An Air France flight en route from Paris to New Delhi made an emergency landing at Sofia Airport in Bulgaria on Friday at about 5 p.m. (1500 GMT) because of a disruptive passenger, Bulgarian officials said on Saturday.
The passenger, an Indian citizen, began to act up soon after take-off, quarrelling with other passengers, assaulting a flight attendant and pummelling the cockpit’s door, said Ivailo Angelov, an official at the National Investigation Agency.
His aggressive behaviour prompted the flight’s commander to seek an emergency landing in Sofia. The man, whose name was not revealed, was taken off the aircraft and has been charged with endangering flight safety. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
The Air France flight resumed its journey to New Delhi.
”We are investigating both his actions and his motives,” Angelov told reporters. ”There is no reasonable explanation for his behaviour,” Angelov said.
Arsenal thought they should have had a penalty in the final 15 minutes when Erik Pieters appeared to handle in the area but referee Andre Marriner did not give it and his decision was ratified by Kevin Friend, the VAR. There was further drama in the final six minutes when Pieters was then sent off for handling Nicolas Pepe‘s goalbound effort and a penalty was awarded, only for the red card to be rescinded and the penalty withdrawn following another VAR review that showed Pieters had used his shoulder.
The draw means Arsenal failed to make progress in their attempt to finish in the top four, with Arteta’s side nine points off Chelsea in fourth.
Arteta made five changes to his side ahead of a trip to Greece to play Olympiakos in the Europa League next Thursday before the North London derby with Tottenham next Sunday. And his side got off to the perfect start when Willian found Aubameyang early on, and his low shot squirmed past Nick Pope and into the bottom corner to put the visitors ahead. Pope would not have wanted to see a replay of that one, especially with England manager Gareth Southgate in attendance ahead of the upcoming international break.
Burnley, looking to complete a first league double over Arsenal since 1963, were flat in the first half and should have fallen further behind mid-way through when Bukayo Saka, on his 50th league appearance for Arsenal, sent a gilt-edged opportunity wide from close range.
Sean Dyche’s men had played twice since Arsenal’s win at Leicester last time out for Arteta’s men and it showed, with the home side looking lethargic against an energised visiting attack. Thomas Partey was the next player to threaten a shaky Pope but his effort sailed over.
The home side needed a moment of fortune to get back into the match and it duly arrived seven minutes before the break in comical style. Xhaka received a pass from Bernd Leno and looked to find David Luiz, but his ball was weak and cannoned off Wood into an empty net to give Burnley the most unlikely of equalisers.
Martin Odegaard tested Pope with a low drive six minutes into the second half as Arsenal sought to regain their lead, before Saka had an effort blocked inside the area. Arteta then introduced Alexandre Lacazette for Martin Odegaard just after the hour mark in a bid to spark his side into life, and his side were certain they should have had a penalty when Pieters appeared to handle inside the box.
Chris Wood wasted a glorious chance to put Burnley ahead with 10 minutes remaining but Leno stood firm to deny him and at the other end, substitute Pepe fluffed his lines with the goal at his mercy.
In a dramatic finale, Burnley survived two calls for penalties and Arsenal hit the post through Dani Ceballos as the home side clung on.
Arsenal came into their Premier League game against Burnley looking to build on encouraging victories against Leicester City and Benfica.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ensured that momentum continued when he scored within six minutes, though an absolute shocking error from Granit Xhaka — when he tried to pass the ball sideways in his own six-yard box but only succeeded in rebounding the ball off Chris Wood and into the net — gifted an equaliser for Burnley before half-time.
Despite both teams creating chances in the second and Arsenal piling on late pressure, the score remained 1-1.
The Gunners dominated large periods of the first half, playing some brilliant football that was both aesthetically pleasing and effective in creating chances. There was also a lot to be pleased about regarding the team’s defensive work and there should be special satisfaction with how Burnley’s aerial threat was dealt with. Arsenal showed defensive character to ensure the home side didn’t get a second when they were put under pressure in the second half.
Even before Xhaka’s howler, Arsenal had given the ball away in dangerous areas a couple of times — something that may have been punished by better opposition — and there were a few times where the Gunners struggled to overcome Burnley’s press.
There was also a chronic wastefulness in front of goal, as Bukayo Saka, Thomas Partey and Nicolas Pepe missed some good chances — Pepe in particular, when he miskicked from six yards out — was awful. There will certainly be disappointment in the amount of control Arsenal surrendered to Burnley in the second half.
Manager rating out of 10
6 — Mikel Arteta looked furious after Xhaka’s mistake cost them the lead and it is easy to see why considering how well everything had been going before then. Arteta made some changes to turn the tide and get Arsenal back in the lead, but his side couldn’t overcome Burnley. There will be so much frustration that the game ended in a draw despite the late pressure.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Bernd Leno, 7 — Made some great saves, especially one from Wood, and was dominant when claiming balls in the air. Had no chance of doing anything about Burnley’s bizarre equaliser — for which no blame should be attached to the goalkeeper for passing to Xhaka, as he was simply doing what he was instructed to do.
DF Calum Chambers, 7 – Burnley looked to get the ball behind Chambers a few times early on, but the Englishman was resolute defensively. Also had his moments offensively, getting some good balls into the box.
DF David Luiz, 6 — Used his body very well when defending and was good with his distribution of the ball. There were moments where he rushed out of defence too much and didn’t win the ball, however, and it nearly cost them.
DF Pablo Mari, 7 — Showed good anticipation and awareness to snuff out danger, while he also did well to largely overcome Wood in physical battles.
DF Kieran Tierney, 7 — Was typically reliable at left-back, while also getting forward well and putting a chance on a plate for Pepe that should have earned him an assist.
MF Thomas Partey, 7 — The midfielder was so composed on the ball at all times and he started the move for Arsenal’s opening goal before being taken off in the second half after looking tired.
MF Granit Xhaka, 4 — Having already given the ball away in dangerous areas a few times, Xhaka played an absolute shocker of a pass for Wood’s equaliser. Gave a better account of himself in the second half but didn’t redeem himself.
MF Bukayo Saka, 6 — Did show a threat down the right but missed a chance after some good link up play with Aubameyang, while a better touch may have given him another good chance after the striker played him through. Booked for a foul on Charlie Taylor.
MF Martin Odegaard, 5 — The Norwegian showed some ingenuity in his play at times, including the pass that created a chance for Partey. However, he showed quality in sporadic flashes, rather than making his mark on the game.
MF Willian, 7 — Has turned his form around in recent times and did well to set up Aubameyang’s goal. However, he faded out of the game a bit in the second half.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 8 — The Gabon international enjoys playing against Burnley and took his record to eight goals in seven games against the Clarets with his opener. He linked the play brilliantly but did miss a half-chance when the score was 1-0.
Alexandre Lacazette, 6 — Replaced Odegaard in the 63rd minute and played in the No. 10 role. He drew fouls from Burnley defenders and made a nuisance of himself in the Burnley box at times.
Nicolas Pepe, 5 — Replaced Willian in the 69th minute and missed a brilliant chance at the end, though will feel aggrieved that he didn’t win a penalty when the ball hit Erik Pieters on the arm and his later effort was cleared off the line by the same player, only for the referee to award a penalty and red card, but saw it rescinded when VAR intervened.
Dani Ceballos, N/A — Replaced Partey in the 81st minute and smashed an effort against the post in the dying seconds.
A Pakistani court on Saturday declared Leader Of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif’s daughter and son-in-law as ’proclaimed offenders’ (POs) in a corruption case. The Accountability Court, Lahore, had already issued arrest warrants for Rabia Imran and Ali Imran Yousuf in the Saaf Pani Company corruption case.
Both Rabia and Yousuf are ’absconding’ in the United Kingdom, officials said. The accountability court has sought a record of Rabia and Yousuf’s properties in Pakistan on the next hearing.
Shahbaz Sharif, who is also the president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), called the entire the matter ’political victimisation’.
The PML-N chief said the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government had implicated the women in his family in fake cases. Shahbaz, the younger brother of three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, is lodged in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail after he was arrested in a Rs 700-crores (USD 41.9 million) money laundering case in September last year. Shahbaz’s son Suleman Shahbaz is currently in the UK after he was declared ’Proclaimed Offender’ in a money laundering case.
Shahbaz’s other son and Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly, Hamza Shahbaz, was released from jail last week on bail after spending 20 months in captivity in a money laundering case.
Myanmar has requested the administration in Mizoram to send back eight policemen, who have apparently crossed over to the northeastern state to take refuge, following last month’s military coup in the neighbouring country, an official here said. Mizoram shares a 510-km-long porous border with Myanmar, where mass demonstrations are being held in protest against the declaration of a year-long emergency by the country’s armed forces.
According to Maria CT Zuali, the deputy commissioner in Champai district, her counterpart in Myanmar’s Falam has sought the ”handover of eight police personnel who fled the neighbouring country and entered India”. ”I have received a letter from the deputy commissioner of Falam district in Myanmar seeking the detainment and handover of eight police personnel to Naypyitaw as a friendly gesture,” Zuali told.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — “Ooooh! Oooh!’’ Stephen Weatherly yelled as he noticed a small spot smoldering on his right thigh.
The five-year veteran defensive end, who recently signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings after he was released by the Carolina Panthers, momentarily lost his concentration during a glassblowing session, allowing the hot end of the six-foot pipe he was breathing into while rolling it make contact with his pants.
His instructor, Nicolas Emeric, had been waiting for such a mishap, understanding there was less clearance between the pipe and legs because Weatherly (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) is bigger than his typical clientele.
Weatherly quickly refocused as he would on the field.
“I got burned because I wasn’t locked in,” he said. “When you come into the hot shop, the fact that you have to be locked in forces you to push everything to the back burner.
“… Like where am I going to end up next? That is very much on the front of my mind. When I come in here I have to think about blowing glass.”
Weatherly, who will turn 27 this month, became enamored with glassblowing a few years ago during his first stint with the Vikings. He saw it on Instagram and his roommate at the time had a co-worker who owned a studio, so he went and became hooked. That ultimately led to his interest in the Netflix show “Blown Away,” which led to an appearance as a guest judge on its glassblowing competition that aired in late January.
Glassblowing always has been therapeutic for Weatherly, because when dealing with molten glass at temperatures of more than 2,000 degrees, you don’t have time to think about everyday issues. It became more therapeutic when he was cut less than a year after signing a two-year, $12.5 million deal.
“So I was able to just think for an hour and 15 minutes straight, not about anything stressful, but just about creating that beautiful piece of art,” Weatherly said.
Not done with football
Glassblowing began as one of Weatherly’s many hobbies when looking for things to occupy his life after football. It’s still just a hobby.
“I have a lot of good years still left in the football world,” Weatherly said.
He hoped they would be spent in Carolina, rebuilding under coach Matt Rhule. Unfortunately, he had no sacks and only three quarterback pressures in nine starts, then was placed on injured reserve in November because of a finger injury that required surgery.
His release simply was a matter of fit and needing to clear $5.9 million in salary-cap space.
“They are building for the future,” Weatherly said. “I didn’t do enough to show that I can be part of their scheme for the future. I mean, it’s a business. Just sucks.”
Weatherly wasn’t out of work long, reuniting with the Vikings on Thursday.
Emeric recognized Weatherly when he walked into Hot Glass Alley, in an eclectic Charlotte neighborhood, as a judge on “Blown Away,’’ not an NFL player.
“He definitely fits in with the rest of the weirdos in the glass world,” he joked.
Coachability in football, however, made Weatherly a good student in glassblowing.
“He soaks up every little bit of information I give him,” Emeric said. “And he’s responsive. Which is great, because most people don’t want to learn and dive in so far.”
Teaching Weatherly was nerve-wracking initially.
“He said nobody has ever let him do this before, because they know how much his hands are worth,” Emeric said.
Weatherly’s hands constantly were close to the heat that burned his pants. As violent as those hands are in football, they easily adjusted to the gentle touch needed to roll the pipe while blowing life into the glass.
Weatherly showed the same control he uses on the piano and eight other instruments he has learned to play. A sociology major at Vanderbilt, he loves the delicate side of the art world almost as much as he does the brutality of football.
“The piece, it gets heavy,” Weatherly said of the 10-pound pipe and his vase that weighed 5.9 pounds but felt like 50. “So I get to use my physicality in a sense, but also my fine-tuning, like turning it with just my fingertips.”
Art becomes football
Weatherly pumped his fist into the air as if he’d just made a sack. But the exhilaration came from seeing a taffy-like glop of glass become an artistic creation.
“He has such a creative mind already,” Emeric said. “Most people come in and barely have an idea of what’s their favorite color.’’
The decision on Weatherly’s latest project, a vase for his girlfriend, was born 24 hours earlier after he gave her flowers. He chose his favorite colors, orange and green, to remind her of him.
As rewarding as it was to put the glass into the furnace and see it blossom, it was exhausting.
“I promise you I am in shape,” Weatherly said as he gathered himself after an extended period of glassblowing.
Emeric said he understood. He also understood why blowing glass has become therapeutic to Weatherly.
“Because it’s hot and it’s very intrinsic material, you can’t let your day-to-day stresses overwhelm you, because it will show in your piece,” he said. “You can see where there are imperfections because your mind goes astray.”
Weatherly has had mishaps. His first piece with Emeric quickly went from a pyramid to the tip of a spear.
He had better luck with other projects such as paperweights, cups, a jellyfish and a sword that adorn his home.
“I love everything I’ve done,” Weatherly said.
He loved the vase in particular because he was able to push his football thoughts aside at a fragile time. At the same time, it was a lot like football.
“All the hard work, the stuff you don’t understand and see, is definitely the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday practices,” Weatherly said. “But the beautiful part at the end, that’s all Sunday under the bright lights.”
“It’s a final, but like every other game,” Zidane said in a news conference on Saturday. “When we play, we always have to win. Whatever happens tomorrow, we’ll be alive in the league.”
Madrid have won five of their last six games in all competitions, recovering from a January slump that saw them knocked out of the Spanish Supercopa and Copa del Rey and beaten in La Liga by Levante.
They are yet to taste defeat at the Wanda since Atletico’s move there in 2017, and were comfortable 2-0 winners when the teams last met in La Liga in December.
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Zidane said. “This is another game, another story. The past won’t help you at all.”
Zidane also confirmed that Madrid’s top scorer Karim Benzema is available for selection after being out through injury since Feb. 14.
“He is important to our system of play, above all when we have the ball,” he added. “We won’t take a risk, if there’s a doubt, a player can hurt themselves and be out for longer. You’ll see [if he starts] tomorrow.”
Benzema aside, Madrid have struggled for goals this season, and their next highest scorer in La Liga is defensive midfielder Casemiro with five.
Atletico had a 10-point lead at the top of the table a month ago — but that gap has steadily shrunk since then, as Diego Simeone’s team drew twice and lost once in February to give both Madrid and Barcelona hope.
“It’s a match-up between two teams who are in similar situations, but they’re three points,” Simeone said on Saturday. “There’s a lot at stake, but that’s also true on Wednesday and next Saturday.
“10 or 12 games ago we were talking about a huge gap, a season that hadn’t been good for Real Madrid and Barcelona, and now they’re competing well. It’s a long season. We have to keep going.”
Full-back Kieran Trippier is expected to return for Atletico after his 10-week ban for breaching Football Association betting rules came to an end.
“He’s looking forward to playing,” Simeone added. “He’s an important player with quality and experience, and he gives us a lot.”
Myanmar security forces used tear gas and stun grenades to break up a protest in Yangon on Saturday, just hours after a United Nations special envoy called on the Security Council to take action against the ruling junta for the killings of protesters.
Sporadic protests were staged across Myanmar on Saturday and local media reported that police fired tear gas shells and stun grenades to break up a protest in the Sanchaung district of Yangon, the country’s biggest city. There were no reports of casualties.
More than 50 protesters have been killed since the coup, according to the United Nations – at least 38 on Wednesday alone. Protesters demand the release of Suu Kyi and the respect of November’s election, which her party won in landslide, but which the army rejected.
“How much more can we allow the Myanmar military to get away with?” Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener told a closed meeting of the 15-member U.N. Security Council on Friday, according to a copy of her remarks reviewed by Reuters.
“It is critical that this council is resolute and coherent in putting the security forces on notice and standing with the people of Myanmar firmly, in support of the clear November election results.”
A junta spokesman did not answer calls requesting comment.
The army says it has been restrained in stopping the protests, but has said it will not allow them to threaten stability.
Several hundred people gathered in Sydney on Saturday to protest against the coup, singing and holding up three fingers, a salute that has come to symbolise solidarity and resistance across Myanmar.
“We would like to urge the Australian government to work closely with the U.S., UK and EU governments and take strong action against these Myanmar military dictators,” said protest organiser Thein Moe Win.
In Myanmar’s southern town of Dawei, protesters chanted “Democracy is our cause” and “The revolution must prevail”.
People have taken to Myanmar’s streets in their hundreds of thousands at times, vowing to continue action in a country that spent nearly half a century under military rule until democratic reforms in 2011 that were cut short by the coup.
“Political hope has begun to shine. We can’t lose the momentum of the revolution,” one protest leader, Ei Thinzar Maung, wrote on Facebook. “Those who dare to fight will have victory. We deserve victory.”
On Friday night, authorities disturbed the grave of a 19-year-old woman who became an icon of the protest movement after she was shot dead wearing a T-shirt that read “Everything will be OK”, a witness and local media said.
One witness said the body of Kyal Sin, widely known as Angel, was removed on Friday, examined and returned, before the tomb was re-sealed in Myanmar’s second city of Mandalay. The independent Mizzima news service also reported the event.
A military spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment. Reuters was unable to contact police for comment.
The killing of protesters has drawn international outrage.
“Use of violence against the people of Myanmar must stop now,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a tweet, calling for the release of Suu Kyi and other detainees and for the restoration of democracy.
The United States and some other Western countries have imposed limited sanctions on the junta and the independent U.N. human rights investigator on Myanmar, Thomas Andrews, has called for a global arms embargo and targeted economic sanctions.
The army took power over allegations of fraud in last year’s election which had been dismissed by the electoral commission.
It has promised to hold a new election at an unspecified date.
That plan is rejected by protesters and by a group representing lawmakers elected at the last election that has begun to issue statements in the name of a rival civilian administration.
On Friday, it listed four demands – the end of the junta, the release of the detainees, democracy and the abolition of the 2008 constitution which left significant political representation and control in the hands of the military.
A civil disobedience campaign of strikes running parallel with the protests has been supported by many government workers including a trickle of policemen.
Authorities in Myanmar have asked India to return eight policemen who sought refuge across the border to avoid taking orders from the junta, an official in northeast India said on Saturday.
India’s foreign ministry responded to a request for comment by referring to a statement given at a media briefing on Friday which said the ministry was still “ascertaining the facts.”
“At least 30,000 organizations across the United States – including a significant number of small businesses, towns, cities and local governments – have over the past few days been hacked by an unusually aggressive Chinese cyber-espionage unit that’s focused on stealing email from victim organizations,” he wrote in a blog post.
NBA All-Star Sunday is nearly here, and the schedule is jam-packed. Due to COVID-19, an entire weekend of festivities has been condensed into one star-studded night.
It all starts with the skills and 3-point contests at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by tipoff of the 70th NBA All-Star Game at 8 p.m. ET. At halftime, the dunk contest takes center stage before the coronation of the winner of Team LeBron vs. Team Durant.
Will LeBron James continue his undefeated run as All-Star captain? Will Stephen Curry capture his second 3-point contest title? Which young high flyer will soar to the dunk contest crown?
Our panel of NBA experts is picking the entire slate of action.