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Football UK

Man Utd squad for Carabao Cup semi-final v Man City as injured star returns

Manchester United have been handed a boost with the return of centre-back Victor Lindelof ahead of their Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City.

United are looking to reach their first major final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when they take on their bitter rivals on Wednesday night.

The winners will face Tottenham at Wembley in April after Spurs booked their place in the final courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Brentford on Tuesday.

And Solskjaer will be able to call on Lindelof, who has fully recovered from the back injury which was aggravated in the Boxing Day draw with Leicester.

Victor Lindelof was seen arriving at the Lowry Hotel with his teammates

The only absentees for United are Edinson Cavani, who is still serving his ban for what the FA considered an offensive social media post, and Phil Jones, who is still struggling with a long-term issue.

Speaking ahead of the game, Solskjaer said: “Victor has been training, he’s been with us. Edinson is suspended. Apart from that we have a very strong squad to choose from.

“We’re disappointed not having Edinson involved, he’s probably the only one. And Phil Jones, who’s been very out for a long time, they’re the only two not available for selection, which is a good position to be in.”

A game against Tottenham at Wembley awaits for either United or City
A game against Tottenham at Wembley awaits for either United or City

United last won the League Cup in 2017, and Solskjaer would no doubt be delighted to lift the trophy come April and see his squad gain some much-needed winning experience.

City, on the other hand, have won the competition in four of the last five seasons, and defeated United in the semis on their way to winning it last year.

Confirmed Man Utd squad

De Gea, Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles, Shaw; McTominay, Matic, Fred, Pogba, Van de Beek, Fernandes, Mata; James, Greenwood, Martial, Rashford.

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Delhi IPL The Buzz

Full Indian squad travelling to Sydney together; Brisbane Test on as of now


New Delhi, January 3

The entire Indian cricket contingent, including the five players who are in precautionary isolation, will travel to Sydney for the third Test against Australia together in the same chartered flight on Monday.

The five players—vice-captain Rohit Sharma, opener Shubman Gill, wicket keeper Rishabh Pant, pacer Navdeep Saini and batsman Prithvi Shaw—have not been barred from travelling with the team despite an ongoing investigation into an alleged bio-security protocol breach by them.

Cricket Australia, in a media release on Saturday, said it is probing the matter jointly with the BCCI after a video of the players at an indoor restaurant was posted by a fan, who identified himself as Navaldeep Singh on Twitter.

“If you carefully read the CA statement, they never said that it’s a breach. They said that they are seeking to determine if it’s a breach.

“So there is no restriction on these five players travelling with the team to Sydney. The entire team is flying tomorrow afternoon,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

It is understood that the controversy has not gone down well with the travelling team and it is not amused with how Cricket Australia has so far handled the issue.

“Had the gentleman (the fan) in question not lied about hugging a player (Rishabh Pant) on social media, this mess wouldn’t have happened. The players had gone inside because it was drizzling.

“This guy, without permission, shot a video and then paid the bill which no one asked him to and after that for publicity put a screen grab of bill,” the official said.

“You want to tell me that Cricket Australia will be taking a decision based on a purported video of a person who first lied and then retracted his statement,” he added.

What was Administrative Manager Girish Dongre’s role?

For BCCI, the man under scanner is administrative manager Girish Dongre. Dongre is an employee of the BCCI and is supposed to handle and also keep the team abreast about the COVID-19 protocols.

“The players are not supposed to carry the protocol sheets or remember every fine line written,” another BCCI official said.

“There is a professional team of people who have to ensure that every rule is being followed and it was Dongre’s duty to ensure that players are told that they can’t get into an indoor area,” he added.

Brisbane Test on as of now:

The Australian media on Sunday claimed that the fourth Test in Brisbane has been jeopardised as the tourists are reluctant to travel there in view  of stricter quarantine rules.

But it is learnt that the fourth Test, starting at the Gabba from January 15, is on as of now.

The border restrictions between New South Wales (venue of third Test in Sydney) and Queensland state government is a problem.

Queensland has closed its borders for people travelling from New South Wales due to the rising cases of COVD-19 in Sydney and surrounding areas.

However there will be an exception made for the Test match and players will be in a stricter bio-bubble, similar to the one in the IPL.

It could well happen that in order to play the Test match in Brisbane, the Indian team would have to be in a stricter bio-bubble from Sydney itself which would make for a hard quarantine (hotel-stadium-hotel) of around 15 days.

However, as of now BCCI has not taken any call on asking CA to shift the Test match from Brisbane to Sydney.

“It’s a fluid situation. Let’s wait for a few more days,” a BCCI official said. — PTI





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Sports UK

Man Utd squad vs Wolves in full as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer receives injury boost

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won’t have Victor Lindelof available for Tuesday night’s trip to face Wolves at Old Trafford, but will still have a large squad to pick from – including Marcus Rashford.

The centre-back suffered a blow against Leicester as he tweaked his back just after the hour mark, as Solskjaer was forced to replace him with Edinson Cavani in a tactical switch-up.

Lindelof will likely be replaced by Eric Bailly, who seems set to play alongside Harry Maguire.

One player Solskjaer will have at his disposal, despite Lindelof’s injury, is Rashford.

The striker was a doubt for the game after going down against Leicester appearing to clutch his shoulder, which he has endured constant problems with.

Paul Pogba is in Manchester United’s squad for their game against Wolves

But on Tuesday, he was seen arriving at the Lowry Hotel, and appears to be in contention to play tonight.

Rashford was also involved in training on Tuesday, giving Solskjaer a welcome boost ahead of the game against Nuno Espirito Santos’ side.

Axel Tuanzebe and Bailly are both expected to be named in the squad at Old Trafford.

Manchester United players arrived at the Lowry Hotel on Tuesday afternoon

Edinson Cavani could start for Manchester United against Wolves

Speaking after the game against Leicester, Solskjaer insisted he wasn’t too concerned about Lindelof’s injury as he explained his options.

He said: “It is his back again I think. So we will just have to assess that one before Wolverhampton.

“Then again, Eric is fit now, Axel is fit, so of course we might have to look at that before Wolverhampton.

“We don’t have time to worry about it. This time around, we have around 30 hours to prepare for this game and hopefully the players will use them wisely.”

Man Utd squad to face Wolves in full:

Goalkeepers : De Gea, Henderson, Grant

Defenders : Telles, Tuanzebe, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw

Midfielders : Pogba, Fred, Bruno, Mata, Matic, Van de Beek, McTominay

Forwards : James, Cavani, Rashford, Martial, Greenwood

Categories
Headline USA New York Politics

Incoming ‘squad’ members Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman won’t say if they’ll vote for Pelosi as speaker

Two representatives-elect who have been embraced by the ‘squad’ wouldn’t say whether they will vote for Nancy Pelosi’s reelection as House Speaker in two years after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the Democratic Party needs new, more progressive leadership.

Both incoming Democratic representatives Cori Bush of Missouri’s 1st congressional district and Jamaal Bowman of New York’s 16th district said they are more focused on the recent coronavirus relief, which they say should include bigger direct checks for struggling Americans.

‘What I’m going to do is make sure that the voices of the people of Saint Louis are heard and that we have what we need. And so you will find out then,’ Bush told CNN when asked Sunday morning if she would vote for Pelosi’s reelection.

‘That’s not a yes,’ Dana Bash, who filled in for ‘State of the Union’ host Jake Tapper this weekend, said.

‘I’m working with my community,’ Bush responded – still not answering the question.

Bowman was just as noncommittal about which way he will vote once it comes time for Democratic caucus leadership elections.

‘So, you will find out when my vote is tallied,’ Bowman said. ‘And, again, organizing with our community to figure out what’s best.’

Representatives-elect Cori Bush (right) and Jamaal Bowman (left) refused to say if they would vote for Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker in two years – claiming they are more focused on the recent coronavirus relief

The comments came after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said earlier this month that the Democratic Party needs new, more progressive leadership

The comments came after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said earlier this month that the Democratic Party needs new, more progressive leadership

Pelosi easily won reelection for her long-held leadership position – running unopposed for the speakership.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also ran unopposed and sailed to reelection.

New York Representative Ocasio-Cortez, the unofficial leader of the ‘squad’ and self-proclaimed Democrtic socialist, suggested earlier this month she would not support Pelosi if she ran again. She claimed it’s time for new, more progressive leadership for the Democratic Party.

The 31-year-old New York representative admitted at the time that even if Pelosi, 80, and Schumer, 70, were to go, the progressive wing of the party has no plan on who would fill those vacancies. She said she can’t be the one to take on a bigger role right now.

Ocasio-Cortez said the replacement for Pelosi and Schumer could end up being worse and ‘even more conservative’ than the current Democratic leaders.

‘How do we fill that vacuum? Because if you create that vacuum, there are so many nefarious forces at play to fill that vacuum with something even worse,’ Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept podcast ‘Intercepted’ on December 16.

‘And so, the actual sad state of affairs is that there are folks more conservative than even they are willing to kind of fill that void,’ she said.

‘The House is extraordinarily complex and I’m not ready,’ Ocasio-Cortez said when it was suggested she could take a leadership position in two years. ‘It can’t be me. I know that I couldn’t do that job.’

Bowman and Bush both said during their interview Sunday that Donald Trump needs to sign the latest bipartisan coronavirus relief legislation, which was overwhelmingly passed by Congress on Tuesday and passed off to the president for his signature.

‘The American people need relief right now,’ Bowman said when Bash asked him if it was OK for Pelosi to accept a deal that included $600 checks for Americans.

Trump suggested he would veto the legislation if payments were not tripled to $2,000 checks.

Donald Trump has suggested he will veto the $900 billion coroanvirus relief package, insisting the $600 direct checks for Americans should be tripled to $2,000 – a plan embraced by Democrats and snubbed by Republicans

Donald Trump has suggested he will veto the $900 billion coroanvirus relief package, insisting the $600 direct checks for Americans should be tripled to $2,000 – a plan embraced by Democrats and snubbed by Republicans 

Democrats were quick to jump on board with claiming they could pass a separate bill increasing payments, but are pushing for the president to sign the sweeping legislation currently sitting on his desk to deliver relief immediately and avoid a government shutdown.

‘So, this bill was what we were able to come up with at this moment,’ Bowman said. ‘But we need to go right back to the table to give people more in terms of relief.’

‘The president is the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with this country,’ the incoming lawmaker said. ‘He’s a privileged person who rose to power as a reality TV star. And now he’s trying to drive this country into chaos. I can’t wait for him to be out of office’

Pelosi, along with the rest of congressional leadership, vowed not to leave Capitol Hill for holiday recess until a deal was reached on the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package.

They spent the days leading up to the holiday staying in Washington D.C. to negotiate after nine months of deadlock. 

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Georgia Headline USA Politics

Strange bedfellows! The ‘Squad’ backs Trump’s demand for $2,000 stimulus relief checks

President Trump and the ultra-progressive ‘Squad’ have little in common, but they all agree on giving Americans $2,000 stimulus checks, proving that politics does indeed make strange bedfellows.

The foursome of Democratic lawmakers that includes House Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley joined fellow progressive House Rep. Pramila Jayapal to introduce a bill that would more than triple the relief checks approved in Congress’ latest stimulus bill.

The move comes after Trump said he would support a bill from Congress that would boost the stimulus checks in the most recent bill approved by both chambers from $600 to $2,000.

The president on Friday doubled down on his demand to Congress to increase payments from $600 to $2,000 in the spending and COVID-19 stimulus bill that lawmakers already sent to the president’s desk.  

‘Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida,’ the president tweeted after being spotted with Senator Lindsey Graham heading to his golf club on Christmas morning. 

‘Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!’ 

Earlier, Politico’s Playbook reported that the president was complaining that the giant package had too much ‘pork.’   

Trump’s stance is at odds with fellow Republicans in Congress who prevented House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from convening the lower chamber on Thursday and amending the legislation by unanimous consent.

The four members of the ‘Squad’ – a group of progressive Democratic lawmakers in the US House of Representatives – found common cause with President Trump as they introduced a bill that would provide $2,000 stimulus checks to every American. From left: House Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley

The 'Squad' introduced a bill alongside another progressive member of Congress, House Rep. Pramila Jayapal (above) of Washington State

The ‘Squad’ introduced a bill alongside another progressive member of Congress, House Rep. Pramila Jayapal (above) of Washington State

Trump (seen above in a photo posted to his Instagram account on Friday) has threatened to veto a wide-ranging coronavirus relief package that includes stimulus checks totaling $600

Trump (seen above in a photo posted to his Instagram account on Friday) has threatened to veto a wide-ranging coronavirus relief package that includes stimulus checks totaling $600

‘This holiday season, families are being forced to make incredibly difficult decisions, such as whether they should keep their lights on or buy groceries,’ Tlaib, the second-term congresswoman who represents Detroit, said in a statement.

‘Providing $2,000 survival checks would give those struggling right now a lifeline as we continue to fight to defeat COVID-19.

‘It’s time for Trump to stop bluffing and get the members of his party in line so that the government can provide this long-overdue relief to people across the country during this time of great need.’

‘We’ve been fighting all along for robust survival checks to help people meet their most basic needs, and the broad support that has emerged is a testament to the power of the people and the urgency of this moment,’ said Pressley, the Boston congresswoman.

Tlaib released a statement on her Twitter account on Friday calling for the direct payment of $2,000 'survival checks' to Americans

Tlaib released a statement on her Twitter account on Friday calling for the direct payment of $2,000 ‘survival checks’ to Americans

‘Two thousand dollars in direct cash assistance will help families weather the crisis while we continue fighting for additional relief that meets the scale and scope of the hurt so many are feeling.

‘Let’s get it done.’

Trump and the ‘Squad’ have frequently assailed one another over the course of the last two years.

In speeches at campaign rallies, the president has questioned AOC’s intelligence and whether she went to college.

During his appearances before his supporters, Trump has also called into question Omar’s patriotism and loyalty to America in comments that outraged many as racist and xenophobic.

Omar, who is black and Muslim, came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia and settled in the Minneapolis area.

Last year, Trump lashed out at Tlaib and said he didn’t ‘buy her tears’ after the congresswoman and Omar were told they would not be allowed to visit Tlaib’s Palestinian grandmother in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Tlaib was later told by the Israeli authorities that she would be allowed to visit her grandmother as long as she promised not to make public comments promoting a boycott of Israel over its occupation of Palestine.

Tlaib and Omar declined to make the trip.

In perhaps the most incendiary attack, Trump last year tweeted a post on Twitter in which he called on the ‘Squad’ members to ‘go back’ to the ‘corrupt’ countries that they came from – even though all except for Omar were born in the United States. 

But the ‘Squad’ now finds itself in a rare point of agreement with the president.

A similar piece of legislation was introduced by another Democrat, House Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts.

Unlike Neal’s proposal, however, the ‘Squad’s’ bill is a standalone measure that is not tied to any other provision included in the COVID-19 relief package approved by Congress last week.

Neal’s bill would only kick in if all of the other parameters, including government funding and other provisions, are approved.

Trump and the ‘Squad’ have frequently assailed one another over the course of the last two years. In perhaps the most incendiary attack, Trump last year tweeted a post on Twitter in which he called on the 'Squad' members to 'go back' to the 'corrupt' countries that they came from - even though all except for Omar were born in the United States

 Trump and the ‘Squad’ have frequently assailed one another over the course of the last two years. In perhaps the most incendiary attack, Trump last year tweeted a post on Twitter in which he called on the ‘Squad’ members to ‘go back’ to the ‘corrupt’ countries that they came from – even though all except for Omar were born in the United States

 

The full package of legislation was shipped to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where the president and his family are spending the Christmas holiday.

Either way, the likelihood that Americans will receive $2,000 checks appears to be low given opposition from Republicans in both chambers.

House Republicans shot down a Democratic bid on Thursday to pass Trump’s longshot, end-of-session demand for $2,000 direct payments to most Americans before signing a long-overdue COVID-19 relief bill.

The made-for-TV clash came as the Democratic-controlled chamber convened for a pro forma session scheduled in anticipation of a smooth Washington landing for the massive, year-end legislative package, which folds together a $1.4trillion governmentwide spending with the hard-fought COVID-19 package and dozens of unrelated but bipartisan bills.

Thursday’s unusual 12-minute House session session instead morphed into unconvincing theater in response to Trump’s veto musings about the package, which was negotiated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Trump’s behalf.

House Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, sought the unanimous approval of all House members to pass the bill, but GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who was not present in the nearly-empty chamber, denied his approval and the effort fizzled.

If Trump were to follow through on his implied veto threat, delivered via video clip on Tuesday, the government would likely experience a brief, partial shutdown of the government starting on December 29.

It would also delay delivery of the $600 direct payments that the bill does contain.

Senate Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have opposed larger $2,000 checks as too costly and poorly targeted.

Democrats are supportive of the direct payments and now plan to vote on the $2,000 check proposal on Monday. House Republicans are expected to block the vote, but Democrats may try again Monday.

The president’s last-minute objections are setting up a defining showdown with his own Republican Party in his final days in office.

Rather than take the victory of the sweeping aid package, among the biggest in history, Trump is lashing out at GOP leaders over the presidential election – for acknowledging Joe Biden as president-elect and rebuffing his campaign to dispute the Electoral College results when they are tallied in Congress on January 6.

President Donald Trump (left) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (right) headed to the president's West Palm Beach golf club on Christmas morning as the fate of the massive stimulus and spending bill remains in limbo

President Donald Trump (left) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (right) headed to the president’s West Palm Beach golf club on Christmas morning as the fate of the massive stimulus and spending bill remains in limbo 

Trump doubled down on his demand of Congress to increase the stimulus checks to Americans from $600, which is in the legislation, to $2,000

Trump doubled down on his demand of Congress to increase the stimulus checks to Americans from $600, which is in the legislation, to $2,000 

Trump is captured waving to supporters on his return trip to Mar-a-Lago on Christmas Day

Trump is captured waving to supporters on his return trip to Mar-a-Lago on Christmas Day 

Trump's motorcade is photographed as it leaves Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida for his nearby West Palm Beach golf club. The president also spent part of Christmas Eve on the course

Trump’s motorcade is photographed as it leaves Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida for his nearby West Palm Beach golf club. The president also spent part of Christmas Eve on the course 

The president's motorcade drove Trump and Graham to the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida Friday morning

The president’s motorcade drove Trump and Graham to the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida Friday morning 

The president’s push to increase direct payments for most Americans from $600 to $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for couples splits the party with a politically painful loyalty test, including for GOP senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, fighting to retain their seats in the January 5 special election in Georgia.

Republican lawmakers traditionally balk at big spending and many never fully embraced Trump’s populist approach. Their political DNA tells them to oppose a costlier relief package.

But now they’re being asked to stand with the president.

On a conference call Wednesday House Republican lawmakers complained that Trump threw them under the bus, according to one Republican on the private call and granted anonymity to discuss it.

Most had voted for the package and they urged leaders to hit the cable news shows to explain its benefits, the person said.

Democrats were taking advantage of the Republican disarray to apply pressure for a priority. Jon Ossoff, Perdue’s Democratic opponent, tweeted simply on Tuesday night: ‘$2,000 checks now.’

The relief bill Trump is criticizing would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses, restaurants and theaters and money for schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction.

Even though Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin represented the White House in negotiations, Trump assailed the bipartisan effort in a video he tweeted out Tuesday night, suggesting he may not sign the legislation.

Railing against a range of provisions in the broader government funding package, including foreign aid mainstays included each year, Trump called the bill a ‘disgrace.’

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy railed against 'billions in foreign aid' in a spending bill he helped negotiate, parroting what Trump had said in the president's Tuesday night video

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy railed against ‘billions in foreign aid’ in a spending bill he helped negotiate, parroting what Trump had said in the president’s Tuesday night video 

Trump did not specifically vow to use his veto power, and there may be enough support in Congress to override him if he does.

But the consequences would be severe if Trump upends the legislation.

It would mean no federal aid to struggling Americans and small businesses, and no additional resources to help with vaccine distribution.

To top it off, because lawmakers linked the pandemic relief bill to an overarching funding measure, the government would shut down on December 29.

The final text of the more than 5,000-page bill was still being prepared by Congress and was not expected to be sent to the White House for Trump’s signature before Thursday or Friday, an aide said.

That complicates the schedule ahead. If Trump vetoes the package, or allows it to expire with a ‘pocket veto’ at the end of the year, Americans will go without massive amounts of COVID aid.

A resolution could be forced Monday. That’s when a stopgap funding bill Congress approved to keep the government funded while the paperwork was being compiled expires, risking a federal shutdown.

Democrats are considering another stopgap measure to at least keep government running until Biden is sworn into office January 20, according to two aides granted anonymity to discuss the private talks.

The House was already set to return Monday, and the Senate Tuesday, for a vote to override Trump’s veto of the must-pass defense bill.

Democrats may try again at that time to pass Trump’s proposal for $2,000 checks, as well as the temporary government funding measure to avert a shutdown, the aides said.

The push for bigger payments to Americans drew rare common cause between Trump and some of the most liberal members of Congress.

Pelosi and Democrats said they fought for the higher stipends during protracted negotiations only to settle on the lower number when Republicans refused.

Republicans have been reluctant to spend more on pandemic relief and only agreed to the big year-end package as time dwindled for a final deal.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, said that ‘Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open,’ and Congress would step up for more aid after.

The Senate cleared the huge relief package by a 92-6 vote after the House approved it by 359-53. Those votes totals would be enough to override a veto should Trump decide to take that step.

Biden applauded lawmakers for their work. He described the package as far from perfect, ‘but it does provide vital relief at a critical time.’

He also said more relief would be needed in the months ahead. 

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Headline USA

Bomb squad is called after RV explodes in Nashville 

BREAKING NEWS: Bomb squad is called after ‘parked vehicle’ explodes in Nashville

  • The blast happened on 2nd Avenue in downtown Nashville on Friday at 6.40am 
  • There are no reports of injuries yet but there multiple buildings are damaged 
  • Officials say the source of the explosion was a ‘parked vehicle’  

There has been a huge explosion in downtown Nashville which caused plumes of smoke to rise through the city skyline and scattered broken glass and metal in the streets.  

The explosion happened at 6.30am local time on Christmas Day. A bomb squad has been called but it’s unclear what the source of the explosion was. 

According to local reports, ‘shaking’ was felt throughout the city.

One report claimed the blast came from an RV but officials are yet to verify that detail.  

Metro Nashville PD said the explosion was ‘linked’ to a vehicle but gave no other details. 

The blast happened directly outside a multi-purpose building that sits next to the Cumberland River.

This was the scene in downtown Nashville on Friday morning after a parked vehicle exploded

The blast caused damage to downtown buildings like broken windows, but no injuries have been reported and no serious harm was caused. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been called in to help with the investigation.  

‘There is an incident involving an explosion. 

‘This is an active scene. Metro Nashville Police Department and Nashville Fire Department are on the scene. 

‘There are no additional details to provide at this time,’ the Nashville Fire Department said in a statement.

WKRN cited officials who said the explosion did not seem to be suspicious.

Within minutes of the blast, social media lit up with people reporting that they felt it and the ground ‘shaking’.  

This was the scene in downtown Nashville on Friday morning after a parked vehicle exploded at 5.40am

This was the scene in downtown Nashville on Friday morning after a parked vehicle exploded at 5.40am 

An aerial view of the aftermath of the explosion on Friday morning

An aerial view of the aftermath of the explosion on Friday morning 

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Sports UK

Frank Lampard admits to “tension” in Chelsea squad after back-to-back losses

Chelsea returned to winning ways against West Ham following successive losses with Frank Lampard admitting there had been “tension” leading up to their success at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues lost recent games at Everton and Wolves to fall down the table.

Heavy investment was made which saw expectations heighten in west London although Lampard has been keen to play them down in light of their recent defeats.

The 40-year-old concedes it is on him to control the mood within the camp but has cited the unique nature of the season as a huge challenge.

He told Sky Sports : “The game was hard and we started really well but for a period in the second half we did not get much of the ball.

Frank Lampard has had to rally his squad

“You are delighted when you get the second and third goals, West Ham can hurt you.

“The season is looking different to every other season, for whatever reason. It is hard for a club with the expectation and squad we have.

“You get a few challenges when you lose a couple of games and I have to be the one to drive it, there was a bit of tension going into the game.

“We showed graft without being beautiful it was a good result.”

Lampard also defended his decision to start Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner ahead of Olivier Giroud.

The Frenchman has been far more prolific recently that Chelsea’s other forward options.

Olivier Giroud was left out despite his impressive form

But the Blues boss insists the World Cup winner was left out based on the type of game the Hammers would pose.

“Olivier Giroud has been playing well and scoring goals,” he added.

“You have to look at the opposition and they have different attributes.

“We did not know whether they would play a back three or four and with Tammy Abraham’s natural ability to move in behind it would have suited us better today.

“We judged it on the oppostion and Tammy came up trumps, Oli produces whenever he plays.”

Categories
Sports Canada

World Juniors: COVID-19 outbreak in German squad

On the sidelines of the World Junior Hockey Championship, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced that eight players from the German squad tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

The team will therefore have to remain in prolonged isolation until December 24.

There have also been two positive cases around the Swedish club. These are two staff members, whose identities have not been disclosed. The Swedish contingent will have to remain isolated until December 21.

“Our number one priority is the health of individuals and isolating these cases to ensure the safety of the entire community and the event,” the tournament executive said in a statement. Our team continues to work with the organizing committee and all participating teams and will assess the status of each player on a daily basis. Our goal remains to get through the quarantine process and establish a safe bubble for players to achieve their dream of competing at the World Juniors. “

Since the 10 nations competing in the tournament arrived in Edmonton last Sunday, the IIHF has performed more than 2,000 tests for COVID-19.

Germany are scheduled to start the tournament on Dec. 25 against Finland and are set to be Canada’s first opponent the next day. For its part, Sweden is due to face the Czech Republic on December 26.

Team Canada stays the course

On the Canadian side, we still do not know if these cases of COVID-19 will affect the holding of its preparatory game on December 21 against Sweden.

“For now, we stay focused on what we can do to be better. We will do the same tomorrow. Eventually we will know more and we will adjust. But for us, it’s to keep our focus on what we can control, “said head coach André Tourigny.

While now playing in the Edmonton bubble, Junior Team Canada is still extremely cautious about avoiding trouble.

“Even in our large dining room there are only two per table. The players are divided into three groups and we have different times to go to eat. It’s the same when you go to the arena; we go in groups of six. Everything has been thought of and the organizing committee is doing an extraordinary job to keep us safe, ”added Tourigny.

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Sports UK

Ozil “hasn’t changed” contract plans as his agent takes swipe at squad omission

Mesut Ozil’s agent Erkut Sogut has reiterated the German’s desire to see out his Arsenal contract as he continues to be linked with a January exit.

The German has been frozen out at the Emirates having been omitted from their domestic and European squads.

Ozil’s contract is up in the summer and a switch in the New Year had been touted.

His representative refused to rule out a move, but underline the World Cup winners’ loyalty amid the challenging circumstances.

Sogut told TMW: “Even one day is a long time in football, you never know. Of course, there are many clubs interested in him.

Mesut Ozil is keen to see out his contract

“This has never changed but his willingness to honour his contract and play hasn’t changed either.

“Again, he’s a man of his word, loyal, and loyalty is hard to find in these times.”

Sogut then took aim at the reasons behind Ozil’s omission as Arsenal struggle for form.

The German has long been hailed for his creative flair, but managers have held his lack of work rate against him.

Under Unai Emery he was a peripheral figure and Arteta opted against using him once football return from lockdown.

The German has been frozen out by Mikel Arteta

But Sogut believes Ozil is exactly what Arsenal need in their current predicament.

“It is not an easy situation,” he added. “He loves the club and the fans are deeply and is deeply sorry that he has not been given a chance this season.

“Mesut was the player who reached 50 Premier League assists, faster than anyone else, in 141 appearances and Arsenal need exactly this kind of creativity.

“They say he was sidelined for ‘football reasons’ but that’s not something I can comment on. I think the fans want him back on the pitch and at the last match they also chanted his name.”

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Mourinho explains Bale absence as star left out of Spurs squad to face Palace

Jose Mourinho has revealed that Gareth Bale is suffering from illness and was not fit enough to make the Tottenham squad to take on Crystal Palace.

Spurs will go three points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table with a victory at Selhurst Park on Sunday ahead of the Reds’ game against Fulham later on Sunday.

But some eyebrows were raised when Bale was not even named on the bench ahead of the encounter.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of kick-off, however, Mourinho explained that the Welsh winger is ill – but it is not Covid-19 related.

Gareth Bale played against Antwerp midweek but was left out of the squad against Crystal Palace

“He doesn’t feel very well,” Mourinho said. “Of course I want to say that no coronavirus, no he tested [negative]. No chance.

“But kind of a flu, this kind of this little feeling he is not feeling so well.”

Mourinho appeared wary of the challenge that will face his side from the Eagles after they thrashed West Bromwich Albion 5-1 at the Hawthorns last weekend.

He added: “For us it’s not about being league leaders but it’s about a match we want to win. We have said since the beginning of the season that it doesn’t matter where we are or who we are against, we want to win.

“We know how good they are. They are a very good team, very experienced starting from the bench and ending on the pitch.

Jose Mourinho and his Spurs side are looking to go three points clear of Liverpool

“They have quality players that can hurt you in many different situations – set pieces, counter attacks, organised play and crosses to the box where they always have important guys there.

“They are a very difficult team.”

Bale will be desperately hoping to be fit again for Spurs’ potentially huge game in the title race as they take on Liverpool on Wednesday, followed by Leicester next Sunday.