Premier League Transfer News June 9, 2017: Jose Mourinho Makes Big Bid, Chelsea Deals With Costa




And they’re off. The transfer window slides open today with the English football's wealthiest clubs deciding how to spend their money.

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United is set to make a £60 million bid as he looks to bring in a big-name, prolific striker. Chelsea, meanwhile, is looking to do the opposite after news of Diego Costa’s rift with Antonio Conte on Thursday.

Arsene Wenger has been urged to be more assertive in the transfer market this summer, but reports today suggest that the Arsenal manager is trying to hold onto players rather than sign them. Here, Newsweek takes you through all the news and rumors in the Premier League’s transfer market:

One of the certainties at Old Trafford this summer seemed to be that captain Wayne Rooney would be heading for the exit. Everton was a possible destination, as was going to China or the MLS in the United States. But, according to the Daily Mail, Rooney is considering remaining at Manchester United and seeing out his £250,000-a-week deal that has one year to run.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is unlikely to be at the club next season, though, as the BBC say United is not going to offer the 35-year-old striker a new contract. His replacement could be Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, and United are set to make an improved bid of £60 million for the 24-year-old, according to The Guardian.

Related: ‘Fed Up’ Jose Mourinho Gives Transfer Ultimatum to Manchester United CEO

News that Antonio Conte wants to get rid of Chelsea striker Diego Costa has seen various rumors about his next move. The Daily Mirror says the Spanish striker is in talks over a £40 million move to AC Milan, but The Sun claims Costa has begged Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to help him stay at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea is among the suitors, who also include Manchester City, for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk after Liverpool ended its interest in the defender. According to the Daily Mail, Southampton will not let him leave for less than £70 million.

In north London, Arsenal is confident that Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin will remain at the Emirates Stadium this summer, according to the London Evening Standard, despite strong interest from Barcelona. The paper also says Brighton, Newcastle, Watford and Stoke are keen on signing Gunners’ left-back Kieran Gibbs.

Arsenal is, however, preparing for Alexis Sanchez to leave. The Daily Mirror says Bayern Munich will offer the 28-year-old striker £350,000-a-week to take him to the Allianz Arena.

Jurgen Klopp has been keen on signing former Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah but, according to the Liverpool Echo, Roma’s valuation of £35 million is pricing Liverpool out of the market.

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Man Killed a Muslim Worker, Burned His Body and Filmed it to Raise Money and 'Become a Hindu Hero'




A Hindu man got his 12-year-old nephew to film him killing a Muslim laborer in India, in an attempt to raise funds for his anti-Islam camapign, according to police in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan.

The suspect, Shambulal Regar, shared his bank account details along with videos of the murder that mainly circulated on Whatsapp and received 300,000 rupees ($4,665) from more than 700 people across India.

“The accused wanted to become a Hindu hero after killing a Muslim man; his main aim was to collect money after committing the hate crime,” police officer Anand Shrivastava told Reuters.

Police have since frozen his wife's bank account as more than 500 people pledged donations to Regar's legal defense, local media reported. His supporters also staged a demonstration on Thursday. Ensuing clashes injured at least 30 demonstrators and 20 police officers, and there were 50 arrests, authorities told local media.

The videos began circulating on December 6, the same day that a charred body was found by a passerby who informed the police. The victim was a laborer from the eastern Indian state of West Bengal who worked near the area where he was killed.

Regar was arrested the day after the body was found. Regar’s underaged nephew was also arrested last week as police said he was the one who shot the videos, The Indian Express reported.

In one of the videos, which have since been taken down, Regar is seen attacking the man with an iron rod and then stabbing him as he lies on the ground, local media reported. In another, he pours a liquid over the body of the man and then throwing a match on it as he rants about “jihadis.”

According to the police, the man described himself as a proud Hindu fighting against a “love jihad”—a term Hindu hardliners use to accuse Muslim men of marrying Hindu women to convert them to Islam.

The police don't believe Regar knew the victim of his hate crime, the latest in a string of attacks against India’s Muslim minority—less than 8 percent of the country’s 1.32 billion citizens—that has increasingly been the target of Hindu extremists.

Muslims offer prayers as they take part in a protest against mob lynchings of Muslims who were accused of possessing beef, in Kolkata, India, June 28. A Hindu extremist was filmed killing a Muslim worker, police in the Indian state of Rajasthan said. Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Hindu vigilantes have killed at least 11 people this year whom they suspected of killing or eating cows, an animal that conservative Hindus consider sacred, according to data journalism organization IndiaSpend, and cow-related hate crimes have increased.

In one recent instance, a Muslim man was shot dead while transporting cows near the Rajasthan-Haryana border after he and his two aides were attacked by a group of people, as BBC reported in November.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who leads the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, has publicly condemned the cow-related violence, but his critics say he hasn’t done enough to stop the anti-Muslim attacks.

After Hindu vigilantes take the cows from Muslim farmers, these end up in cow shelters that often sell or give the stolen cattle to Hindu farmers, a practice that has seen a steep increase in states governed by Modi’s party, according to a Reuters investigation published last month.


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How Nintendo's Iconic Mario Met the Rabbids for Ubisoft's 'Passion Project'




When concept art of Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle first leaked for the Nintendo Switch, the Internet recoiled. There are few figures in gaming as instantly recognizable as iconic Italian hero (and former plumber ) Mario. Mario has starred in dozens of Nintendo games, many considered classics: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2 , Mario Kart, Paper Mario, Mario Party, Super Smash Brothers … the list goes on and on.

Then we have Raving Rabbids, a spin-off from the Rayman series of platform games. The Rabbids are mischievous, rabbit-like creatures who scream “BWAH” and speak mostly gibberish as they scamper about causing chaos. While nowhere near as recognizable as Mario (is that even a fair point of comparison?), Rabbids has sold more than 14 million units worldwide. With their simple, blocky forms and buggy eyes, the Rabbids have often merited comparison to the ubiquitous minions of Despicable Me.

At first glance, pairing Mario with the Rabbids seemed insane. The concepts are too disparate and the Rabbids are too crazy, cried the Internet. Some considered the infusion of Rabbids a near-desecration of Mario ’s venerable history. But according to Ubisoft Creative Director Davide Soliani, the contrast between the two properties is what helps Kingdom Battle achieve a magic of its own.

“We decided to use the contrast between those two universes to leverage a new way of creating humor, new visuals, new game mechanics, new experiences,” said Soliani in an interview with Newsweek. “Those two universes seem very far from each other, but ... they are cartoonish, they are colorful and they are fun. Those are characters that can make a lot of people happy through humor and gameplay.”

When the Ubisoft team started brainstorming, they avoided the genres Nintendo had already perfected, such as platformers and racing. “We wanted something new, and we said, okay, we need to propose something that they will never do on their own, and something that they're not already doing, because they're already doing super well on many things,” he said.

That left a wide swath of possibilities. The concepts for 13 different Nintendo/Ubisoft crossover titles are still out there somewhere, from rhythm games to a first-person shooter, but the team was most captivated by the promise of a tactical game in the spirit of XCOM or Fire Emblem. The chaotic Rabbids were like a blank slate for friendly chaos, a bouquet (or bwah-quet) of opportunity. The Ubisoft team tested the strength of the game’s concept by polishing and presenting the idea internally before submitting it to Nintendo.

“It was not like, they're not doing this so let's do this. It was more, we're really into this game, let's expand it. Let's see if our idea during the brainstorming will convince us for good that it is something that we truly want to propose to Nintendo,” said Soliani.

Of course, Nintendo had rules for how Ubisoft could utilize their mustachioed superstar. Shigeru Miyamoto, the mastermind behind Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and other classic Nintendo properties, had two commandments for Soliani: don’t make a platformer and don’t make Mario jump. Soliani kept one rule, but broke the other. “[A]t the end we made Mario jump, but with the rules of our combat system and the rules of our game. And they were very happy about it,” he said.

One of the greatest challenges Soliani’s team faced was depicting Nintendo’s iconic characters and universe in an authentic, respectful way. “You know, Mario's jumping, something so iconic, exists for over 30 years and you cannot change it. Because people will say, hmm! The little coin sound should be exactly the Nintendo sound,” Soliani explained. In the final game, there are over 1200 animations per character for combat alone. “You can imagine that the animation was a big package in term of our work,” said Soliani. “But we had a beautiful relationship.”  

Soliani describes the collaboration between Nintendo and Ubisoft as “super smooth,” thanks in large part to everyone’s commitment and passion. “We worked like crazy on small details, small things that you can find here and there that are really not needed from a production point of value, but because this is a passion project, people were spontaneous, adding all the love,” he said.

The Rabbids side-by-side with the original Nintendo characters. Nintendo/Ubisoft

Soliani’s deep respect for Nintendo’s history and characters is the beating heart of what makes Kingdom Battle so successful. “Our game tries to have that kind of nostalgia for the Golden Age of the video game,” said Soliani. “We wanted to stay true to the Mario universe. Being lost in those beautiful worlds, searching for treasure, solving puzzles, finding new areas to help you throughout the game but also facing new enemies.”

That respect is borne from Soliani’s personal history with Nintendo. Soliani has been a Nintendo player “since the very beginning,” so he’s very familiar with the nostalgia he sought to evoke. “I’m not young anymore. I started really from the first Mario through all the games they did throughout their history. Miyamoto’s games especially really inspired me,” he said. “For me, Miyamoto-san was like a second father, telling me bedtime stories while I was about to sleep.”

Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle launched on Aug. 29 for the Nintendo Switch with a Metacritic score of 85%, or “generally favorable” reviews.


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Women and Consent: Tennis Pro Maxime Hamout Learns at French Open What Not to Do




French tennis player Maxime Hamou has been kicked out of the French Open for repeatedly kissing and groping a female reporter on camera.

Related: ESPN's '100 Most Famous Athletes' list omits baseball

During a post-match interview, the 21-year-old Hamou, ranked 287th in the world, put his arm around Eurosport reporter Maly Thomas and, over the course of about 35 seconds, repeatedly kissed her as she attempted to interview him. Thomas tried to wriggle away from Hamou, but his grip on her shoulder remained firm. Toward the end of the interview, he moved his hand closer to her neck and, ultimately, across the front of her blouse before she flung it away and escaped.

The French Federation of Tennis called it a "reprehensible act."

Also reprehensible was the response from studio host Henri Leconte, a former tennis pro who laughs and claps heartily as Hamou assaults Thomas.

Though the interview came after Hamou lost in straight sets to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in the tournament's first round, the Open still felt the need to publicly ban the Frenchman from the rest of the tournament. “The management of the tournament has decided to revoke Maxime Hamou’s accreditation following his reprehensible behavior with a journalist yesterday,” the French Tennis Federation said in statement provided to The Telegraph.

Thomas smiles throughout the interview before throwing Hamou's arm off of her chest, but don't be mistaken: “If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him," she told Huffington Post France.

Hamou on Tuesday released an apology via his Instagram account (translation via Deadspin):

After the show “Avantage Leconte,” I have to give my deepest regrets to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt or shocked by my attitude during her interview. I just lived a magnificent week here at Roland Garros as I lived my most beautiful thrills as a tennis player, and I allowed my overflow of enthusiasm to bleed clumsily toward Maly, who I know and respect sincerely. Nothing but what is written was my intention. I am at her disposition to present my apologies in person if she would like it. I again learn from my mistakes every day to become a better tennis player and a better person.

Thomas's network, Eurosport, issued a statement provided to Retuers on Tuesday. "We sincerely regret the incident that occurred during yesterday evening’s interview between Maly Thomas and Maxime Hamou. The behavior of the interviewee was highly inappropriate and we do not condone such conduct in any way. Maly is a highly respected journalist and we are pleased that a full apology is being offered."

The French Tennis Federation has said that it will continue to investigate the incident.


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How Bad Is Sucrose For You? Sugar Industry Has Covered Up The Truth For 50 Years




When research funded by the sugar industry began to show evidence that sucrose was linked to poor cardiovascular health nearly 50 years ago, the industry pulled the plug on the study and then tried to hide the fact that it had ever commissioned the work, according to a new report. 

In 1965, the Sugar Research Foundation funded an animal study, “Project 259: Dietary Carbohydrate and Blood Lipids in Germ-Free Rats,” according to an investigation published online by PLOS Biology. The aim of the study, conducted by Dr. W.F.R. Pover at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. between 1967 and 1971, was to investigate the different effects sugar has on rats.

Related: Cancer feeds on sugar to make tumors more aggressive 

As you might predict, results began to suggest that sugar wasn’t so healthy after all. According to The Independent, these study results were one of the first times that scientists noted a biological difference between sucrose and starch consumption in rats.

As it became apparent that sucrose may cause heart disease and bladder cancer in the rats, the sugar industry terminated the project, and the results went unpublished. Cristin Kearns, Dorie Apollonio and Stanton Glantz from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), reviewed sugar industry documents and discovered the cover-up. 

Although it's well known today that sugar is bad for your health, 50 years ago this wasn't the case. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for DuJour

"The kind of manipulation of research is similar to what the tobacco industry does," co-author Stanton Glantz said in a statement. "This kind of behavior calls into question sugar industry-funded studies as a reliable source of information for public policy making."

Related: Eating sugar makes men sad but not women, 30-year study indicates 

Not publishing study results is a common practice. Science is unpredictable, and often when projects do not yield the results the researcher (or the company funding the project) would like, the findings may suddenly disappear. Today, this is illegal, as a 2007 law requires public reporting of study results. However, nearly half a century ago these cover-ups were more likely to go unseen.

As for the sugar industry, this isn’t the first time it has been caught trying to cover up evidence suggesting that sugar is bad for you. In a 2016 paper, Kearns and Glantz found evidence showing that when a 1967 Harvard-led study paid for by Big Sugar failed to disprove claims that sugar played a role in heart disease, the researchers instead significantly downplayed the link between sugar and heart disease, NPR reported.

We already knew that sugar can have adverse effects on health before this cover-up was revealed. Still, the paper highlights the importance of following the money when it comes to scientific research.

While it can be easy to read the research conclusions and take them as the truth, in reality research funders can play a large role in study results. For this reason, the public is reminded to view the parts of a research paper, not just the conclusion.

As for the funding behind the study that revealed the cover-up? Among others, we find sugar’s biggest enemy: dentists. Or, specifically, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and UCSF's School of Dentistry, the Department of Orofacial Sciences and the Global Oral Health Program.


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Hillary Clinton: Vladimir Putin Is a Sexist Manspreader, Trump's U.N. Speech 'Dark and Dangerous'




Hillary Clinton continued her book publicity tour Tuesday night when she stopped by CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

As well as touting her memoir What Happened about the 2016 presidential election, Clinton, who was often accused of being cold and impersonal during the campaign trail, showed good humor as she shared a glass of Chardonnay with Colbert and even dropped a few anecdotes.

The most interesting story was her difficult relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin during her time as secretary of state under President Obama.

Clinton and Colbert discussed Russia’s involvement in hacking the election—"[Putin] doesn’t like democracy...he wants to destabilize our country," she said—before segueing into her own interactions with him.

Clinton told Colbert that she and Putin clashed on diplomatic matters when she was in office “which he did morph into a grudge against me.”

“I don’t take it personally,” Clinton said. “I see it as I was doing my job. I was honored to speak out on behalf of American values and our democracy.”

The former Democratic presidential candidate accused Putin of sexism, saying, “Partly because I’m a woman, which seems to get him a bit agitated…”

Colbert asked for an example of a time she experienced misogyny. Clinton said Putin would manspread in her presence.

“There’s an expression, we certainly know it in New York, called manspreading. Every time I met with him...it would be [legs sprawled out]. The whole deal,” she said.

Clinton said she often tried to find things in common with Putin when they had meetings, and at one point complimented him on campaigning for wildlife conservation of Siberian tigers and other animals in Russia.

“Then he came alive. Then we had an interesting conversation,” Clinton.

Related: Watch Sean Spicer on Jimmy Kimmel Live

“He said, ‘Come with me,’ he takes me down the stairs, down the corridor, into the door...into this inner-sanctum with this huge desk and the biggest map of Russia I think exists. He started telling me he’s going here to tag polar bears.”

Clinton saw this as an opening for an invite. But, wait. There’s a punchline. “Then he says to me, ‘Would your husband like to come?’” Clinton recalled.

Clinton also gave her opinion on President Trump’s United Nations address earlier Tuesday in New York, where he incredulously referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man” and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea in the event of nuclear threat against the U.S.

The former secretary of state told Colbert she thought the speech was “dark and dangerous” and would not alleviate tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, but incite them. “Not the kind of message the leader of the greatest nation in the world should be delivering,” said Clinton.

Clinton said the “approach should always be diplomatic.”

So how would she handle the situation?

Clinton said: “What I hoped the president would have said is something along the lines of: ‘We view this as dangerous to our allies, the region and even to our country. We call on all nations to work with us to try and end the threat posed by Kim Jong Un.’”

“And not call him Rocket Man,” she continued. “But to say it clearly, ‘We will not tolerate attacks on our friends or ourselves.’ But you should lead with diplomacy, lead with the commitment to avoid conflict however you can.”


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