Serena Loses In Wimbledon Comeback As Nadal Digs Deep

US player Serena Williams returns the ball to France’s Harmony Tan during their women’s singles tennis match on the second day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

 

 

 

Serena Williams tasted bitter defeat on her return to singles tennis at Wimbledon on Tuesday as Rafael Nadal overcame a huge scare to progress to the second round.

Elsewhere on day two of the Championships, title contender Matteo Berrettini was forced to pull out with coronavirus while women’s top seed Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 36 matches.

Seven-time champion Williams went down to unseeded Harmony Tan of France 7-5, 1-6, 7/6 (10/7 in her first singles encounter since an injury forced her out of her first-round match at Wimbledon last year.

Williams, 40, won the last of her Wimbledon singles titles six years ago but reached the final in 2018 and 2019.

“I’m so emotional now,” said Tan. “She’s a superstar. When I was young, I was watching her so many times on the TV.

“For my first Wimbledon it’s wow — just wow.

“When I saw the draw, I was really scared. She’s such a legend. I thought if I can win one game, two games, that would be really good for me.”

Williams was far below her imperious best on Tuesday, struggling from the start with her form and fitness.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, cheered by the crowd as she made her entrance, lost the first set but broke early in the second set and went on to level the match.

But she faltered while serving for the match and faded badly in the third-set tie-break after taking a 4-0 lead.

She finished with 61 winners but 54 unforced errors the 3-hour, 11-minute evening match.

Earlier, an off-key Nadal, already halfway to a calendar Grand Slam after winning the Australian Open and French Open, dug deep to beat Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, who has not played at the tournament since 2019, thanked the crowd for their wholehearted support.

“It’s not a surface that we play very often, and especially in my case, for different reasons, the past three years I didn’t put any foot on a grass court, so it always takes a while,” said Nadal, 36.

“It was my first match and as I know, every day is a test and today was one of these important tests.”

The Spaniard appeared to be coasting to victory when he took a two-set lead but his Argentine opponent found a new level, winning the third set and going a break up early in the fourth.

But from 4-2 down the second seed found an extra gear, winning the next four games to seal the match in a little over three and a half hours, roared on by the Centre Court crowd.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion played the entire French Open with his troublesome left foot anaesthetised but he has received treatment since then and was moving well on Tuesday.

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, who took Nadal to five sets at the French Open, crashed out of the tournament at the hands of American Maxime Cressy.

The sixth seed lost 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 7-6 (11/9), 7-6 (7/5), removing another potential obstacle in the path of Nadal, who next faces Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis.

Men’s fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard in four sets.

– Covid strikes –
The early action at the All England Club was overshadowed by the announcement from Berrettini — last year’s runner-up — that coronavirus had forced him out of the tournament.

“I am heartbroken to announce that I need to withdraw from @wimbledon due to a positive COVID-19 test result,” the 26-year-old Italian wrote on Instagram.

Berrettini was widely regarded as one of the biggest threats to defending champion Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, having captured back-to-back grass-court titles in Stuttgart and Queen’s.

He is the second man to withdraw from Wimbledon with Covid in two days after 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic of Croatia also tested positive.

The Italian was a potential semi-final opponent for Nadal.

It is business as usual at the Grand Slam this year after the tournament was cancelled due to Covid in 2020 and last year was played in front of reduced crowds.

The All England Club said in a statement that protocols remained in place to minimise the risk of infection.

Poland’s world number one Swiatek, who has won her past six tournaments — coasted into the second round with a routine 6-0, 6-3 victory against Croatian qualifier Jana Fett.

There were also straightforward wins in the women’s draw for 2019 champion Simona Halep and fourth seed Paula Badosa.

Beaten French Open finalist Coco Gauff, the 11th seed, recovered from losing the first set against Romania’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse to win 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Tems Appreciates Asa, Tiwa Savage, Simi And Others After BET Win

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 26: Tems poses in the press room during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Robin L Marshall / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

 

Pop music star, Temilade Openiyi or Tems as she is widely known, has expressed her gratitude towards female artistes that have paved the path in the Nigerian music industry for her.

She took to social media to acknowledge female heavyweights that have repeatedly blazed the trail in the industry and served as inspiration for her.

In the series of tweets, she mentioned the likes of Asa, Omawunmi, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Waje, Simi, Niniola, and others thanking them “for existing”.

Tems tweeted on Tuesday, “I’m taking today to appreciate all the sisters today. Thank you for existing, thank you for deciding to get up and do something because someone saw that and became inspired by it. @Asa_official @Omawumi @TiwaSavage @yemialadee @OfficialWaje @SympLySimi @OfficialNiniola.”

Responding to the Twitter mention, Omawunmi tweeted, “I’m truly humbled! Massive Congratulations. To the sky and above!”

 

 

 

“Tems all the way. I love you big!” Asa also replied.

“A queen I Stan,” Waje responded.

 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 26: Tems attends the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET/AFP (Photo by Paras Griffin / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

 

The BET award winner also named rising stars like herself, promising they were all going “to move in like a Tsunami.”

“@amaarae @Gyakie_ @ayrastarr @faveszn @TeniEntertainer, when I see anyone of you gracing a stage, I feel like that’s me. We’re all winning and we’re about to move in like a Tsunami. So before it starts, know that love lives on this side, as we show the world how it’s done.

“And if I missed any messages, it is definitely unintentional. I don’t take your kind words and support for granted. I’m sending you all love today because you DESERVE it. Love always,” she wrote.

 

 

 

Her appreciation tweets follow her wins at the 2022 BET Awards on Sunday.

 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 26: Tems poses in the press room during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Robin L Marshall/Getty Images For BET/AFP (Photo by Robin L Marshall / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

 

Tems brought home the award for the Best International Act, beating the likes of UK’s Dave, and her Nigerian counterpart, Fireboy DML.

Wizkid’s “Essence” which featured Tems and Justin Bieber, also bagged the BET Best Collaboration award.

Alec Baldwin To Interview Woody Allen On Instagram Live

Alec Baldwin will soon interview filmmaker Woody Allen on Instagram Live.

 

 

 

Actor Alec Baldwin announced Monday he will chat live on Instagram with disgraced comedian and movie director Woody Allen.

“I have ZERO INTEREST in anyone’s judgments and sanctimonious posts here,” said Baldwin, himself at the center of a scandal after a cinematographer was shot dead last year on a film set by a gun Baldwin was holding.

The announcement of the interview, set for Tuesday, came just days after the release of “Zero Gravity,” the latest book by Allen, whose career has been overshadowed for decades by allegations of sexual abuse by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.

“I am OBVIOUSLY someone who has my own set of beliefs and COULD NOT CARE LESS about anyone else’s speculation,” Baldwin wrote in a message accompanying a short video announcing the conversation, in which he held up a copy of Allen’s new book.

In less than 24 hours, the post garnered more than 1,000 comments, many of them critical. “I’ve supported u 100% thru everything. But woody Allen? Bye” wrote one follower.

“If you believe that a trial should be conducted by way of an HBO documentary, that’s your issue,” said Baldwin, 64, referring to the documentary “Allen vs Farrow”, which came out on the streaming channel in 2021, and cast Allen in a poor light.

In the first of the four episodes of the show, Dylan Farrow, adopted by Allen and his ex-wife Mia Farrow, reiterated her accusations that the Oscar-winning director sexually abused her when she was seven years old, in 1992.

The 86-year-old director of “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” has denied the allegations and has faced multiple investigations.

“I love you Woody,” said a smiling Baldwin in his video.

Baldwin has spent several months in the eye of the storm himself after he fatally shot his director of photography on set in New Mexico while rehearsing a scene for his movie “Rust.”

Baldwin said that the conversation with Allen will start at 2:30 pm GMT on his Instagram account.

Serena Returns At Wimbledon As Nadal Eyes Next Leg Of Slam

Serena Williams of the US, playing with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, returns the ball to Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching during their women’s doubles quarter final tennis match on day four of the Eastbourne International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, southern England on June 22, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

 

Serena Williams returns to singles tennis at Wimbledon after a year away on Tuesday as Rafael Nadal begins his quest to win the third leg of a potential calendar Grand Slam.

Women’s top seed Iga Swiatek, who has won her past six tournaments, will kick off proceedings on Centre Court at 1330 local time (1230 GMT) against Croatian qualifier Jana Fett.

But the main focus will be on seven-time champion Williams, who faces unseeded Harmony Tan of France in her first singles match since an injury forced her to pull out of her first-round match last year.

Williams, 40, won the last of her Wimbledon singles titles six years ago but reached the final in 2018 and 2019.

The American, who was given a wildcard for this year’s tournament, is stuck on 23 Grand Slam singles wins — agonisingly one short of Margaret Court’s all-time record.

Doubts had been growing about whether Williams — who has slumped to 1,204th in the world after her period of inaction, would return to the sport.

But she warmed up by teaming up with Ons Jabeur in the doubles at Eastbourne last week and Wimbledon is widely considered her best chance of winning an elusive 24th Grand Slam.

– Nadal eyes calendar slam-
Nadal is halfway to winning all four majors this year after following up his Australian Open triumph by winning his 14th French Open title.

No man has achieved the feat since Ron Laver in 1969, with Novak Djokovic falling just short last year when he lost in the final of the US Open.

The Spaniard’s win at Roland Garros earlier this month took him to 22 Grand Slam singles titles — two clear of Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Nadal won the most recent of his two Wimbledon titles in 2010, having captured his first with an epic triumph over Federer two years earlier.

There was a question mark over his durability for the two weeks at Wimbledon having played the entire French Open with his troublesome left foot anaesthetised.

The 36-year-old second seed has since undergone a course of radiofrequency stimulation, a treatment aimed at reducing nerve pain in his foot.

“I can walk normal most of the days, almost every single day,” said Nadal, who faces Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo in his opening match.

“When I wake up, I don’t have this pain that I was having for the last year and a half.”

Swiatek’s last match was a comprehensive victory against Coco Gauff in the French Open final — her 35th consecutive win.

Wimbledon will test the Polish top seed’s ability to keep the run going. Reaching the fourth round last year was her best performance, even though she was junior champion in 2018.

“Grass is always tricky,” said the 21-year-old. “I actually like the part that I have no expectations there. It’s something kind of refreshing.”

Other players in action in the women’s draw on Tuesday include 2019 champion Simona Halep, who is the 16th seed this year, and last year’s beaten finalist, Karolina Pliskova.

On the men’s side, fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Switzerland’s Alexander Ritschard while 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed, plays Chile’s Cristian Garin.

US CVS Pharmacies Limit Morning-After Pill Purchases To Avoid Shortage

Plan B One-Step is a single pill that should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

 

 

The US drugstore chain CVS said on Monday that it had temporarily limited purchases of the morning-after pill to three boxes per transaction, in order to avoid a shortage following a recent US Supreme Court verdict that revoked the constitutional right to abortion.

In a statement, the company said it had “ample supply” of Plan B and Aftera, two products intended to be taken by women to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if a birth control method fails.

The drugs — commonly known as morning-after pills — are distinct from abortion drugs, which terminate pregnancies.

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned on Friday the landmark 1973 “Roe v Wade” decision that enshrined a woman’s right to an abortion, saying that individual US states can now permit or restrict the procedure themselves.

“To ensure equitable access and consistent supply on store shelves, we’ve implemented a temporary purchase limit of three (boxes) on these products,” the CVS statement said.

Walgreens, another major US drugstore chain, said it had no plans “at this time” to place restrictions on sales of morning-after pills.

“Walgreens is still able to meet demand in-store,” a spokeswoman said. “At this time, we are working to restock online inventory for ship-to-home.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Walmart supermarket chain was also limiting sales of morning-after pills to four or six for orders to be delivered by the end of the month but not for those to be shipped beginning in early July.

The company did not immediately respond to a request from AFP.

Beyonce’s New Album ‘Renaissance’ Out July 29

BEYONCE
Singer-songwriter Beyonce performs during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022.

 

After teasing the internet with days of cryptic hints Beyonce on Thursday announced the arrival next month of her long-awaited seventh studio album “Renaissance,” the megastar’s first since 2016.

Overnight the streaming service Tidal, a platform formerly owned by Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z, announced on Twitter the album would land July 29, with rival companies Spotify and Apple Music tweeting the same news minutes later.

Beyonce’s social media accounts — which last week removed their profile photos, a sure sign that something was up — meanwhile had bios updated to read “act I … RENAISSANCE.”

The blockbuster singer’s website also showed what appeared to be a new solo album available for pre-order, along with “Renaissance”-related merchandise.

Thursday’s news was accompanied by the announcement of a cover shoot with British Vogue that presents Queen B as a retro-futuristic glam club kid. The July 2022 issue is slated to hit newsstands June 21.

“Soaring vocals and fierce beats combine and in a split second I’m transported back to the clubs of my youth,” wrote Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue who spent time at Beyonce’s Los Angeles home for the story, of the star’s new music. “I want to get up and start throwing moves. It’s music I love to my core.”

“Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul.”

– ‘Music is coming’ –
Ever the enigmatic curator of her brand, the 40-year-old Beyonce is well-known for her covert album launches, having long ago bucked the standard album promotion machine for the amplifying power of social media.

In 2013 she upended the music industry’s conventional wisdom in releasing her self-titled album out of the blue — to resounding success.

And in 2016 she dropped a teaser of 2016’s seminal work “Lemonade” just one week before it came out.

It’s been six years since that visual album broke the internet. Since then, Beyonce’s endeavors have included collaborating with Jay-Z on 2018’s “Everything is Love.”

The following year she released “Homecoming,” a live album and film, which featured footage of her mythic performance at Coachella in 2018, considered among the festival circuit’s most iconic sets.

Her critically praised song “Black Parade” — which dropped amid mass protests ignited by the police murder of George Floyd — won Beyonce her 28th Grammy, making her the winningest woman ever at the music industry’s top awards gala, and its most decorated singer.

That song was eventually added to 2019’s “The Lion King: The Gift,” a companion album to the Disney remake of the film that Beyonce contributed to and curated.

In an interview in August 2021 with Harper’s Bazaar, Beyonce suggested new music was on the way and hinted at her forthcoming album’s title, saying that “I feel a renaissance emerging.”

“I’ve been in the studio for a year and a half,” she said at the time. “Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare. One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies.”

“Still, there’s nothing like the amount of love, passion, and healing that I feel in the recording studio. After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was nine years old,” the star continued.

“Yes, the music is coming!”

46 Migrants Found Dead In Trailer Truck In Texas

A first responder walks through the scene where a tractor-trailer was discovered with migrants inside-outside San Antonio, Texas on June 27, 2022.  (Photo by Sergio FLORES / AFP)

 

 

 

At least 46 migrants were found dead Monday in and around a large trailer truck that was abandoned on the roadside on the outskirts of the Texas city of San Antonio.

The grim discovery was one of the worst disasters involving migrants in the United States in recent years — and came five years after a similar deadly incident in the same central Texas city, a few hours from the Mexican border.

“At this time we have processed approximately 46 bodies that have been triaged and tagged and declared deceased,” San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told reporters.

He said that 16 people had been transported to hospital alive and conscious — 12 adults and four children.

There were no initial details on the age or nationalities of the deceased.

“The patients that we saw were hot to the touch, they were suffering from heat stroke, heat exhaustion, no signs of water in the vehicle, it was a refrigerated tractor-trailer but there was no visible working A/C unit on that rig,” Hood said.

Officials said three people were in custody over the incident.

“Tonight we are dealing with a horrific human tragedy,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg told a press conference.

“So I would urge you all to think compassionately and pray for the deceased, the ailing, the families,” he said.

“And we hope that those responsible for putting these people in such inhumane conditions are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

San Antonio, which lies about 250 kilometers (150 miles) from the border, is a major transit route for people smugglers.

It has also been gripped by a record-breaking recent heat wave, and temperatures in the area hit 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.5 degrees Celsius) on Monday.

The vehicle was found on a road near Highway I-35, a major US artery that stretches all the way to the border with Mexico.

A large-scale emergency operation was underway at the scene involving police, firefighters and ambulances.

According to San Antonio police chief William McManus, authorities were first alerted by an emergency call at about 5:50 pm local time (2250 GMT).

“A worker who works in one of the buildings up here behind me heard a cry for help,” he told reporters. “(He) came out to investigate, found a trailer with the doors partially open, opened them up to take a look, and found a number of deceased individuals inside.”

He said the probe had been turned over to the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In a statement, the DHS said it had initiated an investigation after receiving the call from San Antonio police “regarding an alleged human smuggling event”.

Dozens of emergency responders who had worked at the scene underwent a stress debriefing following the operation.

“We’re not supposed to open up a truck and see stacks of bodies in there, none of us come to work imagining that,” Hood said.

– ‘A better life’ –
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who advocates a tough line on immigration, hit out at President Joe Biden over the disaster — blaming the Democrat’s “deadly open border policies.”

“These deaths are on Biden,” Abbott tweeted. “They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”

Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic party’s candidate to run against Abbott in November, called for “urgent action” following the incident.

“Dismantle human smuggling rings and replace them with expanded avenues for legal migration that reflect our values and meet our country’s needs,” he said.

Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, called the incident a “tragedy” and said the Mexican consul was headed to the site.

Ebrard said the nationalities of the victims were not yet known, but that two Guatemalans were among the survivors.

San Antonio was the site of a similar migrant tragedy in 2017, when 10 people suffocated to death in a sweltering trailer with broken air conditioning and clogged ventilation holes as they traveled into the United States.

Dozens more had been hospitalized with heat stroke and dehydration — with the truck believed to have been holding as many as 200 people, most of whom fled when it stopped in a parking lot. The truck driver later pleaded guilty to charges related to the deaths.

After news broke of Monday’s discovery, the archbishop of San Antonio, Gustavo Garcia-Siller tweeted “Lord have mercy on them. They hoped for a better life.”

“Once again, the lack of courage to deal with immigration reform is killing and destroying lives.”

Senegal Court Sentences Opposition MP Over Banned Protest

Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa.

 

 

 

A Senegal court Tuesday handed an opposition MP a six-month suspended prison sentence for defying a ban on protests in the tense run-up to legislative elections and released another lawmaker and 82 other defendants tried in the same case.

MPs Dethie Fall and Mame Diarra Fame were tried along with the 82 other defendants at the court in the capital Dakar.

They were arrested on June 17 during a rally called by the opposition after its list of candidates for the elections was disqualified on technical grounds. The rally had been banned by the authorities, citing the risk of unrest.

Clashes broke out in Dakar and the southern region of Casamance after youths defied the ban.

Three people died and some 200 were arrested, according to the opposition.

Fall “constantly acknowledged having been the main organiser” of the demonstration, court president Ahmed Ba said, handing him a six-month suspended sentence and fine of 100,000 CFA francs ($160).

The judge dismissed the case against Fame, saying the facts against her had not been sufficiently established.

Ba also acquitted the other 82 co-defendants due to “insufficiently established facts” at the end of the trial, which lasted more than 14 hours, ending early Tuesday.

Supporters, including main opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, had cheered the defendants as they arrived in court Monday morning.

“I reject all these facts of which I am accused,” said Fall. “We are in Senegal — the right to demonstrate is enshrined in the constitution.”

Fellow legislator Fame said she was arrested after she and her two children went to see opposition figure and Dakar mayor Barthelemy Dias.

“Tell me if in Senegal the laws prohibit going to see friends, relatives or acquaintances,” she said.

The two MPs accused law enforcement of “kidnapping” them.

Tensions have been rising since Senegal’s highest court on June 3 upheld the ban on the candidates’ list.

The bar blocked Sonko, a presidential hopeful, from contesting the July 31 election.

The opposition, which has called for fresh demonstrations on Wednesday, has threatened to prevent the vote from taking place if the list is not reinstated.

Civil society groups have called for dialogue and restraint.

‘Shoot Them Dead’: Philippine President Duterte In His Own Words

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 24, 2017 shows Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gesturing as he delivers his state of the nation address at Congress in Manila. (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP)

 

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who steps down on Thursday, was infamous for his foul-mouthed tirades, off-colour jokes, and threats to kill people. 

His unfiltered remarks lashed everyone from drug users and critics to world leaders and even God — but he remained popular among Filipinos fed up with out-of-touch politicians and corruption.

Here are some of his quotes since taking power in 2016:

Drug users

“Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

On September 30, 2016, Duterte likens his deadly crackdown on drug users to Hitler’s efforts to exterminate Jews, although vastly underestimating the number of people killed in the Holocaust by the Nazi leader’s regime.

‘Kill them yourself’

“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

Hours after being sworn into office on June 30, 2016, Duterte visits a dockside slum and urges Filipinos to kill drug users.

‘Stupid God’

“Who is this stupid God? This son of a whore is really stupid in that sense. You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work.”

Taking aim at the biblical creation story, Duterte questions why God would create Adam and Eve and then expose them to temptation on June 22, 2018.

‘Shoot them dead’

“My orders are to the police and military, also village officials, that if there is trouble or the situation arises that people fight and your lives are on the line, shoot them dead.”

On April 1, 2020, Duterte issues a shoot-to-kill order against coronavirus lockdown troublemakers after a protest over food aid.

Corrupt officials

“If you commit corruption, whoever you are, I will have you flown by helicopter to Manila and I will toss you out. I have done it before, why would not I do it again?”

Duterte alludes to a past crime in explaining to typhoon survivors how he will take drastic measures against drugs and graft on December 27, 2016.

Media threats

“Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch.”

On May 31, 2016, President-elect Duterte endorses the killing of corrupt journalists.

Sexual assault

“I lifted the blanket… I tried to touch what was inside the panty.”

On December 29, 2018, Duterte recalls how he molested a maid when he was a teenager.

 

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 24, 2017 shows Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gesturing as he delivers his state of the nation address at Congress in Manila. – Rodrigo Duterte, who steps down as Philippine president on June 30, 2022, has earned international infamy for his deadly drug war and foul-mouthed tirades, but remains hugely popular among Filipinos fed up with the country’s dysfunction and political elite. (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP) / TO GO WITH Philippines-politics-Duterte,PROFILE

 

‘Shoot your vagina’

“Tell the soldiers, there’s a new order coming from the mayor. ‘We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina so that, if there are no vaginas (the woman) would be useless’.”

On February 7, 2018, Duterte says soldiers should shoot female communist insurgents in the vagina.

‘Over my dead body’

“You know if you really want me — it’s over my dead body. You will only be able to take me to the Netherlands dead. You will have a carcass. I will not go there alive, you fools. But if I see you here, I will have made the first move.”

On August 2, 2021, Duterte blasts the International Criminal Court whose prosecutors want to launch a full-blown investigation into the drug war that rights groups say has killed tens of thousands of people.

‘Son of a whore’

“You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. You son of a whore I will curse you at that forum.”

Duterte reacts on September 5, 2016, to warnings that he would face questioning by then US president Barack Obama over a war on drugs in the Philippines.

Save The Oceans, ‘Aquaman’ Star Urges

US actor Jason Momoa (R) greets UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for the Ocean Peter Thomson during the Youth and Innovation Forum at Carcavelos beach in Oeiras, outskirts of Lisbon on June 26, 2022. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)

 

 

The star of the hit “Aquaman” film on Sunday called for the world’s oceans to be protected, on the eve of a long-delayed UN conference on the issue.

“The ocean needs us,” Jason Momoa said. “Without a healthy ocean life, our planet as we know it would not exist.”

“We must seek to right the wrongs we have done against our children and grandchildren, turn the tide on our irresponsible stewardship and build a moment for a future where humanity can once again live in harmony with nature.”

Hawaiian-born Momoa, who portrays Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe movies, was speaking at a youth gathering outside the Portuguese capital Lisbon.

They were joined at the Carcavelos beach by Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is Portuguese.

Guterres said the world was “moving too slowly” to rehabilitate the oceans. “It’s time for the behaviours to be seriously condemned,” he added.

Guterres is on Monday due to address the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, co-organised by Portugal and Kenya.

Originally due to take place in April 2020, the gathering was postponed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will run through Friday.

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma Slams Graft Report As Gossip, Irrational

In this file photo taken on July 04, 2021 Former South African president Jacob Zuma addresses the media in his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma handed himself in to police late on July 7, 2021 to begin serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court, his foundation said.
Emmanuel Croset / AFP

 

 

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma, fingered to be a graft enabler, on Saturday rubbished as “unlawful” and “full of gossip” a judicial report detailing how rampant corruption gutted state coffers during his nine-year-tenure.

Known as state capture, the web of corruption hollowed out state companies in the continent’s most advanced economy, to the benefit of a few wealthy individuals and companies.

Zuma’s foundation spokesman Mzwanele Manyi told a media conference Zuma regarded the report as “unlawful and highly irrational”

“It is predictably full of gossip, innuendo and conjecture. It is very short on concrete evidence,” said Manyi.

“The report is therefore a classical case of the fruits of a poisoned tree”.

Zuma himself had been billed to attend the press conference, but his lawyers said they had advised him at the last minute to not attend to avoid violating his parole conditions.

He set up the special probe panel himself, after a damning report by the national ombudswoman about corruption at state enterprises forced his hand.

The report which accuses Zuma of being “a critical player” in the plan to pillage state firms through the Gupta family of business tycoons.

Two of the three Indian migrant brothers who fled the country the same year the corruption probe started four years ago, were arrested earlier this month in Dubai pending extradition to South Africa.

Zuma briefly appeared before the investigators, but walked out and refused to return to answer questions.

His refusal to testify prompted a showdown at the Constitutional Court, which ordered his imprisonment in July 2021 for contempt.

His incarceration sparked riots in which more than 350 people lost their lives — the deadliest unrest of the democratic era in South Africa. He was released after two months on medical parole.

‘I Didn’t Know How I’d Come Back,’ Says Serena

Serena Williams of the US, playing with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, returns the ball to Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching during their women’s doubles quarter final tennis match on day four of the Eastbourne International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, southern England on June 22, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

 

 

Serena Williams admits that she didn’t know how or when she would return to tennis but insisted retirement had not been on her agenda during her year-long absence.

“I didn’t retire. I just needed to heal physically, mentally. I had no plans. I just didn’t know when I would come back. I didn’t know how I would come back,” said the 40-year-old on Saturday.

The American star will return to singles action at Wimbledon next week for the first time since her tearful exit from the All England Club in the first round in 2021.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion is chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

However, her lengthy absence from the sport has seen her world ranking plummet to 1,204 in the world.

She needed a wildcard to play Wimbledon this year as she seeks a first major since capturing the Australian Open while pregnant in 2017.

Her last appearance at the All England Club ended after just six games when she was forced to quit her Centre Court opener against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Having made her debut in 1998, Williams said that she didn’t want that heartbreaking exit to be her last memory of Wimbledon.

“It was a lot of motivation, to be honest. It was always something since the match ended that was always on my mind.

“Wimbledon was tough last year. I felt like I was injured for most of the year. Then I ripped my hamstring.

– ‘Who knows where I’ll pop up’ -“I still tried to make New York. I gave everything I could, just every day getting ready or trying to make it. But then it’s just like, I’m not going to make it. Hung up my racquets for a little bit until I could just heal.”

In a change to tradition, and with a nod to the gravity of Williams’s injury last year which was caused by her slipping and falling, organisers have allowed practice sessions on Centre Court.

The aim is to bed in the grass so that players can enjoy immediate grip on the world’s most famous patch of grass.

“On the one hand it’s amazing, but on the other hand it’s like, we have to preserve Centre Court,” said Williams.

“Obviously I was super happy to be out there and have that opportunity, and it was also good for me to get that out of my system because the last moment I had on Centre Court was probably not my best moment.”

Williams said she decided before the French Open to make her comeback at Wimbledon and to warm-up for the big occasion, she played two matches in doubles with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in Eastbourne.

“Probably could have played singles there. I felt more prepared than I thought I would have a month or two months or three months ago,” she added.

Her rivals at Wimbledon, which gets underway on Monday, are delighted to see the American back on court.

“I saw her yesterday, I was pretty overwhelmed,” said world number one Iga Swiatek, the recently-crowned French Open champion.

Williams, meanwhile, was not in the mood to discuss her long-term future in the sport and whether or not this is her last Wimbledon.

“I can only tell you that I’m here. Who knows where I’ll pop up next,” said the American who turns 41 in September.