ROME (Reuters) – Accused of sex with an underage prostitute and fawning over Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Silvio Berlusconi has weathered scandals that would have obliterated any other Western leader long ago.
His survival may astonish foreign observers but is the result of a political map in which a deeply divided opposition, his domination of the media and his campaigning skill have left him as the only leader deeply conservative voters can turn to.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Thursday that a sudden, dramatic change of government in Egypt would lead to chaos in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, where President Hosni Mubarak had played a key stabilizing role.
Frattini, speaking to foreign journalists, said the situation in Egypt was completely different from that in Tunisia, where a wave of street protests toppled the president earlier this month.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Monday gave South Africa his highest possible mark for a World Cup that defied sceptics who had predicted disaster.
Blatter said he would give a mark of nine out of 10 which was the maximum possible. “Perfection does not exist in our life,” he told a news conference.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African newspaper recently published a cartoon showing British tabloid journalists at an “Eat your Words” dinner, tucking into their articles predicting mayhem and murder at the World Cup.
The cartoon by Zapiro, South Africa’s most famous cartoonist, was revenge for stories that had predicted everything from a racist bloodbath by machete-wielding gangs to poisonous snakes that could kill entire teams.
JOHANNESBURG, July 12 (Reuters) – A South African newspaper
recently published a cartoon showing British tabloid journalists
at an “Eat your Words” dinner, tucking into their articles
predicting mayhem and murder at the World Cup.
The cartoon by Zapiro, South Africa’s most famous
cartoonist, was revenge for stories that had predicted
everything from a racist bloodbath by machete-wielding gangs to
poisonous snakes that could kill entire teams.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s World Cup stadiums have stunned the globe’s largest sporting audience with audacious style although critics say a developing country can ill afford such extravagance and some will be white elephants.
When South Africa won the right to stage the tournament six years ago, the stadium budget was 3 billion rand ($396 million). After including two more arenas and some dazzling structural additions, that figure is now widely put at about 18 billion.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Rarely can a global event have generated so much advance pessimism as the World Cup.
The sceptics are now finally having to eat their words.
In the six years after South Africa won the right to stage the continent’s first tournament, organisers endured a sea of negative reports and plenty of domestic self doubt.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Spain stunned the Netherlands to win their first World Cup on Sunday in sensational fashion with a goal in the last minutes of extra time.
With the scoreless match inching towards a penalty shootout, and the Netherlands down to 10 men, Andres Iniesta collected a pass from Cesc Fabregas to fire home from close range and break Dutch hearts four minutes from the final whistle.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Nelson Mandela briefly visited the stadium just before the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands on Sunday, capping South Africa’s joy over a successful tournament.
The much loved former leader, 91, who is in frail health, briefly toured the pitch in a golf cart surrounded by bodyguards before the match.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Africa’s first World Cup reaches a fitting climax on Sunday when the two most impressive teams, the Netherlands and Spain, meet in what is expected to be a fascinating contest for soccer’s biggest prize.
The best games in a World Cup often come in the semi-finals but after a month of soccer of varied quality, these two teams are recognised as being the pick of the bunch technically, tactically and temperamentally.