rooney282

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off as Wayne Rooney’s 100th club goal proved enough to give Manchester United a derby win.

United were dominant early on but Manchester City came closest to scoring when Stephen Ireland grazed a post.

Rooney followed up Michael Carrick’s shot to break the deadlock before Ronaldo was sent off for a second booking after inexplicably handling.

Richard Dunne almost levelled but saw his shot cleared off the line before Joe Hart kept out a late Rooney lob.

Hart, who had joined City’s attack for an injury-time corner, ran the length of the pitch as United broke and got back to his goal just in time to deny Rooney his second goal of the game.

The home side had come close to equalising seconds earlier when Patrice Evra did brilliantly to block Dunne’s effort but United were still convincing winners.

Although they were against 10 men for the last 20 minutes following Ronaldo’s dismissal, Dunne’s shot was the only time City came close to breaking down a well-organised United defence in that period.

And Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had been just as impressive going forward for the majority of the match.

The only blemish on an otherwise perfect day for Ferguson was Ronaldo’s red card, which came after an inexplicable handball by the Portuguese winger.

Ronaldo had already been booked for bringing down Shaun Wright-Phillips and, when he almost caught Rooney’s corner at the near post less than 10 minutes later, referee Howard Webb had no choice but to dismiss him.

It was a bizarre incident but did not take the shine off an impressive display by the visitors.

While City began nervously, United were into their stride from the start and could have been out of sight by the end of a one-sided first half.

Dimitar Berbatov, operating behind the marauding Rooney, tormented the City defence in the early stages, while Evra and Rafael da Silva were constant threats on either flank.

But, for all their possession, a goal continued to elude United.

Ronaldo nodded over from a corner, Hart brilliantly pushed a Berbatov header round the post and Evra blazed over when his own cross was cleared back to him in the box.

It took City over half an hour to create any sort of opening but, when it came, they should really have taken the lead.

ronaldo282A whipped Javier Garrido free-kick was only cleared as far as Ireland, who fired the ball goalwards with United keeper Edwin van der Sar out of position.

Ireland’s shot bounced towards Micah Richards, who was stood in front of the net, but instead of turning it home the defender left the ball and it hit the outside of the post.

That sparked City’s best spell of the first-half, with Robinho inches away from collecting Didi Hamann’s slide-rule pass in front of goal, but United remained dangerous and it was no surprise when they scored after 42 minutes.

The home side had plenty of opportunities to clear the ball but instead it fell for Carrick to fire in a low shot that Hart could only parry into the path of Rooney, who converted with glee for his 100th club goal.

Understandably, City boss Mark Hughes made changes at the break and, after moving Vincent Kompany into midfield, his side were instantly more competitive.

City were seeing more of the ball too but they still had to be alert to United’s threat on the counter-attack and Ji-Sung Park was twice denied by last-ditch tackles by Wright-Phillips and Dunne.

Ferguson’s side continued to get plenty of men behind the ball and even Ronaldo’s dismissal did not help the home side, who looked to have run out of ideas before Dunne’s late chance came and went.

The scoreline would have reflected the game far better had Rooney scored with his audacious injury-time lob and, in truth, the match perfectly illustrated the gulf in class between the two sides that City’s wealthy new owners Abu Dhabi United are hoping to narrow.

ship

Somali pirates holding a ship full of military hardware have reached a deal with its Ukrainian owners to release it, reports say.

Gunmen seized the Kenya-bound MV Faina, carrying 33 tanks, grenade launchers and ammunition, on 24 September.

A pirate spokesman said releasing the ship was “a matter of time”, but gave no details of a ransom payment.

Attacks by Somali pirates have escalated sharply in recent months, causing international concern.

Last month they seized a Saudi oil tanker, the Sirius Star, carrying oil worth more than $100m (£65m). Negotiations are currently under way for the release of the vessel and its 25-man crew.

‘Technicalities’

SOMALIA PIRACY
Map showing areas of pirate attacks
92 attacks this year – most in the Gulf of Aden
36 successful hijackings
14 ships currently held, including the MV Faina carrying tanks
268 crew held hostage
Source: International Maritime Bureau, 2008

The MV Faina, currently anchored off the pirate hub of Harardhere, has a mostly Ukrainian crew of 21. Pirates had initially demanded a ransom of $20m.

“It is just a matter of time and a few technicalities before the ship recovers its freedom,” French news agency AFP quoted Sugule Ali speaking on behalf of the pirates.

“I can’t tell you what the ransom is but what can I say is that an agreement has finally been reached,” he added.

A Kenyan maritime official confirmed the deal and said the two sides were now “discussing the modalities of releasing the ship, crew and cargo”.

Kenya says the arms are destined for its military, rejecting reports they were bound for the government of semi-autonomous southern Sudan.

Somalia has not had an effective national government for 17 years, leading to a collapse of law and order both on land and at sea.

Pirates there are currently holding more than a dozen hijacked ships.

richard_speckRICHARD SPECK, 1966

It sounds like a recurring nightmare: an armed male intruder breaks into a women’s dorm and with a gun and a butcher’s knife, binds and gags all the residents. Then one by one, he kills them cruelly and with great brutality. All of that happened in Chicago on the night of July 14, 1966, in a dormitory that housed eight nurses who worked at the South Chicago Community Hospital. The perpetrator was Richard Speck, then 24, a drifter born in Illinois, raised in Texas, wandering from petty crime to petty crime and bar to bar. At the age of 19, he had the words “Born to Raise Hell” tattooed on his arm. His victims were all eulogized as saints, people who had committed their lives to helping others. He would be positively identified by one of his intended targets, Corazon Amurao, who survived the attack by hiding under a bed. Speck knew there were eight women in the dorm; he did not know that a friend was also staying over that night. So Amurao survived as the guest was led to slaughter. The jury found Speck guilty after a mere 49 minutes of deliberation and he was sentenced to the electric chair. In 1972, however, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the death sentence unconstitutional. Resentenced to hundreds of years in prison, Speck died in 1991. No one claimed his body, which was cremated and the ashes scattered to the wind.

shopping

The US holiday shopping season got off to an encouraging start, with sales on the day after Thanksgiving up 3% from last year.

Data from ShopperTrak showed sales rose to $10.6bn on Friday, although it was the smallest gain since 2005.

The Thanksgiving weekend marks the start of the holiday shopping season and is regarded as an important test of how willing US consumers are to spend.

Analysts said shoppers were responding to heavy discounts.

“Under these circumstances, to start off the season in this fashion is truly amazing and is a testament to the resiliency of the American consumer, and undeniably proves a willingness to spend,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak.

However, Mr Martin added that spending was driven by steep discounts, which are likely to put retailers’ profit margins under pressure.

Sales in the South rose 3.4% and they increased by 3% in the Midwest.

On Friday, crowds of shoppers woke up before dawn and queued in the cold to snare the special deals offered by many stores.

A shop worker died after being knocked to the ground by bargain-hunters at a Wal-Mart store in New York’s suburbs.

Many retailers have suffered as consumers cut back their spending to cope with the worst economic crisis since the Depression.

US retail sales recorded the biggest monthly decline since 1992 in October as consumers cut back on spending.

_45253829

Spanish singer Ruth Lorenzo has said buenas noches to The X Factor, after receiving the fewest public votes in Saturday’s live show.

The 26-year-old bowed out with a final rendition of Bon Jovi’s Always.

Britney Spears also took to the X Factor stage to perform current hit single Womanizer, in her first UK television performance in four years.

Earlier, all of the five remaining contestants sang one of Spears’ hits and an American classic.

Lorenzo said: “I fought with all my heart, with everything I had. And this doesn’t end here.

“This is the beginning of my dream.

‘Friend forever’

“All I can say is thank you so much. I never ever dreamed of this ever.”

Her mentor, Dannii Minogue paid tribute to the Spanish bombshell, saying she had “an incredible vocal”.

“She was the most beautiful person to work with. She’s going to be a friend forever,” she said.

Earlier judge Simon Cowell praised her “determination and effort”.

With the show down to its final weeks, Lorenzo was chosen solely by public vote.

Her exit means Diana Vickers, Eoghan Quigg, Alexandra Burke and boyband JLS have all secured a place in the show’s semi-final.

Burke, 20, is now favourite to win the show, after singing powerful versions of Spears’ Toxic and Beyonce’s Listen.

Simon Cowell told the Londoner her performance of the Dream Girls song was the “best performance of the competition”.

“You make me very proud to be British,” he said.

Spears is on a whistle-stop tour of Europe ahead of the release of her latest album, Circus, on Monday.

She wore an all black outfit, with hotpants, fishnet tights and knee-high boots during her mimed performance – which received a standing ovation from the judges and studio audience.

Afterwards she said: “I love being here in London, it’s awesome.”

She told the remaining contestants: “Good luck and just keep doing it.”

On Thursday she performed at an awards ceremony in Germany, where she was named best international pop star. On Friday, she sang on French TV show Star Academy.

Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus also appeared on this week’s X Factor to play her latest single, 7 Things.

30clintoCHICAGO — Former President Bill Clinton has agreed to disclose publicly the names of more than 200,000 donors to his foundation as part of an accord with President-elect Barack Obama that clears the way for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to become secretary of state, Democrats close to both sides said on Saturday.

Mr. Clinton has kept his contributor list secret, as permitted under federal law, but he decided to publish it to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest with Mrs. Clinton’s duties as the nation’s top diplomat, said the Democrats, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the agreement with Mr. Obama’s team. Mr. Obama plans to announce Mrs. Clinton’s nomination on Monday, according to advisers.

The disclosure of contributors is among nine conditions that Mr. Clinton signed off on during discussions with representatives of Mr. Obama; all go beyond the requirements of law. Among other issues, he agreed to incorporate his Clinton Global Initiative separately from his foundation so that he has less direct involvement. The initiative, which promotes efforts to fight disease, poverty and climate change, would no longer hold annual meetings outside of the United States or accept new contributions from foreign governments.

Mr. Clinton also agreed to submit his future personal speeches and business activities for review by State Department ethics officials and, if necessary, by the White House counsel’s office.

The former president’s web of business and charitable activities raised questions about how he could continue to travel the world soliciting multimillion-dollar contributions for his foundation and collecting six-figure speaking fees for himself from foreign organizations and individuals while his wife conducted American foreign policy.

Lawyers for Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama spent days crafting the agreement in hopes of addressing any concerns about Mr. Clinton’s activities. He had previously said he would do whatever the Obama transition team asked in order to make it possible for his wife to serve without questions. Mr. Obama’s team said it was satisfied that the concessions Mr. Clinton made should defuse any potential controversy. Until Saturday, only some elements of the agreement had become public.

Neither Mr. Obama’s office nor Mr. Clinton’s office would comment. The disclosure of Mr. Clinton’s full agreement on a Saturday night might have the effect of drawing less attention to it while keeping the focus Monday on Mrs. Clinton. Her nomination will be announced along with the retention of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and the appointment of Gen. James L. Jones, a retired Marine commandant, as national security adviser.

In the eight years since he left the White House, Mr. Clinton has built a new life as a businessman and international philanthropist, which has made him rich while he helped fight AIDS, malaria, malnutrition and other maladies around the world. Since its formation a decade ago, the William J. Clinton Foundation has raised more than $500 million to build a presidential library and to finance charitable programs.

Mr. Clinton has never revealed his contributors, but among those whose identities have become known over the years are the Saudi royal family, the king of Morocco, a foundation linked to the United Arab Emirates, the governments of Kuwait and Qatar and a tycoon who is the son-in-law of Ukraine’s former authoritarian president.

For his speeches, Mr. Clinton could command as much as $425,000 for one hour, often paid by foreign companies or individuals who might have an interest in American foreign policy. He gave at least 54 such speeches last year for a total of $10.1 million. Even as his wife was first approached by Mr. Obama about the State Department job this month, the former president was heading to Kuwait to speak at an economic symposium sponsored by the National Bank of Kuwait.

To eliminate any concerns, Mr. Clinton turned over to Mr. Obama’s team the names of all 208,000 individuals and organizations that have given money since 1997. The agreement will ensure that the foundation releases the names to the public as well by the end of December. The names will be divided into categories giving the general level of contributions rather than the precise dollar amount. Any future donors will be disclosed as long as Mrs. Clinton is in the cabinet.

The Clinton Global Initiative, now part of the foundation, will be incorporated separately to establish some distance from the former president in its day-to-day activities. Mr. Clinton will continue to host gatherings of the initiative and invite participants who pay registration fees, but will not solicit sponsorships, according to the agreement.

The agreement, most of which will become effective once Mrs. Clinton is confirmed, will prevent the Clinton Global Initiative from holding just the sort of meeting that it is sponsoring in Hong Kong starting Tuesday, the day after Mr. Obama’s scheduled announcement. The meeting was scheduled to be the first of a series around the world bringing together leaders of government, business and nonprofit groups to discuss education, energy, climate change and public health.

Four other initiatives under the umbrella of the Clinton foundation — focused on H.I.V./AIDS, climate change, development and sustainable growth — will continue to do work under agreements with foreign governments that provide financing, including Britain, France, Norway and Sweden. But if any of those countries increases its commitment or a new country decides to contribute, the foundation will notify State Department ethics officials.

train_robberyTHE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, 1963

The 15 thieves who held up the Royal Mail train between Glasgow and London on Aug. 8, 1963 netted 120 bags packed with the equivalent of $7 million and were were treated like folk heroes by the press and public. Although the operation took all of 15 minutes, the caper was not as smooth as people remember it. It wasn’t non-violent, for one thing (the driver of the train was conked in the head and never fully recovered from the trauma); nor was it as carefully executed (the thieves left fingerprints everywhere). The case has lived on in memory because of the further adventures of one of its minor players, Ronnie Biggs, whose escape from prison and long years of eluding justice were constant fodder for the British tabs. Readers were fascinated that a small-time hood could end up being part of the biggest heist in British history and be the only one to get away with it all. Biggs eventually gave himself up in 2001, returning voluntarily from Brazil to serve the 28 years remaining in his sentence. Despite pleas for leniency, Biggs, now 77, remains incarcerated and in failing health.

a_wrheeIn 11th grade, Allante Rhodes spent 50 minutes a day in a Microsoft Word class at Anacostia Senior High School in Washington. He was determined to go to college, and he figured that knowing Word was a prerequisite. But on a good day, only six of the school’s 14 computers worked. He never knew which ones until he sat down and searched for a flicker of life on the screen. “It was like Russian roulette,” says Rhodes, a tall young man with an older man’s steady gaze. If he picked the wrong computer, the teacher would give him a handout. He would spend the rest of the period learning to use Microsoft Word with a pencil and paper.

One day last fall, tired of this absurdity, Rhodes e-mailed Michelle Rhee, the new, bold-talking chancellor running the District of Columbia Public Schools system. His teacher had given him the address, which was on the chancellor’s home page. He was nervous when he hit SEND, but the words were reasonable. “Computers are slowly becoming something that we use every day,” he wrote. “And learning how to use them is a major factor in our lives. So I’m just bringing this to your attention.” He didn’t expect to hear back. Rhee answered the same day. It was the beginning of an unusual relationship.

The U.S. spends more per pupil on elementary and high school education than most developed nations. Yet it is behind most of them in the math and science abilities of its children. Young Americans today are less likely than their parents were to finish high school. This is an issue that is warping the nation’s economy and security, and the causes are not as mysterious as they seem. The biggest problem with U.S. public schools is ineffective teaching, according to decades of research. And Washington, which spends more money per pupil than the vast majority of large districts, is the problem writ extreme, a laboratory that failure made.

Rhee took over Anacostia High and the district’s 143 other schools in June 2007, when Mayor Adrian Fenty named her chancellor. Her appointment stunned the city. Rhee, then 37, had no experience running a school, let alone a district with 46,000 students that ranks last in math among 11 urban school systems. When Fenty called her, she was running a nonprofit called the New Teacher Project, which helps schools recruit good teachers. Most problematic of all, Rhee is not from Washington. She is from Ohio, and she is Korean American in a majority-African-American city. “I was,” she says now, “the worst pick on the face of the earth.”

But Rhee came highly recommended by another prominent school reformer: Joel Klein, chancellor of New York City’s schools. And Rhee was once a teacher–in a Baltimore elementary school with Teach for America–and the experience convinced her that good teachers could alter the lives of kids like Rhodes.

Anacostia High has a 24% graduation rate, and only 21% of its students read at grade level. Rhodes is well aware of the miserable statistics, and when he first saw his new chancellor from afar, he thought she looked petite, foreign and underqualified. “I was like, She doesn’t look ready for urban kids.” But after they exchanged e-mails, he agreed to meet her downtown. He realized almost at once that he had underestimated her. “She actually sat with me,” he says, “and talked eye to eye, like I was one of her co-workers.” They decided to meet again, this time at Anacostia High. Rhodes began to talk about Rhee to his classmates, and they started writing an agenda for the meeting, detailing all the things that were wrong with the D.C. school system. They had much to tell.

Rhee has promised to make Washington the highest-performing urban school district in the nation, a prospect that, if realized, could transform the way schools across the country are run. She is attempting to do this through a relentless focus on finding–and rewarding–strong teachers, purging incompetent ones and weakening the tenure system that keeps bad teachers in the classroom. This fall, Rhee was asked to meet with both presidential campaigns to discuss school reform. In the last debate, each candidate tried to claim her as his own, with Barack Obama calling her a “wonderful new superintendent.”

Hard as it is to imagine Washington schools ranking among the best in the country, the city does have some things working in its favor. The system is relatively small, making it easier to redirect. As in New York City, the board of education was recently dissolved, which means changes can be made without waiting for the blessing of a fractious body of overseers. And now that a third of Washington’s kids are in charter schools, there is intense pressure on the public system to keep the students it still has. If they keep fleeing the system at the current rate, enrollment will drop 50% every 10 years.

Each week, Rhee gets e-mails from superintendents in other cities. They understand that if she succeeds, Rhee could do something no one has done before: she could prove that low-income urban kids can catch up with kids in the suburbs. The radicalism of this idea cannot be overstated. Now, without proof that cities can revolutionize their worst schools, there is always a fine excuse. Superintendents, parents and teachers in urban school districts lament systemic problems they cannot control: poverty, hunger, violence and negligent parents. They bicker over small improvements such as class size and curriculum, like diplomats touring a refugee camp and talking about the need for nicer curtains. To the extent they intervene at all, politicians respond by either throwing more money at the problem (if they’re on the left) or making it easier for some parents to send their kids to private schools (if they’re on the right).

Meanwhile, millions of students left behind in confused classrooms spend another day learning nothing.

mumbai The siege has ended, but the full picture of Mumbai’s three days of terror has yet to emerge. Some of the most basic questions about the mayhem that began at 9.30 p.m. on Wednesday and ended at around 10 a.m. Saturday remain unanswered by the authorities. How many terrorists were there, and where did they come from? How was it possible for so few people to inflict so much damage, and how were they able to sustain their assault over such a lengthy period? Although the investigation is just getting underway, some details emerging on Saturday provide some clues.

“There were 10 terrorists in all,” Maharashtra state Home Minister R.R. Patil told a press conference Saturday. “Nine were killed, while one has been captured alive.” Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that the arrested man, Ajmal Amin Kasab, was of Pakistani origin, although he did not specify whether the suspect held a Pakistani passport. The minister said the identities of the other attackers had not yet been confirmed.

Although U.S. intelligence sources quoted in the New York Times on Friday said that recent intelligence pointed towards a Pakistan-based Kashmiri group, and some Indian officials had suggested that the attackers had links with Pakistan, Kasab’s background is the only hard evidence offered so far to link the attacks in any way to Pakistan. That didn’t stop Maharastra state officials pointing a finger at India’s neighbor and long-standing rival. “[The attackers] had been continuously getting instructions from abroad via satellite phones,” Patil said. When asked which country they were getting support from, the minister replied: “You all know which country.” Sources in Indian intelligence tell TIME that National Security Guard commandos have recovered five Blackberry phones and a satellite phone used by the attackers, which should allow authorities to trace the source of militants external communications.

Neither official would address the rumor that there had been other militants involved in the attack who had walked away and blended into Mumbai’s civilian population. The persistence of that idea reflects Mumbaikars’ disbelief that an attack of this scale could have been executed without the participation of scores of people. But eyewitness accounts suggest the explanation may simply be that the gunmen were not challenged. Sebastian d’Souza, a photographer from the Mumbai Mirror who took the chilling pictures of one of the terrorists training his weapons on Mumbai’s main railway station, watched the attack from a train carriage. “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said he told the Independent. “I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them.”

The two men who attacked the railway station are believed to have walked from there to the nearby Cama Hospital. A resident of a building with a clear view of the area said he saw the pair on Wednesday evening as they passed under a streetlight toward the hospital. “They were walking slowly, very confidently,” he said. Fifteen minutes passed before he heard the gunshots at Cama Hospital, and there were no police in the area. Thirty minutes passed before he heard the next round of gunfire, which occurred in front of an ATM on the narrow path leading from the hospital toward the main road. It was here that the gunmen encountered a police Jeep, shooting the officers inside and then taking their vehicle. On Friday afternoon, four large bloodstains and a piled of shattered glass were visible on the spot, along with deep maroon tire marks leaving the area. The site was completely unsecured, trampled by pedestrians and, at one point, driven over by a motorcycle.

The two gunmen driving in the stolen vehicle then fired randomly at passersby on the road, before they were stopped by police who killed the one and arrested the other, Kasab. Authorities told reporters today that the three men in the police Jeep attacked by Kasab and his partner had been the city’s three top law enforcement officials, including Hemant Karkare, head of the Anti-Terror Squad. Earlier in the week, they had said Karkare died while leading his men into the Taj Hotel. He was cremated on Saturday.

The death toll, meanwhile, as risen to 195, of which 18 were foreign nationals. Deshmukh put the number of injured at 239, and the Disaster Management Cell of the municipal corporation says the number of fatalities could pass 200. Indian officials did not specify how many of the dead had been hostages. There are also conflicting reports over whether U.S. and British citizens had been singled out as hostages, as several news reports has claimed on Wednesday. Officials at Trident Hotels (one wing of the Oberoi) said that the hostages there included one Japanese, three Americans and a Singaporean citizen. They did not know the total number of hostages taken there.

Among the injured is Hawaldar Rajveer, who was part of the team of commandos that stormed the Taj on Thursday. In an interview, he revealed that the commandos had come face to face with at least two of the three terrorists eventually killed in the Taj as early as Thursday. Rajveer said that his team had cleared the top floor, and was working its way down to the 4th, where they had been told the terrorists were hiding in room 471.

“We were told to expect one guy in a red shirt,” he says, “and when we entered this room, there was a young man in a red shirt who didn’t raise his hands when he was told to. He made a movement to run or get a weapon, and suddenly there was a burst of fire from the room behind him. I ducked, but Maj Unnikrishnan was hit.” They retreated, and a while later, charged at the door again. “From all the firing, the room caught fire, and the fire brigade moved in. I passed out, so I don’t remember what happened next.”

What was clear today was the extent of the damage to the iconic Taj Hotel, the last of the three sites to be cleared. As the victims’ bodies were being brought out, the premises of the hotel had not yet been sealed, and it was possible to walk all the way around it. Bodies of dead pigeons, killed probably by the fire or the blasts, were beginning to rot and smell. There was an explosion of whistles from indignant security guards as photographers put their cameras into broken windows and captured scenes of charred rooms. Escape ropes made from bedsheets and curtains were dangling from the windows. The Tata Group, which owns the property, promised on Saturday to “rebuild and restore every inch of the hotel to its original glory”.