Greek debt crisis: Council of State to rule on referendum – live

Latest poll shows narrow lead for Yes vote ahead of referendum decision

Greeks are being asked a question in the referendum which is not factually or legally correct, according to European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis has said.

In an interview with Die Welt, he said:

The referendum question is neither factually nor legally correct.

The proposals of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, which are to be voted on are based on a now expired credit program. The Euro Group has not accepted or declined. They do not correspond to the final state of negotiations – as Tsipras announced the referendum, we were still in the middle of the talks. The Greeks, however, on Sunday will also send a political signal to the rest of Europe. A yes will mean that they want to work closely with the other euro-zone countries to find a solution. A No would make the differences even more evident, and a solution more complicated.

It would be wrong to assume that a No would strengthen the Greek negotiating position. The opposite is the case. Following the closure of banks and the introduction of capital controls to attain financial stability again, it has become more complicated and more expensive. Greece is in a substantially worse situation than it was last week.

Markets have opened cautiously, with the FTSE 100 down just 4 points, Germany off 0.3% and Italy, Spain and France flat.

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Manchester United Transfer News: World Record David De Gea Fee Quoted to Madrid

Manchester United won’t sell David De Gea unless Real Madrid offer more than the £32.6 million (approx. €46 million) record fee Juventus paid to make Gianluigi Buffon the most expensive goalkeeper ever in 2001.

David McDonnell of the Mirror says the Red Devils “are refusing to budge” and “have told Real Madrid to forget any compromise over the transfer fee.” He also noted the Premier League club have rejected AS‘ claim that a cost of £25 million (€35 million) will be accepted just to ensure the deal is done.

In fact, both McDonnell and Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News report that United are happy to let De Gea leave for free next summer—when his contract expires—rather than sell him for a paltry amount before the start of the season. The former report even insists Madrid are yet to launch a formal offer for the Spanish international.

While a world-record fee could be expected if De Gea was sitting on a two or three-year contract, it’s unlikely he’ll drum up such a cost with just 12 months left on his deal. United don’t particularly need the cash—not after the club’s return to the Champions League and their £750 million kit contract with Adidas starting this season—so can afford to hold out if it’s more valuable to their chances for the ‘keeper to stay.

De Gea was named United player of the season for a second successive year at the club’s recent awards night. He has developed into a genuine match-winner. The 24-year-old has always been a top-quality shot-stopper, but he now has the ability to command his box when crosses come in. De Gea rushes off his line at the right time, is cool in possession and won United multiple points through his reflexes alone last season.

The Madrid-born star was spotted in the Spanish capital on Wednesday, wearing a t-shirt which sums up how many will feel about his ongoing saga, per AS:

He has so far avoided making a committed statement in public to either club. However, McDonnell reports he rejected a £200,000 per week contact offer from United, an action which is as telling as any quotes the player can offer. If De Gea wanted to stay, he would have inked a new deal to end speculation.

United are “considering their options” after having a bid rejected for Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, according to Sky Sports, which posted an update on the club’s transfer dealings:

Tim Collins of B/R UK believes a “power struggle” is ongoing between the two clubs over Ramos. It’s entirely possible De Gea will be dragged into this. Neither team wants to lose one of their prized assets and both will try to extract as much value as possible from each potential deal.

De Gea’s departure appears ominous, while speculation over Ramos has slowed somewhat. It would be disappointing for United to let their No. 1 leave without receiving anything back—either a huge fee, a top player or both—so it’s no wonder why Louis van Gaal’s side are only willing to deal on their terms.

Madrid usually get the better of United in the transfer market—think David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo—but the English side appear to be doing all they can to ensure they aren’t walked over this summer.

AP source: Matthews, Mavs reach agreement on 4-year contract (Yahoo Sports)

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 1: Wesley Matthews #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on March 1, 2015 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Free agent guard Wesley Matthews and the Mavericks have agreed on a four-year deal with financial terms that will depend on whether center DeAndre Jordan decides to join him in Dallas. A person with knowledge of the deal says Matthews and the Mavericks reached an agreement in principle late Thursday night and will wait on the decision from Jordan, who is apparently choosing between the Mavericks and his original team, the Los Angeles Clippers.


Wimbledon Upset Shows Rafa Nadal’s Old-School Style Is Losing Effectiveness

Long before Rafael Nadal was packing up his gear in his second-round Wimbledon loss to Dustin Brown, it was clear that the Spaniard was out of his element once again. Make that out of his proper time.

The easy charge is that Nadal is too broken down or old to keep dominating tennis. It’s a discordant tune that will become a tiresome chorus each and every time he loses at majors. But perhaps a greater factor is that the ATP tour is no longer the same arena of combatants and styles. The way that players are winning is different, and Nadal’s old-school style, just a half decade removed from being cutting-edge, has become the anachronism.

It’s the way of change or progress for people and institutions, and tennis is no exception. A few years ago Nadal could impose a more methodical style and pace to control his opponents. He could seemingly bend time and slow clocks.

Now the whole world has accelerated as if it’s in a hurry to assimilate culture and sports into a world of faster technology, polarizing comments, social media and athletes who want to play faster than ever before.

 

Tennis 2015

The ATP is bolder and more aggressive, spawning more quick-strike athletes who accept the risk-reward, all-or-nothing kinds of incentives that are taking place in men’s tennis.

Nadal is having a hard time keeping up with the explosive nature of the flamboyant athlete, guys like his most recent Wimbledon conquerors “electric” Brown and “charismatic” Nick Kyrgios, who embody more of the professional basketball “boom” mentality that is chipping away at old-school baseline warriors like Nadal:

Attack early and finish quickly. Every shot is a potential force for power and immediate winning. Don’t let the baseliners turn it into a yawner. Make ‘em run on defense and cut ‘em off with something bold. Then scream like you’re primeval.

Nadal, well known for his tics and routines, is a rhythm player, bonded by years of training and preparation to impose his style and way of playing. For several years, he’s been the most important force in tennis in how the game has been played.

 

The Foreshadowing

In January 2014, there were plenty of rumblings and concerns about slow court speeds and what needed to be done to speed up the game at the Australian Open. And that tournament was a kind of symbolic transition for a superstar like Nadal who was dominating the tour and looking to win his third major in four attempts (and perhaps four of five when we include winning the 2014 French Open).

That 2014 Australian Open semifinal saw Nadal punch out a masterpiece against more elderly rival Roger Federer. Then, just as suddenly, as if his back were the cause of pushing him into the Twilight Zone of a new era, he was knocked around by Stan Wawrinka’s bold, go-for-broke mentality. Never mind that Wawrinka was a year older than Nadal. It was the way that he swung from his heels, scoffing at percentages and paradigms that had been established by the likes of Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

There have been other signs that bigger servers and quick-strike tennis would be rewarded. Lightweight Alexandr Dolgopolov whacked his way past Nadal at Indian Wells in 2014. Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic experienced more success with their quick-strike approaches over the subsequent months, and they represented more of the alternative attacks that are slowly if not appreciably having greater success on the tour.

There’s no question that Wawrinka’s 2015 French Open title has shown that yesteryear’s most dominant champions can be vulnerable to a risky, big hitter. Expect more of these opportunities to come.

Maybe highlight players like Grigor Dimitrov will click into gear when they discover the rewards to offensive strikes. Perhaps young Kyrgios will find paydirt with his raw athleticism and improvisational attacks. Is there a better chance that a big server like Milos Raonic will find success in the near future?   It’s a spirited kind of approach if not completely established or very consistent, yet.

 

The Reality

So there was Nadal, gamely trying to fight back against another explosive talent, a journeyman not even ranked in the top 100, but nevertheless a dangerous opponent who could certainly be acclaimed as a grass-court specialist. Nadal, by comparison, was in slow motion, as if even his stubborn attempts to control time and pace between serves simply had no more effect on his opponent’s energetic nature.

Even when Nadal tried to reply with some quick play of his own, he was awkward at times, pushing volleys sideways and long off of the court, and then not exactly in rhythm to execute more than a handful of passing shots. Truth be told, Nadal was not bad, just out of touch, outdated and unable to play like it was Wimbledon 2010.

It’s not that Nadal is unaware of his predicament. He has tried to finish points quicker, but this does not play to his strengths and past familiarity on how to win. In the past he’s upgraded his strings, and recently he’s tried to play with a new racket, but it’s tough. He’s trying to change weapons and fight in a new terrain.

The immediate outlook is not so promising. Nadal’s Wimbledon ship sailed four years ago, and it’s going to be awfully tough at the U.S. Open Series and into the fall where deep draws of fast-paced players are brandishing bigger tools with visions of global conquests. BBC Sport noted this remark from Nadal:

Nadal is presumably healthy and fit, and he’s had plenty of time to look at old blueprints and contemplate adjustments (see U.S. Open 2013). He understands that the wind is blowing in a more offensive direction, but it’s hard to keep up.

Old habits die hard, especially with aging champions who must fight against the currents of time.

The Spanish superstar has a few years of winning tennis left in the tank, but it might be less about his age or the wear and tear. Can he upgrade what he did in 2013, finding the right blend of baseline aggression and effective serving?

Where once the tour was exclusively about beating Federer, Djokovic and Andy Murray, Nadal must now also keep up with the likes of Wawrinka, Brown, Kyrgios and others who can bring a less predictable and more uncharted, albeit inconsistent, nature to tennis.

Nadal must adapt his old-school style into the wrinkles of the future, and perhaps he will still find a few more championship windows to break down.

Plex’s forums hacked, user data being held ransom

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Streaming service Plex’s forums have been hacked, and the hacker is holding the data ransom in exchange for Bitcoin. Plex has announced that the hacker was able to gain access to IP addresses, email addresses, hashed and salted passwords as well as private message. Payment information is not stored on Plex’s servers, so that information is still secure.

The streaming service refused to pay the ransom, and has reset the passwords of all affected users. Plex uses a SSO (single sign-on) authentication, so if the hacker were to reverse-engineer the hashed passwords, he or she would be able to gain access to a user’s Plex.tv account as well.










South Korea injects $20 bln stimulus into MERS-hit economy

South Korea forecasts its economy will grow 3.1% this year and 3.5% next yearThe South Korean government on Friday agreed to inject $20 billion into the flagging economy, which has been hit by the MERS virus outbreak and sluggish consumption. The 22-trillion-won ($19.8 billion) stimulus package was passed at a cabinet meeting of government ministers, the finance ministry said. "The extra budget will help revitalise the economy and stabilise the livelihoods of ordinary people who have been affected the most by the fallout from MERS," Vice Finance Minister Bang Moon-Kyu was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.


Ashley Tisdale Got The Cutest 30th Birthday Wish From Vanessa Hudgens!

This has to be one of the sweetest friendships in Hollywood!

Believe it or not, Ashley Tisdale somehow turned 30 on Thursday — It feels like just yesterday she and her co-stars were singing their way to super-stardom on High School Musical!

In honor of Ash’s big day, her BFF Vanessa Hudgens was there to help her celebrate in style.

[ Photos: Ashley Tisdale's Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Reunion! ]

Ashley’s fellow Disney diva took to Instagram to send the Clipped star the cutest B-Day message ever, saying:

@ashleytisdale IT’S YO BIRTHDAYYYYY!!!!!! I can’t believe how the years have flown by and now you’re 30!!! I could not be more proud of you. You have grown into such a wonderful, smart, powerful woman and it’s been such a pleasure spending all these years as your friend. Cheers to a new decade. P.S. We’ve lost our bronzy tans.

‘Information is the most powerful weapon against North Korea regime’

Independent media service is vital to reverse decades of brainwashing so, despite cutbacks, the BBC must step up

The drought in North Korea will have only one consequence if it continues: many of the country’s chronically malnourished population will die.

Yet their deaths won’t change the way the country is run because the two vectors of power in North Korea – Kim Jong-un’s regime and the government of neighbouring China – have no real public opinion to answer to.

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Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life

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