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Aaron Ramsey
Juventus set to sign Arsenal’s Ramsey
10 January 2019, 6:40 AM

Italian champions Juventus are set to sign Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey at the end of the season on a free transfer, according to reports in the British and Italian media.

Ramsey has made more than 250 appearances since joining the Gunners (Arsenal) from Cardiff City in 2008. The Wales international has failed to agree on a new deal with the London club in the final year of his contract.

The impasse has enabled the 28 year old to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs since 1st January.

The reports added that Juventus were set to pay the player 140,000 pounds ($179,074) per week, a fee that would make Ramsey the club’s second-highest earner behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ramsey has made 18 league appearances this season, scoring twice, including a memorable strike against Fulham in October that was regarded by many as an early contender for goal of the season.

The reports added that while manager Unai Emery was keen to retain Ramsey, Arsenal need to keep their 200 million pound ($255.64 million) wage bill under control, leaving the club’s longest serving player open to leave on a free transfer.

Ramsey’s signing would be seen as a shrewd piece of business by Juventus, who are nine points clear at the top of the Serie A as they chase an eighth straight title.

BIDV bank
Arrests continue for officials of the BIDV bank
10 January 2019, 6:02 AM

Police in Vietnam have arrested a former senior executive of Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), a bank that has come under scrutiny from an anti-graft campaign in the communist-ruled country, state media reported on Thursday.

Doan Anh Sang, former deputy chief executive officer of the bank, formally known as Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, was accused of “violations of regulations on banking operations”, Tien Phong newspaper reported, citing police.

The bank’s former chairman, Tran Bac Ha was arrested in November and according to the newspaper four other BDVI officials have also been arrested.

BIDV, one of Vietnam’s largest listed banks, did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment. Sang’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment either.

Sang was removed from his position at the bank in August amid a larger investigation into wrong doings at the bank.

Dean Elgar
Elgar elected stand-in captain for third test
9 January 2019, 11:08 AM

Opening batsman Dean Elgar has been appointed stand-in captain of the South African cricket test team for the third and final test match against Pakistan, starting at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday.

Elgar, who also captained South Africa against England at Lords in 2017, will stand in for Faf du Plessis who was suspended for one match because of a slow over-rate in the second test match at Newlands in Cape Town.

The selectors have also placed Cape Cobras opening batsman Pieter Malan on standby for Elgar’s opening partner Aiden Markram. Markram has a right thigh injury.

US scientists a step closer to developing Mosquito birth control
9 January 2019, 10:55 AM

Scientists in the United States said on Tuesday they had taken a major step toward developing a “mosquito birth control” drug to curb the spread of malaria and other killer diseases blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths a year.

Researchers at the University of Arizona said they had discovered a protein unique to female mosquitoes which is critical for their young to hatch.

When the scientists blocked the protein the females laid eggs with defective shells causing the embryos inside to die.

The team said developing drugs which targeted the protein could provide a way to reduce mosquito populations without harming beneficial insects such as bees.

“It’s an important discovery. We’re certainly excited about it. This gets around mosquito resistance and also has a much better chance of being bio-safe (than other methods),” says Roger Miesfeld, head of the university’s department of chemistry and biochemistry.

Miesfeld said current methods of controlling mosquitoes had been used for so long that the insects were becoming resistant.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun
UN asks Australia to consider refugee resettlement for 18 year-old girl
9 January 2019, 9:40 AM

The United Nations (UN) has asked Australia to consider refugee resettlement for an 18 year old Saudi woman who fled to Thailand saying she feared her family would kill her, the Australian government said on Wednesday.

The teenager Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun arrived in Bangkok on the weekend appealing for asylum. Australia said it would consider resettling her if the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deemed her a refugee.

“The UNHCR has referred Ms Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement, “Australia’s Department of Homeland Security say in an email.

The department said it would consider the referral “in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR referrals”. It declined to comment further.

The UNHCR office in Thailand also declined to comment.

Qunun arrived in Bangkok on Saturday and was initially denied entry.

She soon started posting messages on Twitter from the transit area of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport saying she had “escaped Kuwait” and her life would be in danger if forced to return to Saudi Arabia.

Within hours, a campaign sprung up on Twitter, spread by a loose network of activists around the world.

Within 36 hours it prompted Thailand’s government to reverse a decision to force the young woman onto a plane that would return her to her family.

She was allowed to enter Thailand and on Tuesday began the process of seeking asylum in a third country through the UN refugee agency.

Her case has drawn new global attention to Saudi Arabia’s strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male “guardian” to travel, which rights groups say can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families.

It comes at a time when Riyadh is facing unusually intense scrutiny from its Western allies over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October and over the humanitarian consequences of its war in Yemen.



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