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Cricket-Returning Clarke denies Australia rifts Australia captain Michael Clarke shrugged off speculation of rifts with Cricket Australia and his international team mates after making a successful comeback from injury in a club game on Saturday. The 33-year-old batsman, who underwent surgery on a troublesome hamstring in December, made 51 on his return for side Western Suburbs against Gordon. Reports in the Sydney Morning Herald said Clarke had clashed with his country's selectors over the deadline they had given him to prove his fitness for the World Cup, which Australia are co-hosting with New Zealand from Feb. 14.
Golf-McIlroy in a class of his own in the desert By Bernie McGuire DUBAI, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy was in a class of his own on Saturday, seizing a four-shot lead with a six-under-par 66 after the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic. Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen (66), chasing his second European Tour win, was in second place on 200, two ahead of Britain's Lee Westwood (69). "I felt like today, for the first time this week, I struggled a little bit but felt like I kept it together nicely and didn't drop any shots on the way in," said the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic winner.
South Korea beaten but still champions, says coach By Nick Mulvenney SYDNEY (Reuters) - South Korea may have ended up with losers medals but were still champions after the part they played in an enthralling Asian Cup final against Australia on Saturday, their proud coach Uli Stielike said. The twice champions came up just short of breaking their 55-year hoodoo at the Asian Cup when they lost 2-1 to a James Troisi goal in extra time at Stadium Australia. "I think the best result from such a match would have been a draw and we take the Cup for two years each, but I know it can't be like this and we have to accept that." South Korea showed great mental strength by equalising in stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes through impressive attacking midfielder Son Heung-min to stay in the contest. Stielike, who took over after South Korea crashed out of last year's World Cup in Brazil at the group stage, has spent much of the tournament questioning the mentality of his largely inexperienced side.
Soccer-South Korea beaten but still champions, says coach By Nick Mulvenney SYDNEY, Jan 31 (Reuters) - South Korea may have ended up with losers medals but were still champions after the part they played in an enthralling Asian Cup final against Australia on Saturday, their proud coach Uli Stielike said. The twice champions came up just short of breaking their 55-year hoodoo at the Asian Cup when they lost 2-1 to a James Troisi goal in extra time at Stadium Australia. "I think the best result from such a match would have been a draw and we take the Cup for two years each, but I know it can't be like this and we have to accept that." South Korea showed great mental strength by equalising in stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes through impressive attacking midfielder Son Heung-min to stay in the contest. Stielike, who took over after South Korea crashed out of last year's World Cup in Brazil at the group stage, has spent much of the tournament questioning the mentality of his largely inexperienced side.
Tom Brady and Figure Skating: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing Tom Brady Cannot Stop Mark Leibovich | The New York Times Magazine I woke up Wednesday to an email with the heading Tom Brady here.
Sharapova humbled but gracious after latest loss to Williams MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — After more than a decade of losses to Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova is getting good at being gracious in defeat.
Ohio delays all 2015 executions, amid scrutiny of lethal injection drugs The decision by Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday to postpone all seven scheduled 2015 executions in the state is part of growing evidence suggesting that courts – and American society – are coming to a fresh showdown over the humanity of how states administer the ultimate sanction. Governor Kasich’s decision comes as Ohio and other death penalty states struggle to finesse a lethal drug cocktail that would consistently end an inmate’s life humanely. The postponement was announced three weeks after the state said it would no longer use a controversial drug, midazolam, which was employed in a series of executions that went awry last year. What’s more, the decision to delay comes one week after the US Supreme Court agreed to weigh whether a lethal injection cocktail using midazolam violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
Germany, ECB play hard ball with Greece By Paul Carrel and Jussi Rosendahl BERLIN/HELSINKI (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out a debt writedown for Greece on Saturday, and a European Central Bank policymaker threatened to cut off funding to Greek banks if Athens does not agree to renew its bailout package. The euro zone's paymaster and the ECB are both taking a tough line with Greece's new leftist government, whose leader swept to victory last Sunday promising that five years of austerity, "humiliation and suffering" were over. Alexis Tsipras has also promised to renegotiate agreements with the European Commission, ECB and International Monetary Fund "troika" and write off much of Greece's 320 billion euro (239 billion pounds) debt, which at more than 175 percent of gross domestic product is the world's second-highest after Japan.
Bahrain revokes nationality of 72 on security grounds The Bahraini government has revoked the nationality of 72 citizens for damaging national security, the state news agency BNA reported on Saturday. A list published on the agency's website included names of well-known Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim families, suggesting the move did not focus solely on the protracted unrest by Bahrain's Shi'ite Muslim majority. Bahrain's Sunni monarchy has repeatedly revoked the nationality of citizens deemed a security threat -- a policy condemned by rights groups -- but the decision announced on Saturday was the largest of its kind. A few dozen citizenship revocations in recent years have targeted both activists abroad and in Bahrain, who were subsequently permitted to leave.
Lavish freebies from Saudi king to buoy economy, markets By Andrew Torchia DUBAI (Reuters) - A lavish payout to public employees ordered by Saudi Arabia's new King Salman will help to sustain the kingdom's consumer boom and reassure financial markets that the government is not slashing expenditure in the face of low oil prices. On Thursday, Salman ordered the immediate payment of two months of bonus salary to all state employees and pension to retired government workers, in a string of decrees which also reorganised the economic policy-making apparatus. The announcement did not give a monetary figure, but Saudi Arabia's 860 billion riyal (152 billion pounds) state budget plan for 2015 said salaries, wages and allowances would comprise 50 percent of total spending. Other benefits announced by Salman will increase spending further.
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