National anthem mix-up
French President Emmanuel Macron sent an apology message to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama for a national anthem mix-up ahead of a football match, Rama tweeted on Sunday. "President Macron expressed his sincere apologies for the scandalous gaffe of the French Football Federation. He called it an "unacceptable mistake"," Rama posted on Twitter. According to Rama, in his message the French president appreciated the reaction of Albania's national football team players and asked Rama to make his apology public.
Before the European Qualifier match kicked off in Stade de France in Paris Saturday evening, the Albanian football fans and players were expecting to hear their national anthem called "Himni i Flamurit" (National Flag) prior to the start of the game, but the national anthem of Andorra was played by mistake by the organizers. Albania lost 1-4 against the French team.
Off-duty pilot flies plane
An off-duty pilot was hailed a "legend" after stepping in to fly a plane himself to stop the flight being cancelled. Michael Bradley, a qualified easyJet pilot, had a busman's holiday when he ended up flying a plane that was delayed by two hours.
He told passengers on board the Manchester Airport flight to Alicante that he was offering his services as there was no pilot available. An easyJet spokesman said the flight's delay was due to "the knock-on effects of the French Air Traffic Control failure on Sunday, which impacted on crew and meant they had to rely on standbys".
He added: "We are grateful to one of our pilots who was travelling on holiday from Manchester to Alicante on Sept 2 with his family and volunteered to operate the flight." The spokesman also said the incident was "exceptional", Mr Bradley was legally permitted to fly and he was well-rested from taking four days off.
Logo for 2022 WCup released
Qatar finally has a logo for the 2022 World Cup, and it reflects both the tournament's compact infrastructure and winter schedule. Using the colors of the Qatari flag, the white emblem is set against a maroon background. It is inspired by the contours of the World Cup trophy with the unbroken loop depicting a figure of eight - the number of stadiums built for the Middle East's first World Cup in the tiny Persian Gulf nation.
FIFA says the design also draws "inspiration from a traditional woolen shawl," a winter garment reflecting the World Cup being played in November and December 2022 to avoid the fierce summer heat in June and July when the tournament is usually played.
New commemorative coins
China will issue a set of coins, starting from Sept 10, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the central bank said. The set includes two gold, four silver and one copper alloy coins, all legal tender, the People's Bank of China said on its website. One of the gold coins, with a diameter of 60 mm, contains 150 grams of gold and has a denomination of 2,000 yuan. The other gold coin, 22 mm in diameter, contains 8 grams of gold and has a denomination of 100 yuan, according to the central bank.
A total of 2,000 large-size gold coins and 60,000 smaller gold coins will be available for purchase, it said. The silver coins have denominations of 300 yuan, 50 yuan and 10 yuan, with issuing amounts of 5,000, 7,000 and 200,000 respectively. All coins feature the national emblem on the obverse and are inscribed with Chinese characters reading "the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC" on the reverse side.
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