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Minaj, Grande reunite for mermaid-themed video

Los Angeles, July 8 (IANS) Rapper Nicki Minaj has teamed up with singer Ariana Grande for a new music video "Bed", which shows her dressed as a mermaid.
In the clip, Minaj writhes on the beach as a topless mermaid and showcases a skimpy swimsuit in a private swimming pool and sexy lingerie on a bed, while Grande dances seductively in white fuzzy lingerie on a grassy hill by the sea, reports
They then unite together on rocks by the ocean, wearing bikinis and short cover-ups and join two men, played by Odell Beckham Jr and Brad Wing, on daybeds.
The single "Bed" was released in June.
Minaj and Grande have had several music collaborations in the past.

Iran executes 8 linked to IS attacks

Tehran, July 8 (IANS) Iran has executed eight persons linked with the Islamic States (IS) attacks in the capital city of Tehran last year, the media reported.<br> <br>"The death penalty for the eight terrorists was carried out according to legal and religious principles because of their involvement in attacks on the Mausoleum of Imam Khomeini and the Iranian parliament on June 7, 2017," Tehran Prosecutor's Office said in a statement, IRNA news agency reported.<br> <br>Those executed collaborated directly with the key elements who killed and injured innocent civilians during the terrorist attacks, the statement read on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.<br> <br>"They also provided arms and financial support to terrorists," it added.<br> <br>In the 2017 IS twin attacks, 17 civilians were killed and six IS militants shot dead.

Kim Kardashian visits women’s prison

Los Angeles, July 8 (IANS) Reality television star Kim Kardashian West met and interacted with prisoners.
Kim visited the California Institution for Women in Corona Friday with a few bodyguards and first toured the grounds and living quarters, reports
Then, she met 15 women to get a picture of what their day-to-day lives are like behind bars, how they feel about it and what their hopes, plans and anxieties are once they are released.
According to, Kim was there for several hours, and her trip is part of her mission to create a programme for women to help them adjust to real life once they get out of prison.
The "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" star played a crucial role in the release of imprisoned grandmother Alice Marie Johnson last month. Kim is only continuing her efforts towards prison reform.

Iran slams Trump’s ‘interfering’ remarks on OPEC

Tehran, July 8 (IANS) Iran's Petroleum Minister said US President Donald Trump has recently made "interfering" remarks on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
"Political issues should not interfere in the crude market, and supply and demand should determine the final oil price," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, Press TV reported on Saturday.

"But some political measures and instabilities spark concerns in the oil market and increase its price, including Trump's insulting order to some OPEC members," Zanganeh said.

Trump's order for oil producing countries to raise output "is very insulting to the people of these countries and would undermine their national sovereignty and destabilize the oil market," he said.

On June 30, Trump said Saudi Arabia had pledged to increase its oil output by two million barrels per day "to compensate for falling output in Venezuela and Iran", Xinhua news agency reported.

On Wednesday, Trump said OPEC is "driving oil prices higher", urging the cartel to reduce the price at the soonest.

Zanganeh said Trump's anti-OPEC remarks are the causes of the increase in the prices in the oil market over the past days.

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran's ambassador to the OPEC, said the strong rhetoric by Trump against OPEC and oil producers could soon push up crude prices to as high as $100 per barrel.


Brazil’s World Cup exit is ‘saddest moment’ of career: Neymar

Kazan (Russia), July 8 (IANS) Neymar has described Brazil's elimination from the FIFA World Cup as the "saddest moment" of his football career.
The five-time world champions and tournament favourites exited football's showpiece event after a 1-2 quarter-final loss to Belgium on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

"I can say that it's the saddest moment of my career," Neymar said on his Instagram account on Saturday. "It cuts deep because we knew that we could go far and make history, but it wasn't to be this time."

The Paris Saint-Germain star, who spent three months on the sidelines with a broken metatarsal before the tournament, struggled to capture his best form in Russia with just two goals in five matches.

He was also widely lambasted for his behaviour on the pitch amid claims that he resorted to play-acting to trick referees.

The 26-year-old refused to speak to journalists after Friday's match and made no mention of the criticism on Instagram.

"I'm very happy to be a part of this team," the post continued. "I am proud of everyone. Our dream was interrupted but it remains in our minds and in our hearts."

Brazil's players and officials left their hotel in Kazan on Saturday afternoon and are due to arrive in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday morning.


Led Zeppelin musical may be in works

London, July 8 (IANS) Led Zeppelin may be working on a stage show and movie with Hollywood funnyman Jack Black, the legendary rock band's lead singer and lyricist Robert Plant has hinted.
Plant, who was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Silver Clefs here, said: "I have very funny ideas that I'll keep under wraps. I've been talking to Jack Black."
Black is known for making "School Of Rock", and getting him involved would create one of the more unusual rock star musicals, reported
Plant said: "There's been some very funny rock and roll films over the years.
"It's all about something that happened (in the band). (We) sort of gave up 38 years ago so whatever we go back to that's kinda where we left off as a real entity."
Led Zeppelin celebrate their 50th anniversary soon.
Who would play Plant in a potential musical or movie?
"Clement Freud is gone," he quipped, and added: "There were a lot of pretenders but I think a lot of them have gone back to their day jobs now."

Djokovic, Nadal advance; Zverev stunned at Wimbledon (Lead)

Wimbledon, July 8 (IANS) Former champions Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic advanced to the fourth round, while third-ranked German Alexander Zverev suffered yet another upset loss in a Grand Slam tennis tournament, losing 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 to Latvia's Ernests Gulbis in the third round of Wimbledon.
Australia's Alex de Minaur, world number 80, was no match for world number 1 Nadal, who defeated him 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday as the Spaniard ensured to keep the top spot of the ATP ranking upon its release following the tournament, reports Efe.
Having reached the round of 16, where he fell in 2017, Nadal will maintain at least a 50-point advantage in the ATP ranking over his main rival, Roger Federer of Switzerland, who is the defending champion and so will not add any points to his ranking from this year's tournament.
Nadal stormed to a 6-1 lead in just 33 minutes based on the strength of two service breaks, while remaining untouchable on serve, as he faced no break points during the opener.
Nadal's powerful forehand and his effectiveness on serve - winning more than 80 per cent of the first and second serve put in play during the second set - proved more than de Minaur could handle.
De Minaur squandered two break points during the second set, and conceded his own the same number of times to fall two sets behind.
With everything on the line, de Minaur forced Nadal into longer rallies, giving one of the trademark performances that have distinguished him as a promising young player.
Squandering a break point, de Minaur saw his serve broken once in the third set, which proved to be decisive.
Although the Australian fended off a match point, he was unable to save the second, with Nadal approached the net playing a backhand volley to seal the win.
Three-time champion Djokovic rallied from a set down to defeat home-crowd favourite Kyle Edmund 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 and advance to the Round-of-16.
Djokovic lost a tight first set in which he was broken once and failed to capitalize on any of his three break-point chances against an in-form Edmund, who narrowly outplayed the 12-time Grand Slam champion from the baseline.
But he got his return game going at the start of the second set and won around 43 percent of the British player's service points the rest of the way.
Before sealing the victory, the number 12 seed had to deal with the frustration of a botched decision by the chair umpire.
With Edmund serving at 3-3, 15-40 in the fourth set, the Serbian approached the net and executed a drop volley that Edmund failed to reach on one bounce despite flailing at the ball with his racquet and knocking it close to the line on the other side of the net.
The referee, however, ruled that he did get to the ball in time.
Despite Djokovic's arguments and even though the replay clearly showed the ball bounced twice, Edmund was awarded the point.
The Serbian might have considered challenging the call on the sideline, but he apparently had no idea that it had landed close to the line.
Edmund rallied to hold serve for 4-3, but that would be the last game he would win in the two-hour, 54-minute contest.
Next up for Djokovic will be 22-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov, who rallied from two sets down to defeat American Francis Tiafoe 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Zverev seemed to have the match under control when he rallied from a break down to take the third set.
But Gulbis, a talented yet maddeningly inconsistent player, showed impressive meddle down the stretch to turn the tide decisively in his favour.
The result was particularly surprising considering that Gulbis had just one main-draw victory on the ATP World Tour this season coming into Wimbledon, where he had to battle through qualifying and now has won his first three main-draw matches.
The 21-year-old Zverev, meanwhile, continues to underperform at tennis four biggest tournaments relative to his success at other events.
His only quarter-final result at the Grand Slams came at this year's French Open, where he lost 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 to Austria's Dominic Thiem.

Croatia pip Russia to enter FIFA World Cup semis (Lead)

Sochi (Russia), July 8 (IANS) Croatia halted valiant hosts Russia's splendid run with a 4-3 (2-2) win via penalty shootout at the Fisht Stadium here on Saturday to enter the FIFA World Cup semi-finals for the second time after a gap of 20 years.
Denis Cheryshev's 25-yard screamer in the 31st minute gave Russia the lead but Croatia pulled level through Andrej Kramaric's header in the 39th minute. Domagoj Vida gave Croatia the lead with a header in the 101st minute.

But Mario Fernandes found Russia's equaliser in the 115th minute to send the match to penalty shootout, in which Croatia prevailed to set-up a semi-final clash with England, who beat Sweden 2-0 earlier in the day in Samara.

The defeat leaves Russia with their best-ever performance since its breakaway from Soviet Union, which had its top show in FIFA World Cup history with a fourth-place finish in 1966 edition.

For Croatia, the win keeps their hopes alive of going further than their best ever show of a third-place finish which came in 1998.

The current generation is considered the country's second best after the class of 1998 and now they head in to the semi-finals with dreams full of becoming the finalists, at least.

Croatia are now also the first team to enter the last four stage of a World Cup after surviving two penalty shootouts.

Their first victory came over Denmark. And they indeed showed a lot of patience, throughout the match against a gutsy Russia, who kept coming back at them, even though the Croats were favourites on paper.

Croatia, playing with a 4-2-3-1 formation, brought in Kramaric in place of midfielder Macelo Brozovic expectedly had the more of the ball initially.

In the first 20 minutes, they also created couple of chances with crosses from right-back Sime Vrsaljko but striker Mario Mandzukic coulnd't be in right position to have a shot at goal.

A corner from the right saw a header from Ante Rebic fly over the cross-bar from close range after the ball met Dejan Lovren's header.

After a decent start, Croatia began only to keep the ball in the middle while trying to slow down the game.

Russia slowly grew with the game and took the lead out of nowhere, thanks to Cheryshev, who kocked down an aerial ball before playing one-two with Artem Dzyuba down the inside-left channel.

Receiving the return, Chereyshev took a touch inside to move into a pocket of space before curling thunderously into the top left corer from 25 yards to mark his fourth goal of the tournament.

Stunned by the goal, Croatia again had to be proactive. They got their equaliser eight minutes later in the 39th minute.

A goal-kick from Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saw left-back Ivan Strinic head the ball to the left middle to Ivan Perisic, who then flicked it ahead to Mandzukic.

The striker saw the space on the left of the box before sending a low cross to Kramaric, who then bent down to steer a header pass goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev into the bottom right corner of the net.

Croatia upped the ante in the second half in order to take control of the match but Russia, playing with a very disciplined structure closed down the space well.

Ivan Perisic had a great chance to send Croatia 2-1 ahead but his drive was denied by the left post in the 60th minute after the ball fell on his feet at the penalty spot following a deep cross from left-back Strinic was brought into play by Kramaric and two defenders fumbled the ball inside the box.

Later, Madzukic and Aleksandr Yerokhin had their chances with headers from close range as the two teams seemed to lack creativity and went after aerial movements.

With no goal coming, the match went into 30-minute extra time.

In the 11th minute of the extra time, Croatia won a corner on the right following a counter-attack and Vida fought off his marker to send a slow header to the bottom right corner to give Croatia the lead.

However, Croatia's lead lasted only 14 minutes as Fernandes met a free-kick just from the edge of the box on the right with a header to beat Subasic as the match needed a penalty shootout to decide the winner.

During the tie-breaker, Brozovic gave Croatia the lead after Fyodor Smolov had his hot saved by Subasic. It became 1-1 when Alan Dzagoev scored and Mateo Kovacic flopped.

Fernandes sent the ball wide of the mark while captain Modric handed Croatia a 2-1 lead. In Russia's next two attempts, Sergei Ignasevich and Kuzyayev were successful but as did Vida and Ivan Rakitic to give Croatia a 4-3 triumph.


Hsieh upsets world number 1 Halep at Wimbledon

Wimbledon, July 8 (IANS) Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei earned the biggest win of her singles career on Saturday after upsetting world number 1 Simona Halep of Romania 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the third round of the Wimbledon tennis championships.
World number 48 Hsieh's come-from-behind win leaves Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, world number 8, as the last Top 10 player still left in the tournament, reports Efe.

"This year I have tried to enjoy more, not just tennis but life, food, strawberries and cream. I am really enjoying playing tennis, I just feel free on the court," Hsieh said following the match, which lasted two hours and 20 minutes.

Hseih was down 2-5 in the last set, but saved a match point then pushed back with a five-game winning streak to seal the win.

This was the fourth victory against a Top 10 player for Hsieh, 32, although the former women's doubles world number 1 had never before defeated a current singles world number 1.

Hsieh is set to play the last-16 round against Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova, world number 33, who eliminated world number 15 Elise Mertens of Belgium.

Switzerland's Belinda Bencic, world number 56, upset world number 26 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) to qualify for the fourth round.

Bencic, a former world number 7, earned her victory after 85 minutes against the last remaining Spanish player in the tournament, one of only four Spaniards who made it to the third round this year.

Three years ago, Suarez Navaro had beaten Bencic at Stuttgart in a clay-court duel, but the Swiss player emerged victorious on Wimbledon's grass.

Bencic, who staged a strong return to competitive play at Wimbledon after being sidelined for several months due to injury, will next face off against former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber of Germany, currently world number 10.


Spanish coast guards rescue 79 migrants

Madrid, July 8 (IANS) Spanish coast guards have rescued a total of 79 migrants, including three women and at least four minors, from the Mediterranean Sea.
At least 55 people were located in a migrant vessel of the Spanish-administered Alboran island, while another 24 people were discovered just off the Spanish coast on Saturday, Efe news reported.
Of the 55, two were women and at least four were minors.
They were to be taken to the town of Motril to receive attention from the Red Cross, while 24 others were taken to Malaga.