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Migrants, police in fresh clashes at Turkey-Greece border

first_imgTopics :  ‘Coordinated attacks’Earlier Friday, Greek officials accused Turkey of providing cutters to migrants to break through fencing. “There are coordinated attacks this morning,” a Greek official told AFP. “Apart from intimidation, these attacks are taking place from the Turkish police to help migrants cross the fence border line.”Meanwhile, two Greek men were convicted of threatening aid workers on the island of Lesbos, where there has been a violent backlash against those helping the swelling number of arrivals.”I will continue to defend my country. Most of the (aid groups) operate like spies. These gangsters should leave the island,” said 73-year-old Konstantinos Alvanopoulos after being given a three-month suspended sentence.Erdogan’s office said the Syrian ceasefire would not alter its policy on refugees leaving for Europe. “The Russia-Turkey agreement does not… change the fact of the European Union’s non-compliance with its promises as part of the 2016 refugee deal,” presidential sources told state news agency Anadolu. Russia, which backs Syrian government forces with air power, agreed to impose a ceasefire in Idlib from midnight and the skies were free of warplanes for the first day in months on Friday, although previous peace agreements have proved temporary. The EU welcomed the ceasefire. “For sure I am pleased for the ceasefire, the ceasefire is good news. At least it’s goodwill — let’s see how it works,” Borrell said in Zagreb.”But there’s still an extraordinary humanitarian challenge that I think we all face in terms of the sheer numbers of refugees,” added Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney. “Right now, let’s be honest, the agreement is dead,” Mitsotakis told CNN, referring to the EU-Turkey accord.”And it’s dead because Turkey has decided to completely violate the agreement, because of what happened in Syria,” he added.Turkey agreed in 2016 to stop letting migrants leave in exchange for six billion euros — but Ankara says other parts of the EU deal including improved visa and trade rules were never fulfilled. Mitsotakis said Turkey was doing “the exact opposite” of its obligation to hold back asylum-seekers. Greek police fired tear gas in clashes with migrants at the Turkish border on Friday, as Athens said a 2016 EU-Ankara deal limiting migration to Europe was “dead”.Thousands of people have gathered at the border since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that his country would no longer stop refugees from trying to leave.Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Ankara of “assisting” an ongoing surge of desperate people gathering at the border. ‘Open the gates’ Friday’s brief clashes occurred as migrants tried to break through the fence, according to AFP journalists at the scene, but they quickly ended the volley of rocks and instead sat peacefully chanting “freedom” and “open the gates”.Greek forces say they have prevented nearly 39,000 people from crossing the border. Turkey claims the real number is more than three times higher.Many migrants say they are being pushed to attempt illegal entry to Greece. “They [the Turkish military] told us that if you don’t go to the border… you will be forced to come back to Turkey and people don’t want to come back because they don’t have any good opportunities, there isn’t anything,” Ali, an Iranian, told AFP.The EU’s diplomatic chief made a direct appeal to the migrants not to go to the Greek border.”The border is not open,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Zagreb. Turkey and Russia agreed a ceasefire in Syria on Thursday, but Ankara is still threatened by a potential new influx of refugees from the last rebel stronghold of Idlib and has sought to pressure Europe into providing greater assistance.  Turkey already hosts some four million refugees, and recent advances by the Syrian army, backed by Russian army, have pushed close to a million more towards its border. Later Friday, the Greek government released footage which it said showed Turkish riot police firing a tear gas barrage at Greek border guards.It came after the release of separate footage from Turkish state TV TRT which it said showed asylum-seekers stripped and beaten by Greek forces.A Greek police source disputed the claim, telling AFP: “We are not letting them through the border, so how can we be doing that to them?”Ankara has officially accused Athens of using undue violence against asylum-seekers, killing several and injuring many. Greek officials have repeatedly dismissed this as untrue.last_img read more

Who’s worth more: the team or the player?

first_imgWhen Valve introduced the new Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), the way we viewed the competitive Dota 2 scene drastically changed. Back before teams were penalized for changing their rosters, we would see teams dropping players weeks before a major tournament. The magnitude of these changes meant that teams who trained together for months were suddenly left trying to obtain a $23m (£16.2m) dollar prize pool with new teammates. The effect that these last minute changes had on teams left players scrambling to synergize. The expectations of the fans and their organizations added more weight onto their first place aspirations. The chaos of the pre-DPC shuffle emphasised the success a potential line-up would have over the developed and cohesive team they could build. It was a system rules by instant gratification over patience.  These last minute drops weren’t too commonplace but they did occur.The Aegis of Champions, the ultimate aim for any Dota 2 player. Credit: ValveTake Evil Geniuses (EG) as an example. Back in January of 2015, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Ludwig “Zai” Wåhlberg very abruptly left EG to join Team Secret. This sudden line-up change occurred about a month before the Dota 2 Asia Championships (DAC). Luckily EG was able to fill the two spots with the recently released Kurtis  “Aui_2000” Ling and the pub star Syed Sumail “Suma1L Hassan. EG went on to win the DAC and succeed against the odds. This emphasis on the team meant that potential investors saw  value in the team rather than the individual players. It also meant that teams could drop players at a moment’s notice without suffering any consequences. So how did the DPC change all this?An Emphasis on the PlayerThe introduction of the DPC forced teams into regulated roster changes and doesn’t allow teams to change their line-ups without a penalty. This gave a much needed protection to players who previously were seen more as pawns rather than the foundation of a good team. Suddenly players were given more value as they were the holders of the new DPC points, not the teams. The eight teams who had acquired the most points would receive a direct invite to The International 2018 (TI8) and the points would be based on the top three players who have accumulated the most points.The new DPC system places a much larger emphasis on the player which changes the dialogue for investors. Just recently we saw Fnatic drop Khoo “Ohaiyo” Chong Xin and then pick up Sahil “Universe” Arora. This change saw Fnatic jump from 11th place to 9th place, leaving them to just one place away from automatically qualifying for TI8. No longer is the emphasis on the team but rather on the player. The Wild West of Dota 2Esports is an ever growing industry with new investors waiting to see what’s a worthy investment. What’s worrying about the sudden emphasis on players instead of teams is that it turns potential investors away from the Dota 2 competitive scene. Are team organisations still a worthy investment if the emphasis is now placed on the player rather than the team? If teams can drop points as quickly as they achieved them, is the Dota 2 landscape a stable investment? It’s hard to create an argument that supports the stability of the current Dota 2 competitive scene. While it seemed that Valve was attempting to regulate the movement of players amongst teams, it really feels like Valve created more chaos than order. Valve’s regulations have now changed how players are valued and thus, changed how investors view both the player and the team. The two are now separate entities with players potentially being seen as commodities, not integral members of a squad. This year has proven that the Dota Pro Circuit isn’t flawless and still needs further development. The Dota 2 competitive scene has come a long way. What’s worrying is potentially seeing what happened with Ohaiyo happen next season at the mid point of the circuit – or even just before The International this year. Will more teams recognise their ability to shuffle their teams to accumulate points without having to play in the tournament ? Will Valve see this flaw in their system and add more provisions to ensure teams don’t capitalise on this ‘flaw’? The type of swing that Fnatic had might please their investors now but this won’t always be in favour of the organisation. Future shuffles could see bigger highs and lows – and not just in the favour of the organisation or their investors.last_img read more