In Somalia, women defy strict rules to play football

first_imgThe sight of young women playing football is highly unusual in Somalia, due to societal pressures as well as fear of Al-Shabaab.The Al-Qaeda linked Islamist group launches regular attacks in Mogadishu and considers forms of entertainment, such as football, to be evil, worse still if women are involved.“It is obvious that we are scared despite the fact that we put on heavy clothes over our shorts and T-shirts (until) we get to the pitch. It is very difficult to walk normally with sports clothes — we never wear sports clothing in society,” said Hibaq Abdukadir, 20, one of the footballers.She is among 60 girls, who have signed up to train at the Golden Girls Centre in Mogadishu, Somalia’s first female soccer club.– ‘Think differently’ –Mohamed Abukar Ali, the 28-year-old co-founder of the centre, said he was inspired to create the club after he realised that Somalia had no female footballers.The sight of young women playing football is highly unusual in Somalia, due to societal pressures as well as fear of Al-Shabaab © AFP / Mohamed ABDIWAHAB“We are… trying to make these girls the first Somali female football professionals,” he said.However this is not an easy task.“When the girls have to attend training sessions, we have to organise to pick them up and bring them here and back home after the session because they are girls and we think about their security,” said Ali.“There are so many challenges, from security to lack of resources… but that will not deter our ambition to establish female football clubs in this country,” he said. “We believe it is the right time and we should have the courage to think differently.”– ‘They look naked’ –Many of the girls who have joined the club said they had always wanted to try playing football but never had the opportunity.“I have been playing football for seven months, but my family has only known about it for two months,” said Sohad Mohamed, 19.“I used to dodge my mother about where I was going because she would not allow me to play football, but at least my mum is okay with it now, even though the rest of my family is not happy.”Co-founder Mohamed Abukar Ali says they are aiming to make the players at the Golden Girls Centre the first Somali female football professionals © AFP / Mohamed ABDIWAHABIn Somalia, it is taboo for women to appear in public dressed in shorts, trousers or T-shirts, with Islamic scholars saying sports clothing is not appropriate Islamic dress for women.The players wear tights underneath their baggy shorts, and cover their hair, but still face criticism for their dress.“I come to watch them train but frankly speaking, I would not be happy to see my sister doing it, this is not good in society’s eyes because they look naked,” said Yusuf Abdirahman, who lives near the football field.Mohamed Yahye, another onlooker, is happy to see women playing football but is also concerned about how they are dressed.“I think there is nothing wrong with women playing football, the only thing they should change is the dress code, they need to wear something that is not slim-fitting. But as long as their body is not seen, they are in line with the Islamic dress codes,” he said.However the Golden Girls are not fazed.“My ambition is so high that I aim for the same progress as those female footballers who play for Barcelona,” said Abdukadir.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Undeterred by tradition and religion, around 60 girls have signed up to train at the Golden Girls Centre in Mogadishu, Somalia’s first female soccer club © AFP / Mohamed ABDIWAHABMOGADISHU, Somalia, Mar 21 – Shortly after sunrise, a group of young women arrives at a football pitch in Mogadishu, where they shrug off their hijabs — some changing underneath the billowing veil — to reveal their team kit.Young Somali men stand nearby, some disapproving but all watching closely, as the women jog up and down, dribble a worn-out ball between colourful cones and do sit-ups, less than 200 metres (656 feet) from a heavily guarded security checkpoint.last_img read more

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Sunderland statement in full after Adam Johnson found guilty of child sex charge

first_img1 Former Sunderland player Adam Johnson found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child Sunderland have released a statement insisting they were unaware Adam Johnson was planning to plead guilty to any child sex offences.Johnson is facing a lengthy spell in prison after he was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a 15-year-old schoolgirl by a jury at Bradford Crown Court.He had previously admitted grooming the girl and one charge of sexual activity on the first day of the trial.Sunderland have been criticised for their handling of the affair – having allowed the ex-England international to continue to play for the club after his arrest a year ago – and Johnson told the court during his trial they were fully aware he had kissed the girl.But in a strongly-worded statement the Premier League club have refuted suggestions they knew he was planning to plead guilty to any of the charges.And the club insist they would have sacked Johnson immediately had they knew that was the case.The Sunderland statement read: “To respect the legal process, Sunderland AFC was unable to comment on this case until after the jury had delivered its verdict.“It has now done so and we thank our supporters for their patience and understanding. We now wish to clarify certain matters which arose during the trial.“Mr Johnson was suspended by the club immediately following his arrest on March 2, 2015. At that time, the club was advised by police of the broad nature of the allegations against Mr Johnson, who was being advised at all times by his own legal team. The club felt that the decision to suspend was appropriate at that time, even though he had not then been charged with any offence.“Two weeks later, his suspension was lifted after a meeting between the club and the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), and after the club took independent legal advice. The club reached this decision only after carrying out a safeguarding assessment and liaising with relevant agencies.“On 23 April 2015, Mr Johnson was charged with four offences. The club was informed that it was Mr Johnson’s intention to defend all the charges, a stance he maintained right up until the first day of trial. The club continued to review the safeguarding procedures it had put in place throughout this time.“On 4 May 2015, an introductory meeting took place between Mr Johnson, his father and Orlando Pownall QC. Mr Pownall had not previously met Mr Johnson. The club’s CEO was present during part of that meeting.“During the time that she was present there was no suggestion whatsoever that Mr Johnson would be changing his plea. Some documents were received relating to the case, which were immediately sent to Mr Pownall for his attention. However, the club was not in a position to make any judgment on the outcome of the case nor on Mr Johnson’s decision to defend all the allegations.“Following that meeting, Mr Johnson again confirmed to the club, presumably on advice from his own legal team, that his intention was to defend the charges in their entirety and he was confident of success once all evidence had been considered. He subsequently entered not guilty pleas to all charges on 6 June 2015.“The club did not give evidence either for the prosecution or the defence in this case. It was therefore not present in court when it is understood that a suggestion was made that the club knew all along that Mr Johnson was intending to change his plea just before trial to enable him to continue to play football for the club and that the club may also have been involved in tactical discussions about the plea.“This is utterly without foundation and is refuted in the strongest possible terms. The club never placed any pressure or demands on Mr Johnson to play football during this process. Decisions in relation to the pleas and the conduct of the trial have been left entirely to Mr Johnson and his highly experienced and skilled legal team. Mr Johnson has admitted in evidence that he changed his plea ‘on legal advice’.“The club only became aware of the change of plea, in relation to two of the four counts on the indictment, on the first day of the trial, after hearing it reported through the media. The club was not advised in advance that Mr Johnson would plead guilty to any offence. Had the club known that Mr Johnson intended to plead guilty to any of these charges, then his employment would have been terminated immediately.“Indeed, upon learning of the guilty plea on 11 February 2016, the club acted quickly and decisively in terminating Adam Johnson’s contract without notice.“This has been an extremely difficult time for all involved. The victim and her family have endured an unimaginable ordeal in the last 12 months and we trust that they will now be allowed to move on with their lives without further intrusion or public scrutiny.“Following the announcement of today’s verdict and the release of this detailed statement, the club intends to make no further comment.”last_img read more

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House faces Patriot Act extension vote

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake The Senate vote Wednesday night capped several days of backroom negotiation conducted against the backdrop of presidential attacks on critics of the legislation. The extension gives critics – who successfully filibustered a House-Senate compromise that would have made most of the law permanent – more time to seek civil-liberty safeguards in the law. Democrats and their allies had originally asked for a three-month extension, and the Senate’s Republican majority had offered a one-year extension. The final deal split the difference. “For a lot of reasons, it made the most sense, given that there are significant differences that remain,” said GOP Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire, one of a small group of Republicans who joined with Senate Democrats in the filibuster. “I think this is a reasonable conclusion,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans who had pushed for legislation that would make most of the expiring provisions permanent said the agreement only postpones the showdown on the Patriot Act for six months. “We’ll be right back where we are right now,” said a clearly frustrated Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. WASHINGTON -The Senate passed a six-month extension of the USA Patriot Act late Wednesday night, hoping to avoid the expiration of law enforcement powers deemed vital in the War on Terror. Approval came on a voice vote and cleared the way for a final vote in the House. Several provisions in the current law expire Dec. 31, and President George W. Bush has repeatedly called for renewing most of them. The House was scheduled to reconvene today, but senior Republicans in the House, who want most of the expiring provisions renewed permanently, have opposed any temporary extension of the current law. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, added, “Our intelligence and law enforcement officials should not be left wondering, yet again, whether the Congress will manage to agree to reauthorize the tools that protect our nation.” The push for postponement gained momentum Wednesday when the bill’s critics released a letter crafted by Sununu and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., showing that 52 senators were agreeing to support a three- month extension. “This is the right thing to do for the country,” Schumer said after the deal had been announced. “To let the Patriot Act lapse would have been a dereliction of duty.” Bush, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Republican congressional leaders have lobbied fiercely to get the House-Senate compromise passed and issued dire warnings of what would happen if the Patriot Act expires. Most of the Patriot Act – which expanded the government’s surveillance and prosecutorial powers against suspected terrorists, their associates and financiers – was made permanent when Congress overwhelmingly passed it after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. Making permanent the rest of the Patriot Act powers – including roving wiretaps that allow investigators to listen in on any telephone and to tap any computer they think a target might use – has been a priority of the Bush administration and Republican lawmakers.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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EUPHORIA AS DONEGAL U21 HURLERS WIN ALL-IRELAND TITLE

first_imgA tremendous performance by the Donegal U21 hurlers ensured they were crowned All-Ireland C champions after a tough match against neighbours Tyrone.The game was played in extremely difficult conditions earlier this evening at Celtic Park, Derry. Both sides were evenly matched throughout with both sides desperately wanting to take that All-Ireland crown back to their respective counties.In what was a low scoring affair for a hurling match, both sides headed in at the interval all level at 0-06 a-piece.The two sides continued to swap scores throughout the second-half and Tyrone led by ONE point with just ten minutes left.However, the game was turned on its head when Donegal scored a crucial goal with just SEVEN minutes left to play. That stunned Tyrone and Donegal added another point to stretch their lead out to three points as the game ticked towards full-time.Tyrone went in search of a goal which would have sent the game to a replay but Donegal held on.There was brilliant scenes at the final whistle as management and players ran on the pitch to congratulate each other on a sensational All-Ireland win.With the Donegal Senior Ladies winning the Ulster title earlier this afternoon – it’s been a great, great day for Donegal GAA.#TIRCHONAILLABÚ EUPHORIA AS DONEGAL U21 HURLERS WIN ALL-IRELAND TITLE was last modified: July 27th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:newsSportlast_img read more

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QPR boss Hughes ‘is on Aston Villa’s shortlist’

first_imgMark Hughes is on Aston Villa’s shortlist as they search for a new manager, according to The Daily Telegraph.Villa are expected to make an official approach for Norwich’s Paul Lambert following the Midlands club’s sacking of Alex McLeish.Hughes has been linked with Villa.But it is claimed that QPR boss Hughes is also a possible contender. The Welshman was linked with Villa after leaving Fulham last summer.Inevitably, there is more speculation about Rangers’ response to Joey Barton’s incredible outburst against Manchester City.The Telegraph say Hughes wants Barton out of Loftus Road, while The Independent suggest Rangers would like to sack him but may find it too expensive.The Daily Mail also say Hughes is keen to get rid of Barton and the Daily Star declare that Rangers are determined to boot him out even though it could cost them £11m.Related West London Sport story: QPR to discuss response to Barton outburstMeanwhile, the Star say Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is losing his battle to recover from a hamstring injury in time for this weekend’s Champions League final. Click here for Monday’s QPR quizClick here for Monday’s Chelsea quizFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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PIXNOR 10pcs Mini Hair Claw Flower Hair Clip – Random Color – Tiny little useful clips

first_imgExcellent minimal clips for my youthful daughter. Fantastic assortment of colours and they are genuinely modest which is what she desired.Beautiful bit lesser than i expected but nevertheless great.Reviews from purchasers :Tiny little useful clips they are as pictured and work in my toddler’s fine hair. It would have been nice to receive Great little clips for my young daughter SummaryReviewer Nathalie DuboisReview Date2018-12-12 14:20:47Reviewed Item PIXNOR 10pcs Mini Hair Claw Flower Hair Clip – Random ColorRating 5.0 / 5  stars, based on  6  reviews I obtained additional brown and black than excellent but they are as pictured and do the job in my toddler’s great hair. It would have been great to get color pairs as properly. The motive this overview is not much better is simply because the merchandise description specifically discusses the appropriateness for infants and toddlers. The picture also suggests the clips will be colourful. I received 1 pink clip, 1 dark pink, one yellow, 1 purple, one red and the relaxation are brown or black which is unpredicted based mostly on the image, description and the truth that these clips are flowers (i personally have not found brown or black bouquets). If color is not essential than these clips are good.Here are the specifications for the PIXNOR 10pcs Mini Hair Claw Flower Hair Clip – Random Color:This is Floral Mini Hair Grips Hair Clamps Hair Claw Hair Clip Hair Pin Hair Slides for Baby Girl Material: Durable resin. Diameter: about 1.3cm.Suitable for baby girls to wear.Beautiful delicate flower decorated hair pin, very attractive.Your baby girl will surely look very sweet wearing this hairpin.Simple and practical design, and easy to use. Color combine okay but a little bit boring but for what i want that is alright. Posted on December 12, 2018Author Nathalie DuboisCategories ClawsTags Pixnorlast_img read more

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Monarch Challenge issued to farm families

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As monarch butterflies prepare to fly north, BASF is encouraging farm families to provide a layover for these iconic insects by planting milkweed habitats along the migration path as part of the company’s Monarch Challenge.The Monarch Challenge is a program of BASF’s biodiversity initiative Living Acres, which seeks to restore the monarch population, by planting milkweed habitats in non-crop areas of a farmer’s land. Milkweed is an important part of the monarch’s life cycle, as it is the only plant where adult monarchs will lay their eggs. The leaves of the milkweed serve as a main food source for monarch larvae. The Monarch Challenge shares best practices on milkweed development with farmers to help support the monarch butterfly.North Carolina farmer Andy Herring participated in the 2017 Monarch Challenge and encourages other farm families to sign up and help create an even larger monarch “wing” print.“Right now, we’ve got the milkweed in a grassy area,” said Herring. “It’s out of the spray areas and away from the field and will be protected from any kind of inputs that would go into the farm. It’s in a fertile area surrounded by grasses and other native plants. We noticed a few butterflies later in the season, which makes me think we’re doing something right.”Last year, nearly 500 farm families signed up for the Monarch Challenge and received a combined 9,000 seedlings and kits to create their own milkweed plots.“Farm families like the Herrings are positioned to positively impact the monarch population, which is why BASF is partnering with them to establish milkweed habitats in non-crop areas of their land,” said Chip Shilling, BASF Sustainability Strategy Manager. “We hope programs like the Monarch Challenge can help restore and preserve the monarch population for future generations, while demonstrating how milkweed can thrive alongside modern agricultural practices.”With the success of last year’s challenge and the continued interest in aiding these iconic insects, BASF is looking to grow the program to 1,000 farm families in 2018. Now is the time for farm families to get involved with the challenge and receive their own milkweed seedlings to plant this spring. To sign up, visit http://www.monarchchallenge.com/.last_img read more

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10 Things Google Could Have Bought With The $12.5 Billion It Spent on Motorola Mobility [Gallery]

first_imgGoogle could have purchased the iconic, secure and enterprise-friendly Blackberry for about $6 billion. To mitigate the crushing blow to Canadian pride for losing their once-mighty Blackberry, Google could have used the remaining $6.5 billion to make a run atacquiring the entire National Hockey League. Twitter Google’s efforts to crack open Hollywood – and gain a foothold in the television market – have so far floundered. For just $10 billion, Netflix could have belonged to the search giant.Moon Shots Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Larry Page wants Google to work on “moon shots” – those breakthrough innovations that promise to radically alter work and business. For $12.5 billion, Google could have fully funded NASA for a year.All The News That Fits The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology With $12.5 billion in seed funding, Google could havedoubled what Silicon Valley VCsinvest in a year. Blackberry At Microsoft’s current valuation of $233 billion, Google could have bought its only legitimate search competition – Bing. Trefis estimates that Bing contributes 3% to Microsoft’s valuation, about $7 billion at today’s prices. That would leave Larry Page with enough left over to buy Microsoft’s Xbox and Windows Phone businesses – and Skype, too!  There is still the chance, of course, that Motorola will turn itself around. The company is rumored to be building an “X Phone” to challenge iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S line. Perhaps all those Motorola patents could turn into a goldmine – or prevent someone from successfully suing Google or Android for billions. To date, however, the Motorola acquisition appears to be a costly diversion to Google’s high-margin and highly profitable search business. Not to mention a sea of failed opportunities to spend its money more profitably. Top image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.Google slide image and Google-modified Prius image from Google. Google Glass image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons. Image of Sergey Brin from Flickr. “Forgotten Television” image from Fotopedia.  Moon image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons. Picture of newspaper from Fotopedia. Picture of Steve Ballmer via Microsoft.  The increasingly popular micro-blogging and “second screen” platform, Twitter, has 200 million active users – and is valued at $10 billion.You Get a Prius! You Get a Prius! Fairly or not, Google has been pilloried for destroying the newspaper industry. Indeed, France sought payment from Google for linking to (and aggregating) stories from their nation’s newspapers. In response, Google established a €60 million Digital Publishing Innovation Fund. Yawn. With $12.5 billion, Google could have purchased The New York Times and still have $11 billion left to create global digital publishing innovation fund.Bing! Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img Television What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … brian s hall Why did Google want to make Motorola smartphones when it should be constructing Google Glass headsets? Perhaps because no one save a few geeks will wear Google Glasses in public if they don’t feel great and look fashionable. For a mere $6 billion, Google could have acquired Fossil, Inc. Fossil designs, makes and distributes not only eyewear but a range of fashion accessories – perfect for the coming wearable computer revolution. LululemonGoogle co-founder Sergey Brin – who thinks that smartphones are “emasculating” – has revealed a fondness for fashionably trendy, form-fitting Lululemon yoga gear. Brin could have bought the entire company for just North of $10 billion.  Tags:#Google#Motorola Related Posts Last week, Google’s Motorola Mobility division axed 1,200 jobs – about 10% of its workforce. These latest cuts were in addition to the 4,000 job reductions Motorola announced last August. In a statement released to the press, Motorola glumly stated:These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It’s obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition.It was not supposed to be this way. Google acquired Motorola Mobility in 2012 for $12.5 billion, a move widely viewed as a way to bolster Google’s Android ecosystem and defend the company against patent lawsuits from Apple, Microsoft and others. When the acquisition was finalized, Google CEO Larry Page was ebullient:I’m excited to announce today that our Motorola Mobility deal has closed. Motorola is a great American tech company that has driven the mobile revolution, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation, including the creation of the first cell phone. We all remember Motorola’s StarTAC, which at the time seemed tiny and showed the real potential of these devices. And as a company who made a big, early bet on Android, Motorola has become an incredibly valuable partner to Google.The reality has play out far differently.Job cuts notwithstanding, Motorola has failed to capitalize on the growth of the Android ecosystem. As ReadWrite reported last week, Samsung dominates Android even in the United States. For the quarter ending January 2013, Motorola’s share of the U.S. smartphone market declined 1.4 points and sits at a meager 8.6% of the market. Globally, Motorola doesn’t even crack the top 10 smartphone vendors.  Which begs the question: What would have been a better use of Google’s $12.5 billion? It turns out, a lot!World’s Largest Venture Capital Investment Forget futuristic driverless cars. Google could have jumpstarted the “sharing economy” and helped the environment. The 2013 plug-in version Toyota Prius retails for about $30,000. Instead of buying Motorola Mobility, Google could have brought home nearly 400,000 Priuses – and had plenty left over to acquire car-sharing service, Zipcar (recently purchased by Avis for a bargain $491 million). Fashionable Eyewearlast_img read more

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