Spring Classics set to explode in Flanders

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 苏州美睫

Some of the greatest cyclists in the world will begin the battle for the main Spring Classics when the Tour of Flanders gets under way on Sunday.

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The likes of Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan will be among the favourites in some of the oldest and most prestigious races on the professional cycling calendar.

While the Spring Classics cannot match the prestige of the Tour de France, they can surpass it in terms of excitement.

And they do so with a largely different cast.

Tour champion Chris Froome as well as Grand Tour specialists such as Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali or Nairo Quintana won’t be there challenging for victory, but the fields are no less impressive for their absence.

Swiss Cancellara and Boonen, of Belgium, as ever, will start as two of the main favourites having claimed between them 12 of the last 18 editions of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix since 2005.

Of the six occasions when it wasn’t either who won, three times it was one or the other’s team-mate who did so.

Their main competition this time around should come from Slovak Peter Sagan, a hugely talented cyclist who has already won the Tour de France green jersey twice and is tipped to one day take an overall triumph at a Grand Tour.

But first he must prove himself on the gruelling Spring Classics, starting with the two Northern Classics on the cobbles: Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

In reality, the Spring Classics began with Milan San-Remo a few weeks ago and last weekend’s Gent-Wevelgem, but it is only with the advent of the Flanders-Roubaix double on successive weekends that these historic races really kick into gear.

Cancellara, Boonen and Sagan come into these two races having already stretched their legs and showed their form at San-Remo, where Cancellara was second, and Gent-Wevelgem, where Sagan was third and Boonen fifth.

Sagan also won E3 Harelbeke and that makes him the favourite in terms of current form, although his two main rivals have the experience and history to ensure they can never be overlooked.

But it won’t just be about those three as several other riders have showed their potential.

German sprinter John Degenkolb won Gent-Wevelgem and will be confident if he can last the pace over the 260km of either De Ronde or the Hell of the North to be still in with a chance when the line approaches.

Alexander Kristoff won a sprint finish at San Remo where British sprint king Mark Cavendish went too soon and could finish only fifth, while Sagan was down in 10th.

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Aust trackers forgotten in foreign land

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They served the Australian army in the Boer War but their country may not have wanted them back.

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A Queensland researcher is investigating the fate of up to 50 Aboriginal trackers who assisted Australian troops in South Africa only to disappear from the record books.

It’s possible some died but others may have fallen victim to the new White Australia Policy.

Griffith University’s Dr Dale Kerwin has spent more than 15 years trying to find the lost indigenous men of the Boer War.

Overseas at the time of federation and the passing of the Immigration Restriction Act, some of the men were abandoned, unable to return under Australia’s new policy, he said.

The most compelling evidence supporting his theory lies in the National Archives.

Of the coloured men waiting to be returned home “two or three were either Aboriginal, or Aboriginal half-castes”.

Those are the words of George Valder, the man charged with repatriating Australia’s Boer War servicemen.

Five years after the end of the war, Valder discovered two of the coloured men left Australia before federation and wrote to the prime minister for advice.

“I received the reply `that all coloured persons born in Australia must obtain a special permit from the Commonwealth, before they could be permitted to land’,” he wrote.

“As these men have all since obtained employment, they will I believe manage to pay their own fares.”

He wrote the men were attempting to get the documentation from South Africa.

No one knows if these men returned home.

Kerwin believes some might have stayed in the rainbow nation.

He once heard a woman tell an indigenous radio show say she met an Aboriginal descendant in a South African taxi.

“The taxi driver said he was a descendent of one of the trackers,” he told AAP.

“But the lady didn’t get his name.

“I thought, `oh well that’s the way research goes’.”

Any non-European migrating to Australia under the restriction act was forced to complete a 50-word dictation in “any European language” at the border.

Museum Victoria estimates more than 800 people were given the test in 1902 and 1903.

Fewer than 50 passed.

Monash University’s Professor Andrew Markus told AAP the restriction act was not intended to affect Aborigines.

The rhetoric at the time recognised Aborigines as indigenous to Australia, he said.

“That (the restrictions) would not apply to Aborigines, unless some lunatic was imposing the legislation,” he said.

The act does not explicitly exempt Aboriginal people from the restrictions.

“You can’t say for certain that it didn’t occur but you can say … the legislation was not designed to impact on Aboriginal people,” Prof Markus said.

Once widely considered as a war between white men, there’s now little doubt aboriginal trackers were sent to accompany Boer War troops.

Archived news stories show military commander Lord Kitchener asked Prime Minister Edmund Barton for a set of trackers to be deployed to the war effort in 1901.

Subsequent reports show Barton agreed to send 50 onboard the SS Euryalus.

But records show only four men on board that ship.

That’s unlikely to be true considering the ship was carrying 200 horses needing care, Dr Kerwin points out.

Most of Australia’s servicemen made the voyage home shortly after the war ended in 1902.

Now 112 years after the last rifle sounded, Dr Kerwin continues to search for the trackers he thinks may have been left behind.

“It’s about inscribing aboriginal people back onto the body of this country,” he told AAP.

“This is one of those final bricks in the wall of remembering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Australia’s first indigenous federal parliamentarian Neville Bonner first told Kerwin about four aboriginal trackers from Palm Island in the late 90s.

The fate of these men along with those thought to be sent on the SS Euryalus remains a mystery.

Kerwin has had luck proving some indigenous men denounced their Aboriginality and signed up as recruits.

One Aboriginal soldier, found buried in an unmarked grave in Ingham, Queensland, will be given a military burial in May.

But questions still remain about other Boer War heroes.

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Claims 457 workers at Roy Hill exploited

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A whistleblower at Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region claims workers on 457 visas are working excessive hours and being grossly underpaid.

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The CFMEU says it has asked Employment Minister Eric Abetz to start an urgent investigation.

The whistleblower says up to 200 white-collar 457 visa workers, about half of whom are Korean nationals aged under 30, are clocking up more than 84 hours a week. Many are female.

They are employed by the contractor Samsung C&T and being paid about $16 an hour, the union says.

Many are not working in the occupations approved for their visas – a breach of the sponsoring employer’s obligations, the CFMEU claims.

CFMEU national secretary Michael O’Connor said the alleged exploitation was a very serious concern.

“The allegations come as Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald revealed that 457 visa workers were no longer required on the project because plenty of Australian workers were now available due to the downturn in construction,” Mr O’Connor said.

“In the Australian Mining publication last month, Mr Fitzgerald said `more than 5500 people had applied to work at Roy Hill since December, with some positions attracting more than 600 applicants’.”

The company, which was the first to sign an enterprise migration agreement with the federal government in May 2012, was being sought for comment.

A Roy Hill spokesman said Samsung C&T was “an outstanding company with great integrity”.

“Its world-class reputation contributed to Roy Hill’s ability to secure finance from global markets, thereby allowing extensive economic benefits to now flow to this state,” he said.

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Does a pooch prepare you for parenthood?

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I often hear friends mulling over the pros and cons of getting a dog and how it could be good “practice” for parenthood.

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One friend decided to get two dachshunds from the same litter in case the couple one day happened to have twins.

“We needed to know the reality of having children,” said Georgia, as we walked Benny and Beatrice in the park one day.

“Oh, it’s just been so hard, so many sacrifices.

“I had to cancel after work drinks the other night as Benny and Beatrice just needed me.

“And on Wednesday night, we had a tough night, I must have lost 20 minutes sleep settling Beatrice.”

Have you thought about adoption? I ask.

Georgia’s guilty look says enough.

My partner and I had been together for six years before we decided to get a dog.

I can’t recall our main reason for welcoming our cinnamon shar-pei, Cappuccino, into our lives in 2008.

I don’t think it was to “practice” for parenthood, or perhaps I’m too embarrassed to admit it.

I think we simply liked four-legged creatures and wanted to own something “real” together, beside our lemon tree.

Buying a shar-pei was not a decision we took lightly. We spent months investigating the breed we wanted and what type would be suited to our postage-stamp backyard.

We were warned on an episode of Burke’s Backyard that the shar-pei is a very stubborn breed and if not properly trained can be very difficult to manage.

Our parenting skills would certainly be put to the test on this occasion.

Fortunately, it has worked out well. Cappuccino has not bitten anyone, nor gone to the toilet indoors.

But the longer I am a parent of human beings the more absurd I find the idea that owning a dog could prepare one for motherhood.

However, I am in the minority.

A survey from Woolworths Insurance arrived in my inbox this week.

It showed more than half (53 per cent) of Australians see a pet as a good practice run for looking after kids.

I beg to differ.

Try leaving your child at home while you go off to work; or locking it in the sunroom when it’s howling at midnight; or serving it kibble twice a day.

No, no, no. The survey can’t be right.

I found that Cappuccino did not prepare me one iota for having children.

But I have learned at least one thing on this journey. Having kids is excellent preparation for owning a dog.

I can now go puppy shopping with confidence.

Factbox:

How ready are you?

Key findings from the Woolworths Insurance survey show:

– 53 per cent see a pet as a good practice run for looking after kids.

– 39 per cent think pet ownership is a great way to test a couples compatibility.

– 61 per cent agree if couples can’t care for a pet, they probably aren’t ready to be parents.

– 66 per cent of those surveyed agree that kids and pets both make a mess.

– 81 per cent think pets and children are highly dependent.

– 31 per cent said they both keep you up at night.

– 56 per cent of dog and cat owners agree both kids and pets give unconditional love.

– 65 per cent already consider their pet to be one of their children and treat it accordingly.

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Cleary cautions against more rule changes

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Penrith coach Ivan Cleary has cautioned against making knee-jerk changes to the NRL rulebook following the career-ending injury to Newcastle back-rower Alex McKinnon.

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McKinnon is potentially facing paralysis after breaking his neck in a lifting tackle by Melbourne’s Jordan McLean last month.

The Knights slammed the NRL match review committee on Thursday for singling out McLean for his role in the three-man tackle that led to the incident, saying brothers Jesse and Kenny Bromwich should have also faced a judiciary hearing.

There have also been calls from medical experts to take lifting and third-man tackles out of the game as a result of McKinnon’s injuries, something Cleary is not convinced would be able to implement or for the long-term good of the sport.

“I’m not going to make any comment (on the Knights’ statement). It is an extremely sensitive issue and there has been too much said about it already,” Cleary said.

“The only things that matters is Alex’s wellbeing and that’s is all I want to say about that.

“I will say that if every time something happens in a game and we make a quick reaction to every incident then we are going to get ourselves in trouble.

“It’s not that simple. Whether it’s changing the third-man tackle, kicking it dead, it’s still a game and things happen.

“You can’t make it black and white.”

The NRL have already made a series of rules changes over the last two years and Cleary acknowledged outlawing the shoulder charge and the cannonball tackle were a good thing.

But he warned the NRL that continuing to tinker with the game year after year was not a good approach to take.

“Every time we make a change to the rule the game changes again,” he said.

“Players and coaches have to adjust to that. But it’s already a great game.

“It’s not too bad this year … but we always have to be mindful that if you make too many changes it takes a while for everyone to get used to it.

“By mid-season everyone is flowing nicely, then next season things are changes again and we’re back to square one … we have to be mindful of that.”

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Anxiety part of everyday life in The Rocks

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Successive state governments have struggled to manage The Rocks.

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The streets are steeped in history and so is the way the community has operated. There are mythologies about The Rocks that are tied together in interesting ways and the community which has withstood everything from the Plague to greedy developers has learned how to stand together.

The value of the area for potential development seemed to suddenly dawn on the state government in around 1968 when they proposed demolishing most of the historical buildings and developing modern tower blocks. Buoyed by the success of a Green Ban in saving Kelly’s Bush in Hunters Hill, residents approached Jack Mundey and the Builders and Labourers Federation and requested they implement a Green Ban in The Rocks. They agreed and refused to work on the project on the grounds of the historical significance of the area. These were the days when construction was all but a ‘closed shop’ and without the support of the unionised workforce no work could go ahead. Along with The Rocks they also saved the Royal Botanic Gardens from being redeveloped into a car park for the Sydney Opera House.

This action galvanised the local community. They knew they could fight for their area and they now knew they could win.    

Up until the 1980s almost all of the buildings in the area, especially residential, were owned by the Maritime Services Board (MSB). This was a hangover from the time when Sydney Harbour was a working harbour and the ports were run by the MSB, which provided accommodation at reduced rates for the port workers and their families. The residential properties were roughly divided into two areas and run in two distinct ways.

The Observatory Hill Resumed Area was made of single family dwellings which were let as family homes to the families to wharf workers and to low income earners and pensioners. They let directly from the MSB.

The area referred to as the West Rocks was made up of large terraces divided into ‘rooming houses’. These buildings were also owned by the MSB and managed by head tenants who would pay a weekly rent to the Board, then let out the rooms and apartments at a small profit. This is where my grandparents fitted in. They spent their life savings buying the leases on three of these properties as a place to live and draw a modest income from in their retirement, and to pass the leases to their children in their estates.

In 1979 the Minister for Housing, Mr Syd Einfeld no less, realised that there were residential properties in The Rocks and he wanted them for the Housing Commission. There’s a degree to which the transfer of the properties from the MSB to the Housing Commission makes sense. The purpose of the Housing Commission was to provide housing, where the purpose of the MSB was to manage the ports. It was an accident for the MSB to be managing these properties.

The transfer of ownership for the Observatory Hill Resumed Area was simple enough, the title was signed over to the Housing Commission and the tenants became Housing Commission tenants. Their position has been relatively stable until Minster Goward’s recent announcement these properties would be sold.

The West Rocks area was far more complicated. The MSB had always recognised the head tenant system as a legitimate business. In correspondence from the time they stated that ‘in the circumstances, it is considered that the present system works satisfactorily, catering for the needs of pensioners and low income sub-tenants without apparent undue profits being made at the Board’s expense.’

The Housing Commission refused to recognise the legitimate businesses of the head tenants. They proposed to put the head tenants and their sub tenants onto individual leases, ignoring the investments made by the head tenants in purchasing leases and maintaining and improving the buildings. The battle over this situation left head tenants and their sub tenants in limbo for seven years as solicitors and the Crown battled out an agreement for much reduced 20 year leases. For seven years the threat of eviction on one week’s notice hung over the tenants of 43 rooming houses. My grandfather died halfway through that seven year period.

This sort of uncertainty has been part of life in The Rocks for a long time. It’s a niggling anxiety that roars to the front of mind when the government once again sets its sights on your home. It’s an anxiety that is now overwhelming a community.

Elly Michelle Clough is a publicist and writer.

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Pellegrini revolution key to City success

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Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov believes the attacking philosophy adopted by manager Manuel Pellegrini has also helped his side become tighter at the back ahead of their Premier League clash with Southampton on Saturday.

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City are the second most prolific team in the Premier League with 80 goals this season with only leaders Liverpool (88) having found the net more often.

Pellegrini’s title-chasers have also conceded just 28 goals which gives them the second meanest defence in the division behind Chelsea (24) and as a result their goal difference of 52 is the best overall.

Serbia international Kolarov believes defending, particularly in the fullback areas, has become easier because of the attacking intent shown by City, who trail leaders Liverpool by four points but remain favourites to win the title with two games in hand.

“As a fullback I have to think of defending,” said Kolarov. “But if you have a winger against you for example, it is difficult for him if you are always attacking, because he has to follow you.

“I have also been creating chances, and personally feel I have been having a good season – I hope it can finish this way.”

Kolarov was second-choice for the left-back position behind Gael Clichy under previous manager Roberto Mancini, but has featured more than the France international this season.

City are set to have Sergio Aguero available as they look to get their title bid back on course against Southampton after a 1-1 draw at Arsenal last time out.

Pellegrini is likely to name Aguero on the bench in order to ease him back from the injury and ensure he is available for the run-in, particularly his side’s top-of-the-table clash with Liverpool next Sunday.

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Bouchard beats Venus to reach last eight in Charleston

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“Every time I walk on the court, I believe I can win, and I think I believed more this time than probably the last time I played her,” the 20-year-old Bouchard, beaten by Williams in three sets in their only previous meeting, told reporters.

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“It’s always an opportunity for me to play someone I’ve watched on TV when I was younger and someone who’s been No. 1 and such a great player.

“So I always expect great tennis because she’s still playing at a great level, and she was at an amazing level.”

Williams, the 11th seed who won the tournament a decade ago but has struggled with health issues in recent years, felt her inconsistency had made the biggest difference against Bouchard after she had battled through her two previous matches.

“My errors really hurt me a lot today, just a lot of up and down, a lot of errors,” said the American. “(I didn’t) have the endurance this week, so I think that contributed to my errors.

“I just kind of wanted to make the points shorter a lot of the times. I made some bad choices or my legs would stop. So that kind of made it more challenging.”

Next up for Bouchard in the last eight is Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic, the second seed and 2007 champion, who shrugged off a close opening set to beat Croatia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-1.

In other matches on Thursday, Germany’s 2009 champion Sabine Lisicki, the fourth seed, was knocked out by compatriot Andrea Petkovic 6-1 6-0, while Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic fought back to beat Ukrainian teenager Elina Svitolina 6-7(4) 6-4 6-1.

Third-seeded Italian Sara Errani scraped past China’s Peng Shuai 7-6(6) 7-6(5), Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova brushed aside Brazil’s Teliana Pereira 6-2 6-3 and Jana Cepelova, also of Slovakia, fended off Russian Elena Vesnina 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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Bahn voyage: Riding the rails in Germany

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With my passport safely stuffed into a zipper pocket and the plane descending for an on-time arrival, there was nothing to be wound up about.

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But I couldn’t help checking my watch as I climbed into a taxi headed for Berlin’s train station, the Hauptbahnhof.

“American?” asked the ticket agent, with a smile, time-stamping my pass. “California,” I answered, earning another, bigger smile. “Hollywood! Welcome to Berlin,” he said, handing me a boarding ticket for the Dresden-bound train and pointing toward the upper level and the restaurants.

It couldn’t have been easier. No petrol-swilling car, no rental agreement fine print, no over-priced parking lots. Just me, my DeutscheBahn rail pass, a carry-on bag and a suitcase.

For me and most Americans, driving is second nature, a rite of passage especially true where I live, in Los Angeles, infamous for its uber car culture.

But not in Europe, where rail services supply essential transportation both between cities and in town. In Germany, where distances are shorter and cities and towns are close together, traveling by rail isn’t just fast and convenient, but affordable, clean, and nearly as comfortable – well, almost, but not quite – as the rear seat in a limousine.

Just where do DeutscheBahn trains go? Everywhere. The system counts 76,473 kilometers of track, and where the train goes, there are stations. Nor will you be stranded if you’re staying at a suburban hotel or rural inn. Unless you’re headed to a mountain top, you’ll find street cars and buses crossing routes nearby. With a map and your hotel address in hand, you’ll never have to resort to the Hansel-and-Gretel cake-crumb method of direction finding.

Once you’ve climbed aboard, find your seat, stow your luggage in the rack and settle in to read that guidebook or to snack on a meal from the train’s food service counter (coffee, drinks, and hot and cold sandwiches). Better yet, sit back to watch the scenery glide by and be thankful someone else is driving.

IF YOU GO:

Rail passes can be purchased at 南宁夜网.germanrailpasses广西桑拿,/planning/timetables, and bought their Adult First Class rail pass for $US527 ($A572), good for a month, with seven travel days. The Second Class rail pass, good for the same period, was $US391 ($A424).

The better-known Eurail Pass, available for travel in a minimum of two countries, costs $US610 ($A662) and is good for two months and eight days of travel. For $US710 ($A771), the same pass includes 10 days of travel.

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Mickelson shrugs off injury concern before Masters

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Mickelson, a perennial contender at Augusta National, withdrew from last week’s Texas Open during the third round with a pulled abdominal muscle.

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It was merely a precautionary decision, because the three-times Masters champion was at Augusta National early this week for a practice round on his way to Houston.

“I felt great today,” Mickelson told Golf Channel. “I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort and didn’t even think about it.

“I’m surprised, because I was worried when it happened about the Masters but it healed a lot quicker (than expected).”

Mickelson ended the day equal 18th, with Haas and Hoffman shooting 65 to head a group of five players, including Matt Kuchar, by one stroke.

Five-time PGA Tour winner Haas, whose father Jay won the Houston Open 27 years ago at a different course, picked up five strokes in his final six holes.

Haas already has a spot in the Masters but Hoffman needs to win this week to earn a last-minute ticket.

Kuchar, who was tied for the lead midway through the final round at the Texas Open before fading to finish tied for fourth, bounced back quickly.

“I was 18 for 18 for greens in regulation,” said the six-times PGA Tour winner, who started on the back nine and picked up three birdies in his first six holes before adding three more in consecutive holes around the turn.

“I made a couple of nice putts mid-round to really get things going and missed a few coming in.”

Englishman Ian Poulter shot a 70 that included a two-stroke penalty at the par-five 13th, where a shot from a fairway bunker hit the lip and then struck his club.

American Dustin Johnson withdrew after shooting an 80 that included a quadruple bogey.

The Houston Open has attracted a quality field that includes 23 of the top 50 players in the world.

World number three Henrik Stenson is the top-ranked player, in the absence of Tiger Woods and Adam Scott.

Stenson, who shot 71, will become the world number one if he wins on Sunday.

(Reporting By Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford/Frank Pingue)

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Mexico says vigilantes must disarm

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Authorities have warned vigilantes in western Mexico to disarm or face arrest after security forces fulfilled the “self-defence” militia’s demand that they take down top drug lords.

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The federal government has killed or captured in recent weeks three of the four main leaders of the Knights Templar drug cartel that has tormented the state of Michoacan.

The authorities had tolerated the expansion of vigilante militias that were founded in February 2013 by farmers fed up with the local police’s inability or refusal to get rid of the vicious gang.

But President Enrique Pena Nieto’s special security envoy to Michoacan, Alfredo Castillo, said on Thursday the vigilantes must disarm, and he renewed an invitation for them to join a Rural Defence Corps.

The disarmament “will have to take place in the coming weeks” along with the removal of barricades that vigilantes have put up in several towns, Castillo told a news conference in the state capital Morelia.

Castillo warned that anybody found carrying weapons illegally after that would be detained.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said the government had “delivered results and now the other side must fulfil its word.”

Marines killed the Knights Templar’s financial chief, Enrique “Kike” Plancarte, in a shoot-out in the central state of Queretaro on Monday.

The cult-like cartel’s founder, Nazario Moreno, alias “The Craziest,” was gunned down by troops in Michoacan on March 9.

Plancarte’s uncle Dionicio, who was also a key leader of the gang, was detained in January.

This leaves former school teacher Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, who appeared in television interviews in recent months, as the only top leader at large.

Jose Manuel Mireles, a founder of the vigilante movement in the town of Tepalcatepec, said the militia would “fulfil the commitment to disarm.”

“For the people of Tepalcatepec, for example, the war is over,” he told reporters.

The vigilantes kicked the cartel out of some 20 towns and allied themselves with federal forces in January, but the so-called “self-defence” militias have faced trouble with the law.

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