‘Shocking’ level of sexual harassment at music festivals

Glastonbury Festival Image copyright PA
Image caption Festivals are a huge part of the UK summer calendar

Nearly half of female festival goers (43%) under 40 say they have faced unwanted sexual behaviour at a music festival, a new survey suggests.

Overall, 22% of all festival goers have faced assault or harassment, rising to 30% of women overall.

The most common forms were unwelcome and forceful dancing and verbal sexualised harassment.

YouGov surveyed 1,188 festival goers. The poll also suggested only 2% of such incidents were reported to police.

Earlier this year, separate data released in the Crime Survey for England and Wales in February showed more than 80% of victims of sexual assault did not report it to police.

Those statistics also revealed that one in five women had experienced some form of sexual assault since they turned 16.

The festivals YouGov survey, which was commissioned by the Press Association, also found that only 1% of women reported sexual assault or harassment to a member of festival staff, either before or after the event, although 19% of men did report their experience to staff.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Glastonbury Festival is the largest in the UK

What to do if you are a victim or a witness of a sexual assault or harassment at a music festival this summer

Rape Crisis’s Katie Russell spoke to BBC News with some advice:

“As a bystander, do as much as you can to engage the perceived victim – be aware that they may feel humiliated and/or unempowered.

“Ask them what would they like to happen next? Try to avoid putting yourself in immediate physical danger and use your judgement.

“Our advice would be similar for a survivor in any circumstance.

“Try to be with someone you trust, who can stay with you, someone you can disclose to.

“You might be in shock, so try to stay warm and hydrated.

“If you want to report it, what we’d like to see is festivals working with specialist local services, so security staff are properly trained to show respect and empathy.

“They should have consideration if someone wants to report (an incident) to the police and know where the nearest sexual assault referral centre is.

“We’d love to see festival organisers inviting local services to have a presence at festivals with preventative messages and information on site.”

She says victims should know “it wasn’t your fault” and points out that just because drink/drugs are prevalent at festivals and there’s a more relaxed vibe, “none of those things mean you’re partly to blame”.

“Everyone is entitled to enjoy themselves without worrying.”

Regarding harassment, Katie used examples such as “degrading language, or invading someone’s personal space”.

“Within friendship groups, show zero tolerance to your friends, calling out to mates who might say stuff to bar staff that’s making them feel uncomfortable, for example.

“Peer intervention can be powerful.”

Do festival organisers need to step up?

Tracey Wise, founder of campaign group Safe Gigs For Women (SGFW), said: “We have struggled to find anyone with any definite statistics on this before now.

“It gives us something to show to festival organisers so we can say ‘you need to take this on board’.”

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A ‘consent matters’ banner was pictured at a recent US festival

Jen Calleja, a co-director of the Good Night Out Campaign, called the research “shocking but not surprising”, saying it “helps prove what we already know through anecdotal evidence”.

She added: “We know that the vast amount of harassment and sexual assault is not reported and we know this comes down to stigma, fear of not being believed and a minimisation of what harassment is.

“The idea we want to put forward is that harassment is everybody’s problem, it’s not just the person who is being assaulted,” Calleja said.

The poll also found that 70% of those who experienced sexual assault or harassment at a festival said the perpetrator was a stranger.

The survey was carried out online between June 4 and 6 2018. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults.

Image copyright AFP

Paul Reed, chief executive of the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), said festivals “have a duty to make their events as safe and secure and enjoyable” as possible, but that some responsibility also lies with festival goers to report problems.

“People shouldn’t feel that they need to tolerate the type of behaviour at festivals that they wouldn’t tolerate in the street,” he said.

“If people don’t intervene, then this behaviour becomes normalised,” he added.

What kind of stories are we hearing?

Beth Granter, a 35-year-old campaign manager with social network Care2, said she was flashed by a man at Reading Festival when she was 17.

She said she told him to go away and tried to laugh it off.

“Laughing was a defensive strategy to de-escalate the situation,” she added.

She said she did not report what happened but felt vulnerable for the rest of the festival.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Only five out of 21 festivals asked for a response, gave one

“I think this kind of thing happens more at festivals than in the street during the day, but I haven’t seen any evidence that it happens more at festivals than in nightclubs. I have lost count of the times I’ve been sexually assaulted in a nightclub,” Ms Granter added.

‘None of my friends said anything’

Another anonymous victim said she had been sexually assaulted by her drunk then-boyfriend inside their tent at a festival.

“Even though there had been a scuffle and I was upset, none of our friends said or did anything. I think people are particularly disinclined to intervene in something they see as a ‘domestic’ row.”

She added: “I’ve never been to a festival where I felt it was clear who I could talk to about sexual violence or harassment.”

“Specially-designated reps at a festival who are marked out as having responsibility for ensuring that people feel safe and supported would be helpful.”

What is being done to help?

The Press Association contacted 21 of the UK’s biggest festivals to discuss the new research on sexual assault and harassment at UK music festivals and ask about provisions and policy at their events.

Only five responded – Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, Creamfields, Latitude, RiZE and Wireless were among those that declined to comment.

Somerset Police recorded two incidents of sexual assault, two incidents of rape and one incident of indecent exposure at last year’s Glastonbury Festival.

A spokesperson for The Green Man festival said: “Stewards are positioned throughout the festival and are trained to report any harassment, or violence, to security to be investigated. Crew and service staff are also trained or advised on ways to report minor harassment, or violent behaviour or violence.”

A spokesperson for Bestival said: “We have a Harm Reduction protocol with Dorset Police and other agencies that is designed to address issues such as this.”

Anyone affected by sexual assault or harassment, at any time, can speak to someone available through organisations like The Survivor’s Trust, Rape Crisis or Survivors UK.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected].



Is this Angela Merkel’s moment of reckoning?

Angela Merkel addresses the Bundestag Image copyright Reuters

Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is facing the fight of her political life, as a major row over the country’s migration and refugee policy threatens to topple her from the post she has held since 2005.

Rarely do German politics produce such high drama.

One minister likened the twists and turns of the government crisis to an episode of Game of Thrones, while a German newspaper trembled: “The wolves are howling outside!” alongside a picture of the chancellery besieged by giant, Photoshopped beasts.

In such a febrile atmosphere, it’s tempting to imagine an embattled Mrs Merkel inside, furiously striding the corridors and wondering out loud who will rid her of this turbulent Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer.

Mr Seehofer – leader of the Bavarian CSU party, in alliance in government with its sister party, Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats – is relishing the opportunity to make the chancellor, and his old adversary, squirm.

  • Germany migrant row threatens Merkel coalition
  • Germany migrants: Plans to keep asylum seekers in ‘anchor centres’

Mrs Merkel has flatly rejected his plan to turn away migrants at the German border if they have registered elsewhere in the EU.

She believes such a unilateral act goes against European principles and intends to seek an EU-wide solution. Mr Seehofer – long an outspoken critic of the chancellor – says he will do it anyway.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Angela Merkel and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer are at loggerheads over refugees

Mrs Merkel is probably itching to sack him for such open rebellion. But she cannot do so without risking the CDU-CSU pact – and jeopardising her fragile coalition government.

Emergency talks have, as yet, failed to soothe an increasingly bitter row, which is being replicated, albeit in perhaps rather calmer tones, in plenty of other EU member states – between those who believe there is still a chance for Europe to rise unified to the migration challenge and the, largely populist, figures who are sick of waiting for it act.

But in Germany, there is a chance it could bring the government down. And Mrs Merkel would be, politically speaking, unlikely to emerge alive from the rubble.

  • EU’s Mediterranean migrant crisis: Just a mess or cynical politics?
  • Is Germany’s migrant crisis over? One city put to the test

Even as he continues to flex his Bavarian muscles, Mr Seehofer says that is not his intention. Most assume he is grandstanding ahead of the autumn’s regional elections. The far-right, anti-migrant Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) has made gains in Bavaria.

In part, for Mr Seehofer, this is personal. He has reportedly never forgiven Mrs Merkel for her decision to allow asylum seekers trapped in Budapest passage to Germany, which, in effect, opened the country’s doors to hundreds of thousands of people.

Most entered the country through Bavaria. Mr Seehofer, then the regional prime minister, is also reportedly still angry that he was not consulted – apparently Mrs Merkel did call him but he did not answer his mobile phone.

“I cannot work with this woman,”‘ he is reported to have told his party last week.

But plenty of others can. Angela Merkel has, it is said, the support of most of her party. She also has a public approval rating of 50% – for now.

Because, despite falling migrant numbers – more than 720,000 people applied for asylum in 2016 compared with 200,000 last year – the issue remains centre stage.

This is largely due to AfD rhetoric and high-profile cases such as that of a failed Iraqi asylum seeker who has reportedly confessed to raping and killing a German teenager. Polls suggest most Germans want tighter border controls.

Mrs Merkel has failed to entirely quell public concerns with her oft-repeated assurance that 2015 was a one-off, or with a series of measures to tighten asylum law – making it easier to deport or deny entry to people coming from certain countries, for example – or with measures to ease integration.

So, if she cannot come back from the EU summit of leaders in just under a fortnight with some kind of plan or agreement, it will be open season on the German chancellor.

Horst Seehofer, keen to emphasise that he’s not backing down, has agreed to wait to implement his plan for two weeks. Mrs Merkel has a little breathing space – but not for long.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Migrants on the Elisabet Bridge, in Budapest, in September 2015

Few expect a full-blown strategy to emerge – but it is not impossible that she will achieve something.

The details are not clear – but Mrs Merkel is already working on bilateral agreements that could see migrants being sent back to entry countries, presumably in return for funding.

She may be increasingly isolated among her European peers, many of whom make political capital at home by portraying her as the fiscal bully of the EU or by blaming her for the migrant crisis. But plenty of leaders share her resolve to strengthen external borders.

And countries such as Austria, Italy and Denmark, whose governments talk tough on migration, may seize the chance to press ahead with plans for, for example, detention centres outside the EU.

It is not inconceivable that Europe’s shift to the right might aid Mrs Merkel now, just as did the closure of the so-called Balkans route – which she officially opposed – during the migrant crisis.

Of course, any victory or concession would be claimed by Mr Seehofer, who will argue it was he who pushed her into action.

He has little interest in watching the coalition fall apart. Few of its members do.

Fresh elections would be a horror show for the Social Democrats, who are languishing in the opinion polls. There would be little gain for the CSU in seeing the government fail. Already, this episode is inflicting injury – one weekend opinion poll suggests the coalition has lost its majority.

For now the drama is on hold. But this is no compromise.

And it leaves Mrs Merkel, already weakened by a poor showing in the September elections and damaged by her subsequent difficulty in forming a government, terribly wounded.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Angela Merkel was first sworn-in as chancellor in 2005

If those episodes represented the beginning of the end, this showdown is surely a staging post along the way. The German chancellor looks weary, worn down, out of energy.

The way she steadily works away at challenges does not have the shine, the catchiness of the populist rhetoric with which she is battling. She has barely responded publicly to several days of furious attacks from the CSU.

On Sunday evening, Mrs Merkel gathered with senior members of her party to watch Germany being beaten by Mexico in the group stage of the World Cup before discussing the government crisis.

The result is not the best of omens for the chancellor who famously relishes the drama, the manoeuvring on the pitch. Germany is watching her now. Half of its population is willing her to come out on the attack instead of appearing to stand helplessly at the goal, watching as the balls sail past.



Tax rise to pay for NHS boost – PM

Surgeons Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The funding boost means an extra £20bn a year for the NHS by 2023

Tax rises will be needed to pay for the boost in NHS funding announced by the government, the prime minister says.

Theresa May conceded the public would pay more, but promised this would be done in a “fair and balanced” way.

The government also says economic growth and a “Brexit dividend” will help cover the costs of the increased spending, which will see NHS England’s budget increase by £20bn by 2023.

Labour’s John McDonnell called the funding model “not credible”.

He – and others – have been critical about whether there will be the savings from Brexit that ministers are claiming.

But in a speech in London, Mrs May insisted it would free up money.

“Some of the extra funding I am promising will come from using the money we will no longer spend on our annual membership subscription to the European Union after we have left.”

However, she added that “taxpayers will have to contribute a bit more in a fair and balanced way to support the NHS we all use”.

In return, Mrs May said the NHS had to play its part to ensure “every penny is well spent”.

She has asked NHS England boss Simon Stevens to work with senior doctors to come up with a 10-year plan, looking at productivity, staffing and key areas such as mental health and cancer survival.

“It must be a plan that tackles waste, reduces bureaucracy and eliminates unacceptable variation,” Mrs May said.

What is the funding plan?

At the weekend, the government announced the NHS England budget would increase by 3.4% a year on average over the next five years.

That means by 2023 the budget will be £20bn higher than it is now, once inflation is taken into account.

Currently, NHS England spends £114bn a year.

But the plan does not include other parts of the wider health budget, such as training, stop-smoking clinics and other preventative services, so the overall “health” increase might be lower than 3.4%.

The average annual rise since the foundation of the NHS in 1948 is 3.7%.

The plan also means more money will be given to the rest of the UK – about £4bn – although it will be up to the Welsh and Scottish governments to decide how that is spent.

How is it being funded?

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the boost in funding was agreed with the Treasury on the basis it would come from three sources – Brexit, economic growth and the taxation system.

Like the prime minister, Mr Hunt did not spell out what that could mean for taxes.

Economic growth would mean the size of the public purse would grow, which leaves more for public services.

Referring to Brexit, Mr Hunt the savings “won’t be anything like enough.”

In fact, some have questioned the very idea of a “Brexit dividend”.

The Conservative chair of the Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee, Sarah Wollaston, said the concept was “tosh”.

And Paul Johnson, director of economic think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), said the only way the rise could be paid for was by an increase in taxes.

He said the financial settlement with the EU, plus the UK’s commitments to replace EU funding, “already uses up all of our EU contributions” for the next few years.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionJeremy Hunt tells Today there will be an “increased burden of taxation” to fund the NHS

Analysis: By Hugh Pym, BBC health editor

It was a significant funding announcement – few at senior levels in the NHS in England disagree with that.

But as the dust settles after the weekend, several unanswered questions are still hanging in the air.

What about the areas of health which are not covered? What about investment in hospital buildings and equipment? How will it be paid for?

Read more from Hugh

Tax rises: The options

Ministers say there will be more details in the Budget in the autumn.

There will be a desire to keep any rises to a minimum given the Conservative Party manifesto at the last election said its intention was to reduce taxes on businesses and working families.

The IFS has looked at how much could be brought in and what the options are.

The manifesto ruled out a rise in VAT, but that does not exclude extending the range of goods the tax is applied to.

A commitment has also been made to reduce corporation tax.

Income tax and National Insurance are the two biggest sources of tax revenue to the government.

The IFS says adding a penny to the basic rate of income tax would raise £4bn, while 1p on all the main rates of NI would bring in nearly £10bn.

Changing the thresholds at which different rates are applied is another option.

The 10-year plan for the NHS

Work on the plan will get under way almost immediately, with final proposals expected towards the end of the year.

Four main areas of the NHS will be looked at:

  • The workforce
  • Technology
  • Buildings
  • Productivity

The plan will build on the five-year strategy Mr Stevens set out in 2015.

A big part of that was shifting care out of hospitals and into the community.

Image copyright Getty Images

Mrs May is known to be keen to see a specific stress on mental health and improving cancer survival rates this time.

In her speech on Monday, the PM recalled her own reliance on the NHS for help when she was diagnosed with type one diabetes, saying: “I would not be doing the job I am doing today without that support.”

Meanwhile, councils have questioned why the funding announcement did not also include more money for social care and public health, which covers everything from stop smoking services to obesity prevention.

Both are considered essential to the sustainability of the NHS, but the increase announced only applied to front-line NHS services such as hospitals, GPs and mental health care.

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, of the Local Government Association, said: “Without essential council services, which help people live healthy lives in their own homes and communities, the NHS cannot thrive.”

The government said plans to reform the system will be published in the coming months.

Read more from Nick

Follow Nick on Twitter



Caster Semenya: Olympic champion to challenge ‘unfair’ IAAF testosterone ruling

Caster Semenya is a two-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion

World and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya is to challenge “unfair” rules affecting some female athletes.

Athletics’ governing body the IAAF has ruled some female runners with naturally high testosterone levels will have to race against men, or change events, unless they take medication.

Semenya will fight the ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

“It is not fair. I just want to run naturally, the way I was born,” said the 27-year-old South African.

“I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast.”

The rule, which comes into force on 1 November, applies to women who race in track events from 400m up to the mile.

Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion, has previously been asked to undertake gender testing by athletics chiefs, but no results have ever officially been made public.

Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin, which affects endurance.

Lawyers Norton Rose Fulbright will lead Semenya’s legal challenge, which is scheduled to take place in Lausanne on Monday.

They said: “Ms Semenya, like all athletes, is entitled to compete the way she was born without being obliged to alter her body by any medical means.”



‘Best daddy’ tribute for David Beckham

Victoria and David Beckham at the Royal Wedding in May 2018 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The celebrity pair attended the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle last month

Victoria Beckham was among a host of stars to pay tribute on Father’s Day.

The fashion designer posted the message ‘truly the best daddy’ on Instagram, alongside a picture of David Beckham with three of his four children.

Eldest son, Brooklyn, who is studying in New York, shared his own tribute, calling the former footballer ‘the best dad in the world’.

Actor Hugh Jackman, TV host Declan Donnelly and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also posted on social media.

Victoria Beckham shared three posts for the UK’s Father’s Day, including one for her own father with a photograph from her christening. “Another great daddy!! X I love u so much and I love that major tache u had for my christening,” she wrote.

Hollywood star Jackman shared a picture of himself and his father on Twitter.

He wrote: “Happy Father’s Day to the man who taught me to show respect for others, for education, for being led by your passions.

“Who taught me to never stop growing and learning, to work hard and realise that preparation is the bedrock for success.

“And above all to find purpose beyond oneself.”

Donnelly, who is expecting his first child with wife Ali Astall, wrote: “Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there, to all the Dads that have passed and of course, all of the Dads to be! Have a great day. D x”

On Twitter, Lewis Hamilton shared a video message, with footage of his younger self on the go-kart track.

In a voiceover, he said: “I wouldn’t be a four-time world champion if it wasn’t for my dad. His support made me feel I could do anything.”

His post read: “Happy Father’s Day to the World’s best dad. I am so grateful for everything.”

Football pundit Rio Ferdinand, who is currently in Russia to cover the World Cup, also shared a video message wishing everyone a happy Father’s Day.

The former footballer, whose wife died in 2015, said he had been fortunate enough “to wake up to a few cards from my kids – lovely, lovely messages, brightened up my day”.

In a separate post, he hailed his father as “a man of few words – but the sacrifices you made for me throughout my life have been and will continue to be an inspiration for me. Love you dad.”

Comedian Paddy McGuinness, who last week revealed he had arthritis in his shoulder, admitted to having a rough day on Saturday, but added “getting my homemade cards off the kids this morning washed it all away… and I was allowed a lie in!!!! Enjoy today, we’ve earned it. ”

Musician and former Beach Boy Brian Wilson posted a photo of him surrounded by family with the simple message: “Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!”

How have you been celebrating or paying tribute to your dad on Father’s Day? Share your experiences by emailing [email protected].

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World Cup: Mexico stun champions Germany

World Cup 2018: Germany 0-1 Mexico highlights

Defending champions Germany made a disastrous start to their bid to win back-to-back World Cups with a shock defeat by Mexico.

Hirving Lozano’s first-half goal was the difference between the two sides in an enthralling encounter in Moscow, but the surprising result was not the only concern for Germany coach Joachim Low.

His disjointed side looked extraordinarily vulnerable on the break even before Javier Hernandez punished them with the pass that set up Lozano to cut inside fire home.

Toni Kroos almost replied instantly with a free-kick but Guillermo Ochoa tipped it on to the bar and that was the closest Germany came to an equaliser.

Despite facing some sustained late pressure, Mexico held on to inflict a first World Cup defeat on Die Mannschaft since they lost to Spain in the 2010 semi-final.

This was also the first time a German side had lost their opening game of this tournament since 1982, when West Germany were upset by Algeria.

It could turn out to be a damaging defeat too. Although Germany will still be expected to beat Sweden and South Korea and progress, the runner-up in Group F will face a last-16 tie against the Group E winner, expected to be Brazil.

Unconvincing Germany pay the price

Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Toni Kroos failed to ignite Germany in Moscow

Low’s side had come into the tournament on the back of some unconvincing displays and results in their recent friendlies, but there had been no sign of panic in their camp.

Things were very different at a noisy Luzhniki Stadium, with Germany showing little of the composure or class we associate with them at major finals.

Even before they went behind, they were often over-run in midfield, with Kroos and Sami Khedira unable to offer their defence any protection from Mexico’s rapid counter-attacks.

Germany’s right flank seemed susceptible on the break, with Joshua Kimmich’s forays forward leaving space for Lozano and Hernandez to gallop into unchallenged.

If ‘El Tri’ had made more of their chances, or found a better final ball, then they could have been two or three goals ahead by half-time.

At the other end, Germany were also unconvincing in the early stages, with their famed midfield machine struggling to find a way through Mexico’s determined defence.

Although they improved in the second half, and dominated possession, Germany’s finishing touch eluded them and Mexico continued to cause problems on the counter.

Germany’s sheer desperation to equalise was evident by the number of men they threw forward late on, including, at one stage, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

It left them even more exposed in midfield and at the back in the closing stages, and Mexico might have punished them further. In the end, though, one goal was enough.

Mexico defence holds off German fightback

Hirving Lozano scores ‘brilliant’ opener for Mexico

Mexico had only won one of their past 11 meetings with Germany and their most recent ended in a 4-1 defeat by what was virtually Low’s B team at last year’s Confederations Cup.

But they fully deserved this victory, which brought huge celebrations from their thousands of fans who had travelled to Moscow, many in typically colourful costumes.

The intensity of Mexico’s play was matched by their supporters, who not only out-numbered their Germany counterparts, but also out-sung them. That was not the only reason Germany looked rattled, but it certainly helped.

Lozano’s pace and willing to drive at Germany’s defence was the highlight of the first half, with only a last-ditch Jerome Boateng block denying him in the first minute and setting the pattern for the early stages.

The second half was more of a demonstration of Mexico’s defensive capabilities, especially near the end – but they survived.

Mexico arrived in Russia with the hope of finally managing a ‘quinto partido’ or fifth match, after losing in the last 16 at the past six World Cups.

Juan Carlos Osorio’s side have a lot more work to do before they achieve that aim, but his famed attention to detail paid off here and they appear strong both technically and tactically. They will be tough to beat.

Man of the match – Hirving Lozano (Mexico)

The 22-year-old PSV Eindhoven winger lived up to his reputation as a young player to watch heading into this tournament with a livewire display down the left as well as the winning goal.

‘Everybody is unhappy and crestfallen’ – what they said

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio: “In the first half, we were the better team. In the second half, they tried to attack more. We prepared yesterday for their use of Mario Gomez up front. We practised defending with four midfielders and three players up front and that is almost how we got the second goal.

“We showed we have a bright future and I am very satisfied with what we did. We played with bravery when it was needed and also defended with all of our hearts.”

Germany coach Joachim Low: “In the first half, we played very badly. We were not able to impose our usual way of playing, attacking, and there were lots of counter-attacks against us and we were very vulnerable.

“In the second half, we were able to press more, but Mexico drew back and then carried the ball forward fast. We had a couple of shouts, but it seemed jinxed and the ball did not go into the goal. Everybody is really unhappy and crestfallen but we have to put this behind us. Our team has experience of losses.”

Lozano carries form into finals – the stats

  • Mexico have won their opening match at a World Cup for the fifth time in their past six tournaments (drawing the other).
  • This is the third consecutive World Cup in which the reigning champions have failed to win their opening match – Italy drew 1-1 with Paraguay in 2010, and Spain lost 5-1 against the Netherlands in 2014.
  • Mexico beat Germany for only the second time – their last win against them came in a friendly in June 1985.
  • Hirving Lozano was Mexico’s top scorer in 2018 World Cup qualifying (four goals) and scored his first finals goal in this match.
  • Germany had 26 shots, the most by a side without scoring in a World Cup match since 2006 (Portugal v England, 29 shots in a 0-0 draw).
  • Mexico have lost just two of their past 18 World Cup group games (W9 D7).
  • This was Germany’s first defeat in a competitive match since losing 2-0 to France in the Euro 2016 semi-final.
  • Germany named their oldest starting XI for a World Cup match (average age: 27 years 310 days) since the 2002 final against Brazil (28 years 166 days).
  • Rafael Marquez featured in his fifth World Cup finals (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018), becoming just the third player to achieve this feat – along with Mexico’s Antonio Carbajal (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962 and 1966) and Germany’s Lothar Matthaus (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998).

What next?

Mexico play South Korea on Saturday in Rostov-on-Don (16:00 BST), while Germany take on Sweden in Sochi later the same day (19:00).



Taliban rule out extension of Afghanistan Eid festival ceasefire

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Media captionTears, hugs and selfies as Afghan troops and Taliban mark a truce for Eid

The Afghan Taliban have rejected calls to extend a three-day ceasefire declared for the Muslim Eid festival.

A spokesman said the truce would end on Sunday night and operations against the security forces would resume.

Government officials urged the militants not to return to fighting, as dozens of unarmed Taliban exchanged Eid greetings with soldiers and civilians.

Meanwhile, at least 18 people were killed in a suicide attack in the city of Jalalabad, officials said.

The blast happened outside the office of the governor of Nangarhar province while officials were meeting Taliban insurgents as part of the ceasefire. Dozens were injured.

On Saturday a suicide attack in the same province, also on a gathering of Taliban and local officials, left 36 people dead. The Islamic State group said it carried out that attack.

What have the Taliban said?

The militants said there would be no extension to the ceasefire and fighters would be expected to leave government-controlled areas before sunset.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption A militant hugs a member of the Afghan police in Kunduz

“The ceasefire ends tonight and our operations will begin, God willing. We have no intention to extend the ceasefire,” said spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

The Taliban said their ceasefire had been to enable ordinary Afghans to enjoy a peaceful Eid, and not to please the government.

Zabihullah Mujahid made no direct reference to an announcement by President Ashraf Ghani to extend a unilateral ceasefire by the government and urging the Taliban to do the same.

What happened over the holiday?

In extraordinary scenes during Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Saturday, militants embraced security force members and took selfies with citizens.

Both sides had declared a three-day truce for the occasion.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Afghans took selfies with the militants in Kabul

In his announcement on Saturday, President Ghani appealed to the militants to follow the government’s lead and enter peace talks.

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During the ceasefire, Taliban militants were able to receive medical and humanitarian assistance and Taliban prisoners could see their families, he added.

The government also released some Taliban prisoners, he said.

How did the ceasefire come about?

The Taliban announced the three-day halt to hostilities earlier this month, days after a unilateral ceasefire lasting until Wednesday was ordered by the government.

It is the Taliban’s first ceasefire since the government they ran was toppled by the 2001 US-led invasion.

“It was the most peaceful Eid. For the first time we felt safe. It is hard to describe the joy,” said Qais Liwal, a student in Zabul in southern Afghanistan.

In February Mr Ghani offered peace talks “without preconditions” and recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group if they respected the rule of law.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed since the US-led invasion drove the Taliban from power in 2001.



Glasgow art school blaze: Expert warns it may have to be demolished

Burnt-out art school building Image copyright PA
Image caption The art school building has been devastated by the fire

The fire-ravaged structure of the Glasgow School of Art may have to be demolished, a leading construction expert has warned.

Billy Hare, a professor of construction management, said there was a “growing consensus” the globally-significant building may have to be pulled down.

It came as fire crews spent a second day working to extinguish the blaze, which also damaged the 02 ABC venue.

Art school staff have seen the damaged Mackintosh building for the first time.

They were able to see what remains of the historic shell from the college’s adjoining buildings.

‘Utterly devastated’

Muriel Grey, the chairwoman of the board of the governors, said: “It is an understatement to say everyone is utterly devastated.”

Fire chiefs said the fire had largely been contained and thermal imaging cameras were being used to identify any remaining hotspots.

Prof Hare, deputy director of The Beam Research Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University, warned that the building could be structurally unsound.

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Media captionAerial footage shows scale of the Glasgow School of Art fire

He compared the intensity of the blaze with a fire which started in the roof of a building housing Victoria’s nightclub in nearby Sauchiehall Street in March.

Within days of that fire, Glasgow City Council confirmed it would demolish the building.

Prof Hare told BBC Scotland: “At that stage the decision was taken fairly quickly to demolish that building.

“However, the Mack being such a globally-recognised building of significance, this would probably have a bit more deliberation before they come to that decision.

“But the consensus is beginning to grow over the last 24 hours that that might very well be the case.”

He said if it was not possible to retain the facade of the building, it may be possible to take down the building brick-by-brick and rebuild with a new internal frame.

A painstaking project such as that could cost in excess of £100m, he warned.

Interactive Before and after: Glasgow School of Art from the air

After the fire on 16 June 2018

Aerial view of Glasgow School of Art and surrounding buildings after the fire on 15/16 June 2018

Before the fire – Google Earth 2018

Aerial view of Glasgow School of Art and surrounding buildings before the fire - Google Earth 2018

Image caption As it was: the art school building was under reconstruction from the first fire in 2014
Image caption After the fire: the art school and a neighbouring building have been devastated,

Friday night’s blaze was the second to hit the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed building in four years.

It was undergoing an extensive restoration, costing up to £35m, while staff and students worked in neighbouring buildings on the campus.

The Mackintosh building was under the day-to-day control of Kier Construction.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the damage from the latest fire as “heartbreaking”.

Miles Glendinning, a professor of architectural conservation, told BBC Radio Scotland that the building “should be restored and will be restored”.

Image copyright PA

He said “remarkable” record-keeping during the restoration process following the 2014 fire meant the art school still exists in digital form.

Speaking to Good Morning Scotland, he said: “A Glasgow School of Art project team [made] a digital recording reconstruction of the whole building, not just the bit that was affected before, down to the nearest millimetre, outside and in, using photos and measured drawings.

“So the building still exists digitally even if the inside is for the moment physically absent.”

‘Difficult waiting game’

He said he would be “very surprised” if the building had to be knocked down and rebuilt, saying the walls could instead be reinforced.

In a statement released by Glasgow School of Art on Sunday evening, Muriel Gray said they had a “difficult waiting game” while investigations were carried out into the condition of the building.

“We remain hopeful of as positive an outcome as possible because it is clear that the love for the Mackintosh and recognition of its importance to Glasgow and the wider world is shared by absolutely everyone,” she added.

The art school’s director Prof Tom Inns said its priority was to continue to operate the school with minimum disruption to staff and students.

Image copyright PA

Meanwhile, Scottish Secretary David Mundell ruled out a public inquiry into the blaze “unless someone can bring forward some exceptional reason”.

He said various investigations would be held into the cause of the fire – as with any other similar incident.

Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop was also asked about the possibility of a public inquiry on BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland.

She said: “I understand people want a lot of questions answered but clearly we have to have the fire investigation first and we have to give them the time to carry out their very responsible duties to best effect.”

Labour MP Paul Sweeney raised concerns about the role of the contractor, Kier Construction.

“I have to say it’s extremely worrying that within the space of four years, this could happen again,” he said.

Image copyright Rocco Giudice
Image caption The fire could be seen throughout Glasgow city centre
Image copyright PA
Image caption Firefighters continue to damp down the fire at the Mackintosh building and the O2 ABC music venue

“Questions have to be raised about the contractor and how the contractor who had responsibility for the site has managed that site if the security had been sufficient, and so on.”

Kier Construction said it was devastated by the fire and was working closely with the fire service in their investigation.

No-one was injured by the fire, which was reported at about 23:20 on Friday.

At the height of the blaze, a total of 120 firefighters and 20 fire engines were at the scene and nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution. Hoses brought water from the River Clyde to help fight the flames.

A total of 50 firefighters, six fire engines and two high-reach appliances remained at the scene on Sunday.

Image copyright Getty Images

The fire service said it was too early to speculate on the cause, adding that forensic experts would not be able to gain access to the building until it had been made safe.

Group Manager Martin Hill said: “This has clearly been a protracted incident and today we are still very much in a firefighting phase.

“Our firefighters have been working effectively throughout the night and we are continuing to dampen down any remaining pockets of fire.

“We will remain on the scene for as long as it takes – we are absolutely committed to preventing any further damage to surrounding properties and ensuring the area is made safe.”

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The fire ripped through the newly-restored building on Friday night

Chief officer Alasdair Hay would not be drawn on whether the building would have to be pulled down over safety fears.

He said the fire service was working with structural engineers and Glasgow City Council’s building control department during the operation.

“This is a heartbreaking incident and if we could take any solace from it, there has been no injuries,” he told the BBC News Channel.

“And what we want to absolutely avoid at this stage is for anyone to get injured, so we are being very cautious.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the site on Saturday.

She said: “The fire has been a devastating blaze, much worse than the one that took hold of the Mackintosh building four years ago.

“The damage is severe and extensive. My heart goes out to everybody associated with the art school.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish government stood “ready to provide any support” in the wake of the blaze.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK government would support the Scottish government in restoration efforts.

The A-listed building, considered to be Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece, was badly damaged in a blaze in May 2014.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image copyright Getty Images
Image copyright Getty Images

The Mackintosh building was completed in 1909 based on designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland’s most-lauded designer.

Glasgow School of Art has produced a number of leading contemporary artists, including Douglas Gordon, Alison Watt, David Shrigley, and recent Turner Prize winners Simon Starling, Richard Wright and Martin Boyce.



Nature Valley Open: Angry Johanna Konta loses in Nottingham final

Konta beat Barty on her way to reaching last year’s Nottingham final

A furious Johanna Konta lost out to Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham.

Konta had recovered from 4-1 down in the decider to level at 4-4 but a controversial call allowed Barty go 5-4 ahead.

The Briton got into a heated discussion with the umpire, which seemed to affected her concentration.

She was broken in the next game to give Barty a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win and did not shake the umpire’s hand at the end.

Konta had been seeking her first title since Miami in April 2017 but only managed 52% of her first serves in the opening set with Barty the more solid.

But she got back into the match and levelled it at one set apiece, finally converting her seventh break-point opportunity.

The Briton, who is now ranked 22 in the world after a poor first half of the year, was looking to maintain her momentum in the decider.

However, Barty, ranked five places higher, broke in the fourth game to make it 3-1 before holding serve for 4-1.

It looked like Konta’s chances were disappearing fast but she battled back to make it 4-4 before her emotions boiled over.

The 27-year-old was furious with the umpire for not overruling a Barty shot that looked long as the Australian held for 5-4, saying to the official: “It’s an absolute joke. You’re making decisions that affect our lives. Do you fully understand that?”

Konta, who then had to serve to stay in the match, won only one more point as Barty clinched victory with a backhand pass.

Both players will now be in action at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham from Monday with Barty up against a qualifier while Konta will take on two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.



World Cup 2018: ‘Safe space’ for Russia LGBT football fans shut

Gay rights activists march in Russia's second city of St Petersburg on 1 May 2013 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, but anti-gay prejudice is rife

An organisation providing a “safe space” for LGBT and ethnic-minority football fans in Russia says it was evicted from its premises in St Petersburg on the eve of the World Cup.

Diversity House was supposed to open for the duration of the tournament.

It aimed to provide a tolerant environment for gay and non-white football fans to watch matches.

But at the last minute the building’s owners locked the organisers out and terminated their contract.

“They asked us to leave the place very rudely, switched off the electricity and they explained nothing to us,” a local organiser told the BBC.

The international Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) network, which was behind the initiative, said it could have been a politically motivated move.

It was a “political attack of the kind that shows how debates about human rights are curtailed by powerful conservative political forces in Russia”, said Fare director Piara Powar in a statement on Saturday.

He pointed to a long history of rights groups being closed or pressured on legalistic pretexts in Russia, and particularly in St Petersburg.

New premises in the city centre have since been found and opened on Saturday, organisers said.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, but anti-gay prejudice is rife.

Five years ago, the Russian Duma passed a law that made “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” among minors an offence.

Football’s ruling body Fifa, which works with Fare, said it had contacted St Petersburg authorities to try to find a solution and said it “regretted” what had happened.

Another Diversity House in Moscow is open and has been running events.

The spaces feature football exhibitions, World Cup match-viewings, discussions, and meetings with Russian supporters and residents, Fare says.

They are open to Russians and visiting fans every day of the World Cup.

More on the World Cup

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