HELSINKI: Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya expects mass protests against veteran President Alexander Lukashenko to start up again in the spring and to be more organised than last year. Speaking to Reuters on a visit to Finland, Tsikhanouskaya said a majority of Belarusians still thought Lukashenko should step down and they had spent the winter getting organised. "The chair under Lukashenko is shaking," she said. Belarusians took to the streets last year in large numbers after a presidential election in August that the opposition said was rigged. The authorities responded with a crackdown. The size of the protests dwindled over the winter and Lukashenko, who promised to make unspecified reforms to the constitution, appears to have weathered the storm. Tsikhanouskaya said the opposition is talking to people in the Belarusian elites, the state administration and riot police and was getting inside information about torture and violence. "People near him … [Read more...] about Belarusian opposition leader expects new wave of protests
THE site of the world's worst nuclear disaster has seen a huge surge in visitors and is now being made into a tourist site. Here's the latest on the Chernobyl power plant, and what has happened since the disaster. Where is Chernobyl? Chernobyl is a ghost city in the restricted Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where a power plant explosion claimed the lives of dozens of people in April 1986. At least 31 people died following exposure to radiation, but the World Health Organisation has estimated that thousands of people could eventually be exposed to fatal radiation. Chernobyl is situated in northern Kieve Oblast in Ukraine , near the border with Belarus . The site and the nearby city of Pripyat were evacuated on April 23, 1986, 30 hours after the most disastrous nuclear accident in history. Pripyat, a city of 50,000 people and far closer to the power plant than Chernobyl itself, was built in the 1970s as a home for the power plant workers. The city and … [Read more...] about Where is Chernobyl and can I go there?
INDIAN WELLS: World number one Naomi Osaka crashed out of Indian Wells on Tuesday (May 12), routed by Belinda Bencic on a day that saw second-ranked Simona Halep sent packing, too. Bencic, ranked 23rd in the world, defeated Osaka 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the prestigious WTA premier mandatory event, where Osaka won her first tour title last year. That marked the start of a remarkable rise that included Osaka's first Grand Slam title at the US Open. She followed that with an Australian Open crown that sent her to number one. But she never found her feet against Bencic, whose crisp groundstrokes and precise service game propelled her to victory in 66 minutes. "I didn't play that well," Osaka said. "Honestly, at a time like this with that scoreline, I would usually feel very depressed and sad. But I feel pretty good right now, because I tried my best and I don't really have any regrets. "She was just playing so well ... there wasn't anything that I could do in … [Read more...] about Tennis: Top-ranked Djokovic, Osaka sent packing from Indian Wells
INDIAN WELLS: World number one and defending champion Naomi Osaka powered past American Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-2 on Monday (Mar 11) to book a fourth-round meeting with resurgent Swiss Belinda Bencic at Indian Wells. Japan's Osaka, whose second straight Grand Slam title at the Australian Open propelled her to the top of the rankings, traded breaks with Collins early in the first set. But she got the decisive break in the ninth game, giving herself a break point with a backhand winner before pouncing on a short ball and belting a forehand winner to give herself a chance to serve for the set. An increasingly confident Osaka broke Collins at love for a 2-1 lead in the second. She finished out the next game for a 3-1 lead and led 5-1 before Collins saved a match point to hold and make Osaka serve out the match. Collins, trying to build on a breakout run to the Australian Open semi-finals, failed in her bid to avenge her 6-1, 6-0 loss to Osaka in their only prior meeting in … [Read more...] about Tennis: Osaka keeps Indian Wells title defense on track
PARIS: Arsenal and Chelsea reached the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday (Feb 21) after the Gunners comfortably saw off BATE Borisov 3-0 and Maurizio Sarri's troubled side relieved some of the pressure on him with the same scoreline against mediocre Malmo. After falling 1-0 in Belarus, Arsenal were level on aggregate after just three minutes when Zakhar Volkov sliced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's low cross past Denis Scherbitski in his own goal. Unai Emery's side deservedly went through thanks to two thumping headers from Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis either side of the break which put them into Friday's draw. "We wanted this result but also we wanted to play for our supporters here. We did our best to come back (in the tie) and the team worked very well," Emery told BT Sport. Ahead 2-1 from the first leg in Sweden, Chelsea had to wait until 10 minutes after the break for the first sign of excitement, Olivier Giroud tapping in the decisive goal of a humdrum encounter at … [Read more...] about Football: Arsenal, Chelsea cruise into Europa League last 16