post. Moments later Icardi and Ivan Perisic both went for a Matteo Politano cross and ended up colliding with each other. Juventus began to take control and Marcelo Brozovic had to desperately slide in to block Rodrigo Bentancur's effort. Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini scored his first goal in two years in last week's 3-0 win at Fiorentina and he almost got another one but he headed the resulting corner narrowly over. Juventus finally broke the deadlock when former Inter midfielder Joao Cancelo put in a delightful cross from the left for Mandzukic — who netted in the World Cup final defeat to France — to nod in at the far post. There was more positive news for Juventus as midfielder Emre Can came on late on for his first appearance for the Bianconeri since Oct. 6, having undergone surgery to have a thyroid nodule removed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

CO2 emissions up 2.7%, world off course to curb warming

PARIS, France – Global emissions of carbon dioxide mainly from fossil fuel burning will rise 2.7% in 2018 , scientists said Wednesday, December 5, signalling a world "completely off course" in the fight against climate change. Last year, CO2 pollution increased by 1.6% after a 3-year hiatus that raised hopes man-made ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

AP column: Good and bad in Ballon d Or twerking uproar

By John Leicester, AP Sports Columnist PARIS (AP) — First, the good news: In 2018, a man can no longer disrespect a trailblazing sportswoman on global TV without incurring instant opprobrium. French DJ Martin Solveig learned this to his discomfort when he asked Ada Hegerberg to twerk just after she became the first female winner of the Ballon d'Or and used her victory speech to appeal to girls everywhere to "please, believe in yourself." Immediately after the awards ceremony ended, with outrage already frothing on social media, Solveig still couldn't see why his inappropriate suggestion to the 23-year-old Norwegian was causing such upset. "It was a joke. You must have a bit of a sense of humor," he told The Associated Press as gala guests filed out of the domed Grand Palais in Paris on Monday and Hegerberg posed for photos with her heavy golden trophy. But then, as a video clip showing Solveig's interaction with Hegerberg started to rack up millions of views on Twitter, he understood. Solveig sought out Hegerberg to explain himself and tweeted "sincere apologies." "I didn't mean to offend anyone and I didn't know that this could be seen as such an offense," he said in a video message. The bad news, as the whole sorry episode showed, is that in 2018, the behavior of men is still overshadowing the achievements of women. And Hegerberg's achievements are immense. The steely forward is a three-time winner of the Women's Champions League with French club Lyon. Given her young age and current fearsome pace of 41 goals in 41 games in the tournament, she seems likely to make history like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the men's side. Already, she set a tournament record with 15 Champions League goals last season — including in Lyon's 4-1 victory over Wolfsburg in the final . Hegerberg appeared visibly miffed, shaking her head, responding with a firm "Non" and then turning away after Solveig asked her on stage in French, "Do you know how to twerk?" Had Messi or Ronaldo been standing beside him, it's hard to imagine the DJ asking them to shake their backsides in the twerking dance made famous by singer Miley Cyrus rubbing against Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. That Solveig did so with Hegerberg immediately struck many as icky. "Why do woman still have to put up with that (expletive)?" tennis player Andy Murray wrote on Instagram. "To everyone who thinks people are overreacting and it was just a joke, it wasn't. I've been involved in sport my whole life and the level of sexism is unreal." At the gala for her daughter's prize moment, Hegerberg's mother, Gerd, said the impropriety of Solveig's remark was initially lost on her. "Let him dance with the queen tonight, I was thinking," she told the AP. But when the meaning of twerk was then explained to her, she reacted with dismay, with an expletive. Hegerberg herself didn't let the uproar mar her evening. After meeting with Solveig and hearing his apology, she was determinedly cheerful by time she came to speak to waiting reporters. "I wasn't upset," she said. "I got to dance a bit and I got the Ballon d'Or." The visibility and status that comes with that trophy will give Hegerberg more power to push the cause of women's soccer. She is already putting that leverage to use. She told the AP in an interview shortly before she picked up her trophy that she won't play in the Women's World Cup in June in France because of a dispute with the Norwegian federation. Hegerberg hasn't played for the national team since last year because of what she perceives to be a general disregard for women's soccer in Norway. "It's all about how we respect women's football. I don't think the respect has been there," she told the AP. "Sometimes you have to take tough decisions to stay true to yourself." She also expressed frustration with the uneven pace of progress for women. A few hours later, Solveig's behavior made her words ring true. "Sometimes you have episodes or situations where you feel like, 'Damn, we're in such a man's world,'" she said. "That could be in a daily situation, being a woman, to be honest. Outside of the pitch as well. There's a lot of discussions to take and to bring on the table as a woman in 2018.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2018

Kylian Mbappe wins 2018 Ballon d’Or best young player

PARIS, France – Kylian Mbappe was named winner of the Kopa Trophy for young player of the year at the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris on Monday, December 3.  The Paris Saint-Germain forward, who does not turn 20 until later this month, starred as France won the World Cup and also ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

Fiba World qualifiers: Gilas falls to Kazakhstan, drops to 3rd place tie with Japan

The Philippines absorbed a tough 92-88 loss to Kazakhstan in the second round of the group stage of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers Friday at Mall of Asia Arena. Gilas Pilipinas dropped to a third-place tie with Japan, which took an 85-47 win over last-placed Qatar, in Group F after falling to a 5-4 record. Anton Bykov drilled a dagger of a layup for the Kazakhs after he converted Rustam Yergali's assist with 12.7 seconds left in the game. Yergali was able to draw Gilas center June Mar Fajardo to help out on the left side of the paint and he made a short pass to Bykov who beat the shot clock. "We were mismatched in terms of quickness especially with our big men," said...Keep on reading: Fiba World qualifiers: Gilas falls to Kazakhstan, drops to 3rd place tie with Japan.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 30th, 2018

Satur Ocampo, France Castro face kidnapping, human trafficking charges

  DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, and over 70 others are facing kidnapping and human trafficking charges over the transport of 14 children from Talaingod town in Davao del Norte, police said on Thursday, November 29. Senior Superintendent Ferlu Silvio, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

Policemen guilty in Kian delos Santos killing | Midday wRap

Today on Rappler: A regional trial court in Caloocan finds 3 policemen guilty of murdering 17-year-old Kian delos Santos. President Rodrigo Duterte explains his decision not to appoint Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as Chief Justice. The Chinese scientist who claims to have created the world's first genetically-edited babies defends procedure but ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018