Nike has most Europe football deals, Adidas the most lucrative – study

Sports marketing research group Repucom said Nike had outpaced Adidas in Europe for the first time since the 2009/10 season to supply 26 of the region’s top clubs, up five compared with last year.


Adidas is supplying 18, down four from last year.

Although it has been a serious player in football only since 1994, Nike is now threatening Adidas’s leadership in the sport. At the World Cup in Brazil, it supplied more teams for the first time and put its boots on more than half the players.

Nike is ahead of Adidas in four of the five top European leagues.

The exception is the English Premier League, the most lucrative with more than 5 million shirts sold last season. Adidas has five English Premier sides, including Chelsea, compared with four for German rival Puma and three for Nike.

“Whilst Nike looks to maximise the number of teams it supplies, Adidas is going for the most popular, most followed and ultimately biggest selling clubs in the world,” Repucom football expert Andrew Walsh said.

Nike has signed more top teams in Spain, Germany, France and Italy, a total of 23, compared with 13 for Adidas and five for Puma. Repucom said 3 million Spanish club shirts were sold last season, compared with 2.3 million for the Bundesliga and about 1.2 million in each of the top leagues in France and Italy.

“Adidas and Nike, with Puma in third place, have managed to keep a good headlock on the market,” Walsh said, noting that U.S. brand Under Armour had not managed to sign another top side after English Premier club Tottenham Hotspur.

Adidas last month struck a record $1.3 billion (£770.21 million) shirt deal with Manchester United to oust Nike from the former English champions from the 2015/16 season, and it will also replace Nike at Italian champions Juventus next year.

Adidas expects record football sales of $2.7 billion in 2014, topping the $2.3 billion Nike reported for its financial year to end-May. While the periods are not directly comparable, Nike has suggested the U.S. company could exceed the Adidas figure for 2014 in its 2014/15 financial year.

Puma, the world’s no. 3 sportswear firm, has replaced Nike as the kit supplier at Arsenal from this season as part of a strategy to restore a reputation for performance gear after it shifted too far into fashion.

(editing by Jane Baird)

Interactive: Race discrimination cases from Brits to Bolt

Most complaints brought to court are dismissedThe majority of complaints have been lodged by Aboriginal peopleMembers of the Jewish community account for the second largest group of complaintsA small number of complaints have been lodged by Caucasian people

The Abbott government has proposed removing the words insult, offend and humiliate from section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.


Concerns have been raised over the proposed changes, announced by Attorney-General George Brandis, which would see the stipulations in 18C replaced with provisions outlawing racial vilification and intimidation.

The history of legal cases dealing with s. 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act*

Since the introduction of the Act, the majority of complaints brought to court have been lodged against individuals such as neighbours, colleagues or employers.

Media organisations including newspapers, television stations and the Australian Media and Communications Authority have also had complaints lodged against them in court.

The most well-known case involving the media involved a complaint lodged against columnist Andrew Bolt and the Herald & Weekly Times in 2011, which alleged that Mr Bolt had discriminated against light-skinned Aboriginal people.

The Federal Court of Australia ruled that the columnist and the newspaper had acted unlawfully, finding that some Aboriginal persons who have a fairer skin were reasonably likely to have been offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by the published comments.

Politicians, police officers and the entire government of Victoria have also had complaints lodged against them.

Pauline Hanson faced two complaints in court, both of which were dismissed, while a spokesman for her One Nation Party was ordered to pay $1000 in damages after stating that “home invasions are ethnically based, Lebanese or Iranian, not Australian”.

*Provided by the Australian Human Rights Commission as of December 12, 2013. Court documents were unavailable for approximately three cases.

Laws “an example for others to follow”

Australian National University Professor Simon Rice said Australia’s legislation is different from racial discrimination laws in place overseas, in that it focussed on conduct that caused harm rather than conduct that incited hatred.

“It’s probably an example for others to follow, rather than something that we should dispense with,” he said.

Professor Rice, the author of Australian Anti-Discrimination Law and former president of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, said the current law has provisions for free speech.

“It’s been an unremarkable, effective law for close to 20 years,” he said.

“I don’t see any reason to change it and until the Andrew Bolt case, nobody else saw any need to change it.”

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said if adopted, the laws would shift the focus from affected individuals to the impact any racial abuse may have on a third party.

“The actual effect that any abuse or harassment has on a victim would be inconsequential, but for cases of physical intimidation,” he said.

“It would be about inciting racial hatred in another person… This is a very high threshold to meet.”

Dr Soutphommasane said several prominent cases from the legislation’s past would have failed under the proposed changes, including those involving columnist Andrew Bolt and Fredrick Toben, who was charged and eventually jailed for posting “malicious anti-Jewish propaganda” on his website.

He said the changes would also include a broad exemption which would excuse “just about anything that was said in the course of public discussion regardless of whether it vilifies or intimidates someone on the basis of race”.

In the past financial year, only three per cent of complaints of racial discrimination made to Human Rights Commission were referred on to the court system.

‘Australia being asked to assimilate to immigrant values,’ Bolt says

Interactive: Race Discrimination cases from Brits to Bolt’People do have the right to be bigots,’ Brandis says

Andrew Bolt has lashed out at the government’s decision to dump proposed changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, saying Australia needs to have a “frank debate” about how certain cultures integrate into Australia.



Speaking on 2GB Radio last night, Mr Bolt and fellow commentator Steve Price engaged in a long discussion around the government’s decision, which was announced during a press conference about new anti-terrorism measures.

Listen to an extract of the program here:

Bolt said Mr Abbott’s decision to dump the changes meant discussions about certain cultures would be unnecessarily deemed as “racist.”

“To make the people who might feel picked on by the terrorism measures, which referred to Jihadists, Muslims, people from the Middle East… [Tony Abbott] is going to drop 18C so they’ll feel less picked on or more defended,” he said.

“But wait, don’t we need a frank debate – more frank than it’s been so far – into how the Islamic culture, the Muslim culture, people from certain Muslim countries in the Middle East, how they integrate here? That is a very difficult and dangerous discussion.”

“Do we need laws where it’s very easy then to make that discussion be deemed racist?”

“Australia is being asked to assimilate to immigrant values, and not necessarily the healthiest ones.”

He said the proposed changes to 18C would have protected free speech, referencing the case taken against him under the Racial Discrimination Act.

“As I found to my cost, the law is so broad that any discussion that some people don’t like, and can brand as being based on race, is at risk of being shut down,” he said.

Bolt went on to say that migrants to Australia had formerly been expected to assimilate to Australian values, but that had now been reversed.  

“Australia is being asked to assimilate to immigrant values, and not necessarily the healthiest ones,” he said. “And urged to censor, to stop, to stifle. I think this is wrong.” 

Later in the show, the pair mocked former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell after he tweeted that the hosts’ views were “so irrational they’re almost humorous”.

entertaining radio?! @2GB873 Bolt & Price ‘outraged’ by Fed Govt’s 18C decision. So irrational they’re almost humorous.

— Barry O’Farrell (@barryofarrell) August 5, 2014

“Hello to Barry,” Bolt said. “Pour yourself another expensive red, one you might have forgotten you actually had there.”

Price added that he had “a fair bit of regard for Barry O’Farrell before that but he has just gone down a bit in my estimation.”

“Anyway, we have an adult in charge of NSW now and Mike Baird is doing a great job,” he said.

On last night’s announcement, Bolt said he did not lay blame with Tony Abbott.

“Tony Abbott I’m not personally blaming because he did try. He found immovable forces,” he said, adding that the prime minister would never have got the measures through the senate.

RDA: Government scraps proposed changes to 18C

Tony Abbott made the announcement Tuesday night that the government was dropping planned changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act during a media conference about new-counter terrorism measures.

He said Australia needed to be united in fighting terrorism threats.

“When it comes to counter-terrorism, everyone needs to be part of Team Australia. And I have to say that the government’s proposals to change 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act have become a complication in that respect,” he said.

“I don’t want to do anything that puts our national unity at risk at this time, and so those proposals are now off the table.”

Speaking on ABC’s AM program this morning, Mr Abbott confirmed the proposed changes to 18C were “off the table.”

He said he had spoken to Andrew Bolt yesterday who he “knew he would be disappointed.”

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Asked if the proposed changes to 18C were off the table “forever,” Mr Abbott said: “It’s gone; it’s disappeared.”

“Our intention is to work as effectively as we can with the communities of Australia to to ensure we take a ‘team Australia’ approach to courting terrorism and building our nation,” he said.

ABC’s Michael Brissenden sought to clarify, saying: “so it’s off the table for now,” to which Abbott responded: “No, no it’s off the table. It’s off the table. It’s gone.”

PM confirms racial discrimination changes ‘off the table’


Andrew Bolt claim: ‘Australia being asked to assimilate to immigrant values’.


Mr Abbott told the ABC AM program this morning the proposed changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act were definitely “off the table” after the Government dropped the reforms from changes to anti-terrorism laws yesterday because of objections from some community groups.

“It’s off the table. It’s gone. It’s disappeared,” he said.

“Our intention is to work as effectively as we can with the communities of Australia to ensure that we take a ‘team Australia’ approach to countering terrorism”.

Yesterday after the announcement was made he said the government wants all sections of the community to join in efforts to stop terrorist threats emerging.

“When it comes to counter-terrorism, everyone needs to be part of Team Australia. And I have to say that the government’s proposals to change 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act have become a complication in that respect. I don’t want to do anything that puts our national unity at risk at this time, and so those proposals are now off the table.”

The proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act had been strongly supported by the Attorney-General – but had been widely opposed by many ethnic, Indigenous and other community groups.

Mr Abbott says he took a personal decision to drop the proposed plan.

He says instead, Senator Brandis will be proceeding with other legislation, in relation to terrorism.

Mr Abbott also said the Government is acutely conscious of the danger posed by people returning to Australia, who have been radicalised and militarised by working with militant organisations in countries like Syria and Iraq.

The government is planning to make it a criminal offence to travel to designated battle regions overseas without a valid reason.

Attorney-General George Brandis says individuals will have to explain why they went to such areas.

“A provision will prohibit travel to a designated locality, certified by the Minister for Foreign Affairs on the basis that it is a locality in which there is a level of terrorist activity, so that a person who travels to a designated locality commits an offence and will have to explain that the purpose of their travel to that designated locality was for humanitarian purposes, family purposes, or other innocuous purposes.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the government will spend an extra $630 million on security and intelligence services over the next four years.

He says it’s necessary spending to keep up with the threat from terrorism.

“I stress that the terrorist threat here in this country has not changed. Nevertheless is as high as it has ever been. As a result the government is determined to take a series of measures to strengthen our security and intelligence organisations.”

The Attorney General says this legislation will include broader definitions of terrorist conduct, or support for it.

“We’re going to change the definition of conduct prescribed as terrorist conduct. At the moment, the scheme of the legislation is to require the identification of a ‘terrorist act’ rather than ‘terrorism’. As such, we are going to broaden the definition so that the legislation operates as well in relation to ‘terrorism’, not merely a ‘terrorist act’. We’re going to extend the offence of ‘advocating the commission of a terrorist act’ to include the promotion or encouragement of terrorism.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Australia is not alone in being concerned about its citizens fighting with militant groups overseas.

She says it has become one of Australia’s highest national security priorities.

“Along with other countries, we are deeply concerned that this domestic security challenge will mean that Australian citizens fighting in these conflicts overseas will return to this country as hardened home-grown terrorists who may use their experiences and skills they have gained to carry out an attack in this country.”

The government says the new counter-terrorism legislation will be introduced in the Spring session of parliament.

Teen blogger defies death threats to expose failings in school system

The 14-year-old started her Class Diary page two years ago to demand better teaching conditions and improvements to the dilapidated classrooms at her school in Florianopolis, but some didn’t appreciate such public scrutiny on social media.



“For me, we just stand up for our rights… it’s not such a big deal,” she tells Giovana Vitola from Dateline.


“Negative criticisms… I read them, I like to know the other side,” she says. “But sometimes people say ‘I don’t like you’. I really don’t care.”

The criticism included deaths threats on Facebook and even a rock attack on their home which injured her grandmother, but it only made Isadora more determined.


“We kept talking to her and she never wanted to stop, she never wanted to give up,” her mother Mel said.


“At the end of Year Seven, we asked if she wanted to leave that school. And she said no, that she wanted to finish there… what was left for us was to support her.”


“The wall was here covered in graffiti, but there were no bars, nor the gate here, and that glass there was broken,” Isadora tells Dateline.


But it was the sacking of a teacher after she had complained he was unable to control the clasroom that caused the most controversy.


“Poor girl, she was crucified alive,” says Geni, one of the few local teachers prepared to talk to Dateline.


“At the school, the talk was like an atomic bomb went down, because it exploded in such a way that it was discussed everywhere.”


“Teachers felt totally defenceless,” says another teacher. “They were at a loss as to what to do.”


But Isadora has inspired similar campaigns across Brazil, which have revealed shocking videos of teachers verbally abusing students.


She has more than half a million followers on her Facebook page, makes regular public appearances and has even written a book about her experience.


“What Isadora is doing is very important, valuing education or showing the point of view of a student relating to education,” says one of her fans at a book signing. “I think it makes public policy makers think about it.”


“I’m really happy to have inspired others,” Isadora says. “So far, whenever I complain, within one week they fix it.”


See the full story above.

Halep, Bouchard offer glimpse of future in semis

Rising stars Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard will meet in one semi-final after they impressed in quarter-final victories on Wednesday, while Czech pair Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova complete the contrasting semi-final line-up.


With only one grand slam title between the quartet, there might be some raised eyebrows on Centre Court, yet it is the presence of veterans Safarova and Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, that is perhaps most surprising.

Romanian Halep and Canada’s Bouchard have been in sparkling form and are the only players to have reached at least the last eight of all three grand slams so far in 2014.

They are also the only women from Romania and Canada to make it this far at Wimbledon.

However, sixth-seeded Kvitova has not been in a grand slam semi-final since the 2012 French Open, and 23rd seed Safarova will be making her first ever grand slam semi-final appearance at the 37th attempt.

Halep, the third seed, came back from losing the first three games of the match to trounce last year’s runner-up Sabine Lisicki 6-4 6-0 and continue the great championship form that has seen her record career-best results in consecutive grand slams.

Not to be outdone, 13th seed Bouchard overcame her ninth-seeded opponent Angelique Kerber – who shocked Centre Court with a victory over Maria Sharapova on Tuesday – 6-3 6-4.

The 20-year-old’s victory meant she became the only woman on the tour to make the last four at all three grand slam events so far this year.

“I am excited (but) she is a very good player so I am definitely ready for another tough match,” Bouchard told the BBC of her challenge against Halep, who is the highest seed left in the draw.

“I am so pleased to reach the semi-finals again but I want to go one step further this time around.”

While considered bright talents, not many would have predicted the rapid rise of both Halep and Bouchard this year.

World No.6 Kvitova is trying to get back to the top of the game after winning Wimbledon as a 21-year-old.

She beat another Czech opponent, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 6-1 7-5 in the quarter-finals on Tuesday. Safarova, 27, beat Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-1.

Kvitova and Safarova met at Eastbourne, the Wimbledon warm-up tournament, last month, with Kvitova edging a three-setter.

“It’s going to be my third match against a Czech girl during Wimbledon, which is unusual,” Kvitova said.

“We played last time in Eastbourne. It was a big fight until the end. I’m expecting a tough battle again.”

(Editing by Stephen Wood)

Blatter says ‘fair play’ to Suarez after bite apology

Suarez was banned for nine competitive internationals and cannot take part in any soccer activities for four months after he sank his teeth into the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 defeat of the Italians on June 24.


It took the forward nearly a week to confess that he had bitten his opponent, after protesting his innocence when the furore surrounding the incident first broke.

“He said ‘I’m sorry’ to the soccer family, and that’s fair play too,” Blatter told reporters at an event in Rio de Janeiro.

“That shows he’s a great player and I hope he can have his soccer career back.”

Barcelona officials were reportedly meeting their Liverpool counterparts in London on Wednesday with a view to possibly buying the disgraced striker, who was in brilliant form last season and was voted the English Premier League’s best player.

FIFA came under fierce criticism, particularly in Uruguay, for the severity of the punishment handed down to Suarez.

The organisation cited the fact that Suarez had shown no remorse, and had been banned twice before for biting, when explaining its record penalty.

Uruguay President Jose Mujica lambasted FIFA bosses as “sons of bitches” who meted out “fascist” treatment to Suarez.

Suarez was injured when Uruguay crashed to defeat against Costa Rica in their opening World Cup game, but he returned to face England and scored both goals in a 2-1 win.

The 1-0 win over Italy put Uruguay through to the last 16, where they lost 2-0 to Colombia without the banned Suarez.

Blatter would not be drawn on Mujica’s comments.

“The president is totally independent,” he said. “I can’t comment on what he said.”

(Reporting by Manuel Farias in Santiago and Javier Leira in Sao Paulo; writing by Mike Collett-White, editing by Ed Osmond)

Colombia, Costa Rica seek to join Bitter Sweet club

There are only eight members and although Costa Rica and Colombia would be delighted to join it by beating the Netherlands and Brazil in the quarter-finals, they would just as quickly like to leave it again by winning their semis.


For the Bitter Sweet club comprises the eight countries who have reached a World Cup semi-final once only, and never made it to the final, and never got back to the semis either.

In fact, no country with just one semi-final appearance to their name has ever made it to the final.

Spain, who had been members since 1950, finally escaped in 2010 when they went on to win the trophy in South Africa.

Although winning the World Cup remains the dream of every player, just getting to the semi-finals can provide a career highlight, even if it is tinged with slight regret as Yordan Lechkov, vice-president of the Bulgarian FA, told Reuters.

The former midfielder was a key member of the Bulgarian side who reached the 1994 World Cup semis, scoring with a brilliant header in Bulgaria’s 2-1 defeat of Germany in the quarter-finals in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

“Bulgarians are known as individuals who are difficult to work with,” Lechkov said.

“It’s hard for us to form a solid team, it’s part of our national characteristic and that’s why we achieve more success in the individual sports.

“But it was a different story in 1994. We had very talented and skilful players, who already played for some of the top European clubs and we managed to build a great team – I’m talking about Hristo Stoichkov, Krasimir Balakov, Emil Kostadinov and me,” he said.

“For me, I never regretted so much that we couldn’t reach the final. We’re only a small country and it’s a big achievement to reach the World Cup finals, let alone we make it to the semi-finals.

“We realised what we had done when we returned to Bulgaria and we saw these exuberant crowds in the streets. People still stop me and thank me, telling me they experienced unbelievable moments during the summer of 1994,” Lechkov added.

“It made us more responsible because people always expect us to do things in the best possible way. But what saddens me today is that we’re constantly talking about the 1994 World Cup while we can’t even qualify for the major tournaments now.”


The United States became the unlikely founder members of the Bitter Sweet club when they reached the semis in the first World Cup in 1930, still their best ever showing.

They are in the company of Chile (1962), Russia, who reached the last four as the Soviet Union in 1966, Belgium (1986), Bulgaria (1994), Croatia (1998), South Korea (2002) and Turkey (2002) who made the semis in their first World Cup in 48 years.

Belgium are the only members of the club still involved in this tournament and are one of six of the eight quarter-finalists who have reached the World Cup semis before.

Germany, who face France, have been in a record 12 semis including when they played as West Germany, Brazil have been in 10, France five, Argentina and the Netherlands four each and Belgium one.

The most famous semi-final loser since World Cups were globally televised was Eusebio, whose tears after Portugal lost to England in the 1966 semi-finals remain an enduring World Cup image.

Although Portugal finally left the Bitter Sweet club, 40 years after that 1966 defeat by reaching the last four in 2006, Eusebio often spoke about the experience of that defeat at Wembley before he died this year.

“It was the highlight of my career in one way, but the worst moment in another,” he reminisced to Reuters in an interview several years ago.

“I was the top scorer with nine goals and would have given them all up to have got to the final, but it was not to be. We beat the Soviet Union in the losers match but I always thought we could have been champions that year.”

That is still the dream for the remaining eight sides in the tournament.

On reflection, a place in the last four might well prove to be the highlight for the Colombians and Costa Ricans. Bitter, and sweet at the same time.

(Additional reporting by Angel Krasimirov in Sofia, editing by Ed Osmond)

GreenEDGE team boss backs riders

Orica-GreenEDGE manager Shayne Bannan has defended the team’s anti-doping regime, saying they have nothing to hide.


He has also called on his Tour de France riders to stay focussed in the wake of the news that popular teammate South African Daryl Impey is embroiled in a doping scandal.

Impey is off the team roster while he deals with a positive test for the masking agent Probenecid.

Bannan said Impey initially told him of the positive A sample last week and confirmed on Tuesday that the B sample result had also come back positive.

Orica-GreenEDGE have taken Impey off their racing roster while he fights to clear his name.

“Obviously the guys will be affected by what’s happened, because of the friendship within the team,” Bannan told AAP.

“How deep of an effect, we’re really not too sure.

“It’s really important that we stay focussed – we have absolutely nothing to hide.

“We can be proud of our short history in the sport.

“It’s a matter of really just continuing the ethics that we stand by.”

Impey’s positive test has a massive impact on several fronts for Orica-GreenEDGE.

It is a major blow to the image of a team that commissioned anti-doping consultant Nicki Vance to conduct an independent review of their operations and staff in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal.

Impey’s positive test comes nearly a year after popular Orica-GreenEDGE veteran Stuart O’Grady retired and then within a few days confessed to doping once in the late 1990s.

That revelation left his lofty reputation in tatters.

The timing of the news about Impey also could not be worse, given this year’s Tour starts on the weekend in England.

Orica-GreenEDGE are in for some torrid media scrutiny at the Tour.

Apart from being an important member of the team, Impey is also one of their most popular riders.

Team leader Simon Gerrans famously gave up his yellow jersey last year so Impey could take over as the Tour leader in the opening week.

Bannan did not want to comment about the specifics of Impey’s case, but defended the South African’s character.

“Certainly in the time Daryl has been with us … he has had a clean record, he’s an honest guy,” he said.

The Orica-GreenEDGE general manager also questioned why it took so long for Impey to become aware that his A test sample had gone positive.

The test was taken on at the South Africa championships on February 6, but Impey said he was not told of the positive result until June 23.

“I’m not sure why – it does seem a long time,” Bannan said.

“I would imagine that’s one of the questions Daryl and his legal team will be asking.”

Regardless of what happens, Bannan said the news is a setback as cycling tries to rebuild its reputation in the post-Armstrong era.

But Bannan said cycling was now dealing with isolated cases, not the systematic team doping that plagued men’s professional ranks in the 1990s.

“No question, this is disappointing for the sport,” he said.

“But we’ll continue to be transparent and we’ll continue our education of the athletes.”

Top diplomats urge new Ukraine truce talks

The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France have agreed that fresh ceasefire talks involving the OSCE should start no later than Saturday on crisis-torn Ukraine.


“Ministers urge that the Contact Group should resume no later than July 5 with the goal of reaching an unconditional and mutually agreed sustainable ceasefire,” the four top diplomats said in a joint statement on Wednesday after talks in Berlin.

The so-called Contact Group represents Ukraine, Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had hastily convened the talks as fighting escalated in Ukraine, after the government ended a 10-day ceasefire with pro-Russian rebels that Kiev charged had been violated more than 100 times by the separatists, claiming some 30 lives.

The German minister warned that in the past 48 hours the situation had “dramatically escalated… and might get totally out of control”.

In a bid to de-escalate the crisis, the four ministers agreed that the violence should cease on all sides, hostages be released, and Ukraine border points with Russia be brought back under government control.

The ministers said they welcomed Russia’s readiness to grant Ukrainian border guards access to Russian territory to reach the border checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk when a ceasefire is in place.

Steinmeier cautioned that it was not a solution to put everything right overnight, but was a first and an important step in the direction of a bilateral ceasefire.

“It offers up an opportunity for us and for all of us to seize right now,” he said.