Fearless Forecast vs Boston Celtics:
Fantasy Pts: 22.13
Point Guard Rank: 17
Fearless Forecast vs Boston Celtics:
Fearless Forecast vs Boston Celtics:
Fantasy Pts: 22.13
Point Guard Rank: 17
Japan's central bank left its ultra-easy monetary policy unchanged on Wednesday, a move that sent the yen plunging, despite heavy speculation it could again tweak a key lever.It said the move would "improve market functioning", and the surprise decision saw the Japanese currency gain ground against the dollar after months of weakening over the growing gap between Japanese and US central bank policy.
With the Chinese Year of the Rabbit just around the corner, animal welfare groups are concerned about an increase in rabbit abandonment cases.
Nurses in England began two days of strikes over pay Wednesday, as officials warned of disruption for thousands of patients in the UK's state-run health service. - 'Olive branch' - Matthew Taylor, head of the NHS Confederation, which represents state health care providers in England and Wales, on Wednesday urged ministers to renew pay talks with trade unions.
Turkey on Wednesday appealed to the United States to expedite F-16 jets, a sale some US officials hope could coax Ankara to lift objections to NATO expansion but is bitterly opposed by a key senator.The United States is finalizing a $20 billion package for Turkey that is expected to include around 40 new F-16 fighter jets.
France is to face severe public transport disruptions on Thursday, operators have warned, as workers join a nationwide strike against a widely unpopular pension reform plan.Paris public transport operator RATP warned services would be diminished, with three metro lines out of service, and ten others only operating partially.
Nintendo's first theme park outside of its native Japan will open in California next month, just weeks before Mario gets the big-screen treatment in a major new Hollywood film.Meanwhile, Universal Pictures -- the Hollywood film studio that shares its parent company with the theme park -- will release "The Super Mario Bros.
Armed with selfie sticks and freshly recovered from Covid, Chinese tourists ambled through bar streets in the country's backpacker haven of Dali, partying the stress of the past three years into oblivion.As Lunar New Year approaches, China is seeing a domestic travel boom after the government abruptly dismantled its longstanding zero-Covid strategy last month."I feel so free," said Hu, from Beijing, while visiting Dali in southwestern Yunnan province."As I was walking down the bar street, I heard someone singing a song I really like... I feel like everyone is so happy," she told AFP last weekend.Just two months ago, travelling involved navigating a maze of onerous restrictions and multiple testing requirements.But now shuttered PCR testing booths dot the sidewalks of major cities like relics of a bygone era, some covered in a crust of disinfectant residue and others broken into by street cats.While the first weeks of reopening saw millions get Covid, overwhelming hospitals and crematoriums, a recent slowdown in infections now has allowed many to take advantage of the loosening up.Watering holes and street food stalls in Dali's bustling old town were packed when AFP visited, the sounds of firecrackers punctuating the night as people celebrated the Kitchen God festival. Zhou Hua, a tourist from Chengdu visiting with his family, said he came to enjoy the mountain air and "clean out his lungs" after recovering from Covid."We've been stuck at home for three years already, so we rushed out here," he said.Similar scenes unfolded in Xishuangbanna prefecture, also in Yunnan province, famed for its temples and tropical landscape.A line of visitors jostled to enter a crowded night market as a cacophony of pop songs blared from bars across the Lancang River, as the upper half of the Mekong is known in China.Women in heavy makeup and outfits inspired by traditional dress stood on the banks as hired photographers snapped pictures. "No vacancy" signs hung on hotels in the main tourist district, and diners waited for up to an hour for tables at popular restaurants.Adding to the travel rush is the heavy traffic traditionally seen before Lunar New Year.Transport authorities predict more than two billion trips will be made during a 40-day period between January and February -- nearly double the figure last year and 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels.Many fear that cases will surge as millions travel home, with China's President Xi Jinping saying Wednesday he was "concerned" about the virus situation in the countryside.But many locals AFP spoke to in Yunnan played down fears of an outbreak -- and much of the infrastructure that sustained the zero-Covid policy was gone.Along the province's southern border with Myanmar, multiple Covid checkpoints used for testing drivers and goods stood abandoned when AFP visited last week.Dusty road barriers were piled up haphazardly under a corrugated metal roof at one unstaffed facility near Yunnan's Cangyuan county.A sign for free PCR tests had fallen on the ground and workers had left two disinfectant-spraying machines in one cleared-out office room."Obey the pandemic's commands," large signs proclaimed at another checkpoint. "Prevention is our responsibility."tjx/reb/oho/dva
The world's oldest known person, French nun Lucile Randon, has died aged 118, a spokesman told AFP on Tuesday.She died in her sleep at her nursing home in Toulon, spokesman David Tavella said.
Britain said Tuesday that its breakthrough decision to provide tanks to Ukraine to fight Russia was a "moral imperative," as the United States said that more military aid was coming.So the moral imperative is to bring this to a conclusion."
A lawyer for angry Tesla investors told a California courtroom on Wednesday that CEO Elon Musk "lied" about having funding in place to take the company private, costing his clients millions of dollars."And his lies cost regular people like Glen Littleton to lose millions and millions of dollars," Porritt added in opening remarks.
A fire killed 15 servicemen and seriously injured three others in Armenia on Thursday after ripping through a military barracks overnight, the defence ministry said.On Thursday, Armenia's defence ministry said one of its servicemen was wounded by Azerbaijani fire and is in "serious" condition In a comment to local media, Azerbaijan's defence ministry denied that its soldiers opened fire.
Philippine Nobel Prize winner Maria Ressa was on Wednesday acquitted of tax evasion, among a slew of charges she has long maintained are politically motivated, calling the verdict a victory for "truth".Ressa, who shared the Peace Prize with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov in 2021, still faces three other cases, including a cyber libel conviction now under appeal that could mean nearly seven years in prison."Today, facts win. Truth wins," a teary-eyed and defiant Ressa told reporters outside the Manila courtroom after the ruling on four government charges that she and her online media company Rappler had dodged taxes in a 2015 bond sale to foreign investors.The tax court said prosecutors failed to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that Ressa and Rappler had evaded income taxes."This acquittal, even when it took time, is not just for Rappler. It is for every Filipino who has ever been unjustly accused. It is also a ray of light, hope," Ressa said, calling the charges "politically motivated".The 59-year-old has been battling a series of cases that media advocates say were filed due to her vocal criticism of former president Rodrigo Duterte and his drug war, which claimed thousands of lives.Ressa and Muratov were awarded the Nobel for their efforts to "safeguard freedom of expression".In a statement, Rappler said: "An adverse decision would have had far-reaching repercussions on both the press and the capital markets... With you we will continue to #HoldTheLine" -- a slogan used to symbolise their fight for press freedom.-An uncertain future-Despite the ruling, Ressa still faces the threat of prison from the cyber libel case, while the future of Rappler, which she founded in 2012, remains uncertain."We keep going," she said Wednesday when asked about the other cases."You prepare for the worst-case scenario, and you keep going."Rappler is challenging a Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission order to close for allegedly violating a ban on foreign ownership in media.Under the constitution, investment in the media is reserved for Philippine citizens or entities controlled by citizens.The case springs from a 2015 investment by the US-based Omidyar Network, established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.Omidyar later transferred its Rappler investment to the site's local managers to stave off efforts by Duterte to shut it down.The third outstanding case is also a tax-dodging charge against Ressa and Rappler.Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos said in September he would not interfere in Ressa's cases, citing the separation of powers between the executive and judicial branches of government.Shortly after Marcos took office last year, Ressa lost an appeal against a 2020 conviction for cyber libel.Trouble for Ressa and Rappler began in 2016, when Duterte came to power and launched a drug war in which, according to official data, more than 6,200 people were killed in police anti-narcotics operations.Rights groups estimate tens of thousands were killed.Rappler was among the domestic and foreign media outlets that published shocking images of the killings and questioned the crackdown's legal basis.Local broadcaster ABS-CBN -- also critical of Duterte -- lost its free-to-air licence, while Ressa and Rappler endured what press freedom advocates say was a grinding series of criminal charges, probes and online attacks. Duterte's government said previously it had nothing to do with any of the cases against Ressa.mff/cgm/qan
Novak Djokovic scrapped his way into the Australian Open third round Thursday to ramp up his bid for a 22nd Grand Slam crown, but Ons Jabeur was prime among the numerous seeds to crash out.It left Jabeur still waiting to win a maiden Grand Slam title.
As China gears up to welcome the Year of the Rabbit, Lunar New Year looks slightly different in Vietnam, where the Year of the Cat is about to begin.But she believes that those who were born in the Year of the Cat, like her, have things easier than most.
Macau's former "junket king" Alvin Chau was sentenced on Wednesday to 18 years in jail for running an illegal gambling empire, ending a criminal trial that shocked the casino hub and toppled one of its highest-profile gaming tycoons.Suncity under Chau's leadership "conducted illegal gambling for unlawful gains for a long time", she said in her ruling, and sentenced him to 18 years behind bars.
Strikes crippled much of France's public transport on Thursday as protesters came out in force against a deeply unpopular pensions overhaul, with schools and media also heavily affected.The strikes disrupted public transport in the capital, with one metro line closed and others running less frequently than usual, as many overland trains were cancelled throughout France.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Beijing on February 5-6, a US official said Tuesday, confirming a long-awaited trip aimed at keeping high tensions in check between the world's two largest economies. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Blinken would arrive in the Chinese capital on February 5 and also hold talks the following day, going ahead with the visit despite mounting concern about Covid-19 cases in China.
Search for the last body will continue, Nepal authorities say
Alvin Chau faced nearly 290 charges in one of Macau’s biggest criminal cases in years
Sony is about to launch its PlayStation VR2 headset in February. Our writer manages to try it in a hands-on event. Here are his impressions.