Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa: Jordan Ayew stunner steals point for the Villans

first_img1 Jordan Ayew scored a stunning equaliser away to Newcastle to give Aston Villa a vital point in their fight against relegation.In torrential rain in the north-east Fabricio Coloccini scored the opening goal before half time as both teams faltered under the conditions.The Magpies looked like they were going to condemn the Villans to yet another defeat until Ayew produced a moment of magic from the edge of the area.That kicked Villa into gear but, despite their best efforts, they were unable to penetrate the Newcastle defence again meaning the Premier League’s bottom side remain 10 points adrift of safety.The match began terribly with both sides struggling to string many passes together in the horrendous rain soaking the St James’ Park pitch.The game was so poor that the first shot came after 23 minutes after Newcastle built up a good spell of possession.Papiss Cisse had the best chance of the game on the half hour mark when his header from Daryl Janmaat’s cross was saved by Brad Guzan.Cisse’s evening ended early after he pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury and was replaced by Aleksander Mitrovic, who was immediately in the thick of the action as he saw his header tipped over the bar.On 38 minutes, Coloccini broke the deadlock with a deflected low shot after Newcastle swung in a dangerous corner.At half-time there was a pitch inspection as the deluge continued to flood the surface of the pitch.However, the match did restart for the second half and Newcastle should have been two up 10 minutes later, but Siem de Jong missed a sitter from two yards out as he aimed his unchallenged header wide of the goal.And Newcastle were made to pay for that miss moments later as Aston Villa equalised through a stunning goal from Jordan Ayew.The Ghanaian turned on the edge of the box before curling an exquisite right-footed shot into the top corner.Villa grew into the game and became the better side but it was the Magpies who nearly nicked it but Georginio Wijnaldum – perhaps due to the weather – scuffed his shot straight at Guzan.Rob Elliot did brilliantly to keep Newcastle in it when substitute Rudy Gestede rose highest with four minutes remaining as Villa continued to pile forward for a late winner.The point for Villa means it is only their second in eight away games this season. Jordan Ayew last_img read more

Gary Cahill linked with Roma switch as England defender considers Chelsea future

first_img Chelsea and England defender Gary Cahill 1 Roma are understood to be weighing up a shock approach for Chelsea defender Gary Cahill.The England vice-captain has endured a difficult season for the Premier League champions so far and has started just twice under interim manager Guus Hiddink, who has preferred to use Kurt Zouma as John Terry’s centre-back partner.While Cahill’s place in England’s Euro 2016 squad is not understood to be under threat, the former Bolton centre-back may consider a move this month to improve his chances of cementing a starting place in Roy Hodgson’s side in the summer.And, according to Il Messaggero, Roma’s directors are keen on bringing Cahill to Italy to add some experience to their back-line.However, Cahill’s high wage demands could prove a stumbling block in any potential deal.The 30-year-old currently earns around £3.8million a year at Stamford Bridge, which will be difficult for the Italian club to match should they decide to pursue with the deal.last_img read more

Liverpool reports: striker a priority target, £53m attacker update and more gossip

first_imgLiverpool could be the team to watch in the final few days of the January transfer window.Alex Teixeira has been open in his desire to move to Anfield before the window slams shut on Monday, so has any progress been made or has the deal suffered a major blow?And is Jurgen Klopp eyeing anyone else over the next few days?10 DEADLINE DEALS MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN THIS JANUARYCheck out six of the latest transfer rumours on Liverpool by clicking the yellow arrow above, right. 6 1. Piotr Zielinski – Reds to put £11m aside for Poland international? Read the latest on this transfer rumour below, then click the arrow above to catch up on five more reports – Zielinski, on loan at Empoli from Udinese until the end of the season, has emerged as a target for Klopp. The German boss was, according to the Mirror, considering an £11m bid for the central midfielder this month, but may have accepted any possible deal may be hold until the summer with the player content with his situation ahead of the 2016 European Championship finals. 6 5. Jerome Sinclair – Watford closing in on deal? – Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores has confirmed his interest in the Liverpool winger, with recent reports claiming that a £3m offer has been tabled. According to the Daily Mail, the Hornets’ offer falls far short of the Reds’ valuation, though confidence appears high at Vicarage Road over a deal being completed before the window slams shut on Monday. 6 3. Gary Cahill – Klopp to make late move for England international? – Danny Murphy told talkSPORT that Cahill, who has apparently grown disillusioned with life at Stamford Bridge after falling behind Kurt Zouma and John Terry in the pecking order, would be a perfect fit at Anfield: “Would he suit Liverpool? Would he be a player that gets into the Liverpool team and make a difference? Yes, he would. He’s a terrific lad, a good pro, a good trainer and not a moaner or a whinger.” This could be one to watch on deadline day. 6 4. Alex Teixeira – Liverpool priced out of a move this month? – Over the past week, reports have suggested that Liverpool were leading the chase for the Shakhtar Donetsk forward. Now, however, the Reds appear to have been priced out of a move, with the club’s general director Sergiy Palkin revealing that the Brazilian would only be sold if his release clause of €70m (£53m) is met. Jurgen Klopp is allegedly desperate to sign Teixeria before the close of the January transfer window, but it could now simply be a case of how much cash the Merseyside outfit are willing to offer. 6 2. Javier Hernandez – ex-Manchester United striker a priority summer signing for Liverpool? – With Christian Benteke yet to deliver on his £32.5m price tag, Klopp is reportedly addressing his attack and former Manchester United striker Hernandez is on his wish list. The Times claim that the Reds manager has made the Little Pea a priority target in the summer, but given his prolific form since moving to Bayer Leverkusen at the start of the season, having scored 19 goals in all competitions, he could command a fee of as much as £20m. 6 6. Adam Bogdan – stopper looking to leave Anfield before the close of the January market? – Given Simon Mignolet has just penned a new contract until 2020, Bodgan’s first team chances are set to remain limited. The former Bolton Wanderers keeper is reportedly fed up with life at Anfield, and Ligue 1 side Reims, according to Sky Sports, are interested in taking him on loan until the end of the season. He could leave before the close of the January window, but Klopp may block his exit.last_img read more

Space station’s new U.S. commander docks flawlessly

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Whitson and her crew mates clambered through the hatches about 90 minutes later and joined the station’s current crew, cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov, and astronaut Clayton Anderson. The newcomers traded their bulky gear for more comfortable jumpsuits and spoke to well-wishers at Mission Control via a video link. “The fun is just about to begin,” Yurchikhin said. Sheikh Muszaphar, a 35-year-old orthopedic surgeon fulfilling his own dream of space travel, said he was already having fun. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MOSCOW – An American astronaut climbed aboard the International Space Station on Friday for a stint as its first female commander after a two-day trip from Earth and a textbook docking. Peggy Whitson, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Malaysian physician Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor scooted through hatches linking the station with the Soyuz TMA-11 craft they rode into orbit from Russia’s launch facility in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz docked on schedule at 10:50 a.m. EDT after catching up with the station and firing thrusters to get into position, said Valery Lyndin, chief spokesman for Russian Mission Control outside Moscow. “Everything is great,” Malenchenko told Mission Control shortly after the ship locked onto the station about 220 miles over Central Asia. A commentator with the U.S. space agency NASA called the docking “flawless.” last_img read more

Danny’s 1950s TV love life

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.– Y.R.L., Youngstown, Ohio A: You are right: Each astronaut named his own spacecraft. They all added “7” to acknowledge their fellow astronauts, known as the Mercury Seven. The astronauts were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton. Slayton was grounded in 1962 with an irregular heartbeat; his reinstatement occurred 10 years later, and he flew on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975. Q: Near Kinderhook, N.Y., is Lindenwald, the home of Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States. Where did he get the name Lindenwald? – N.D., Waco, Texas A: Although Van Buren bought the home while still president, he didn’t move in until 1841 after losing his bid for a second term. He named the estate Lindenwald, Dutch for “linden wood,” after the trees lining the roadway in front of his estate. Question: I think my folks’ favorite TV program was “Make Room for Daddy,” starring Danny Thomas. As I recall, it aired on Tuesday nights, and that evening’s activities often revolved around the show. In the early years, Thomas had a wife. He was later a widower, and then, toward the end of the show, he remarried. What happened to his first wife? – Y.E.T., Providence, R.I. Answer: The show premiered in the fall of 1953 and continued until 1964. Thomas played a nightclub entertainer named Danny Williams. His wife, Margaret (played by Jean Hagen), quit the show in 1956, and her character was killed off. The following season, Danny began dating; the 1956-1957 season ended with him proposing to a young nurse named Kathy O’Hara (Marjorie Lord). The fifth season opened with the happy couple returning from their honeymoon. Q: I have a question about the Project Mercury spaceflight program. It is my understanding that each astronaut named his spacecraft, such as Freedom 7 (Alan Shepard) or Liberty Bell 7 (Virgil Grissom). Six manned Mercury flights all contained the number seven. What does that represent? Q: I know what a boll weevil is; yet I don’t. I know it devastates cotton crops, but where did it get that name? – G.P., Brattleboro, Vt. A: A weevil is a beetle, or a particular type of beetle, that is destructive to plants. The word comes from the Old English wifel, or beetle. Boll is a part of several different plants; in this case, the cotton plant. Q: Who wrote “What mighty contests rise from trivial things”? – E.C., Troy, N.Y. A: That is one of the lines from “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope (1688-1744). Q: Where is (or was) the Gosport Shipyard? – S.L.P., Dover, Del. A: The Gosport Shipyard was founded in November 1767 on the western shore of the Elizabeth River in the Virginia Colony. During the Civil War, when Union forces recaptured the naval yard, the name was changed to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, even though it is located in Portsmouth, Va. The name Norfolk was probably chosen to avoid confusion with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard that already existed in Kittery, Maine, near Portsmouth, N.H. Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at [email protected] or c/o United Feature Syndicate, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal captain could link up with Guardiola at Man City

first_img1 Arsene Wenger admits it is possible Mikel Arteta could take up a coaching role at Manchester City when his Arsenal contract expires this summer.The 34-year-old has played just 369 minutes in all competitions for the Gunners this season in another campaign stunted by injury problems.Club captain Arteta has not featured since the 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round win over Burnley on January 30 but is fit and available for selection.The former Rangers and Everton midfielder was in and around the Barcelona set-up when in-coming Man City boss Pep Guardiola was in the first-team and reports have suggested the two could be reunited in the Etihad Stadium dugout next season.“It is possible,” Wenger said when asked if Arteta could depart for a backroom role at City. “It is true that he is out of contract here and when his contract finishes it is a good opportunity for me to thank him for his contribution, not only as a player but also as a leader.“What kind of orientation will he give now to his career? I heard about that possibility, but he could inform you much better than I can.“He is free to decide to do what he wants, he will certainly need some time to reflect on whether he continues to play.“I still think he can play, in the last months he has come back to a very good physical level and he is a position today where he can continue to play and he would be a very good player everywhere.”Wenger has a history of giving former players the chance to coach youth teams at Arsenal – but said he has no room in his current first-team set-up for the man he signed back in 2011.“You want your former players to be at the club but you also need the positions to fill,” he said.“You cannot create artificial positions at the club. If you have coaches in the under-16s, under-15s and under-14s who are very good, you will not kick them out to make room for players who want to coach.“If we have positions available, we always give a good chance to the players who played here. Let’s not forget I’ve given the opportunity to many, many players to obtain their licence here, to educate them.“After that maybe there will be someone else. We always open the door to give them an opportunity to be educated. After that we need the positions available to give them the job.“We will be going until the end of the season. We don’t know what will happen with the coaches’ movement.”As well as being linked to Guardiola’s new regime at City, Arteta has also been touted to make a move across north London to coach at Tottenham – having played with head coach Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain. Mikel Arteta: Arsenal’s club captain has made just 13 appearances this season last_img read more

Euro royalty revealed! Clubs ranked by most major European finals appeared in

first_img 7 7 10. Atletico Madrid will appear in their eighth European final when they play Real in the Champions League on 28 May – click the arrow to see clubs with more European final appearances to their name – Atletico have been in two previous European Cup/Champions League finals, won the Cup Winners Cup once and finished as runners-up twice, while they won the Europa League in 2010 and 2012. Joint 5. Liverpool and Bayern have 12 European final appearances each – When Liverpool take on Sevilla in the Europa League final, it will be their 12th European final. They have won the European Cup/Champions League five times, lost five finals, won three UEFA Cups and lost the Cup Winners Cup final in 1966. Bayern, meanwhile, have also won the top European prize five times and lost out in just as many, while appearing in one UEFA Cup and one Cup Winners Cup final apiece, winning both. 4. Milan have been in 14 European finals – Milan have been crowned European champions on seven occasions, but have reached the final a total of 11 times. In addition, the club won two of the three Cup Winners Cup finals they reached. 7. Benfica have appeared in 10 European finals, though they have only won TWO! – Yes, Benfica have been pretty unlucky over the years. After winning the European Cup in 1961 and again in 1962, they lost in five subsequent European Cup final appearances and also lost in their three UEFA Cup/Europa League finals. 7 Liverpool and Real Madrid are, respectively, set to play in yet ANOTHER European final.The Reds play Sevilla on 18 May in the Europa League, while Madrid rivals Real and Atletico will duke it out for the Champions League trophy for the second time in three seasons, on 28 May.Here, talkSPORT looks at teams that have graced the most major European finals, including the European Cup/Champions League, UEFA Cup – which has been known as the Europa League since the 2009/10 campaign – and the defunct Cup Winners Cup and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.The European Cup kicked off in the 1955/56 season, and was reformatted in the early 1990s, becoming known as the Champions League from 1992/93 onwards.Alongside the European Cup in the 1950s, a contintental competition linked to the organisation of trade fairs was also launched, and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup served as a major European trophy until it was replaced in 1971 by the UEFA Cup.A third major European trophy pitting domestic cup winners against each other was founded in the 1960s, and the Cup Winners Cup was organised by UEFA until 1999.UEFA also endorsed the Super Cup in the 1970s, but as a competition featuring only two clubs – initially the European Cup and Cup Winners Cup holders, and now the Champions League and Europa League winners – we have not included it in this list of major finals.Click the arrow above, right, to see the clubs who just can’t get enough of the biggest European nights. 7 7 7 Joint 8. Inter and Ajax have been in nine European finals each – Inter have reached the European Cup/Champions League final five times, winning three, while Ajax have been in six, winning it four times including three on the bounce between 1971 and 1973. However, Inter have four UEFA Cup final appearances to Ajax’s one, though the Dutch club have better pedigree in the old Cup Winners Cup final, which they won in 1987 but lost in ’88. 3. Juventus have been in 15 European finals – Despite being an incredibly successful side domestically, Juve have only won two of their eight European Cup/Champions League finals. The Italian side have also reached four UEFA Cup finals, one Cup Winners Cup and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup finals (the latter being the predecessor to the UEFA Cup). 7 Joint 1. Barcelona and Real Madrid have reached 18 European finals – Barca have won five of their eight European Cup finals, won four of six Cup Winners Cup final appearances and three of four Inter-Cities Fairs Cup finals. Liga rivals Real have won 10 of 13 European Cup finals and will contest no.14 on 28 May. They won successive UEFA Cups in 1985 and ’86, but lost their two Cup Winners Cup finals.last_img read more

SIX Premier League teams included in this exclusive list of the richest clubs

first_img 7. Chelsea are worth £1.15bn ($1.661bn) 11 11 11 11 1. Real Madrid are the richest club in football for the fourth year in a row and are worth £2.52bn ($3.645bn) 11 American business magazine Forbes has revealed which side is the richest in football.There are six Premier League clubs in the top 10, while West Ham and relegated Newcastle make the top 20, though lucrative sponsorship and television deals means the top 20 are collectively worth 24 per cent more than they were last year.Amazingly, the no.1 footy club is still lagging behind American football’s Dallas Cowboys, the richest sports team in the world and worth $4bn.Here, though, talkSPORT is looking at those money bag football teams, so click the arrow above, right, to see them. 11 9. Italian champions Juventus are worth £900m ($1.299bn) 6. Champions League semi-finalists Man City are worth £1.33bn ($1.921bn) 11 8. Liverpool are worth £1.07bn ($1.548bn) 4. Champions of Germany Bayern are worth £1.85bn ($2.678bn) 11 11. Borussia Dortmund are worth £578.46m ($836m) according to US business magazine Forbes – have a look at the full list by clicking the arrow above, right 10. Tottenham are worth £704m ($1.07bn) 11 5. Arsenal are worth £1.4bn or $2.017bn, according to United States business mag Forbes 3. Man United are worth £2.3bn ($3.317bn) 2. Barcelona are worth £2.46bn ($3.549) but it’s not as much as their Spanish Liga rivals 11 11last_img read more

Spurs dealt transfer blow as Italian wonderkid commits future to Serie A side

first_img Domenico Berardi in action for Sassuolo 1 Sassuolo star Domenico Berardi has told Juventus and Tottenham he will not be moving this summer.The 21-year-old has been tipped as a star of the future and it was thought he may move onto bigger things during the current transfer window.Tottenham are very keen on the striker, while Juventus have a buy-back clause which they can activate this summer.However, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Berardi has told interested parties he will not be leaving at the moment.The Italian believes he needs another season at Sassuolo, where he is guaranteed first-team football and the chance to develop.Juventus are now trying to restructure a buy-back clause for next summer, while Spurs have also been asked to be kept informed of the player’s movements.last_img read more

Thousands throng Bhutto’s burial as Pakistan government blames Taliban, al-Qaida for death

first_img He said other senior politicians were also under threat of militant attack, including former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who promised to boycott parliamentary elections on Jan. 8 in response to Bhutto’s assassination. Cheema showed a videotape of the attack, with Bhutto waving, smiling and chatting with supporters from the sunroof as her car sat unmoving on the street outside the rally. Three gunshots rang out, the camera appeared to fall, and the tape ended. On Friday, Bhutto’s supporters ransacked banks, waged shootouts with police and burned trains and stations in a spasm of violence less than two weeks before parliamentary elections. Soldiers patrolled the streets of the southern cities of Hyderabad and Karachi, witnesses said. At least 23 people were killed in unrest, said Ghulam Mohammed Mohtaram, home secretary for Sindh province. Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro said the government had no immediate plans to postpone Jan. 8 parliamentary elections, despite the growing chaos and a top opposition leader’s decision to boycott the poll. “Right now the elections stand where they were,” he told a news conference. “We will consult all the political parties to take any decision about it.” Mourners traveled to Garhi Khuda Bakhsh by tractor, bus, car and jeep. Many crammed inside the mausoleum and threw petals on the coffin. Women beat their heads and chests in grief. “As long as the moon and sun are alive, so is the name of Bhutto,” they chanted. An Islamic cleric led mourners in prayers and Bhutto’s son, Bilawal, and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, helped lower the coffin beside the grave of her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, also a popular former prime minister who met a violent death. Thousands of supporters then filed in to shovel dirt onto the grave. Some mourners angrily blamed Musharraf, the former army chief, for Bhutto’s death, shouting “General, killer!” “Army, killer.” The death of the 54-year-old Bhutto left her party without a clear successor. Her husband, who was freed in December 2004 after eight years in detention on graft charges, is one contender, although he lacks the cachet of a blood relative. “I don’t know what will happen to the country now,” said Nazakat Soomro, 32. A mob in Karachi looted at least three banks and set them on fire, and engaged in a shootout with police that left three officers wounded, police said. About 7,000 people in the central city of Multan ransacked seven banks and a gas station and threw stones at police, who responded with tear gas. In the capital, Islamabad, about 100 protesters burned tires in a commercial district. Paramilitary rangers were given the authority to use live fire against rioters in southern Pakistan, said Maj. Asad Ali, the rangers’ spokesman. “We have orders to shoot on sight,” he said. Earlier, mobs burned 10 railway stations and several trains across Bhutto’s Sindh province, forcing the suspension of all train service between the city of Karachi and the eastern Punjab province, said Mir Mohammed Khaskheli, a senior railroad official. The rioters uprooted one section of the track leading to India, he said. About 4,000 Bhutto supporters rallied in the northwestern city of Peshawar and several hundred ransacked the empty office of the main pro-Musharraf party, burning furniture and stationery. Protesters shouted “Musharraf dog” and “Bhutto was alive yesterday, Bhutto is alive today.” Dozens of police in riot gear followed the protesters but did not intervene. In other violence, a roadside bomb killed a local leader from the ruling party and six of his associates as they drove through Swat in northwestern Pakistan, where troops have been fighting followers of a pro-Taliban cleric in recent months, said Mohib Ullah, a local police official. Many cities were nearly deserted as businesses closed and public transportation came to a halt at the start of three days of national mourning for Bhutto. “The repercussions of her murder will continue to unfold for months, even years,” read a mournful editorial in the Dawn newspaper. “What is clear is that Pakistan’s political landscape will never be the same, having lost one of its finest daughters.” Dr. Mussadiq Khan, a surgeon who treated Bhutto, said Friday that she died from shrapnel that hit her on the right side of the skull. Bhutto had no heartbeat or pulse when she arrived at the hospital and doctors failed to resuscitate her, he said. Soomro, the prime minister, told the Cabinet on Friday that Bhutto’s husband did not allow an autopsy, according to a government statement. After the killing, Sharif, another former premier and leader of a rival opposition party, announced his party would boycott the elections. “I am worried about the country, about the people. Nobody is secure, there is total insecurity,” Sharif said. Opposition politician and former cricket star Imran Khan blamed Musharraf for Bhutto’s death, saying he did not give her proper security. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, India, where he was on a private visit, he called on the president to resign and for an independent judicial probe into her death. Bhutto, whose party has long been popular among Pakistan’s legions of poor, served two terms as prime minister between 1988 and 1996. Both elected governments were toppled amid accusations of corruption and mismanagement, but she was respected in the West for her liberal outlook and determination to combat Islamic extremism. Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed contributed to this story from Islamabad.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said that on Friday, the government recorded an “intelligence intercept” in which militant leader Baitullah Mehsud “congratulated his people for carrying out this cowardly act.” Cheema described Mehsud as an “al-Qaida leader” who was also behind the Karachi bomb blast in October against Bhutto that killed more than 140 people. He also announced the formation of two inquiries into Bhutto’s death, one to be carried out by a high court judge and another by security forces. Bhutto was killed Thursday when a suicide attacker shot at her and then blew himself up as she left a rally in Rawalpindi. Authorities initially said she died from bullet wounds, and a surgeon who treated her said she died from the impact of shrapnel on her skull. But Cheema said she was killed when she tried to duck back into the vehicle, and the shock waves from the blast smashed her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull, he said. Cheema said Pakistani security forces would hunt down those responsible for her death: “They will definitely be brought to justice.” GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH, Pakistan – Hundreds of thousands of mourners thronged the mausoleum of Pakistan’s most famous political dynasty in an outpouring of emotion for Benazir Bhutto. The government said al-Qaida and the Taliban were responsible for her death, claiming it intercepted an al-Qaida leader’s message of congratulation for the assassination. But many of Bhutto’s furious supporters blamed President Pervez Musharraf’s government for the shooting and bombing attack on the former prime minister, Musharraf’s most powerful opponent. They rampaged through several cities in violence that left at least 23 dead less than two weeks before crucial parliamentary elections. “We have the evidence that al-Qaida and Taliban were behind the suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto,” Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz said. Thursday’s attack on Bhutto plunged Pakistan into turmoil and badly damaged plans to restore democracy in this nuclear-armed nation, a key U.S. ally in the war on terror. last_img read more