• Analysis - Sense of anti-climax as Nadal's reign ended by Djokovic

    An almost deathly hush descended as Serbian Novak Djokovic administered the last rights on Rafa Nadal's reign of dominance at the French Open on Wednesday. On the same dusty rectangle of Parisian clay on which the marauding Mallorcan struck fear into opponents for a decade, Djokovic made him suffer, handing out a straight-sets quarter-final beating -- 7-5 6-3 6-1 -- that, by the end, was awkward to watch. Nine-times champion Nadal had fitfully found some form after a horror opening four games against the rampant Djokovic, whose previous six encounters with the Spaniard at Roland Garros had all ended in despair, twice in the final.

  • Philippine leader likens China to Nazi Germany

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino likened present-day China to Nazi Germany on Wednesday during a speech in Japan, hinting the world cannot continue to appease Beijing as it claims ever-more territory in the South China Sea. The comments come as disquiet grows over the quickening pace of China's land reclamation programme in international waters, including its construction of a runway long enough for large military planes. "I'm an amateur student of history and I'm reminded of... how Germany was testing the waters and what the response was by various other European powers," he said, referring to the Nazis' territorial conquests in the months before the outbreak of World War II. "They tested the waters and they were ready to back down if, for instance, in that aspect, France said (to back down).

    AFP News
  • Airbus says three of four engines failed in Spain A400M crash

    An analysis of the black boxes of the A400M plane which crashed in Spain has revealed that three of the aircraft's four engines failed before it ploughed into a field killing four in May, Airbus said Wednesday. Company officials had earlier warned of a technical bug in the units which control the engines, which were believed to have been poorly installed during final assembly. Investigators "confirmed that engines one, two and three experienced power frozen after lift-off and did not respond to the crew's attempts to control the power setting in the normal way," the company said in a statement.

    AFP News
  • Caitlyn Jenner 'ready to meet grandkids'

    Scott Disick has reportedly visited Caitlyn Jenner to chat about how they are going to reveal her new look to his children. Caitlyn, who was known as Bruce until earlier this week, used to be married to Kris Jenner and helped raise her kids, including Scott's partner Kourtney Kardashian. The family share a really close bond, so Scott and Kourtney are trying to figure out a way to tell their three children Mason, Penelope and Reign about the gender change.

    Cover Media
  • Philippines' highest-ranking communist rebel held: military

    The top communist guerrilla leader in the Philippines has been arrested in a blow to the decades-old Maoist rebellion following the detention of his predecessors last year, officials said Tuesday. Adelberto Silva is considered the "highest ranking" leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its New People's Army (NPA) armed wing, a military statement said. "He is the overall orchestrator of rebel movements in the entire country.

    AFP News
  • Federline: I should've talked to JT about Britney

    Kevin Federline felt awkward about dating Britney Spears after Justin Timberlake. Britney, 33, and Justin, 34, enjoyed a high-profile relationship between 1999 and 2002, having both been Mouseketeers on The Mickey Mouse Club. Fans loved their relationship and were devastated when they went their separate ways, especially when Justin released his track Cry Me A River about their romance.

    Cover Media
  • Qatar relaxed as world fumes

    Qatar may be embroiled in the biggest crisis ever to engulf world football, but you would never have guessed so in the country's capital, Doha, on Wednesday. While outside the Gulf, some of the footballing fraternity fulminated with fury at the FIFA corruption scandal, unions and rights groups continued to point the finger over labour conditions in 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar, South Africa denied bribery claims and Interpol put FIFA members on their most wanted list, inside the tiny Gulf state all was calm. The vast armies of blue-overalled migrant workers could be seen working away in temperatures which tipped past 50 degrees celsius (122 degrees farenheit), Doha's notoriously busy roads were crammed full as usual and even the Qatar stock market finished the day pretty much as it started.

    AFP News
  • LeBron James, Stephen Curry collide in dream NBA finals showdown

    Cleveland's LeBron James and Golden State's Stephen Curry have powered their teams into an NBA Finals showdown, but only one club can complete a fairy-tale run to a long-awaited crown. James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, is on the brink of realizing the dream that pushed him to leave the Miami Heat last July and return to the Cavaliers, who could become Cleveland's first major team sports champion since the 1964 NFL Browns won a crown in the pre-Super Bowl era -- the longest title drought of any US city. "I'm a guy who believes in unfinished business," James said.

    AFP News
  • Maggi noodles ordered off India's shelves due to lead level

    India's states have either ordered the withdrawal of Maggi noodles from shops or are carrying out further tests on noodle samples before taking action in conjunction with the federal government. Maggi sales have plunged in India since laboratory tests showed the noodles contained lead at levels far higher than the legal maximum. On Tuesday, the Delhi city government said it had conducted tests on 13 samples of Maggi noodles and 10 were found to be unsafe with lead exceeding the allowable level.

    Associated Press
  • Harvard gets biggest gift ever: $400M from Wall Street alum

    Harvard has received its biggest gift in school history — a $400 million donation from Wall Street hedge fund billionaire and alumnus John Paulson, the university said Wednesday. The endowment from Paulson will support the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which has led technology breakthroughs and is planning to expand, the university said. Officials said the science school will be renamed the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

    Associated Press 43 mins ago
  • Working 9-to-5 becoming a less popular way to make a living

    Affordable health insurance plans, which kept many workers shackled to traditional jobs, are more accessible because of the Affordable Care Act. Many say independent workers bring fresh ideas without the long-term commitment. Gigs can be found at a number of websites, such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com, or through hiring services that connect professional freelancers and companies.

    Associated Press 20 mins ago
  • S. Korea tests missiles that can hit 'any target' in N. Korea

    South Korea on Wednesday test-fired two ballistic missiles capable of hitting any part of North Korea, in an apparent response to recent bellicose boasts from Pyongyang about its nuclear and missile capabilities. In an unusual move, President Park Geun-Hye personally observed the test exercise, a defence ministry official said. "The military tested two home-developed, long-range missiles that could hit any target in North Korea," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    AFP News
  • Enrique Iglesias concert injuries worse than feared

    Pop star Enrique Iglesias will need weeks to recover after injuries suffered from a drone during a concert turned out to be worse than feared. "He suffered a fracture that needed to be corrected in addition to the reconstructive surgery. Iglesias, who turned 40 last month, was injured Saturday at a concert in Tijuana, Mexico, as he grabbed a camera-equipped drone on stage.

    AFP News
  • 2,000-year-old natural pearl found at remote Australian site

    Australian scientists said Wednesday they have uncovered a "very rare" 2,000-year-old natural sea pearl -- the first found on the vast island continent -- while excavating a remote coastal Aboriginal site. Archaeologists were working the site on the north Kimberley coast of Western Australia when they came across the unique gem below the surface, said Kat Szabo, an associate professor at the University of Wollongong. "Natural pearls are very rare in nature and we certainly -- despite many, many (oyster) shell middens being found in Australia -- we've never found a natural pearl before," Szabo, who specialises in studying shells at archaeological sites, told AFP.

    AFP News
  • No homes too luxurious for Manhattan super-rich

    A perfect example is the duplex at the top of a 43-story tower near the United Nations -- nearly 10,000 square feet (more than 900 square meters) with an infinity pool on the terrace, a private elevator and spectacular views. It has a state-of-the-art gym, sauna, a shared indoor pool and a rare luxury in Manhattan -- a "private motor court" where cars can drop passengers. "As the buyers become more sophisticated and savvy, they are like, ok, what amenities do really improve my life on a daily basis?" Over the years, 24-hour doormen, laundry services, gyms, basketball courts and swimming pools have become commonplace in New York.

    AFP News
  • Texas inmate, 67, set for execution in slayings 31 years ago

    The execution of a 67-year-old man who was convicted of killing four men more than three decades ago is set to proceed on Wednesday evening after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-day appeal to halt the lethal injection. Lester Bower Jr. would be the oldest prisoner executed in the most active death penalty state since the punishment was reinstated in 1982.

    Associated Press 26 mins ago
  • With Medal of Honor award, family learns WWI hero wasn't kin

    Two days before President Barack Obama announced a posthumous Medal of Honor for black World War I soldier Henry Johnson, a family got staggering news about the legacy of heroism that had inspired them for generations and through three wars. A U.S. Army general visited Tara Johnson last month with word that Henry Johnson was not her grandfather, and that her father, World War II Tuskegee airman Herman Johnson, was not the hero's son. "Dad's birth certificate didn't have Henry on it," she told The Associated Press in an interview this week.

    Associated Press
  • Jailed Israeli soldier freed after pork sandwich scandal

    An Israeli soldier who was jailed earlier this week for eating a non-kosher sandwich has been freed after the army agreed to release him following a wave of public pressure. The soldier, who recently immigrated to Israel from America, was initially jailed for 11 days after eating a sandwich containing pork, which is forbidden by Jewish dietary law, public radio reported. "On the one hand, the IDF (army) will continue to keep kosher but we not poke our noses into soldiers' sandwiches," he wrote acknowledging there were tensions within Israeli society but saying the army had a "place for everyone." Public radio said the offending sandwich was given to him by his grandmother who lives on a kibbutz and who had offered to take his place in jail.

    AFP News
  • Microsoft shows Windows 10 at Computex

    On Wednesday during its keynote address at the Taipei International Convention Center, Microsoft showcased the improvements its next operating system will bring to existing computers and offered a sneak peek at some of the new devices inspired by its capabilities that are in the pipeline. Windows 10 becomes available for free download on July 29, and Microsoft has made no secret of its ultimate aim to get 1 billion devices using the operating system before the end of the decade -- a goal reiterated by the company's corporate vice president OEM division, Nick Parker, when he took to the stage. In an increasingly digital and increasingly mobile age, Microsoft believes that a renewed focus on the individual -- i.e., a return to the 'personal' in PC, an apps ecosystem that is inclusive rather than exclusive, and on-going upgrades and improvements will be key.

    AFP Relax
  • 'Furry' Clouds Create Spectacular Effect Over Ocean (Photo)

    Wispy, featherlike clouds off the coast of Chile appear to cover the Pacific Ocean in white fur in a newly released satellite photo. The natural-color image, taken May 21 by NASA's Aqua satellite, shows high-altitude clouds diagonally sweeping across the frame. Although the hairlike quality of the clouds identifies them as cirrus, their exact type is less obvious, according to NASA scientists.