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Jean Dujardin espera un hijo junto a su novia Nathalie Péchalat
El actor francés Jean Dujardin (43), que ya es padre de Jules (14) y Simon (13) junto a su exmujer Alexandra Lamy, está esperando su primer hijo junto a su novia, la patinadora olímpica Nathalie Péchalat, con quien mantiene una relación desde hace un año, según informa la revista People.
El intérprete alcanzó el reconocimiento mundial en 2012 al hacerse con el Óscar a Mejor Actor por su papel en la película ‘The Artist’, aunque él siempre ha asegurado que su fama no ha hecho que se preocupe más por su imagen pública.
“Nunca me he preocupado por las etiquetas que pone la gente, lo único que me preocupa es mi propia opinión, y soy muy duro conmigo mismo. Tengo que estar orgulloso de lo que he hecho y trabajo duro para ello. Tuve una infancia muy cristiana… con mucho sentimiento de culpa. Pero ha sido algo bueno, te ayuda a mantenerte cuerdo. Es un poco pretencioso, ¿no crees? El hecho de que el público vaya a estar interesado en ti durante hora y media. Si lo piensas mucho te invade la ansiedad. Soy feliz en los rodajes porque no soy yo mismo, soy cualquier otro. El bigote, la chaqueta de traje… no soy yo. Siempre tienes esa dicotomía y es liberadora. Imagínate estar atrapado contigo mismo… con todas esas dudas”, señalaba el actor en una entrevista a Time Out Film.
Ortiz rebasa a Musial y Stargell, con 476 jonrones

KANSAS CITY, Missouri, EE.UU. (AP) — David Ortiz rebasó a dos miembros del Salón de la Fama en la lista de los mejores jonroneros de la historia. Pero ni de lejos fue el único bateador de Boston que se dio un festín el domingo.

Ortiz llegó a 476 cuadrangulares, para rebasar a Stan Musial y Willie Stargell, y los Medias Rojas conectaron 13 extrabases el domingo, para apabullar 13-2 a los Reales de Kansas City.

El dominicano Hanley Ramírez conectó su 15to jonrón, la máxima cifra de Boston en la campaña, y Mookie Betts disparó otro vuelacerca por los Medias Rojas, que establecieron su mejor estadística de carreras anotadas en lo que va de la temporada.

Xander Bogaerts sumó tres dobletes y Wade Miley (7-6) lanzó seis innings sin recibir anotación.

El quisqueyano Ortiz pegó su bambinazo en la apertura del cuarto inning para rebasar a Musial y Stargell, en el 28vo lugar de la lista de máximos jonroneros de la historia.

“Tuve la oportunidad de ver a ‘The Man’ (Musial) una vez, hace mucho tiempo”, recordó Ortiz. “No lo vi jugar, pero su carrera fue impresionante. Cuando empiezan a mencionar tu nombre junto al de todos estos integrantes del Salón de la Fama, significa que has hecho algo bueno. Es un honor”.

Musial falleció en 2013, a los 92 años.

Betts, Brock Holt y Dustin Pedroia, los primeros tres en el orden al bate, aportaron tres hits cada uno, entre los 16 que conectó Boston. Se combinaron para batear de 15-9, con siete anotadas y seis impulsadas.

El desempeño de Betts, a quien le faltó un sencillo para completar el ciclo, lo colocó en un promedio de .556 con nueve extrabases durante una racha de nueve encuentros seguidos pegando de hit.

Bogaerts disparó un doblete de tres carreras, como parte de un racimo de cinco en el quinto acto, cuando todos los Medias Rojas batearon, lo que puso fin a la labor de Chris Young (6-3).

Los primeros nueve hits de Boston fueron extrabases. Los Medias Rojas conectaron ocho dobletes, su mayor cifra en la campaña.

También el domingo:

—J.D. Martínez pegó tres jonrones y produjo seis carreras, el venezolano Víctor Martínez impulsó cuatro anotaciones más y los Tigres de Detroit apalearon 12-4 a los Yanquis de Nueva York para salir de un bache de cuatro derrotas seguidas.

—El colombiano Julio Teherán (5-3) permitió un hit durante siete entradas, el dominicano Pedro Ciriaco remolcó la única carrera del encuentro con un sencillo, y los Bravos de Atlanta blanquearon 1-0 a los Mets de Nueva York.

—Con un vuelacerca de dos carreras del dominicano Jimmy Paredes, los Orioles de Baltimore se impusieron 13-9 a los Azulejos de Toronto.

—El boricua Roberto Pérez anotó la carrera de la victoria para los Indios de Cleveland, 1-0 sobre los Rays de Tampa Bay.

—Los Filis de Filadelfia doblegaron 9-2 a los Cardenales de San Luis, con un jonrón de tres carreras del venezolano Andrés Blanco.

—El cubano Yunel Escobar conectó un cuadrangular y los Nacionales de Washington derrotaron 9-2 a los Piratas de Pittsburgh.

—Los Atléticos de Oakland superaron 3-2 a los Angelinos de Los Ángeles, pese a que el dominicano Albert Pujols conectó su 21er jonrón de la temporada.

—El venezolano Carlos González sufrió un esguince en la mano izquierda, pero los Rockies de Colorado aplastaron 10-4 a los Cerveceros de Milwaukee.

Affine: investit dans Urbismart avec Kaufman & Broad.

(CercleFinance.com) - Affine et Kaufman & Broad (Paris: FR0004007813 - actualité) annoncent s'associer pour accompagner le développement d'Urbismart, société spécialisée dans l'organisation de flux logistiques urbains, à travers un tour de table.

‘Le développement des villes, associé à celui du e-commerce dans les années à venir, nécessite la mise en oeuvre de réflexions innovantes pour mieux répondre aux demandes des circuits de distribution et des consommateurs, ainsi qu'aux contraintes environnementales et aux attentes des élus’, soulignent les deux groupes immobiliers.

A l'issue du tour de table, Affine et Kaufman & Broad détiendront chacun 17% du capital de la start-up, le reste étant détenu par les quatre fondateurs du projet.

Urbismart travaille aujourd'hui avec de nombreux acteurs différents de la chaîne logistique, mais s'adresse principalement aux chargeurs, avec la promesse de réduire leur facture globale logistique, tout en réalisant des bénéfices en termes d'émission de CO2.

Début septembre, la société lancera sa phase de test à Bordeaux. D'ici à 2018, elle a pour objectif de réunir autour de ce projet 35 enseignes sur 45 villes, avec à terme 50 à 100 plates-formes péri-urbaines à développer.

Copyright © 2015 CercleFinance.com. Tous droits réservés.

Aetna to buy Humana for $37 bln in largest insurance deal

By Greg Roumeliotis
(Reuters) - Health insurer Aetna Inc on Friday said it would buy smaller rival Humana Inc for about $37 billion in cash and stock, in the largest ever deal in the insurance industry.
The combination will push Aetna close to Anthem Inc’s No.2 insurer spot by membership, and would nearly triple Aetna’s Medicare Advantage business.
The deal will face antitrust scrutiny but if it goes through it would dwarf the previous largest insurance deal announced just this week, where Swiss property and casualty giant ACE Ltd announced it was buying Chubb Corp for $28 billion. It would also dwarf Anthem Inc’s purchase of WellPoint in 2004 for $16.6 billion.
Analysts have said that M&A activity in the healthcare sector had been waiting for last week’s Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, which upheld key subsidies that underpin the reform and thus gave more certainty to healthcare insurers.
The bigger the insurer, the more power it has negotiating prices and improving its doctor networks.
Anthem has offered to buy Cigna Corp to create the largest insurer in the country, toppling UnitedHealth Group Inc .
Media reports have also said UnitedHealth could be eyeing Cigna and Aetna. On Thursday, Centene Corp said it would buy smaller rival Health Net Inc for $6.3 billion.

ANTITRUST ISSUES
Antitrust authorities, who were aggressive in their review of the failed deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable , are expected to scrutinize how the combination of insurers will affect competition for each line of insurance: Medicare, Medicaid for the poor, individual insurance, commercial insurance for small and large businesses and the large employer business.
Aetna and Humana are in nine of the same states in Medicare Advantage. Combined, they would have market share of 88 percent in Kansas, 80 percent in West Virginia, 58 percent in Iowa and 51 percent in Missouri.
Wall Street analysts and some antitrust experts have said they expect the combination will be approved, although regulators may ask for some divestitures.
Others have said it is unclear that this group of regulators will stick to the usual review playbook for such a large deal and may add other restrictions.
The Justice Department, which reviews insurance mergers, will scrutinize deals city-by-city to see if the combination would have a monopoly in any metropolitan area, said Andre Barlow, a veteran of the department who is now at Washington law firm Doyle, Barlow and Mazard PLLC.
Aetna said the combined company is projected to have over 33 million medical members, based on memberships as of March 31. Operating revenue is expected to be about $115 billion this year, with approximately 56 percent from government-sponsored programs including Medicare and Medicaid.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld subsidies for individuals under President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, keeping a large chunk of patients intact under the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Insurers have said subsidies are key to bringing in new customers and the ruling has removed uncertainty for insurers looking for acquisitions. It could also spur more deal making in the health insurance sector, which has already seen a blitz of merger activity this year.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, praised Humana’s presence in his home state but also noted the role of the healthcare law in the merger.
“This morning’s announcement, as I predicted during the debate five years ago, is the inevitable result of Obamacare’s push toward consolidation as doctors, hospitals, and insurers merge in response to an ever-growing government,” the Republican said in a statement.
The deal includes a $1 billion break-up fee payable by Aetna to Humana, should the deal fail because of antitrust concerns, an Aetna spokeswoman confirmed. The fee was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.


CASH AND SHARES
Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna said it would pay Humana shareholders $125 in cash and 0.8375 Aetna shares for each share held. The offer of about $230 per share is a 23 percent premium to Humana’s closing price on Thursday.
Following the deal, Aetna shareholders would own about 74 percent of the combined company with Humana shareholders owning the rest. Aetna Chief Executive Mark Bertolini will serve as chairman and CEO of the combined company.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016 and add to operating earnings per share from 2017.
Humana’s sale has been anticipated since May when it was first reported that Cigna Corp and Aetna were interested, and multiple sources confirmed to Reuters that the company was entertaining offers.
Humana, based in Louisville, Kentucky, has been under pressure for more than a year from investors, which include activist fund Glenview Capital Management, to produce higher returns.
Last year Humana hired a CFO from investment bank Goldman Sachs and went through a strategic review that included asset sales. But it missed several quarters of earnings targets and struggled with profits in its individual business, disappointing Wall Street.
Aetna said it has received commitments from Citi and UBS Investment Bank to finance the deal.
Citi and Lazard are financial advisers for Aetna and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is its legal adviser. Goldman Sachs is the financial adviser to Humana, while Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is its legal adviser.

(Additional reporting by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru and Caroline Humer in New York; Editing by Ken Wills and Andrea Ricci)

European stock markets rally as Greece makes new proposal

European stock markets rallied on Wednesday, with Greece proposing a fresh deal to its creditors ahead of an EU decision on whether to prolong its bailout programme.

In midday trade, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 climbed two percent to 11,166.67 points and the CAC 40 in Paris advanced by 2.39 percent in value to 4,904.90.

Madrid won 1.63 percent and Milan gained 2.41 percent, while the Athens stock markets remained shut.

Outside the eurozone, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 1.39 percent to 6,611.31 points compared with Tuesday’s close.

In foreign exchange, the euro dipped to $1.1125 from $1.1139 late in New York on Tuesday.

European indices had slid on Tuesday, extending heavy losses seen at the start of the week, as hopes faded of a last-minute deal to stave off Greece defaulting on its payment to the International Monetary Fund.

The Greek government confirmed Wednesday it had sent an “amended” proposal to its international creditors in the hope of sealing a deal to stave off financial ruin.

A letter sent by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the EU, ECB and IMF Tuesday evening asked for “a new agreement that regulates the country’s financing issues through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to ensure debt sustainability by focusing on growth,” a government source said.

Banks’ share prices were rising strongly, with Royal Bank of Scotland up 3.30 percent, Commerzbank winning 2.66 percent and BNP Paribas increasing its value by 2.95 percent from Tuesday’s close.

The European Union will meanwhile decide Wednesday whether to hand Greece a last-minute bailout package to prevent the country moving further towards an exit from the eurozone.

Greece on Tuesday failed to make a 1.5 billion euro ($1.7 billion) payment to the International Monetary Fund, becoming the first industrialised country to do so.

On the same day, the international bailout keeping the Greek economy afloat formally expired.

“Investors are still hopeful of a positive outcome,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

“Suggestions are that fresh Greek proposals are now closer to those of the creditors.”

Wednesday meanwhile marked the start of the third quarter after a volatile six months’ trading for Europe’s stock markets.

“It’s not been a good quarter for European markets, posting fairly hefty falls, after a spectacular start to the year but they still remain (mostly) in positive territory for the year,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Hewson noted however that London’s FTSE 100, consisting of major energy and mining companies, had been additionally weighed down by lower commodity prices this year.

Asian stock markets mostly closed higher Wednesday, with Tokyo lifted by an upbeat survey on business confidence, but Shanghai’s volatile run continued, plunging more than five percent.

US stocks finished moderately higher Tuesday, recovering some of the prior session’s losses.

burs-bcp/bc

Royal Bank of Scotland

Commerzbank

BNP Paribas

Ortiz rebasa a Musial y Stargell, con 476 jonrones

KANSAS CITY, Missouri, EE.UU. (AP) — David Ortiz rebasó a dos miembros del Salón de la Fama en la lista de los mejores jonroneros de la historia. Pero ni de lejos fue el único bateador de Boston que se dio un festín el domingo.

Ortiz llegó a 476 cuadrangulares, para rebasar a Stan Musial y Willie Stargell, y los Medias Rojas conectaron 13 extrabases el domingo, para apabullar 13-2 a los Reales de Kansas City.

El dominicano Hanley Ramírez conectó su 15to jonrón, la máxima cifra de Boston en la campaña, y Mookie Betts disparó otro vuelacerca por los Medias Rojas, que establecieron su mejor estadística de carreras anotadas en lo que va de la temporada.

Xander Bogaerts sumó tres dobletes y Wade Miley (7-6) lanzó seis innings sin recibir anotación.

El quisqueyano Ortiz pegó su bambinazo en la apertura del cuarto inning para rebasar a Musial y Stargell, en el 28vo lugar de la lista de máximos jonroneros de la historia.

“Tuve la oportunidad de ver a ‘The Man’ (Musial) una vez, hace mucho tiempo”, recordó Ortiz. “No lo vi jugar, pero su carrera fue impresionante. Cuando empiezan a mencionar tu nombre junto al de todos estos integrantes del Salón de la Fama, significa que has hecho algo bueno. Es un honor”.

Musial falleció en 2013, a los 92 años.

Betts, Brock Holt y Dustin Pedroia, los primeros tres en el orden al bate, aportaron tres hits cada uno, entre los 16 que conectó Boston. Se combinaron para batear de 15-9, con siete anotadas y seis impulsadas.

El desempeño de Betts, a quien le faltó un sencillo para completar el ciclo, lo colocó en un promedio de .556 con nueve extrabases durante una racha de nueve encuentros seguidos pegando de hit.

Bogaerts disparó un doblete de tres carreras, como parte de un racimo de cinco en el quinto acto, cuando todos los Medias Rojas batearon, lo que puso fin a la labor de Chris Young (6-3).

Los primeros nueve hits de Boston fueron extrabases. Los Medias Rojas conectaron ocho dobletes, su mayor cifra en la campaña.

También el domingo:

—J.D. Martínez pegó tres jonrones y produjo seis carreras, el venezolano Víctor Martínez impulsó cuatro anotaciones más y los Tigres de Detroit apalearon 12-4 a los Yanquis de Nueva York para salir de un bache de cuatro derrotas seguidas.

—El colombiano Julio Teherán (5-3) permitió un hit durante siete entradas, el dominicano Pedro Ciriaco remolcó la única carrera del encuentro con un sencillo, y los Bravos de Atlanta blanquearon 1-0 a los Mets de Nueva York.

—Con un vuelacerca de dos carreras del dominicano Jimmy Paredes, los Orioles de Baltimore se impusieron 13-9 a los Azulejos de Toronto.

—El boricua Roberto Pérez anotó la carrera de la victoria para los Indios de Cleveland, 1-0 sobre los Rays de Tampa Bay.

—Los Filis de Filadelfia doblegaron 9-2 a los Cardenales de San Luis, con un jonrón de tres carreras del venezolano Andrés Blanco.

—El cubano Yunel Escobar conectó un cuadrangular y los Nacionales de Washington derrotaron 9-2 a los Piratas de Pittsburgh.

—Los Atléticos de Oakland superaron 3-2 a los Angelinos de Los Ángeles, pese a que el dominicano Albert Pujols conectó su 21er jonrón de la temporada.

—El venezolano Carlos González sufrió un esguince en la mano izquierda, pero los Rockies de Colorado aplastaron 10-4 a los Cerveceros de Milwaukee.

Ruling in Egypt trial of Jazeera journalists set for July 30

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court said on Monday it would issue a ruling on July 30 in the retrial of two Al Jazeera television journalists previously sentenced to seven to 10 years in prison.
Mohamed Fahmy, a naturalized Canadian who has given up his Egyptian citizenship, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were previously charged with aiding a terrorist organization, a reference to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
A third Al Jazeera journalist, Australian Peter Greste, was deported in February.

(Reporting By Shadi Bushra; Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Study for treatment for dwarfism send BioMarin stock skyward

NEW YORK (AP) – BioMarin shares neared an all-time high before the opening bell Thursday after announcing positive results from a mid-stage study for its drug to treat the most common form of dwarfism.

It was a small study, yet there are currently no approved drugs on the market for the condition called achondroplasia. It can be caused by a mutation or it can be inherited.

The study involved 26 children. Those receiving the highest dose of BMN 111, or vosoritide, showed a mean increase of 50 percent in their annual growth. The company said it will review all the results from the study to determine the next step in development.

The drug candidate has already received “orphan drug” designation from the Food and Drug Administration, which is given to treatments in development for rare conditions. It gives the potential drug an easier path through the review process and financial incentives.

Shares of BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. jumped 8 percent, or $9.60, to $133.20, which is within 34 cents of an all-time high.

Ben Affleck va-t-il réaliser le prochain Batman?
Selon le site Latino Review, l'acteur-réalisateur américain pourrait réaliser un nouveau film sur l'homme chauve-souris. La sortie de ce long-métrage serait prévue pour 2018.

Ben Affleck aux commandes d'un Batman? Après Batman v. Superman: L'aube de la justice, l'acteur américain pourrait se lancer dans la réalisation d'une nouvelle aventure du héros masqué. L'information, à prendre avec des pincettes, a été révélée par le site Latino Review.

Toujours selon le même site, le nouveau film sur le Chevalier noir, qui n'a pas encore été annoncé par Warner, serait prévu pour 2018. Ben Affleck cumulerait ainsi le rôle principal et la réalisation. Le scénario serait, quant à lui, confié à Chris Terrio.

Le comédien enchaînerait le tournage de ce nouveau volet directement après la mise en scène de Live by night, un film de gangster adapté d'un roman de Dennis Lehane, avec qui il a déjà collaboré sur Gone Baby Gone. La sortie de ce long métrage, dont l'action se situe dans les années 20, est attendue pour octobre 2016.

Si la rumeur de ce nouveau Batman s'avère vraie, l'acteur américain confirmerait également son nouveau statut de réalisateur, après le succès d'Argo. Le thriller, nommé dans sept catégories aux Oscars, a notamment remporté la récompense ultime de l'Oscar du Meilleur film en 2013. Il raconte l'exfiltration de six membres de l'ambassade américaine après sa prise d'assaut pendant la révolution iranienne en 1979.

Dès les prochains mois, Batman sera sur tous les fronts. Il sera déjà à l'affiche de Batman v. Superman, dont la sortie est prévue pour le 23 mars 2016 dans l'Hexagone, de Suicide Squad attendu pour août 2016 et de Justice League part. 1 et part. 2 (sortant respectivement en 2017 et 2019). Sans oublier la sortie (…) Lire la suite sur Figaro.fr

Batman v Superman: le masque dur de Ben Affleck 
Batman s'invite au Sénat américain pour la bonne cause 
Batman V Superman: rumeurs autour la mort d'un personnage 
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L'ex-jeune Anakin Skywalker de «Star wars» arrêté après une course-poursuite

 


Il était plus rapide sur les «routes» de Tatooine que sur celles de Caroline du Sud. L'acteur américain ayant interprété Anakin Skywalker enfant dans «Star wars, épisode I : la menace fantôme» est en détention en Caroline du Sud après une course-poursuite en voiture avec la police, ont annoncé ce lundi les autorités locales.

Jake Lloyd, âgé de 26 ans, est accusé de ne pas avoir obtempéré aux directives de la police et d'avoir résisté à son arrestation lors de l'incident survenu mercredi dernier dans le comté de Colleton, dans cet Etat du sud-est des Etats-Unis, a indiqué le bureau du shérif du comté. Il a été placé en détention en attendant une audience sur l'éventuelle fixation d'une caution pour sa remise en liberté. 

Le sergent Kyle Strickland, du bureau du shérif du comté de Colleton, a déclaré sur la chaîne NBC News que M. Lloyd «ne semblait pas être sous influence de drogues, ni être ivre».


Selon le sergent Strickland, il a ignoré les ordres de la police lui demandant de se garer sur le bas-côté. Au lieu de cela, il a accéléré et entraîné les policiers dans une folle course de plusieurs kilomètres avant d'avoir un accident dans une zone boisée.

Le jeune homme est connu pour avoir joué Anakin Skywalker enfant dans le film de 1999, qui revient sur les origines de Dark Vador, le redoutable méchant de la saga de la Guerre des étoiles. On se souvient surtout de la scène de course de «landspeeder» dans cet épisode de la saga, où le gamin Anakin excelle dans le pilotage. 



Sa dernière apparition sur grand écran remonte à 2005 dans «Madison», film de William Bindley. 

Retrouvez cet article sur LeParisien.fr

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Qatar group to push sports integrity in US even as World Cup award faces probes

By Mica Rosenberg and Mark Hosenball
NEW YORK/LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) - FIFA’s granting of rights to Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022 is a focus of U.S. and Swiss probes into alleged corruption at soccer’s governing body, but that isn’t stopping a group financed by the tiny nation from coming to Washington this week to talk about cleaning up sports.
The Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), which is largely funded by the Qatari government, will talk about its efforts to boost transparency in bidding processes for major sporting events and combat financial malpractice in professional sport at an event it is holding at the National Press Club on Wednesday.
The group, which is headed by two former officials from Qatar’s military, includes FIFA’s former head of security as an executive director and Interpol’s former president as a member of its advisory board.
The event comes on the heels of the indictment by U.S. authorities of nine current or former FIFA officials and five executives in sports marketing or broadcasting on May 27. They face charges of bribery, money laundering and wire fraud involving more than $150 million.
That investigation is also examining allegations that there was corruption in the awarding of World Cup hosting rights to Russia for 2018 and Qatar four years later, according to a U.S. law enforcement official. The Swiss authorities have their own criminal probe into those decisions.
“The ICSS encourages and supports any proactive action that targets corruption in sport governing bodies by law enforcement agencies,” the organization said in a statement on its website.
Its budget is 70 percent financed by the government of Qatar and the rest is income from projects, said ICSS spokesman Stuart Hodge. ICSS couldn’t immediately say how large that budget is.
Critics say the organization has a public perception problem because of the investigations into the allegations about how it’s main patron won enough support from FIFA’s 24-member executive committee in 2010 to get the 2022 hosting rights. It had faced competing bids from the U.S., South Korea, Japan and Australia.
“There is no question that a Qatari entity faces some reputational challenges as it sets out to clean up sports,” said Alexandra Wrage, an anti-corruption expert and founder of the Annapolis, Maryland-based TRACE International.
“Qatar is investing heavily in projects designed to enhance its public image. Whatever its other goals, I am sure the ICSS was established in part for this reason,” said Wrage, who resigned in frustration from FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee in 2013, saying calls for change went unheeded.
And Jens Sejer Andersen, the director of Danish government-funded sports integrity group Play the Game, said the ICSS clearly had a credibility problem “when serious suspicions are floating in the air surrounding Qatar’s 2022 bid due to the corrupt culture in FIFA at the time.”
ICSS, though, says it is independent. “There is no external influence or input put on the ICSS from the government of Qatar in terms of how we are run and our activities,” said Hodge.
Both Russia and Qatar have vehemently denied there was any wrongdoing in the way they won the World Cup hosting rights. They were not the subject of the indictments announced by U.S. prosecutors last month.
QATAR, FIFA, INTERPOL LINKS
ICSS President Mohammed Hanzab, a former lieutenant colonel in the Qatar Armed Forces, announced the formation of the organization in March 2011, only about three months after the desert country won its bid to host the 2022 competition.
Soon after, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Supreme Committee - in charge of delivering infrastructure and planning for the contest - announced an agreement with ICSS to assist with security for the games.
Hodge said the establishment of the ICSS was in no way connected with the vote to award Qatar the World Cup rights and plans to create the center were well underway beforehand.
ICSS’ advisory board includes Singapore’s Khoo Boon Hui, who was Interpol’s president from 2008 to 2012. Qatar’s 2022 Supreme Committee was among the top ten sources of external funding for the international crime fighting group in 2014.
Interpol earlier this month suspended a 20-million-euro ($22 million) sports “integrity” agreement with FIFA in the wake of the investigations.
ICSS’s connections to FIFA include Chris Eaton, the group’s executive director for sport integrity. A former Australian cop and Interpol official, Eaton became FIFA’s head of security in 2010 where he looked into allegations of vote swapping between Qatar and Spain-Portugal, who had put in a joint bid for the 2018 World Cup.
According to a book by journalists from the UK’s Sunday Times called “The Ugly Game,” Eaton surprised his bosses at FIFA when he announced his move to ICSS in 2012 and brought along the bulk of his investigative team.
Eaton, who is due to speak at Wednesday’s event, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Last year, the ICSS published a joint research project with the Sorbonne in Paris, one of France’s best-known universities, that found an estimated $140 billion is laundered every year through sports betting. ICSS also partnered with the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime to help train law enforcement officers so that they could crack down on game-rigging.
One ICSS advisory board member Juliette Kayyem, who worked as an assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security in President Barack Obama’s first term, said she didn’t see any reasons for concern, noting that the ICSS was doing good work in examining how to keep massive sporting events safe.
The faculty member at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government declined to comment on Qatar’s World Cup award, but said: “I think every person on that board is asking all the right questions.” (Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Martin Howell)

‘Something is definitely affecting his mindset’ – Dhoni’s personal coach

Dhoni is ready to step down as Captain

Post India’s shocking loss to Bangladesh on Sunday, Captain, MS Dhoni’s personal coach Chanchal Bhattacharya, has made a statement which indicates that all is not well in the Indian dressing room. 

“Dhoni has spoken about stepping down as captain. I feel the dressing room environment isn’t in sync with what he wishes it to be” Bhattacharya said. "I can’t be certain about the goings-on in the dressing room but one should be free minded and without any tension to lead a team,“ he said.  

"But something is definitely affecting his mindset and stopping him from playing freely,” Bhattacharya said.

India faced a second loss in the three-match ODI series, against hosts Bangladesh, on Sunday. The six-wicket loss, granted the hosts a historic series win against the former World Champions.

The series loss has also put the team Director, Ravi Shastri, who is travelling with the team, in a difficult situation.

In the post match conference, after losing to Bangladesh, Dhoni stated, "If it is justified that you remove me and Indian cricket will start doing well, then definitely I would love to step aside and play as just a player. Ultimately, it is most important for India to win and not who is leading them to the win.“

After India’s disappointing performance, Dhoni said, "I was never really in line to become the captain, but it was given to me. Now if you take it away from me, I will still be happy because what is more important for me is to play for the country and contribute to a win.”

Originally published on Sportskeeda.com here