• International Cricket Council names World Cup XI

    New Zealand may have been thrashed by Australia in the World Cup final but they dominate the International Cricket Council's team of the tournament released Monday with Brendon McCullum named captain. The New Zealand skipper is one of five Black Caps in the side that also includes three Australians. "McCullum was chosen as the captain following his aggressive, innovative and inspirational leadership during the 44-day tournament that was the cornerstone of his team?s progression to the final," the ICC said in a statement.

    AFP
  • Elton John 'will keep paying his mother's bills'

    Sir Elton John will keep paying his mother's bills despite their ongoing feud. Sheila ­Farebrother, 90, and her son have not spoken in seven years, and although Sir Elton is deeply upset at his mother for recently accusing the singer of saying he "hated" her, he has no intention of stopping the financial support he provides. A friend explained to the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "He is upset and cross, but people should remember that Elton pays all of her bills and that won't stop.

    Bang Showbiz
  • Islamic State group beheads 8 Shi'ites

    A new video has been released by the Islamic State group which shows its fighters cutting off the heads of eight men said to be Shi'ite Muslims. The video posted on social media on Sunday said the men were beheaded in the central Syrian province of Hama. The video could not be immediately independently verified, but it appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting of the events.

    AP
  • In the gossip mags

    The mags have had to turn tail in a big way on the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie trouble in paradise rumours since the actress’ recent surgery saw her husband dash across the Atlantic to be by her side. Be that as it may, Woman’s Day leads this week with ‘Brad’s Tears For Brave Angelina’. The Day reports the couple’s ‘screaming matches, gritted teeth and the stony silences’ have all gone by the wayside since Angelina’s surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.

    Yahoo Entertainment
  • 'Co-pilot's personality not the only lead'

    Andreas Lubitz father told the mayor of Prads-Haute-Bléone, a town located close to the crash site, that he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. Mayor Bernard Bartolini, who met the father at a local vigil held for victims, told French media that the father was a broken man. Meanwhile, investigators say the personality is a "serious lead" in the inquiry but not the only one.

    AFP
  • Warne bugs pundits with drinking talk

    When Shane Warne alluded to getting hammered at the conclusion of the World Cup he probably wasn't expecting to on Twitter. Speaking with several of the victorious Australians, Warne seemed to have just one thing on his mind. The boys are thirsty they seem," Warne asked.

    AAP
  • Putin letter to Arab summit triggers strong Saudi attack

    Saudi Arabia accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of hypocrisy, telling an Arab summit that he should not express support for the Middle East while fuelling instability by supporting Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. In a rare move, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that a letter from Putin would be read out to the gathering in Egypt, where Arab leaders discussed an array of regional crises, including conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya. "We support the Arabs' aspirations for a prosperous future and for the resolution of all the problems the Arab world faces through peaceful means, without any external interference," Putin said in the letter.

    Reuters
  • Crashed car belonged to step dad

    A car in the sea off the Southland coast belongs to a missing Southland boy's step father, police say. Police have confirmed the dark blue Volkswagen Touareg submerged underwater is owned by 54-year-old John Beckenridge, the stepfather of Mike Zhao-Beckenridge, 11, who's been missing for two weeks. Mr Beckenridge was seen picking up his stepson from his Invercargill school in breach of a parenting order.

    NZ Newswire
  • Ryan Phillippe's daughter embarrassed

    Ryan Phillippe's daughter gets embarrassed when people think he is her brother. The 40-year-old actor - who has 15-year-old Ava with his former spouse Reese Witherspoon - has admitted he regularly gets mistaken for being much younger than he is. Meanwhile, Ryan - who also has Deacon, 10, from his marriage to the 'Wild' star and two-year-old daughter Kai with former girlfriend Alexis Knapp - previously admitted he felt as though his "greatest achievement" was becoming a father.

    Bang Showbiz
  • China's jailing of man who grew beard 'absurd'

    A six-year prison sentence reportedly given to a man in China's mainly Muslim Xinjiang region for growing a beard was "absurd", an overseas group said on Monday as accounts of the penalty disappeared online. Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the exile World Uyghur Congress, said the case was "typical of the political persecution" faced by Uighurs, the mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking minority group that calls Xinjiang home. The case was "typical of the political persecution" faced by Uighurs, a spokesman for the exile World Uyghur Congress said.

    AFP
  • Dairy farms asked to consider breeding no-horn cows

    Food manufacturers and restaurants are taking the dairy industry by the horns on an animal welfare issue that's long bothered activists but is little known to consumers: the painful removal of budding horn tissue from calves so farm workers or other animals don't get gored later. While veterinary groups recommend pain treatment, only about 10 percent of calves are properly medicated, according to Vermont dairy cattle breeder Mark Rodgers. Certain cows carry a dominant no-horn genetic trait, and are called polled cows.

    Associated Press
  • NZ dollar may sink to 70 US cents in 2015 on resurgent greenback: BusinessDesk survey

    The New Zealand dollar may extend its decline against the greenback this year, on increased signs the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates from a record low, benefitting companies such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare that get much of their sales in US dollars. The kiwi, which recently traded at 75.52 US cents, will decline to 70 cents by the end of the year, according to the median forecast of 21 currency traders, strategists and economists surveyed by BusinessDesk last week, all of whom expect a decline. It is headed for a 3 percent decline in the first quarter.

    BusinessDesk
  • Who claims what property seized in Cuba? Facts and figures

    Soon after Fidel Castro came to power, his government seized the refineries, hotels and sugar plantations that were the most visible signs of the American hold on the island's economy. Nearly 90 percent of the Americans who filed claims for confiscated Cuban property were individuals, according to a Creighton University study commissioned by the U.S. Agency for International Development. "They left behind all kinds of stuff — stock, life insurance policies, artwork, cars," says Michael Kelly, a Creighton law professor who participated in the study, released in 2007.

    Associated Press
  • Rossi wins thrilling Grand Prix of Qatar

    Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, on a Yamaha, won a spectacular Grand Prix of Qatar on Sunday as he withstood a furious onslaught from fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso over the final laps to take the opening race of the season. A see-saw battle saw the the lead change hands numerous times before the 36-year-old Rossi opened up a slight gap on the final two laps and held off the charging Dovizioso on his Ducati, who was looking for his first win in MotoGP. It was a stunning 109th victory for the iconic Rossi and his 197th podium as Italy swept the board with Andrea Iannone, also on a Ducati, coming home third.

    AFP
  • Two Czech women kidnapped in Pakistan in 2013 freed

    Two young Czech women kidnapped in Pakistan in 2013 have been freed and have returned home, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Saturday. "I can confirm that Hana Humpalova and Antonie Chrastecka have already returned to the Czech Republic," Sobotka told the CT24 news channel. "I would like to ask the media to respect the women's privacy," Sobotka added.

    AFP
  • Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley buy mansion

    Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have reportedly bought a $13 million (£8.7 million) home together. The 47-year-old action movie star and his model girlfriend are believed to have each paid half of the jaw-dropping sum for the estate in Beverly Hills, just a week after they celebrated their fifth anniversary. According to gossip website TMZ, a real estate source revealed the expensive mansion features five bedrooms and eight bathrooms, and covers 7,119 square foot.

    Bang Showbiz
  • Woman's cause of death undetermined

    A coroner has been unable to determine the cause of death of 39-year-old Sofia Helen Athanassiou. Coroner Garry Evans said the reluctance of her long-term partner Daniel Johnston to give certain evidence prevented him from forming a full picture of the circumstances leading to her death. The court is unable to take matters any further in this respect," Mr Evans said in his findings.

    NZ Newswire
  • Louis Tomlinson's mystery girl revealed

    The mystery woman seen kissing Louis Tomlinson in a pool has been named as Lucy Julian. The One Direction star was photographed getting close to the daughter of multi-millionaire fashion designer Alexander Julian following his split from his girlfriend of four years, Eleanor Calder. Lucy's best friend Kyja Kutnick said: "She's definitely not embarrassed but they were incredibly strict.

    Bang Showbiz
  • The Truth about Tequila and Your Hangover

    Hangovers: the great equaliser that affects us all at one point in our life. For a lot of men, tequila is at or near the top of that list. When it comes to the severity of your headache, your principal nemesis is ethanol - a.k.a.

    Men's Health
  • Blues can still make Super finals: Kirwan

    The Blues surrendered a second-half lead to succumb 23-11 to the defending champion NSW Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday night, the defeat turning up the heat even further on Kirwan. The All Blacks legend candidly admitted pre-game that he was under pressure to deliver, but he departed Allianz Stadium relatively upbeat and certainly not giving up the ghost. Kirwan felt the Blues were hard done by having to play the final nine minutes a man short, as did Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, who agreed Kaino and Dennis had merely clashed heads.

    NZ Newswire