Iran open to new US proposals on Tehran’s uranium programme

Plan that would disconnect enriching machines from feeds of uranium being discussed at talks between Iran and six major powers

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Afghan presidential rivals reach unity deal

Power-sharing pact, to be signed on Sunday, will end months of crisis following disputed presidential polls in June.

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Europe to lose its share of Russian market due to ‘foolish’ sanctions – Russian PM

20 September 2014. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and TV anchor Maria Bondareva of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Company prior to a live interview to Vesti v Subbotu program at the Expo Center in Sochi's Olympic Park (RIA Novosti / Alexander Astafyev)

Russia and the West will eventually “come to agreements sooner or later, as sanctions don’t last forever,” Medvedev said in an interview with Vesti 24 TV channel.

“These foolish sanctions will pass, but international relations will continue. And currency markets will open up," he added.

The prime minister stressed that “the niches in our [Russian] economy, which will by then be occupied by local produces or other foreign producers...our European counterparts wouldn’t be able to come back.”

According to Medvedev, “this is the price Europe will have to pay” for trying to put Russia under economic pressure.

He assured that Asian and Latin American companies – which will replace the Europeans on the Russian market – will maintain their positions after relations between Moscow and the EU return to normal.

“We’re decent people. If we reach agreements then we fulfill the existing contracts, including those with our Latin American and Asian counterparts, of course. And those of our Western partners, who’ll be eager to return, will only be able to take the remaining share, nothing more,”
he explained.

Medvedev has labeled the European Union’s decision to sanction Moscow in the investment sphere as “senseless,” but promised that Russia “will get through this.”

The prime minister went on to say that the damage to the Russian economy is not done by sanctions, but by internal limitations within the country.

“What’s the problem with the current situation in the Russian economy? It’s not in the sanctions. The damage done by sanctions equals around five percent and everything else is our internal structural constraints; the misalignment of our economy that has developed already in 20th century,” he explained.

At the same time, Medvedev stressed that – despite current tensions – Russia has no plan to abandon the European markets.

“We supply between 130 billion to 140 billion cubic meters of gas and 200 million tons of oil to Europe. For us, it’s a very important market. A market that we conquered,” he said.

“If our European partners want make an absurd decision to oust us from this market, we will stay there, as it’s exciting for us,” the prime minister added.

But if the EU continues to act with prejudice towards Russia, “many of our products, a significant portion our resources, and much of our trade will switch to the Asia-Pacific region,” Medvedev said.

After the Republic of Crimea reunited with Russia this March, the US and EU introduced several waves of sanctions against Russian politicians and businessmen, and some of their assets, as well as major banks, oil, and defense companies.

Moscow replied to the restrictive measures from the West by placing a year-long ban on food imports from the US and European Union member states beginning August 7.

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Turkey celebrates return of hostages and opens border to Kurds fleeing Isis

Government refuses to reveal how 46 captives seized at Turkish consulate in Mosul in June were released Continue reading...

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Opinion: Climate Realities

The world is now on track to more than double current greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere by the end of the century.

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UEFA lifts ban on matches held in Israel

Europe's governing football body banned fixtures in Israel in July, citing the security situation.

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West Ham United v Liverpool: Premier League – live!

43 min: Liverpool are once again at sixes and sevens at the back. Diafra Sakho takes a whack from just inside the area, forcing Mignolet to parry. Kouyate goes down in the area while on a baroque ramble, but no penalty. Cresswell loops a cross into the area from the left, forcing the patched-up Lovren to eyebrow the ball out for a corner on the right, just as Sakho was winding up behind him to Keith Houchen a spectacular diving header into the net. Liverpool eventually clear. This is farcical nonsense on the part of Liverpool, but West Ham United are playing very well indeed, forcing them into this state.

41 min: Diafra Sakho executes a lovely Cruyff Turn down the right to bamboozle Moreno, but his resulting cross doesnt do a Konchesky this time. Meanwhile Lovrens jiggered noggin has been wrapped in many bandages, and hes back on.

39 min: The stretchers on for Lovren, but its not required. Hes up on his feet again, but walking to the touchline very gingerly indeed. Its not yet clear whether hell be able to continue. While hes off getting assessed, Liverpool have gone to four at the back again with Sterling in the right-back role.

36 min: A couple of clatters within a minute. First Moreno hoicks a fine cross into the West Ham box from the left. With Balotelli lurking, Adrian punches clear, at much cost to poor Reid. But hes soon up and about. Then down the other end, Lovren and Mamadou Sakho go up for the same ball. After a Glaswegian coming together, Lovren is face down on the turf, out cold. Its fair to say this match isnt going exactly to plan for the visitors.

33 min: A free kick for West Ham, 30 yards out down the left. Valencia sends a stunning bouncing bomb towards the bottom right. Mignolet is forced to tip round the post. The corner comes to nothing, and is easily dealt with, an immeasurable improvement for Liverpool.

31 min: Kouyate down with a jiggered groin. Looks like hes coming off. Ah hold on, hes back on! Theres three minutes we wont be getting back. 63% possession though, notes LFC fan Niall Mullen, in what may be the driest email ever sent to the MBM.

28 min: A goals not going to make Liverpool look any better at the back, though. Sakho is in space to the left of the Liverpool six-yard area, and flicks a gorgeous and clever backheel through the danger zone. Kouyate rushes in to convert from close range, but scythes Moreno down instead. Hes rightly booked. That was nearly a third, though.

Could this be a game changer? Liverpool have done nothing up front so far, but heres one back for them. Henderson lifts a ball into the West Ham area from the left. Balotelli, his back to goal, takes the ball down and twists, before battering a shot straight at Cresswell. The ball breaks back outside the area to Sterling, who from a position down the inside right, blooters a stunning first-time effort into the left-hand side of goal. Game on!

23 min: A Liverpool corner sees Reid and Skrtel wrestle in the area. Skrtel goes down, claiming a penalty. He might have a point, but West Ham may argue that theres a little karmic retribution for a player who infamously likes to get hands on with attackers while down the other end.

21 min: Rodgers hooks Manquillo, putting Sakho on and shoving Skrtel out to the right in what appears to be a back three with Moreno pushing up on the other wing.

19 min: Liverpool really are an embarrassing shambles at the back. Manquillo is bullied by Cresswell into conceding another corner. Balotelli shanks a clearance into the sky, though its eventually hacked clear. Liverpool cant continue like this, and it looks like Brendan Rodgers is already preparing a tactical substitution!

17 min: Balotelli and Adrian are both booked for a pointless nose-to-nose row. Balotelli slid in on the keeper late clumsily, a certain foul, but there was little intent, and Adrian over-reacted, straddling the prone striker and engaging him in a full and frank exchange of views. The referee gives them both a bollocking, flashing yellow. Grown men, the pair of them.

16 min: Downing goes on a 50-yard run down the middle of the pitch. A decent shot from 20 yards is deflected up and into Mignolets hands. Where was this Downing during his days at Anfield, you have to wonder? Ive never been a fan of Martin Skrtel, despite the managers faith, begins Paul Devlin. I dont think it is coincidence that Liverpool conceded one goal in 180 minutes without him, and two in seven minutes on his return.

13 min: Valencia has the jump on Manquillo as the pair contest a high ball down the West Ham left. He gets in ahead of the full back and faces down Mignolet, but doesnt get anything on the ball, which floats harmlessly into the keepers hands.

12 min: Cresswell, 25 yards out down the left, sends a swerving, dipping effort towards the bottom-right corner. Its a marvellous effort, and Mignolet is forced to fingertip round the post at full stretch. The corners cleared by Balotelli. Perhaps they should start playing the big Italian at centre back. Theyll need to do something, because this is shambolic.

10 min: Liverpool are all over the place! Manquillo tries to send Sterling free into the West Ham area down the right, and its not a bad ball, but Cresswell is in place to intercept with ease. What a start, though. Given how Liverpool have played against Southampton, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Ludogorets, and now in the first ten minutes here, you have to wonder what on earth Tottenham Hotspur were up to back there.

West Ham have flown out of the blocks! Theyre doing to Liverpool what Liverpool did to so many teams last season. Downing, showing more desire than he did in all his time at Anfield, robs Gerrard down the left. He cant find anyone with the cross, but the balls recycled down the other wing, where Sakho chips to the far post for Valencia. Mignolet is wandering around in no mans land, and is beaten all ends up. Valencia doesnt need to head home, because Sakhos floating chip drops straight in. Amazing!

5 min: Liverpool look shocked by that early blow. Theyre struggling to string more than a couple of passes together. They look very skittish. West Ham, by comparison, are stroking it around nicely. Song slips a ball down the right for Sakho, who lifts a high ball inot the centre for Valencia. Mignolet is off his line to claim.

3 min: Reids had an eventful start to the game. He slides through the back of Borini, leaving the referee with no option but to flash a yellow card in his face. A blistering atmosphere in Upton Park now, as youd expect with this scoreline!

... he swings it to the back post. Tomkins rises high to head it back across into the six-yard box, where Reid nuts home from a couple of yards! What a start by the home side! What a defence Liverpool are lumbered with. That took all of 80 seconds.

And were off! West Ham get the ball rolling, and theyre kicking towards Upton Park tube station, back down Green Street. A bit of head tennis to begin with. Then the Hammers quickly on the attack, pressing Liverpool back, and winning a free kick down the right. A chance for Downing to whip a cross into the area, and ...

The teams are out! Its a visual treat tonight, as West Ham United are wearing their famous claret and blue ...

Alex Song makes his first Premier League start for West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Song, Downing, Sakho, Valencia.
Subs: Zarate, Vaz Te, Jenkinson, Collins, Amalfitano, Jaaskelainen, Cole.

Fabio Borini starts a league match for Liverpool for the first time in exactly two years, give or take three days (Manchester United at Anfield, since you ask): Mignolet, Manquillo, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Gerrard, Henderson, Lucas, Sterling, Borini, Balotelli.
Subs: Brad Jones, Jose Enrique, Toure, Lambert, Sakho, Lallana, Markovic.

If history counts for anything, Liverpool are likely to leave the Boleyn Ground with all three points this evening. Heres the back-of-envelope working out: Liverpool did the double over the Hammers last season; theyve won on four of their last five visits to Upton Park; West Ham have only beaten Liverpool twice since the teams met in the 2006 FA Cup final, while the Reds have won 10 of the other 12 matches; West Ham have lost four of their last five home Premier League games; Liverpool have scored 33 goals on the road in the league this calendar year, at a rate of three per game; West Ham have failed to keep a clean sheet in 15 of their last 16 Premier League matches, and have lost seven of the last eight 5.30pm Saturday showdowns theyve contested.

But history doesnt count for everything. Liverpool are in transition right now, packed to the brim with new players and as unpredictable as a team can get. Theyve been spectacular against Spurs; woeful against Aston Villa and Ludogorets. Theyve yet to lock into last years silky attacking groove, while their defence remains notoriously shaky: the exciting young Spaniards Javi Moreno and Javier Manquillo are as progressive as full backs come, but the centre is still squidgy-soft, with Dejan Lovrens early performances a strange mix of the authoritative and the awful, although admittedly hes been played out of position. Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho could be forgiven for rubbing their hands in anticipatory glee. West Ham, with only one win in five matches this season, need to turn a corner soon. Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan might still be missing, but how about turning that corner today, against stuttering opponents?

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Facing scrum of critics, can Roger Goodell avoid getting sacked?

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is struggling to convince critics that the league is really – no, really – serious about curbing domestic violence by players.

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8 animal rights milestones in the year 5774: Who’s not created by God, who?

Pets win in court; the court shudders at the plight of El Al and monkeys; the first Animal Liberation Farm in the Middle East arises, and Pamela Anderson. 'Nuff said.

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Can you leave Israel and still be a Zionist?

Israel's emigrants can play an important historical role in saving the democratic state from the destructive forces that threaten it from within.

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