Day: March 22, 2017

Eugenie Bouchard’s poor run of form continued as the Canadian suffered a first-round exit at the hands of Australia’s Ashleigh Barty at the Miami Open on Wednesday.Wildcard Barty’s 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 win sets up an all-Australian clash in the second round a…

New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew on Thursday acknowledged frustration at delays in announcing Super Rugby’s revamped format but said implementing tough decisions took time.The southern hemisphere club competition’s governing body SANZAAR announced almo…

Lukas Podolski signed off his Germany career in style on Wednesday smashing home the winning goal with his trusty left boot to seal a 1-0 friendly victory over England.It was only fitting that the Galatasaray forward, who joins Japan’s Vissel Kobe next…

Young American Ernesto Escobedo pulled off a surprise victory in three sets over Britain’s Dan Evans in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday.The 20-year-old Mexican-American, who grew up playing on rough public courts in Los Angeles, is playi…

A new vaccine that is cheap to make and does not require refrigeration has shown promise in preventing rotavirus, a contagious and fatal disease that disproportionately strikes children in Africa, researchers said Wednesday.A trial in Niger found that …

AT&T and Verizon on Wednesday joined global firms pulling ads from Google, saying they did not want their brands associated with inappropriate content on the internet giant.

The moves by the two US telecom giants came despite a pledge by Google this week to offer new tools for companies to avoid placing ads alongside undesirable websites or videos.

“We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” an emailed statement from AT&T said, indicating it was removing non-search ads from Google.

Verizon said it discovered its ads were appearing on “non-sanctioned websites,” and that it takes “careful measures to ensure our brand is not impacted negatively.”

A Verizon spokeswoman said in an email: “We took immediate action to suspend this type of ad placement and launched an investigation. We are working with all of our digital advertising partners to understand the weak links so we can prevent this from happening in the future.”

The announcements follow similar actions from the British arm of Havas, one of the world’s top advertising agencies, as well as banking giant HSBC, retailer Marks & Spencer, the BBC and the Guardian newspaper group.

On Monday, Google apologized for the placement of ads on extremist content and pledged it would address the concerns.

“We know advertisers don’t want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values,” Google’s chief business officer Philipp Schindler said in a blog post.

Asked about the latest actions, Google said in a statement to AFP it did not comment on specific customers but noted that “we’ve begun an extensive review of our advertising policies and have made a public commitment to put in place changes that give brands more control over where their ads appear.”

The company added that it is “raising the bar for our ads policies to further safeguard our advertisers’ brands.”

The boycott began last week after the Times newspaper of London found BBC programs were promoted alongside videos posted by American white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke as well as videos by Wagdi Ghoneim, an Islamist preacher banned from Britain for inciting hatred.

The analysis found more than 200 anti-Semitic videos, and that Google failed to remove six of them within the 24-hour period mandated by the EU when it anonymously signalled their presence.

The British government subsequently put its YouTube advertising on hold on Monday, saying in a statement, “it is totally unacceptable that taxpayer-funded advertising has appeared next to inappropriate internet content — and that message was conveyed very clearly to Google.”

Tens of thousands of Argentine public school teachers protested Wednesday for higher salaries, the latest salvo in an increasingly nasty dispute with President Mauricio Macri’s government.A sea of teachers and students marched on the Plaza de Mayo, the…

The sea ice cover in the Arctic and Antarctic hit new record lows for this time of year, marking the smallest polar ice caps in the 38-year satellite record, US government scientists said Wednesday.In March, the Arctic ice sheet should be at its bigges…

The global box office for films took in a record $38.6 billion last year, industry figures showed Wednesday, although receipts outside North America declined for the first time in 12 years as the Chinese market slowed.The worldwide figure, bolstered by…

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth suffered upset defeats as the underdogs bared their teeth on the opening day of the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play on Wednesday.

McIlroy’s quest to regain his match play crown was dealt an early setback as the world number two crashed to a 2&1 defeat against Danish veteran Soren Kjeldsen at Austin Country Club in Texas.

An out-of-form world number six Spieth was then comprehensively beaten 4&2 by Japan’s Hideto Tanihara.

Match play specialist McIlroy, the 2015 champion, had clawed his way back from two down to make it all square heading into the final three holes.

But McIlroy missed a difficult birdie putt on the 16th to halve the hole, leaving Kjeldsen one up with two to play.

The 41-year-old Dane then produced a magnificent tee-shot to within three feet on the par-three 17th to pile the pressure on McIlroy.

The Northern Irishman made the green with his tee shot but was unable to sink his birdie, leaving Kjeldsen with the simplest of tap-ins to complete a 2&1 victory.

“I felt good coming into today,” Kjeldsen said. “He’s a pretty spectacular player so you don’t want to watch him too much.

“I knew I had to play well to have any kind of a chance so I didn’t look at what Rory was doing and fortunately I played well,” added Kjeldsen, who as the world number 68 is one of the lowest-ranked players in the in the 64-man field.

“Everyone I’m playing this week I’m going to be the underdog,” Kjeldsen joked after the Group 2 win.

“It’s nice. I haven’t had the best start to the season in America. But the last few weeks I’ve been getting better. I feel good. You can talk about match play but at the end of the day you need to shoot good scores and that’s what I did today.”

This week’s tournament sees the field split into 16 groups of four players who play each other on a round robin basis through Friday. The 16 group winners then advance to the knockout rounds starting on Saturday.

In the day’s other Group 2 game, Gary Woodland of the United States defeated Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo 3&2.

McIlroy will attempt to reignite his challenge on Thursday against Woodland.

England’s Paul Casey defeated Joost Luiten of the Netherlands 2&1 in Group 12 where South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel thrashed An Byeong-Hun of South Korea 6&5.