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  • China lobbies hard ahead of Manila's South China Sea arbitration case

    By Greg Torode and Manuel Mogato HONG KONG/MANILA (Reuters) - China's claims to the disputed South China Sea will come under international legal scrutiny for the first time this week, but while Beijing has officially refused to take part in the case filed by the Philippines at a U.N. tribunal, it has made its presence felt. Indeed, Manila's international legal team was heading to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to initially argue that the five-judge panel has jurisdiction to hear the case, Philippine Foreign Ministry officials told Reuters. A little-noticed decision by the tribunal's panel in April acknowledged China's objections and announced that a hearing on jurisdiction from July 7-13 would be held first.

    Reuters
  • Princess Charlotte’s godparents named

    Britain’s Princess Charlotte’s godparents have been named. The two-month-old daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is due to be christened at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, later today. Ahead of the ceremony Kensington Palace has confirmed some details, including who has been asked to take on godparent duties.

    Cover Media
  • Task force to probe alleged Malaysia PM money trail

    A task force is investigating allegations that a probe into a Malaysian state-controlled investment fund found hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred to the prime minister's personal bank accounts, the attorney general has said. The allegations have set off a storm in Malaysia, with premier Najib Razak threatening to sue the Wall Street Journal for publishing the report, while one of his deputies called on authorities to investigate the claims. Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail said in a statement late on Saturday that a multi-agency task force was probing "the allegations linked to the flow of funds into the personal accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak".

    AFP News
  • Chinese tourists boost Thai economy but stir outrage

    Accused of urinating in public, spitting on the street, or kicking a sacred temple bell -- free-spending Chinese tourists are receiving a mixed welcome as their soaring numbers help the kingdom's creaking economy. Last month it was a photo of a young girl peeing in the grounds of Bangkok's Grand Palace that triggered the latest round of enraged, and sometimes racist, comments as Thai social media users claimed she was Chinese. In March a Thai model's video of tourists from China jumping the queue at an airport was viewed more than two million times and saw a similarly angry rant against Thailand's largest group of foreign holidaymakers.

    AFP News
  • Greece must introduce another currency if “no” vote wins - Schulz

    The head of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, told German radio that Greece would have to introduce another currency if the “no” vote wins in Sunday's referendum on an aid-for-reforms deal. "The moment someone introduces a new currency, they exit the euro zone.

    Reuters
  • Barcelona struggles with rising tide of tourists

    Tourists are vital to Barcelona's economy, but the 27 million people who visit each year have become a headache for the new mayor as she battles to save the iconic Spanish Mediterranean port from becoming a bland theme park. "Tourists go home" is frequently found painted on the walls of buildings in the centre of Spain's second-largest city, which is struggling to cope with a surge in tourism that started when it hosted the Olympics in 1992. The city of 1.6 million residents is now the third most visited in Europe after London and Paris, according to a 2013 study by Mastercard, and tourism contributes to 14 percent of Barcelona's economy.

    AFP Relax
  • Messi fails again with Argentina's national team

    Lionel Messi has come up short again in his attempt to succeed with Argentina's national team. Messi looked nothing like the star that he is with Barcelona on Saturday, and Argentina lost the Copa America final to Chile 4-1 on penalties, extending its 22-year title drought. Saturday's disappointment comes less than a year since he also failed to lead Argentina to victory in the World Cup final, and will ignite even more criticism by those who say Messi doesn't play as well with the national team as he does with his club.

    Associated Press
  • Crying Greek pensioner: the story behind the poignant photo

    Retiree Giorgos Chatzifotiadis had queued up at three banks in Greece's second city of Thessaloniki on Friday in the hope of withdrawing a pension on behalf of his wife, but all in vain. When he was told at the fourth that he could not withdraw his 120 euros ($133), it was all too much and he collapsed in tears.

    AFP News
  • Relief as Russian cargo ship docks at space station

    An unmanned Russian cargo ship successfully docked with the International Space Station on Sunday following a string of failed attempts to resupply the orbital laboratory. "The transport cargo ship Progress M-28M has docked with the... Russian segment of the ISS at 10:11am Moscow time (0711 GMT)," the Russian federal space agency (Roscosmos) said in a statement. Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko and US astronaut Scott Kelly are part of Expedition 44 currently in space, to be joined by three more people later this month.

    AFP News
  • Vanessa Williams ties the knot

    Vanessa Williams has tied the knot with fiancé Jim Skrip. The Ugly Betty actress announced her engagement to the retired accountant in September last year. Vanessa has been married twice before, first to public relations consultant Ramon Hervey II from 1987 until 1997 and then to NBA basketball player Rick Fox from 1999 until 2004.

    Cover Media
  • Federer still not happy with Hawkeye

    By Pritha Sarkar LONDON (Reuters) - If it is so dark that Hawkeye stops working, then matches should be called off at Wimbledon, Roger Federer said on Saturday. For the second year running, Tomas Berdych found himself playing into the night at Wimbledon even though technology had given up the ghost. Twelve months ago, Berdych was left fuming after he slumped to a third round defeat by Marin Cilic that finished at 9.38pm local time -- the latest finish at the All England Club outside of Centre Court.

    Reuters
  • Philippine teen recovers in Sudan after life-saving surgery

    A dressing covers the scar where surgeons cut open Reynaldo Nilo's chest for life-saving heart surgery, but the Philippine teenager feels stronger than he has for years after his operation in Sudan. Sitting in his spotless hospital room, his voice still hoarse after his five-hour surgery on June 16, Reynaldo said he was on the mend. Reynaldo, the son of impoverished farmers, dropped out of school two years ago after developing rheumatic heart disease.

    AFP News
  • Heavy US-led raids on IS Syria 'capital' kill dozens

    A US-led coalition has carried out some of its heaviest air strikes yet on the Islamic State group's de facto Syrian capital, killing more than 30 people, including six civilians. In Raqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 30 people had been killed in US-led coalition strikes late Saturday and early Sunday. The US-led coalition said the strikes were some of its heaviest since it began carrying out raids against IS in Syria last September.

    AFP News
  • Woman who tries to sneak on planes arrested twice in 2 days

    A woman who has repeatedly tried to sneak aboard airplanes has been arrested in Chicago twice in as many days, the latest incident while trying to get through security without a ticket at O'Hare International Airport. Chicago police said 63-year-old Marilyn Hartman did not have a ticket on Saturday afternoon when she was detained at airport security. The incident was only one day after her arrest at Midway International Airport where she had a valid ticket but caused a disturbance on board the plane and was escorted off.

    Associated Press
  • Korean institute chief falls to death after deadly bus trip

    The head of a South Korean institute that organized a tour of China by local officials that ended in a deadly bus crash fell to his death from a hotel early Sunday in northeastern China, state media reported. Choi Doo Yeong had traveled to China to deal with the aftermath of Wednesday's accident in which a bus plunged from a highway bridge with 28 people aboard, killing the Chinese driver plus 10 South Koreans who had been studying at the state-run Local Government Officials Development Institute. The South Korean news agency Yonhap cited south Korean officials as saying Choi had felt a heavy sense of responsibility for the accident and that it was unclear whether the fall was an accident or a suicide.

    Associated Press
  • Greek villagers' secret weapon: Grow your own food

    Ilias Mathes has protection against bank closures, capital controls and the slashing of his pension: 10 goats, some hens and a vegetable patch. If Greece's financial crisis deepens, as many believe it must, he can feed his children and grandchildren with the bounty of the land in this proud village high in the mountains of the Arcadia Peloponnese. "I have my lettuce, my onions, I have my hens, my birds, I will manage," he said, even though he can no longer access his full pension payment because of government controls imposed six days ago.

    Associated Press
  • Tsk Tsk: Are You Dating Someone Older Because Of Experience Or Money?

    This post is brought to you by LunchClick. Having been alive for a significant period of time means that you also begin to notice certain prejudices that often govern the way we choose who we date. Most girls insist that they will never date someone

    Popspoken
  • Alexa 'confronted with two exes'

    Alexa Chung reportedly tried to act “all nonchalant” when confronted with her ex smooching his new girlfriend. The TV star dated Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner for four years between 2007 and 2011 and has insisted that they are best friends even though they aren’t together. “I was mortified for Alexa,” an onlooker told British magazine Heat.

    Cover Media
  • German authorities seize tank, other WWII weapons in raid

    Authorities seized a 45-ton Panther tank, a flak cannon and multiple other World War II-era military weapons in a raid on a 78-year-old collector's home in northern Germany, prosecutors said Friday. Kiel prosecutor Birgit Hess said the collector, whose name she would not release for privacy reasons, is being investigated for possibly violating German weapons laws but remains free while the probe is ongoing. German military engineers were called in to haul the tank out of the underground garage of the house in Kitzeberg, near Kiel.

    Associated Press
  • Could searchers' sonars have missed wreckage of Flight 370?

    Amid rising frustrations over the expensive, so-far fruitless search for vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, experts are questioning the competence of the company in charge, including whether crews may have passed over the sunken wreckage without even noticing. There are also calls for the government to release the growing mountain of sonar data collected so far, which skeptics say could show whether searchers have overlooked holes in the dragnet big enough to conceal a fragmented Boeing 777. "It strikes me as odd that you're hiring a company that doesn't have the assets, doesn't have the track record," said Steven Saint Amour, an aircraft recovery expert based in Annapolis, Maryland.

    Associated Press