‘Merchants of death’ hide cocaine in replica World Cup trophies (Details)

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Gang members hid cocaine inside replica World Cup trophies in an attempt to smuggle the drugs around Argentina.

Police seized 10kg of the white powder as well as 20kg of marijuana and 1,800 doses of crack cocaine, known as paco, during a raid in Buenos Aires.

The gang used the merchandising boom as a cover
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The gang used the merchandising boom as a cover
The gang used replica trophies to haul the drugs
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The gang used replica trophies to haul the drugs

The cocaine was hidden across eight replica trophies, each holding about 1.5kg of cocaine.

It is believed the gang took place of football fever to disguise their goods as merchandise.

According to the government’s security department, they operated in several places throughout the capital city.

Police seized 400,000 Argentinian pesos
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Police seized 400,000 Argentinian pesos
About 10kg of cocaine was found in the haul
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About 10kg of cocaine was found in the haul

Police also seized 400,000 Argentine pesos (£11,167.09).

Four men and two women were arrested in the operation.

Security minister Cristian Ritondo said: “These merchants of death have endless ingenuity, but don’t be fooled. They shouldn’t be admired. On the contrary… they are now in jail.

“That’s why we insist that we do not have to make television series, we have to lock them up and we have to applaud the investigators who put them behind bars.”

The security minister said they would be in jail now
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The security minister said they would be in jail now
Four men and two women were arrested in the sting
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Four men and two women were arrested in the sting

As well as the drugs, police seized two high-end vehicles and two firearms.

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‘Assassination attempt’ on Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa (Details)

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Zimbabwe’s president has escaped injury after an explosion at a stadium where he was addressing a rally, in what state media are describing as an assassination attempt.

Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed that the “cowardly act” will not derail next month’s historic election – the first since long-time leader Robert Mugabe stepped down.

He said the object had “exploded a few inches away from me, but it is not my time”.

One of Zimbabwe’s two vice presidents, Kembo Mohadi, suffered a leg injury in the blast, which happened in Bulawayo.

The country’s environment minister, deputy speaker of parliament and several security personnel were also among the injured.



The blast is believed to have been an assassination attempt against Zimbabwe President  
Emmerson Mnangagwa




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‘Assassination’ attempt on Zimbabwe President

Footage posted online showed the president waving to the crowd as he turned to step off the podium and walked into the open-sided VIP tent, where the explosion happened seconds later.

People were seen ducking and screaming as smoke billowed through the stadium – with state television immediately cutting the broadcast.

No groups have come forward to say that they were behind the explosion so far.

This shot was taken seconds before the blast as the president leaves the podium
Image:
This shot was taken seconds before the blast as the president leaves the podium

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s second-largest city and is traditionally an opposition stronghold.

The blast happened just hours after a similar attack in Ethiopia during a rally for the country’s new prime minister. An attacker threw a grenade towards the stage where he was sitting – killing one person and injuring at least 83 others.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba told The Zimbabwe Herald that an investigation had been launched and said there had been “multiple attempts” on Mr Mnangagwa’s life over the years.

Mr Mnangagwa later visited those who were injured in the blast at the local hospital.

Speaking hours after the explosion, the president said: “The campaign so far has been conducted in a free and peaceful environment and we will not allow this cowardly act to get in our way as we move towards elections.”

The president has joked about the attempts on his life while on the campaign trail.

The president was whisked away to safety
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The president was whisked away to safety

Mr Mnangagwa came to power in November after former ally Robert Mugabe stepped down under military pressure.

The transfer of power began when Mr Mnangagwa was sacked as Mugabe’s deputy and said he had to flee the country immediately as his life was in danger.

The election on 30 July will be the first without Mr Mugabe in the southern African nation since independence in 1980.

The president later visited those injured in hospital
Image:
The president later visited those injured in hospital

The British Embassy tweeted: “There is no place for any form of political violence in Zimbabwe. We want to express our sympathy and concern for all those who have been injured.”

More from Emmerson Mnangagwa

The US Embassy also condemned the attack on Twitter and said “political violence in any form is unacceptable” and contrary to the progress needed to move the country forward and “take its place on the global stage”.

American officials have said a credible vote is the only way international sanctions can be lifted.

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Final rallies in Turkey ahead of crucial election (Details)

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Up to a million people have turned out for one of the last opposition campaign rallies ahead of Sunday’s elections in Turkey.

The rally, held in Istanbul, was in support of Muharrem Ince, the main competitor to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey is going to the polls in joint presidential and parliamentary elections. Mr Erdogan is expected to be re-elected but might be forced into a run-off by the opposition.



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Final campaign push ahead of historic election in Turkey

A coalition of parties have teamed up to challenge the hold that Mr Erdogan’s AK party has on parliament – and the president risks losing his majority.

“We want change,” one opposition supporter told Sky News. “We can win, yes we can win.”

Ince with his mother Zekiye at the rally
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Ince with his mother Zekiye at the rally

The president has arrested and jailed many of his opponents and critics since the attempted coup in 2016.

Selahattin Demirtas is one of the country’s best-known politicians. He is campaigning to be president from jail – he was locked up for alleged links to the banned Kurdish PKK party.

President Erdogan has had opponents arrested and jailed
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President Erdogan has had opponents arrested and jailed

From his prison cell, he told Sky News that he doesn’t think the elections will be free and fair: “A fair election would mean AKP cannot win.

“If Erdogan and AKP finally decide to think about the welfare of the country and decide to respect the will of the voters, then voters will be able to vote in a fair and free atmosphere.

More from Recep Tayyip Erdogan

“But we are not that unrealistic and we will work our best to prevent votes to be stolen. It is very important that all voters from every party protect their votes.”

Supporters at Mr Erdogan's rally
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Supporters at Mr Erdogan’s rally

The polls open at 9am on Sunday (7am UK time) – the result should be known by late evening.

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Major fire at Londonderry recycling plant (Details)

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fire
PSNI



Nearby residents have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed

Fire crews are dealing with a “major fire” at a recycling plant in Londonderry.

Police are also at the scene on the Heather Road and are advising motorist to stay away from the area.

Anyone living in the vicinity of the plant have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed.

The PSNI have also asked motorists to avoid the area as “thick smoke is making driving conditions hazardous”.

A PSNI spokesperson said the Heather Road is expected to remain closed for some time.

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Greenwich murder: Man arrested after body found in garden (Details)

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman who was found dead in a back garden in south-east London.

The woman, thought to be in her 50s, was discovered behind a house in Tunnel Avenue, Greenwich, at about 11:30 BST on Saturday.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said it appeared she had been stabbed and they were informing her next of kin.

The arrested man, aged in his 50s, is being questioned at a south London police station.

The Met said they believed the dead woman and the arrested man were known to each other, although they do not believe the incident is domestic.

A post-mortem examination is expected to be held on Sunday afternoon.

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World Cup 2018: England v Panama – Southgate tells squad to ‘create own history’ (Details)

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England’s players trained at their Zelenogorsk base on Saturday morning before flying to Nizhny Novogorod
England v Panama – Group G
Date: Sunday, 24 June Kick-off: 13:00 BST Venue: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, live text commentary on BBC Sport website & highlights at 22:30 BST on BBC One

England manager Gareth Southgate has told his players to “create their own history” as they seek the win over Panama that will send them into the last 16 of the World Cup.

Southgate is aware of England’s poor recent record in major tournaments, but says his youthful squad can leave that behind and write new chapters of their own in Russia.

England face Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday knowing victory will mean their final Group G game with Belgium will decide who tops the section.

The Three Lions have not gone past the quarter-final stage of a World Cup or European Championship for 22 years.

Southgate said: “Past history is not important for this team. They have an opportunity to create their own history. They should be excited about that.

“They’re a young team who will get better and better. I enjoy working with all of them and I’m intrigued to find out how far they can go and how well they can play.”

England trained in the mild climes of their Zelenogorsk base on Saturday morning before flying into the searing heat of Nizhny Novogorod, where temperatures were as high as 32C.

Panama took the opportunity to train in the heat in the spectacular Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, before Sunday’s kick-off at 15:00 local time (13:00 BST) – but Southgate insists England have not made a mistake by declining to acclimatise.

He said: “We never train at the stadium before any of our qualifiers. It’s also fairly typical for most of the teams when they play in the Champions League.

“When I came to the Fifa workshop they were quite keen for teams not to train at the stadiums to protect the pitches.

“It makes sense to train earlier in the day, recover and travel. It’s about the flow of the day to leave maximum time for physical recovery.

Highlights: Tunisia 1-2 England

“The heat is different in different parts of the country. There is no physiological benefit to train in the heat for a couple of weeks before and thinking there will be an adaptation.

“We are a team who keeps possession and in the heat that will be key as to when we need to attack with the ball or rest with possession.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said: “It’s just the basics really. Hydration is the most important thing, taking on plenty of fluids before, during and after the game. That is the key thing.”

Southgate also said there was no complacency in England’s camp or approach, even though they will be overwhelming favourites to beat Panama, who lost their opening game 3-0 to Belgium.

“We’ve seen already the difficulty big countries, in terms of rankings, have had in terms of breaking down lower-ranked teams. That’s been a theme throughout so there will be no complacency in the way we’ve prepared for the game,” he said.

“The situation in the group is a healthy one for us, but we have to focus on our performance. I always talk to the players about what we can control – our preparation, how we want to attack the game.

“We want to play in the style we played coming into the tournament. We’re a team who are hungry and want to improve.

“We have technically good players who we want on the ball and expressing themselves, as we did the other night against Tunisia. Equally we have to play with intelligence and keep improving. They are the things that are important.”

Southgate touched again on the debate over the team-sheet that was pictured in the hands of assistant Steve Holland in training and appeared to show Raheem Sterling and injured Dele Alli replaced by Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

He said: “If the opposition have your team in any sport, that’s a competitive advantage, but it’s not the job of the media to protect that. The other day was a list of 23 players and people have taken something from it which probably isn’t correct. But no drama.”

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World Cup 2018: Football ban over ‘anti-Semitic’ video (Details)

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The Russia World Cup football
Reuters

A man has received a five-year football banning order after a video appearing to show fans singing anti-Semitic songs at the World Cup circulated online.

Michael Herbert, 57, from Derby, was given the ban on Saturday at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.

Two other men, aged 52 and 58, appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, where the case has been adjourned until Tuesday.

All three had been served with notices by police under section 21B of the Football Spectators Act 1989.

Following a separate incident on a train near Moscow on Sunday, 17 June, Paul Johnson, of Banbury, Oxfordshire, was served with a 21B notice under the Football Spectators Act 1989.

The 25-year-old received a three-year football banning order at Oxford Magistrates’ Court.

Football banning orders can last between three and 10 years and prevent an individual attending matches at home and abroad.

Breaching an order is punishable by a maximum of six months in prison or a fine of £5,000, or both. Fans can have more than one banning order imposed.

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Among the blue flags: Views from the pro-EU march (Details)

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AFP/

Thousands of protesters were in London on Saturday, calling for a vote on any final deal seeing the UK leave the European Union.

But why were the marchers insisting on another say over Brexit?

Before Saturday, Dodo Pearce had never joined a protest in her life. But the 69-year-old decided to travel from South Normanton in Derbyshire to call for a “People’s Vote”.

“I’m hoping it’s not too late, but we have got to take the chance for goodness sake,” she said.

“These crowds of people make me emotional. I’ve seen signs about futures being stolen and it brings tears to my eyes. I want to march and I want a vote.”

Her husband, John Pearce, carried a placard saying “grumpy old Brits”.

“The first referendum was won on spurious information from both sides,” he said.

“Now we know a lot more, I think people have changed their minds, both ways, and deserve a chance to vote.”

Cinzia Sangiovanni has lived in the UK for 19 years, and lives in south London with her British husband and two children.

The whole family took part in the march, as three of them hold Italian passports – and she fears for their future without a say on the deal.

“I want to march because I feel my rights are under threat,” she said.

“If I was told to, I wouldn’t be able to just turn around and go back to Italy. I just worry for the future.”


Jennifer Scott / BBC



Dodo and John Pearce travelled from Derbyshire to join the march

Among the sea of EU flags was Erika Gallacher, who moved from Carlisle to London 11 years ago.

“I have friends who voted a different way to me, but I also have a lot of friends from the EU,” she said.

“I work for a university and I’m worried about the students and what will happen to them.

“But for me, I also worry about my future, starting a family and bringing up children. I cannot see any good to it for them.”

Leo Buckley was prominent at the head of the march with his placard, reading: “Brexit has stolen my future.”

The 16-year-old from Hampshire said: “I think my placard says it all.

“It is stealing it economically – we have already seen the drop in the pound and the loss of jobs – so I will struggle to find employment and be worse off when I do.

“And also socially – look at the rise in hate crime and xenophobia. I don’t want Brexit to become the poster boy of a return to attitudes from the 1930s.”


Jennifer Scott / BBC



Leo Buckley worried for young people’s futures in the UK after Brexit

A group calling themselves the “Suffolk EU Alliance” were also out in force carrying placards and plastered in stickers stating their cause.

Christine Speer was one of them – originally from Canada, but a British citizen for 50 years who considers herself a “citizen of nowhere”.

“The EU has its problems, but there are a number of problems at the time of the referendum that weren’t because of the EU – the government was responsible,” she said.

“Some people who voted for Brexit will actually find they are worse off.

“Ideally it would be better if Brexit didn’t happen, but if it does, the public needs to have a say.”

Dr Horst-Dieter Haas proudly carried his German flag as he attended the march.

He married a British woman, but the pair spent 30 years in his home country, bringing up their children, before moving to the UK.

He has been working in the NHS since 2005, but says he will quit if Brexit goes ahead.

He added: “It is already impacting the NHS. We haven’t got enough doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, we don’t even have enough money, and that will all be worse if Brexit happens.

“The NHS is not performing and there are too many lies about the benefits. I will definitely be stopping if we leave.”


Jennifer Scott / BBC



German doctor Horst-Dieter Haas marched with his British wife Lesley

The counter march

But as the pro-EU protest reached its rally point in Parliament Square, another was heading in the same direction.

The UK Unity and Freedom march said it was focusing on “freedom from the EU, freedom from terror, freedom of speech, freedom from Sharia law, and unity of all people, irrespective of race or creed”.

The pro-Brexit march was significantly smaller, but their voices rang out as they walked along Millbank, with supporters chanting for “our country back” and singing Rule, Britannia!

Shazia Hobbs, who was speaking at the event, criticised those on the opposing protest.

“That march is silly,” she said. “We voted to leave so we should leave.

“What do they want, best of three? We voted for Brexit.”


Jennifer Scott / BBC



Shazia Hobbs is a campaigner and regularly speaks to events

One woman, who didn’t want to be named, had travelled from Brighton to join the march.

She said: “I’m on this march because I am a patriot. The EU is an undemocratic and authoritarian establishment. We need to be a self-governing nation.”

And a man, who also did not want to be named, added: “I don’t like big government. That is what the EU is.”

Whether either protest will impact the government’s next steps is yet to be seen.


Jennifer Scott / BBC



Union Jacks were waved at the counter protest

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