Impressive England power past New Zealand – report & video

Impressive England power past New Zealand - report & video

International Test match, Denver, USA
England (10) 36
Tries: Hall, Whitehead 2, Connor, Makinson, Bateman Goals: Widdop 6
New Zealand (12) 18
Tries: Marsters, Watene-Zelezniak 2 Goals: Isaako 3

England came from behind to ease past New Zealand in a Test match that was played in Denver, Colorado.

It was England’s first match since the 2017 World Cup final loss to Australia.

Esan Marsters and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak gave the Kiwis a 12-0 lead before Ryan Hall’s brilliant try cut the deficit.

Elliott Whitehead scored twice and debutants Jake Connor and Tommy Makinson both went over before John Bateman completed a resounding victory.

England impress on American adventure


England were playing in the USA for the first time since 2000 as they aim to raise the sport’s profile in North America, which is hosting the 2025 Rugby League World Cup.

The 76,125-capacity Mile High Stadium had large banks of empty seats, but the fans who were there became excitable each time the two sides came close to the try line.

The match, played 5,000ft above sea level, provided a stern test and the difficult conditions were immediately evident as the ball sailed a number of metres out of play straight from kick-off.

New Zealand opened the lead through Marsters, one of seven debutants in the Kiwi side, following Kodi Nikorima’s clever break.

Isaac Luke then ripped through the defence before laying on full-back Watene-Zelezniak, who also added a consolation late on.

England responded impressively with 32 unanswered points, starting with Hall’s acrobatic effort from Connor’s pass, although it looked like the Leeds Rhinos winger had dropped the ball while finishing.

Whitehead burrowed over each side of half-time and Widdop added a 50m penalty, while Hull’s Connor and St Helens’ Makinson both capped their first England match by touching down in the second period.

‘Very physical’ game

England’s Sam Burgess on BBC Two: “It has been a great week. Both teams played with heart and passion. It was a good team effort. We worked hard for each other. We got some breakaway tries and defended well. The game was very physical.”

Analysis – ‘The best team won’

Bradford Bulls head coach John Kear on BBC Two: “[It was] a fantastic night’s entertainment and very satisfying for England. New Zealand are edging their way back up as well and their coach Michael Maguire will take many positives from that.

“The best team won by that scoreline because of the performance levels and some really good individual efforts as well as collective from the men in white.”

St Helens forward Jon Wilkin: “England grew into the game and the ball control was excellent. They were relatively flawless and I do not think they made an error in the second half. That gave them all the possession and took all the Kiwis’ strengths away.

“New Zealand looked dangerous at the start of the game when they were fresh, but once England weathered that storm, they were by far the better side. They created chances but, more importantly at international level, they took their chances too.”

What next?

New Zealand head to England for a three-match series at the end of the Super League season:

  • Saturday, 27 October, 14:30 BST – KCOM Stadium, Hull.
  • Saturday, 3 November, 17:30 GMT – Anfield, Liverpool.
  • Sunday, 11 November, 15:15 GMT – Elland Road, Leeds.

It’s not time for me to die – Zimbabwean President

It’s not time for me to die – Zimbabwean President

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Saturday he was lucky to escape an attempt on his life after a blast at a party rally injured two of his vice-presidents and several party officials.

“I am used to these attempts,” Mnangagwa told state media, adding that an object “exploded a few inches away from me — but it is not my time”.

Fifteen people were hurt, three of them seriously, in the explosion during an election campaign event in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo, according to Health Minister David Parirenyatwa.

Footage circulating on social media showed an explosion and plumes of smoke around the president as he descended stairs from the podium at the city’s White City stadium.

Mnangagwa suggested he was the target of the attack, which he said also injured Vice-Presidents Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga.

ZANU-PF chairwoman and cabinet minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Mary Chiwenga, the wife of vice president Chiwenga, were also among those injured, he said, as was deputy parliament speaker Mabel Chinomona.

The “blast… has affected my vice-presidents — especially comrade Mohadi,” he added.

Mohadi suffered leg injuries, while Chiwenga had slight bruises to his face, according to the presidential spokesman George Charamba.

State broadcaster ZBC described the blast as “an assassination attempt”.

But Mnangagwa insisted that the “country is peaceful” as Zimbabwe prepares to stage its first ever elections not to feature former president Robert Mugabe on July 30.

“Several people were affected by the blast, and I have already been to visit them in the hospital,” Mnangagwa wrote on his verified Facebook account describing the attack as a “senseless act of violence”.

“The campaign so far has been conducted in a free and peaceful environment, and we will not allow this cowardly act to get in our way as we move towards elections.”

State media also reported that the ZANU-PF party secretary in charge of political organisation, Engelbert Rugeje, was injured, as were several security personnel.

Injured ZANU-PF supporters were pictured in a nearby hospital where one man wearing a blood-stained party T-shirt waited for treatment.

According to Charamba, the president was “evacuated successfully” to his official residence in Bulawayo.

Mnangagwa had been in the city to campaign for votes ahead of nationwide elections due on July 30.

“People started running in all directions and then immediately the president’s motorcade left at a very high speed. Suddenly soldiers and other security details were all over the place,” said an AFP correspondent at the scene.

Bulawayo has long been a bastion of opposition to the ZANU-PF and it was Mnangagwa’s first rally in the city.

Source: PM News

Troops Kill 20 Bandits In Zamfara, Destroy Several Camps

Troops Kill 20 Bandits In Zamfara, Destroy Several Camps

File photo

Troops from the One Division of the Nigerian Army have killed at least 20 suspected bandits during an Operation in Jambrini village in Maru local government area of Zamfara state.

The Deputy Director Army Public Relations of One Division, Colonel Muhmmad Dole, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

He said the troops who are part of the ongoing ‘Operation IDON RAINI Corridor II’, also destroyed several camps belonging to the armed bandits during an early morning raid on Saturday.

Colonel Dole further stated that the troops also arrested three suspected bandits during a gun battle, while some others escaped with gunshot wounds.

Items recovered during the operation included: four AK 47 rifles, One F 99 – Pistol, 111 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition among others.

The army, therefore, re-affirmed its continued determination to frustrate activities of bandits in the state.

Sarah Sanders kicked out of restaurant because of work for Trump

Sarah Sanders kicked out of restaurant because of work for Trump

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant on Friday night because she works for President Donald Trump.

A co-owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, asked Ms Sanders and her family to leave as a protest against the Trump administration.

Ms Sanders tweeted that “her actions say far more about her than about me”.

Stephanie Wilkinson said she believed Ms Sanders worked for an “inhumane and unethical” administration.

She told the Washington Post that she decided to ask the Trump spokeswoman to leave the 26-seat, “farm-to-table” restaurant after talking to her staff.

“Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave,” she said she told them. “They said yes.”

The incident comes days after Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was booed at a Mexican restaurant in Washington DC.

Both cases come amid increasing pressure on the US government over its controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the Mexican border.

A decision by the administration to criminally prosecute every undocumented migrant crossing the border led to some 2,300 children being separated from their parents in May and June, and sparked a global wave of outrage.

President Trump has now halted family separations but says he remains committed to the “zero tolerance” policy.

Critics of the Red Hen’s decision said that it was discriminatory.

However, others compared the restaurant’s decision to a recent Supreme Court ruling in favour of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, in a case seen by many conservatives as a test for religious freedom.

The restaurant’s Facebook profile has seen a surge of one and five star ratings since news of the incident broke on Saturday, while its online reviews have become increasingly polarised.

One negative review of the restaurant online read: “I was dining at the Red Hen and witnessed them rudely refuse service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I was disgusted and appalled by the incident. I will never eat at this establishment again.”

“Terrible ownership and management: bigoted and prejudiced,” wrote another reviewer.

But thousands of other users supported the decision. One wrote: “Love this place. Morally superior and the food must be delicious…”

Ms Wilkinson said that she asked Ms Sanders to talk to her outside before explaining “that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation”.

She said Ms Sanders immediate response was: “‘That’s fine. I’ll go.'”

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Ms Sanders’ father, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, weighed in by describing the restaurant’s actions as “bigotry”.

Just hours earlier, he caused controversy by tweeting a joke, which some people interpreted as suggesting that Minority Leader of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi – a senior Democrat who has spoken out against border separations – supports the violent MS-13 gang.

President Trump has repeatedly made references to the gang, which operates across Central America, to justify his tough stance on illegal immigration and border control.

World Cup 2018: Fifa investigates Switzerland duo over goal celebrations

World Cup 2018: Fifa investigates Switzerland duo over goal celebrations

Football’s world governing body has opened an investigation into Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri’s goal celebrations during Switzerland’s World Cup victory over Serbia.

Both players are ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, where a Serbian crackdown on the Albanian population only ended with Nato military intervention in 1999.

They appeared to make an eagle gesture as they celebrated in a symbol of the two-headed eagle on the Albanian flag.

Both players were booed by Serbia fans.

In a statement, Fifa said its disciplinary committee had opened proceedings against Xhaka and Shaqiri, adding: “In relation to the same match, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Serbian FA for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans.

“Furthermore, a preliminary investigation has been opened against the coach of the Serbian national team, Mladen Krstajic, for alleged statements made in the aftermath of the said match.”

It is unclear what the investigation into Krstajic refers to, but in comments to Serbian reporters on Saturday, he said of match referee Felix Brych: “I wouldn’t give him either a yellow or red card, I would send him to The Hague. Then they could put him on trial, like they did to us.”

After the game, which his side won 2-1, Switzerland’s Bosnia-born manager Vladimir Petkovic was asked about the celebrations and said: “You should never mix football and politics. It’s important to be a fan, and to give respect.

“It was a wonderful atmosphere and that’s what support should be about.”

Xhaka’s father spent three and a half years as a political prisoner in Yugoslavia while Shaqiri was born in Yugoslavia before emigrating to Switzerland as a child.

Shaqiri also sported a Kosovan flag, stitched onto his boots.

“It’s just emotion,” he said about his celebration. “I’m very happy to score this goal. It’s not more. I think we don’t have to speak about this now.”

Vatican ex-diplomat sentenced to five years on child pornography charges

Vatican ex-diplomat sentenced to five years on child pornography charges

A former Vatican diplomat has been sentenced to five years in prison for child pornography offences.

Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella pleaded guilty at a Vatican court, which heard that dozens of pornographic photos and videos were found on his mobile phone.

He said he had suffered a personal crisis while working at the Vatican embassy in Washington DC.

The priest was recalled from the US last year after authorities notified the Vatican of their suspicions.

The US had asked that Capella’s diplomatic immunity be lifted so he could face charges there. Canadian police later issued an arrest warrant for Capella, an Italian.

The former diplomat will serve his sentence in the Vatican’s small prison, and pay a fine of €5,000 (£4,400; $5,800).

The case is the latest allegation involving child sexual abuse to hit the Catholic Church.

All of Chile’s 34 bishops offered to resign in May following a child sex scandal and a cover up. Pope Francis has since accepted three of their resignations.

Also in May, Australia convicted the archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, of concealing historic child sexual abuse in the 1970s. He has stepped aside from his duties but not resigned as archbishop.

In 2013, the Holy See recalled and defrocked its envoy to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski, and ordered he be tried for child sex offences.

Wesolowski was found dead in 2015 before he could stand trial.

A man considered the Church’s third-ranked official, Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell, is due to go on trial in Australia on charges of historical sexual offences, which he denies.