• Bouchard says time to stop talking about 'Twirlgate'

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Eugenie Bouchard — the unwitting protagonist of an Australian Open saga that has been dubbed "Twirlgate" — would prefer if people just focused on her tennis. For the record, Bouchard said Friday she was "not offended" by the male interviewer who asked her to twirl for the crowd earlier in the week. "I think it was just kind of funny," the Wimbledon runner-up said after advancing to the fourth round in Melbourne. "I'm fine with being asked to twirl if they ask the guys to flex their muscles." This is not the first time the Australian Open has offered up a headline-grabbing sideshow that has nothing to do with tennis.

  • World leaders react to death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    Comments from world leaders in response to the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who died early Friday in Riyadh. ___ "As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions. ... One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond." — U.S. President Barack Obama ___ "Like his father, who founded modern Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah was a man of tremendous character and courage — a historic figure dedicated to advancing the lives of his people at home as well as his country's leadership abroad. He was a committed friend and partner of the United States.

  • Divers enter crashed AirAsia plane's fuselage for first time

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia (AP) — For the first time, Indonesian divers were able Friday to enter the fuselage of the AirAsia jetliner that crashed last month into the Java Sea and retrieved six bodies, an official said. The operations chief at the National Search and Rescue Agency, Suryadi Bambang Supriyadi, said the divers spotted some more bodies inside the fuselage. "Today we have evacuated six bodies from inside the fuselage," Supriyadi said. "Some other bodies are still there but their position among other debris made it difficult for our divers." A total of 65 bodies have now been recovered from AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed Dec. 28 with 162 people on board while flying from Surabaya, Indonesia's second larg

  • Vietnam allows new casino, ban on Vietnamese may be lifted

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A recently announced government decision to allow a casino on Vietnam's biggest island has drawn mixed reactions from citizens, who weigh its potential economic benefits against its perceived social vices. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's approval in principle of the casino at Phu Quoc, a resort island in the Gulf of Thailand, was reported this week by local media. Debate has focused on whether Vietnamese citizens should be allowed inside. Vietnam has several casinos, but they are reserved for foreigners. A draft decree on casino operations under review by government agencies would allow Vietnamese under certain conditions. The decree also mandates a minimum $4 billion investment in the casino's develo

  • Asian Cup: UAE, Iraq win quarterfinals on penalties

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    United Arab Emirates knocked out defending champion Japan and Iraq outlasted a short-handed Iran in penalty shootouts to end thrilling Asian Cup quarterfinals on Friday. Japan star Shinji Kagawa hit the left upright with his spot kick, allowing UAE defender Ismail Ahmed to blast in the winning penalty and earn UAE its first semifinal appearance since 1996. After 1-1 in extra time, UAE won 5-4 on penalties at Sydney's Olympic Stadium. "I told the players, 'You don't always have to play nice football to win the game. Sometimes you have to play with your heart, with your spirit,'" UAE coach Mahdi Ali Hassan. At Canberra, Iraq beat fierce rival Iran 7-6 in a penalty shootout after a remarkable 3-3 draw, when four goal

  • Looking back: Federer's Aussie Open over after loss to Seppi

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer will look back on it and wonder, just as he did on court, why he just watched as Andreas Seppi went down the line and ended his streak of reaching the Australian Open semifinals for 11 consecutive years. The 17-time Grand Slam champion was facing match point against Seppi for the first time in their 11 head-to-head meetings, and had control of the rally when he hit a deep forehand into the corner and followed it to the net. The No. 46-ranked Seppi lunged to his right and stuck out his racket, more hopeful than confident, and guided the ball down the line. Federer let it go past, and glanced back to see it land inside the baseline, giving Seppi a 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (5) win and a

  • Clashes erupt in Indian Kashmir over Charlie Hebdo cartoon

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Government forces in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir fired warning shots and tear gas Friday to disperse Muslim protesters angry at the publication of a caricature of Prophet Muhammad in the latest issue of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Protests broke out in the main city of Srinagar after Friday prayers, with worshippers carrying placards reading "Down with Charlie" and chanting slogans against Indian rule. Security forces fired shots and tear gas in at least at three places, while the protesters responded with rocks, police said. There were no reports of injuries.

  • Afghans protest French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Hundreds of people have protested in two Afghan cities against the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo over it using a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover. The demonstrations in the capital, Kabul, and the western city of Herat took place after Friday prayers. Protesters carried banners proclaiming: "We love Muhammad." They also chanted "Death to America, Israel and France" and "Death to the Enemies of Islam." A Jan. 7 terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo's Paris office killed 12 people. Many across the Muslim world have protested satirical weekly's first issue after the attack, which shows a drawing of a tearful Prophet Muhammad holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie.

  • AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCENE: Nadal dislikes sleep and math

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Tennis fans learned two things about Rafael Nadal. He doesn't like sleep or math. The 14-time Grand Slam winner advanced Friday to the fourth round of the Australian Open, beating Dudi Sela in straight sets. He expended much less time and energy than he had in his 5-set, third-round match that lasted over four hours. On-court interviewer Jim Courier asked Nadal if he had done anything special to recover between the two rounds. "Sleep?" Nadal replied, prompting Courier to ask if he normally doesn't sleep between matches. "Seriously, I don't like to sleep a lot. I feel that when I am sleeping that I am losing time," Nadal said.

  • Image of Asia: Rehearsing for India's Republic Day parade

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    In this photo by Saurabh Das, Indian soldiers march down Rajpath, a ceremonial boulevard, during rehearsal ahead of next week's Republic Day parade. President Barack Obama will be the main guest during this year's parade, which will be held in New Delhi on Monday. Obama's was invited on Twitter by Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi. The White House says Obama is the first U.S. president to attend Republic Day, which commemorates the adoption of India's constitution.

  • Federer out of Aussie Open in 3rd round after loss to Seppi

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer is out of the Australian Open, his chances of reaching a 12th consecutive semifinal at Melbourne Park erased in a shocking third-round loss to Andreas Seppi on Friday. Rafael Nadal is still in contention, rebounding from his five-set, second-round win to beat No. 106-ranked Dudi Sella 6-1, 6-0, 7-5 in a third-round match lasting a little over two hours to reach the fourth round. No. 2-ranked Federer came into the season's first major in form, winning the warmup tournament at the Brisbane International and aiming for an 18th Grand Slam title. Nadal was coming off a lengthy stint on the sidelines, and hadn't given himself much chance of collecting a 15th major. Federer had neve

  • Nadal beats Sela, advances to 4th round at Australian Open

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal beat Israel's Dudi Sela 6-1, 6-0, 7-5 on Friday to advance to the fourth round at the Australian Open, spending two fewer hours on court than he did in his previous match. On Wednesday, Nadal needed five sets and 4 hours, 12 minutes to beat American qualifier Tim Smyczek. Ahead of the tournament, he insisted he was not match fit in the wake of a right wrist injury and appendix surgery that sidelined him for much of the last half of 2014. Nadal looked in strong form Friday, however, breaking Sela's serve in the opening game of the 2 hour, 4-minute match to advance to a fourth-rounder against Kevin Anderson of South Africa on Sunday.

  • Sri Lanka's once-powerful ex-president faces backlash

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Their friends have deserted them. Their houses have been raided. Their power — near-absolute on this island nation just a month ago — has melted away, replaced with talk that some family members could face charges of corruption or murder. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family — brothers, nephews and cousins who have dominated Sri Lanka for nearly a decade — are suddenly portraying themselves as victims. "My family is in politics since 1931 and for the first time they have raided my home," Rajapaksa told reporters after police entered his private home in the southern town of Hambantota just days after the Jan. 8 election upset, in which he lost to former ally Maithripala Sirisena

  • Murray bristles at online criticism over being 'drama queen'

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Andy Murray usually avoids reading social media during tournaments, but he wasted no time issuing a scathing tweet at the Australian Open this week about those who've called him a "drama queen" in the past. And after beating Joao Sousa on Friday to book a spot in the fourth round against Grigor Dimitrov, Murray didn't temper his anger one bit. Murray said that when he suffered cramps during a match against Robin Haase on a hot, humid day at the U.S. Open last year, he was criticized for being dramatic and in need of a psychologist. When Rafael Nadal was similarly battling cramps against Tim Smyczek at Melbourne Park on Wednesday night, however, Murray said the Spaniard was praised for playi

  • Hazy skies the backdrop for Obama's climate talks in India

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    NEW DELHI (AP) — When President Barack Obama arrives in New Delhi on Sunday he will join the Indian capital's masses in breathing some of the world's filthiest air. Hazy skies will serve as the backdrop to meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other officials who are expected to discuss India's biggest environmental woes: Heavy reliance on fossil fuels that has transformed New Delhi into the planet's most polluted capital and made India the third biggest national emitter of greenhouse gases. With 1.26 billion people and counting, India's energy choices can make or break global efforts to prevent climate change. Experts expect the U.S. will be willing to help India finance ambitious plans to boost production

  • Sharapova easily through to 4th round at Australian Open

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Maria Sharapova ensured there were no match-point worries in her third-round match Friday at the Australian Open, dominating Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas 6-1, 6-1. On Wednesday, No. 2-ranked Sharapova faced two match points but escaped with a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win over fellow Russian Alexandra Panova, a qualifier ranked No. 150. On Friday, Sharapova had no problems with the No 31-seeded Diyas and won the first set in 26 minutes. Sharapova was broken to open the second set, but won the next six games to clinch the match in 61 minutes. She will face China's Peng Shuai on Sunday.

  • Federer out of Australian Open, beaten by Andreas Seppi

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer is out of the Australian Open in the third round, beaten by Italian Andreas Seppi 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (5) on Friday. Federer was trying to come from two sets down for the 10th time in his career, most recently at last year's U.S. Open against Gael Monfils. The 17-time Grand Slam champion hasn't been beaten this early at the Australian Open since 2000, the second year he played here. It was also the unseeded Seppi's first win against Federer in 11 matches. Federer was up 4-1 in the second-set tiebreaker before he allowed the Italian to win six of the next seven points and the set. He led the fourth-set tiebreaker 3-1 before a double-fault helped allow the Italian to again o

  • Murray eases into Aussie Open 4th round with win over Sousa

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Andy Murray beat Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-1, 7-5 at the Australian Open on Friday to set up a 4th round clash with Grigor Dimitrov. The sixth-seeded Murray is attempting to become the first man to win the Australian Open after losing three times in the final. He lost to Novak Djokovic in 2013 and 2011 and Roger Federer in 2010. His next match against the 10th-seeded Dimitrov will be a reprise of their Wimbledon quarterfinal last year, won by the Bulgarian. With coach Amelie Mauresmo watching from the stands, Murray has yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park. He said, "I've played three quite quick matches, which helps. You expect with every round they're going to get a little longer,

  • Key moments in ex-Thai premier's career

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    BANGKOK (AP) — A military-appointed legislature in Thailand voted to impeach former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday, a move that could further polarize a divided nation that's been beset by political upheaval for a decade. Some key dates in the crisis: — Sept. 19, 2006: The army topples Yingluck's brother, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in a bloodless coup following months of protests alleging corruption, abuse of power and disrespect for the monarchy. — July 3, 2011: Yingluck leads the Pheu Thai party to victory in general elections, and is named the country's first female prime minister. Her swift rise is largely due to the popularity of Thaksin, who critics say directed the party and later Yingluck's

  • Simona Halep advances to 4th round at Australian Open

    Updated: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Third-seeded Simona Halep advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-4, 7-5 win Friday over Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Halep twice served for the match at 5-2 and 5-4 but Mattek-Sands broke back each time. But Halep broke the American in the next game, then finally clinched the match with her third attempt on serve. Halep, the 2014 French Open finalist, opened the season by winning the Shenzhen Open in China. She was a quarterfinalist at last year's Australian Open. She will next play Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, who beat No. 14-seeded Sara Errani of Italy earlier Friday.




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