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MP Lisa Nandy blasts Tory neighbour for ‘Lexit’ plan to split Leigh from Wigan council

MP Lisa Nandy blasts Tory neighbour for ‘Lexit’ plan to split Leigh from Wigan council

A Greater Manchester Tory MP has been accused of “losing the plot” by a neighbouring Labour politician over his ‘Lexit’ campaign to separate the town of Leigh from the borough of Wigan. Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said the Government should be trying to tackle rising inflation rather than “trying to build walls between Wigan and Leigh” as part of the plan put forward by Leigh MP James Grundy.

Mr Grundy, who was elected in 2019, has sought the support Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his campaign. Leigh has been part of the Wigan borough since the local government reorganisation in 1974, but grumblings about the town losing its identity to its larger neighbour since then have never gone away.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions last November, Boris Johnson promised to do ‘anything he can’ to help his Conservative colleague’s bid to ‘escape’ the control of Wigan following Mr Grundy’s question as to what could be done. The Leigh MP has been in discussion with Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove over ‘Lexit’ and has stated that the talks were positive – but an an early stage.

READ MORE: ‘Families worrying about how they’ll put food on their kids’ plates’ – The reality of poverty in Greater Manchester in 2022

“There has been a long standing feeling that Wigan Council does not care about the Leigh end of the borough,” Mr Grundy said recently. But, speaking to The Northern Agenda podcast, Ms Nandy`, who is Labour’s Shadow Levelling Up Secretary, rejected the idea that Labour-run Wigan council wasn’t doing anything for Leigh.

Leigh MP James Grundy outside a local business in his constituency
Leigh MP James Grundy outside a local business in his constituency

She said: “There’s always been a healthy rivalry between us and I’m perfectly happy to engage in that as well. But there’s been investment into things like the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh, the arts and culture renaissance that the council is trying to kickstart, with a bit of help now from the Arts Council, has been very focused on Leigh as the main driver of that.”

Listen to the full interview with Lisa Nandy on the The Northern Agenda podcast

And she added: “I think it’s worth saying that there is a bit of a view in government that James has lost the plot with some of this. He raised it in the middle of a crisis for many families and businesses around the country. And I think people in Leigh, frankly, would prefer that the government actually started acting on high inflation than started trying to build walls between Wigan and Leigh.”

Ms Nandy told the podcast that “Leigh is not part of Wigan, Leigh is a place in its own right with a proud history and a proud identity and a contribution to make”. And she added: “And although there are lots of synergies and similarities between us, the assets and the potential in Leigh are distinct and unique. And over the years in policy, there’s been a debate about whether you can regenerate areas by taking what’s known as a space-blind approach.

“This is an approach that was very prevalent during the 1980s and 1990s, especially in the United States. The idea, when pushed by people like Ronald Reagan, that if you took a place-based approach, what you ended up doing was just helping wealthier people in poorer areas.

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“Actually, I think that’s now widely recognised that that is a nonsense, that taking a place-based approach does help you to realise the unique assets and potential in each place. And, what we’ve had in this country for a very long time now, is large parts of the country just written off for their ability to make a contribution to our future.

“That’s what I’m saying must change, no longer will we write off the contribution that people make, whether it’s in Leigh or in Wigan, or in any other part of this country, we should invest in the potential that is there. And the best way to do that is not just to get fair investment decisions, but to get power back into local hands so that people can drive those outcomes for themselves.”

Mr Grundy has previously said that when he speaks to constituents he gets a very anti-Wigan Council sentiment. And when the Local Democracy Reporting Service interviewed residents in the town centre recently, some described feeling that Leigh was neglected.

Mr Grundy has been approached for comment about Ms Nandy’s claims.


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MotoGP in Mugello 2022: schedule, TV broadcast and live stream

MotoGP in Mugello 2022: schedule, TV broadcast and live stream

(Motorsport-Total.com) – At the weekend, the Italian Grand Prix is ​​a great classic on the MotoGP calendar. Traditionally, on the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello drove in Tuscany. It’s the eighth race of the MotoGP season 2022.

Francesco Bagnaia

Will Francesco Bagnaia take home victory on his Ducati?


Also this year, the races of the motorcycle world championship with their premier class MotoGP be followed on television and in the Internet stream. Below are the broadcast times and the different ways to watch MotoGP in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In addition, we will keep you up to date with the most important information in our MotoGP live ticker from the first free practice session until the last race on Sunday.

The schedule of the MotoGP in Mugello (in CEST):

Friday, May 27:
08:25-08:45: MotoE FT1
09:00-09:40: Moto3 FT1
09:55-10:40 MotoGP FT1
10:55-11:35: Moto2 FT1
11:50-12:20: Red Bull Rookies Cup FT1

12:35-12:55: MotoE FT2
1:15-1:55 p.m.: Moto3 FT2
2:10-2:55 p.m.: MotoGP FT2
15:10-15:50: Moto2 FT2
4:05-4:35 p.m.: Red Bull Rookies Cup FT2

16:50-17:00: MotoE Q1
5:10-5:20 p.m.: MotoE Q2
5:35-6:00 p.m.: Red Bull Rookies Cup qualifying

Saturday, May 28th:
09:00-09:40: Moto3 FT3
09:55-10:40 MotoGP FT3
10:55-11:35: Moto2 FT3

12:35-12:50: Moto3 Q1
13:00-13:15: Moto3 Q2
13:30-14:00 MotoGP FT4
2:10-2:25 p.m.: MotoGP Q1
2:35-2:50 p.m.: MotoGP Q2
15:10-15:25 Moto2 Q1
15:35-15:50 Moto2 Q2
4:15 p.m.: MotoE Race 1 (6 laps)
5:25 p.m.: Red Bull Rookies Cup Race 1 (16 laps)

Sunday May 29th:
09:00-09:10: Moto3 warm-up
09:20-09:20: Moto2 warm-up
09:40-10:00 MotoGP warm-up

11:00 am: Moto3 race (20 laps)
12:20 p.m.: Moto2 race (21 laps)
2:00 p.m.: MotoGP race (23 laps)
3:30pm: MotoE Race 2 (6 laps)
4:30 p.m.: Northern Talent Cup Race 2 (16 laps)

ServusTV broadcasts live on TV in Germany and Austria

In the 2022 season, too, the motorcycle world championships in Germany and Austria can be seen on free TV on ServusTV. On all 21 race weekends, the broadcast begins on Saturday with the qualifying sessions for all three classes. On Sunday, the races in the Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP classes will be shown live on television.

Transmission times ServusTV Germany (in CEST):
Saturday, May 28th:
12:25 p.m.: Preliminary report
12:35 p.m.: Moto3 qualifying
1:30 p.m.: MotoGP FT4
2:10 p.m.: MotoGP qualifying
3:10 p.m.: Moto2 qualifying
3:50 p.m.: Analysis

Sunday May 29th:
10:20 a.m.: Preliminary report Moto3
11:00 am: Moto3 race
12:00 p.m.: Preliminary report Moto2
12:20 p.m.: Moto2 race
1:20 p.m.: MotoGP preliminary report
2:00 p.m.: MotoGP race
2:45 p.m.: Analysis

Transmission times ServusTV Austria (in CEST):
Saturday, May 28th:
12:25 p.m.: Preliminary report
12:35 p.m.: Moto3 qualifying
1:30 p.m.: MotoGP FT4
2:10 p.m.: MotoGP qualifying

Sunday May 29th:
10:20 a.m.: Preliminary report Moto3
11:00 am: Moto3 race
12:00 p.m.: Preliminary report Moto2
12:20 p.m.: Moto2 race
1:20 p.m.: MotoGP preliminary report
2:00 p.m.: MotoGP race
2:45 p.m.: Analysis

ServusTV also offers live streaming on the Internet

On the ServusTV website (and the corresponding apps from ServusTV On). in Germany the German-language broadcasts of the qualifying sessions on Saturday and the races on Sunday can be accessed via live stream.

This is also for spectators in Austria possible. In addition, users with an Austrian IP address can access the English-language stream from MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports free of charge on the ServusTV website or the ServusTV On apps. This is available from the first free practice session on Friday to the last race on Sunday.

SRF broadcasts MotoGP in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the premier class races will also be shown by SRF in the 2022 season. As a rule, live broadcasts on the SRF channel are two.

Transmission times SRF two (in CEST):
Sunday May 29th:
12:05 p.m.: Moto2 race
1:50 p.m.: MotoGP race
4:50 p.m.: MotoE Race 2 (recording)

Paid streams from Dorna Sports and DAZN

MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports offers a fee-based video and live stream offer. With the VideoPass all sessions can be streamed live or on-demand. This English-language subscription costs EUR 139.99 for the entire season.

The also offers a fee-based alternative for fans from Germany, Austria and Switzerland Streaming service DAZN. Beginning this year, subscribers can follow all sessions of the MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 classes and the MotoE World Cup live here. The price for the DAZN annual subscription is 274.99 euros.

Red Bull Rookies Cup streaming free

Anyone who would like to follow the races of the young drivers in the Red Bull Rookies Cup has a free opportunity on the Internet. ServusTV offers all races as an English-language live stream on its ServusTV On platform.

Stay up to date with Motorsport-Total.com

Accompanied as usual Motorsport-Total.com all MotoGP race weekends with training and race reports. From the 1st free practice on Friday we will keep you up to date with all the important information from the track in our live ticker. We provide you with all the important reactions and background reports on a daily basis. All news and results can also be accessed in our app which is there free for Android and iOS are.

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Collaboration between PvdA and GroenLinks, but what are the chances of a merging party?

Collaboration between PvdA and GroenLinks, but what are the chances of a merging party?

“Between 22 and 28 seats,” says Peter Kanne, researcher at I&O research, about the possible number of seats in the House of Representatives of such a left-wing merger party. Kanne has conducted various studies into the potential of a collaboration between GroenLinks and the PvdA.

“We have measured it a number of times. They are the current parliamentary seats of the two parties, plus 5 to 10 percent extra. That means that they should be able to come out between 22 and 28 seats.”

According to Kanne, they get those seats from left-progressive voters. “It is an attractive party for people who vote for D66, the Party for the Animals or Volt. But less for SP voters. They are left-wing, but not progressive in terms of climate or the role of Europe.”

Logical candidate

That is the potential, Kanne emphasizes. Whether this will be met is difficult to predict due to a large number of unknown factors. Like who will be the new leader of such a party. “Both blood groups must recognize themselves in that new party leader. European Commissioner Frans Timmermans would be a very logical candidate for that.”

But Maurits Meijers, lecturer in political science at Radboud University in Nijmegen, doubts his suitability. “Not all GroenLinks voters will be waiting for Timmermans. They have not forgotten that he was still in a cabinet with the VVD a few years ago, and was therefore also responsible for the more liberal course of the PvdA.”

Kanne points to Timmermans’ clear PvdA image, and his ‘green’ climate profile through his work as European Commissioner. “Those are the two themes that such a new party will focus on: reducing income and prosperity differences and the climate. All other positions of such a merger party, such as strengthening the European Union or in the field of security , flow from it.”

Housing market or flash deliverers

Meijers also thinks that these will be the themes. “There is a large voter potential there. But then D66 voters will have to switch to such a left-wing alternative. This can be achieved by talking about the major socio-economic problems of the moment, such as the livelihood security of the self-employed, the problems on the housing market, speed camera delivery services or bogus self-employment. D66 is also vulnerable in that area,” says Meijers.

According to both experts, a new green-red party should not try to distinguish itself in the field of migration or anti-racism. Taking a new stance on immigration, as the Social Democrats in Denmark did a few years ago, is inadvisable in their view. The Danish party argued for stricter immigration rules. “But that is not a position that this party will attract extra voters with,” says Kanne.

Party leaders support first step cooperation

GroenLinks and the PvdA will let their members decide at the beginning of June about an important step in further cooperation. This concerns the merger of the two factions in the Senate, after the Provincial Council elections next year.

The members of GroenLinks can express their views on this until 11 June via a members’ referendum. The members of the PvdA will vote on this at the congress on 11 June.

Last week, a number of prominent members of both parties argued in an open letter for the merger of the Senate factions. The letter was signed by former PvdA leaders Diederik Samsom, Job Cohen and Wouter Bos and GroenLinks leaders Bram van Ojik and Jolande Sap, among others.

Meijers adds: “In the eyes of voters, the subject of migration is ‘property’ of right-wing conservative parties. If you make it a theme as a new left-wing party, you make those other parties stronger. Then people choose the original. .” Moreover, both point out that there is no support at all within these two parties for stricter regulations in this area.

Not too fast

Meijers warns against a too quick merger of PvdA and GroenLinks. At the request of the PvdA, he and several fellow researchers wrote a report on the opportunities and dangers of such a merger. This concludes that there are considerable risks. “At the moment there are two clearly different party cultures, with very different voters. If you impose from above that they have to go together, and so just throw them together, that is very risky. great resentment.”

In addition, according to Meijers, such a merger can also fail in many ways. For example, because of a wrong party leader, an election campaign that revolves around other themes, or because of the outbreak of a crisis, which means that voters again vote for the current prime minister. And then such a new merger party can eventually end up smaller than how it started. “And then you destroyed both sides.”

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Roberto Carlos picks Man United ace Cristiano Ronaldo over Lionel Messi in Champions League XI

Roberto Carlos picks Man United ace Cristiano Ronaldo over Lionel Messi in Champions League XI

Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos has picked Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo over Lionel Messi in his ultimate Champions League XI.

Ronaldo has enjoyed a sensational career in the Champions League having won the illustrious trophy on five occasions – four times with Real and once with United. Messi won the trophy four times during his incredible spell at Barcelona.

Despite having never played alongside Ronaldo, Carlos was quick to include the Portuguese great ahead of Messi when picking his best-ever Champions League XI. Speaking to Sport Bible, the Brazilian explained his choice.

ALSO READ: Former Real Madrid president makes Cristiano Ronaldo admission before Champions League final

“Cristiano represents exactly what the Champions League is and modern football,” he said. “We will only have one Cristiano.”

Due to his connections with Los Blancos, unsurprisingly, the XI was dominated by Madrid players both past and present. Iker Casillas, Karim Benzema, Marcelo, Casemiro and Zinedine Zidane were all among the players to make the line-up.

Here is Carlos’ ultimate Champions League XI in full: Iker Casillas; Cafu, Fernando Hierro, Fabio Cannavaro, Marcelo; Fernando Redondo, Casemiro, Zinedine Zidane; Francesco Totti, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Contact made for Nordi Mukiele

Contact made for Nordi Mukiele

Manchester United: Contact made for Nordi Mukiele -Manchester United News

Manchester United have made contact over a possible cut-price move for RB Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele.

The Lowdown: Mukiele profiled

Mukiele, who has been hailed as an “unsung hero”, is primarily a right-back who can also play as a centre-back or as a right-midfielder.

The 24-year-old signed for Leipzig back in 2018 and has gone on to make 145 appearances since then, scoring 10 times and providing 11 assists.

The France international is heading into the final 12 months of his contract with the Bundesliga side, though, and it looks as if a summer exit could be on the cards.

The Latest: United contact

Sports Witness relayed an update from well-known French outlet L’Equipe regarding Mukiele on Friday.

They claimed that Mukiele’s future ‘is probably written elsewhere’, with United looking to take advantage of the ‘opportunity’ by initiating first contacts. The report adds that the right-back is valued between €10m (£8.5m) and €15m (£12.7m).

How many signings do Man Utd need to make this summer?







The Verdict: Wan-Bissaka replacement?

Erik ten Hag will be at the heart of an Old Trafford rebuild this summer and doesn’t have Aaron Wan-Bissaka in his plans, according to Sky Sports.

Therefore, should the Red Devils find the Englishman a new home either on a temporary or permanent basis, then Mukiele could be viewed as an ideal replacement.

Ajax defender Jurien Timber also appears to be closing in on a move to United, and although he can play at right-back, you’d expect he’d be preferred in his natural centre-back role, opening the door for Mukiele, valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, to sign in a cut-piece deal.

In other news: Reliable journalist leaks Man Utd talks as Ten Hag now eyes ‘terrific’ Englishman. 

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Ameliaranne Ekenasio stands out as Magic edge Tactix in extra-time


Magic shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio, pictured in a prior game, was outstanding in her side's extra-time win over the Tactix.

Andrew Cornaga/Photosport

Magic shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio, pictured in a prior game, was outstanding in her side’s extra-time win over the Tactix.

At Christchurch Arena, Christchurch: Magic 57 (Bailey Mes: 24/40, Ameliaranne Ekenasio: 33/36) Tactix 51 (Ellie Bird: 34/39, Te Paea Selby-Rickit: 17/19) 1Q: 11-13, HT: 27-25, 3Q: 43-37, FT: 51-51.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio is doing everything in her power to be at the Commonwealth Games.

The experienced shooter impressed again in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic’s 57-51 extra-time win over the Tactix in Christchurch on Sunday as she pushes for a recall to the Silver Ferns.

In the second extra-time match of the day, the Magic pipped the Tactix in the ANZ Premiership’s bottom of the table battle with both sides playing for pride.

Ekenasio was integral for the Magic, landing a goal at full-time to level the score at 51-51 and send the match into extra-time.

* Stars prevail in extra-time thriller over Steel to clinch ANZ Premiership finals spot
* Stars fully focused as they finish ANZ Premiership season with three games in five nights
* Crunch ANZ Premiership clash between Mystics and Pulse postponed due to Covid-19

She converted 33 from 36, including five from six in extra-time, in a confident display.

The Magic outplayed the Tactix in the six-minute extra-time span with Ferns midcourter Claire Kersten and veteran defender Leana de Bruin both gaining important defensive turnovers.

Magic's Ameliaranne Ekenasio (file shot) converted 33 goals from 36 attempts in their extra-time win over the Tactix.

Aaron Gillions/Photosport

Magic’s Ameliaranne Ekenasio (file shot) converted 33 goals from 36 attempts in their extra-time win over the Tactix.

Their defensive through-court pressure was outstanding in extra-time, keeping the Tactix scoreless and scoring six goals themselves.

This was the third win of the season for the Magic and they could potentially avoid a third straight wooden spoon if they can nab victories in their final two games and the Tactix stumble.

Former national captain Ekenasio hasn’t played for the Ferns since leading them to a rare Constellation Cup triumph over Australia last March.

She returned to the court this year after the birth of daughter Luna in November, but has eased her way back in the early stage of the season on a gradual return to play programme.

Ekenasio sat out the 2021 season to focus on her mental wellbeing and then announced she was pregnant.

Switching to the Magic from the Pulse, she got through another full game in the win over the Tactix, standing out alongside Bailey Mes in the shooting end.

Ekenasio’s encouraging play will be music to the ears of Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua with depth lacking in the shooting circle.

The 47-test veteran will be a lock for the Silver Ferns’ national trials in Wellington, which will feature up to 27 players, and be held from June 20-23.

Tactix captain Kimiora Poi (file pic) had a busy game in the midcourt against the Magic on Sunday.

Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Tactix captain Kimiora Poi (file pic) had a busy game in the midcourt against the Magic on Sunday.

Her experience, calm shooting presence, and leadership would be valuable for the Ferns in Birmingham.

The Tactix were dealt a blow with wing attack Samon Nathan ruled out with Covid-19 and defender Kelera Nawai-Caucau also unavailable through illness.

Parris Petera was handed the start in place of Nathan with Kate Lloyd lining up alongside Karin Burger in the defensive circle.

It was the first time this season all 10 Magic contracted players had been available on the same game-day, summing up the disruption caused by Covid-19.

The Magic took a six goal lead into the final quarter, but a powerful finish from the Tactix set up a fascinating finish.

With the score level at 50-all in the final minute, the Tactix took their time sending the ball into the circle with Ellie Bird putting them ahead. Ekenasio stepped up with the last play of regulation though and the Magic then took over in extra-time.

Best on court

Ekenasio was superb, converting 33 from 36 and landing a high pressure goal as full-time sounded to send the match to extra-time. The 47-test Fern is starting to hit top gear, which is only good news for the Silver Ferns.

The big moment

Ekenasio’s goal on the stroke of full-time was critical, but Kersten and de Bruin’s defensive turnovers in extra-time were massive and turned the game the Magic’s way.

Match rating

8/10: Talk about Super Sunday. In the second extra-time game of the day, the Magic and Tactix played out a thriller. The first half was scrappy with too many mistakes, but it was edge of your seat stuff in the final quarter.

The big picture

Both sides only had pride to play for in this one, but the Magic might be able to avoid a last place finish if they can pick up two more wins to close out their campaign. The Tactix conclude their season at home against the Pulse on Monday in Christchurch.

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Leeds keen on Tom Lawrence

Leeds keen on Tom Lawrence

Leeds: Whites keen on Tom Lawrence -Leeds United News

Leeds United are reportedly looking to sign Derby County attacker Tom Lawrence on a free transfer. 

The Lowdown: History with Leeds supporters

Lawrence, labelled as ‘magnificent’ by Wayne Rooney, has been with The Rams since 2017 but is out of contact at the end of June.

The Wales international has made 185 appearances for Derby, scoring 37 times and registering 25 assists. He’s played against Leeds on 11 occasions and has been on the losing side seven times.

The 28-year-old also has history with Whites supporters following the club’s playoff semi-final with Derby during the 2018/19 season. Lawrence and a number of his Derby teammates teased the south stand over ‘Spygate’ after they booked their spot at Wembley following a 4-2 win at Elland Road, but it now looks as if Victor Orta is keen to sign the soon to be free-agent.

The Latest: Leeds interest

TEAMtalk shared a story on Thursday morning regarding Lawrence, claiming that Leeds are ‘battling to secure his signature’.

The Derby captain looks set to leave Pride Park following their relegation to League One and is attracting interest from three other Premier League clubs – Bournemouth, Fulham and Southampton

Would you take Lawrence at Leeds?

Yes, why not!

Yes, why not!

No way!

No way!

The Verdict: Bizarre

Lawrence has hit double figures for goals in each of the last two Championship seasons in what has been a struggle for Derby both on and off the pitch, however, a move to Elland Road does seem to be a strange one.

Not only does Lawrence have previous with Whites fans, but he’s also primarily a winger. Jesse Marsch currently has a number of wide options and he may even look to implement his preferred narrow formation for his first full season in charge.

Brenden Aaronson’s arrival appears to outline Marsch’s plans for a potential 4-2-2-2 system, so signing a player with just four games of Premier League experience may not go down too well as Leeds aim to build on a disappointing campaign where they only just avoided the drop.

In other news: Phillips partner: Leeds now want ‘extraordinary’ int’l for free; Orta’s already spoke with agent

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Breathing tube removed from body after 30 years (!) | Abroad


The now 39-year-old New Yorker Rene Remache was only freed from the pipe three years ago, thirty years after it was inserted … and left behind, according to the New York Post.

In 1989, then six-year-old Rene fell from a window and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with a skull base fracture. According to the medical file, the breathing tube inserted into the boy caused a lot of discomfort. Rene even pulled the pipe out once, according to the old documents. According to Rene and his lawyer, however, he must have swallowed the tube and the doctors – culpably – never noticed.

In the years that followed, Remache suffered from unexplained abdominal pains, but the cause was never found, not even by the doctors in Elmhurst, where he was being treated. The misery continued until Remache became so bad in Mexico in 2019 that he reported to doctors there. Remache had difficulty breathing and was sent home with a diagnosis of bronchitis and a box of antibiotics.

A CAT scan in New York eventually found the culprit. The tube was removed in another hospital. Now it serves as Exhibit A in a lawsuit against Elmhurst Hospital. That refuses to settle and says that the removed tube is a different type than the one that was placed at Remache in 1989. Remache will not know until after the summer whether that is the case and whether there will be compensation. The trial is set for October 11.

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Benzema counts on Golden Shoe after Champions League win

Benzema counts on Golden Shoe after Champions League win

Karim Benzema says he has done everything he can to get the Ballon d’Or, the Golden Boot for the best footballer of the season. The 34-year-old striker led Real Madrid to the Spanish title with 27 goals and also won the Champions League with his club on Saturday evening in Paris. Benzema became top scorer in the European Cup with fifteen goals; ten of them he made in the knockout phase.

“Of course I think about the Golden Ball after such a season,” said the striker after the won final against Liverpool (1-0). “I’m going to the France national team now, but I don’t think I could have done more at my club this season. We’ll see what happens, but at least I’m proud of what I’ve done. the field has nothing more to prove.”

Mainly thanks to the Frenchman’s goals, Real reached the final of the Champions League, miraculously eliminating Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City. In the final battle at the Stade de France, Vinicius Júnior scored the only goal. “You can’t say we’ve been lucky this season. Yes, you can be lucky once, but not all the time. We earned this award by working very hard, never giving up and always coming back.” said Benzema after his fifth overall win in the Champions League.

Zinédine Zidane was the last French winner in 1998 of the Golden Ball election, which is organized by France Football. This year’s winner will be honored in Paris on October 17.


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Michael Owen names two Manchester United ‘flops’ who would have thrived at Man City or Liverpool

Michael Owen names two Manchester United ‘flops’ who would have thrived at Man City or Liverpool

Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria would have thrived in the Premier League had they joined either Liverpool or Manchester City.

Pogba, who is poised to leave United when his contract expires next month, returned to Old Trafford in a club-record £89million deal in August 2016 and struggled to ever live up to his enormous price tag. He has never been consistent enough and his performances have never displayed the characteristics of a player that cost almost £100million.

Di Maria, meanwhile, joined United from Real Madrid two years earlier, putting pen to paper on a five-year deal in August 2014. He was snapped up for £59.7million and left Old Trafford less than 12 months later.

He made just 32 appearances for United, scoring four goals and grabbing 12 assists. He will go down as one of the club’s most uninspiring signings in recent history.

READ MORE: Mike Phelan is giving Erik ten Hag something he needs at Manchester United this summer

United have continued to make mistakes when it comes to recruitment, but it is often Pogba and Di Maria who dominate the discussions on the matter because of the transfer fees paid for them. And for former United striker Owen, he believes they both would have done far better if they had joined one of United’s main Premier League rivals.

“Look, over the years, when United sign these great players, like Di Maria or Pogba, nobody was saying ‘that won’t work’,” Owen told FootballJOE. “Everyone was saying ‘what a great player’, and you can bet your bottom dollar that if those players went into the Liverpool or the Man City team, they would be great players.

“But it’s like when things go right, everything goes right. In the Liverpool team, you get swept along with great confidence, a great team, everything is flowing. At United, where everything is going wrong, it’s very difficult for your levels not to sink as well.”

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