Armed men attack Istanbul night club, armored police vehicles dispatched – Turkish TV

Gunmen have attacked a night club in Istanbul, reportedly injuring scores of people, Turkish channel NTV reports. Footage shows armored police vehicles surrounding the building as ambulances are rushed to the scene. Read Full Article at R…

Preview Gunmen have attacked a night club in Istanbul, reportedly injuring scores of people, Turkish channel NTV reports. Footage shows armored police vehicles surrounding the building as ambulances are rushed to the scene.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Legal Learning Series Proudly Announces Mercury Express Courier, its newest Annual Sponsor for 2016

Legal Learning Series, a leader in legal education, networking and events, announced a new sponsorship from Mercury Express Couriers and Courthouse Express Legal Couriers provide a full range of document, delivery and filing services for lawyers and…

Legal Learning Series, a leader in legal education, networking and events, announced a new sponsorship from Mercury Express Couriers and Courthouse Express Legal Couriers provide a full range of document, delivery and filing services for lawyers and...

VERSES AT WORK – Actor/Rapper Malik Work – Appears on the GingerNewYork TV Show in NYC

Malik Work – A Pioneer of the Hip Hop/Jazz Movement in New York City – With Editor/Dir.of Photography, Greg Thompson, Discuss Their Award-Winning Film & New Theater Production. MNN TV Studios, Friday Jan. 6, 2017, Time Warner Cable Ch. 34/1993, 2pm.

Malik Work - A Pioneer of the Hip Hop/Jazz Movement in New York City - With Editor/Dir.of Photography, Greg Thompson, Discuss Their Award-Winning Film & New Theater Production. MNN TV Studios, Friday Jan. 6, 2017, Time Warner Cable Ch. 34/1993, 2pm.

Pau halt Montpellier summit charge, Clermont lose

In-form Pau halted depleted Montpellier’s title momentum and dragged themselves away from the soft underbelly of France’s Top 14 on Saturday with a 32-27 win.The hosts’ third straight win moved them above Brive — losers at Stade Francais — and denied…

In-form Pau halted depleted Montpellier's title momentum and dragged themselves away from the soft underbelly of France's Top 14 on Saturday with a 32-27 win.

The hosts' third straight win moved them above Brive -- losers at Stade Francais -- and denied Montpellier the chance to significantly cut the gap on leaders Clermont, who lost 26-20 at Toulouse.

Some 12,000 fans braved frosty conditions to see southwestern rivals Pau and Montpellier engage in a hard-fought encounter featuring seven tries -- five in a first half in which Pau emerged with a wafer-thin 22-20 lead.

After an early Demetri Catrakilis penalty for Montpellier, Watisoni Votu went over on five minutes before Louis Dupichot pulled out two further scores. Two Tom Taylor conversions and a penalty before the break kept up the momentum.

But Pierre Spies, back at number eight as one of nine changes, and Yvan Watremez kept Montpellier -- missing a dozen men through injury or suspension -- in the hunt with tries in quick succession for the visitors which South African fly half Catrakilis converted.

A James Coughlan try just before the hour with Taylor, in fine kicking form this season, landing the conversion and then another penalty held off spirited Montpellier resistance as Duhan Van der Merwe's try eight minutes from the end converted by Francois Steyn proved just insufficient.

"We built on the two good wins over Clermont and Bordeaux in beating Montpellier," said Pau skipper Julien Pierre. "They didn't come here to celebrate New Year and this is an important win."

Watremez was sanguine at the narrow loss, which was no doubt softened further when Clermont lost later in the day and now have a four-point lead at the top over Montpellier.

"We came here to win but we knew it would be difficult. Today is a loss. We get a bonus point but we can't be satisfied with that. We'll keep working and hope to get off to a good start in the New Year."

In other games Stade Francais narrowly edged out Brive 12-10 and Castres hammered Bayonne 47-18 on a good day for the home sides.

On Friday Lyon ended a four-match losing streak with a 19-16 win over Bordeaux.

The result allowed Lyon, who will move to the Stade Gerland, the former home of the city's football club, in January, to go 10 points clear of Grenoble, who occupy the first of the two relegation spots, and 12 clear of rock-bottom Bayonne.

Third place La Rochelle host Grenoble on Sunday and Toulon host the team just a point below them in Racing 92.

Buffalo Americas Delivers 10GbE TeraStation NAS and Switch Solutions for SMB

Buffalo Americas, a leading provider of USB storage, network attached storage (NAS) and networking solutions, announces the availability of new, high speed 10GbE solutions; the Buffalo TeraStation™ 5010 series NAS and the BS-XP20 series of switches.

Buffalo Americas, a leading provider of USB storage, network attached storage (NAS) and networking solutions, announces the availability of new, high speed 10GbE solutions; the Buffalo TeraStation™ 5010 series NAS and the BS-XP20 series of switches.

Hamas armed wing releases mock video of Israel soldier

Hamas’s military wing on Saturday released videos of a mock birthday party for Israeli soldier Oron Shaul, who the army believes was killed in the 2014 Gaza war.The Al-Qassam Brigades said in a New Year’s Eve statement that it had posted online “two vi…

Hamas's military wing on Saturday released videos of a mock birthday party for Israeli soldier Oron Shaul, who the army believes was killed in the 2014 Gaza war.

The Al-Qassam Brigades said in a New Year's Eve statement that it had posted online "two video clips to mark the 23rd birthday of the Zionist soldier and prisoner Oron Shaul".

The statement went on to say the Al-Qassam Brigades had previously announced that it had killed 14 Israeli soldiers and abducted Shaul in eastern Gaza on July 20, 2014.

A 36-second video shows six people in military fatigues sitting on chairs and surrounding another person on a wheelchair who is wearing a shirt bearing the number 102.

Their faces cannot be seen.

In the middle of them on a table is a cake with three candles bearing a message written in Hebrew that reads: "Three years in Hamas jail".

In the background a choir sings in Hebrew: "Happy Birthday Oron".

In the second clip, which lasts 54 seconds, a person whose face appears to have been digitally altered to that of Shaul's is seen sitting in a prison cell with their hands bound in ropes.

In the final scene, a man dressed as a clown and appearing to be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters the cell.

Messages written in both Arabic and Hebrew read: "A new year and the soldier Shaul is still away from his family" and "the decision is in the hands of the government".

The Israeli army believes that another soldier, Hadar Goldin, was killed along with Shaul two years ago and that the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas is thought to hold their bodies.

In September, a senior Israeli official said that Israel had been holding since the 2014 Gaza war 18 Palestinians from the enclave as well as the bodies of 19 others and "offered to swap them for the bodies of the two Israeli soldiers".

But Lior Lotan, who is in charge of prisoners and missing persons, said that Hamas rejected the offer.

Hollande to visit French troops in Iraq Monday

President Francois Hollande said he would on Monday visit French troops fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, as he warned that the terrorist threat within France was still live.”We are not yet finished with the scourge of terrorism. We must contin…

President Francois Hollande said he would on Monday visit French troops fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, as he warned that the terrorist threat within France was still live.

"We are not yet finished with the scourge of terrorism. We must continue to fight it abroad -- that's the reason for our military operations in Mali, Syria and Iraq, where I will travel the day after tomorrow to greet our troops," Hollande said.

France has around 500 troops fighting alongside coalition forces in Iraq, backed by Rafale fighter jets.

In the last New Year message of his presidency, Hollande paid tribute to those killed in terror attacks in France this year, including the 86 mown down in the Bastille Day attack in Nice and smaller-scale attacks on a priest and two police officers.

The fight against terrorism is also domestic, stressed Hollande, citing efforts to foil attempted attacks, closely watching "dangerous individuals" and fighting against radical extremism.

"I know that you are worried about the terrorist threat which has not diminished as shown by what happened in Berlin," where a Tunisian jihadist smashed a truck into a Christmas market on December 19, killing 11 people and also shooting dead the lorry's registered driver.

This was Hollande's last New Year appearance after he announced earlier this month he would not stand for re-election in presidential polls next year.

France’s Hollande to visit French troops in Iraq

President Francois Hollande said he would on Monday visit French troops fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, as he warned that the terrorist threat within France was still alive.

President Francois Hollande said he would on Monday visit French troops fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, as he warned that the terrorist threat within France was still alive.

NumXL 1.64 (TURRET) is officially here!

Spider Financial released a new version of its time series/statistical solution for Microsoft Excel, NumXL 1.64 (TURRET). NumXl 1.64 support periodogram functions, multiple languages, expanded output documentation and automated licensing processes.

Spider Financial released a new version of its time series/statistical solution for Microsoft Excel, NumXL 1.64 (TURRET). NumXl 1.64 support periodogram functions, multiple languages, expanded output documentation and automated licensing processes.

NumXL 1.64 (TURRET) está de forma oficial aquí!

Spider Financial ha lanzado una nueva versión de su análisis de series de tiempo/solución estadística para Microsoft Excel. NumXl 1.64 (Turret) ofrece la función de periodograma, múltiples lenguajes, documentación de salida ampliada.

Spider Financial ha lanzado una nueva versión de su análisis de series de tiempo/solución estadística para Microsoft Excel. NumXl 1.64 (Turret) ofrece la función de periodograma, múltiples lenguajes, documentación de salida ampliada.

Liverpool’s Wijnaldum dents Man City title bid

Georginio Wijnaldum’s early header earned Liverpool a 1-0 New Year’s Eve victory over Manchester City that left Pep Guardiola’s men 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.The Dutch midfielder struck in the eighth minute, emphatically convertin…

Georginio Wijnaldum's early header earned Liverpool a 1-0 New Year's Eve victory over Manchester City that left Pep Guardiola's men 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

The Dutch midfielder struck in the eighth minute, emphatically converting a cross from Adam Lallana, as second-place Liverpool trimmed Chelsea's advantage back to six points.

It was a fourth consecutive league win for Jurgen Klopp's side, who look best placed to hunt Chelsea down in the season's second half, particularly in the absence of European distractions.

They finish the calendar year with 43 points -- the most they have ever amassed at the halfway point of a Premier League campaign.

Despite a marked second-half improvement at Anfield, City manager Guardiola must return to the drawing board, having seen his team's three-game winning run come to an end.

City have now lost four times this season, having also been beaten by Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Leicester City, and will cede fourth place if Arsenal beat Crystal Palace on New Year's Day.

City's supporters, who were joined in the away end by injured captain Vincent Kompany, have not seen their team win at Liverpool since May 2003.

Klopp beefed up his midfield by bringing in Emre Can in place of Divock Origi and the move had the beneficial side-effect of freeing Wijnaldum to get forward, as City found to their cost.

The away side had started reasonably well, Aleksandar Kolarov thumping a free-kick into the defensive wall, but a loose pass from the Serbian in the eighth minute proved fatal.

Liverpool broke at break-neck speed, Roberto Firmino brilliantly switching the play to Lallana, whose feathery left-foot cross was magnificently headed home by the leaping Wijnaldum.

- Mignolet skill show -

Sergio Aguero, back at the tip of the City attack after a four-game suspension, sought a response, bending a shot wide after leaving Jordan Henderson for dead.

But with City unable to pick a way through Liverpool's high press, Aguero was left isolated and it was the hosts who looked more likely to score the game's second goal.

Wijnaldum and Can both shot off-target, while Firmino could not gather a searching through ball from James Milner that drew a round of applause from Klopp.

So comfortable were Liverpool, in fact, that maligned goalkeeper Simon Mignolet felt confident enough to hare out of his box and calmly dink the ball over Aguero, drawing an approving roar from the Kop.

Had Lallana timed his run a little better after Yaya Toure gifted the ball straight to Firmino on halfway, meanwhile, Liverpool might have been 2-0 up by half-time.

Guardiola's response was to move David Silva into a central position, in support of Aguero, and the Spaniard's repositioning allowed City to gain a foothold in the match.

He teed up Aguero for an effort that Mignolet comfortably held and shot narrowly wide himself before Toure's raking pass was volleyed into the side-netting by a flying Raheem Sterling.

In a bold move, when Henderson was forced off just beyond the hour, Klopp sent on a striker, Origi, in his place.

Guardiola did not turn to his bench until the 86th minute, introducing Jesus Navas and Kelechi Iheanacho for the game's final stages, but by then it was too late.

Israel PM discusses Syria conflict with Putin

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the conflict in Syria and “continued security cooperation”, his office said.The talks came as the 15-member UN Security Council unani…

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the conflict in Syria and "continued security cooperation", his office said.

The talks came as the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously voted to back a Russian-Turkish peace plan for a ceasefire in Syria and the launch of new peace talks for the war-wracked country.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening... spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin," the premier's office said in a statement.

"The two leaders discussed developments in the region, with emphasis on Syria and continued security coordination in this sphere, which has already proven itself in preventing misunderstandings," it added.

During a visit to Moscow in April, Netanyahu discussed with Putin military cooperation between the two countries aimed at preventing confrontations between their warplanes in Syrian airspace.

In June, Netanyahu visited Moscow again and talks with Putin centred on "the implementation of these arrangements," the premier's office said at the time.

Russia is a key ally of the Syrian government and has been fighting to bolster the Damascus regime since last year.

Along with Turkey, which backs the armed opposition, they brokered a ceasefire across Syria that entered its second day Saturday and held despite sporadic clashes in parts of the country.

Moscow and Ankara also say the truce aims to pave the way for peace negotiations later next month in Kazakhstan, also organised by Syria regime ally Iran.

Turkey and Russia have said the talks in the Kazakh capital Astana aim to supplement UN-backed peace efforts, not replace them.

Israel is opposed to the Syrian government and has sought to limit its involvement in the conflict.

But Israel has carried out sporadic sorties against the militant Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside the Syrian regime.

Israel fought a devastating war with the Iran-backed Hezbollah in 2006.

India’s Modi unveils handouts, tax breaks after cash ban

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday unveiled a series of cash handouts, cheaper loans and tax breaks for women, farmers and businesses as he defended the move to ban high-value banknotes.In a New Year’s Eve address, Modi thanked people for …

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday unveiled a series of cash handouts, cheaper loans and tax breaks for women, farmers and businesses as he defended the move to ban high-value banknotes.

In a New Year's Eve address, Modi thanked people for their "patient sacrifice, discipline and resolve" in supporting the withdrawal of some 85 percent of all bills in circulation, which he said had laid the foundation for a better India.

His televised remarks followed the expiry of a deadline for people to swap their old 500 rupee ($7.30) and 1,000 rupee notes for new ones on Friday.

The Indian leader has been widely hailed for his assault on tax evasion but long queues outside banks, a cash crunch and policy flip-flops since the November 8 announcement quickly led to anger in some quarters.

"The troubles faced and the sacrifices made by the people to build a better India is an example for all of us," Modi said in his 45-minute speech, describing the cash ban as a "big fight" against corruption and unaccounted wealth.

In an effort to appease those most affected by the cash crunch, Modi said the government would offer cheaper loans to home buyers and farmers as well as cash handouts for pregnant women.

He also unveiled tax breaks for small and medium-sized businesses.

India's main opposition Congress party was quick to dismiss Modi's announcement and demanded clarifications and figures from him on the exact benefits of the move to reduce cash in use.

"Disappointed with PM's speech. Many questions left unanswered. His decision paralysed economy; the country can't run this way," party spokesman Randeep S Surjewala said on Twitter.

Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party will learn if his risky gamble has paid off when Uttar Pradesh holds the first of several 2017 state elections, likely in February.

Moving Portable Toilet Introduces Automatic Routing System

Midland Toilet Hire is introducing their automatic routing system for portable toilets available for hire for events, construction sites, cabins and other needs such as a mobile welfare along with a million other uses.

Midland Toilet Hire is introducing their automatic routing system for portable toilets available for hire for events, construction sites, cabins and other needs such as a mobile welfare along with a million other uses.

Short inspires Exeter to historic victory

James Short scored two late tries to seal a great comeback and secure Exeter’s first win at Bath as they ran out 17-11 winners in an enthralling Premiership clash on Saturday.The 27-year-old wing’s brace also helped Exeter to leapfrog their fellow west…

James Short scored two late tries to seal a great comeback and secure Exeter's first win at Bath as they ran out 17-11 winners in an enthralling Premiership clash on Saturday.

The 27-year-old wing's brace also helped Exeter to leapfrog their fellow west country opponents in the table as they moved third and inflicted Bath's second successive defeat.

Exeter trail leaders Wasps by eight points after the latter beat Newcastle in a try-filled encounter on Friday 34-30 -- champions Saracens are second, five points off Wasps, but can go back to the top with a bonus-point win over Leicester on Sunday.

Bath had looked to be heading for victory as they led comfortably at half time with a try by England's Fiji-born wing Semesa Rokoduguni and two penalties from George Ford.

However, worryingly for Bath's director of rugby Todd Blackadder, Exeter held them at bay in the second half and aside from Short's telling contributions Irish kicker Gareth Steenson also landed two penalties and a conversion.

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter admitted the half-time talk had been a difficult one to make but had been impressed by how his players shifted the balance of power.

"At half time I was thinking, what can we say to the lads? Bath had total control in most areas," he told BT Sport.

"We had to make a complete attitude shift and slowly that dripped in through the second half.

"It did feel like the momentum of the game shifted our way. The comparison was scary for about 50 minutes and when we managed to shift that balance the balance of the game shifted our way."

Former All Blacks captain Blackadder took the swing around in fortunes in good heart.

"For most of the game we played really well and felt really dominant," he told BT Sport.

"It's a little bit frustrating and that's life, but Exeter took their chances.

"It's one of those games which we knew was massive, that's why we put everything into it.

"The guys really stepped up, we played really well apart from a couple of little moments," added the 45-year-old New Zealander.

New Zealand utility back Jimmy Gopperth extended his lead at the top of the Premiership points scorers charts on Friday playing a pivotal role in Wasps' victory over an obdurate Newcastle side.

Gopperth made an immediate impact after coming on at the beginning of the second half, scoring a try which he converted to give the visitors the lead after trailing 22-21 at the break and they never relinquished it from then on.

The Kiwi ended the match with a tally of 10 points to take his total for the season to 158.

Leicester edge clear of relegation zone

Premier League champions Leicester City eased their relegation fears as Islam Slimani’s headed goal gave them a much-needed 1-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday.Boosted by the inclusion of Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth and Danny Drinkwater, Leicester look…

Premier League champions Leicester City eased their relegation fears as Islam Slimani's headed goal gave them a much-needed 1-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday.

Boosted by the inclusion of Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth and Danny Drinkwater, Leicester looked every inch the side who battered Manchester City just a few weeks ago in one of this season's rare high points for the Foxes.

Claudio Ranieri's side now travel to Middlesbrough on Monday looking to pull farther clear of the bottom three whilst Slaven Bilic's West Ham host Manchester United

The home side could easily have been a couple of goals ahead in a fast and frantic opening and were only denied by fine goalkeeping from West Ham's Darren Randolph and the post.

Randolph worked wonders in tipping Mahrez's left foot shot over the crossbar following a fine Leicester move.

A minute later Marc Albrighton outpaced Dimitri Payet and sent over a pin-point cross which the unmarked Slimani could only head directly against the woodwork.

A rare scare for Leicester followed when Aaron Cresswell's ball from the right saw Wes Morgan flick the ball into Michail Antonio's path. The winger though had to stretch and skied his effort well over the crossbar.

What turned out to be the winner arrived in the 20th minute when Albrighton produced a superb cross and Slimani planted a firm header across Randolph and into the net.

It was nearly 2-0 moments later when Demarai Gray's left wing cross was directed towards his own net by Angelo Ogbonna only for Randolph to block with his right knee at close range.

The visitors claimed a penalty when Albrighton slid in on Payet, who crumpled to the ground.

They came closer still to finding an equaliser when Payet's free-kick, following a block from Daniel Amartey, led to a mad scramble inside the penalty area.

Mark Noble's pass was cut out by a sliding Simpson and Kasper Schmeichel saved from Payet with his feet.

The in-form Antonio then fired against the crossbar with a spectacular effort from Cresswell's cross.

Huth was booked for winning the ball but sliding dangerously into Payet and from the free-kick a diving Schmeichel preserved City's lead in diving down low to his left to push the ball around the post.

The first half ended with Slimani hooking a shot onto the roof of the net from Mahrez's cross.

The second half lacked much of the goalmouth action but not the intensity or passion.

Amartey was booked for a foul on Noble two minutes after the restart and Noble was soon forced off through injury.

A high, late and ugly challenge earned a yellow card for West Ham's Havard Nordtveit with his victim Ben Chilwell caught by studs into the midriff. Schmeichel raced 30 yards out of his area to join Leicester protests which promptly earned the goalkeeper a caution for dissent.

The visitors were looking much the stronger as referee Anthony Taylor's card-count continued to rise at a rapid rate. Simpson was booked from kicking the ball away after tripping Antonio before Manuel Lanzini also saw yellow for hauling back Amartey.

Chilwell's goal-bound shot was blocked by Andy Carroll, who also did enough to deny Shinji Okazaki from the rebound, then Ogbonna's goal-bound header was blocked as City hung on for a vital win.

UN Security Council approves Russian-drafted resolution on Syria ceasefire

The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution drafted by Russia that endorses a nationwide Syrian ceasefire, which was earlier brokered by Moscow and Ankara. Read Full Article at RT.com

Preview The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution drafted by Russia that endorses a nationwide Syrian ceasefire, which was earlier brokered by Moscow and Ankara.
Read Full Article at RT.com

have you heard about Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 3 ” 7 Inch ?

if you are looking for a cheap tablet and good quality also good value , you don’t have to be confused much , because we are going to talk about a device has same qualifications ,its Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 3 ” 7 Inch ” so lets start Design :- Probably you.

if you are looking for a cheap tablet and good quality also good value , you don't have to be confused much , because we are going to talk about a device has same qualifications ,its Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 3 " 7 Inch " so lets start Design :- Probably you.

Pogba crowns United’s late fightback

Paul Pogba capped Manchester United’s thrilling fightback as the France midfielder struck in the closing moments to seal a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday.Grant Leadbitter’s second half goal put Middlesbrough on course for an unlikely win ag…

Paul Pogba capped Manchester United's thrilling fightback as the France midfielder struck in the closing moments to seal a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Grant Leadbitter's second half goal put Middlesbrough on course for an unlikely win against Jose Mourinho's side, but brilliant late strikes from Anthony Martial and then Pogba saw United earn their fifth successive league win in the most dramatic fashion.

United's gritty revival maintained their momentum heading into 2017 as they look to secure a top four finish and possibly mount a late title challenge.

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka was Mourinho's assistant for three years at Real Madrid and the two share a genuine friendship borne from that period between 2010 and 2013.

Their relationship was, of course, placed to one side for 90 minutes in Manchester as United were looking to go unbeaten in 12 matches, a situation Middlesbrough can only dream about as they look set for a protracted battle to beat the drop this term.

United, again missing the injured Wayne Rooney, had two early corners that amounted to nothing but it was Middlesbrough who squandered the first glorious chance just three minutes in.

Adama Traore broke through the middle and had both Stewart Downing and Alvaro Negredo free in acres of space close to the edge of the box but he opted to shoot and embarrassingly scuffed wide.

United looked to attack repeatedly early on as Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial threatened, but they could not really trouble Victor Valdes until the 14th minute when Pogba's stunning overhead kick hit the post from close range.

Middlesbrough again showed their ability as Traore remained in heart of the action.

- Rifled -

He beat Daley Blind and delivered a fine cross that eventually landed at the feet of George Friend, whose drilled effort was well blocked by Marouane Fellaini.

The game hit a lull as Middlesbrough looked strong at the back and United offered little, although one left footed Henrikh Mkhitaryan effort forced Valdes into a decent low save after half an hour.

United kept pushing and were unlucky not to take the lead just before the break.

Firstly, Martial rifled an effort against the post from 30 yards before Zlatan Ibrahimovic bundled the ball home past Valdes.

However, as Old Trafford celebrated, the goal was overruled as the United player was deemed to have fouled Valdes in the process of out-jumping him to score, although replays showed that Ibrahimovic had done little wrong.

Four minutes after the interval, Ibrahimovic was denied by Valdes, who saved his close-range effort with his feet while Adam Forshaw briefly threatened at the other end.

A goal was needed and few in the stadium could believe it would arrive for the visitors.

However, after 67 minutes, Leadbitter popped up to latch onto a fine Negredo knock-down header and he smashed past David De Gea.

The goal kickstarted the home side as substitute Marcus Rashford started to cause trouble.

Middlesbrough seemed determined to hold on but eventually, United's dominance proved too much.

Martial swept past Valdes to equalise after 85 minutes before Pogba scored a fine header 90 seconds later to confirm the astonishing turnaround.

Cyprus urges Turkey to face up to responsibilities

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Saturday urged Turkey to live up to its responsibilities and help to reunify the divided island when crucial peace talks resume next month in Switzerland.Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are…

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Saturday urged Turkey to live up to its responsibilities and help to reunify the divided island when crucial peace talks resume next month in Switzerland.

Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are to hold talks in Geneva from January 9 after negotiations broke down last month.

If all goes well they will be joined on January 12 by the guarantor powers of Cyprus -- Britain, Greece and Turkey.

The talks "will be the first time that Turkey will be brought face to face with its own responsibilities," Anastasiades said in a televised New Year's message.

Turkey "will have to demonstrate whether its public rhetoric about wanting a solution to the Cyprus problem will be transformed into a specific proposal," he said.

Any such proposal must "respect international legality and be consistent with the status of the Republic of Cyprus as an EU member state."

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the island in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece.

The breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is only recognised by Turkey.

It is hoped the outline of a peace deal can be reached in Geneva after 19 months of UN brokered talks between the rival Cypriot leaders.

But Anastasiades said the task ahead was a difficult one.

"There remain significant differences on substantive issues fundamental to a Cyprus solution," he said.

It has long been agreed that some of the territory currently controlled by the Turkish Cypriots will be ceded to Greek Cypriot control in any deal.

But just how much and which land they should give up has bedevilled four decades of peace talks.

Turkish Cypriots made up just 18 percent of the island's population in 1974, but they control more than a third of its territory.

The two sides remain far apart on several issues, including how many Greek Cypriots could return to homes they fled in 1974 and future security arrangements.

Anastasiades wants all Turkish troops to withdraw but Akinci is determined to keep some on the island.

Greece, like Britain, has said it is willing to give up its right of intervention as a guarantor power.

Turkey has said it is ready to discuss security issues in five-way talks but is not ready to accept preconditions.

Robson-Kanu stunner fires Albion

West Bromwich Albion forward Hal Robson-Kanu ended his long goal drought with a brilliant strike to seal a 2-1 win against Southampton on Saturday.Robson-Kanu marked his first Premier League start for Albion with his first goal since his memorable effo…

West Bromwich Albion forward Hal Robson-Kanu ended his long goal drought with a brilliant strike to seal a 2-1 win against Southampton on Saturday.

Robson-Kanu marked his first Premier League start for Albion with his first goal since his memorable effort for Wales in their shock Euro 2016 quarter-final win over Belgium.

Having joined Albion on a free transfer after his heroics with Wales, Robson-Kanu had failed to convince Baggies boss Tony Pulis that he was deserving of a single league start until the trip to St Mary's.

But he made up for lost time after 13 substitute appearances with a superb long-range finish in the second half after Matt Phillips had cancelled out Shane Long's opener for Southampton.

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk sent off was sent off in the closing moments as his team slumped to a second successive home defeat.

Just three days after watching his side thrashed 4-1 by Tottenham, Saints boss Claude Puel made six changes, including dropping three defenders, but the changes brought little improvement.

Sofiane Boufal will be leaving Southampton to play in the Africa Cup of Nations for Morocco shortly and he looked in the mood to bow out on a high.

He was a constant menace, firing narrowly over from long-range and then set up Dusan Tadic for a volley that raced wide.

Boufal went close again when he whipped over a cross that curled just past the far post and the hosts' pressure was finally rewarded in the 41st minute.

Tadic swung in a corner that picked out Long at the near post and the Irish striker's header was too powerful for Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Yet in virtually their first incisive move of the half Albion equalised two minutes later.

Claudio Yacob fed Chris Brunt and his first-time pass was flicked on by Robson-Kanu to Phillips, who took a touch before side-footing into the bottom corner.

Albion doubled down on their shock response with a second goal five minutes after half-time.

Robson-Kanu's brilliant 'Cruyff turn' and cool finish against Belgium is likely to remain the highlight of his career whatever else he does, but his first goal for Albion in his first Premier League start in over three years was pretty memorable as well.

Running onto a Phillips pass, Robson-Kanu set his sights from an angle 18 yards from goal and unleashed a stunning left footed strike that flashed into the top corner.

A dispiriting day for Southampton ended on a suitably downbeat note when centre-back van Dijk was dismissed for hauling down Salomon Rondon in the 89th minute.

Willian extends Chelsea run, Pogba sinks Boro

Willian scored twice as Chelsea claimed a record-equalling 13th consecutive Premier League victory by beating Stoke City 4-2 on Saturday to provisionally move nine points clear at the summit.Stoke twice hit back to level after falling behind at Stamfor…

Willian scored twice as Chelsea claimed a record-equalling 13th consecutive Premier League victory by beating Stoke City 4-2 on Saturday to provisionally move nine points clear at the summit.

Stoke twice hit back to level after falling behind at Stamford Bridge, but Willian's second goal and a late Diego Costa strike saw Chelsea match Arsenal's run of 13 wins within the same season from 2001-02.

Antonio Conte's side pulled nine points clear of second-place Liverpool, who host third-place Manchester City later in the day in an explosive climax to the calendar year.

Manchester United came perilously close to seeing their own winning streak end, only for late goals by star signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba to secure a 2-1 home win over Middlesbrough.

It was sixth-place United's fifth straight league win and took them to within a point of fourth-place Arsenal, who host Sam Allardyce's Crystal Palace on New Year's Day.

Chelsea welcomed back N'Golo Kante and Costa from suspension for the visit of Stoke and took a 33rd-minute lead when Gary Cahill headed in a corner from Cesc Fabregas.

Bruno Martins Indi equalised within seconds of kick-off in the second half, slotting in after Peter Crouch nodded down Charlie Adam's free-kick.

After Willian had restored the hosts' lead, lashing in from Eden Hazard's lay-off, Crouch drew Stoke level again in the 64th minute when he tapped in Mame Biram Diouf's cross.

But Willian put Chelsea back in front a minute later and Costa's late strike sealed victory.

- Gray hat-trick -

At Old Trafford, United produced a comeback reminiscent of the glory years of the watching Alex Ferguson to continue their recent upturn.

But they had to do it the hard way, with Ibrahimovic initially denied an 18th goal of the season in a contentious incident late in the first half.

Leaping to meet Anthony Martial's left-wing cross, the Swede jabbed the ball past goalkeeper Victor Valdes at the near post, only for referee Lee Mason to rule it out.

United's players, and Jose Mourinho, contested the decision, and there was worse to come when Grant Leadbitter drilled Boro in front from Alvaro Negredo's knock-down in the 67th minute.

But Ibrahimovic did get his goal in the 85th minute, tucking in Martial's cross, and barely a minute later Pogba headed in the winner from Juan Mata's cross.

Champions Leicester City claimed a much-needed win, beating West Ham United 1-0 courtesy of Islam Slimani's 20th-minute header to climb six points clear of the relegation zone.

Swansea City made a demoralising start to life without sacked manager Bob Bradley, slumping to a 3-0 home defeat against Bournemouth that kept them at the foot of the table.

Goals from Benik Afobe, Ryan Fraser and Josh King gave Bournemouth victory, with first-team coach Alan Curtis taking temporary charge of Swansea.

Andre Gray became the first Burnley player to score a Premier League hat-trick as Sean Dyche's men beat third-bottom Sunderland 3-1 to climb to 11th place.

Gray scored three times in the first 53 minutes at Turf Moor, with Ashley Barnes netting a penalty before Jermain Defoe replied for the visitors.

Matt Phillips and Wales's Euro 2016 star Hal-Robson Kanu scored as West Bromwich Albion came from behind to win 2-1 at Southampton, who had centre-back Virgil van Dijk sent off late on for two bookable offences.

WSJ says Turkey detains reporter for three days

Turkey detained a staff journalist for The Wall Street Journal for almost three days without access to a lawyer, the newspaper reported Saturday, adding to growing concerns over press freedom in the country.Dion Nissenbaum was taken into custody on Tue…

Turkey detained a staff journalist for The Wall Street Journal for almost three days without access to a lawyer, the newspaper reported Saturday, adding to growing concerns over press freedom in the country.

Dion Nissenbaum was taken into custody on Tuesday by police at his Istanbul home, for allegedly violating a ban on publishing images from an Islamic State group (IS) video.the newspaper said on its website,

Although the paper provided no further details, IS jihadists last week shared a video purportedly showing two Turkish soldiers captured in Syria being burned alive.

Ankara said earlier this week there was no confirmation of the IS claims.

The 49-year-old American correspondent was held for two-and-a-half days without access to lawyers or contact with his family, the WSJ said, adding for most of the period, it "couldn't determine" his location.

His detention comes a day after one of Turkey's best-known investigative journalists, Ahmet Sik, was charged with "making terror propaganda" on behalf of those alleged to be behind the failed coup in July and Kurdish rebels.

According to the P24 Platform for Independent Journalism, 118 journalists have been arrested during the state of emergency imposed after the attempted putsch against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Istanbul police authorities had no immediate reaction to the WSJ report.

However, Ankara insists it does not jail journalists because of their job.

The WSJ's editor-in-chief Gerard Baker said although the paper was "relieved that Dion was released unharmed after nearly three days, we remain outraged at his peremptory detention, without any contact with his family, legal counsel or colleagues".

The paper claimed plainclothes officers detaining the journalist told him he would be deported, comments heard by another WSJ member of staff who had been on the phone with Nissenbaum at the time. This threat was later dropped, Nissenbaum said.

Nissenbaum said he was "physically comfortable and treated well" during his time in a detention centre outside Istanbul.

He was released on Friday and has now left Turkey for the United States accompanied by his family, the WSJ added.

He thanked well-wishers on Twitter, describing his detention as a "very trying ordeal".

Venezuela frees ex-presidential candidate, five other dissidents

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday released six dissidents, among them former presidential candidate Manuel Rosales, who had been under house arrest for more than two months, opposition leaders said.”I have been freed, along with other pol…

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday released six dissidents, among them former presidential candidate Manuel Rosales, who had been under house arrest for more than two months, opposition leaders said.

"I have been freed, along with other political prisoners," Rosales, 64, wrote on Twitter following his release.

Opposition groups said that those freed in addition to Rosales were Skarlyn Duarte, Yeimi Varela, Nixon Leal, Angel Contreras and Gerardo Carrero.

They were arrested during 2014 protests calling for the removal of Maduro from power.

Rosales was detained on October 19 after returning to Venezuela following six years of exile.

"We will continue to fight for the liberation of everyone," Rosales wrote on Twitter.

A former lawmaker, mayor of the northwestern city of Maracaibo and two-time governor of the state of Zulia, Rosales challenged then-president Hugo Chavez in elections held in 2006.

Dissident leaders had demanded his release, and freedom for the other opposition leaders, during negotiations with the government to ease Venezuela's long-running political and economic crisis.

Airline executives resign after ‘drunken’ pilot allowed into cabin of plane with 154 passengers

Preview Low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink found itself in hot water after it emerged that one of its pilots had passed a pre-flight check despite being heavily intoxicated. His plane’s takeoff was delayed after some of the 154 passengers decided to disembark.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Preview Low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink found itself in hot water after it emerged that one of its pilots had passed a pre-flight check despite being heavily intoxicated. His plane’s takeoff was delayed after some of the 154 passengers decided to disembark.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Obscure English comedy sketch is huge hit in Europe on New Year’s Eve

This New Year’s Eve, just before midnight, millions of revelers will do the same thing they do every year. They will pause their celebrations to watch a short piece of comedic English dinner theater that hardly anyone in Britain has heard of.

This New Year’s Eve, just before midnight, millions of revelers will do the same thing they do every year. They will pause their celebrations to watch a short piece of comedic English dinner theater that hardly anyone in Britain has heard of.

Cuba reports banner tourism year in 2016

Cuba welcomed a record four million tourists in 2016, up 13 percent over last year, with much of the increase thanks to a crush of visitors from the US and Europe, officials said on Saturday.Havana’s Ministry of Tourism said in a statement published in…

Cuba welcomed a record four million tourists in 2016, up 13 percent over last year, with much of the increase thanks to a crush of visitors from the US and Europe, officials said on Saturday.

Havana's Ministry of Tourism said in a statement published in the Granma official newspaper that the island set a record for international visitors this year, exceeding projections by some six percent.

Tourism is the number two source of revenue on the cash-strapped island, second only to the export of doctors and other medical services.

Officials in Havana say the surge in US visitors is a result of the restored relations with the United States -- a thaw first announced by US President Barack Obama and Cuba's President Raul Castro almost exactly two years ago.

Although a decades-old US economic embargo remains in place, Obama has chipped away at many trade and travel restrictions, easing access to the communist island for many Americans.

The first US cruise ship to come to Cuba in more than 50 years docked in Havana in May. Regular flights between the two countries have resumed.

US companies like Airbnb and Netflix now operate in Cuba, and hotel group Starwood opened a Sheraton in Havana in June.

Nearly 137,000 Americans came to Cuba in the first half of 2016, an 80 percent surge from the same period in 2015.

E. Guinea playboy Obiang on trial in landmark French case

The son of Equatorial Guinea’s leader, a notorious playboy with extravagant taste in cars, homes and Michael Jackson memorabilia, will go on trial for corruption next week in a landmark case in France.Teodorin Obiang, the 47-year-old vice-president of …

The son of Equatorial Guinea's leader, a notorious playboy with extravagant taste in cars, homes and Michael Jackson memorabilia, will go on trial for corruption next week in a landmark case in France.

Teodorin Obiang, the 47-year-old vice-president of his impoverished but oil-rich African country, faces widening legal problems as authorities in France and Switzerland probe his extraordinary lifestyle.

US officials have already forced him to forfeit property bought with the proceeds of corruption and have accused him of "shamelessly" looting his country.

In Europe, his luxury 76-metre (250-foot) yacht "Ebony Shine" has been seized, as has his collection of Italian supercars and a mansion on one of Paris' glitziest avenues.

That property alone on Avenue Foch, where the taps are covered in gold leaf, is estimated to be worth around 107 million euros. It includes a private cinema, spa, hair salon and sports room.

When French judicial officials first launched raids in Paris in 2011, they hired trucks to haul away his Bugattis, Ferraris, Rolls Royce and other cars which were memorably photographed leaving the scene.

The trial from Monday sets a precedent for France which has long turned a blind eye to African dictators who routinely park their ill-gotten gains in Parisian real estate and luxury products.

It came about after nearly a decade of lobbying by African anti-corruption campaigners and Transparency International who have targeted Obiang as well as the leaders of Gabon and Congo.

"In the beginning, there was simply no political will in France to listen to us," wrote one of the campaigners, William Bourdon from the Sherpa group, in September.

-- Timber wealth --

French prosecutors allege that party-loving Obiang plundered nearly 110 million euros between 2004-2011 when he was agriculture minister for his father Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

The money allegedly came directly from state accounts and was used by him personally, rather than on the country's citizens -- more than half of whom live in extreme poverty.

As agriculture minister he held a powerful position that gave him control over the lucrative timber industry which is Equatorial Guinea's main export after oil.

A so-called "revolutionary" tax imposed on wood sales was transferred to his personal accounts, prosecutors allege.

Facing charges of laundering the proceeds of corruption, embezzlement, misuse of public funds and breach of trust, he plans to plead not guilty.

He has "always said that he earned the money legally in his country," one of his lawyers, Emmanuel Marsigny, told AFP.

Marsigny is planning to immediately ask for a delay in proceedings to give him more time to prepare Obiang's defence. Multiple hearings have been planned for the first two weeks of January.

The defendant, who has failed with previous legal efforts to stop the trial, is not expected to attend or serve any sentence if he is convicted.

-- Shameless looting --

Born in 1969, Obiang was 10 when his father overthrew his bloodthirsty uncle, the dictator Francisco Macias Nguema, who liked being called "the unique miracle of Equatorial Guinea".

After independence from Spain in 1968, Macias Nguema closed schools and hospitals, dismantled railway lines and banned the wearing of shoes in the deeply poor country.

Now the longest-serving African ruler, Teodoro Obiang Nguema made his son vice-president in June just after being re-elected with his usual score of more than 90 percent of votes cast.

During one of his appeals against the French trial, a lawyer acting for the French government said Obiang had a "compulsive need to buy."

In a settlement with US prosecutors in 2014, Obiang agreed to turn over more than $30 million in property -- including a Malibu villa, a Ferrari and Michael Jackson memorabilia.

The music fan is known to have bought a crystal-covered glove worn by Michael Jackson during his "Bad" tour, which is worth hundreds of thousands of euros.

The US Justice Department said he "embarked on a corruption-fuelled spending spree in the United States" after racking up $300 million through embezzlement, extortion, and money laundering.

In November, Swiss prosecutors said they had opened a money laundering probe targeting Obiang and they towed away 11 luxury cars, including a Bugatti Veyron worth around two million euros.

Equatorial Guinea is regularly criticised by human rights groups for its repressive laws, unlawful killings, use of torture and corruption.

Elite Iraq units link up for Mosul assault: officers

Two elite Iraqi units linked up in Mosul on Saturday and will form a joint front to advance westward against the Islamic State group, officers said.The Rapid Response Division reached the northern edge of Al-Intisar neighbourhood, while the Counter-Ter…

Two elite Iraqi units linked up in Mosul on Saturday and will form a joint front to advance westward against the Islamic State group, officers said.

The Rapid Response Division reached the northern edge of Al-Intisar neighbourhood, while the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) advanced to the southern side of the adjoining Al-Quds area.

The two neighbourhoods are located on the eastern side of Mosul, where security forces have retaken multiple areas from IS, but the city's west is still completely in jihadist hands.

"God willing, Al-Intisar neighbourhood is completely liberated," Brigadier General Mahdi Abbas Abdullah, the commander of the Rapid Response Division's 2nd Brigade, told AFP.

"We will become one front" and will advance "towards the river," he said, referring to the Tigris, which divides Mosul in two.

Lieutenant Colonel Athir al-Basri of Rapid Response also confirmed its forces and those from CTS had reached the same main street that divides Al-Intisar and Al-Quds.

Iraqi forces launched the massive operation to retake Mosul on October 17, eventually pushing into the city from the east.

On Wednesday, Iraqi forces announced the "second phase" of the battle for the eastern side of the city, marking the start of a new round of intensive fighting after progress had previously slowed to a crawl.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had pledged Mosul would be retaken by year's end.

Earlier in the week, Abadi said the country would need three months to eliminate IS -- still an ambitious timeline given that it would mean retaking Mosul, clearing the jihadists out of western territory they hold, and eliminating sleeper cells in government-controlled areas.

Sinclair condemns Rangers to defeat in Old Firm derby

Scott Sinclair grabbed the winner as Celtic came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory in a thrilling Old Firm derby against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday to extend their lead in the table to 19 points.Veteran Kenny Miller had given Rangers a deserved 12th…

Scott Sinclair grabbed the winner as Celtic came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory in a thrilling Old Firm derby against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday to extend their lead in the table to 19 points.

Veteran Kenny Miller had given Rangers a deserved 12th minute lead before Moussa Dembele fired Celtic level before the break.

Both sides had chances before Sinclair scored in the 70th minute to fire Celtic to their 15th league victory in a row and end Rangers' unbeaten record at Ibrox, which stretched back to September 2015.

The win moves Celtic 19 points clear of their bitter rivals in second place and extends their unbeaten run to 24 domestic matches since the start of the season.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers -- whose first Old Firm derby in September saw his side overwhelm Rangers 5-1 -- was ecstatic.

"I thought we thoroughly deserved it. We needed to adjust one or two things at half time but I thought in the second half we were brilliant," said Rodgers.

"We looked a real threat every time we went forward. I'm disappointed probably just to have two goals."

His Rangers counterpart Mark Warburton bemoaned his side's missed opportunities.

"We've lost our record at home which is very disappointing," said Warburton.

"We've had some very good chances. It's about the fine margins and taking your chances when they come along."

It was the first Old Firm derby at Ibrox in nearly five years and the thunderous noise that swirled round the rain-swept stadium seemed to inspire the home side as Rangers made a determined start.

Their early pressure paid off when Miller fired them ahead.

Erik Sviatchenko lost the ball just outside the box to Josh Windass whose clever pass down the right for James Tavernier carved the Celtic defence apart.

Tavernier then whipped a fierce cross into the box and 37-year-old Miller got to the ball first to tap it in from a couple of yards out to send the home fans wild.

The home side's celebrations were tempered by the fact they lost Joe Garner to injury in the build-up to the goal with Martyn Waghorn replacing him.

The English striker then made an immediate impact as he got on the end of Tavernier's free-kick only to see his close range header superbly saved by Craig Gordon.

Celtic had looked a pale imitation of the side that dominated the league this season but came close to an opener when a Sinclair shot hit the base of the post with Clint Hill knocking the rebound out of play.

From the resultant corner a moment of magic saw Celtic equalise in the 33rd minute.

Sinclair's delivery made its way to the back post where Dembele took a touch on his chest before unleashing an unstoppable left-foot strike into the roof of the net for his fifth goal against Rangers in three games.

The visitors came close to taking the lead for the first time in the 55th minute when Callum McGregor's cross reached Dembele in the box who sent a shot bouncing into the turf and off the crossbar.

However, Celtic were not to be denied as substitute Patrick Roberts, on loan from Manchester City, had an immediate impact.

His reverse pass down the right found Stuart Armstrong whose ball across the six-yard box was tapped in at the back post by Sinclair.

Rangers should have levelled matters in the 80th minute when a quick breakaway saw Andy Halliday play a ball across the box for Miller whose first-time effort clipped the base of the post before being cleared.

New Thai king urges unity in New Year’s Eve address

Thailand’s new King Maha Vajiralongkorn urged his subjects to unite in a New Year’s Eve speech delivered on Saturday, his first major address to the politically-split nation since ascending to the throne.Thailand has been gripped with grief ever since …

Thailand's new King Maha Vajiralongkorn urged his subjects to unite in a New Year's Eve speech delivered on Saturday, his first major address to the politically-split nation since ascending to the throne.

Thailand has been gripped with grief ever since the October passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a profoundly revered monarch who steered the country through seven decades of political turmoil.

His only son Vajiralongkorn, who has spent much of his life abroad, does not enjoy the same level of adoration.

Yet like his father the 64-year-old is shielded from criticism by a harsh royal defamation law that effectively blocks public scrutiny of the monarchy.

As a result, little is known about what Vajiralongkorn will do with a crown that is granted few legal powers but became a position of vast influence under his father's charismatic reign.

In the nationally-televised speech on Saturday, Vajiralongkorn urged his countrymen to find common ground as they head into the new year.

"No matter what types of obstacles, problems, or irregularities occur, if we unite then all of them can definitely be resolved", he counselled from behind a desk in Bangkok's Dusit palace.

The monarch added that he was "overwhelmed and impressed" by the outpouring of grief sparked by his father's death.

"This is a testament to how Thais are grateful, kind, compassionate and patriotic," he said.

Bhumibol charmed Thais with his reputation as a hard-working king who dedicated himself to rural development projects for the poor.

His also delivered annual speeches that were peppered with moral guidance to a country battered by political protests and military coups.

But the revered monarch largely retreated from public life as his health declined over the past decade, while Thailand became increasingly engulfed by a bitter power struggle between a royalist elite and a rural poor.

The new king has inherited this fractured kingdom, now firmly in the grip of an arch-royalist junta that has clamped down on pro-democracy voices.

Syria gets airborne hospital as early New Year’s present from Russia

Preview As Russia’s Emergencies Ministry wraps up its medical mission in Aleppo, it is leaving behind its leftover medical equipment and medicine stockpiles as a gift from Russia to Syria. Syria now has a hospital outfitted to be airlifted to wherever needed.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Preview As Russia’s Emergencies Ministry wraps up its medical mission in Aleppo, it is leaving behind its leftover medical equipment and medicine stockpiles as a gift from Russia to Syria. Syria now has a hospital outfitted to be airlifted to wherever needed.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Murray ends year with win over Raonic in UAE

World number one Andy Murray ended 2016 with a win over Milos Raonic to take third place in the Mubadala World Tennis Championships on Saturday.Wimbledon and Olympic champion Murray, who was knighted in the New Year Honours list, beat Canada’s Raonic 6…

World number one Andy Murray ended 2016 with a win over Milos Raonic to take third place in the Mubadala World Tennis Championships on Saturday.

Wimbledon and Olympic champion Murray, who was knighted in the New Year Honours list, beat Canada's Raonic 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) in the exhibition event.

The 29-year-old Scot lost to David Goffin in Friday's semi-final, his first defeat in six meetings with the 11th-ranked Belgian.

Murray's next stop is neighbouring Qatar for the opening week of the ATP season and two weeks out from the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2017.

Meanwhile Rafael Nadal will take on Goffin for the first time in Saturday's final in Abu Dhabi where the Spaniard will bid to lift the title for the fourth time.

In the match for fifth-place in the six-man field, France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Czech Thomas Berdych 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 10-3.

Nadal beats Goffin to win fourth UAE title

Rafael Nadal ended an injury-plagued 2016 on a high by lifting the Mubadala World Tennis Championship title for a fourth time on Saturday.The 30-year-old Spaniard defeated 11th-ranked Belgian David Goffin 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in their first meeting after wor…

Rafael Nadal ended an injury-plagued 2016 on a high by lifting the Mubadala World Tennis Championship title for a fourth time on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Spaniard defeated 11th-ranked Belgian David Goffin 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in their first meeting after world number one Andy Murray earlier ousted Canada's Milos Raonic 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) to take third place.

Nadal's 2016 campaign had been ruined by a wrist injury that forced him out of Roland Garros after the second round and saw him miss Wimbledon.

But he looked in form throughout the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, beating Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final and Raonic in the semi-finals.

Wimbledon and Olympic champion Murray, who was knighted in the New Year Honours list, lost to Goffin in Friday's semi-final, his first defeat in six meetings with the 11th-ranked Belgian.

Nadal will now head to Australia for the Brisbane International, with Goffin travelling to Doha for the Qatar Open.

Murray's next stop is neighbouring Qatar for the opening week of the ATP season and two weeks out from the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2017.

In the match for fifth-place in the six-man field, France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Czech Thomas Berdych 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 10-3.

80 hurt at Australian festival stampede, event goes on

The Falls Festival in Australia will continue despite a horrific stampede that left some 80 people injured, of whom 20 were taken to hospital for treatment, local media report. Read Full Article at RT.com

Preview The Falls Festival in Australia will continue despite a horrific stampede that left some 80 people injured, of whom 20 were taken to hospital for treatment, local media report.
Read Full Article at RT.com

England’s Jennings prepared to take on former compatriots S. Africa

England opener Keaton Jennings is not fussed by the possibility of facing his fellow South Africans in a Test series next July, he told The Times on Saturday.The 24-year-old — son of former South Africa wicketkeeper Ray Jennings — added that should h…

England opener Keaton Jennings is not fussed by the possibility of facing his fellow South Africans in a Test series next July, he told The Times on Saturday.

The 24-year-old -- son of former South Africa wicketkeeper Ray Jennings -- added that should he be selected he is prepared for a lot of attention being focused on him.

Barring a drop in form for his county Durham -- relegated to the second tier after being bailed-out by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) -- he should be selected after making a century on his debut in the recent fourth Test against India and a half century in the fifth and final Test.

His performances were a rare highlight in the series which England lost 4-0 and cast doubt on whether his opening partner Alastair Cook will remain as captain.

"I don't think it will feel weird playing against South Africa, but I know that the intensity around that will be heightened," said Jennings, who will probably also face some old team-mates from the Gauteng Province side whom he played for in 2011 and in the same year skippered the South Africa Under-19 side on a tour of England.

"There will be all the chat again about my nationality. And if I do play I will have to make sure I handle that and be calm, settled and focused."

Jennings, who is playing for his 'home county' as his mother hails from Sunderland in the north east of England, said he is prepared to drop down the order should his services not be required to open.

"I'd be happy to bat at No 10 and be a fielder," said Jennings, who will skipper the England second team squad the Lions on their tour of Sri Lanka next month.

"Just to have the opportunity to play Test cricket, whether I'm playing in my preferred role or something slightly out of the norm.

"If the opportunity is there in July to bat at No 3 and that is what (England coach) Trevor Bayliss or Cook want me to do then I will bite their hand off."

Jennings, who qualified for England through the old four year residency rule, admitted he had been taken aback by some of the reaction to his agreeing to represent England and not the Proteas.

"I think social media gives people an opportunity to voice opinions that I don't really want to read," he said.

"Social media is great but people voice their opinions in the wrong way sometimes. There was a backlash to my background but mostly I have had a lot of support."

Jennings protests that it is not South Africa which he considers his home but Durham.

"South Africa isn't home any more actually," said Jennings, who is also studying for an accountancy degree.

"My mum and dad said the other day about me 'going back to the UK' and I corrected them. 'No. I am going home, that's my home,' I said.

"The northeast of England is where I have bought property and where my local pub is and I have my usual order in the local pub and I know my way around.

"When I come back to South Africa now, I drive round using GPS because I don't know my way."

Putin says 2016 ‘difficult’ but full of accomplishments

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that the year 2016 was “difficult” but congratulated his country on its accomplishments and on believing in itself.The past year “was difficult, but the difficulties we came across united us,” Putin said i…

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that the year 2016 was "difficult" but congratulated his country on its accomplishments and on believing in itself.

The past year "was difficult, but the difficulties we came across united us," Putin said in his traditional New Year's greeting, which is shown at midnight and has already aired in the far-eastern regions of the country.

"The main thing is: we believe in ourselves, in our abilities, in our country. We are working, working successfully, and are accomplishing a lot," Putin said, extending a special greeting to those serving and working far from home.

"We have a huge, unique and beautiful country," he said, voicing hope that the next year brings "peace and prosperity to our great motherland, Russia."

Moscow reemerged as powerful international player in 2016, notably deepening its military presence in Syria and brokering a ceasefire in the war-torn country with Turkey, Iran and the conspicuous absence of Washington.

The end of the year also saw the expulsion on Thursday of 35 Russian diplomats from the United States, which accuses Russian intelligence agencies of orchestrating cyber interference in the US election campaign that led to Donald Trump's victory.

The diplomats and their close relatives, a total of 96 Russians, are set to fly out of the United States on a special government flight, and will likely celebrate the New Year on the plane.

French workers win ‘right to disconnect’ from after-work emails

French companies will be required to guarantee employees a “right to disconnect” from Sunday as the country seeks to tackle the modern-day scourge of compulsively checking emails outside of work hours.

French companies will be required to guarantee employees a "right to disconnect" from Sunday as the country seeks to tackle the modern-day scourge of compulsively checking emails outside of work hours.

South Koreans rally to demand ‘Park-free’ 2017

More than half a million South Koreans marked New Year’s Eve with a massive protest Saturday calling for the immediate arrest and ouster of impeached President Park Geun-Hye.

Candle-carrying and banner-waving protestors marched towards key buildings in Seoul including the presidential Blue House and the prime minister’s office.

Police figures were unavailable but organisers estimated crowd numbers to be more than 600,000.

“Park Geun-Hye step down. Go to prison now,” they chanted.

Parliament voted on December 9 to impeach Park over a corruption scandal in which she allegedly colluded with her friend, Choi Soon-Sil, to wrest donations from large conglomerates to two dubious foundations.

The case is now being considered by the Constitutional Court, which has up to 180 days to rule on the impeachment.

“I came here to help usher in a new year that has no Park Geun-Hye”, Kang Jae-Chun, who was at the protest with his two children, told AFP.

Demonstrators also planned to take part in a midnight ceremony in which a large bronze bell in the city centre is rung to herald in the new year.

It was the tenth protest calling for Park’s immediate departure from office.

But Park, who has been suspended from her duties since the impeachment vote, has remained defiant, declaring she will wait until the Constitutional Court arrives at a decision.

Earlier on Saturday, former health minister Moon Hyung-Pyo was arrested under a court order in a widening probe to determine whether Park and Choi took bribes from businesses including Samsung.

Moon, who is now head of the National Pension Service (NPS), admitted to pressuring the state-run fund to back a controversial merger of two Samsung units — Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T — last year when he served as health minister.

The acquisition was seen as a crucial step to ensure a smooth father-to-son power transfer to Lee Jae-Yong, scion of Samsung’s founding family.

Critics said it undervalued Samsung C&T stock but NPS — the world’s third largest public pension fund and a major Samsung shareholder — backed the deal, allegedly incurring hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for NPS subscribers.

Investigators reportedly plan to question Lee next month to determine whether he told Samsung Electronics executives to funnel millions of dollars into questionable foundations and companies controlled by Choi in return for NPS’ backing.

Lee said at a parliamentary hearing this month he was not aware of the money transfers.

More than half a million South Koreans marked New Year's Eve with a massive protest Saturday calling for the immediate arrest and ouster of impeached President Park Geun-Hye.

Candle-carrying and banner-waving protestors marched towards key buildings in Seoul including the presidential Blue House and the prime minister's office.

Police figures were unavailable but organisers estimated crowd numbers to be more than 600,000.

"Park Geun-Hye step down. Go to prison now," they chanted.

Parliament voted on December 9 to impeach Park over a corruption scandal in which she allegedly colluded with her friend, Choi Soon-Sil, to wrest donations from large conglomerates to two dubious foundations.

The case is now being considered by the Constitutional Court, which has up to 180 days to rule on the impeachment.

"I came here to help usher in a new year that has no Park Geun-Hye", Kang Jae-Chun, who was at the protest with his two children, told AFP.

Demonstrators also planned to take part in a midnight ceremony in which a large bronze bell in the city centre is rung to herald in the new year.

It was the tenth protest calling for Park's immediate departure from office.

But Park, who has been suspended from her duties since the impeachment vote, has remained defiant, declaring she will wait until the Constitutional Court arrives at a decision.

Earlier on Saturday, former health minister Moon Hyung-Pyo was arrested under a court order in a widening probe to determine whether Park and Choi took bribes from businesses including Samsung.

Moon, who is now head of the National Pension Service (NPS), admitted to pressuring the state-run fund to back a controversial merger of two Samsung units -- Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T -- last year when he served as health minister.

The acquisition was seen as a crucial step to ensure a smooth father-to-son power transfer to Lee Jae-Yong, scion of Samsung's founding family.

Critics said it undervalued Samsung C&T stock but NPS -- the world's third largest public pension fund and a major Samsung shareholder -- backed the deal, allegedly incurring hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for NPS subscribers.

Investigators reportedly plan to question Lee next month to determine whether he told Samsung Electronics executives to funnel millions of dollars into questionable foundations and companies controlled by Choi in return for NPS' backing.

Lee said at a parliamentary hearing this month he was not aware of the money transfers.

Several people seriously injured as car plows into crowd in Finland

Preview Up to seven people were injured when a car plowed into a crowd in the eastern part Helsinki, Finland’s capital. Police say that nothing indicates the incident was intentional, however.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Preview Up to seven people were injured when a car plowed into a crowd in the eastern part Helsinki, Finland’s capital. Police say that nothing indicates the incident was intentional, however.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Pakistan say to sue India over 2014 bilateral Test deal

Pakistan cricket chiefs have said they will sue India for failing to honour a 2014 deal to play a bilateral Test series.The Pakistan Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India signed an agreement under which the South Asian rivals were…

Pakistan cricket chiefs have said they will sue India for failing to honour a 2014 deal to play a bilateral Test series.

The Pakistan Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India signed an agreement under which the South Asian rivals were due to play six series between 2015 and 2023, subject to clearance from the Indian government.

There has been no Test cricket between the two nations since 2007. Bilateral cricket ties were severed in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which New Delhi blamed on militants based in Pakistan.

Under the agreement India was to tour Pakistan in 2015, with Pakistan visiting its neighbour in 2017.

But the BCCI backed out from playing Pakistan -- even in a neutral venue -- saying New Delhi would not allow it amid strained relations.

"Two series have been defaulted," said PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan. "We will write to BCCI and if they don't respond then we will take the legal course as we demand compensation."

The PCB's executive committee chairman Najam Sethi said Pakistan was missing out financially, losing up to $200 million on four of the six series it was meant to host.

The two countries have come close to war since September's assault on a military base in Indian-administered Kashmir, again blamed on militants from Pakistan.

Last month the International Cricket Council docked India six women's championship match points after failing to play against Pakistan.

"We were awarded full points after India failed to give any proof of government's objection (in writing) and that's why ICC took that action, so after that we are preparing that case," said Khan.

Pakistan toured India for a short five-match limited over series, but it failed to restore full bilateral ties.