‘Other’ Ronaldo dismisses Mourinho jibe ahead of friendly

Mourinho said that aged 30, he had trained ‘the true Ronaldo, not the other one, Ronaldo the Brazilian’ in his time as assistant at Barcelona.

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“Some things in life are not worth commenting on and this is one more for obvious reasons,” Ronaldo told a news conference in Los Angeles, where Real are on a pre-season promotional tour.

“I prefer to remember the good things from coaches. I don’t spit on the plate from which I eat and I don’t speak about people who say bad things about me.

“We are going to face Chelsea, not their coach. It is another warm-up game and we hope to win it so we can start La Liga in the best manner possible.”

Real have won all their pre-season warm up games to date under new coach Carlo Ancelotti and take on Chelsea on Wednesday, with Ronaldo having played in a newer more advanced striker role on the pitch.

“The coach has different strategies and different positions for everyone,” the 28-year-old said.

“It is good for me to try and play in different positions and I am comfortable with it. We’ll see where I end up playing during the season.”

Two of the hottest topics surrounding Real in the run up to the start of the new campaign are the club’s multi-million euro interest in signing Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale and talks over a contract extension for Ronaldo.

“It’s not my place to talk about new players,” Ronaldo said when asked about Bale, who according to media reports could eclipse Ronaldo’s world record transfer fee of $125 million if the move went ahead.

“It’s not my place either to talk about the numbers that are being mentioned for his transfer. I have my opinion but I am not going to say in front of the cameras.”

Real president Florentino Perez has said he wants Ronaldo to retire at the Bernabeu, but there appears to be little progress towards extending his current deal which runs until 2015.

“I am happy here and all I want to do is train and prepare well,” Ronaldo said. “The contract renewal hasn’t been resolved yet, but I shouldn’t talk about it because it isn’t the right moment.”

(Reporting by Mark Elkington; Editing by John O’Brien)

Dateline: Twitch and Shout

Zach, Mario and Cole are three friends who share a remarkable bond.

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They’re among the most severe cases of Tourette Syndrome in the United States, suffering a range of involuntary verbal and physical tics and sometimes violent outbursts.

The neurological condition is often deeply misunderstood by society, leading to feelings from sufferers that they don’t fit in.

SBS’s Dateline reports from the annual Camp Twitch and Shout, a special summer gathering for young people with Tourette Syndrome, and a place where they can truly be themselves.

What is Tourette’s?

The Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia provides local information and support. Here are some of its facts about the condition…

-Tourette’s is a neurological disorder that usually starts between the ages of 2 and 21 and lasts throughout life. People with Tourette’s have a normal life span.

– It’s characterised by rapid, repetitive and involuntary muscle movements and vocalisations called ‘tics’, which can vary from simple twitches and noises, to more severe actions such as hitting and biting or the involuntary utterance of obscene words.

– Typically tics increase as a result of tension or stress and decrease with relaxation or concentration on an absorbing task. The severity of symptoms can also vary generally over time.

– People with Tourette’s are more likely to also have other behavioural problems, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

– The cause has not been definitively established, but it seems to stem from the abnormal metabolism of a brain chemical called dopamine.

– Studies suggest that Tourette’s is usually, but not always, inherited. The severity can vary considerably between generations and the disorder may not be evident at all in some people.

– It’s named after 19th Century French neurologist Dr George Gilles de la Tourette, who was the first to specifically identify the syndrome.

– There is no cure, but medication can control some of the symptoms in some cases. There is currently no medication that can eliminate all symptoms.

– Some sufferers see a marked improvement in their condition in their late teens or early twenties.

Follow the links above for more information, plus the Camp Twitch and Shout site has more on the camp in Dateline’s story.

White admits meeting Raiders board

Canberra star Brett White has admitted he and skipper Terry Campese approached Raiders board members to express disgruntlement the night before coach David Furner’s axing.

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White and injured skipper Terry Campese went to a meeting with board member David Thom and major stakeholder Simon Hawkins on Monday night.

When asked on Friday if he went to the board to express disgruntlement with Furner, White replied: “In every organisation there’s going to be disgruntlement.

“I don’t deny there were issues but I’m not going to go into those issues.

“It’s not a public forum. They’re issues that have been brought up before and had been brought up with Dave (Furner).”

White, who was co-captain while Campese was injured last week, said he was still shocked to hear Furner had been sacked the following day.

“He’s a big part of this club and always will be,” White said.

“It’s unfortunate the way it all happened, but it’s done now and we’re prepared to move on and are excited about moving forward.

“We went in there with all good intentions of the club in mind. Those issues have been brought up before in the past.”

Campese said he only had the intention of approaching board members on Monday night with ideas on how they could move the club forward.

“The last thing I thought that was going to come out of that day was for Furnsy to be stood down,” Campese said.

“It was a shock to me when I heard and my intentions of the meeting that happened was not for Furnsy to get the sack.

“I was definitely disappointed.”

He added that he had a great relationship with Furner.

“I’ve worked with him for five years, and he was also my reserve grade coach,” Campese said.

“My relationship with Dave can hopefully continue and still be strong.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to speak to Dave yet, I sent him a text message straight away.”

Campese said the duo did not speak to board members about Furner’s backing of troubled star Blake Ferguson, who is reportedly looking to leave the club and move back to Sydney.

“That’s out of our hands and is up to Blake and what he wants to do,” Campese said.

“If he’s happy to stay, he’s a quality player, and guys love playing with quality players.”

However when asked if there were certain players that were not happy with Ferguson being at the club, Campese replied: “Mate, I guess, I’m not sure you’ll have to ask the individual I guess. I’m happy that he’s here.”

Campese has been ruled out of Sunday’s clash against Manly but expects to return for the Warriors clash next week.

Rudd at home for 2nd day on campaign trail

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had the advantage of a home town crowd for the second day on the election trail.

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Kicking off Tuesday with a debate in his Brisbane seat of Griffith, Mr Rudd commanded a rock star arrival, swamped by media.

But if he thought all the electorate – which Labor holds by an 8.5 per cent margin – was going to open its arms to their standing member, he was wrong.

“Don’t be so ignorant,” came repeated calls from the audience as Mr Rudd attempted to sell his credentials and those of federal Labor.

“I haven’t got everything right, but you know something, I’ve got a few things right,” Mr Rudd said, adding that he loves his community.

One audience member, Lisa Huntly, who rushed for a photograph with Mr Rudd as soon as the forum finished, admitted she had heard nothing new.

“They talk over the top of each other, they don’t listen, they don’t answer the questions they’re asked,” she told AAP.

“They’re all the same. I just feel like knocking their heads together.”

Mr Rudd answered questions on local and national issues alongside other candidates running for Griffith.

Then he was off to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens alongside Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Labor’s candidate for the seat of Brisbane, Fiona McNamara.

The Liberal party holds Brisbane with a margin of 1.1 per cent.

Mr Rudd spruiked Labor’s multi-billion dollar transport infrastructure plans for the city, which he said would fall over under a coalition government.

He slammed Queensland’s LNP government led by Premier Campbell Newman and warned voters plans to expand Brisbane would stall altogether under a coalition federal government.

“With Mr Newman you get the entree and with Mr Abbott you get the main course,” he said.

The next visit was to the neighbouring electorate of Bonner – also currently Liberal by a 2.8 per cent margin – and would have left Mr Rudd wishing school children could vote.

“Kevin Rudd, Kevin Rudd, Kevin Rudd,” chanted crowds of primary school children at Brisbane Adventist College.

It left Mr Rudd beaming and clearly in the mood to tell tales.

The prime minister read a children’s favourite, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to a small group of students.

He told them Labor was making life easier for their families with a new after-school package.

Throughout Tuesday, and even before the Reserve Bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 2.5 per cent, Mr Rudd championed Labor’s economic management and plan to reduce living costs for Australian families.

As for Mr Rudd himself, election 2013 is also proving less arduous.

“I’m a lot more relaxed about it than I was in 2007,” he said, remembering the last time he was campaigning for the top job.

Philippines braces for Typhoon Utor

The Philippines is bracing for the arrival of Typhoon Utor, with heavy rains and potential floods expected as part of the strongest storm to hit the country so far this year.

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The typhoon, packing gusts of up to 185 kilometres per hour, was 160 kilometres northeast of the nation’s easternmost island Catanduanes as of 0200 GMT (1200 AEST) on Sunday, the state weather bureau said.

“This is forecast to be the strongest storm to make landfall so far this year,” bureau head Vicente Malano told reporters.

The typhoon is expected to make landfall in the north-eastern agricultural province of Aurora early morning on Monday, he said, adding that heavy rains are likely to cover a larger area including the capital Manila.

Utor, moving west-northwest at 19 kilometres per hour, was forecast to dump up to 25 millimetres of rain an hour within a 600-kilometre diameter of the typhoon, the bureau said.

“Residents in low lying and mountainous areas… are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides,” it stated in an advisory.

The bureau also warned seafarers to remain at port due to strong waves, as the police, military and emergency relief authorities were placed on high alert.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 storms and typhoons each year, some of them devastating.

Nearly 2,000 were killed or went missing in flash floods and landslides when Typhoon Bopha cut across the southern island of Mindanao in December last year.

About 850,000 people were also displaced, and many of them remain in temporary shelters months after the typhoon.

The Hong Kong Observatory had classified Utor as a “severe typhoon” on its website Sunday.

Egypt campaigning winds up

Most Egyptians believe the election will give President Hosni Mubarak a fifth six-year term in office.

Despite three weeks of unprecedented political debate many Egyptians see little prospect the September 7 poll will solve the key problems they face like poverty, unemployment and corruption.

In his closing campaign rally on Sunday night, Mubarak nevertheless urged Egyptians to go to the polls en masse.

“The Hosni Mubarak speaking to you tonight is seeking the support of each and every one of you,” he told a crowd of thousands of supporters gathered in Cairo. “The era of referendums and allegiance is over.”

“We want more freedom for our people and democracy for our country. We want more jobs and a stronger economy,” hammering home the economic pledge which was the centrepiece of his campaign.

Ghad party leader Ayman Nur has led by far the most aggressive campaign of the nine challengers, launching stinging attacks against the veteran incumbent, whose aura as father of the nation had made him untouchable for so long.

“We want freedom, we want to end 24 years of oppression, economic crisis and joblessness,” Mr Nur thundered relentlessly as he criss-crossed the country.

But in the crowd of several thousand in Cairo’s central Tahrir square, even Mr Nour’s supporters said Mr Mubarak, 77, a former air force commander, would win the elections.

“Everyone says Mubarak will win, so of course I am disappointed. If the country is to develop, we need change,” said Ahmed Mohammed, 31, an unemployed accountant.

In February, Mr Mubarak proposed holding contested presidential election to replace a system where parliament, controlled by his
National Democratic Party (NDP), nominated a single candidate for approval in a referendum.

Mr Mubarak’s announcement came amidst increased US calls for reform in the Middle East.

Egypt, a major recipient of US aid, says it did not act under pressure.

Tough election rules prevented the popular but banned Muslim Brotherhood fielding a candidate.

Most of Mubarak’s rivals are little known politicians of minor parties, with the exceptions of Nour and Noman Gomaa of the Wafd Party.

Egyptian rights groups have said the election is unlikely to be free and fair because independent monitors cannot enter polling stations.

The state press has backed Mr Mubarak in defiance of rules demanding impartiality.

Parliamentary elections in 2000 were marred by violence and reports of harassment.

Three arrested in Hariri probe

The three arrested men are former general security chief Jamil al-Sayed, ex-military intelligence boss Raymond Azar and former internal security head Ali al-Hage, according to security sources.

The head of the presidential guard Mustafa Hamdan has also turned himself in to UN investigators after Lebanon issued an arrest warrant against him.

The men were arrested at the request of UN investigators probing the killing of the former prime minister, who was killed along with 20 others in a massive bombing in Beirut.

Several other people were also arrested by Lebanese police and a warrant has reportedly been issued for former pro-Damascus minister and MP Nasser Qandil.

They are the first major arrests in the probe.

Mr Sayed was widely regarded as Lebanon’s most powerful security figure between the end of the civil war in 1990 and Syria’s pullout of its forces earlier this year.

Mr Hamdan, who was appointed by Damascus protégé President Emile Lahoud shortly after he took office in 1998, was in June questioned as a suspect and his office and house searched by the UN team investigating the murder.

All the men have been previously questioned.

It is not clear whether they will be charged.

Mr Hariri’s death plunged Lebanon into turmoil and increased the pressure on Syria to pull out its troops in April.

Syria has faced mounting international criticism over its perceived failure to cooperate with the UN probe, headed by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis.

Syria has denied this as well as any involvement in Mr Hariri’s death, but vowed to fully cooperate with the investigation.

Mr Mehlis is due to report on the progress of the case to the UN Security Council in the next few weeks.

Date set for Saddam trial

The process, for the killing of dozens of Shi’ite villagers at Dujail in 1982, will start just a few days after a referendum on a new constitution through which the US-backed authorities intend to bury the legacy of Saddam’s dictatorship.

The source, who is not attached to the Special Tribunal trying the deposed president and his aides for crimes against humanity, forecast a quick trial and execution.

“After what he did, how can we not execute him?” he said.

On Thursday, Iraq hung its first three criminals since Saddam was overthrown in 2003 and officials in the Shi’ite-led government have made clear they want a death sentence for the man they blame for the deaths of many thousands.

The trial may stir passions among some minority Sunni Arabs, who dominated Iraq under Saddam and before. In some demonstrations this past week against the new constitution, his face has reappeared in public, on placards and posters.

Saddam followers also play a role in the violence against US troops and forces loyal to the Shi’ite-led government.

For that reason, the timing of the trial has been sensitive; judicial officials indicated last month that the Dujail hearings would be ready to begin by the beginning of October, so the choice of October 19 appears politically driven to avoid it clashing with the referendum campaign.

The referendum is due to take place by October 15 and the Electoral Commission, which will set the exact date shortly, has said it is likely to be on or very close to the 15th.

Officials from the Special Tribunal which is trying the deposed Iraqi leader and his associates for crimes against humanity declined to comment. They have, in the past, complained that government leaders were pre-empting their statements.

The timing of any conviction and sentencing, and indeed execution, may be similarly affected by a parliamentary election due in December. Officials say the trial will not run into years or anything like the time former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic has been before the international court at The Hague.

Weeks rather than months, was a forecast by one official involved in the process. He also said recently it was possible that Saddam might be executed if convicted only of the killings at Dujail, so that further trials for mass murder against Kurds and Shi’ites and other offences might never take place.

The Iraqi government, reflecting a popular mood, seems keen on dispatching the former leader quickly, hence the choice of the relatively small Dujail case to begin the process.

Prosecutors have said Saddam’s direct responsibility for the deaths may be easier to prove. The case involves the deaths of possibly more than 140 men from the village, north of Baghdad, where Saddam survived an assassination attempt in 1982.

Legal observers have said the United States may be keener on seeing a full-blown trial for war crimes and genocide that might comfort its case for invading Iraq, albeit at the risk of Saddam using the hearings as a political platform and possibly embarrassing Washington by recalling its former support for him.

The trial, which officials have said will probably largely be televised, will be held in a specially prepared building inside the fortified Green Zone government compound which was once Saddam’s presidential palace complex on the Tigris.

Burundi’s President sworn in

Mr Nkurunziza pledged to fight corruption and promote an all-inclusive government in the central African nation.

The 40 year old former Hutu rebel leader took an oath of office for a five-year period under the terms of the country’s power-sharing constitution endorsed in February.

“I pledge to fight all ideology and acts of genocide and exclusion, to
promote and defend the individual and collective rights and freedoms of persons and of the citizen,” swore Nkurunziza.
Speaking in Kinyarwanda — the country’s national language — Nkurunziza said his government would not tolerate corruption, a problem plaguing many African nations.

“Those who are caught taking bribes and plundering public resources will be punished in an exemplary way,” he said.

“Our victory… belongs to all Burundians of all social categories. It is
the victory of a democracy resolved to fight exclusion,” added Nkurunziza.

The swearing in also marked the end of an extended four-year transitional period that ushered in democratic rule in a country struggling from the devastation of a civil war that has claimed the lives of 300,000 people.

He also called on the country’s only active rebel group, National
Liberation Forces (FNL), to “stop fighting and open negotiations with the government so that the country can be peaceful.”

His remarks were echoed by outgoing president Domitien Ndayizeye, who in a symbolic gesture of power transfer, handed his successor the country’s flag and the baton of the army commander.

“We cannot forget that the FNL has not laid down arms,” said Ndayizeye.

“We ask them to immediately return to the negotiating table for their good and the good of Burundians.”

In addition, Nkurunziza vowed to “take all possible measures” against those who failed in their duty to be loyal citizens, especially rapists and thieves.

World leaders hailed the official end of the political transition process started four years ago after the signature of a peace deal in Arusha in Tanzania in 2000.

“I would like to congratulate the people of Burundi and their leaders for the determination that they have shown in carrying out the transitional period to its end,” UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a statement read by the head of UN peacekeeping operations, Jean-Marie Guehenno.

“The people of Burundi voted for peace, they deserve to live in dignity
without violence or intimidation,” he added.

Indigenous legal backlog

Law Council head John North warned it is gravely concerned about the possibility that “the merging of legal services has brought about an inferior quality of legal representation, where indigenous people are unrepresented or spending unnecessary amounts of time on remand.”

He said there have been suggestions that some Aborigines may have been held for months on remand and others are thought to have pleaded guilty rather than face trial without legal representation amid a massive backlog of cases.

“It’s no good saying there’s a backlog and all this sort of thing, you cannot, in a democratic country, have people on remand who are innocent until proven guilty,” Mr North told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Such a trend could potentially add to the already high incarceration rate of Australia’s indigenous population, he said.

According to statistics published by the Healthinfonet online service, 20 percent of Australia’s prisoners in 2002 were Aboriginal, a disproportionate level of incarceration for a group which accounts for just 2 percent of the overall population.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock recently consolidated indigenous legal aid in the state of Queensland as part of a post-ATSIC rationalisation.

From 12 service providers, Queensland is now down to two legal aid organisations.

The Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Legal Service won the tender to provide indigenous legal aid for all areas north of Mackay up to the tip of Queensland’s Cape York.

The organisation has effectively taken charge of legal services for the bulk of the state’s indigenous people.

Service staff said it had inherited a backlog of cases when handed the major contract, provoking anger from the Law Council of Australia.

“If ‘streamlining’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services has led to longer delays and a deterioration in the quality of representation in Queensland, then it is an appalling state of affairs that must be rectified straight away,” Mr North said.

According to the AAP, the Queensland Chief Justice Marshall Irwin this week confirmed he had held talks with the Townsville-based legal service to discuss resolving the problem.

The federal government has also promised to address the issue.