Four civilians killed, others injured by mortar missiles, IED blasts in Diyala

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Diyala ( Four civilians were killed, while seven others were wounded in several parts in Diyala province, news reports quoted security sources as saying on Monday.

Five mortar missiles fell on villages of al-Mekheisa, abu Karma in abu Saida town, northeast of Baquba, on Monday evening. Two women were killed, while five others were injured.

Moreover, a bomb exploded while a Federal Police patrol was passing at al-Katoun district in west of Baquba, leaving a policeman killed and two others wounded.

Another bomb blast in abu Hassan village in al-Abbara town, north of Baquba killed a member of the paramilitary troops of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units).

Attacks launched by Islamic State militants against security troops, the pro-government forces and civilians surged over the past few weeks in northeast of Diyala, which urge the Iraqi forces to prevent the militants infiltration between Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces, especially the regions stretching along Hamreen mountains and Al-Azeem town.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

A monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), issued on Tuesday, said 518 Iraqis were killed and injured during the month of June. Nineveh province was the most affected governorate with 233 casualties, Baghdad came next then Anbar.

Source  :  Iraq News

Luke Wilkshire says his body can handle the harshness of the A-League

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AUGUST 7 2017 – 6:40PM

Dominic Bossi

Luke Wilkshire playing for the Socceroos in 2013.

Luke Wilkshire playing for the Socceroos in 2013. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

The grounds will be harder, the climate much hotter and the air far more humid, but Sydney FC signing Luke Wilkshire has no concerns over his ability to jump from Russia to the A-League at the age of 35.

There could be a difference of 50 degrees Celsius from games he played last season to this season for the veteran Australian international. Throughout his recent past, Wilkshire has battled through the ice and snow of winters with Dynamo Moscow since the Russian Premier League switched from a summer competition in 2012 where average temperatures sit at minus 10 degrees in the winter months.

While the heat of the Australian summer, the hardness of the playing surfaces in the A-League, the extensive travel and the physical nature of the competition poses risks for older players, Wilkshire believes the warmer climate could prolong his career.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing in the heat. In the cold, the air is challenging so I’m looking forward to playing in the warm weather for a change,” Wilkshire said.

His move to Sydney FC will be his first chance to play club football in Australia in his 18 years as a professional. While he’s unaccustomed to the often much harder playing pitches in the A-League, he isn’t concerned with the potential injuries that could arise.

 “No, look there’s different challenges in football all over the world, you adapt to them. I’ve been on the field here and it’s a bit more sticky and different to what I’m used to playing on. But as a professional footballer you have to adapt to different climates, different conditions,” he said.

Wilkshire will fill the void at right back left by a long-term knee injury to Rhyan Grant. He joined his new club last week and completed his first full training on Monday after undergoing a conditioning session.

The 80-time Socceroo and veteran of two World Cup campaigns says he will be back to full fitness in a matter of weeks and could be available for selection as early as the FFA Cup Round of 16 in two or three weeks.

“I’ll talk to Arnie [coach Graham Arnold] but I’ve had a couple of good sessions already. We’ll build it up slowly, there’s plenty of time to get 100 per cent. Touch wood, fitness has never been a problem for me. I’m clearly not at my peak at the moment but I got through OK,” he said.

Wilkshire had more lucrative offers from Russian second-tier teams but opted to return home to be in an environment that matched his motivation.

“People thought I’d died or something in 2014 [since missing the Socceroos final World Cup squad], but I’ve been plying my trade in Europe in the top leagues. Whether people have seen that or noticed, I’ve been doing my thing. I still enjoy my football, and I still have that drive and hunger to play and win,” Wilkshire said.

“Everyone speaks about the A-League improving and it has over the years. Sydney won the league convincingly last year, and the challenge for me and the team to go back to back is an exciting one.I’m here to help Sydney win the league and have a good run in the ACL.”


Source  :  The Canberra Times

FIFA delegation, led by Georgian Nodar Akhalkatsi, to meet FFA

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AUGUST 7 2017 – 6:30PM

Dominic Bossi

A former president of the Georgian Football Federation could decide the fate of the Football Federation Australia board when he leads FIFA’s mission to Australia to help break the political deadlock.

Nodar Akhalkatsi jnr is understood to be the head of FIFA’s three-person delegation to Sydney this week that will oversee the crucial talks with stakeholders for an expanded FFA congress before Australian football faces the prospect of FIFA temporarily taking charge of the game’s administration.

The acting head of FIFA’s governance services, Akhalkatsi jnr will be joined by Asian Football Confederation’s Ravi Kumar and a FIFA lawyer for three days of talks with FFA, A-League clubs, state federations, the players’ union and even National Premier League clubs to help Australian football governance grow to become more democratic and inclusive to meet FIFA’s strict requirements.

The meetings are set to commence in Sydney on Wednesday in what will likely be the last chance for the warring tribes to end the bitter dispute of an expanded FFA Congress that has threatened to bring Australian football administration to a standstill. FIFA have ordered FFA to accept a more representative and larger membership tier to provide clubs and players a greater representation and influence. The upcoming mission was accepted by FFA to help the transition, which must be completed before November 30, or else FIFA will recommend putting in place a normalising committee. In the past, normalising committees have removed a football association’s boards and replaced it with temporary and independent FIFA administrators.

It is understood several stakeholders have requested private bilateral meetings with Akhalkatsi jnr this week, independent from FFA board members.

Akhalkatsi jnr spent four years as president of the GFF during two stints between 2005 and 2009. His father, Nodar Akhalkatsi, was a former coach of Dinamo Tbilisi  before becoming the first president of the GFF, serving between 1990 and 1998.


Source  :  The Canberra Times

Double tragedy: Perth soldier’s cousin dies in fatal attack in Melbourne’s west

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AUGUST 8 2017 – 7:09AM

Robyn Grace

A man fatally attacked at a train station in Melbourne’s west on Saturday night was a cousin of the woman found dead at a hotel buck’s party last month.

Marcus Rowley, 24, had returned from his cousin’s Perth funeral only three days before he was attacked at Tottenham station in West Footscray.

Australian soldier Natasha Rowley was found dead in the shower of a Melbourne serviced apartment on July 16.

As police on Monday took a 35-year-old Avondale Heights man into custody over the death, Mr Rowley’s former partner revealed the tragic family connection.

Caris Miles said Mr Rowley was a beautiful, loving father to three children.

“He was such a good person. He made his fair share of mistakes but he learned from them and was turning his life around,” she said.

Ms Miles said Mr Rowley was close to his cousin, but they didn’t see each other much because she lived in Perth.

Mr Rowley posted a picture of himself and Ms Rowley on Facebook on July 18, two days after she was found dead in the shower of a room at The Oaks on Market apartments.

The room had been rented by a group of 11 men from ACT and NSW on a buck’s night.

Ms Rowley’s funeral was held on August 1.

Four days later, Mr Rowley was killed. Paramedics were called to Ashley Street in West Footscray about 7pm on Saturday night.

When they arrived, people at the scene were trying to resuscitate Mr Rowley.

He could not be revived. A source told Fairfax Media the man had been stabbed.

They said there had been a “meeting” involving the man on one of the train platforms, but Ms Miles said the attack had been random.

Mr Rowley’s heartbroken friends remembered his cheeky face and lovely soul on Monday, as news of his death spread.

“Beautiful man, beautiful soul. Forever will you be in our hearts,” Nelly Ingram posted.

Victoria Police said on Monday that homicide squad detectives had not yet established a cause of death and were still waiting on results of an autopsy.

The arrested Avondale Heights man, of no fixed address, was charged overnight with one count of murder and will face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning.

Detectives have also spoken to a 31-year-old Brunswick woman.

She was released pending further inquiries.

with Goya Dmytryshchak


Source  :  The Canberra Times