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Djokovic dominates Zverev to reach Shanghai Masters final
13 October 2018, 2:42 PM

Three-time Shanghai Open winner Novak Djokovic stormed past German Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-1 to reach the final on Saturday and claim the world number two ranking from Roger Federer.

Second seed Djokovic, who could play the Swiss in Sunday’s showpiece, did not face a break point en route to a 59-minute victory as he extended his winning streak to 17 ATP matches.

Djokovic, who has returned to his brutal best this season with Grand Slam wins at Wimbledon and the US Open, will surpass Federer as world number two when the next edition of the ATP rankings are released on Monday.

“I did everything I intended to do on my end,” the 31-year-old Serb said. “It’s all working and it’s been a couple of perfect matches. There’s a lot of positives to take from my matches this week.”

Djokovic, who beat South African Kevin Anderson 7-6 6-3 to reach the semi-finals, knows a fourth Shanghai title would help him trim Rafa Nadal’s lead at the top of the rankings, with the Spaniard skipping the Asian swing to recover from a knee injury.

Djokovic, chasing his 72nd career ATP title, will play either top seed Federer or Croatian Borna Coric in the final.

UN hails Nobel Peace Prize winners as ‘fearless champions’
5 October 2018, 9:45 PM

The United Nations has labeled the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to two defenders of victims of sexual violence “a fantastic announcement” while the UN Chief called the winners fearless champions of the rights of women.

Denis Mukwege, a doctor who helps victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State in Iraq, won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize earlier Friday.

This year’s joint winners- a Yazidi woman who escaped ISIS captivity in Iraq only to become an outspoken advocate for women and a Congolese gynecological surgeon who specializes in the treatment of women who’ve been raped in DRC.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says, “Murad gave voice to unspeakable abuse in Iraq when the violent extremists of Daesh brutally targeted the Yazidi people, especially women and girls. As a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime since 2016, she has pursued support for victims of human trafficking and sexual slavery and justice for perpetrators. Her powerful advocacy has touched people across the world and helped to establish a vitally important United Nations investigation of the harrowing crimes that she and so many others endured.”

Dr Mukwege has been described as a fearless champion for the rights of women caught up in armed conflict who have suffered rape, exploitation and other horrific abuses in the DRC.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it wanted to create awareness around women being used as a weapon of war and highlight the need for greater protections.

Guterres adds, “Despite regular threats to his life, he made the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a haven from mistreatment. The United Nations has supported his efforts. He has been a strong voice calling the world’s attention to the shocking crimes committed against women in wartime. As a skilled and sensitive surgeon he not only repaired shattered bodies but restored dignity and hope.”

Elvis Presley
Elvis’ last Cadillac up for sale in Austria
5 October 2018, 5:35 PM

Elvis Presley loved Cadillacs, compulsively collecting hundreds of them during his lifetime, and what is believed to be the last Cadillac he drove before his death in 1977 is going under the hammer in Austria later in October, the auctioneers said on Friday.

The asking price for the King of Rock’s beige-coloured 1972 Cadillac de Ville Estate – which is being auctioned in Salzburg on October 20 – is 100 000-200 000 euros ($115,500-$230,500), Vienna’s Dorotheum auction house said.

With around 70 000 miles (112 000 kilometres) on the clock, the car was the one Elvis used for his final road trip in December 1976, when he drove 1 500 miles from Las Vegas back to his home in Graceland, the Dorotheum said.

The singer died just eight months later.

Originally built as a Deville sedan, it was converted to an estate car by the American Sunroof Company in 1972 and is only the second of its kind ever built.

Equipped with air conditioning, leather upholstery and a radio with eight-track tape, it also has a number of gold-plated fittings, including the wheel spokes.

Elvis originally intended the car as a gift to his manager, Colonel Parker. But he borrowed back himself so frequently that Parker gave it back to him, the auction house said.

 

Steinhoff’s Mattress Firm files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
5 October 2018, 4:05 PM

Steinhoff’s United States unit, Mattress Firm, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to strengthen its balance sheet and support its parent company’s debt restructuring, the South African company said on Friday.

The restructuring of the largest US mattress retailer comes as its parent Steinhoff fights for survival after revealing multi-billion euro holes in its balance sheet that wiped more than 90% off its market value and forced it to sell assets to fund working capital.

“The Mattress Firm Filing supports actions to strengthen its balance sheet,” Steinhoff International Holdings said in a statement.

Mattress Firm, which has 3 000 brick-and-mortar locations,will implement a restructuring plan that will initially close around 200 stores and reject up to 700 leases, with the possibility of further closures, it said.

The retailer has also received $650 million to fund ongoing operations and repay debt and costs associated with the restructuring.

Mattress Firm has been squeezed by online upstarts including Casper Sleep Inc.

The company said it expects to complete its restructuring in 45 to 60 days.

Rugby players
All Blacks ready for match against Springboks
3 October 2018, 8:53 PM

New Zealand are focused on avoiding another loss to South Africa, after a brief celebration on winning a third successive Rugby Championship title.

The All Black’s 35-17 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires ensured another southern hemisphere championship for the All Blacks but that will not lead to any slacking off against the Springboks in Pretoria.

After arriving in South Africa, the New Zealanders seem to be settling in nicely, as winning the Rugby Championship seems to have improved their mood.

The visitors are not worried – if anything they seem to sleeping a lot better after the horror of Wellington.

They are still very wary of the hosts, as they are the only team to beat them this season.

All Black’s hooker, Codie Taylor, says they’ve done their homework: “We previewed pretty much the whole team and we are looking at their strengths. Springboks captain, Siya Kolisi is a huge threat to us, he’s fast and very quick with the ball. He’s also in top form, when he has the ball he’s in total control. He’s a huge asset to his team and a huge confidence booster for them.”

The teams will face each other on Saturday afternoon in Pretoria.

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