ANZ Bank interim profit rises on restructure

1 May

ANZ Bank posted a six percent rise in interim net profit Tuesday on the back of restructuring its business to shift the emphasis away from Asia and onto its core assets.The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group’s result for the six months to March 31…

Selby wins world snooker championship

1 May

England’s Mark Selby successfully defended his world snooker championship on Monday, beating four-time champion John Higgins 18 frames to 15 in a thrilling contest.The 33-year-old Englishman had trailed 10-4 at one stage but just as he did against Ronn…

UN Security Council to assess Colombia peace gains

1 May

UN Security Council ambassadors travel to Colombia this week to take stock of progress in disarming FARC rebels ahead of the June 1 deadline to lay down all weapons.Council envoys will meet with President Juan Manuel Santos and Ivan Marquez, the lead n…

Liverpool tightens hold on third in Premier League

1 May

Emre Can scored a sensational overhead bicycle kick as Liverpool galvanised their grip on third place in the Premier League by winning 1-0 at Watford on Monday.Having seen top-four rivals Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all drop points o…

GM says will be first to profit from electric cars

1 May

US auto giant General Motors is poised to become the first manufacturer to make a profit from electric vehicles, a GM executive predicted on Monday.The company leads the pack in reducing the cost of electric vehicles and ultimately offering an affordab…

Smoking weakens a gene that protects arteries: study

1 May

People who smoke cigarettes may boost their risk of clogged heart arteries by weakening a gene that is otherwise protective of these important blood vessels, US researchers said Monday.The findings point to a genetic explanation for how smoking can lea…

Scandal-hit Maltese PM calls snap elections

1 May

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Monday called a snap general election for June 3, bowing to pressure over his family being embroiled in the Panama Papers scandal.”Everybody knows about the attacks made in the past few days on me and my family. …

Main points of new Hamas policy document

1 May

The six-page Document of General Principles and Policies unveiled Monday by Hamas, accepts a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders while refusing to recognise Israel.The document underscores the Palestinian Islamist movement’s right to armed resist…

Fresh shakeup ousts Fox News co-president

1 May

A Fox News Channel co-president resigned Monday, in the latest shakeup for the US cable news giant rocked by sexual harassment allegations.Bill Shine had been co-president since the resignation of news channel chief Roger Ailes, who abruptly quit in th…

Ex Fed chief Bernanke says 3% US growth unlikely

1 May

The former head of the US Federal Reserve on Monday cast doubt on the Trump administration promise to expand the economy by three percent to create jobs and room for tax cuts.”On a sustained basis, it’s certainly possible but probably not that likely,”…

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Hamas eases stance on Israel with new policy document

1 May

Hamas on Monday unveiled a new policy document easing its stance on Israel after having called for years for the country’s destruction, as the Palestinian Islamist movement seeks to improve its international standing.The move comes ahead of a first fac…

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THAAD missile defense system now operational in S.Korea

1 May

A controversial missile defense system whose deployment has angered China is now operational in South Korea, a US defense official said Monday.Washington and Seoul agreed to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery deployment in July in …

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New Hamas document accepts Palestinian state with 1967 borders

1 May

The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas unveiled Monday a new policy document easing its stance on Israel after having long called for its destruction, as it seeks to improve its international standing.The document notably accepts the idea of a Palesti…

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Michael Moore to make Broadway debut with Trump show

1 May

Film provocateur Michael Moore will make his theatrical debut in a one-man show that explores the rise of US President Donald Trump and the resistance to him, producers announced Monday.”The Terms of My Surrender,” which will open in previews on July 2…

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Composer seeks answers after US airport detention

1 May

A prominent composer has asked for answers and greater scrutiny of US airports’ treatment of travelers after he said he was detained for hours on his return to New York.Mohammed Fairouz, a longtime New York resident whose works are frequently played at…

Team Sky suspend Moscon over racial abuse

1 May

Italian cyclist Gianni Moscon was on Monday suspended for six weeks by Team Sky for racially abusing Kevin Reza on the Tour of Romandie.”Following a disciplinary meeting with Team Sky concerning an incident at the Tour of Romandie, Gianni Moscon has be…

Trump considers breaking up large banks: report

1 May

President Donald Trump is reviewing a possible breakup of large US banks, according to a published interview Monday.Trump told Bloomberg News that he was considering a “21st century” version of the 1933 Glass-Steagall law that separated consumer lendin…

Champion Selby storms back to lead Higgins

1 May

Defending champion Mark Selby turned this year’s Snooker World Championship final on its head on Monday coming from 10-7 down overnight to lead four-time champion John Higgins 13-11 with one session to go.Selby, fondly known as the ‘Jester from Leicest…

US Supreme Court hands Venezuela a win on expropriations

1 May

Crisis-ridden Venezuela received a bit of good news Monday when the US Supreme Court ruled against an American oil firm whose equipment was expropriated under late president Hugo Chavez.

In a unanimous decision, the court rejected the basis of a suit against Venezuela brought by Oklahoma-based Helmerich & Payne International Drilling, which asserted that the 2010 seizure of 11 of its oil rigs was illegal.

At the time, the “Bolivarian revolution” was in full swing under Chavez, a former army paratrooper famous for railing against “Yankee imperialism” while promising to lead Venezuela into “the socialism of the 21st century.”

From agribusiness to energy to the nation’s banks, the Chavez regime nationalized whole sectors of the economy, forcing multinationals to pull back.

Helmerich, a relatively small player in the oil-drilling sector compared to giants like Schlumberger and Halliburton, had installed its own derricks and other equipment in the South American country.

So when Chavez took steps in June 2010 to prevent the company from removing its equipment, Helmerich sued.

The question before the Supreme Court was under what precise conditions one can sue a sovereign state — in this case Venezuela — in an American court.

Sovereign states have long been shielded from being sued in US courts, with only limited exceptions.

Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, it is however possible to sue a foreign country if it has seized American goods or if its actions have directly affected the commercial functioning of the United States.

Based on that language, the US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia had found that Helmerich had the right to sue Caracas over the expropriation.

The Venezuelan government, however, maintained that the drilling rigs were always the property of Helmerich’s Venezuelan subsidiary, and thus Venezuelan property.

The Supreme Court ruled that the arguments advanced by the American firm were outweighed by the rules of international law.

The ruling, read by Justice Stephen Breyer, thus overturned the lower court’s finding.

Conservative justice Neil Gorsuch, who joined the court only recently after his appointment by President Donald Trump, did not take part in the ruling.

In this sensitive case, the Venezuelan government paradoxically was supported by the United States itself, concerned about any erosion in the sacrosanct principle of the sovereign immunity of states.

Indeed, last year, then president Barack Obama vetoed a law allowing victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, homeland to most of the attackers, arguing that the legislation could open the US to a raft of lawsuits by citizens abroad.

Congress decisively overturned the veto.

Winning Champions League, not Real revenge Atletico’s aim

1 May

Atletico Madrid captain Gabi insisted on Monday it is winning the Champions League not gaining revenge on Real Madrid that motivates him as the Spanish giants face off once more in Tuesday’s semi-final, first leg.Real have beaten Atletico in each of th…

Abbas bags four as West Indies make 312

1 May

Pakistan?s opening pair were laying the foundations of a solid reply at 36 without loss at lunch after their bowlers had dismissed the West Indies for 312 in the first innings on the second day of the second Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Monda…

Hamas to announce new principles easing stance on Israel

1 May

Hamas was to unveil a new policy document on Monday that eases its stance on Israel after earlier calling for the country’s destruction, party officials said.The announcement was due to be made in the Qatari capital Doha, where exiled Hamas leader Khal…

Libyan oil production now more than 760,000 bpd: NOC

1 May

Libya’s oil production, the country’s main source of revenue, rose Monday to more than 760,000 barrels per day for the first time since 2014, the National Oil Corporation said.Oil is Libya’s main natural resource, with reserves estimated at 48 billion …

Venezuela faces tense May Day after deadly unrest

1 May

Security forces in riot vans blocked off central Caracas Monday as Venezuela braced for pro- and anti-government May Day protests one month after a wave of deadly political unrest erupted.Opposition leaders vowed no let-up in their protests demanding e…

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Plan revealed to reset existing European records

1 May

The European Athletics Council has come up with a radical plan that would wipe out existing European and world records and set a clean slate as part of the fight against doping.The proposal was adopted during the Council’s meeting in Paris over the wee…

Joshua backed to replicate ‘Woods effect’

1 May

Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua can be a “flag-bearer” for boxing in the way Tiger Woods was for golf, according to one of Britain’s top sports promoters.Joshua was widely acclaimed for his stunning 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko in a wo…

Thousands march in Madrid against corruption

1 May

Thousands of people at the traditional May Day rally in Madrid vented their anger at rampant corruption, as Spain’s ruling Popular Party (PP) finds itself embroiled in a new scandal.The number of graft accusations to have hit the PP, other parties, uni…

All Black Whitelock banned for two weeks

1 May

All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock was given a two-week Super Rugby ban Monday after striking an opponent with his elbow while playing for Canterbury Crusaders in South Africa. The incident involving the New Zealand forward occurred in the closing stage of …

Huge May Day march in Moscow, turnout almost 1.5 mln

1 May

Almost a million and a half people turned out in central Moscow on Monday for the annual May Day parade, many more than in past years, Russian police said.”Nearly 1.5 million people marched on May 1,” police said in a statement quoted by Interfax news …

Tuilagi helping Pacific players in Europe

1 May

Manu Tuilagi wants rugby players from the Pacific Islands plying their trade in Europe to get greater off-field support as they adjust to the “culture shock” of life far away from home.Samoa-born Tuilagi was almost deported from Britain in 2009 after l…

Syrian forces used nerve gas in four recent attacks: HRW

1 May

Syrian government forces used deadly nerve gas in Khan Sheikhun and in three other recent attacks, Human Rights Watch said Monday, describing a “clear pattern” of chemical weapons use that could amount to crimes against humanity.President Bashar al-Ass…

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