Phil Neville has heaped praise on to England right-back Lucy Bronze after her player-of-the-match display against Norway in the Women’s World Cup quarter-final.The Lionesses won the clash in Le Havre 3-0, with Bronze playing a huge part in all three goals.It was her dribble and cross in the third minute that fell so perfectly for Jill Scott to tap in the game’s opener, while later in the half it was Bronze’s ball to Nikita Parris that found the winger with time and space from which she centred the ball to the waiting Ellen White for a simple tap-in. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? But the full-back saved the best for last and in the 57th minute her pile driver from outside the area added England’s third, and final, goal on the night. Bronze is widely acknowledged as one of the top right-backs in the women’s game, but speaking after the match Neville said she has raised the bar even higher this tournament. “I think what you’ve seen tonight, you’ve seen that Lucy Bronze is the best player in the world, without a shadow of a doubt,” he told BBC Sport. “I’ve said it once, I’ll say it three times. There’s no player like her in the world, there’s no player that has her athleticism or her quality and I’m very lucky. I played full-back but never to that level that she plays at – she’s the best player in the world.” The quarter-final success means England will face the winners of France and the USWNT on Friday night, but the Lionesses boss has said he fancies his side’s chances against either team in the last four. “Well, you know what – we want to play them both,” Neville said. “We’re not bothered who we play. We’ll go to Lyon and the atmosphere and the occasion will be great. We’re having fun.” Lyon is, of course, where Bronze plays her club football. With the French side, the England star has won back-to-back Champions League titles and helped Lyon complete the treble in 2018/19. She arrived at Division 1 Feminine outfit in 2017, having previously spent three years at Manchester City. Bronze also has represented Liverpool, Everton and Sunderland.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned yesterday’s series of attacks against the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). According to preliminary information, four different attacks targeting MINUSMA personnel and installations occurred in Aguelhok, Kidal region, during which one peacekeeper from Chad was killed and eight others injured, according to a statement attributable to the Secretary-General’s spokesperson. “The Secretary-General presents his sincere condolences to the family of the fallen peacekeeper and to the Government and people of Chad, and wishes a prompt recovery to those injured,” the statement said. The UN chief also called for “swift action” to bring the perpetrators of the attacks to justice, recalling that attacks against UN peacekeepers constitute war crimes under international law. The statement also said that the Secretary-General is concerned by the recent violations of the ceasefire arrangements by the signatory armed groups in the area of Kidal. In that regard, Mr. Ban urged signatory parties to fulfil their obligations under the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, which he said would contribute to restoring stability and security in the region. In late September, the Secretary-General, speaking at ministerial meeting on the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, emphasized that the promotion of peace and stability in Mali is crucial to its people, for the region and for the world. The Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali was signed in June 2015 by the Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad armed group, following its signature in May 2015 by the Government and a third party, the Plateforme coalition of armed groups. The Malian Government has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild following a series of setbacks since early 2012, including a military coup d’état, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical extremists. The country has also been wracked by a series of humanitarian crises.
Transport for London (TfL) is paying £10m for staff to work for transport unions under London Mayor Sadiq Khan, as strike days cause chaos for commuters.The annual cost has doubled since 2015/16, the last year Boris Johnson was mayor. That year 699 members of TfL took paid time off to do union duties, at a cost of £4.4m.Two years later, this figure had more than doubled to £10.8m, paid to 731 workers, 37 of whom worked for unions full-time.The exact amount of union work funded by TfL is unknown as the organisation only reports the total number of staff undertaking union duties and the number working more than half of the work week or full-time.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––This increase in union funding in 2017/18 coincided with a budget deficit of nearly £1bn.Mr Khan is the chairman of TfL and the chair of its board. He is responsible for setting out strategy and holding its Commissioner Mike Brown to account.Strikes have continued since Mr Khan took control of City Hall, including several this year. In April, there was chaos on the District line after Aslef called a strike over the sacking of a tube driver for running through three red lights. The transport network, which runs the London Underground, buses, light railway and overground trains through the capital, is partly funded by the taxpayer. In the 17/18 year it got £2.6 billion of public money from local and central government sources.David Leam, director of infrastructure at business group London First, said strikes cause “misery for commuters and tourists”.“The drip drip nature of strike action in the capital over the last few years has caused real turmoil for commuters and companies alike, and undoubtedly damages London’s global reputation for being open for business”, he said.“The disruption causes misery for commuters and tourists simply trying to get around town, while businesses get hit with the double whammy of reduced till receipts and a drop in productivity because staff can’t make it to work”. TfL staff are also paid to work for RMT, which held strikes in support of a driver who failed alcohol breath tests twice while at work.TfL themselves branded some of these strikes “indefensible”.Last night Keith Prince AM, a Conservative member of the Greater London Authority who sits on the transport committee, accused Sadiq Khan of being “in the pockets of the unions.”He told The Daily Telegraph: “Londoners want better tubes, not more union reps.“These statistics would be unacceptable if TfL had balanced books, but the transport budget is nearly £1 billion in the red. At time when the finances are in such dire straits, it is shocking that taxpayers’ money is being wasted in this way.“It now clearer than ever that Sadiq Khan is in the pockets of the unions.”In August, the Government published figures revealing there are more than 16,000 full time union officials on the public payroll. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Aslef, which benefits from this TfL staffing budget, also went on strike in October in support of a driver who was dismissed after opening the doors of a tube train while it was moving. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, also the chairman and chair of the board of TfLCredit: Michele Tantussi/ Getty Images Europe The issue rose to prominence in 2011 when Jane Pilgrim, an NHS worker who worked full-time for health union Unison criticised the Government’s health policies.People on the public full-time for unions are known as “Pilgrims”.The official term for letting public sector staff do union business during the working day is called “facility time”. Some of tens of thousands of commuters affected by tube strikes in November, queuing to get into Waterloo station.Credit:@hines_stephen/Stephen Hines/PA A spokesman for Mr Khan said: “The Mayor makes no apologies for ensuring hardworking staff across London’s transport network are properly represented by trade unions. Trade unions play a vital role in ensuring Londoners are treated fairly at work.“Since Sadiq has become Mayor, there has been a 65 percent reduction in days lost to strike action. This is because we have listened to the concerns of workers and engaged in constructive dialogue with the trade unions. “TfL is currently undertaking the biggest overhaul of the organisation in its history, which has helped reduce annual costs by around £500m.”A TfL spokesperson said: “We allow representatives paid time off to carry out union duties and meeting these costs represents 0.5 per cent of our total wage bill. “The reorganisation of TfL over the past two years, that has helped reduce annual costs by around £500m, has required appropriate union representation for our staff affected by the changes.“The number of representatives for our 28,000 employees is in line with legislation, guidelines from ACAS and agreements with the trade unions.” People queue for a bus in Stratford in a day of travel chaos caused by tube striking in 2015Credit: John Stillwell/PA