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                                                                 News No. 19
                                                           Rijeka, February 25th 2011.

WORLD TODAY
Libya on a brink of a civil war
Yesterday, fierce fighting was reported in nearby towns, as pro-Gaddafi forces tried to
regain control of areas seized by the opposition. State television announced that the air
force had destroyed what was left of weapons depots in desert and rural areas outside
government control. There has also been a fierce battle for control of an airport near the
opposition-controlled city of Misrata, about 200km (120 miles) from Tripoli. Reports from
the capital say that the bodies of people killed there have been cleared off the streets.
Witnesses said pro-Gaddafi militiamen - including foreign mercenaries - were patrolling
the Tripoli's main streets, firing in the air. Security had also been stepped up outside key
government buildings, and homes and hospitals had been raided in search of opposition
supporters. The government has lost control of most of the country's east. Opposition
leaders met yesterday in the city of al-Bayda to demonstrate a united front against Col
Gaddafi's grip on power. In another blow to the Libyan leader, his cousin and close aide
Ahmed Qadhaf al-Dam announced he had defected to Egypt in protest at the "grave
violations to human rights". The total number of deaths has been impossible to
determine. Meanwhile, a Venezuelan politician has told the UK's Daily Telegraph that one
of Col Gaddafi's seven sons is hiding on the Caribbean island of Margarita.

Obama seeks consensus on Libya violence
US President Barack Obama has called the leaders of the UK, France and Italy as
international efforts to respond to the crisis in Libya gather pace. Mr Obama outlined a
range of possible measures, including plans for humanitarian assistance. Earlier, the
White House said all options were on the table, including sanctions. It said the military
would present its own proposals to Mr Obama. When asked earlier whether the US was
considering military action, White House spokesman Jay Carney said he could not rule out
"bilateral options". Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi meanwhile blamed the uprising on al-
Qaeda. Speaking on state television, he repeated claims that hallucinogenic drugs had
been given to young people to incite them to revolt. Opposition supporters in Tripoli have
said they are planning to protest in Green Square after today prayers at noon (1000
GMT). The Swiss government has ordered an immediate freeze on assets belonging to Col
Gaddafi and his associates. The UN Security Council is expected to meet later today in
New York to consider further action against Col Gaddafi's government.

Juarez cartel boss 'the Condor' Peralta shot in Mexico
One of Mexico's most wanted men, Luis Humberto Peralta Hernandez, 44, has been killed
in a gun battle with police. Hernandez was a top figure in the Juarez cartel, which
controls many of the drug smuggling routes from Mexico into the US. Also known as The
Condor, he is accused of involvement in almost 100 murders. The prosecutors said that
he had worked for the state prosecutors' office for nine years, during which time he is
believed to have carried out most of the murders of which he was accused. Three of his
alleged accomplices were arrested and have been taken to the capital, Mexico City, for
questioning.

Four killed in attack on Nato fuel tankers in Pakistan
Four people have been killed in north-west Pakistan after militants set fire to 12 tankers
carrying fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan. About 15 gunmen fired bullets and rockets at
the vehicles while they were parked at a roadside terminal at Wadh, near the city of
Peshawar, police said. The victims are believed to have been tanker drivers or their
assistants. Militants and criminals frequently attack trucks carrying supplies for troops
operating in Afghanistan. No group has yet said it was behind the attack.

Russia plans $US650bn defence spend up to 2020
Eight nuclear submarines, 600 jets and 1,000 helicopters feature in plans to renew
Russia's military by 2020, priced at 19tn roubles ($US650bn). One hundred warships are
also due to be bought in, including two helicopter carriers, in addition to two already
being purchased from France. Much of the new spending will go on Russia's long under-
funded navy. Apart from the submarines, 35 corvettes and 15 frigates will be ordered.
The submarines will carry the Bulava missile, despite recent test failures. Analysts say the
ambitious program only makes sense if the military upgrades its training and recruitment.
A painful drive to streamline the armed forces is already under way, with up to 200,000
officers losing their jobs and nine out of every 10 army units disbanded. If the renewal is
a success, it will leave Russia less reliant on the nuclear arsenal it inherited from the
USSR.

Albanian ex-minister targeted in corruption case
Parliament in Albania has stripped a former economy minister, accused of a corrupt deal
to build a power station, of his immunity from prosecution. Dritan Prifti is alleged to have
accepted a bribe of nearly $US100,000 while in office. Ilan Meta, a former deputy PM, is
already being investigated. Both men deny any wrongdoing in a scandal which sparked
protests in the capital Tirana last month in which four people were shot dead. Opposition
politicians had been demanding the resignation of the government. Demonstrators also
say the government stole elections held in 2009, which Sali Berisha's Democratic Party
won by a small margin. They want a new vote, though none is scheduled until 2013.

Wikileaks' Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault
allegations. At Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south London, District Judge Howard Riddle
said the extradition would not breach Mr Assange's human rights. Mr Assange will appeal
against the court ruling. He denies three allegations of sexual assault and one of rape last
August in Stockholm. He believe the claims are politically motivated because of Wikileaks'
work. During the hearing two weeks ago, Mr Assange's lawyer argued that rape trials in
Sweden were regularly "tried in secret behind closed doors in a flagrant denial of justice".
Geoffrey Robertson QC also said his client could later be extradited to the US on separate
charges relating to Wikileaks, and could face the death penalty there. Clare Montgomery
QC, for the Swedish authorities, told the hearing that evidence from a trial would be
heard in private but the arguments would be made in public. The European Court of
Human Rights would intervene if Mr Assange was to face the prospect of "inhuman or
degrading treatment or an unfair trial" in the US, she said.

Three million Irish voters expected to go to polls
More than three million voters in the Republic of Ireland are set to go to the polls later in
the country's first general election since it was bailed out by the EU and the IMF. Voting
begins at 0700 GMT and finishes at 2200 GMT. There are 566 candidates fighting in 43
constituencies for 165 seats in the Irish parliament (Dail Eireann). A record 233
independents but only 85 female candidates (15% of those contesting the election) are
seeking seats in the 31st Dail. The Irish use the system of proportional representation to
elect members of parliament rather than the first-past-the-post method, which is the
norm in most democracies. The 31st Dail will meet on 9 March when the newly elected
Taoiseach will announce the members of the new government.

South Africa: Toxic water 'threatens Johannesburg'
Rapidly rising acidic water in the abandoned gold mines under Johannesburg in South
Africa could leak out early next year, the water ministry warns. Its report recommends
building pumps and monitoring stations immediately. The toxic liquid has been building
up in mine shafts which were dug more than a century ago and stretch for many
kilometers under the city. Trevor Manuel, a minister in the president's office, reassured
residents that there was no cause for panic. The panel of experts warns that if the water
is allowed to continue to rise, it will start decanting in low-lying areas in the vicinity of the
former mine at Gold Reef City, popular with tourists. The report states that water with low
pH readings - the measure that indicates the acidity or alkalinity of a solution - will affect
property and infrastructure. It recommends that acid mine drainage intervention be made
in the western, central and eastern basins as a matter of urgency.

India Coca-Cola compensation law is passed in Kerala
The southern Indian state of Kerala has passed a new law that will allow people to seek
compensation from the soft-drink giant Coca-Cola. The campaigners accuse the Coca-
Cola Company bottling operation in Palakkad district, for environmental damage. They
say it has also led to a severe water shortage in the area. Coca-Cola's Indian subsidiary -
Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) - has rejected the charges. In the statement the
company said that "numerous scientific studies have been conducted by various
government bodies" to look into any correlation between HCCB's operations and
environmental concerns. But the state government says the plant "over-extracted"
ground water at the site, which led to shortages of drinking water. It says the disposal of
sludge containing metals from the plant affected crops as well as the health of local
people - causing skin diseases, breathing problems and other ailments. Under the new
law, a three-member tribunal will be set up to deal with compensation claims by those
who say they were adversely affected by the Coca-Cola plant. The company says it is
reviewing all options, but is "willing to talk to all stakeholders on the issue". The plant at
Plachimada was shut down more than six years ago following a protracted legal battle
and a sustained campaign by civil rights groups.

Boeing wins contract to provide aerial tankers for USAF
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has won a lucrative contract to provide the US with 179
aerial refueling tankers. Boeing and European rival EADS had been competing for almost
a decade for the $US35bn US Air Force contract. During that time both the US and the
European Union have reported each other's companies to the WTO, alleging illegal
subsidies. And over the past decade two previous attempts to choose a contractor have
failed. The USAF is replacing its current fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers, tankers, some of
which date back to the 1950s. Now EADS has 10 days to file a protest with the
Government Accountability Office (GAO), the arm of Congress which deals with federal
contract disputes, should it object to the decision. Then the GAO have to make a decision
within 100 days. The governors of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana had backed EADS'
bid, as it was understood the European firm would have built its tankers in Mobile,
Alabama.

Johannes Kepler freighter approaches space station
Europe's sophisticated space freighter, Johannes Kepler, is set to dock with the
International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned robotic truck is delivering new supplies
of fuel, food, air, and equipment to the orbiting platform's astronauts. Kepler is totally
automatic - it will use its own computerized systems to make the attachment. Ground
controllers and the station's astronauts will not intervene unless there is a problem. A
successful docking will clear the way for the American space shuttle Discovery to lift off
from Earth. It, too, has a date with the ISS, and will carry up six visiting astronauts and a
smart humanoid robot. Kepler was launched from Europe's Kourou spaceport in French
Guiana last Wednesday. The European Space Agency reports that Kepler has flown
flawlessly since its picture-perfect launch from South America. One of the freighter's main
tasks in the coming months will be to raise the altitude of the station, which is currently
at about 350km. The ISS has a tendency to fall back to Earth over time as it drags
through the top of the atmosphere. Every few weeks the freighter will fire its thrusters to
accelerate the platform, taking it higher into the sky.
Shuttle Discovery sets out on last voyage
The US shuttle Discovery has launched from the Kennedy Space Center for the last time.
Its 11-day mission will see it deliver a new store room and a sophisticated humanoid
robot to the International Space Station (ISS). Only two further flights remain by
Endeavour and Atlantis, which Nasa is trying to see concluded this year. The orbiter fleet
is then expected to retire to museums. As usual, huge crowds had gathered on all the
approach roads leading to the Nasa facility and on the beaches along Florida's Space
Coast - everyone wanting to witness a piece of history. Discovery should arrive at the ISS
tomorrow. The first of two spacewalks to carry out maintenance tasks on the exterior of
the platform should occur on day five of the mission.


SOUTH PACIFIC

Christchurch’s Pacific community leaders say people seem ok after earthquake
Papua New Guinea’s High Commission in Wellington says all PNG nationals in Christchurch
they are aware of have been accounted for and are safe. Samoa’s Ministry of Foreign
Affairs in Apia says it has had no requests for help. A spokesperson says Samoan
students at the University of Canterbury have been contacted, and are all fine. The Cook
Islands High Commission has also not had any requests for help. The Tuvalu Consulate
says there is a small Tuvalu community of about 10 families in the area and they are all
fine. Tonga’s High Commission says it has received no reports of anyone from the
community missing, and it has had contact from students who are well and safe.
Representatives of the Tongan and Fijian communities say help is being provided to those
in need. According to government figures from 2009, more than 62 percent of the South
Island’s Pacific population live in Canterbury - just over 11 and a half thousand people.
People of Samoan ethnicity make up about half of that number but those of Cook Islands,
Tongan, Niuean, Fijian and Tokelauan descent are also counted among Pacific people
living in the city hit by Tuesday’s magnitude 6,3 earthquake. The vice president of the
Tonga Canterbury Community Trust says although his organisation’s still checking on
Tongan people living there, he believes most are ok. Petelo Moale says the community’s
spread all over the city but some people living in the Brighton and Aranui areas have
badly damaged homes. The head elder in the Christchurch Fijian Seventh Day Avdentist
Company says the majority of the Fijian population are well. A leader of the Tuvaluan
community in Christchurch says the trauma of the quake has led some in the small
community of about 20 people to consider leaving the city permanently. (Radio New
Zealand International/ABC)

AMERICAN SAMOA: Confusion over plastic bag ban in American Samoa
Shop owners and customers in American Samoa are trying to adjust to a new law
banning plastic shopping bags, with some confused about the ban. Last year the
Government signed a law banning businesses from using plastic shopping bags, saying it
was a step in the right direction towards protecting the island’s environment. Sellers at a
marketplace in Pago Pago like Taimane Johnson, say they don’t know what they can use
instead. “Yeah well we don’t know what to use. But the EPA told us to bring the ako (bag)
but that’s a lot of work for the farmers and there are no coconut trees up at Aloau and
A’asu so what are we going to do?” Customers have complained that they have to pay for
new environmentally friendly bags. (Radio New Zealand International)

COOK ISLANDS: Challenge to balance budget in Cook Islands
The latest appointee to the position of acting financial secretary in the Cook Islands says
her challenge will be to increase productivity in a country which has less revenue. The
recruitment phase to find a permanent person has closed, but in the meantime Priscilla
Maruariki, will be in the acting role for about three months, the first woman to be
appointed to the position. Ms Maruariki says she needs to ensure the government meets
ongoing costs with a reduced income. “Our revenues have been levelling off, at the same
time we have pressing issues such as infrastructure and personnel that are required for
the ongoing development of our economy so it’s a matter of balancing our ability to pay
for these developmental initiatives against our ability to pay for them.” (RNZI)

FIJI: Fiji Sugar Corporation delisted from South Pacific Stock exchange
The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) was yesterday delisted from the South Pacific Stock
Exchange (SPSE). The company was suspended from trading on October 5 last year
under Section 7.5 (vii) and (x) of the SPSE Listing Rules because of its poor financial
position, insufficient level of working capital and negative net asset situation. A SPSE
release said at the annual general meeting on October 27, FSC shareholders unanimously
approved a resolution to delist the company from SPSE. The resolution was passed in
light of the detailed explanation that was made to the shareholders of FSC's financial
position and the company's inability to meet its debt commitments. The shareholders
were advised the company recorded a net loss of $36.8million in 2009 and a net loss of
$175.1m in 2010. FSC made an application last month to voluntarily delist from SPSE in
light of the company's inability to continue meeting its working capital requirements and
the continuing listing requirements of the exchange. Upon considering the application for
voluntary delisting by FSC, the SPSE Listing Committee approved the initiation of the
delisting procedure on January 27. “Please note that despite the delisting from SPSE, FSC
remains a public company and is accountable to its shareholders under the provisions of
the Companies Act,” SPSE chief executive Jinita Prasad said.(FSC/PACNEWS)

FIJI: Fiji military briefly detains reporter over sugar industry story
A Fiji Times journalist has been detained by the military over a report on the country’s
sugar industry. Emergency regulations allowing reporters to be questioned were to be
cancelled when the interim regime’s media decree was imposed in June last year, but
remain in place. Pacific Scoop reports the media decree authorizes the regime and its
authorities to decide what is fair, balanced, and quality journalism. They will "ensure that
nothing is included in the content of any media service which is against public interest or
order, or national interest, or which offends against good taste or decency and creates
communal discord". Felix Chaudhry is believed to be the first detainee in 2011. The Fiji
Times editor, Fred Wesley, says he was held for about an hour, and was released unhurt.
"All they wanted to ask him were questions related to the stories that we had published
that day. I’d like to think that we’re just doing our job and I wouldn’t what us to be seen
in any other way." Fred Wesley says the story Mr. Chaudhry was questioned over had
already been cleared by government censors. (RNZI)

MARSHALL ISLANDS: Marshall Islands rejection could hurt future US grants
Opposition senators in the Marshall Islands are frustrated that the government hasn’t
accepted United States offers to assist investigations into the theft of more than half a
million US dollars in federal grants. So far ten people in the Marshalls have been charged,
including six in government for theft. The cabinet has rejected U.S offers to be involved in
the ongoing corruption investigation, believing they have the means to handle it. The
opposition is concerned that a refusal to accept the offer may create a loss of confidence
in the Marshall Islands government, resulting in the US government withholding federal
funds. An opposition resolution now pending in parliament calls on the Cabinet to accept
the offer. (RNZI)

SAMOA: Symposium targets better health
The inaugural Child Health Symposium provided a solid platform for health workers and
the community to nurture a healthier Samoa. Opened by the Minister of Health,
Gatoloa’ifaa’ana Amataga Alesana Gidlow, the two-day meeting was held at the Millenia
Hotel, last week. Under the theme “Our Children, Our Responsibility,” the event was
organised by the Paediatric team at the National Health Services (NHS) who were
concerned about the poor health status of children in Samoa. The symposium targeted
people interested in child health as well as government departments to share and co-
ordinate services. (Samoa Observer)

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Solomon Islands and Australia sign flight agreement
A new agreement signed between the Gillard labour Government and Solomon Islands
will double the current flights between Australia and Solomon Islands. Speaking to SIBC,
the Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese said, the new
agreement is a positive way of supporting the Solomon Islands economy and its
developing tourism industry. Albanese said that the new arrangement means greater
opportunities for Australia and Pacific Islanders to travel between popular holiday
destinations in the region. The Infrastructure minister said he hopes that further seats
will be added each year to reach 2,000 by 2015. Albanese said under the agreement,
both countries will use unrestricted capacity for cargo services, allowing airlines to
expand their freight operations across the pacific region. He said the new agreement also
strengthens safety and security procedures. (SIBC/PACNEWS)

TONGA: Domestic violence on rise in Tonga
Calls are increasing in Tonga to improve legislation to reduce the growing incidence of
domestic violence and child abuse. The Women and Children’s Crisis Centre saw a total of
354 clients in 2010 and found domestic violence cases were the most common
problem.The Centre also reported cases of child abuse and sexual violence, which were
also up last year. Tonga’s women congress president, Mele Amanaki, says such statistics
indicate the situation is getting worse. "Currently the child abuse and domestic violence is
under the general law for violence in general. But then I think for this specific increase in
incidence we need to address and amend the law to cater and to prevent violence at
home."Mele Amanaki says often the violence and abuse are attributed to various factors,
including financial stress and alcohol abuse. (RNZI/PACNEWS)

VANUATU: Relief supplies sent to cyclone-stricken southern Vanuatu
Relief supplies have begun to arrive in the five islands of Tafea province in southern
Vanuatu struck by Cyclone Atu this week and Cyclone Vania last month. The National
Disaster Management Office says the first shipment of 240 tonnes of rice arrived in Tanna
on board the MV Nakato. The MV Makila will be leaving Port Vila tonight for a second
shipment. The MV Nakato will ensure distribution of rice mainly around the island of
Tanna and the MV Makila will do the islands of Erromango, Aniwa, Futuna and Aneityum.
The Disaster Management Office says logistics are in place in those islands to do the
inland distribution. The aid will be distributed to more than 35 000 people in Tafea
province that have been affected by the storms. (RNZI)


SPORT

Football: Europa League Thursday Review
Liverpool beat Sparta Prague 1-0 to qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League. Dirk
Kuyt finally broke the resistance of a determined Sparta Prague side with the only goal of
a testing Europa League affair five minutes from the end of the second leg at Anfield.
Edin Dzeko scored twice as Manchester City qualified for the last 16 of the Europa League
after beating Aris Salonika 3-0 at Eastlands to go through 3-0 on aggregate. Maurice Edu
netted a dramatic last-gasp goal to send Rangers into the last 16 of the Europa League as
Sporting Lisbon crashed out of the competition on the away goals rule after a 2-2 draw in
Portugal. Villarreal hit back from an early deficit to defeat Napoli 2-1 on the night and on
aggregate to book their spot in the last 16 of the Europa League following an exciting
second leg at El Madrigal. They will next meet Bayer Leverkusen after goals by Simon
Rolfes and Michael Ballack earned the German outfit a 2-0 wins on the night and a 6-0
aggregate victory over Metalist Kharkiv. However, fellow German side Stuttgart is out
after they lost 2-0 at home to Benfica, who progress 4-1 on aggregate. Peguy Luyindula's
89th-minute header earned PSG a 2-2 draw in Belarus last week and that ultimately
proved crucial as the two sides fought out a goalless draw in the French capital. FC
Twente took a 2-0 lead into their second leg at home to Russians Rubin Kazan, but saw it
wiped out in the first 24 minutes as Cristian Ansaldi and Christian Noboa both scored for
the visitors. Zenit came from two goals down in the tie to reach the last 16 via a 3-1 win
on the night and 4-3 aggregate win over Young Boys. Braga overturned a 1-0 first-leg
deficit to beat Lech Poznan 2-1 on aggregate in Portugal. Dynamo Kiev demolished
Besiktas 4-0 for an 8-1 aggregate win. PSV Eindhoven progressed after 3-1 win over Lille
on the night gave them a 5-3 aggregate victory.



ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
De Villiers century sinks West Indies
Riding high on a magnificent ton from AB de Villiers, South Africa opened their ICC
Cricket World Cup campaign with a seven wicket win over West Indies. ODI debutant
Imran Tahir and AB de Villiers led South Africa to an emphatic victory seven-wicket win
over West Indies in their ICC Cricket World cup Group B encounter under spin friendly
conditions in New Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. Sent in to bat, West Indies struggled
for most of the innings due to spinner Tahir's figures of four for 41 and paceman Dayle
Steyn's three for 24, but half-brothers Darren (73) and Dwayne Bravo (40) managed to
edge the total to 222. The Proteas were rattled in the opening exchanges of their chase -
Hashim Amla (14) and Jacques Kallis (four) falling inside five overs - but de Villiers (107
not out) and skipper Graeme Smith (45) shared a 119-run stand to set up a victory that
came with more than seven overs to spare. Meanwhile the International Cricket Council
apologised on behalf of the host union to Cricket South Africa and the Proteas for the
technical fault that caused their National Anthem to be cut short before the start of the
match.

Football – NFL: Fiji FA defers league matches
The Fiji Football Association has postponed three Fiji Sun/Weet-Bix National Football
League matches scheduled for this weekend. The matches have been deferred because of
unavailability of suitable venues and key players. Fiji FA vice president Doctor Hari Kewal
said Ba's matches had been called off. He said Navua had also requested for a deferment.
"Ba was supposed to travel to Vanua Levu this weekend," Dr Kewal said. "The side was
scheduled to play Labasa on Friday and Savusavu on Sunday. However we have received
confirmation from the Labasa Town Council that Subrail Park is closed due to the recent
flooding. They cannot prepare the ground by this weekend. We cannot host the games at
Ganilau Park because the facility does not have floodlights." "Also Navua's goalkeepers
Beniamino Mateinaqara and Sheik Moshin are away in Tahiti with the Fiji beach soccer
team. All the three games will be played at a later date." Navua was scheduled to play
Nadroga. Lautoka will also not play this weekend as the side will be away in Vanuatu for
the O League. The Fiji Under-20 team will face Tavua at Garvey Park on Friday. Two
matches will be played on Sunday. Rewa will host Nadi at Ratu Cakobau Park at 3pm
while Suva will play the Fiji U20 at the tfl Stadium at 4pm. (Fiji Times)

F1: Abu Dhabi open to Bahrain switch
The Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix could figure in close proximity to one another on
any revamped calendar this year. As the race in Bahrain scheduled for March 13 was
called off due to the political unrest Bernie Ecclestone has since vowed to do all he can to
accommodate Bahrain later this year should peace return to the Gulf kingdom. However,
in a calendar that finishes at the end of November, there appears little room for
manoeuvre. One possibility that had been mooted was squeezing it in between the
season-ending races in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, and potentially pushing the latter back to
the first weekend in December. Mohammed ben Sulayem, vice-president of the World
Motor Sport Council and president of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE,
believes that "finding time in the calendar is feasible".

Golf: Tiger Woods dumped out by Bjorn
Tiger Woods is out of the WGC-Accenture Match Play already, beaten on the first extra
hole by Dane Thomas Bjorn. With the longest barren spell of his career now stretching to
18 events, Woods joined defending champion Ian Poulter in crashing out of the opening
round of the tournament in sudden death. Despite some shocking shots - he hit almost
into the middle of the lake on the short third - Woods led by one with six to play, but
Bjorn then birdied the 13th and 15th. The former world number one, whose last victory
was 15 months ago in Australia, leveled with a nine-foot birdie putt on the last, but could
not recover from a wild drive when they went into overtime. So Bjorn, only 134th on the
rankings before he won the Qatar Masters earlier this month, claimed the scalp of the
player whose only previous first round loss was nine years ago to Australian Peter
O'Malley.

Angry World Cup cricket fans clash with police in India
Fans queuing outside the Chinnaswamy stadium in the Indian city of Bangalore to buy
tickets for the cricket World Cup have clashed with the police. Television pictures showed
policemen hitting dozens of fans on their legs and backs. Many of the fans had been
waiting since Wednesday night. Reports said they were angered by the shortage of tickets
available for purchase at the venue. Bangalore is to host Sunday's World Cup showdown
between India and England. According to reports, barely 8,000 tickets are up for sale at
the stadium which can accommodate 40,000 people. Ticket sales have been a huge
problem for the organizers, only a few thousand tickets are available for the general
public because the bulk of them have been given away to sponsors and commercial
partners. The ICC has now written to the Indian organiZers of the World Cup complaining
about mishandling of ticket sales and distribution.

Football: Barcelona want Fabregas for £38m
Barcelona just won't give up on Cesc Fabregas as they are preparing a £38million
($US61.6m) bid for the Arsenal captain in the summer. The Catalan giants failed to land
their former youth player with a £30million ($US48.6m) bid last summer as the Gunners
were resolute in keeping their prized asset at the Emirtates Stadium, insisting only a
world record-breaking fee could take the Spaniard away from them. That is despite the
Spaniard declaring his desire to return to the Nou Camp, where he first developed as a
player before being snapped up by Arsenal at the age of 16. According to the Daily Mirror,
a Barcelona plan to launch a stunning bid which they believe will be too good for the
North London club to reject. It remains to be seen on how long the Gunners are able to
hold on to their captain, who made no secret of his desire to exit from the Emirates
Stadium.

Athletic: Athletics boss fired over Semenya row
The South African athletics boss at the centre of the Caster Semenya gender scandal has
been fired and banned from the sport for seven years. Leonard Chuene and two Athletics
South Africa board members have been removed with "immediate effect" from their posts
after a South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)
investigation. Chuene was suspended last November for his role in the handling of 800-
meter champion Semenya's gender row after he admitted lying to the nation and
government when he said he knew nothing about the gender test. Tests into Semenya's
sex were announced by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
shortly before the athlete won a gold medal - thrusting her into the global spotlight.
Chuene faced 16 charges, including poor corporate governance, misappropriation of funds
and tax evasion, and was found guilty of 14. SASCOC said these included "the Caster
Semenya issue" and the "sale of a Mercedes-Benz to Chuene for one rand ($US14
cents)". After Semenya's win at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, leaked test
results said she was a hermaphrodite, sparking anger from the South African public and
government. However she was cleared to compete as a woman by the IAAF last year in
July after nearly a year of speculation over her gender.

				
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