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Rubbish piles up in Paris as pre-Euro soccer protests go on

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A waiter stands near a pile of rubbish bags in front of the Cafe de Flore in Paris during a strike of garbage collectors and sewer workers of the city of Paris to protest the labour reforms law proposal, France, June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Rubbish piled up on streets in parts of Paris and other French cities on Wednesday as strikes and pickets by waste treatment workers took a toll in the country which hosts the Euro 2016 soccer tournament from Friday.

The protests were part of a wave of demonstrations and work stoppages led by the hardline CGT union against government plans to reform labor law to make hiring and firing easier and help lower the jobless rate from 10 percent.

Police removed blockades at some of the major incineration and rubbish collection depots around the capital but to little effect because workers inside the premises subsequently walked off work, the CGT said.

Despite signs that broader strike action is running out of steam, train services were disrupted for the eighth day running.

The SNCF state railway company said less than 10 percent of workers were on strike, considerably fewer than last week, with three out of four high-speed TGV trains running and six out of 10 slower inter-city connections.

Working to defuse the conflict, Prime Minister Manuel Valls told parliament the state could take over all or part of an SNCF debt of 50 billion euros ($57 billion), possibly hiving it off into a sinking fund to be paid down gradually.

The CGT was holding workplace meetings to decide whether to call off the rail strike.

As millions of foreign visitors and soccer fans prepared for the month-long tournament that kicks off on Friday evening, CGT activists also disrupted a pre-championship publicity event at Paris’s Gare du Nord train station.

About 200 protesters mobbed the station as a locomotive carrying the Euro soccer trophy arrived, a Reuters reporter at the scene said. Riot police protected the trophy.

Separately, the minister in charge of drafting the contested labor law, Myriam El Khomri, condemned a dawn protest outside her Paris home in which she said about 30 demonstrators yelled hostile statements through a megaphone.

Valls has refused to scrap the labor reform but, on top of the debt pledge, has agreed to protect existing rest and shift time quotas for workers in SNCF reorganization talks.

Pilots at Air France (AIRF.PA) are also planning to strike over pay curbs from June 11 to 14.

“The (rail) strike is incomprehensible and the one planned by pilots is every bit as incomprehensible when France is about to start the Euros,” Transport Minister Alain Vidalies said.

source : http://www.reuters.com/

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Athletic Bilbao beat Barcelona to win Spanish Super Cup, Messi sent off

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Lionel Messi was sent off for violent conduct as Athletic Bilbao stunned Barcelona to win the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday, a dramatic final finishing 3-2 after extra-time.

Moments before Bilbao’s momentous triumph was confirmed, Messi lashed out at Asier Villalibre, who had earlier scored a 90th-minute equaliser in normal time to deny Barca victory.

Antoine Griezmann’s double looked to have sealed the trophy for Barcelona but Villalibre intervened before Inaki Williams’ fabulous strike three minutes into extra time proved decisive.

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‘What killed Maradona?’ shows the flipside of life of a football god

It isn’t quite the same territory as Asif Kapadia’s account of Maradona’s years in Italy but gives enough information to provide a sense of closure to those fans of the legendary forward who still suspect foul play in his death.

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New Delhi, Jan 15 : Diego Maradona’s death on November 2, 2020 was followed by a flood of tributes from around the world and all walks of life. His death had been attributed to a heart attack but it wasn’t this alone that caused arguably the greatest footballer of all time to die at the age of 60.

It is this point that the Discovery Plus documentary ‘What Killed Maradona?’ tries to put across. It features interviews with writers and journalists who have followed Maradona’s life along with his former fitness trainer Fernando Signorini and his former Napoli team mate and captain Giuseppe Bruscolotti. It also features interviews with health experts and psychologists who give a perspective on the kind of toll the rough nature of the sport in the era that Maradona was playing in, the rudimentary manner in which he was medicated for his injuries and his addiction to alcohol and cocaine kept chipping away at his health, particularly the strength of his heart.

Additionally, it also gives a brief insight into the mental and physical toll that comes with the kind of adulation that Maradona received. One of the ways in which he coped with it is by separating himself into two different individuals — ‘Diego’ was the player whose job was to play football and take care of his family while ‘Maradona’ is the larger than life figure that people in Naples and Argentina adore.

Just over 40 minutes long, the assortment of individuals that lend their voices along with footage from Maradona’s playing days and after helps the documentary paper over the repetitive nature of the footage and, towards the latter stages, a few abrupt editing cuts. It isn’t quite the same territory as Asif Kapadia’s account of Maradona’s years in Italy but gives enough information to provide a sense of closure to those fans of the legendary forward who still suspect foul play in his death.

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Sonu Sood plans pan-India platform for young emerging cricketers

Since last year, Sonu has turned focus on social causes. In 2020, amid Covid lockdown, he reportedly arranged transport to facilitate around 7.5 lakh migrant workers to reach home.

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Sonu Sood

Mumbai, Jan 16 : Actor Sonu Sood is putting his weight behind an initiative to set up a pan-India platform to promote young emerging cricketers.

“I always dreamt of becoming a cricketer but I didn’t have a platform in our small town, but when I see all these young kids playing cricket it feels really good,” Sonu said.

He says pitching in for the cause of promoting budding talent in cricket will also let him take time off his busy schedule and reinvent his passion for the sport.

“I like batting as well as bowling but I didn’t get much time to play the sport. I feel we all should take some out from our busy work schedules and reinvent our passion. Sometimes when you see these kids playing not just cricket but any kind of sports, you feel motivated to follow them,” he said, adding that he has had discussions with Cricfit founder Mikkail Vaswani on “creating a platform on a pan-India level where they (children) can explore their skills and enjoy the sports”.

Since last year, Sonu has turned focus on social causes. In 2020, amid Covid lockdown, he reportedly arranged transport to facilitate around 7.5 lakh migrant workers to reach home. He equipped frontline workers with masks and face shields, airlifted students stranded abroad and helped farmers in distress. He also launched Pravasi Rojgar, an app to help skilled and unskilled workers find jobs.

On work front, Sonu will next be seen in “Prithviraj” starring Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt and Manushi Chhillar, apart from a couple of films in the South.

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