LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna was fined 40,000 pounds on Tuesday and warned about his future conduct after a post on social media that appeared to accuse a referee of bias. The French international was charged with misconduct by the FA for his "10 against 12... but still fighting and winning as a team" Instagram post after City beat Burnley 2-1 in the Premier League on Jan. 2. Referee Lee Mason sent off City midfielder Fernandinho in the 32nd minute and the FA alleged that Frenchman Sagna's comment, which was later deleted, questioned the official's integrity. ($1 = 0.8124 pounds)(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
SHANGHAI: App stores in China must register with the state from Jan 16, a government statement said, as China tightens its control over the Internet. App stores are “not strict” when they examine and approve apps, the China Cyberspace Administration, the country’s Internet watchdog, said in a statement. The clampdown on app stores came just after Apple removed the New York Times from its China app store, stating that it was in violation of local regulations. In the absence of Google Play, which is blocked, China is home to a variety of different Android app stores, though the landscape is mostly dominated by internet giants Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba. The first two companies control nearly half the Android app stores run in the country as of the third quarter of last year, according to a report from consulting firm Analysys.
PETALING JAYA: Police have refuted a news report in which Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad claimed that no action has been taken against the main culprits of the ruckus on Parliament grounds in November last year. Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Datuk Amar Singh (pic) denied Khalid's claims and said that police had two line-ups to identify the culprits, on Dec 13 last year and Jan 10. "All the suspects involved, including the deputy minister's son, were in the line-ups," he said in a statement Tuesday. "All the line-ups were conducted according to the standard operating procedure and lawyers for both sides were present," he said. The incident was believed to be over Khalid calling the deputy minister "mentri sial (damned minister)" in the Dewan Rakyat earlier.
SEOUL: South Korean pop icon Rain announced his engagement to top actress Kim Tae-Hee in a handwritten letter to fans Tuesday – but said their wedding would be low-key given the country’s economic and political woes. “She has always been by my side through the hard times and the good times,” he said, referring to the actress two years his senior, who has a massive following in Asia. The celebrity couple first met while shooting a TV commercial in 2011 and began dating a year later. Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-Hoon, is one of the biggest names in the world of K-pop, which commands a huge following in South Korea, across much of Asia and beyond. The singer was confined to barracks for a week in January 2013 for sneaking out to meet Kim while performing his mandatory military service.
LONDON: British American Tobacco has agreed a $49.4 billion takeover of U.S. rival Reynolds American Inc, creating the world's biggest listed tobacco company after it nudged up an earlier offer by more than $2 billion.BAT, which already owned 42 percent of Reynolds, will pay $29.44 in cash and 0.5260 BAT shares for each Reynolds share, it said, a 26 percent premium over the price of the stock on Oct. 20, the day before its first offer was made public.The Camel and Newport cigarette maker rejected the approach a month later, according to sources, although the two sides remained in talks.The deal will mark the return of BAT to the lucrative and highly regulated U.S. market after a 12-year absence, making it the only tobacco giant with a leading presence in American and international markets.BAT Chief Executive Nicandro Durante said bringing the two companies together would drive "sustained profit growth and returns for shareholders". "It will create a stronger, global tobacco and NGP (next generation products) business with direct access for our products across the most attractive markets in the world," he said on Tuesday.
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Former Manchester United and Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has ended his coaching career following a family tragedy, Dutch media reported on Tuesday. "I could have gone there (China), but I'm still here," van Gaal told De Telegraaf. Asked if he did not have any remaining ambitions, van Gaal said: "No, actually not. Van Gaal said winning last year's FA Cup, against the backdrop of his impending dismissal, was the greatest achievement of his career. And then in those circumstances you have to try and stick to your vision and inspire the players of Manchester United."
DAVOS: The global elite begin a week of earnest debate and Alpine partying in the Swiss ski resort of Davos on Tuesday, in a week bookended by two presidential speeches of historic import. One will be by Xi Jinping, the first Chinese president to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos. A World Economic Forum study said that within advanced economies, median per capita income fell on average 2.4 percent over the past five years, helping to explain why disaffection is so high across the West. British Prime Minister Theresa May will address the World Economic Forum on Thursday, two days after outlining her vision for Brexit in another keenly awaited speech. But the week’s most consequential speech will come in Washington as Davos winds down Friday.
SINGAPORE: A 35-year-old man has allegedly been living at Jurong Point shopping mall for nearly four years, using the water, electricity and Wi-Fi there. Chen, who is from Ipoh, Perak, has worked in Singapore for more than 10 years and currently earns more than $1,000 (RM3,139) a month. A spokesman for Jurong Point told The Straits Times it welcomed Chen as long as he did not pose a nuisance. "We're heartened that shoppers enjoy using this facility," she said, referring to the complimentary Wi-Fi the mall began offering in 2015. When asked why he rented a place even though he preferred staying at Jurong Point, he said that he needed a residential address for his employment pass.
(Reuters) - Liverpool are better equipped to challenge for the Premier League title this season because they do not rely solely on one player, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has said. "We were challenging for the title but it was a totally different game and a totally different 11 people. Then we were a bit reliant on the individual ability of Luis Suarez to make the difference and score goals," Mignolet told British media. It is always better to have a good unit than being reliant on one or two players." "The confidence (of a good result) brings good feeling, tells us that we have to keep working hard.
SUNGAI BULOH: The one-month free ride for members of the public to experience the newly-launched Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Phase One, has gone on relatively smoothly, albeit some slight hiccups. MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line chief operating officer Muhammad Isom Azis said many commuters are still unaware of the rules and the consequences that comes along with it. “There were instances where the MRT service was halted halfway through its operation due to some teenagers playing with the emergency egress device (emergency stop button). “They should realise that such action can cause interruption to the MRT service, and some have even caused the MRT to stop halfway,” he said during the press-conference at the Sungai Buloh MRT station. The first phase involves 21km of elevated tracks between the Sungai Buloh and Semantan stations in Bukit Damansara.
SHANGHAI: China should overcome the "irrational fear" of allowing the yuan currency to float freely, an influential government researcher said on Tuesday, as markets seek clear policies in an increasingly complex financial environment.Yu Yongding, a scholar at the China Academy of Social Sciences and former central bank adviser, made the comments amid a growing debate among Chinese economists about whether the yuan should be allowed to trade more freely.With no clear direction from the central bank, traders have been closely scrutinising the comments of influential academics such as Yu for a sign of any future policy movements. "How the future exchange rate will go depends on central bank policy and I have no way of reading their minds, but I want to say that we should overcome the irrational fear of a free-floating yuan," Yu was quoted as saying by the official Shanghai Securities News.Yu's comments notwithstanding, traders said it was unlikely that Chinese authorities would loosen their grip on the exchange rate in the near future, noting that there was no clear consensus on what the equilibrium rate would be, for example.Yu told a forum on Monday that China has a huge trade surplus, US$3 trillion of foreign exchange reserves, the world's fastest economic growth, and a strong government. "(China) should be the country least afraid of a fluctuating exchange rate," he was quoted as saying.Yu has also advocated that China stop intervening in currency markets and instead preserve its dwindling foreign exchange reserves.He suggested the central bank set a "bottom line" of 25% for the yuan to depreciate.China's foreign exchange reserves fell to near six-year lows in December, but held just above the critical US$3 trillion level, as authorities stepped in to support the weakening yuan ahead of US President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.Though economists insist Beijing has been trying to prop up rather than weaken its currency, Trump has threatened to declare China to be a currency manipulator and slap punitive tariffs on Chinese goods.
Russian support could embolden Haftar in making a play for power in Tripoli, a move likely to fuel conflict and represent a major setback for genuine unity government in Libya. His tour of the Admiral Kuznetsov in the Mediterranean on Wednesday was Russia's most overt show of support to date. Haftar's advisers declined to comment on the aircraft carrier visit and what it might mean for relations with Russia. CONTRACTSRussia has outwardly backed U.N. mediation in Libya, and says it will abide by an arms embargo on the country. A parliament and government in eastern Libya that are allied to Haftar have no direct control over oil revenues.
BENGALURU: Gold prices hit their highest in more than seven weeks on Tuesday, boosted by safe-haven buying ahead of a speech in which British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to discuss plans for a "hard Brexit".Spot gold had risen 0.8% to US$1,212.40 per ounce by 0605 GMT, its highest since Nov 23.US gold futures were up 1.3% at US$1,211.80 per ounce. "Gold is going to do very well in the first half of the year due to Brexit concerns, Chinese currency pressure and uncertainty surrounding Donald Trump's policies," said Richard Xu, fund manager at China's biggest gold exchange-traded fund, HuaAn Gold. "Stock valuations are pretty high and bonds are not going to perform much better than what they are doing now. There are very few alternatives for liquidity to go to and gold prices will find some support," Xu added.Britain will not seek a Brexit deal that leaves it "half in, half out" of the European Union, Prime Minister May will say on Tuesday, according to her office, in a speech setting out her 12 priorities for upcoming divorce talks with the bloc. "We see that US$1,250 is not far away, but it is not going to rise above US$1,300 as monetary policies are not going to be accommodative for gold prices to appreciate in a much bigger way," said Xu of HuaAn Gold.Investor interest in gold was indicated as holdings of the largest physically-backed ETF, New York's SPDR Trust, on Friday rose for the first time since Nov 9, the day after Trump's election victory.Spot silver was up 1% at US$16.94 an ounce on Tuesday.Platinum climbed 0.8% to US$988.35, while palladium was firm at US$744.65.
KUALA LUMPUR: The suggestion to ban “kap chai” motorcycles from entering the city centre in order to reduce carbon emissions needs to be backed by scientific research, said the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. “The small ones don’t emit that much. Why are we stopping the small ones? We should be stopping the big ones,” he told reporters during a press conference in Menara Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said most “kap chai” bikers were low-income earners and that a ban can only be looked at if there are convenient options for transport.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's transition team defended his nominee for health and human services (HHS) secretary, Tom Price, from charges that he bought shares in a company days before introducing legislation that would have benefited the firm. A Senate confirmation hearing is scheduled for Wednesday for Price, a Republican congressman from Georgia who, if confirmed, would be a lead agent in carrying out Trump's plans to overhaul President Barack Obama's signature health care law. The Trump transition team said late on Monday that the stock purchase was directed not by Price but by a broker and that Price himself did not become aware of the stock buy until well after the legislation was introduced. "Any effort to connect the introduction of bipartisan legislation by Dr Price to any campaign contribution is demonstrably false," said transition spokesman Phil Blando. "The President-elect claims he wants to drain the swamp, but Congressman Price has spent his career filling it up," Schumer said in a statement.