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Hamilton despairs of the future of the planet

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‘I want my life to mean something,’ wrote Lewis Hamilton on Instagram © AFP/File / Mladen ANTONOV

PARIS, France, Oct 15 – Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton declared in an Instagram post on Wednesday he worried about the “extinction of our race” if humans kept eating animals.

“I’m sad right now with the thought of where this world is going,” wrote Hamilton in a post he later took down.

The 32-year-old is on course for a sixth world title after finishing third in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday. He leads Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 64 points with four races left. The next Grand Prix is in Mexico on October 27.

The five-time Formula One world champion urged his readers to “do some research”, “find compassion” and prevent “deforestation, animal cruelty, our seas and climate decaying.”

“Go Vegan, it is the only way to truly save our planet,” Hamilton said on his Instagram page, where videos of cruelty to animals sit alongside pictures of Hamilton modelling clothes, posing with fast cars, celebrating victories or with his dog.

But he was not optimistic concluding: “Honestly I feel like giving up on everything. Shut down completely. Why bother when the world is such a mess and people don’t seem to care. I’m going to take a moment away to gather my thoughts. Thank you to all of you who give a damn about the world.”

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LeBron among US athletes outraged at black man’s death

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AFP

By AFP
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NBA superstar LeBron James was among the US athletes taking to social media in outrage over the death of a black man in Minnesota after a white policeman kneeled on his neck for several minutes.

Four Minneapolis police officers were fired Tuesday as a video showing one of them kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who later died, sparked protests.

Los Angeles Lakers playmaker James contrasted the incident with the kneeling protests of former NFL star Colin Kaepernick in 2016.

Kaepernick was ostracised by the NFL for kneeling during the playing of the national anthem in a protest against police brutality and racial injustice.

“This… … Is Why,” James posted on his Instagram feed with side by side photos of the white policeman kneeling on Floyd’s neck and Kaepernick kneeling on the sideline.

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“Do you understand NOW!!??!!??” James wrote. “Or is it still blurred to you?? #StayWoke”

Other figures from the sports world speaking out over the Minneapolis incident included Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

“This is murder. Disgusting,” Kerr tweeted. “Seriously, what the hell is wrong with US????”

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NFL Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tweeted: “Worlds honestly sickening. It really is….. no explanation.”

Dallas Cowboys line backer DeMarcus Lawrence wondered how any African-American could feel safe after watching the video.

“DONE BEING QUIET AND DONE BEING ANGRY,” Lawrence tweeted. “HOW CAN WE FEEL SAFE WHEN THOSE MEANT TO PROTECT US ARE KILLIN’ US?!!!! WHEN WILL MINORITIES BE FREE TO BE AMERICANS IN AMERICA!?”

Former US Soccer international forward Taylor Twellman posted the video on Twitter with the message: “When will it stop?! Honestly this is murder in plain daylight.”

Floyd’s death drew comparisons to the 2014 death of of Eric Garner, an unarmed African-American who died in New York after being placed in a chokehold by police, begging to be released and saying, “I can’t breathe.”

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Favre backtracks on Dortmund exit hint

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AFP

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Swiss coach Lucien Favre on Wednesday back-tracked on comments he made hinting he would leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season after defeat by Bayern Munich left his team seven points adrift of the champions in the Bundesliga title race with six games left.

“I am not thinking of giving up at all,” Favre, who is under contract until 2021, insisted on Wednesday.

“Yesterday, we were all disappointed, but my words in the interview directly after the game seem to have been misunderstood in many cases,” with several German media outlets speculating about his future.

Favre’s attitude was very different to his crestfallen demeanour immediately after Tuesday’s 1-0 home defeat against Bayern, thanks to Joshua Kimmich’s deft chip just before half-time.

The defeat came on the back of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Bayern last November at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

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On Tuesday night, Favre gave a resigned grin when asked if the latest defeat proved he does not have what it takes for Dortmund to break Bayern’s monopoly on the German league.

“That’s been said here for months,” Favre had said.

“I know how these things go and I will talk about it in a few weeks.

“I’m staying calm and I trust in myself.”

For the second season running under the 62-year-old, second-placed Dortmund find themselves wanting at the tail end of the campaign with Bayern now firmly on course for an eighth straight league title.

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According to German daily Bild on Wednesday, Dortmund’s bosses made contact “in the past few months” with Niko Kovac, who was sacked by Bayern in November, as a possible successor to Favre.

After Favre hinted that he may leave, Germany legend and Sky pundit Lothar Matthaeus commented “as soon as I heard that, I thought ‘Favre will leave and Kovac will come'”.

Bild also claim that RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann is Dortmund’s ideal candidate, but the 32-year-old is under contract until 2023.

Favre has all but waved the white flag on bridging the gap in the table, even though Bayern must still face Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, who have already both beaten them this season.

“It’s going to be difficult – seven points (to make up) in six games, that is brutally hard,” said Favre after the game.

The Swiss fell offside with Dortmund fans last season when he conceded the 2018/19 title race was “over” after a 4-2 home defeat by Schalke left them three points behind Bayern with three games left.

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Olympic chief Bach consults with IOC members over virus fallout

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 27Olympic chief Thomas Bach on Wednesday held a series of talks with International Olympic Committee members on the potential consequences of the coronavirus pandemic that has seen the Tokyo Games pushed back a year to 2021, sources said.

Bach was to address the 100 IOC members in three different sessions decided by language and local time zone.

Bach’s aim is to canvas the members for their view on “how to handle the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic”, a source told AFP.

The IOC president wants to hear “thoughts, ideas and experiences of all members across the globe”, it added.

While Bach addressed all Olympic actors on March 24 when announcing the postponement of the Tokyo Games, it is the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak that he has specifically consulted IOC members.

Bach was backed up by Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi, IOC sports director Kit McConnell, IOC director general Christophe De Kepper and chief operating officer Lana Haddad.

The IOC’s medical and scientific director, Richard Budgett, also took to the floor to discuss “the issue of a vaccine”, according to a second source.

Bach warned last week that 2021 was the “last option” for holding the delayed Tokyo Games, stressing that postponement cannot go on forever.

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He said he backed Japan’s stance that the Games will have to be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic isn’t under control by next year.

The German wouldn’t say, however, whether a vaccine was a prerequisite for going ahead with the Olympics, but was lukewarm on the idea of holding them without fans.

In March, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed to July 23, 2021 over the coronavirus, which has killed hundreds of thousands around the world and halted international sport and travel. It was the first peacetime postponement of the Olympics.

The IOC has already set aside $800 million to help organisers and sports federations meet the extra costs of a postponed Olympics.

According to the latest budget, the Games were due to cost $12.6 billion, shared between the organising committee, the government of Japan and Tokyo city.

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