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Greeks wake to new political era

Posted by admin on 04/29/2019
Posted in 柳州桑拿 

Greece has awoken to a new era of defiant anti-austerity after voters handed a decisive victory to radical left party Syriza, putting the country on a collision course with the EU and international creditors.

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In a result that exceeded analysts’ expectations, Syriza and its 40-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras won 149 seats in the 300-seat Greek parliament, just two short of an absolute majority, with most of the votes counted.

Incumbent Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy party was routed and reduced to around 76 seats. European finance ministers are set to meet on Monday when they will have the first chance to discuss the Syriza victory, which is likely to renew fears Greece could be forced out of the eurozone if it defaults on its debt repayments.

Syriza will become the first anti-austerity party to take power in Europe and Tsipras will be Greece’s youngest prime minister in 150 years. He told thousands of flag-waving supporters in Athens Sunday: “Greece is leaving behind disastrous austerity.”

Tsipras repeated his vow to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s 240 billion ($A340.38 billion) bailout with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, but struck a more conciliatory tone than during his fiery campaign. “The new Greek government will be ready to cooperate and negotiate for the first time with our peers a just, mutually beneficial and viable solution,” the former Communist youth activist said.

An EU source conceded on Sunday that an improved deal on the bailout would have to be struck with the new force in Greek politics. “We will not escape a re-negotiation,” the source said.

Tsipras will quickly come under pressure at home to keep pledges such as raising the minimum wage and increasing pensions for the poorest.

The euro briefly sank to a new 11-year low against the US dollar in Asian trade and stock markets fell over fears that Greece’s international bailout could be in doubt and lead to its exit from the eurozone – a so-called “Grexit”. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, seen as the driving force in the EU’s austerity drive, said on Friday she wanted Greece to stay in the eurozone “despite the difficulties”.

Syriza says it does not want to give up the euro. Sunday’s parliamentary polls were Greece’s fourth in five years, including back-to-back votes in 2012.

During that time the economy has shrunk by a quarter and unemployment has soared beyond 25 per cent. Samaras had pleaded with voters not to turn away from the painful public sector spending cuts he had supported, saying they were helping Greece emerge from recession.

But in a sombre statement conceding defeat, he said: “I hand over a country that is part of the EU and the euro. For the good of this country, I hope the next government will maintain what has been achieved.” Syriza’s victory could inspire other radical parties opposed to austerity in Europe, such as Spain’s Podemos.

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias told a rally of his supporters in the Spanish city of Valencia on Sunday: “Hope is coming, fear is fleeing.

Syriza, Podemos, we will win.” British Prime Minister David Cameron, the first EU leader to react to Syriza’s victory, tweeted that it would “increase economic uncertainty across Europe”. However other European countries struck a warmer tone, saying they were prepared to work with a Syriza government.

French President Francois Hollande congratulated Tsipras on his party’s victory and “expressed his desire… to continue the close cooperation between our two countries,” the presidency said.

The home team beat Gabon 2-0 on Sunday to finish second in Group B and will now play their quarter-final at Ebibeyin on Saturday.

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But the recently-built 5,000-seater stadium is patently too small for the expected turnout as the small country rides a euphoric wave after their surprise victory over their neighbours.

The Nations Cup has already seen spectators breaking through fences at the opening game in Bata on Jan. 17 with the 35,000-capcity stadium there overflowing.

At other venues, segregated areas for VIPS and media have also been overrun at times by supporters, who poorly trained police have been unable to control.

In Ebibeyin, organisers are using recruits from a nearby police college to provide security with assistance from police from Angola.

A force of 350 has come from Luanda to help Equatorial Guinea in an admission of the shortcomings of the capacity of domestic security forces. Moving the quarter-final to a bigger venue to avoid a potential disaster would be unprecedented but is likely to be discussed by CAF and the organisers on Monday, officials told Reuters.

Equatorial Guinea are due to play the winner of Group B, which will be decided on Monday, at the Estadio de Ebibeyin at 1900GMT on Saturday.

That is after the first quarter-final between Congo and the runners-up in Group B at Bata at 1600.

Authorities could now be looking to play the two matches as a double header in Bata, which is the largest venue in the country and where Equatorial Guinea have played their three group games in front of packed crowds.

Bata also hosts the final of the Nations Cup on Feb. 8.

(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Nigerians told to fight Boko Haram

Posted by admin on 04/29/2019
Posted in 柳州桑拿 

A curfew imposed in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri after a weekend Boko Haram attack has been lifted, as the state governor urged residents to stay and fight.

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The restive city has been on lock-down since Sunday morning, when the Islamist militants launched a dawn raid that was later repelled by the military.

The military high command in Abuja has said “scores” of Boko Haram fighters were killed as soldiers using heavy weaponry with air support halted the rebel advance.

The attack came a day after President Goodluck Jonathan visited the city as part of his re-election campaign and again vowed to end the six-year insurgency.

Fears have been growing for months about a large-scale attack, as the militants captured swathes of territory in Borno State, of which Maiduguri is the capital.

State governor Kashim Shettima told BBC radio’s Hausa-language service on Monday that the curfew was imposed “to enable security personnel to carry out their operations”.

But with the city gripped by the possibility that the rebels will try to attack again – and news that Boko Haram had captured the nearby town of Monguno – he called for calm.

“I call on the people of Borno State not to panic,” he said. “This is our land. No fear, no flight, no retreat. We should not flee.

“We have a history dating back 1000 years and I swear by Allah we are going to subdue them (Boko Haram).”

Two security sources said on Sunday that Monguno, which is about 125 kilometres north of Maiduguri, had fallen into rebel hands.

Boko Haram overran the town and captured a military barracks, from which it is feared that it will launch a fresh strike on Maiduguri, where the group was founded in 2002.

PM welcomes 25 new Aussies to the fold

Posted by admin on 04/29/2019
Posted in 柳州桑拿 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has wrapped up the official citizenship ceremony in Canberra having his photograph taken with a group of enthusiastic new Aussies.

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Mr Abbott presided as 25 people from 15 countries pledged allegiance to Australia at the national Australia Day citizenship ceremony, and presented them with their certificates.

Around Australia, almost 16,000 people from 152 countries became Australian citizens at 333 similar ceremonies.

“All of you have voted quite literally with your feet for Australia. Your lives will be the better for your decision and our lives and our country will be the better for your decision,” Mr Abbott said.

The 25 in Canberra were delighted – and at least one has big ambitions.

“I was introduced to the concept of the Australian of the Year. I was truly fascinated and inspired that … the people decide to honour extraordinary people,” said Netherlands-born meteorologist Pierre Kemmers.

“Since then, I have set my ambition to become, one day – I’m not sure for what – Australian of the Year. This is my first essential step.”

Chinese-born lawyer Eric Liu told Mr Abbott one of the nicest things he’s likely to hear all day.

“I told the prime minister he looks very dashing, even in person,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Abbott praised new Australian figureheads, starting with Australian of the Year anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, whose son Luke was murdered by her ex-husband in 2014.

“We know Rosie that you still mourn. We know that you still grieve. Yet we know that you still strive to build a better Australia and will do so every day for the rest of your life.”

He said Australia Day was an occasion to “rededicate ourselves to our great national cause … building a better, fairer, stronger and more prosperous Australia.

“It’s a day where we commit ourselves to be more than just beneficiaries of our country’s bounty, but to be contributors as well.”

More controversially, he praised Prince Philip, one of two prominent figures he’s honoured with a knighthood in the Order of Australia. The other is former defence chief Angus Houston.

“I particularly acknowledge Prince Philip for his long life of duty and service and I salute Sir Angus Houston,” he said.

Rebels kill more than 40 Philippine police

Posted by admin on 04/29/2019
Posted in 柳州桑拿 

More than 40 Philippine police commandos were killed in an 11-hour firefight with Muslim rebels which erupted while they were chasing one of the region’s most wanted militants, police say.

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The clash – which broke out despite a peace pact with the main rebel group – was “the single largest loss of life in recent memory by our security forces”, said interior minister Manuel Roxas on Monday.

A total of 43 commandos were killed Sunday in the remote town of Mamasapano, a known rebel stronghold, on Mindanao island in the south, the national police chief Leonardo Espina told a news conference.

Regional police spokeswoman Judith Ambong said separately the bodies of 49 policemen were recovered.

Eleven police were injured but there was no information on any Muslim rebel casualties.

Almost 400 police commandos swooped before dawn on the hideout of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a splinter group which rejects the peace pact, in search of Zulkifli bin Hir.

Roxas said police claimed to have killed Zulkifli, a bombmaker for the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) group which staged the 2002 Bali bombings and other deadly attacks.

He is among the United States’ most wanted militants, with a $US5 million ($A6.36 million) bounty for his capture.

But as the commandos were leaving they encountered the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), sparking a “misencounter”, he said.

The 10,000-strong MILF, the main Muslim rebel group in the south, signed a peace treaty with the government in March last year.

The BIFF, a breakaway faction of several hundred Muslim gunmen, was not part of the deal.

President Benigno Aquino ordered an investigation into the incident, a major test of the accord intended to end a 40-year insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

The MILF said police did not coordinate the operation as required under the ceasefire accord.

“There will be an impact but we are hopeful and confident that this will not derail the peace talks,” Roxas said.

He said Zulkifli was believed killed based on pictures from the encounter site, but his body had not been recovered or positively identified.

The Malaysian is the most prominent of the 10 to 12 foreign JI members believed hiding in the Philippines. He slipped into the southern region in 2003 and has since been training local militants, according to the military.

Like dozens of tour players, Nishikori has been based in the southern U.

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S. state for years, honing his game in the sun at the start of each season.

A massive celebrity in Japan and one of the highest-paid players in the game, Nishikori’s straight sets thrashing of David Ferrer on Monday put him into his second quarter-final at the Australian Open.

Having become the first man from an Asian country to reach the final of a grand slam at the U.S. Open, Nishikori’s progress at Melbourne Park will no doubt raise hopes he can go one better in the year’s first major.

People in Florida probably would not be jumping up and down about it, according to fifth seed Nishikori, who booked a quarter-final showdown with defending champion Stan Wawrinka.

“Yeah, (in) Florida nobody talks to me. In Japan, yes, it’s a little bit different,” the 25-year-old told reporters.

“You know, lots of people recognise me. Not easy to walk on the street. But I really enjoy living in Japan because that’s my home. I feel more comfortable living in Japan.

“They have much better food, I have to say. But Florida, they have a great facility in IMG Academy, good players I can train with.

“They have everything. So I really like living in Florida. But maybe after I retire, I might move to Japan.”

Nishikori edged Wawrinka in a five-set classic at Flushing Meadows in the quarter-finals last year on his trailblazing run to the final.

He said he felt his form against ninth seed Ferrer gave him confidence that he might go the extra mile at Melbourne Park to seal his maiden grand slam title.

“Against him I had nothing to lose,” he said.

“So played… almost 100 percent tennis. A lot of confidence coming up. So, obviously it’s going to be a tough opponent next match. But I’ve been playing well. So it’s going to be exciting match.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by John O’Brien)

Malaysia Airlines hackers to expose data

Posted by admin on 03/30/2019
Posted in 柳州桑拿 

The website of Malaysia Airlines was commandeered for several hours by hackers who referenced the Islamic State jihadists and threatened to expose data taken from the carrier’s servers.

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The attack, whose motivation remained unclear, was claimed by the “Lizard Squad”, a group that has taken credit previously for denial-of-service attacks around the world.

It was not clear why the troubled airline was targeted, but the Lizard Squad said on its Twitter feed that it was “Going to dump some loot found on malaysiaairlines广西桑拿, servers soon.”

Visitors to the website on Monday were re-directed to another page bearing an image of a tuxedo-wearing lizard and reading “Hacked by LIZARD SQUAD – OFFICIAL CYBER CALIPHATE”.

It also carried the headline “404 – Plane Not Found”, an apparent reference to the airlines’ puzzling loss of flight MH370 last year with 239 people aboard which tipped the already struggling carrier into crisis.

Media reports said versions of the website takeover in some regions included the wording “ISIS will prevail”.

Normal access to the site appeared to be restored later Monday, but it marked another bout of bad press for the beleaguered national carrier.

The unexplained loss of MH370 and the airline’s poor handling of the crisis severely damaged public confidence in the carrier, sending business into a tailspin.

It has since been taken over by a Malaysian government investment fund seeking to rescue the company.

A few hours before the website was restored, Malaysia Airlines had released a statement confirming its internet domain name had been compromised, re-directing users to the dummy page.

“At this stage, Malaysia Airlines’ web servers are intact,” it said.

“Malaysia Airlines assures customers and clients that its website was not hacked and this temporary glitch does not affect their bookings and that user data remains secured,” it said.

However, the hackers disputed that, releasing on Twitter what appeared to be a screen grab of some airline data including reservations.

“We would like to point out that (Malaysia Airlines) is lying about user data not being compromised,” it said, giving no further information.

The Lizard Squad is a group of hackers that has caused havoc in the online world before, taking credit for attacks that took down the Sony PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live network last month.

The extent of any links with the Islamic State, however, are not known.

Williams into last eight at Aust Open

Posted by admin on 03/30/2019
Posted in 柳州桑拿 

Such is the depth of feeling between Serena Williams and the crowds at the Australian Open that the world No.

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1 is now happily taking mid-match tactical advice from her fans.

Down a set on Monday and struggling against free-swinging Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, a spectator at Rod Laver Arena yelled out, advising Williams to readjust and use more spin.

The American took the comment on board and turned the fourth-round encounter around, winning 2-6 6-3 6-2 to advance to a quarter-final against last year’s Open runner-up, Dominika Cibulkova from Slovakia.

“My fan coach was yelling out `use some spin Serena’ and I was like `okay, okay’,” said Williams, who remains on track for a sixth Australian Open title and a first since 2010.

“It’s been really great to hear my name throughout the whole stadium.

“I don’t get that everywhere so it feels good.

“When you win often, sometimes people want other people to win and they forget that you want to keep winning too.

“But I get that (level of support) every year in Australia and that’s why this is my favourite place to come.

“I really love it so much.”

Williams and the 24th-seeded Muguruza had split their previous two encounters – both of which were one-sided, in sharp contrast to Monday’s two-hour marathon.

The American had also dropped the first set of her third-round clash against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina.

For the second straight year, the diminutive Cibulkova is also making a run deep into the Open, the No.11 seed from Slovakia charging into the last eight with a 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory over two-time Open champion Victoria Azarenka.

After battling injuries and personal issues in 2014, the Belarusian entered the first grand slam of the year without a seeding, although she shaped as the most dangerous floater in the draw.

But it was Cibulkova who triumphed on Monday, winning in two hours and 10 minutes.

Cibulkova’s best-ever performance at a grand slam came last year at Melbourne Park when she advanced all the way to the final before losing to China’s Li Na.

“Today was an extremely good match from my side, a high level of tennis,” said Cibulkova.

“The first set, the way I played, was just really, really (good) – no mistakes.

“I was going for my shots and I was just doing the right things.

“… then in the third set I just knew I had to go for it more than 100 per cent – to be much more aggressive.”

Excitement machine Madison Keys advanced to her first major quarter-final with a comprehensive 6-2 6-4 victory over namesake and fellow American Madison Brengle.

Keys completed dominated the winners’ count 38-3, progressing to a last-eight clash against compatriot Venus Williams.

The seven-time grand slam winner won through with an upset 6-3 2-6 6-1 triumph over sixth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Ali dismissed suggestions Abdulrahman was carrying an injury from Friday’s quarter-final win over Japan, insisting the 23-year-old was ready to go.

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“We don’t have any injuries in our team. Omar was not limping and ran normal,” Ali told reporters on Monday.

“Everybody is ready for the game. Hamdan Al Kamali was injured before the game against Japan in training, but we have no other injuries.”

Ali also scoffed at comments by Australian defender Trent Sainsbury that Abdulrahman was ‘not the hardest worker’, refusing to buy into any pre-game trash talking.

“We don’t keep attention about what they are saying here,” Ali said. “Omar Abdulrahman, he shows all the talent and skill and he is one of the best players in the tournament.

“We don’t need to say anything about that… what the Australian team are saying, this is something to concern them. We are only concerned about our team.”

UAE will go into the match at Newcastle’s Hunter Stadium as clear underdogs but not without some hope.

They had to dig deep to beat Japan on penalties after they finished tied at 1-1 after extra time.

They also have a good pedigree in the Asian Cup, reaching the final in 1996 and with real ambitions of emulating that feat in 2015, even if it means upsetting the tournament hosts.

“We will fight and keep going and not let it go very easy. We are very confident in our team and our players that you will see on the field,” Ali said.

“Australia are one of the best in Asia and we have seen them qualify for the semi-finals. They are a very good team with a good group of young and experienced players and they have a good coach.

“When we came here we announced our goal was to achieve the semi-final and our first goal has been achieved.

“Now the second part is that we aim to reach the final and we will work very hard to reach our level and reach the final.”

(Writing by Julian Linden in Sydney; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

US northeast braces for monster snowstorm

Posted by admin on 03/30/2019
Posted in 柳州桑拿 

The US northeast is bracing for a monster winter storm, with residents snapping up supplies ahead of what New York City’s mayor warned could be a blizzard “the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

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The stage was set for a possibly historic “nor’easter” that would affect an area from central New Jersey to the Canadian border from Monday to Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

Officials in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington urged residents to stay home as they prepared for a storm that could dump up to three feet (about a metre) of snow in some areas.

“We are facing most likely one of the largest snow storms in the history of this city,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference.

“My message to all New Yorkers is to prepare for something worse than we have seen before.”

“Take every precaution, now is the time to get ready for this extreme weather,” de Blasio said. “Don’t underestimate the storm.”

The US Weather Channel referred to the cold blast as a “possibly historic” winter storm, as airlines cancelled more than 1800 flights early on Monday as the weather system neared, according to flightaware广西桑拿,.

Some airlines waved change fees as major delays and widespread cancellations were anticipated.

“This system will be responsible for heavy snowfall and strong winds, with blizzard conditions possible along coastal areas from New Jersey to Massachusetts,” the weather service said.

“Many of the major metropolitan areas will be affected anywhere from Philadelphia through New York City and into Boston,” it added.

Blizzard warnings were in effect along the coast from central New Jersey to the Canadian border.

People were scrambling to pick up storm staples such as shovels, road salt and ice scrapers.

“With a major winter storm approaching the state, I urge New Yorkers to take all necessary precautions and make preparations for the possibility that commutes will be disrupted on Monday and Tuesday,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.