‘She had her own list of non-grata skaters’: Eteri Tutberidze announces split with European champ Alena Kostornaia

The season of shocking splits in figure skating continues to gain momentum as yet another top-class athlete, Alena Kostornaia, has decided to leave her coach Eteri Tutberidze under bizarre circumstances.

The world-famous coach Tutberidze took to social media to announce the shocking news, expressing frustration over the new runaway tendency which has affected her camp over the past few months.

READ MORE: ‘I decided to train under coach who had stable quads’: Figure skating star Alexandra Trusova reveals why she left Eteri Tutberidze

Those kind and cute girls come to us with wide eyes full of determination to win and show big results. We work hard reaching phenomenal results. And then … it seems like the outside world affects our kind and beautiful skaters. They start setting new conditions to continue our
cooperation,” Tutberidze wrote.

Once Yulia [Lipnitskaya] demanded that she not share the ice with Zhenya [Evgenia Medvedeva]. We attempted to meet her requirements, but it didn’t help much. Then Zhenya refused to skate together with Alina [Zagitova].And, now, we’ve received a long list of non-grata skaters from Alena. This is where our partnership ended.

Will we change anything in how we work with skaters? No. We do everything right. I’m sure we have devoted and strong skaters who are resistant to external distractions,” the coach added.

Kostornaia has become the first skater to part ways with Tutberidze despite demonstrating splendid results on the international circuit.

© Sputnik / Vladimir Pesnya



The 16-year-old, known worldwide for her gorgeous triple axel, won all major events last season, including the ISU Grand Prix Finland and the European championship.

In May Russia’s quad-jumping sensation Alexandra Trusova left Tutberidze and joined Evgeni Plushenko’s academy, stressing that she wants to be coached by a specialist who himself landed quads during his career.

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‘Can't afford to ignore the evidence’: PM Johnson postpones next stage of easing lockdown rules as UK infection rate grows

An alarming increase in coronavirus cases has forced UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to abruptly halt the next phase of lifting the lockdown restrictions, planned on Saturday.

“On Saturday August 1, you’ll remember, we had hoped to reopen a number of the higher-risk settings that had remained closed, and today I’m saying we’re postponing those changes for at least a fortnight,” Johnson said.

The PM told reporters that until August 15 venues like casinos, bowling alleys, and skating rinks, and other “close-contact services” will remain closed. Plans to allow more indoor gatherings, like weddings with up to 30 guests, were also put on hold.

Johnson explained that the reopening was postponed due to the rising rate of infection. 

Today, the weekly survey by the Office for National Statistics reports that the prevalence of the virus in the community in England is likely to be rising for the first time since May… The ONS also estimate that there are now 4,900 new infections every day up from around 3,000 per day on the 14th of July and 2,000 per day at the end of June. We just can’t afford to ignore this evidence.

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A sign seen outside a bar as the area faces local restrictions in a bid to avoid a local Covid-19 lockdown, in Manchester, Britain, July 31, 2020. © REUTERS/Molly Darlington
New Covid-19 lockdown rules in North West England ‘crystal clear,’ UK health minister says. Mess & ‘s**t show,’ people reply

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'Your brain is a peanut': Nick Kyrgios in SAVAGE war of words with 'BORING ASS' rival who caught COVID-19 at Djokovic tournament

Nick Kyrgios has hammered Borna Coric after the Croatian asked him whether he had taken to Twitter because of booze after Kyrgios accused the player at Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated event of “joking about a global pandemic.”

Coric claimed he “didn’t care” about Kyrgios’s opinion of his decision to take part in the tournament that preceded a string of players testing positive for the coronavirus last month, setting himself on a collision course with the man who has launched repeated social media attacks on what he sees as the idiocy of some of the stars of the sport.

Kyrgios duly joked that the 23-year-old had “rocks in his head” and openly wondered whether that the predicament of Grigor Dimitrov, a fellow participant who revealed he had been laid low with the virus for a month, was “too much for that brain of yours to process.”

Coric nodded to the Australian’s taste for controversial behavior by hitting back: “You’re preaching about behavior? Bored much or too much to drink?”

That caused Kyrgios to label Coric as stupid and immature, appearing to suggest that their next meeting in person will be fiery by thundering, “Again, joking about a global pandemic.

“Shows your maturity level, champion. Gonna be good to see you next, see if that peanut of a brain has grown.”

Kyrgios has forcefully criticized the players involved in Djokovic’s tournament events in Serbia and Croatia, which took place in front of a crowd of 4,000 people in Belgrade, did not observe social distancing measures and featured several players embracing each other, playing football, posing for photos and visiting a nightclub in close proximity to each other.

He fell out with tennis great Boris Becker over his reproachful takedowns and was clearly in no mood to hold back after Coric publicly questioned him.

“A tad bored watching your boring ass tennis and personality bringing absolutely zero to the sport,” he snapped at the player ranked seven places above his position of 40th. “The athletes I have to deal with.”

Coric did not respond to Kyrgios’s jibes, having previously announced himself as “back on court and Corona-free” two weeks after contracting the virus.

He told a tennis journalist that he loved the red wine that Coric had indicated might have driven him to Twitter, adding: “There was also a time where people had brains.

“Comparing on-court behaviour to putting lives at risk – it’s embarrassing.”

Kyrgios also said that his notorious on-court baiting of Rafael Nadal had brought the best out of both players, causing some fans to question whether his poor record against the Spaniard allowed him to call the world number two a rival.

“I’m the devil,” he added on his Instagram story, posing by a luxury car before voicing his excitement at the return of the NBA on Thursday.

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Nick Kyrgios and Borna Coric © Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters | © Sergio Perez / Reuters
‘You AREN’T special’: Kyrgios accuses tennis star who caught coronavirus at Djokovic’s tournament of having ‘ROCKS in his head’

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AFRICOM confirms HQ is leaving Stuttgart, German defense minister says US withdrawal is ‘regrettable’

The US Africa Command will seek to move its headquarters as the Pentagon plans a major reduction of American forces based in Germany. The German Defense Ministry is now considering how to help regions after the US withdrawal.

Since its establishment in 2008, the US Africa Command has been headquartered in Stuttgart, the capital of Germany’s southwestern Baden-Wurttemberg state. Now the command “will look first at options elsewhere in Europe, but also will consider options in the United States,” AFRICOM said in a statement.

AFRICOM chief US Army General Stephen Townsend noted that the decision-making will “likely take several months” as the command searches for a new home.

The Pentagon previously said it will move the Special Operations Command Europe, also based in Stuttgart, to Mons in Belgium. Overall, the US plans to withdraw nearly 12,000 of the 36,000 American troops stationed in Germany, relocating a portion of them to other NATO member states, including Belgium and Italy.

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Worker prepare pipes with concrete cover for the Nord Stream pipeline at a factory in Mukran on the Baltic island of Ruegen April 8, 2010. © REUTERS/Christian Charisius
Trump says US won’t protect Germany as it ‘pays Russia billions for energy’ in 1st tweet after Pentagon announces troop withdrawal

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called the plan to reduce the US military presence in the country “regrettable.” She promised to invite the heads of German states after the summer to discuss how that the German forces can “support the affected regions.”

We’re bearing German and European interests in mind. The truth is that a good life in Germany and Europe increasingly depends on how we ensure our own security.

As well as Baden-Wurttemberg, the US is set to pull some of its troops from Rhineland-Palatinate and Bavaria.

US President Donald Trump and other officials have accused Berlin of not contributing enough to NATO. On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper argued that Germany “can and should pay more to its defense.”

German officials were caught off guard by Trump last month when he first announced the decision to scale down the US contingent in the country. Politicians from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union argued that the withdrawal will weaken NATO, while the opposition Left party welcomed the decision.

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It has ‘never been an alliance of equals,’ CDU party member & economist tells RT amid US plan to relocate troops from Germany

As part of its military repositioning scheme, the Pentagon plans to move the HQ of the US Army’s V Corps to Poland. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak confirmed that at least 1,000 additional American soldiers will be deployed in the country. Poland currently hosts around 4,500 US personnel.

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US becoming more like Greece as national debt explodes, market analyst tells Boom Bust

The US Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero and vowed to use all the tools to support the recovery from an economic downturn that Chairman Jerome Powell called the most severe “in our lifetime.”

RT’s Boom Bust is joined by Michael Pento, the founder and president of Pento Portfolio Strategies, to discuss the US central bank’s monetary policy and its impact on the economy.

“The Fed is now forced to permanently monetize our debt,” he says, adding “Our national debt is now 130 percent of GDP. We are looking more and more like Greece as time goes by. We are adding to that debt $4 trillion in fiscal 2020.”

Pento continues: “By the way, that debt is now 1,000 percent of our revenue… The Fed is not going to be able to extricate itself from this problem, just like it wasn’t able to extricate itself out of the Great Recession.”

He reminds that “In 2019, before anyone ever heard about the Wuhan virus, the Fed was cutting rates three times. So, we’re trapped in this endless cycle of yield repression and debt monetization for a very long time, unfortunately.”

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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Tehran Does Not Believe Blast on Natanz Nuclear Plant Caused by Missile, Drone Attack

TEHRAN (Sputnik) – Tehran does not consider that an incident that occurred on Iran’s Natanz advanced centrifuge plant in early July was the result of a drone or missile attack, Mojtaba Zonnour, the head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in the Iranian parliament, said on Friday, adding that a reason should be found within Iran.
Source: http://sputniknews.com

Hong Kong leader uses emergency powers to postpone legislative election for a year

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam invokes her emergency powers to postpone the city’s September legislative election by one year, citing coronavirus resurgence as reason.

The leader made the announcement on Friday, while addressing the media, and called it “the most difficult one” since the virus outbreak started. She added that though the decision is a tough one to make, it is “essential” to ensuring public safety and health.

Lam is reported to have said that the Covid-19 situation in Hong Kong was at its worst, and that Beijing had given her the green light to implement the precautionary measures.

It had been previously speculated by the media, that the election was going to draw crowds to the polling stations and increase the risk of the virus’ transmission.

Since 2019, Hong Kong has been rocked by protests, initially triggered by a proposal of a now defunct extradition bill. The demonstrations grew into a full-blown anti-Chinese government movement, fueled by the strict 2020 national security law, perceived by opposition as an attack on the territory’s semi-sovereignty.

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FILE PHOTO © Global Look Press / Geovien So
As US beats sanctions drums over Hong Kong, Germany says keeping ties with China warm brings ‘more stability & less conflict’

Hong Kong has seen a massive rise in untraceable infections since the start of July. The numbers now stand at more than three thousand cases and twenty-seven Covid-related deaths. On Monday, local authorities introduced mandatory social distancing measures, including limiting public gathering to just two people and making facemasks compulsory to wear outdoors.

The delay also follows Tuesday’s events, when twelve anti-Beijing activists were banned from participating in the election. “These people intended to paralyze the government and subvert state power,” explained Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, one of the banned activist leaders Joshua Wong said that Beijing “tramples upon the city’s last pillar of vanishing autonomy.”

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