Sunday, 12 February 2017

Mawson and Olsson sharpen Leicester’s pain…See full details

Swansea City's English defender Alfie Mawson (R) shoots to score the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Swansea City and Leicester City at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales on February 12, 2017. PHOTO: Geoff CADDICK / AFP

Defenders Alfie Mawson and Martin Olsson gave Swansea City a 2-0 win over Leicester City on Sunday that nudged the flatlining Premier League champions closer to the relegation zone.

Mawson and Olsson netted crisp strikes prior to half-time at the Liberty Stadium to give Swansea manager Paul Clement a fourth win in six games since he succeeded the sacked Bob Bradley.

Swansea’s victory, their 100th in the top flight, took them four points clear of the bottom three and left Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester just one point and one position clear of danger in 17th place.

The extraordinary feats of last season have been replaced by history of a different kind as Leicester became the first reigning champions to lose five successive top-flight games since Chelsea in 1956.

They also became the first team to go six games without scoring at the start of a calendar year in the English top tier since Stoke City in 1985.

Brought back down to earth after their mid-week FA Cup win at Derby County, Leicester could scarcely be in a more sorry state as their Champions League last 16 tie with Sevilla looms on the horizon.

Clement made one change, bringing Nathan Dyer in for Wayne Routledge, but was forced to reverse the switch after Dyer’s reunion with his old club was curtailed by an ankle injury sustained in the fifth minute.

Dyer, who spent last season on loan at Leicester, duly re-emerged on the bench, the lower half of his left leg encased in a protective boot.

With the big guns restored to the Leicester line-up after their 3-1 win over local rivals Derby, the visitors looked to assert themselves.

– Sorry predicament –

But blocked shots from Wilfred Ndidi, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez were all they had to show for their early endeavours and as the first half wore on, Swansea established control.

After Routledge had seen a volley parried by Kasper Schmeichel and Gylfi Sigurdsson had drilled a shot wide with his left foot from outside the box, the home side took a 36th-minute lead.

Robert Huth could only help Sigurdsson’s free-kick towards the back post, where it was nodded back into the danger zone by Federico Fernandez, and Mawson lashed a vicious volley past Schmeichel.

Swansea landed another blow in first-half stoppage time after a slick one-touch move involving Tom Carroll, Fernando Llorente and Sigurdsson.

The latter’s through-ball freed Olsson, who drove into the box from wide on the left before battering a shot between Schmeichel and his near post.

Ranieri made a double change at half-time, sending on Ben Chilwell and Islam Slimani for Christian Fuchs and Marc Albrighton.

Slimani came closest to bringing Leicester back into the game, first seeing a shot blocked by Lukasz Fabianski from Mahrez’s deft pass and then just failing to get a touch on Mahrez’s right-wing cross.

But Leicester’s problems in front of goal were destined to continue, a wild shot from Vardy drawing derisive hoots from the Swansea fans and summing up the champions’ sorry predicament.

White House considering new immigration order…Read full details

The White House confirmed Sunday it is considering issuing a new order on immigration now that President Donald Trump's travel ban has been halted as it makes its way through the courts.

The White House confirmed Sunday it is considering issuing a new order on immigration now that President Donald Trump’s travel ban has been halted as it makes its way through the courts.

“Right now we are considering and pursuing all options,” presidential aide Stephen Miller told Fox television.

He said the next step would be either filing an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court, defending the merits of the order in lower courts or issuing a new one.

“The president’s powers here are beyond question,” said Miller, who is considered one of the driving forces behind Trump’s first actions on immigration. Miller insisted the president has the power to keep some people from entering the United States.

“We are contemplating new and additional actions to ensure that immigration is not a vehicle for admitting people into our country that are hostile to its nation and its values,” Miller said.

The order that Trump issued abruptly on January 27 halts resettlement of all refugees for 120 days and that of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

It also bars for 90 days the entry of nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries.

A federal judge in Seattle issued a stay against the order on February 3. Then a three judge appeals panel in San Francisco voted unanimously last week against reinstating Trump’s ban. Among other things, it rejected the argument that the president’s actions in the area of immigration cannot be reviewed by the courts.

The Trump ban was supposed to be in place while the government comes up with a new system of so-called “extreme vetting” of people seeking entry visas. This could include checks on their social media accounts, according to John Kelly, the secretary of homeland security.

“Our immigration system should not be a vehicle for admitting people who have anything but love in their hearts for this nation and this constitution,” said Miller, who is 31.

“It is a message that I want the world to hear today. This country will protect its borders. It will protect its people,” Miller said.

The idea of the White House issuing a modified immigration order that would survive scrutiny in the courts does not convince Democrats, who from the outset have charged that Trump’s order is simply anti-Muslim and plays into the hands of extremists.

“It will be used as a recruitment for terrorist organizations. It will put Americans at greater risk traveling abroad,” said Democratic Senator Ben Cardin.

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These are just pictures but they tell stories that will either Educate, Entertain or Motivate you…




‘Islamophobia’ fuelling terrorism, says UN chief…Read full details

This handout photo released by the Turkish Prime Ministery Press office on February 10, 2017 shows UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (2nd R) taking part in a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (Unseen) in Istanbul.<br />TURKISH PRIME MINISTER PRESS OFFICE / AFP

“Islamophobia” in parts of the world is fuelling terrorism, the head of the United Nations said on a visit to Saudi Arabia Sunday, as anti-immigrant sentiment rises in some countries.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the comment to reporters after talks with Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“One of the things that fuel terrorism is the expression in some parts of the world of Islamophobic feelings and Islamophobic policies and Islamophobic hate speeches,” Guterres said at a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

“This is the best support that Daesh can have to make its own propaganda,” Guterres said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group of Sunni extremists in Syria and Iraq.

The jihadist group has also claimed deadly attacks in Saudi Arabia and in Europe.

Anti-immigration politicians including France’s Marine Le Pen have seen their popularity rise after an influx to Europe of migrants, many of them Muslims fleeing wars in Syria and elsewhere.

US President Donald Trump issued an order in late January that denied entry to all refugees for 120 days.

It also blocked travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Refugees from Syria were blocked indefinitely.

But the order has faced obstacles and on Thursday an appellate court decided unanimously to maintain a block on Trump’s order.

Syria’s conflict has created 4.8 million refugees and killed more than 310,000 people since it began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

Guterres said “we will never be successful in fighting terrorism in Syria if an inclusive political solution is not found for the Syrian people.”

A new round of UN-sponsored peace talks is scheduled for February 20 in Geneva.

Guterres arrived in Saudi Arabia from Turkey and is to be in Dubai on Monday for the World Government Summit during his regional tour.

Bale back in Real Madrid training…See full details

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale (L) scores past Leganes's goalkeeper Serantes during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Club Deportivo Leganes SAD at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 6, 2016.<br />JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

Real Madrid received a boost ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Napoli on Wednesday as Gareth Bale returned to training on Sunday for the first time in three months.

Bale has been sidelined since damaging ankle ligaments in a 2-1 win at Sporting Lisbon on November 22.

“The big news (from training) was the return of the Bale, who completed the session with the rest of his teammates,” Madrid said in a statement on Sunday.

Bale’s return means Real boss Zinedine Zidane has a fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of the visit of the in-form Italians.

Madrid maintained their one point lead at the top of La Liga and with two games in hand over Barcelona thanks to a 3-1 win at Osasuna on Saturday.

Napoli remain unbeaten in 18 games stretching back to October after beating Genoa 2-0 on Friday.

Burnley’s Brady checks Chelsea charge…See full details

Home debutant Robbie Brady scored a memorable free-kick to earn Burnley a 1-1 draw on Sunday that prevented Chelsea moving 12 points clear at the Premier League summit.

Brady cancelled out an early strike from Pedro and while the point stretched Chelsea’s lead to 10 points, their advantage will be trimmed to eight points if Manchester City win at Bournemouth on Monday.

Brady’s goal continued his recent run of success against Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, with the winger having also scored the winning goal for Ireland against Conte’s Italy in the Euro 2016 group stage.

Burnley, whose home record is bettered only by second-place Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea themselves, looked like they might be swept away following an electrifying start from the league leaders.

But Sean Dyche’s team, who had won seven straight games at Turf Moor after losing to Manchester City in mid-November, showed great resilience and deservedly equalised after 24 minutes through Brady.

A foul by Nemanja Matic on Joey Barton on the edge of the area presented Brady, a club-record £13 million ($16.2 million, 15.3 million euros) signing from Norwich City last month, with his chance.

He took it in style, curling a magnificent 20-yard free-kick over the wall and into the top-left corner.

That cancelled out an equally impressive opener from Chelsea that was started, and finished, by Pedro in the seventh minute.

The Spanish winger helped begin the attack deep in his own half with a pass to Eden Hazard who, in turn, fed Victor Moses on the right.

After skipping past Brady’s crude challenge, Moses crossed for Pedro, who had covered nearly 70 yards, and his low, angled shot gave Tom Heaton no chance in the Burnley goal.

– Furious tempo –
Chelsea had threatened to simply sweep their hosts away during a positive opening in which they repeatedly hit Burnley on the break.

But after weathering that pressure, the Clarets began to show why they have become so feared on their own turf.

Ashley Barnes was presented with a couple of half-chances before the equaliser and, soon after it, Andre Gray flashed an inviting low cross through the Chelsea six-yard box.

Burnley should even have taken a lead into the interval after Barton found full-back Matt Lowton, who only had Thibaut Courtois to beat but was denied by a solid block from the Chelsea goalkeeper.

The furious tempo of the game continued after the restart, with a mistake by Matic and an error by David Luiz culminating in Gray gathering Barnes’s pass and shooting straight at Courtois.

In response, and thanks to a Ben Bee mistake at the other end, Diego Costa had a shot blocked before Cesar Azpilicueta chanced his luck with a long-range shot that just cleared the Burnley crossbar.

Burnley substitute Scott Arfield was also guilty of a potentially costly error when his weak clearance was picked up by Hazard, but the Chelsea man’s effort was hurried and well over.

Yet another Chelsea attack ended in similar fashion a few minutes later with substitute Cesc Fabregas slicing a shot hopelessly wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Arfield almost twisted and turned his way through on goal late on, but Luiz’s challenge prevented him from giving Burnley six successive home league victories for the first time in 56 years.

Islamic scholar renews call on Boko Haram to end violence (Read full details)



An Islamic scholar, Malam Abdullahi Abubakar, on Sunday, advised Boko Haram members to end the violence and embrace peace if they truly believe in Islam.

He gave the advice at a workshop on Deradicalisation, Counter-Terrorism and Migration in Maiduguri. Abubakar, also a lecturer at Bayero University Kano (BUK), said killing of innocent souls and destruction of property was contrary to Islamic teachings.

He condemned the Boko Haram ideology of trying to establish a wholly Islamic State, adding that “the Boko Haram group should re-consider its thought and revisit its methodology by following the right teachings of Islam.

“Islam is based on four foundamentals; they are justice, mercy, wellbeing and wisdom and anything contrary to these is against Islamic Shariah.

“Boko Haram members claim that Muslims who do not join their group are non Muslims, which is contrary to the concept of justice in Islam because in Islam, there is no compulsion to any religion.”

Abubakar then urged individuals having interest in the group to have a rethink as Boko Haram was evil. He said “they slaughter people and rape women all in the name of religion, this is certainly not part of Islam.

“Muslims must seek knowledge to be able to perform the religion in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Prophet.” The scholar explained that the workshop was packaged by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) to sensitise participants on the true teachings of Islam.

Mr Ikponmwosa Omoigiade, the CDD Project Coordinator, said the event was aimed at strengthening the capacity of communities and religious leaders in counter narratives to extremist views and perspectives toward the prevention and countering of radical views capable of breeding terrorism.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 80 participants comprising clerics, youths and women took part in the workshop, supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japanese Government.