Armenia Marks Centenary Of Ottoman Forces Mass Killing

ArmeniaCeremonies are being held in Armenia to mark the centenary of the massacre of up to 1.5 million of Armenians allegedly killed by Ottoman forces.

The Presidents of France, Francois Hollande and Russia,Vladimir Putin, joined other leaders at the memorial for the victims on the outskirts of the capital, Yerevan.

Armenia said up to 1.5 million people died, a figure disputed by Turkey.

Armenian President, Serzh Sarkisian and First Lady, Rita Sarkisian, laid a wreath at a hilltop memorial at the start of a solemn ceremony, commemorating the mass killings that began in 1915 during World War 1.

President Sarkisian expressed hope that recent steps to recognise the massacre as genocide would help “dispel the darkness of 100 years of denial”.

Each foreign diplomat held a yellow rose to put into the wreath laid at the foot of a monumental 44-metre needle, symbolising the nation’s rebirth.

Trying To Divert World Attention

Turkey strongly objects to the use of the term genocide to describe the killings and the issue has soured relations between the nations.

Turkey accepts that atrocities were committed but argues there was no systematic attempt to destroy the Christian Armenian people. Turkey said many innocent Muslim Turks also died in the turmoil of war.

A memorial service will also be held in Turkey on Friday and its prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has said the country will “share the pain” of Armenians. But he reiterated Turkey’s stance that the killings were not genocide.

Turkey is also hosting ceremonies on Friday to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Gallipoli.

However, the actual fighting there began on 25 April, and  President  Sarkisian has accused Turkey of “trying to divert world attention” from the Yerevan commemorations.

I’ve Always Wanted To Defend – Gabriel

GabrielArsenal FC defender, Gabriel, says he was always determined to become a defender.

Arsenal’s newest signing has impressed since joining the club and says his “main characteristic” was always to defend.

The 24-year-old began his career at Brazilian side, Esporte Clube Vitoria and, but for a short spell as a right winger, has played his entire career at the back.

“When we are little, we always want to be on the attack, but I realised that it wouldn’t work, so I kept going backwards and backwards,” Gabriel told the Arsenal Magazine.

“The only thing I didn’t try was being a goalkeeper. I stopped there.

“So I started to play in defence and I started to do well, I started to enjoy it. I made my decision, I thought: ‘This it is! I’m not leaving here’.

“I began enjoying it and I started to want to defend, to fight not to let them in, not to let the other team score goals.

“I always have that in my head – to want to defend, and defend well. And that is why.”

The centre back joined a select band of Brazilians when he joined the Gunners in January, following in the footsteps of Sylvinho and Edu.

He was named on Arsenal’s bench for the first time in their 5-0 win against Aston Villa on Sunday, February 1.

Egypt Court Frees Al Jazeera Journalists

Al jazeera JournalistsAn Egyptian court on Thursday, released two detained Al Jazeera journalists, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed on bail.

The judge ordered the release of all defendants at the retrial’s opening Thursday.

Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed who appeared in a court in Cairo for a retrial due to lack of evidence over alleged links to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, according to a source, had been unjustly jailed since December 29, 2013.

Their retrial was ordered by the Court of Cessation January 2015, overturning a lower court’s verdict which found them guilty of aiding the outlawed group.

A third Al Jazeera journalist, Peter Greste, who was also to be retried, was deported on February 1 under a presidential decree after spending 400 days in jail. He had since returned to his home in Australia.

“Fahmy and Mohamed have now spent 411 days in prison,” a source said.

Gabriel Ready For Arsenal Debut – Arsene Wenger

Gabriel-3Gabriel is “physically ready” to make his Arsenal debut, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Brazilian centre back joined the Gunners from Villarreal in January and was named on Arsenal’s bench for the first time in Sunday’s 5-0 win against Aston Villa.

Wenger says Gabriel could feature against Tottenham Hotspur but he feels no need to rush him.

He’s ready to start, he’s just not used to playing in our back four and he hasn’t mastered the language at all
Arsène Wenger

“Gabriel can start,” the manager said. “At the moment he’s ready to start, he’s just not used to playing in our back four and he hasn’t mastered the language at all. He’s physically ready.

“At the moment I have no special temptation to switch in the middle of our defence because we are going through a strong spell defensively. But he’s ready to play.”

Wenger also confirmed leading scorer Alexis will not feature at White Hart Lane but he is confident Arsenal have enough quality to continue their fine form.

“I don’t think about the game like that, we just want to play our game and perform,” he said.

“We have enough offensive options, we are not short. I think we have enough offensive power, if all of us perform individually and collectively, we can get above (Alexis’ absence).”