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Last orders before France and Italy march on Berlin

France coach Raymond Domenech and his Italian counterpart Marcello Lippi were both gathering their troops on Friday for one last effort aimed at winning the World Cup final in Berlin on Sunday.

Italy have an early advantage in that their 2-0 semi-final win over Germany came on Tuesday, one day before France defeated Portugal 1-0 to join them in the title match.

Lavolpe to stand down as Mexico coach

MEXICO CITY, July 5, 2006 (AFP) – Mexico’s World Cup coach Ricardo Lavolpe is to stand down from the position and instead take up a managerial job in Europe, Mexican Football federation chief Alberto de la Torre said late Tuesday.

World Cup reaches in vain for the stars as veterans bow out

Chris Wright
BERLIN, July 5, 2006 (AFP) – Pele in 1958, Geoff Hurst in 1966, Maradona in 1986, Ronaldo in 2002.

The first three quarters of a century of World Cup action has been marked by the heroics of stars who thrilled and personified a generation.

Pele’s stunning exploits aged 17, when he followed up a hattrick against France with a double in the final over Sweden propelled the man from Tres Coracoes christened Edson Arantes do Nascimento into the history books.

Rome explodes with joy as Italy reach World Cup final

ROME, July 5, 2006 (AFP) – The Italian capital burst into wild celebrations on Tuesday after Italy scored two late goals to beat host nation Germany in the World Cup semi-final.

After watching TV coverage of a tense two hours of play in Dortmund, cries of joy rang out from apartments and cafes in Rome after Fabio Grosso and then Alessandro Del Piero scored the decisive goals to take Italy into Sunday’s final.

Beckenbauer says Klinsmann must stay

BERLIN, July 4, 2006 (AFP) – World Cup organising committee head and former world champion both as player and coach Franz Beckenbauer said Tuesday Jurgen Klinsmann should remain as German coach despite their 2-0 defeat by Italy in the World Cup semi-final in the dying minutes of extra-time.

Destructive ambitions of Iran in Iraq

Stop Fundamentalism, July 2 – In a special report Assafir daily in Iraq said that Iran’s provocative role in Iraq is ironic. It adds fuel to the flames of violance through various forms of interference and on various scales to maintain the status quo in Iraq.

Iran angered, postpones nuclear talks; EU frustrated

Iran Rajavi nuclearStop Fundamentalism, July 5 – In apparent anger at the Iranian exiled opposition leader Maryam Rajavi’s visit to the European Parliament, Iran once again did not show for crucial nuclear talks with the European Union on Wednesday.

Javier Solana, head of European Union’s foreign policy, who delivered EU’s incentive package to Tehran last month to encourage this country to suspend its nuclear development program, said on Wednesday that the meeting was postponed to Thursday.

"I was surprised to hear that Ali Larijani has decided at the last minute to postpone his trip to Brussels as previously agreed with him to take place today," Solana said in a statement reported by Reuters.

Pressure mounts as Iran run’s out of time

mullahs going nukesNima Sharif
As the G8 meeting in St. Petersburg begins, Iran’s theocratic regime begins to feel the pressure to come up with a response to the package of incentives it was offered by the P5+1 countries on July 6.

At the start of the meeting of the G8 foreign ministers last week, French foreign minister Philippe Douste-Blazy announced a two-week deadline and emphasized that Iran must respond before the G8 heads of states meeting.

But most importantly, after the meeting by the group of eight countries’ foreign ministers, the group issued a statement calling on the Iranian regime to provide a “clear and upfront response.”  In this statement the eight countries use a strong tone and pressed that they were concerned about the absence of an official response from Iran.

The ministers also expressed that they want Iran to provide a clear answer at the meeting planed between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and the regime’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani on July 5.

North Korea test fires Missiles

SEOUL, July 5 – North Korea test-fires six missiles including a long-range Taepodong-2 which crashed shortly after launch, triggering international condemnation led by Washington and the rogue state’s alarmed Asian neighbours

US diplomacy in high gear after ‘provocative’ North Korea launches

Olivier Knox
WASHINGTON, July 5, 2006 (AFP) – The United States has strongly condemned North Korea’s "provocative" launch of several missiles that posed no immediate threat to US territory but warranted a diplomatic counter-offensive.