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Daily Archives: 06/13/2010

Photostream : England supporters wear masks resembling Cameron, Obama, Mandela and Capello

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RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 12: England supporters wear masks resembling Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between England and USA at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 12, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa.

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RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 12: England supporters wear masks resembling Prime Minister David Cameron, England manager Fabio Capello and US President Barack Obama prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between England and USA at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 12, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa.

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RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 12: England supporters wear masks resembling Prime Minister David Cameron, Nelson Mandela and US President Barack Obama prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between England and USA at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 12, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa.

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United star gets South Korea going with a win

South Korea's Ji-Sung Park (left) scores his sides second goal of the game against Greece

 

South Korea’s Ji-Sung Park (left) scores his sides second goal of the game against Greece

Times Online

June 13, 2010

SOUTH KOREA, who previously had won just a single World Cup finals game away from home, this time romped through in a canter. Their two goals could have been doubled or even trebled and it was highly appropriate that the second of them, early in the second half, should go to the Manchester United attacker, Park Ji-Sung.

Nominally playing on the far left, he popped up wherever he pleased, always quick, intelligent and splendidly elusive. His goal, however, had all too much to do with the ineptitude of the Greek centre-back Loukas Vintra who clumsily failed to clear an easy enough ball, enabling Park to dance through and easily beat the Greek keeper Alexandros Tzorvas low into the right-hand corner.

The Greece coach, Otto Rehhagel, said on qualifying: “This time, we’ve climbed the mountain and we can be proud.” But after this result they may be said to have plunged down a crevasse.

It was in 2004 that Greece so surprisingly won the European Championships in Portugal. The big striker, Angelos Charisteas, who scored in the 2004 final, played yesterday, one of four survivors. But the three-man attack had little impact on the South Korean defence. Indeed, we had to wait until the 80th minute before another of the Greek strikers, Theofanis Gekas, brought the South Korean goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong into action with a hooked left-footed shot that Jung turned over the top. Gekas was the most prolific scorer in the European qualifiers with 10 goals. You could hardly blame him yesterday for the general ineptitude of his team’s attack; he did what he could, but there was pitifully little coming to him from the flanks or from behind.

The Greek tactics were hard to understand, though their 4-3-3 formation had worked well in the past and was good enough to beat Ukraine in a playoff to reach South Africa. Their decisive goal that night was scored by Dimitrios Salpingidis, though yesterday he started on the bench and came on for the generally ineffective Celtic striker Georgios Samaras after 58 minutes.

Given the expensive and embarrassingly error by Vintra it was hard not to wonder what the Liverpool centre-back Sotirios Kyrgiakos might have done much more effectively in his place.

The whole South Korean team were far more flexible, quick and enterprising than their opponents. Especially effective was the dynamic overlapping of Cha Du-Ri, the right-back. He is the son of the first major star his country produced, the winger Cha Bum-Kun, who flourished years ago in the German Bundesliga. On 63 minutes, an especially effective piece of attacking by Cha was crowned with a cross that gave Park Chu-Yung an excellent opportunity but he headed the ball wide.

The first South Korean goal came after just seven minutes. A free kick from the left brushed the hapless head of Greece’s Kostas Katsouranis, enabling the South Korean centre-back Lee Jung-Soo to drive the ball home.

Seven minutes later Lee Chung-Yong felt, with perhaps some justification, that he had been fouled in the box, but no penalty was given by the New Zealand referee Michael Hester. South Korea kept up the pressure and on 25 minutes looked unlucky not at least to have been given the opportunity to score. Park Ji-Sung cut in, this time from the right, and appeared to have an excellent opportunity to shoot, only for the referee mysteriously to give a free kick against him.

The supposedly solid Greek defence was frequently found wanting. When Park Ji-Sung sent Park Chu-Young through, a very late desperate lunge by Vintra gave a slight deflection to the ball, enabling Tzorvas to save athletically.

Just before half-time sudden and unexpected confusion on the part of the Korean goalkeeper Jung gave Gekas a chance, but he couldn’t make full contact.

Rehhagel tried to ring the changes in the second half and there was fractional improvement in what had been a plodding performance, but overall, the South Koreans were vigorously dominant.

Star man: Park Ji-Sung (South Korea) Yellow card: Greece: Torosidis Referee: M Hester (New Zealand) Attendance: 31,513 South Korea: Jung Sung-Ryong (Seongham) 6, Cha Du-Ri (Freiburg) 7, Cho Yong-Hyung (Jeju) 6, Lee Jung-Soo (Kashima Antlers) 7, Lee Young-Pyo (Al Hilal) 6, Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton) 7 (Kim Jae-Sung (Pohang) 90min), Ki Sung-Yong (Celtic) 6, Kim Jung-Woo (Gwangju) 6, Park Ji-Sung (Man Utd) 8, Park Chu-Young (Monaco) 7 (Lee Seung-Youl (Seoul) 88min), Yeom Ki-Hun (Suwon) 6 Greece: Tzorvas (Panathinaikos) 6, Torosidis (Olympiakos) 6, Papadopoulos (Olympiakos) 6, Vintra (Panathinaikos) 5, Seitaridis (Panathinaikos) 6, Samaras (Celtic) 5 (Salpingidis (Panathinaikos) 58min, 6), Tziolis (Siena) 6, Katsouranis (Panathinaikos) 5, Karagounis (Panathinaikos) 5 (Patsatzoglou (Omonia) h-t, 6), Charisteas (Nuremburg) 5 (Kapetanos (Steaua Bucharest 60min, 6), Gekas (Eintracht Frankfurt) 6

Asia’s best

South Korea got their World Cup off to a winning start against Greece yesterday to emphasise their position as Asia’s most successful country in the competition. Ranked 47th in the world — 35 places below the Greeks — they finished in fourth place when they shared the finals with Japan in 2002. It was that performance which alerted the top European leagues to their players, Manchester United’s Park Ji-Sung being their most famous export. The Koreans first qualified for the finals in 1954 and have competed at every tournament since 1986. They will want to avoid a repeat of the 2006 finals in Germany when they also won their opening game, against Togo, but were eliminated after taking a single point from their final two games.

Cameron warns Obama over criticising BP

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Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron talks to U.S. President Barack Obama on the phone in his office at his official country residence of Chequers outside London June 12, 2010.

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June 13, 2010

David Cameron last night issued a veiled warning to President Barack Obama not to undermine BP’s “economic importance” to Britain and the United States, as the two men held crisis talks over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.

At the end of a tense week in transatlantic relations, the Prime Minister and US President tried to calm tensions in a 30-minute phone call between the Oval Office and Chequers.

Mr Cameron and President Obama insisted the special relationship remained strong, but it was clear the difficult subject of BP’s value as a FTSE 100 standard-bearer undermined by White House pressure was broached.

In return, the President maintained pressure on BP by telling Mr Cameron that the company must pay “tens of thousands” of economic claims for the oil spill and that the “large, wealthy company lives up to its obligations”.

Tensions threatened to harm the special relationship after President Obama last week stepped up pressure on BP over the environmental catastrophe, including his reference to “British Petroleum”, and his warning that he would have “fired” BP’s chief executive, Tony Hayward.

In a fresh development, it emerged that Mr Hayward has stepped up security around his family amid fears that they might be targeted over his role in the crisis.

Mr Obama has also made clear that BP must meet the financial cost of the disaster – which would threaten its ability to continue as a company.

The BP board, which meets tomorrow, is under US pressure to suspend dividend payments, threatening UK pension funds. During yesterday’s talks, Mr Cameron “stressed the economic importance of BP to the UK, US and other countries”, according to a statement released by No 10, making clear the Prime Minister believes BP’s financial position is being put at risk by US rhetoric.

The phone call came hours before England’s first World Cup match with the US. The two men discussed the football – with President Obama challenging Mr Cameron to a wager on the outcome, with the loser paying in beer. Yet the light-hearted bet did little to calm concerns that the crisis still weighs heavy on the special relationship. The Downing Street statement was couched in diplomatic language, but Mr Cameron’s stressing the company’s “economic importance” to both Britain and the US underlined Britain’s robust line on the issue.

Downing Street added: “The Prime Minister expressed his sadness at the ongoing human and environmental catastrophe in Louisiana. The President and Prime Minister agreed that BP should continue to work intensively to ensure that all sensible and reasonable steps are taken as rapidly as practicable to deal with the catastrophe.

“President Obama said to the Prime Minister that his unequivocal view was that BP was a multinational global company and that frustrations about the oil spill had nothing to do with national identity.

“The President and Prime Minister reaffirmed their confidence in the strength of the US-UK relationship.”

Conservative MP Richard Ottaway, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told the BBC: “We do have to ask ourselves: is it for the US President to interfere in the operations of an international overseas company?”

The Labour leadership candidate and shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: “We all – not just America – must dramatically reduce our voracious appetite for oil, so that we are not forced to keep drilling ever more deeply under water. If we are serious about alternative energy sources, not only can we create thousands of highly skilled jobs, but we can avoid another disaster like the one that is still going on off the Gulf Coast.

“On the immediate crisis, rather than pointing fingers, a proper investigation must establish the responsibilities of BP, the other private companies involved and the American regulatory authorities. Regulators and corporations must act responsibly to protect the public interest.”

Mr Cameron was under pressure to defend the company after the tough rhetoric from President Obama.

It emerged last night that senior US politicians are pushing Mr Obama to seek $100bn in damages against BP for the disaster – which would almost certainly see BP go bankrupt.

BP’s board will meet tomorrow to decide whether to bow to White House demands to suspend dividend payments, which are vital to UK pension funds.Mr Cameron will meet President Obama for the first time since becoming Prime Minister at the G8 summit in Canada later this month, when it is likely the crisis will still be dominating international relations. Mr Cameron will then pay a visit to Washington next month.

The oil spill crisis is the first major international test for Mr Cameron.

Even a month ago, top executives at BP headquarters were complaining privately to reporters about what they saw as an unwarranted level of hostility to the company in Washington.

But behind Mr Obama’s political theatrics, a sober reality remains: the US government remains locked in an unhappy partnership with BP to bring this catastrophe under control.

Ten days ago the White House said with great bravado that it had had enough taking part in daily press conferences with BP. Thad Allen, the Coast Guard admiral who has become the point-man on the US response, would from that day be briefing alone. If this was meant to signal the administration’s breaking free from BP, few believed it. Federal and BP personnel are no longer briefing together, but visit the Houston HQ where the command centre is housed and you find rooms filled by BP and federal folk toiling together, day in and day out.

There are more important historical reasons why BP has been every bit as much American as it has British for more than a decade. In 1998, it merged with the giant American energy company Amoco, acquiring, among other things, that company’s already extensive Gulf of Mexico drilling operations.

Maradona’s Argentina ease to opening victory

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June 12, 2010

 

 

(CNN) — Argentina’s star-studded line-up began their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in their Group B opener in Johannesburg.

A goal from defender Gabriel Heinze after six minutes was all that separated the two teams after an inspired display from Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

He could do little to stop Heinze’s powerful header from a Juan Sebastian Veron corner, but Enyeama kept his team alive with a string of acrobatic saves to deny World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.

Diego Maradona was delighted to secure his first victory as a World Cup coach, but critical of his strikers for failing to make the game safe.

“When you don’t kill things off in front of goal you can pay a heavy price. They almost got a draw — we missed loads of chances,” Maradona told AFP.

Players such as Leo Messi and Higuain knocked in around 60 goals last season between them yet today it was almost as if they couldn’t set their sights on goal
–Diego Maradona
“Players such as Leo Messi and Higuain knocked in around 60 goals last season between them yet today it was almost as if they couldn’t set their sights on goal.

“But the win means we can be calm — we are in the right track,” he added.

South Korea beat Greece in Group B opener

Enyeama’s tip over from a Messi shot led to the early corner from which the unmarked Heinze scored to spark scenes of wild celebration on the Argentina bench, led by Maradona.

Messi and Gonzalo Higuain might both have had hat-tricks as Argentina’s attacking flair was evident, but at the other end Nigeria also had opportunities to salvage a point.

Midway through the second half, Taye Taiwo found space to toe poke a shot from the edge of the area which went just wide of Sergio Romero’s left-hand post.

CNN’s World Cup twitter.buzz

As the clock ticked down, Enyeama blocked Messi as he looked certain to score but in a swift counter attack Nigeria then had their best chance of the match as Aiyegbeni Yakubu crossed from the right and Kala Uche made a hash of his volleyed attempt from 10 meters out.

At the final whistle it was a deserved victory for Argentina, but they will face a sterner test in their next match in five days time against South Korea, who top Group B after their earlier 2-0 win over Greece.

Nigeria, who have lost five and drawn once since their last World Cup finals victory in 1998, will be looking to break that winless run against the Greeks, who also have a poor record in football’s global showpiece.

7.5 quake hits ocean near Indian islands

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PORT BLAIR, India – A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 struck in the ocean near India’s Nicobar Islands on Sunday, sparking some tsunami warnings, the U.S. Geological Survey and local officials said.

There were no initial reports of casualties or damage, although people ran from their homes in fear on Nicobar, witnesses said.

The quake was originally registered with a magnitude of 7.7 but that figure was later revised down slightly to 7.5, the USGS said in a statement.

Military spectacle marks Queen Elizabeth’s birthday

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace during the 'Trooping the Color' parade in London.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace during the ‘Trooping the Color’ parade in London.

June 12, 2010

London, England (CNN) — British troops dressed in red jackets and black bearskin hats put on a military spectacle in London on Saturday to mark Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday.

They marched to music as other troops sat on horses for the annual ceremony, known as Trooping the Color. It took place on the Horse Guards Parade, the marching ground within sight of the queen’s residence at Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth, wearing a lilac outfit and hat decorated with bow of pink and green, sat front and center to watch what many consider the most celebrated event on the British royal calendar.

The queen, who turned 84 this year, was born on April 21 but celebrates her birthday on a Saturday in June when the weather is better.

Trooping the Color dates at least to the early 18th century, when the colors — or flags — of the battalion were “trooped” down the ranks so they could be seen and recognized by all the soldiers, according to Buckingham Palace and the British Army.

Since 1748, the ceremony has also marked the sovereign’s official birthday, the palace said.

Queen Elizabeth has attended it every year except for 1955, when a national rail strike canceled the event, the palace said.

A limited number of tickets are available to the public to watch the event at the Horse Guards Parade. It is also shown live on TV, and others can watch the troops go by on The Mall, which leads from the palace to the parade.

The ceremony is carried out by fully operational troops from the Household Division of the British Army.

Only one color can be trooped at a time, and the five Household Regiments — Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish, and Welsh Guards — take their turn each year. This year it was the turn of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, who recently returned from Afghanistan.

At the end of the ceremony, the queen climbed into an open-top horse-drawn carriage for the ride back to Buckingham Palace. The crowds along The Mall, lined with Union Jacks, cheered as she went past.

The queen then stood on the palace balcony to watch a military fly-past that ended with aircraft trailing red, white, and blue, the colors of the British flag. She waved to the crowds and was joined by other members of the royal family, including her husband, Prince Philip; her son, Prince Charles; and her grandson, Prince William.

Diego Maradona Steals The Limelight

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June 13, 2010

(KOMPAS.COM)  Diego Maradona chided his Argentina players for wasting too many chances in their opening win against Nigeria at the World Cup, Saturday, saying they need to score more goals in future games. Maradona said it seemed like his players “couldn’t see the goal” and were too forgiving as they squandered numerous scoring opportunities in their 1-0 victory.

“We should not forgive, that’s what I told them after the match,” a relaxed Maradona said. “In football, to forgive is to pay.”

Maradona also praised Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who made spectacular saves against Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain to keep the Africans in the game.

“Today we took a very important step but we have to improve many things to reach the seventh match,” Maradona said in reference to the tournament final. “Still, the boys did well.” Making his World Cup coaching debut, Maradona said everything would be fine if the missed opportunities meant Argentina was saving some goals for Thursday’s encounter with South Korea. “Goals aren’t missed on purpose,” Maradona said. “Winning has given us a certain calm for the next match.”

Before the game, Maradona seemed not to have a care in the world. As Ellis Park was filling up with thousands of Argentine fans, he walked around the edge of the pitch calling out to apparent acquaintances in the stands, listened to the crowd serenading their hero and allowed himself to be followed around by dozens of photographers taking pictures of him dressed in warmups.

During the game, after putting on a suit and tie before sitting on the Argentina bench, Maradona did not seem all that different from other coaches, trying to make his players move into position and giving instructions to substitutes about to enter the game.

But his reaction to the final whistle from German referee Wolfgang Stark was telling Maradona began hugging and patting the backs of his assistants, the substitutes on the bench and the players coming off the field as if Argentina had just won the final, not the first game of the group phase.

Maradona was especially outgoing with Messi, giving him a bear hug and lifting him off the ground in celebration. “I want Messi always close to the ball and he was,” Maradona said. “He did terrific things today.”