Sane Replaces Injured Mueller For Germany Against Hungary

Germany’s forward Leroy Sane puts on his exercise jersey during an MD-1 training session at the team’s base at the Adi Dassler stadium in Herzogenaurach, Germany, on June 22, 2021, on the eve of their UEFA EURO 2020 Group F football match against Hungary. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)



Leroy Sane will start for Germany in Wednesday’s crunch Euro 2020 match against Hungary in Munich, replacing Thomas Mueller who is sidelined by a knee injury.

A draw in Munich would secure Germany a place in the last 16 while Hungary, who are bottom of the group, need a win to avoid elimination.

Mueller was hurt late in Saturday’s 4-2 win over holders Portugal, which put Germany’s European Championship campaign back on track.

Joachim Loew’s men sit second in the Group F table behind France.

Sane is the only change to the German line-up as the 25-year-old makes his first start of the tournament.

Loew had been expected to name midfielder Leon Goretzka for Mueller, but instead opted for Sane’s pace on the wing.

Left-back Robin Gosens, the man-of-the-match against Portugal with a goal and two assists, as well as centre-back Mats Hummels and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, have all recovered from knocks.

Hungary coach Marco Rossi has named the same starting line-up which earned a 1-1 draw with world champions France last Saturday in Budapest.

Tensions are running high off the pitch after the city of Munich was refused permission by UEFA to light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours in solidarity with Hungary’s LGBTIQ community.


Germany’s forward Thomas Mueller reacts on the pitch during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group F football match between Portugal and Germany at Allianz Arena in Munich on June 19, 2021. (Photo by Matthias Schrader / POOL / AFP)


UEFA and the government of Hungary have both came under a hail of criticism after Budapest’s new anti-LGBTIQ law and the football body’s refusal to light the Munich stadium.

UEFA defended its decision but added the rainbow to its logo, while Budapest praised the governing body for taking a stance against what it sees as political “provocation”.

Germany skipper Manuel Neuer will wear a rainbow-coloured captain’s armband.

Starting line-ups:

Germany (3-4-3)

Manuel Neuer (capt); Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Antonio Ruediger; Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos, Robin Gosens; Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane

Coach: Joachim Loew (GER)

Hungary (3-5-2)

Peter Gulacsi; Attila Szalai, Willi Orban, Endre Botka; Attila Fiola, Andras Schafer, Adam Nagy, Laszlo Kleinheisler, Loic Nego; Roland Sallai, Adam Szalai (capt)

Coach: Marco Rossi (ITA)

Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)

List Of Euro 2020 Last-16 Qualifiers

Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer warms up before the UEFA EURO 2020 Group F football match between Germany and Hungary at the Allianz Arena in Munich on June 23, 2021. (Photo by Matthias Hangst / POOL / AFP)



List of teams that have qualified for the last 16 of Euro 2020 after Wednesday’s early matches:

Italy, Wales, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Sweden, France, Ukraine, Spain

Last-16 fixtures:

Saturday, June 26

In Amsterdam

Wales v Denmark (1600)

In London

Italy v Austria (1900)

Sunday, June 27

In Budapest

Netherlands v Czech Republic (1600)

In Seville, Spain

Belgium v third-placed team (1900)

Monday, June 28

In Copenhagen

Croatia v Spain (1600)

In Bucharest

Group F winners v third-placed team

Tuesday, June 29

In London

England v Group F runners-up

In Glasgow, Scotland

Sweden v third-placed team

Germany VS Hungary Euro 2020 Starting Line-Ups

Starting line-ups for the Euro 2020 Group F game between Germany and Hungary.



Starting line-ups for the Euro 2020 Group F game between Germany and Hungary at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday (kick-off 1900 GMT):

Germany (3-4-3)

Manuel Neuer (capt); Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Antonio Ruediger; Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos, Robin Gosens; Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane

Coach: Joachim Loew (GER)

Hungary (3-5-2)

Peter Gulacsi; Attila Szalai, Willi Orban, Endre Botka; Attila Fiola, Andras Schafer, Adam Nagy, Laszlo Kleinheisler, Loic Nego; Roland Sallai, Adam Szalai (capt)

Coach: Marco Rossi (ITA)

Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)

UK Man Jailed For Sharing Christchurch Mosque Videos



A 38-year-old British man was on Wednesday jailed for terrorism offences after sharing explosives manuals and extremist videos, including one apparently celebrating the New Zealand mosque massacres, on right-wing chat groups.

Michael Nugent of Surrey, southern England, ran a number of far-right chat groups on the Telegram app, using different identities to express his “hatred of ethnic minorities” and to share “terrorist-related documents with others”, according to police.

A judge at Kingston Crown Court in southwest London jailed him for three-and-a-half years.

“Nugent freely shared his abhorrent extremist views with others over a messaging app, and he passed on manuals detailing how to produce deadly weapons and explosive devices,” said Metropolitan Police Commander Richard Smith.

He also shared footage of the attack in Christchurch on the one-year anniversary of the atrocity in March last year and posted the manifesto of the perpetrator of the attack, Brenton Tarrant.

Nugent was arrested on August 19, 2020 and initially charged with 12 Terrorism Act offences. A further six charges were subsequently added.


Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.(AP Photo/Mark Baker)


He pleaded guilty to five counts of dissemination of terrorist publications and 11 counts of possession of a document containing information likely to be useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism.

Nugent pleaded not guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism. The judge however ruled that even though there was sufficient evidence for a prosecution there was no public interest in proceeding on those charges.

Amazon ‘Prime Day’ Spend Soars Amid Reopening

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 5, 2021, the Amazon logo at the Amazon fulfillment center in Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City. – Amazon announced plans on May 13, 2021, to add 75,000 jobs in the US and Canada as part of a further ramping up of the e-commerce giant’s massive warehouse and logistics network. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)



Amazon’s annual “Prime Day” online shopping bonanza racked up more than $11 billion in sales at the e-commerce platform, market tracker Adobe reported on Wednesday.

The event known for discounted prices and quick deliveries from Amazon and third-party retailers hawking goods at its website spanned two days, topping last year’s sales total of $10.4 billion, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index.

“This is despite relatively muted discounts across most categories, suggesting that there’s a pent-up demand for online shopping as consumers look forward to a return to normalcy,” said Adobe digital insights director Taylor Schreiner.

“The halo effect of Prime Day also played a significant role, giving both large and small online retailers significant revenue lifts.”

Amazon did not disclose sales figures for the Prime Day event that took place Monday and Tuesday, but boasted that small and medium sized businesses using its platform saw unprecedented business during the period.

“A huge thank you to all of the Amazon teams who made this Prime Day possible for members worldwide and to Prime members who supported small businesses in big ways,” worldwide consumer chief executive Dave Clark said in a post.

There are more than 200 million members of the Prime subscription service, which offers fast, free shipping of purchases along with streamed television shows that compete with Netflix.

Prime members in 20 countries shopped at the website during its sale event, buying more than 250 million items overall, according to Amazon.

Top-selling categories globally included tools, beauty, nutrition, baby care, and electronics – including Amazon gadgets such as Fire sticks for streaming television from the internet to television screens.

Popular products included a Roomba robotic vacuum; a Keurig coffee maker; gummy vitamins, and teeth whitening strips, according to Amazon.

The banner online shopping event comes as Amazon faces criticism that it pushes warehouse workers too hard to maximize productivity.

Members of a major US union on Thursday are to vote whether to make a priority of organizing Amazon workers despite such efforts failing in the past.

Leaked UN Climate Report A Call To ‘Act’

Photograph taken of a UN flag. –  (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP)




Grave warnings of the myriad threats to the planet in a draft UN climate report reinforce the message that “we need to act right now”, said Greta Thunberg, in response to AFP’s exclusive on Wednesday.

The draft by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lays out in relentless detail the potential dangers ahead for species, ecosystems and humanity.

It is not scheduled for public release until February 2022 — after crunch UN summits this year on climate, biodiversity and food systems.

Here are some of the reactions to the report:

– ‘Face reality’ –
“It confirms what we already knew, that this situation is very dire and that we need to act right now,” Thunberg told AFP.

But the Swedish activist, who spearheaded the “Fridays for Future” movement, added she found it hopeful that “many people are becoming more and more ready to tell it like it is”.

“We can of course not face this crisis unless… we are adult enough to tell the truth, and to face the reality,” Thunberg said.

“The worst thing is that when people don’t want to talk about the climate crisis… they try to smooth things over. Try to make it sound more attractive,” she said.

It was important to ensure the message is not “that things will be fine, ‘don’t worry’… when that in fact is not true.”

– Too soon –
In response to AFP’s reporting, the IPCC released a statement saying it “does not comment on the contents of draft reports while work is still ongoing”.

The IPCC explained that the reviewing process involving researchers and “practitioners across a broad range of expertise” was still in progress.

It said this was “designed to ensure that the report is as accurate, comprehensive and objective as possible”.

– ‘After the polar bear’ –
“Climate change isn’t just one more priority on our already over-crowded list,” said Katherine Hayhoe, a prominent climate scientist at Texas Tech University and chief scientist at Nature Conservancy.

“It is a threat multiplier that affects every single other priority already on it, from the air we breathe to the food we eat.”

“Climate change matters: because after the polar bear, we’re next.”

In a Twitter thread on the draft, she stressed that it is pulled together largely from published scientific studies.

“They just hadn’t been pulled together into one overwhelming list,” she said.

Hayhoe notes that previous major climate reports tended to underplay the severity of the threats.

“This tendency to understatement in past reports has been so marked that they even coined a term for it: ‘erring on the side of least drama’ or ESLD,” she said.

– ‘Serious mistake’ –
Respected climate scientist Francois Gemenne, who leads the Hugo Observatory and is an author on the IPPC report, stressed that the draft seen by AFP will undergo revisions before it is finalised and may even include extra sections.

“This is not the version that will be adopted in February 2022”, he said on Twitter.

He added that it would be a “serious mistake” to imagine that any focus on the “key messages” was useful.

“Disclosure of results prior to the outcome of this process undermines the credibility of the work of the IPCC as a whole,” Gemenne said.

Vaccine Push Vital As Delta Strain Threatens EU, Health Agency Says

Staff proceed to disinfect a light rail in Sydney on June 23, 2021, as residents were largely banned from leaving the city to stop a growing outbreak of the highly contagious Delta Covid-19 variant spreading to other regions. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)



The highly contagious Delta variant could soon account for 90 percent of new coronavirus cases in the EU, the bloc’s disease control agency said Wednesday, urging members to spur vaccination drives.

While the Alpha variant first discovered in the UK is the predominant strain now circulating in the European Union, that is expected to change quickly, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said.

“It is very likely that the Delta variant will circulate extensively during the summer, particularly among younger individuals that are not targeted for vaccination,” Andrea Ammon, the centre’s director, said in a statement.

The Delta variant, first identified in India, is more infectious than other strains, she said, adding “that by the end of August it will represent 90 percent” of new cases in the EU.

The centre’s warning comes as Russia warned of an “explosive” surge in infections that has been made worse by low rates of vaccine uptake.

The UK has also seen the Delta variant become dominant, but has been shielded by a successful vaccination campaign, with 82.5 percent of adults having had at least one jab and 60 percent fully protected.

“It is very important to progress with the vaccine rollout at a very high pace” in order to stop the spread of the variant and mitigate its health impact, the centre said.

To date, about 30 percent of the over-80s and 40 percent of the over-60s in the EU are still not fully vaccinated, the centre’s data show.

– Speed up vaccine rollout –
“At this stage it becomes crucial that the second vaccination dose is administered… to speed up the rate at which vulnerable individuals become protected,” Ammon said.

The centre estimates that the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), is 40 to 60 percent more contagious than the Alpha variant (Β.1.1.7).

“Unfortunately, preliminary data shows that it can also infect individuals that have received only one dose of the currently available vaccines,” Ammon said.

“The good news is that having received two doses of any of the currently available vaccines provides high protection,” she added.

In the UK, hospitalisations and the numbers of patients on mechanical ventilators have crept up in recent weeks. There were 250 people requiring help breathing on June 22, more than double the number from a month earlier, National Health Service data show. Still, both measures are well down from their peak.

– Don’t drop guard –
The centre also urged countries to be cautious about relaxing curbs aimed at limiting the spread, especially over the summer months.

Any relaxation “could lead to a fast and significant increase in daily cases in all age groups,” the agency said.

This increase could in turn lead to a rise in “hospitalisations, and deaths, potentially reaching the same levels of the autumn of 2020 if no additional measure are taken,” it said.

France on Wednesday added Russia to its list of countries from which non-essential travel is banned, as concern grows over the spike of cases in Moscow.

With 50,000 new infections recorded in Moscow over the past two weeks, Mayor Sergei Sobyani on Wednesday warned that “the situation has become explosive,” with 90 percent of cases being the Delta variant.

Since it was first discovered in India at the end of last year, the Delta variant has been reported in 85 countries according to the World Health Organization.

In mid-June, the emergence of the Delta variant in the UK prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay a planned full lifting of virus restrictions in England.

Portugal has also recently seen a rise in cases and on Tuesday reported that more than half of new cases in Lisbon were from the Delta variant.

Two Killed In Niger As Troops Foil Jihadist Attack

File photo of Niger Republic map.




Two villagers were killed during a raid in Niger’s troubled south as troops repulsed an attack by jihadists in another area, security sources said Wednesday.

The director of a school and a retired education official were “killed in cold blood” while sleeping in the village of Fantio Tuesday night in the southwestern region of Tillaberi, a security source told AFP.

The attackers, who were riding motorcycles, took away cattle, the source added.

In mid-May, during the Muslim festival of Eid, raiders killed five people and seriously wounded two others in the same village.

Also on Tuesday, soldiers foiled an attack by Boko Haram jihadists in the volatile Lake Chad region, killing three of the attackers and seizing weapons, a multinational military force said.

The remaining attackers fled in four vehicles following the clash in the southeastern town of Bosso, said a statement from the Mixed Multinational Force (FMM).

“Three attackers were neutralised (killed) and one vehicle seized,” the force said, adding that a machinegun and three Kalashnikov assault rifles had also been recovered.

The FMM is made up of soldiers from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

A local lawmaker from Bosso confirmed both the attack and the toll.

Rated the poorest country in the world under the UN’s Human Development Index, Niger is battling jihadist insurgences on its southwestern flank with Mali and on its southeastern border with Nigeria.

The foiled raid came just two days after nearly 6,000 people who fled jihadist violence in 2015 returned home to the troubled Diffa region where Bosso is located.

Diffa is home to 300,000 refugees and internally displaced people who have fled attacks by the Nigeria-based Boko Haram and its breakaway faction Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), according to the UN.

R. Kelly Moved To New York For Sex Crimes Trial

In this file photo taken on June 6, 2019 Singer R. Kelly arrives for a court hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP



R. Kelly has been transferred from prison in Chicago to a jail in New York ahead of his sex crimes trial next month, records showed Wednesday.

The singer is now being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

The artist born Robert Sylvester Kelly was arrested on sex-trafficking charges in July 2019.

He is accused of systematically recruiting girls for sex while touring and coercing them into sexual activity.

Kelly, 54, faces charges including racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and forced labor. They span from 1994 to 2018.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges and jury selection is due to start on August 9.

The singer known for hits like “I Believe I Can Fly” has a decades-long history of abuse allegations, especially of underage girls.

He also faces federal charges in Chicago linked to his alleged sexual abuse of minors.

Chicago prosecutors say Kelly filmed himself having sex with minors and that he paid potential witnesses in his 2008 trial — in which he was acquitted of child pornography charges — to ensure their silence.

Kelly added a new lawyer to his legal team this week: New York attorney Deveraux Cannick.

Bitcoin Drops Under $30,000 For First Time In Five Months

In this file photo taken on February 06, 2018 A picture taken on February 6, 2018 shows a visual representation of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin, at the “Bitcoin Change” shop in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)


Bitcoin fell underneath $30,000 on Tuesday for the first time in five months, hit by concerns over China’s ongoing crackdown on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

At about 1230 GMT, bitcoin sank nine percent to as low as $29,624, attaining a level last seen in January, with analysts citing Chinese efforts to crack down on trading and mining operations.

“Concerns mount over China’s ongoing clampdown and fears that widespread acceptance of bitcoin and other digital currencies will be delayed because of concerns about their environmental impact,” said analyst Fawad Razaqzada at trading site ThinkMarkets.

Bitcoin also faces a green backlash because mining often uses electricity produced from fossil fuels, he noted.

China has broadened a crackdown on its massive cryptocurrency mining industry with a ban on mines in the key southwestern province.

Chinese mines power nearly 80 percent of the global trade in cryptocurrencies despite a domestic trading ban since 2017, but in recent months several provinces have ordered mines to close as Beijing turns a sharp eye to the industry.

Authorities in the province of Sichuan ordered the closure of 26 mines last week, according to a notice widely circulated on Chinese social media and confirmed by a former bitcoin miner.

Sichuan, a mountainous region in southwest China, is home to a large number of cryptocurrency mines, which require a colossal amount of energy supplied by the province’s cheap and abundant hydropower.

Baba Ijesha To Be Arraigned On Thursday

A file photo accused child molester, Baba Ijesha.



Popular Yoruba actor, James Olanrewaju (also known as Baba Ijesha), will be arraigned on Thursday before a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja on allegations of sexual assault of a minor.

He will be arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo on a six-count charge.

Particulars of the charge read: Indecent Treatment of a Child, Sexual Assault and Attempted Sexual Assault by Penetration contrary to Sections 135, 263 and 262 of the Criminal Law Ch C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 and Sexual Assault by Penetration contrary to *Sections 259* Criminal Law Ch C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

Lawyers to Baba Ijesha have also filed an application for his bail before the court dated the 21st of June 2021.

Baba Ijesha has been in custody since his arrest on April 22.

He was granted bail on May 17 following an intervention by members of the Lagos State Judiciary in collaboration with the State’s Ministry of Justice in a move aimed at decongesting Police Stations in the State.

He was, however, unable to meet the bail conditions and remained in custody.

On the 16th of June, Baba Ijesha was arraigned by the police on a five count charge at a Chief Magistrate Court in Yaba. He pleaded not guilty.

His counsel, Kayode Olabiran, made a fresh application for bail.

He said, “Mr. Olanrewaju has remained in police custody because one of the bail conditions is yet to be met”.

“On May 17, the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary, the NBA and the police took an initiative to decongest jam-packed cells across the State. My client was one of the beneficiaries and the conditions given were two sureties, one must be a blood relation and another surety not less than level 16 in the Lagos state government civil service.

“The elder brother to the defendant has appeared as a surety and we have paid the N500,000 bail bond to the account of the Lagos state government but we have not been able to get a level 16 officer to stand as surety,” Mr Olabiran said.

Explaining further, the lawyer said they got three different level 16 officers but one turned them down and two others declined upon hearing that they need to get a clearance letter from the head of service.

“The level 16 officers are afraid of being issued a query.

“We are applying for bail on a compassionate ground and in the interest of justice,” Mr Olabiran said, urging the magistrate to consider the visibly ill health of his client.

A counsel from the office of the DPP, Mobolaji Owoebute-Okedeji, opposed the bail application.

He said, “the matter has been already filed at the High Court, and he urged the court to refuse bail.

After considering all the submissions, Magistrate Peter Nwaka declined to grant the defendant bail on the grounds that he no longer had jurisdiction over the matter

The magistrate said, “I have carefully considered the application of the counsel to the defendant seeking bail for the defendant and the opposition by the counsel from the DPP.

“Since there are indications that the matter is before the high court and the defendant will appear before the court, no bail can be given.

“The defendant must be accorded full medical attention by the authorities pending his arraignment at the high court,” the magistrate said.

Rwanda Cancels Weddings As COVID-19 Cases Surge

A handout picture taken on March 11, 2021, and released by Urugwiro Village, the office of the President, shows Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame (L) receiving the first injection of the Covid-19 vaccine at King Faisal hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. (Photo by – / Urugwiro Village / AFP)



Rwanda on Monday announced fresh restrictions including a ban on weddings as it struggles to contain a surge in coronavirus infections.

“All social gatherings including celebrations of all kinds are prohibited,” a government statement said Monday evening. “Traditional, civil and religious weddings are suspended.”

Other measures due to come into force on Wednesday include the extension of a nationwide curfew, from 7 pm (1700 GMT) until 4 am, restrictions on movement between districts, and the suspension of air travel to neighbouring Uganda where coronavirus cases are spiralling.

“The public is reminded of the critical importance of complying with health measures including physical distancing, wearing face masks, and ensure hand hygiene. Penalties will be applied for non-compliance,” the statement said.

Rwanda has, up to now, avoided the worst of the pandemic by enforcing some of the strictest containment measures on the continent and implementing a rigorous regime of testing and contact tracing.

But over the last few weeks, cases have shot up with authorities counting 662 cases and seven deaths on Monday.

The country of 13 million people has registered a total of 31,435 positive cases and 388 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

A nationwide campaign aimed at vaccinating 60 percent of the population by next year has so far reached just three percent of the population.