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Euro 2016: Reinvented Rooney plays deep for England in draw with Russia

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MARSEILLE — Wayne Rooney started what might be a new era in his lengthy England career with a deep-lying midfield role against Russia at Euro 2016.

Sitting back in the center of the pitch on Saturday, waiting for time and space to play a decisive pass, Rooney did the job he finished the English season performing at Manchester United in Louis van Gaal’s final months as manager.

One through ball in particular to Dele Alli could easily have resulted in a goal, and Rooney provided a calm, controlling presence in midfield in the 1-1 draw. Only a spectacular save by Russia’s Igor Akinfeev, who deflected a powerful shot onto the bar, prevented him from scoring.

England coach Roy Hodgson defended his decision to take his captain off for Jack Wilshere after Eric Dier’s 73rd-minute goal, rejecting suggestions it paved the way for Russia captain Vasily Berezutsky to head his team’s equalizer in stoppage time.

Hodgson said Rooney had “a good game” but had tired in the humid atmosphere.

“We just thought, with the control we have in the game and Jack Wilshere on the bench, that we could have the luxury of taking Wayne off the field and that Jack would do a similar job, and I think that’s exactly what happened,” Hodgson said.

“We didn’t honestly believe that we were in great difficulties during that period of time and we would see the game out at 1-0.”

With England’s forward trio of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana making little impact, the pressure was on the midfield to shine, with Rooney spraying passes, Alli making incisive runs and Dier scoring from a free kick.

Making his 112th appearance at the age of 30, Rooney was often allowed time on the ball by an ineffective Russian midfield, in which Alexander Golovin and Roman Neustaedter were both making their competitive international debuts.

He may not be so fortunate in England’s next game in Group B, against Wales on June 16.

AP

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Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala

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NEW DELHI — At least 12 people in India have died from a rare deadly and contagious virus known as Nipah virus, according to news reports.

Four deaths were reported on Monday, including of a nurse who treated the three initial infections at the EMS Cooperative Hospital in Perambra. The death of the nurse triggered panic among hospital staff who have had their leaves cancelled to treat the sick, Hindustan Times reported

Two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district. At least six persons are in critical condition and another 20 are under observation, state health officials said.

It was recorded in Siliguri district in West Bengal in 2001 and is being suspected in Kerala now, according to media reports

Humans get infected by consuming fruit or date-palm sap contaminated by infected bats but while human-to-human transmission through body fluids is rare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nipah virus infection is an emerging disease that was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.

The virus is thought to naturally infect fruit bats (of the genus Pteropus), but it can also infect pigs and other domesticated animals, as well as humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus can also spread from person to person.

CDC says Nipah virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. Symptoms can include fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and confusion. People who are infected with the virus may fall into a coma within 48 hours of showing symptoms, the CDC says.

The virus can be highly lethal, with an average fatality rate of around 75 percent, according to the WHO.

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