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Cristiano Ronaldo - cropped© Provided by Goal Cristiano Ronaldo - cropped

Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will be rested for Real Madrid's Copa del Rey clash with Cultural Leonesa in order to ensure he is 100 per cent for Saturday's Clasico clash with Barcelona.

The weekend's game at Camp Nou offers Madrid the opportunity to open up a nine-point advantage over their bitter rivals at the top of LaLiga.

Madrid recorded a 7-1 win at Cultural in the first leg without their star attacker and coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed he will once again be missing in the return fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"Wednesday's game is a chance for Ronaldo to have some rest," Zidane said at a press conference.

Nevertheless, the Madrid coach was adamant that they will not take the match lightly, before confirming that Casemiro will make his comeback after a two-month lay-off due to a fractured leg.

"It is true that 7-1 is a very good result for us, but we must respect the opponent, and the fans who come to support us," he added.

"I hold Cultural in high esteem. They are a good team that can cause us problems.

"Casemiro will get minutes. It will be his first game back, so we will have to see and see how he feels for Saturday's match. But he is ready to play."

"Brazilian football is in mourning. It is such a tragic loss," Pele, 76, wrote on Twitter after a plane carrying the Chapecoense Real team crashed© Provided by AFP "Brazilian football is in mourning. It is such a tragic loss," Pele, 76, wrote on Twitter after a plane carrying the Chapecoense Real team crashed

Brazil football legend Pele and Argentines Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi led numerous sporting tributes Tuesday to the Brazilian footballers killed in a plane crash in Colombia.

Players of the Chapecoense Real team were among 81 people on board the doomed flight that crashed into mountains in northwestern Colombia.

"Brazilian football is in mourning. It is such a tragic loss," Pele, 76, wrote on Twitter.

"My sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. Rest in peace."

Colombian officials said just six people were thought to have survived, including three of the players.

Chapecoense had risen from obscurity to make it to the Copa Sudamericana finals scheduled for Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Colombia.

UPDATE: Football player survives Colombia air crash

Rescue teams recover the bodies of victims of the LAMIA airlines charter that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, Colombia, on November 29, 2016© Provided by AFP Rescue teams recover the bodies of victims of the LAMIA airlines charter that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, Colombia, on November 29, 2016

"Sadly those lads, who were on the way to becoming a force in football, took the wrong plane," Argentine star Maradona, 56, wrote on Facebook.

In Spain, top teams Real Madrid and Barcelona each held a minute's silence at their training sessions.

"My sincere condolences to all the families, friends and fans of the Chapecoense squad," Barcelona striker Messi, 29, wrote on Twitter.

Related: 'Brazil team' crash: 76 feared dead

His teammate Luis Suarez of Uruguay tweeted "support and affection to the families."

Other messages flooded in from players including Colombian star Radamel Falcao of Monaco and Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.

Heidi Klum Halloween© Getty Heidi Klum HalloweenHeidi Klum has opened up about her relationship with her much younger boyfriend Vito Schnabel, saying it is "not about age". The supermodel is 13 years older than her beau, with whom she was first romantically linked in 2014.

During an interview for Ocean Drive magazine's December issue (Via USA Today), the Project Runway star said, "We have an amazing connection, we have fun together, and we love each other."

"It doesn't matter what people say. As long as you know when you close your door in your own home, you have an amazing time together. That's really all that matters," she added.

The 43-year-old, who has been pictured topless numerous times while on vacations, said she likes to go topless and considers herself a "nudist".

"I grew up going to nude beaches with my parents, so I'm a nudist," Klum said.

Also read: Kim Kardashian’s year from hell

"I have no problems with nudity at all. I'm very free. When I go to the beach, it's in a very remote place where there are not a lot of people, and I like to go topless."

Although she has been pictured topless and flaunting PDA during her vacations, it was always in places where there was nobody but the paparazzi makes it look like she was having an intimate moment in front of everyone, Klum added.

"I'm not doing PDA on the beach with tons of people. I go on a boat or I take a hike somewhere. If you would zoom out in the places where I'm with my boyfriend, there's nobody there," she said.

"Unfortunately, paparazzi always follow us, in a helicopter or they hang behind a bush or a boat and they come up with scuba gear. But to the outside world, it looks like we're frolicking on the beach having a show in front of everyone.

© Instagram: phumezamdabe

Many people may remember her as the host of Our Perfect Wedding, who stole South African hearts with her calming presenting skills, and her fabulous afro hair. Phumeza Mdabe is back on our TV screen and enjoying every moment of it.

Phumeza recently came back on TV after disappearing for a while, ZAlebs had a chat with her to find out about her career and her her life as a mother and wife.

You are not a loud, attention seeking socialite, is this by choice or these character traits are naturally in you?

"I'm not a loud person by nature. I really love my space, therefore, I work when it's time to work then go back into my personal space and sort of disappear off the radar."

Besides acting, what else have you been up to?

"I'm the label manager at my husband's label, I also co-own  an events company with a friend, I've also been busy with my media studies degree."

In case you didn't know, Phumza is married to house vocalist Shota.

You came back on our TV screens as Thembi on e.tv's Heist, how has the return to TV been like?

"It's been great, especially because this character, it forced me to grow as an actress and challenge myself. I'm looking forward to the audience seeing a different side of me."

Phumeza Mdabe© Provided by Kagiso New Media Proprietary Limited Phumeza MdabeInstagram

We remember you used to break it down real hard with your music, is there any chance of you going back to the music scene?

"Hahaha! Not in the near future but you never know."

Your son is finally cancer free after numerous scares, what has this emotionally taxing experience taught you about life?

"It taught me so much. To love each day like it's the last. To cherish my loved ones even more. To enjoy the good times and embrace the hard times because everything passes. Nothing lasts forever."

Phumeza Mdabe© Provided by Kagiso New Media Proprietary Limited Phumeza Mdabe

Are you and Shota planning on having more kids?

"We definitely aren't planning on having more. Between us we have four kids including the little one. We have our hands full."

Lastly, how are you planning on celebrating Christmas this year?

"We always spend Christmas at home as most of the time my husband is on the road. We are only able to really spend time in January after the rush has died down, take a little vacay. We put up the Christmas tree, bake with the kids, little braais with family or friends by the poo, presents etc."

Rumors of former President of Cuba Fidel Castro's sexual prowess abounded in Cuba even before his days as a black-bearded guerrilla leader hiding out in the mountains© Provided by AFP Rumors of former President of Cuba Fidel Castro's sexual prowess abounded in Cuba even before his days as a black-bearded guerrilla leader hiding out in the mountainsWith his rugged rebel look and seductive charisma, Fidel Castro was known not only as a giant of 20th century history, but also as quite the ladies' man.

Rumors of Castro's sexual prowess abounded in Cuba even before his days as a black-bearded guerrilla leader hiding out in the mountains.

And those tales lasted straight through his nearly five decades in power, even until his death on Friday at age 90.

Some said he had thousands of women. The New York Post put the figure at a stunning 35,000 in a 2008 article, a figure that came from an unnamed former official.

Journalist Ann Louise Bardach wrote in a 2009 book that Castro told her he had fathered "almost a tribe" of children.

But it is difficult to separate truth from legend.

Castro himself rarely talked about his personal life, despite his famous volubility.

"Private life, in my opinion, should not be an instrument for publicity or politics," he said in 1992.

Flowers are seen placed next to a portrait of Fidel Castro posted in front of the Cuban embassy in Hanoi as Vietnamese officials and individuals arrive to pay tribute to the late Cuban leader, on November 28, 2016© Provided by AFP Flowers are seen placed next to a portrait of Fidel Castro posted in front of the Cuban embassy in Hanoi as Vietnamese officials and individuals arrive to pay tribute to the late Cuban leader, on November 28, 2016

He reportedly had a taste for blondes, seducing a string of American, German and Italian women in the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1959, just after seizing power, Castro had an affair with a young German woman, Marita Lorenz, who says the CIA hired her to assassinate him.

She lost her nerve, flushed her poison pills down the toilet, and ended up spending their rendez-vous at the Habana Hilton making love with him instead, she said in a 1993 interview in Vanity Fair.

Castro had a mysterious power over her from the day she met him as a wide-eyed 19-year-old, she said.

"When Fidel talks to you, he talks to you very close. He looks right in your eye," Lorenz said, recounting how he immediately swept her off her feet.

"Nothing hit me as hard as this ever - like a ton of bricks. He didn't let me completely undress. He was the sweetest, tenderest. I guess nobody ever forgets their first lover."

Powerful women 

Historians say Castro had at least seven children by three women.

Rumors of secret affairs and more children abound.

Castro had little patience for the American-style political family.

"Politically speaking as a revolutionary, I refuse to mix my family with politics. In truth the idea of first ladies seems to be ridiculous," he told US filmmaker Oliver Stone in a 2003 documentary.

In the film, he revealed he was never in fact married to Dalia Soto del Valle, the green-eyed blonde, 15 years his junior, he shared his life with from the 1980s on.

He met the former school teacher in 1961 during a massive literacy campaign launched by his new government, and had five sons with her: Alejandro, Alex, Antonio, Alexis and Angel.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro (R) talking with his wife Dalia Soto del Valle, during a special session of the Cuban Parliament, in Havana in 2010© Provided by AFP Former Cuban President Fidel Castro (R) talking with his wife Dalia Soto del Valle, during a special session of the Cuban Parliament, in Havana in 2010

According to Castro, his only marriage was in 1948, to Mirta Diaz-Balart, a philosophy student from a wealthy family.

They had a son together, Fidelito, who is today a 67-year-old nuclear physicist.

The marriage unravelled when Castro was imprisoned after staging a failed attack on the Moncada army barracks in 1953 -- the start of his revolutionary career.

Languishing in prison, he learned she had accepted a job at the interior ministry, where her brother was a high-ranking official. Outraged, he divorced her in 1954.

He had meanwhile begun an affair in 1952 with Natalia "Naty" Revuelta, a pretty blonde who was also married.

Together they had a daughter, Alina, in 1956.

She fled Cuba in 1993 and now lives in Miami.

Castro also reportedly had another son, Jorge Angel, from a 1955 affair with Maria Laborde, an activist in his movement.

One of the most influential women in his life was Celia Sanchez, a fellow rebel who was his confidante and personal secretary -- and possibly more -- until her death of cancer in 1980.

Except Alina, all Castro's known children still live in Cuba, where they are largely kept out of the media spotlight.

President Jacob Zuma

© Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg President Jacob Zuma(Bloomberg) -- President Jacob Zuma blamed a western plot and opposition collaborators for the bid by officials in the ruling party to oust him as the nation’s president as he refused to resign, saying he won’t hand himself over to his enemies.

The president’s outburst came at a meeting of the African National Congress’s National Executive Committee near Pretoria, where officials including some cabinet ministers said he must step down, said a person who attended a three-day gathering and asked not to be identified because the party hasn’t commented. The meeting ended late Monday.

Events at the meeting weren’t supposed to pan out like this. The gathering was to be a regular parley, the last of the year. But as it opened on Saturday Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom made an unexpected proposal: Zuma should step down. He was backed by three cabinet ministers, the person said.

Zuma, 74, strongly defended himself, saying he wasn’t responsible for the ANC’s worst electoral performance since the end of apartheid when the party lost control of the capital, Pretoria, and the biggest city, Johannesburg, in local elections in August, according to the person. Party infighting in Gauteng province was to blame.

He went further. Officials in the province were even behind the jeering of him at the memorial service at a stadium in Johannesburg for Nelson Mandela in December 2013, Zuma said, according to the person. They wanted to humiliate him, he said.

No-Confidence Motion

The call for his resignation came just three weeks after the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, submitted a motion of no-confidence in him in parliament, Zuma said, asking his detractors to deny that they were working with the ANC’s rivals.

Zuma’s seven-year tenure as president has been marred by a succession of scandals and policy missteps that have weighed on the rand and put the nation’s investment-grade credit rating at risk. But he’s never had a contingent of ministers openly demanding that he resign. He’s scheduled to step down as the ANC’s leader in December next year and his second term as national president ends in 2019.

Demands for the former ANC intelligence operative to quit have multiplied as political missteps and a feud with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan over the management of state-owned companies and the affordability of building nuclear power plants. Compounding his woes is a Constitutional Court ruling that he violated his oath of office by refusing to repay taxpayer funds spent on upgrading his private home.

Judicial Inquiry

Pressure on the president to resign has mounted since the graft ombudsman released a report on Nov. 2 that implied Zuma may have let members of the Gupta family, who are his friends and in business with his son, influence cabinet appointments, and called for a judicial commission of inquiry to determine whether there had been any wrongdoing. Zuma and the Guptas deny intentionally violating any laws.

By the end of meeting, Zuma had survived. The committee decided that the ANC’s top six office holders will discuss Zuma’s fitness to remain president before a consultative conference next year, two members of the committee who were at the meeting said on condition of anonymity on Monday.

Returning to his regular duties, Zuma is traveling to Cuba this week to attend the funeral of Fidel Castro.

The rand, after gaining almost 3 percent against the dollar on Monday, fell the most of 31 major and emerging market currencies, declining 1.8 percent to 13.9785 to the dollar as of 12:01 p.m. in Johannesburg.

His spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga referred queries to the ANC whose spokesman, Zizi Kodwa, didn’t immediately answer a call to his mobile phone or reply to a text message. The party will hold a press conference 2 p.m. in Johannesburg Tuesday.

web_photo_Chapocoense_team_291116: The Brazilian Chapocoense Real football team was on the flight carrying approximately 80 people to Medellin international airport.© Twitter The Brazilian Chapocoense Real football team was on the flight carrying approximately 80 people to Medellin international airport.

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombian authorities have rescued a sixth survivor of the crash of a charter plane carrying members of the Brazilian football team Chapecoense Real.

"The rescue of a sixth survivor, player Helio Hermito Zampier Neto, who is in the process of being evacuated is confirmed," Colombia's disaster risk management agency said.

The possibility that other people will be found alive has not been ruled out,

The bodies of 25 people have been found at the site in Colombia where a LAMIA airliner crashed with 81 people aboard, including members of a Brazilian football team, a local mayor said Tuesday. Five others survived, he said.

One of the survivors was Alan Ruschel, a defender for the Chapecoense Real, which was to have played in a final of the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday against a Colombian team, the head of Colombia's civil aviation agency, Alfredo Bocanegra, told reporters.

Elkin Osorio, the mayor of the nearby town of La Ceja, said that searchers had found 25 bodies but that there were five survivors.Last picture before the crash, on their way to the Copa final. 

© Gallo Images

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

After an unprecedented challenge to President Jacob Zuma's leadership this weekend, the ANC national executive committee (NEC) on Tuesday announced calls for Zuma to resign had failed. The debate was robust, but the motion failed to galvanise sufficient support, said Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. As the party seeks to move forward, all eyes will be on what happens to those who took on the president, and lost. By GREG NICOLSON.

Reading the NEC's statement at Luthuli House on Tuesday, Mantashe announced the party would be keeping Zuma as state president. "Following robust, honest, candid and at times difficult discussions, the NEC did not support the call for the president to step down. The NEC resolved it was more urgent to direct the energies of the ANC in its entirety to working towards the unity of the movement," he said.

The announcement followed days of heated discussion during the NEC meeting, which was extended until Monday to consider the call made by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, and supported by others, for Zuma to step down. A key point was whether NEC members would be able to vote on the matter or whether they would follow ANC tradition and seek to reach a consensus.

Related: Zuma stays: ANC

"All members of the NEC had an opportunity to raise, in the meeting, the issues they feel are hurting the movement and the country," said Mantashe, who said members debated robustly both for and against the president stepping down. Mantashe said the debate wasn't over a vote of no confidence, but whether Zuma should resign. ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte said the issue of a vote arose during the meeting. "It did arise and we immediately explained that in the ANC we don't vote and what the tradition in the ANC is to allow everyone to speak," she said. Duarte explained that consensus was reached when the idea did not gain sufficient support, which she said everyone agreed with.

"Our view is that it was discussed sufficiently exhaustively and it's a closed matter now," said Mantashe. "The fact that we have not forced a president of the ANC to step aside it means that we have affirmed him as president of the ANC and the Republic." Mantashe said Zuma did not comment during the discussion but spoke at the end, as the president closes NEC meetings.

The ANC NEC mentioned only in the broadest terms the arguments for and against retaining Zuma as state president. In its statement it said the national democratic revolution was on track but racism, ethnic nationalism and monopoly capital were challenges. It also noted the "negative narrative" directed towards Zuma. Mantashe suggested another issue that likely came up from those who want Zuma to remain president. Journalists forget, he said, "We have a conference in 2017. We will elect a new leader of the ANC. There will be a new face of the party; an intervention on the issue is scheduled for a year away and it might be better to wait it out than split the party by once again removing a state president. "

What now?

"That outcome of the meeting which is trying to nudge all of us to be working for unity," said Mantashe. He added the policy conference due for June 2017 will be extended by a day to address issues raised by ANC veterans who called for a consultative conference. The SG was vague on what might happen to the Cabinet ministers who spoke against the president during the NEC meeting. "We don't have this thing called ministers who talks in the NEC as minister... Because when they get into the NEC meeting of the ANC they're NEC members not ministers," he said. "To limit it to ministers is actually bordering on mischief because you are creating a special category in the NEC of the ANC."

It's the sole responsibility of the president to appoint ministers and after the NEC meeting there is speculation he could shuffle the cabinet and remove those who did not support him. On the issue of whether those Cabinet members might resign, Mantashe noted what happened after former President Thabo Mbeki resigned. "Mass resignation would have quite serious consequences because we are a movement," he said, claiming the ministers would be shirking their responsibilities in the movement.

President Zuma may face another immediate challenge. The Economic Freedom Fighters are reportedly pushing for another motion of no confidence debate in Parliament, likely suggesting the party believes the NEC meeting shows it might have enough support from ANC MPs to work with opposition members to pass the motion. While such challenges from the Democratic Alliance have repeatedly failed to remove Zuma, EFF leader Julius Malema may have more influence and insight into the ANC caucus. The office of ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu, who has suggested the entire NEC resign, on Tuesday dismissed reports he would support the motion of no confidence.

Zuma has survived his most serious challenge yet as president. But despite the ANC's talk of unity, his party faces a perilous challenge. A significant portion of the NEC does not support the president, and, as Mantashe repeatedly noted, party elections are approaching, which could further divide the ANC. DM

President Jacob Zuma gestures at delegates at Gallagher Estate in Midrand on 11 October 2015. It was during the party’s closing session of its national general council© eNCA / Sthembiso Zulu President Jacob Zuma gestures at delegates at Gallagher Estate in Midrand on 11 October 2015. It was during the party’s closing session of its national general council

JOHANNESBURG – The ANC national executive committee rejected a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.

“On the call for the president to consider stepping down, the NEC took time to elaborate on what we have previously identified as a negative narrative directed towards the president,” Mantashe told reporters at the governing party’s headquarters in Johannesburg after an extended weekend NEC meeting.

“The NEC did not support the call for the president to step down. The motion was debated robustly … sometimes it was very difficult for members during the debate. The NEC has decided it [will be] better to direct all the energies to unite the movement.”

Mantashe said the “negative narrative” about Zuma had gained momentum after theAugust local government elections, with the long-running Nkandla saga and former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report being raised by Zuma’s detractors.

He added that every NEC member was allowed to raise concerns and these would be attended to and not “swept under the carpet”.

Beleaguered Zuma, who leads a deeply divided cabinet and party, continued with his official duties after emerging from the bruising NEC meeting at which several ministers supported a motion of no confidence in him.

The three-day meeting was extended to Monday to allow the 86 NEC members to air their views on the motion, tabled by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom on Saturday.

However, Zuma and his supporters put up a fight to ensure that the motion did not succeed.

Mantashe said no voting took place as the NEC does not vote on matters but “engages robustly” to arrive at a consensus.

No NEC member would be treated differently because of what they had raised at the meeting, he added.

WEB_PHOTO_MOODYS_110414.jpg: This picture taken on January 17, 2012 in Paris shows a close-up of the opening page of the ratings agency Moody's website. Moody's, on January 16, 2012 confirmed France's triple-A credit rating.© AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET This picture taken on January 17, 2012 in Paris shows a close-up of the opening page of the ratings agency Moody's website. Moody's, on January 16, 2012 confirmed France's triple-A credit rating.

PRETORIA - Moody’s Investors Service has left South Africa’s government bond long- and short-term ratings of “Baa2/P-2” unchanged with a negative outlook, two notches above sub-investment grade.

The National Treasury said in a statement on Saturday, this is after the agency decided not to have a formal review process given their recent affirmation of the sovereign rating in May 2016.

The statement read, “The outcome of the credit rating reviews are reflective of an appreciation by the rating agencies of the efforts the ANC led government has made in the midst of a depressed global economy to steer the economy on a sustainable path.”

“It is further an indication of the concerted effort that has gone into confronting and dealing with the challenges we are facing in order to bring out stability and fiscal consolidation. Such measures are undertaken not with the intention to appease rating agencies, but rather to ensure that public finances continue to be managed in a manner conducive to the raising of the level and inclusivity of economic growth.”

Also read: Geingob's pals 'sank oil deal'

The ANC acknowledged concerns of “political risk” and “political uncertainty” raised by the rating agencies, with Fitch in particular citing the ANC’s upcoming 54th National Conference as a reason.

African National Congress National Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the ANC finds these concerns very curious given that political contestation of leadership is a regular feature of any democracy.

“The conference’s impact on governance and macroeconomic performance is an untested and unscientific observation, serving no purpose except to amplify unfortunate and negative narrative distracting from the real constraints to significant and inclusive economic growth. It is further an unnecessary conflation of state and party, mischievously selecting to ignore South Africa’s very unambiguous policy positions and government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation, which is wholly supported by the African National Congress.”

The ANC welcomed the affirmation of gradual recovery in growth in the economy in the coming years and commends government, business, labour and civil society for their collaborative approach aimed at building greater confidence in the economy.

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