Olympiakos chief Marinakis fines players for poor displays

The Greek champions’ recent derby reverse to arch-rvials Panathinaikos, a 4-2 aggregate defeat by Ukraine’s Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the Europa League last 32 and a 1-1 Greek Cup draw with second division AEK Athens have left Marinakis fuming.

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The outspoken shipping magnate made an appearance on Monday at the club’s training ground, where who is a frequent visitor, and gave a strong verbal warning to players and staff.

“I’ll tell you something very important and non-negotiable; Olympiakos is the largest Greek club and for each of you it is an honour to play for this team and for this club,” Marinakis told the players according to local media reports.

“You must have mutual respect and honour Olympiakos, and anyone who has a problem with that or doesn’t like it here, it’s time to have the guts to get up and leave — and that applies to everyone.

“We understand your expectations and that you can get yourself in the shop window by playing in the Champions League here but as long as you’re playing for Olympiakos you will give everything and sacrifice for this shirt.”

Olympiakos, who sacked their Spanish manager Michel in January and replaced him with Portuguese Vitor Pereira, are three points ahead of Panathinaikos in the Super League standings with nine matches remaining.

But Marinakis warned there was no room for complacency.

“You must win the league championship and the Greek Cup, nothing else is in my mind right now, and it should be the same for you all,” he said.

Olympiakos are through to the quarter-finals of the Greek Cup where they visit second division AEK Athens in the return on March 10 following a 1-1 draw in last month’s first leg.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

‘No good will come’ from Bali Nine deaths

The execution of Bali nine prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will bring no good or benefit to the Indonesian community, a clemency advocate says.

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The Australians were moved under heavy guard from Kerobokan prison at 5.18am local time on Wednesday, bound for Bali airport. They will fly to Cilacap in central Java and then be moved to Nusakambangan Island, where they will be shot by firing squad.

Mercy Campaign co-founder Matthew Goldberg says the images of the men being moved from Kerobokan are distressing, but while acknowledging that time is running out, he still holds out hope that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will spare them.

“It is still within President Widodo’s jurisdiction to exercise his discretion, to acknowledge circumstances of their claim and to grant them clemency. That can still occur,” he said on Wednesday morning.

“It’s a terribly retrograde step to see them moved from the prison where they’ve spent years developing, working themselves quietly at reform and spending their time otherwise assisting others in their rehabilitation.”

Mr Goldberg says the executions will do nothing to counter problems in Indonesia associated with the drugs trade.

“We know that no good can come of their execution for anyone,” he said.

“No benefit to the community, there will be no better protection for people exposed to the use or trade of drugs. There is no benefit.”

The Australian government had not yet been officially informed of the transfer of the men.

Speaking in Canberra before the pair were moved out of prison, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he also had not given up hope they could be spared.

“Even at the 11th hour I hope there might be a change of heart in Indonesia and these executions might be stopped,” he said.

“I just want everyone to know the Australian government will never rest in our determination to let Indonesia know that we oppose the death penalty, we oppose drug crime.”

He said Australians were “revolted” by the imminent executions.

Chan and Sukumaran were sentenced in 2006 for their parts in a plot to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin from Bali to Australia.

They are expected to be executed with eight others convicted drug traffickers, one of whom is Indonesian.

Power hopes IndyCar stays competitive

Defending IndyCar champion Will Power says the unpredictable nature of the American open-wheel championship is a large part of its global appeal.

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In Power’s championship year there were 11 different race winners while the Australian’s title win made him the fourth different driver to lift the Astor Cup at the end of the year.

This year however new aerodynamic bodywork kits are being introduced to the field and there will be only limited testing for drivers going into the season opener in Florida on March 29.

Power says he’s hopeful the changes won’t have too much affect on what makes IndyCar special.

“One of the great things about IndyCar the last three years is how good and aggressive the racing has been with the way this car drives and isn’t affected too terribly by the turbulent air of the car in front,” Power told IndyCar广西桑拿,.

“When you start adding winglets you can be dependent on little aero bits and disturbed air becomes more of an issue.”

Power, who said last month he was feeling as motivated as ever despite finally landing a championship he’d narrowly missed out on three times in the past, will go into the season opener at St Petersburg with happy memories.

The 34-year-old won there last year and in 2010, as well as earning the pole position for four straight years from 2010 to 2013.

“It never seems to get easier,” Power said.

“Everyone learns more and things get tighter.

“The whole series is so competitive. You just see that in the last two years, how many different race winners there were, how many different pole-sitters there were. There’s nothing worse in a series where the same people win over and over and over, there’s no competition.

“That’s what is cool about IndyCar. You can be 22nd one week, then you can be winning a race a next week. I think that keeps the fans interested. That’s how a series should be.

“It will be a tough year. You’ve got to earn your meal ticket.”

Baird proposes tougher child abuse laws

Sex offenders who have intercourse with a child under the age of 10 could face life behind bars under a re-elected NSW coalition government.

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Premier Mike Baird is expected to outline on Wednesday a raft of tough new measures targeting child sex offenders which he will take to the March 28 election.

“This is about protecting child victims of sexual assault and bringing pedophiles to justice,” Mr Baird said.

The maximum penalty for sexual intercourse with a child under 10 will be raised from 25 years to life in jail under the plan.

Mr Baird is also proposing to introduce standard non-parole periods for 13 child abuse offences including grooming, prostitution and production of child abuse material.

Attorney General Brad Hazzard said the measures would ensure sentences meet community standards.

But a spokeswoman for Mr Hazzard said the measures won’t apply to historic sex abuse cases.

Howard Brown, from the Victims of Crime Assistance League, said the changes would allow more time for offenders to be rehabilitated.

“In the past the term of imprisonment has been too short for an offender to successfully complete sex offender programs, resulting in their release without treatment,” Mr Brown said.

Mr Baird will commit $4 million for the justice package while committing another $4 million over four years to educate children and young people about protecting themselves against abuse.

He will also announce a pilot program to allow child witnesses in abuse cases to be cross-examined in a “safe place” rather than coming in to court, aligning NSW with other states and territories.

Clinton used personal email for US work

Hillary Rodham Clinton used a personal email account during her time as secretary of state, rather than a government-issued email address, potentially hampering efforts to archive official government documents required by law.

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Clinton’s office said nothing was illegal or improper about her use of the non-government account and that she believed her business emails to State Department and other official accounts would be archived in accordance with government rules.

For Clinton, the new developments, first reported by The New York Times, place a spotlight on her tenure in the Obama administration as she prepares to launch a widely expected 2016 presidential campaign that Republicans have already started to deride as a third Obama term.

They also come after recent examinations of the fundraising practices by the charitable foundation started by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

“Like secretaries of state before her, she used her own email account when engaging with any department officials,” Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said.

“For government business, she emailed them on their department accounts, with every expectation they would be retained. When the department asked former secretaries last year for help ensuring their emails were in fact retained, we immediately said `yes’.

“Both the letter and spirit of the rules permitted State Department officials to use non-government email, as long as appropriate records were preserved.”

Republicans quickly pounced on Clinton’s use of the personal email account, arguing that she failed to comply with the law while serving in the State Department.

Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the agency asked former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Clinton last year for records that should be preserved.

Harf says Clinton’s successor, John Kerry, is the first secretary of state to primarily use an official state.gov email account and that the department is now updating its records preservation policies to bring them in line with current regulations.

That includes regularly archiving all of Kerry’s emails.

Weeping South Africans say goodbye to slain captain Meyiwa

The mood was in part sombre, with red-eyed fans sobbing or blowing into tissues as a hearse carrying the 27-year-old’s flag-draped coffin drove around the stadium, and at times festive as they blew vuvuzela horns and sang soccer chants.

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Meyiwa was shot and killed in what appeared to have been a botched robbery at his mistress’s house on Sunday night, highlighting the scourge of gun violence in Africa’s most advanced country.

One suspect, Zanokuhle Mbatha, has been arrested after witnesses picked him out in an identity parade. The 25-year-old briefly appeared in court on Friday and will reappear on Nov. 11. Police had issued identikits of two black men on Tuesday.

“We’ve got every reason to be angry about Senzo,” Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula told the mourners. “Justice is grinding and we will find them. We will never rest until we find all of them.”

Meyiwa’s death came days after the jailing of paralympian Oscar Pistorius for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp thinking she was an intruder lurking in his luxury Pretoria home in the capital of crime-ridden South Africa.

The country remains one of the world’s most violent, although the murder rate been dropping gradually. Police recorded more than 17,000 murders last year, or 31 per 100,000 people – seven times the rate in the United States.

An average 50 guns are reported lost and stolen every day from licensed owners, according to lobby group Gun Free South Africa.

TEARFUL FAREWELL

“Lest we forget, this is not the first time that an icon of this nature departs in the fashion that Senzo departed,” said Kaizer Motaung, founder of the Kaizer Chiefs, the main rivals to the Orlando Pirates club Meyiwa played for.

Thousands of people braved drizzling rain in the 85,000 Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, a short distance from the Umhlazi township where Meyiwa was born.

Most of the crowd wore the Pirates’ red or black colours but there was also a sprinkling of the yellow worn by the Chiefs.

Team mates and mourners wiped away tears as they watched video clips showing father of three Meyiwa training, diving to make saves, or pumping his arms in celebration of a win.

Meyiwa had captained South Africa in their first four African Nations Cup qualifiers over the last two months without conceding a goal.

Two other sporting icons died within days of Meyiwa. Former world 800 metres champion and Olympic silver medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was killed in a car accident last week.

Light middleweight Phindile Mwelase, 31, also passed away last week after a knockout punch in a fight against Liz Butler two weeks ago put her in a coma.

(Writing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Ken Ferris)

New Zealand ready for Pakistan challenge

New Zealand’s cricketers are looking forward to pitting their wits against the in-form Pakistani spin attack in the forthcoming three-match Test series according to bowling coach Shane Bond.

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Pakistan are currently in a strong position to beat Australia 2-0 in their ongoing contest thanks largely to the effectiveness of their spinners.

Bond admitted the Pakistanis will be tough opponents on the dry pitches of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which will help slow bowlers.

“I think this is a really good challenge for us,” Bond told reporters.

“It has been a good last year for us and Pakistan are also playing well. This is going to be real good measure of us as a team and so we are looking forward to it,” added the former bowling ace.

The Black Caps will start the tour with a three-day warm-up game against Pakistan ‘A’ — a second string team — in Sharjah on Monday.

The first Test starts in Abu Dhabi on November 9.

“Pakistan as a team have been difficult for a long time. They are in their own conditions though they are not in Pakistan,” said Bond, who played 18 Tests in which he took 87 wickets and 82 one-day games, taking 147 wickets.

“So Pakistan in these kind of conditions are very tough and there are extra young players coming through we have seen.

“We are coming in fresh and Pakistan will have played two Test matches and this will see them play five in a row.”

The second Test between Pakistan and New Zealand will be in Dubai from November 17 followed by the third in Sharjah from November 26.

They will then play two Twenty20 games followed by five one-day internationals against Pakistan.

Hussey fires, Vics 3-265 in Shield clash

David Hussey has dolled out a first-class cricket lesson, hitting a classy century to put Victoria in a good position at the end of day two of their Sheffield Shield clash with NSW.

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Hussey finished 107 not out at the MCG on Saturday as the Bushrangers reached 3-265 in response to NSW’s first-innings total of 366.

The 37-year-old attacked debutant spinners Will Somerville and Patrick Jackson, but showed more deference when facing the likes of Josh Hazlewood and Gurinder Sandhu.

Hussey brought up his 18th Shield ton in style, effortlessly crashing offspinner Jackson for a six over the long-on fence.

There was scarcely a false stroke in the three hours preceding.

Captain Matthew Wade (58 not out) was a fine foil in an unbeaten stand of 135 runs, the most productive partnership of the game.

The knock was fitting reward for a hard-hitting batsman who could easily have followed the Twenty20 gun-for-hire path beaten by former teammates Brad Hodge and Dirk Nannes.

“I really enjoy playing first-class cricket,” said Hussey, who played over 100 limited-overs matches for Australia.

“I’ve always said I’ll never stand in the road of someone who is going to play for Australia.

“In this group we’ve got probably four or five young batters who possibly can be the backbone of the Australian cricket team for the next 10 or 15 years.

“I’m just happy playing, scoring a few runs and trying to teach our younger kids how to bat for longer periods of time.”

The innings came two weeks after Hussey’s dad Ted died.

“The last couple of weeks weren’t easy,” he said.

“But it’s probably my utopia, batting. It’s pretty easy to just focus on the ball and not worry about external stuff.”

NSW captain Peter Nevill top-scored against his former side with 87, being one of four Blues batsmen that failed to convert a half-century into a ton.

Rob Quiney (43) and Marcus Stoinis (37) both made starts for the hosts, but failed to go on with it.

“I was lucky enough to get a good partnership with Matt Wade, who probably proves he’s one of the best batters in the country – let alone batter-keepers,” Hussey said.

Wade, recalled by Australia for the upcoming one-day series, and fellow wicketkeeper Nevill both performed well under the gaze of national selector Mark Waugh.

Nevill shared a final-wicket stand with Hazlewood worth 89 runs as the visitors added 100 to their overnight total, then pouched a sensational diving catch to remove Quiney.

Cricket-Australia collapse and face battle to save series

Pakistan, who declared their first innings on 570-6, did not force the follow-on even though Australia fell 110 runs short of the mark and decided instead to set them a target to chase.

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Mitchell Johnson removed both their openers in the second innings, but Pakistan, who comprehensively won the first test in Dubai, stretched their overall lead to 370 at the close.

Younus Khan, who has hit 106, 103 not out and 213 in his last three innings in the series, was unbeaten on 16 with Azhar Ali on 21.

The Pakistani bowlers had earlier generated enough turn, bounce and reverse swing from a lifeless track to run through the tourists.

Imran Khan claimed three for 60, impressing both with the new and old ball, while fellow paceman Rahat Ali and the spin duo of Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah claimed two wickets apiece.

David Warner, who had started Australia’s reply with three fours in Imran’s first over on Friday, chased a short and wide Rahat delivery to find the point fielder and depart on 19.

There was never any doubt about Glenn Maxwell’s aggression but a brisk 37 failed to answer the lingering questions about whether the 26-year-old has the temperament to succeed at test level, especially in the crucial number three position.

Before being dismissed by Rahat, Nathan Lyon survived several leg-before appeals as Pakistan resisted wasting reviews on a nightwatchman.

They did not hesitate, however, to seek a review to dismiss the scoreless Steve Smith, who was hit on the pad by a Babar delivery.

Clarke, who added 64 runs with Marsh for the sixth wicket, looked decisive against the spinners, taking big strides and using his feet to get to the pitch of the ball.

It was reverse swing, which ultimately proved his undoing.

After repeatedly failing to middle Imran’s reverse-swinging balls, Clarke had his middle stump pegged back by one that curved back from outside the off stump and went through the bat-pad gap.

Brad Haddin braved a shoulder injury that had forced him off the field on Friday to contribute 10 runs before leg-spinner Shah’s double strike deepened Australia’s crisis.

Marsh fell 13 runs short of his maiden test century, hitting a full toss from Khan to the mid-on fielder to depart after a defiant knock that included 13 fours and a six.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Toby Davis)

Virgin Galactic to press on with space tourism after crash

Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said the crash is a tragedy, but has not changed the company’s commitment to developing space tourism.

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“Space is hard and today was a tough day,” he said.

“We are going to be supporting the investigation as we figure out what happened; and we’re going to get through it.

“The future rests on – in many ways – hard days like this. But we believe, we owe it to the folks who were flying these vehicles, as well as the folks who have been working so hard on them, to understand this and to move forward.

One pilot was killed and another seriously injured when a Virgin Galactic spaceship crashed in the desert, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol said.

The injured pilot was taken to hospital, a spokesman said.

The flight took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port, about 150 kilometers north of Los Angeles.

The company said a “serious anomaly” resulted in the crash.

“Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time. We will work closely with the relevant authorities to determine the cause of the accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so,” it said in a statement.

FAA investigates crash

The US Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation into the incident, while the US National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) said it is “in the process of collecting information”.

Former senior NTSB investigator Greg Feith told said the NTSB and FAA are likely to treat the investigation in the same way as it would treat a crash involving a commercial airliner.

“They will be looking a rocket fuel. They will be looking at the entire launch sequence. It will be conducted as if the FAA were conducting a major investigation of an aircraft, a commercial airliner,” he told CNBC.

“So there is going to be a lot to be done, but it is too early to even speculate because there is no real solid information at this point.”

Eyewitness reports mid-flight explosion

Photographer Ken Brown, who was covering the test flight, told NBC News that he saw a midflight explosion and later came upon SpaceShipTwo debris scattered across a small area of the desert.

Blogger Doug Messier with space news website Parabolic Arc said he witnessed the crash from a station overlooking the crash site in the Mojave desert.

鈥淲e saw the twin contrails of WhiteKnightTwo overhead. They do that prior to a drop,鈥?he tweeted.

鈥淪paceShipTwo dropped. From what I could tell, motor fired and then stopped then fired again. I think that鈥檚 what happened.鈥?/p>Richard Branson travels to crash site

Part-owner of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson said he is flying to Mojave to be with his Virgin Galactic team in the wake of the crash.

Thoughts with all @virgingalactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support. I’m flying to Mojave immediately to be with the team.

鈥?Richard Branson (@richardbranson) October 31, 2014Concerns over the dangers of space tourism

Former corporate pilot Anthony Roman said the crash underscores the dangers of space tourism.

“The early airlines of the ’20s were a risky endeavour and went down with some regularity; so did the early single engine, single pilot aircraft.

“And it’s a series of technological steps and mishaps; and learning from these mishaps and the sucesses that eventually build to modern and safe technology.”

Retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly said despite the risks, space tourism will be a reality in the future.

“I know Richard Branson is not doing this so he can bring passengers to an altitude of 68 miles and safely back to the ground.

“You know, ultimately he and others envision the way you would get – let’s say from Los Angeles to London, would not be on an airplane. Somewhere in the future [it] would be on a spaceraft.

“If I was take off in a space shuttle from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida and land in London, I could do that in about 25 minutes. You know the future is that travel around this planet will be in a spaceraft and not necessarily in an aircraft.”

The test flight was part of Virgin Galactic’s long-running program to prepare the SpaceShipTwo for trips in outer space.

More than 800 people have booked flights aboard the spaceship, which takes people 100 kilometres above the Earth, offering them an experience of a few minutes of weightlessness.

The tickets cost as much as $250,000, with actors Angelina Jolie and Tom Hanks among those who have booked a spot.

The spaceship is based on an award-winning prototype that was recognised a deacde ago as the first privately developed manned spacecraft to fly in space.

The accident is the second this week by Virgin airlines. On Tuesday, a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station exploded 15 seconds after liftoff from Wallops Island, Virginia.