‘Anti-Arab’ Israeli team wins anti-racism award

An Israeli football team known for its anti-Arabic chants and far-right fan base was awarded an anti-racism prize by the president on Monday after improving its behaviour.Beitar Jerusalem, known for its often violent ultra-nationalist Jewish fans, was ...

Tainted eggs scandal spreads to Britain, France

Britain and France said Monday that some insecticide-tainted eggs may have entered the country, as millions of chickens faced being culled in the Netherlands in a growing European contamination scandal.Belgium meanwhile vowed full transparency about wh...

US natural gas emerging as rival to Russia in Europe

The growth of shale gas extraction is positioning the United States to be a bigger natural gas exporter, potentially challenging Russia's hold on the European market.

Russian exports to Europe remain a foundation of the continent's economy, accounting for about 41 percent of supply in the first quarter of 2017, according to the European Commission.

But US sanctions signed last week by President Donald Trump are expected to hit Russia's energy production, potentially crimping supplies to Europe.

The sanctions come as US energy output continues to surge. US natural gas production has been rising more quickly than consumption since 2005, positioning the country to become a net exporter of energy next year, according to the Department of Energy.

Until last year, the only means for exporting gas were pipeline links to Mexico and Canada and a few ships leaving Alaska.

But last year, Cheniere Energy began shipments from a natural gas liquefaction plant in the southern state of Louisiana. Since that time, about 13 percent of the shipments have gone to Europe.

Four other projects are underway in Texas and in Maryland along the East Coast, making the US the global leader in this type of construction, according to a report by Energy Ventures.

- European exports rise -

Markets are steering US gas exports away from where they were initially expected to go, analysts say.

"Initially a lot of the US natural gas that could be shipped overseas on tankers was to have been directed to Asia" because of high prices in Asia, said Stewart Glickman, an analyst at CFRA Research.

"That gap has really closed significantly."

More US gas of late has started to migrate to Europe where there are lower transit costs.

"US exports have largely been going to the Mediterranean region for Europe and they are now starting increasingly to the North region and to the Baltic," said analyst Ira Joseph, head of gas and power for S&P Global Platts.

During an visit in June to Poland, Trump toasted the first shipment of US natural gas to the Eastern European country.

"I think this is a big change for the market," Joseph said. "That is where you are going to see more direct competition."

Bernstein Research analyst Clint Oswald said in an email to AFP, "Gazprom will not allow aggressive market share loss, but are clearly pushing eastwards as they are cognizant of the threats."

Gazprom typically signs long-term contracts, limiting the year-to-year fluctuations in Russia's market share.

Michael Schall of consultancy Energy Ventures Analysis said the emergence of the US as an exporter gives European countries "a credible alternative to Russian gas," which means they "will have better control over pricing."

US gas broadens a competitive landscape that also includes Norway, Qatar and Algeria.

But Joseph said he expects US gas to first replace supplies from Britain and Holland now in decline and, eventually, Norway.

Sneijder completes Nice signing after medical

Wesley Sneijder completed his free transfer to Nice on Monday as the Ligue 1 club secured yet another star name.Following the signing of France international Hatem Ben Arfa two years ago and Italian bad boy Mario Balotelli last season, unfashionable Ni...

EU demands Polish ‘reassurance’ over ancient forest

Top European Union officials have written to Poland's right-wing government seeking "reassurance" it will obey a ban on logging in Europe's last primeval woodland, sources said on Monday.Brussels has also pushed the bloc's top court to act urgently on ...

Mourinho ready to make move for Bale

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has sent a message in the direction of UEFA Super Cup opponents Real Madrid by declaring his readiness to bring Gareth Bale to Old Trafford.

Speaking to reporters in the Macedonian capital of Skopje on Monday, Mourinho said he would wait to see what Bale's role in Tuesday's match was before deciding whether the Welshman was worth pursuing.

"If he plays tomorrow it is because he is in the plans of the coach and the club, and it is in his own plans and ambitions to stay there. Then I won't even think about it," said Mourinho of the 28-year-old.

"If he is not in the club's plans and it is true that a player like Bale is at the departure gate, I will try to be there waiting for him at the other side.

"But if he plays tomorrow it is the clearest signal that he is staying there."

Bale moved to the Spanish capital from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 but injuries restricted his involvement during last season's run-in and he was only a substitute in Real's 4-1 Champions League final win over Juventus in Cardiff.

He has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu with Real among the clubs fighting for the signature of Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe.

The French teenager has been linked with a 180 million-euro ($212 million, £163 million) transfer although Manchester City are also keen and Paris Saint-Germain are believed to want him to play alongside their world record recruit Neymar.

US businesses defend Gulf airlines in subsidies dispute

A coalition of transportation and tourism businesses on Monday called on the US government to preserve aviation agreements with Gulf nations despite accusations of unfair trade by major US airlines.Businesses including courier service FedEx, budget air...

Al-Qaeda ousted from oil-rich Yemen province: army

Al-Qaeda fighters have retreated from an oil-rich southern province of war-ravaged Yemen in the face of an assault by an elite US-backed government force, a military official said Monday.Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), seen by the United Stat...

Hong Kong cleans up greasy beaches after palm oil spill

A clean-up operation was under way in Hong Kong Monday after a massive palm oil spillage from a ship collision in mainland Chinese waters clogged some of its most popular beaches. The coast was coated with rancid-smelling sticky white clumps of the oil...

Netflix acquires comic book creator Millarworld

Netflix announced Monday it was acquiring comic book publisher Millarworld, creator of popular series including "Kick-Ass" and "Kingsman."The first-ever acquisition by the US streaming media giant will give it the portfolio created by Scottish creator ...