Hidden Michelangelo drawing goes on show in Rome

21 Apr

A newly-discovered drawing by Renaissance master Michelangelo, found during the restoration of his “Sacrifice of Isaac”, is to go on show in Rome, along with another drawing found by restorers 30 years ago.”The discovery of this drawing is a really lov…


RFU chief in favour of shortened rugby Six Nations

21 Apr

The chief executive of the Rugby Football Union insisted Friday the English game’s governing body remained in favour of plans to reduce the duration of the Six Nations from seven weeks to six despite opposition from leading players.Harlequins prop Joe …

Sky rider Thomas gets Giro boost with Alps win

21 Apr

Britain’s Geraint Thomas gave himself and Team Sky a major boost ahead of the Giro d’Italia when he swept to victory at the Tour of the Alps on Friday.Thomas finished the five-stage race with a seven-second lead over France’s Thibaut Pinot of the FDJ t…

Belgian linked to drugs, not Paris attack: prosecutors

21 Apr

A man questioned in Belgium after the Champs Elysees attack in Paris is wanted in a drugs case and has no link to the fatal shooting in France, Belgian prosecutors said Friday.French sources said Belgian police who searched the suspect’s home in the po…

Tunisia beach massacre case set for April 28: court

21 Apr

The first public hearing into the June 2015 attack in the Tunisian resort of Sousse that killed 38 foreign tourists has been set for next week, the court said Friday.”The trial on the attack at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel will begin on April 28,” court …

US judge orders VW to pay $2.8 bln criminal penalty

21 Apr

A US judge on Friday sentenced Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty in the diesel emissions cheating scandal, in line with a deal struck between the automaker and the US government.The district court judge in Detroit also placed the German…

UN chief holds first meeting with Trump

21 Apr

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday held a brief first meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House, ahead of a visit of Security Council ambassadors to Washington next week.Guterres, who took over from Ban Ki-moon …


Hasty IS claim for Paris attack raises questions

21 Apr

The Islamic State group’s rushed claim of responsibility for Thursday’s Paris shooting suggests it wanted to heighten the attack’s impact, but in its haste may have mixed up the attacker’s identity.IS’s initial claims of responsibility are usually rele…


French election: what you need to know

21 Apr

Nearly 47 million French voters go to the polls on Sunday in the first round of the country’s presidential election.- Why is it important? -France is the EU’s second-biggest economy and also one of the world’s biggest military and diplomatic powers. Wi…

Saracens boss wary of Williams as Munster lose Murray

21 Apr

Saracens chief Mark McCall believes Munster’s Duncan Williams is more than capable of making up for the absence of star scrum-half Conor Murray when the teams meet in a European Champions Cup semi-final in Dublin on Saturday.Murray was missing Friday f…

Trump supporters taunt Hollywood star’s Finland art project

21 Apr

Actor and artist Shia LaBeouf on Thursday dismissed as “lonely” and “resentful” a group of US President Donald Trump’s supporters who disrupted his new art project in the Finnish Arctic.As part of his latest art performance launched on April 12, “Alone…

South Africa bus crash kills 20 children

21 Apr

At least 20 children were killed in a bus crash outside the South African capital Pretoria on Friday, emergency services said, with many trapped inside the burning vehicle.The minibus collided with a truck on a road between the towns of Bronkhorstsprui…


Southgate leads tributes to ‘gentle giant’ Ehiogu

21 Apr

England manager Gareth Southgate led the tributes on Friday to “gentle giant” Ugo Ehiogu after the sudden death of the former Aston Villa star at the age of 44.Ehiogu collapsed on Thursday at Tottenham’s training centre, where he worked as the club’s u…

Pregnant Serena no intention of quitting – coach

21 Apr

Serena Williams has no intention of calling time on her tennis career after her shock announcement that she is pregnant and will not play again this year, her coach said Friday.The 35-year-old American, one of the greatest players of all time, revealed…

Spanish giant-killer strikes again in Monte Carlo

21 Apr

Albert Ramos-Vinolas scored his second straight upset at the Monte Carlo Masters as the 15th seed beat tournament number five Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 on Friday. After dumping out world number one Andy Murray in the third round the day before, …

Murray to play Barcelona after Monte Carlo misery

21 Apr

Stuttering world number one Andy Murray will attempt to get his season back on track after the Scot accepted an invitation to compete at the Barcelona Open next week.Murray’s Monte Carlo Masters campaign came to a premature end on Thursday when he lost…

Hanyu leads Japanese one-two at Team Trophy

21 Apr

Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu on Friday nailed superb quadruple jumps to lead a Japanese one-two in the men’s free programme at the figure skating World Team Trophy.With the triumph, Japan maintained the lead in the overall standings, followed by the U…

Iran FM mocks US claims it is violating nuclear deal

21 Apr

Iran’s foreign minister mocked US President Donald Trump’s claim Tehran was “not living up to the spirit” of the nuclear deal on Friday, saying Washington was flouting the accord.”We’ll see if US prepared to live up to letter of #JCPOA (nuclear deal) l…

Polish sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz dies at 86

21 Apr

Celebrated Polish sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz, whose striking headless figures have been showcased around the world, has died at the age of 86, the culture ministry said Friday.”She died overnight Thursday to Friday,” the ministry’s press office tol…

Mediterranean migrant death toll for 2017 tops 1,000

21 Apr

Around 100 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean according to shipwreck survivors, raising the death toll for the perilous crossing to Italy to over 1,000 victims in 2017, the UN’s refugee agency said Friday.”This latest tragedy pushes the number …


Kuwaiti opposition leader freed from prison

21 Apr

Prominent Kuwaiti opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak was released from prison Friday after serving a two-year sentence for insulting the emir in public.Barrak, 61, walked out of Kuwait’s central prison to a frenzied reception by hundreds of his rela…

Sex and intrigue of Vatican court drama gets TV treatment

21 Apr

Italy’s Leone Film Group, the company originally founded by spaghetti western master Sergio Leone, is to make an English-language TV series on the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal.The group has bought the rights to a series of books by Italian investigati…


Bernd Wiesberger takes clubhouse lead in Shenzhen

21 Apr

Three-time European Tour champion Bernd Wiesberger took a commanding clubhouse lead from star player Bubba Watson in the second round of the stormy Shenzhen International on Friday.

Wiesberger, who has not missed a cut in the last eight months, scored a bogey-free seven under par before heavy rain and lightning halted play for the day.

The 31-year-old Austrian had woken up at 4:30 am to complete the holes from Thursday’s round that were also delayed due to weather.

“I said to my caddie it feels like a course that suits me and suits my game,” said Wiesberger, who is ranked 43rd in the world.

“I knew I was playing decent coming into this week.”

Coming in behind Wiesberger was Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli.

“To be honest I felt like I hit it a bit better yesterday,” Olesen said.

“I hit a few loose drives today but managed to keep it in play and hit some good wedges.”

But the United States’ heavily-favoured Watson slid to fourth position with seven-under overall, though he is among those yet to complete his second round due to the weather.

Play was suspended at 2:30 pm (0630 GMT), meaning half of the field will complete their second round early Saturday morning before the third round begins for everybody.

Local favourite Li Haotong, ranked 151 in the world and winner of the Volvo China Open last year, also did not complete the round before rain set in.

This is the third edition of the Shenzhen International at the Genzon Golf Club — the first Chinese course to host multiple European Tour events.

Cold snap threatens French vines

21 Apr

A late spring frost that hit French vineyards is threatening the harvest in Champagne and Burgundy, winegrowers warn.”It’s really tricky because the frost hit when the grapes were just forming,” FNSEA spokesman Jerome Despey told AFP, saying the fruit …

Geldof riles Greek Cypriots with occupied gig

21 Apr

Veteran Irish pop star Bob Geldof drew ire on Friday from Greek Cypriots urging him to cancel a concert he is due to play in the Turkish-occupied north of the divided island.

Geldof and his band, The Boomtown Rats, are set to play a free gig Friday at the Eastern Mediterranean University in the port city of Famagusta — but the planned event has drawn widespread condemnation from Cyprus’ Greek-speaking community.

“A concert in the occupied north of Cyprus just goes to show the division between what you say & what you do!,” said one irate Twitter user.

Another added: “#BobGeldof proves himself a supporter of ethnic cleansing and #BandAid a personal publicity stunt by performing in occupied Cyprus.”

The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded the northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece.

Lobby for Cyprus, a UK-based Greek Cypriot pressure group, also weighed in reminding Geldof of the Turkish invasion by posting a front page from the Sunday Times from the 1970s.

“#BobGeldof #TheBoomtownRats to perform in occupied #Cyprus yet ethnic cleansed refugees denied return,” it posted on its Twitter account.

Veteran entertainer and campaigner Geldof is best know for creating the Band Aid charity group in 1984, which raised millions for Africa famine relief with the festive, celebrity-strewn single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

In 1985, Live Aid concerts were held in London and Philadelphia.

Decades of peace talks have failed to reunite Cyprus, and the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is still only recognised by Ankara.

Geldof is not the first performer to fall foul of the island’s delicate politics.

In 2012, Julio Iglesias launched a lawsuit against Turkish Cypriot authorities after claiming he was duped into signing a contract to perform in the north.

In 2010, a concert by Jennifer Lopez, scheduled to take place in northern Cyprus, was cancelled after extensive campaigning by Greek Cypriot groups.

Rihanna also cancelled a concert after a similar campaign.

Star Wars’ Hamill goes to dark side in Cannes festival comedy

21 Apr

Star Wars legend Mark Hamill — Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy — goes over to the dark side in a new offbeat comedy to be shown at next month’s Cannes film festival.”Brigsby Bear” has already been hailed by US critics at the Sundance festival …


Qatari hunting party kidnapped in Iraq freed: ministry

21 Apr

A Qatari hunting party kidnapped in southern Iraq in 2015 has been freed and was being handed over to a Qatari delegation in Baghdad on Friday, a senior interior ministry official told AFP.”The interior ministry has received the Qatari hunters, all 26 …

Real, Atletico Madrid renew Champions League hostilities

21 Apr

Holders Real Madrid face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals as the city rivals do battle once more and French surprise-package Monaco take on Juventus, following the draw on Friday.The all-Madrid showdown is a rerun of the 2014 and 201…

GE profitable again in Q1; oil business still weak

21 Apr

General Electric swung back to profitability in the first quarter Friday as its aviation and power businesses scored strong operating profits growth.

GE, which suffered a modest loss in the year-ago period due to costs associated with asset sales, reported $619 million in profits in the three months ending March 31.

Revenues dipped 0.7 percent to $27.7 billion.

Operating profits growth was strongest in power, aviation and renewable energy.

But oil and gas remained a weak point, with operating profits falling 33 percent to $207 million, an indication that the market for oilfield services remains pressured after a two-year slump in oil prices that has abated in recent months.

GE chief executive Jeff Immelt said a planned combination of GE Oil & Gas with oil services company Baker Hughes remains and track and is expected to close in mid-2017.

Shares of GE slipped 0.1 percent to $30.25 in pre-market trade.

War-torn Afghanistan sets up tourism ministry

21 Apr

The president of war-torn Afghanistan is creating a tourism ministry in a bid to attract visitors to the country endowed with stunning landscapes and archaeological sites, but wracked by nearly four decades of conflict.Ashraf Ghani issued a presidentia…

Champs Elysees, Paris’s emblematic avenue

21 Apr

The Champs Elysees, scene of the fatal shooting of a police officer Thursday night, is the beating historic heart of Paris, its elegance and prestige earning it the sobriquet of “the most beautiful avenue in the world”.The location of Thursday’s attack…