Russia begins investigation into attack on Dutch diplomat in home
The victory in Albacete meant the Spanish finished with 20 points from eight matches and, like six other group winners, ended their campaign unbeaten as they seek to become only the third nation to successfully defend the world title. Negredo, who had scored in their penultimate qualifier last week, shone again for Spain while the man who set up his 26th-minute opener, Andres Iniesta, was delighted to have helped put them through in a city close to where he comes from. “To seal qualification here, what better place could there be,” Iniesta, who scored the winner that secured Spain’s first World Cup in South Africa in 2010, said in a pitchside interview with Spanish television broadcaster Telecinco. “Playing here on my home patch they treat me with a special affection. It was a nice day and a nice match to get to Brazil and I am just really happy.” Substitute Mata pounced on a loose ball and cracked home from close range in the 61st minute to make sure of the victory that extended their unbeaten run at home to 30 matches. That result meant France’s win in Paris, inspired by Franck Ribery who scored one goal and created another, was academic as the 1998 world champions had to make do with a playoff spot. The French look unlikely to be seeded for the draw because of their world ranking which means they could face a tricky clash with another big footballing nation. ‘A THOUSAND DEATHS’ England breathed a sigh of relief when Steven Gerrard scored in the 88th minute against Poland to seal a 2-0 win after his side had held a slender lead from Wayne Rooney’s opener. Group H rivals Ukraine racked up eight goals against San Marino in the forlorn hope of any slip-up at Wembley. “You can imagine quite a few emotions are churning around inside me,” England manager Roy Hodgson told reporters. “I died a thousand deaths every time they (Poland) crossed the halfway line which is what you do… I am, though, naturally delighted that we completed the job.” World Cup 2018 hosts Russia, who needed to avoid a heavy defeat in Azerbaijan to guarantee top spot in Group F ahead of Portugal, did just that as they were held 1-1 in Baku. Fabio Capello’s side gave Portugal, who were comfortably ahead against Luxembourg, a glimmer of hope after conceding in the 90th having led through Roman Shirokov’s 15th-minute opener.
Alexei Navalny was convicted on embezzlement charges and sentenced to five years in prison on July 18, but was released the next day in what some considered a ploy to make the Moscow mayoral race, where he was registered as a candidate, look as competitive as possible. Navalny garnered an unexpected 27 percent of the vote against the Kremlin-backed incumbent. His growing public profile has made it increasingly risky for the Kremlin to put him behind bars. Regardless of his own inability to hold office, Navalny, a charismatic speaker with a popular blog, could still prove a vital political force in Russia. He has vowed to wage an active campaign, even if not a candidate himself, in elections for the Moscow city government in September 2014. His run for Moscow mayor attracted thousands of young volunteers in an unprecedented grassroots campaign effort, and that network could prove a key organizing force in the 2014 race. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, second right, his wife Yulia, and his former colleague Pyo On Wednesday, a judge in the court in Kirov, 760 kilometers (460 miles) east of Moscow, read out the decision. According to current Russian law, even a suspended sentence would eliminate Navalny from political office for life. Navalny lambasted the trial, saying the original sentence had been handed down “on instructions from Moscow” and that the “political motivation of this case is absolutely clear.” The charges against Navalny date back a few years to when he worked as an unpaid adviser to the provincial governor in Kirov. Prosecutors said he was part of a group that in 2009 embezzled 16 million rubles ($500,000) worth of timber from the state-owned company Kirovles. He has denied the charges. The defense said that a company run by Pyotr Ofitserov Navalny’s co-defendant who was also given a suspended sentence of five years as well in the appeal bought the timber for 14 million rubles and sold it for 16 million rubles in a regular commercial deal.
Russia: Court decides not to imprison Navalny
16 (UPI) — A criminal investigation started Wednesday into an attack on a Dutch diplomat who was bound and assaulted in his Moscow apartment, Russian authorities said. Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement the assailants forced their way into the diplomat’s home Tuesday evening, shoved him to the floor and tied him up before ransacking the apartment, RIA Novosti reported. While officials have not identified the diplomat, the Russian tabloid website Life News identified him as Onno Elderenbosch, 60. Life News also reported the attackers didn’t steal anything but drew a pink heart on a mirror and wrote ‘LGBT’ beneath it. The incident is likely to exacerbate relations between Russia and Netherlands, RIA Novosti said. Relations were already frayed because of the brief detention of a Russian diplomat in The Hague earlier this month, for which the Netherlands apologized, and Russia’s seizure of a Greenpeace ship sailing under a Dutch flag in the Arctic Ocean and arrest of all 30 people aboard on piracy charges. Dutch foreign affairs minister, Frans Timmermans, summoned the Russian ambassador for an explanation, DutchNews.nl said. “Our people have to be able to do their jobs in safety and I want assurances that the Russian authorities will be responsible on this point,” Timmermans said on Facebook. Lawmakers from the D66 and the Labor parties used Twitter to call for the suspension of celebrations marking 400 years of diplomatic relations between Netherlands and Russia, DutchNews.nl said. “If it was up to me, the Netherlands-Russia year is ‘on hold,'” Labor lawmaker Michiel Servaes posted. “First clarity and guarantees for the safety of Dutch diplomats.” King Willem-Alexander is to be in Moscow for a state visit Nov.
Russia and Azerbaijan reenacted The Simpsons soccer clip in their World Cup Qualifier
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