Australian Gerrans wins Liege classic in sprint finish

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 苏州美睫

After the hilly 263-km course had shredded the lead group to two dozen, the Orica-GreenEdge rider tore ahead of Valverde and Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski in the final kilometre to win the centenary edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the last major one-day Classic of the first half of the 2014 season.

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“I wasn’t expecting to see such a big group coming in together, but it seemed like everyone was a little more tired than expected and no-one had the legs to break away,” Gerrans, the Australian national champion and winner of another cycling ‘Monument’, the Milan-San Remo Classic in 2012, told reporters.

“I myself was not feeling to good with about 30 kilometres to go, I said I wasn’t feeling so good, but the team stuck by me and that gave me the extra confidence.

“My card to play in this race was try to be in a small group and see if there was a sprint, and that was what happened.”

Third in the hilly Dutch Classic Amstel Gold last Sunday, the 33-year-old added: “I’ve had some very special victories in my career, including stage wins in all three Grand Tours, but I always thought to win in Liege everything would need to unfold perfectly.”

“Winning here is always special, but to get the hundredth edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege really puts my name in the history of the race.”

On a day when several of the favourites suffered bad luck or injuries, defending champion Dan Martin of Ireland crashed on the last corner when making a late attack.

World Champion Rui Costa of Portugal crashed and abandoned with 90km to go with minor injuries and Britain’s 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome failed to start the race because of a chest infection.

Froome’s team, Sky, confirmed that he will be at his next scheduled event, the Tour of Romandie, which starts on Tuesday.

“He probably could have started but he wouldn’t have got rid of what he’s got,” team principal Dave Brailsford said.

“So (in that situation) you’ve got to make some calls.”

(Editing by Josh Reich)

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Schwarzer stars as Chelsea stun Liverpool

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Thrust into Chelsea’s bid for an English Premier League and European Champions League double, Mark Schwarzer looks right at home.

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The veteran Australian goalkeeper was untroubled between the sticks as Chelsea stunned league leaders Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield on Sunday to turn the league title race on its head.

The result put a significant dent in Liverpool’s bid to end a 24-year title drought, with Manchester City beating Crystal Palace 2-0 to become favourites.

It also kept Chelsea’s slim hopes alive, though they need to rely on their rivals slipping over the final fortnight.

That they remain in the hunt at all came down to a stellar defensive performance against a Liverpool outfit that has run rampant in attack this season.

Behind a superb performance from Chelsea’s back four and Jose Mourinho’s controversial tactics, Schwarzer became the first goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet against Brendan Rodgers’ side in 28 games.

The 41-year-old Australian – Chelsea’s oldest ever Premier League player – was given little to do until just before the hour mark, when he repelled Joe Allen’s first-time volley with a superb low diving save.

Liverpool upped the pressure but Schwarzer made another save to deny Luis Suarez in stoppage time.

“He was good – very solid and very experienced,” Mourinho said of Schwarzer after the match.

“When Liverpool started putting long balls in the area for Mark and (Gary) Cahill and (Branislav) Ivanovic, they were like fish in water. It was easy for them.

“He (Schwarzer) made not a lot but a couple of important, difficult saves. Good for him.”

In an unlikely twist at the twilight of his career, Schwarzer has come in for Chelsea at a crucial stage following a season-ending shoulder injury to Petr Cech.

Schwarzer’s dream end to the season also includes Chelsea’s tilt at the Champions League title and he will start in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge, having come off the bench in a scoreless first leg.

Mourinho admitted he had considered resting Schwarzer against Liverpool with an eye on Wednesday’s match.

Since signing for Chelsea at the start of the season after his contract with Fulham expired, Schwarzer has spent much of the season warming the bench.

“He needed to play and this was a big game for him, so it was good for his confidence,” Mourinho said.

Schwarzer, Australia’s most capped Socceroo with 109 appearances and one of the nation’s greatest football exports, announced his international retirement late last year.

Despite his recent re-emergence at the highest level, Socceroos Ange Postecoglou has ruled out trying to persuade Schwarzer to reconsider ahead of the World Cup in Brazil.

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‘Robin Hood’ and ‘piggy bank’: what the welfare state does for us

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By Peter Whiteford, Australian National University

As a tough federal budget round looms, there has been suggestions that the pension eligibility age could rise to 70, indexation of pensions could be changed, Family Tax Benefit Part B could be more tightly income-tested and eligibility for Disability Support Pension for younger recipients could be reviewed.

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While some of this is kite-flying from the Abbott government, it seems very likely that welfare changes will figure significantly in the May budget.

How Australia stacks up globally

Australia’s spending on cash payments is the sixth lowest among the wealthy countries that are members of the OECD, at 8.6% of GDP in 2013. The main reason for our low spending is that in Australia cash benefits are flat-rate entitlements and are income-tested and asset-tested.

In contrast, in other rich countries apart from New Zealand, social security benefits are related to past earnings and contributions and can be higher for high-income earners than for the lower paid.

Despite our obsession with “middle-class welfare”, Australia has the lowest level of middle-class welfare in the developed world in terms of annual social security spending. As a result of income-testing, Australia has the most progressive distribution of cash benefits in the OECD, spending 12 times as much each year on the poorest 20% of the population as the richest 20%, a ratio close to six times the OECD average.

In fact, the OECD estimates that because Australia has the most progressive distribution of social security benefits, across-the-board cuts in welfare would increase income inequality more than in any other country.

This suggests that cuts in social spending should be carefully analysed to assess their impact on income disparities.

Objectives of the ‘welfare state’

Economist Nicholas Barr has pointed out that welfare states have two main objectives. One can be described as “taking from the rich to give to the poor”: what Barr calls the “Robin Hood” motive. Australia is the strongest example of a country emphasising this approach.

In most countries, the more important objective of social security is to provide insurance against risks like unemployment, disability and sickness, and to redistribute income across the life course to periods of greater need (for example, when there are children in the household) or to periods of lower incomes (such as in retirement). Barr describes this as the “piggy bank objective”.

While Australia practises “Robin Hood” social policy more than any other country, our social welfare system also acts as a piggy bank and an insurance company.

Since 2001, Australia has had a new source of data to provide information on people’s use of welfare (among other things) – the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, commonly known as HILDA. HILDA identifies the prevalence of social risks at a point in time, but most importantly it provides information on the likelihood of risks affecting individuals over time.

 

Australia emphasises the ‘take from the rich to give to the poor’ approach in its welfare policy. AAP/Julian Smith

 

Exposure to risk

As any insurance salesman will tell you, in our lives we are all vulnerable to risks. In addition, the longer the timeframe we look at risks, the more common they become.

The 2012 HILDA Statistical Report found that around one in six people experience serious injury or illness to a close relative or family member each year, and nearly half experience it over a four-year period. Around 8-9% of the population experience serious injury or illness themselves each year and more than 25% over four years. Around 3% are fired or made redundant each year and 10% over four years.

Exposure to risks has consequences. Around 3% of the population have a major worsening in finances each year and 10% over four years. Between 2001 and 2008 – exceptionally good years for the Australian economy – just under half the adult population experienced an income drop, with around one-fifth having a major income fall.

When incomes fall, the social security system steps in. HILDA shows that around one in three working-age persons lived in households where someone received a welfare payment – not including family benefits or age pensions – at some time during 2009, down from 37% in 2001.

Over the period between 2001 and 2009, roughly two-thirds of the working-age population lived in a household where someone received an income support payment at some point in time.

That a significant majority of Australians use the welfare system at some point in time reflects the fact that we are all exposed to risks and need to dip into the “piggy bank”. This is what the post-World War Two social policy reformers such as Labor prime minister Ben Chifley called the “safety net”.

We often think of the welfare system as creating “dependency” and that all people on welfare stay there for very long periods of time. HILDA shows that while two-thirds of the working-age population received welfare at some stage between 2001 and 2009, only around 1.2% got nearly all of their income (90% or more) from welfare for the whole nine years. These people tend to have very complex combinations of disadvantages.

The fact that a large majority of Australians benefit at different times from the welfare state doesn’t in itself mean that welfare should or shouldn’t be reformed. But in considering any reforms, we need to ensure that we keep the multiple objectives of welfare in mind. Welfare reform can’t shift vulnerability to risk, but it can shift who pays for it.

Peter Whiteford receives funding from the Australian Research Council.

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Talent lining up for crack at Browne

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Newly crowned Commonwealth heavyweight boxing champion Lucas Browne has no shortage of top Australasian talent as potential rivals, with world title contender Alex Leapai and emerging New Zealand star Joseph Parker leading the way.

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Browne became the first Australian since 1892 to hold the Commonwealth title and won the WBC Eurasian Pacific Boxing Council title with a fifth round stoppage of Canadian Eric Bahoeli in the English city of Sheffield early Sunday AEST.

His win came shortly before Leapai’s fifth-round loss to quadruple world champion Wladimir Klitschko in Oberhausen, Germany.

Also appearing on that card was 22-year old Aucklander Parker.

The highly rated kiwi won his first regional belt, earning the interim Pan Asian Boxing Association title with a seventh-round stoppage of Brazilian Marcelo Nascimento.

Queenslander Leapai is the No. 1-rated heavyweight in Australia, with WA’s Browne second.

Leapai named Browne as a potential opponent as he looked to bounce back from the loss to Klitschko.

“If it’s Lucas Browne or Shannon `The Cannon’ Briggs, or even that guy who was calling out Wladimir, Manuel Charr, those are the fights I’ll be chasing,” Leapai said.

“I’m a puncher and I’ll take any of these guys toe to toe.”

Leapai’s manager-trainer Noel Thornberry is interested in bringing in former WBO champion Briggs, who gatecrashed last week’s press conference and weigh in.

He said Browne was another possible opponent for his charge.

“If Lucas is really serious, we’d be happy to sit down and have a talk with them, but if not we’ve got plenty of things we can do,” Thornberry told AAP.

“It’s a good all-Aussie fight. We can get young Joseph Parker to come over as well and fight on the card.”

Parker’s management are keen to pit their promising starlet against Browne, despite the latter’s superior experience.

“Joseph is a young fighter with huge potential, but I can confirm we think he’s a superior fighter to Lucas Browne,” said David Higgins, director of Duco Promotions, Parker’s promoters.

“We do have a bullseye on Lucas Browne’s forehead. We’re pursuing them now and it just comes down to whether Lucas Browne is prepared to step up or not.

“To see who is going to rise and eventually be the top dog in the region among Lucas and Alex Leapai and Joseph Parker.”

American veteran Brian Minto, who beat kiwi heavyweight Shane Cameron last December, is another prospective opponent for Parker.

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Want PBS savings? Fix the pricing for combined drugs

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By Philip Clarke, University of Melbourne and Alex Avery, University of Melbourne

Last week, Treasurer Joe Hockey made a “case for change” in the way government spends money.

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His focus was largely on macro policy settings, such as pension entitlements, including access to schemes such as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which he noted was the tenth-largest category of government spending.

Australians can access medicines listed on the PBS for A$36.90 (or A$6 for concession card-holders) and the government picks up the tab, at just under A$9 billion per year.

If we are to spend money wisely, the federal government will also need to focus on micro reforms, such as the price it pays for combination therapies – combinations of two or more pharmaceutical drugs in a single tablet.

A paper we published today in the Medical Journal of Australia shows that fixing the pricing of combination therapies would save around A$120 million annually – a nice windfall for any government looking for budgetary savings.

Benefits

Doctors are increasingly prescribing combination therapies in Australia, particularly for people with long-term chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) spends around A$600 million per year on combination drugs to treat these two diseases.

Combination therapies have advantages for patients, as they are generally cheaper than purchasing the drug separately and mean patients need to swallow fewer pills.

Some studies have shown use of patients given combination drugs are more likely to continue to take them long-term. A recent analysis of combination blood pressure-lowering agents, for example, found people were 21% more likely to comply with their prescription than those taking individual therapies.

Costs

The problem with the use of combinations in Australia is the cost to government. Our Medical Journal of Australia analysis shows that, while combinations are initially cheaper or an equivalent price to the individual therapies, they end up costing the taxpayer much more.

How does this happen?

Initially, pharmaceutical companies seek listing of combination therapies on the PBS after they are evaluated by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). Most combination drugs are generally listed on the basis of cost-minimisation, which means the combination produces the same clinical benefit to the separate components, at the same or lower price.

Pricing problems arise down the track, as any subsequent reductions in the price of the combination drug are not necessarily linked to equivalent reductions in the price of the component drugs.

This is a growing problem, as many combination drugs involve using older, off-patent medication, the prices of which have been declining over the past few years through a system known as price disclosure. This is a market-based pricing mechanism for off-patent medications, which bases future drug prices on the actual cost of the drugs when supplied to pharmacies. Competition between drug manufactures drives prices lower, as the manufacturer seeks to cut the supply price in order to win market share.

When there is only one brand of a combination therapy, the combination’s cost is linked to its component drug therapy items. So when prices of the components fall, these price reductions flow onto the price of the combination.

But when there are multiple brands of the same combination (even if the brands are supplied by the same manufacturer), the rules change: the cost is subject to price disclosure but there is no link between the price of components and the price of the combination drug.

Clopidogrel + aspirin

The current pricing arrangements have had a significant impact on the way many combinations are priced relative to their component therapies. A prime example is the combination Clopidogrel with aspirin, which prevents blood clots forming in hardened blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and premature death.

The PBAC recommended listing the combination on the PBS for the treatment of heart disease and stroke on a cost-minimisation basis and it became available in late 2009.

On initial PBS listing, the price of the combination was set at one cent cheaper than the cost of Clopidogrel. This was maintained until a month before the PBS subsidy for Clopidogrel was due to decline by 18%, due to the price disclosure mechanism.

At that time (September 2011), the same manufacturer introduced a new brand of the aspirin-Clopidogrel combination and this changed its status on the PBS formulary. From that time onward, the cost of combination and the individual components were not linked and the marginal cost of adding aspirin has been as high as A$1.36 per tablet.

Towards reform

We need a new pricing framework to ensure these medications are a cost-effective option for government and patients. The most obvious reform is to permanently link the dispensed price of fixed-dose combination therapies to their individual components, rather than just for an initial period after its listing on the PBS.

There could be a case for paying more for a combination therapy if they can be shown to improve adherence in a general practice setting and thereby reduce risk factors for these chronic diseases. A fraction of the money saved could be reinvested to evaluate how effective combination therapies are in practice.

In the current fiscal climate, the A$120 million a year savings that could come from a new pricing framework are too good to for the Abbott government to pass up.

The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article. They also have no relevant affiliations.

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No talks without recognition: Netanyahu

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel won’t negotiate with a Palestinian unity government unless Hamas declares it recognises Israel.

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Netanyahu said on Sunday the preferable course to get peace negotiations back on track would be for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to renounce Hamas, the Islamist movement whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

“Either Hamas disavows the destruction of Israel and embraces peace and denounces terror or president Abbas renounces Hamas,” Netanyahu said, speaking on CNN’s State of the Union.

“If one of those things happened, we could get back to the peace negotiations. I hope he renounces Hamas and gets back to the peace table, as I’ve just said. The ball is in his court,” he said.

Netanyahu suspended faltering peace talks with the Palestinians last week after Abbas and Hamas agreed to form a unity government.

Netanyahu’s comments came after Abbas, in a speech on Saturday to PLO leaders, said his unity government with Hamas would reject violence and abide by existing agreements.

Abbas also on Sunday declared the Holocaust was “the most heinous crime” against humanity in the modern era, his strongest remarks yet on the Nazi genocide.

In a separate interview on CBS’ Face the Nation, Netanyahu said he was “shocked” when Abbas announced the pact with Hamas, and dismissed his comments on the Holocaust.

“I think it’s an overture to American public opinion, to world put opinion to try to placate and somehow smooth over the fact that he made a terrible step away from peace,” he said.

“He made a giant leap backwards, away from pace, because he embraced Hamas that calls for the extermination of Jews worldwide,” he said.

“So, you know, you can say nice things or even significant things about the Holocaust, but you can’t embrace those who deny the Holocaust and are asking to commit another Holocaust,” he added.

Despite the Israeli prime minister’s stance, his cabinet appeared divided over how to respond to the new development.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians, said it was crucial to wait in see what sort of Palestinian government emerges.

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CSKA beat Rubin to stay in title race

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CSKA Moscow defeated visitors Rubin Kazan 2-1 to keep alive their chances of retaining the Russian league title.

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The Red Army side, who recorded their seventh consecutive win, have now picked up 55 points from 27 matches to close within four points of table-toppers Zenit St Petersburg.

CSKA completely dominated play during the first half but could only find the target once after 13th minutes when midfielder Alan Dzagoev fired the ball into the net from just inside the box.

Two minutes after the interval, Rubin forward Alexander Prudnikov pulled the scores level with an unopposed 10-metre shot.

But in the 53rd minute, Ivorian forward Seydou Doumbia netted CSKA’s winner scoring his season’s 16th goal with a precise spot-kick after a Rubin defender fouled him in the area.

“The match was really hard but luckily we managed to win it,” CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky said.

“But we should have scored a few more goals before the break to avoid the nervous ending. Rubin are a very well-organised team of skilled footballers. They seized the opportunity and pulled back to level but we managed to score the winning goal.

“Now we shall concentrate completely on our next match with Amkar Perm, which we also need to win.”

In the other Sunday’s match, Dynamo Moscow suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the hosts Terek Grozny, which has effectively dashed the Muscovites’ chances to finish on the podium.

Terek’s Brazilian midfielder Mauricio was the hero of the match as he netted his side’s winner firing into the top left-handed corner from the edge of the area in the 54th minute.

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Indigenous MPs join PUP after defecting from NT CLP

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By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

The defection of three Northern Territory Country Liberal Party indigenous MPs to Clive Palmer’s party has comes as a fresh blow to the conservative side of politics and provoked an extraordinary attack from Queensland premier Campbell Newman.

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Alison Anderson – whom Tony Abbott once tried to woo into federal politics – said she and fellow MLAs Larisa Lee and Francis Xavier Kurrupuwuy had approached PUP about a meeting with Palmer on Friday, and she had met him on Saturday night.

“We believed that we could achieve better things for all Territorians with the Palmer United Party,” said Anderson, who is now PUP’s leader in the Territory.

She said PUP was “the new force in Australian politics”.

Appearing at a news conference with Abbott, Newman said: “I ask, what inducements were offered to these three MP’s, what promises … to jump ship?”

He said Palmer had tried to buy the Queensland government, which had said “we’re not for sale”.

“As a result he’s gone on a rampage around Australia trying to buy other people and buy people’s votes and we’re seeing that in the Northern Territory today.”

Newman challenged journalists to ask more questions of Palmer and the defectors.

“If I was a journalist today … I’d be saying, ‘what was offered? What cash, what jobs, what financial support for elections? What offers were made to get them to jump ship?’”

Journalists should asked Palmer “the hard questions”, Newsman said.

“He says he’s not in business but then he still is in business trying to get out of paying a carbon tax obligation. He says he’s not in business but then he’s constantly talking about his excuses for why he’s not protecting the Great Barrier Reef properly in Townsville.”

Anderson denied any inducements. “We were not offered any inducements to join. We did so because we strongly believe it is the best way forward to give the people of the Northern Territory the futures they deserve.”

Palmer predicted that Anderson would become chief minister of the NT after its next election. The NT government was falling apart, he said.

Abbott said Anderson was “a fine person who’s fiercely stood up for the rights of her people”.

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

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Emotional Barca battle back

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Barcelona maintained their slight La Liga title hopes as they came from 2-0 down to beat Villarreal 3-2 on an emotionally-charged night at El Madrigal when players and fans remembered Tito Vilanova.

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However, Atletico Madrid remain in the driving seat for their first title in 18 years as they ground out a 1-0 win away to Valencia.

The Catalans paid their respects to former coach Vilanova with a minute’s silence before the game, but a miserable week looked set to end with a sixth league defeat of the season as Cani and Manu Trigueros gave Villarreal a commanding lead.

However, own goals from Gabriel and Mateo Musacchio brought Barca level before Lionel Messi grabbed the winner eight minutes from time.

Atletico continue to lead Barca by four points with just three games remaining, whilst Real Madrid fall to third, a further two points back, but with a game in hand.

“We played with fire,” Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta admitted.

“We weren’t playing badly but the goal just before half-time affected us. Then it went 2-0, but we fought until the end because that is all we can do until the end of the season.”

And the Spanish international added that Vilanova’s example in his fight with cancer for over two years will remain with them.

“Something like that always affects you a lot. We lived through a lot together and I am left with the example he has been to us until the end.”

Despite another difficult week off the field, Barca had started positively as Sergio Asenjo made a low save from Messi before Gabriel blocked Xavi’s effort.

However, Villarreal were always dangerous on the counter-attack and after Marc Bartra had cleared Javier Aquino’s effort off the line, Barca were caught out again moments later when Jonathan Pereira crossed for Cani to slot home.

Trigueros doubled Villarreal’s advantage 10 minutes into the second-half when he was well-picked out by Aquino and cushioned a header low past Jose Manuel Pinto from the edge of the area.

Barca got back into the game with a fortunate break 25 minutes from time when Dani Alves’ cross was deflected into his own net by Gabriel.

Alves was then the subject of a shocking incident as a banana was thrown at the Brazilian as he prepared to take a corner, provoking the full-back to take a bite of the banana before continuing on with the game.

And Alves was the source of Barca’s equaliser when Musacchio this time misjudged a header from his cross to send the ball past the helpless Asenjo.

Messi then sealed the comeback as a fine move involving Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas ended with the Argentine drilling home his 40th goal of the season.

Earlier, Raul Garcia starred for Atletico as he got the only goal of the game just before half-time to secure a ninth straight league win and move his team within two more victories of sealing the championship.

“We have two incredibly powerful teams behind us that will give everything and won’t allow us to relax,” insisted Atletico boss Diego Simeone.

“We have to continue being calm and take every game as it comes.”

Despite the second leg of his side’s Champions League semi-final against Chelsea being just three days away, Simeone named a strong side with David Villa and Tiago coming into the side that started the first leg against the English club in midweek.

However, Simeone claimed important victories for both Atletico, and Chelsea over Liverpool on Sunday, won’t make any difference at Stamford Bridge come Wednesday.

“The league doesn’t have anything to do with the Champions League. Chelsea have a great team as they have shown by rotating players and still winning 2-0 today. They are a very strong team that will cause us a lot of problems.”

Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao strengthened their grip on Spain’s fourth Champions League place for next season with a 3-1 win over Sevilla at San Mames.

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South’s president ‘prostitute’:N Korea

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Pyongyang has launched a vicious personal attack on South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, calling her a “prostitute” in thrall to her “pimp” Barack Obama, as it says it’s ready for “full-scale nuclear war”.

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In a diatribe on Sunday that was strongly worded even by the standards of its normally florid prose, the North lashed out at the relationship between a “master and its puppet” and threatened Park would pay a “dear price”.

“Park Geun-Hye’s recent behaviour with Obama was like a mean, immature girl begging gangsters to beat up someone she does not like,” the Committee for Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said.

“Or a crafty prostitute eagerly trying to frame someone by giving her body to a powerful pimp,” it added, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The vitriol came the day after US President Obama wrapped up a two-day visit to the South, during which he called the North a “pariah state” whose isolation would deepen further if it pushed ahead with a feared fourth nuclear test.

Recent satellite imagery has revealed heightened activity at the North’s nuclear test site, and Park warned Friday that Pyongyang was ready to stage another atomic test “anytime”.

Both presidents cautioned defiance of international rules would mean harsher sanctions on the impoverished country, and urged China to discourage its wayward ally from a new provocation.

The CPRK, the North’s body tasked with handling cross-border affairs, slammed the pair’s remarks, which it called “intolerable insults” against its leadership.

“If Obama and Park Geun-Hye believed that they could change our minds with such threats and blackmailing, they can’t be more foolish,” it intoned.

“In particular, Park Geun-Hye continued to viciously take issue with our dignity, system and nuclear programs… while meeting with Obama,” it said, characterising her remarks as “froth(ing) at the mouth”.

“The latest visit by Obama only reaffirmed our long-held belief that might, not words, are the only option to deal with the old enemy US and strengthened our resolve and determination to stick with our policy to fight a full-sale nuclear war.

“Park Geun-Hye will pay a dear price for abandoning the opportunity we earlier gave and choosing a path of anti-unification and anti-peace and a path to confrontation and war.”

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