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Soccer-FIFA confirms new international dates as fixtures pile up

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ZURICH — FIFA has confirmed a new window for international matches in January 2022 as World Cup qualifying fixtures continue to pile up because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

World soccer’s ruling body said in a statement that the window was ratified by the decision-making FIFA Council on Thursday.

It applies to all continents apart from Europe, will last from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1 2022, and means European clubs will be obliged to release their players during that period.

FIFA has also agreed that the CONCACAF Gold Cup will take place from July 10 to Aug. 1 next year and that the Africa Cup of Nations — postponed from 2021 — will be played in January 2022.

Apart from this month’s UEFA Nations League matches, international football has been on hold since March because of the...

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Canada’s Ontario planning new social gathering limits as COVID-19 cases rise-source

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TORONTO — The Canadian province of Ontario is considering introducing some strict new limits on social gatherings in three hot spots in the midst of a spike in COVID-19 cases, a government source told Reuters on Thursday.

A draft plan would reduce the size of indoor gatherings to 10, down from 50, and outdoor gatherings to 25, down from 100, the source said, adding that limits would apply in Toronto, nearby Peel region, and Ottawa. The plan does not yet have final approval.

New cases of COVID-19 have risen sharply over the last week in Ontario, breaking through the 300 mark on Monday. The province reported 293 new cases on Thursday.

The surge in cases, combined with school rules that require tests for most children or parents with mild symptoms, have driven tens of thous...

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Israel closes schools again as COVID-19 cases surge

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JERUSALEM — Israel closed its schools on Thursday, a day before entering a second national coronavirus lockdown, as daily infections topped 4,500.

The initial lockdown was imposed in late March and eased in May, when the number of new cases dropped to about 20 a day. Israeli leaders have acknowledged they lifted restrictions too soon, hoping to avoid further economic damage.

The new lockdown, due to last three weeks, coincides with the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, traditionally a time for large family gatherings.

Catching parents off-guard and trying to prevent further infections in schools, Israeli authorities decided late on Wednesday to close classrooms on Thursday, a day earlier than planned.

Teachers shifted to online lessons while children lamented n...

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Desperate migrants jump overboard from charity boat off Italy

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ROME — Some 70 migrants jumped overboard from the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms on Thursday, in an attempt to swim to the nearby southern Italian city of Palermo.

Those who jumped into the sea, part of a group of more than 270 people, were picked up by Italian coastguard and police ships.

The charity vessel carried out three separate rescue operations in the central Mediterranean between Sept. 8 and 10. The crew are still waiting for instructions on where the migrants will be allowed to disembark.

The Italian coastguard have transferred two pregnant women and one of their husbands onto land for medical assistance in recent days.

After being for years the primary route into Europe for hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and other migrants, Italy has seen a drop in arr...

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Women-only tailoring house opens on London’s Savile Row

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LONDON — For more than 200 years, Savile Row in London’s elegant Mayfair district has been the place to go for discerning men in search of the perfect, tailor-made suit.

Now, for the first time, a tailoring house has opened on the storied street that offers made-to-measure suits exclusively for women.

“We’re called The Deck because it’s about reshuffling the deck,” said founder Daisy Knatchbull. “We are the first tailoring house to focus on women to have a shopfront on Savile Row,” which she described as a very male-dominated environment.

“So things are changing,” she said. “Suits for women isn’t just a trend. It’s here to stay.”

Knatchbull opened her business in 2019 in affluent Chelsea, further west, but when an opportunity came up to move to ...

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EU shouldn’t ‘fall into trap’ by ending Brexit talks now, France says

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PARIS — The EU is right to continue talking to Britain for now, and should not overreact to British tactics that could be aimed at pushing Brussels to break off negotiations over a Brexit trade deal, France’s European affairs minister said on Thursday.

The British government won initial approval in parliament this week for a bill that would give ministers the power to breach the Brexit divorce treaty agreed last year.

The EU has demanded Britain scrap those parts of the bill by the end of September, and said that if not, there will be no trade deal at the end of the year when a transition period expires and Britain leaves the bloc’s orbit.

Asked in parliament whether the EU should stop talks on the trade deal immediately, the French minister, Clement Beaune, said: “A...

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A Nobel for Thunberg? In the age of climate change and virus, it is possible

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In the era of the coronavirus crisis, the committee could also choose to highlight the threat of pandemics to peace and security, said Dan Smith, the director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

“There is a relationship between environmental damage and our increasing problem with pandemics and I wonder whether the Nobel Peace Prize Committee might want to highlight that,” he told Reuters.

If the committee wanted to highlight this trend, he said, “there is obviously the temptation of Greta Thunberg.”

The Fridays for Future movement started in 2018 when Thunberg began a school strike in Sweden to push for action on climate. It has since become a global protest.

Thunberg and her father Svante, who sometimes handles media queries for her,...

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Phillies turn to Nola in series finale against Mets

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Jean Segura went 4-for-4 with a home run, double and two singles on Wednesday, but the Phillies weren’t able to hold what seemed to be a solid 4-0 advantage.

“When you have a chance to tack on more runs against a good team like the Mets, you need to do it,” Girardi said.

The Mets (22-27) will look for their second straight win when they send Seth Lugo to the mound in the series finale.

Lugo, who’s 2-3 with a 2.63 ERA, will be making his fifth start. He also has three saves this season.

In Lugo’s career against the Phillies, he’s 1-1 with a 3.40 ERA in 18 games.

The last time out, Lugo gave up seven hits and three runs with five strikeouts and one walk in 5 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.

“I felt like I was a little out in front of myself — ...

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Garcia’s 10th-inning HR lifts Nationals over Rays

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On the first pitch he saw in the 10th inning, rookie Luis Garcia belted a two-run homer to lift the Washington Nationals to a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.

With Carter Kieboom placed on second base as part of the 2020 extra-innings rule, Garcia smoked the first offering from reliever Nick Anderson (1-1).

Kyle McGowin fanned the side in the bottom of the 10th to earn his first save in relief of closer Daniel Hudson (2-2), who blew his fifth save this season with two outs in the ninth.

The two-run home run accounted for the first run and just fifth hit Anderson has given up in 15 appearances...

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Mosquera’s hat trick carries FC Dallas over Rapids

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Santiago Mosquera recorded his first career hat trick and Franco Jara added a goal as FC Dallas defeated the Colorado Rapids 4-1 in a Western Conference match in Frisco, Texas, on Wednesday.

It was FCD’s third victory in their past five matches, lifting them from ninth place to fourth in the tight conference standings. Dallas (4-2-4, 16 points) is 3-2-3 since its season restart in August.

Kyle Zobeck recorded his second straight win in goal for FCD in his fourth career game, turning away four shots while aggressively controlling play in the 6-yard box.

Both teams had early offensive flurries but didn’t find the net.

Mosquera ended the deadlock in the 41st minute, taking a centering pass from the right sideline from Michael Barrios and ripping a right-footed shot into t...

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