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Man city vs Schalke.
Man City must learn from Schalke scare: Guardiola
21 February 2019, 6:23 AM

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City will not challenge for this season’s Champions League title unless they learn from their dramatic 3-2 win at Schalke with 10 men on Wednesday.

“We will not go far in this competition unless we improve,” said City manager Guardiola.

“At the end, the quality of (Leroy) Sane and (Raheem) Sterling made the difference.”

“The result is incredibly good, but we gave the first two penalties away and the red card, so we are not ready to fight for the Champions League.”

City were in real trouble at 2-1 down with 22-minutes left when Nicolas Otamendi was sent off before goals by Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling in the last five minutes swung the last 16 tie back in their favour.

Schalke led at the break as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) twice intervened to award penalties, both converted by Nabil Bentaleb, cancelling out Sergio Aguero’s opener in Gelsenkirchen.

Sane, who came on for the last 12-minutes, drilled home a stunning free-kick to equalise and was delighted to score against his old club having joined City from Schalke in 2016.

“I wanted to shoot from that position as I have already scored from there and the goal gave us confidence, which set us up to win,” said the Germany international.

“We did not get start well, but I’m glad we won and getting three goals away is good.”

City still have some work to do in the return leg on March, 12 with Fernandinho, who was booked when conceding the second spot-kick, and Otamendi both suspended.

Guardiola backs VAR

Despite a lengthy delay of over three minutes, after a technical error meant the match referee could not check Otamendi’s handball for the first Schalke penalty, Guardiola said he is a fan of VAR.

“The VAR needs time, they will improve, the screen was broken, next time they will be better,” said Guardiola.

“I support the technology, because they (referees) need the help.”

Guardiola’s main gripe with his side’s heroic display was that they leaked two goals despite Schalke only having two shots on target over 90-minutes.

“They hardly shot a goal on target and they got two goals, so we have some work to do,” said the Spaniard.

“To go away and score three goals, I am delighted, but it’s not enough at this level.”

“We gave them the opportunities to be in the game and we have to improve on that.”

Overall, the City boss took more positives than negatives from the last-gasp win.

“Maybe it will help us, the result is incredible – if you had told me we would score three goals away, I would have signed for that straight away,” said Guardiola.

“I’m delighted, we showed personality – but we gave them options to be in the game.”

After leading the Premier League leaders and being on the verge of a famous European victory, Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco could barely hide his frustration.

“A 3-2 (loss) is definitely disappointing,” said Tedesco, whose Schalke side sat just above the Bundesliga relegation places.

“It is important we learn from this.”

“We made two goals, even if they were penalties.”

“We just need to be cleverer in certain situations.”

Bangladeshi fire.
Fire kills 56 in Bangladesh capital: official
21 February 2019, 6:01 AM

At least 69-people have died in a huge fire that tore through apartment buildings also used as chemical warehouses in an old part of the Bangladeshi capital, a fire official said Thursday.

Dozens of people were trapped in the buildings, unable to escape onto narrow streets clogged with traffic, as the highly-combustible stores of chemicals, body sprays and plastic granules erupted in flames.

Bangladesh’s fire service chief Ali Ahmed said the death toll was expected to rise

“The number of bodies may increase. The search is still going on,” he said.

Ahmed said the blaze at Chawkbazar in the old part of Dhaka might have originated from a gas cylinder before quickly spreading through a building where chemicals were stored.

The flames raced through four adjoining buildings, which were also used as chemical warehouses.

“There was a traffic jam when the fire broke out. It spread so quickly that people could not escape,” he said, describing a part of town where the streets are very narrow and the residential buildings stand inches apart.

Witnesses said members of a bridal party in a nearby community centre were also caught in the fire and many of them were injured.

Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ibrahim Khan said at least two cars and 10 cycle rickshaws were burned in the fire.

“The victims included passers-by, some people who were eating food at a restaurants and some members of the bridal party,” he said.

Another fire official told reporters the blaze, which began around 10.40pm (16:40 GMT) on Wednesday, has been “confined” but not yet doused despite the efforts of more than 200-firefighters.

“It will take time. This is not like any other fire,” he said, adding the inferno became so devastating due to the “highly combustible” chemicals stored there.

Television images showed firefighters climbing ladders to try to spray water on one of the buildings where the fire has largely been contained.

police inspector at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital said at least 45-people were injured, including four people whose conditions were critical.

Hundreds of people rushed to the hospital to look for their missing relatives.

Sohag Hossain, one of the injured, told the Daily Star that he and two of his friends, were working at a plastic factory in one of the buildings at the time of the fire.

Suddenly, they heard a huge noise. They tried to flee but could not escape the fire.

A similar fire in 2010 in an old Dhaka building, which was also used as a chemical warehouse, killed more than 120-people in one of the worst fire tragedies in Dhaka.

After that fire, Dhaka city authorities launched a crackdown on chemical warehouses in residential areas, but in recent years the drive ground took a total halt.

Cold drinks in an aisle
SA sugar industry hopeful tax does not increase
20 February 2019, 11:48 AM

The South African sugar industry is crossing its fingers that Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, does not increase the sugar tax, officially called the Sugary Beverage Levy, when he delivers his first budget speech on Wednesday.

The sugar tax came into effect in April last year.

The industry claims sugar tax is costing the industry about R1 billion a year.

South African Sugar Association chairperson, Hans Hackmann, says if the sugar tax was to go up, it would collapse the sugar industry.

“I think the biggest concern we have about the budget speech is that the Minister does not announce an increase in the sugar tax on the sugary soft drinks. I hope he does not also bring other products into the sugar tax bracket whereby that tax will be applicable to other manufactures that use sugar in making their products for example sweets and chocolates. That will be a disaster for our industry.”

“I think the impact of the sugar tax has been a loss of our domestic demand for sugar and I estimate that at about 200 000 tonnes per annum and the consequence for that is that this industry has to then export that 200 000 tonnes on to the world market at dumped sugar prices which results in a major loss of R1-billion of revenue per annum.”

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National lottery
R232-million Powerball jackpot winner yet to claim the prize
20 February 2019, 10:33 AM

National lottery operator, Ithuba, says the winner of Tuesday night’s R232 million Powerball jackpot is yet to claim the money.

The jackpot had rolled over 24 times.

The highest-ever Lotto jackpot to be won in South Africa so far was R145million, won by a man from Secunda in Mpumalanga in August 2018.

Ithuba spokesperson Khensani Mabuza says the winning ticket was bought in the Western Cape.

“We’re still waiting for our winner to obviously come through and claim their ticket. We are urging all of our winners who participated in yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) draw to check the draw results so that we can see who the ticket belongs to. But we don’t have any information on who the actual winner is at this point.”

SABC radio studio
Portfolio Committee hopes to finalise SABC Board shortlisting by end of March
20 February 2019, 9:13 AM

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications says that it hopes to finalise the shortlisting process for new SABC Board members before the end of March.

Chair of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, says the committee is looking at candidates with a good track record. Mkhize was speaking on SAFM’s Sunrise show.

“We’ll be looking for critical skills, of course people with a good track record of integrity, with no criminal record and really the core thing is to look at the skills and of course representation in terms of the demographics of the country.”

Mkhize hopes to complete the process within three to four weeks.

“We were just talking generally as a committee looking at a period of three to four weeks including the vetting which won’t be done by us and of course the presentation of the names to parliament so we are hoping we will meet all the deadlines.”

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