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EU Awards Ukraine And Moldova Candidate Status

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Ukraine’s long-term goal of joining the European Union has received its latest shot in the arm, after the bloc’s 27 member states agreed Thursday that the country should be given candidate status — a significant step on the path to full membership for the war torn country.

“Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” European Council President Charles Michel said on Twitter after talks in Brussels. Leaders also agreed to approve Moldova’s candidacy.

EU awards Ukraine and Moldova candidate status

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he “sincerely commends” the European Council’s decision, calling it “a unique and historical moment in EU/Ukraine relations.”

The decision, made at an EU Council summit, comes a week after President of the European Commission Ursula von Der Leyen said it was the opinion of the bloc’s executive body that Ukraine deserved candidate status because it “has clearly demonstrated the country’s aspiration and the country’s determination to live up to European values and standards.”

EU awards Ukraine and Moldova candidate status

It is still likely to be years before Ukraine is able to join the EU formally as the process is lengthy and requires agreement from the 27 member states at almost every stage.

Ukraine applied days after the Russian invasion in February, and the process moved at a record speed.

The mayor of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, former boxer Vitali Klitschko, paid an emotional tribute to his fellow citizens resisting the invasion.

“We paid a very high price for this chance,” he wrote on Telegram. “Yes, we still have a lot to do on the way to the European family.

“But I am sure that Ukraine will do everything necessary, fulfil all the conditions and pass the necessary laws. Because otherwise our state has no future. Indeed, our best defenders are dying for it.”

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Update: Anita Alvarez Banned From Competing In Artistic Swimming Final At The World Championships

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US artistic swimmer, Anita Alvarez has been banned from competing in the team final at the World Championships today, 48 hours after she was dragged unconscious from the pool.

Alvarez fainted during her individual routine in Budapest on Wednesday afternoon, June 22, and had to be dramatically rescued by her coach, Andrea Fuentes.

The swimmer had hoped to take part in the final today, but the International Swimming Federation decided to exclude her just hours before the event was due to begin.

This comes after coach Fuentes said the four Olympic and 16 World Championship medals had a good chance of taking part to represent her country after tests.

Fuentes revealed Alvarez stopped breathing for ‘at least two minutes’ during the ordeal following her performance in the women’s solo free event.

Alvarez regained consciousness after being recovered from the water, received immediate first aid, and was reportedly recovering well.

She broke her silence on her latest ordeal overnight in an interview with NBC Nightly News and hailed Fuentes’ actions.

She said: ‘I mean I say this all the time to her and to other people, [I’m] just so grateful to have her as a coach. When I found out she was coming to be our coach, it was like, I didn’t believe it.’

Of the incident, she added: ‘I remember feeling like it was a really great performance. Like, my best one by far and not only just how I performed but just that I was actually enjoying it and really living in the moment too. So, because of that I feel really happy and really proud.

‘And then at the very end, I do remember like the very last arm I did, I gave like, it’s such a simple small arm. But I was like give everything until the very end and I did that and then I remember going down and just being like, kind of like, ‘uh-oh, I don’t feel too great. And that’s literally the last thing I remember actually.’

During an Olympics qualifying event in Barcelona 2021, Fuentes also saved the swimmer after she was filmed diving in and pulling her to safety when she fainted in the pool.

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Erling Haaland Eyes Paul Pogba’s £3m Mansion Which Includes Personalised Indoor Pitch | PHOTOS

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Erling Haaland is eyeing up Paul Pogba’s £3m pad as he looks to get settled in Manchester.

The Norwegian recently made the move to Manchester City after spending two-and-a-half hugely impressive years in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund. Haaland is now seeking a new property to call home and has set his sights on Pogba’s mansion.

The five-bedroom home in plush Hale Barns, Cheshire, currently belongs to the Frenchman, but his recent departure from Manchester United means he has little use for it now. There is also no thought of him returning to the Premier League so offloading it may well be on the cards, reports The Sun.

The mansion includes an indoor pool
The gaff is available for £30k a month

The £3m property is also available to rent for a whopping £30,000-a-month. It boasts a gym, heated swimming pool and a sauna, but its standout feature is the indoor pitch which, was known as the P.P. Arena by Pogba. It has mini goals, an electronic scoreboard, LED lighting and Pogba’s logo on the centre circle.

The Frenchman is set to re-sign with Juventus – the club he left in 2016 – after his contract at Old Trafford expired. Pogba and Haaland are both managed by the same company and the former may be wiling to lend a helping hand.

The property boasts an indoor games room
Paul Pogba is leave Manchester so is looking for a new tenant

And a source said: “Erling is keen to get settled down as quickly as possible so he can hit the ground running at City. So a key part of that is to get himself sorted with a new home as soon as he can. He and Paul know each other and share the same management team.

“Given how Paul’s time at United has gone, he’s unlikely to return to the UK so he will be looking to sell his house but he would be happy to rent it if necessary. It has everything a top level footballer needs — and a bit of mischief in the house as well with the footie pitch. Paul and Erling are quite similar characters. They like to enjoy themselves so it could really appeal to him.”

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Wayne Rooney Quits As Derby County Coach

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Manchester United legend, Wayne Rooney has quit as Derby County manager with immediate effect despite a report they are finally on the brink of exiting administration.

The England record goalscorer departed just three days before the Rams were due to report for pre-season training.. Rooney had one year left of a lucrative contract.

The news comes after Derby were relegated from the Championship to third-tier League One this past season having been handed two separate points deductions for entering administration and breaching financial rules earlier in the season.

“Over the course of the Summer I have been closely following developments regarding the ownership of Derby County,” Rooney wrote in a club statement.

“Today I met with the administrators to inform them of my decision that it was time for me to leave the club. In fairness to them, they tried tremendously hard to change my decision but my mind was made up.

“My time at the club has been a rollercoaster of emotions, both highs and lows, but I have to say that I have enjoyed the challenge.

“Personally, I feel the club now needs to be led by someone with fresh energy and not affected by the events that have happened over the last eighteen months. I will remember my time at Derby with great pride and affection and would like to thank all my staff, players and of course the fans for their incredible support. I will never forget you and hope to see you all again in the near future and in happier times.”

Last week, American businessman Chris Kirchner withdrew his bid to purchase the club.

“Finally, I am aware that the club still have interested parties who wish to take over the running of the club,” Rooney added. “To them I say this, Derby County is a great club with a great history and great fans. I wish you all the best and much success for the future.”

A spokesperson for Derby’s administrators admitted they were disappointed with Rooney’s decision.

“The joint administrators are very disappointed that Wayne has taken the difficult decision to leave the club and we have spent some time today trying to persuade him to stay but understand his reasons for wanting to go,” they wrote. “We are extremely grateful to him for his excellent work in the face of challenging on-field circumstances in the 2021/22 season and admire the manner in which he has led the team, the club and the local community through various off-field issues.

“The joint administrators recognise that staff and supporters will be frustrated and equally disappointed by this news, but we all wish him, his wife Coleen and their four boys every success in the future and we are sure they will always be welcomed back.

“All parties recognise the need to conclude a sale of the business and assets of the Club, as a matter of urgency and the joint administrators wish to reconfirm that Wayne’s departure will not affect those ongoing, positive discussions.”

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