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England v Australia: Lionesses set to roar as they attempt to reach first ever World Cup final | World News

Hot on the heels of a blockbuster Ashes series, England fans are in for another high stakes sporting clash with Australia as the Lionesses take on the Matildas in the Women’s World Cup semi-final.

The old rivalry has already been ignited in the build up to the match at Sydney’s Stadium Australia, with tickets allocated to England being snapped up by Aussie fans and a helicopter funded by the Australian Daily Telegraph spying on an England training session.

The newspaper’s stunt culminated in a piece with the title “11 Poms against a nation: Welcome to the Jungle, Lionesses”.

According to the article, manager Sarina Wiegman and co were in for a “rude shock” if they thought they could quietly prepare for the game.

England booked their place in the semi-finals alongside the host nation over the weekend following a 2-1 win against Colombia.

Australia, meanwhile, saw off France in a penalty shootout after the match remained goalless after extra time.

England coach Sarina Wiegman and the team
England coach Sarina Wiegman and the team

Read more: Five things to know ahead of England’s clash with Australia

The Lionesses will be without Lauren James who is completing her two-match ban for stamping on Michelle Alozie during the round of 16 match against Nigeria.

But captain Millie Bright says her team will “thrive” under the pressure of playing against the hosts.

“That is what we expect now – for us to thrive in those moments,” she said.

“It is a proud moment for the women’s game back home when they see what an atmosphere there is.

“It’s about turning up, showing up, performing and enjoying the game.

“It is important to adapt to the game whatever they give to us. We have faced many different challenges and we have adapted really well.”

England head coach Sarina Wiegman and goalkeeper Mary Earps (left) during the press conference at Stadium Australia, Sydney. Picture date: Friday August 11, 2023.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman

Wiegman has also said she expects the match to be “very tight and very competitive”.

However, Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has said that while England may be favourites on paper, they don’t have the “support” his players do.

He said: “If you look at all that and you look at resources, financially, obviously they are massive favourites going into this game.

“But the one thing that we have that they don’t have is the support and belief from the fans.”

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Who are the Lionesses?

Read more on Sky News:
Family split by England-Australia loyalties
Lionesses star apologises to opponent for stamp

Rishi Sunak has sent a good luck message to the team ahead of the tie – telling The Sun newspaper the “nation’s hopes of beating the Aussies now rest on our Lionesses”.

His comments follow the Ashes series which ended in a 2-2 draw after five matches replete with epic performances, controversial dismissals and numerous rain delays.

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Can the Lionesses go all the way?

As well as the words exchanged between supporters of both sides, the FA said it was “disappointed” to hear reports of tickets specifically allocated to England fans being bought by Australians.

The additional 1,970 tickets were released at the weekend, and about 8,000 England fans were expected to be in attendance at the Australia Stadium.

The FA said it was working with FIFA to review its ticketing processes going forwards.

A unique supporter code was reportedly leaked on social media – with a number of Australian fans claiming to have purchased tickets.

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Lionesses beat Colombia 2-1.

Back in England, fans have put out flags and bunting ahead of the fixture and pubs and fan parks have prepared to welcome supporters for the 11am UK kick-off time.

According to Sky Bet at the time of writing, England were 5/4 to win in normal time, compared to 5/2 for Australia.

‘I owe them my life’: Army veteran rescued by coastguard after mayday call ends Rockall record attempt | UK News

An army veteran who hoped to set a world record for the number of days living on a remote North Atlantic islet says he owes rescuers his life after issuing an emergency mayday call.

Christopher “Cam” Cameron VR FRGS planned to remain on Rockall for 60 days and managed to make it to the halfway point before his charity challenge was scuppered by treacherous weather.

Much of his equipment was destroyed by wind and waves throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, and he was almost swept away at several points overnight.

After issuing the distress call to HM Coastguard on Wednesday evening, the crew of nearby ship MV Nassauborg kept in visual contact from the water as waves continued to crash over the islet.

Mr Cameron told Sky News: “I was reassured at all times that I was in safe hands and that I would return to see my family despite being in pain, exhausted and hypothermic.

“I’ll need a moment or two to take stock, decompress, and get home to see my family.”

Christopher “Cam” Cameron. Pic: Rockall Expedition/MPV HIRTA
Pic: Rockall Expedition/MPV HIRTA

Christopher “Cam” Cameron. Pic: Rockall Expedition/MPV HIRTA
Pic: Rockall Expedition/MPV HIRTA

Stornoway Coastguard responded to the alert. Mr Cameron was winched to safety via helicopter and then flown back to the Scottish town – the largest in the Outer Hebrides.

Mr Cameron said: “I’m safe and well after a good night’s sleep, courtesy of the hospitality and kindness from the people of Stornoway.

“I owe this all to the courageous and speedy extraction from Rockall by the professionalism of HM Coastguard.”

Rockall is an uninhabitable granite islet around 230 miles west of North Uist.

Mr Cameron had hoped to beat the world record of a 45-day stay on Rockall, set by Nick Hancock in 2014.

Christopher “Cam” Cameron. Pic: Rockall Expedition
Pic: Rockall Expedition

Mr Cameron, who is usually based in Wiltshire, took on the challenge for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

He has raised more than £12,000 for the causes so far.

He said: “I did it for the charities and we have raised some much needed money for them.”

Mr Cameron thanked all those who have sent kind words.

Christopher "Cam" Cameron. Pic: Stornoway Coastguard
Pic: Stornoway Coastguard

Paying tribute to his rescuers, he said: “I would not be here were it not for the courageous efforts of HM Coastguard – in particular, Stornoway Coastguard and the pilots and crew of Rescue 22, and SAR Stornoway.

“A big thank you also to the captain and crew of MV Nassauborg, who maintained a sector screen around Rockall whilst I waited for the [helicopter]. I owe them all my life.”

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MV Nassauborg. Pic: Cam Cameron
MV Nassauborg keeping watch. Pic: Cam Cameron

Christopher “Cam” Cameron. Pic: Rockall Expedition/Cam Cameron
Rockall Expedition/Cam Cameron

Mr Cameron’s family said: “We are hugely proud of all his achievements, but also that he had the courage to make what must have been a very difficult decision in the face of such dreadful weather.

“We are looking forward to welcoming him home and hope that any future adventures will be a little less risky.”

They joked: “Why couldn’t he just have bought a sports car in the first place?”

Christopher “Cam” Cameron. Pic: Rockall Expedition
Pic: Rockall Expedition

A documentary about Mr Cameron’s challenge, titled Rockall – The Edge of Existence, is currently being produced.

Aaron Wheeler, director of the documentary, said: “We’re glad Cam is safely back on dry land and look forward to watching through the footage that Cam recorded during his occupation to tell the story of his adventure.”

Brecon Beacons National Park: Tories criticise renaming as ‘symbolic’ attempt to look ‘trendy’ | UK News

A rebranding move to drop the name Brecon Beacons in favour of its Welsh counterpart has been criticised by senior Conservatives who suggested the money could have been better used to encourage tourism.

They also called it a symbolic attempt to look “trendy” which could undermine the region’s international identity.

The picturesque and rugged national park will now be known as Bannau Brycheiniog to reflect its Welsh language roots and remove any association with carbon emissions.

As part of the overhaul, there will be a new green and white logo to replace a brightly burning beacon.

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Can you pronounce the new Brecon Beacons name?

The park’s management admitted any connection with a wood-burning, carbon-emitting blazing beacon was “not a good look” for the Brecon Beacons, which covers around 520 square miles (1,350 sq km) of mountainous South and mid Wales.

And it said there was no evidence that beacons, which were once lit on peaks or coastlines to warn of an imminent attack, had ever been used in the area – so the Welsh name better reflected its heritage.

Brecon Beacons
Brecon Beacons

Bannau Brycheiniog translates in English as “peaks of Brychan’s kingdom” – a reference to the king who ruled that area during the fifth century.

But the renaming has been criticised by Tories including Welsh Secretary David TC Davies who said: “What concerns me is the fact there was no consultation and people who live and work in the national park were not given the opportunity to voice their opinion.

“It would be somewhat alarming if this was an entirely executive decision.

“The Brecon Beacons has a long-standing international identity and that is the name it will always be known by to so many around the world. I do question the cost and feel this is money that could have been used to encourage tourism in a better way.

“As a bilingual country, I fail to understand why the Welsh name cannot be used alongside the English name.”

Welsh Secretary David TC Davies. Pic: UK parliament
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies. Pic: UK parliament

‘Jumping on a sustainability bandwagon for PR purposes’

Brecon and Radnorshire’s Tory MP Fay Jones questioned the cost and impact of the “symbolic” rebrand and demanded to know why local people were not consulted.

“I’m amazed that a change of name should be imposed on those who live and work in the national park without any consultation,” she said.

“I am worried that this is symbolic. This is about looking trendy and jumping on a sustainability bandwagon for PR purposes.”

Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies said: “The Beacons are as recognisable outside of Wales as they are here. Why undermine that?”

However, Welsh actor Michael Sheen said he welcomed the “reclamation of the old Welsh name – an old name for a new way of being”, and he has filmed a promotional video to celebrate the name change.

Read more:
Girls in Wales almost twice as likely to report mental health struggles
Visitors to Wales could pay extra fee
Boy finds ‘250 million-year-old fossil’ on beach

Catherine Mealing-Jones, chief executive of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. Pic: Bannau Brycheiniog
Catherine Mealing-Jones, chief executive of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. Pic: Bannau Brycheiniog

‘Providing leadership on decarbonisation’

Also, the park authority’s chief executive, Catherine Mealing-Jones, said: “Given that we’re trying to provide leadership on decarbonisation, a giant burning brazier is not a good look.

“Our park is shaped by Welsh people, Welsh culture, and as we looked into it we realised the brand we’ve got and the name we’ve got, it’s a bit of a nonsense, it doesn’t really make any sense – the translation Brecon Beacons doesn’t really mean anything in Welsh.

“We’d always had the name Bannau Brycheiniog as the Welsh translation and we just felt we needed to put that front and centre as an expression about the new way we wanted to be celebrating Welsh people, Welsh culture, Welsh food, Welsh farming – all of the things that need to come with us as we go through this change in the management plan.”

Denial of alleged coup attempt and ex-PM’s arms deal bid revealed in declassified documents | UK News

Details of an alleged government coup attempt and a prime minister’s desperate bid for an arms deal have been revealed in a slew of freshly declassified documents.

The secretive records have been released for the first time by the National Archives in Kew.

Among them is a letter surrounding a reported plot to overthrow Harold Wilson’s Labour government in 1968.

The story had enough weight to be recreated for Netflix royal drama The Crown, but correspondence from one of those accused years later described it as “nonsense” with “no foundation in fact”.

Those were the words of publishing guru Cecil King in a 1981 note to Whitehall mandarin Sir Robert Armstrong, as he dismissed claims he had conspired with Lord Mountbatten – the Duke of Edinburgh’s uncle – and Lord Cudlipp.

Mr King, chairman of the International Publishing Corporation (IPC) which counted the Daily Mirror among its titles, accused Mr Wilson of feeding the coup allegation to the press years after he was legitimately ousted by Ted Heath’s Conservatives in 1970.

The alleged coup was reported in The Times newspaper, prompting the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher to address the claims in parliament.

Decades later, it formed part of season three of The Crown.

An embittered Mr King suspected that the accusation played a part in his removal from the IPC.

“Unlike most newspaper stories this one had no foundation in fact,” he said in his letter.

(Original Caption) 1978-London, England- Margaret Thatcher, leader of the British Conservative Party, is on the threshold of becoming Britain's first woman Prime Minister. Mrs. Thatcher wears dark blue dress with white collar, background is dark.
Margaret Thatcher was forced to address the reports

Composer loved by royals ‘sought help with illegal drug supply’

Also revealed is how a revered British composer beloved by the Royal Family secretly sought state help to supply him with illegal quantities of controlled drugs.

Sir William Walton, whose famous composition Crown Imperial was used in the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and the Platinum Jubilee celebrations this year, was said to be “very dependent” on Ritalin, commonly used to treat ADHD.

Records show his wife, Lady Susana Walton, asked a police inspector in 1982 to help send a year’s supply to his home on the island of Ischia, near Naples, in Italy.

Sending such high volumes of the substance abroad was illegal, but his wife asked anyway because – the records suggest – she “rather lives with her head in the clouds”.

UK knew of French president’s secret health woes

Another revelation released by the National Archives is that the UK government knew the extent of ailing French president Francois Mitterrand’s ill-health a decade before his terminal prognosis was made public.

Diplomat Sir Reginald Hibber filled in Whitehall colleagues in December 1981 with “talk about the President’s health which seemed to me to carry a certain amount of conviction”.

Sir Reginald suggested Mr Mitterrand may have cancer, less than a year after he had taken office.

That proved to be correct, as Mr Mitterrand died in 1996 with prostate cancer – something he successfully concealed from the French public throughout his presidency – which ended in 1995 – and until his death.

Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks to the media on the second day of the European Union heads of state and governments summit in Brussels December 15, 2006. REUTERS/Yves Herman (BELGIUM)
Tony Blair’s bid for an arms deal with Kuwait is also detailed in the documents

Blair begged Kuwait for arms deal

According to other declassified records, Tony Blair begged Kuwait to buy UK artillery as payback for supporting the Middle Eastern nation during the Gulf War.

He repeatedly lobbied Crown Prince Sheikh Sa’ad between 1998 and 1999, even calling in on him during a brief stopover on a flight home from South Africa to press the point.

Internal briefing notes show the government believed it was “due the award of a significant defence equipment contract in recognition of its defence of Kuwait” following the invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces in 1990.

The efforts did not immediately reap rewards, as Kuwait announced its intention to buy US artillery instead.