Liverpool sign defender Lovren from Southampton

“The 25-year-old Croatian international today put pen to paper on a long-term deal with the Reds after completing his medical,” the Premier League club’s website (南宁夜网.

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Liverpool, runners-up to Manchester City last season and preparing for a return to the Champions League after an absence of nearly five years, have also signed striker Rickie Lambert and midfielder Adam Lallana from Southampton.

“It’s a dream come true. I’m happy and glad to be here. I’m proud and can’t wait to start. I know we have millions and millions of supporters – Liverpool is more than a club,” Lovren, whose career began at Dinamo Zagreb, said.

“After I played at Anfield last season, I said to myself: ‘One day I hope I’ll be able to play here for Liverpool’. The fans will know from the first minute that I’m a player that will give 100 percent on the pitch.”

Lovren was part of the Croatia squad for this year’s World Cup finals in Brazil and was unluckily adjudged to have tripped Brazil striker Fred to concede a controversial penalty in the opening match when the score was 1-1.

Croatia eventually lost 3-1 and bowed out in the group stage.

Liverpool have been on a spending spree this off-season after they recouped around 81 million euros ($108.77 million) by selling striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona this month.

They reportedly pulled out of signing France striker Loic Remy from promoted Queens Park Rangers earlier on Sunday after a medical exam.

Lovren made 31 appearances for Southampton since signing from French club Olympique Lyon last year.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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Obama stresses need for Mideast ceasefire

US President Barack Obama has stressed the need for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza during a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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In a statement issued on Sunday, the White House said Obama “made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement”.

The call between the two leaders came as the Islamist Hamas movement fired more rockets at Israel, despite claims it had accepted a UN request for a 24-hour extension of a humanitarian truce in war-torn Gaza.

Hamas’s belated acceptance of diplomatic calls for a temporary ceasefire was announced several hours after Israel resumed its devastating military assault on the Palestinian enclave after a pause of more than 24 hours.

In the call, Obama “underscored the United States’ strong condemnation of Hamas’ rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself”.

But the US head of state also “reiterated the United States’ serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza”, according to the White House.

Obama reiterated Washington’s support for Egypt’s initiative to ease the situation and stressed that “ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarisation of Gaza”.

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Militants kidnap Cameroon minister’s wife

Suspected Boko Haram militants have kidnapped the wife of a senior Cameroonian minister and a traditional leader in attacks in the far north of the country that left at least six dead.

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Cameroon sent warplanes and elite troops from its Rapid Intervention Battalion to stop the fighters after two attacks on Sunday in Kolofata, close to the Nigerian border, said a regional police source.

Another source close to the local police force told AFP news agency Boko Haram had “kidnapped many people,” adding: “There was the sultan, the wife of the deputy prime minster and several police officers”.

Four civilians and two police officers were killed in the attacks on the residence of Amadou Ali, the deputy prime minster in charge of parliamentary relations, and the sultan of Kolofata, Seiny Boukar Lamine.

A source close to the sultan’s family said “four people, including the younger brother of the sultan were killed, (while) he, his spouse and children were kidnapped”.

The two attacks were carried out simultaneously at around 5am.

Another police officer said fighter planes were deployed to Kolofata early on Sunday morning and “there was shelling in the area” after the attacks, without giving further details.

The Nigeria-based Islamist group Boko Haram has stepped up raids into northern Cameroon, murdering and stealing with impunity despite military efforts to clamp down on its insurgency.

On Thursday evening, two Cameroonian soldier were killed as they tried to defend a local village from fighters.

Cameroon, like other west African countries, has beefed up its operations against Boko Haram since the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls over three months ago sparked an international outcry.

Also on Sunday, at least five people were killed in two attacks on Nigeria’s largest northern city, Kano, by suspected militants from the Islamist group.

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Obama tells Israel Gaza truce needed

US President Barack Obama has spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and stressed the need for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire in the raging Gaza conflict.

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Both the Israelis and Hamas exchanged strike and counter-strike on day 20 of the war, as world leaders pushed for an elusive ceasefire.

In a statement, the White House said Obama “made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement” brokered by Egypt.

Obama “reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself” and stressed the need to “ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarisation of Gaza,” while reiterating “serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives,” the statement read.

Israeli media, meanwhile, says Netanyahu’s security cabinet is holding a meeting extending from Sunday evening into the early hours of Monday to discuss the next steps.

Earlier, fighting renewed apace, as Israel pounded Gaza with aerial, naval and artillery bombardments after a night of rocket fire from Hamas.

The two sides had observed a 12-hour humanitarian pause on Saturday, giving medics a chance to pull bodies from rubble they had not been able to reach under fire.

But Hamas rocket fire prompted Israel to abandon an extension of that truce on Sunday, and subsequent Hamas calls for another ceasefire were ignored by both sides, as world leaders pushed for a permanent cessation of hostilities.

Neither side has agreed to the truce demands of the other, in a conflict that has killed more than 1,030 Palestinians, 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians inside Israel.

A controversial incident on Thursday – when a UN school acting as a shelter was shelled, killing 15 people – drew fierce condemnation from Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.

The Israeli army confirmed on Sunday it had hit the school, but said it was a “single errant mortar” round, denying that people were killed “as a result of (army) operational activity”.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif engaged in a round of telephone diplomacy late on Sunday to rally support and humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza.

He spoke with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and regional leaders, stressing that the priority was to get food and medical aid into areas worst hit by Israel’s military offensive.

Meanwhile US Secretary of State John Kerry was still working for Israel and Hamas to agree to further halts in the bloodshed ahead of hoped for Egypt-led peace talks, a US official said.

Israel rejected a Kerry-proposed ceasefire earlier in the week, and Hamas has resisted truce efforts by Cairo, which has made an enemy of the Palestinian Islamist group that is allied to the Muslim Brotherhood that Egypt has designated a “terrorist” organisation.

Israel insists it will continue its mission to destroy Hamas tunnels used to launch attacks on the Jewish state, and Hamas wants a lifting of the crippling Gaza blockade that has been in place for eight years.

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The complete guide to having a creative breakthrough

By Hannah Newman | @HannahNewmanSci

We all struggle for a moment of insight.

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Whether you’ve been banging your head against the wall for days or just woke up to a problem this morning, the desire for a creative boost is a powerful one. It’s the same feeling that plagues writers facing a blank page or advertisers developing a brand’s next campaign—and learning how to achieve it can have a profound impact. Here are some tips to avoid your next headache or create something the world has never seen before:

Sleep

Just like a car needs gas to drive, your brain needs sleep to fire on all cylinders. Sleep consolidates what you’ve learned throughout the day, strengthening neural connections and, more importantly, creating new ones. Making original associations between different pieces of information stored throughout the brain (like that thing you read in the news and your college professor’s dog) is at the heart of having a “eureka” moment (Archimedes supposedly coined the termwhile running naked through the streets of Syracuse, Italy after realizing the fraud in Hiero’s “gold” crown by stepping into his bath and seeing water spill out.) For most adults seven hours of shuteye is recommended; new research suggests eight might be too much. So even if you don’t work at a company with designated “nap rooms” or Energypods, make sure to plan your sleep schedule accordingly.

So grab a buddy and begin talking. Within the constant tension, dialogue, and sheer physical proximity lies an “Aha!” moment waiting to happen.

A recent study led by Wenfu Li, a psychology professor at Southwest University in China, found that individuals who had the most “openness to experience” were significantly more likely to be creative. Though openness, one of the classic “Big Five Personality Traits,” is not just marked by a willingness to try new things. You can also increase your openness by unleashing your inner child and being more imaginative, paying close attention to your feelings, and pondering complex issues.  

Letting the unconscious mind work its magic may do more than just help with novel idea generation; it can also help you identify which of your ideas are the most creative, suggests a related study done by Dijksterhuis, Simone M. Ritter, and Rick B. van Baaren of Radbound University Nijmegen’s Behavioral Science Institute in the Netherlands. In this case, participants who played a computer game for two minutes instead of thinking about the problem at hand (how a student can earn some extra money) were twice as good at weeding out which of their ideas were the most creative.

So don’t be afraid to take time away from the problem you’re trying to solve andlet it stew. It’s no surprise insights often happen in the shower or while daydreaming. Giving your mind a break may be just the thing you need to generate your next creative breakthrough.

This article was originally published on Quartz. Click here to view the original. © All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

 

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