Greek debt relief was not on table during bailout negotiations, says EU official

Official also believes Sunday’s referendum is escalation of a Greek negotiating strategy that has gone wrong


Debt relief was not on the table during negotiations to extend Greece’s existing bailout programme, and agree a package of reforms needed to unlock its remaining funds, according to a senior EU official.

The official told the Guardian that debt relief was “politically highly toxic for many eurozone member states”.

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Hurricanes vs. Highlanders: Winners and Losers from Super Rugby 2015 Final

The Highlanders are the 2015 Super Rugby champions after a 21-14 win over the Hurricanes.

A late first-half try was followed by an early score in the second to put the unfancied visitors in the box seat, and they were the smarter side throughout the contest.

This was a classic case of one team utilising every scrap of possession and turning it into points, while the other failed to convert dominance into numbers on the board.

The ‘Canes bossed possession in the second half, but a horrible error from Julian Savea saw a certain try go begging, and Beauden Barrett’s three penalties were never going to be enough.

Jamie Joseph’s men have done it the hard way, coming through an away semi-final against 2014 champions the Waratahs and now winning the final in the home of their opponents—the side that ran away with the overall table.

Here are the winners and losers from a gripping final.

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Greek finance minister accuses creditors of ‘terrorism’, on eve of referendum

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis attends an address by the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in downtown Athens on July 3, 2015Greece braced itself Saturday ahead of a make-or-break bailout referendum as polls showed the 'Yes' and 'No' camps neck and neck and uncertainty rose over the future of the country's battered economy. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras got a rock-star welcome at an Athens rally late Friday as he sought to revive support for a 'No' vote in a referendum called to strengthen his hand in talks with international creditors. In an interview published Saturday the outspoken Varoufakis accused Athens's creditors of "terrorism".

Nike SB Releases New “Night Factor” Colorway of the Trainerendor

Nike SBs crossover Trainerendor sneaker has just arrived in a new “Night Factor” colorway. The low-top kicks have been comprised of a mixture of suede, mesh and synthetic materials, as yellow branding complements the green upper alongside and atop the tongue. A speckled effect has been applied to the midsole, while the midfoot strap will keep you locked in, and tonal laces accompany. Visit Nike SB providers today to purchase this fresh Trainerendor release.

For an enticing all-black take on the Trainerendor, head here.

BUY NOW / $99

The post Nike SB Releases New “Night Factor” Colorway of the Trainerendor appeared first on Highsnobiety.

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7/4 CBS2 Saturday Morning Weather Headlines

By Mark McIntyre
CBS2 Meteorologist/Weather Producer

Good morning all, and Happy Independence Day! We wish we had a better forecast for this holiday, but things COULD be worse. Clouds look to rule through most of the day, along with winds from the northeast. We’ll be much cooler as a result with a high of only 75, which is well below normal.

Another wrinkle in the celebration will be occasional showers during the mid-day. It won’t be a washout, but you might have to dodge a few drops while grillin’. The silver – or rather red, white, and blue – lining is that fireworks festivities at 9:20 p.m. look to be dry…maybe just a few clouds.

(Credit: CBS2)

(Credit: CBS2)

Tomorrow will be an absolute beauty with plentiful sunshine and much warmer temps…expect a high of 85 in NYC with low humidity. Heading to the beach? Things look good! Pack the sunscreen as the UV index will be high.

(Credit: CBS2)

(Credit: CBS2)

Have a great Fourth of July!

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Europe has tried to financially carpet-bomb Greece into submission. Yet it offers no vision of a better future | Paul Mason

Sunday’s referendum is taking place against the background of a kind of financial warfare. If the idea is to terrorise the population, it has only half worked

When Times correspondent George Steer entered the city of Guernica in April 1937, what struck him were the incongruities. He noted precisely the bombing tactics “which may be of interest to students of the new military science”. But his report begins with a long paragraph describing the city’s ceremonial oak tree and its role in the Spanish feudal system.

Sitting in Athens this week, I began to understand how Steer felt. Sunday’s referendum took place under a kind of financial warfare not seen in the history of modern states. The Greek government was forced to close its banks after the European Central Bank, whose job is technically to keep them open, refused to do so. The never-taxed and never-registered broadcasters of Greece did the rest, spreading panic, and intensifying it where it had already taken hold.

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Manchester United Transfer News: Star Names Among Latest Red Devils Rumours

You get the sense that this summer’s transfer window could well define Manchester United’s 2015/16 season.

Despite vast improvements under manager Louis van Gaal last term, the squad still isn’t quite strong enough to challenge for Premier League and Champions League glory.

The Dutchman very much needs to get to work making sure players put pen to paper, then. Here we break down the latest recruits in his sights.


Nicolas Gaitan

Benfica star Nicolas Gaitan has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks, but it seems Van Gaal and Co. may have to concede defeat in their pursuit of the attacking midfielder.

The 27-year-old, who signed for Benfica in 2010 in the wake of Angel Di Maria’s departure to Real Madrid, has spoken out on his future in Lisbon and insisted that he’s happy—per Record (via Jonathan Green of the Daily Star):

“I am good at Benfica. I have a contract.”

Gaitan’s words come just days after his agent said that a deal had been struck with the Red Devils—as noted in Green’s piece—but it could well prove a blessing in disguise.

Sure, the Argentinian is a top player (and the stats don’t lie about that, per OptaCan), but he’s simply not what Manchester United need right now.

The position in behind the strikers is one that doesn’t need tampering with. Juan Mata proved his worth in the role many times last season—when actually given the chance to play there—and Di Maria comes into the campaign with a big point to prove.

Not to mention, skipper Wayne Rooney often finds himself dropping deep and flourishing.

According to Sky Sports (h/t Fox Sports), Gaitan has a buy-out clause in his Benfica contract of €35 million—a staggering amount of money.

Squad depth is incredibly important when battling for trophies on four fronts, but having world-class stars warming the Old Trafford bench just doesn’t make sense and it adds needless pressure and makes said players a bit rusty.

Instead, United need to focus on bringing in a top-drawer defender to steady the ship, and they’re not far away from landing exactly that.


Sergio Ramos

The Sergio Ramos saga is dragging on a bit now, but it seems that Manchester United are finally holding all the cards over Real Madrid.

According to Jamie Jackson of the Guardian, United are refusing to let the Spanish giants take goalkeeper David De Gea off their hands unless Ramos comes in the other direction.

However, it’s clear to see that Real would be the happier party with United’s stubborn nature.

De Gea will likely set the Bernabeu outfit back a pretty penny, but if they keep hold of Ramos and subsequently lose out on the goalkeeper for one more season, they could then get him on a free transfer.

United need Ramos more than Madrid need De Gea (for now)—it’s as simple as that.

So, the Red Devils need to put their foot on the gas in their pursuit, and former Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement, who now holds the reins at Derby County, told Sky that he’s worth going after—via Aaron Flanagan of the Daily Mirror:

He is a wonderful player, one of the best I have ever worked with. [He has] so many qualities, [he is] a fantastic footballer, leader, competitor, athlete, a fantastic guy. He is one of the best centre-halves in the world and I’ve worked with some good ones like John Terry, Thiago Silva at PSG, good ones in Pepe and Raphael Varane but Ramos is up there with the best I’ve worked with. Whether at Real Madrid or United, either club are going to massively benefit. Wherever he is, it’s going to a massive plus for that club.

United fans will be hoping they reap the benefits of landing Ramos, but pundit Richard Keys believes he could snub Old Trafford and head to a destination uncomfortably close to home:

It all adds up to the fact that Van Gaal needs to act fast if he wants to bring the Spaniard to the Premier League.

Every approach has been rejected by the Spanish giants so far, but by using De Gea as bait, the Dutchman may just be able to get the deal over the line.

Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life

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