Archive for February, 2012

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Local based players Xavian Virgo, Tramaine Stewart and Navion Boyd flew the Jamaica flag proudly down under earlier today when each hit the target to help Jamaica to a 3-2 victory over New Zealand at the Mt Smart Stadium. Chris Wood and substitute Chris Killen replied for the home team in the second half in front of 15,379 spectators, including former Jamaica and West Indies Test cricketer Franklyn Rose.

Virgo, of  Boys’ Town, opened the scoring in the 39th minute when his attempted cross from the right flank caught goalkeeper Mark Paston unawares, as they ball sailed over his head and into the far side netting, much to the chagrin of the partisan home crowd who had ventured into the venue hoping for victory for the All Whites.

Eight minutes after the resumption, Stewart, who was having only his second game for Jamaica at this level, increased the lead when he rifled home from inside the penalty area, after strike partner Omar Cummings and midfield ace Keammar Daley had combined well to create the opening.

But Jamaica hardly had time to savour the celebration when the home side reduced the deficit, courtesy of a well-placed shot by Wood, after the Jamaican defence was caught out of position.

However, substitute Boyd restored Jamaica’s two-goal cushion in the 77th minute when he found the target from a lightning counter attacking move through Luton Shelton, who made the perfect pass when it mattered most, leaving Boyd to do the rest with some degree of composure.

But as Jamaica cruised towards the inevitable victory, Killen headed home from a right side corner to lend some respectability to the final score line, as Jamaica registered their second victory over the All Whites in as many engagements, and their third victory in a week, following 1-0 and 3-0 triumphs over Cuba in Jamaica.

The Jamaican players are scheduled to depart New Zealand early Thursday morning (Wednesday evening Jamaica time) for home, via Sydney in Australia, Los Angeles and Miami, before arriving home on Friday morning.

Teams: Jamaica – Dwayne Miller, Claude Davis, Damion Stewart (Adrian Reid 88th), Troy Smith, Xavian Virgo, Jermaine Taylor, Luton Shelton, Je-Vaughn Watson (Jorginho James 82nd), Keammar Daley, Omar Cummings Navion Boyd 65th), Tramaine Stewart (Richard Edwards 73rd)

Booked: Wattson (21st), Shelton (37th), Miller 90th+

Subs not used: Jacomeno Barrett, Oneil Thompson, Keneil Moodie, Romeo Parkes

New Zealand – Mark Paston, Winston Reid (Ben Sigmund 45th), Tony Lochhead, Tommy Smith, Ryan Nelsen (Ivan Vicelich 90th), Tim Brown, Marco Rojas (Leo Bertos 74th), Michael McGlinchey (dan Keat 64th), Jeremy Brockie, Kosta Barbarouses (Chris Killen 64th), Chris Wood

Booked: None

Subs not used: Shane Smeltz, Scott Basalaj

Referee: Norbert Hauata (Tahiti)

Assistant Referees: Mark Rule, Jan-Hendrik Hintz (New Zealand)

Fourth Official: Chris Kerr (New Zealand)

General Coordinator: Glyn Taylor (New Zealand)



James Murdoch James Murdoch remains in his job at parent company News Corporation

James Murdoch has stepped down as executive chairman of News International, the UK newspaper business that owns the Sun and the Times titles.

The newspaper publisher has been tainted by phone-hacking allegations.

The scandal led the company to close its News of the World title in July last year.

Mr Murdoch will remain as deputy chief operating officer of parent group News Corporation, run by his father Rupert.

‘Too big’

James Murdoch, 39, said: “I deeply appreciate the dedication of my many talented colleagues at News International who work tirelessly to inform the public.”

He added that the launch of a new Sunday edition of the Sun and “new business practices” put the company in a “strong position” for the future.

The Labour leader Ed Miliband said it was “right” that James Murdoch had resigned.

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It implies that 81-year-old Rupert Murdoch isn’t planning to retire or step aside in favour of his son any time soon”

image of Robert Peston Robert Peston Business editor, BBC News

“News International thought it was too big to be challenged, including by politicians. That’s why we need new rules in place at the end of all this process so that one organisation cannot control that much of the newspaper and television market,” Mr Miliband said.

Last year, James Murdoch twice appeared before the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee to answer questions as part of its inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, joined his son at one of the hearings.

Paul Connew, a former News of the World deputy editor, said he was not surprised that James Murdoch had stood down.

“I think you’ve got to look at the bigger picture here,” said Mr Connew.

“Quite clearly there’s going to be criticism of James Murdoch in the culture and media select committee report, which presumably will be coming out in the not too distant future, and I think essentially he’s been moved out of the firing line.”

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The Labour leader Ed Miliband says it is now time to introduce new rules on media ownership.

James Murdoch’s departure also comes as the separate Leveson Inquiry continues to investigate the culture, practices and ethics of the British press as a result of the phone-hacking allegations.

This is continuing to throw a spotlight on activities at both the News of the World and the Sun.

Earlier this week, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers told the inquiry that evidence suggested there was a “culture of illegal payments” at the Sun.

‘Nothing more to offer’

BBC business editor Robert Peston said he had been told by a senior News Corporation executive that the company’s UK newspaper business “did not need more than one Murdoch in charge”.

“What he meant is that Rupert Murdoch, with the launch of the Sun on Sunday, is showing that he is back overseeing the group’s British newspapers,” said our business editor.

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Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman: ”James Murdoch had to go”

“So James Murdoch can concentrate on what he is said to enjoy most, which is running News Corporation’s television interests outside the US.”

The journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil, a former editor at News International’s the Sunday Times, agreed.

“His father was very unhappy that he had to close News of the World. He did so at James’s urging – James was the guy on the spot and he decided to follow his son’s advice,” Mr Neil told the BBC.

“My understanding is he very much regrets that now, hence the steeling up with the launch of the Sun on Sunday.

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image of Hugh Pym Hugh Pym Chief economics correspondent, BBC News

Pulled out of the firing line to concentrate on pay TV in other parts of the Murdoch area?

Or fall guy for the series of increasingly damaging revelations about News International’s past conduct?

The interpretations of James Murdoch’s departure from the chairmanship of News International will range between those poles.

Supporters of James Murdoch will argue that he has always been more interested in television than newspapers and that his move to New York is a natural progression.

But critics will say that the timing of his departure, with the Murdoch empire on the back foot in the UK, is no coincidence.

“I think Rupert, who can be just as robust with his family as he can be with editors and executives who don’t have the Murdoch gene in them, has decided James has nothing more to offer here in London.”

In a statement, Rupert Murdoch said: “We are all grateful for James’ leadership at News International and across Europe and Asia, where he has made lasting contributions to the group’s strategy in paid digital content and its efforts to improve and enhance governance programs.”

He added that James would now “continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on pay-TV businesses and broader international operations”.

James Murdoch also remains chairman at satellite broadcaster BSkyB, of which News Corporation owns 39%.

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DJ Dave Lee Travis pays tribute to Davy Jones

Davy Jones, Manchester-born lead singer with 60s band The Monkees, has died aged 66, his publicist has confirmed.

He died in his sleep at his home in Florida. His publicist, Deborah Robicheau, said he had had a massive heart attack.

Brought together for a US TV series in 1966, Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork hits included Daydream Believer and I’m a Believer.

Jones was married three times and had four daughters.

The Monkees’ TV show was popular in both the US and the UK, and the band had four number one albums in a 13-month period

They were famous for their clean-cut image and were marketed as the American answer to The Beatles, notching up nine top 40 hits.

Acting career

Three of the band’s original members – Jones, Dolenz and Tork – reunited together last year to play a series of gigs.

He appeared aged 11 on ITV soap Coronation Street, as Ena Sharples’s grandson. He also appeared in the television series Z Cars before leaving showbusiness to train as a jockey.

Davy Jones Davy Jones was the only British member of The Monkees

He came back to acting with a role in a stage production of Oliver! He appeared in the West End and followed the show to Broadway where he built up a career as an actor and singer before auditioning for The Monkees.

Music journalist Paul Gambaccini described Jones as having “phenomenal” charisma and said that in 2008, he was voted the top teen idol of all time by Yahoo! Music.

“The pop world at that time loved The Beatles and that north-western English sound was something that America wanted, when they put together the so-called Pre-Fab Four,” he said, referring to the nickname given to the Monkees.

Developing talent

Mr Gambaccini said The Monkees had been put together by the music industry, something which was unheard of at that time.

“There had been individual teen idols who had been literally picked up off the street and groomed to be popstar, but there had never been a band that was put together, and they were assembled because the two producers had liked A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatles’ movie.”

Radio presenter Dave Lee Travis said: “One of the things that people will probably be thinking about Davy Jones is, the fact that he was 66. He always looked like a little kid. I think even in his latter years he looked very, very young.”

He described the Monkees as “a lot of fun” and as a band which overcame its critics.

“Everybody, even at the time, was going that this is so un-cool. It’s a made-up group and they’re not really very talented.

“But they became talented, which was the good thing. They started with a modicum of talent and that was developed over a period of time. And basically, they had fun with the TV shows. I think people look back and think it is crazy, it is cartoon stuff. But that is why it was good.”

A former apprentice jockey in Newmarket, Jones remained a keen horseman all his life, winning his first race in England as a jockey in 1996. He also trained horses.Continue reading the main story

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Euro sculpture outside of the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt The ECB hopes the loans will ease the eurozone debt crisis

The European Central Bank (ECB) has provided a further 530bn euros ($713bn; £448bn) of low-interest loans to 800 banks across the European Union.

It is the second time the ECB has offered such three-year loans and comes after 489bn euros was lent in December.

The loans are aimed to help continue to ease the eurozone debt crisis, and help banks improve their liquidity.

They have also helped countries such as Italy, as some banks have used the bonds to buy government bonds.

‘Unprecedented expansion’

Although the ECB has not revealed which banks have taken part, UK lender HSBC confirmed to the BBC that it had borrowed about £350m.

Lloyds Banking Group also confirmed that it had drawn £11.4bn.

The markets appear to have welcomed the announcement, with banking shares rising strongly.

In Germany, shares in Commerzbank were up 3.6% while Deutsche Bank was 1.7% higher.

Credit Agricole saw the biggest gains in France, climbing 4.5%, followed by Societe Generale, which rose 2.3%.

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Whether it will do anything to cheer up Europe’s real economy is much less clear”

image of Stephanie Flanders Stephanie Flanders Economics editor

In the UK, shares in Barclays were up 1.7%, while HSBC added 0.6%.

Commentators said that the amount of money lent, and the number of banks which had taken part, was in line with expectations.

Banking analyst Luca Cazzulani of Unicredit said: “This will increase the level of excess liquidity pretty sharply, which is ultimately positive or very positive for risk trades.

“Italian and Spanish bonds are likely to benefit from this and equity markets as well.”

BBC business editor Robert Peston said the central bank’s move represented “a massive, perhaps unprecedented, expansion of the ECB’s balance sheet”.

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Global Economy

Grab from North Korean TV on 28 December 2011 shows Kim Jong-Un saluting during his father Kim Jong-Il's funeral at Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang The move comes only two months after the succession of Kim Jong-un as leader

North Korea has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment, as well as nuclear and long-range missile tests, following talks with the US.

The US State Department said Pyongyang had also agreed to allow UN inspectors to monitor its reactor in Yongbyon to verify compliance with the measures.

In return, the US is finalising 240,000 tonnes of food aid for the North.

The move comes two months after Kim Jong-un came to power following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il.

Correspondents say the move could pave the way for the resumption of six-party disarmament negotiations with Pyongyang, which last broke down in 2009.

‘First step’

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Both the DPRK [North Korea] and the US affirmed that it is in mutual interest to… push ahead with the denuclearisation through dialogue and negotiations”

Statement North Korean Foreign Ministry

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US still had “profound concerns” over North Korea, but welcomed the move as a “first step”.

“On the occasion of Kim Jong-il’s death, I said that it is our hope that the new leadership will choose to guide their nation onto the path of peace by living up to its obligations.

“Today’s announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction.”

North Korea confirmed the move in a foreign ministry statement released in Pyongyang.

The statement, carried by the KCNA news agency, said the measures were “aimed at building confidence for the improvement of relations” between the two countries, and said talks would continue.

“Both the DPRK [North Korea] and the US affirmed that it is in mutual interest to ensure peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, improve the relations between the DPRK and the US, and push ahead with the denuclearisation through dialogue and negotiations,” it said.

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image of Lucy Williamson Lucy Williamson BBC News, Seoul

This deal is the first major international act of the new North Korean leader. But how much the agreement bears his personal stamp is unclear.

The air in Seoul was thick with rumours at the end of last year, about a deal which offered concessions on North Korea’s nuclear programme in return for American food aid.

That was just before the former leader, Kim Jong-il, died – and contacts were disrupted.

But whether this deal is his doing, or that of his young son and heir, the speed with which it happened following the transition is striking.

Some will read that as a sign of political softening by the regime; others as a sign of North Korea’s increasingly desperate need for food aid.

Either way, if agreement is implemented (and many have failed), it will mark the first small step towards peace in more than three years.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the announcement was “an important step forward” and that inspectors stood ready to return to North Korea, Reuters reports.

Earlier, a senior US military official said the issue of food aid for North Korea was now linked to political progress – contradicting earlier policy.

The North has suffered persistent food shortages since a famine in the 1990s, and relies on foreign aid to feed its people.

North Korea agreed in 2005 to give up its nuclear ambitions in return for aid and political concessions, as part of a six-nation dialogue process involving the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan.

But progress on the deal was stop-start, and the agreement broke down in 2009.

Contact between the US and North Korea aimed at restarting the talks began in July 2011.

A meeting last week between US and North Korean officials in Beijing was the third round of talks aimed at exploring how to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.

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Kim Jong-il dead

Michael Jackson‘s daughter Paris made a bombshell announcement to friends … telling them the MJ album released in the wake of the singer’s death did NOT contain MJ’s actual voice … it was an imposter.

TMZ has learned … the announcement was made during an online video chat with several friends in 2010 … just before the “Michael” album was released, which contains several previously unreleased tracks allegedly performed by Michael Jackson.

The video chat was recorded … and Paris joked about the footage eventually “leaking” to the Internet.

Paris had made the announcement in the midst of rumors that MJ’s parts on the “Michael” album were REALLY performed by an MJ sound-alike named Jason Malachi … but both Jason and Sony denied the allegations.

During the video chat, Paris played one of the songs from the album, “Hold My Hand” … and one of her friends asks why the singer doesn’t sound like MJ.

Paris replied, “It’s NOT him … the whole album isn’t even him!! Go online … go on YouTube and look up Jason Malachi. That’s him!!”

She continues, “I should know if it’s him or not because he would sing to me all the time.”

TMZ has learned a recording of Paris’ video message is being shopped to various media outlets … and we’re told “Offers are on the table.”

Cops are looking to speak with rapper Rick Ross … after a 40-year-old man was shot to death in front of his Miami Gardens home this morning … TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us … Ross was NOT home at the time of the shooting and at this point in the investigation, he’s not considered a suspect.

We’re told cops found the victim laying inside a gate at the home.

Sources tell us … investigators don’t know if the victim has any connection to Ross, but since he is listed as the owner of the property, cops want to ask him a few questions about the situation.

So far, no comment from Rick’s camp.

Aer Lingus planes Aer Lingus is continuing to turnaround its fortunes

Irish airline Aer Lingus has seen its annual profits more than double, as it continues to benefit from extensive cost-cutting.

The carrier made a pre-tax profit of 84.4m euros ($113m; £72m) in 2011, up from 27.2m euros a year earlier.

Its revenues rose 6% to 1.3bn euros, while its average income per passenger increased by 4.8% to 112.27 euros.

Aer Lingus said the results demonstrated “the success of the changes we have made to our business”.

Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’ chief executive, added that the increased profits had been achieved “against a difficult backdrop of non-controllable fuel price inflation, increased airport charges and challenging demand conditions in our primary markets”.

Enda Kenny Mr Kenny said it was in Ireland’s national interest that the treaty be approved

The Republic of Ireland is to hold a referendum on Europe’s new fiscal treaty, the Irish prime minister said.

Enda Kenny said it was in Ireland’s national interest that the treaty be approved and he was confident the referendum would be passed.

Last month, Mr Kenny joined 24 other EU states in agreeing the pact for stricter budget discipline.

The government had sought advice from the attorney general as to whether a referendum was necessary.

The cabinet was told on Tuesday that a referendum was required to ratify it.

“I strongly believe that it is very much in Ireland’s national interest that this treaty be approved, as doing so will build on the steady progress the country has made in the past year,” Mr Kenny told the Dail.

“Ratification of this treaty will be another important step in the rebuilding of both Ireland’s economy, and our international reputation.

“It gives the Irish people the opportunity to reaffirm Ireland’s commitment to membership of the Euro, which remains a fundamental pillar of our economic and jobs strategy.”

Deputy Prime Minister Eamonn Gilmore said the treaty was vital to Ireland’s national interests and would bring Ireland beyond “casino capitalism”.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin welcomed the decision, he said people need to be engaged.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said there was a democratic imperative for the people to have their say.

Asked what David Cameron thought of the Irish plans for a referendum, the UK Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “That is a matter for Ireland.

“As I understand it, it is a judgment they have made based on the constitution of that country and their assessment of it, so it is a matter for them.”

The spokesman said the referendum decision did not come as a surprise, as it had always been thought possible that Dublin might have to put the fiscal compact to a public vote.

Mitt Romney and his wife Ann look at a photograph of George Romney in Michigan 28 February 2012 Mitt Romney has emphasised his family ties to Michigan as part of his appeal to voters

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are going head-to-head as US voters in Michigan and Arizona choose their picks for Republican presidential candidate.

Both men have been campaigning intensively over the past few days. Latest polls give Mr Romney a marginal lead in Michigan, and a stronger advantage in Arizona.

Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are focusing their efforts on other states.

Analysts say a victory in his home state of Michigan is key for Mr Romney.

He has long been seen as the front-runner and favourite for the nomination – and currently leads the race for delegates – but has struggled to win over a strong majority of conservative Republican voters.

The winner of the eventual nomination will go on to face President Barack Obama in the November election.


On Tuesday, Mr Romney appeared to acknowledge that he has had trouble winning over conservative voters in a state where he was expected to do well.

Mr Romney said his disconnect with the party’s right-wing stemmed from his unwillingness to make “incendiary” comments.

Rick Santorum greets diners at the Rainbow Grill in Grandville, Michigan 28 February 2012 Rick Santorum has been riding a wave of momentum following a hat-trick of wins in recent votes

He accused his rivals of saying “outrageous things” in an effort to win the backing of the Republican base, adding that he was not prepared to set his “hair on fire” in a bid for support.

He also attacked Mr Santorum’s recent move to target Democratic voters with an automated message criticising Mr Romney’s record on bailouts for the automobile industry.

Mr Romney accused Mr Santorum of trying to “kidnap the primary process” by attempting to turn Democrats against him. He told Fox News on Tuesday morning that the tactic was “outrageous and disgusting… a terrible, dirty trick”.

“This is a new low for his campaign and that’s saying something,” Mr Romney said.

Mr Santorum’s recorded message to Democrats said: “Romney supported the bailouts for his Wall Street billionaire buddies but opposed the auto bailouts.

“That was a slap in the face to every Michigan worker and we’re not going to let Romney get away with it,” it continued.

Although only Republicans may participate in Michigan’s primary, electoral rules allow voters to temporarily change their affiliation on the spot – giving Democrats the opportunity to cast a ballot on Tuesday.

Mr Santorum and his supporters have also spent about $2m (£1.3m) on advertising in Michigan.

On the campaign trail Mr Romney had played up his ties to Michigan, where his father was a former governor.

Whoever wins in Michigan could gain crucial momentum ahead of next week’s “Super Tuesday” votes, which sees 10 states go to the polls.

Mr Gingrich, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul are focusing their efforts on next week’s vote.

Focus on economy

After spending much of the past week campaigning on social issues, on Monday Mr Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, turned his focus on the economy.

He challenged former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum for putting social issues at the centre of his campaign, saying: “If the economy is going to be the issue we focus on, who has the experience to actually get this economy going again?”

Mr Romney, who used to run a successful private equity firm, told supporters at a campaign event that Mr Santorum was a nice guy but he would not be able to create jobs.

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Mr Santorum told supporters it was a “joke” for Mr Romney to attack him for not being a real conservative.

The former senator also derided “climate science” and Wall Street bailouts – referring to legislative positions the former governor had supported.

He used an editorial in the Wall Street Journal to highlight his own principal economic initiatives.

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US politics glossary
Use the dropdown for easy-to-understand explanations of political terms:


A state-level election held to nominate a party’s candidate for office. Regulations governing them and the dates on which they are held vary from state to state. In some states, voters are restricted to choosing candidates only from the party for which they have registered support, however 29 states permit open primaries in which a voter may opt to back a candidate regardless of their nominal affiliation. In this case, strategic voting may take place with, for example, Republicans crossing over to back the perceived weaker Democratic candidate. Primaries first emerged as a result of the so-called progressive movement of the early 20th Century, which argued that leaving the nomination process purely to party bosses was inherently undemocratic.

In it, he took aim at his rival, saying Mr Romney was “attempting to distract from his record of tax and fee increases as governor of Massachusetts, poor job creation, and aggressive pursuit of earmarks”, and that Mr Romney’s plans did not go far enough.

His editorial followed remarks slamming Mr Romney at the weekend, who Mr Santorum described as “uniquely unqualified” to take on the key issues facing America.

Precarious lead

In recent weeks, Mr Santorum has mounted a strong challenge to Mr Romney in Michigan.

An average of polls in the state compiled by Real Clear Politics shows the former governor clinging to a narrow lead of 1.5%, although he maintains a more comfortable lead in Arizona.

A loss for Mr Romney in either state could establish Mr Santorum as a new frontrunner in the presidential race, correspondents say, and raise questions about Mr Romney’s ability to appeal to his party’s base.

Mr Santorum sprang an upset in the last round of voting, when he picked up three victories – in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado – in a single night.

Mr Romney currently has 123 delegates, compared to Mr Santorum’s 72, with 1,144 needed to secure the nomination.

Fifty-nine delegates are at stake in Tuesday’s primary elections: 29 from Arizona and 30 from Michigan.

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