Czechs, Sweden edge towards world ice hockey quarter-finals

12 May

The Czech Republic and Sweden edged closer to the quarter-finals at the world ice hockey championships on Friday with crushing wins over Slovenia and Italy respectively.

The Czechs gave Slovenia no chance scoring three times in the first period before sealing a 5-1 victory to sit second in Group B two points behind two-time defending champions Canada.

France assured their place among the elite by beating Belarus 4-3 in a penalty shootout thanks largely to stalwarts Stéphane Da Costa and goaltender Cristobal Huet.

The hosts had lead 2-0 in Paris before Belarus scored three unanswered goals but the French levelled with seven minutes to go. Belarus now face a play-off Saturday against Slovenia.

In Cologne, Sweden crushed Italy 8-1 with a late surge despite leading by just 3-1 after the first two periods. The Scandinavians now sit one point behind Russia who have played a game less.

Denmark, meanwhile, served a blow to German hopes or reaching the quarter-finals, beating the tournament co-hosts 3-2 after extra time.

‘No risk’ if LA gets Olympics – IOC official

12 May

An International Olympic Committee delegation on Friday lavished praise on Los Angeles’s bid for the 2024 Games, stating that there would be “no major risk” if the city was awarded the sporting extravaganza.Patrick Baumann, the chairman of the IOC’s Ev…

Fast-moving cyberattacks wreak havoc worldwide

12 May

A fast-moving wave of cyberattacks swept the globe Friday, apparently exploiting a flaw exposed in documents leaked from the US National Security Agency.The attacks — which experts said affected dozens of countries — used a technique known as ransomw…

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Author Ian McEwan urges second referendum on Brexit

12 May

The award-winning author of “Atonement”, Ian McEwan, said Friday there should be a referendum on Britain’s final Brexit deal with the European Union, arguing it was still possible to stay in.McEwan, who campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU before…

At the end of the world in Chile, a culture on the brink

12 May

Just outside the southernmost settlement in the world, an 89-year-old woman is the last native speaker of her people’s ancient language and struggling to ensure she does not take it to her grave.Cristina Calderon, known locally as “Grandma Cristina,” l…

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Fiat Chrysler recalls more than 1 mn pickups in US

12 May

Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than one million US pickup trucks due to a software defect that disables side air bags, according to documents released by US auto safety regulators.Fiat Chrysler said it was aware of two injuries and one fatality potent…

Fifth time lucky for Stade as they win Challenge Cup

12 May

Stade Francais finally got their hands on a European trophy as they beat Gloucester 25-17 to win the Challenge Cup at a rainswept Murrayfield on Friday.It meant the French side had finally won a continental showpiece match after previously losing two E…

No US involvement in deal with IS fighters: Pentagon

12 May

The Pentagon said Friday it played no part in an unusual deal in which Islamic State jihadists were allowed to leave a key town in Syria — only for some of them to be killed anyway.The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces had independently cut a deal wi…

Sanchez, US riders top Tour of California contenders

12 May

Spain’s Samuel Sanchez and American riders Andrew Talansky and Brent Bookwalter are expected to be among the title contenders when the 12th Tour of California cycling stage race begins Sunday.The race makes its debut on the International Cycling Union’…

Courageous, compassionate Conte heals Chelsea rifts

12 May

Just 10 months after arriving at a club ripped apart by feuds and rampant egos, Antonio Conte has healed the rifts so masterfully that Chelsea are the Premier League champions.Conte and his players were wreathed in smiles and soaked in champagne after …

The players in Trump’s Russia scandal

12 May

The shock dismissal of the FBI chief James Comey has triggered days of turmoil in Washington and thrust the spotlight back onto allegations that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with a Russian bid to sway last year’s presidential election.Here are the …

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Batshuayi delivers Chelsea Premier League title

12 May

Chelsea secured the Premier League title on Friday after substitute Michy Batshuayi’s 82nd-minute goal earned Antonio Conte’s side a hard-earned 1-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion.The Belgian striker’s late goal at The Hawthorns took Chelsea 10 points…

Barkley winner shows what Everton could be missing

12 May

Ross Barkley reminded Everton what they’ll be missing if he is allowed to leave as the England midfielder’s cool finish clinched a 1-0 win over Watford on Friday.Barkley’s future with Everton is in doubt following his refusal to commit to the club by s…

Koons unveils giant inflatable ballerina in New York

12 May

Artist Jeff Koons on Friday unveiled an enormous inflatable blonde, silver-limbed ballerina in one of the busiest plazas in New York.Seated on a stool and attending to a blue pointe shoe, the nylon figure in a light blue tutu towers a whopping 45 feet …

NASA delays deep-space Orion test to 2019 due to costs

12 May

The first test flight of NASA’s Orion capsule, designed to one day carry people to Mars, has been delayed until 2019 at the earliest due to high costs, the US space agency said Friday.The unmanned test flight had been scheduled for November 2018 but wa…

Wife of Canada’s Trudeau plugs parks with parliament tents

12 May

Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, the wife of Canada’s prime minister, and their daughter Ella Grace pitched a tent on parliament’s front lawn Friday to promote free access to Canada’s fabled national parks.Free access to the parks — including Banff, Fundy, Gl…

Alarm grows over global ransomware attacks

12 May

Security experts expressed alarm Friday over a fast-moving wave of cyberattacks around the world that appeared to exploit a flaw exposed in documents leaked from the US National Security Agency.The attacks came in the form of ransomware, a technique us…

Egypt, IMF in initial agreement on next aid tranche

12 May

The International Monetary Fund said Friday it will release the second tranche of a $12-billion loan to Egypt, in a “vote of confidence” in the country’s economic reform programme.

The amount of $1.25 billion must still be endorsed by the IMF board following an “expert-level agreement” announced after a visit to Cairo, an IMF statement said.

According to Egypt’s finance minister, Amr al-Garhy, the tranche should be disbursed in the second half of June.

“This agreement is a vote of confidence by the IMF staff in the continued implementation of the Egyptian authorities’ programme” on economic reform, the IMF statement said.

Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s in a statement said it anticipated “ongoing fiscal consolidation in Egypt over 2017-2020, supported by the three-year IMF programme”.

S&P “affirmed its ‘B-/B’ long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Egypt”.

“The outlook is stable,” its statement said.

Since the 2011 revolt against Hosni Mubarak, the Arab world’s most populous country has seen a sharp decline in tourism revenue and reduced foreign investment, caused by political instability and security issues.

In November last year, the IMF approved the $12-billion three-year aid package for Egypt, at the time releasing an initial $2.75 billion.

To obtain the IMF lifeline, Cairo undertook to implement drastic reforms, adopting value added tax, cutting public energy subsidies and in November floated the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound.

Before November, the official rate was 8.83 Egyptian pounds to the US dollar, but it has since weakened and on Friday was averaging 18 pounds per dollar, according to the Central Bank’s website.

Friday’s IMF announcement comes after a visit to Cairo by a delegation charged with reviewing Egypt’s economic reform programme, its statement said.

“This agreement is a vote of confidence by the IMF staff in the continued implementation of the Egyptian authorities’ programme,” the statement said.

“Foreign exchange shortages are resolved and interbank market activity is recovering. Egypt has regained investors’ confidence,” it said.

Mass cyberattack strikes computer systems worldwide

12 May

Tens of thousands of computers in 74 countries have been infected by a ransomware virus which extorts users by blocking Windows files and demanding payment to restore access. Read Full Article at RT.com

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First Colombia FARC rebels complete disarmament: UN

12 May

A group of Colombian FARC rebels on Friday became the first to formally complete a disarmament process under a peace accord to end a half-century conflict, United Nations monitors said.”A first group of 12 members of the FARC received today from the UN…

Nadal dismisses talk of Djokovic ‘slump’

12 May

Rafael Nadal insisted the furore caused by Novak Djokovic’s dip in form over the past year has been overblown as he prepares to face the Serb for the 50th time.The two will meet in Saturday’s Madrid Masters semi-final with Nadal looking to bridge the g…

On new EU frontier, Brexit chief tries to calm nerves

12 May

A stream runs through the land where Kevin Black used to man a checkpoint on the border between the north and south of Ireland — now a focus of concern as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.The 50-year-old former Irish soldier goes shopping …

McLaren accept Alonso ultimatum

12 May

McLaren-Honda boss Zak Brown said he accepted Fernando Alonso’s challenge to give him a race winning car for next year, and had no concerns at him leaving the circuit to play tennis after another engine failure.The newly-installed American told reporte…

Jerry Garcia guitar on auction to back rights group

12 May

One of Grateful Dead legend Jerry Garcia’s most famous guitars is going back on auction, where it could fetch more than $1 million to back a civil rights group.Known as Wolf, the electric guitar was custom-made by luthier Doug Irwin. Garcia debuted it …

White House movie theater opens to public

12 May

Visitors to the White House can now visit the cloakroom-turned-movie theater where Dwight Eisenhower used to sneak off to watch westerns and where Jimmy Carter screened “All The President’s Men.”The decision to open up the private presidential theater …

McCall wary of fast-starting Clermont

12 May

Saracens boss Mark McCall is ready for a furious start by Clermont when the teams meet in the European Champions Cup final at Murrayfield on Saturday.Title-holders Saracens, also the reigning English champions, have yet to concede a first-half try in t…

Fury return on hold after UKAD hearing postponed

12 May

Tyson Fury’s bid to return to the ring is on hold after a UK-Anti Doping hearing involving the former world heavyweight champion was postponed.Fury had been hoping to make his comeback with a bout in July, but the controversial British fighter is still…

US Olympic discus thrower Young gets four-year doping ban

12 May

Jason Young, a 2012 US Olympic discus thrower, was issued a four-year doping ban Friday by the US Anti-Doping Agency for a non-analytical violation involving prohibited performance-enhancing substances.The 35-year-old Texan, was suspended for using and…

Focus on what really matters, Blair advises Macron

12 May

France’s incoming president Emmanuel Macron got some advice on Friday from former British prime minister Tony Blair, with whom the reform-minded Frenchman has often been compared.In an opinion piece in Le Monde daily titled “What Emmanuel Macron graspe…

Clermont’s Azema unafraid of losing finals record

12 May

Coach Franck Azema insists Clermont have no need to fear their poor record in showpiece matches as they prepare to face title-holders Saracens in the European Champions Cup final at Murrayfield on Saturday.Azema’s side lost to French rivals Toulon in b…

Brady dismisses ‘curse’ as NFL video game cover player

12 May

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who won his fifth Super Bowl title three months ago, was on Friday named the cover player for the ‘Madden NFL 18’ video game.And the 40-year-old superstar, who becomes the oldest NFL player ever featured on t…

Force India against Mercedes helping Honda

12 May

Force India is against any kind of deal that would see their engine suppliers Mercedes assisting hapless Honda with their unreliable power units used by McLaren, deputy team boss Bob Fernley said on Friday.Fernley made this clear in a bid to prevent an…

McGregor given Sunday deadline for Mayweather bout

12 May

Mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor has been given a Sunday deadline to agree to fight retired boxing great Floyd Mayweather, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said.White, speaking on the Jim Rome radio show, said he will settl…

Israeli paratroopers recreate iconic Wailing Wall image

12 May

Three paratroopers in an iconic photograph of Israel’s capture of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City during the 1967 Six-Day War have recreated the image 50 years after the conflict.Zion Karsenti, Yitzhak Yifat and Haim Oshri, all aged 22 at the …

Temer’s Brazil presidency hits year mark in turmoil

12 May

President Michel Temer said Friday that he’d put Brazil back on track after one year in power since the traumatic impeachment of his predecessor Dilma Rousseff.An accidental president, Temer moved up from the vice presidency 12 months ago when Rousseff…

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World football, baseball stars grieve for Venezuela

12 May

The grief of Venezuela’s deadly political crisis has reached as far as the football pitches of the English Premier League and the diamonds of Major League Baseball in the United States.While their friends and compatriots are being shot dead during anti…

Aussie Ewan bags maiden Giro stage, Jungels in pink

12 May

Australian Caleb Ewan eclipsed a “difficult” week to snatch his maiden Giro d’Italia stage in Alberobello on Friday, where overall race leader Bob Jungels retained the pink jersey.Ewan, who won a stage on the Tour of Spain two years ago, came agonising…