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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Defending champions Spain slumped into mourning over their disastrous World Cup exit on Thursday ahead of a clash between England and Uruguay that could see another famous name fatally wounded.

A picture of midfielder Andres Iniesta, his head in his hands after the 2-0 defeat by Chile, symbolized the end of a golden run in which Spain won the World Cup and two straight European Championships.

The image dominated Spain’s press on the day after the country’s second straight defeat in Group B sparked soul searching into the failure.

“A terrible end to the most glorious era,” said the Madrid sports daily Marca.

Spain’s coach Vicente del Bosque said he would not be rushed into a decision on his future.

“When something negative comes out of such an important competition then of course there are consequences. I don’t want to go into an analysis right now — there will be plenty of time for that,” said the 63-year-old whose side also lost 5-1 to the Netherlands.

“We are not falling apart. We will take the time to do what is best for Spanish football — and I include myself there.

“We must not make snap decisions. We played two games and were not able to overcome our rivals — Holland and Chile were better than us on the day.”

Del Bosque acknowledged his side were poor in the second half where they fell to pieces against the Dutch and in the first 45 minutes against a Chilean side who scented blood from the outset.

“But we mustn’t make excuses. We are out, we were inferior and we must look to the future,” he insisted.

Captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who has come in for heavy criticism, said: “The level of commitment was not what we wanted it to be.”

“We didn’t deserve to go through to the next round. We have been beaten by superior teams,” added Casillas, 33, who will be one of the golden generation whose places are now threatened.

Cameroon were also slammed after their 4-0 defeat by Croatia in Group A in which Alexandre Song was sent off for punching Croatia goalscorer Mario Mandzukic and Benoit Assou-Ekotto aimed a headbutt at teammate Benjamin Moukandjo after a dispute.

Coach Volker Finke called the behavior “disgusting” and “unacceptable”.

Cameroon joined Spain in dropping out of Group B while Australia already know they are out in Group A.

Arjen Robben put hot form side the Netherlands ahead against the Socceroos in Wednesday’s third game. But Australia then went ahead through through a spectacular Tim Cahill volley and a Mile Jedinak penalty.

Goals by Robin van Persie and Memphis Depay gave the Dutch a 3-2 win. Van Persie will miss Monday’s match against Chile to decide who wins Group A after picking up a second yellow card of the tournament.

Meanwhile Steven Gerrard warned England’s players they face a “terrible” summer if they lose to Uruguay on Thursday and crash out of the tournament.

The two former World Cup winners, both of whom lost their first Group D games, play in Sao Paulo at 1900 GMT. In Group C, Colombia play Ivory Coast and Japan play Greece.

Uruguay could bring back star striker Luis Suarez, heightening pressure on England in the crunch battle.

The England captain, who went through disappointing World Cup campaigns in 2006 and 2010 — when England lost 4-1 to Germany — said he underlined the high price of failure in a special address to the squad.

“Going into this game, (they have) to realize it could be a terrible long, frustrating summer if we don’t get it right on Thursday,” he said.

“There is no hiding place for a player when you go out of a tournament. You go home earlier than you expect. It can be tough as a player and it can take an awful long time to get over it.”

After losing 2-1 to Italy, defeat to Uruguay would probably consign England to one of the earliest World Cup exits in their history.

Japan and Greece face a similar high stakes encounter in Natal at 2200 GMT. With Japan outmuscled by Ivory Coast 2-1 and Greece thumped 3-0 by Colombia on Saturday, defeat for either side is likely to be fatal.

AFP Photo/Dani Pozo

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  • 1.Why did Trump choose to hide certain specific files and not others at Mar-a-Lago? What were the criteria that Trump used to keep some files concealed and not others? Who selected those files? Did Trump consult or direct anyone in his selection of secret files? Trump was notorious for being too impatient to read his briefing papers, even after they had been drastically shortened and simplified. Is there the slightest evidence that he spirited these papers away so that he could consult or study them? Who besides Trump knew of the presence of the files he had concealed at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 2. Mar-a-Lago has an infamous reputation for being open to penetration even by foreign spies. In 2019, the FBI arrested a Chinese woman who had entered the property with electronic devices. She was convicted of trespassing, lying to the Secret Service, and sentenced and served eight-months in a federal prison, before being deported to China. Have other individuals with possible links to foreign intelligence operations been present at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 3. Did members of Trump's Secret Service detail have knowledge of his secret storage of the files at Mar-a-Lago? What was the relationship of the Secret Service detail to the FBI? Did the Secret Service, or any agent, disclose information about the files to the FBI?
  • 4. Trump's designated representatives to the National Archives are Kash Patel and John Solomon, co-conspirators in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, the Ukraine missiles-for-political dirt scandal that led to the first impeachment in 2019, and the coup of 2020. Neither has any professional background in handling archival materials. Patel, a die-hard Trump loyalist whose last job in the administration was as chief of staff to the Acting Secretary of Defense, was supposedly involved in Trump’s “declassification” of some files. Patel has stated, “Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves."
  • The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified.” If Pat Cipollone, the White House legal counsel, did not “generate the paperwork,” was he or anyone on his staff aware at all of the declassifications? The White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons resigned his post in December 2020. Did his successor, who held the position for a month, while Trump was consumed with plotting his coup, ever review the material found in Trump’s concealed files for declassification? Or did Patel review the material? Can Patel name any individual who properly reviewed the supposed declassification?
  • 5. Why did Trump keep his pardon of Roger Stone among his secret files? Was it somehow to maintain leverage over Stone? What would that leverage be? Would it involve Stone's role as a conduit with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during the coup? Or is there another pardon in Trump’s files for Stone, a secret pardon for his activities in the January 6th insurrection? Because of the sweeping nature of the pardon clause, pardons can remain undisclosed (until needed). Pardons are self-executing, require no justification and are not subject to court review beyond the fact of their timely execution. In other words, a court may verify the pardon was valid in time but has no power to review appropriateness. A pardon could even be oral but would need to be verifiable by a witness. Do the files contain secret pardons for Trump himself, members of his family, members of the Congress, and other co-conspirators?
  • 6.Was the FBI warrant obtained to block the imminent circulation or sale of information in the files to foreign powers? Does the affidavit of the informant at Mar-a-Lago, which has not been released, provide information about Trump’s monetization that required urgency in executing the warrant? Did Trump monetize information in any of the files? How? With whom? Any foreign power or entity? Was the Saudi payment from its sovereign wealth fund for the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club for a service that Trump rendered, an exchange of anything of value or information that was in the files? If it involved information in the files was it about nuclear programs? Was it about the nuclear program of Israel? How much exactly was the Saudi payment for the golf tournament? The Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave Jared Kushner and former Trump Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin $2 billion for their startup hedge fund, Affinity Partners. Do the Saudis regard that investment as partial payment for Trump’s transfer of nuclear information? Were Kushner or Mnuchin aware of the secret files at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 7.Did Trump destroy any of the files? If so, when? Did those files contain incriminating information? Did he destroy any files after he received the June subpoena?
  • 8.Were any of the secrets of our allies compromised? Has the U.S. government provided an inventory of breaches or potential breaches to our allies?
  • 9.Does the resort maintain a copying machine near the classified documents that Trump hid? Were any of the documents copied or scanned? Are Trump’s documents at Mar-a-Lago originals or copies? Were any copies shown or given to anyone?
  • 10.Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb has revealed that a video surveillance system covers the places where Trump hid the files at Mar-a-Lago, and that the system is connected to a system at his other residences at the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York City. According to Bobb, Trump and members of his family observed the FBI search and seizure of his files at Mar-a-Lago, “actually able to see the whole thing” through their surveillance system. Who has that surveillance system recorded entering the rooms where the files were kept?

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The Following, a 2013 Fox Pictures series, played out in similar fashion. Three seasons was enough for the producers and it’s been nine years since our introduction to Joe Carroll, English professor-novelist-serial killer, so there’s a spoiler risk -- but not enough to prevent the comparison.

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