Maradona Quits As Coach Of Argentina’s Gimnasia

 

Argentine legend Diego Maradona has quit as coach of Superliga side Gimnasia, less than three months after taking over, a club source told AFP on Tuesday.

Maradona resigned and will not lead the team out next Sunday, the source said. Reports in Argentina suggest his departure is linked to an imminent management shake-up at the La Plata club.

Maradona took over as coach of Gimnasia in early September, when it was bottom of the 24-club Superliga. His last match in charge was the 3-0 win over second-bottom Aldosivi last weekend. Gimnasia sit 22nd in the standings.

Messi Scores On Argentina Return To Sink Brazil

 

Lionel Messi struck on his return to international duty Friday following a three-month ban as Argentina defeated fierce rivals Brazil 1-0 in a friendly in Riyadh.

The Barcelona forward was suspended by CONMEBOL for accusing South American football’s ruling body of “corruption” after he was sent off in July’s third-place play-off with Chile at the Copa America.

Messi netted the only goal of the game at the King Saud University Stadium on 13 minutes, tapping home the rebound after his penalty was saved by Brazil goalkeeper Alisson.

His effort came shortly after Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus rolled a spot-kick wide for Brazil, who were playing without the injured Neymar.

Messi, who scored with a pair of free-kicks in his last game with Barcelona, twice threatened from set pieces in the second half before Liverpool ‘keeper Alisson beat away a powerful drive from Paredes.

Rodrygo, the 18-year-old who scored a sensational Champions League hat-trick with Real Madrid this month, made his Brazil debut as he replaced Willian for the final 20 minutes.

However, Brazil were unable to find an equaliser as their winless run since capturing the Copa America title extended to five matches.

The meeting between the two South American giants was the second in Saudi Arabia in little over a year. Brazil beat Argentina 1-0 in Jeddah in October 2018.

Brazil also defeated Argentina 2-0 at home in the semi-finals of this year’s Copa America, a controversial match that left Messi complaining the hosts had benefited from favouritism.

Brazil will play a friendly against South Korea in Abu Dhabi on November 19, in their final game before South American qualifying starts for the 2022 World Cup in March.

France Survive Pumas Scare In Rugby World Cup Opener

Argentina’s centre Jeronimo de la Fuente (C) is tackled by France’s wing Yoann Huget (L) and France’s flanker Wenceslas Lauret during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between France and Argentina at the Tokyo Stadium in Tokyo on September 21, 2019. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

France produced some champagne rugby before almost losing the plot and had to survive a last-gasp penalty to pip Argentina 23-21 in their World Cup opener on Saturday.

Fly-half Romain Ntamack paced a schizophrenic French performance with 10 points as the three-time finalists hung on to win a pulsating Pool C clash in Tokyo and leave the Pumas staring into the abyss in the tournament’s so-called ‘group of death’.

Argentina, who will now likely need to beat England to avoid an early exit, almost pulled off an astonishing comeback after being sent into battle by an emotional rallying cry from football legend Diego Maradona.

Trailing by 17 points at half-time, they fell just short after a last-minute penalty from Emiliano Boffelli sailed just wide, allowing France to claim a crucial victory.

“I thought the game was finished, I thought we’d lost the game,” admitted France captain Guilhem Guirado, referring to the late penalty Australian referee Angus Gardner awarded to Argentina.

“But I am very, very proud of my boys. It was a tough game tonight but we are very happy to start the competition with a win.”

A cagey opening was punctuated by some bone-shuddering tackles from both sides, Argentine fly-half Nicolas Sanchez sent sprawling by prop Jefferson Poirot in a monster collision.

Lock Guido Petti was a one-man wrecking crew for the Pumas in the early skirmishes and his bulldozing run led to a 15th-minute penalty that Sanchez slotted over to put the 2015 semi-finalists on the board first.

But France hit back quickly through Gael Fickou, who showed great feet to beat two Argentina defenders and score after good work from fellow centre Virimi Vakatawa.

Their tails up, the French extended their advantage with another sumptuous try four minutes later when flying winger Damian Penaud caused panic in Argentina’s defence before flipping the ball to Antoine Dupont to crash over.

 Carnival atmosphere 

Ntamack added a pair of penalties that sent Les Bleus into half-time leading 20-3, book-ending a key passage of play where France’s giant front row stopped Argentina’s scrum on their own goal line.

A bruising game was played in a carnival atmosphere, with many travelling fans sporting colourful national garb, including a noisy group of French fans dressed as Gallic roosters.

But Argentina were all business and came out firing in the second half as Petti marked his 50th cap by trundling over from a driving lineout to reduce the deficit.

Another driving maul allowed Julian Montoya to dive before a Benjamin Urdapilleta penalty on the hour-mark made it a two-point game.

Urdapilleta stroked another three-pointer to give Argentina the lead with 12 minutes to play, completing a remarkable turnaround.

But Camille Lopez dragged France back in front moments later with a superb drop goal that just had the legs in his first involvement after coming on.

Ntamack missed a late penalty before Boffelli hooked his long-range effort just wide to allow France to escape after an ill-tempered affair which boiled over after the final whistle as fighting broke out between the two sets of players.

Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma accused Gardner of favouring France with his decisions.

“It’s a shame to be refereed like a small nation,” he fumed.

“But we didn’t do anything in the first half, defended badly, didn’t attack well — lost every ball into contact,” added Ledesma, who was left to rue fine margins.

“We created many opportunities, scored, missed two points, missed three points in the first half. It comes down to that.”

AFP

Spain Beat Argentina 95-75 To Win Basketball World Cup

 

Spain brushed aside Argentina 95-75 in China on Sunday to win the Basketball World Cup.

The champions, who survived double overtime against Australia to reach the final, led throughout in Beijing to win international basketball’s biggest prize for a second time.

Irishman, 99, Competes At World Tango Championships In Argentina

Tango dancers perform during the Tango World Championship in Buenos Aires on August 14, 2019. RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP

 

A 99-year-old Irishman competing at the World Tango Championships in Argentina has received an ovation for his performance from aficionados at the Buenos Aires venue.

“Tango brings me a lot of happiness,” James McManus told local newspapers through an interpreter. “Dancing is very important socially.”

Tango fans in McManus’ native Ireland raised money for his transatlantic trip. The fit nonagenerian said he only took up tango in 2002, when he was already in his 80s.

Dressed in a white jacket, black trousers and tie, he danced in the first qualifying round with an Argentine partner, Lucia Seva.

The couple won the biggest round of applause from the knowledgeable audience at the Argentine capital’s Usina del Arte venue.

The 2019 edition of the world championships features 744 couples from 36 countries.

US Offers $7m To Find Hezbollah Agent Wanted For Argentina Attack

In this file photo taken on July 18, 1994, a man walks over the rubble left after a bomb exploded at the Argentinian Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires. ALI BURAFI / AFP

 

The United States on Friday offered a $7 million reward to find a Hezbollah operative accused of masterminding a deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, as it vowed to pursue the group worldwide.

The United States also imposed sanctions on the senior Hezbollah figure, Salman Raouf Salman, in tandem with his blacklisting by Argentina as it marks the 25th anniversary of the bombing, which killed 85 people.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was visiting Argentina on the anniversary of the attack, along with ministers from several Latin American nations visiting Buenos Aires for talks on counter-terrorism.

The State Department said it would give $7 million to anyone who provides information that leads to the location of Salman, also known as Salman al-Reda.

The Treasury Department said that Salman masterminded the 1994 attack and “has directed terrorist operations in the Western Hemisphere for Hezbollah ever since.”

“This administration will continue to target Hezbollah terrorists who plot horrific murderous operations and indiscriminately kill innocent civilians on behalf of this violent group and its Iranian patrons,” said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

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Iran is the primary sponsor of Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim militant movement as well as political party that waged a guerrilla campaign against Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon.

Salman has been reported to have joint Lebanese and Colombian citizenship, allowing him to move more easily across Latin America.

Asked where he is believed to be now, a senior administration official said: “We think he is probably somewhere in the Middle East.”

The Treasury designation will freeze any assets he may have in the United States and criminalize any assistance to him, although Hezbollah as a whole is already under heavy US sanctions.

A State Department official said that the United States has been encouraging Latin American nations to follow the US model in blacklisting groups and individuals as terrorists — as seen in Argentina’s decision on Salman.

Jesus, Firmino Send Brazil Into Copa America Final As Messi Fails Again

 

Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino scored the goals as Brazil beat arch-rivals Argentina 2-0 on Tuesday to qualify for the Copa America final.

Jesus and Firmino netted a goal apiece in each half to give Brazil a victory which ensured Lionel Messi’s frustrating wait for a major international tournament title with Argentina continued.

Hosts Brazil will play the winners of Wednesday’s second semi-final between champions Chile and Peru in Sunday’s final.

It was the first time these age-old rivals had met in a major competition since Brazil beat Argentina 3-0 in the 2007 Copa final.

English-based Jesus and Firmino were the stars, each creating the other’s goal, although captain Dani Alves had a major say in the opener.

“It was another step towards our objective. We’re achieving all the goals that we’re setting ourselves,” said Alves.

“A lot of people doubt us but we have a lot of faith in ourselves, in our plan, in our hard work.

“We’re reaping the fruits of the seeds we’re sowing every day.”

But it was a miserable night for Messi, whose hopes of landing a major international honour with Argentina ended in disappointment once again.

He will get another opportunity next year, though, with the fourth Copa America in the last five years, due to be played in Argentina and Colombia.

“We should have been the team going to the final because we deserved it, no doubt about that. But sometimes football is unfair,” complained Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.

Tackles flying

In what was always expected to be a feisty affair there were some wild early tackles flying in, and Argentina’s Nicolas Tagliafico was first to be booked for a lunge at Jesus.

The uneven pitch looked like it had been trampled by a herd of wildebeest before kick-off and both sides struggled to play flowing football.

Brazil’s Casemiro was even jeered after sending a long crossfield ball straight out of play.

The first chance came when Argentina’s Leandro Paredes let fly from 30 yards but the ball whistled just over the top of goalkeeper Alisson’s goal.

Brazil took the lead on 19 minutes after a piece of individual brilliance from Alves.

He beat three players on a mazy run before sending Firmino clear down the right with a no-look pass, the Liverpool forward crossing for the unmarked Jesus to tap home.

Two-footed lunges were flying in as the match threatened to descend from niggly to dirty.

READ ALSO: Nigeria To Face Cameroon In AFCON Round Of 16

Argentina almost levelled on the half hour when Sergio Aguero headed Messi’s free-kick onto the bar, the ball bouncing down just in front of the line before Brazil scrambled it clear.

Messi then burst into life, driving at heart of the Brazil defense and playing in Aguero, who took advantage of a Thiago Silva slip to make space for himself but Marquinhos was quickly across to block the Manchester City striker’s shot.

Moments later, Messi beat two men on the right, won back the ball with a sliding tackle after overrunning it, but then wastefully shot high and wide.

At the other end, Arthur shot powerfully, but straight at goalkeeper Franco Armani.

Pirouetting Jesus

Argentina pushed Brazil back at the start of the second half and Aguero picked out Lautaro Martinez in the box but he didn’t catch his left-foot volley cleanly and Alisson gathered comfortably.

Another promising attacking move ended with Rodrigo de Paul blazing over from 20 yards.

But Jesus produced a beautiful piece of skill, including a pirouetting drag-back, before teeing up Philippe Coutinho who should have done better than shooting over.

Moments later, though, a blocked shot from Martinez looped over to Messi who lashed a shot from an angle against the post, with Alisson beaten.

Alisson was alert to clutch a Messi free-kick on 66 minutes that looked destined for the top corner.

By then, Scaloni had already gone for broke, bringing off midfielder Marcos Acuna and sending on speedy winger Angel Di Maria, with Messi dropping into a deeper role.

Just as Argentina looked capable of finding a way back into the match, Brazil stung them on the counter-attack with Manchester City’s Jesus getting away from two defenders and teeing up the unmarked Liverpool striker Firmino for a tap in on 71 minutes.

Scaloni threw on another forward in Paulo Dybala but there was no way back for Argentina.

AFP

Chile, Argentina Set For Spectacular Solar Eclipse

Schoolchildren try special sunglasses at the Pedro Pablo Munoz school in La Higuera, Coquimbo Region, in the Atacama desert about 580 km north of Santiago, on the eve of a solar eclipse on July 1, 2019.  Martin BERNETTI / AFP

 

The day will briefly turn to night Tuesday over large parts of Chile and Argentina as a total eclipse of the Sun plunges a vast swath of the southern Pacific and the cone of South America into darkness.

Both countries will be under the narrow, 6,000-mile long band that will experience a total eclipse when the Moon will completely block the Sun.

According to Chilean astronomers, the breathtaking natural phenomenon will begin at 13:01 (17:01 GMT) in the Pacific Ocean and a 95 mile (150 kilometres)-wide band of total darkness is set to reach Chile’s coast 4.38 pm (2038 GMT), then cross into southeastern Argentina.

READ ALSO: US Will ‘Never Allow’ Iran To Develop Nuclear Weapons – White House

People in some areas under the path of the eclipse will experience more than two minutes of total darkness, the Chilean Foundation of Astronomy says.

“There’s a lot of expectation. This is a historic event in the region,” said Catalina Henriquez, who runs an astrotourism agency in Vicuna, a town 280 miles north of Santiago renowned for clear skies that have made it Chile’s “astronomy capital”.

Vicuna is part of the Coquimbo region that is dotted with observatories equipped with high-powered telescopes and where the eclipse will be strongest.

An estimated 300,000 tourists have flocked to the region where dryness, crystal-clear air and low light pollution has created a stargazers’ paradise.

Matias Badilla, 19, said his family had been anticipating the event for years. “It’s something we’ve been planning for a long time. For us, to see it so closely in such a beautiful place is something that we couldn’t miss.”

Thousands of people have descended on the nearby town of La Higuera, located on the so-called “path of totality,” where the eclipse is predicted to last longest, around 2 minutes and 36 seconds.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and several members of his cabinet will watch the event from the La Silla Observatory, on a mountain peak towering 2,400 meters over the Atacama Desert, operated by the European Southern Observatory.

The observatory and its fleet of powerful telescopes will live stream the event on the internet and has also opened to the public, hosting school tours along with talks and workshops.

“The 2019 total solar eclipse will last about 1 minute and 52 seconds from the La Silla summit. The Sun will be setting just as the entire eclipse ends and the peak of totality will happen when the Sun is a mere 13 degrees above the horizon from the view of La Silla Observatory,” the observatory said.

Further south, the capital Santiago will experience a near-total eclipse.

Solar eclipses happen when the Sun, the Moon and Earth line up, allowing the Moon to cast its shadow on Earth.

The next total eclipse will be visible in southern Chile on December 14, 2020.

AFP

Messi, Aguero Will Have To Sweat Against Brazil, Says Gabriel Jesus

Argentina’s Sergio Aguero (R) celebrates with Argentina’s Lionel Messi after scoring against Qatar during their Copa America football tournament group match at the Gremio Arena in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on June 23, 2019. PHOTO: Carl DE SOUZA / AFP

 

Argentina forwards Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero will have to sweat if they’re going to break down Brazil’s watertight defence in their Copa America semi-final, says Selecao striker Gabriel Jesus.

Hosts Brazil have yet to concede a goal in four matches at the Copa while Argentina have improved defensively and kept clean sheets in their last two matches.

Jesus expects a tight contest in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday and says Brazil’s defence won’t give Argentina’s forward line an inch.

“It’s tough to get behind a defence that doesn’t concede goals,” the Manchester City forward said of Argentina’s backline.

“It’s also a long time since we conceded a goal. It’s very important to have a solid defence.

“But it won’t be easy for Argentina to get behind us. Obviously they have Messi who is the best player in the world, and they have Aguero, one of the best center-forwards, but they’re going to have to sweat to get in behind.”

Jesus said he was sure “Argentina will attack us” and he’s looking forward to joking around with his City team-mates Aguero and center-back Nicolas Otamendi, but only after the match.

What’s clear, though, is that this is the most keenly anticipated match on the continent, between the two regional giants.

Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history with five titles to Argentina’s two, but at a continental level, the roles are reversed as Argentina have won the Copa 14 times compared to eight for Brazil.

Should Argentina win again, they would match Uruguay’s record of 15 titles.

“These are two giants, from countries with a lot of history,” said Jesus.

“We’re playing at home and we have more pressure to win, but it’s a ‘clasico’ against Argentina.”

These two sides’ defenses have been on top so far but given the attacking talent that will be on show, a goalless draw would be unthinkable, even though there have been three already in the knock-out stages out of four matches.

Brazil will likely line up with Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino flanked by Jesus and the exciting Gremio forward Everton, a reported target for Manchester City.

Argentina are almost certainly sure to stick to the trio that played their last two matches — 2-0 victories over Qatar and Venezuela — with Lautaro Martinez joiningMessiand Aguero.

 ‘Best in the world’

But there is one name that most occupies the thoughts of Brazil center-back Thiago Silva, and that’s Messi.

The Paris Saint-Germain defender has painful memories of a Messi in full flow. He and Marquinhos, hia center-back partner for club and country, were torn apart in Barcelona’s famous 6-1 Champions League victory over PSG in 2017 that overturned a 4-0 first leg deficit.

Messi scored Barca’s third goal that day.

“Obviously no matter how much attention you pay it doesn’t count for much against the best player in the world,” said Silva.

“Whenever we play against him for the national team or in the Champions League, it’s difficult.

“No matter how much you study him, you’ll never be able to understand the difference he can make.

“In the decisive moments, you think he’ll do one thing, and he pulls out of his hat something that you never expected. That’s the difference.

“But now it’s Brazil against Argentina and we’ll try to defend our end and admire him some other day.”

The semi-final has got everyone excited for what will be the 106th official FIFA-recognized meeting between the two rivals.

Brazil lead the head-to-head record with 41 wins to 38 and 26 draws.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni wants his players to put aside that historic rivalry, though, and treat this simply as a major tournament semi-final with a final at stake for the winners.

“We need to play this, not like just another match, but like a Copa America semi-final, no matter who it’s against,” said Scaloni.

“We can’t think about playing our greatest rivals. That amplifies the legend.

“We’re going to try to impose our game and do what will give us an advantage,” he added.

AFP

Messi Penalty Rescues Argentina In COPA America

Argentina’s Lionel Messi (L) celebrates with teammate Rodrigo De Paul after scoring a penalty against Paraguay which was awarded by the VAR after a hand in the area during their Copa America football tournament group match at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on June 19, 2019. PHOTO: Luis ACOSTA / AFP

 

A Lionel Messi penalty salvaged a 1-1 draw for Argentina against Paraguay on Wednesday as the two-time world champions once again struggled at the Copa America.

Messi swept in a 57th-minute spot-kick at Belo Horizonte’s Mineirao Stadium to cancel out a first-half opener from Paraguay’s Richard Sanchez.

Argentina also had goalkeeper Franco Armani to thank for a second-half penalty save that prevented Paraguay from taking a 2-1 lead in the Group B battle.

The draw left Argentina with one point from two games and on the bottom of the table with one game remaining.

However, with the two best third-placed teams advancing to the quarter-finals, Argentina can still reach the last eight with a decisive win over Qatar in their final group game.

“We have to win,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said of his team’s date with Qatar. “We will take stock of what we did well and what we did not do well and we will make decisions. We are lucky that we are still alive in this tournament,” added Scaloni, singling out goalkeeper Armani for special praise.

“We trust Franco,” Scaloni said. “He is our starting goalkeeper. He saved a penalty and kept us alive. I’m glad he had a good performance.”

The South American giants will need to raise their game however to advance any further after another disjointed performance which followed their opening defeat to Colombia on Saturday.

A lackluster opening saw both sides struggle to generate any sort of attacking momentum, with neither side managing to get a shot on goal until Paraguay striker Derlis Gonzalez’s effort was deflected behind for a corner in the 29th minute.

From the ensuing setpiece, center-half Junior Alonso scooped a half-chance wide as Argentina escaped.

 Penalty drama

That flurry of activity spurred Argentina fleetingly at the other end, with Lautaro Martinez winning a free-kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the area after a foul by Paraguay skipper Gustavo Gomez.

Messi, however, was unable to conjure anything from the free-kick, floating his effort up and over the wall but without the pace to trouble goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez, who gathered comfortably.

In the 37th minute, however, Paraguay’s more organised performance got its reward.

A swift counter-attack saw the ball transferred to Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron near halfway.

The livewire forward turned on the after-burners to roast Roberto Pereya down the left wing before crossing for Sanchez who drove a low finish into the bottom corner of the Argentina net.

A rattled Argentina were given a huge let-off moments later when Armani came racing out of his area to shut down Gonzalez.

A wild kick brought down the Paraguayan player but Armani somehow escaped a red card and was only cautioned.

Scaloni went for broke at half-time, bolstering his attack with the introduction of Sergio Aguero and the move paid instant dividends.

Aguero deftly lost his marker on 51 minutes and pulled back for Martinez, whose shot cannoned off the woodwork. Messi pounced on the rebound but Fernandez blocked with a diving save.

The chance appeared to have gone begging but VAR had spotted that Martinez’s shot had, in fact, struck Ivan Piris’s arm before hitting the bar and Brazilian referee Wilson Sampaio pointed to the spot.

Messi stepped up to sweep in the spot-kick and Argentina were level.

Yet there was more drama in the 62nd minute when Paraguay’s Gonzalez burst into the box and was clumsily hacked down by Nicolas Otamendi for a clear penalty.

Armani, who was fortunate to be on the pitch, dived the right way and parried Gonzalez’s spot-kick wide.

AFP

29 German Tourists Killed In Argentina Bus Crash

 

The Portuguese island of Madeira on Thursday began three days of mourning after 29 German tourists died after their bus spun off the road and tumbled down a slope before crashing into a house.

Drone footage of the aftermath of the accident near the town of Canico showed the badly mangled wreckage resting precariously on its side against a building on a hillside, the vehicle’s roof partially crushed and front window smashed.

Rescue workers attended to injured passengers among the undergrowth where the bus came to a halt, some of them bearing bloodied head bandages and bloodstained clothes, others appearing to be more seriously hurt.

READ ALSO: North Korea Wants Pompeo Removed From Nuclear Talks

Local authorities said most of the dead were in their 40s and 50s. There were 11 men and 18 women were among the victims and all of them were German.

They were among the more than one million tourists who visit the Atlantic islands off the coast of Morocco each year, attracted by its subtropical climate and rugged volcanic terrain.

“Horrible news comes to us from Madeira,” a German government spokesman tweeted after the crash.

“Our deep sorrow goes to all those who lost their lives in the bus accident, our thoughts are with the injured,” he added.

The 50-odd tourists had left their hotel and were on their way to the regional capital Funchal when the accident occurred on Wednesday evening.

Prosecutors have opened a probe and the vice-president of the regional government Pedro Calado said it was “premature” to attribute the cause of the accident, saying the bus was five years old and has been recently inspected.

 ‘Terrible images’ 

The injured were “in a state of shock, with memories of terrible images. An injured woman said she had lost her partner,” Ilse Everlien Berardo, the pastor at the German Evangelical church in Madeira, told Germany’s RTL network.

He said local authorities were trying to find “people on the island who speak German. Even though the doctors and nurses are tending to the injured with great care and compassion, it’s important for the injured to hear their mother tongue,” he said.

A makeshift morgue has been set up at the airport in Funchal, local media reports said. Medical teams will be flown in from Lisbon to carry out autopsies.

German holidaymakers were the second largest group after British tourists to visit the islands — known as the Pearl of the Atlantic and the Floating Garden in the Atlantic — in 2017, according to Madeira’s tourism office.

The islands are home to just 270,000 inhabitants.

“I express the sorrow and solidarity of all the Portuguese people in this tragic moment, and especially for the families of the victims who I have been told were all German,” President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told Portuguese television.

 ‘Profound sadness’ 

Prime Minister Antonio Costa added on Twitter that he had contacted German Chancellor Angela Merkel to convey his condolences

“It is with profound sadness that I heard of the accident on Madeira,” he wrote on the government’s Twitter page.

“I took the occasion to convey my sadness to Chancellor Angela Merkel at this difficult time,” he added.

The last serious bus accident in Madeira occurred in December 2005, killing five Italian tourists in Sao Vicente.

AFP

Scientists Unearth 220 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Fossils

Argentina Foreign Minister Malcorra Resigns

 

A site containing the 220-million-year-old fossilised remains of nearly a dozen dinosaurs has been discovered in western Argentina, researchers said Wednesday.

“There are almost ten different individuals, it’s a mass of bones, there’s practically no sediment,” said Argentinian palaeontologist Ricardo Martinez.

“It’s very impressive.”

According to Martinez, of the University of San Juan, the fossils are approximately 220 million years old, belonging to “an era of which we know little”.

“This discovery is doubly important because there are at least seven or eight individuals of dicynodonts, the ancestors of mammals, the size of an ox,” he said.

He said there were also remains of archosaurs, reptiles that could be the ancestors of great crocodiles “that we do not know about yet”.

READ ALSO: Americans Await Bombshell Mueller Report

The find was discovered in September last year in San Juan province, about 1,100 kilometres (680 miles) west of Buenos Aires.

The site is between one and two metres (yards) in diameter and about the same depth, leading scientists to speculate it was a former drinking hole at a time of great drought, and the creatures died of weakness at the spot.

Argentina has been a rich source of fossils from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous eras over the years — most, of creatures not found in the northern hemisphere.

AFP