Antoine Griezmann played Manchester United like a fiddle, claims Atletico Madrid teammate Filipe Luis

Antoine Griezmann was never interested in leaving Atletico Madrid and simply used Manchester United’s interest in him to leverage a better contract from his club, according to teammate Filipe Luis. 

The French forward was one of the most highly sought after players last summer and United boss Jose Mourinho was willing to spend in excess of £85m to secure his services. 

But after a protracted transfer saga that lasted several months and saw the player – and his brother Theo – make regular overtures to the club, the 26-year-old eventually signed a new contract which will keep him in the Spanish capital until 2022. 

Luis believes that was part of the plan all along.

“[Griezmann] is a guy who speaks very clearly and often players talk when they feel they are not being valued as they deserve. Then they start to attract attention,” the left-back told El Mundo.

“He will have had many offers from many teams and a player of his stature wants to get the best contract.

“And he deserves it, because Griezmann is playing a big role here [at Atletico].


“In the end, no matter how much he has talked about other clubs, he has always wanted to stay and here he is and he’s happy.”

Atletico remain undefeated in La Liga at this early stage of the season and – despite their last-minute defeat to Chelsea – will be hoping to go deep once again in the Champions League.

Luis believes Atleti’s fans will quickly forgive Griezmann if he continues the kind of performances he has been putting in for the past few seasons and hopes his teammate will continue his stay in Spain for many years to come.

“Surely he can stay longer. Let’s hope people understand it and get back to normal. Although he has already scored goals and with goals everything heals.”

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Departing U.N. troops leave Haiti damaged in their wake

Oct. 13 (UPI) — On Sunday, the United Nations will withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Haiti, ending its 13-year mission there.

One might expect mixed feelings about the soldiers’ departure. After all, since the arrival of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in June 2004, after former President Jean-Bertrande Aristide was forced out by a coup, the island has seen neither war nor armed conflict.

Crime and violence levels also remain high in Haiti, particularly in the capital of Port-au-Prince, and until January the country was leaderless due to repeated delays in holding its presidential election. Haiti is also still recovering from Hurricane Matthew, which caused famine in some hard-hit areas in 2016.

Despite these challenges, reports from the island suggest that most Haitians are ready to see the mission depart. That’s because, beyond stabilizing the country during a period of political tumult, the U.N.’s troops have also done harm in Haiti.

The international organization has admitted that its peacekeepers introduced cholera to the island after the devastating 2010 earthquake and sexually abused women who lived near U.N. camps.

What it has not yet acknowledged is that during early efforts to take out gangs in crime-riddled neighborhoods, U.N. troops also unintentionally killed more than 25 of the same citizens they were deployed to protect.

Keeping the peace?

This lethal violence, which has garnered little international press, is the subject of our new film, It Stays With You: Use of Force by U.N. Peacekeepers in Haiti, a 50-minute documentary released in Port-au-Prince in June and set for its U.S. release on Oct. 30.

Between 2004 and 2007, MINUSTAH carried out at least 15 heavily militarized operations against criminal gangs living in Cité Soleil, a seaside shantytown of 300,000 to 400,000 people. In these crowded neighborhoods, where most homes are made of scavenged sheets of corrugated metal and other scrap materials, the U.N. troops battled local organized crime groups using heavy weaponry, including automatic rifles and grenades.

During Operation Iron Fist, for example, which took place in the Bois Neuf section of Cité Soleil on July 6, 2005, the U.N. reports that it used 22,700 bullets, 78 grenades and five mortars and killed seven gang members.

But, according to some residents interviewed in It Stays with You, unarmed civilians also died in this raid. Douglas Griffiths, then deputy U.S. ambassador to Haiti, has also confirmed that “credible sources” have accused U.N. peacekeepers of killing “more than 20 women and children” in the operation.

Some were shot inside their homes by U.N. soldiers in helicopters, whose bullets easily penetrated their metal rooftops. These accounts have been substantiated by witnesses and international aid workers interviewed for our film, including by one American doctor who saw bullet holes in the roof of a home that he visited while treating a young girl for gunshot wounds.

Other Cité Soleil residents were killed by machine gun fire by U.N. troops from armored personnel carriers, shooting from guns mounted on the vehicles’ roofs. Witnesses state that during Operation Iron Fist, sustained firing over several hours destroyed entire homes, killing some of the people inside them.

In 2005, Jean-Marie Guehenno, who was then the U.N.’s undersecretary general for peacekeeping, essentially confirmed these reports. At a press briefing at the U.N. headquarters in New York, he said, “A number of operations have been conducted by MINUSTAH… I have to be honest with you, there may have been some civilian casualties.”

The following December, just before Christmas in 2006, the U.N.’s Operation New Forest went through some 10,000 bullets over two days. Numerous people with no connection to gangs, including children, were killed or injured in this raid.

The exact number is unclear, however, since the U.N. has carried out no investigations involving a visit to the neighborhood into this raid or others in Cité Soleil. The Haitian police have conducted no investigations, either.

No accountability

These accusations are not the first to damage the reputation of the U.N.’s vast peacekeeping operation, which has soldiers stationed in 15 countries around the world. Rape and other forms of sexual abuse are an endemic problem in multiple missions.

Even so, MINUSTAH has a bad record. In Haiti, 134 Sri Lankan soldiers set up a child sex ring, exploiting boys and girls as young as 12 years of age. There is little accountability for such violations. The Sri Lankan troops were sent home, but none have been jailed; the U.N. was criticized for its inadequate response. It also took five years for the U.N. leadership to take responsibility for the cholera epidemic.

It is not surprising, then, that the international organization’s response to the killings in Cité Soleil has been lackluster. The end of the Haiti mission this month offers an opportunity for an independent investigation into the unintended harms of U.N. operations in Cité Soleil, particularly in Bois Neuf.

Based on our on-the-ground research, we believe a full accounting would find that the repeated military raids not only killed innocent bystanders but also exacerbated the precariousness of residents’ already marginal existence. Poor families lost their breadwinners; homes were destroyed; children were made orphans and had to be taken in by neighbors.

After a pot-maker, Nelson Ti Lari, was inadvertently killed in his workshop in 2005, his wife, Veronique, told us that she repeatedly visited the U.N. base at Camp Delta with a photograph of her dead husband, seeking acknowledgment that the breadwinner of her family had been killed. But, she says, the staff there sent her away every time. Eventually, she gave up.

Failing U.N. support – such as medical assistance to those injured in raids or financial support to people who lost their homes or livelihoods in the crossfire – people were compelled to seek help from the cohort of international NGOs that have provided the bulk of citizen services in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake.

There is a growing body of international literature, including research by Dr. Ilionor Louis, co-author of this article, demonstrating that such forced dependency is itself a form of indirect violence. And in a country like Haiti, where post-disaster aid is big business and oversight of NGOs is almost nil, this will be another lasting legacy of the U.N. mission.

In making our documentary, we found that Cité Soleil residents aren’t just sad for their losses – they’re also angry that the U.N. hasn’t taken responsibility for its actions. MINUSTAH may be pulling out of Haiti on Sunday, but the the agency’s misdeeds will live on in Cité Soleil long after the last peacekeeper departs.

The ConversationThe film It Stays With You: Use of Force by UN Peacekeepers in Haiti is available for streaming (password Haiti17).

Siobhán Wills is a professor of law at the University of Ulster; Cahal McLaughlin is a professor of film studies at Queen’s University Belfast; and Ilionor Louis is a sociologist in the ethnology department at the Université d’Etat d’Haiti.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Bear visits University of Central Florida’s campus

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Police at the University of Central Florida tweeted out a photo to warn students and faculty about a studious bear’s visit to campus.

The UCF police posted a photo to Twitter on Thursday afternoon showing the bookish bruin strolling down a sidewalk near Knight’s Plaza on the Orlando school’s campus.

“Bears are typically quiet and shy, but they are wild animals,” the police department said in a post on its website. “It is important to remain alert of your surroundings and to be aware of how to react should you see a bear. Never approach or surprise a bear, and do not feed or intentionally attract them.”

“If you encounter a bear at close range, remain standing upright, back up slowly and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice. Make your presence known, but do not make any sudden or abrupt movements. Back slowly into a safe, indoor place, and be sure the bear has an obvious escape route.

Do not turn your back, play dead, climb or run. Also avoid direct eye contact, which can be viewed as aggressive.”

The department said no one was injured during the bear’s visit to campus and authorities are “not sure where it came from.”

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About 30 percent of Gulf oil production still offline because of Nate

Oct. 13 (UPI) — More than 30 percent of the oil production in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico is offline because the shut-ins from Hurricane Nate, the government said.

Nate bounced along the southern U.S. border during the weekend, making landfall twice as a Category 1 hurricane. On Monday, the government said about 92 percent of the total Gulf oil production and 77 percent of the natural gas production was offline because of the impact from Nate. Two refineries, which at a combined capacity of 587,000 barrels per day represented 6 percent of the total regional capacity, were closed down at the peak of the outage.

In its latest incident report, the U.S. Energy Department said 32.7 percent, or 571,854 barrels, of regional oil production and 20.5 percent, or 660.6 million cubic feet, of natural gas output was still offline because of Nate.

“Now that the storm has passed, facilities will perform integrity checks and begin restart,” the update from Thursday read.

In what it said was the final update on Nate, Anadarko Petroleum, one of the larger operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, said its status was back to pre-storm levels as of Tuesday. Meteorologists working from British energy company BP stood down earlier this week.

The latest forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration put total production in the Gulf of Mexico in September at 1.7 million barrels per day, an increase of 70,000 barrels per day from August.

The Gulf of Mexico accounts for about 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil production. The U.S. House of Representatives this week held hearings for legislation aimed at expanding access to oil and gas reserves in territorial waters. Advocates say about 90 percent of U.S. waters are off limits to drillers, while opponents say expanding access would hurt other industries like fishing and tourism.

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Jane Fonda on Harvey Weinstein: ‘I’m ashamed that I didn’t say anything’

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Jane Fonda talked about her feelings concerning the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault controversy Thursday, stating that she should have shared what she knew about the producer sooner.

“I found out about Harvey about a year ago and I’m ashamed that I didn’t say anything right then,” the actress said during an interview with CNN.

“I guess it hadn’t happened to me and so I didn’t feel it was my place,” she continued about why she stayed silent.

According to Fonda, she learned of Weinstein’s behavior through Rosanna Arquette, one of 13 women who came forward saying the Hollywood mogul sexually harassed them in an article published in the New Yorker. The piece also featured 16 former and current executives sharing that they had seen or known about the reports of Weinstein’s sexual advances.

“I’m glad it’s coming out,” Fonda added at the start of the interview. “I’m so proud of those fellow actors that are speaking up and I know that it’s taken a long time. It’s a very, very, very, hard thing to do. You don’t get anything out of it as the person who has been victimized. But it’s important that it come out.”

Fonda also stated how she had been previously sexually abused in Hollywood, but not by Weinstein. “It happened to me. It has. I only met Harvey when I was old. And Harvey goes for young because that’s more vulnerable. You know. But it’s very, very common,” the 79-year-old said.

In March, Fonda shared how she was raped and sexually abused as a child.

Fonda recently made headlines in October when she walked the runway during Paris Fashion Week alongside Helen Mirren.

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Samsung Electronics CEO resigns amid corruption scandal

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Samsung Electronics chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun abruptly announced his retirement on Friday, weeks after senior executives were convicted in a corruption scandal.

“As we are confronted with unprecedented crises inside out, I believe the time has now come for the company to start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

Kwon, one of three Samsung Electronics co-CEOs, will remain on the company’s board until next year.

Kwon’s resignation came on the same day the company forecast record quarterly profits, largely due to higher prices for Samsung computer chips. The company announced that it expected third quarter operating profit of nearly $13 billion.

Samsung has directed intense investment into memory chips and display units, and is regarded as the primary supplier of those elements for cellphones and other technological devices.

There is concern that Samsung Group, a conglomerate of 60 interlinked and family-owned companies that includes Samsung Electronics, has a leadership vacuum, the Korea Times reported Friday.

Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Group’s de facto leader, was convicted in August with other executives in a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment and resignation of former South Korean President Park Guen-hye. Lee will soon stand trial.

Kwon’s letter congratulated company employees on their successes, but noted that Samsung is not seeking new advances.

“We are hard-pressed to find new growth areas right now from reading future trends,” he wrote.

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Tony Awards ceremonies to air on CBS through 2026

Oct. 13 (UPI) — CBS says it will continue to air the Tony Awards ceremonies through 2026.

The Tony Awards, which honor excellence in Broadway theater, have been broadcast on the network since 1978.

The 72nd edition is to take place at Radio City Music Hall on June 10. No host has been announced yet.

“Each year, we bring the joy and spontaneity of live theater to our viewers in their very own living rooms,” Jack Sussman, executive vice president of specials, music and live events for CBS Entertainment, said in a statement Thursday. “We are thrilled to continue bringing the best of Broadway, whether it’s the newest hits, such as Dear Evan Hanson and Hamilton, or tried and true favorites, like Miss Saigon, to primetime television for many years to come.”

“CBS has been an amazing and collaborative partner in bringing the live arts we honor, to their viewers,” added Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing. “Their continued support has helped make the Tony Awards an acclaimed television event, and has allowed us to bring Broadway to homes all over America.”

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Jennifer Aniston donates $1 million to hurricane relief efforts

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Jennifer Aniston is donating $1 million to hurricane relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey and Maria ravaged Texas and Puerto Rico.

Aniston’s donation will be split evenly between singer Ricky Martin‘s Foundation for Puerto Rico and the American Red Cross, Us Weekly reported.

“Jennifer Aniston U R amazing Thanx 4 donating $500k for our #PuertoRico relief fund,” Martin wrote on Twitter Thursday.

“We will never forget. U R saving lives Jenn #Allin4PR,” he continued.

“She is concerned that so much is still needed to be done for the victims of these recent hurricanes, especially Puerto Rico where there is still no power to most of the island,” a source said of Aniston to E! News. “She hopes this inspires others to give what they can.”

Aniston joins a list of celebrities who have also donated to Hurricane relief efforts including Kevin Hart, Chris Young and Jennifer Lopez who also pledged $1 million, among others.

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Robotic masseuse treating patients in Singapore

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 — The backaches of the future may have a new remedy — developers say a robot masseuse is now treating patients in Singapore.

Known as Emma, which stands for Expert Manipulative Massage Automation, the robot mimics the human palm and thumb and specializes in back and knee massages, according to its developers.

It is used alongside a doctor and massage therapist and, the developers said, “provides a massage that is described by patients as almost indistinguishable from a professional masseuse.”

The device was developed by AiTreat, a technology startup company launched at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Use of the robot began Oct. 9 at the NovaHealth Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic in Singapore.

Emma has sensors that measure tendon and muscle stiffness and can calculate the optimal massage and track a patient’s recovery over a course of treatments, according to the developers.

They said the device could offer a low-cost option for chronic pain management.

“By using Emma to do the labor-intensive massages, we can now offer a longer therapy session for patients while reducing the cost of treatment,” AiTreat founder Albert Zhang said in a university news release. “The human therapist is then free to focus on other areas, such as the neck and limb joints, which Emma can’t massage at the moment.”

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has more on massage therapy.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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‘SEAL Team’ gets a full-season order at CBS

Oct. 13 (UPI) — CBS says it has given a full-season order to its new military drama SEAL Team.

Starring David Boreanaz, Max Thieriot, Neil Brown Jr., AJ Buckley, Toni Trucks and Jessica Paré, the series has been a ratings hit since it premiered Sept. 27. It will now air through 2018.

The show “follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous missions,” the network said in press notes.

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