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Neymar prepares to reach Brazil 100th cap milestone and says he’s happy

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Singapore – On the eve of his 100th international Brazilian appearance, striker Neymar spoke Wednesday about his committment to both his country and his club, Paris-Saint Germain.

Brazil face Senegal on Thursday in a friendly in Singapore and the Brazilian federation presented Neymar with a special shirt on Wednesday with the number 100 on the back instead of his customary 10.

“I’m happy in the national team and with my club too,” said Neymar, who tried to escape Paris and return to Barcelona in the summer.

“Everyone knows what happened during the last transfer window, my initial desires, but today I’m happy and I feel comfortable in my club.”

“The season has started well for me. I’m going to defend my club tooth and nail,” said the 27-year-old who has struggled with foot injuries during his time in Paris. “I will give 100% so that we can do great things.”

The shirt was presented by Bebeto, a striker who played 75 times for Brazil, appearing in two World Cup finals, winning the first in 1994.

“I’m happy to reach this number,” said Neymar. “The results are very positive, even if a footballer’s life is not all about winning. There are also many disappointments, defeats. You make mistakes.”

Neymar has scored 61 goals in 99 games for the Selecao, making him the third highest scorer in the history of his national team. He is one behind Ronaldo but needs 16 to catch Pele.

He won an Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 but has experienced many disappointments, particularly at the World Cup.

In 2014, in Brazil, a back injury in the quarter-finals against Colombia prevented him from being on the field during the 7-1 semi-final debacle against Germany.


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Unions serve SAA with 48-hour strike notice

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Unions serve SAA with 48-hour strike notice


The announcement comes just hours after the South African Airways board warned industrial action could sound the death knell for the struggling airline.


FILE: They say their members would go on strike on Friday, angry over the airline’s announcement of restructuring that could lead to mass job cuts. Picture: South African Airways.

CAPE TOWN – Trade unions on Wednesday served the South African Airways (SAA) with a 48-hour strike notice.

They say their members would go on strike on Friday, angry over the airline’s announcement of restructuring that could lead to mass job cuts.

The announcement comes just hours after the SAA board warned industrial action could sound the death knell for the struggling airline.

More details to follow.


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Could digging up the ocean floor help save the planet?

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Scientists are looking at what would happen if we were to dig up the ocean floor for metals.

They’re particularly interested in cobalt, which is a prime ingredient of the rechargeable batteries found in phones and electric cars.

As more and more of us choose to move away from fossil fuels, the demand for cobalt is even greater.

But what damage could mining the seabed do to marine life?

Video by Laura Foster

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Venice Floods Because of Highest Tide in 50 Years

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ROME — The mayor of Venice, who said that the city “was on its knees,” has called for a state of emergency and the closing of all schools after the Italian city was submerged under “acqua alta,” an exceptionally high tide — the highest in 50 years.

Outdoor restaurant tables and chairs could be seen bobbing in the waters, and tourists were forced to clamber through the windows of high-end hotels as the water rose to about six feet before 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

As dawn broke on Wednesday, the authorities began to survey the damage.

“I’ve seen things in San Marco I thought I’d never see,” Mayor Luigi Brugnaro of Venice told the Italian station Radio24. “It is a very difficult situation,” he added.

The flooding was the second highest in the city’s history, after the disastrous flood of 1966, which peaked at 6.3 feet. Last year, as severe weather in Italy killed 11 people, ferocious winds drove the high tide in Venice to more than five feet above average sea level.

Residents and tourists could be seen wading through water in rain boots. The water invaded the ground floors of many historic palazzos, stores, restaurants and hotels. At least three vaporetti, Venice’s public transportation boats, sank, Italian media reported. One floated over the banks that line the city’s canals, ending up perilously close to buildings.

Famous tourist spots like St. Mark’s Square were under several feet of water by Wednesday. The crypt of St. Mark’s Basilica was flooded by more than three feet of water, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Almost exactly a year ago, after a violent storm had swept the city, concerns were raised about the basilica’s ability to withstand the effects of the changing climate, the growing number of days in which the city was under water, and the onslaught of tourists.

By Wednesday morning, the historic piazza was expected to be under five feet of water.

“Venice is on its knees,” the mayor said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday with photos showing him walking through the basilica with the city’s principal prelate, the patriarch of Venice, Francesco Moraglia.

The newspaper Il Gazzettino, under a banner headline, “Acqua Alta. Fear and Anger in Venice,” described the city’s residents as “barricaded in their homes.”

The home page of the city’s website bore no good news. More high water was expected in the coming days.

Italian news outlets reported that at least one man had died by electrocution while trying to pump water from his home in Pellestrina, an island that borders on the Venetian lagoon and forms a barrier against the Adriatic Sea.

Mr. Brugnaro said the situation in Pellestrina was critical because the water had overwhelmed sea walls.

“We can’t get the pumps to work because they are underwater,” the mayor said.

Italy has also invested billions of euros in a flood-protection system known by the acronym MOSE, but its offshore underwater dams have yet to be completed.

Though Venetian residents have gotten used to wading through flooded streets, strong winds on Tuesday coincided with the high tide, submerging the city.

“Acqua alta has always been normal,” said Lorenzo Bonometto, an expert on lagoon ecology. But the combined high tide and strong winds made the result “an exceptional event,” he said.

The frequency of acqua alta has become more troubling, experts say, and is linked to rising seawater levels, not only in Venice, but also around the world.

Sea levels are rising “at a faster rate” than experts had expected, and that is having a greater impact on the lagoon city, Mr. Bonometto said.

There is also the added fact that Venice is sinking.

Luigi Cavaleri, a at the Institute of Marine Sciences in Venice said the city’s subsidence and the rising sea levels meant that Venice was sinking at a rate of one-fifth of an inch a year. That means that the city will be submerged by water more frequently.

Mr. Cavaleri said last year’s storm was a much more serious event, but noted, “Floods will continue.”

Had the flood system been operational, he said, “the city might have been spared. Hopefully, it will be for the next flood.”

Antonio Gesualdi, a spokesman for the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, which has overseen the development and the construction the flood barriers, said that tests were being carried out, and that next year, tests would be carried out for acqua alta.

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