Watch SpaceX launch 60 more Starlink satellites for its broadband internet service

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SpaceX is launching 60 additional satellites to join the over 500 already on orbit as part of its Starlink global broadband internet constellation. The launch is set to take off at 10:22 AM EDT (7:22 AM PDT) and will fly from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This is the third flight for the booster, which previously flew during SpaceX’s historic first crewed astronaut flight, as well as a prior satellite launch on behalf of a customer. The mission includes a recovery attempt of the booster stage so that it can be potentially flown again.

SpaceX has been ramping up deployment of Starlink this year as it prepares to launch a public beta of service before the end of 2020, and an expansion to more regions for the affordable, far-reaching network next year.

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Equity Monday: Palantir might have a very eventful hump day

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest big news, chats about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. I subbed in for Alex this week, so send your love over to the show on Twitter here and fan mail to me right here. Also, don’t forget to check out last Friday’s episode.

This week, we couldn’t help but weigh into the latest TikTok drama, but we got into why it’s worth following these budgets and moves (and a whole host of other fascinating news):

All that, and we didn’t even get to make fun of LinkedIn stories.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PT and Thursday afternoon as fast as we can get it out, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.



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Instant Opinion: Sweden’s anti-lockdown stance ‘a lesson for Britain’

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Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Monday 28 September

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Sweden coronavirus

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Monday 28 September


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The Week Staff

Monday, September 28, 2020 – 2:49pm

The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Clare Foges in The Times

on quality of life during a pandemic

Sweden’s Covid stance is a lesson for Britain

“I’m not here to make some political statement on Covid-19 but because my husband arranged a work exchange in the Before Times, back when Whitty and Vallance might just have been a TV detective duo. An accident, then, that we are here as restrictions tighten in Britain, and frankly a happy one. Since arriving we have felt the weight of the pandemic response lift from our shoulders. It began in the taxi from the airport, when we were cheerily told we could ditch the masks, and continued with the mildly thrilling experience of perusing the supermarket mask-free. Sure, there are stickers on the floor requesting a two-metre distance but the whole thing is handled so breezily that the slight tightness in the throat I developed in British shops is gone; the flashing red danger alarms have dulled and the cortisol levels are down. We grab cutlery from a shared pot in cafés, collect change without thinking of invisible germs. One can almost forget the oppressive corona cloud we have lived under for six months.”

2. Simon Jenkins in The Guardian

on the Tories taking back control

The Tory revolt against new coronavirus rules shows Johnson is not secure

“[Boris Johnson’s] support within the Tory hierarchy is based purely on his 2019 success in securing a Commons majority of 80. But these are not normal times. Johnson’s rating is falling. One poll at the weekend showed his popularity and that of his party falling for the first time behind Labour and its leader Keir Starmer… Finding a focus of power in Britain at present is hard. There are rumours of rifts between Johnson’s secretive government scientists and his popular chancellor Rishi Sunak. His powerful aide, Dominic Cummings, is toxic to both the cabinet and parliament. As happened under May, a leadership vacuum in Downing Street sees power inevitably drift towards the Commons. Brady’s amendment is hardly outrageous. It offers reassurance to the nation and thus a safety valve to Johnson. It would give parliament some steerage over a government that is now all at sea. It would give Johnson some space to breathe. He needs it.”

3. Ross Clark in The Daily Telegraph

on a sneaky return to Covid restrictions

We are being taken into another lockdown by stealth

“I am beginning to feel like a frog in the proverbial experiment – the one where if you lower the animal into a pot of boiling water, it will leap straight out, but if you raise the temperature gradually, it will just sit there and get boiled alive, not realising the danger it is in. First, we were banned from socialising in groups of more than six. Then the pubs were told to close at 10. Now, it transpires that ministers have been considering closing pubs and restaurants for two weeks across much of Northern England and possibly London, and banning all social interaction. Meanwhile, the areas under local lockdown are steadily growing larger, and merging to cover much of the country’s population. At the same time, the number of countries which Britons may visit without having to spend two weeks in quarantine on their return shrinks by the day – it is now down to just eight. At this rate, within a week or two everything will be in effective lockdown except for the grouse moors.  But ministers will still be trooping into radio studios telling us ‘we want to avoid a national lockdown at all costs’.”

4. Sean O’Grady in The Independent

on the president’s latest controversy

The Trump tax revelations will make no difference to the US election

“It’s odd that Trump has forgotten his own playbook, and now says the stories about him paying little tax are ‘fake news’, adding ‘I pay tax’ (implying more normal levels), and looking to the Inland Revenue Service to vindicate him. A lawyer for the Trump Organisation said that Trump ‘has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions on personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2025′. Logically, Trump can’t have it both ways. Either he was smart and didn’t pay tax or he did pay tax and he’s not so smart. Not that it matters though, in stark political terms. The American people made their minds up about Trump and Biden many months ago. Trump’s contempt for paying for ‘the swamp’ is shared by his fan base, and most Americans (like most folk anywhere) try to minimise their tax bills as far as possible.”

5. Charles M. Blow in The New York Times

on the worth of head-to-head events

We Don’t Need Debates

“I’m not looking forward to Trump making a scene and telling lies. I’m not looking forward to the assessments of the moderators. I’m not looking forward to hype. We may learn things. We often do. And those things are worth learning. But, what is most important is policy and character. Indeed, we don’t need a debate. What will it really tell us that we don’t already know? What will it truly reveal? The debate will show us how the candidates converse and clash. It will show how they respond when attacked and how they recover – or not – when bruised. But none of this, at this late date, should be the determinant of how one votes. Trump is actively threatening to assault our democracy by refusing to say that he will accept the results of an election if he loses, by refusing to say that he would ensure a peaceful transfer of power from him to Biden. He is assaulting our democracy by undermining confidence in the election and by lying about mail-in voting, a necessity for many during a pandemic.”

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to star in ‘fly-on-the-wall’ Netflix reality show

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Harry and Meghan

Former minister accuses couple of ‘exploiting’ royal links with big-bucks deal


One-Minute Read

Joe Evans

Monday, September 28, 2020 – 2:38pm

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have agreed to be tailed by cameras for three months for a behind-the-scenes Netflix reality show.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced earlier this month that they had signed a $150m (£113m) deal to produce documentaries, docuseries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programmes for the streaming giant. And now the couple have decided to step in front of the camera as well, to “give people a glimpse into their lives”, a source told The Sun.

“It is not yet known if cameras will be allowed into their £11.5million, nine-bedroom home” in Montecito, California, says the newspaper, which points out that “the Sussexes moved to the US after moaning about alleged media intrusion”.

But wherever the series is shot, “it will still be a fascinating insight and Meghan hopes viewers will get to see the real her”, according to the source, who said that “much of the docuseries will be about their philanthropy rather than what they get up to behind closed doors”.

As critics line up to take aim at the couple for going down the reality TV route, the insider added: “They may have had all these lofty ideas about producing epics highlighting environmental causes and the poverty gap, but Netflix obviously want their pound of flesh.” 

Royal biographer and editor of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward is among those who have criticised the couple’s “hypocritical” decision, after “we were told they had gone to California for greater privacy”.

“The more they talk about themselves, the more people will want them to do just that and won’t be interested in anything else they have to offer,” Seward said.

Meanwhile, a former government minister has accused Prince Harry of “exploiting” his royal connections in agreeing to the fly-on-the-wall series. 

Ex-Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that Harry has “clearly divorced himself from the Royal Family in practical terms”.

“Let’s be frank about this, Netflix wouldn’t be offering a huge deal to Harry because of his interesting views,” said Baker, who served as Home Office minister in the coalition government of 2010-15. 

He added: “Harry is clearly exploiting the Buckingham Palace connection and the fact is, he has to make up his mind, is he in the royal family or isn’t he?”

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Tech giants are ignoring questions over the legality of their EU-US data transfers

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A survey of responses from more than 30 companies to questions about how they’re approaching EU-US data transfers in the wake of a landmark ruling (aka Schrems II) by Europe’s top court in July, which struck down the flagship Privacy Shield over US surveillance overreach, suggests most are doing the equivalent of burying their head in the sand and hoping the legal nightmare goes away.

European privacy rights group, noyb, has done most of the groundwork here — rounding up in this 45-page report responses (some in English, others in German) from EU entities of 33 companies to a set of questions about personal data transfers.

It sums up the answers to the questions about companies’ legal basis for transferring EU citizens’ data over the pond post-Schrems II as “astonishing” or AWOL — given some failed to send a response at all.

Tech companies polled on the issue run the alphabetic gamut from Apple to Zoom. While Airbnb, Netflix and WhatsApp are among the companies that noyb says failed to respond about their EU-US data transfers.

Responses provided by companies that did respond appear to raise many more questions than they answer — with lots of question-dodging ‘boilerplate responses’ in evidence and/or pointing to existing privacy policies in the hope that will make the questioner go away (hi Facebook!) .

Facebook also made repeat claims that sought for info falls outside the scope of the EU’s data protection framework…

noyb also highlights a response by Slack which said it does not “voluntarily” provide governments with access to data — which, as the privacy rights group points out, “does not answer the question of whether they are compelled to do so under surveillance laws such as FISA702”.

A similar issue affects Microsoft. So while the tech giant did at least respond specifically to each question it was asked, saying it’s relying on Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) for EU-US data transfers, again it’s one of the companies subject to US surveillance law — or as noyb notes: “explicitly named by the documents disclosed by Edward Snowden and publicly numbering the FISA702 requests by the US government it received and answered”.

That, in turn, raises questions about how Microsoft can claim to (legally) use SCCs if users’ data cannot be adequately protected from US mass surveillance… 

The Court of Justice of the EU made it clear that use of SCCs to take data outside the EU is contingent on a case by case assessment of whether the data will in fact be safe. If it is not the data controller is legally required to suspend the transfer. EU regulators also have a clear duty to act to suspend transfers where data is at risk.

“Overall, we were astonished by how many companies were unable to provide little more than a boilerplate answer. It seems that most of the industry still does not have a plan as to how to move forward,” noyb adds.

In August the group filed 101 complaints against websites it had identified as still sending data to the US via Google Analytics and/or Facebook Connect integrations — with, again, both tech giants clearly subject to US surveillance laws, such as FISA 702.

noyb founder Max Schrems — whose surname has become synonymous with questions over EU-US data transfers — also continues to push the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) to take enforcement action over Facebook’s use of SCCs in a case that dates back some seven years.

Earlier this month it emerged the DPC had written to Facebook — issuing a preliminary order to suspend transfers. However Facebook filed an appeal for a judicial review in the Irish courts and was granted a stay.

In an affidavit filed to the court the tech giant appeared to claim it could shut down its service in Europe if the suspension order is enforced. But last week Facebook’s global VP and former UK deputy PM, Nick Clegg, denied it could shut down in Europe over the issue. Though he warned of “profound effects” on scores of digital businesses if a way is not found by lawmakers on both sides of the pond to resolve the legal uncertainty around U.S. data transfers. (A Privacy Shield 2 has been mooted but the European Commission has warned there’s no quick fix, suggesting reform of US surveillance law will be required.)

For his part Schrems has suggested the solution for Facebook at least is to federate its service — splitting its infrastructure in two. But Thierry Breton, EU commissioner for the internal market, has also called for “European data…[to] be stored and processed in Europe” — arguing earlier this month this data “belong in Europe” and “there is nothing protectionist about this”, in a discussion that flowed from US president Trump’s concerns about TikTok.

Back in Ireland, Facebook has complained to the courts that regulatory action over its EU-EU data transfers is being rushed (despite the complaint dating back to 2013); and also that it’s being unfairly singled out.

But now with data transfer complaints filed by noyb against scores of companies on the desk of every EU data supervisor, and regulators under explicit ECJ instruction they have a duty to step in a lot of pressure is being exerted to actually enforce the law and uphold Europeans’ data rights.

The European Data Protection Board’s guidance on Schrems II — which Facebook had also claimed to be waiting for — also specifies that the ability to (legally) use SCCs to transfer data to the U.S. hinges on a data controller being able to offer a legal guarantee that “U.S. law does not impinge on the adequate level of protection” for the transferred data. So Facebook et al would do well to lobby the US government on reform of FISA. 

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Skydio partners with EagleView for autonomous residential roof inspections via drone

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Skydio only just recently announced its expansion into the enterprise and commercial market with hardware and software tools for its autonomous drone technology, and now it’s taking the lid off a brand new big partnership with one commercial partner. Skydio will work with EagleView to deploy automated residential roof inspection using Skydio drones, with service initially provide via EagleView’s Assess product, launching first in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas.

The plan is to expand coverage to additional metro areas starting next year, and then broaden to rural customers as well. The partners will use AI-based analysis, paired with Skydio’s high-resolution, precision imaging to provide roofing status information to insurance companies, claims adjustment companies and government agencies, providing a new level of quality and accuracy for property inspections that don’t even require an in-person roof inspection component.

Skydio announced its enterprise product expansion in July, alongside a new $100 million funding round. The startup, which has already delivered two generations of its groundbreaking fully autonomous consumer drone, also debuted the X2, a commercial drone that includes additional features like a thermal imaging camera. It’s also offering a suite of “enterprise skills,” software features that can provide its partners with automated workflows and AI analysis and processing, including a House Scan feature for residential roof inspection, which is core to this new partnership.

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Roku introduces a new Ultra player, a 2-in-1 ‘Streambar,’ and a new OS with support for AirPlay 2

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Streaming media device maker Roku is updating its lineup in advance of the holiday season with the addition of two new products: a redesigned version of its high-end Roku Ultra which, for the first time, adds Dolby Vision support as well as Bluetooth. The company is also introducing a combination player and soundbar device, called the Roku Streambar. And the Roku OS software update will bring a handful of new features to customers, including, most notably, Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support.

On the hardware front, Roku continues its strategy of refreshing devices and plugging other holes in the market with the launch of the two new players.

With the revamp of the Roku Ultra, the company promises up to 50% more wireless range and the addition of Bluetooth support. The expanded range will allow customers to use their Ultra even further away from the internet router without compromising their streaming quality and experience. Meanwhile, the addition of Bluetooth means you’ll be able to pair your smartphone with the device in order to stream music or other audio through the Roku Ultra to the TV.

Image Credits: Roku

The updated Roku Ultra adds Dolby Vision support along with Dolby Atmos sound, to cater to customers who have Dolby Vision TVs. And Roku is future-proofing the device with the addition of the AV1 codec, which offers higher quality video at a lower bitrate.

The device will ship with an HDMI cable as well as the Roku Voice remote with TV power and volume buttons, personal shortcut buttons, headphones for private listening and the lost remote finding functionality. The price remains the same, at $99.99.

Image Credits: Roku

The second new device is the Roku Streambar. This 2-in-1 device combines 4K HDR streaming and premium audio into one product. On the player side, the egg carton-sized device is the equivalent of the Roku Streaming Stick+ and works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The soundbar attaches to the TV via an HDMI cable, and if the TV offers ARC support that’s all you’ll need to get started. Otherwise, you can use the included optical cable that comes in the box.

The soundbar has four premium drivers including two forward-facing drivers to bring out the dialogue and center channel and two on the side, angled to help fill the room with sound. The device will also support Roku features, like the ability to quiet loud commercials, boost the volume of voices, or optimize the sound for night listening.

The device also supports Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Alexa and Google Assistant, and a voice remote that controls the TV, sound and streaming.

Image Credits: Roku

While the soundbar is largely being pitched as an entry level device for newcomers to Roku or an all-in-one solution for use with a new TV, it still allows a customer to expand their home theater setup over time. Customers can choose to later add surround sound with Roku’s Wireless Speakers and bass with the Roku Wireless Subwoofer, says Roku.

Over the next few week, these devices and others will be able to download the Roku OS 9.4 update which brings a number of new features, including AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support. With AirPlay 2, customers with Apple device will be able to stream content directly to their Roku player — whether that’s personal content from their own library or from other streaming apps.

Image Credits: Roku

The addition will be particularly useful for those times a streaming service launches without Roku support. In recent months, Roku has gotten bogged down in negotiations with media companies now that it runs its own subscription channel platform through its own hub, The Roku Channel. During its negotiations with NBCU, for example, a dispute led to NBCU threatening to pull its TV Everywhere apps off Roku before the two sides worked things out. Today, HBO Max, another major new streaming app, is still not available on Roku. Customers are the ones who really lose in these sorts of battles, of course, so the AirPlay 2 support will be a decent workaround for those times when apps are not available.

Roku OS 9.4 will also bring HomeKit support to select 4K devices so customers can control their Roku via the Home app and Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch or HomePod.

Image Credits: Roku

The update will also bring a new “Live TV” tile to the homescreen featuring a live guide to The Roku Channel’s over 115 free live channels. Users will also see helpful hints on using voice commands on their TV at times and will receive updated theme packs with optional sounds. These will feature themes like Jungle, Western, Nautical, Kids, and more, which can be swapped in place of the standard background and design. The update will bring other performance improvements, more free channels to The Roku Channel, and surround level control for multi-channel audio, among other things.

Roku will also soon ship a dedicated free app for The Roku Channel for iOS and Android smartphones.

The Roku OS 9.4 update will roll out this month and will reach all supported players, including the new Ultra and Streambar, in the weeks ahead. Roku TVs will get the update in the coming months.

The new players, meanwhile, are available for pre-order today on Roku’s website, and will ship in October. They’ll also arrive in major retailers and online next month.

 

 

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Parliament U-turns on plan for MPs’ bars to be exempt from nationwide 10pm curfew

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Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson

Watering holes on the parliamentary estate will be forced to shut after MPs blast ‘tone deaf’ decision


One-Minute Read

Joe Evans

Monday, September 28, 2020 – 9:48am

MPs hoping for a quick pint after a day in the House of Commons will be required to drink up before the nationwide 10pm curfew after parliamentary authorities U-turned on a controversial exemption.

Bars in the Palace of Westminster will now not sell alcohol after 10pm, but will remain open later during debates “to serve food for those still working”, parliamentary authorities said.

Parliament’s bars were originally “exempt from the earlier closing time”, The Times reported. And unlike most other other public venues, the bars would not have had to gather customers’ details either.

The parliamentary pubs had avoided the strict 10pm cut-off because they fell under the definition of a “workplace canteen”, which according to Boris Johnson’s latest regulations “may remain open where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food”.

The exemption also meant that bar staff would not be forced to wear face coverings and visitors would not have been asked to provide track-and-trace details.

The exemptions were met with anger from outside Westminster, with a parliamentary source telling The Times that the decision was “a massive own goal”. 

George Freeman, an ex-Tory minister, had warned “this sort of thing is what brings parliament into disrepute”, while other MPs told Sky News that the decision to sell alcohol after the curfew was “outrageous”, “nonsense” and “appalling”.

The curfew for pubs, restaurants and bars has triggered fury in the hospitality industry, with bosses warning that the decision may be the final nail in the coffin for many venues. 

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the British Beer and Pub Association, told ITV News that the new rules were “another devastating blow to the beer and pub sector”. 

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has also criticised the curfew, saying that it is “making things more dangerous”. Anderson “spoke out after crowds gathered in the city as the pubs turned out drinkers on Saturday night”, the BBC reports.

Merseyside Police told the broadcaster that there had been “a spontaneous gathering around a local street performer”, but added that people “dispersed within minutes under the close monitoring of officers and via CCTV”.



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‘Nonsense’: football’s lost the plot with new handball rule

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Peter Bankes awaits confirmation of a penalty from VAR during the Premier League match between Tottenham and Newcastle

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Referee Peter Bankes awaits confirmation of a penalty from VAR during the Premier League match between Tottenham and Newcastle

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Peter Bankes awaits confirmation of a penalty from VAR during the Premier League match between Tottenham and Newcastle

Managers and the media slam decision-making by officials and VAR


In Depth

Mike Starling

Monday, September 28, 2020 – 1:42pm

Goals galore, late penalties and shock results contributed to a wild weekend in the English Premier League. 

On a normal day Jamie Vardy’s hat-trick in Leicester City’s 5-2 win at Manchester City would dominate the newspaper back pages. 

However, while the efforts of Vardy and Leicester are recognised by the media, there is another subject hogging the headlines. 

After a number of controversial handball decisions were made over the weekend, the video assistant referee (VAR) has once again taken over as the hot topic in English football. 

Premier League results
  • Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Manchester United 3  
  • Crystal Palace 1 Everton 2  
  • West Bromwich Albion 3 Chelsea 3  
  • Burnley 0 Southampton 1 
  • Sheffield United 0 Leeds United 1  
  • Tottenham Hotspur 1 Newcastle United 1  
  • Manchester City 2 Leicester City 5 
  • West Ham United 4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Monday’s fixtures
  • Fulham vs. Aston Villa (5.45pm)  
  • Liverpool vs. Arsenal (8pm)

Dier decision for Spurs 

There was controversy in a number of Premier League matches this weekend after handball decisions saw crucial penalties awarded. 

At the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday Newcastle salvaged a point after scoring a late penalty in the 1-1 draw against Spurs. 

Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side had looked on course to win thanks to Lucas Moura’s 25th-minute goal. However, a handball decision against Eric Dier saw Newcastle awarded a penalty in the 97th minute, which Callum Wilson stepped up to score. 

Andy Carroll’s knockdown came off Dier’s arm inside the box, BBC Sport reports, and following a lengthy consultation with the VAR, on-field official Peter Bankes awarded the penalty after reviewing the incident on the pitch-side monitor.

Bruce: ‘it’s ludicrous’

Even though his side profited from the decision Newcastle manager Steve Bruce hit out at the new handball rule. 

The Toon boss said: “If you’re going to tell me that is handball then we all may as well pack it in. It’s a nonsense, a nonsense of a rule. It’s gone for us today – however, it’s ludicrous.”

He added: “The handball has been around for a hundred years. If it is deliberate, no problem, but it has to be clear and obvious. We have lost the plot with it and it loses the spectacle of it. 

“Maybe we can do something about it, we seem to have these phases where we take everything literally in the Premier League and maybe we have to say no to it.”

Spurs head coach Mourinho stormed down the tunnel after Wilson scored and he refused to comment on the issue in his post-match interview. “I don’t want to speak about it,” said the Portuguese.

‘Forget Fergie time’

At Brighton on Saturday Manchester United secured all three points with a penalty that was given after the final whistle was blown. 

Solly March’s header looked to have given Brighton a 2-2 draw at the Amex Stadium, but there would be one last twist, The Guardian said. 

After United forced a late corner, Bruno Fernandes took it and Harry Maguire saw his header cleared off the line by March. Referee Chris Kavanagh promptly blew the final whistle, but Maguire argued that his header had flicked off Neal Maupay’s hand. 

Kavanagh was advised by VAR to check the pitch-side monitor and he awarded the spot kick which Fernandes scored. 

“Forget Fergie time – this was beyond even that,” said the Guardian’s David Hytner. And he’s not wrong. 

Fernandes’s strike came in the tenth minute of stoppage time – on 99 minutes and 45 seconds to be precise – and the Premier League confirmed that it was third latest goal in the competition’s history.

‘It’s ruining football’ 

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson was also left fuming after his side were undone by a “nonsense” handball call in the 2-1 home loss to Everton, Goal.com reports. 

Saying the new rule is “ruining football”, Hodgson added: “I can’t understand how everyone in the game of football – the Premier League, referees, managers and coaches – have allowed this rule to come into operation. It is ruining the game of football, no question of that.

“We can’t understand what constitutes a handball and what doesn’t. The idea that you can look at this on a screen and this constitutes a handball. It is just an absolute nonsense. I don’t want to profit from it or lose from it.”

What is the new handball rule?

BBC Sport explains a new interpretation of the handball law was introduced at the beginning of this season. Under these new rules, a player will be penalised for handball if: 

  • The hand/arm is clearly away from the body and outside the “body line” 
  • The player clearly leans into the path of the ball 
  • The ball travels some distance 
  • The ball touches a hand/arm that is clearly raised above the shoulder 
  • The player falls and the hand/arm is extended laterally or vertically away from the body 
  • A deflection clearly makes no difference to the ball touching a hand/arm that is clearly extended away from the body and/or above the shoulder

Media reactions to the new rule

Jamie Carragher, Sky Sports

“It’s an absolute disgrace. An absolute joke. Newcastle fans will be ecstatic, I can understand that but everyone else in this country will say exactly what I’m saying. 

“Eric Dier jumps for the ball, has no control of where his arms are going to be, it was a header half a yard away from him, hits him on the back of his arm, he has no idea what’s going on. This is a joke. 

“Whether it’s the Premier League, the FA, Fifa, Pierluigi Collina, whoever is involved in this, stop it, because you’re ruining football for everybody. Absolute joke. You’ve got more trouble on your hands Premier League, Fifa, Uefa, whoever is involved. Change this now!”

Martin Samuel, Daily Mail

“Only a surreal environment could come up with the handball rule as it stands now. Only the comically insane would give the penalty against Eric Dier yesterday.

“It was a pity Jose Mourinho chose not to speak after. He is an intelligent man and intelligence is sorely missing from football’s hierarchies these days.

“VAR was supposed to end controversy with undeniable fact. It was intended to make grey areas black and white. This is the result.”



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Deal or no deal: showdown Brexit talks resuming in Brussels

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Brexit trade talks resume between the European Union and the UK

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CBI says trade agreement ‘can and must’ be reached – but Irish Taoiseach is not optimistic 

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Brexit trade talks resume between the European Union and the UK

CBI says trade agreement ‘can and must’ be reached – but Irish Taoiseach is not optimistic


In Depth

Mike Starling

Monday, September 28, 2020 – 12:43pm

The UK government and the European Union are returning to the negotiating table this week to resume discussions about the post-Brexit future.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has travelled to Brussels and is meeting with European Commission Vice-president Maros Sefcovic to talk about the divorce deal, before a fresh round of formal negotiations begins on Tuesday, the BBC reports.

The “showdown” talks mark a crucial phase of the “race against the clock” to agree a future trade deal before the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December, adds the Financial Times

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that an agreement had to be reached by 15 October “if it’s going to be in force by the end of the year”.

Is progress being made? 

The UK’s negotiators last week “said a lot of work remains before a deal can be reached”, the BBC reports.

Meanwhile, an EU spokesperson said that the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, was neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but was determined to reach an agreement.

The previous round of talks ended acrimoniously when the UK government introduced the Internal Market Bill, but the FT says the negotiators are seeking to build on “tentative signs of progress” which have raised hopes that a trade deal may be possible.

The UK’s David Frost said that an agreement was “very much possible, but equally very far from certain”.

He added: “The EU still needs to scale back more of its unrealistic ambitions and work on more realistic policy positions. I hope this will be possible this coming week, and I and my team are ready to work as hard as necessary to move things forward.”

CBI: deal must be agreed

UK business leaders have “heaped pressure” on the government to agree a last-minute Brexit trade deal, The Guardian reports. 

A new Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey of 648 company bosses has found that only 4% support a no-deal Brexit, while 77% want a trade agreement.

CBI boss Carolyn Fairbairn insists that a post-Brexit trade deal “can and must be made”, and is calling for “the spirit of compromise to shine through”, ITV News reports.

“Brexit talks enter the 11th hour,” Fairbairn said in a statement over the weekend. “Now must be the time for political leadership and the spirit of compromise to shine through on both sides. A deal can and must be made. 

“Businesses face a hat-trick of unprecedented challenges – rebuilding from the first wave of Covid-19, dealing with the resurgence of the virus and preparing for significant changes to the UK’s trading relationship with the EU.”

Ireland not optimistic

As the talks resume, Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said that he believes the UK and EU are unlikely to reach a deal. 

In an interview with the i news site, Martin argued that the UK’s controversial Internal Market Bill had “eroded trust” between the two sides.

However, the Taoiseach insisted he could still forge a partnership with the UK government.

“I do ultimately envisage a positive relationship between the UK and Ireland post-Brexit,” Martin said. “There simply has to be such a relationship. 

“The Internal Market Bill has eroded trust, it has damaged the credibility of agreements that have been entered into, namely the withdrawal agreement and Northern Ireland protocol. 

“That said, we are very keen to ensure that ultimately, Britain and the European Union have a sensible agreement that allows for free trade without quota or tariffs and that can create a foundation for a sensible, harmonious relationship between Great Britain and the European Union in the future.”

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