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Rejuvenated Dutch strike late, into Nations League s Final 4

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press The Netherlands' recovery from one of the lowest ebbs in its history continued with a last-gasp qualification for the Final Four of the inaugural UEFA Nations League on Monday. Virgil van Dijk volleyed home a 90th-minute equalizer to seal a dramatic Dutch comeback in a 2-2 draw in Germany, allowing Ronald Koeman's rejuvenated side to top its qualifying group on goal difference ahead of France, and join fellow group winners Portugal, England and Switzerland in a five-day finals competition in June. So instead of seeing Kylian Mbappe, France's new wonderkid and star of the team's World Cup triumph in Russia in July, vying for another piece of international silverware, soccer fans will get to see if the Netherlands truly has turned the corner. The slump of the Dutch has been profound since they finished third at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. They failed to qualify for an enlarged European Championship in 2016 and also didn't make it to the World Cup this year. Three coaches — Guus Hiddink, Danny Blind, and Dick Advocaat — came and went. And with Dutch soccer at club level also in strife, debate swirled as to how one of the long-time heavyweights of the world game could recover. Under Koeman, though, the future of the Oranje looks bright. Youngsters like center midfielder Frenkie de Jong and center back Matthijs de Ligt are regarded as two of the most promising players in the world; Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum have returned to their best form over the last 18 months; and, in Van Dijk, the Netherlands has one of the best defenders around. A rock for Liverpool this season and last, Van Dijk — soccer's most expensive defender following his $99 million move from Southampton in January — sidefooted in a cross from the left to follow up an 84th-minute goal from Quincy Promes that gave the Dutch a glimmer of hope in Gelsenkirchen. The Germans had gone 2-0 up after 19 minutes thanks to Timo Werner's dipping shot from 25 meters and Leroy Sane's deflected effort from just inside the area. They couldn't hold on, though, and finished group play with no wins, just two points, and in something of a crisis. They didn't get out of their group in Russia in a dismal defense of their World Cup title, while relegation to League B of the Nations League — featuring Europe's second-tier teams — had already been confirmed after failing to win any of their first three group games. Germany coach Joachim Loew opted to stay in the job after the World Cup, but is now under mounting pressure. The Nations League, a new competition devised by UEFA to replace unpopular international friendlies with competitive matches between teams of a similar level, appears to have won over the skeptics, and the lineup for the Final Four is intriguing if hardly a marketer's dream. Portugal, which will be playing on home soil, has a superstar in Cristiano Ronaldo who should be back in the team after an extended absence from international soccer since the World Cup. England has Harry Kane, the top scorer at the World Cup, and a talented, dynamic group of young players under forward-thinking coach Gareth Southgate. Switzerland, which hasn't reached a quarterfinal of an international tournament since 1954, will be the outsider. The Netherlands, at No. 15, will be the lowest-ranked team in the competition but should not be discounted. This victory came three days after the team produced one of its best performances in years to beat France 2-0, while it beat Portugal 3-0 in March and Germany by the same score at home in the Nations League. The draw for the Final Four, which comprises of two semifinals and then a third-place playoff and final, will take place in Dublin on Dec. 3. Some other loose ends were tied up in the Nations League, which offers teams a second chance to qualify for the European Championship in 2020. The 16 group winners in Leagues A, B, C and D — or the next best-placed teams who have not already qualified via the European qualifiers starting in March — will progress to the Nations League playoffs and compete for the last four qualifying places for Euro 2020. NORWAY, MACEDONIA PROMOTED Norway was promoted to the second-tier League B after finishing top of Group C3 with a 2-0 win at Cyprus. The Norwegians started the final round of group play tied for points with Bulgaria, which could only draw at home to Slovenia 1-1. Macedonia went up to League C after beating Gibraltar 4-0 to top Group D4. Armenia, the only team that could have finished above Macedonia, ended up second after drawing at Liechtenstein 2-2. SLOVAKIA RELEGATED Slovakia was relegated to League C after losing at neighbor Czech Republic 1-0, with Patrik Schick scoring the winner in the first half with a deft lob over the goalkeeper on a counterattack. Denmark was already guaranteed promotion to the top tier and Ireland was sure of being relegated before they drew 0-0 in Aarhus......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports18 hr. 49 min. ago Related News

Egypt rounds up dozens of human rights defenders – HRW

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Egyptian authorities have rounded up at least 40 rights workers, activists and lawyers since late October and detained them in "undisclosed locations," Human Rights Watch said Sunday, November 18. "Many of those arrested were people who provided humanitarian and legal support to families of political detainees," HRW said, ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 18th, 2018Related News

Portugal qualifies for finals, Italy earn positives in draw

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press MILAN (AP) — No Cristiano Ronaldo, no problem. Portugal drew with Italy 0-0 on Saturday to pick up the point it needed to qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals and confirm it as host of the first Final Four in June. Ronaldo is taking a break from the national team and wasn't present at San Siro, just as he wasn't in Portugal's first two Nations League matches — both of which they won. "There's a lot of satisfaction at having reached the final phase," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. "It was a difficult match, much more than we thought it would be. When we had the ball it was difficult to build and that was merit to Italy and demerit to us. Italy had a great game." Poland has already been assured of finishing last in Group A3 and will be relegated to League B, and Italy will finish second. However, a year after Italian football's darkest moment, there are positive signs for the Azzurri. Italy dominated and had the better of the chances in front of a packed crowd in Milan but ended with a sixth successive home draw. The Azzurri have also scored only twice in four matches in the competition — but only conceded as many. "I don't think there's so many problems up front, it's a question of five centimeters here, 10 there," Italy coach Roberto Mancini said. The Azzurri almost took the lead as early as the fifth minute. Lorenzo Insigne unleashed a scorcher from distance which Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio did well to bat away, and Ciro Immobile fired the rebound over from point-blank range. There was a lot of good interplay from the hosts with crisp, efficient passing in the best performance seen by an Italy side in a long time. It was a far cry from Italy's last match at San Siro, when it drew with Sweden 0-0 last November and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades. "Little by little we'll manage to sort out the attack, too," Mancini said. "Having so much possession in their half is something very significant. We're a step further ahead than we thought we'd be. We have to resolve this small problem (of scoring) but we will." The fans are also starting to fall back in love with the Azzurri, with 73,000 spectators at San Siro. LEAGUE B Sweden kept alive its hopes of promotion with a 1-0 victory at Turkey, which was relegated to League C. Andreas Granqvist netted the only goal with a second-half penalty after Okay Yokuslu brought down Marcus Berg. Sweden will be promoted on Tuesday if it beats Russia, which leads Group B2. LEAGUE C Scotland will win Group C1 if it beats Israel on Tuesday following a 4-0 victory over 10-man Albania in Tirana. Ryan Fraser scored his first international goal shortly before Albania captain Mergim Mavraj was sent off. Steven Fletcher doubled Scotland's tally from the penalty spot, and James Forrest netted a second-half double. Serbia beat Montenegro 2-1 despite Aleksandar Mitrovic missing a penalty and will win Group C4 if it beats Lithuania on Tuesday. Mitrovic scored Serbia's second, two minutes after Adem Ljajic opened the scoring, before chipping over from the spot. Lithuania lost 3-0 at Romania, which will go up if it beats Montenegro and Serbia fails to win. LEAGUE D Kosovo beat Malta 5-0 and Azerbaijan beat the Faroe Islands 2-0. The teams set up a winner-takes-all clash when they meet on Tuesday in Group D3, although a draw would be enough for Kosovo. The Nations League also offers a second chance to qualify for the European Championship in 2020. The 16 group winners in Leagues A, B, C and D — or the next best-placed teams who have not already qualified via the European qualifiers starting in March — will progress to the playoffs to compete for the last four qualifying places......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 18th, 2018Related News

WikiLeaks’ Assange faces charges; lawyer says he’d fight

WASHINGTON --- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not willingly travel to the United States to face charges filed under seal against him, one of his lawyers said Friday, foreshadowing a possible fight over extradition for a central figure in the U.S. special counsel's Russia-Trump investigation. Assange, who has taken cover in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been granted asylum, has speculated publicly for years that the Justice Department had brought secret criminal charges against him for revealing highly sensitive government information on his website. That hypothesis appeared closer to reality after prosecutors, in an errant court filing in an unrelated ca...Keep on reading: WikiLeaks’ Assange faces charges; lawyer says he’d fight.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 17th, 2018Related News

Firsts for Sane, Suele as Germany beats Russia in friendly

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — Leroy Sane and Niklas Suele struck their first international goals to guide Germany to a 3-0 win over Russia in a friendly on Thursday. The 2014 world champions, who surrendered their crown following a first-round exit in Russia in June, went 1-0 up thanks to an eighth-minute goal from Sane. Suele added a second goal 17 minutes later before Serge Gnabry, who had set up Sane for the opener, made sure of victory five minutes before halftime. The visitors improved after the break, with Aleksei Ionov going close as the intensity of the game dropped. The 32-year-old Brazilian-born Ariclenes da Silva Ferreira, known as Ari, made his Russia debut but failed to make much of an impact and was substituted early in the second half. Germany, which lost 2-1 in France and 3-0 in the Netherlands in its previous UEFA Nations League games, continues its campaign against the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen on Monday. The Germans are bottom of League A, Group 1 with one point from three games and will be relegated on Friday if the Dutch beat world champion France in Rotterdam......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 15th, 2018Related News

Experts warn US at risk of losing war with Russia or China – CNN News

The Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy is insufficiently resourced and the US runs the risk of a military defeat […].....»»

Source: Mindanaoexaminer MindanaoexaminerCategory: NewsNov 15th, 2018Related News

U.S. lawmakers return to work, spending showdown ahead

WASHINGTON DC, USA – US lawmakers returned to Washington Tuesday, November 13, for the first time since contentious midterm election campaigns , with Congress facing a spending showdown and Democrats eager to protect special prosecutor Robert Mueller's Russia probe. Also on Capitol Hill were several soon-to-be-members elected to the Senate and ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 14th, 2018Related News

Egypt’s retired soccer star sentenced to 1 year in prison

CAIRO --- An Egyptian court sentenced Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the country's greatest all-time soccer players, to a year in prison for tax evasion while also giving him the option to pay a fine of 20,000 Egyptian pounds, or $1,115, to have the sentence suspended. The verdict, handed down on Monday by the Cairo misdemeanor court, was delivered in absentia. Aboutrika, who has lived since his 2013 soccer retirement in exile in Qatar, where he works as a sports analyst for the beIN sports network, could not be reached for comment. Under the law, the verdict can be appealed and if Aboutrika returns to Egypt, he would have to stand a new trial. The court said Aboutrika failed ...Keep on reading: Egypt’s retired soccer star sentenced to 1 year in prison.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 13th, 2018Related News

Internet traffic hijack disrupts Google services

An internet diversion that rerouted data traffic through Russia and China disrupted several Google services on Monday, including search and cloud-hosting services......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsNov 13th, 2018Related News

Duterte to reaffirm PH ‘principled position’ on South China Sea

  SINGAPORE -- President Rodrigo Duterte will reaffirm the Philippines "principled position" in the South China Sea Sea as regional leaders meet here for the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).   In a statement, Malacaang said Duterte would "engage leaders" of Asean-member states and dialogue partners, which include China, Russia and the United States, on Manila's position on various issues such as our maritime dispute and illegal drugs.   "The President will reiterate the Philippines' principled positions on matters concerning the South China Sea and transnational and transboundary issues such as terrorism, violent extremism, traffickin...Keep on reading: Duterte to reaffirm PH ‘principled position’ on South China Sea.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 13th, 2018Related News

PNA to enter into news exchange deal with Russia s Sputnik | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: The Philippine News Agency or PNA will soon sign a news cooperation agreement with Russia's state-run Sputnik. The Philippine National Police did not send an advance team to the House of Representatives when the Sandiganbayan released an arrest order for former first lady and now Ilocos Representative Imelda Marcos on Friday, November ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 13th, 2018Related News

France seeks global talks on cyberspace security

PARIS, France --- The French government announced Monday a "Paris Call" for talks to lay out a common framework for ensuring internet security, following a surge in cyberattacks which has dented confidence in global networks. The move aims to relaunch negotiations on a "code of good conduct" which have stalled since last year. Officials said the text, to be presented by President Emmanuel Macron as he opens UNESCO's Internet Governance Forum in Paris on Monday, has been signed by most European countries. But China, Russia and the United States have not yet joined, though a source in Macron's office said a "critical mass" of US players support the call, including Microsoft and th...Keep on reading: France seeks global talks on cyberspace security.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 12th, 2018Related News

51 states pledge support for global cybersecurity rules

PARIS, France--- Fifty-one states, including all EU members, have pledged their support for a new international agreement to set standards on cyberweapons and the use of the internet, the French government said Monday. The states have signed up to a so-called "Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace," an attempt to kickstart stalled global negotiations. China, Russia and the United States did not sign the pledge, reflecting their resistance to setting standards for cyberweapons which are at the cutting edge of modern warfare. "We need norms to avoid a war in cyberspace which would be catastrophic," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday. Campaigner...Keep on reading: 51 states pledge support for global cybersecurity rules.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 12th, 2018Related News

PNA to enter into news exchange deal with Russia s Sputnik

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine News Agency (PNA) will soon sign a news cooperation agreement with Russia's state-run Sputnik, a deal that will involve republishing the Russian site's content on the PNA website. Presidential Communications Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco said on Monday, November 12, that the agreement is just "awaiting ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 12th, 2018Related News

Oil producers see oversupply, eye cutting output

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Major oil producers said Sunday that crude supply next year would outstrip demand, calling for new strategies based on production adjustments. Khalid al-Falih, Energy Minister of the world's top supplier Saudi Arabia, said the kingdom would cut its production by 500,000 barrels per day. Russia, the world's second-biggest producer, said it would commit to any new agreement among producers to cut output. Meeting in Abu Dhabi to examine how to curb a sharp slide in oil prices, the producers said they "reviewed current oil supply and demand fundamentals and noted that 2019 prospects point to higher supply growth than global requirements." Th...Keep on reading: Oil producers see oversupply, eye cutting output.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 12th, 2018Related News

World War I timeline: From first shot to silence of peace

PARIS --- Unleashed by an archduke's assassination, World War I gradually entangled more and more countries, killing millions of soldiers and civilians and touching several continents. As the world marks 100 years since the fighting stopped, here is a look at some key moments in WWI: 1914 June 28: Serb teenager Gavrilo Princip kills Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand July 28: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia Aug. 1: Germany declares war on Russia Aug. 3: Germany declares war on France Aug. 4: Germany invades Belgium; Britain declares war on Germany Aug. 23: Japan declares war on Germany September: Battle of the Marne stops the German advance in France Oct. 29: Ottoma...Keep on reading: World War I timeline: From first shot to silence of peace.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 11th, 2018Related News

PHL, Russia finalize plan for military cooperation activities | News

The Philippines and Russia have finalized a plan for military cooperation activities between the two countries, the Department of National Defense (DND) said on Saturday......»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsNov 11th, 2018Related News

Russia slams Austria for unfounded accusations in spy row

MOSCOW, Russia – Russia said on Saturday, November 10 that Austria's "unfounded accusations" in a spy scandal were unacceptable while Vienna expressed hope the affair would not hurt bilateral ties. On Friday, November 9, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said his country had launched a probe into a colonel suspected of spying ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 10th, 2018Related News

PHL, Russia finalize plan for military cooperation activities

The Philippines and Russia have finalized a plan for military cooperation activities between the two countries, the Department of National Defense (DND) said on Saturday. Source link link: PHL, Russia finalize plan for military cooperation activities.....»»

Source: Manilainformer ManilainformerCategory: Nov 10th, 2018Related News

PH, Russia finalize military cooperation activities for 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Russia have finalized their military cooperation activities for 2019 which include security consultations and training exchanges, the Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) said on Saturday, November 10. The DND said in a press statement that the Plan of Military Cooperation Activities ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 10th, 2018Related News