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Eibar, joint-leaders of La Liga despite being relegated last season | Sid Lowe

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético all may have won in week two, but it is the reinstated team from a town of 27,000 who are looking down on Spain’s top tier

Week Two ended with the team that was relegated at the end of last season top of the table. It also ended with the team that just celebrated its first title in 34 years bottom; with the team that presented their beautiful new striker in their beautiful new stadium in front of 10,000 supporters goalless again; and with the team that returned to the Champions League this week, a fifth Spanish club whistling Zadok the Priest, getting whistled by their own supporters. It ended with 80,000 fans chanting the name of a new hero being shown the door; with the treble winners getting rescued by a thumping finish from a man who had gone so long without scoring that he admitted he didn’t know what to do next; and with the man who couldn’t score scoring again and the men who couldn’t stop scoring not scoring again.

Confused? It was that kind of week. So let’s explain. Week Two was the week in which Málaga, the only team to remain unbeaten against Barcelona last season, extended their run without conceding a goal against them to 254 minutes until, with nerves frayed and fans fretting, with Málaga midfielder Juankar almost scoring from inside his half – and yes, that really is his name and yes that really is how you say it – Thomas Vermaelen smacked in a 72nd-minute winner. “I didn’t celebrate because I am not used to scoring and I didn’t know what to do,” he said, so he just smiled a bit.

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US Open 2015: Lauren Davis v Heather Watson – live!

Sky Sports are building up to their live coverage by showing highlights of Andy Murray’s 2012 victory over Novak Djokovic. An absolute classic.

Good evening/morning depending on where you’re reading from and welcome to this opening chapter of a fortnight of drama. We have to wait a little longer for the No1 seeds in both the men’s and women’s singles to get going – Novak Djokovic v João Souza is third on Arthur Ashe, Serena Williams v Vitalia Diatchenko open the night session – so our initial attention turns to Court 17 where the 21-year-old American Lauren Davis faces the British No1, Heather Watson.

Since taking Williams to the wire on that memorable Friday evening at Wimbledon, Watson’s form has been off, losing in the first round in Washington, the second in Toronto and bowing out in the qualifiers at Cincinnati . “I haven’t played in the way I have wanted to since that match,” Watson says. “Right now I am really pleased with the way I am playing but I haven’t got the results I want. Yes, it was a big match and I played well there but I haven’t capitalised on it. I was close but at the end of the day I didn’t do it, did I?”

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DUP to call for revival of Northern Ireland ceasefire monitoring system

Democratic Unionists will raise possibility with David Cameron as a way of saving Stormont power-sharing government from collapse

Northern Ireland’s largest party, the Democratic Unionists, will raise the possibility of reviving a ceasefire monitoring system with David Cameron as one means of saving the power-sharing government in Belfast from collapse, an MP said on Monday.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said restoring the Independent Monitoring Commission was one of several possible outcomes of new talks aimed at halting the breakup of the cross-community coalition at Stormont.

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Three men sentenced to total 38 years in jail for UDA murder plot

Antoin Duffy, Martin Hughes and Paul Sands convicted of attempting to kill Ulster loyalists Johnny Adair and Sam McCrory

Three republicans linked to Irish dissident terror groups have been sentenced to a total of 38 years in jail for trying to murder two key members of the Ulster Defence Association.

The Scotland-based trio’s targets included one of the most notorious Ulster loyalist paramilitaries during the Northern Ireland Troubles, Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair.

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Sarah Ferguson’s busy summer: shopping channels and Swiss chalets

Fergie is back, flogging blenders on QVC and no doubt causing consternation in Buck House

Name: Fergie.

Age: 55.

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DUP to call for revival of Northern Ireland ceasefire monitoring system

Democratic Unionists will raise possibility with David Cameron as a way of saving Stormont power-sharing government from collapse

Northern Ireland’s largest party, the Democratic Unionists, will raise the possibility of reviving a ceasefire monitoring system with David Cameron as one means of saving the power-sharing government in Belfast from collapse, an MP said on Monday.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said restoring the Independent Monitoring Commission was one of several possible outcomes of new talks aimed at halting the breakup of the cross-community coalition at Stormont.

Continue reading...









Three men sentenced to total 38 years in jail for UDA murder plot

Antoin Duffy, Martin Hughes and Paul Sands convicted of attempting to kill Ulster loyalists Johnny Adair and Sam McCrory

Three republicans linked to Irish dissident terror groups have been sentenced to a total of 38 years in jail for trying to murder two key members of the Ulster Defence Association.

The Scotland-based trio’s targets included one of the most notorious Ulster loyalist paramilitaries during the Northern Ireland Troubles, Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair.

Continue reading...









As Greek elections approach, indecision replaces hope

Syriza’s fate will be determined by vast number of erstwhile supporters who have indicated they remain undecided

They stroll through Syntagma Square, laughing, bantering and hotly debating the one issue now dominating dinner tables across Greece: the upcoming general elections.

Like students almost everywhere, Lydia Markou and Petros Xenios are not short of idealism. They want to make the world a better place and they want to start right here, in front of the Greek parliament, in the city that gave its name to democracy. “What we want is hope, hope for a better tomorrow,” says the 20-year-old Xenios, fresh-faced, jovial, breaking into a smile.

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Sarah Ferguson’s busy summer: shopping channels and Swiss chalets

Fergie is back, flogging blenders on QVC and no doubt causing consternation in Buck House

Name: Fergie.

Age: 55.

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