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8:06 AM

Players set for another Blue Monster challenge

(Reuters) - An elite field including the top 50 in the world rankings will vie for supremacy at this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami where the infamous Blue Monster course will once again pose a daunting challenge.

8:06 AM

Bangladesh hope to run through Scots by fielding first

(Reuters) - Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza firmly laid down the gauntlet to Scotland as his side seek to move within sight of a World Cup quarter-final place by choosing to field in their Pool A clash in Nelson on Thursday.A win for Bangladesh would give them breathing room ahead of England in the standings, with their showdown in Adelaide on March 9 almost certain to decide fourth spot in the pool.

8:06 AM

Van Praag hoping for CONMEBOL backing in FIFA election

ASUNCION (Reuters) - Michael van Praag hopes to win South America’s support in the FIFA presidential election despite the region’s endorsement of incumbent Sepp Blatter, he said on Wednesday.

8:06 AM

Swansea's Gomis taken to hospital after fainting

LONDON (Reuters) - Swansea City's Bafetimbi Gomis was taken to hospital for tests after needing oxygen on the pitch during the first half of his club's Premier League match at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

8:06 AM

Wisecracking Mourinho hails 'great victory' by Chelsea

LONDON (Reuters) - Jose Mourinho was full of jokes and wisecracks and even lauded the display of referee Andre Marriner after his Chelsea side took another stride towards winning the title with a 1-0 victory at West Ham United on Wednesday.

8:06 AM

Evans is no spitter, says Van Gaal

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal attempted to play down the controversy following an apparent spitting exchange between his defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle United forward Papiss Cisse on Wednesday.

8:06 AM

City needed freshening up, says Pellegrini

LONDON (Reuters) - Manuel Pellegrini explained his decision to drop captain Vincent Kompany to the bench for Wednesday's 2-0 Premier League home victory over Leicester City, saying he needed to freshen up his faltering champions.

8:06 AM

Liverpool's Rodgers hails 'leader' Henderson

LONDON (Reuters) - In the absence of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson is doing an admirable impression of the Liverpool captain and his manager Brendan Rodgers says he is emerging as a real leader for the resurgent Merseysiders.

8:06 AM

Chelsea get back to the day job as top teams all win

LONDON (Reuters) - After a Champagne Sunday, leaders Chelsea got back to the bread and butter of churning out Premier League points with Eden Hazard's header sealing a 1-0 victory at London rivals West Ham United on Wednesday.

8:05 AM

U.S. Vice President Biden, Iraq's Abadi discuss Tikrit fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Wednesday about the fight against Islamic State militants including the Iraqi-led operations in Tikrit, the White House said.

8:05 AM

Cuba, EU renew talks on relations; will discuss human rights

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba and the European Union renewed talks on improving relations on Wednesday, advancing on several issues but leaving the major topics of trade and human rights until Thursday, Cuba said.

8:05 AM

Libya declares force majeure on 11 oilfields citing security - NOC website

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya has declared force majeure on 11 of its oilfields due to the deteriorating security situation after several oil installations came under attack, the state energy company National Oil Corporation said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

8:05 AM

Libya asks U.N. for arms, jets, tanks to battle Islamic State - letter

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Libya has sought permission from the United Nations to import 150 tanks, two dozen fighter jets, seven attack helicopters, tens of thousands of assault rifles and grenade launchers and millions of rounds of ammunition from Ukraine, Serbia and Czech Republic.

8:05 AM

Iran foreign minister says nuclear deal could be close, details remain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran's foreign minister said in a U.S. television interview on Wednesday he believed "we are very close" to a nuclear arms deal with six major world powers, but cautioned there were details that needed to be worked out.

7:12 AM

Malaysian palm oil price hits 8-month high before retreating

JAKARTA: Malaysian palm oil futures edged lower on Wednesday after touching an eight-month high, as market players responded to mixed outlooks from leading analysts at a key industry meeting.

7:05 AM

Oh, the people you’ll meet

For a teacher, it is possible to explore the world from the experiences of one’s students.

7:04 AM

Southeast Asian stocks mixed, Philippines near record high, Malaysia up

JAKARTA: Southeast Asian stock markets traded mixed on Wednesday as stocks in the Philippines rose on hopes of easing inflation while Indonesian shares were down after touching a fresh intraday record on Tuesday.

7:00 AM

StanChart rules out share sale as profit plunges 25 percent

LONDON: Standard Chartered said it had no plans to tap shareholders for cash despite reporting a 25 percent slide in annual pretax profit on the back of soaring bad loans.

6:55 AM

Palm oil prices set for a "year of two halves", biodiesel demand eyed

KUALA LUMPUR: Palm oil prices are set for a "year of two halves", rising over the next few months as demand overwhelms supply but slipping to as much as six-year lows later in 2015 as output climbs, analysts said at an industry conference.

7:28 AM

US ambassador attacked in Seoul

Seoul (AFP) - The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was injured in an attack by a razor-wielding assailant Thursday in Seoul, police and television reports said.

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