Kevin Spacey seeks treatment as more stars face harassment claims

Kevin Spacey at the 2000 Oscars

Kevin Spacey has said he is seeking treatment after facing allegations of sexual misconduct from a string of men.

A representative for the actor said he “is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment”.

They did not give any information about what kind of treatment he wants.

He is one of several Hollywood figures who have been accused of sexual misconduct. Dustin Hoffman has issued an apology while director Brett Ratner has been accused by six women.

A lawyer for Ratner, the director of the Rush Hour films and X-Men: The Last Stand, has “categorically” denied all of the accusations.

The allegations have been sparked by multiple women speaking out against the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, and a subsequent campaign encouraging victims to share their stories of sexual harassment under the #metoo hashtag.

So who has been accused of misconduct?

Kevin SpaceyImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Kevin Spacey

New allegations have emerged from a number of men accusing Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct.

US filmmaker Tony Montana claims he was groped by the actor in a Los Angeles bar in 2003. He says he was left with PTSD for six months after Spacey “forcefully” grabbed his crotch.

Mr Montana told Radar Online that he was in his 30s when the incident took place at the Coronet Bar in LA.

It follows an allegation made by Anthony Rapp that the House of Cards actor tried to “seduce” him when he was 14 years old.

Kevin Spacey says he has no recollection of that encounter, and was “beyond horrified”.

  • Netflix halts House of Cards production

Incidents regarding Spacey are also alleged to have taken place in the UK while the two-time Oscar winner was the artistic director at the Old Vic in London between 2004 and 2015.

Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos, who acted in several plays at the theatre, claims Spacey “routinely preyed” on young male actors.

One man told the BBC about his experience of being invited to spend the weekend with Spacey in New York when he was a teenager in the 1980s.

The Old Vic has set up a confidential complaints process for anyone connected to the theatre, and said on Thursday that it is “already seeing the great benefits of the new policy of openness and the safe sharing of information”.

Read more about the allegations against Kevin Spacey here.

Brett RatnerImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Brett Ratner

Six women have accused Hollywood filmmaker Brett Ratner of sexual harassment or misconduct.

The women, including The Newsroom actress Olivia Munn, made the allegations in the Los Angeles Times.

Natasha Henstridge, who appeared in Species and The Whole Ten Yards, claimed she had been forced into a sex act with Ratner as a teenager.

The actress, now 43, was a 19-year-old model at the time she alleges Ratner stopped her from leaving a room at his New York apartment and then made her perform a sex act on him.

“He strong-armed me in a real way,” she told the LA Times. “He physically forced himself onto me.”

Ratner’s lawyer “categorically” denied all of the accusations on his behalf in response to the article.

Separately, Ratner has filed a libel case in Hawaii against a woman who accused him on Facebook of rape more than 10 years ago.

Ratner says he has stepped away from dealings with movie studio Warner Bros since the allegations came to light.

North Korea defector urges US to use soft power

Thae Yong-ho

A high-level defector has told the US Congress that spreading outside information in North Korea is the best way to deal with the regime.

Thae Yong-ho said undermining Kim Jong-un’s God-like status among his people could be key to weakening his rule.

North Koreans “don’t care about state propaganda but increasingly watch illegally imported South Korean movies and dramas,” he added.

Mr Thae was deputy ambassador to the UK before he defected last year.

He is one of the highest-ranking officials ever to defect from North Korea.

Mr Thae’s speech before US lawmakers comes as President Trump is due to embark on a trip to Asia, including South Korea.

Tensions between North Korea and the West have risen over the past months as Pyongyang has conducted several missile tests and claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb.

In his first ever visit to Washington, Mr Thae told Congress: “We can educate (the) North Korean population to stand up by disseminating outside information.”

He also urged officials to meet at least once with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, to understand his thinking and convince him that his nuclear programme is risking mass destruction.

“It is necessary to reconsider whether we have tried all non-military options before we decide that military action against North Korea is all that is left,” he said.

Changes in North Korea meant that “contrary to the official policy and wish of the regime, the free markets are flourishing”, he said.

People were getting more access to outside information, including through micro SD cards which were small enough to be easily smuggled into the country, he added.

Young North Koreans have begun calling said devices “nose cards” because they can be smuggled even inside one’s nostrils, he cited as an example.

These developments “make it increasingly possible to think about civilian uprising in North Korea as more and more people gradually become informed about the reality of their living conditions,” he argued.

Kim Jong-unImage copyrightAFP
Image captionMr Thae urged US officials to meet Kim Jong-un at least once

“The US is spending billions of dollars to cope with the military threat and yet how much does the US spend each year on information activities involving North Korea in a year? Unfortunately, it may be a tiny fraction,” he said.

The rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have seen US President refer to Kim as “little rocket man,” while the North Korean leader called Trump a “mentally deranged dotard”.

North Korean defectors are one of the few sources of information about life in North Korea – yet critics caution that defector’s testimonies might not always be credible, and that some defectors have changed their stories in the past.

Trump aide Sam Clovis pulls out of consideration for job

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) listens as Sam Clovis speaks in Dubuque, Iowa, on 25 August 2015

An ex-Trump aide has withdrawn from consideration for an administration post amid scrutiny of his credentials and connection to the Russian inquiry.

Sam Clovis was a candidate to become chief scientist of the Department of Agriculture, but critics said he was devoid of experience for the job.

Mr Clovis has been linked to another former Trump adviser who lied to the FBI about his Russian interactions.

US justice officials are probing claims Trump aides colluded with Moscow.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday: “We respect Mr Clovis’ decision to withdraw his nomination.”

In a letter sent to the president, Mr Clovis wrote: “The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position.

“The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day.”

A congressional hearing had been scheduled on his appointment next month.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and member of the Agriculture Committee, said in a statement on Thursday that Mr Clovis was “a comically bad nominee, even for this administration”.

The former Trump campaign co-chair and Iowa radio host had admitted in a questionnaire from the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee in October that he had no background in hard sciences.

US nominees to be chief scientist typically have an academic background in science or medicine.

Mr Clovis, who has a background in political science, told senators his career in Iowa politics had required a knowledge of agricultural science.

Mr Clovis has previously been criticised for rejecting the scientific consensus that human-made greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change as “not proven”, and for arguing that gay marriage could lead to the legalisation of paedophilia.

This week he was referred to in a criminal indictment against a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators about his conversations with Russian nationals.

That news came on the same day former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was charged with tax fraud by a Department of Justice investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections.

“Make the trip, if it is feasible,” Mr Clovis said in an email to Mr Papadopoulos after the aide asked about travelling to Russia to meet officials, according to a grand jury indictment.

A lawyer for Mr Clovis said earlier this week her client had “always vigorously opposed any Russian trip for Donald Trump and/or the campaign”.

The attorney, Victoria Toensing, added that Mr Clovis was only “being polite” in his response to Papadopoulos.

She maintained the Trump team had a “strict rule that no person could travel abroad as a representative of the campaign”.

New York truck attack: Trump urges death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov

US President Donald Trump has repeated calls for the suspect in the New York truck attack to get the death penalty.

But Mr Trump backed away from his call a day earlier to send Sayfullo Saipov to Guantanamo Bay, saying “that process takes much longer”.

The suspect told police he “felt good” about Tuesday’s Halloween attack and wanted to kill as many as possible.

The 29-year-old allegedly drove a rented pick-up along a Manhattan bike path, killing eight people.

The victims were five Argentines who had travelled to New York to celebrate 30 years since their high school graduation, a young mother from Belgium and two Americans.

Mr Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant, was shot at the scene by police, according to officials. Investigators say he told them he was inspired by the Islamic State militant group (IS).

Could Trump’s remarks jeopardise a fair trial?

Mr Saipov, who appeared in court on Wednesday in a wheelchair, faces federal terrorism charges, which means the government could override New York state’s ban on capital punishment.

“There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed,” tweeted the Republican president, a native New Yorker, on Thursday morning.

Repeating his initial call tweeted overnight for Mr Saipov to be executed, Mr Trump added: “Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!”

However, some legal commentators suggest that Mr Trump’s comments could be seen as prejudicial to a trial.

Earlier this week, a military judge said he would consider a lighter sentence for Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier who deserted his Afghan base, because of Mr Trump’s previous urging for that defendant to face the death penalty.

Is there a precedent for this?

It is unusual for US presidents to hold forth on pending criminal cases, but not unheard of.
Image captionMr Saipov, who was shot and injured by police, appeared in court in a wheelchair

In 1970, lawyers for mass murderer Charles Manson called for a mistrial after President Richard Nixon declared the cult leader guilty – in the middle of his trial.

Nixon backtracked and the judge allowed the case to go ahead.

Mr Trump has previously called for capital punishment to be applied in high-profile cases.

In 1989, when a group of five black and Latino men were charged with a particularly brutal rape of a woman in New York City, Mr Trump paid $85,000 for an ad in city newspapers with the headline “Bring Back the Death Penalty!”

The five defendants were later cleared by DNA evidence.

What did the New York suspect say?

Prosecutors say Mr Saipov spoke freely to them, waiving his right to avoid self-incrimination while in custody.

According to federal court papers, he said:

  • The attack was a year in the planning and he carried out a trial run with a rental truck last month
  • He originally planned to target the Brooklyn Bridge as well
  • He wanted to display IS flags on the truck, but decided not to draw attention to himself
  • He was inspired by 90 graphic and violent propaganda videos found on his phone – in particular, one in which IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi asks what Muslims are doing to avenge deaths in Iraq.

Mr Saipov was charged with one count of providing material support and resources to IS and another count of violence and destruction of motor vehicles.

  • Read more on the suspect
  • Why Uzbek migrants are radicalised

What has Islamic State’s response been?

Analysis by Mina Al-Lami, BBC Monitoring

So far IS has not claimed responsibility for the New York truck attack despite the perpetrator declaring he was inspired by the jihadist group’s messaging.

Usually an inspiration claim is a golden opportunity for IS to attach itself to violent action.

But IS’s silence is not surprising.

The group has typically refrained from claiming attacks in the West in which the assailant has been apprehended.

This is in contrast to the group’s speed in associating itself with attacks in which the perpetrator is dead and cannot contest the claim nor be further harmed by it.

IS has, however, claimed association with attackers who were at large, some who were later arrested.

IS has strongly urged its followers to avoid being caught alive. It even dedicated a lengthy series to this topic in the August and September 2017 editions of its weekly newspaper al-Naba.

Under the title “Warning the pious against the danger of captivity”, IS stressed that its militants in conflict zones as well as in the West must avoid at all cost being caught, saying it was best to fight until they died or managed to escape.

Captivity, IS said in the series, compromised the Muslim’s religion and subjected him to humiliation.

Was suspect on law enforcement’s radar?

CBS News quotes an intelligence source as saying Mr Saipov was known to US authorities after his name was associated with the subjects of FBI counter-terrorism investigations in 2015.

The source says the suspect had some contact with individuals who were considered radicalised extremists, at least one of whom was Uzbek. It is unclear whether those being investigated were in the US or overseas.

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Media captionBabtunde Ogunnyi describes the moment a truck hit people on a cycle path in Lower Manhattan

It is not known if Mr Saipov, who was not the main focus of the investigation, was interviewed at that time by the FBI.

The FBI meanwhile says they have located a second Uzbek man, 32-year-old Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, who was wanted for questioning in connection with Tuesday’s attack.

Women won’t have equality for 100 years – World Economic Forum

Girls in Yemen classroom take an exam in image taken in 2016

The equality gap between men and women would take 100 years to close at its current rate, an economic monitoring group has suggested.

It is the first time that data from the World Economic Forum (WEF) has shown a year-on-year worsening of the gender gap since it began charting it in 2006.

The report ranks 144 countries by economic opportunities, education, political participation and health.

Women are measured as having 68% of the chances and outcomes that men have.

This is slightly down from the 68.3% measured last year.

The group predicts that it would a century to close all areas of equality it monitors globally, well up from the 83 years predicted in 2016.

Graphic on gender gap

Gender parity is closest in areas of health and education, it says, but significant gaps in economic participation and political empowerment continue to endure across the world.

Women will have to wait 217 years before they earn as much as men and are equally represented in the workplace, the figures suggest.

income gender gap graphic

Nordic countries remain among some of the world’s best for overall equality. Iceland tops the list with a 12% gender gap across all the WEF’s measures. Norway, Finland ands Sweden are all in the top five.

Rwanda came fourth in the list for overall gender equality with a gap of 18%. The country has the highest share of women in parliament in the world – they occupy three in every five seats.

Nicaragua, Slovenia, Ireland, New Zealand and the Philippines also made the top 10 on the Global Gender Gap rankings.

Women in the Middle East and North Africa fared the worst, with war-torn Yemen coming last on the list with a gender equality score of just 52%.

Graphic of top and bottom 10 countries on gender equality ranking

The report shows women in the world earn less not just because of gendered salary differences, but because women are more likely to do unpaid or part-time work than men.

Women also generally tend to work in lower-paid professions and are less likely to be in highly-paid senior roles in companies.

Slovenia has the smallest gap in gender earnings – with women there on average earning 80.5% of the male national average.

The report says that if the economic gender gap was totally closed:

  • China could add $2.5tn to its GDP
  • The United States could add $1.75bn
  • France and Germany could add more than $300bn each
  • The UK could add $250bn

New world leaders’ impact

Both Canada and France saw improvements to their political empowerment measures after Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron added more women in ministerial positions within their governments.

The US saw a marked drop in this area, with female political empowerment at its lowest rate in 10 years. It came 96th in this area.

The report blames a significant decrease in female ministerial positions for the fall – a Freedom of Information request in March revealed that only 27% of all jobs within the Trump administration were taken by women.

Overall the US fell four places to take 49th position.

women in politics graphic

The UK climbed five places, taking 15th spot this year. Its rank is largely due to high levels of female education, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has helped the UK to improve its political score. A record number of female MPs were elected to the country’s parliament in June.

But it continues to lag behind in economic participation and opportunities for women in particular. The UK ranks 95th in the world for income equality, with women in the UK earning on average 45% less per year than men.

Other countries that improved overall included Bangladesh, which now ranks 47th in the world and the highest in South Asia after increasing female employment in professions.

Sub-Saharan African countries made marked improvements in women’s health. Nine countries from the region are in the world’s top 20 for high female labour force participation.

Catalonia crisis: Sacked ministers held by Madrid court

Dismissed Catalan cabinet members (L-R): Interior Minister Joaquim Forn, Foreign Affairs Minister Raul Romeva, Labour Minister Dolors Bassa, Government Presidency Councillor Jordi Turull, Justice Minister Carles Mundo, Sustainable Development Minister Josep Rull and Culture Minister Meritxell Borras arrive at Spain's High Court

Eight sacked Catalan ministers have been remanded in custody by a Spanish high court judge over the region’s push for independence.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to detain eight of the nine former regional government members who turned up for questioning in Madrid.

They are accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

The prosecutor asked the judge to issue a European Arrest Warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

The request also covers four other dismissed Catalan ministers who did not show up in court in Madrid as requested, but have been in Belgium since Monday.

  • Catalonia crisis in 300 words
  • What next for Spain?

Spain has been gripped by a constitutional crisis since a referendum on independence from Spain was held in Catalonia on 1 October in defiance of a constitutional court ruling that had declared it illegal.

Last week, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule on Catalonia, dissolving the regional parliament and calling local elections for 21 December.

This came after Catalan lawmakers voted to declare the independence of the affluent north-eastern region. The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part in the referendum, 90% were in favour of independence.

Those detained are:

  • Former Deputy Vice President Oriol Junqueras
  • Former Interior Minister Joaquim Forn
  • Former Foreign Affairs Minister Raül Romeva
  • Former Justice Minister Carles Mundó
  • Former Labour Minister Dolors Bassa
  • Former Government Presidency Councillor Jordi Turull
  • Former Sustainable Development Minister Josep Rull
  • Former Culture Minister Meritxell Borras

Mr Junqueras’s lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde, criticised the decision to jail “people of peace” who he said had never participated in acts of violence.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau took to Twitter to condemn a “black day for Catalonia”.

A ninth official, ex-Business Minister Santi Vila, was granted bail at the request of prosecutors. He resigned before the Catalan parliament voted for independence last Friday.

Five other senior members of the Catalan parliament, as well as Speaker Carme Forcadell, are facing the same charges but, because of their parliamentary immunity, their cases are being handled by the Supreme Court.

Their hearings have been postponed until 9 November.

Screengrab with watermark shows Carles Puigdemont in a Belgian cafe on the day he is due in MadridImage copyrightRADIO TELEVISION ESPANOLA
Image captionCarles Puigdemont was pictured in a Belgian cafe

Mr Puigdemont, who was spotted in a Brussels cafe on Thursday, has said he will not return to Spain unless he and four of his fellow sacked colleagues receive guarantees of a fair trial. He did not specify his exact demands.

Belgium’s federal prosecutor has said the law will be applied once an arrest warrant is received, according to Efe news agency.

Mr Puigdemont’s lawyer said the climate was “not good” for him to appear in court, but he also said his client would co-operate with the authorities in Spain and Belgium.

  • The man who wants to break up Spain

In addition to Mr Puigdemont, prosecutors have asked Spain’s high court judge to issue European arrest warrants for the following Catalan officials:

  • Meritxell Serret, former agriculture minister
  • Antoni Comín, former health minister
  • Lluís Puig, former culture minister
  • Clara Ponsatí, former education minister
Presentational grey line

EU arrest warrant: What happens next?

If Spain’s high court judge issues a warrant, a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) will be sent to Belgian prosecutors, who have 24 hours to decide whether the paperwork is correct. If they do, they then have 15 days to arrest Mr Puigdemont and the four others. If one or all of them appeals against it, that process could last another 15 days.

Belgium then has a maximum of 60 days to return the suspects to Spain after arrest. But if the suspects do not raise legal objections, a transfer could happen within a few days.

A country can reject an EU arrest warrant if it fears that extradition would violate the suspect’s human rights. Discrimination based on politics, religion or race is also grounds for refusal. So are fears that the suspect would not get a fair trial.

There is an agreed EU list of 32 offences – in Article Two of the EAW law – for which there is no requirement for the offence to be a crime in both countries. In other words, any of those offences can be a justification for extradition, provided the penalty is at least three years in jail.

However, neither “sedition” nor “rebellion” – two of the Spanish accusations against the Catalan leaders – are on that list.

Presentational grey line

Mr Puigdemont’s handling of the crisis has drawn criticism among some other Catalan politicians, with left-wing parliamentary deputy Joan Josep Nuet criticising him for creating “yet more bewilderment”.

Spain’s central bank warned on Thursday of the “significant risks and economic costs” resulting from the crisis, and that Catalonia’s economy could fall into recession.

Early numbers suggest that the vital tourism sector of the region has already been affected by the ongoing uncertainty.

A protester holds a pro-independence Catalan Estelada flag next to journalists as members of the deposed Catalan regional government arrive at the National CourtImage copyrightAFP
Image captionProtesters in support of – but also against – the Catalan leaders gathered outside the high court

FIFA U-17 World Cup: What matters is performance not who is officiating, says Esther Stabuli

Esther Stabuli, referee Esther Stabuli,  woman referee, FIFA  u 17 world cup, FIFA u 17 wc, football news, indian express

For Esther Stabuli, who became the first woman referee in 16 years to officiate in a FIFA male competition, what counts at the end of the day is performance on the pitch. Esther broke a 16-year-old jinx when she officiated in the Japan-New Caledonia FIFA U-17 World Cup match here.

A Swiss school teacher and a rising star in refereeing circles, Esther made a little bit of history alongside New Caledonia, who won their first-ever point at a FIFA event by eking out the 1-1 draw against Japan on October 14.

“There is not a big difference in whether it was a male or female referee, it is just the performance that counts,” Esther was quoted saying in the FIFA website.

“It was a match like any other one. Later on maybe there will be more emotions, or I will realise it was something special, but before I really tried to prepare like it was a normal match and do my best.”

Sixteen years ago, Im Eunju from Korea Republic became the the first woman to officiate in a men’s match at a FIFA tournament when she took charge of the U-17 World Cup match between France and USA at Trinidad and Tobago 2001.

Esther was showered with praise from both Japanese coach Yoshiro Moriyama and New Caledonia’s Dominique Wacalie.

“It was really nice that they liked me as a referee, and that they just looked at me like a normal referee,” Esther said.

It was part of a journey both for the veteran of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 and for FIFA’s Refereeing Department, which has been working to train men’s and women’s referees in the same structure for quite sometime.

This joint preparation project began in 2016 as part of the quest by the FIFA Referee Committee.

The appointment of Esther and the inclusion of six other women’s referees at India, who worked as fourth officials, is a fresh and exciting highlight in that quest.

The referees came from every confederation: Ri Hyang Ok (PRK), Gladys Lengwe (ZAM), Carol Anne Chenard (CAN), Claudia Umpierrez (URU), Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL), Kateryna Monzul (UKR).

Real Madrid hold no fear for Tottenham Hotspur, says Christian Eriksen

Real Madrid vs Tottenham Hotspur, Champions League, Christian Eriksen, Santiago Bernabeu

Tottenham Hotspur have plenty of quality and no need to be afraid of Real Madrid in their Champions League clash in Spain on Wednesday, midfielder Christian Eriksen has said.

The Danish international scored the winner as Spurs beat Bournemouth 1-0 in the Premier League on Saturday and Eriksen has set his sights on another good showing against the European champions at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“You need quality and belief. I think we have both so I don’t think we should be scared of anything,” Eriksen told British media. “I haven’t won there yet so I need to change something. Of course it’s a special stadium, a special place.

“Playing against Real will always be special for any footballer with the history they have and the players there so it will be a good test, to see how far we’ve really come.”

Tottenham, level on six points with Real in Group H, will be look to avenge a 4-0 defeat they suffered the last time the two teams met in Madrid in the 2010-11 season.

Two members of the Tottenham team that lost to Real — Gareth Bale and Luka Modric — have since moved to the Spanish giants while Tottenham have a new hero in Harry Kane.

The England striker has struck five times in two Champions League games and six times in the Premier League but Eriksen was keen to stress that Spurs, despite Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s assertion, were not a one-man team.

“Of course nobody wants to be called a one-man team,” he said. “I think over the last few seasons it’s been almost the same team every season. We know each other very well.

“There are strong links between all the players and a good feeling going into training and going into the games. We’ve got something special and I hope that’s what people on the outside see, and it’s what the squad feels.”

Ben Davies is a doubt for the match after the Welsh defender missed the Bournemouth match with illness and manager Mauricio Pochettino said the club was working towards getting the rest of the squad ready for a huge challenge in the Spanish capital.

“We need to recover well after two weeks with the players away, and now after the massive effort against Bournemouth,” Pochettino said.
“Until Tuesday we need to work hard, all the staff, to try and help the players recover.”

Manchester City cannot take Napoli lightly, says coach Pep Guardiola

Manchester City vs Napoli, pep Guardiola, Manchester City, Champions League, Football news, Indian Express

Pep Guardiola has said Manchester City would be “stupid” to expect an easy outing against Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday just because they thumped Stoke City 7-2 in the Premier League over the weekend.

Napoli top the Serie A table with eight wins from as many games and sit third in Group F in the Champions League behind leaders City and Shakhtar Donetsk after a 2-1 opening loss to the Ukrainian side and a 3-1 win over Feyenoord.

Guardiola’s side are unbeaten pace-setters in the English top flight with seven wins from eight games. They showed their might against Stoke but the Spanish manager suggested Napoli would not crumble under pressure.

“Of course, if they think that, they will be stupid,” Guardiola told British media. “That isn’t going to happen.

“I am going to show Napoli to my players – how good they are. Napoli can kill you with high pressing. They are able to press our keeper. I’m very happy to have the opportunity to play this kind of game.”

City began their European campaign with a 4-0 win over Dutch side Feyenoord and followed it up with a routine 2-0 result over Shakhtar.

 

Maria Sharapova eyes strong finish to season after Tianjin Open title

Maria Sharapova is looking for a strong finish to a season that began with a doping ban and hit a high in China on Sunday when she won her first title in over two years.

The former world number one, who returned from the 15-month ban in April, defeated Belarusian teenager Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 7-6(8) in the final of the Tianjin Open on Sunday.

Sharapova said she was looking forward to building on the success next week in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup, a tournament she has not appeared at since 2007.

“Obviously coming there with the title already means a lot, but I do really want to finish strong,” said the Russian, who accepted a wild card for the event.

“I don’t remember the last time that I played three events in a row. But I will give it everything I have got and I know I have so many amazing fans there.”

The five-times grand slam champion said the Tianjin title, the 36th of her career, was special.

“It has been a couple of years since I have held the winner’s trophy. It is a great feeling,” she said.

“When you start all the way from the beginning of the tournament and then you end up playing the final in a full stadium with so much enthusiasm and energy and you are the one that wins the last point, just everything falls into place.

“You have to appreciate those moments, never take them for granted.”

Sharapova takes on Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova in the opening round in Moscow.