Lifestyle 

Salmon-fishing season opens on Scotland’s River Tay amid hopes of rain

A fisher casts from the river on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the river Tay near Meikleour, Scotland, Britain January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne MEIKLEOUR, Scotland (Reuters) – The salmon-fishing season got under way on the banks of Scotland’s River Tay on Tuesday with a whisky toast and pipe band and, more unusually, hopes of rain. Fishermen and women sporting tweed, Scotland’s traditional woven fabric, lined the river in the northeastern tip of Britain as boats were blessed and some made praying gestures after last year’s…

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Johanna Konta: British number one hopes to be ‘better equipped’

Johanna Konta began coaching sessions with Dimitri Zavialoff in October British number one Johanna Konta hopes she will be “better equipped to deal with challenges on court” after linking up with new coach Dimitri Zavialoff. Konta hired Zavialoff on a permanent basis after reaching the Kremlin Cup semi-finals in October while working with him on a trial. She says they have had a “very strong pre-season” which leaves her positive about her chances in 2019. “He is teaching me to be quite self-sufficient on court,” said Konta, 27. “It is…

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Team Sky: Chris Froome hopes team can survive owner withdrawal

Froome became only the third man in history to hold all three Grand Tours at the same time when he won the Giro d’Italia earlier this year Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome says Team Sky will “be doing everything we can” to survive once their owner and main sponsor pulls out at the end of 2019. Broadcaster Sky announced earlier on Wednesday that it would end its decade-long commitment after next season. “I can’t predict the future, but this is a really special team,” said Froome, who won…

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Lifestyle 

Syria’s last shadow puppeteer hopes to save his art

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – The last shadow puppeteer in Damascus lost most of his equipment to war and endured life as a refugee in Lebanon, but he now believes the old Syrian art form might survive after the United Nations said it needed to be saved. Shadi al-Hallaq, a puppeteer, holds two puppets during a performance in Damascus, Syria December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki Traditional shadow theater was historically a staple of Damascus cafe life, as story tellers used dyed animal-skin puppets to entertain their audience with tall tales, satire, songs…

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Lifestyle 

Male ballet dancer hopes to break stereotypes in Jordan

AMMAN (Reuters) – When Rabee Shrouf put on his first pair of ballet shoes two years ago, he knew he had found his calling. The Jordanian’s lifelong dream was to be on stage and as a ballet dancer in Amman, he wanted to shatter stereotypes along the way.  “When you are immersed in the world you love, everything around you disappears,” the 22-year-old said. “This is what it feels like when I’m on stage.” Shrouf, who dances in his spare time while studying languages and translation at university, is one of…

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Technology 

China hopes countries can provide fair environment for Chinese firms

BEIJING (Reuters) – Asked for comment on a Wall Street Journal report regarding China’s Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], a foreign ministry spokesman on Friday said China hoped the relevant countries could provide a fair environment for its companies. Citing unnamed sources, the paper on Thursday said the U.S. government was trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in allied countries, including Germany, Italy and Japan, to avoid telecommunications equipment from Huawei. The spokesman, Geng Shuang, told a daily news conference in Beijing, the Chinese capital, that he was not aware of…

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UAE spy row: Hopes of Matthew Hedges case resolution

Image copyright EPA/DANIELA TEJADA Image caption Matthew Hedges was arrested in the UAE in May There are signs Foreign Office staff may be close to resolving the case of UK academic Matthew Hedges, convicted of spying in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE’s ambassador in London is due to issue a statement at 10:00 GMT, amid speculation he will talk about progress in the 31-year-old’s situation. On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had “constructive” talks with his opposite number in the UAE. Mr Hedges, of Durham University, was…

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Sports 

Sailing: Coutts hopes Olympics follows his lead to improve racing

TOKYO (Reuters) – Five-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts believes the format used in the New Zealander’s SailGP league could be adopted by the Olympics as the sport looks to modernize. FILE PHOTO: Sir Russell Coutts, skipper and Chief Executive Officer of the defending America’s Cup champion Oracle Racing, gestures following a news conference in San Francisco, California April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith./File Photo Sailing has been a staple at every Summer Games bar 1904 but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are looking at ways to reach a younger demographic,…

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Technology 

Crunch time for Tencent Music’s 2018 $2 billion IPO hopes

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) – China’s answer to Spotify (SPOT.N) – is facing crunch time on its hotly anticipated U.S. $2 billion mega IPO this year. FILE PHOTO: Visitors are seen at a booth of Tencent Music Entertainment at the Beijing Music and Life Show in Beijing, China, May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer The streaming music giant, which has more than 800 million monthly users, had initially pencilled in an October launch for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) of up to $2 billion, but decided last…

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Jordan Nobbs’ injury hits England World Cup hopes – Kelly Smith

Jordan Nobbs’ form has been key in lifting Arsenal to the top of the Women’s Super League table Jordan Nobbs’ serious knee injury is a “big blow” to England’s World Cup chances in France next year, according to record goalscorer Kelly Smith. The player Smith describes as the “engine” of England’s midfield ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament during Arsenal’s win over Everton on Sunday. Nobbs, 25, has 56 senior international caps and was England’s player of 2016. “She’s a pivotal part of the England set up and it’s a massive…

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