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World - Chinese newcomer Xiao thrills Crucible

Chinese debutant Xiao Guodong came close to pulling off a major upset in his first round match against two-time runner-up Ali Carter at the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield on Sunday. At 8-8, the 25-year-old qualifier was on the brink of a famous victory, only for Carter to take control of the next frame with a break of 80 before capitalising on a mistake by Xiao to complete victory. Carter, who overcame testicular cancer last year, will play either Mark Selby or Michael White in round two. Xiao`s compatriot Ding Junhui established a 6-3 lead over English qualifier Michael Wasley in his first round match, which concludes on Monday.

Sunday, April 20, 2014  19:39


World - Rouhani says Iranian women not second class citizens

Iran`s President Hassan Rouhani admitted Sunday that women in his country still face discrimination and cultural barriers but he insisted they are not universally treated as second-class citizens. In a speech marking Women`s Day in Iran, Rouhani, seen as a moderate reformer, said more had to be done but that the West did not offer a model that had to be followed. The remarks were followed by confirmation that the country`s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had agreed to pardon or commute the sentences of some women prisoners. Rouhani`s speech was consistent with his promise of more social freedoms, a cornerstone of the campaign that gave him a surprise victory in the June presidential election.

Sunday, April 20, 2014  15:32


World - Seven candidates stand for post of Libya prime minister

The Libyan parliament on Sunday began hearing seven candidates who are vying to replace prime minister Abdullah al-Thani who quit last week just days after his appointment. Thani announced he was stepping down on April 13, five days after the General National Congress, or parliament, tasked him with forming a new cabinet, saying he had been the victim of an attack. He had replaced Ali Zeidan, who was ousted a month earlier by the GNC, Libya`s highest political authority, for failing to rein in the lawlessness gripping the country. Members of the GNC, were due to hear the candidates present their programme of government on Sunday, but no date had been fixed for the vote.

Sunday, April 20, 2014  15:32


World - Iran says it watered down, converted over 200 kg of enriched uranium

Iran said on Saturday it had completed watering down and converting more than 200 kilograms (440 lb) of enriched uranium under a deal reached in Geneva last November with world powers over its disputed nuclear program. `Based on the agreement with the West, we were supposed to have half of our 200 kilogram stock of uranium diluted and the other half converted to uranium oxide,` Iran`s atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the Arabic-language Al Alam television channel. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that Iran has acted to cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile by nearly 75 percent in implementing a landmark pact with world powers, but a planned facility it will need to fulfil the six-month deal has been delayed. Salehi, who heads the country`s atomic energy organization, said the fast process of uranium conversion was expected to expedite the release of frozen Iranian assets in the West.

Saturday, April 19, 2014  23:51


World - Britain`s anti-EU leader denies expenses allegations

Eurosceptic UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said Tuesday he was considering legal action after a British newspaper reported that he faces an investigation over his EU expenses. Farage told the BBC that the `outrageous` allegations published by Rupert Murdoch`s The Times were politically motivated, ahead of European Parliament elections on May 22. The Times reported that a former UKIP official had made a complaint to the European Union`s anti-fraud office OLAF over allowances that Farage receives for his constituency office in Britain. The newspaper said Farage gets £15,500 ($25,900, 18,700 euros) a year to run the office in a converted grain store, citing transparency reports on the party`s website, but reported that it is provided rent-free by local supporters, while a former office manager said the premises only cost £3,000 a year to run.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  19:27


World - Tesco announces annual net profit of £974m

London (AFP) - Supermarket group Tesco on Wednesday announced a massive jump in annual net profits, but its underlying performance showed a fall.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  08:15


World - UK and US working on tougher possible sanctions for Russia

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday pledged an extra £1 million for a monitoring mission to Ukraine and agreed to work with US President Barack Obama on beefing up potential sanctions against Russia. The two leaders talked by telephone following high-level talks in Geneva aimed at de-escalating tensions in Ukraine. The Contact Group meeting, attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Ukraine Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, resulted in agreement that all illegal military formations in Ukraine be dissolved.

Friday, April 18, 2014  00:29


World - Ozil in line for Arsenal return, says Wenger

Arsenal`s record signing Mesut Ozil could make his return from a hamstring injury at Hull City this weekend, manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Thursday. `I think (Kieran) Gibbs will be out for the weekend but (Nacho) Monreal is possibly available and Ozil could be available to travel as well,` Wenger told a press conference. Germany international Ozil has not played since going off at half-time of his side`s 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16 on March 11. The 25-year-old has had a fitful first campaign in England since arriving from Real Madrid in a £42.5 million ($70.7 million, 51.6 million euros) deal last September, but Wenger believes that he will come good next season.

Thursday, April 17, 2014  14:28


World - Burberry bags rising quarterly sales

British fashion group Burberry on Wednesday reported a rise in second-quarter sales, boosted by its online division, but cautioned that currency fluctuations would hit profits this year. Revenues at the luxury retailer rallied 19 percent to £1.3 billion ($2.2 billion, 1.6 billion euros) in the six months to the end of March, compared with the same part of the prior financial year, Burberry said in a trading update. `We are pleased with our second half performance ... underpinned by the planned increase in investment in offline and online retail, innovative customer service and marketing,` said chief executive Angela Ahrendts. Burberry had already warned in January that it would be hampered by the strong pound, which costs the group more to convert other currencies back into sterling.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  17:09


World - Diageo doubles bid for India`s United Spirits, shares surge

Diageo launched on Tuesday a new $1.9-billion offer to take control of Indian whisky maker United Spirits as the British drinks giant chases expansion in emerging markets. The doubled offer worth 1.4 billion euros comes after Diageo was forced to settle for a lower stake in India`s top spirits maker than it envisaged when investors rejected its 2012 tender bid as being too low. The news sent United Spirits` stock surging on the Bombay Stock Exchange by nearly 12 percent to 2,859.00 rupees. Diageo, which already owns 28.78 percent of United Spirits Ltd (USL), said it would buy an extra stake of up to 26 percent, for £1.13 billion involving as many as 37.8 million shares.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  11:34

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