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World - Kingfisher to shut British home-improvement stores

Kingfisher, Europe`s biggest home-improvements retailer, said Tuesday it would close 60 stores in Britain and Ireland, a day after pulling out of a takeover for French chain Mr Bricolage. British group Kingfisher, which owns the chains B&Q and Screwfix in Britain as well as Castorama and Brico Depot in France, said it would close the stores over the next two years at a restructuring cost of £350 million ($517 million, 481 million euros). `Kingfisher has said for some time that B&Q UK & Ireland can adequately meet local customer needs from fewer stores and that some of the stores should be smaller,` the group said, while revealing the departure of B&Q chief executive Kevin O`Byrne.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  09:40


World - Kuwait pledges $500 mn in Syria humanitarian aid

Stressing the gravity of the situation, UN chief told participants at a Tuesday meeting to raise $8.4 billion (7.9 billion euros) this year for Syrian aid efforts, that four out of five Syrians are living in poverty. `I am pleased to announce the pledging of $500 million from Kuwait`s government and private sectors to support the humanitarian efforts in Syria,` Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said as he opened the conference. He urged the UN Security Council, especially the five permanent members, to `abandon differences and find a political solution to the destructive conflict`.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  11:47


World - Kuwait emir pledges $500 million at Syria donors meet

Kuwait`s emir Tuesday pledged half a billion dollars at the start of a major donor conference for Syria, describing the crisis unfolding as the `biggest humanitarian catastrophe in modern history`. `I am pleased to announce the pledging of $500 million (464 million euros) from Kuwait`s government and private sectors to support the humanitarian efforts in Syria,` Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  09:40


World - UN seeks billions for Syria at Kuwait donors` meet

A major UN donors` conference that aims to raise billions of dollars for Syria opens Tuesday in Kuwait with experts warning of a `humanitarian catastrophe` unfolding in the war-torn country. The United Nations has launched an appeal to raise $8.4 billion (7.7 billion euros) this year, and hopes to receive major pledges at the one-day conference which will be attended by delegates from 78 nations. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will chair the Third International Pledging Conference for Syria, which will be opened by Kuwait`s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. `Failing to meet the required funds risks resulting in a horrifying and dangerous humanitarian catastrophe,` Abdullah al-Maatuq, UN special envoy for humanitarian affairs, has said.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  06:16


World - IS `executes at least 30 civilians` in central Syria

The extremist Islamic State group Tuesday executed at least 30 civilians, including two children, in a raid on a regime-held village in Syria`s central province of Hama, a monitor said. IS `executed at least 30 people, including women and children, by burning, beheading, and firing on them` in the village of Mabujeh, said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. IS has regularly targeted minority sects in Syria, especially Shiite Muslims it accuses of apostasy, as well as Sunnis who it alleges have violated its interpretation of the religion.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  10:53


World - DR Congo`s `lucky` city that fortune forgot

The Democratic Republic of Congo city of Baraka -- which means `lucky` in Swahili -- ought to have been a paradise. `The hope generated by independence was short-lived,` sighed 65-year-old former traditional chief Theodore Fikiri, sitting in front of his humble home in the city in the country`s volatile east. Fikiri was just 15 when Congo gained freedom from Belgium on June 30, 1960, fuelling great hope across the sprawling, mineral-rich nation.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  06:34


Top Stories - 30 of the world`s best island escapes

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  03:41


Sports - DeRozan scores 42 as NBA`s Raptors bring down Rockets

DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 42 points and matched a career best with 11 rebounds as Toronto beat Houston 99-96 in a battle of NBA division leaders. DeRozan, who netted 12 points in the fourth quarter on Monday, was 14-of-27 from the court and 12-of-17 from the free throw line to power the Raptors to their eighth home win in a row over the Rockets. Atlantic division leader Toronto improved to 44-30, one game behind Chicago for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  04:15


Business - Oil extends losses as deadline for Iran nuclear deal looms

By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil futures extended losses on Tuesday, as Iran and six world powers ramped up the pace of negotiations to reach a preliminary deal that could ease sanctions and allow more Iranian crude onto world markets. With a deadline less than 24 hours away, United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China were trying to break an impasse in negotiations aimed at stopping Iran from having the capacity to develop a nuclear bomb, in exchange for an easing of international sanctions. `Iran has built up significant oil inventories and could immediately increase exports if sanctions are lifted,` analysts at ANZ said in a note. Shipping sources say Iran is storing at least 30 million barrels of oil on its fleet of supertankers, as Western sanctions keep a lid on sales.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  03:59


Business - Inside Telstra`s digital contact centre

Deep inside Telstra`s Adelaide office, a team of 30 has been recruited to answer between 1,000 and 1,500 tweets, Facebook comments, and Crowdsupport posts as the company looks to become truly digital.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  01:56

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