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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


Suarez Double Puts England On The Brink

Sao Paulo (AFP) – A brilliant double strike by Luis Suarez put England on the brink of a humiliating World Cup exit as Uruguay won 2-1 in a tense Group D match Thursday.

Suarez, back in action just four weeks after knee surgery, put Uruguay ahead with a 39th-minute header before Wayne Rooney equalized with his first ever World Cup finals goal.

But Liverpool hitman Suarez had the final say when he latched on to a long ball and smashed home the winner five minutes from time, leaving England staring at their first group stage exit since 1958.

England, who also lost their first game 2-1 to Italy, are now left relying on the Azzurri beating Costa Rica on Friday to keep them in the competition.

Despite familiar temperatures of 12 degrees C (54 F), England started nervily and after conceding an early corner, goalkeeper Joe Hart had to beat away Suarez’s place-kick at his near post.

But England’s pacey forwards were soon causing problems and when Daniel Sturridge drew a foul for handball near the penalty area, Rooney’s free-kick curled agonizingly wide.

England, with Rooney playing centrally behind Sturridge, looked the stronger but they suffered a scare when Phil Jagielka lost the ball in defense and Cristian Rodriguez couldn’t keep his rising shot on target.

After a scrappy period, Uruguay again went close when Suarez’s low corner from the right was struck first time by Cavani but whistled over the bar.

On the half-hour, Rooney came within inches of scoring when, from about a yard away, he headed a Steven Gerrard free-kick against the angle between the post and crossbar.

England were in the ascendancy but six minutes from the break, it was Uruguay who scored on the counter via the hitherto quiet Suarez, after England lost the ball on the halfway line.

Nicolas Lodeiro passed left to Cavani, who wrong-footed the entire defense with a sumptuous diagonal chip to the Liverpool forward, who got away from Jagielka and looped his header over Hart.

Almost straight away, Sturridge drew a sharp stop from Fernando Muslera as England sought in vain for a response before half-time.

After the break, Suarez very nearly doubled Uruguay’s lead first when his corner was parried by Hart off the line, and then when he shot well wide with the goal at his mercy.

England, now defending in front of the Uruguay support, were looking ragged and Cavani also should have put his team 2-0 up when he burst into the penalty area but fired wide.

However, Rooney almost got the equalizer when he latched on to a cross from the left and hammered a shot at the diving Muslera.

An accidental Raheem Sterling knee to the head knocked out Alvaro Pereira but he refused to be substituted.

Sturridge burst into the box and should have done better with a weak shot which rolled to the goalkeeper.

England boss Roy Hodgson threw on Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana for Sterling and Danny Welbeck but it was Glen Johnson who created England’s breakthrough when he beat his man on the right of the box.

The right-back’s rolled ball fell perfectly for Rooney and the grateful Manchester United striker had the simplest of tap-ins as he finally scored his debut goal at a World Cup finals.

Sturridge then worked Muslera as England, buoyed by Rooney’s goal, came alive and looked an increasing threat.

But again it was Uruguay who struck through Suarez, who gambled to latch onto a long ball from defense and lashed his shot past Hart, before celebrating wildly in front of his adoring fans.

AFP Photo/Ben Stansall

Obama, Uruguayan President Discuss Trade At White House

By Chris Adams, McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The president of Uruguay met with President Barack Obama in the White House on Monday, a meeting that centered on the nations’ mutual desires to boost trade and other aspects of their relationship.

In the meeting and remarks that accompanied it, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica Cordano and Obama talked about trade, United Nations peacekeeping operations, democracy and human rights. There were no major policy announcements.

It all started, however, with a dose of humor: “I will say the first thing he said to me was that my hair has become much grayer since the last time he saw me,” Obama said, according to the White House transcript of his comments.

Uruguay, nestled between Brazil and Argentina in South America, and its leader have been in the news lately due to the nation’s recent liberalization of marijuana laws.

Mujica, a former guerrilla fighter and a consistently colorful leader, recently signed rules that will allow for the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants per house; pharmacies will be able to stock government-approved marijuana.

Monday’s White House comments were heavy on trade. Saying he’s been “consistently impressed with the progress that Uruguay has been making under his presidency,” Obama added that, “We both think that there’s room for additional work to expand trade and commerce between our countries.”

Obama said he’d like to expand exchanges of teachers and students and that he wanted to hear “how we can strengthen the broad trends of democratization and human rights in the hemisphere.”

Existing trade between the countries has been getting healthier, according to the White House. Exports of U.S. goods to Uruguay totaled $1.8 billion in 2013, a jump of more than 400 percent since 2003.

Imports of Uruguayan goods to the United States were $423 million in 2013, an increase of 65 percent since 2003.

According to the White House, both countries expressed satisfaction with improvements in customs modernization. That includes the recent granting of access to Uruguay for U.S. poultry and beef, and access to the United States for Uruguayan citrus and deboned lamb.

Several other officials from both countries participated in the meeting, including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

In addition to talking about Obama’s graying hair, Mujica spoke about his own age — and how he wished he might have seen a bit more of the United States.

“I am getting old, and to be old means you don’t want to leave home,” Mujica, who turns 79 in a week, said through an interpreter. “I would like to be a little bit younger, to see Mississippi, know the ranches — in Los Angeles, the milk farms, other things. But please convey a hug — I embrace all agriculturalists of this nation.”

AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski