FROM Frank Deford
Japanese Win at Women's World Cup a Tonic for Wounded Country TV broadcasters told Japanese audiences to be inspired by their team. Coach Norio Sasaki told the players to think about the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster as they worked their way up in World Cup competition. The outcome was a major sports upset and a much needed restoration of pride for a devastated nation. Women's soccer is not a big deal in Japan, and its team was not considered among the world's elite. But they defeated powerhouses: Sweden, Germany and finally the United States, which they had never beaten before despite 25 opportunities.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.