‘We’re not women’: Juve star Can sparks ‘sexism’ debate after apology for Ronaldo red card comments

By ethan / September 21, 2018

Juventus midfielder Emre Can has apologized for saying “we’re not women” when hitting out at teammate Cristiano Ronaldo’s red card against Valencia in the Champions League earlier this week – sparking a furious online debate.

Ronaldo was handed a straight red card in the first half for tugging at Valencia defender Jeison Murillo’s hair.

READ MORE: Ronaldo red card relief: Cristiano ‘set to be handed 1-game ban,’ freeing him up for Man Utd return

The Portugal star left the field in tears and many judged the sanction to be harsh given the minimal contact he made with Murillo.

On being shown the incident after the game, Juve teammate Can said: “That’s supposed to be a red? I just heard that he said it was because of hair pulling.

“We’re not women, we’re playing football. If you’re giving that as a red card, you can be sent off for any foul. One hundred percent, that is not a red card.”    

Can, 24, later took to Twitter to “clear the air” regarding the comments, which some had branded “sexist” due to his reference to women.    

“I would like to state that the comments made were never focused on nor meant to degrade women, women’s football or equality in any form. Everyone who knows me knows about my respect for women, equality and respect,” the German international wrote.

“My intention was to stick up for my team mate regarding a wrong decision which could have affected our game. I sincerely apologise if any of the comments I made have caused any harm,” added Can, who came on as a first-half substitute in the 2-0 win against Valencia.

The contrite post met with a mixed response, with some saying there was “nothing to apologize for” and that they were “mortified” that Can had been forced into the clearing up the comments.  

Others dismissed the apology as the work of a PR team, and accused Can of “demeaning an entire gender” with the comments.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo is reportedly set to escape with a one-game ban over the incident, meaning he will return to Champions League action in time to face former club Manchester United.

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US sanctions are sign of dollar crisis & decline of confidence – Lavrov

By ethan / September 21, 2018

The US dollar system has completely discredited itself and the confidence in the greenback is falling very sharply, according to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Sanctions by Washington are a sign of that.

Russia is working on ways to cut its dependence on the US and the dollar system, Lavrov said Friday during his visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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© Murad Sezer

“We are already drawing conclusions, doing everything necessary not to depend on the countries that are acting that way with their international partners,” Lavrov said. According to the Russian foreign minister, US sanctions undermine global trust in the world’s most used currency.

Lavrov was reacting to the fresh US sanctions against Russia introduced Thursday. 33 people and entities were added to the US Treasury blacklist of Russian defense and intelligence sector.

“More and more of our partners in Asia, in Latin America, start to draw the same conclusions [about the US dollar]. I think that this trend will only continue,” Lavrov said.
In August, speaking on the same issue, Lavrov said that US sanctions are “illegal, they undermine all principles of global trade and principles approved by UN decisions.”

Russia’s leading banks have said that slashing the dependence from the US dollar is inevitable, but would be a tough challenge. “You cannot immediately abandon the dollar. Probably, impossible taking into account its role in the economy. But if we do not start, we will never come to this, so we need to start now and we are already doing such work,” said Russia’s second largest bank CEO Andrey Kostin last week.

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Moscow court liquidates vigilante movement that fought parking violations

By ethan / September 21, 2018

Moscow City Court has ruled that the public movement that fought illegal parking by putting huge insulting stickers on vehicles, publicly telling off violators and posting subsequent conflicts on the internet, should be dissolved.

The court said that the process to liquidate the Stopkham movement had come from the Justice Ministry over activists’ refusal to publish a report about their activities, as required by the Russian Law on Public Organizations. It also said that the movement can appeal the ruling within one month.

The name Stopkham is a Russian neologism that can be translated as “against rudeness” or “stop uncivilized people.” The movement was started in 2010 and quickly became well known to mass media and broad public because of its trademark action style. Stopkham activists picked wrongly parked cars, usually in Moscow, and put huge stickers reading “I don’t care about anyone I park wherever I want” on the vehicles’ windshields. Such behavior sparked many conflicts and sometimes verbal confrontations evolved into very physical ones – to the delight of the self-styled traffic cops who recorded everything on video and posted clips on the internet.

In 2017 Stopkham founders said that they intended to expand the sphere of their activities to “all publicly important issues” not just violations of some particular traffic rules. In press comments the representative of the movement described their new initiative as a nationwide internet channel collecting and distributing reports about various problems as well as about people who react to criticism in a wrong way.

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© alicebon5

It should be noted that the Justice Ministry already submitted a lawsuit requiring Stopkham liquidation in 2016, but recalled it without explaining the motives.

Stopkham founder and leader Dmitry Chugunov told reporters on Friday that he and his comrades were actually happy about the fresh ruling ordering the dissolution of their movement. He noted that in 2016, after the first liquidation attempt the activists understood that they didn’t need to register as a public movement to go on with their mission and stressed that the group would continue to exist in virtually unchanged form regardless of official titles in its name.

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Footballer disappears into hole while celebrating Europa League goal (VIDEO)

By ethan / September 21, 2018

FC Zurich midfielder Benjamin Kololli got more than he bargained for with his goal celebration in his team’s Europa League clash against AEK Larnaca in Cyprus, unexpectedly disappearing into a moat-like area around the pitch.

READ MORE: Ronaldo red card relief: Cristiano ‘set to be handed 1-game ban,’ freeing him up for Man Utd return

Kololli, who netted a penalty winner against the Cypriot side, rushed off towards the visitor fans section in celebration.

The 26-year-old skillfully negotiated the advertising hoardings and continued his approach to the fans, not realizing he was about to jump into a lowered area designed to prevent supporters from invading the pitch.

The midfielder disappeared from sight, prompting his worried teammates to run over to the advertising hoardings to check whether he was alright.

Several seconds later, the Kosovo international scrambled out of the moat in one piece, much to the relief of his watching teammates.

Kololli was able to continue the Group A match, which ended 1-0 to Zurich.

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Trump is obsessed with auto trade, French ambassador to the US says

By ethan / September 21, 2018

The White House may halt lengthy trade talks with the European Union and scrap any possible deal to issue crippling tariffs against products imported from members of the bloc, warns the French Ambassador to the US Gerard Araud.

US President Donald Trump may renew his threats to introduce duties on the vehicles produced in Europe in the near future, according to the ambassador. Moreover, Trump might impose import tariffs just because he gets fed up with the prolonged negotiations.

“The cars will be certainly a sort of test case in the coming weeks and months on this European-American relationship — if the Americans go back to this idea of tariffs on cars or not,” Araud said during a briefing at his official residence in Washington.

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© Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

According to the French president’s right-hand man, any substantive decision “will take months to negotiate, and we are not sure that the president — your president — has the patience to wait for it.”

“So the coming months will be critical to whether we have a virtuous negotiation starting between the US and Europe and we forget the threats the tariffs and the trade war, or whether we go back to a trade war with the Europeans,” Araud said.

The partners have been at loggerheads over mutual exports and imports after Washington imposed 25 and 10 percent tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the US in an attempt to eliminate a significant trade imbalance. Brussels retaliated with taxing the US goods of worth $ 3.3 billion.

Mutual sales of vehicles have become a hot issue for the US president, who has repeatedly slammed the EU car producers for unfair behavior, urging them to build plants on US territory.

“There is an obsession by the president on trade about cars,” the French ambassador stressed. “Every time he’s talking about trade with the Europeans, he’s talking about BMW or Mercedes.”

Under the current trade deal, the US levies a 25 percent tariff on light trucks and pickups and 2.5 percent on smaller vehicles from Europe, while Brussels applies a 10 percent tariff to all passenger cars imported from the US.

In August, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom proposed bringing the car tariffs to zero. Trump rejected the offer, saying the proposal is a one-sided deal favoring Europe.

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War of Words: The best quotes from Conor & Khabib's 'darkest' UFC 229 presser (PHOTOS/VIDEO)

By ethan / September 21, 2018

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and MMA superstar Conor McGregor took part in the UFC 229 press conference in New York City ahead of their Las Vegas mega-fight next month – and the verbal sparks flew.

READ MORE: Khabib Nurmagomedov v Conor McGregor UFC 229 press conference from NYC (VIDEO)

Notoriously not-exactly-camera-shy McGregor was on white-hot form and at his scathing best, turning the event into a showcase of his razor-sharp wit and verbal gymnastics – somehow managing to become several octaves louder than his bright pink suit at Thursday’s presser.

The former champ was immediately on the front foot and attacked everything from Khabib’s father and trainer Abdulmanap and the fighter’s “glass jaw” to making scathing accusations of cowardice and corruption towards the Russian and his team. 

Promotion CEO Dana White called Thursday’s event “the darkest press conference” he had witnessed due to the personal nature of the epithets slung back and forth from either fighter.  

Undefeated 26-0 champ Khabib remained cool and calm throughout, firing back his own stern shots and retorts to the outspoken Irish phenomenon.

Here, RT Sport rounds up the most scything, close-to-the-knuckle quotes from the press conference for the UFC’s ‘biggest fight in history’.

READ MORE: ‘Are you disrespecting Putin!?’ – Conor goads Khabib over WC final pic with Russian President

“I came back for the love of fighting and the love of war, and I am going to love putting a truly truly bad beating on this little glass-jaw rat.” – McGregor gets the ball well and truly rolling with an explanation of his return from a two-year lay-off to try and reclaim the lightweight belt he once held.

“What’s wrong? English change your language? Now you talk English? What’s wrong with your language?” – Khabib lets fly with a crack at McGregor’s use of English as opposed to Gaelic in reference to English colonialism in Ireland, to which McGregor replies in Irish.

Reporter: “Fill in the blank. Conor McGregor is going to ‘blank’ Khabib when you two meet each other.”

McGregor: “STOMP ON HIS HEAD AS HE’S UNCONSCIOUS!” – ‘Mystic Mac’ makes yet another menacing prediction for the fight.

“You said send location… HERE I AM. RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!” – McGregor answers Khabib’s famous quote.

“My Chechen friends…they told me that they have chicken jaws in Dagestan, and I believe them, because I know a glass jaw when I see one…I know he is afraid of a smack; and if you’re afraid of a smack, off me, a smack will feel like a double barrel shotgun.” – McGregor believes he has the edge of inside information on Dagestan native Khabib.

“I hope it’s a long night!” – McGregor welcomes the promises made by Khabib to try and drag ‘The Notorious’, known for his swift KO-power and early finishes, into deep water in the latter stages of the fight.

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© Aleksey Nikolskyi

Khabib: “We don’t need questions. I will ask the questions. Ask your friend why he let me slap him.” Conor: “Ask these nuts.” – McGregor bats away a Khabib potshot, in reference to his altercation with the Russian training partner of the Irishman, Artem Lobov, with yet another one-liner.

“Wrestling? You’re going to be wrestling my knuckle out of your orbital bone.” – McGregor scoffs at the clear dichotomy in their individual fighting styles.  

READ MORE: ‘I’ll beat Khabib in the name of the Russian people!’ McGregor makes shock UFC 229 promise (VIDEO)

“After this fight, back to boxing” – Khabib goads Conor about his multimillion-dollar deal to fight pound for pound boxing king Floyd Mayweather Jr., which is the only outing in combat sports he has made in a two-year absence from the octagon, a 10th-round TKO loss.

“Are you disrespecting your president, Vladimir Putin!? Are you disrespecting your president, Vladimir Putin!?” – McGregor accuses Khabib of making a flippant comment about not wanting a picture with Russian President Putin at the World Cup final, similar to the Irishman’s.

“You took a s*** on the back of a bus” – McGregor was like a dog with a bone on the subject of the incident in which the former two-time UFC champion attacked a bus carrying fighters, including Khabib, at the Barclays Center in April, smashing a window of the vehicle.

“If my friend ever gets slapped, I would ask ‘why you didn’t give him back’. You have to fight. If you lose we gonna come. What’s wrong with him? What’s wrong with your team?” – Khabib has his say on the altercation with Lobov and McGregor’s reaction.  

“Still work but I think maybe no.” – Khabib fails to confirm whether or not his father and trainer, Abdulmanap, would be able to receive a US visa for the fight.

“If you got off that bus, you’d be dead right now and I’d be in a cell.”temporary jailbird McGregor again mentions bus-gate, ironically after which he was arrested and spent time in custody.

“You can’t say as-salaam alaikum and congratulate whiskey.” – Khabib has stern words for a reporter’s greeting to both fighters, after addressing the Russian and then complimenting McGregor’s alcohol business venture. 

“You’re dead when I get my hands on you, did you hear me? You’re f****** dead! I’ll drink it. Me and the Irish Boston animal, Dana White, the OG of the fight game! We’ll sup these bad boys.” – McGregor offers Khabib a sample of his whiskey, which the devout Muslim rebuffs. The ‘Champ Champ’ ensures he will enjoy the refused libation with White when the fight is over. 

“It’s on the canvas! It’s on the canvas! Like his blood will be on the canvas October 6th. Let’s get this face-off done we’re wrapped up now.” – Ever the salesman, McGregor makes sure he has the last word of proceedings.  

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‘Any dialogue is better than none at all’ – top Russian senator on relations with US

By ethan / September 21, 2018

The chair of the Russian Upper House has stressed the importance of parliamentary dialogue with Washington but added that the political situation in the US impeded effective cooperation – at least until the end of midterms.

In an exclusive interview with RT, Valentina Matviyenko recalled the recent visit to Moscow by the delegation of US lawmakers led by Senator Ron Paul. She noted that the event could not be considered full-fledged negotiations between the two parliaments as the US delegation lacked the requisite powers, but nevertheless emphasized the importance of such dialogue.

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© Joe Skipper / Reuters

She also described the talks as an attempt by US politicians to listen to Russian arguments and understand the Russian position instead of towing the ‘blame Moscow for everything’ line being fed to the American public.

When asked about possible future Russia-US dialogue, Matviyenko said that it was difficult for her to make any forecasts due to the very complex internal political situation in the United States and the critical impending midterms. The Russian side will wait for the results of these midterms before making any decisions, she said.

At the same time, the top Russian senator praised the efforts of Senator Paul who had raised the possibility of the mutual lifting of sanctions imposed on parliamentarians. He is currently forming a group of US senators and congressmen with a view to inviting a Russian Upper House delegation to the United States.

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A US flag on the US Embassy building © Anton Denisov

I support any possibility of repairing contacts and starting a dialogue. Personal contacts are very important for this,” Matviyenko told RT, adding that she would definitely participate in the Russian Upper House delegation should the visit to the US be agreed.

Matviyenko went on to stress the importance of the Upper House Commission for Protection of Russian State Sovereignty, saying its creation was very timely and wise. Attempts by outside forces to meddle in Russia’s internal affairs are taking evermore sophisticated forms and even simple awareness and monitoring of Western partners is key, she said.

She also gave an example of the positive effect of the commission’s work: “When Google violated the laws of the Russian Federation and this fact was uncovered by the commission, a statement was made and such behavior was described as inadmissible. And Google, being a law-abiding organization, removed the elections-related content that had been posted in violation of our laws. This is a small but very concrete example.”

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Multiple people stabbed in Queens, NYC including children – reports

By ethan / September 21, 2018

A knife attack has left multiple people wounded in a daycare center in Queens, New York, reports, citing police, say. Children are among the victims. The female suspect is in custody.

The incident happened early Friday morning in a home operating as a daycare nursery in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens.There are reportedly at least five victims, including three children. One of girls is in a critical condition, but none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

The suspect, a woman who is reportedly 52 years old, was found in the basement with self-inflicted knife wounds to her wrists. She was taken to hospital in police custody, and is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The suspect’s motive remains unclear. Her relationship to the victims has not been disclosed so far.

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UK boasts of securing its skies from ‘aggression’… by peeking at Russian bombers in int’l airspace

By ethan / September 21, 2018

The Royal Air Force has fearlessly thwarted yet another act of ‘Russian aggression’ in the British domain, by escorting a couple of Tu-160 bombers flying through international airspace and miles away from UK borders.

Two Russian Tu-160 (NATO reporting name Blackjack) supersonic strategic bombers flew through international airspace over the North Sea on Thursday. “The flight lasted over 14 hours. During the flight, the crews of the strategic Tu-160 bombers performed aerial refueling,” the Russian Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

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FILE PHOTO. © SAC Cathy Sharples / raf.mod.uk

The planes never violated the airspace of other countries, the Russian military stressed, and were sticking to all the rules of international airspace usage. The ministry said the bombers were “escorted” by British fighters “at some points” of their route.

Yet the encounter, which is quite routine during military training flights, was praised in the UK as another decisive victory against “Russian aggression.” While the Tu-160 planes did not even get close to British airspace, the Royal Air Force (RAF) and UK’s Ministry of Defence trumpeted hard about their resounding success.

“Russian bombers probing UK airspace is another reminder of the very serious military challenge that Russia poses us today,” Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said in a statement.

Britain “will not hesitate to continually defend our skies from acts of aggression,” the officials stressed, adding that “once again the rapid reactions of our RAF have demonstrated how vital our Armed Forces are in protecting Britain.”

In fairness, the RAF has something to be proud of this time, since it apparently got close enough to Russian planes to take pictures. It is certainly an achievement, given some earlier ‘intercepts,’ when RAF pilots actually didn’t even lay eyes on the pesky Russian planes.

It remained unclear, however, how exactly a flight in international airspace can be deemed “an act of aggression,” since the UK acknowledged that Russian bombers did not violate its “sovereign airspace.” The Russian aircraft allegedly only flew through some sort of “UK’s area of interest” in the international skies, according to the statement, and were allegedly “not talking to air traffic agencies,” which prompted the so-called “intercept.”

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