Three-Year-Old Girl One Of Five Victims Of UK Mass Shooting

Police officers work at the scene of a shooting incident in Plymouth, southwest England, on August 13, 2021.  (Photo by Niklas HALLE’N / AFP)

 

 

British police on Friday said a three-year-old girl was among five people killed in the southwestern city of Plymouth, in the country’s first mass shooting in 11 years.

Shooter Jake Davison, 22, killed the little girl and a 43-year-old man related to her on Thursday night, along with three other people before taking his own life, Devon and Cornwall Police said in a statement.

UK PM To Self-Isolate When Not Working, After Minister’s Infection

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives to attend the NATO summit at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 14, 2021. The allies meet to agree on a statement stressing common ground on securing their withdrawal from Afghanistan, joint responses to cyber-attacks, and relations with a rising China. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / POOL / AFP

 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will undertake “only essential government business” in the week ahead after the state health service designated him a close contact of a person infected with Covid, Downing Street said Sunday.

Johnson and finance minister Rishi Sunak were both designated but are taking part in a government pilot scheme that enables them to continue working, a spokesperson said.

The development came just as Johnson’s government prepares to ditch most pandemic restrictions in England on Monday. The pilot mandates daily testing for participants and outside of work, they must self-isolate.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Saturday he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was now self-isolating for 10 days.

“The prime minister and chancellor have been contacted by NHS (National Health Service) Test and Trace as contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid,” the Downing Street spokesperson said.

“They will be participating in the daily contact testing pilot to allow them to continue to work from Downing Street.

“They will be conducting only essential government business during this period.”

Javid had a “lengthy” meeting with Johnson on Friday, according to the Sunday Times. The prime minister nearly died of Covid last year.

Javid also appeared alongside ministers in parliament last week, and one government source told The Telegraph newspaper: “I don’t see how half the cabinet doesn’t end up in isolation by the end of the week.”

Javid has only been in the job since late June, when former health secretary Matt Hancock resigned following revelations he had broken coronavirus restrictions during an affair with a close aide.

Jonathan Ashworth, the main opposition Labour party’s health spokesman, accused the government of double standards after millions of schoolchildren and workers were forced to stay home under Covid tracing rules.

The pilot’s exemption amounts to “an exclusive rule for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak”, he told Sky News, and the public will see “one rule for them and something else for the rest of us”.

‘Pingdemic’

Javid stressed he has received both doses of a Covid vaccine and his symptoms were “very mild”. He said any member of the public feeling symptoms should get a test too.

“If everyone plays their part, you’re not only protecting yourself and your loved ones, but you’re also safeguarding the NHS and helping to preserve our way of life,” the minister said.

However, with coronavirus cases again surging, many scientists say the government is endangering the NHS with its plan on Monday to scrap most legal pandemic requirements in England.

For the first time since January, Britain’s daily Covid caseload now exceeds 50,000, and Javid has warned the figure could double from that in the coming weeks.

But the government insists that with two-thirds of the adult population now fully vaccinated, the risk can be managed, and Monday has been dubbed “freedom day” by many UK media.

Munira Wilson, health spokeswoman for the opposition Liberal Democrats, said Javid’s test result “shows no one is safe from this deadly virus”.

Urging the government “to rethink its reckless plans for Monday”, she said: “By easing all restrictions with cases surging, they are experimenting with people’s lives.”

The surge in infections sweeping Britain led to more than 530,000 people being instructed to self-isolate by a government-run app in the week to July 7, according to latest data.

Some companies such as carmaker Nissan have been losing staff en masse after they were pinged by the app — in a brewing crisis described by UK newspapers as a “pingdemic”.

Staff shortages caused by the isolation rules disrupted the London Underground network on Saturday, with one line suspended entirely.

AFP

Djokovic Wins Record-Equalling 20th Grand Slam And Sixth Wimbledon Title

Serbia's Novak Djokovic speaks as he holds the winner's trophy after beating Italy's Matteo Berrettini during their men's singles final match on the thirteenth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 11, 2021. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic speaks as he holds the winner’s trophy after beating Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during their men’s singles final match on the thirteenth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 11, 2021.
Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Novak Djokovic won a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title and sixth Wimbledon on Sunday with a four-set victory over Italian slugger Matteo Berrettini with rival superstar Roger Federer hailing the achievement as a “wonderful performance”.

The world number one triumphed 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to move level on 20 majors with Federer and Rafael Nadal.

His win also put him three-quarters of the way to the first calendar Grand Slam of all four majors since 1969.

“I could definitely envisage that happening and I hope I will give it a shot. I’m in great form and played well and having my best form at Grand Slams is my number one priority,” said Djokovic.

A sixth victory at the All England Club for Djokovic, who was playing in his 30th final at the Slams, added to his nine Australian Opens, two Roland Garros titles as well as three at the US Open.

Should he win a fourth title in New York in September, he will become just the third man in history after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) to complete the calendar Grand Slam.

“It was more than a battle. He is a true Italian hammer I felt it on my skin,” said Djokovic of Berrettini.

Of sharing the record with Federer and Nadal, he said: “It means none of us three will stop. Roger and Rafa are legends, they are the reason I am where I am today.

“They showed me what I needed to do to get stronger, physically, tactically and mentally. Over the last 10 years it has been an incredible journey that’s not stopping here.”

Federer — who bowed out in the quarter-finals while Nadal did not play — tweeted his congratulations.

“Congrats Novak on your 20th major,” said Federer, an eight-time champion at Wimbledon.

Federer praise

“I’m proud to have the opportunity to play in a special era of tennis champions. Wonderful performance, well done.”

Djokovic also now has 85 career titles while he has become the first man to break the $150 million prize money barrier.

A gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics could give him the first ever Golden Grand Slam by a male player.

“Novak is a great champion, he is writing history on this court,” said Berrettini.

Djokovic overcame a nervy start to break for 3-1, which he stretched to 5-2.

He even had a set point in a marathon eighth game which the Italian saved after eight deuces.

Reinvigorated, he broke Djokovic when he served for the set and then dominated the tiebreaker which he sealed with his fourth ace of the contest.

The top seed stormed to a 5-1 lead in the second set on the back of a double break.

Berrettini, bidding to be Italy’s first men’s Grand Slam winner since Adriano Panatta at the 1976 French Open, clawed his way back to 4-5, saving three set points, but Djokovic this time served it out for a set apiece.

Djokovic struck first again for a 2-1 lead in the third set and fought off three break points in the sixth game, a show of defiance which brought watching Hollywood star Tom Cruise to his feet.

That was Berrettini’s last chance of the set as Djokovic served it out in the 10th game.

A weary Berrettini then served up a double fault on break point to hand Djokovic a 4-3 lead in the fourth set.

Djokovic kept coming, sprinting from the back of the court to pull off a wondrous pick-up and he held on for 5-3.

Berrettini, hoping to be Italy’s first singles champion at Wimbledon, saved two championship points in the eighth game.

But he was powerless on the third as Djokovic swept to his place in history.

“It is not the end, it is the beginning for me,” said Berrettini.

“Without my family, friends, and team all this would not have been possible so I just say Grazie Grazie.”

AFP

President Buhari Postpones London Trip

 

The medical follow-up visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the United Kingdom earlier scheduled for today, Friday, June 25, 2021, has been postponed.

This is according to a short statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

According to Mr. Adesina, a new date will be announced in due course.

On Thursday, Adesina had announced that the President’s trip to London was for a scheduled medical follow-up, adding that he would be back in the country during the second week of July.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Buhari Receives Progress Report Of APC Caretaker Committee

President Buhari’s scheduled trip to London comes almost three months since he last visited the United Kingdom for the same purpose.

The president had travelled to the UK on March 30 for a routine medical check-up, as indicated in a statement by his media adviser.

He later returned to the country via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on April 15, at the end of the trip which lasted more than two weeks.

Amid speculations that the Nigerian leader may be sick at the time and had to embark on an emergency trip, the presidency stated that there was nothing of such.

“It is a routine medical check-up; the President has undertaken this with a set of doctors that he has retained over many years,” said Garba Shehu, another media aide to the President, during an interview with Channels Television.

Uber Agrees World-First Union Deal For UK Drivers

 

 

US ride-hailing giant Uber announced Wednesday a “historic” pact with a British trade union to represent its 70,000 drivers in the UK, after a court ruling granted them workers’ rights.

The GMB union said the collective bargaining agreement “shows gig economy companies don’t have to be a wild west on the untamed frontier of employment rights”.

“When tech private hire companies and unions work together like this, everyone benefits — bringing dignified, secure employment back to the world of work,” GMB official Mick Rix said in a statement.

“We now call on all other operators to follow suit.”

Uber conferred official recognition on the union — which counts 620,000 members across various industries — in the wake of a ruling by Britain’s Supreme Court in February.

A month later, Uber complied by granting its British drivers worker status with benefits including a minimum wage and paid leave.

It represented a sea change in the business model of a company that had argued before courts in Britain and elsewhere that its drivers are self-employed freelancers, and which has resisted similar reforms in California.

“Whilst Uber and GMB may not seem like obvious allies, we’ve always agreed that drivers must come first, and today we have struck this important deal to improve workers’ protections,” Uber Europe executive Jamie Heywood said.

Noting the company’s prior commitments on UK benefits, he said “this historic agreement means that Uber will be the first in the industry to ensure that its drivers also have full union representation”.

Uber said it would support drivers in Britain if they choose to sign up as GMB members, and union representatives will be given access to company support sites to encourage membership drives.

California ‘scare tactics’

The changes in Britain have come as Uber has faced sliding driver bookings owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, despite strong demand for its Uber Eats food delivery service during national lockdowns.

But despite the higher business costs flowing from the court ruling, Uber says it does not expect the changes to affect its net income this year.

“The future of work is too big of an issue for a one-size-fits-all solution, and that’s OK,” Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in London’s Evening Standard newspaper in March.

Khosrowshahi has previously argued for a “third way” to classify gig workers, rather than as employees or independent contractors.

The British Supreme Court ruling came soon after California’s top court upheld a referendum that let “gig workers” like Uber drivers be treated as freelance contractors.

Proposition 22 — passed in November and heavily backed by Uber, Lyft and other app-based delivery services — effectively overturned a state law requiring them to reclassify their drivers and provide employee benefits.

But US labour groups such as the Services Employees International Union have pressed on with their campaigns. The SEIU has said Uber’s decision to grant worker status to British drivers debunked the “scare tactics” of rideshare companies in California.

In a first for the European Union, Spain’s government in March announced a deal that will recognise riders working for food delivery firms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats as salaried staff following complaints about their working conditions.

In Italy, prosecutors have told Uber Eats and other food delivery platforms their couriers are employees and not independent workers, fining them 733 million euros for breach of labour safety rules.

Norwich City Promoted To The Premier League

Photo: @NorwichCityFC

 

Norwich City were promoted to the Premier League despite a 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday as draws for Swansea and Brentford sent the Championship leaders back into the top-flight.

Daniel Farke’s side have dominated the second tier with 27 wins from their 42 games so far, earning an immediate return to the Premier League following last season’s relegation.

The Canaries suffered just a sixth defeat of the season after Dimitrios Giannoulis’s red card after just 17 minutes at Carrow Road.

Emi Buendia had already opened the scoring for the hosts before the sending-off, but Bournemouth made the most of their man advantage to consolidate their place in the playoff places.

Second-half goals from Sam Surridge, Arnaut Danjuma and Lloyd Kelly moved the fifth-placed Cherries to within eight points of Watford in the second automatic promotion place.

“It’s massive. It’s not an easy task when you get relegated to bounce straight back and today we’ve managed to do that,” Norwich midfielder Todd Cantwell said.

“It’s disappointing this evening. A controversial decision and some controversial goals but we can go home smiling knowing we’re going up.”

Norwich’s promotion was guaranteed after third-placed Swansea were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom of the table Wycombe, while fourth-placed Brentford drew 0-0 with Millwall.

Farke’s men are 14 points clear of Swansea, who have four games left, and 16 ahead of Brentford, who have five matches left.

They are also eight points clear of Watford, who lost 1-0 at local rivals Luton on Saturday.

Swansea were forced to claw their way back from two goals down against bottom-of-the-table Wycombe to keep alive their slim hopes of challenging Watford for automatic promotion.

Steve Cooper’s side were able to cut the gap between second and third to six points thanks to their dramatic draw.

Admiral Muskwe put Wycombe ahead 19 seconds into the second half at the Liberty Stadium when he lashed a lay-off from Uche Ikpeazu past Freddie Woodman from the edge of the area.

Five minutes later they doubled their lead, Garath McCleary fired into the bottom corner to double Wycombe’s lead.

But Jason McCarthy conceded a penalty for handball in the 80th minute and Jamal Lowe scored his fourth goal in three games.

Swansea substitute Liam Cullen headed home a Connor Roberts cross with eight minutes remaining.

Britain’s Okolie KOs Glowacki To Win World Cruiserweight Title

 

Britain’s Lawrence Okolie won the World Boxing Organisation cruiserweight title with a spectacular sixth-round knockout of Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki at Wembley Arena on Saturday.

Victory meant the 28-year-old Londoner became the first male member of Britain’s 2016 Olympic squad to claim a professional world title, with Okolie unbeaten since joining the paid ranks.

He cut Okolie above the eye in the fourth round before a left jab in the first minute of the sixth set up powerful right hand that crumpled the respected Glowacki to the canvas.

The Pole’s only previous defeats in 33 professional bouts had come against the world-class duo of Oleksandr Usyk and Mairis Briedis.

But Okolie still managed to record his 13th knockout in 16 professional fights.

Afterwards, he paid tribute to trainer Shane McGuigan, the son of former featherweight world champion Barry McGuigan.

“It is crazy, I feel happy and blessed,” Okolie told Sky Sports. “It is surreal.

“I had confidence throughout the week, was very calm.

“Shane reminded me not to rush, and it went exactly to plan. I said I’d get it done between rounds five and eight.”

Okolie now wants to unify the division, with the first target International Boxing Federation belt holder Briedis, who knocked out Glowacki inside three rounds in 2019.

“I am growing into myself as a boxer. It is a process,” he added. “Out of the champions, Mairis Briedis is the one I’d most like to fight.”

Arsenal Beat 10-man Tottenham, Iheanacho Hat-Trick Inspires Leicester

Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (R) shoots at goal from a free-kick as the defensive wall jumps in the closing minutes of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 14, 2021. Arsenal won the game 2-1. Julian Finney / POOL / AFP

 

Arsenal came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 for a first north London derby win in three years, as Kelechi Iheanacho’s hat-trick moved Leicester into second in the Premier League with a 5-0 thrashing of managerless Sheffield United on Sunday.

Spurs also lost Son Heung-min to a hamstring injury on a costly afternoon for their hopes of a top-four finish, but Jose Mourinho’s men did not deserve anything more for an overly conservative approach at the Emirates.

Arsenal’s afternoon did not start well with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped to the bench for a breach of discipline, reportedly after turning up late for the squad’s pre-match meeting.

Mikel Arteta’s men did not miss their skipper as they dominated early on with Emile Smith Rowe’s effort crashing back off the crossbar.

Erik Lamela was introduced to replace Son early on and the Argentine opened the scoring in sensational style as he wrapped his left foot around his right to fire into the bottom corner with a ‘Rabona’ finish.

Cedric Soares hit the post as Arsenal almost hit back immediately and the hosts finally got their reward just before half-time when Martin Odegaard’s shot deflected in off Toby Alderweireld for his first Premier League goal.

Alexandre Lacazette captained the Gunners in Aubameyang’s absence and also took the Gabon international’s duties from the penalty spot after the French striker was brought down by Davinson Sanchez inside the area.

Lacazette sent his international teammate Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the spot to claim a much-needed win to keep Arsenal’s slim hopes of finishing in the top four alive.

Arteta’s side are now 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, while Spurs remain six points behind the Blues in seventh.

Lamela turned from hero to villain with two unneccessary yellow cards to be given his marching orders 15 minutes from time.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, though, Tottenham’s best spell came with 10 men as Harry Kane had a goal ruled out for offside before the England captain hit the post, and Sanchez’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Gabriel Magalhaes.

Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (C) celebrates with his players at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 14, 2021. Arsenal won the game 2-1. Julian Finney / POOL / AFP

Foxes on the hunt

Leicester showed no mercy to bottom-of-the-table United in the visitors’ first match since Chris Wilder’s departure on Saturday.

Wilder, who led United from third-tier League One to the Premier League, left by mutual consent after several days of speculation about his future.

The Blades, managed by interim boss Paul Heckingbottom, look destined for relegation, 14 points from safety with only nine games left.

Nigerian striker Iheanacho opened the floodgates in the 38th minute at the King Power Stadium with a close-range finish from Jamie Vardy’s pass after a flowing move.

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (2nd L) shoots to score the opening goal past Sheffield United’s English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Sheffield United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 14, 2021. Alex Pantling / POOL / AFP

 

Iheanacho’s third goal in his last three games was followed by Ayoze Perez’s fine strike from the edge of the area in the 64th minute.

Vardy was the provider again for Iheanacho’s second before the former Manchester City man completed his treble with a 25-yard blast past Aaron Ramsdale.

Ethan Ampadu’s own goal from Vardy’s effort in the 80th minute sealed the rout for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Manchester United can move back into second when they host Champions League-chasing West Ham later at Old Trafford.

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (C) runs to celebrate scoring the opening goal past Sheffield United’s English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Sheffield United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 14, 2021. MOLLY DARLINGTON / POOL / AFP

 

In the battle to beat the drop, Brighton edged three points clear of third-bottom Fulham with a game in hand by winning a frenetic south-coast derby 2-1 over Southampton.

Brighton took the lead through captain Lewis Dunk in the 16th minute.

Southampton drew level in the 27th minute when Dunk could only help Ryan Bertrand’s header into the path of Che Adams, who volleyed home at the far post.

But Brighton went back in front in the 56th minute as Leandro Trossard produced a fine finish from Danny Welbeck’s lay-off.

AFP

Man Utd Face AC Milan In Europa League Battle Of Recovering Giants

 

Manchester United and AC Milan meet in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday in a battle of European royalty, with both clubs showing signs of revival.

With 10 Champions League titles between them, United and Milan were once feared across Europe for their swashbuckling play and financial muscle.

But both clubs have lost their lustre in recent years, making their first meeting since 2010 an intriguing affair.

In a sign of the drop in standards at Old Trafford and the San Siro, the 11th encounter between two of the world’s most historic teams will be their first outside the Champions League knockout stages.

United, 20-time English champions, have not won the Premier League since Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge in 2013.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are unlikely to end that drought this season as they trail leaders Manchester City by 11 points with 10 games left.

Sunday’s impressive 2-0 win at City was a sign United are at least heading in the right direction at last after losing their way under several of Ferguson’s successors.

Calling for United to build on that success, Solskjaer praised his side’s energy levels.

“We are going to do everything we can to keep the performance levels up every day,” he said.

“I feel we are a better team to 12, 16, 18 months ago. We have improved massively. We are more robust, resilient and there is more personality in the team. That is what I like.”

The most recent of Milan’s 18 Serie A titles came in 2011, with a sixth-place finish last term earning a return to Europe after a one-season absence.

That was a small step in the right direction for Milan, who have not played in the Champions League since 2014.

Ibrahimovic return?

Milan’s gradual improvement under boss Stefano Pioli has taken them to second in Serie A this term.

The seven-time European champions are six points behind leaders Inter Milan — a 3-0 defeat against their city rivals in February was a significant blow to their title aspirations.

Trying to restore their domestic dominance is the first goal for United and Milan on a long journey they hope will eventually lead them back to the Champions League summit as well.

Winning the Europa League would be another welcome sign of better days to come.

Milan have never reached the final of the competition but their striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a United player when the English giants won the Europa League in 2017.

Ibrahimovic has missed Milan’s past two games due to a muscle injury, but Pioli hopes the 39-year-old Swede will be fit for an Old Trafford return.

“He is better… he will have another examination to see how his recovery is going, we hope he can recover by Thursday,” Pioli said.

United will face another familiar face in full-back Diogo Dalot, who is on loan at Milan, with UEFA rules allowing players to face their parent clubs.

Old Trafford holds happy memories for Milan, who beat Juventus there in the 2003 Champions League final, but their record in England against English hosts shows just one win in 17 matches.

While United’s Milan showdown is the tie of the round, there are several teams in action elsewhere who also harbour genuine hopes of winning the tournament.

Tottenham, in a rich vein of form since Gareth Bale’s revival, host Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb, while Roma meet Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

Arsenal face Olympiakos at the same venue where they came from behind to beat Benfica in the previous round — the last-32 second-leg was staged in Greece due to coronavirus concerns.

Fresh from winning the Scottish title for the first time since 2011, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers travel to Slavia Prague and four-time European champions Ajax host Switzerland’s Young Boys.

Man Utd Frustrated By Penalty Row In Chelsea Stalemate, Bale Stars For Spurs

 

Manchester United were left frustrated by a VAR penalty controversy in their 0-0 draw at Chelsea, while the revitalised Gareth Bale struck twice in Tottenham’s 4-0 rout of Burnley on Sunday.

Second-placed United had hoped to close the gap on Manchester City with a victory at Stamford Bridge.

But instead they now sit 12 points behind the Premier League leaders as their title hopes fade following a run of one win from four games.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard, but the stalemate was a blow to his team’s top-four challenge.

The fifth-placed Blues are one point behind fourth-placed West Ham and four ahead of sixth-placed Liverpool, who visit Sheffield United in Sunday’s late game.

Neither side could claim they deserved to win in a game of few clear-cut chances.

The biggest talking point came in the first half when United’s appeal for a penalty was rejected by referee Stuart Attwell after he consulted the pitchside monitor when Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle in a challenge with Mason Greenwood.

After five defeats in their previous six league games, Tottenham eased the pressure on Jose Mourinho with a significant contribution from Bale, who made just his third league start of the season.

The Wales forward’s most impressive display since his season-long loan move from Real Madrid gave him four goals in his last four appearances.

Bale, who had clashed with Tottenham boss Mourinho over his fitness earlier in February, took just 68 seconds to score with a clinical close-range finish from Son Heung-min’s cross.

In the 15th minute, Bale’s superb long pass picked out Harry Kane’s run and the England captain’s shot deflected off James Tarkowski for his 22nd goal of the season.

Lucas Moura netted with a predatory finish after Sergio Reguilon’s cross was deflected into the Brazilian’s path by Tarkowski in the 31st minute.

Bale, in his second spell with Tottenham after leaving for Madrid in 2013, scored again with a cool strike from Son’s 55th-minute pass.

Tottenham are up to eighth, six points behind the top four with a game in hand.

“Sometimes you (the media) like to say things that are not really true but there is not one single manager in the world that doesn’t play Gareth Bale if Gareth Bale is in very good condition,” Mourinho said.

“There is not one, but now he is better than ever. It’s not just about the two goals he scored, it’s fundamentally about his physical performance.”

Arsenal down Leicester

Arsenal delivered a hammer blow to Leicester’s faint hopes of winning the title with an impressive 3-1 win.

Mikel Arteta’s side fell behind to Youri Tielemans’ early goal at the King Power Stadium, but David Luiz equalised and Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty gave Arsenal the lead.

Nicolas Pepe’s second-half goal sealed the Gunners’ second win in their last six league games and their first success at a team in the Premier League’s top three since 2015.

Leicester remain in third place and trail City by 13 points with 12 games remaining.

After Thursday’s shock Europa League exit against Slavia Prague, it was a week to forget for Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.

With Arsenal stuck in mid-table, Arteta has prioritised winning the Europa League as his side’s only hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Having picked his best team for the come-from-behind win against Benfica in the last 32 second leg on Thursday, Arteta left Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka on the bench after the long trip back from the neutral venue in Greece.

After the gamble paid off, Arteta said: “Coming into this game I was concerned. They’re one of the most dangerous teams in the league to play once you go behind against them.

“The reaction was terrific, the team looked really mature.”

Third-bottom Fulham are three points from safety after a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.

Kane’s Return Lifts Mourinho As Spurs End Losing Streak

 

Harry Kane returned from injury to ease the pressure on Jose Mourinho as the Tottenham striker inspired a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Mourinho’s side had lost their previous three Premier League games to put their top four hopes in peril.

Revitalised by Kane’s earlier than expected return from an ankle problem suffered against Liverpool, Tottenham got back to winning ways just when the under-fire Mourinho needed it most.

Kane had missed the last two games, but he made up for lost time by opening the scoring in the second half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Kane’s 20th goal in all competitions this season took him to 208 goals in 317 Tottenham appearances — level in joint second place alongside Bobby Smith in the club’s all-time scoring list.

The England captain’s milestone goal was followed by a Son Heung-min strike moments later that killed off West Brom.

Amid criticism of Mourinho’s negative tactics and talk of rifts with several players, there is a long way to go before seventh-placed Tottenham are completely back on track.

Only three wins from the last 12 league games before this weekend — the same sequence that saw Mourinho’s predecessor Mauricio Pochettino sacked — had left the Portuguese coach in the spotlight.

But, in the midst of Mourinho’s winter of discontent, this was a small step in the right direction as snow flurries swirled around frozen north London.

Thursday’s defeat against Chelsea condemned Mourinho to consecutive home league defeats for the first time as a manager.

– Classy Kane –
In the circumstances, second bottom West Brom were ideal opponents for Tottenham to end their dismal decline.

Kane showed the class that Tottenham miss in his absence when he spun away from his marker and delivered a pin-point pass that Son couldn’t convert.

Inevitably at the heart of all Tottenham’s best moments, Kane was inches away from opening the scoring, taking Serge Aurier’s pass in stride and firing just wide.

There was a little sign of rustiness when Kane shot wide from Son’s pass, but he was back involved moments later when his blocked effort was nearly scrambled in by Lucas Moura.

Shifting Lucas’s pass into his right, Kane looked more like his old self when he unleashed a fierce strike that Sam Johnstone pushed away.

Johnstone made an even better save to keep out Aurier’s close-range diving header.

After being outplayed for the entire first half, West Brom’s Mbaye Diagne threatened to give the visitors a shock lead when his header almost squirmed away from Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris.

Kane’s defence-splitting pass sent Son racing through on goal, but again Johnstone rescued Albion with a good stop.

Tottenham’s incessant pressure finally paid off in the 54th minute as Kane beat the offside trap to collect Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s pass before guiding a low shot into the far corner.

Four minutes later, Son wrapped up the points after a rapier thrust from Mourinho’s men.

Taking Kane’s lay-off, Lucas ran from deep inside his own half to the Albion area and picked out Son, whose clinical finish took him to 17 goals in all competitions this term.

AFP

UK Bans Travels From 11 African Countries Over South Africa COVID-19 Strain

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 31, 2020, a UK border sign welcomes passengers on arrival at Heathrow airport in west London. Ben FATHERS / AFP

 

The United Kingdom is imposing a ban on travellers entering England from 11 African countries for an initial period of two weeks, the government has said.

In a statement on its website, the government explained that the decision was taken in a bid to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus (COVID-19) variant identified in South Africa.

While Nigeria is excluded from the list, all the affected countries are in the southern region of the continent.

They include Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola, as well as Seychelles and Mauritius.

The UK stated that new evidence has shown that there was an urgent need to halt travel from the countries, adding that entry into England would be banned to those who have travelled from or through the countries in the last 10 days (as of Thursday).

“The move, in addition to the travel ban imposed on South Africa on 23 December 2020, follows new data on the steep rise in incidence of the new variant, that has vastly increased the risk of community transmission between nine other southern African countries, as well as the Seychelles and Mauritius, which both have strong travel links with South Africa.

“Urgent restrictions are, therefore, now needed to prevent the spread of this strain in the UK. The measures will be in place for an initial period of two weeks while the scientific data and alternative ways to protect the UK and our partners in Africa are reviewed,” the statement read.

The government, however, stressed that the ban does not affect British and Irish nationals, as well as longer-term visa holders and permanent residents in the UK.

It said such persons would be able to enter but would be required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household.

Following the ban on the countries, the UK said it has removed Botswana, Seychelles and Mauritius from its travel corridor list, with the changes taking effect from 4am on Saturday.

The statement added,

Any exemptions usually in place – including for those related to employment – will not apply and those British nationals arriving into England from the other southern African countries, Seychelles and Mauritius after 4am on Saturday 9 January cannot be released from self-isolation through Test to Release.

People sharing a household with anyone self-isolating from these countries will also have to self-isolate for 10 days.

Ministers have also removed Israel (and Jerusalem) from the government’s travel corridor list, as data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The decision to remove Israel (and Jerusalem) has been made following a sustained and accelerating increase in COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of the population, similar in trajectory to the UK.

National restrictions for England introduced on 6 January 2021 remain in place meaning everyone must stay at home unless travelling for a very limited set of reasons, including for work.

This means people can no longer travel to take holidays or travel internationally unless for work or other legally permitted reasons. Those in breach of the rules face penalties starting at £200, rising to a maximum of £6,400.

People in all countries affected by the travel ban are encouraged to follow the local rules and check FCDO travel advice for further information.

All travellers, including those from exempt destinations, will still be required to show a complete passenger locator form on arrival into the UK unless they fall into a small group of exemptions.