2020-21 UEFA Champions League: European soccer model reveals best bets for Wednesday, Dec. 2

The 2020-21 UEFA Champions League group stage continues on Wednesday with eight intriguing matchups, including Sevilla vs. Chelsea and Manchester United vs. PSG. All eight fixtures can be streamed on CBS All-Access. Before you lock in your UEFA Champions League picks for Wednesday, you NEED to see what our proprietary European soccer model has to say.

Created by two Norwegians — professional poker player and sports bettor Jonas Gjelstad, and economics and engineering expert Marius Norheim — the model analyzes worldwide betting data and exploits market inefficiencies, helping its followers cash in. Since coming to SportsLine last year, the algorithm is up almost $9,000!

The model also made some strong calls in the Champions League group stage last week, correctly predicting Lazio (-118) defeating Zenit, Chelsea (-130) knocking off Rennes and Barcelona (-250) topping Dynamo Kiev.

Now, the model has set its sights on Wednesday’s Champions League fixtures and revealed its picks for every match. We can tell you the model is leaning Over 2.5 goals in Krasnodar vs. Rennes.

The model also has money-line picks for Brugge vs. Zenit, Juventus vs. Dynamo Kiev and every other UEFA Champions League match. You ABSOLUTELY need to see them before you lock in your own picks!

So who is the model backing on Wednesday? And where does all the betting value lie? … Join SportsLine now to see the model’s UEFA Champions League picks, and see where all the betting value lies, all from the proprietary European soccer model that’s up almost $9,000!

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European car retailing poised for shake-up as ‘agency’ model gains support

Implementing the agency model has caused friction at Daimler’s dealers in Austria, Automobilwoche reported in November.

Dealers are unhappy at not being able to set transaction prices and think the maximum agreed agency fee of 5.8 percent of the transaction price isn’t high enough, especially as they still need to hit volume targets to earn it.

The fee drops to 2 percent if the car is sold online and the dealer acts purely as a center for test drives and delivery, another source of friction with dealers who felt the payoff was too low. A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Austria told Automobilwoche it had received a commitment from all of the current dealers, “to implement the system in time for the second half of 2020.”

Daimler’s agency model in Sweden pays a fee on car sales but also pays a share of the rent of dealers’ premises, recognizing that Mercedes showrooms need to offer a premium experience, ICDP’s Young said.

In South Africa, BMW pays a straight commission fee, a system that has harmed bigger dealers. “Under the old system, the larger dealers used price discounts to drive volume over a larger area, stealing sales from smaller dealers,” Young said. “Under the agency system, they can no longer do that, so the smaller dealers are winning back customers.”

BMW declared the South African trial a success. “Today I can honestly say not one of the retailers wants to go back, they do not want to return to the old wholesale model, they love it. And the customer reaction we are getting is exemplary as well,” BMW South Africa Managing Director Tim Abbott told UK motoring publication Autocar.

The move to direct sales – where the automaker sells the car to the customer, rather than the dealer – shifts the financial burden. “You’re moving billions out of inventories, removing risk of the inventory out of dealer books on to the manufacturers,” Vertu’s Forrester said. “There are lots of advantages for dealers – lower capital employed, less credit and stock risk.”

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Saudi Arabia urged to release women’s rights activists by European envoys

Seven European human rights ambassadors criticized Saudi Arabia on Sunday over the continued detention of at least five women’s rights activists, including Loujain al-Hathloul, whose case has been referred to a special court for terrorism offenses. 

Loujain Alhathloul posing for a photo: Loujain al-Hathloul, right, is pictured with her sister Lina al-Hathloul around five months before her arrest in May 2018.

© Courtesy of Lina al-Hathloul
Loujain al-Hathloul, right, is pictured with her sister Lina al-Hathloul around five months before her arrest in May 2018.

Hathloul appeared in a Saudi court on Wednesday, as her trial was scheduled to start after 900 days in pre-trial detention.

The court instead referred the case to the Specialized Criminal Court for terrorism and national security cases, according to a statement from her family and supporters, sent to CNN.

The case of another women’s rights activist, Samar Badawi, has also been referred to the special court. Three others — Nassima al-Sada, Nouf Abdulaziz and Maya’a al-Zahrani — remain in detention, according to human rights group Amnesty International. 

“We remain deeply concerned by the continued detention of at least five women’s right activists in Saudi Arabia. We regret that the cases of Loujain Al-Hathloul and Samar Badawi have now been referred to the Special Criminal Court for terrorism and national security cases,” human rights ambassadors for the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Luxembourg and Finland said in a statement.

Hathloul, 31, was jailed in May 2018 during a sweep that targeted prominent opponents of the kingdom’s former law barring women from driving. The crackdown happened just weeks before the ban was lifted, casting doubt on a reform agenda put forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The court she appeared in on Wednesday said it would investigate Hathloul’s allegations of torture in prison, according to the family’s statement. Saudi authorities have repeatedly denied allegations of torture and sexual abuse in their prisons. A new trial date hasn’t been announced yet.   

Badawi had also campaigned against the driving ban and against the imprisonment of her former husband, rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, as well as her brother, blogger Raif Badawi. 

“Peaceful activism, and advocating for women’s rights is not a crime. Human rights defenders can be a strong partner for governments in addressing concerns within society,” the ambassadors said.

“We join the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Rapporteurs and Treaty Bodies in reiterating our call for the release of all political detainees, including the women’s rights activists.”

CNN has reached out to the Saudi government for a response. 

In an interview with CNN’s Nic Robertson earlier this month, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Jubeir said Hathloul’s case “was up to the courts” and that “she’s on trial for matters related to national security.”

An Amnesty International representative for the Middle East, Lynn Maalouf, said the Specialized Criminal Court was “an institution used to silence dissent and notorious for issuing lengthy prison sentences following seriously flawed trials.”

“This is yet another sign that Saudi Arabia’s claims of reform on human rights are a farce,” Maalouf said. 

In a six-page charge sheet for Hathloul’s case, seen by

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EU to use Magnitsky-style law to impose sanctions on human rights abusers | European Union

The EU will take on powers to freeze assets and impose travel bans on individuals involved in human rights abuses from next month, after the bloc’s member states provisionally approved a European Magnitsky Act.

The restrictive measures – set to be formally signed off on Human Rights Day on 10 December, marking the 77th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – would target those involved in crimes ranging from genocide and torture to arbitrary arrests or detentions.

A leaked copy of the decision obtained by the Guardian says the legal act “establishes a framework for targeted restrictive measures to address serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide”.

The EU does not currently have the right to enforce travel bans on individuals as the competence lies with national governments, and its other sanction powers are geographically targeted.

The Dutch government initiated a discussion on the EU developing its own version of the US Magnitsky Act last November following a resolution from its parliament in The Hague.

The original US act signed by Barack Obama in 2012 was designed to target Russian officials deemed responsible for the death of the Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky was a Moscow lawyer and tax auditor hired to investigate a case of corruption in which a group of interior ministry officials managed to obtain a $230m rebate from the Russian state by fraudulently taking over three companies belonging to Hermitage Capital, an asset management firm.

The officials he accused had him arrested and thrown in jail, where he was beaten by prison guards. He died in custody in 2009 at the age of 37 after being refused medical treatment or family visits.

The European parliament has repeatedly called for the EU to adopt legislation similar to that enacted in the US to allow the bloc to target individuals irrespective of their nationality.

The eight members of the Nordic Council – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland – had said they would adopt their own act if the EU failed to agree.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, which border Russia, already have such legislation.

In 2018 a Magnitsky amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act was passed by the UK parliament to give the government the power to impose sanctions on people who commit gross human rights violations.

In July, in the first use of the powers, the British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, announced sanctions against 49 individuals and organisations, including 25 Russians ranging from government officials to prison doctors and Moscow’s top prosecutor, Alexander Bastrykin, a close ally of Putin.

The EU framework will not carry Magnitsky’s name, following lobbying by the Dutch government which argued that no specific state should feel targeted. Vladimir Putin had been so enraged by the US act that he banned the adoption of Russian children by Americans.

The new EU human rights sanctions regime was agreed by foreign policy experts from the 27 member states on Thursday and will be formally approved

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