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Norway’s women’s handball team fined €1,500 for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms

Norway condemns ‘ridiculous’ €1,500 fine for their women’s beach handball team after punishment for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms is confirmed

  • The Scandinavians wore shorts instead of regulation bikinis in Sunday’s match
  • Officials fined the team 1,500 euros, or 150 euros per player over the breach
  • The women’s team must wear bikini bottoms to certain measurements stipulating they must have ‘a close fit’, while male handball players wear shorts
  • The issue of clothing has been debated in beach sports circles for several years 
  • In a reverse, two German beach volleyball players boycotted a Qatar tournament earlier this year after they were initially told they could not wear bikinis

Norway’s women’s beach handball team has been fined after the players refused to wear bikini bottoms in a match, instead competing in non-regulation shorts.

The Disciplinary Committee of the European Handball Federation (EHF) on Monday fined the team 1,500 euros (£1,300), or 150 euros (£130) per player.

The fine comes after they wore shorts – instead of the bikini bottoms required by International Handball Federation’s (IHF) rules – in their bronze-medal match loss to Spain at the European Beach Handball Championship in Bulgaria on Sunday. 

Norwegian officials reacted angrily to the news on Tuesday.

‘It’s completely ridiculous,’ Norway’s Minister for Culture and Sports, Abid Raja, tweeted after Monday’s ruling. ‘What a change of attitude is needed in the macho and conservative international world of sport.’

Eirik Sordahl, the president of the Norwegian Volleyball Federation, told national news agency NTB: ‘In 2021, it shouldn’t even be an issue.’ 

Norway's beach handball team has been fined after the players refused to wear bikini bottoms in a match, instead competing in non-regulation shorts (pictured)

Norway’s beach handball team has been fined after the players refused to wear bikini bottoms in a match, instead competing in non-regulation shorts (pictured)

Before the sanction, the Norwegian handball federation said on Monday it was ready to pay the fine after the women’s team knowingly defied official regulations. 

‘Of course we would pay any fine,’ Norwegian Handball Federation president Kare Geir Lio told AFP news agency on Monday. ‘We are all in the same boat,’ he added.

Norway’s handball player Katinka Haltvik, quoted by public broadcaster NRK, also said ahead of the fine that the team would happily pay it. 

It was expected the team would only be fined 50 euros (£43) per player, meaning the fine is 1,000 euros more than first anticipated. 

Clothing has long been an issue in beach sports, with some women players finding bikinis degrading or impractical.

While bikinis have not been compulsory for beach volleyball players since 2012, IHF rules state ‘female athletes must wear bikini bottoms’ and that these must have ‘a close fit’, be ‘cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg’ and a side depth of no more than 10 centimetres.

Male players wear shorts. 

Ahead of the European Championship, Norway approached the European Handball Federation to ask for permission to play in shorts, but were told that breaches of the rules were punishable by fines.

They complied, until their last match. 

‘The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with,’ Lio said, adding that ‘it should be a free choice within a standardised framework.’ 

Pictured: Norway’s beach handball team compete in 2017 in regulation clothing. The issue has been debated in beach sports circles for several years as some players find the bikini degrading or simply impractical

By ditching the regulation bikini bottoms, the Norwegian women's team (pictured in 2017 wearing bikini bottoms) has been fined 150 euros per player - a total of 1,500 euros

By ditching the regulation bikini bottoms, the Norwegian women’s team (pictured in 2017 wearing bikini bottoms) has been fined 150 euros per player – a total of 1,500 euros

A Norwegian motion to amend the current rules will be discussed by the bodies in the coming months.

‘The EHF is committed to bring this topic forward in the interest of its member federations, however it must also be said that a change of the rules can only happen at IHF level,’ EHF spokesman Andrew Barringer said in an email.

In a reverse of the situation earlier this year, German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude said they would boycott a tournament in Qatar, saying it is ‘the only country’ where players are forbidden from wearing bikinis on court.

‘We are there to do our job, but we are being prevented from wearing our work clothes,’ Borger told a radio station at the time. 

‘This is really the only country and the only tournament where a government tells us how to do our job – we are criticising that.’

The Middle Eastern country hosted the FIVB World Tour event, but strict rules about on-court clothing had led to world championships silver medallist Borger and her doubles partner Sude shunning the event.

In a reverse of the situation earlier this year, German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude (pictured) said they would boycott a tournament in Qatar, saying it is 'the only country' where players are forbidden from wearing bikinis on court

In a reverse of the situation earlier this year, German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude (pictured) said they would boycott a tournament in Qatar, saying it is ‘the only country’ where players are forbidden from wearing bikinis on court 

But in a major U-Turn, the Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA) said there would be ‘no restrictions’ on players wearing bikinis.

Female players had been asked to wear shirts and long trousers rather than the usual bikinis, a rule which the world beach volleyball federation FIVB said is ‘out of respect for the culture and traditions of the host country’.

Qatar is a conservative Islamic country in which women are expected to dress conservatively, however the large numbers of foreign workers and bids to boost tourism means adherence is somewhat patchy.   

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This post originally posted here Norway Government & Politics News

Gmail brings back limit that could force you to use WhatsApp instead

Google has been offering all Gmail users the option to make video calls to friends and family via Google Meet for hours on end without being cut off mid-sentence. This unlimited video calling was originally designed for those who subscribe to Google Workspace which is only available to businesses and schools in the UK. But with millions of us forced into lockdown last year, the US tech giant showed its generosity and opened this video calling tool to anyone with a free Gmail account.

It was a very welcomed change as most video services, such as Zoom, placed limits on the amount of time that users could talk without paying for the privilege. Sadly, Google is now joining these rival platforms with the company bringing back the 60-minute limit.

As the US firm explains, “At 55 minutes, everyone gets a notification that the call is about to end. To extend the call, the host can upgrade their Google account. Otherwise, the call will end at 60 minutes.”

Google has confirmed the change won’t affect those making calls with one other person, but anyone joining a group call, with three more friends, will find the limit is now enforced.

It’s also worth noting that, right now, UK users can’t actually sign up to Google’s Individual Workspace option as this $ 9.99 subscription, which unlocks unlimited calls and a load of other benefits, is only available in the United States, Canada, and a few other nations.

READ MORE: Virgin Media and BT eclipsed by hyperfast broadband at price that’s hard to believe

Apple is also about to bring a swathe of new features to its calling app including Noise Isolation so everyone can hear voices loud and clear along with a Portrait Mode that adds a blur behind your face so you stand out more on calls – it also means friends can’t snoop on every book title on your bookcase.

Also included in this iOS 15 update is the ability to schedule a call for a set time with contacts then reminded so they join at the right time. FaceTime is also coming to Android so you won’t need an iPhone to use it.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

Windows 11 promised to improve battery life but instead, it’s making it worse

Later in 2021 Microsoft will unleash its new Windows 11 operating system with this software giving PCs a new look and plenty of bonus features such as a rebooted Start Menu, info-packed widgets and something called Snap Layouts which helps organise the windows on the screen faster. At its launch last month, Microsoft also boasted that users should see improved performance, faster software updates and better battery life for anyone working on a laptop.

However, right now, that power boost seems far from reality. An early version of Windows 11 has just been released via the Insider programme and some early adopters who have already downloaded this new version of Windows are not exactly seeing improved life from their batteries. In fact, some are suggesting that things are actually worse than when using Windows 10.

Posting messages on Reddit, one Windows 11 user said: “So I noticed this issue after upgrading to 11. My laptop went from working from 3-4 hours on casual use, which is good enough for a gaming laptop, to now barely an hour or 1.5 hours max. Has anyone else faced this issue on their laptop with this build?”

In response, one Microsoft fan said: ‘Getting that issue too, on Windows 10 I get around 4hrs of usage on my laptop, after using the Dev build of windows 11 I get only around 2hours.”

And another added: “Same here. Heavy draining. It’s getting warm during normal tasks. Maybe because win 11 is using more of the CPU than in win 10.”

READ MORE: This first-of-its-kind Android smartphone has just taken everyone by surprise

And the broken search bar isn’t the only headache for beta-testers.

Other known issues, acknowledged by Microsoft, in the current beta version are…

• System text scaling will scale all widgets proportionally and may result in cropped widgets

• Taskbar will not be shown across multiple monitors but will return in an upcoming build

• The preview window may not display the entire window when hovering over Task View on the taskbar

• A small set of Settings legacy pages as well as fit and finish bugs will be addressed in future releases

• When using Quick Settings to modify Accessibility settings, the settings UI may not save the selected state

• The install button might not be functional yet in some limited scenarios in the Windows Store

• Rating and reviews are not available for some apps

Austin woman expecting second Pfizer dose says she was accidentally given J&J vaccine instead

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin woman is now overly vaccinated — having received two different kinds of COVID-19 vaccine.

Emily Vinson went to an H-E-B pharmacy on Riverside in southeast Austin thinking she’d be receiving her second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Shortly after she left, she missed a call from H-E-B. She anxiously listened to the voicemail, wondering why they were calling her so soon after leaving.

They asked her to call them back. When she did, she said the pharmacy notified her that she had been given the wrong vaccine. Instead of a second-dose Pfizer shot, she got a J&J vaccine.

“I guess I was kind of nervous… me and my friends started joking like, ‘Oh, what if they gave me the wrong vaccine,’” Vinson said.

Vinson said the pharmacy assured her she would be okay and did follow up with her to make sure she was fine later. Still, in the moment — she was upset.

“I got pretty mad at them. I was like, ‘Y’all are a pharmacy, you can’t just screw this type of stuff up,’” Vinson said.

Rannon Ching, another Austin pharmacist says if this happens, you shouldn’t panic.

“A lot of people are afraid that somehow mixing the two will cause some sort of reaction or horrible side-effects, and that’s really not the case,” Ching said.

According to Ching, people who have a severe reaction to their first shot of Moderna or Pfizer are actually recommended to get the J&J for their second one.

“It’s not going to be harmful, you’re just going to get a dose of a different vaccine,” Ching said.

Vinson feels fine and is able to laugh off the experience now.

“Now I’m just like, ‘Oh I’m 150% vaccinated,’” Vinson said with a chuckle.

After mild side effects, she wants clinics to be more careful.

“I want people to get vaccinated, but I obviously don’t want this to happen again,” Vinson said.

An H-E-B spokesperson said in a statement, “We are aware of this occurrence and our team is reviewing the facts surrounding this isolated incident.”

Ching said there’s a federal system that tracks data on side effects and other rare events like this one.

It’s called the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS). He said what happened to Vinson should be reported.

Author: Jala Washington
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Expats: Britons ‘should look to Portugal instead of Spain’ for post-Brexit relocations

Author
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Since Brexit was finalised at the end of 2020, moving to Europe has become quite different for Britons. Though Spain has been a popular choice for those seeking sun, sea, and sand, new visa requirements have begun to cause concerns for those hoping to relocate overseas.
According to expatnetwork, Portugal could be the new destination to replace Spain.

Already a popular haunt for British expats, home to around 60,000 UK citizens, Portugal offers many of the same perks as Spain but might be the easier option in a post-Brexit landscape.

This is largely to do with new requirements, particularly for those who are hoping to relocate after retirement.

“In order to retire to countries in the EU, now that the UK is no longer a member, it is necessary first to apply for a visa,” explained an expert from expatnetwork.

READ MORE: Holidays: Spain, Portugal, France, Italy & Greece latest FCDO updates

“You have to demonstrate an income of €33,893 (approximately £29,388) a year for a couple and €47,451 (£41,144) for a family of four.

“This requirement will rule out the option of retiring to Spain for many.

“Those who are retiring on a basic UK State pension, £9,339 in 2021, will not qualify.”

There is the option to look for a work permit, but this is likely not the route those hoping to retire into the sun are looking for.

“Younger families looking to move to Spain will generally have to look to get a work permit or a visa allowing them to set up a business, as they would have to demonstrate an income of €47,451 (approximately £41,144) from sources other than work to qualify for an NLV,” said the expert.

This is why Portugal is so enticing, according to expatnetwork.

“Portugal offers similar benefits with regard to climate, lifestyle, and low cost of living.

“Portugal has a similar visa to Spain’s NLV, the Passive Income Visa, which has a significantly lower annual income requirement – €11,970 (approximately £10,379) for a couple and €16,658 (approximately £14,444) for a family of four),” they explained.

“The visa also does not restrict you from working or setting up a business as the Spanish NLV does.

“The cost of property and the cost of living in Portugal is around 10 percent lower than in Spain and the icing on the cake is that you also have the potential benefit of the Non-Habitual Resident Scheme which will allow you to pay only 10 percent tax on a UK pension and no tax on some other sources of income.”

Overall the cost of living in Portugal averages out at nine percent lower than in Spain.

“Add to that the tax advantages and the fact that you can work in Portugal if you want to, and there is a clear case for considering retiring to Portugal instead of Spain if you only have limited income,” the expert concluded.

‘Win a trophy instead of celebrating this s**t’: Barcelona pip Madrid as most valuable football club but announcement splits fans

Barcelona have earned a mixed response after being named the world’s most valuable football club for the first time, seeing off the likes of Real Madrid, Champions League holders Bayern and English giants Man United and Chelsea.

The Catalans were valued at $ 4.76 billion, edging out bitter rivals Real Madrid, who came in at $ 4.75 billion, by the narrowest of margins in the annual list put together by financial experts Forbes.

Less than 48 hours after Lionel Messi and his teammates were beaten 2-1 at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Saturday in El Clasico, Barca failed to rise to the La Liga summit but have taken pride in topping these rankings instead.

The club announced on social media that it had achieved the feat and ran the news on its official website, receiving a range of reactions from fans. 

“Another trophy in the cabinet,” said one, while another responded “tell us something we don’t know” by way of celebration. 

Despite the club finishing more than half a billion dollars above the third-placed German champions and Manchester United in fourth, others were less receptive of the valuation.

“Win a trophy instead of celebrating this sh*t” demanded one punter, while another referred to Sunday’s decider in the Copa del Rey, when Athletic Bilbao await them, by saying: “Don’t care, win the final.”

“Valuable when the fans are being humiliated with heartbreak and [a] lack of trust due to our current performance?” asked one.

“[The] days are gone when some of us watched matches with full confidence. [The] majority of our fans are just enduring the moment rather than enjoying it.”

Madridistas weren’t far away to mock and rub salt into the wound. 

“Lost to the biggest club in history three times in a row,” scoffed one, adding a disturbing double image of smiling Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

With the weekend’s win, the France legend is the first coach to clinch three consecutive installments of the biggest derby in club football since 1979.

“This tweet just made me realize that Real Madrid is the biggest team in sports history,” stated another Los Blancos supporter.

There were also calls of Barca being “finished” and questions over how a club mired in more than $ 1 billion of debt can be the most valuable on the planet.

Elsewhere on the money list, Russian owner Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea slipped from third to seventh, valued at $ 3.2 billion.

That put the Blues ahead of Arsenal, mega-rich Paris Saint-Germain and 10th-placed Tottenham.
Also on rt.com Barca ‘optimistic’ over Haaland transfer – but can they really dream of big names amid dire financial straits?

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Man Utd should forget Ansu Fati transfer and raid Barcelona for Ilaix Moriba instead

Manchester United have reportedly expressed a keen interest in signing Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba. The 18-year-old has impressed for the Catalan club when called upon, providing three goal contributions in four La Liga appearances since the beginning of the campaign.
United have also been linked with fellow Barca youngster Ansu Fati, who has flourished out wide for the Spanish giants, but could instead look to land Moriba in order to supplement their ranks in the middle of the park.

He is the latest young talent to roll off the production line at Barca’s world-famous La Masia academy and has been tipped to enjoy a long and fruitful career in the game.

The Red Devils were linked with the teenager’s services earlier this month, with reports suggesting that an offer had already been tabled.

If John Murtough can successfully make Moriba his first signing in his new role, it would represent a huge coup for the club with the youngster a natural heir to the likes of Pogba in United’s midfield.

He is powerful and imposing, with his six-foot frame helping him to dominate in the air and with the ball at feet in a style more suited to the Premier League than La Liga.

JUST IN: Man Utd’s win over AC Milan proves who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s MVP is

As you would expect from a player fresh out of Barca’s academy, his technical ability is also very good.

His on-pitch awareness allows him to take up a box-to-box role, able to spearhead attacks from deep with his cultured range of passing while helping out at the back when needed.

Although he is far from the finished product at just 18 years of age, his physical and mental strengths could be nurtured under the guidance of United in order to shape him into a top-class central midfielder fit to grace Premier League pitches.

The Red Devils are aware that Moriba is only under contract until the end of next season, a situation that could force Barca into cashing in this summer to avoid the prospect of losing him for nothing a year later.

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The player himself is said to be happy in Spain and is not pushing for a move away due to his ambition of becoming a regular starter for his current employers.

However, money talks in football and United have this in abundance.

Moriba could be available for much less than Fati, who has already established himself as a regular member of Barca’s senior side and would likely command a nine-figure transfer fee.

With Barca struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they could be tempted to cash in on Moriba in the summer in the event that he fails to sign a new deal.

He has been hailed as a star of the future, with former coach Denis Silva Puig claiming two years ago that he would be well-suited to a club like United due to his physicality and all-round ability in the middle of the park.

“Here he’s called the ‘Pogba of Barca’ because he’s like a young Pogba, but also he is very, very intelligent and that is his big potential,” Puig told Bleacher Report.

“He is a top player, no doubt. He’s a little bit, maybe modern, in the English football kind of sense. It’s good to have him at Barca.”

Moriba could prove to be a shrewd signing for United, who will reportedly be in the market for a new central midfielder this summer.

His natural talent makes him a strong candidate to succeed amid the physicality of the Premier League, with the ability to learn from established stars like Pogba and Scott McTominay certain to help in developing his all-round game.

Although Barca will be looking to keep hold of Moriba for as long as possible, United could be missing a trick if they fail to tempt him to Old Trafford in the summer before his value really starts to skyrocket.

Striking the wrong chord: CAS bans use of ‘Katyusha’ song instead of Russian national anthem at Olympic Games

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected Russia’s proposal to use the song ‘Katyusha’ instead of its national anthem at the Olympic Games, as it is too closely associated with the country, which is serving a two-year ban.

The CAS ruled earlier that Russian athletes competing at major international events, including the World Championships and Olympics, will be prohibited from using national symbols, such as the flag and anthem, until December 2022.

READ MORE: New Russian team name and flag agreed for athletes at Tokyo and Beijing Olympic Games

Russian athletes appearing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing will perform under the name ‘ROC’, the acronym which represents the Russian Olympic Committee, as the nation serves its ban for alleged doping-related offences.

Members of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) brought forward the idea of using the popular song at major sporting events after the CAS upheld WADA’s decision to impose a ban on Russia but reduced the term from four to two years.

‘Katyusha’ is a folk song or military march which was composed in 1938 by Matvey Blanter.
Also on rt.com ‘We are not at war’: Row rages over controversial plan to replace Russian national anthem with folk-based military song ‘Katyusha’
It gained nationwide popularity during World War II as a patriotic song which inspired people to defend the motherland.

However, the CAS rejected the idea of using the song instead of the banned anthem, saying that it would approve no “song with links to Russia.”

The CAS panel considers that ‘any anthem linked to Russia’ extends to any song associated with, or with links to, Russia, which would include ‘Katyusha’,” the CAS said.

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