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World champions France are through to the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship final tournament in England after Poland’s title defence was ended in elite round Group 4. Related Items Draw, ambassadors confirmed Before their decider against Sweden in Dungannon, France whose squad included 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup winner Delphine Cascarino held a two-point lead over their opponents, with Poland and hosts Northern Ireland out of contention. Following their 1-0 triumph, secured by substitute Perle Morroni’s 73rd-minute goal, Guy Ferrier’s team take their place in next Thursday’s draw at Burton Town Hall, which already involves England, Spain, Scotland, Austria and Germany. Poland beat Sweden in Nyon in June to win their first women’s title, but their hopes of defending the crown in England looked slim after an opening 3-0 loss to France, Marine Julian, Anissa Lahmari and substitute Manon Uffren getting the goals. Sweden defeated Northern Ireland 2-0, Rebecka Blomqvist striking on 28 and 56 minutes. Two days later Sweden were two up inside 22 minutes in their final rematch against Poland through Blomqvist and Julia Zigiotti Olme. Substitute Aleksandra Lizon reduced arrears and Dominika Grabowska levelled in added time, but Poland’s reign was over. France beat Northern Ireland 2-0 to go top, Mathilde Jouanno getting both goals. France, after their last-day success, will now aim to finish in the top three in England so they can defend their world title in Costa Rica in March. Poland at least signed off with three points, prevailing 1-0 against Northern Ireland courtesy ofLizon’s second-half effort. UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved. Last updated: 17/10/13 19.47CET
France through after third successive win
Newser.com. France Scientology: Labeled a “fraud” by France’s high court. Protestors express the same outside the Church of Scientology in France. Though recognized as a formal religion in the United States and elsewhere, the practice of Scientology has just been branded as a scam and a racket in France, despite cries of religious discrimination, reports the AFP via Yahoo! News on Oct. 16. There are approximately 45,000 Scientologists in France. The obtuse religion, founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, came under fire in the European country when five former members charged the organization with coercing them into spending thousands of dollars on required reading material, questionable services and Church merchandise. The Church was initially found guilty of commercial harassment, and on appeal the charge has stood. Church officials are not happy that their easily misunderstood religion has been declared fraudulent. Scientology is a worldwide religious movement practiced in 184 nations.
France to keep 2,000 troops in Mali until end of year
View gallery Troops of the French-led Serval Operation in Mali patrol an area on the outskirts of Gao on October 16, 2013 (AFP Photo/Sebastien Rieussec) Paris (AFP) – France will maintain around 2,000 troops in Mali to help secure the December legislative polls before further scaling down its military presence, the defence minister said Thursday. “We’re going keep a little more than 2,000 men until the end of the year,” Jean-Yves Le Drian said. The former colonial power deployed its airforce and sent combat units in January this year to help Mali’s government wrest back the north of the country from Islamist groups linked to Al-Qaeda. It currently has 3,000 troops left on the ground and aims to scale back its presence to only 1,000 by the end of January 2014. Mali’s first parliamentary polls since a coup in March last year are due to begin on November 24 and a second round is scheduled for December 15. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was sworn in as president last month after an August election. French forces have helped the authorities reclaim control of the main cities but Al-Qaeda and its offshoots have remained a threat, launching sporadic attacks from their desert and mountain hideouts. “There no longer is a war, what we’re doing now is counter-terrorism,” Le Drian told reporters in Paris. “We must continue to battle terrorism and remain vigilant.” At the peak of Operation Serval, France had 4,500 troops in Mali. A UN stabilisation force meant to eventually reach 12,640 troops and police is gradually taking over. Politics & Government