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Gareth Bale rejoins Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid




Wales forward seals return to Spurs on a season-long loan deal on a seismic day for the Premier League football club.

Gareth Bale completed a loan move from Spanish champions Real Madrid back to his former club Tottenham Hotspur as the Wales forward ended an increasingly fractious seven-year stay at the Bernabeu.

The 31-year-old had flown to London on Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s private jet on Friday along with Real’s Spanish left back Sergio Reguilon to put the finishing touches to their moves on a seismic day for the Premier League club.

Bale has joined Spurs on a season-long loan deal and although the financial details of the move were not disclosed, British media reported that Tottenham will pay about 20 million pounds ($25.83m) in wages and loan fees.

“It’s such a special club to me. It’s where I made my name,” said Bale. “Incredible to be back and now I hope I can get some match fitness and get under way and really help the team and hopefully win trophies.”

Spurs said in a statement that Bale, who injured his knee playing for Wales this month, is likely to be match-fit after the October international break. He will wear the number 9 shirt.

Tottenham fans, some of whom greeted Bale on Friday as he was driven into the club’s training ground in north London, were made to wait for the official announcement on Saturday, but many will be delighted that their former hero has rejoined the club.

Reguilon’s move is permanent after the 23-year-old signed a five-year contract for a fee reported to be 30 million euros ($35.51m) by British media.

It is seven years since Cardiff-born Bale left Tottenham to join Real Madrid for a then world record fee of 100 million euros after a spectacular rise.

Bale scored 105 goals in 251 appearances for Madrid but his relationship with French manager Zinedine Zidane had become fractious [File: Hannah McKay/Reuters]

Rise to stardom

Signed from Southampton as a promising left back in 2007, Bale went on to score 56 goals in 203 appearances, helping Spurs qualify for the Champions League for the first time.

Yet Bale initially struggled to make an impact at Tottenham until eventually blossoming under former manager Harry Redknapp, first as an attacking left back then further forward.

He announced himself on the world stage with a sensational hat-trick away to Inter Milan in the Champions League in 2010.

In his final season at Tottenham, he scored 21 Premier League goals in 33 games, many of them spectacular.

In 2013 he was voted Premier League Player of the Season after some mesmerising displays for his club.

After his dream move to Real Madrid, then managed by Carlo Ancelotti, he became part of an all-star cast, including Cristiano Ronaldo and former Spurs team-mate Luka Modric.

He won the first of four Champions League winners’ medals in his first season with Los Blancos. Bale was also part of two La Liga title-winning sides.

Growing rift at Madrid

But he divided opinion among the Madrid club’s fan base and local media who criticised his perceived lack of commitment and injury record, although a spectacular overhead goal in the 2018 Champions League final earned him praise even from critics.

Bale scored 105 goals in 251 appearances for Madrid, but his relationship with French manager Zidane had become fractious and last season he was marginalised.

He endured his worst season at Real in 2019-20, scoring only three goals in all competitions, and barely featured in their run to the Liga title. A catalogue of injuries hardly helping his cause.

His growing rift with Zidane reached a low point when he chose not to travel with the squad for a Champions League clash against Manchester City last season.

A move to Tottenham offers him the chance to start afresh and work with manager Jose Mourinho who once tried to sign him while in charge at Madrid.

Mourinho will hope that Bale, together with the attack-minded Reguilon, will help reignite Spurs, which finished sixth last season and started the new Premier League campaign with a dismal 1-0 home defeat by Everton. Tottenham is without a piece of major silverware since 2008.

Bale is set to form an exciting-looking forward line at Spurs with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

While many feel that, at 31, his trademark pace and power will be degraded, a return to Spurs might give him the platform to begin another golden chapter and complete unfinished business with the club that helped turn him into a superstar.

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Armenian Aggression

Amnesty International verifies use of banned cluster bombs by Armenia to attack Azerbaijani Barda




Amnesty International has verified the use of banned cluster bombs by Armenia for the first time in the current Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, following an attack on the city of Barda in Azerbaijan.

On October 28, 2020, at approximately 1.30 pm (GMT+4) local time, one or several Smerch rockets were fired into Barda, striking a residential neighbourhood close to a hospital. The Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office has stated that at least 21 people were killed, with an estimated 70 more injured.

Amnesty International’s Crisis Response experts verified pictures (taken by Vice News reporters in the city) of fragments of 9N235 cluster munitions from 9M55 Smerch rockets, that appear to have been fired into the city by Armenian forces.

“The firing of cluster munitions into civilian areas is cruel and reckless, and causes untold death, injury and misery,” said Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

“Cluster munitions are inherently indiscriminate weapons, and their use in any circumstances is banned under international humanitarian law.”

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Armenian Aggression

Lebanese human rights defenders condemn Armenian vandalism in Beirut




By Trend

Lebanese human rights defenders condemn Armenian vandalism in Beirut, well-known Lebanese lawyer, expert on foreign policy and international law, board member of the International Association of Human Rights Defenders Tareg Chandeb told Trend.

Chandeb noted that the Lebanese Center for Legal and Political Research and Defense of Freedoms condemns the actions of the Lebanese Armenian extremist groups – their burning of the Turkish flag and the image of the president of Turkey.

Ongoing vandalism of some Armenian extremist groups and their incitement to sectarian strife in Lebanon requires Lebanese security forces to arrest these terrorists and punish them appropriately, Chandeb said.

He noted that the security forces and judicial bodies of Lebanon have not yet arrested a single Armenian extremist criminal who had previously abused Lebanon's relations with friendly Turkey.

Also, the security and judicial authorities of Lebanon didn’t take any action against the Armenian extremists who violated Lebanese laws and recruited people as mercenaries, sending them to fight in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh against peaceful Azerbaijanis.

He also noted that Azerbaijan is a friendly country and Lebanon maintains official diplomatic relations with it.

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Armenian Aggression

Armenia once again violates ceasefire agreements




By Trend

If to look at the history of the Karabakh conflict, one very interesting detail can be traced – the actions of Yerevan have always been aimed at violating the agreements reached, especially the agreements on a ceasefire and a humanitarian truce, which became relevant due to the latest known events, Trend reports.

The agreement on the third ceasefire regime in Nagorno-Karabakh entered into force at 8:00 am on October 26. However, already five minutes after the regime entered into force, Armenia violated the agreements. Why?

In 1991, 1992, 1993, temporary armistice agreements were concluded:

Kazakhstan played its role during the first war in Nagorno-Karabakh and made the first attempt at peace. Former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and then Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin tried to end the hostilities. Despite the consensus reached, Armenia didn’t stop its attacks. Peacekeeping efforts were stopped during the crash of an Azerbaijani MI-8 helicopter with Russian, Kazakh observers, and high-ranking Azerbaijani government officials on board when it was shot down by Armenia over the village of Garakand in the Khojavand district on November 20, 1991.

On February 25, 1992, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Velayati arrived in Baku to apply the experience of the Iran-Iraq war in Karabakh. On February 26, the parties promised each other by telephone a ceasefire from February 27 to 9 am on March 1, after which Velayati arrived in Ganja and began to wait for the promises. On February 26, Armenian militants committed the Khojaly genocide.

In May 1992, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Tehran and signed a truce. But as soon as the negotiations ended, the Armenian military stormed Shusha city.

On August 27, a meeting of the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia took place in Alma-Ata. Its holding was agreed on the eve in a telephone conversation of the presidents of these states. The ceasefire entered into force on Sept. 1, 1992, but was violated within a few days by the Armenian side.

With the mediation of Russia, the ceasefire agreement of September 19, 1992, entered into force on September 25, 1992. The ceasefire was violated by the Armenian side.

Former Iranian President Rafsanjani brokered a ceasefire agreement between the parties on October 28, 1993. Again Armenia violated the ceasefire.

Former Armenian President Robert Kocharian in his book "Life is Freedom: Autobiography of the Ex-President of Armenia and Karabakh" wrote: "We have repeatedly tried to negotiate with Azerbaijan on a truce and ceasefire. But every time for some reason it seemed to me that I needed to take advantage of inept actions. We managed to take advantage of the "truce window" in October 1993, that’s when, having agreed on a ceasefire, we established de facto control over Zangilan on October 29."

On December 5-6, 1994, at the CSCE summit in Budapest, in order to coordinate mediation efforts within the CSCE, it was decided to establish the institution of the co-chairmanship of the Minsk Conference. At the Budapest Summit, the CSCE Chairman-in-Office was instructed to negotiate to reach a political agreement to end the armed conflict. The specified political agreement was intended to eliminate the consequences of the conflict and allow the convening of the Minsk Conference.

On May 12, 1994, an agreement on a ceasefire was reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which, with the exception of local and short-term violations, lasted until April 2016;

On March 23, 1995, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office issued a mandate to the Minsk Process Co-Chairs. At the summit held on December 2-3, 1996 in Lisbon, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office recommended the fundamental principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement, which Armenia rejected, becoming the only one of the 54 OSCE member states that voted against the proposal.

On April 2, 2016, after another provocation of the Armenian army, large-scale military clashes took place. As a result, the Armenian army suffered losses and retreated, and the Azerbaijani army took control of new strategic heights. On June 20, 2016, in St. Petersburg, at the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting was held between the presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia;

On July 11, 2018, the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan held their first meeting after the ‘Velvet Revolution’ in Armenia in May 2018. On the eve of the new leadership of Armenia proposed to change the format of negotiations on Karabakh.

On July 12, 2020, after another provocation by Armenia, clashes began in the Tovuz direction of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, which continued with varying intensity for about a week;

The new leadership of Armenia, trying to change the format of the negotiations, as well as declaring the inadmissibility of any concessions, actually disrupted the process of peace agreements. New statements by the Prime Minister of Armenia N.Pashinyan and the leaders of the military junta in Karabakh indicated the continuation of the aggressive policy and the existence of plans of official Yerevan in this direction;

On September 27, 2020, the Azerbaijani army reacted harshly to the new provocations of the Armenian side. Within a month, 4 cities, 3 settlements, 165 villages were liberated. In fact, the Azerbaijani army in one month returned the territories that Armenia had seized in the early 1990s for several years;

In fact, the 1994 ceasefire ceased to exist. Armenia bears full responsibility for the current situation, which has consistently thwarted all agreements both on the resolution of the conflict and on ensuring the ceasefire;

In a short time, which had existed for 27 years, the status quo and the line of contact were eliminated. A new situation has developed in which Armenia is forced to agree to the withdrawal of troops from the territory of Azerbaijan.

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