Netball World Cup 2019: ‘I can’t quit now, I want another gold’ – Jade Clarke


Jade Clarke playing for England in the January Quad Series, against her Wasps team-mate Bongi Msomi of South Africa
2019 Netball World Cup
Dates: 12-21 July Venue: M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
Coverage: Every match from 15 July onwards will be broadcast by the BBC

Commonwealth champion Jade Clarke says she always planned to quit if she ever won a gold medal – but instead has just been selected for her fifth World Cup.

England’s record appearance holder with 161 caps, Clarke, 35, played in the final as England beat Australia to claim Commonwealth gold in April 2018.

Her decision to play on has led to her inclusion in Tracey Neville’s 12-player squad for the World Cup in July.

“Now I have one gold, I’m like, ‘Can we do the double?'” Clarke told BBC Sport.

“I said before the Commonwealths I’d quit if I won gold, but I’m still here, showing my age.

“You’re always going for gold and we may not have always had that belief, but now we’ve broken the glass ceiling and we can do it again.”

The Wasps centre-courter, who played in the team that lost to Manchester Thunder in the Superleague Grand Final, admits this could “possibly” be her last World Cup.

“I’m not ready to make that decision to retire yet and I think it will be in about a year’s time – you have to be certain,” she said.

“I am looking forward to not worrying about winning and losing, though. It’s hard to deal with that pressure for so long.”

The Manchester-born player says it is “complete madness” to receive a call-up for her fifth World Cup, after making her senior debut for England in 2002.

And even after being mainstay in Roses squads for major tournaments during that time, Clarke felt she had to perform in the domestic season to keep her place.

“I’m like a kid again, and it feels just like it did when I first started,” Clarke said. “Even after being in the squad for so long, I wasn’t complacent.

“I had to believe I was good enough and I couldn’t control anything else. If I’d missed out 10 years ago I would have been so down, I wouldn’t have been able to even watch the World Cup.”

Can England’s Jade & Nat handle our netball quiz?

England head into the tournament on the back of another victory over world number ones Australia in January, in a Quad Series that also saw fifth-ranked South Africa draw with New Zealand, the world’s second-ranked side, and beat the Roses.

And Clarke says those results leave the World Cup “wide open” compared to previous tournaments, which have all been won by Australia or New Zealand, with both countries contesting all but one final in its 56-year history.

England’s first game of the World Cup is against Uganda on the opening day – Friday, 12 July at 19:00 BST.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.



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Ministers expect Theresa May to reveal No 10 departure date on Friday


Theresa MayImage copyright
EPA

Theresa May is expected to announce the date of her departure from Downing Street on Friday, senior cabinet ministers have told the BBC.

Sources say they expect the PM to give a timetable for her successor to be chosen, with 10 June likely to be the start of the official leadership race.

Mrs May is also due to meet the chairman of Tory backbenchers.

She has been under pressure to resign, after an angry backlash by her own MPs against her latest Brexit plan.

The government was due to publish the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Friday but this was delayed as criticism mounted.

Andrea Leadsom quit as Commons leader on Wednesday evening saying she no longer believed the government’s approach would “deliver on the referendum result”.

The government confirmed on Thursday that it planned to publish the bill in the first week of June, after the Whitsun recess.

But Labour’s Valerie Vaz said it was “clear that the prime minister does not command a majority in her approach to Brexit and she has failed to accept this political reality”.

Mrs May met Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt at Downing Street on Thursday where they are understood to have expressed their concerns about the bill.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says several cabinet ministers have said they expect Mrs May to announce her departure on Friday morning, although there has been no confirmation of this from Downing Street.

She says ministers say they hope the campaign for the next Conservative Party leader can be finished by the end of July.

Unless something extremely strange happens in the next couple of days, it is now, really, nearly over.

Most ministers I’ve talked to today say they hope the campaign for the next prime minister can be compressed, so it’s finished by the end of July but there is not yet much clarity about that.

Why now though? It’s not as if Theresa May’s been having an easy time of it for months.

You guessed it, it’s Brexit, and what’s accelerated her departure was trying – again – to put her Brexit plans to Parliament.

A leadership contest starting on 10 June would come after the state visit from US President Donald Trump and the Peterborough by-election.

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Conservative backbenchers, was due to meet the prime minister on Friday morning.

He was thought to be expecting her to name a date for her departure – with the possibility of further moves by Conservative MPs to instigate a vote of no confidence in her, if she did not.

On Wednesday members of the committee held a secret ballot on whether to change party rules, to allow the prime minister to face a vote of no confidence immediately.

Under the current rules, she cannot face another confidence vote within 12 months of the last one, which was in December 2018.

Image copyright
PA

The meeting comes the day after the UK voted in the European Parliamentary elections, two months after it was originally due to leave the European Union. Votes will not be counted until Sunday night, after voting concludes across the EU.

Mrs May had hoped to get a Brexit deal agreed before they took place but the withdrawal agreement she negotiated with the EU has been repeatedly rejected by MPs and Brexit has been delayed until 31 October. That meant the UK had to take part, if it wanted to avoid leaving the EU without a deal on 1 June.

The prime minister has already pledged to set a timetable for a new leader to take over, once MPs have voted on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

But calls for her to go sooner than that have begun to come from Conservatives who had, until now, stayed loyal.

Discontent at her leadership grew significantly this week, after she set out plans for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill – the legislation needed to implement the agreement between the UK and EU on the terms of Brexit.

It included a number of concessions designed to attract cross-party support, including new guarantees on workers’ rights, environmental protections and the Northern Irish border, as well a customs “compromise”.

But Brexiteers in her own party reacted angrily to it, particularly a promise to give MPs a vote on another referendum if they backed the bill.



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Julian Assange, Wikileaks co-founder, faces 17 new charges in US


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures from the window of a prison van as he is driven into Southwark Crown Court in London on 1 May 2019Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Assange was arrested last month after spending seven years inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London

The US justice department has filed 17 new charges against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, who is facing extradition from the UK.

The latest charges accuse him of receiving and unlawfully publishing the names of classified sources.

He was previously charged last month with one count of conspiring with ex-intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to gain access to the Pentagon network.

Assange is serving a jail sentence in the UK for jumping bail.

It was while he was on bail facing sexual assault allegations in Sweden that he sought asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in 2012. He has always denied the allegations against him.

Ecuador abruptly withdrew his asylum last month. The 47-year-old was arrested on 11 April and later jailed for 50 weeks for skipping bail.

What are the US charges?

The new indictment accuses Assange of violating the US espionage act by publishing classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010.

It said Assange had “repeatedly encouraged sources with access to classified information to steal and provide it to Wikileaks to disclose”.

Once Manning started sharing such material, Assange, it said, encouraged her “to continue her theft of classified documents and agreed to help her crack a password hash to a military computed”.

Assange “revealed the names of human sources and created a grave and imminent risk to human life” – including the names of local Afghans, Iraqis, Chinese and Iranians.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has already served seven years in prison for her role in the leaks

Many of the charges would carry jail terms of five to 10 years.

Wikileaks hit back after the announcement, tweeting: “This is madness. It is the end of national security journalism and the first amendment.”

The first amendment guarantees free speech.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers said: “The department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy… but Julian Assange is no journalist.

“Indeed, no responsible act of journalism would purposely publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential sources in war zones, exposing them to the gravest of dangers,” he added.

What’s happened to Manning?

Manning was found guilty in 2013 of charges including espionage for her role in leaking secret military files to Wikileaks, but her 35-year sentence was later commuted by then-President Barack Obama in 2017.

The leak was one of the largest breaches of classified material in US history.

She is currently back in jail after refusing to testify to a grand jury that is investigating Wikileaks.

Separately, Swedish authorities are also seeking the Australian-born Assange after reopening the sexual assault case against him.

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Media captionVideo footage shows Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy





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Dundee United 0-0 St Mirren: play-off final finely poised after stalemate


Dundee United’s Paul McMullan forced a good save from Vaclav Hladky in the first half

St Mirren and Dundee United scrapped out an absorbing goalless draw in the first leg of their Scottish Premiership play-off final at Tannadice.

With the hosts longing to end their three-year exile in the Championship, and St Mirren equally desperate to preserve their top-flight status for a second season, it was a tense, error-strewn contest.

Paul McMullan and Pavol Safranko had the best chances for the hosts, and the two Kyles – McAllister and Magennis – went closest for the Premiership side.

Neither side could edge ahead, though, meaning the fate of both is distilled down to what will be a nerve-shredding second leg in Paisley on Sunday.

Tension the only winner on scrappy night

St Mirren were unbeaten in their previous six, with manager Oran Kearney insisting his side were far better than when the two met in the Scottish Cup last 16. And, with only five of that team that lost 2-1 on show here, they performed with far superior resolve and organisation than in February.

The Paisley outfit’s threat mainly came from set plays, even if it was not necessarily their own men causing consternation. One Kyle McAllister free-kick was so tempting that United defender Mark Reynolds could not resist snapping a header straight at his startled goalkeeper, Benjamin Siegrist.

McAllister’s guile was a flickering presence. The on-loan Derby County winger was deployed on the right of the St Mirren attack, but chopped inside with menace. On one such occasion, he buffeted Jamie Robson aside and unleashed a fizzing shot that Siegrist clawed away from his top right-hand corner.

The Swiss goalkeeper did even better a minute after the break to thrust a hand at Kyle Magennis’ close-range back-post effort in a portent of what was to be a second-half that the Premiership side edged.

United had enjoyed the better of the first but struggled to create clear openings. For all that they rattled three past Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the second leg of the semi-final, Robbie Neilson’s side have founds goals a relatively rare commodity for large chunks of the campaign and so it was again here.

Ian Harkes had an early effort deflected wide after McMullan smuggled him into space with a cute pass, then McMullan himself scorched past his man in pursuit of a Nicky Clark lash forward but was denied by Vaclav Hladky.

McMullan, so influential in the semi-final, remained central to anything good about United’s work. When not panicking defenders by boring down on them with the ball at feet, he linked adroitly with Clark, and skidded across a couple of teasing deliveries that deserved more appreciation.

United lost at this stage to Hamilton Academical two years ago, and faltered in the semi-finals against Livingston last term, but the lingering memories of those disappointments did not dull the enthusiasm inside a Tannadice heaving with a little over 11,000 fans.

The noise cranked up a little more when, after consecutive corners, Ryan Flynn was forced to scramble away a goal-bound Peter Pawlett effort. Then, as stoppage time loomed, Safranko got a toe on to Robson’s low cross, but his jabbed effort was thwarted by an alert Hladky and the ball was scrambled clear.

And with that, it was done, leaving tension as the only winner on the night.

Over 11,000 were inside Tannadice for the tense first leg

A toss of a coin & lack of real sniffers – analysis

BBC Scotland’s Brian McLauchlin at Tannadice

The tension on the Tannadice pitch was evident from the first whistle with neither side able to get a grip on the game with passes going astray and chances at a premium.

The home crowd were doing their best to settle their team and arguably had the better possession but never really threatened the Saints goal.

But while St Mirren will be happy to head into Sunday’s second leg with the tie all square they will also have the expectation from the home crowd that they will now be favourites to retain their place in the Premiership, however, United will still fancy their chances.

Once again there will be nerves and chances of a free-flowing game are slim but someone will become a hero and with that will come adulation. For the losers it’s a season in the Championship and a long, hard summer before the task of gaining promotion lies ahead once again.





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Trudeau exonerates Cree chief of 1885 treason charge


Chief PoundmakerImage copyright
O.B. Buell/Library and Archives Canada

Image caption

Chief Poundmaker

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has exonerated a Cree leader who was convicted in 1885 on a charge of “treason-felony”.

Chief Poundmaker was wrongfully accused as being one of the instigators in a brief rebellion against the Canadian government.

He is now remembered as a diplomat and peacemaker during a turbulent time in the country’s history.

The apology comes after a long campaign to formally clear his name.

On Thursday, at a ceremony on the Poundmaker Cree Nation, about 200km (125 miles) northwest of Saskatoon, Mr Trudeau said Canada recognises “that during his lifetime, Chief Poundmaker was not treated justly nor showed the respect he deserved as a leader of his people”.

The prime minister called Poundmaker – or Pitikwahanapiwiyin in Cree – “a peacemaker who never stopped fighting for peace, a leader who, time and time again, sought to prevent further loss of life in the growing conflict in the prairies”.

Former Poundmaker Cree Nation chief Blaine Favel called the apology a step towards reconciliation and said it “makes the history of Canada that much more rich”.

Poundmaker was a leader during a period of growing insecurity and rapid change among the Metis, First Nations peoples, and settlers living in Canada’s prairies.

First Nations peoples were becoming increasingly disillusioned at the government’s failure to live up to recent treaty commitments, including promises of rations.

Meanwhile, a Metis-led rebellion in the region over land concerns had led to outbreaks of violence.

At the time, in March 1885, Chief Poundmaker travelled with a delegation from his reserve to nearby Fort Battleford and its neighbouring village to ask for overdue government rations.

Due to the unrest, the inhabitants had holed up in the barracks and government officials refused to leave the safety of the fort to meet with Poundmaker. Frustrated, his men are alleged to have ransacked the village despite the chief’s protests.

“Chief Poundmaker and his people came to be viewed as a threat,” Mr Trudeau said.

In retaliation, over 300 Canadian militiamen – led by Lt Col William Otter – set off to attack Poundmaker’s camp.

Image copyright
Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan

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Cree Chief Poundmaker and his wife, 1880s

The Battle of Cut Knife Hill lasted some seven hours. Facing stiff resistance, Lt Col Otter eventually called for a retreat.

Poundmaker is credited with preventing the warriors from pursuing retreating militiamen, saving countless lives and preventing further bloodshed.

After the battle, and following a failed attempt to negotiate a peace agreement in an effort to prevent further reprisals, he was arrested and put on trial for treason.

He was convicted, and sentenced to three years in jail. He maintained his innocence.

Poundmaker was released after serving a year in jail due to deteriorating health and died four months after.

His prosecution was part of an effort by the Canadian government to suppress further armed conflicts and exert more control over the indigenous peoples in the region, and secure its push to settle the west.



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Facebook: Another three billion fake profiles culled


Mark Zuckerberg spent time in France last week, discussing regulation with President Emmanuel MacronImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Mark Zuckerberg spent time in France last week, discussing regulation with President Emmanuel Macron

Facebook has published its latest “enforcement report“, which details how many posts and accounts it took action on between October 2018 and March 2019.

During that six-month period, Facebook removed more than three billion fake accounts – more than ever before.

More than seven million “hate speech” posts were removed, also a record high.

For the first time, Facebook also reported how many deleted posts were appealed, and how many were put back online after review.

In a call with reporters on Thursday, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg hit back against numerous calls to break up Facebook, arguing its size made it possible to defend against the network’s problems.

“I don’t think that the remedy of breaking up the company is going to address [the problem],” he said.

“The success of the company has allowed us to fund these efforts at a massive level. I think the amount of our budget that goes toward our safety systems… I believe is greater than Twitter’s whole revenue this year.”

Fake accounts

Facebook said the rise in the number of deleted fake accounts was because “bad actors” were using automated methods to create large numbers of them.

But it said it spotted and deleted a majority of them within minutes, before they had any opportunity to “cause harm”.

The social network will now also report how many posts were removed for selling “regulated goods” such as drugs and guns.

Image copyright
Reuters

It said it took action on more than one million posts selling guns in the six-month period covered by the report.

Prevalence

For some types of content, such as child sex abuse imagery, violence and terrorist propaganda, the report estimates how often such content was actually seen by people on Facebook.

The report said that out of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on Facebook:

  • fewer than 14 people saw nudity
  • about 25 people saw violence or graphic content
  • fewer than three people saw child abuse imagery or terrorist propaganda

Overall, about 5% of the monthly active users on Facebook were fake accounts.

Appeals

For the first time, the report reveals that between January and March 2019 more than one million appeals were made after posts were deleted for “hate speech”.

About 150,000 posts that were found not to have broken the hate speech policy were restored during that period.

Facebook said the report highlighted “areas where we could be more open in order to build more accountability and responsiveness to the people who use our platform”.



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Blackpink: Meet the K-pop superstars backstage at their first UK tour


They’re one of the world’s biggest K-pop superstars, and their YouTube views currently stack up to more than 6 billion.

Recently, Blackpink played at Coachella where they continued to break records as the first ever female K-pop stars to take to the stage.

They were even spotted by Will Smith when they were ‘K-pop trainees’ in Korea eight years ago.

The band have worldwide appeal, but this is the first time they’ve played in the UK.

The BBC got exclusive access to L-R Jisoo, Rose, Jennifer and Lisa, just before their first gig at Wembley Arena.

Produced and filmed by Emily Wolstencroft and Tobias Chapple.



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NASA Awards Artemis Contract for Lunar Gateway Power, Propulsion




In one of the first steps of the agency’s Artemis lunar exploration plans, NASA announced on Thursday the selection of Maxar Technologies, formerly SSL, in Westminster, Colorado, to develop and demonstrate power, propulsion and communications capabilities for NASA’s lunar Gateway.



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French Open: Roger Federer to play Lorenzo Sonego on return to Paris


Roger Federer has never met Lorenzo Sonego in a competitive match

Swiss great Roger Federer’s first French Open since 2015 will begin against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal will play a qualifier, while top seed Novak Djokovic meets Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

Serena Williams, who has been struggling with injury, plays 82nd-ranked Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia.

British number one Johanna Konta – seeded 26th – faces a qualifier, while male counterpart Kyle Edmund meets home hope Jeremy Chardy.

British men’s number two Cameron Norrie will play controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios, while Dan Evans takes on Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

Katie Boulter pulled out of the tournament earlier this month because of a back injury – although there was confusion as her name was still in the draw.

The French Open – the second Grand Slam of the year and the only one on clay – starts on Sunday.

More to follow.



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Clotilda wreck: ‘Last US slave ship’ found in Alabama


mural of Clotilda in Mobile, AlabamaImage copyright
EPA

Image caption

A mural of the Clotilda in the city of Mobile, Alabama

The last ship known to have smuggled slaves from Africa to the US is said to have been discovered after a year-long investigation.

The remains of the Clotilda were found at the bottom of the Mobile river in Alabama.

The ship was used to smuggle men, women and children into America from Africa.

It operated in secret, decades after Congress banned the importation of slaves, and was intentionally sunk in 1860 to hide evidence of its use.

“The discovery of the Clotilda is an extraordinary archaeological find,” Lisa Demetropoulos Jones, executive director of the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC), told the Associated Press (AP) news agency.

The ship’s journey “represented one of the darkest eras of modern history” and the wreck provides “tangible evidence of slavery”, she said.

The Clotilda was discovered by archaeology firm company Search Inc, which was called in to help by the Alabama Historical Commission to investigate the hulk, says the National Geographic Society, which reported the find.

Researchers discovered a ship with its identifying features under water in a section of the Mobile river, says National Geographic.

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

A statue of Cudjoe Lewis, who was brought to the US on the Clotilda

The dimensions and construction of the wreck matched those of the Clotilda, as did building materials, the commission said.

“We are cautious about placing names on shipwrecks that no longer bear a name or something like a bell with the ship’s name on it,” maritime archaeologist James Delgado said in a statement.

“But the physical and forensic evidence powerfully suggests that this is Clotilda.”

Wager

The US banned the importation of slaves in 1808, but the slave trade carried on beyond this date as there was still demand for workers from southern plantation owners.

A wealthy landowner and shipbuilder from Mobile is said to have made a bet with northern businessmen that he could smuggle a cargo of African slaves into Mobile Bay under the nose of federal officials, National Geographic says.

The Clotilda carried 110 men, women and children from Benin to Alabama in 1860, according to historians.

“It’s the best documented story of a slave voyage in the western hemisphere,” historian Sylviane Anna Diouf – who relied on testimony from the slave traders and their captives, some of whom lived in the 20th Century – told National Geographic.

Some descendants of those carried on the ship still live nearby in an area that came to be known as Africatown.

They have welcomed the discovery.

“I think about the people who came before us who laboured and fought and worked so hard,” Joycelyn Davis, a sixth-generation granddaughter of one of the slaves, told AP. “I’m sure people had given up on finding it. It’s a wow factor.”



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