Three weeks of violence in Venezuela

Venezuela, mired in a political and economic crisis for months, has been rocked by violence over the past three weeks which has claimed 20 lives.Dozens of people have been injured and some 600 arrested since the crisis escalated in late March, accordin...

Poulter says all is not lost after losing tour status

Britain's Ian Poulter says his career is far from over despite losing his playing status on the US PGA Tour on Friday after a poor showing at the Texas Open.The 41-year-old Englishman was in the 10th and final event of a major medical exemption due to ...

Max Richter set for double-album of film music

Max Richter, the prolific German-born British contemporary composer whose influences range from Bach to Brian Eno, will next month release a double-album from his career in film music.Richter wrote the electronic-infused score to Ari Folman's "Waltz wi...

US Treasury will not waive Russia sanctions for oil companies

The US Treasury on Friday said it would not waive trade sanctions for US companies seeking to resume oil drilling in Russia, including ExxonMobil.The announcement followed media reports that Exxon had sought a waiver to resume a joint venture with Russ...

Europe’s largest wooden church restored in Poland

Europe's largest wooden church has recovered its original splendour after three years of restoration work, the coordinator of the project in southern Poland said Friday. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Lutheran Church of Peace in Swidnica was built i...

Russian FM presses US’s Tillerson over Syria probe

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced "regret" in a phone call with his US counterpart Friday at Washington's opposition to a Moscow-backed plan to investigate an alleged chemical attack in Syria.In the call with Secretary of State Rex Tillerso...

US forces kill IS leader blamed for nightclub attack

US forces operating in Syria have killed a senior member of the Islamic State group blamed for an attack on a nightclub that left 39 dead, officials said Friday."We will reach you anywhere," Brett McGurk, the US diplomat who coordinates the coalition f...

Rowing legend Grainger ‘thrilled’ by new challenge

Britain's most decorated female Olympic athlete Katherine Grainger says she is 'thrilled' with her appointment on Friday to be the chairwoman of UK Sport.

The 41-year-old -- five times an Olympic rowing medallist including gold in London in 2012 -- succeeds Rod Carr who steps down after a four year spell in charge of the body which oversees how funding is distributed among sports.

Grainger's appointment despite having no administrative experience was confirmed by the British Government on Friday -- having received the seal of approval of Prime Minister Theresa May.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed as the next UK Sport chair," said Grainger, who will be paid £40,000 ($51,000, 47,800 euros) a year.

"I am also very honoured to be joining the team at UK Sport and building on the success and commitment to excellence that I have witnessed and enjoyed as an athlete.

"I'm also acutely aware of the many challenging issues currently within sport and I hope to play a role in addressing them."

Among the challenges facing Grainger will be the fallout from the British Cycling scandal with an independent review set for publication.

Sports funding -- a mix of taxpayer money fixed by the government and the Lottery -- is also a thorny issue.

A dip in money being spent by the public on the Lottery precipitated the decision by UK Sport in December to cut funding to seven sports ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said Grainger was the perfect candidate for such a post.

"Dame Katherine is a peerless leader both on the water and off it," said Crouch.

"As one of our greatest ever Olympians, she has an outstanding understanding of high performance sport, and through her educational and charity work has a proven commitment to inclusion."

A decade into Record Store Day, a new world of vinyl

Ten years ago, most vinyl records sold for a few dollars -- dusty old albums with dog-eared covers that had been thrown out as useless relics of an earlier age.However, faced with twin onslaughts from digital music and big-box stores, independent recor...

Vinales sets Americas Moto Grand Prix first practice pace

Season points leader Maverick Vinales set the practice pace Friday at the Moto Grand Prix of the Americas with Spanish compatriot Marc Marquez, the four-time defending champion, settling for second-best.Yamaha rider Vinales, who won the first two races...

Djokovic’s French Open plans take Monte Carlo hit

Novak Djokovic's preparations for his French Open title defence suffered another setback Friday when he was defeated by Belgium's David Goffin 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals.The Serb saved four match points but slumped to his f...

Proposed cuts in US climate science reverberate worldwide

The gutting of US-funded climate science would cripple research agendas worldwide and hamper the global fight against climate change, say scientists outside the United States, some of whom will take to the streets Saturday to make that point.US Preside...

‘More than 50’ Afghan troops killed in attack: US military

"More than 50 Afghan soldiers have been killed" in a Taliban attack Friday on their base near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, a US military spokesman told AFP.The attack lasted several hours but was over by early evening, according to the spokesma...

Bolt’s potential successor De Grasse happy with attention

Usain Bolt's absence from the track at the end of the season will be a huge blow to the world of athletics no matter IAAF president Sebastian Coe's protestations that other athletes are just as deserving as the spotlight.There can be no denying the wor...