Australian Wiasak retains world pursuit title

The 31-year-old was never threatened, leading the 3,000m event from start to finish as she claimed the first gold medal of the championships, nearly eight seconds ahead of Wojtyra.In the women's team sprint final, reigning champions Jinjie Gong and Tianshi Zhong of China were disqualified having finished ahead of Russia.Anastasia Voinova and Daria Shmeleva were handed the title after judges ruled one of China's changes illegal.Australia's 11-times world champion Anna Meares failed to add to her medal collection as she and Stephanie Morton were edged out for the bronze medal by German duo Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel.It was still a satisfactory opening day though for Australia with Wiasak's gold, albeit in an event that will not feature on the Olympic schedule in Rio later this year."Being the defending champion…
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Treasury Wine increases CEO’s salary

The maker of world famous wines, including Penfolds and Wolf Blass, has increased chief executive Michael Clarke's pay package almost 30 per cent for turning the company around.Treasury Wine Estates has increased Mr Clarke's fixed remuneration to $2.2 million a year, from $1.7 million, effective March 1, citing the "significant turnaround of the business over the past two years under his leadership and strategic initiatives put in place for future growth".Chairman Paul Rayner said Mr Clarke's "global vision and leadership has been critical to TWE achieving outstanding results for our shareholders and the board believes it is entirely appropriate to recognise this through an increase in his fixed remuneration".TWE - which also owns wine brands such as Lindeman's, Rosemount, Beringer, Chateau St Jean and Stag's Leaps - recently reported a…
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Year-long spacemen embrace fresh, cold air

There's nothing like a blast of fresh, frigid air to welcome you back to the planet after nearly a year cooped up in space.That's the word from astronaut Scott Kelly, NASA's space-endurance champ who returned to bitterly cold Kazakhstan on Wednesday, with his roommate for the past year, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.In a NASA interview before heading home to Houston, Kelly said it was amazing to feel the cold air when the hatch of his Soyuz capsule popped open after touchdown."I don't mean to say it's not fresh on the space station," he said, "but there's nothing like new cold air coming into the capsule."Kelly, 52, and Kornienko, 55, yearned for nature throughout their 340-day mission at the International Space Station, a dry run by NASA for eventual trips to…
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Happy events can break hearts, too: study

Hearts can be broken by happy events as well as those causing grief and sadness, a study has found.Since 1990, doctors have recognised a rare condition associated with extreme emotional distress that can trigger potentially fatal weakening of the heart.Known as Takotsubo syndrome, or TTS, it typically occurs after upsetting episodes such as the death of a spouse or parent, the breakdown of a relationship, or being diagnosed with cancer.Now research shows the same outcome can follow happy or joyful events. Scientists have named the new condition "happy heart syndrome".The discovery came after researchers analysed data from 1750 patients diagnosed with TTS in nine countries.Of 485 patients for whom an emotional trigger could be identified, 96 per cent had suffered sad and stressful events such as the loss of a…
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El Chapo now wants quick extradition to US

Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is willing to plead guilty to any charges in the United States if US authorities promise him a short sentence in a medium-security prison, one of his lawyers says.Guzman wants to accelerate the extradition process so he can escape harsh conditions in a Mexican maximum-security prison, where guards will not let his client sleep, lawyer Jose Refugio Rodriguez said.He said he and Guzman's family were reviewing options for a US defence lawyer."We have talked about a proposal ... to plead guilty to the charges in the United States without questioning their veracity," said Rodriguez, who heads Guzman's legal team."That in exchange for a reduction in the applicable sentence like others have done in these situations, but also look for a medium-security prison so that…
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Online profile fakers may be charged in UK

Internet trolls who set up fake profiles in the name of their victims to post damaging or embarrassing material can face criminal charges, according to new advice for British prosecutors.Social media guidelines are being updated by the Crown Prosecution Service to cover cases where offenders create false online accounts and websites.The CPS said: "For example, it may be a criminal offence if a profile is created under the name of the victim with fake information uploaded which, if believed, could damage their reputation and humiliate them."In some cases the information could then be shared in such a way that it appears as though the victim has themselves made the statements."Such conduct could amount to an offence such as grossly offensive communication or harassment.Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: "Offenders…
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Sanctions on North Korea among toughest ever

North Korea has been further isolated after the United Nations voted for harsh new sanctions described as some of the toughest ever imposed by the international body.In a move designed to starve North Korea of nuclear-program funding, all cargo going in and out of the country will now be inspected and fuel imports banned.The new sanctions follow a nuclear test in January and last month's rocket launch that the United States suspects used banned ballistic missile technology.The measures, aimed at curbing North Korea's military ambitions, have received overwhelming support from the United Nations Security Council.Council president Ismael Gaspar Martins announced the historic outcome."The result of the voting is the following: The draft resolution received 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as Resolution 2270, 2016."The resolution…
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Openly gay Liberal MP pleads for end to prejudice

Australia's first openly gay federal Member of Parliament says the country can be proud of how far anti-gay discrimination has been broken down.But he says the journey is not complete.Trent Zimmerman, the New South Wales Liberal Party president, replaced former treasurer Joe Hockey in the seat of North Sydney late last year. Mr Zimmerman has used his first speech in parliament to deliver an emotional plea for Australians to see discrimination over sexuality like discrimination based on race or gender. The speech comes after he won the seat of North Sydney in a by-election in 2015 following former federal treasurer Joe Hockey's departure from politics.Mr Zimmerman says some people had told him this was not the time to reflect on the issue and surely a person's sexuality was irrelevant in…
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Walker a natural at five-eighth: Barrett

Manly coach Trent Barrett has hailed Dylan Walker as a natural five-eighth ahead of the former South Sydney centre's debut in the Sea Eagles' halves.One of the key talking points in the NRL's opening round is how off-season recruit Walker can combine with Daly Cherry-Evans in their first match together at the scrumbase in Friday night's clash with Canterbury at Brookvale Oval.After missing the finals for the first time in 11 years last season, Manly are expected to be one of the NRL's big movers in 2016.Under new mentor Barrett, Manly embarked on an impressive spending spree that included the acquisition of Rabbitohs premiership winner and former Kangaroos centre Walker and Test stars Nate Myles and Martin Taupau.A former Australian and NSW five-eighth, Barrett believes Walker, who played at pivot…
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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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