Monthly Archives: September 2016

UN appoints first expert to protect LGBT people from violence, discrimination

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday appointed its first independent investigator to help protect homosexual and transgender people worldwide from violence and discrimination.

The United Nations expert Vitit Muntarbhorn will have a three-year mandate to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

Muntarbhorn is an international law professor at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and has served on several U.N. bodies, including inquiries on Syria and as a special rapporteur on North Korea.

The U.N. agreed on the new role in June, after the 47-member council overcame strong objections by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries to adopt a Western-backed resolution by a vote of 23 states in favour and 18 against with six abstentions.

Human Rights Watch welcomed Friday’s appointment, saying the U.N. council “made history”.

“This critical mandate will bring much-needed attention to human rights violations against LGBT people in all regions of the world,” John Fisher, the group’s director in Geneva, said in a statement.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) said the newly created role was critical to give justice to LGBTI people who have been attacked, abused or discriminated against.

“Never has there been a more urgent need to safeguard the human rights of LGBTI persons around the world,” executive director of ILGA, Renato Sabbadini, said in a statement to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Hundreds of LGBTI people have been killed and thousands injured in recent years, in violence that included knife attacks, anal rape and genital mutilation, as well as stoning and dismemberment, the U.N. said in a report last year.

More than 2,000 transgender and gender diverse people were murdered in 65 countries between 2008 and 2015, according to The Trans Murder Monitoring project, which is coordinated by LGBT rights group Transgender Europe.

In 2011, the U.N. rights body declared there should be no discrimination or violence against people based on their sexual orientation.

(Reporting by Lin Taylor @linnytayls, Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters that covers humanitarian issues, conflicts, global land and property rights, modern slavery and human trafficking, women’s rights, and climate change. Visit to see more stories)

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England players get postcards from sacked Allardyce

REUTERS: England squad members received postcards from Sam Allardyce saying their “journey has just begun” on Thursday, two days after his short reign as manager was brought to an abrupt end, according to British media reports.

Allardyce guided England to a 1-0 win over Slovakia in a World Cup qualifier in his only game in charge this month but lost the job having behaved “inappropriately” when seeking a lucrative sideline role while talking to undercover reporters.

Each card was personally signed by Allardyce and sent out to every member of the squad that beat Slovakia, with the aim of promoting a feel of togetherness ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.

The message on the postcard, which was sent out by the Football Association (FA) the same day as Allardyce’s 67-day tenure ended, read: “Well done! Our journey has begun with our first win together. Looking forward to seeing you soon.”

Gareth Southgate, coach of the under-21 side, will take charge of the senior team on a caretaker basis for the next four matches, including three World Cup qualifiers and a friendly against Spain.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)

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Bosnian Muslim politician wages veiled fight against prejudice

ZENICA, Bosnia: Politicians across Europe are calling for a ban on the Islamic veil but Bosnian Muslim Indira Sinanovic is defying the trend as well as widespread prejudice in her own country, becoming the first fully-veiled woman here to run for public office.

Sinanovic, 37, wears the niqab – a garment that covers the hair and all the face apart from the eyes – and her aim if elected to the council in her central Bosnian hometown of Zavidovici is to battle prejudice and social exclusion.

Bosnia has no laws against the public wearing of the niqab and the burqa, clothes that have come to be associated with a fundamentalist reading of Islam, but a ban on court officials wearing headscarves has made Sinanovic and other activists wary.

“It’s the basic right of every citizen,” said the outspoken mother of two, speaking ahead of Sunday’s election in the office of IML (Islam My Life) Television in the town of Zenica, where she works as a journalist.

“(If elected) I would try to turn attention to the people who live in poverty, to be their voice in the municipal council and push for projects to improve their social status,” she said.

Bosnia has one of Europe’s largest indigenous Muslim populations, a legacy of its centuries-long history as part of the Ottoman Empire, but prejudice against overt displays of religion is widespread and Sinanovic has borne her share of it.

Sinanovic, who wears a long black robe and hides her eyes behind glasses, says she herself has been called names in the street such as “Ninja” or “Terrorist” or has been told “Go to Afghanistan” and “Go to Syria”.

Islam has traditionally been very liberal in multi-ethnic Bosnia, which for nearly 50 years was part of officially atheist Yugoslavia, but attitudes have shifted since the three-year Bosnian war, when Catholic Croats and Orthodox Christian Serbs fought a war of “ethnic cleansing” that cost 100,000 lives.

Poverty is still widespread 20 years later and Bosnia remains deeply divided between Serbs, Croats and the Muslim Bosniaks.

Arab mujahideen fighters who came to help their Bosniak co-religionists during the war brought more conservative habits with them, as did an influx of Saudi money after the war, much of which financed the building of traditionalist mosques.

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Thomas Escritt and Gareth Jones)

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Rugby – Lambie returns for Boks in new-look backline

PRETORIA: South Africa coach Allister Coetzee made three changes to his backline for the Rugby Championship clash with Australia on Saturday with a new half-back pairing and the return of Pat Lambie at fullback.

Lambie will play his first test since suffering concussion against Ireland in the June internationals and replaces Johan Goosen in the number 15 jersey.

“The selection of Pat at fullback fits into the way we want to play this weekend, together with his experience, calmness and leadership, which will be invaluable,” Coetzee said on Thursday.

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk have paid the price for indifferent form in the championship and are replaced by veteran Morne Steyn and Rudy Paige respectively.

For Steyn it is a first start in a Springbok jersey in two years since his missed kick to touch led to a late Australian try and victory in a Rugby Championship fixture in Perth.

“Elton and Faf remain an integral part of the squad and both are part of our future plans, but Rudy and Morne deserve an opportunity to start,” Coetzee said.

Coetzee has reshuffled his bench. Bongi Mbonambi, Julian Redelinghuys, Lood de Jager, Lionel Mapoe and Willie le Roux are all included among the reserves.

“Australia will be determined to build on their previous two wins and they will pose difficult questions to us with their tactical and technical approach,” Coetzee said.

“We have our own goals to achieve within the two remaining matches, starting on Saturday when we play the Wallabies in front of a good crowd at Loftus.”

Australia beat South Africa 23-17 in Brisbane earlier in the competition but have not won any of their previous six matches at Loftus Versfeld.


15-Pat Lambie, 14-Bryan Habana, 13-Jesse Kriel, 12-Juan de Jongh, 11-Francois Hougaard, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Rudy Paige; 8-Warren Whiteley, 7-Oupa Mahoje, 6-Francois Louw, 5-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Vincent Koch, 2-Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1-Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16-Bongi Mbonambi, 17-Steven Kitshoff, 18-Julian Redelinghuys, 19-Lood de Jager, 20-Willem Alberts, 21-Jaco Kriel, 22-Lionel Mapoe, 23-Willie le Roux.

(Reporting By Nick Said, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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Dutch take Pokemon Go makers to court as gamers flood beaches

THE HAGUE: Dutch authorities are taking the US makers of Pokemon Go to court, after the company failed to meet pleas to stop hordes of fans flocking to protected beaches.

Since the game was launched in The Netherlands, thousands of fans have been crowding the vast, windswept beaches of Kijkduin where hundreds of the game’s most popular cartoon monsters spawn daily.

The smartphone app uses satellite locations, graphics and the phone’s camera capabilities to overlay the cartoon monsters onto real-world settings.

But the small coastal village of Kijkduin, south of The Hague, has been inundated with players, triggering concern for the protected dunes surrounding the beaches.

The authorities now “want to ban these small virtual animals in protected areas and in the streets from 11:00pm to 7:00 am,” the municipality said in a statement.

The case will be heard before a court in The Hague on October 11.

“Kijkduin will remain an attractive place for Pokemon hunters, but there will be less trouble for the residents and the damage to protected areas will be limited.”

The Hague authorities have been trying to contact the game’s makers Niantic since mid-August but without success. “We had no other choice” but to go to court, the statement added.

The Pokemon Company, which licenses the franchise, told AFP in August that Niantic was centralising all the requests to withdraw the game from areas, or add new pokestops where gamers can boost their hauls. When the app was updated it would withdraw monsters from some areas.

The most recent update saw the Hiroshima and Berlin Holocaust memorials disappear as Pokemon landmarks. In Poland, the former concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which is today a museum, has also asked to be withdrawn from the game.

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Tennis: Djokovic pulls out of China Open over elbow injury

BEIJING: Six-time champion Novak Djokovic has been forced to pull out of next week’s China Open because of an elbow injury, according to a statement on his website.

The world number one has won 29 straight matches at the event, taking his first title there in 2009 and last year defeating rival Rafael Nadal in the final.

“I am extremely disappointed not to be able to compete at the China Open this year,” said Djokovic, who hasn’t played since losing the US Open final to Stan Wawrinka.

“I’m still recovering from my elbow injury and have been advised not to play until my condition improves,” he added.

“The China Open is one of my favourite tournaments … I love competing in front of the passionate Chinese fans and I look forward to coming back to Beijing in the future.”

The 18th edition of the tournament will be held at the National Tennis Centre in Beijing from Oct 3 to Oct 9.

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Warplanes knock out Aleppo hospitals as Russian-backed assault intensifies

BEIRUT: Russian or Syrian warplanes knocked two hospitals out of service in the besieged rebel sector of Aleppo on Wednesday and ground forces intensified an assault in a battle which the United Nations said had turned the city into a slaughterhouse.

Two patients died in one of the hospitals and other shelling killed six residents queuing for bread under a siege that has trapped 250,000 people with food running out.

The week-old assault, which could herald a turning point in the war, has already killed hundreds of people, with bunker-busting bombs bringing down buildings on residents huddled inside. Only about 30 doctors are believed to be left inside the besieged zone, coping with hundreds of wounded a day.

“The warplane flew over us and directly started dropping its missiles … at around 4 a.m.,” Mohammad Abu Rajab, a radiologist at the M10 hospital, the largest trauma hospital in the city’s rebel-held sector, told Reuters.

“Rubble fell in on the patients in the intensive care unit.”

M10 hospital workers said oxygen and power generators were destroyed and patients were transferred to another hospital.

Photographs sent to Reuters by a hospital worker at the facility showed damaged storage tanks, a rubble strewn area, and the collapsed roof of what he said was a power facility.

There were no initial reports of casualties there, but medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said two patients had been killed at the other hospital, in shelling which took it out of service as well, leaving east Aleppo with only seven doctors in a position to undertake surgery.

“And this comes at a time when east Aleppo has been under siege since July and is suffering the bloodiest indiscriminate bombing since the beginning of the war,” MSF’s Syria head Carlos Francisco said.

The government of President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russian air power, Iranian ground forces and Shi’ite militia fighters from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, has launched a massive assault to crush the rebels’ last major urban stronghold.

Syria’s largest city before the war, Aleppo has been divided for years between government and rebel zones, and would be the biggest strategic prize of the war for Assad and his allies.

Taking full control of the city would restore near full government rule over the most important cities of western Syria, where nearly all of the population lived before the start of a conflict that has since made half of Syrians homeless, caused a refugee crisis and contributed to the rise of Islamic State.


The offensive began with unprecedentedly fierce bombing last week, followed by a ground campaign this week, burying a ceasefire that had been the culmination of months of diplomacy between Washington and Moscow.

Washington says Moscow and Damascus are guilty of war crimes for targeting civilians, hospitals, rescue workers and aid deliveries, to break the will of residents and force them to surrender. Syria and Russia say they target only militants.

Asked by a reporter at the United Nations whether Syria had bombed the two hospitals hit on Wednesday, the Syrian ambassador to the world body, Bashar Ja’afari, appeared to laugh.

The Syrian army said a Nusra Front position had been destroyed in Aleppo’s old quarter, and other militant-held areas targeted in “concentrated air strikes” near the city.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said those using “ever more destructive weapons” were committing war crimes and that the situation in Aleppo was worse than “a slaughterhouse”.

France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was working to put forward a United Nations Security Council resolution to impose a ceasefire in Aleppo, and that any country that opposed it would be deemed complicit in war crimes.

“This resolution will leave everyone facing their responsibilities: those who don’t vote it, risk being held responsible for complicity in war crimes,” he said.

Another hospital, M2, was damaged by bombardment in the al-Maadi district, where at least six people were killed while queuing for bread at a nearby bakery, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring body and residents.

Food supplies are scarce in the besieged area, and those trapped inside often queue up before dawn for food.

The collapse of the peace process leaves U.S. policy on Syria in tatters and is a personal blow to Secretary of State John Kerry, who led talks with Moscow despite scepticism from other top officials in President Barack Obama’s administration.


Assad’s Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies have said in recent days the war will be won in combat.

But the rebels remain a potent military force even as they have lost control of urban areas. The collapse of peace efforts ends a proposed scheme to separate Western-backed fighters from hardened jihadists.

It has also raised the question of whether the rebels’ foreign backers, states including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States, will increase military backing to rebels who have long said weapons they provide are inadequate.

The rebels’ main demand has long been for the provision of anti-aircraft missiles, but Washington has resisted this, fearing they could end up in the hands of jihadists.

U.S. officials told Reuters in Washington that the collapse of the Syrian ceasefire had heightened the possibility that Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, might arm rebels with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.

A senior rebel commander, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not out of the question that this could happen. “The Americans might thinking about doing something, but nobody knows how big it will be,” the commander said.

Another rebel commander told Reuters his group had received deliveries of a new type of Grad surface-to-surface rockets. The rockets, with a range of 22-40 km, had arrived in “excellent quantities” and will be used on battlefronts in Aleppo, Hama and the coastal region, Colonel Fares al-Bayoush said.

Fierce fighting accompanied by air strikes was reported on Wednesday in northern Hama province between Syrian government and allied forces, and rebels who made some advances, the Observatory and a rebel group said. The Syrian army is trying to recapture territory lost this week to insurgents who launched a major offensive to push down towards government-controlled Hama city at the start of September.


A senior official in Aleppo-based rebel group said pro-government forces were mobilising in apparent preparation for more ground attacks in central areas of the city.

“There have been clashes in al-Suweiqa from 5 a.m. until now. The army advanced a little bit, and the guys are now repelling it, God willing,” a fighter in the rebel Levant Front group said in a recording sent to Reuters, referring to an area in the city centre where there was also fighting on Tuesday.

Another rebel official said government forces were also attacking the insurgent-held Handarat refugee camp a few kilometres to the north of Aleppo.

“It doesn’t seem that their operation in the old city is the primary operation, it seems like a diversionary one so that the regime consumes the people on that front and advances in the camp,” the official, Zakaria Malahifij, head of the political office of the Fastaqim group, told Reuters from Turkey.

(Reporting by Tom Perry, Ellen Francis and Lisa Barrington in Beirut, Philip Pullella in Vatican City, John Irish in Paris and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Michelle Nichols in New York, writing by Peter Graff, editing by Peter Millership and Philippa Fletcher)

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Former Israeli president Shimon Peres dies at 93

JERUSALEM: Israeli ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres died on Wednesday (Sep 28), his personal doctor told AFP, some two weeks after suffering a major stroke.

The 93-year-old died at around 3:00 am (0000 GMT), Rafi Walden, who is also Peres’s son-in-law, told AFP. He did not give further details but said a press conference would be held in the coming hours.

Peres had been in hospital near Tel Aviv since Sep 13, when he was admitted feeling unwell and suffered the stroke with internal bleeding.

Peres held nearly every major office in the country, serving twice as prime minister and also as president, a mostly ceremonial role, from 2007 to 2014.

He was a towering figure in Israeli politics for decades and the last of the country’s founding fathers.

Beyond his accomplishments in the public eye, he was seen as a driving force in the development of Israel’s undeclared nuclear programme.

He was particularly lauded abroad, and his lavish 80th birthday party was attended by ex-presidents Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev. Film director Woody Allen sent greetings “from a bad Jew to a very great Jew.”

He once confided that the secret to his longevity was daily exercise, eating little and drinking one or two glasses of good wine.

The highlight of his career came in 1994, when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Yitzhak Rabin and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo accords with the Palestinians.

Shimon Peres (C) was jointly awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yasser Arafat (L) and Yitzhak Rabin for their efforts to reach a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. (Photo: AFP/Erik Johansen)

The 1993 accords were hailed as historic, leading to the creation of the Palestinian Authority and parameters that were supposed to lead to peace in five years.

It was sealed with a symbolic handshake between Rabin and Arafat in Washington. Peres was foreign minister at the time and played a key role.

But more than two decades later, Israeli-Palestinian peace remains elusive and some are ready to bury the idea of a two-state solution.

Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist opposed to the Oslo accords in 1995, while the bloody second Palestinian intifada broke out five years later.

As a new round of talks which later collapsed began in 2013, Peres however expressed his optimism.

He said the negotiations had “a clear purpose” to have “a Jewish state by the name of Israel and an Arab state by the name of Palestine not fighting each other but living together in friendship and cooperation”.

“There is no alternative to peace. There is no sense to go to war,” he said.

“Terror doesn’t have a message. Terror cannot bake bread and cannot offer fresh air to breathe. It’s costly, it’s useless, it doesn’t produce anything.”


Peres held nearly every major office in a career spanning five decades.

He was among those instrumental in establishing the state of Israel, alongside its first prime minister David Ben-Gurion and other iconic figures like Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan.

Born in Poland in 1923, Peres emigrated to what was then British mandatory Palestine when he was 11.

He joined the Zionist struggle in the 1940s and while hitchhiking met Ben-Gurion, who would become his mentor.

He was part of the Haganah, the predecessor to the Israeli military, and at only 29 became director general of the nascent defence ministry.

While in that position, he helped plan the 1956 Suez war, in which Israel was allied with France and Britain against Egypt.

Peres once hawkishly rejected any compromise with hostile Arab states, but said he was converted after 1977, when Egyptian president Anwar Sadat made a historic visit to Jerusalem, leading to the first Arab-Israeli peace treaty.

“I didn’t change, I think the situation has changed,” Peres told Time magazine in an interview published in February.

“As long as there was a danger to the existence of Israel, I was what you would call a hawk… The minute I felt the Arabs are open to negotiation, I said that’s what we prefer too.”

But his embrace of peace efforts extended only so far. He was prime minister in 1996 when more than 100 civilians were killed while sheltering at a UN peacekeepers’ base in the Lebanese village of Qana fired upon by Israel.


Despite his reputation as a statesman, he never managed to outright win a national election. Many in Israel opposed to the Oslo accords also blamed him for what they saw as their failure.

A member of parliament since 1959, Peres headed the Labour party from 1977.

He was prime minister between 1984 and 1986, then again from 1995-1996 after Rabin’s assassination.

He would also serve as foreign, defence and finance minister.

In 2005 he left Labour to join the new centrist Kadima headed by Ariel Sharon.

The alliance ensured Israel withdrew troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip after 38 years of occupation, although hopes of subsequently reviving the peace process came to nothing.

In 2007, he was elected by parliament to the largely ceremonial post of Israeli president, a crowning triumph in a career whose fortunes appeared dead just two years before, when he lost the leadership of Labour and quit the party.

Before becoming president, he had dedicated much of his time to promoting peace between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab world through his Peres Center for Peace.

He left office as president in 2014, but maintained an active schedule even after suffering heart trouble in January 2016.

And he never lost faith in the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I think it’s the only thing which is possible in order to bring an end to terror, violence and hatred,” he said in the Time interview.

Peres, who spoke English and French as well as Hebrew, was married to Sonya, who died in 2011. The couple had three children and numerous grandchildren.

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Football: Schuerrle frustrates Madrid as Leicester win again

PARIS: Andre Schuerrle smashed in a late equaliser as Borussia Dortmund held Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Leicester City claimed another famous European victory.

Premier League champions Leicester made it two wins from two in their debut Champions League campaign as Islam Slimani’s first-half goal secured a 1-0 win against FC Porto, and it was a good night all round for English clubs as Tottenham Hotspur beat CSKA Moscow in Russia.

Leicester City’s Algerian striker Islam Slimani (L) scores his team’s first goal against Porto. (AFP/Ian Kington)

Reigning champions Real twice surrendered the lead as they settled for a 2-2 draw against Dortmund to extend their poor record on German soil.

In a tremendous Group F game played at breathless pace, Zinedine Zidane’s side went in front in the 17th minute when Gareth Bale’s back-heel came off Matthias Ginter and fell for Cristiano Ronaldo to fire home.

It was the Portuguese superstar’s 98th European goal but Dortmund had been in fearsome form ahead of this showdown and they drew level just before the interval.

Making his first appearance of the season after injury, Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas opted to punch a Raphael Guerreiro free-kick and the ball struck the face of his team-mate Raphael Varane before rebounding into the net.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was standing in close quarters, and he was officially credited with the goal by UEFA.

However, French centre-back Varane made up for that by restoring Real’s advantage midway through the second half, following in to score after Karim Benzema’s attempt had hit both the post and bar.

But there was to be no first win in Dortmund for Real as substitute Schuerrle rifled a shot into the roof of the net after a Christian Pulisic cross fell to him on the edge of the box.

Madrid have won just four times in 30 away games against German clubs but this result still leaves them in control of Group F.

In the other game in the section, first-half goals by Bryan Ruiz and Bas Dost gave Sporting a 2-0 victory against Legia Warsaw in Portugal.

Leicester have maximum points after two matches in Group G after edging out two-time European champions Porto at the King Power Stadium.

Algerian striker Slimani, a club record £28 million ($ 36.3 million, 32.3 million euros) summer signing from Sporting, struck on 25 minutes, heading past Iker Casillas from a Riyad Mahrez cross.

Next up for Leicester will be FC Copenhagen, who were impressive 4-0 winners at home to Club Brugge in the Danish capital.

All the goals came in the second half, with a Stefano Denswil own-goal setting the home side on their way before further counters from captain Thomas Delaney, Federico Santander and Mathias Jørgensen.


Tottenham bounced back from a 2-1 defeat to Monaco in their Group E opener by beating CSKA in Moscow to claim three points from an awkward trip to the Russian capital.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were without Harry Kane, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko against the Russian champions but the in-form Son Heung-min was there and he made the difference.

The South Korean winger, scorer of a brace in a 2-1 Premier League win at Middlesbrough at the weekend, netted the only goal of the game on 71 minutes at the Arena CSKA, his shot squirming under ‘keeper Igor Akinfeev and in.

It is Monaco who top the section, though, after Kamil Glik volleyed home in injury time to cancel out Javier Hernandez’s opener and secure a 1-1 home draw with Bayer Leverkusen.

Meanwhile, 2015 runners-up Juventus notched their first win in Group H, ruthlessly dispatching Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 in Croatia.

Summer signings Miralem Pjanic and Gonzalo Higuain scored in the first half for the Italian champions before a searing Paulo Dybala strike and a deflected Dani Alves free-kick embellished their lead after the break.

Sevilla, who had held Juve in Turin last time out, beat Lyon 1-0 in Spain as French striker Wissam Ben Yedder headed in the only goal of the game in the second half.

Luciano Vietto later blazed a penalty over, although Nabil Fekir and Corentin Tolisso both hit the bar for the visitors.

Champions League group stage results:

CSKA Moscow 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Monaco 1 Bayer Leverkusen 1
Sporting Lisbon 2 Legia Warsaw 0
Borussia Dortmund 2 Real Madrid 2

Leicester City 1 FC Porto 0
FC Copenhagen 4 Club Brugge 0
Dinamo Zagreb 0 Juventus 4
Sevilla 1 Olympique Lyon 0

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Azerbaijan hands Aliyev longer term in office

BAKU: Azerbaijan has voted in a referendum to extend the presidential term from five to seven years, election authorities said on Tuesday, a step critics say will hand unprecedented powers to President Ilham Aliyev who has led the country since 2003.

The State Election Commission said a vast majority of the 91.2 percent of voters who turned out had supported the extension of the presidential term. “The referendum was conducted in a transparent manner,” Mazakhir Panakhov, commission head, said.

(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Margarita Antidze and Richard Balmforth)

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