All the plastic chairs are taken, but I haven’t stayed an extra day in Singapore just to stand for eight hours with the baking sun on my neck. The ticket seller, a stern looking woman with a blood-red bindi, has warned me not to enter the cordoned off section of the Ceylon Sports Club marked “members only.” But as soon as she resumes plucking tickets out of a small green booklet I grab my chance and part the crowd with a few well placed excuse-me’s.I settle into a chair with faded pink upholstery and chipped varnish. Though I’m a little worried about impending humiliation-a tap on the shoulder and a nod toward the exit-it seems worth the risk. From here I have a clear view of a rolled down television screen on which eleven men in green and two in blue have entered a packed stadium in distant Karachi, Pakistan.On screen, Sachin Tendulkar lashes the ball to the fence. On my right, six rows of men on molded plastic chairs erupt: “HOI, HOI, HOI, HOI.”“They are Indian workers,” explains the man next to me, a retired Singapore-Indian civil servant with two-day stubble and a rolled up newspaper with a picture of a Chinese girl in an orange lollipop-swirl bikini. “They come whenever there’s a match.”There are about 350 of them, migrant construction workers from Tamil Nadu, India’s southern-most state; small, gaunt men with toes poking out of scuffed sandals or rubber flip-flops. The lucky ones have claimed the white plastic chairs behind a red tape barrier. The rest stand knitted together at the back or spill out cross-legged on the floor, squeezed against the bar to my left and several rows deep in the space between the screen and the first faded pink chairs.This is not the first time I’ve hunted down a cricket match in a city not my own. Almost exactly a year ago, I was on the edge of my seat in a stranger’s darkened apartment in New York as India and Pakistan clashed in South Africa in the World Cup. I’ve lingered over matches in hotel rooms in Kuala Lumpur, smoke-filled sports bars in Jakarta, messy dorm rooms in Princeton.But this match is special. India are playing in Pakistan for the first time in seven years. A lot has happened in the interim: nuclear weapons tests, a mini-war in Kashmir, an Indian plane hijacked to Afghanistan, a terrorist attack on India’s parliament, more than a million soldiers eyeball to eyeball on the border for the better part of a year.India get off to the kind of start television commentators like to call explosive. Or the kind they might call explosive if I could hear them. Where I sit you can watch, but you can’t listen. The speakers are positioned somewhere in the sea of white plastic chairs, as though to reward the ears of those whose eyes must strain the most, though I’m not sure that anyone can hear a word above the clapping, whistling and hooting. Of all of India’s defeats, none is seared as deeply in our collective memory as the one in Sharjah in 1986. After that day Sharjah was no longer a place-an Arab city where they sometimes import cricketers to entertain the Indians and Pakistanis who do all the work-but a byword for India’s infinite capacity to lose. One man in the crowd stands out. A coarse green shirt hangs on his narrow shoulders and his eyes look like he awakes to nightmares.“Boundary-aa!” he exhorts the Indian batsmen to pummel Pakistan some more. “Boundary-aa, Six-aa! Boundary-aa, Six-aa! Boundary-aa, Six-aa!”The man charged with meeting his demand is Sachin Tendulkar, perhaps the most iconic figure in India. If you were to combine the popularity of Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan at the height of their powers you might get an approximation of what Tendulkar means to about a billion Indians. It has been 14 years since he first appeared on our TV screens, a scrawny 16-year-old with golliwog hair who could already wield a bat like an executioner’s axe or an opera conductor’s baton.Pitted against him is Shoaib Akhtar, nicknamed the Rawalpindi Express, the latest in a long line of marauding Pakistani quicks. Akhtar shakes his movie star mane and steams in to bowl-to hurl a white ball across 22 yards at almost 100 miles per hour.“BOUNDARY-AA, SIX-AA!” screams the man in the green shirt.Tendulkar smashes the ball and it soars into the Karachi stands. 350 Indians in Singapore are on their feet, their arms outstretched skywards.“WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA,” I bark, pumping my clenched right fist.My first memories of cricket go back to 1978. Another contest between India and Pakistan, this one after a 17-year hiatus in which the two countries had done their fighting on the battlefield rather than the cricket field. I was almost ten-years-old in 1978. My brother had just been born, and my mother was on maternity leave from her government job. I have this picture in my head of walking from the black and white Philips TV in the living room-we called it the drawing room- and coming to a stop outside a bathroom door with peeling white paint to ask my mother a question. I can’t quite remember what it was-maybe the meaning of LBW or the difference between off spin and leg spin-but I’m pretty sure that she knew the answer.Apart from a girl in third grade, whose name I wrote over and over in a narrow school diary covered with blue plastic, cricket first revealed my obsessive side. I memorized nicknames of West Indians who had played before I was born and batting averages of South Africans whose careers were short-circuited by apartheid. I collected little black and white photos of cricketers in floppy caps and gambled (only with duplicates) with the neighborhood urchins, throwing a picture in the air and shouting “chit” or “photo” as it spiraled to the ground. I lacquered my bat with too much linseed oil and spent scorching summer afternoons thwacking it with a cricket ball in an old sock to improve its “stroke.” I discovered that my mother really didn’t know that much.Tendulkar gets out. There’s a moment of stunned silence, then another player walks in to wild applause. This time the loss does nothing to slow India’s momentum. Another Indian batsman slams the ball across the ropes and the man in the green shirt is on his feet slicing the air with his arm as he mimics the umpire’s signal for four. “No single! Only four and six!” The camera cuts to a pair of commentators-an Australian and a Pakistani. “Manjrekar coming! Manjrekar coming!” shouts the man in the green shirt invoking the name of an Indian commentator.You can tell a lot about an overseas Indian by his relationship with cricket. There are those who give up their Indian passports but never give up on the team. To them I ascribe qualities like self-awareness and self-confidence. The other type is personified by the Indian who lands up in Silicon Valley, wipes his mind clean of cricket as though he’s rebooting a hard drive, and starts cheering for the San Francisco Giants or the 49ers. He embodies the slavish side of the Indian personality, the capacity to be dazzled by toilet paper and Burger King. India lose a few wickets and the tempo slows. The man has slipped off his sandals and unbuttoned his green shirt. He slouches in his plastic chair sipping a large brown bottle of Baron’s beer with a yellow straw. He says something out loud in Tamil. A man with neatly combed hair sitting behind me leans forward.“You see even an illiterate fellow like this has good knowledge about the game,” he says.“He’s probably not illiterate. Most South Indians are literate these days,” I respond.“Okay, but I mean he’s not educated but he still knows a lot about the game. What he is saying is absolutely correct.” You can tell a lot about an overseas Indian by his relationship with cricket. There are those who give up their Indian passports but never give up on the team. To them I ascribe qualities like self-awareness and self-confidence. The other type is personified by the Indian who lands up in Silicon Valley, wipes his mind clean of cricket as though he’s rebooting a hard drive, and starts cheering for the San Francisco Giants or the 49ers. He embodies the slavish side of the Indian personality, the capacity to be dazzled by toilet paper and Burger King.The arbiter of correctness is named Keerthi and works as a software manager for the Singapore branch of Halliburton, Dick Cheney’s Halliburton.By now I’m quite sure that the stern lady with the red bindi is not going to kick me out. I get up to find something to eat and the cross-legged men on the floor pull up their bony knees to let me pass. In a shaded corner just outside the viewing area, large bowls of food sit in a glass cabinet. I pay five Singapore dollars for a paper plate piled with steaming rice, a yellow daal with small pieces of eggplant, shredded cabbage with onions and cumin seeds, and curried mutton ribs. I ask the girl behind the counter to halve the mountain of rice on my plate and she repeats this to the man who had scooped it out from a hot box with an urgency that says she approves of such forbearance.The Indian batsmen fail to step things up in the last five overs but, thanks to the electric start, they still manage to pile up 349. To overhaul it, Pakistan will have to make the highest score ever for a team batting second. The players file off the field and the screen fills with a commercial for Molty Multifoam Mattress, apparently the best guarantor of a good night’s rest in Pakistan. The man in green has rebuttoned his shirt. He smokes a cigarette, drained, as though a battery in the back of his head has died.It has been more than four hours since the match began, but the crowd’s enthusiasm shows no signs of flagging. An Indian bowler, Zaheer Khan, strides halfway down the pitch to glare at a Pakistani batsman in the exaggerated way the hero in a Hindi movie glares at the villain. The construction workers titter like schoolgirls. A little later, L. Balaji, a new boy from Tamil Nadu, claims the first Pakistani wicket, sending a batsman’s off stump cartwheeling. We stand up and roar.“Tamil Nadu Singhamda,” screams the man in green.“That means Lion of Tamil Nadu,” explains Keerthi.Another wicket falls, the scoring rate remains tepid, and it begins to look like this match will be one-sided. The Pakistani batsmen are wading into quicksand. They must score quickly to have any hope of reaching the target, but the more they hurry the more likely they are to lose wickets. I’m happy. I haven’t come seeking a cliffhanger. My throat feels sore so I step outside again for something to drink. When I return, clutching a Styrofoam cup filled with tea, I see a white plastic chair being passed down a row of workers.I reach out and pass it on as well before settling down to sip my tea, sweet, milky and especially satisfying for having cost only one dollar. It’s only a few minutes later that I notice that the man in the green shirt has disappeared.“Where’s he gone?” I ask Keerthi, pointing with my eyes to where he had been, to my right, in the first row behind the tape barrier. We’ve grown so accustomed to failure that some of India’s most cherished sporting accomplishments are defeats–Milkha Singh edged out of the 400 meters bronze at the Rome Olympics, P.T. Usha breasting the tape fourth at the 1984 Los Angeles games. People still talk about almost winning that game against England at the Oval in 1979. Long ago, I concluded that as a nation we actually prefer the sweet sorrow of the near miss to the unfamiliar tang of victory. “He said something unsportsmanlike so they decided to punish him. That was his chair they were passing around.”“What did he say?”“He said something like ‘You Pakistanis, learn to play.’”“That doesn’t sound that terrible.”“It’s not sportsmanlike. His friends are the ones who decided to punish him by taking away his chair.”Keerthi says this with pride. I can’t see what the fuss is about. In my book as long as you cheer the Indian players equally, as long as you cheer the Muslims as you cheer the Hindus, and Tamils and Punjabis as you cheer Maharashtrians and Kannadigas and even the slacker Bengali captain, it doesn’t really matter what you say about the other side. I wish the man in green would come back.The game is comfortably headed India’s way and then suddenly it isn’t. The quicksand that ought to have reached the Pakistani batsmen’s thighs by now is still below their knees. They plunder India’s captain for 14 runs in one over. We can see Pakistanis dancing in the stands in Karachi. The Ceylon Sports Club is hushed.Being an Indian is probably easier than being a Pakistani, especially now that we’re known for software and their biggest exports are nukes and terrorists. But being an Indian cricket fan has always been a tribulation, and there isn’t a single one out there who doesn’t have scars on his soul. We lost that series in 1978, going down 2-0 in three matches. In the third, at the same stadium in Karachi as today’s game, two cocky Pakistanis-Imran Khan and Javed Miandad-mauled the Indian captain Bishen Singh Bedi’s lazy, loopy bowling, effectively ending his career. Bedi’s son was in my school at the time. He was a quiet boy, maybe six or seven years old, probably dealing in his own way with being the only person on the planet named Gavasinder. I remember him being pushed around in the schoolyard by a couple of my classmates.The disappointments kept coming. A year after that tour to Pakistan, I sat up late in the kitchen one night, a crackly transistor radio glued to my ear as India came up nine short of an improbable 438 for victory against England. A quarter century later, I can still hear a Hindi commentator repeating over and over that “India’s position is rather fragile,” words that would etch themselves deeper in my brain with each passing year. In 1983 India pulled off one of cricket’s storied upsets by winning the World Cup.Yet, though I rejoiced with the rest, in my heart it always felt like a fluke, God’s private joke allowing a group of mild-mannered trundlers to put a spoke in the mighty West Indies machine. At last, the man in green returns. He has recovered his chair and moved it a little to improve his view. He stretches his legs and smokes a bidi.“Sachin coming four wickets,” he declares. “No six, only wicket! No chance four, no chance six. Only wicket. Wicket! No six, no chance pa. Confirmed wicket.”As though by magic, Sachin Tendulkar is handed the ball. He’s a pedestrian bowler, but the man in green has acted as an oracle before and our spines stiffen with anticipation. Tendulkar ambles in and bowls. Yousuf Youhana lifts the ball into the air. It lands in the stands-six runs! The man in green slams his hand on his chair so hard that I worry the plastic may crack.“SACHIN WICKET!” he screams.The prayer goes unanswered. Tendulkar continues to take a pounding. After a while, Keerthi leans forward again. When a match goes down to the wire like this, Indians smell defeat. “Indians lack killer instinct,” someone in the audience will inevitably say, or “Pakistanis are fighters.” I’ve heard these words as a graduate student in America, where cricket was all that filled the silence on the rare occasion that I found myself at a dinner table with Indian engineers or physicists. I’ve heard it in Jakarta, at the restaurant with lace curtains and too much green chili in the saag where I sometimes watch matches. I’ve probably said it a few times myself, and I’ve always believed it. “Tendulkar is going for good-length balls and Inzy is hooking them off,” he says. “Instead he should go for a short delivery.”Keerthi not only knows a lot about cricket; apparently he also knows a lot of cricketers. He used to live in Madras and can reel off names of friends in the Tamil Nadu side. There’s a V. Sivaramakrishnan, who once toured Sri Lanka with the Indian team. He’s not related to L. Sivaramakrishnan, the famous leg-spinner. There’s someone name Girish, who I haven’t heard of either. I ask Keerthi if he knows Sadagoppan Ramesh, a classy left-hand batsman in and out of the national squad. He says they’re good friends.Balaji returns to bowl again. “Tamil Nadu Singham,” shouts the man in green. But this time Balaji is bludgeoned. A Pakistani slaps the ball for the second four of the over. “Good shot,” says Keerthi. The British packed their bags 54 years ago, but he’s still bent on watching the gentleman’s sport like a gentleman. I wish he would go home.The camera turns to the Karachi crowd. They’re waving green and white Pakistani flags. A man in a loose salwar kameez whirls like a dervish. I read the lips of a little boy mouthing “Pak-is-tan, Pak-is-tan.”Of all of India’s defeats, none is seared as deeply in our collective memory as the one in Sharjah in 1986. After that day Sharjah was no longer a place-an Arab city where they sometimes import cricketers to entertain the Indians and Pakistanis who do all the work-but a byword for India’s infinite capacity to lose.It was a tournament final and for much of the day India looked the better team. But Pakistan fought back until finally they needed four runs off the last ball, not impossible but far from easy. India’s captain pushed his fielders to the boundary ropes in a defensive ring. Chetan Sharma, an innocuous striver, the only kind of fast bowler India seems capable of producing, ran up to bowl to Javed Miandad, the same Miandad who had thrashed the Indian bowlers in that series in Pakistan eight years earlier.Miandad calmly lifted the ball over midwicket for six. In India, the next day’s papers reported people dying of heart failure brought on by the excitement, though maybe it was really grief that killed them.It was around that time that I stopped playing cricket. I was never terribly good at it-the bottom always dropped out of my stomach when I faced pace-and then one summer I discovered, of all things, table tennis. You could play TT, as we called it, no matter the weather, and the room with the lopsided table where I whiled away evenings smashing forehands and slicing backhands was right next to the mud-floored court where the neighborhood girls played badminton.Someone bowls a good over. Keerthi says, “Come on guys. Conserve the next four overs exactly like this. Don’t give runs.” This redeems him a little in my eyes, but then a Pakistani batsman cracks a four and Keerthi says “very good shot.”Javed Miandad has long retired, but he refuses to go away. The Indian newspapers I read online every morning are full of stories about him in his new incarnation as Pakistan’s coach. Just the other day, Miandad mocked one of India’s promising new fast bowlers as the sort of kid you can find in every back alley in Pakistan. It hurts because it’s probably true. The camera zooms to the Pakistani dressing room balcony. Miandad waves his arms wildly at the batsmen in the middle.“Oyeh, oyeh,” hiss the construction workers. Their loathing is mixed with fear. It’s as though Miandad is a cricketing version of Freddy Kruger, back to preside over a new generation of our nightmares.Pakistan need 34 of 24 balls. A comparison chart comes on screen and you can see the Pakistani worm stabbing upwards toward India’s. When a match goes down to the wire like this, Indians smell defeat. “Indians lack killer instinct,” someone in the audience will inevitably say, or “Pakistanis are fighters.”I’ve heard these words as a graduate student in America, where cricket was all that filled the silence on the rare occasion that I found myself at a dinner table with Indian engineers or physicists. I’ve heard it in Jakarta, at the restaurant with lace curtains and too much green chili in the saag where I sometimes watch matches. I’ve probably said it a few times myself, and I’ve always believed it.A Pakistani wicket falls. We get up and scream. I shake hands with the man in front of me, an older man in ironed blue jeans and laundered white Nikes. “I think we’ve just broken the sound barrier,” he jokes. But he’s not smiling. It’s pitch dark outside now and pouring. The workers who had started the day with the sun on their backs have inched deeper into the clubhouse.We’ve grown so accustomed to failure that some of India’s most cherished sporting accomplishments are defeats–Milkha Singh edged out of the 400 meters bronze at the Rome Olympics, P.T. Usha breasting the tape fourth at the 1984 Los Angeles games. People still talk about almost winning that game against England at the Oval in 1979. Long ago, I concluded that as a nation we actually prefer the sweet sorrow of the near miss to the unfamiliar tang of victory.Yet, I can’t help but notice that something might have changed. Even as Pakistan lope toward the target the Indians refuse to give up. For the first time I can count half a dozen players in the Indian team whose shoulders never droop, who don’t look defeated. They form the core of a side that has notched up a few big wins: beating England in England two years ago, pulverizing Pakistan in last year’s World Cup, squaring a test series against mighty Australia.Perhaps it’s economic reform that has instilled this new self-confidence. When I was growing up, in Indira Gandhi’s socialist India, we were somehow aware that Pakistanis drove better cars and ate real ketchup. Our only consolation was that we made our own cars and our own crappy ketchup-so what if it tasted like pumpkin.But India now has beauty pageants and coffee bars. The average Indian has become wealthier than the average Pakistani, or at least less poor. India still makes cars and ketchup, but real cars and real ketchup. Judging by the commercials, across the border they sleep on Molty foam mattresses and wash their hair with English Anti-lice shampoo.Pakistan need 17 runs off 12 balls with four wickets in hand. Keerthi’s phone rings. “Hello…Ayo, very neck to neck now. India can lose… Ayo, bad.”Ten runs needed off eight balls. The batsman hits the ball hard and high. Two Indian fielders race toward it. One slides away at the last minute and Mohammad Kaif, the safest pair of hands in the Indian side, pounces on the ball. Out! The Pakistanis in the stadium are silent. So are we, too tense to celebrate. The man in green sits squashed against a corner of his chair, fingers locked.Nine needed off the last six balls. They get three and then it’s Sharjah all over again. Pakistan need six runs off the last ball. A pace bowler from Delhi (Ashish Nehra) will bowl to an experienced Pakistani batsman (Moin Khan). Nehra bowls. Moin swings. The ball soars into the sky-and straight into an Indian fielder’s hands.My eyes linger on the screen for a few second to make sure that it’s really over. Then I look for the man in the green shirt and open my arms. His head barely reaches my shoulder, but he lifts me below the waist and whirls me in the air — round and round and round. Related Items
View comments Malaysia, whose 60th Independence Day coincides with its fourth SEA Games hosting, is gunning for 111 golds, the same number it did in winning the 2001 edition. PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension “The Philippines is relatively new in this sport and given time, they will be a team to watch,” said Abdullah.The Filipinos dropped the gold medal match to the host Wednesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“This gold medal means a lot. It is the first step towards achieving our target. The players were excellent in controlling the ball. Their spirit was high,” added the Malaysian mentor.After winning the first gold of the 29th Southeast Asian Games, Malaysia sports minister YB Brig. Gen. Khairy Jamaluddin told the host’s athletes: “One down, 110 to go.” Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village Rhemwil Catana and Johnjohn Bobier of Philippines during the Chinlone event at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where Chinlone team won the 1st silver for the country.INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZKUALA LUMPUR—The Philippines sepak takraw chinlone team may not have won the gold, but it gained respect from the one that won it.Malaysia’s coach Mohd Yusoff Abdullah cited the Filipino’s natural flair in the sport that requires coordination and athleticism.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago Reality hits PH netball athletes hard in Malaysia Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses LATEST STORIES
Darren Clarke repelled a dynamic charge from Phil Mickelson to complete a runaway threeshot win at the British Open in Sandwich, England, on Sunday, claiming his first Major title and becoming the first home winner of the championship for 12 years.The 42-year-old Briton picked up the coveted Claret Jug, a first prize of 900,000 pounds ($ 1.45 million) and an extra bonus of two million pounds from one of his sponsors after firing a level-par 70 for 275, five-under par.US Ryder Cup teammates Mickelson (68) and Dustin Johnson (72) were tied for second place on 278.Dane Thomas Bjorn (71), denied victory by a sad, late collapse when the event was last played at Sandwich in 2003, was fourth on 279. Clarke, the overnight leader, looked nerveless at the start even though he cancelled out an early birdie at the second by dropping a stroke at the fourth.Puffing calmly on a cigarette, seemingly oblivious to the 55 kms an hour winds and the squally showers whistling in from the English Channel, the Northern Irishman was unperturbed by Mickelson’s front-nine charge. The American left-hander, who has flattered to deceive at the third Major of the season with just one top-10 finish in 17 previous appearances, showed he meant business by blitzing his way to a remarkable best-of-thetournament front nine of 30.Ignoring the strongest winds of the week at Royal St George’s, Mickelson drew level with Clarke at the seventh hole when he rolled in a 20-foot eagle putt.The former European Ryder Cup player, though, hit back immediately with a matching eagle at the same hole after sinking a 25- footer.advertisementMickelson Blunder World number six Mickelson’s round then started to spectacularly unravel when he inexplicably missed from two feet at the 11th.His putter continued to let down the four-times Major champion and he missed from seven feet at the 12th and eight feet at the 14th as his challenge petered out. While Mickelson was stringing together a series of bogeys, Clarke reeled off nine straight pars to the 16th and dropped strokes at the last two holes were almost immaterial as he emulated Paul Lawrie’s Open victory at Carnoustie in 1999.In addition he became Northern Ireland’s third Major winner in just over a year following the back-to-back US Open victories by Graeme McDowell in 2010 and Rory McIlroy last month.Clarke, playing in the British Open for the 20th time, also broke the record for the most appearances in the championship before securing a maiden win.The previous record was held by Zimbabwean Nick Price who registered his first victory at Turnberry in 1994 at the 15th time of asking. Clarke receives no regular payment for wearing Dunlop clothes when he plays but, under his agreement with Sports Direct, he scoops a bonus of two million pounds for his first Major win.With inputs from Agencies
The goal of Barcelona striker Lionel Messi in the first round of the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League against Roma was chosen by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) as the best of last season.Messi scored the goal as a result of collective play with Neymar and Luis Suarez. That encounter, played at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium last November, ended in a 6-1 victory for the hosts, reports Efe. (Also read: Lionel Messi announces dramatic comeback from international retirement)The Argentina striker’s goal received 34 per cent of the vote and exceeded Brazilian Ricardinho’s goal in Futsal, which gained 13 per cent votes, while the goal of Swiss Xherdan Shaqiri in the second round of the Euro 2016 against Poland came in third with 11 per cent.Messi is not among the three nominees for UEFA best player in Europe, which are Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann. The winner will be announced on Thursday night during the draw for the first phase of the UEFA Champions League.
Virat Kohli’s Team India landed in England as one of the favourites to lift the ICC Champions Trophy for the third time. After a couple of warm-up matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh, India will take on Pakistan at Edgbaston in one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the group stage.Following that, India will tackle Sri Lanka and South Africa at the Kia Oval.Kohli’s 50-over form in the past 12 months is nothing short of exemplary, with an average of over 90 — while he already has the fourth most one-day international centuries in history.But he struggled to find his best form in England three years ago, averaging less than 20 across five Test matches.”If you talk about the longer format of the game, then I did not do well here three years ago,” he said.”I was not able to contribute to the team and I want to succeed, although not to prove a point. It motivates me further to come back and do better.””For me it is a game of cricket. From then to now, I have shown I am strong mentally. England bring a lot of challenges for a batsmen and I want to overcome them personally for my satisfaction at the end of my career.”From that point of view, it is exciting for me,” he added.BALANCED SIDEKohli may be the star of the team, but expects his seniors Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni to flourish in the tournament.”We needed to strengthen our lower middle order contribution. Too much burden was on MS. He was not able to express himself,” said the 28-year-old, who will be leading the Men in Blue squad for the first time in an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament.advertisement”But now we are balanced, we have good fast bowlers, depth in batting and the series against England (in January) sealed it for us.””We are in a good head-space going into this tournament,” Kohli added in an ICC statement.Kohli, who was part of the victorious India squad four years ago, believes his side is in an even better position to rule the world this year.However, India have not played 50-over cricket since beating England 2-1 in a thrilling three-match series in January and there is no time to ease into the competition in a group which contains the dangerous trio of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa.But recent history has showed that the team always rises to the occasion on the biggest stage, and the two-time ICC Cricket World Cup winners will be tough to stop.’EXCITED’Kohli expected great things from his squad, which comprises match-winners Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravichandran Ashwin along with Yuvraj and Dhoni.”I am very excited to be playing as captain in my first major ICC competition,” he said.”As far as the team goes, we won last time because our fast bowlers did very well, our spinners were strong and our opening batsman did well.””They were the main three factors. This year the team is a lot fitter, the cricketers are a lot more mature because that was a very young group four years ago. It has gained a lot of experience in the last three or four years. I love the tournament because it represents a challenge from the (word) go,” he added.(With inputs from IANS)
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PERRY CREEK WAS EXPECTED TO CREST AT 8PM WEDNESDAY AT 25 AND A HALF FEET, JUST BELOW MINOR FLOOD STAGE.THE CITY OF SIOUX CITY DOES NOT EXPECT THE WATER TO LEAVE THE BANKS, BUT RESIDENTS NEAR PERRY CREEK SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THEIR BASEMENTS FOR WATER.IF RESIDENTS ENCOUNTER WATER ENCROACHING THE ELECTRICAL SERVICE THEY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CONTACT THEIR ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDER AND CALL 911.WATER WILL MOST LIKELY ENTER THE BACK YARDS OF SOME HOMES IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO PERRY CREEK.THIS IS NORMAL FOR THIS WATER HEIGHT AND IS NOT AN INDICATION OF IMMINENT DANGER.THE CITY OF SIOUX CITY IS CONTINUING TO MONITOR THE LEVELS OF ALL LOCAL WATERWAYS
Hilary Lister was a record-breaking sailor who became the first quadriplegic person to sail alone across the English Channel. She has died aged 46, following an infection related to reflex sympathetic dystrophy, the degenerative nervous system disorder she had lived with for all of her adult life.On 23 August 2005, with a map strapped to her foot, and a support boat following behind, she completed the 21-mile crossing from Dover to Calais in six hours and 13 minutes, navigating with her mouth. Four years later, she became the first disabled woman to sail around the UK, an achievement described by the International Sailing Federation as ranking her among the top four sailors in the world. Her journey was captured in a BBC2 documentary, A Race Against Time: Hilary Lister’s Round Britain Dream (2013).Using “sip and puff” technology, sending air pressure signals by inhaling and exhaling through plastic straws – the same model with which she operated her wheelchair – Lister was able to steer her boat despite being immobile from the neck down. One straw operated the tiller, controlling the direction of the boat, the other the winches – letting the sails in or out. She placed her tongue over the straw that wasn’t in use. Strapped into the boat, she was unable to use the bathroom for the duration of the sail.Frequently she risked her life. As she struggled to breathe, her support crew had to resuscitate her six times during her record-breaking circumnavigation of the British Isles. She believed that the risk was worthwhile – essential even. “I want to get able-bodied people to rethink their views about the disabled,” she said. “We do not need wrapping up in cotton wool and can go out and do silly or dangerous things if that’s what we want to do.”She liked to emphasise the beauty, awe and humour in her adventures – joking about finding herself in the middle of a pod of breaching whales in the Irish Sea, or enthusing about the sensation of her boat moving through the waves.Born in Hook, Hampshire, Hilary was the third of four children. Her mother, Pauline, was a biochemist at Oxford University, her father, Colin Rudd, a vicar. Growing up as an able-bodied child, Hilary led an active life: she captained the netball and hockey teams at school, and enjoyed playing rugby. It was not until the age of 11 that she began to experience the symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy; by 15 she was using a wheelchair. Share on LinkedIn Hilary Lister in 2005 testing the steering mechanism of straws on which she relied for her cross-Channel voyage. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images Share on Messenger Sailing Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Twitter Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share via Email Share on Facebook After leaving King’s school, Canterbury, Hilary studied biochemistry at Jesus College, Oxford, graduating in 1995. A keen musician, she gave clarinet lessons until she lost the use of her hands. She was forced to give up a PhD at the University of Kent because of her increasing loss of mobility. By the age of 27 she was paralysed from the neck down. In 1999, she married Clifford Lister, a music teacher, from whom she was later separated.Her illness severely restricted her life. “I get put on the sofa by one carer at 9am and taken off by another carer at 7pm and put to bed,” she once said. Lister found the boredom and frustration intolerable. With it came agonising pain which she described as akin to rasping sandpaper on her joints or knives piercing her. At one point she decided to end her life. “I couldn’t wash or feed myself or do any of the basic things in life. I was in very bad place where I was assessing the quality of my life and wondering whether it was worth continuing.”Discovering sailing in 2003 changed everything, when a friend introduced her to Westbere Sailing Opportunities, near Canterbury. “I just love being completely alone on the water. The whole point is having that complete freedom to control your own destiny,” she said. “In my boat I’m finally out of my chair, and I feel like I’m flying. Sailing has given me back a sense of freedom I never thought would be possible. It has, quite literally, saved my life.”After meeting Emma Richards, the youngest person to complete the Around Alone single-handed round-the-world yacht race (now known as the Velux 5 Oceans Race), Lister soon set herself the challenge of crossing the English Channel on her own. Richards introduced Lister to Andrew Pindar, a businessman who went on to sponsor her first boat, and the dream became a reality.Her feats won her multiple awards, including the Sunday Times Helen Rollason award for inspiration in 2005, and the Cosmopolitan Superhero award in 2007.In 2010 Lister set up Hilary’s Dream Trust with the aim of providing access to sailing for adults with disabilities, or those experiencing economic barriers. In 2014 she undertook her last major voyage, crossing the Arabian Sea, this time with a crew for support. In her final 18 months, she was no longer able to sail.She is survived by Clifford, her parents and three brothers.• Hilary Claire Lister, sailor, born 3 March 1972; died 18 August 2018 Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest Topics Disability Facebook obituaries Pinterest Reuse this content
Touch Football Australia (TFA) would like to announce the successfully appointed assistant coaches for the National Open Program.The Open Teams will be competing during April 2014 in the Trans Tasman Series against New Zealand in Mudgee, New South Wales. The appointed assistant coaches are:Men’s OpenPaul SfeirDave NolanWomen’s OpenSwain RovelliPhil GyemoreMixed OpenMick MoussaJustin CreightonTFA wishes the appointed assistant coaches all the best during their preparation for the 2014 Trans Tasman Series. Related Filestfa_open_assistant_coach_announcement-pdfRelated LinksNational Assistant Coaches
Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac has confirmed that his club are following the progress of Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, while refusing to state whether a transfer bid had been filed.Hudson-Odoi, 18, is considered one of the most talented youngsters currently on the books at Stamford Bridge.An Under-17 World Cup winner with England in 2017, he has found first-team football hard to come by with the Blues, making just three Premier League appearances to date while playing a bigger part in his club’s Europa League campaign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Goal understands that Bayern have now made a £30 million ($37.5m) offer for the teenager’s services, with Chelsea also admitting interest from the Bundesliga giants.And Kovac admitted that Hudson-Odoi was in the club’s sights.”[Hudson-Odoi] is from the same year as [Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon] Sancho, which was very succesful,” the Bayern coach explained to reporters on Saturday.”It is completely normal that we are aware of and are following the player. For if and when something will happen you will have to ask Brazzo (Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic).”Sancho left Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017 aged just 17, and now commands a regular place in the BVB side who lead the Bundesliga after a storming start to the season.Hudson-Odoi’s World Cup winning England team-mate alleged lack of playing time at the Etihad Stadium was crucial in his decision to leave his home nation, a situation the Chelsea forward is also suffering.But Blues coach Gianfranco Zola hopes he will dismiss Bayern interest and stay put.“We have had a contract with him for a while and we will see what the player wants,” the Italian had explained on Friday.“He has not played what he wanted. I have told him it is not a waste of time, because you are pushed to do more and I hope he uses this time in a wise way. He will be a very good thing in football.“I understand he has requests but I believe that he has a bright future.“For 18 years old, he has a lot of potential. You have to understand the journey is not finished, he has to have a good attitude. It is not important he plays straight away, it is about developing. He has to keep an open mind to improve.“I believe we can help him, develop him and I believe he has a future in this club.”
This was the play that won it for the Wolverines:SACK. FUMBLE. WIN.Michigan hangs on at home after Army gave the Wolverines all they could handle in The Big House. pic.twitter.com/1jSP4ROHmN— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) September 7, 2019Michigan is now 2-0 on the season and, while neither win has been convincing, they count all the same. Harbaugh’s team does need to improve in a bunch of different areas moving forward, though, and it has to happen quickly.The Wolverines now get a week off before traveling to Wisconsin, which will pose an extremely tough test for the top 10 team.Harbaugh’s team will need to be a lot better to get a win in Madison. EAST LANSING, MI – OCTOBER 20: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks on during warmups prior to playing the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on October 20, 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)This was supposed to be the year for Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan Wolverines. The Ann Arbor program came into 2019 as the favorite in the Big Ten and a popular College Football Playoff pick.Welp, it still could be.Michigan, the No. 7 team in the country, barely survived Army this afternoon. The Wolverines needed double overtime to get past the Black Knights.It was Michigan 24, Army 21 in an ugly win.
Long after he retired, Berra remained one of the most quotable and beloved figures in baseball’s considerable history. Measured by the frequency with which his name is mentioned in books, Berra is more prominent by a large margin than any of the four catchers who produced more total WAR in their careers. Instead, Berra’s name appears in books at a frequency closer to that of historic greats like Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. Berra’s outsize popularity is a testament to his special character and likability, which came to overshadow his no-less-impressive or -unusual accomplishments on the field.CORRECTION (Sept. 23, 5:17 p.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly described comparisons of Berra’s strikeout rate and home runs with those of other players. In the text, we compared Berra’s strikeout rate with that of players who have hit more than 350 home runs since 1940, and, in the chart, we compared his strikeout rate and home run total with those of players who have had more than 2,000 plate appearances since 1940. None of those comparisons were with all players with more than 350 home runs or more than 2,000 plate appearances. Yogi Berra, the ever-quotable former catcher and manager, died Tuesday at the age of 90. By quality, he was one of the best catchers ever, amassing the fifth-most total wins above replacement at the position and the 11th-most WAR per game.1I applied a minimum of 1,000 games played at catcher. By quantity, he played in 13.2 percent of all of the Yankees games in history and more World Series games than any other single player. But more than the obvious accolades — the three Most Valuable Player awards, the 10 World Series wins — Berra was exceptional by virtue of his improbability.As a 19-year-old, Berra participated in the D-Day invasion as a member of the U.S. Navy, fighting from a boat at Omaha Beach, where there were some 2,000 casualties. He was later injured in Marseilles and earned a Purple Heart. After he returned to baseball, he played in just 77 minor-league games before advancing to the majors. Because of his service, Berra didn’t begin his career in earnest until he was 21 years old.Berra was unlikely even as a baseball player: All of 5 feet 7 inches tall, he launched 358 home runs during his career, 90 more than anyone his height or shorter.2Here I am using the Lahman database numbers. The runner-up is Joe Morgan (5 feet 7 inches, 268 home runs). The shortest player who hit more home runs than Berra is Mel Ott (5 feet 9 inches, 511 home runs). Berra was an unusually disciplined batter, striking out in only 4.9 percent of his plate appearances. That combination of power and plate discipline is exceptionally rare in MLB history. Sluggers tend to strike out at higher-than-average rates because they are often selective and waiting for a pitch to drive. Players with more than 350 home runs since 1940 have struck out, on average, in 15.8 percent of plate appearances, more than three times Berra’s rate. No one else with a strikeout rate below 5.5 percent hit more home runs than Berra did during that period. When you add up his position, size, power and plate discipline, Berra is unique in all of baseball’s history.
This week’s Humble Book Bundle from Callisto is all about making 2019 a good year. Keep the stress levels low, the mindfulness high, and your body healthy with these digital books. • Humble Book Bundle: Blood, Sweat and New Year’s by CallistoJust $1 will get you books on pilates, sports nutrition, marathon-prep, and anxiety issues. And since they’re DRM-free, they’re easy to print out or read on multiple devices.Spend at least $1The Mental Toughness AdvantageRunning Your First MarathonPracticing MindfulnessThe Anxiety WorkbookBRAIN HACKSEssential Sports NutritionPilates for BeginnersTackle the likes of yoga, strength training, meditation, and clean eating when you go for the $8 level.Spend at least $8The Clean Eating Slow CookerYoga For BeginnersAyurveda Beginner’s GuideCognitive Behavioral Therapy Made SimpleBodyweight Strength TrainingStretching to Stay YoungPractical Meditation for BeginnersAt the tip-top, you’ll get $168 worth of multi-format ebooks when you pay a minimum of $15. Paleo and ketogenic diets are well represented here, and you can even explore the basics of Buddhism. Spend at least $15The Ultimate Bodybuilding CookbookNo-Nonsense Buddhism for BeginnersClean Eating Cookbook & DietPaleo in 28The Healthy Meal Prep CookbookThe Complete Ketogenic Diet for BeginnersPaleo for BeginnersThe Big 15 Paleo CookbookTwo non-profits, Little Free Library and charity: water, will receive a portion of your purchase. Alternately, you can swap the latter charity out with another participating non-profit of your preference.Sale Ends: January 16th, 2018 at 11:00AM PTNote: Terms and conditions apply. See the Humble site for more information.For more great Humble deals, go to TechBargains.
Recommended for you Missing Teen home safe, not talking Related Items:alicia duncanson, hon. akierra missick, missing Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 21 Sept 2015 – “As Deputy Premier, and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, I extend an appeal for information on the whereabouts of Alicia Duncanson also known as Leecie.”“Alicia Duncanson is a teen who was last seen on Wednesday 15th September by her mother, and reports are she was also seen over the weekend.”Earlier today I spoke with officials from the TCI Police force and the TCI Social Welfare Department who have setup a command post to lead efforts to assist in returning Leecie home.“At this moment, the command post has established two arms, one being an investigative arm and the other being a support and counselling arm. Both arms will work in tandem to bring about a swift and lasting resolution to this matter.”“Leecie, if you are hearing or seeing this please, I repeat please – contact the social welfare department on 338-2681, a team of officers has been assigned to help you and assist you if needed. If anyone is harboring this teen I would also like to invite them to contact social welfare and have her turned over in a discrete manner.”“Alicia’s mother is assisting efforts to locate her and has been receiving counselling from our professionals as we work together to ensure the wellbeing of this young child.”“The Turks & Caicos Islands is a community and regardless of the circumstances, whenever one of our own young children decides not to return home we must be ready to pitch in and assist.““In closing I repeat my call for somebody, anybody with information to come forward and help us bring Leecie home. Any person with information can contact the RTCI Police Sargent Ensa Wilson on 331-2432 or 911 or Ms. Olivia Day of the Social Welfare on 338 2681 her personal Support Officer.” Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force’s mission to combat abusive images of children online Missing Teen, still missing Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, September 28, 2017 – Nassau – An elite list at the Water and Sewerage Corporation has been exposed in a report in the Tribune newspaper and it is not only who is on the list, but what these individuals owe for city water which is both shaming and shocking. Over $23,000 is the water bill of the former Prime Minister, Perry Christie and recently he paid a measly $57 on the bloated bill which has to represent years of unpaid water bills.The former Deputy Prime Minister makes the list too, and owes over $22,000 to the Water and Sewerage Corporation up to March, and recently made a $5,000 payment. Both men were not only handsomely paid by the Bahamian people, over $100,000 per year but they are business owners in their own right, still they have this enormous debt at the water company which like BPL, shuts off small time consumers for far less of an IOU.The list includes former Government Ministers including Hubert Ingraham, who owes; Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt who owes; Shane Gibson, also owes; Frank Watson, Algernon Allen, former Central Bank Governor Julian Francis; even the US Embassy all with outstanding bills, some small – others significantly more but none as high as Perry Christie’s or Brave Davis’ bills.Some of the US Embassy accounts had a zero balance and so did Minister Brent Symonette and, Neko Grant, the former Works Minister – well the Water and Sewerage Corporation actually owes him, $46.60. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
WISHH’s Hershey and Neiderman and Intergrow Managing Director Gideon Amoagye inspect some local soybeans cleaned with the adjacent destoner. Local soybeans often have a high FM content, including peasized gravel, which poses serious processing challenges.The American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health’s (WISHH) Executive Director Jim Hershey was in Ghana this week, working with WISHH Regional Director for Africa Josh Neiderman on developing new customers for U.S. soybeans. Ghana is running low on soy protein and local processors are seeking alternative supplies since stocks of locally produced soybeans ran out in June of this year.As much as 200,000 bushels are required to meet the summer demand every year, and that number has been increasing in recent years. While the marketing window might have closed for this year, (harvest of local beans is next month) WISHH is working with potential buyers to develop their buyers’ plans to identify U.S. suppliers over the winter months that can supply Ghana’s protein gap next summer.
New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah is going to speak in Rajya Sabha at 11.00 am and in Lok Sabha at 12.00 pm. Prominent Kashmiri political leaders have been put under house arrest and several MPs have submitted notices to suspend the business of both the Houses to discuss the issue. Leaders include Manish Tiwari (Congress) and NK Premachandran (RSP) in Lok Sabha and PDP MP Nazir Ahmed, CPI(M)’s Elamarom Kareem, KK Ragesh, K Somaprasad and CPI’s Binoy Vishwam.
Paris: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted that the resounding mandate of 2019 Lok Sabha polls was not just for a government, but for building a ‘New India’ that focuses on ease of doing business while ensuring ease of living. Addressing Indian community at the UNESCO headquarters here after inaugurating a memorial in honour of the victims of two Air India crashes in France in the 1950s and 1960s, Prime Minister Modi said in ‘new India’ action is being taken against corruption, nepotism, the loot of people’s money, terrorism. Also Read – Pakistan test-fires 290-km range missile Advertise With Us In an apparent reference to the revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “There is no scope for temporary in India. You would have seen that a country of 1.25 billion people, the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Gautam Buddha, Ram, Krishna, took 70 years to remove what was temporary.” Asserting that people gave the resounding mandate to the BJP government for building ‘New India’, Modi, who is in France on the first leg of his three-nation tour, said that India is moving fast on the path of development. Also Read – Imran calls on Pakistanis to take part in ‘Kashmir Hour’ Advertise With Us India offers great opportunities for French companies. There is scope for immense cooperation in skill development, aviation, IT and space. The strides made in India-France defence cooperation are promising. Our nations are also working on maritime as well as cyber security. pic.twitter.com/7HoHSVlA2p— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 22, 2019 Advertise With Us On triple talaq, he said, “We did away with the practice of triple talaq; injustice cannot be done to Muslim women in new India.” He said India will achieve most of the climate change goals set for 2030, in the next year and a half. Prime Minister Modi said India will be free of tuberculosis in 2025. – People gave the resounding mandate to our govt for building ‘New India’: PM Modi at the Indian community event in France. – India moving fast on the path of development: PM Modi. – India will achieve most of the climate change goals set for 2030, in the next year and a half: PM Modi at UNESCO HQ. – In ‘New India’, the noose tightening on corruption, nepotism, the loot of public money and terrorism, says Modi. – We did away with the practice of triple talaq; injustice cannot be done to Muslim women in new India: Modi.Community connect. Watch from Paris. https://t.co/sCqcEtcc0v— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 23, 2019
The new bill may complicate President Trump’s plans to improve relations with Russia. AFP file photoThe US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to impose tough new sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia, a move that will antagonize the Kremlin as well as European nations fearing economic ramifications.The measure notably constrains President Donald Trump’s ability to waive the penalties.The sanctions package, which passed 419 to three after weeks of negotiations, “tightens the screws on our most dangerous adversaries in order to keep Americans safe,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said after the vote.The measure now heads to the Senate, where there is support for sanctions but debate about whether to include penalties on North Korea.The legislation is the result of a congressional compromise reached last weekend and is aimed at punishing the Kremlin for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.“Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has invaded its neighbor Ukraine, seizing its territory and destabilizing its government,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said in applauding passage.“Left unchecked, Russia is sure to continue its aggression.”But the bill could end up penalizing European firms that contribute to the development of Russia’s energy sector.New sanctions against Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which stands accused of supporting terrorism, and North Korea, for its missile tests, are also included in the bill.Key among the provisions is one that handcuffs the US president by complicating any of the leader’s unilateral efforts to ease penalties against Moscow in the future—effectively placing him under Congress’s watch.Trump has faced accusations that his administration had sought to reassure Moscow that sanctions imposed near the end of the Obama administration could be lifted under a President Trump.Initially, Trump resisted the legislation. But faced with near-total consensus among Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the White House blinked, but did not say directly that the billionaire president would sign it into law.“While the President supports tough sanctions on North Korea, Iran and Russia, the White House is reviewing the House legislation and awaits a final legislative package for the president’s desk,” spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.Veto likely not effectiveIn mid-June, the Senate voted 98-2 in favor of tough sanctions on Moscow and Tehran, but the text stalled in the House.With the North Korea sanctions now included, the new measure would need to be passed by the Senate before heading to the White House, likely before summer break begins in mid-August.Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said he wants the new measure passed and sent to Trump’s desk “without delay.”US lawmakers, including Republican leaders, have remained wary of the intentions of the billionaire businessman-turned-president—who has called for better relations with Moscow—regarding a relaxation of pressure on Putin.But even if Trump were to veto the legislation, Congress would likely be able to overcome such a blockage with a two-thirds majority in each chamber.Russia calls sanctions ‘counterproductive’The Kremlin warned that fresh sanctions on Russia would adversely affect both sides.“We consider such a continuation of the rhetoric of sanctions counter-productive and harmful to the interests of both countries,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.From Paris to Berlin, the sanctions bill was seen as a unilateral action by Washington that disrupts a carefully crafted order.To date, sanctions against Moscow have been coordinated on both sides of the Atlantic, to maintain a united front.European Union member states were due to meet Wednesday and discuss the issue—and a possible response.Several European nations, including Germany, are livid because the new law would allow punishing companies working on pipelines from Russia, for example by limiting their access to US banks.The provision could theoretically pave the way for sanctions against European partners in Nord Stream 2, a project to build a pipeline carrying Russian gas across the Baltic that could boost supplies to Germany from 2019.To date, Washington and Brussels had agreed that sanctions would not affect Europe’s gas supply.In an apparent concession, the House modified a provision so the bill only targets pipelines originating in Russia, sparing those that merely pass through, such as the Caspian pipeline that carries oil from Kazakhstan to Europe.