Saturday, June 22, 2019

Patrick Cutrone, Federico Chiesa Lead Italy Past Belgium 3-1 at 2019 U21 Euros

Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Hosts Italy beat Belgium 3-1 at the 2019 UEFA Under-21 European Championship on Saturday thanks to goals from Nicolo Barella, Patrick Cutrone and Federico Chiesa.
Cagliari midfielder Barella made up for missing a free header early on by sweeping Italy ahead with a low shot across goal just before half-time.
The Azzurrini doubled their lead within 10 minutes of the restart when Lorenzo Pellegrini whipped in a cross from the left for Cutrone to direct a superb header past goalkeeper Ortwin De Wolf.
Belgium pulled one back late on through a brilliant curling effort from 17-year-old midfielder Yari Verschaeren, but Chiesa smashed Italy's third into the top corner with just minutes remaining to seal the win.
Italy manager Luigi Di Biagio named a strong team for the match but left Juventus forward Moise Kean on the bench with Manuel Locatelli coming into his starting XI:
The hosts started well and ought to have opened the scoring after six minutes. Giuseppe Pezzella fired in a low cross from the left, but a diving Barella could not direct his header on target.
The Azzurrini went on to dominate the first half but struggled to make the breakthrough. Chiesa and Lorenzo Pellegrini both had chances but could not find the target:
There was also controversy minutes before half-time as Chiesa appeared to tread on Belgium midfielder Alexis Saelemaekers' fingers after he had gone to ground inside the penalty area:
Italy then took the lead right on the stroke of half-time. Barella had an effort saved by goalkeeper Ortwin De Wolf, but the ball came back to the midfielder and he swept home at the second time of asking.
The hosts continued where they left off after the break, with Cutrone steering a header past a diving De Wolf on 53 minutes (UK only):
Italy continued to dominate but could not add to their tally and were hit on the break with a little over 10 minutes remaining.
Belgium's 17-year-old midfielder Verschaeren cut in from the left and curled a brilliant effort into the top corner from just outside the penalty area.
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    Italy hit back by sealing the victory late on through Chiesa. He smashed a shot into the top corner from just inside the penalty area after picking up a fine crossfield pass from Sandro Tonali.
    Belgium then finished the game with 10 men, as Isaac Mbenza picked up a second yellow card in stoppage time for a late challenge on Chiesa.
    What's Next?
    Saturday's result means Spain top Group A and progress to the semi-finals following their 5-0 win over Poland. Italy finish second and will have to wait to see if they qualify as the best runner-up from the tournament's three groups, while Belgium exit the competition. 

    Hong Kong protests: How tensions have spread to US

    Image copyright Hon-Tung Tsang Image caption Frances Hui speaks at a New York rally in support of Hong Kong protesters

    Frances Hui speaks at a New York rally in support of Hong Kong protestersThe protests in Hong Kong have heightened tensions between the territory and China, and generated headlines the world over. They have also deepened unease many thousands of miles away - on US campuses.
    "I am from a city owned by a country that I don't belong to."
    So began a column written by a 19-year-old Hong Kong student at a university in Boston. The piece, entitled "I am from Hong Kong, not China", in a student paper at Emerson College placed its author Frances Hui at the centre of a storm.
    Soon after publication in April, well before the protests in Hong Kong erupted, Hui's social media accounts were on fire. She received overwhelming support, including from Joshua Wong , Hong Kong's most prominent student activist who liked Hui's post.
    But the support was joined by a wave of criticism from mainland Chinese students at Emerson.
    One called Hui "ignorant and arrogant". Some commented that she and her parents should be ashamed. Another said Hui grew up enjoying electricity and fresh water supplied by the mainland, "but now you claim you are Hongkonger, not Chinese?"
    Image copyright HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images Image caption Protesters converge on Hong Kong's police headquarters on 21 June
    The most striking comment reads: "Anyone who offends our China will be executed, no matter how far they are."
    The sentence is originally from an ancient Chinese history book dated back more than 2,000 years. After being featured prominently in a popular Chinese nationalist action film in 2017, it's now frequently cited by Chinese netizens where they see China is under attack.
    "I had a panic attack when I saw that comment," Hui told the BBC.
    She soon noticed some mainland Chinese students stared at her on campus, and some tagged her social media accounts, commenting that she looked "small and weak" in person.
    "I felt I was being monitored," says Hui. She says many mainland Chinese take it personally when China is criticised, unlike Hong Kong people who often criticise their own government.
    Since the 1997 handover, Hong Kong people's growing distrust in the city's government and Beijing has been reflected in multiple large-scale protests, most recently in June when a massive march against a controversial extradition bill took place.
    China promised Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy within the "one country, two systems" framework, but many now worry the city's political freedom is tumbling due to Beijing's tightened grip.
    The political tensions have permeated interactions between mainlanders and Hong Kong people, even across the Pacific at American campuses.
    Image copyright The Berkeley Beacon Image caption Frances Hui's column in the Emerson College student paper
    Three days after Hui's article was published, three mainland Chinese students at Emerson penned a letter of response in the student newspaper, the Berkley Beacon.
    It is globally and legally agreed that Hong Kong is a part of China, they wrote. The three co-authors turned down the BBC's interview request.
    Xinyan Fu, one of the three Chinese students, wrote in a public Facebook post that they respect Hui's political views and freedom of speech, but think her article is factually flawed.
    Fu called for her fellow classmates to refrain from personal attacks, but that did not seem to work. Under Fu's post, one commenter wrote: "Shame on you."
    Hui says she welcomes rational and respectful debate through the student paper. She insists her article did not argue Hong Kong is not part of China. Instead, it is about her "Hongkonger" identity. It's personal and should not be amended by others.
    Though Hong Kong is legally Chinese territory, Hong Kong citizens have diverse self-identities.
    According to a poll conducted by the Public Opinion Programme of The University of Hong Kong in December 2018, 15.1% of Hong Kong people identified as Chinese, in contrast to 40% as Hongkonger. 43.2% of them said they have mixed identity, Hongkonger in China, or Chinese in Hong Kong.
    Image copyright Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/Getty Images Image caption A protester and Umbrella Movement supporter in Hong Kong on 21 June
    In the 18 to 29 age group, merely 4.1% Hong Kong people identified themselves as Chinese, while 59.2% of them said they are Hongkonger, Hui included.
    A mainland classmate agrees with her view, yet this person did not voice support publicly, fearing backlash from other mainland students, Hui says. The Chinese student who threatened to "execute" Hui was reported to the school, but Hui is unaware of any disciplinary actions taken by the college.
    In a statement provided to the BBC, Emerson College said it is deeply committed to fostering a respectful exchange of diverse viewpoints and perspectives.
    International students account for 16% among the college's student body, with most of them coming from mainland China and Taiwan.
    In June, when an estimated one million Hong Kong people took to the streets, most American colleges were on summer break. The quarrel between Hui and her mainland Chinese classmates was put on hold.
    Hui moved her battlefield off campus. She co-organised and attended demonstrations in the US in support of the Hong Kong protesters.
    In a demonstration in New York, she wore a black T-shirt with "I am a Hongkonger" written in English and Cantonese. "Protect Hong Kong!" She led the crowd to chant.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device
    Media captionProtests returned to Hong Kong streets following the suspension of the extradition bill
    For some Hong Kong students in the US, the anti-extradition protests became an opportunity for open discussions with mainlanders.
    Kenneth Tsui, a Hong Kong student at Maryland University, lives with a roommate from mainland China who after seeing the protests was asking Tsui questions about it. He and his Chinese classmates are used to debates in American classrooms, Tsui says, therefore even if they fail to convince each other, they usually agree to disagree.
    During the protests, Kaze Wong, a Hong Kong student at Johns Hopkins University, announced his support through emails and social media. He got a plethora of responses from mainlanders, most of whom wanted to learn about the protesters' perspectives, says Wong.
    One of Wong's mainland Chinese friends at Johns Hopkins, Andre Wang, offered to help spread the word.
    Image copyright SOPA Images/Getty Images Image caption A protestor at an anti-extradition rally in New York
    "To me, Hong Kong represents hope. It shows me an alternative of ethnic Chinese society. Perhaps one day the mainland can be free like Hong Kong," says Wang, who retweeted protest photos on Sina Weibo, an equivalent of Twitter in China. The posts were soon deleted.
    Wang is supportive of the anti-extradition movement, but he says many Chinese students are indifferent because they were taught to go "numb" to politics and just accept what it is.
    The unpleasant exchanges experienced by Hui are hardly unexpected, Kaze Wong says. "The young generations in Hong Kong and mainland China have very different self-identities."
    Both Wong and Kenneth Tsui have friendly interactions with their mainland friends. They frequently share meals, plan grocery trips and work in the labs together. Yet both Wong and Tsui identify themselves as "Hongkonger".
    "I always introduce myself as a Hongkonger," Wong says, "If someone says I am from China, I'll go the extra mile to explain 'one country, two systems' to them."
    Hui's column speaks the mind of many young Hong Kong people born in the 1990s or after, Wong says.
    Image copyright HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images Image caption Protesters hold up their mobile phones outside the police headquarters in Hong Kong on 21 June
    At the year of handover, they were very young or not yet born. After witnessing first-hand and participating in waves of social movements against Beijing, their Hongkonger identity has grown stronger and stronger, says Wong.
    In June, Wong and Tsui attended an anti-extradition demonstration in Washington DC, one of many gatherings taking place overseas in solidarity with the Hong Kong protesters. Afterward, participants posed for photos in front of the White House. Wong noticed some, probably from mainland China, quietly walked out of the frame.
    Even thousands of miles away in the US, protesting against Beijing can be much too risky for the Chinese.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019

    Thousands of Hong Kong protesters gather, government offices shut after violent protests

    HONG KONG (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters readied in Hong Kong on Thursday for more potential clashes with police over a planned extradition law with mainland China, a day after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at unarmed demonstrators.

    A protester holds a sign following a day of violence over an extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial, in Hong Kong, China June 13, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
    Small scuffles broke out between police and demonstrators around the city’s legislature, the epicenter of the violence, while some protesters rushed to stop police from removing supplies of face masks and food.
    Uniformed police with helmets and shields blocked overhead walkways, while a long row of police vans was parked nearby. Plainclothes police officers checked commuters’ identity papers.
    Schoolchildren joined the steadily growing crowd, which swelled to a few thousand by midday, from around 20 early in the day.
    “We are ready to have a protracted war with the government,” said one protester, Natalie Wong. “I am young, that’s why I have to fight for Hong Kong.”
    The extradition bill, which will cover Hong Kong residents and foreign and Chinese nationals living or traveling through the city, has sparked concerns it may threaten the rule of law that underpins Hong Kong’s international financial status.
    The legislature remained closed, with the council issuing a notice that the group’s meeting would not be held on Thursday.
    Authorities have shut government offices in the financial district for the rest of the week after some of the worst violence in Hong Kong since Britain handed it back to Chinese rule in 1997.
    On Wednesday, police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray in a series of skirmishes to clear demonstrators from the legislature, with officials saying 72 people had been admitted to hospital by 10 p.m.
    It was the third night of violence since a protest on Sunday drew what organizers said was more than a million people in the biggest street demonstration since the 1997 handover.
    Several thousand demonstrators stayed until the early hours of morning near the legislature in the Admiralty district, while thousands more retreated to the Central business district, overlooked by the towers of some of Asia’s biggest firms and hotel chains, including HSBC and AIA.
    Hong Kong’s benchmark stock exchange slid as much as 1.5 percent on Thursday, extending losses from the previous day.
    Most roads around the business district were opening for traffic, but Pacific Place, a prime shopping mall next to the legislature, stayed shut.
    Banks, including Standard Chartered, Bank of China and DBS, said they had suspended branch services in the area.
    Banks in the Central district emphasized it was ‘business as usual’ but many offered staff the option of working from home.
    “As a precaution, we shut two outlets early where the protests were taking place. Our priorities are the safety of our employees and supporting our customers,” said HSBC, whose ground-level public space at its headquarters has previously been a focal point for protests.
    Hong Kong’s China-backed Chief Executive Carrie Lam condemned the violence late on Wednesday and urged a swift restoration of order.
    While acknowledging the controversy, Lam has refused to postpone or withdraw the bill, which she and her officials say is necessary to plug “loopholes” that allow the city to be a haven for criminals wanted on the mainland.
    Lam has said the courts would provide human rights safeguards in vetting case-by-case extraditions to mainland China.
    Opponents, including leading lawyers and rights groups, say China’s justice system is marked by torture and forced confessions, arbitrary detention and poor access to lawyers.
    In an impromptu media standup in the legislature, democratic lawmakers strongly criticized Lam’s heavy-handed police response.
    “We are not a haven for criminals, but we have become a haven of violent police. Firing at our children? None of the former chief executives dared to do that,” said legislator Fernando Cheung.
    “But ‘mother Carrie Lam’ did it. What kind of mother is she? I have never seen such an evil-hearted mother.”
    In editorials on Thursday, Chinese state media said the protests were “hammering” Hong Kong’s reputation.
    “It is lawlessness that will hurt Hong Kong, not the proposed amendments to its fugitive law,” said the English-language China Daily.
    Face masks, goggles, helmets and water bottles strewn around the legislature area were being cleaned up, while a police team stood nearby, looking relaxed.
    The adjacent Admiralty metro station remained shut while commuters crowded into other stations, with some diverted into sprawling bus queues.
    Concern over the unrest prompted Hong Kong’s Tourism Board to call off its dragon boat carnival this weekend and index provider MSCI to cancel a Thursday conference at a hotel near the skirmishes.
    The city’s Bar Association expressed concern over video footage of police using force against largely unarmed protesters.
    “In these cases the police may well have overstepped their lawful powers in maintaining public order,” it said in a statement.
    Amnesty International joined domestic rights groups in condemning Wednesday’s use of police force as excessive, while a spokeswoman for the U.N. Human Rights Office in Geneva said it was following the situation closely.
    “We call on all parties to express their views peacefully and on Hong Kong’s authorities to engage in an inclusive and transparent dialogue over the draft legislation,” the spokeswoman said.
    Diplomatic pressure was also building after leaders such as British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump commented on the protests.
    The European Union said it shared many Hong Kong citizens’ concerns over the proposed extradition reforms and urged an in-depth public consultation.
    “This is a sensitive issue, with potentially far-reaching consequences for Hong Kong and its people, for EU and foreign citizens, as well as for business confidence,” it said in a statement.
    Reporting by Julie Zhu, Sumeet Chatterjee, Clare Jim, Jennifer Hughes, Anne Marie Roantree, James Pomfret, Alun John, Vimvang Tong, Jessie Pang and Felix Tam; Additional reporting by David Stanway in SHANGHAI; Writing by Farah Master and Greg Torode in HONG KONG, Editing by Michael Perry and Clarence Fernandez

    Shops in Hong Kong close doors to ‘find breath of freedom’

    HONG KONG — By the entrance of his restaurant, Kelvin Chung hung a piece of paper announcing the restaurant’s intention to strike on Wednesday.

    “Hoping to find a breath of freedom,” the sign said, adding that the shop would offer free honey green tea at lunch time to boost the city’s morale.
    His modest Japanese-style grill joined other small businesses that closed their doors to show solidarity with thousands of protesters who blocked government buildings in central Hong Kong, forcing the Legislative Council to postpone debate on highly contentious changes to the territory’s extradition’s laws.
    Chung said the legislation is unlikely to have an impact on his restaurant, Delicorner, which offers fried chicken and grilled eel paired with tea. But the 30-year-old said he felt obliged to strike because he cared about the future of Hong Kong.
    “The kind of democracy that we long for should be fearless,” Chung said.
    The proposed amendments would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial.
    Opponents say that would subject people to the mainland’s murky judicial system, which has been accused of bringing vague charges against critics of Communist Party rule and holding unfair trials. Many in Hong Kong worry that the changes would erode the semi-autonomous region’s rule of law and legal independence.
    Chung said his goal is to become a psychological counselor, and he is worried that the extradition bill would prevent him from speaking freely to his clients.
    “Maybe the law originally had a good objective,” he said, “but the main worry is that mainland China’s legal system is not trustworthy.”
    Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Monday, June 3, 2019

    China warns students about ‘risks’ of going to the U.S. in the latest twist to the trade war

    BEIJING —  China warned students on Monday to think about the “risks” associated with attending college in the United States, an apparent sign that the authorities in Beijing are expanding the boundaries of the trade war to include educational exchanges.
    The warning comes as the Chinese government looks for ways to retaliate against the Trump administration for the tariffs it has imposed on $250 billion worth of goods from China, including fish and tungsten. 
    Tentative plans are underway for President Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to meet at the Group of 20 summit in Japan later this month to try to find a way out of the protracted trade war. But analysts said that they will meet only if substantial progress has been made — and that there has been none so far.
    Speaking to reporters in Beijing on Monday, Xu Yongji, an official from the Education Ministry, said that the Trump administration and Congress had “politicized some normal China-U.S. educational exchanges and cooperation activities.”
    “[They] are cracking down on them under the banner of ‘China threat’ and ‘China infiltration,’ and they are stigmatizing Confucius Institutes as a tool for China,” she said, referring to the programs through which Beijing has sought to expand Chinese language and cultural studies into American universities.
    “[They] are accusing Chinese students and scholars in the United States of launching ‘nontraditional espionage’ activities and causing trouble for no reason,” Xu said, advising current and potential students to “strengthen” their risk assessments before deciding to study in the United States.
    Chinese students have made up an increasingly large proportion of international students in the United States in recent years, numbering more than 370,000 in the past academic year — or almost one-third of all international students. They have become a valuable source of income for many colleges.
     But the rate at which they are being rejected for visas is concerning the authorities here.
    In 2018, 331 of the 10,313 students who applied to study in the United States on Chinese government scholarships were rejected, according to government figures. That amounted to a rejection rate of 3.2 percent. But in the first three months of this year, 182 of the 1,353 students who applied — or 13.5 percent — were unable to go because ofvisa problems, the China Scholarship Council statistics showed.
    Furthermore, officials said that visas are taking longer to issue and are being issued for shorter periods.
    This comes as the United States has revoked the 10-year visas of some Chinese scholars dealing with U.S. relations.
    “These kinds of behaviors have already hurt the dignity of Chinese students studying in the United States and have seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people,” Xu said. “This American behavior is causing a cold snap in China-U.S. educational exchanges and cooperation.”
    In recent days, the Chinese Internet has been busy with news that Chinese citizens will now be required to submit information about their social media accounts when applying for a U.S. visa. This includes sharing usernames for Chinese services including WeChat, Weibo and Youku, the visa department of China CYTS Tours wrote on its online accounts.
     The Chinese Embassy in the United States issued a notice on its website Sunday about the new requirement, reminding citizens to “truthfully provide the application materials.” 
    No quick end is in sight for the trade war, which began when Trump vowed to close the United States’ roughly $400 billion trade deficit with China. He has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese imports and has threatened to add duties to the remaining $300 billion in goods that the United States imports from China.
    The administration has also put Huawei, a Chinese telecom giant, on a blacklist that effectively bars U.S. companies from supplying it with computer chips, software and other components without government approval. 
    Beijing responded by imposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, but has run out of American goods to tax. That has led it to take other reciprocal actions, including announcing a plan to establish a blacklist of “unreliable” foreign companies and organizations, effectively forcing companies worldwide to choose whether they would side with Beijing or Washington.
    Liu Yang contributed to this report.

    Saturday, March 23, 2019

    Hazard lifts Belgium in Euro qualifying as Depay triggers Dutch rout

    Paris (AFP) - Eden Hazard ensured Belgium kicked off their qualifying campaign for Euro 2020 in style on Thursday with a brace in a home victory over Russia, while a Memphis Depay-inspired Netherlands romped to a 4-0 win over Belarus.
    World Cup semi-finalists Belgium earned a battling 3-1 win over Russia in Brussels as Hazard struck twice for Roberto Martinez's side in their opening game in Group I.
    Youri Tielemans rounded off a flowing move with a crisp low strike to fire Belgium ahead on 14 minutes at the King Baudouin Stadium, but Thibaut Courtois gifted Russia an immediate equaliser.
    The Real Madrid goalkeeper, put under pressure by Artem Dzyuba, panicked and scuffed the ball straight to Denis Cheryshev who duly swept home into an empty net.
    Michy Batshuayi had a shot cleared off the line, and later hit the post, but Hazard restored Belgium's lead just before half-time after drawing a foul from Yuri Zhirkov in the area.
    The Chelsea playmaker sealed the three points two minutes from time with an alert finish, while Aleksandr Golovin was sent off for Russia just before the end.
    "I enjoyed myself tonight. I take a lot of pleasure from this victory, in which I scored two goals," said Belgium captain Hazard.
    "After our last game against Switzerland (a 5-2 defeat), we had to respond in front of our own fans."
    Cyprus thrashed San Marino 5-0 to provisionally seize top spot in the group, while Scotland crashed to a humiliating 3-0 loss in Kazakhstan -- a nation ranked 117th in the FIFA rankings.
    Yuriy Pertsukh and Yan Vorogovskiy notched early goals for Kazakhstan before Baktiyor Zainutdinov's terrific header extinguished any chance of Scotland recovering.
    - Depay dazzles -
    In Rotterdam, Memphis Depay pounced on a sloppy backpass to put the Dutch ahead inside 60 seconds against Group C opponents Belarus.
    The Lyon forward set up Georginio Wijnaldum for their second on 21 minutes, with Depay tucking away a penalty after half-time following a foul by Mikhail Sivakov.
    Depay whipped in a cross for skipper Virgil van Dijk to nod in a fourth late on, leaving the Netherlands level on points with Northern Ireland, who beat Estonia 2-0 with Niall McGinn and Steven Davis on target in Belfast.
    "It's hard to choose between the goals and the assists," said Depay. "The first goal was good because it was the outside of my foot, but I also enjoyed the flick that set up the second."
    Krzysztof Piatek continued his magnificent season as he came off the bench to grab the only goal in a 1-0 win for Poland away to Austria in Group G.
    The AC Milan forward, already with 19 goals in 27 Serie A appearances this term, has now scored twice in three outings for his country following his international debut in September.
    "This was a first step in qualifying. It was a very important game and a very important win. We took three points and so we're very happy," said Poland striker Robert Lewandowski.
    World Cup runners-up Croatia, relegated from the top tier of the Nations League last year, ground out an unconvincing 2-1 victory against Azerbaijan in Zagreb.
    Rami Sheydaev put Azerbaijan on top on 19 minutes before Croatia hit back through Borna Barisic and a 79th-minute effort by Andrej Kramaric in Group E.
    Slovakia top the section on goal difference following a 2-0 defeat of Hungary in Trnava, as Ondrej Duda and Albert Rusnak scored for the hosts.

    North Korea Seeks to Split Alliance Between South Korea and U.S.

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Saturday escalated its attempt to create a rift between South Korea and the United States, as Washington sent mixed signals over whether it would tighten or relax sanctions on the North.

    Ever since the summit meeting between the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and President Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, late last month abruptly ended without a deal, North Korea has ceaselessly urged South Korea to distance itself from the United States and to push ahead with joint economic projects that have been held back by American-led United Nations sanctions.
    North Korea’s official trade has been devastated by international sanctions imposed since 2016. The country has tried to circumvent them by importing refined fuel or exporting coal through ship-to-ship transfers on the high seas, a move banned under United Nations sanctions. It has also sought to undermine the sanctions by boosting economic cooperation with South Korea.
    President Moon Jae-in of South Korea remains eager to boost inter-Korean economic ties, raising fears at home and abroad that he may steer his government away from international efforts to enforce sanctions against the North. But in reality, Mr. Moon’s hands are tied unless the United States and North Korea reach an agreement on denuclearizing the North and Washington helps to ease sanctions.
    On Saturday, DPRK Today, a North Korean government-run website, accused Mr. Moon’s government of reneging on its promise to improve inter-Korean ties and giving priority to “cooperation with a foreign force” over “cooperation among the Korean nation.”
    “The South Korean authorities’ behavior is deeply deplorable,” it said. “The only things the South will get from cooperating with the U.S. will be a deepening subordination, humiliation and shame.”
    North Korean state media has been issuing similar messages in recent days, even denigrating Mr. Moon’s efforts to mediate talks between his “American boss” and North Korea, and advising Mr. Moon’s government to throw its policy “in a garbage can.”
    Mr. Moon suffered another slap in the face when the North abruptly withdrew its staff from a joint inter-Korean liaison office on Friday.
    “The South’s authorities can’t do anything without approval or instruction from the United States, so how do they think they can be a mediator or facilitator?” the North Korean website Meari said on Friday. “They should know their place.”
    Mr. Moon has dedicated his diplomatic resources to facilitating dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, and has promoted building peace on the Korean Peninsula as his main policy goal. But his mediator’s role has run into a wall since the breakdown of the Hanoi meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim.
    He faced accusations that he had oversold Mr. Trump on Mr. Kim’s willingness to give up his nuclear weapons, even as North Korea accused him of working on behalf of Washington. But Mr. Moon remains determined to keep the momentum for diplomacy alive.
    The Hanoi summit meeting broke down when Mr. Kim insisted that the most punishing United Nations sanctions against his country should be lifted in return for a partial dismantlement of his country’s nuclear program.
    Before the Hanoi meeting, analysts had feared that Mr. Trump might sign onto a partial denuclearization deal and claim it as a victory. But in the end, he listened to his aides’ advice and walked away without signing a deal.
    After the Hanoi meeting, Mr. Trump has continued to reaffirm his good relationship with Mr. Kim and his willingness to make a deal. But the American president’s aides remain firm against lifting sanctions, arguing that it would deprive Washington of its most powerful tool to force North Korea’s complete denuclearization.
    On Thursday, the United States Treasury Department demonstrated Washington’s determination to keep squeezing the North by designating for punitive measures two Chinese shipping companies that had helped North Korea evade sanctions through deceptive methods like ship-to-ship transfers of cargo.
    South Korea was thrown into confusion after Mr. Trump tweeted that he ordered his government on Friday to withdraw “additional large scale sanctions” against the North. The tweet was initially taken as overruling the Treasury’s announcement the day before.
    But United States officials later explained that Mr. Trump had been referring to additional North Korea sanctions that were under consideration but not yet formally issued.
    “President Trump likes Chairman Kim, and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, told reporters.
    That raised hopes among Mr. Moon’s domestic supporters, who took Mr. Trump’s latest move as a sign that Washington did not want to antagonize North Korea with new sanctions. During a news conference in Hanoi immediately after his meeting with Mr. Kim, Mr. Trump said he didn’t want to talk about increasing sanctions partly because there were “a lot of great people in North Korea that have to live also.”
    “By withdrawing additional sanctions against North Korea, President Trump showed his firm will to continue dialogue to realize the denuclearization of North Korea,” Lee Hae-sik, a spokesman of Mr. Moon’s governing Democratic Party, told reporters on Saturday.
    But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party said that Mr. Moon has been used as “a pawn” by Mr. Kim and had ended up creating a fission in the alliance with Washington.
    “President Moon Jae-in and his Blue House still don’t grasp the reality and have a delusional belief that he is a mediator or facilitator,” Jun Hee-kyung, a spokeswoman for the opposition party, said in a statement.
    By dropping North Korea-related sanctions, Mr. Trump was trying to defuse growing tensions between Washington and Pyongyang after the Hanoi breakdown, said Harry J. Kazianis, director of Korean studies at the Washington-based Center for the National Interest.
    Recently, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui of North Korea threatened to suspend negotiations with Washington and said that Mr. Kim would soon decide whether to resume nuclear and missile tests, which it has not carried out in more than a year.
    “Trump’s canceling out of sanctions might have been a bid to get North Korea to change its thinking,” Mr. Kazianis said.

    Patrick Cutrone, Federico Chiesa Lead Italy Past Belgium 3-1 at 2019 U21 Euros

    Soccrates Images/Getty Images Hosts Italy beat Belgium 3-1 at the 2019 UEFA Under-21 European Championship on Saturday thanks to goals fr...