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Brazilian Football Legend, Mario Zagallo Is Dead

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Brazilian football legend and the first person to win the FIFA World Cup as both a player and coach, Mario Zagallo, has died at the age of 92.

Zagallo was as instrumental figure as any in Brazil’s rise to prominence as a global football power.

Zagallo, who died on Friday, was the only surviving member of the Brazilian team that lifted the 1958 World Cup trophy, the country’s first title and one that eased the pain of a traumatic defeat by Uruguay at the Maracana eight years prior.

“I was at the Maracana for that fateful loss to Uruguay. I was a soldier and it was my job to keep people off the pitch,” said Zagallo, of a result that prompted national mourning.

“I’ll never forget the silence, the sadness and the disappointment of that defeat,” he noted.

His legendary teammate, Pele, died in December 2022.

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While that memory remained vivid, Zagallo would do his utmost to relieve the anguish by leaving his fingerprints on four of Brazil’s five World Cup triumphs.

Emerging from the amateur ranks during the 1950s, Zagallo, a diminutive left winger, embodied Brazil’s quest to blend attacking flair with defensive solidity, combining his exquisite technique with admirable commitment.

He won five Rio de Janeiro state championships with Flamengo and Botafogo. He only made his Brazil debut at the age of 26, shortly before the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, but became an integral member of the team, winning 37 caps.

Brazil’s run of success

The tournament, which launched 17-year-old sensation Pele on the world stage, ended with Brazil beating the hosts 5-2 in the final. Zagallo scored his team’s fourth and then set up Pele for the final goal.

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Four years later, Zagallo played every single minute as a Garrincha-inspired Brazil overcame an injury sustained by Pele in the group stage to retain their crown, coming from behind to beat Czechoslovakia 3-1 in Santiago.

After retirement, Zagallo returned to the game as a manager, taking over former club Botafogo and leading them to two more state titles in a country under a military dictatorship.

Joao Saldanha had guided the national team to the 1970 World Cup in Mexico but was cast aside before the tournament in favor of Zagallo. Saldanha fell out with Pele and refused to bow to demands of then-president Emilio Garrastazu Medici on squad selection and, as a known Communist sympathizer, his fate was sealed.

Zagallo, just 38 at the time, inherited an exceptionally gifted squad — including Pele, Carlos Alberto, Jairzinho and Rivelino — and oversaw six wins from six games as Brazil captured the title for a third time in four attempts.

Years ahead of his time as a player, Zagallo quickly demonstrated his merit as a coach. He later reflected on the fabled 1970 World Cup, dominated by a spectacular Brazilian display, as his “greatest memory as a manager”.

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A counter-intuitive type who believed in the number 13, Zagallo’s unabating hunger for success brought further domestic titles with Fluminense and Flamengo before he ventured abroad to Kuwait, winning the Gulf Cup in 1976 and reaching that year’s Asian Cup final.

Tireless pursuit of glory

After taking the United Arab Emirates to Italy in 1990, Zagallo was called on by Brazil for a final time, as technical director for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Together with his protege, Carlos Alberto Perreira, he guided the side to another world title after a dull final against Italy led to a penalty shootout.

His tilt at a fifth success fell agonizingly short in 1998 when Ronaldo, the pre-eminent player of his generation, suffered a mysterious fit before the final and Brazil slumped to a 3-0 defeat to hosts France.

Zagallo’s durability and lasting aura ensured he was a natural choice to stand in briefly for the departed Luiz Felipe Scolari following Brazil’s fifth World Cup victory in 2002.

“He was one of the greatest Brazilian players of his generation and, after winning the World Cup four times, he has left a permanent mark on Brazilian football,” said Ronaldo of the man nicknamed “The Professor”.

His wife of 57 years, Alcina de Castro, passed away in 2012.

AFP

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PHOTOS: World Tallest Man Meets Shortest Woman Again

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Sultan Kosen and Jyoti Amge

The World’s tallest man has reunited with the world’s shortest woman six years after their viral photoshoot in front of the Egyptian pyramids.

 

According to The Sun on Monday, Sultan Kosen, who stands at 8ft 3in, and Jyoti Amge, who is just 2ft tall, were a striking pair as they posed for pictures in Irvine, California, on Monday.

Sultan Kosen and Jyoti Amge

There is a 6ft height difference between the two, who earned their respective Guiness World Record titles in 2009 for ‘Tallest Living Man’ and 2011 for ‘Shortest Living Woman’.

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Sultan Kosen and Jyoti Amge

Kosen, 41, from Turkey, and Amge, 30, from India, previously met for a photoshoot in Cairo, Egypt, in 2018, where they posed in front of the Giza Pyramids as part of a campaign to revive the country’s struggling tourism industry.

Sultan Kosen and Jyoti Amge

Sultan Kosen and Jyoti Amge

Their tall and small stature was caused by medical conditions. Amge has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia that stopped her growth, while Kosen had a tumor that caused pituitary gigantism, which gave him a massive growth spurt aged 10.

According to the Guinness World Records, Kosen is the first person in more than a decade to measure over 8ft and is one of only 10 confirmed cases in history.

While he is the tallest man in the world, his family members are all average size. Kosen was also normal height up until his growth spurt when he was 10 years old.

Sultan Kosen and Jyoti Amge

Sultan Kosen and Jyoti Amge

His massive size is the result of a condition known as ‘pituitary gigantism,’ which is caused by an over-production of growth hormone.

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Kosen unable to complete his education due to his size supported his family by working as a farmer.

In 2013, he married Merve Dibo, a Syrian native ten years his junior, though the language barrier between Turkish and Arabic posed communication challenges, ultimately leading to their divorce in 2021. Kosen ventured into acting, starring in the 2016 film “Achieving the Impossible” after traveling to Hollywood.In 2016, he traveled to Hollywood for his starring role in the film Achieving the Impossible.

Sultan Kosen and Jyoti Amge

Sultan Kosen and Jyoti Amge

On the other hand, Amge’s diminutive stature, resulting from achondroplasia, is characteristic of her condition, with the average female affected typically growing to 48 inches tall.

Her petite frame gained worldwide recognition, particularly after being officially declared the world’s smallest woman in 2011, weighing just 11 pounds as a teenager.

She pursued acting, notably appearing alongside A-list stars like Jessica Lange in “American Horror Story: Freak Show” as Ma Petit in 2014.

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American Sues Lottery Firm Over $340m Win Declared As Mistake

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A Washington DC man, John Cheeks, has filed a lawsuit against Powerball and the DC Lottery.

Cheeks had earlier thought he won a jackpot worth $340m (£270m), before Powerball and the DC Lottery, said they posted Cheeks numbers by mistake.

Powerball is an American lottery game offered by 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In January 2023, Cheeks saw Powerball’s winning numbers corresponded with his ticket. However, showing his ticket to the Office of Lottery and Gaming, Cheeks disclosed his claim was rejected and he is now suing the lottery for damages accumulating to the Powerball jackpot, the interest he would have earned on it per day summing $340m.

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He said, “One of the claims agents told me my ticket was no good, just to throw it in the trash can.”

Cheeks is now suing on eight separate counts, among which are breach of contract, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, and fraud.

According to court documents, Powerball and a lottery contractor, the DC-based Taoti Enterprises, claim the confusion arose from a technical error, BBC reports.

In a court filing, a Taoti employee said that on 6 January 2023 – the day Mr Cheeks bought his ticket – a quality assurance team was running tests on the website.

On that day, a set of test Powerball numbers, which matched Mr Cheeks’ numbers – was posted on the website “accidentally”, according to court documents. Those numbers remained online for three days, until 9 January, adding that the numbers online did not match the numbers that were drawn at the last lottery draw.

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The BBC reports that neither Powerball nor Taoti responded to its request for comment on the case.

This lawsuit raises critical questions about the integrity and accountability of lottery operations and the safeguards – or lack thereof – against the type of errors that Powerball and the DC Lottery contend occurred in this case,” Cheeks’ lawyer, Richard Evans, told the BBC.

He believes the winning numbers corresponded to Cheeks’ numbers and was privileged to the “entire jackpot,” adding that “this is not merely about numbers on a website; it’s about the reliability of institutions that promise life-changing opportunities, while heavily profiting in the process.”

While speaking, Cheeks expressed confidence in the law system, saying, “I know the justice system will prevail.”

The case is therefore scheduled for hearing on February 23.

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One Dead, 21 Injured In US Super Bowl Parade Shooting

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One person has died and 21 people were wounded in a shooting in Missouri at the end of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade in the United States.

Officials said they treated eight victims who were in immediately life-threatening condition and seven others who had suffered injuries that could prove life-threatening.

According to BBC, nine children were among the wounded – all are expected to recover. And, the police said they have arrested three suspects in connection to the shooting.

The shots were fired west of Union Station, the train station in downtown Kansas City, which was where the parade ended at around 14:00 local time (20:00 GMT) and thousands of fans had gathered to watch the festivities.

Local reports said Kansas City Chiefs players were still on a stage there when the first shots rang out.

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The gunfire caused the watching crowd, including the city’s mayor and his family members, to run for cover.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said officers responded immediately after the gunshots broke out and detectives who were on the scene quickly opened an investigation. The Fire Department also sprang to action, administering aid to the injured.

More than 800 police officers were already on the scene to monitor the parade, officials said. The city’s fire department was also present to provide medical attention if needed.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Chief Graves said a total of 22 people were struck by gunfire – one of whom is dead – and three individuals were arrested.

A local radio station said one of its DJs, Lisa Lopez, was killed in the shooting.

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The surviving victims were transported to three local hospitals, officials said, with the immediately life-threatening cases taken to hospital within 10 minutes of the shooting.

Nine children aged six to 15 with gunshot wounds are being treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital, chief nursing officer Stephanie Meyer said.

“The one word I would just use to describe what we saw and how they felt when they came to us was fear,” Ms Meyer added.

Local hospitals said they were also treating people who were not shot but who had suffered other injuries in the sudden stampede that followed the shooting.

City officials did not release the names of any of the victims. They also did not share any information about the suspects who were arrested, including what might have led to the shooting.

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A law enforcement source told CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, that the shooting appeared to be the result of an argument that turned violent. The source said it was not terrorism-related.

Police said they are investigating a motive and gathering physical as well as digital evidence. They asked for any witnesses or individuals with information to contact law enforcement.

A city ‘heartbroken’
The shooting broke out as the city was celebrating a second straight Super Bowl win by the Kansas City Chiefs. But this lesser-known American city was robbed of its exhilarating and unifying moment.

Kansas City’s mayor Quinton Lucas said he was inside the Union Station when he and others heard the sound of gunfire. He and members of his family started running.

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“We went out today like everyone in Kansas City looking to have a celebration,” Mr Lucas said at Wednesday’s news conference.

“I was there with my wife, I was there with my mother. I never would’ve thought that we, along with Chiefs players, along with fans, hundreds of thousands of people, would be forced to run for our safety today.”

In a statement, the Kansas City Chiefs organisation said it was “truly saddened” by Wednesday’s violence. It added that its players, coaches and staff – as well as their families – were accounted for and safe.

Travis Kelce, the star tight end of the team whose relationship with Taylor Swift became a cultural phenomenon, wrote on social media that he was “heartbroken over the tragedy that took place today.”

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Marquez Valdes-Scantling, a wide receiver for the Chiefs, also took to social media after the tragedy. He said he wanted to get in touch with the young victims of the shooting.

“I want to make sure they’re doing ok,” Mr Valdes-Scantling said. “But would love to help them out any way I can and get them some stuff from the team to help with the recovery.”

The mayor emphasised that the city had security measures in place, and it should make the public think deeply about a path forward. Despite hundreds of law enforcement present, he said, this incident still occurred due to the presence of bad actors with guns.

In a statement, US President Joe Biden also reflected on the issue of gun violence in the country.

Today’s events should move us, shock us, shame us into action,” he said, as he called for gun reform and a ban on assault rifles in the US.

BBC

 

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