Sports world pays tribute to victims

People observe a minute of silence for the victims of an attack that left at least 84 people dead in Nice when a man drove a truck through a crowd, in Carhaix-Plouguer, western France, on Friday on the second day of the 25th edition of the Festival des Vieilles Charrues. (AFP)
Updated 16 July 2016
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Sports world pays tribute to victims

PARIS: France Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah, riders at the Tour de France and golfers at the British Open led tributes Friday from the world of sport to the victims of the Nice terror attack.
The Tour’s 13th stage only went ahead amid heightened security after Thursday night’s truck attack on the French Riviera city which killed at least 84 people.
Organizers declared cycling’s blue riband event in mourning, with a minute’s silence held at the start of the time trial stage at Bourg-Saint-Andeol.
Another silent tribute will be held at the end of the day’s riding at La Caverne du Pont d’Arc in the Ardeche region.
“We want this day to be dignified in homage to the victims,” said Tour director Christian Prudhomme.
Defending champion and race leader Chris Froome took to Twitter to express his sorrow.
“Thoughts are with those affected by the horrific terror attack in Nice,” the Briton wrote, alongside a picture of the French flag.
At Royal Troon, golfers wore black ribbons on their caps for the second round of the Open Championship.
The French flag flew at half mast over one of the stands around the 18th green at Troon on Scotland’s west coast.
France’s Clement Sordet, who lives in Nice, sported the message ‘Pray for Nice’.
“My thoughts are with the families and the victims. I woke up at 4am and tried to find out what had been going on, mainly on the radio,” Sordet said at the end of his round.
“The attack happened less than 500 meters from where I live. My girlfriend’s family come from there.”
A minute’s silence was also observed at Roscoff, on the Brittany coast on the first day of the Tour de France sailing regatta, which finishes on July 31 in the stricken Riviera resort of Nice.
The attack cast a pall over France’s quarter-final Davis Cup clash in the Czech Republic.
“We woke up in sadness. We are all affected so much,” France captain Noah, on the verge of tears, told journalists before the tie in the eastern Czech town of Trinec.
The French tennis great described the Bastille Day massacre as a heavy blow “for us, for our country, for all who are trying to give happiness.”
“Pray for Nice,” read a sign held by French fans, accompanied by a red heart.
The French team and officials stood together wearing black ribbons on their jackets.
They joined fans in singing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, after a minute’s silence.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal paid tribute in a message in French.
“I’ve heard the news, and I am horrified by what’s happened in Nice. Support to the French people, to all the victims and their families” the 14-time major winner tweeted.
La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona expressed their sorrow.
European champions Real “deeply regret the attack in Nice and want to convey our solidarity with the victims, families and all the French people.”
Real star Gareth Bale, the Wales captain who led his country to the Euro 2016 semifinals, took to Twitter, posting: “This has to stop!!! My thoughts are with everyone in Nice #PrayForNice” alongside a heart in the French tricolor.
Barcelona also took to social media to relay their “shock and grief after the attack in Nice. All our love and affection to the families and friends of the victims.”


EU slaps sanctions on Syrians, Russians over attacks

Updated 21 January 2019
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EU slaps sanctions on Syrians, Russians over attacks

  • EU foreign ministers slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center

BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on four Russians blamed for a nerve agent attack in Britain as well as a Syrian research center and its staff as the 28-nation bloc stepped up its action against the use of chemical weapons.
EU foreign ministers slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center.
Five of those targeted are linked to the Syrian center’s activities. Britain’s foreign office said they “have played a central role in the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against their own people.”
The four Russians on the list are the two men accused of planting the nerve agent in Salisbury last March, Anatoly Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, and their superiors, the head and deputy head of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence unit.
The ministers said in a statement from their meeting in Brussels that the sanctions move “contributes to the EU’s efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, which poses a serious threat to international security.”
It’s the first time the EU has imposed sanctions to combat chemical weapons.
“Today’s new sanctions deliver on our vow to take tough action against the reckless and irresponsible activities of the Russian military intelligence organization, the GRU, which put innocent British citizens in serious danger in Salisbury last year,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement.
“We will continue to show our willingness to stand up for the international rules that keep us safe, and which the Kremlin and the Assad regime seek to undermine,” he added.