Too much of a good thing

first_imgAs our political leaders lamented the plight of the Union’s jobless, one of Ireland’s top business leaders was due in town. Eager to show that power and influence had not gone to his head, the intrepid captain of industry told ‘his people’ back in Ireland not to bother ordering a chauffeur-driven Mercedes to meet him – he would take a taxi.But he had failed to take into account the effect the summit would have on the availability of taxis. To put it another way, there was an enormous queue.At this point the Irish industrial mogul decided enough was enough. He turned around, got back on the aircraft which had just brought him over from Dublin and was home in time for a pint of Guinness by the banks of the Liffey.last_img read more

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German police not equipped for Paris-style attack: union leader

first_imgThe budget for the federal police has been boosted to a projected €2.95 billion this year, compared with just under €2.6 billion spent in 2014, and the government said last September it would create 3,000 new positions on the force. Walter insisted, however, on the need for additional funding and headcount staff to protect the country.Behr, the criminologist in Hamburg, cautioned that the police union was defending “what’s in the interest of their members,” adding: “Since the end of World War II, there has never been a situation when the police unions were happy with their staffing.” Also On POLITICO Europol needs more staff from EU nations to respond to terrorist attacks By Zoya Sheftalovich A year earlier, foreign intelligence services had informed German authorities that terrorists groups were planning attacks against railway stations in Berlin and Dresden, according to media reports.Within Germany’s security apparatus, there are 40 federal and regional agencies with highly trained and well-armed special counterterrorism units. Just last December, Germany set up another national unit called the Evidence Collection and Arrest Unit Plus (BFE+). Its members are specifically trained for wide-ranging manhunts during anti-terrorist operations and to offer other support to the existing GSG9 elite force and the states’ SEK special response units.However, Walter said that as well-prepared as these units are, their colleagues patrolling vital installations like airports and stations are not equipped to handle an attack, even though they are most likely to provide the first response. In urban areas, special units need at least 20 minutes to reach the scene of an attack and in more remote areas it could take hours, said Walter.Furthermore, the recent influx of refugees and deployment of German federal police officers to Frontex, the EU agency coordinating efforts to secure the union’s external borders, means staffing levels are lower than usual, Walter said.“Currently, at some of the larger train stations in the country, we are working with only 50 percent of our regular staff,” he said, adding that the degree of understaffing became clear after the Brussels attacks, when federal police were sent to the borders with Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, to prevent any fugitive terrorists from entering Germany.If these officers “really came across a terrorist, they would have no chance, with their current equipment,” said Walter. “I can only pray that no terrorist with a Kalashnikov ever comes through one of those border crossings — I’m afraid this would leave our colleagues dead.” “In every patrol car, there should be two titanium helmets, certain bulletproof vests, and our officers should have access to bulletproof cars if they are sent to set up terrorism checkpoints at the border, for example,” Walter said in an interview.However, one expert cautioned that police patrols that look like military units could have an adverse effect on the public.“It doesn’t make sense to try to fight terrorism by arming foot police with weaponry of war,” said Rafael Behr, a criminologist at the Hamburg Police Academy. “It’s ineffective — and it’s the wrong signal to the population. Militarizing policemen on patrol will only create more fear of a potential terrorist attack.”Germany has not suffered a major terrorist attack by Islamic extremists but officials say there has been a high risk for years.“The situation is serious, it’s deadly serious,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said in a TV interview last month.“ISIL has declared war on us, Germany and the West, and the group wants to carry out terrorist attacks,” said Hans-Georg Maaßen, chief of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, during a radio interview in January.center_img BERLIN – Germany’s Federal Police, who patrol borders, airports and railway stations, are ill-equipped to respond to a Paris- or Brussels-style attack or hinder terrorists from entering the country, according to their union leader.“We are short-staffed, and our policemen on the ground don’t have the equipment to deal with this sort of terrorism we are observing,” federal police union leader Ernst Walter told POLITICO. “This puts both our officers and the population at great risk.”In the wake of the November 13 attacks in Paris and the March 22 bombings in Brussels, Walter demanded better protection for police officers patrolling on foot and by car, including bulletproof vests and armouring some of their vehicles.last_img read more

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China confirmed as 2021 Club World Cup host, slots to be settled

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. But a vote on the participation model was pulled because Oceania’s only way of qualification would be its Champions League winner first defeating the domestic champion of host nation China in a playoff.Oceania is pushing for a guaranteed place in the group stage in China in June 2021, as FIFA’s task force on the revamped Club World Cup originally proposed in March. That is according to people with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity with The Associated Press to discuss the contents of a private meeting.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4FIFA only said the qualification process “will be finalized in a consultation process between FIFA and the six confederations.”FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the governing body will make “zero” out of the new event because all the profits will be reinvested back into club football. SOUTH AMERICAWhile South America will get six slots, only the process for distributing four of them has been settled. They will go to the 2019 and 2020 winners of CONEMBOL’s two competitions: The Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana.The document shows no plan for determining the route to securing the remaining two berths or the limits on national representation.ASIAThe three Asian places will to go the winners of the 2019 and 2020 Asian Champions League and the runners-up will have a playoff for the third entry into the Club World Cup group stage.Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal will play Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan in this season’s final next month.If the title is defended in 2020, the runners-up from both years will complete Asia’s FIFA lineup.But Asia only wants a maximum of two teams from one country. So, if the winners and runners-up in 2019 and 2020 are all from the same country, the two losing Asian Champions League semifinalists in 2020 would contest a playoff for a route into the global tournament.NORTH AND CENTRAL AMERICAThe 2021 CONCACAF Champions League finalists will qualify but a process for deciding the third slot was left hanging in the FIFA Council document. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown Test event to gauge PH tracksters’ progress ahead of SEA Games FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference during the football federation’s Council meeting in Shanghai on October 24, 2019. – FIFA has awarded the inaugural edition of its expanded 24-team Club World Cup to China, the association’s president Gianni Infantino said October 24 in what he called a “historic decision”. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP)FIFA selected China as host of the inaugural edition of the expanded Club World Cup in 2021 but delayed a decision on how the 24 slots for the tournament will be distributed.A proposal on how many teams would qualify from the six confederations was shared with FIFA Council members for approval at a meeting in Shanghai on Thursday, including Europe having eight participants.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Mexican teams have won all 11 titles since the regional competition was rebooted as the Champions League. Only three of the finals have not been an all-Mexican lineup.But a cap of two teams per country from this region will exist at the Club World Cup.AFRICAThe simplest qualification will be from Africa, with the places going to the 2021 Champions League finalists and the winner of a playoff between the two semifinalists.The plan is complicated by a cap on two teams per country.OCEANIAOceania is the only one of FIFA’s six confederations not guaranteed a place at the Club World Cup. To make one of the eight groups of three, the Oceania Champions League winner would have to face a playoff against the Chinese champions under FIFA plans that are now on hold.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DSWD Bicol donates P1.5M worth of food packs for Taal eruption evacuees Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study A previous FIFA plan seen by the AP in March proposed the Club World Cup running from June 17 through July 4 in 2021, taking the slot originally set aside for the Confederations Cup competition that is no longer due to be contested.For some players from Africa and the CONCACAF region it could be a busy summer, with their regional national competitions proposed to start on July 9.The revamped Club World Cup is due to be staged every four years, replacing the current annual format that features the six champions of continental competitions and the host nation’s domestic title winner. The final two editions of the seven-team annual Club World Cup are being staged in Qatar this December and in December 2020.Based on FIFA’s proposed qualification procedures seen by the AP ahead of the Shanghai meeting, teams could qualify for the overhauled Club World Cup in 2021 without having to win a regional competition — even at the expense of some champions.Caps on the number of representatives from a single country in the new format raises the prospect of even winners of continental competitions missing out.EUROPEWith eight slots, Europe will be the best represented continent at the Club World Cup even after rejecting four additional places, helping FIFA drive ticket sales and broadcast revenue.All the Champions League and Europa League winners from 2018 to 2021 are set to qualify — although that could be dependent on UEFA determining the maximum number of slots per country. Clubs from England and Spain have dominated those competitions in recent years.Should a team enjoy multiple wins across the competitions, the free slot is due to go to the most recent Champions League runner-up.Real Madrid won the Champions League in 2018 when Atletico Madrid triumphed in the Europa League. English clubs swept last season’s trophies, with Liverpool victorious in the Champions League and Chelsea in the second-tier competition.center_img MOST READ No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist ‘Gago’ “I hope China will help FIFA to organize it in financial terms,” Infantino said after the meeting in Shanghai. “It will be the club football event which will generate the highest revenue per match.”Infantino said FIFA along with the Chinese soccer federation and government will push ahead with planning on the tournament.Staging the Club World Cup in China will be a test of human rights policies that FIFA now subjects host nations to.The Chinese government has been accused of cracking down on human rights and pro-democracy activism. President Xi Jinping’s government has also faced criticism over its treatment of Muslims in China’s northwest, where the U.S. government, activists and researchers say as many as 1 million people have been detained.“I think that we need to reflect on our role,” Infantino said. “Countries all over the world are going through difficult times. It is not the mission of FIFA to solve the problems of the world. The mission is to organize football in all of the countries. … We do that by bringing football to the people, not by criticizing.”ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Taal Volcano island 2 days after eruption 2 village execs nabbed in Bohol buy-bust 400 evacuees from Taal eruption take refuge in Mt. Banahaw ‘People evacuated on their own’ View commentslast_img read more

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SPORT-WT20-SCHEDULE

first_imgMumbai, Dec 11 (PTI) Following is the complete schedule Mumbai, Dec 11 (PTI) Following is the complete schedule of the ICC World Twenty20 to be held in India next year. Mens: First round (group winners to progress to second round). Group A ? Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland and Oman Group B ? Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan Second round groups: Super 10 Group 1: Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, England and winner of Group B (Q1B). Super 10 Group 2: India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and winner of Group A (Q1A). Womens: Group A ? Australia (A1), South Africa (A2), New Zealand (A3), Sri Lanka (A4) and Ireland (A5). Group B ? England (B1), West Indies (B2), India (B3), Pakistan (B4) and Bangladesh (B5). Schedule: Tuesday, Mar 8: Zimbabwe vs Hong Kong (PM), Nagpur; Scotland vs Afghanistan (Eve.), Nagpur. Wednesday, Mar 9: Bangladesh vs Netherlands (PM), Dharamsala; Ireland vs Oman (Eve.), Dharamsala. Thursday, Mar 10: Scotland vs Zimbabwe (PM), Nagpur; Hong Kong vs Afghanistan (Eve.), Nagpur. Friday, Mar 11: Netherlands vs Oman (PM), Dharamsala; Bangladesh vs Ireland (Eve.), Dharamsala. Saturday, Mar 12: Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan (PM), Nagpur; Scotland vs Hong Kong (Eve.), Nagpur. Sunday, Mar 13: Netherlands vs Ireland (PM), Dharamsala; Bangladesh vs Oman (Eve.), Dharamsala. Tuesday, Mar 15: India vs Bangladesh (W) (PM), Bengaluru; New Zealand vs Sri Lanka (W) (Eve.), New Delhi; New Zealand vs India (M) (Eve), Nagpur. Wednesday, Mar 16: West Indies vs England (M) (PM), Mumbai; Pakistan vs Q1A (M) (Eve.), Kolkata; West Indies vs Pakistan (W) (Eve.), Chennai. Thursday: Mar 17: England vs Bangladesh (W) (PM), Bengaluru; Sri Lanka vs Q1B (M) (Eve.), Kolkata. Friday, Mar 18: New Zealand vs Ireland (W) (PM), Mohali; Australia vs New Zealand (M) (PM), Dharamsala; South Africa vs England (M) (Eve.), Mumbai; Australia vs South Africa (W) (Eve.), Nagpur. Saturday, Mar 19: India vs Pakistan (W) (PM), New Delhi; India vs Pakistan (M) (Eve.), Dharamsala. MORE PTI SSR SSC SSCadvertisementlast_img read more

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