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Small town in Estonia puts cannabis leaf on its flag

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- The southern Estonian municipality of Kanepi has a cannabis leaf on its new flag -- because that's what its name means in Estonian. Andrus Seeme, mayor for Kanepi&#.....»»

Category: newsSource: philippinetimes philippinetimesMay 17th, 2018

Popovich s odd alliance with red state fans

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com SAN ANTONIO -- About 400 people gathered at the Oak Hills Country Club in June 2016 and paid $500 to $250,000 to sip iced tea and nibble hors d’oeuvres next to a golf course designed by noted architect AW Tillinghast, who built many. One is owned by the man who was feted at this political fundraiser, Donald J. Trump. The presidential campaign was in full blast and saltier than the crackers on the cheese plate being passed around. Fresh off the plane, Trump thanked the Republicans for the big ‘ole Texas welcome, witnesses say, before launching a blistering attack on the usual targets: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, illegal immigration. Then, near the end of his 30-minute lunchtime appearance, in an effort to connect with the locals, he pivoted and mentioned perhaps the most famous man in town: Gregg Popovich. Witnesses say Trump called Popovich “a great coach” and said “he does a good job” and then there was some fidgeting in the room when the soon-to-be polarizing leader of the free world said this: “I don’t know if the coach is on my side.” Confirmation came emphatically, right after Trump won a divisive election that November. The coach of the Spurs lit into the President over the next several months with a handful of rants that had the stealth of Kawhi Leonard ambushing a timid ball-handler. In no particular order, here were Pop’s Greatest Hits, all issued through the media and without prompting or provocation: “The disgusting tenure and tone and all the comments … have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic. I live in a country where half the people ignored that to elect someone.” And: “He is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.” And: “The man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks he can only become large by belittling others.” And: “We have a pathological liar in the White House ... You can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth.” Popovich didn’t stop there with a President whose sensitivity and intelligence he questioned and accused of being guilty of “gratuitous fear-mongering.” When he took Trump to task for criticizing NFL players who knelt during the National Anthem and defended their rights to do so, Popovich also suspected a measure of the public outrage was racially motivated. “Our country is an embarrassment to the world,” he said. A 68-year-old wealthy white man, therefore, became a sports voice with weight in the political and social justice arena, where the NBA league office has greenlighted players and coaches to speak up. Popovich has done so with clarity and insight to gain national applause in certain corners. He wasn’t the first or the last in sports to verbally spank the president or tackle right-leaning sensitivities, yet he’s certainly the most unique in one respect. As a graduate of the Air Force Academy who works in a military town, and a five-time NBA champion coach who might symbolize the city more than The Alamo, Popovich has long been elevated to icon status, perhaps permanently so, in San Antonio, where folks are mad about the Spurs. Still, this is mostly conservative Texas, one of the most Republican of states based on the state legislature and the congressional delegation, a state that voted Republican in 10 straight presidential elections and saw 52.6 percent of voters punch for Trump. While voters in San Antonio-proper lean liberal, the surrounding areas swing solidly the opposite. Julianna Holt, the Spurs CEO and Popovich’s boss since March after assuming the position held for 20 years by her husband Peter, supported various Republican presidential candidates before eventually donating $5,400 to Trump’s campaign and $250,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, according to Federal Election Commission records. Popovich is therefore a blue blood in a red state and the contrast makes for strange if not uncomfortable alliance between a beloved coach and a group of conflicted Spurs worshippers. His views have in fact shattered the sacrilege by generating hostility from a segment of the basketball flock, something no coach with his credentials would ever feel. The constant winning and acts of charity do not insulate him from those who would prefer Popovich stuff a sweat sock in his bullhorn. Party lines not Popovich's focus “While we all believe Gregg Popovich has the right to his opinions, where was Popovich when Hillary called half of us a 'basket of deplorables?’Many were Spurs fans who are now tired of being insulted ... many of us will never pay to see a Spurs game again.” -- Donna Howington  “The money I will save this year not attending Spurs games should buy me a nice set of golf clubs. Thanks Pop!” -- Jake Ingorgia  “I will never watch them again until Popovich is gone. He is just like all the other leftist celebrities.” -- Lee Harbach, Bulverde They arrive on cue, most from the dusty towns that orbit around San Antonio, some from the city itself. Popovich has unloaded three times this year on Trump, once after the election, once at the start of training camp and most recently by cold-calling Dave Zirin, a friend and liberal writer from The Nation, a progressive magazine. And each time, the letters land in the office of Ricardo Pimentel, the editor who coordinates the comments section of the Express-News, San Antonio’s newspaper of record. “It’s a cycle,” says Pimental, with a sigh. “He speaks out. People who disagree with him send us letters to the editor, then people who object to their disagreement write us letters to the editor defending Pop. Then they respond to one another.” The initial reaction, he said, is always stacked against Popovich and many identify themselves as Spurs fans ripping up their tickets or promising to never attend or watch games again. Even if those who made threats actually carried them out, the change in the Spurs’ home attendance is a blip, from 99.2 percent capacity last season to 98.6 so far this season. Popovich, of course, has been big for business since his first full season as coach in 1997-98. Besides the titles, the Spurs have reached the playoffs every season and won 50 games every season (except for the lockout-shortened 50-game 1998-99 campaign, when they won 37). In short, Popovich's Spurs have a track record beyond reproach in the NBA. If the 2017-18 Spurs stay on pace, it’ll be 20 straight winning seasons for Popovich, one more than Phil Jackson for the all-time NBA record. He hasn’t been this politically vocal until lately, due to Trump, yet was always politically aware, say those who know him. Well-versed through his readings and observations, Popovich welcomes discussion with acquaintences about classism, leadership, government and preferably over a bottle of wine. His two-decades exposure to young black men from humble beginnings raised his awareness and sensitivities about race and bias. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr once played for the Spurs and lately has echoed many of the same thoughts as Popovich. But Kerr coaches in the Bay Area, where folks nod their heads in agreement. Kerr said he can only imagine the flak Popovich catches in Texas. “Here’s this iconic coach who stands for everything that’s right and for honor and integrity, he served in the military, you see him stand at attention for the American flag — man, Pop loves his country,” Kerr said. “And in the middle of Texas for him to be questioning the Republican President, some of the people down there are probably confused. Like, 'I don’t get it, we love this guy but he’s on the other side from us.' “What I love about Pop is that it’s not about party, not about politics. It’s about integrity and character and that’s what people need to pay attention to. It’s not about some policy, not about how much we pay in taxes. If we can just get back to the point where character matters, then we’ll be in better shape. The problem is, it’s clear character has gone down the tubes in many leadership positions in our country. That’s what Pop is calling out.” True enough, Popovich never publicly attached himself to a political party; to suggest he is against Republicans might be as misleading as believing Colin Kaepernick is against the military. When he played for Popovich, Kerr couldn’t recall a time when the coach was this annoyed by the country’s leadership. “The country was in a better place in terms of a relatively peaceful time back then,” Kerr said. “Yes, 9-11 happened and the whole world changed. But we didn’t have quite the same partisan nature, not only in politics but the national conversation. And so people could just admire Pop for who he was and people might not have been aware of his political leanings because they didn’t ask. When we won and went to the White House, Pop and the team went when Bush was in office. We went in ’99 when President Clinton was there. Republican, Democrat, didn’t matter. The times are so different now.” Kerr laughed quickly when asked about the semi-serious groundswell of social media support for a Kerr-Popovich ticket in 2020. Kerr said he hopes to be on his fifth NBA title as a coach then, but turned semi-serious about Popovich. “Our country needs somebody like Pop who can actually lead and unite from a position of authority and credibility,” Kerr said. “This guy served in the military, grew up in a melting pot, understands leadership. More than anything, he’ll cut through all the [expletive].” Since going nuclear on Trump, Popovich declined invites from the national political shows (and wouldn’t comment for this story). That proves what friends have maintained all along: Popovich doesn’t want to be anyone’s political hero or pundit. He’d rather speak when the moment calls for it, then be left alone. That last part is tricky, though. Empathy often marks Popovich's way “Can you imagine being Republican on the Spurs? Would you feel welcome? He’s like Berkeley -- for free speech unless you disagree with him. Shut up and coach, Gregg.” -- Shannon Deason  “When it comes to coaching basketball or drinking wine, Popovich has experience. When it comes to our country, his opinion is no better than anyone else’s." -- Harold Siemens, Seguin  “Open letter to the NBA referee who ejected Pop from the Warriors-Spurs game: Don’t feel bad about what Gregg Popovich called you. He called the POTUS worse and got away with it.” -- Larry Peabody Once the wheels touched down, the pilot jokingly announced over the loudspeaker: “Welcome to Gregg Popovich International Airport,” and one particular passenger noticed that nobody on the plane thought it was strange. Sean Elliott always knew how deeply rooted Popovich is with San Antonio. Aside from the famous Spanish missions and the River Walk, the city is known for the only professional sports team in town. And while George Gervin, David Robinson and Tim Duncan have come and gone, the one lingering reminder is a sometimes gruff and scruffy coach, maybe the NBA’s best ever. “He’s one of the pillars of the community,” said Elliott, twice an All-Star with the Spurs. “He’s looked at with great admiration. He is as respected as anyone who has ever lived in or been part of the city. It’s not just because he’s a basketball coach. Pop has been a big part of the community, huge contributor to charitable functions, good leader.” Elliott was a Spurs rookie in 1989 when their relationship began and he saw the start of Popovich’s reach in the region. Popovich then was an assistant coach under Larry Brown and just planting his feet in the NBA. That summer, Elliott and Popovich piled into a van with the team's "Coyote" mascot and conducted basketball clinics in San Marcos, Corpus Christi, Laredo and similar places. They were signing autographs in malls and running kids through drills in 100 degree heat, never hearing a complaint from the coach. Elliott said folks in those small conservative towns loved him. “If you sit and hear him talk about something, you tend to agree with him,” Elliott said. “He’ll put it in a logical way and he’s very thoughtful, well read and super intelligent, maybe the most intelligent person I’ve ever known.” The owner of the Spurs then was Red McCombs, a homespun Texan who made his fortune in car dealerships and media companies. McCombs didn’t give Popovich the coaching job after firing Brown, telling Popovich “you’ve got a chance to be a great coach” if he got more experience, which he did, going to the Warriors to work for Don Nelson. Popovich returned to San Antonio two years later as general manager, then became coach and the rest is history. Now 90, McCombs said: “Popovich has become the distinguished part of the franchise. He wears it well. Can’t say enough about what kind of man he is and what he’s meant to San Antonio. God has blessed us with Gregg Popovich.” McCombs loves to tell how Popovich, by chance, learned that a local family needed a car. The coach wrote a check, gave it to the father and walked away. McCombs said it was “typical Popovich” who has empathy for those with less. McCombs, curiously, has traditionally been one of the biggest Republican bankrollers in the state, who gave to the Trump campaign and is fully aware of what Popovich thinks of his choice for President. And so one of the most powerful men in Central Texas, who leans politically to the color of his nickname, had a strong reaction to that. “He’s earned the right to give his comments about citizenship or Trump or anything else,” said McCombs, voice rising. “Yes, he made some statements that others might disagree with. But I’ll tell you this: Popovich would be elected to anything he wants to in San Antonio.” Remaining silent never an option “Our country is not an embarrassment to the world. I will tell you what an embarrassment is. It is an American citizen who got a free education from the great Air Force Academy ... and then has the audacity to say that the greatest nation in the world is an embarrassment because the President rightly demands that Americans stand for the anthem. Popovich should be ashamed of himself.” -- Nick DeLouis, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Nowhere on God’s green Earth do they have the right to disrespect our flag and the men and women who died to keep us free. I’m appalled that you stooped so low to join in that disrespect. Shame on you!” -- Fred Martin, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Coach Pop has squashed my love and enthusiasm for the team. A national treasure, he is not. Coach Pop has a voice, but not my voice." -- Jo Ivan A few years ago Popovich was in New York with his daughter to catch a Broadway play when the coach had a last minute change in strategy. He learned that John Carlos was giving a lecture at New York University that night. So Popovich told his daughter to take one of her friends instead; said he was going to see “Dr. Carlos” speak. “When he came in I was surprised and delighted,” Carlos said recently. “Quite naturally, everyone knew who he was but he just wanted to sit and listen.” A year later, in 2015, Popovich flew Carlos to San Antonio to address the team and Carlos admitted to being star struck around Tim Duncan and others. Yet Carlos was most curious about Popovich and why the coach took a strong interest in an Olympic sprinter who raised a fist on the victory stand in 1968, which is frozen as an iconic civil rights moment. “Being with the Spurs gave me an opportunity to check his character out,” Carlos said. “I knew he was a whiz at putting players together to bring out their best ability. But through my conversations with him it became apparent that he was a social activist himself at one point in his life. He was teaching his players about activism and to be concerned about their fellow man and what was going on around their lives, not just basketball. “I was impressed. He just wanted them to know they had a larger role than just playing basketball in the society in which they live.” Carlos, therefore, was not surprised to see Popovich defend the rights of kneeling black football players who came under attack from Trump. On the first day of training camp in September, Popovich said: “Obviously race is the elephant in the room and we all understand that. Unless it is talked about constantly it is not going to get better.” What followed was another swirl of exchanges between Popovich critics and supporters in San Antonio, and Popovich acknowledged receiving mail from both sides. The anti-Pop mail, though, was jarring to Carlos, given the coach’s work in town. “When people write and lambast him for taking leaders to task for what they’re doing to society, that’s like water rolling off a duck’s back, man,” Carlos said. “When they write negative things about him, it encourages him to keep doing what he’s doing. Those people are the problem. Go ahead and throw stones and it just motivates him to do his job. “Look, I’m a black man who spoke out. Imagine what they think of him as a white man who speaks just as strong, to try and get people to see things in a better light? They throw stones at him even more, like, 'Hey you’re white, you have a great life. Keep your mouth shut.’ Well, God points people in certain directions. We know who we are. We do what we do.” And what Popovich does is enlist the help of giants in the social justice world and bring them into his world. He did that with Cornel West, the Harvard professor and civil rights activist, last fall. Popovich invited West to San Antonio to speak at an East Side community center with a few hundred mostly black and Latino students and their parents. Done without TV cameras or media invitation, the discussion was about the importance of education, the imperfect world, self respect and how to help communities. This was an audience that, presumably and unanimously, connected with a white man who didn’t live among them, but was with them. They were the people Popovich had in mind when he attacked present leadership. This was not the audience that writes to the Spurs and the Express-News asking him to take a vow of silence, though he is aware of them, too. “Some responses make you wonder what country you live in,” Popovich said, “and other responses make you very hopeful … overall, it renews my feeling that something must be done because there is enough people willing to listen.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

How a Macedonian town became a fake news epicenter

VELES, Macedonia – Jovan got a pair of Nike sneakers and went on holiday to Greece, his reward for having helped turn the small Macedonian town of Veles into an epicenter of "fake news" during the 2016 US presidential race. "That's what the so-called fake news sites bought me," said the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Pangasinan mayor to face charges for stopping small town lottery operations

STA BARBARA, Pangasinan — Criminal and administrative charges will be filed against Mayor Carlito Zaplan for illegally stopping the operation of the Small Town Lottery (STL) numbers game here recently, a top official of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) told The Manila Times. The STL operation has been managed and operated by the Speed [...] The post Pangasinan mayor to face charges for stopping small town lottery operations appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Ingmar Bergman, portrayer of inner demons, 100 years on

Ingmar Bergman, one of the most distinguished filmmakers of his generation whose melancholic work is often tough-to-digest but celebrated, still captivates audiences as much as he puts off his critics. July 14 would have been his 100th birthday. Born in 1918 in Uppsala, north of Stockholm, Bergman directed some 60 movies between 1946 and 2003, including "Cries and Whispers" (1972), "Scenes from a Marriage" (1974), "Autumn Sonata" (1978)and his trademark film "Fanny and Alexander" (1982). He died 11 years ago aged 89 in his home in Faro, a small island in the Baltic Sea whose coast is strewn with distinctly-shaped limestone rocks and shrubland, where his disturbing ...Keep on reading: Ingmar Bergman, portrayer of inner demons, 100 years on.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

Philippine Army Repels Another ISIL Attack

TEHRAN (FNA)- Philippines government forces say they have foiled an attempt by a few dozen militants aligned with the ISIL terrorist group to attack a small Southern town, in fighting that left 4 g.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 10th, 2018

Anonymous bones of civil war dead laid to rest in Guatemala

San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala --- In this small rural town, the anonymous remains of some of the tens of thousands who disappeared during Guatemala's long and bloody civil war can finally rest in peace. Women from the village of San Juan Comalapa, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Guatemala City, spent years saving money and raising donations to buy a plot of land where an army camp once stood. During the 1960-1996 conflict, people from across the country were abducted and brought here by soldiers, then were tortured, killed and buried in mass graves. Since 2003, forensic anthropologists have dug up at least 220 individual remains in the town, but only about a quarter of t...Keep on reading: Anonymous bones of civil war dead laid to rest in Guatemala.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 9th, 2018

Philippine Troops Foil IS-linked Attempt to Attack Town

MANILA - Philippine government forces have foiled an attempt by a few dozen Muslim militants aligned with the Islamic State group to attack a small southern town in fighting that left four gunmen d.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 4th, 2018

Philippine Troops Foil IS-linked Attempt to Attack Town

MANILA - Philippine government forces have foiled an attempt by a few dozen Muslim militants aligned with the Islamic State group to attack a small southern town in fighting that left four gunmen d.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 4th, 2018

Army, police thwart BIFF show of force in Maguindanao town

Authorities foiled on Tuesday an attempt by militants to show force and hoist the Islamic State flag in a populated area in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

Palace on Ecija town mayor’s slay: We will spare no effort in getting justice

Malacaang assured the public on Tuesday that the government would "spare no effort" to bring justice for the death of Mayor Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio in Nueva Ecija. "We assure everyone that we would discharge the state obligation for every murder. We will spare no effort in getting to the bottom of this latest violent crime," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement. Bote was killed in an ambush in Cabanatuan Cityon Tuesdayafternoon, a day after Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was killed during the flag raising ceremonyon Monday. "We are confident that PNP Chief, Director-General Oscar Albayalde, would be able to conduct a fair and thorough investigatio...Keep on reading: Palace on Ecija town mayor’s slay: We will spare no effort in getting justice.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

Philippine mayor Antonio Halili shot dead at ceremony

A controversial mayor in the Philippines has been shot dead during a flag-raising ceremony. Antonio Halili was shot in the chest as he sang the national anthem outside the town hall of Tanauan, sou.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

Sniper kills Philippine drugs-linked mayor

A Philippine mayor on President Rodrigo Duterte's list of narcotics-linked officials was shot dead yesterday at a town flag-raising ceremony.Antonio Halili, 72, was hit in the chest by a singl.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

‘Walk of shame’ mayor slain

A MAYOR who gained prominence for parading drug suspects on the streets yesterday was shot dead by a “sniper” during a flag-raising ceremony at the town hall in Tanauan, Batangas. Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was hit in the chest by a single shot fired from a distance, unleashing chaotic….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018

Tanauan Mayor Halili was known for strong stance vs. drug suspects despite alleged links

Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili, who died on Monday after he was shot during a flag ceremony at the city hall, was known for his policies resembling that of President Rodrigo Duterte in terms of curtailing illegal drugs and small-time crimes in his area. Source link link: Tanauan Mayor Halili was known for strong stance vs. drug suspects despite alleged links.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018

‘Jueteng lords’ should run small town lottery, says lawmaker

BIG-time operators of “jueteng” should be allowed to take over the state-sanctioned Small Town Lottery (STL) to eradicate the illegal numbers game for good, a lawmaker said on Sunday. Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol party-list said that it was logical to tap jueteng lords to manage the state-sanctioned STL since they have the necessary experience to [...] The post ‘Jueteng lords’ should run small town lottery, says lawmaker appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJul 1st, 2018

Surfer’s paradise in Eastern Samar

GUIUAN, Easter Samanr --- With big waves crashing in the Pacific Ocean, a small island at the southern tip of Samar is a surfer's paradise just waiting to be explored.   Calicoan, one of the islands of Guiuan town in Eastern Samar province, has been getting the thumbs-up from surfing enthusiasts.   "It's all about the waves, it's really nice to surf there," says surfer Frank Reed Andil.   "What makes Calicoan different is its reef break," says Andil, comparing the island's wave turbulence with those of Samar's other surfing "great spots" such as Hernani, Llorente and Maydolong towns in Eastern Samar.   Aside from its waters, Calicoan is ble...Keep on reading: Surfer’s paradise in Eastern Samar.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

Duterte take on ‘jueteng’ puzzles STL workers

LUCENA CITY---The army of Small Town Lottery (STL) bet collectors here was surprised and puzzled by what appeared to be President Rodrigo Duterte going soft on the illegal numbers game "jueteng."   "Jueteng has long been dead in the province with the introduction of STL," said Mario Lagustan, a former jueteng and now STL collector.   "We know because we're former jueteng collectors and now comfortable with STL," Lagustan said.   On Friday, the President said in a speech at the National Information and Communications Summit 2018 at SMX Convention Center that jueteng contributed to economic activity in the provinces.   He also expressed conce...Keep on reading: Duterte take on ‘jueteng’ puzzles STL workers.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

Lucky charm: 10-year-old girl goes for world record of picking most number of four-leaf clovers in an hour

At 10-years-old, Katie Borka of Spotsylvania County, Virginia has already made a name for herself --- being a young world record-holder. The little girl will soon be in the Guinness Book of World Records after finding the most number of four-leaf clovers in only an hour --- 166 pieces in total. She set the record on Saturday, June 23, reportsThe Free-Lance Star. Several people witnessed how Borka got the world record. As she placed ten clover leaves in her small plastic container, she had to have verification from a three-member team."We had to throw out six or seven because they were five-leaf clovers," said local agriculture teacher Heidi Davis, who was part of the verificati...Keep on reading: Lucky charm: 10-year-old girl goes for world record of picking most number of four-leaf clovers in an hour.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 27th, 2018

STL operation might resume July – PCSO

THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Iloilo branch said the operation of Small Town Lottery (STL) in Iloilo Province might resume on or before July 2018. Iloilo branch manager Jeanette Lloyd said the PCSO Central Office is already accepting applicants and has started the bidding process. “Ga-bidding na sila didto. Sometime July or before the […] The post STL operation might resume July – PCSO appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsJun 25th, 2018

Brazilians heave sigh of relief with World Cup win

By Yesica Fisch, Associated Press RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilians breathed a sigh of relief Friday after the national team scored two stoppage time goals to beat Costa Rica 2-0 at the World Cup, bringing it closer to a berth in the round of 16. With yellow-and-green T-shirts and Brazilian flags draped over their shoulders, thousands of people across Latin America's biggest country gathered in bars, restaurants, coffee shops and public squares to watch the game on large TV screens. They went wild when Philippe Coutinho and Neymar scored Brazil's two goals with only a few minutes left in the game. The narrow streets, homes and storefronts of Rio's Alemao complex of slums, one of the city's largest, were decorated with Brazilian flags and small yellow and green banners. Sipping beer with a group of friends and residents at one bar, Daisy Gouveia shouted and cheered when Brazil scores its first goal. "My heart was beating very quickly during the first half," Gouveia, who is studying for her high school diploma, said. "But in the second half Brazil started playing well and went on to score." At the same bar, motorbike taxi driver Marcio de Souza said he was elated with the result. "The match was wonderful. The Costa Ricans blocked us for a while but Brazil was better and clinched the victory, bringing happiness to all Brazilians." Nearby, a group of friends gathered around a table in front of a flag-decorated house where coffee and cake was being served as they watched the match. For a while several of them complained that Brazil wasn't playing well, but when the first goal was scored the hope of being world champions emerged in their enthusiastic shouts and cheers. "It is difficult to say who will win the World Cup," slum resident Leandro de Castro said. "The other teams are also very good, so it will be difficult. But I think we can get there and win the World Cup.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2018