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Trump backs Erdogan as Turkey rejects Russia’s proposal on Syria

first_imgTopics : “It’s out of the question to change the location of Turkish observation points,” Kalin said, referring to Turkish military outposts that have the task of monitoring a cease-fire in Idlib under a deal with Russia and Iran. “We will keep reinforcing the area. There’s no doubt that Turkey will respond to attacks in Idlib in the strongest way.”The standoff between the two regional powerbrokers is threatening a rupture in their uneasy relationship and prompting Turkey to reboot ties with the US after years of tensions. Erdogan has threatened to use force before the end of February if Syrian forces don’t withdraw from the vicinity of four Turkish military outposts or stage a new attack on Turkish forces who suffered 14 dead earlier this month.‘Tough Guy’Trump called Erdogan a “tough guy” who doesn’t want people to be killed in great numbers, adding that he has a “a good relationship” with Erdogan. Turkey has started a mass deployment of tanks, commandos and armored personnel carriers in Idlib to stop the advance of Syrian forces. The offensive triggered an exodus of hundreds of thousands of people in cold weather toward neighboring Turkey, which already hosts the largest number of refugees in the world.Turkey has now sealed off the entire Syrian border with high cement walls and is building houses within Syria to shelter new refugees beyond its border. Towns and displacement camps west of Aleppo were hit by shelling in recent days, and roads are packed with vehicles, according to disaster-relief group Medecins Sans Frontieres.“The people fleeing north are being squeezed into a territory that is getting smaller and smaller” between the front line to the east and the closed Turkish border to the west, Julien Delozanne, MSF head of mission for Syria, said Tuesday in an emailed statement. A new influx of people to the area will make the already harsh living conditions in the camps “even worse” he said.“Attacks are now taking place in areas that were previously considered to be safe,” Delozanne said.center_img Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are teaming up to stop Russian-backed attacks on Syria’s last rebel stronghold after Turkey rejected a proposal by Moscow to relocate its troops in Idlib.“We are working together on seeing what can be done,” the US president said at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday, according to C-SPAN. “You have a lot of warring going on right now.”Only hours earlier, Turkey refused a plan outlined by Russia that included a map with a proposed relocation of Turkish troops in Syria’s opposition-controlled Idlib province. Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Erdogan, said two days of talks in Moscow yielded “no satisfactory result.”last_img read more

Pardew given permission to rebuild

first_img That may dismay his most ardent critics, but the fact remains that a 10th-place finish met Ashley’s minimum requirement for a season during which the goal-posts were moved significantly by the January sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris St Germain. Pardew, of course, survived after his head-butt on Hull midfielder David Meyler in March, which drew a hefty fine from his club, but not the delivery of his P45, and the owner seems prepared to allow him to continue as he searches for the form and flair which brought the Magpies a top-five finish two seasons ago. Whether or not he can persuade an increasingly rebellious fan-base to give him another chance, however, remains to be seen. The mood at St James’ Park has turned ugly in recent weeks as a season which got off to a more than promising start – the club sat in sixth place on Boxing Day and looked poised for an assault on the big guns above – imploded. Cabaye’s departure, or more accurately, the decision not to replace him, had a crippling effect on a team in which he had been the driving force. Pardew had no desire to lose the France international, nor any power to prevent him from leaving, and the failure to replace him had little to do with him either. However, he freely accepts his share of the blame for what followed as a collective negativity saw Newcastle slide alarmingly into the back-waters of mid-table with barely a whimper to invite charges of a lack of ambition. Asked what the summer would hold for him ahead of Sunday’s trip to Anfield, Pardew replied simply, “Work”, and what happens over the next three months or so seems likely to determine exactly how much longer he remains in post. The 52-year-old ended the Barclays Premier League campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Liverpool, his side’s seventh reverse in its final eight fixtures, with some fans once again making their feelings plain. However, Press Association Sport understands he will head into his annual end-of-season debrief with owner Mike Ashley this week with his job under no immediate threat. Under-pressure Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be given the opportunity to rebuild his team after a difficult conclusion to the season. His main task will be to rebuild a squad which has given him limited options, and there will be departures as well as arrivals. The likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan appear to have little future on Tyneside – the former has become something of a talisman for disaffected fans, although his contribution this season has been minimal – while Shola Ameobi is out of contract and his younger brother Sammy faces an anxious wait to see if he will have a part to play. But recruitment will be key after two transfer windows during which the club did not make a single permanent signing, and Pardew has hinted he would like to shop in a different market this time around. Chief scout Graham Carr’s contacts in Europe have seen the club exploit the French and Dutch markets in recent seasons, but the manager is keen to bring a more British flavour to the group as he plots the way forward under new managing director Lee Charnley. Sunderland’s out-of-contract midfielder Jack Colback and Swansea counterpart Jonjo Shelvey have been mentioned in dispatches, although their current employers have designs of their own, and only time will tell whether or not Pardew gets his wish. Press Associationlast_img read more

Hamilton disappointed with past champions’ comments on racism

first_imgLONDON (Reuters) – Lewis Hamilton has hit back at past Formula One champions Mario Andretti and Jackie Stewart for their comments on his anti-racism stance and push for greater diversity in the sport.Andretti, who won his title in 1978 and is now 80, was quoted by the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio as saying he had a lot of respect for the six times world champion but asked why he had ‘become a militant’.The American great also spoke, in comments translated into Spanish, of “creating a problem that doesn’t exist” and added that “in motor racing colour doesn’t matter; you have to win your place with results, and that’s the same for everyone.”. Triple champion Stewart, 81 and Britain’s most successful driver until Hamilton came along, had told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that he did not think Formula One had as big a problem as it might seem.Hamilton is the only Black driver in a sport that is heavily white and male. “This is disappointing but unfortunately a reality that some of the older generation who still have a voice today cannot get out of their own way and acknowledge there is a problem,” Hamilton said in an Instagram story. “Again, this is plain ignorance but that will not stop me from continuing to push for change,” he said of Andretti’s comments.“It is never too late to learn and I hope that this man who I’ve always had respect for can take the time to educate himself,” added the Mercedes driver.Of Stewart’s comments, the Briton wrote: “Again, another one. Just disappointing.” Championship leader Hamilton has taken a knee before all three of the season’s races so far, wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and using his platform to speak out against racial injustice.In Hungary last weekend, where the drivers’ pre-race anti-racism gesture appeared hurried and disorganised, the 35-year-old called on Formula One in general to do more in the fight against racism.last_img read more

Ford stays course despite struggles

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Ford’s investment in NASCAR, including its marketing budget, is estimated to be just under $100 million. The company is focusing more and more on stock cars, pulling its marketing support from the struggling Champ Car World Series this season. Things won’t get any easier this year for Ford in NASCAR’s Nextel Cup, with Japanese rival Toyota joining DaimlerChrysler’s Dodge brand and General Motors’ Chevrolets as Cup rivals. Chevrolet has 19 cars in today’s Daytona 500, including four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, two-time series champion Tony Stewart, defending series champion Jimmie Johnson and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dodge matches Ford with 10, and Toyota will have four cars in its Cup debut. “I feel like all we really need is 10 good cars, and we have nine now,” said Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. “But there was no problem,” he said. “This is something that the people at the top levels of the company believe is a positive force for Ford. You don’t stop your marketing in hard times, you work harder to market the product.” Getting an 11th Daytona 500 victory for Ford Motor Co. certainly would help. The struggling automaker has 10 cars in the field, including 2003 series champion Matt Kenseth and part-timer Boris Said. center_img DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It will take more than record losses and massive staff cutbacks to push Ford out of NASCAR. After a company record $12.7 billion loss in 2006 and a planned staff reduction of 40,000 this year, racing boss Dan Davis admitted he was nervous about getting the estimated $20 million racing budget for nine full-time Cup cars approved. last_img read more