Lifestyle 

China kicks off month-long winter festival in northern city of Harbin

HARBIN, China (Reuters) – Swimming enthusiast Yu Hongtao, 50, trained for months in the freezing water of the Songhua river to compete in a winter ice swimming tournament held annually in China’s northern city of Harbin, known for its bitterly cold weather. “You have to start swimming from autumn so that the body can conquer the sudden icy impact on one’s cardio-vascular system,” said Yu, a Harbin resident. “The feeling of diving into the water is very cool.” More than 300 men and women, wearing just ordinary trunks and swimsuits,…

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Northern and South Western rail strikes disrupt Christmas weekend

Image copyright RMT Image caption The RMT strikes over guards have been running for two years Workers on Northern and South Western Railway (SWR) have begun 24-hour strikes on the last Saturday before Christmas. The walkout, from midnight, is part of the long-running dispute over the future of train guards. Northern said the strike, by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), would disrupt markets and other events “at a vital time for businesses”. The RMT said its action was in defence of a “safe and accessible” railway. General secretary…

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Northern Rail: The most cancelled rail line in the UK?

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDavid Brown on what he’s doing to get the timetable back on track. Is the Ormskirk to Preston line the worst railway in the UK? Since the timetable changes in May, more than 2,000 services have been cancelled between the two towns in north west England, a figure that rises every day. In exclusive data analysed for the BBC, 5,712 trains were timetabled to run during the six-and-a-half-month period. But up until Saturday 15 December, only 3,701 operated. That meant a third…

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Murder tariffs 10 years lower in Northern Ireland

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The average minimum tariff for murder in Northern Ireland in 2017 was 11 years and four months The average minimum term handed out by Northern Ireland courts in murder life sentences was almost 10 years lower than in England and Wales last year. Figures obtained by BBC News NI show that the average minimum tariff for murder in Northern Ireland in 2017 was 11 years and four months. That compared to 21 years and one month in England and Wales. The Northern Ireland figure…

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Euro 2020 draw: England avoid Germany but Northern Ireland face Germans & Netherlands

England have avoided Germany in Euro 2020 qualifying but Northern Ireland must face the three-time winners and the Netherlands in Group C. At 42 in the world, the Czech Republic are the next highest ranked team in England’s group, which is completed by Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo. As well as the Netherlands and Germany, Northern Ireland will also face Estonia and Belarus. The Republic of Ireland had initially been drawn in Group C but were handed a reprieve as the group already contained two of the 12 host nations for…

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Northern Ireland Open: Judd Trump beats Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-7 in final

Judd Trump’s last ranking event win came in the European Masters in October 2017 Judd Trump secured his first world ranking title for 13 months by beating Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-7 in the Northern Ireland Open final in Belfast. The players were level at 4-4 after a first session which saw Trump knock in three centuries at the Waterfront Hall. A break of 134 helped O’Sullivan lead 7-6 but Trump took three frames in succession to win the £70,000 first prize and the Alex Higgins Trophy. Former UK Championship winner Trump…

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Nations League: Northern Ireland 1-2 Austria

Middlesbrough midfielder George Saville was one of Northern Ireland’s best players against Austria A Valentino Lazaro goal with the last kick of the game won the Nations League clash for Austria against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park. NI looked set for their first point of the competition when Corry Evans hit a 57th-minute equaliser after Xaver Schlager’s goal eight minutes earlier. In the first half a Niall McGinn free-kick came within inches of putting Northern Ireland into the lead. Northern Ireland have lost all four matches in the new Uefa…

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Technology 

Amazon to pick NYC, Northern Virginia for split HQ2: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) will on Tuesday announce it has selected New York and Northern Virginia for its second headquarters, a source told Reuters, ending a more than year-long contest that has seen frenzied bidding from locales across North America. FILE PHOTO: Amazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery in the Manhattan borough of New York City, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo Amazon’s plan to split its second headquarters, dubbed “HQ2”, evenly between two cities will boost its presence around New York and the nation’s capital as…

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Technology 

Amazon picks NYC and Northern Virginia for its split HQ2: source

FILE PHOTO: Amazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery in the Manhattan borough of New York City, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) plans to announce on Tuesday that it has selected New York and Northern Virginia as locations for its second headquarters, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday. In the announcement, that could come as early as Tuesday morning, Amazon will announce a significant investment in one additional city, the source said. The decision would bring to an end a…

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