BINNISH, Syria: A Syrian goalkeeper turned rebel fighter who starred in an award-winning documentary died on Saturday (Jun 8) of wounds sustained fighting regime forces in northwestern Syria, his faction said.Abdel-Basset al-Sarout, 27, was among dozens of fighters killed since Thursday in clashes on the edges of the Idlib region.The region, dominated by an alliance led by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, is supposed to be protected by a months-old buffer zone deal.But it has come under deadly regime bombardment in recent weeks, sparking fears for its roughly three million residents.Before Syria's eight-year civil war, Sarout, from the central city of Homs, was a goalkeeper for the country's youth football team.When peaceful demonstrations broke out against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in 2011, he joined in and soon became a popular singer of protest songs.Following a brutal government crackdown on the protests, he took up arms.Sarout starred in the documentary "Return to Homs" … [Read more...] about Goalkeeper turned rebel fighter dies in northwest Syria
Footballer who died this week
BUTEMBO, Democratic Republic of Congo: Eight-year-old Kennedy Muhindo was running a high fever and racked by stomach pain and diarrhea.Health workers told him he had Ebola but his first thought was for his sister who had been battling the virus."How is my big sister doing?" he asked health workers again and again at an Ebola treatment center on the outskirts of Butembo, a major trading hub set amid volcanic hills in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.Staff said they didn't have the heart to tell him that 9-year-old Lareine had died."His sister was his best friend," said Desy Shabani, who provides psycho-social support to the patients. "To have lost the dearest person in his life... I asked myself, 'What will this child do?'"The Ebola outbreak in Congo - the second-largest on record - has inflicted an unusually heavy toll on children. More than a quarter of the confirmed and probable cases identified as of early April were children under 15, compared to 18per cent in the last major … [Read more...] about Congo’s Ebola epidemic inflicts heavy toll on children
MEXICO CITY: Scientists say breathing the heavily polluted air in Mexico City these days is like smoking somewhere between a quarter-and a half-pack of cigarettes a day.But that has not stopped Oscar Chong from going out for his daily workout, despite four days of warnings from the authorities to avoid strenuous physical activity outside."I'm addicted to exercise. If I don't work out on a daily basis, I don't feel well. It actually helps release my creativity, among many other things. If I just stayed home, I'd be staring at the walls, staring at my computer screen, and ideas are never born that way," Chong, a graphic designer, told AFP.The trim 51-year-old was taking a break from his interval workout in the capital's largest park, the Bosque de Chapultepec - which the authorities actually closed at one point this week, to hammer home the message that running or cycling in the middle of an air pollution alert was not a good idea.The sprawling city - a metropolitan area of … [Read more...] about Life goes on under cloud of smog in Mexico City
LIVERPOOL: The church organist wanted to meet outside Liverpool's Anfield Stadium. Her name is Anne Preston, and she carried the program of a funeral she'd played the day before, as a document of something both ancient and achingly current.She wanted me to see it, so I'd understand how life, death and resurrection are so tied together with football along the banks of the Mersey River.She arrived with her husband, meeting me between the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand and the Kop, the mighty Liverpool Kop. As he went over to sort his tickets for the first leg of the Champions League semifinal in Barcelona, she produced the programme and told me about a musical request from the family.The mom made the request herself. To honor her son, whose funeral program had Anfield on the front and the club crest on the back, she wanted Anne to subtly work in "You'll Never Walk Alone" during the Mass.It's a familiar request to Anne, and to every funeral director and organist in Liverpool.At the crematorium … [Read more...] about What a Premier League title would mean for Liverpool
By Kevin McGran Sports Reporter Fri., May 3, 2019 Bumped into Nikita Soshnikov over at the Coca-Cola Coliseum on Thursday (as you might have surmised from this story about Egor Korshkov). Sosh looked good. He’s working out on his own, starting to get ready for next year. He figures he’s going back to the KHL – maybe St. Petersburg -- after things didn’t work out for him in the NHL. There was real hype – and hope – for him. He remembers it, and believed it and in himself. He was terrific his first call-up (two goals, three assists in 11 games) at the end of the 2015-16 season. “I had a lot of ice time, I had a lot of confidence,” he said. “It’s all confidence. The coach trusts you. You feel good. You’re going to play. But injuries. You have to find a way to stay healthy.” A concussion and a neck injury cost him playing time in Toronto. He was traded to St. Louis. He suffered a concussion in … [Read more...] about Mailbag: Whatever happened to Nikita Soshnikov?