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Finance

House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax

House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax

The Press Association-House prices have recorded their strongest quarterly rise in three years in a further sign that efforts...
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Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain

Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain

AFP-Despite pledging to pay millions of pounds in extra tax in Britain, Starbucks faces a battle to restore its reputation...
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UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001'

UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001' UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001'

AFP-Swiss banking giant UBS, which last week was slapped with $1.5 billion in fines for manipulating global interest rates,...
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No clean bill of health for MoD

No clean bill of health for MoD No clean bill of health for MoD

Auditors have refused to give the Ministry of Defence's accounts a clean bill of health for the sixth year running. The Press...
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Britain storms out of recession but cautious on outlook

Britain storms out of recession but cautious on outlook
  AFP- Britain powered out of its longest double-dip recession since the 1950s after its economy returned to growth in the...
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Virgin Media gets Olympics lift

Virgin Media gets Olympics lift
  The Press Association- Olympic champions Mo Farah and Usain Bolt helped Virgin Media deliver its biggest quarterly increase...
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Bank of England divided over QE

Bank of England divided over QE
  The Press Association-Bank of England policymakers are divided over the benefits of pumping more emergency cash into the economy...
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Germany's Schaeuble confident of go-ahead for eurozone pacts

Germany's Schaeuble confident of go-ahead for eurozone pacts
  AFP- Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Monday he was confident the country's top court will not block the...
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Adnams gets boost from new beers

Adnams gets boost from new beers
  The Press Association- Brewer Adnams has toasted higher profits after a range of new beers helped it cope with "the most...
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HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report

HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report
  AFP-Global banking giant HSBC and its US affiliate concealed more than $16 billion in sensitive transactions to Iran, violating...
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German finance minister calls for stronger EU

German finance minister calls for stronger EU
  AFP-German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for EU member states to hand more powers to the European Union in "major...
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Services sector growth welcomed

Services sector growth welcomed
  The Press Association-A run of dire economic data that has spooked the UK's recovery hopes has been halted with a decent performance...
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Payday lender Wonga plans flotation

Payday lender Wonga plans flotation
  The Press Association- Payday lender Wonga is reported to be considering a US stock market flotation that could value the business...
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UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks

UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks
AFP-Britain's recession is worse than previously thought, as revised official figures showed on Thursday that the economy shrank...
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Marks & Spencer profits plunge 19%, slashes target

Marks & Spencer profits plunge 19%, slashes target
  AFP-British clothing-to-food retailer Marks & Spencer on Tuesday announced a drop in annual profits in a "challenging economic...
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Travel

'Dither and delay' warning on HS2

'Dither and delay' warning on HS2 'Dither and delay' warning on HS2

The Press Associtaion-High speed rail between London and Birmingham might not be achieved in the 2020s because of...
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Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest

Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest

The Press Association-An MP has voiced his concerns about the plight of a British national who was imprisoned while...
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Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles

Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles

AP - The Louvre Museum is used to dealing with antiquities: Nearly all of its thousands of works of art date to 1848...
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French Concordia survivors get €2m payout

French Concordia survivors get €2m payout French Concordia survivors get €2m payout

AFP- The owner of the Costa Concordia cruise liner that ran aground off northwest Italy in January has paid more...
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Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins

Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins

(Relaxnews) - Hotel prices in the Windy City soared by 23 percent this month, according to new research by Trivago. Chicago...
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Sport

Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo

Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo

The decision to Sebastian Vettel’s new partner probably falls between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner...
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Mercedes plans new assault on Vettel: Infrared trick and louvers

Mercedes plans new assault on Vettel: Infrared trick and louvers
  Three long years of Silver Arrow lurched past the targets. There was nothing: a measly victory in 58 races. This year it runs better already clear:...
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Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season

Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season

AFP-Barcelona suffered their first La Liga defeat of the season on Saturday when they slumped to a shock 3-2 loss at Real Sociedad. Barcelona...
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Wiggins may target Tour defence after all

Wiggins may target Tour defence after all Wiggins may target Tour defence after all

AFP-Bradley Wiggins says he is likely to defend his Tour de France title after all next year despite previously nominating the Giro d'Italia as...
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Messi in light training after injury scare

Messi in light training after injury scare Messi in light training after injury scare

AFP-Barcelona star Lionel Messi took part in light training on Thursday after being stretchered off with a knee injury during the 0-0 draw at home...
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Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope

Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope

AFP- Freshly appointed as Chelsea's latest interim coach, Rafael Benitez could be forgiven for wondering whether he has accepted a poisoned chalice. The...
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McIlroy makes late charge at Singapore Open

McIlroy makes late charge at Singapore Open
  AFP-World number one Rory McIlroy made a late charge up the leaderboard but still trailed Denmark's Thomas Bjorn by five shots after a marathon day...
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Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray in Paris

Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray in Paris
  AFP- Towering Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz upset Andy Murray 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 on Thursday to complete the early exit of the elite from...
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Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language'

Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language'
  AFP- Chelsea have filed a complaint over "inappropriate language" allegedly used by referee Mark Clattenburg towards their players during their...
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Suspended Olympic badminton players appeal

Suspended Olympic badminton players appeal
  AFP-Four South Korean badminton players who were suspended for trying to throw matches at the London Olympics have appealed their penalties, the...
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Culture

Football
Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 January 2013 22:49


AFP-Barcelona suffered their first La Liga defeat of the season on Saturday when they slumped to a shock 3-2 loss at Real Sociedad.

Barcelona went into the match having accumulated a record start of 55 points from a possible 57 with 18 wins and one draw and looked on course for a 19th win they took a 2-0 lead (photo by Blog Gallery).

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Messi in light training after injury scare PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 December 2012 19:34


AFP-Barcelona star Lionel Messi took part in light training on Thursday after being stretchered off with a knee injury during the 0-0 draw at home to Benfica in the Champions League.

"Leo Messi who played last night worked out in the weight room today," read a club statement on their website as fears about the seriousness of the Argentine's injuries began to wane.

"Messi was the victim of a bruise on the outside of his knee and will undergo further tests to determine the exact damage," said the club (photo by LizNN7).

Messi came on in the 58th minute against Benfica in a match that was meaningless to Barcelona but was chasing his 85th goal of the calendar year which would have equalled Gerd Mueller's long-standing record.

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Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 November 2012 14:29


AFP- Freshly appointed as Chelsea's latest interim coach, Rafael Benitez could be forgiven for wondering whether he has accepted a poisoned chalice.

The dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo on Wednesday means eight coaches have now been and gone during the nine-year tenure of trigger-happy owner Roman Abramovich.

Benitez, 52, arrives with a rich pedigree, albeit almost two years since his last managerial role at Inter Milan, but in order to land the job full-time, he must contend with Abramovich's notorious impatience.

Since Jose Mourinho left in 2007 after three hugely successful years, only Carlo Ancelotti has managed to complete a full season in the Chelsea dug-out.

Di Matteo may have delivered the Champions League trophy to Stamford Bridge for the very first time last season, but a return of two wins from eight matches in October and November proved too much for Abramovich to stand.


In his quest for on-pitch perfection, the Russian billionaire's patience is getting shorter.

Luiz Felipe Scolari made it to February before getting sacked in 2009, while Andre Villas-Boas got as far as March last season, but Di Matteo was less than five months into the two-year contract he signed in June.

"The shock that should be there for the fans and the media should sound something to the owner because I don't know if that's the ninth manager or whatever it is in so many short years," said Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew. "It's just not fair."

Success is no guarantee of safety under Abramovich, who wants his club to be renowned not just for winning, but for winning in style (photo by supernaturalfan90).

The desire to see exciting, Barcelona-style football grace the Bridge is what prompted Abramovich to gamble on Villas-Boas, but he, like Di Matteo, failed to manage the transition from old to new.

The spine of the side -- Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard -- remains largely intact from the team that Mourinho built, and Villas-Boas paid the price for his clumsy attempts to ease players like Lampard out of the picture.

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Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language' PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 October 2012 00:30

 

AFP- Chelsea have filed a complaint over "inappropriate language" allegedly used by referee Mark Clattenburg towards their players during their stormy 3-2 loss at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

Clattenburg sent off Chelsea pair Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres in the second half at Stamford Bridge, and the Premier League leaders subsequently accused him of speaking out of turn to two of their players.

"We have lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate with regards to inappropriate language used by the referee and directed at two of our players in two separate incidents in today's match," said a Chelsea spokesman.

"The match delegate will pass the complaint to the Football Association. We will make no further comment at this time."

Chelsea were also aggrieved that Clattenburg allowed United's 75th-minute winning goal to stand, despite Javier Hernandez having been in an offside position prior to scoring.

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Blatter announces new FIFA code of ethics PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 18:46

 

AFP- FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Tuesday announced that world football's governing body has adopted a new code of ethics in the wake of a series of damaging corruption scandals.

One of the central planks of the new code is that there will no longer be a time limitation for the prosecution of bribery and corruption cases.

The announcement comes after a rocky few days for world football's governing body, with Blatter having to defend his stance on bribery after a Swiss court revealed that his predecessor Joao Havelange had accepted enormous kick-backs.

Havelange, FIFA president for a 24-year spell up to Blatter's election in 1998, pocketed at least 1.5 million Swiss francs (£986,000, 820,000 euros) from FIFA's discredited Swiss-based marketing partner ISL, according to court documents.

Blatter has come under heavy fire for his handling of the affair, with the head of the German football federation Wolfgang Niersbach on Saturday declaring himself "shocked" at Blatter's handling of the scandal.

Blatter has sought to distance himself from the Havelange case, declaring last Thursday that he was powerless to sanction the 96-year-old Brazilian and pointing out that such payments were not illegal under Swiss law at the time.

Responding to calls that he should consider his position, Blatter was defiant (photo by theseoduke).

"It's not enough that somebody in the press says 'resign, resign'. If somebody wants that then he has to lodge a demand before (FIFA) Congress. If they don't want me any longer... I will go quietly but I remind you that I was elected by Congress."

Earlier Tuesday there were calls from Germany for Blatter to return his Order of Merit, the country's highest civilian honour which he received in 2006 by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"It's been proved that Sepp Blatter was part of an endemic system of corruption in FIFA. That's why we should take back the German Order of Merit," the German Green Party's European deputy Reinhard Butikofer told Die Welt.

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Victorious Spain to return to heroes' welcome PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 July 2012 11:16

 

AFP-Spain's footballers were on Monday expected to make a glorious home-coming, after successfully defending their European championship title and making history as the first team to record back-to-back wins in the competition.

Just minutes after the side's 4-0 win against Italy in Kiev, workers had finished erecting a massive stage for a victory party next to Madrid's famed Cibeles stone fountain, depicting the goddess of nature on a chariot being hauled by lions.

Captain Iker Casillas and the rest of "La Furia Roja" will then be greeted by King Juan Carlos before being hailed by fans in an open-top bus that will travel through the capital's streets.

Goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata on Sunday sparked wild celebrations across Spain, sweeping away the clouds of an economic crisis that has engulfed the south European nation.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said last week that a victory would benefit the country, which is mired in recession and recently received a 100-billion-euro ($125 billion) loan for its embattled banks and has seen its property market crash.

"If we can do it... I believe that it will be beneficial not just for football but for the country in general," he said, changing his previous assertion to Prime Minister Mariano Roy that a win would not resolve the country's problems.

"It will send some signals to the country that we are going in the right direction. And if the success can be transferred into society, that would be marvellous."

Young and old revelled in Spain's unprecedented third straight international title, blaring car horns and flying the national flag in their hands, through car windows and off the back of motorbikes in a party that stretched into the night.

Spain's red-and-yellow colours were everywhere: painted on faces, decorating wigs, on banners draped over fans' shoulders, wrapped around hips and hanging from balconies and outside bars.

In the streets they banged drums, blared horns or just waved two-euro ($2.50) flags sold on street corners.

In Madrid's Puerta del Sol, a dozen people leapt into the fountain and splashed water over scores of others dancing in joy (photo by DeGust).

Tens of thousands of people had been glued to giant screens in an official fanzone outside Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium as Spain added to their Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup titles.

Others swilled beers, cheering and gasping in bars across the nation as the match unfolded.

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Portuguese in must-win game with Danes PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:47

 

AFP-Portugal have yet to win this year but Wednesday's game against Denmark in Lviv, Ukraine, would be an ideal time to end that run, as they take on the side that beat them to top spot in qualifying.

The Portuguese -- finalists in 2004 when they hosted the tournament -- opened their Euro 2012 campaign with a far from dishonourable 1-0 defeat to the hands of one of the favourites for the title, Germany.

But with the Danes, champions in 1992, having stunned the Dutch, Paulo Bento's team know that while a draw would at least give them an outside chance of reaching the last eight, nothing short of victory is required with the Dutch still to play.

Portugal, though, face an uphill battle, with the Danes on the up and having beaten the Selecao 2-1 in the final tournament qualifier in Copenhagen last October, making it three wins from five against the Portuguese, and forcing them to play-off.

Pivotal to them getting something out of the game will be for their captain and one world class player Cristiano Ronaldo to get more involved than he was after yet another disappointing performance for him at this level against the Germans.

In his defence, the 26-year-old Real Madrid superstar does not have the same quality of playing talent supporting him as he had when he first made an impression as a player in the 2004 tournament.

Indeed, one of those players of the so-called "golden generation" of Portuguese players, Luis Figo, sprang to his defence on Sunday and called on Ronaldo's team-mates to give him the opportunity to display his considerable talents.

"I think the team need to give him the chances to have a good performance," said the 39-year-old former Real Madrid star.

"The characteristic of Cristiano is to finish, to score, so, if the team don't produce those kind of opportunities then of course his performance is down."

Ronaldo for his part believes they should draw on their experience from 2004 when as hosts they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of the unheralded Greeks, who were then to rub salt into their wounds by beating them in the final.

"Now we have to pick ourselves up and continue," he told uefa.com. "We have to take as an example the team of 2004, when we also started with a defeat, but then reached the final.

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China jails eight in football corruption crackdown PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:43

 

AFP-China Wednesday jailed two ex-chiefs of its football association, four former national team players and two others, in the culmination of a major crackdown on corruption in the scandal-plagued sport.

Former Chinese Football Association (CFA) head Nan Yong and his predecessor Xie Yalong were each given sentences of 10 years and six months for taking bribes, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Nan took bribes worth 1.48 million yuan ($235,000) while Xie accepted 1.7 million yuan, it said.

The sentences mark the culmination of a campaign to root out entrenched graft in the Chinese game that has ensnared dozens of CFA and club officials, referees and players accused of match-fixing, gambling and other crimes.

The scandal -- coupled with poor performances by the national team -- have made football the laughing stock of Chinese fans and have undermined the popularity of the domestic game in the world's most populous country.

Xinhua said four former national team players and a former national team official were also sentenced by courts in the northeastern province of Liaoning for accepting bribes to fix domestic matches.

Wei Shaohui, the former national team official, was jailed for 10 years and six months.

Player Shen Si was sentenced to six years in jail while Qi Hong, Jiang Jin and Li Ming each received five-and-half year sentences.

State media has said Qi and Jiang -- two key players on the Chinese national side who qualified for the 2002 World Cup finals -- took bribes to fix a 2003 domestic game in which their team, Shanghai Guoji, lost to a rival.

The pair, along with former national teammates Shen and Li, took a total of at least 8.0 million yuan in bribes, Xinhua said.

Courts in the three cities which handed out the sentences, timed to be announced on the same day, could not be reached for comment.

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Danes lead Dutch at half-time PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 June 2012 00:34

 

AFP-Denmark threatened to spring a surprise as they led 2010 World Cup finalists Holland 1-0 at half-time of their Euro 2012 Group B match here.

Michael Krohn-Dehli broke the deadlock in superb style in the 24th minute as he sent both Dutch captain Mark van Bommel and John Heitinga the wrong way and his left-footed shot went between goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg legs.

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Goal-line technology for England friendly - FIFA PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 May 2012 19:39

 

AFP-Goal-line technology will be tested in an international match for the first time, when England take on Belgium in a Euro 2012 warm-up, FIFA said on Thursday.

The system, developed by British firm Hawk-Eye, will be put through its paces during the match at Wembley on June 2, after a previous trial at an amateur league cup final on England's south coast earlier this month.

FIFA is currently testing two goal-line technology systems -- the other is the German GoalRef, which was recently used in two Danish league matches -- with a view to its introduction after a series of high-profile disputed refereeing decisions.

The sport's governing body said that match officials in England's final warm-up game before the tournament in Poland and Ukraine would not use the technology in the event of a goal-line incident.

Instead, it will be monitored by observers, including those from FIFA and its rules body the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which is widely expected to approve the use of the technology when it meets in Kiev in July.

The irony of having goal-line technology at the home of football will not be lost on England -- or Germany -- fans, after Geoff Hurst's disputed goal in the 1966 World Cup final.

Hurst's close-range shot in the first half of extra time at Wembley hit the underside of the bar, bounced down on the line and was cleared.

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