TIME Ukraine

Ukraine Separatists Had Surface-to-Air Missiles, Rebel Leader Admits

In this framegrab made from a video provided by press service of the rebel Donetsk People's Republic and icorpus.ru, pro-Russians collect parts of the burning debris of a Ukrainian military fighter jet, shot down at Savur Mogila, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. icorpus.ru—AP

As the Ukrainian government implied Russia had been behind the shooting down of two fighter jets Wednesday

A separatist commander in Ukraine admitted Wednesday that pro-Russian fighters possessed the surface-to-air BUK missiles that are believed to have brought down the Malaysia Airlines commercial flight in the east of the country last week.

Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion, told Reuters that separatist groups had possession of a missile system, but suggested that it might have been returned to Russia after the Malaysia airlines flight was shot down. “I knew that a BUK came from Luhansk,” he said, referring to another rebel-held town in Ukraine. “They probably sent it back in order to remove proof of its presence.”

The news came as the Ukrainian government implied Russia had been behind the shooting down of two fighter jets Wednesday, near where MH17 was shot down last week killing 298 on board.

Ukraine’s national security spokesperson Andriy Lysenko said that “preliminary investigations” have found that the attack on two Su-25 fighter jets came from the Russian side of the border, while Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk stayed just short of indicting the neighbor country.

“Look, we all know who’s behind the scene,” he said in an interview with the BBC.

The suggestion that the rebels had the technology to bring down MH17 matches claims by Washington and Kiev, but was denied by rebel leader and prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Borodai in an interview with BBC on Wednesday.

“No, we didn’t get a BUK, there were no BUKs in the area,” he said.

Heavy fighting in the area controlled by pro-Russian separatists has continued throughout the international emergency brought on by the MH17 disaster. A total of 35,549 people have been displaced by the conflict since July 1, and 18,600 have fled their homes only in the Donetsk province.

In total, 11 Ukrainian aircraft have been brought down in the conflict, but the latest strike on the two Su-25 fighters—so close in time and geography to the catastrophe of MH17—is sure to keep international focus on the cataclysmic situation in the region.

Separatists claim they hit the Su-25 fighters, which were returning from a mission, with shoulder-fired missiles in retaliation to Ukrainian bombing of civilians. However, Ukrainian officials said the jets were flying at an altitude exceeding the reach of such weapons.

The two pilots of the downed Su-15 jets both ejected, but are reportedly still missing.

TIME Malaysia

Malaysians Want the Bodies of Their MH17 Dead Back Before the Ramadan Fast Ends

Zulrusdi bin Haji Mohamad Hol dressed for iftar dinner with other relatives of MH17 victims at Marriott Hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on July 20, 2014. Zulrusdi's cousin was returning after a three-year work stint in Kazakhstan with his wife and four children on July 17, when the Malaysia Airlines plane they were traveling with was shot down midair over eastern Ukraine. Per Liljas

For relatives gathered at a hotel south of Kuala Lumpur, it's a heart-breaking waiting game

Update: This story was updated at 22:45 ET on July 22 to include an official quote on the correct handling of dead bodies in Islam.

Dusk settles and Malaysia comes together to break the daily fasting of Ramadan. Hundreds of people in elegant attire mill about the lavish iftar buffet at Marriott Hotel in Putrajaya, 25 km south of Kuala Lumpur. Two floors down, however, the mood is less festive. There, MH17 relatives gather around tables in one of the conference rooms and yearn for a completely different religious observance.

“We need to get the bodies home to expedite the burials,” says Zulrusdi bin Haji Mohamad Hol, whose cousin was on the plane together with his whole family. “Otherwise, how will our family members get peace?”

Four days after Malaysia Airlines flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian rebels who control the area have piled almost 200 corpses into refrigerated boxcars and used cranes to move chunks of the downed aircraft. International investigators still have limited access to the crash site, and Western governments have condemned the separatists for tampering with the scene.

A rebel leader said Sunday that they will hand over the bodies to the International Civil Aviation Organization, yet that depends on an as yet nonexistent cooperation between rebels, the Ukraine government and international investigators. A government-appointed counselor at the Marriott says he has to shield relatives from media coverage from Ukraine. Zulrusdi has caught images of remains putrefying on the fields, and rebels carrying away bodies in plastic bags. International media has carried reports of victims’ luggage and personal belongings being rummaged through and possibly looted.

“I’m very angry,” Zulrusdi says. “They’re inhumane, they don’t understand. First they murder our relatives then they keep the corpses with them.”

Pressure is mounting on Russia to take a firmer role in securing the investigation and recovery of bodies. The U.S. has been particularly harsh in their allusions to Russian culpability. On Sunday, the embassy in Kiev stated that “MH17 was likely downed by a SA-11 surface-to-air missile from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine,” that Russia had sent “a convoy of military equipment” to the separatists over the weekend of July 12-13, and that Moscow had trained the rebels in the use of air defense systems.

However, officials in Malaysia have chosen a more cautious tone.

“Culpability is only the third priority of the Malaysian government,” says Bridget Welsh, senior research associate at the Center for East Asia Democratic Studies of the National Taiwan University. “It would be counterproductive for their goal of bringing back the bodies to take a harder position on Russia now.”

James Chin, professor of political science at Monash University, says that Prime Minister Najib Razak has put himself in a bind by promising to recover the bodies from MH17 before next week, when the fasting period of Ramadan ends.

“It will be almost impossible to do this, and it will show how powerless Malaysia is in a situation like this, involving big players like the U.S. and Russia,” he says.

A Malaysian team is currently in Ukraine to take care of the Muslim bodies, equipped with kafan, the ritual cloth that remains should be wrapped in.

“The way the bodies were handled by the separatist has not only made us angry but has saddened us,” Othman Mustapah, director general of the Department of Islamic Development, tells TIME. “Islam places great emphasis on respecting the dead body. Not only must burial rites be managed properly, with care and in a civilized manner, the bodies must be washed, wrapped in kafan and buried as soon as possible.”

Dr Mohammad Asri Zainul Abidin, former mufti of Perlis province, adds: “If you cannot find the body, there is a special prayer that can be read. As for the relatives of MH370, it’s been up to them to decide when to do that.”

The next-of-kin at the Marriott Hotel continue to fast, join for iftar in the evening and pray that the remains of their relatives will soon be retrieved. Zulrusdi knows that in this process, his government only has limited power.

“It’s like the Malaysian saying, when the elephants fight, the little animals get trampled underfoot.”

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Gives Daily Show’s Jon Stewart No Clues on 2016 Candidacy

The former Secretary of State dodges The Daily Show host's persistent quizzing about her presidential intentions


Hillary Clinton’s Tuesday appearance on The Daily Show failed to provide any clarity on whether she will run for President, despite host Jon Stewart’s best attempts.

“She’s here solely for one reason: to publicly and definitively declare her candidacy for President of the United States,” Stewart said jokingly when introducing Clinton. But the best he could coax out of the former Secretary of State and First Lady was that speculation on her candidacy had turned into a “cottage industry.”

Clinton’s appearance on The Daily Show comes near the end of a book tour that has taken her across the U.S., to Europe and to the studios of most major American television networks for extended interviews. It is a return performance for Clinton, who first appeared on Stewart’s Comedy Central show when she was a Senator for New York promoting her 2003 memoir, Living History. She also made an appearance during her 2008 presidential campaign.

During Tuesday’s show, Clinton touched on several of the domestic and international issues she tackled as Secretary of State, topics that are the backbone of her latest book, Hard Choices, which currently occupies the No. 2 slot on the New York Times’ nonfiction best-seller list.

Stewart called the book an “eyewitness view to the history of those four years,” but repeatedly came back to the question of 2016. “I think I speak for everybody when I say, no one cares (about the book), they just want to know if you’re running for President.”

On that point, however, Clinton intends to keep feeding that cottage industry.

Watch the extended interview with Clinton below.

The Daily Show
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TIME celebrities

Tracy Morgan Flashes a Smile and a Peace Sign, and Offers Thanks for Support

The comedian appears in good spirits after leaving hospital


Tracy Morgan flashed a smile and a peace sign to photographers outside his home on Monday, in one of the comedian’s first appearances since the June 7 car accident that left him in critical condition.

“I’m O.K.,” he said. “I love you very much. Thank you. I appreciate everything.”

The 30 Rock star has been released from rehabilitation and will continue his recovery efforts at home, his representative told Entertainment Tonight. “He asked me to pass along his sincerest gratitude to everyone who has helped him get to this point,” the rep said. “He would also appreciate some privacy during this crucial point in his recovery.”

Morgan has launched a lawsuit against Walmart for negligence leading to the accident, which took place when one of the store’s trucks slammed into the limousine the comedian was riding in. The Walmart driver had allegedly fallen asleep at the wheel.

Plaintiffs also include comedian Ardie Fuqua, Morgan’s assistant Jeffrey Millea and Millea’s wife Krista Millea.

[Entertainment Tonight]

TIME natural disaster

7 Quakes Hit Oklahoma in Less Than a Day

Oil Drilling Earthquakes
Computer screens displaying data of real-time monitoring of seismic activity throughout the state of Oklahoma are pictured at the Oklahoma Geological Survey at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., Thursday, June 26, 2014. Earthquakes that have shaken Oklahoma communities in recent months have damaged homes, alarmed residents and prompted lawmakers and regulators to investigate what's behind the temblors — and what can be done to stop them. Sue Ogrocki—AP

The biggest temblor clocked in at 4.3 on the Richter scale

Oklahoma was rocked by seven small earthquakes in a span of about 14 hours over the weekend, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Three quakes hit between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, centered in the areas of Guthrie, Jones and Langston, and ranging between 2.6 and 2.9 in magnitude. They followed four larger temblors earlier on Saturday, including one near Langston shortly after noon that clocked in at 4.3 on the Richter scale.

TIME Italy

It’s Make or Break for the World’s Biggest Marine Salvage Operation

The Costa Concordia salvage operation has entered its next, most dangerous phase


It’s a record attempt in heavy lifting that nobody wishes to ever be matched. On Monday, the operation to raise and refloat the capsized 114,500-ton cruise ship Costa Concordia was finally started. If all goes well, the vessel will be towed away to the Italian port city of Genoa, where it will be decommissioned. However, after more than two and a half years on the sea floor, experts fear the delicate maneuver will rupture the prone ship’s hull, spewing out its toxic load — including fuel and dangerous chemicals — into the pristine Tuscan archipelago.

The Costa Concordia veered off course and ran aground outside the island of Giglio in January 2012, killing 32 people and leaving the enormous liner partially submerged in the shallow waters. In tandem with a legal process against the ship’s captain, a salvage operation of unparalleled proportions was commenced. All but one of the victims’ bodies have been recovered, and in a massive September 2013 exercise, the ship was turned upright (parbuckled) and secured on an artificial platform.

Now begins the final phase. Giant tanks welded to the sides of the 290-m-long wreck will be emptied of water, slowly raising it out of the water. Every floor surfaced will be cleaned of debris and potentially harmful substances that could spill into the sea. They will also be surveyed for signs of Russel Rebello, the Indian waiter who remains missing.

“I strongly believe they will find the body of my dear brother,” writes Russel’s brother Kevin in a Facebook post.

Weather conditions have delayed the operation on several occasions, but even though the forecast still isn’t ideal, the salvage crew has pushed ahead, since the hulk would unlikely survive another winter. In fact, it could already have deteriorated too badly for the refloating procedure and subsequent 240-km tow to Genoa. The first 2 m of the raising are the most dangerous, and the hull will constantly be monitored for possible cracks and fissures.

Cutting up the ship in place is not an option. “It’s far more dangerous to the environment to leave it where it is than to tow it away,” Italy’s civil-protection chief Franco Gabrielli explained to Giglio residents. With luck, they could bid farewell to their unwanted, view-spoiling neighbor in just a couple of weeks. Refloating Costa Concordia and moving it into open waters is estimated to take between five and seven days, tugging it to safety another four to five.

TIME China

Another SOS Note From China Has Been Found In a Piece of Store-Bought Merchandise

Chinese visitors watch inmates sewing clothes at a prison in Neihuang county, Anyang city, central Chinas Henan province, 25 June 2013. Imageinchina—AP

"We work 15 hours per day and the food we eat wouldn’t even be given to dogs or pigs," reads the note, found in the pocket of a pair of pants bought in Northern Ireland

What purports to be a cry for help from Chinese prison inmates has been found inside a pair of trousers bought from a popular U.K. retailer.

Karen Wisinska, a Northern Ireland mother-of-two, says she bought the trousers from the Primark fashion chain in 2011 but never wore them. When clearing out her wardrobe recently, she found the note, written in Chinese, in the back pocket of the pants and had it translated.

“SOS! SOS! SOS!,” it began. “We are prisoners in the Xiang Nan Prison of the Hubei Province in China. Our job inside the prison is to produce fashion clothes for export. We work 15 hours per day and the food we eat wouldn’t even be given to dogs or pigs. We work as hard as oxen in the field.”

Primark has cast doubts on the authenticity of the note. A Primark spokesperson told the Belfast Telegraph that several inspections of the manufacturer had been carried out since the trousers were made. “To be clear, no prison or other forced labor of any kind was found during these inspections,” he said.

However, the discovery of the note — authentic or not — has brought into focus once again the issue of forced labor, which has long been used as a punishment in China, mainly at reform-through-labor camps known as lao gai. These detention centers hold people who have never faced trial, such as political activists, or followers of spiritual movements such as Falun Gong.

The U.S. keeps a list of goods produced by forced labor in China, including Christmas decorations, shoes and toys, and discoveries like Wisinska’s have been made before.

In June 2013, a mother-of-two in Oregon told the New York Times about a note she found inside a package of Halloween decorations bought at Kmart. The same month, a New Zealander who spent time at a prison in Dongguan told the Australian Financial Review that he and his fellow inmates had been making disposable headphones for Qantas, British Airways and Emirates. In December, an American college professor was released from a detention center in Guangzhou, where he was forced to make Christmas lights and plastic component parts.

In November, China said it had closed down all the country’s lao gai, but even if this were true, forced labor is carried out in conventional prisons and much of what is produced ends up in the West.

“Whether or not the products are produced for the West, it’s certain that a lot of them would end up there because of the way supply chains work,” Maya Wang, a China researcher with Human Rights Watch, told TIME.

She points out that China hasn’t signed the International Labor Organization’s convention on forced labor, so the practice is still legal in the country. “Without a strong legal framework, it’s really easy to evade responsibility,” she says.

Meanwhile, in response to Wisinska’s discovery, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland program director Patrick Corrigan said “It’s very difficult to know whether it’s genuine, but the fear has to be that this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

TIME 2014 World Cup

Messi vs. Neymar Has the Makings of a Classic World Cup Duel

Barcelona's Neymar, left, celebrates with teammate Lionel Messi after scoring his side's first goal during a match between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 1, 2014 Emilio Morenatti—AP

The Brazilian and Argentine No. 10s have both cast spells over the tournament

Once in a blue moon, stars align. Like when Lionel Messi curled in a free kick against Nigeria on Wednesday. Capping his second for the day, the nimble Argentine equaled Neymar’s goal tally, aligning the pair as World Cup top scorers.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that two of world’s most highly valued footballers are dominating in Brazil, but many tournaments have passed since we last saw a striker duel of similar caliber. Never before have we seen two club mates — at star-studded FC Barcelona, no less — shouldering the iconic No. 10s for title-contending teams, each score four goals in the first three games.

Throw the fabled Brazil-Argentina rivalry into the mix, and this duel has all the makings of a true classic.

Which is fortunate, as the football-loving public have too often been denied showdowns between contemporary greats; there was never such a battle between Jean-Pierre Papin and Marco van Basten. Nor between Raúl and Ruud van Nistelrooy. Individually, even, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Ruud Gullit, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andriy Shevchenko are just a few in a long list of world-class strikers who have failed to leave a serious mark on the premier tournament of football.

So to have two greats of their time performing near their peak in the same tournament is an almost unparalleled treat.

There are myriad reasons for this shortfall. After a long, brutal season, plus severely curtailed preparation under the highest possible pressure, players struggle surrounded by unfamiliar teammates, most probably on a foreign continent, and under a manager who doesn’t, and perhaps can’t, understand them like they do at Real Madrid, Manchester United or Juventus.

Messi would be able to tell you about these woes. He hardly put up a bad show in South Africa 2010, but was pulled down into a playmaking role and only scored once.

Neymar’s troubles have rather come at club level. The 22-year-old has already surpassed Brazilian legends like Ronaldinho and Rivaldo in international goals, but the 15 he notched up during his first season at FC Barcelona falls well short of his hype (or astronomical $118 million price tag).

In Brazil, the club mates have already impressed like few others. However, other star strikers have floundered after such a beginning.

Gabriel Batistuta and Christian Vieri were off to a similar start in 1998, but after netting again in the round of eight, both of their teams, Argentina and Italy, were sent packing. Miroslav Klose failed to continue his form of the first three games in 2002, during which he headed five balls into the net, even though Germany made it all the way to the final.

For all talk of group-stage stardom, the truly great duels come down to the knockout rounds. Paolo Rossi and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in 1982. Rudi Völler and Maradona in 1986. Roberto Baggio and Romário in 1994. Ronaldo against the world in 2002.

This tournament’s face-off between the South American stars may even be broadened to a three-horse race on Thursday evening, when three-time scorer Thomas Müller’s Germany takes on Team USA. Others may come along on the way — and granted, goals are not the only way to lead your team to glory.

But with the makings of such an epic battle of the strikers, there will be plenty who pray the constellations stay in place.

TIME Hong Kong

Are Hong Kong’s Democracy Activists Chasing an Illusory Goal?

Demonstrators supporting the Occupy Central movement display placards asking Hong Kong residents to cast ballots for the June 22 referendum on three proposals outlining rules for the Chief Executive election, during a protest outside Beijing's representative office in Hong Kong on June 11, 2014 PHILIPPE LOPEZ—AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong's Occupy Central movement is forcing a showdown with Beijing on democratic reform. There appears to be little hope of winning

On Sunday, Mary Cheung, a business executive, braved the steamy weather, and the labyrinthine passageways of Hong Kong University, to cast her vote in an unofficial plebiscite on the city’s democratic future organized by activist group Occupy Central With Love and Peace.

The nonbinding character of the poll failed to dampen her excitement. “The government says this vote is illegal, but what law are we breaking?” Cheung asked, while waiting at the university’s polling station — one of 15 set up across the city. “This is our chance to make our voices heard. We want true democracy.”

Since Friday, when the referendum began, about a 10th of Hong Kong’s population has cast its vote, either in person like Cheung, or online. Voters are asked to express a preference for one of three options that detail how nominations should be made to the territory’s top position, the Chief Executive (CE). Presently, an electoral college of 1,200 proestablishment figures selects the candidates, but many in Hong Kong want candidates to be publicly nominated by the city’s 3.5 million registered voters, and all three referendum options allow for that proposal — much to Beijing’s ire.

Beijing has granted what it sees as an important concession, allowing the CE to be directly elected (if not directly nominated) by voters in 2017. China’s leaders have also learned to tolerate a certain degree of dissent in Hong Kong since they regained control of the semiautonomous territory in 1997. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong protesters take to the streets each year on the anniversaries of the Tiananmen Massacre (June 4) and China’s resumption of sovereignty (July 1). Occasionally, vocal discontent leads to the ouster of a particularly unpopular local politician, or the shelving of a contentious issue.

The ongoing plebiscite, however, is viewed as a more serious challenge to China’s power. What Beijing fears, above all, is that if Hong Kongers are allowed to freely nominate CE candidates, the slate will become filled with figures opposed to the Communist Party, such as popular local firebrand Leung Kwok-hung — a radical legislator more at home on the barricades than in the chamber, who shouted “Long live democracy!” at his swearing in, and who once set fire to the Chinese flag. The fear that somebody even half as radical as Leung could get elected is why Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the National People’s Congress Law Committee, stated last March that future CE candidates must “love China” and not confront the central government.

Adding to Beijing’s concern is the Occupy Central movement itself — a sort of redux of the all-encompassing Occupy protests that took place in Hong Kong and other major cities around the world in 2011 and 2012, but this time with a specific focus on the issue of public CE nominations. The group has vowed to bring the financial district of Hong Kong, known as Central, to a standstill if its core demand — that there be “no unreasonable restrictions on the right to stand for election” — is not met. The occupation will take place in July or August.

“They’ll try to remove us with tear gas and water cannons, and we’ll get arrested,” says Benny Tai, one of Occupy Central’s three leaders. “But we’re ready, we’re not going to resist.”

Tai, an associate professor of law at Hong Kong University, sparked off the movement last January when his article “Civil Disobedience Is a Weapon of Mass Destruction” appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal. The idea was simple: because Central’s street are so narrow, densely packed and traffic-choked, it would only take few thousand people, perhaps even a few hundred, to paralyze one of the world’s great financial centers by staging a sit-in. “Our goal is to win bargaining power,” says Tai.

It is a quixotic aim. Beijing would regard it as a supreme loss of face, if it was forced to the negotiating table by a group of slogan-chanting democracy activists. Party officials, fearful of copycat protests erupting all over China, would simply not allow the precedent to be set. The only possible outcome, therefore, is the surrender or forcible removal of the protesters, either by the police, or — as has been darkly hinted at in recent weeks — by the People’s Liberation Army garrison, if needs require it.

Beijing has already fired its warning salvo. Earlier this month, it released a white paper affirming its “comprehensive jurisdiction” over the territory and stating that “the most important thing … is to maintain China’s sovereignty, security and development interests.” Many interpret the timing of the document’s release as a warning to the Occupy activists.

While the proposal for a publicly nominated CE has broad support in Hong Kong, the same cannot be said of the sit-in. Some are worried the demonstration could be hijacked by violent elements. The owners of downtown businesses — the area is home to luxury hotels, banks, brand-name boutiques and exclusive malls — are making contingency plans and fretting over the impact that the protest will have on trade. The Hang Seng Index suffered its sharpest fall in three months on Monday, spooked by the potential of political instability.

Occupy Central’s fiercest antagonist, however, is the former government broadcaster Robert Chow. He and his organization Silent Majority — a vaguely ironic title, given that Chow was known as an outspoken daytime talk-show host — commissioned a study that found that a blockage of Central’s main thoroughfares would, in well under an hour, cause massive traffic tailbacks, sealing off vehicular tunnel access to the Kowloon peninsula and effectively cutting off the southwestern district of Hong Kong Island, which is home to nearly half a million people. (The amateurish and hilariously overblown video they made to publicize this scenario probably doesn’t do them any favors, however.)

“What about the ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, or if someone goes into labor and can’t get to a hospital?” asks Chow. “I tell parents of school children that we’re not black people in Alabama struggling against segregation. Because a couple of thousand people want this, the rest of Hong Kong should sit on their asses and say nothing? This is a democracy!”

Nominally, that is true. Hong Kong still enjoys the democratic rights and freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law, including the right to assemble, the rule of law, free speech and universal suffrage. However, Emily Lau, a Hong Kong legislator who has come out strongly in favor of Occupy Central, expresses the common fear that these privileges may be evaporating.

“Compared to mainland China, this is Disneyland — but the question is for how long?” she says. According to Lau, the legal avenues for voter reform are about to be exhausted. “The thing is: What else can we do? People want reform, not revolution, but we’ve held so many rallies and marches. I know [Occupy Central] is effective because [the idea of it] has upset so many.”

At the same time, many doubt that ordinary Hong Kongers — much like ordinary people anywhere — will commit an act of civil disobedience for the sake of an electoral principle. A poll in October showed that only 25 % supported the Occupy Central movement, and much has been made over the fact that the three options put forward to the public at the referendum were selected from a broader group of proposals by just 2,500 core activists.

At the polling station in Hong Kong University, voters expressed their support for the sit-in, while hesitating over whether they would participate themselves. For Mary Cheung, the referendum itself was a powerful message. “The government may cover their ears and eyes,” she says, “but this is like a fire —they can’t get away from the smell.” That’s true. But fires can get extinguished — sometimes rapidly.

TIME Football

What’s a Nibble? 5 Other Scandals to Have Rocked the World Cup

Uruguay's Luis Suarez reacts after clashing with Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Uruguay's Luis Suarez, right, reacts after clashing with Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal June 24, 2014. Tony Gentile—Reuters

The world's most watched sporting event just wouldn't be the same without all the biting, head-butting and shameless diving

Four-time world champions Italy were knocked out of the group stage for the second tournament in the row, yet all headlines Wednesday morning focused on a bite mark.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. When Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez sunk his teeth into the shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, he was far from the first player to disgrace himself on football’s premier stage.

Here are five other scandals that have rocked the World Cup over the years:

The Hand of God, 1986

Luis Suárez made the headlines in all the wrong ways at the last World Cup too, when he stopped a certain Ghana winner with his hand in the quarterfinal.

The original “hand of god,” however, naturally belongs to the football divinity himself, Diego Armando Maradona.

Punching the ball past English keeper Peter Shilton in the 1986 quarterfinal, Don Diego noticed that none of his teammates came to congratulate him, so he promptly beseeched them: “Come hug me, or the referee isn’t going to allow it.”

The controversial Argentine wasn’t satisfied there, though. Eight years later, he was disqualified from the tournament for doping. The results? In 1986, Argentina went on to win the cup; in 1994, they crashed out of the group stage.

Lesson learned, kids: don’t get caught…

The Battle of Santiago, 1962

You think last tournament’s final was a brutal charade of football? Sure, 14 yellow cards is bad, but nothing in comparison to the onslaught of the 1962 group stage game between Italy and Chile.

Tensions were high already before the match had even begun. Two Italian journalists had to flee Chile after their reporting on an earthquake sparked national outrage. On the pitch, it didn’t take more than 12 seconds before the first foul was committed. The following 90 minutes were sprayed with punches, spitting, kicks to the head, meaning the police had to intervene on four occasions.

In a famous introduction to a highlights reel from the match, BBC commentator David Coleman described it as “the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possibly in the history of the game.”

An Infamous Sortie, Head-First, 2006

Sometimes, brilliant players can be the most unhinged. Zinedine Zidane’s shameful exit from the world stage, after head-butting Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the 2006 final, is a case in point.

It also, perhaps, illustrates that shameless taunting really can nudge temperamental footballers off their rockers. Zidane later claimed the Italian relentlessly insulted his mother on the pitch. His limit was reached when he told Materazzi off for pulling his shirt. “If you want it so much I’ll give it to you afterwards,” said the then Real Madrid midfielder, only for Materazzi to reply: “I’d prefer your sister.”

The Tragedy That Sucked the Air Out of the Game, 1994

On July 2, 1994, football was no longer the center of attention at the World Cup. Instead, all minds were focused on the horrific murder that morning of Andrés Escobar, believed to be a punishment for the own goal he scored in Colombia’s unsuccessful group stage campaign.

A bodyguard for a notorious crime cartel that allegedly bet hard on the much-fancied Colombia team confessed to the murder. Escobar remains a Colombian idol.

The Oscar-Winning Performance Above All, 2002

Rivaldo was long a vital force of the Brazil and Barcelona offensive, won the Spanish league twice and World Cup once and was awarded FIFA World Player of the Year in 1999. Yet, many will chiefly remember him for a truly pathetic acting performance.

It was the first group stage game against Turkey, and Rivaldo was stalling a corner kick since his team was up 2-1. The procrastination frustrated Hakan Unsal to no end, and the Turk kicked a loose ball onto the Brazilian’s right leg. Not thinking about the myriad cameras around the pitch, Rivaldo fell to the ground grabbing his head as if a firecracker had just exploded in his face. His ploy worked; Unsal saw red.

Rivaldo was later fined for the incident, to which he ungentlemanly played the victim, complaining that he had been both assaulted and penalized. Perhaps he was right. He could at least have been awarded a Razzie for the show.

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