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Messi urges Barca to show more early focus

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There was a huge sense of relief in Barcelona after brushing aside their recent Champions League quarter-final failures by beating Manchester United, but Lionel Messi still criticised his side’s shaky start to the game.

Barca conceded two early chances in Tuesday’s second leg before Messi set them on their way to a comfortable 3-0 victory with two quick-fire strikes before Philippe Coutinho scored to make it 4-0 on aggregate.

United forward Marcus Rashford rattled the bar in the second minute and then hit a tame shot at goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while Scott McTominay burst into the area but lost control of the ball before he could shoot.

Barca had suffered a humiliating quarter-final exit at AS Roma last year after conceding early goals and Messi urged his team mates to show more concentration in their next European outing, warning that other sides might not be so forgiving.

That message is even more pertinent as Barca’s semi-final opponents are likely to be Liverpool, who hold a 2-0 lead in their quarter-final tie with Porto and have a reputation for overwhelming teams early on.

“We cannot start like this in any Champions League game,” Messi told reporters.

“We said that from the start, we had the experience of Roma, you can’t afford to make life hard for yourself because one mistake can knock you out of this competition. We have to be aware of that.”

After surviving the early scares, Barca exhibited their new-found defensive steel and earned a third clean sheet in four Champions League knockout games.

“We have become much more solid, over the season we struggled a little bit at the back but the whole team is making a huge effort and that makes it far harder for opponents to attack us,” Messi added.

“We had been three years without making the semi-finals but we didn’t have any negative feelings. We knew we had a good scoreline, we’re happy to be in the semis but we must continue.”

Barca have not won Europe’s biggest prize since 2015 despite dominating the domestic scene in Spain and have had to look on enviously as arch-rivals Real Madrid romped to three consecutive Champions League triumphs.

But there is now a sense in the Spanish media that everything is falling into place for Barca to reach the final at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the Spanish capital on June 1.

“This is the year,” proclaimed Barcelona-based newspaper Sport, while Marca said “Messi flies towards the Wanda”.




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Democrats pressure Trump on Russia report

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Democrats are keeping up pressure on President Donald Trump following the long-awaited release of a report into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

They want Robert Mueller, the man who collated the report, to publicly testify before congress about the work he has done.

The redacted report, which was released on Thursday, reveals the president tried to get Mr Mueller fired.

Mr Trump’s legal team has described its release as a “total victory”.

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The 448-page redacted document is the result of a 22-month investigation by Mr Mueller, who was appointed to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

What’s in the report?

Mr Mueller’s report says he found no criminal conspiracy between Mr Trump’s campaign and Russia, but could not reach a concrete legal conclusion on whether Mr Trump tried to obstruct the investigation.

“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” the report says. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgement.

“Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

The report also reveals:

  • Mr Trump instructed a White House lawyer to try to get Mr Mueller removed over alleged “conflicts of interest”, but the lawyer resigned because “he did not plan” to follow the directive
  • Mr Trump reportedly used an expletive when the investigation was announced, adding: “Oh my god. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency”
  • Mr Mueller examined 10 actions by the president in regards to obstruction of justice, which he said largely “took place in public view”
  • The report says that potential obstruction of justice by the president only failed because members of his administration refused to “carry out orders”
  • Investigators viewed the president’s written responses to their questions as “inadequate” but chose not to pursue a potentially lengthy legal battle to interview him

What do Democrats say?

Democrat congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in a joint statement said the report painted a “disturbing picture of a president who has been weaving a web of deceit, lies and improper behaviour”.

The party has begun moves to try to obtain the full, unredacted document and to have Mr Mueller testify before Congress.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier told the BBC that Mr Mueller had “basically tossed the ball to Congress and said, ‘you need to pursue obstruction of justice here’.”

Democrats have also attacked US Attorney-General William Barr, accusing him of “misleading” them with an earlier summary of the report’s findings regarding whether Mr Trump obstructed justice.

Mr Barr held a news conference before the report was made public in which he backed the president.

The report has long been viewed as a potential tool to impeach the president but the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said this would not be “worthwhile at this point”.

“Very frankly, there is an election in 18 months and the American people will make a judgement,” he told CNN.

How has Mr Trump responded?

Speaking at an event for veterans, Mr Trump said he was having a “good day” – adding that there was “no collusion” and “no obstruction”.

Representatives for the president have also reiterated his view that the investigation was a “hoax” and called for reprisal inquiries.

“President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated yet again,” Mr Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.

“Now the tables have turned, and it’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever.”

His comments followed a stream of social media posts by the president on Thursday regarding the report’s release.

In one tweet, he said he had the right to “end the whole witch hunt” and fire Mr Mueller had he wanted to.





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AK boss Jack Tuwei elected Africa Athletics vice president ▷ Kenya News

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Athletics Kenya (AK) President Jack Tuwei has been elected the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) senior vice president.

The retired General was elected unopposed and will now serve under Cameroon national Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, who was re-elected to the position for the next four years.

READ ALSO: Arsenal star Mesut Ozil sends more goodies to young Kenyan herdsboy Lawrence Masira

The retired General was elected unopposed and will now serve under Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, who was re-elected to the position for the next four years.
Source: Depositphotos

READ ALSO: Champions League: Wanyama makes history, becomes 2nd Kenyan to make it to semi-final

The AK boss was elected during the CAA Congress attended by International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe on Tuesday, April 16, in Abidjan, Cote D’Ívoire.

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Tuwei has his work cut out; he must ensure that African athletes are protected against unfavorable treatment.

READ ALSO: Sintofahamu yazuka baada ya babake DPP Noordin Haji kunaswa akifyatua risasi hewani

Recently, the man who took over from the late Isaiah Kiplagat as AK boss, met Coe to seek assurances on the changes to the Diamond League, approved by the IAAF in March.

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The IAAF announced a decrease in the maximum track event distance from 5,000 metres to 3,000m, prompting a backlash from athletes and officials in African countries.

The two African countries most affected by the decision would be Kenya and Ethiopia who are traditional long distance giants.

AK also expressed Kenya’s concern at the IAAF decision to reduce the number of meetings held each season from 14 to 13.

However, Coe and IAAF chief executive Jon Ridgeon insisted the changes would not affect African athletes alone.

Story by Sasha Amor, TUKO Correspondent.

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Fake it till you make it- here’s what socialite Huddah Monroe had to say about Americans

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Socialite cum business woman Huddah Monroe now says Americans are the biggest lifestyle fakers ever.

The socialite through her Instagram page said, Americans in Los Angeles just like hanging out with those who have money or are famous.

“LA is the city of clout chasers and the fakest people alive. They want to hang around you if you have money or you are a celebrity,” she revealed.

The petite lass went on to narrate how the first thing locals ask when you land in L.A is if one has a social media account so that they can check out if you’re worth their time.

“The first thing people ask you when you get here is “Do you have an Instagram?” So they can see if your posts are worth hanging out with,” she added

Huddah is currently on holiday l.A no wonder she had something to say about the locals.