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World - Controversial lender Wonga posts first loss

The British lender Wonga, widely attacked for the high interest it has charged for short term loans, posted its first annual loss Tuesday after the industry faced a clampdown. Wonga reported a net loss of £42.8 million ($63.8 million, 59.6 million euros) in 2014 compared with a net profit of £30.6 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. One year ago meanwhile, regulators ordered Wonga to pay £2.6 million in compensation after sending fake legal letters to pressure customers into repayments.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015  16:24


World - Rich get richer in UK index of wealthiest people

Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik has been named the wealthiest man in Britain in a rich list being released Sunday studded with members of the international jet set living in London. Blavatnik, an investor in a range of industries including oil, petrochemicals and media, is worth £13.17 billion (18 billion euros, $20 billion), according to the respected Sunday Times Rich List. The index found that the combined wealth of Britain`s 1,000 richest people had more than doubled in the last ten years to over £547 billion. Blavatnik knocked Indian-born brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the multinational conglomerate of the same name, off the top spot.

Saturday, April 25, 2015  22:47


World - England cruise to nine-wicket triumph

St. George`s (Grenada) (AFP) - England ended a wait of two-and-a-half years and 10 matches for Test success away from home with a nine-wicket win over the West Indies in the second Test on Saturday. Set a modest target of 143 after the home side folded for 307 in their second innings just after lunch, Gary Ballance (81 not out) and skipper Alastair Cook (59 not out) eased to the target with an unbroken 142-run second-wicket partnership after Jonathan Trott fell without scoring to Shannon Gabriel. This first away win since a series-clinching seven-wicket triumph over India in Kolkata in December, 2012 means that England have retained the Wisden Trophy - the symbol of supremacy in Test series between the two nations since 1963 - going into the final Test in Barbados starting next Friday. James Anderson starred with the ball and in the field at Grenada`s National Stadium on Saturday.

Saturday, April 25, 2015  22:11


World - Tesco reports £5.74bn annual net loss

Supermarket group Tesco, announced Wednesday that it had plunged massively into the red last year as it took a hit on the value of its property. Tesco, which was hit by a major crisis last October after accounting errors that overstated profits, reported a loss after tax of £5.74 billion in the 12 months to the end of February. `It has been a very difficult year for Tesco,` chief executive Dave Lewis said in the statement. Tesco announced £7.0 billion of one-off charges, mostly linked to a writedown on the value of its property.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015  08:35


Middle East - Open Source: As War Grinds On, Yemenis Share Their Anguish Online

Online dispatches from Yemeni bloggers and activists were filled on Wednesday with despair over the growing toll of the conflict.

Thursday, April 23, 2015  02:09


World - Britain faces more austerity medicine, whoever wins

In the cacophony of slogans ahead of Britain`s general election on May 7 one thing is for sure -- the country faces more austerity whichever party wins. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron positions himself as a saviour who rescued the debt-ridden economy he inherited when coming to power in 2010. With economic growth picking up to 2.8 percent in 2014 and the unemployment rate falling to 5.6 percent, his Labour rival Ed Miliband has an uphill task. Labour point out the average wage of a British worker has fallen by £1,600 ($2,429, 2,234 euros) a year since Cameron took office -- and that many new jobs being created are badly paid and offer little security.

Sunday, April 26, 2015  10:13


World - Sandown full house for Box Office McCoy`s last race

Tony McCoy brings the curtain down on his record-breaking career on the aptly-named Box Office in front of a forecast full house at Sandown on Saturday. `It s looking increasingly likely to be a sell-out, that is the message, Sandown`s clerk of the course Andrew Cooper said. Only twice in Sandown`s recent history has that attendance been matched -- for Motivator`s Eclipse win in 2005 and Desert Orchid`s Whitbread success in 1988, Cooper said. Before Box Office bids to give him the perfect send-off he partners Mr Mole in the only Grade 1 event on the card, renamed in his honour the AP McCoy Celebration Chase.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015  18:22


World - Man Utd `table bid for Dortmund`s Hummels`

Manchester United have tabled a 30-million euro ($32.15m, £21.38m) bid for Borussia Dortmund`s Germany defender Mats Hummels, according to a report in Sport Bild. Hummels admitted earlier this month he was weighing up his options amid reports United boss Louis van Gaal wants Dortmund`s World Cup winner at the heart of his defence for next season. After Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp announced last Wednesday that he would leave at the end of the season, Hummels is set to be the next big name star to leave the 2013 Champions League finalists, according to the magazine. German daily Bild claim United`s offer is too low for Borussia, but Dortmund could be persuaded to part with their captain for 40 million euros.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015  15:21


World - O`Sullivan socks it to Steadman at snooker championship

Ronnie O`Sullivan completed a routine 10-3 victory over debutant Craig Steadman at the World Championship on Wednesday, having played part of the first-round match in his socks. O`Sullivan took off his shoes during play on Tuesday after complaining that they were uncomfortable, briefly playing in his socks before being loaned new footwear by tournament director Mike Ganley. The five-time world champion could face a £250 ($377, 350 euros) fine for contravening the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association`s dress code, but he laughed off the matter after sinking Steadman. `I`ve got no fashion sense at all,` O`Sullivan told the BBC.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015  14:17


World - Smalling extends Man United deal to 2019

England centre-back Chris Smalling has extended his contract with Manchester United until 2019, the Premier League giants announced on Tuesday. Smalling, 25, joined United from Fulham in a £10 million ($14.9 million, 13.9 million euros) deal five years ago and is enjoying his best season to date at Old Trafford, having made 23 appearances and scoring four goals. `Chris has improved and developed immensely during the short time that I have been at the club and has become an integral part of the first-team squad,` United manager Louis van Gaal told the club`s website. Smalling, who can also play at right-back, has made 147 appearances for United, scoring nine goals, and has won two Premier League titles with the club.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015  16:06

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