Bayern, Dortmund advance
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are both through to the last eight of the German Cup, but only after scraping past lower-league opposition on Tuesday. Bayern needed an injury-time strike from Dutch winger Arjen Robben to win 2-1 at second-division VfL Bochum, while champions Dortmund won 5-4 on penalties at Fortuna Duesseldorf, also of the second tier. Nuremberg slid out to second-tier Greuther Fuerth, going down 1-0.
Madrid thrash Ponferradina
Real Madrid brought the curtain down on the year by hammering lowly Ponferradina 5-1 at the Bernabeu on Tuesday to ease into the last 16 of the Copa del Rey. Already two goals up from the first leg, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho sent out a largely second-string side that added further goals from Jose Callejon and Nuri Sahin in the opening period. For Turkey midfielder Sahin it was a first goal since moving to Madrid from Borussia Dortmund in the summer. Elsewhere on Tuesday, RCD Espanyol completed a 4-2 aggregate victory against second-tier Celta Vigo, while RCD Mallorca overturned a first-leg deficit to beat Primera Liga rivals Sporting de Gijon 2-1 on aggregate. Last year’s Cup winners Sevilla beat third-division San Roque 2-1, thanks to a double from Fredi Kanoute, to go through 3-1 on aggregate.
Beckham rumor denied
A report that David Beckham had agreed to sign for French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain is not true, a spokesperson for the star told reporters on Tuesday. The 36-year-old Beckham’s contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy expires at the end of the month. Yesterday’s edition of Le Parisien has on its front page a story claiming Beckham was signing an 18-month contract and would be paid 800,000 euros (US$1 million) a month. However, a spokesperson for Beckham categorically denied a deal had been done. “No agreement with any football club has been reached ... David is presently considering his options,” the spokesperson said. Another source close to Beckham said it was by no means certain he would opt for PSG as he could remain with LA Galaxy, with whom he won the MLS crown last season.
Diego Simeone resigns
Former Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone has resigned as coach of Racing Club, increasing the speculation linking him to Atletico Madrid. Simeone, who played more than 100 internationals for Argentina, took Racing Club to second place behind Boca Juniors in the past Apertura tournament. Racing vice president Rodolfo Molina confirmed on Tuesday in an interview with Argentine radio station La Red that Simeone had stepped down. Simeone has been touted as a possible successor to Gregorio Manzano at Atletico, one of his former clubs. Manzano is under pressure after a string of bad results.
S Korea name new boss
Choi Kang-hee, coach of K-League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, was yesterday named the new boss of the South Korean national team. The Korea Football Association said Choi would replace Cho Kwang-rae, sacked two weeks ago after a shock defeat to Lebanon left the 2002 semi-finalists at risk of missing out on the 2014 World Cup. Choi, 52, twice guided Jeonbuk to the K-League title, in 2009 and this year, with the club also winning the 2006 AFC Champions League and finishing runners-up this year.
More bodies found in sea
Rescuers yesterday found the bodies of nine asylum-seekers from an overloaded boat that capsized en route to Australia, an official said, as hopes of finding more survivors dwindled. “We found them floating in the waters near Banyuwangi district, 200 miles [322km] away from where the boat capsized on Saturday,” East Java search and rescue agency chief Sutrisno said, adding that more rescuers were deployed to the area to scour for bodies. Only 47 survivors have been found from the ship, which was carrying 250 mostly Afghan and Iranian migrants, when it sank off eastern Java. Officials said they were trying to establish whether two Indonesians found on Monday near eastern Java’s Malang city were crew members. One said he was a fisherman.
Film director Morita dies
Director Yoshimitsu Morita, whose films depicted the absurdity and vulnerability of everyday life in conformist Japan, has died at 61. Morita, who won international acclaim over his prolific 30-year career, died on Tuesday of acute liver failure at a Tokyo hospital, said Yoko Ota, spokeswoman at Toei Co, the film company behind his latest work. Morita’s movies depicted the fragile beauty of the nation’s human psyche and visual landscape while daringly poking fun at its ridiculous tendency for rigid bureaucracy and ritualistic hierarchy. His works included Tsubaki Sanjuro and Bokukyu: A Ressha de Iko, a comedy about train lovers. Morita is survived by his wife, Misao.
Russian pedophile freed
A prison official says a Russian businessman who became the focus of the nation’s largest-ever pedophilia case after buying sex from 17 girls has walked free after being granted a royal pardon. Preah Sihanouk Prison director Pich Veasna says 45-year-old Alexander Trofimov was one of 360 prisoners granted amnesty by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni. Trofimov had been convicted in three separate cases of buying sex from 17 girls between the ages of six and 13. Before his arrest in October 2007, Trofimov was chairman of a Russian-led investment group developing a Cambodian tourist island. His term was slashed to seven years in August last year. He is also wanted by Russia in connection with child sex allegations, but the Court of Appeal has rejected a request by the Russian government to extradite him.
Credit fugitive in court
A gas station owner suspected of withdrawing millions of dollars and going on the run after a bank error appeared in court yesterday after being extradited from Hong Kong. Hui “Leo” Gao appeared in Manukau District Court charged with two counts of money laundering and 16 counts of theft involving US$6.78 million from Westpac Bank. Gao and his then-partner Kara Hurring disappeared in 2009, two days after they received a credit line worth NZ$10 million (US$7.6 million) — 100 times their approved limit. Police have said NZ$6.78 million was transferred out of the account, though the bank later recovered nearly half. Gao appeared in court just hours after his arrival back in the country on a flight from Hong Kong accompanied by detectives. Hong Kong police arrested Gao in September as he tried to cross into the territory from China. Hurring, 32, returned voluntarily earlier this year to face theft charges, which she denies, and is due to stand trial in February.
Bon Jovi not dead
US singer Jon Bon Jovi went on Facebook on Tuesday to dispel rumors swirling on the Internet that he had died. “Rest assured that Jon is alive and well. This photo was just taken,” the 49-year-old said in a status update, commenting on a picture of himself wearing a black T-shirt and standing in front of a Christmas tree. Rumors of the musician’s death spread on Twitter on Monday, with a false statement claiming that he had been pronounced dead after being found in a coma at a hotel in New Jersey. Bon Jovi has led the eponymous US band since its formation in 1983. The band has sold an estimated 100 million records over the past 28 years, according to industry estimates.
Police seize samba cash
Police in Rio de Janeiro seized US$1.6 million on Tuesday from a samba school leader suspected of running an illegal lottery, hauling away a stash of 50-reais (US$27) and 100-reais bills in a shopping cart. Police said the money — 3 million reais — belonged to Helinho de Oliveira, the head of the Uniao da Ilha samba school, one of 12 that participate in the annual Rio de Janeiro Carnival. Golden replicas of weapons and jewelry were also seized in the raid on a luxurious house in the western borough of Barra da Tijuca. Police pushed a shopping cart filled to the brim with bank bills that they found stashed behind the refrigerator, under the roof and in the bathrooms of a house belonging to Oliveira’s uncle. Money was even found in nearby sewers. Oliveira, who is suspected of running an illegal lottery, is at large, but five other people were arrested in the operation.
Chiquita bananas boycotted
A US banana company’s boycott of oil from tar sands in Alberta provoked an outcry and a counter-boycott of Chiquita bananas on Tuesday. Ethicaloil.org launched an online and radio campaign calling on people to stop buying Chiquita bananas until the company reverses its ban on using oil from the oil sands to truck its products to market. Chiquita announced last week that it would direct trucking companies it uses to avoid using fuel refined from the oil sands. Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney said on Twitter: “I gather that Chiquita Bananas has no problem with Iranian oil, but is boycotting Canadian oil. No more Chiquita bananas for me.” He was echoed by Member of Parliament Scott Armstrong, who said: “Stand up for Canada, boycott Chiquita products!”
Al-Awlaki video released
US-born al-Qaeda militant Anwar al-Awlaki, killed in a CIA drone strike in September, posthumously called on Muslims in the country to join the group in the Middle East in a video released on Tuesday. Al-Awlaki, identified by intelligence officers as “chief of external operations” for al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch and a Web-savvy publicist for the Islamist cause, was killed in a remote Yemeni town by missiles fired from multiple CIA drones. “You have two choices: either hijra [emigration] or jihad [holy war],” al-Awlaki said in the video, which was posted on Islamist Web sites. “I specifically invite the youth to either fight in the West or join their brothers in the fronts of jihad: Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. I invite them to join us in our new front, Yemen, the base from which the great jihad of the Arabian Peninsula will begin, the base from which the greatest army of Islam will march forth,” said al-Awlaki, a cleric of Yemeni descent, speaking in English.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”