Service sector growing, but fragile

Australia's services sector expanded in February, but growth was patchy and fragile.The Australian Industry Group's Performance of Services Index (PSI) lifted 3.4 points to 51.8 points, with a move above 50 indicating the sector is growing.The growth was driven by health and community services, which includes health, welfare and education.Household consumer spending in the sub sector has been robust, as shown in Wednesday's December quarter GDP figures, which economists have put down to Australia's ageing population.The Ai Group report said the low Australian dollar has also benefited personal and recreational services because consumers have been spending more on local services instead of buying imported goods or overseas holidays.Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox says the result is encouraging."The bounce in the services sector in February is a tentative yet positive…
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Bangladesh down Pakistan in T20

Bangladesh qualified for the final of the Asia Cup after beating Pakistan by five wickets on Wednesday.Pakistan recovered from 4-28 to post 7-129, before Bangladesh reached a winning total of 5-131 in 19.1 overs.Mahmudullah secured victory, and a place in Sunday's final against India, with a deep mid-wicket boundary.Mahmudullah was unbeaten on 22, but Soumya Sarkar (48) provided the platform for the victory.Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir had figures of 2-26 and kept his side's hopes alive until Mashrafe Mortaza (12 not out) hit him for two consecutive boundaries in the 18th over.Those two boundaries off a searing yorker and a bouncer came after Shakib Al Hasan perished to a reverse sweep shot, piling the pressure on Pakistan.With 18 runs needed in the last two overs, fast bowler Mohammad Sami…
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He wanted to stay in bed. His family wanted him at school. So he shot them, police say

Sure, many schools start too early. And, sure, getting out of bed can be hard sometimes.But one Tennessee teenager had an extreme reaction to his family's request on Tuesday morning that he get up and get ready for school: He shot them, according to Nashville police.The teen, who has not been publicly identified, became angry when his grandmother, Earline Hill, and mother, Sheryl Williams, told him to get his day going, police said in a statement. He threatened the pair and then retrieved a handgun no one knew he had before firing multiple shots in the family apartment, police said."There was a quarrel about getting up and getting ready for the day when [at some point] the 16-year-old ran to a closet, got a 9mm handgun and started firing," Nashville…
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Libs at war, Shorten says of sub leak row

Cabinet ministers are refusing to draw a link between the leaking of classified defence documents and former prime minister Tony Abbott.But Labor has used the leak to say the Liberal Party is at war with itself."What is wrong with the Liberals that they have this born-to-rule mentality where they think their civil war is more important than the issues affecting the nation," Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.Mr Abbott insists he wasn't the source of leaked sections of a draft copy of the Defence white paper which indicated the first of Australia's new submarine fleet would be delivered in the late-2020s.The white paper, released by the Turnbull government last week, says acquisition of the 12 new subs would start later this year with the first entering…
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SBS Arabic radio set to go 24 hours a day

SBS is set to launch a new 24-hour, Arabic-language radio channel.Those behind the new service say they hope it will promote social cohesion and be an important source of information for Arabic-speaking migrants settling in Australia.Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages in Australia, rivalling Mandarin and Cantonese.It is also one of the fastest-growing.Another 12,000 asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq will be settled in Australia over the coming years, in addition to the regular humanitarian intake.To cater to this growing audience, SBS will launch a new 24/7 Arabic-language radio service next week.Heba Kassoua will host the new Drive program in the afternoons.She herself moved to Australia from Syria when she was 16 years old."I had to learn English from scratch, which was the biggest challenge. I feel…
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