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‘Haaland can be like Lewandowski, but he’s not there yet’



Erling Haaland is capable of following in the footsteps of Robert Lewandowski by becoming one of the most fearsome strikers on the planet, says former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich boss Ottmar Hitzfeld, but the 19-year-old sensation is “not ready yet”.

The 2019-20 campaign has proved to be a breakthrough one for an exciting Norwegian frontman.

Having started the season scoring goals for fun at Red Bull Salzburg, Haaland was snapped up by Dortmund in the January transfer window – with rival interest from the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid fended off.

End product has continued to be delivered at a remarkable rate in Germany, leading some to suggest that the hottest of prospects is destined to reach the very top.

Comparisons are already being made between Haaland and established stars of the present and past, with his game likened to that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lewandowski.

Hitzfeld can see why such talk has surfaced, but feels it is too early to be placing a forward still learning his trade into a talent bracket occupied by those who have displayed consistency over a prolonged period of time.

He told Goal and SPOX: “I think Haaland can become like Lewandowski, but he’s not ready yet.

“Nevertheless, it was of course a superb transfer from Dortmund in the winter, because Haaland is already a special player. He is incredibly mature for his age, has great qualities and is ice cold in front of goal because, despite his size, he is extremely quick.”

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Haaland has burst through the 40-goal barrier across all competitions this season, but Lewandowski could still reach that mark in Bundesliga action alone – with the prolific Pole up to 27 in the German top flight.

Gerd Muller’s all-time record for a single campaign – set at 40 back in 1971-72 – is in the 31-year-old’s sights, with Hitzfeld admitting that the history books may be rewritten.

He said of Lewandowski: “I think he can do it. He has the necessary class and excellent team-mates at Bayern to help him achieve this goal.

“The numbers speak a clear language. Lewandowski plays a significant role in the success of Bayern.”

If Lewandowski were to raise that bar, then Bayern will likely find themselves toasting another title.

Changes have been made on and off the field at the Allianz Arena this season, but the reigning champions have remained competitive.

Hitzfeld said of the alterations: “David Alaba has convinced me as the new head of the defence, while Joshua Kimmich plays inconspicuously but very efficiently.

“And of course you have to mention Thomas Muller. He is in top shape again and extremely important for the team because he creates space and scores crucial goals.”

Hitzfeld is also pleased to see Hansi Flick impressing in a prominent coaching post, with the 55-year-old having earned a permanent contract after initially succeeding Niko Kovac on interim basis.

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“I appreciate him very much because he is a meticulous worker, a very good tactician and, above all, has excellent leadership,” said Hitzfeld.

“In the first leg against Dortmund, he got Bayern back on track with the 4-0 home win. That was extremely important for him in order to gain a foothold in the new role.

“Hansi Flick has changed the mood in the team and the club. As a result, he has the necessary backing that you need in Munich. I trust him that he can shape an era at Bayern, but of course you have to win titles.”

Bayern will get the chance to close on an eighth successive crown when they take on closest challengers Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday – with the two sides currently separated by just four points.

A heavyweight contest will take place behind closed doors, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with Hitzfeld saying of that situation: “That is certainly an advantage for Bayern Munich.

“You can generally see in the Bundesliga that the referees are not influenced by the mood and benefit the teams that have more quality.

“In a cauldron, in particular, mental strength often determines the outcome of the game. That is now completely eliminated.”


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What governments all over the world are doing after COVID



What governments all over the world are doing after COVID in 2022.

One of the most important ways that societies intervene to buffer the adverse consequences of socioeconomic disadvantage is through the provision of social assistance. Social assistance refers to government programs that provide a minimum level of income support to individuals and households living in poverty.

When people talk about people receiving public assistance – food stamps, disability, unemployment payments, and other government help – they often have stereotypes and inaccurate perceptions of who those people are and what their lives are like.

This view of some people is affecting policy for the growing ranks of our nation’s poor, says a new report from a joint project from Save the Children and the Center for American Progress. The report compares the U.S. means of measuring economic opportunity and poverty with the experience of other countries, including five peer nations on the same income scale. It shows that people in many peer countries are given assistance as a matter of public policy, and these nations tend to view welfare programs as a short-term emergency measure.

Many countries like the U.S and spend significantly more taxpayer money on assistance than peer countries. After a few years of assistance, people on welfare in the U.S. have a much more difficult time finding jobs, according to the recent National Survey of Transitional Assistance Providers. These programs lend support either in the form of direct cash transfers or through a variety of in-kind benefits (e.g. food stamps and rent subsidies). Social assistance has been shown to strengthen the purchasing power of the poor and raise their material standards of living.

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However, the government does not provide these social assistance programs to ensure marginalized populations are treated fairly, the report says. In fact, U.S. policy determines participation by significant factors, such as the stigma associated with poverty.

Many social programs determine eligibility before a person’s need for support. They include the U.S. Earned Income Tax Credit, which provides an additional tax refund to working families. Similarly, these benefits are made available only to the poor, as with food stamps and Medicaid eligibility. The report finds positive signs.

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Throughout the world, government assistance helps increase your odds of getting a job, incorporates receiving benefits (by lowering the barriers to receive), raises your wages, and reduces the chances of falling into poverty. This means people who receive the assistance are less likely to experience long-term poverty.

Some nations take a deliberate approach to the provision of social assistance because they view the social support system as integral to promoting social and economic mobility. In many cases, straight into the workforce programs and an expansion.

Access to jobs is crucial to moving families out of poverty. Unemployment and disability, for example, only benefit people when they work. A policy reform could make the social safety net more effective.

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African News

Nigeria Warns Of Possible Eid Al-Fitr Bomb Attacks



Nigeria's Flag

Nigeria’s secret police have warned of possible bomb attacks during celebrations for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

In a statement, spokesperson Peter Afunanya said the Department of State Services (DSS) had uncovered a plot by suspected gangs to carry out attacks on critical infrastructure, places of worship and recreation centres.

The warning comes after recent explosions at bars in the north-eastern states of Taraba and Yobe that killed several people.

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A splinter faction of Boko Haram known as Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) said it carried out the attacks.



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World News

Russia Cuts Off Gas Supplies To Bulgaria And Poland



Russia Cuts Off Gas Supplies To Bulgaria And Poland

The Russian energy giant Gazprom says it has cut off all gas deliveries to both Bulgaria and Poland after both countries refused to start paying for the supplies in roubles.

Earlier, both Polish and Bulgarian energy providers said they had received official notices from the Russian gas supplier that deliveries were due to be cut.

Gazprom’s announcement comes after some confusion earlier this morning, when data showed gas supplies into Poland through Belarus temporarily reduced to zero before resuming.

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Bulgaria’s gas network had also said the country was still receiving Russian gas as of this morning.

We are yet to see any data of gas volumes into Poland or Bulgaria since Gazprom’s announcement just now.




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