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Pogacar, who celebrates his 22nd birthday on Monday, is the youngest winner since 1904, sealing his triumph with a sensational performance in the mountain time trial on the penultimate stage.

Until then it had looked as if his compatriot and long-time leader Primoz Roglic would claim the yellow jersey, but in a remarkable reversal it was Pogacar who won the stage and took the race lead by 59 seconds.

Sunday’s 21st stage is by tradition a processional affair, with no attempts at breakaways until the concluding eight circuits around the French capital commence.

Pogacar stayed safely on his bike to cross the line in triumph with his UAE Team Emirates teammates as the stage was brilliantly won by green jersey winner Sam Bennett of Ireland, his second stage win of the 2020 Tour.

Bennett usurped Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, a seven-time winner, to top the points classification and did so in some style, relegating world champion Mads Pedersen to second place on the stage, with Sagan in third.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am,” Bennett said. “The green jersey and the Champs-Elysees, the world championships of sprinting. I never thought I’d be able to win this stage and to do it in green is so special.”

Triple for Pogacar

Not only did he claim the yellow jersey, Pogacar also sealed the polka dot King of the Mountains prize and won the category for best young rider in his first attempt at the Tour.

Roglic, who had led since the ninth stage with his powerful Jumbo-Visma team in support, had to settle for second overall, with Australian veteran Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) taking the final place on the podium.

Pogacar has found his unexpected triumph hard to take in, recovering from losing over a minute in crosswinds on the seventh stage to claw his way back into contention and ultimately claim yellow.

“This is incredible, standing here in Paris on the top step of the podium,” he said.

“I never thought I would be here. It’s been an amazing three-week adventure. I cannot describe how I am feeling right now.”

Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey celebrates on the podium after winning the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race.

With the global pandemic causing the race to be moved from its traditional July slot, there were doubts that it would even be completed with strict hygiene measures in place and mandatory coronavirus testing for riders and their team connections.

Spectators were also limited in finishing areas, with only 5,000 allowed into the post-race podium area in Paris usually filled by many thousands more.

So it was, with some relief to organizers, that after 3,400km of intense racing the 146 remaining riders took to the start for the final stage and hotly-disputed sprint finish in Paris.

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Nagorno-Karabakh: The boy who swapped his piano for a gun

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The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is over, but some families are still waiting for news of their missing relatives.

Bodies are still being counted and identified, and there is no clear information on what has happened to the missing.

Twenty-two-year-old Soghomon was fighting on the Armenian frontline against Azerbaijan. The last time his family heard from him was 1 October.

He was a soldier, but also an artist and a talented piano player.

His father and sister say they can’t give up hope that he will return.

Video by: Sofia Bettiza, Gabriel Chaim and Aren Melikyan

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Afghan car bomb kills at least 40 soldiers

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An attacker detonated an explosive packed vehicle in front of a security base in the Deh Yak district of the province.

According to a statement from the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the attacker was confronted by security forces as he tried to enter the base. No group has claimed responsibility yet.

The blast targeted a compound of the public protection force, a wing of the Afghan security forces, local officials told Reuters. It damaged civilian residences around the compound, and there could be more casualties from there, they said.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed that there had been a car bomb blast but did not provide further information on the target or possible casualties.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, when contacted by Reuters, did not confirm or deny responsibility.

Afghanistan has seen a spate of car bombings over the last few months, despite peace talks being under way between negotiation teams of the insurgent Taliban and the government in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Violence in the country, at war for two decades, remains unacceptably high, foreign governments and institutions say, calling for an immediate ceasefire between the Afghan government and Taliban.
Afghan President orders resumption of offensive operations against the Taliban in blow to Trump's deal

Another bombing on Sunday, in the eastern province of Zabul, targeting a top provincial official, killed at least one person and injured 23, said Gul Islam Syaal, the spokesman for the province’s governor.

Haji Ata Jan Haqbayan, head of the provincial council of Zabul, suffered minor injuries in the attack on his convoy.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack on Haqbayan, an outspoken critic of the Taliban.

The Trump administration’s peace deal with the Taliban was dealt a blow in May as the Afghan government announced it was resuming offensive operations against the insurgent group following a spate of deadly terrorist attacks.

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Incoming GOP congresswoman to take aim at AOC with conservative ‘squad’

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Malliotakis, who frequently attacked Ocasio-Cortez during her campaign against Democratic Rep. Max Rose, took aim again at her New York counterpart when asked about the future of the Republican Party.

“I think one of the reasons why we were so motivated to run is seeing the Democratic women being elected in 2018 that don’t necessarily reflect our values, particularly those who are self-described socialists,” Malliotakis said. “I think there’s just a stark contrast between what we’re offering and what people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are offering. And that’s something that needs to be debated in Washington.”

House Republicans more than doubled the number of women in their conference in November, bringing the number to at least 28 from 13. Democrats, who added a record number of women to their ranks during the 2018 election, have at least 89.

A number of House races still remain uncalled, including New York Republican Claudia Tenney’s challenge against Rep. Anthony Brindisi; Tenney’s lead has narrowed significantly to just 13 votes as of Friday.

Malliotakis, who will be the only Republican to represent New York City in Congress, credited House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney for their efforts in recruiting “qualified women who have something to share with the American people” for the gains.

“What we stand for are freedom, liberty. We love this nation. We want to see it prevail. We want to see it remain the land of opportunity, what has, in essence, attracted millions of immigrants from around the world, to pursue that American dream,” Malliontakis said. “Somebody like me, daughter of a Cuban refuge, I want to be there to be a part of the discussion, debate and provide a counterview.”

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