Real take Hernandez on loan from United

The European champions have an option to buy the 26-year-old Hernandez, who is known as “Chicharito” (little pea) and will provide backup for Real’s first-choice striker Karim Benzema, a France international.

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Hernandez, valued at 14 million euros (11.08 million pounds) on website transfermarkt佛山桑拿,, passed a medical and was presented at the club’s Bernabeu stadium.

He is surplus to requirements at United as the English Premier League club have agreed to take Colombia striker Radamel Falcao on loan from AS Monaco.

“I don’t think there is a player in the world who would not say this is a dream, it would be a lie,” a beaming Hernandez told a news conference.

“I am coming to give my all so that this club can be more successful than it already is,” he added.

“I will give everything. I hope to contribute my grain of sand so that many trophies continue to come.”

Hernandez joined United from hometown side Guadalajara in July 2010 but after a fine debut season, when he scored 20 goals in all competitions, he has played mostly as a substitute.

He helped Mexico reach the last 16 of the World Cup in Brazil, scoring in the 3-1 group-stage win over Croatia.

Real, who have also bought Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos in the current transfer window, suffered a surprise 4-2 La Liga reverse at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Their next outing is at home to champions Atletico Madrid on Sept. 13, when Hernandez could make his debut.

Asked whether he would accept playing mainly as a substitute, Hernandez said he had come to Real to be “part of the squad”.

“I see it as a great opportunity, to do what I like most which is playing football,” he told reporters.

“The only thing I have in my heart is that I am grateful to those who have given me this chance.

“To be alongside the best players in the world and be able to develop and give everything to the club. I know that here 100 percent is demanded.”

Hernandez is the son of namesake Javier Hernandez, a Mexico striker who featured at the 1986 World Cup and was nicknamed “Chicharo”, or “pea”, because of his green eyes.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer/Rex Gowar)

Contador changes mind on Tour of Spain victory hopes

A late attack in Sunday’s ninth stage lifted the Tinkoff-Saxo rider to second in the overall standings, three seconds behind Colombian Nairo Quintana.

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Quintana’s Movistar team mate Alejandro Valverde of Spain, who started the day in the red leader’s jersey, dropped to third, eight seconds off the pace.

“I am now able to say I will try to win the Vuelta, another thing is if I have the legs or not,” Spaniard Contador told a news conference on the rest day.

“Until yesterday, even up to the final kilometres, I did not see it like that and we have to wait and see how I am tomorrow,” added the double Tour de France champion.

“Since the start of the race I merely thought about letting the days go by.”

Contador said he was still having “minor” problems with his leg and that Quintana and Britain’s Chris Froome of Team Sky remained the favourites.

Froome lost ground on Sunday and is fifth, 28 seconds behind Quintana.

“Some have come here with more work under their belts than me and can aspire to greater things, like Froome and Quintana, while I am still a question mark,” Contador said.

“I’m getting better every day and that’s good for me but it’s also true I lack the confidence you get from having solid preparation behind you.”

At a separate news conference on Monday, Quintana said he had “improved a bit” in time trials and did not expect to lose much time to his main rivals.

“For the time being the legs are fine and I expect to wake up tomorrow with a good feeling and be on top form,” he added.

The three-week Tour of Spain concludes on Sept. 14 with a time trial in the north-western city of Santiago de Compostela.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Tony Jimenez)

Australia on edge in ODI tri-series

If Australia can’t control their own destiny by beating South Africa in the one-day tri-series on Tuesday, Zimbabwe are only one upset away from knocking them out for a place in Saturday’s final.

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The equation for the Australians is simple – beat the Proteas on Tuesday (5.30pm AEST) and set up a rematch against their fierce rivals for the tournament trophy.

Lose and leave the door open for Zimbabwe to continue their giant-killing run against a potentially second string South African team on Thursday, and head home to Australia embarrassed.

Proteas captain AB de Villiers grinned when asked which team he’d prefer to face in the final and admits he will likely rest players against Zimbabwe should his team put their own status for the decider in Harare beyond doubt by beating Australia.

Before their remarkable three-wicket win over the Australians, Zimbabwe also gave the Proteas a scare.

High on confidence, the hosts would like their chances against South Africa should they take a convenient chance to freshen up the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and JP Duminy.

“I think (we have a preference on who we play in the final), but we’ll wait until we get there,” said de Villiers.

“(Resting players) will definitely come up after tomorrow’s game.

“We’ve got a few niggles around so it mightn’t be a bad idea to rest a few guys.

“First things first, we have to play a good game against Australia and hopefully come away with a win.”

The Australians were given a spray by coach Darren Lehmann in the sheds at the Harare Sports Club after they came off the field against Zimbabwe, and then held a team meeting at the hotel to “get rid of all the negatives”.

Lehmann said the team hasn’t lost belief and must simply take mathematics out of the equation and concentrate on beating South Africa.

“We can’t control what other teams do,” he said.

“We need to win and we know that.

“It’s very much a chance (to avenge the upset). The lads are looking forward to it. Obviously everyone was disappointed last night and the sun came up today and now it’s about getting ready to play.”

De Villiers believes his attack can expose Australia’s deficiencies against spin bowling, with the South Africans considering playing two spinners – Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso.

Australia are recalling Mitchell Johnson and Steve Smith.

Likely Australia: Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Marsh, George Bailey (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon

UN human rights mission to investigate ethnic cleansing in Iraq

The 47 members of the United Nations’ top rights body on Monday accepted without a vote a resolution urging the probe presented by Iraq and supported by more than 100 states.

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The diplomats reached their decision after spending the day listening to details of horrendous abuses and crimes attributed to the jihadist group calling itself the Islamic State, including massacres, forced conversions, abductions, slavery, sexual violence and the use of children as soldiers and suicide bombers.

“We are facing a terrorist monster,” Iraqi Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani told the council, decrying acts “equivalent to genocide and crimes against humanity”.

The special session was called at Baghdad’s request, with support from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the US – among other countries.

“The reports we have received reveal acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale,” deputy UN rights chief Flavia Pansieri told diplomats from the 47 member states as she opened the emergency session.

The IS has grabbed large swaths of Iraq’s Sunni heartland since June 9. It has also occupied parts of Syria and declared a “caliphate” in a region straddling the two countries.

The group has shocked the world with filmed massacres and beheadings, including that of US journalist James Foley.

At least 1420 people were killed in the country last month alone, according to fresh UN numbers issued Monday, while more than 1.8 million people have fled their homes since the beginning of the year.

The UN has accused the group of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, including “ethnic and religious cleansing”, and has warned of the risk of “genocide” in parts of Iraq.

Sudani stressed that “the acts of the IS are a threat not only to Iraq but to the whole region,” warning they posed “an imminent danger for all countries of the world”.

The resolution adopted Monday condemned “in the strongest possible terms systematic violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law resulting from the terrorist acts committed by ISIL (IS) and associated groups”.

The fact-finding mission will count 11 investigators who should make it to Iraq within the next couple of weeks, a spokesman for the UN human rights office said.

Their aim will be to gather evidence against the IS perpetrators for use in possible future prosecution, for instance by the International Criminal Court.

Ronaldo raises questions about Real transfer policy

After winning a record-extending 10th European Cup crown last season, when dressing-room heavyweight Ronaldo was the team’s top scorer, Real sold midfielders Xabi Alonso and Angel Di Maria and brought in Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez.

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The departure of Alonso to Bayern Munich, in particular, has raised questions about whether the Madrid club will have enough quality and experience in midfield without him.

Alarm bells rang when they let slip a two-goal lead to crash to a 4-2 defeat at Real Sociedad in La Liga on Sunday, with Ronaldo sidelined by injury.

“I have a very clear opinion but I cannot always say what I think,” the Portugal forward told reporters at a promotional event in Jerez when asked about his club’s recent transfer dealings.

“If not I would be on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow and I don’t want that. But, if I was in charge, maybe I would not have done it like that.

“But if the president thinks that the best thing for the team is to buy the players he bought and let others leave we have to respect and support his decisions.”

Ronaldo’s comments will make uncomfortable reading for construction magnate Perez who has spent hundreds of millions of euros on top players and turned Real into the world’s richest club by income.

“With the new players the style will change but it could change for the better or for the worse,” added the World Footballer of the Year.

“Hopefully it will be for the better because they are players of a very good level. It would be normal for them to adapt well.

“Di Maria and Xabi were very important for us but they are not here any more and we have to be happy with the new ones. I am sure that it will go well for us,” said Ronaldo.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Tony Jimenez)

Dozens killed as Pakistan jets bomb militant hideouts

However local security officials put the death toll far higher, saying about 150 militants died in the air strikes, which primarily targeted Uzbek fighters in a remote area of tribal North Waziristan.

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Among the dead are insurgents linked to last Monday’s all-night siege of Karachi airport that killed 38 people, including 10 attackers, and all but destroyed a tentative peace process between the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and the government.

The mountainous Dehgan area, about 25 kilometres west of the main town of Miranshah in North Waziristan, is a stronghold for Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants on the border with Afghanistan.

“Today at about 0130 hours, a number of terrorist hideouts in Dehgan, Datta Khel in North Waziristan were targeted by jet aircraft. Over 50 terrorists, mostly Uzbek foreigners, were killed in the strikes,” a statement issued by the Pakistani military on Saturday said.

“There were confirmed reports of presence of foreign and local terrorists in these hideouts who were linked to the planning of the Karachi airport attack.”

 

However, local security officials in Miranshah speaking on condition of anonymity put the death toll far higher than the official toll.

“Up to 150 people were killed during the strikes early Sunday. These strikes were carried out based on confirmed reports about the presence of Uzbek and other militants in the area,” an intelligence official said.

Another security official said “the number of the killed people was even more than 150”.

The Pakistan military has not confirmed the higher figure.

However, the military statement said “an ammunition dump had also been destroyed during the strikes and that further details would follow,” suggesting the death toll could rise.

Pressure has been mounting on the Pakistani government to launch a ground offensive in the Taliban-controlled North Waziristan tribal district.

Following the brazen assault in Karachi, the US carried out two drone strikes in North Waziristan on Wednesday, the first time the controversial program has been used this year.

The same day, Pakistani air force jets pounded suspected militant hideouts, leaving at least 25 dead.

No precise number death toll from Sunday’s air strikes was immediately available as they took place overnight in a remote location.

There were competing reports about the identity of those killed. But a second intelligence official in Miranshah said Uzbek fighters were targeted.

“Uzbek fighters had gathered in the area, they were taking rest when jets hit them,” he said, adding that hideouts of local Taliban and other foreign fighters were also targeted.

Both the Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan – an al-Qaeda affiliate mainly based in Pakistan’s tribal belt – said Uzbek fighters took part in the Karachi airport assault.

Locals in Pakistan’s tribal regions say some of the world’s most feared Islamist fighters are quietly slipping away from the area in anticipation of an increase in military operations against them.

Nuclear industry explores Fukushima

The explosions that damaged a crippled Japanese nuclear plant during a disaster that forced mass evacuations in 2011 show what can happen when nuclear fuel overheats.

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In response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident, the US government dramatically increased funding to develop tougher protective skins for nuclear fuel, hoping to spur innovation in designs that hadn’t changed much in years.

While the US Department of Energy was spending $US2 million ($A2.16 million) before the accident on future fuel designs, the funding reached as much as $US30 million ($A32.46 million) afterward.

Now scientists at multiple institutes are in the middle of developing designs that could start finding their way into test reactors as soon as this summer, followed by larger tests later on.

The goal is to create nuclear fuel that is more resistant to damage and melting in extreme situations and less prone to a chemical reaction that makes its metal wrapping brittle and produces explosive hydrogen gas. If researchers succeed, their work could give plant workers more time to keep an accident from spiralling into a meltdown that releases harmful radiation. The work is no cure-all to prevent accidents, but it’s a way of reducing risk.

“It’s basically buying time for the reactor,” said Andrew Griffith, the Energy Department’s director for fuel cycle research and development. “It’s basically an insurance policy.”

Scientists in the government and industry-funded efforts are experimenting with multiple solutions before narrowing their focus on the most-promising technologies.

Nuclear fuel has remained similar for decades. Uranium dioxide is compressed into a pellet about the size of a fingertip. Those pellets are stacked into fuel rods up to 4.5 metres long and placed in a tube, called cladding, made from zirconium alloy. That metal cladding resists corrosion in a reactor, holds up against heat and serves as a barrier that keeps radioactive elements in place without cutting too much into the energy produced by a nuclear plant.

Nuclear fuel is supposed to withstand accident conditions, but the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant shows how it can fail when pushed to extremes.

After an earthquake, tsunami waves crashed over the plant’s seawall and disabled the electrical gear needed to run reactor cooling systems. When the cooling systems and backups stopped working, the reactors overheated. As water levels dropped, the metal cladding around the fuel reacted with steam and oxidised, producing hydrogen gas. Scientists blame that escaping hydrogen gas for causing multiple explosions that damaged the facility.

The same reaction also produces heat, further contributing to the extreme temperatures that allowed fuel to melt and radioactive by-products to escape. Some oxidation occurs during a reactor’s normal operation, but nowhere near the levels that occur in an extreme accident.

Scientists are considering a range of improvements.

Some are proposing fundamental departures. The Electric Power Research Institute is experimenting with cladding made of molybdenum, which maintains its strength in higher temperatures than the current zirconium alloys. A stronger metal would do a better job keeping nuclear fuel from melting and slumping in a reactor during extreme accidents.

Engineers at the University of Tennessee are trying to coat cladding with ceramics that can withstand higher temperatures than the existing cladding, while Westinghouse Electric Co. hopes to use silicon carbide as the base for its claddings in future fuel designs.

Quicker improvements may come from changing existing fuel designs. A nuclear engineer at the University of Illinois, Brent Heuser, received US funding to develop coatings that could be applied to existing cladding to prevent the chemical reaction that produces hydrogen, heat and weakens the cladding.

His team is also interested in “self-healing” fuel, which has added materials that migrate to the surface of a fuel rod during an accident and form a protective coating.

Any change must make financial sense. Adding safety improvements costs more money. That’s not attractive to cost-conscious utilities since the existing cladding already meets federal safety rules.

To get around the economic obstacles, some researchers hope to offset the extra cost of the protection measures by combining them with fuel that produces more energy before it must be replaced. Others like Heuser say regulators would need to force utilities to use the safer products.

PM returns to same opposition in Senate

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will fly into Canberra buoyed by his successful overseas trip, but will face the same troubles getting the government’s legislation through parliament.

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Parliament resumes for a fortnight before the new, more conservative Senate takes effect, and Greens leader Christine Milne is threatening to force a vote on a piece of the government’s climate legislation.

While much of the past month has been focused on the Abbott government’s first budget, and what may or may not be passed by the Senate, Senator Milne wants to return attention to the government’s troubled climate change agenda.

The Greens will this week move for a vote on the government’s plans to abolish the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, set up by the previous Labor government to provide support for renewable energy projects.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 has already been voted down by the Greens and Labor in the Senate, and a second rejection would give the prime minister a first trigger to call a double dissolution election.

Senator Milne said the Greens were ready for an early election.

“If the prime minister refuses to follow through on his threats for a new election the unpopularity of his brutal budget and global warming policy sham will be fully exposed once and for all. He will be a lame duck,” Senator Milne said.

Mr Abbott will return from his trip to Indonesia, Europe, Canada and the US early on Monday morning, with question time likely to again be dominated by the budget.

Slated for consideration in the Senate is the government’s temporary levy on high income earners, which Labor is expected to pass despite complaints it breaks a pledge for no new taxes.

The Senate will also debate another environment-related bill, the coalition’s plans to establish a 15,000 strong Green Army.

Legislation to set up an Asset Recycling Fund to pay for new infrastructure will again be discussed in the House of Representatives, as will changes to the Fair Work Act that curtail unions’ right of entry to workplaces.

Federal politicians will be welcomed back to Parliament House by protesting cleaners angry about pay cuts, with a rally planned for Monday.

The government’s July 1 removal of the Commonwealth Cleaning Services Guidelines will see some workers lose more than $170 a week, union United Voice says.

Scott stalls, Kaymer leads US Open by five

World No.

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1 Adam Scott has admitted being too cautious after failing to take advantage as runaway US Open leader Martin Kaymer finally showed vulnerability on a brutally difficult Pinehurst No.2 course.

After posting the lowest total in US Open history through 36 holes to lead by six shots at 10-under, German star Kaymer’s two-over-par 72 third round was still good enough to lead by five from Americans Rickie Fowler (67) and Erik Compton (67), a double heart transplant recipient.

Scott battled to a 73 and fellow Australian Jason Day a 72 to be three-over – a distant 10 shots behind Kaymer – in a tie for 16th and needing a miracle.

Kaymer could become only the seventh wire-to-wire US Open winner, joining Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Tony Jacklin and James Barnes.

Not since Mike Brady squandered a five-shot lead in 1919 has a US Open 54-hole leader had such a margin and failed to win the title.

“I’m looking forward to see how I react to certain situations,” Kaymer said. “Anything can happen. I can lead by seven or eight shots after nine holes. I can be down to all square. So it will be an exciting round.

“It’ll be interesting how I handle it.”

World No.2 Henrik Stenson (70), who could take Scott’s No.1 status with a win if Scott finishes outside the top four, and Dustin Johnson (70) share fourth at two-under.

Aaron Baddeley, the only other Australian to make the halfway cut from 11 starters, shot 73 to be four-over and tied 23rd.

“I might have played a bit too cautious,” Scott lamented.

“Today was a bit of a letdown.

“Every round, I’ve got under par after the first half a dozen holes and only one day I’ve managed to keep it going so that’s a little disappointing.”

In extremely hot and dry conditions and playing a very tough course set-up that allowed only two sub-par rounds on Saturday, Scott started strongly with some impressive par-saving efforts over the opening four holes.

The Queenslander than pumped a drive down the par-five fifth and hit a beautiful six iron to two metres with his second.

But his eagle putt lipped out forcing him to settle for a birdie and rather than ride the momentum forward he stumbled as the par-three holes bared their teeth.

Scott bogeyed three of the four par threes, blunting his charge.

Despite being so far back, particularly for a US Open where birdies are like hens teeth, Scott vowed to attack on the final day.

“I’m going to try to get it in the fairways and then I can try and find some shots to hit a little closer to the hole,” he said.

“I feel like I’ve putted beautifully this week but it’s hard to just walk in 40 footers, so I’m going to have to find a way to get it inside 20 feet tomorrow.

“And at least if I could post a number in red figures, you never know.

“I’m going to have to have a pretty special round to even think about those dreams.”

AAP be/rj/nh/rw

Hundreds of firefighters protest over cancer compensation

The government says it simplified cancer claims for firefighters and encouraged both career and volunteer firefighters to lodge a claim if they believe they had contracted cancer as a result of their duties.

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“The Victorian government is not ruling out presumptive legislation and will continue to consider new medical and scientific evidence as it becomes available,” a government spokesperson said.

Volunteer Fire Brigades president Bill Watson said firefighters wanted a law that lists the 12 typical “firefighter” cancers and presumes them to be work-related, providing the fire fighter has enough years of service behind him or her and relevant risk exposure.

 

Mr Watson said there is plenty of evidence firefighters are more likely to suffer certain cancers, but it can be difficult to prove which fire or chemical incident caused their illness.

“It’s not like a broken bone where you know exactly when and where it happened,” Mr Watson said.

 

“The burning car or house fire you attended today may cause a cancer that doesn’t show up for decades, which makes it nearly impossible to prove it was work related.”

@IncidentAlert13 @IncidentAlertDR pic.twitter佛山桑拿网,/VfwKVcIeBg

— stuart pascoe (@stpascoe) June 15, 2014

 

The federal government introduced presumptive legislation in 2011.

 

Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia also have laws that recognise the link between fire fighting and cancer.

 

Mr Watson said any legislation would have to include eligibility guidelines.

“We’re not after a free ride,” he said.

 

“We just want to make sure they’re looked after if they get sick.”

The Victorian government has been under pressure to make changes to the way compensation is accessed after a 2012 report found firefighters who trained at the CFA Fiskville site had been exposed to dangerous chemicals going as far back as the 1970s.

 

Last year they introduced a review panel to assist both volunteer and career firefighters seeking compensation for cancer caused by their work.

 

Opposition leader Daniel Andrews said Labor would introduce the legislation if elected in November.

 

“I have committed to the introduction of presumptive rights,” Mr Andrews said.