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The sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial was accused Wednesday of being a fake who merely flapped his arms around during speeches. "He's a complete fraud," Cara Loening, director of Sign Language Education and Development in Cape Town told AFP. The interpreter, who translated eulogies including those of US President Barack Obama and Mandela's grandchildren, looked as if he was "trying to swat a few flies away from his face and his head". "The deaf community in South Africa are completely outraged and nobody knows who he is," said Loening.
Demba Ba ensured Chelsea finished top of Champions League Group E as the Senegal striker clinched a 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday. Jose Mourinho's side had already qualified for the last 16 of Europe's elite club competition, but they needed a victory in their final group fixture at Stamford Bridge to guarantee first place. Ba's first half goal was enough to fulfil that ambition and, while Chelsea were some way from their best, this fairly forgettable encounter could yet prove a significant stepping stone if they go on to have a successful European campaign. Mourinho claimed on Monday that Chelsea were unlikely to win the Champions League this season because the squad is still a work in progress in the first season of his second spell at the Bridge.
A late goal by Kevin Grosskreutz gave last season's beaten finalists Borussia Dortmund a 2-1 win over 10-man Marseille and the victory they needed to reach the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday. Dortmund won Group F, but Grosskreutz's goal meant misery for Napoli, who beat Arsenal 2-0 in Italy to finish in a three-way tie on 12 points atop the section, only to miss out because of an inferior head-to-head record with the other two teams. Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said that he was getting very nervous towards the end as he felt the team were rushing things too much. Dortmund caught the Marseille defence napping as early as the fourth minute as Marco Reus found Robert Lewandowski, who turned Lucas Mendes before rifling the ball past Steve Mandanda.
Naples (Italy) (AFP) - Arsenal qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League despite losing 2-0 away to Napoli on Wednesday, while the Italian side agonisingly miss out. Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon both scored in the second half either side of Mikel Arteta's sending-off, but Borussia Dortmund's dramatic late 2-1 win in Marseille saw them go through as winners of Group F ahead of Arsenal and pushed Napoli into third place. The Premier League leaders did just enough in the heated atmosphere of the San Paolo stadium, with Napoli needing to win by three goals to be certain of qualifying, and Arsene Wenger's side can look forward to playing in the Champions League knockout stages for the 14th year in succession.
Leftist lawmakers padlocked and placed chairs over the doors of the chamber of deputies Wednesday to prevent debate on a major energy reform bill that passed the Senate hours earlier. "We cannot allow a handful of people to take and give away the nation's property," deputy Maria Luisa Alcalde of the Citizen Movement Party said from the podium, joined by members of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and the Workers Party. The left, which sees the reform as an attempt to privatize state-run company Pemex, wants the reform to be put before Mexicans in a referendum. The bill is the centerpiece of President Enrique Pena Nieto's reform drive, which has included new tax collection, telecommunications and education laws in an effort to revitalize Latin America's second biggest economy.
By David Lawder and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday were falling in line behind a two-year budget deal negotiated behind closed doors, indicating that the normally rambunctious group of lawmakers is not spoiling for a year-end fiscal fight. Despite conservative groups denouncing the $85 billion plan, the Republican-controlled House could vote as early as Thursday to lock into place a measure that would minimize chances of any further government shutdowns at least until October 2015. Representative Tom Cole told reporters that a majority of his fellow House Republicans would vote for the budget deal, which would replace some of the indiscriminate, across-the-board agency spending cuts scheduled for the next two years. "A lot of support was expressed for it" during a closed meeting of House Republicans, Cole told reporters.