CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — In Moldova, they now officially speak Romanian.
The Constitutional Court ruled Thursday the country's official language should be changed to "Romanian" from "Moldovan."
Moldovans and Romanians speak the same language with slight variations due to different historical influences. The language was renamed Moldovan under Soviet rule to separate the country from Romania and the word reminds many of the country's communist past.
Moldova's remaining Communists opposed the change.
In neighboring Romania, officials welcomed the decision. President Traian Basescu called it "an act of justice."
Moldova was part of Romania until 1940, when it was annexed to the Soviets. Moldova declared independence from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991.
Last week the pro-European government initialed an association agreement with the European Union.News Topics: General news, National language movements, Social issues, Social affairs, Language
People, Places and Companies: Traian Basescu, Romania, Moldova, Europe, Eastern Europe
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
LONDON (AP) — Britain's Defense Ministry says it's discussing offering logistical support to France for its military effort in the Central African Republic.
The U.N. Security Council on Thursday authorized increased military action by France and African troops to try to end near-anarchy in the impoverished country.
The authorization is expected to lead to an increase in troops for an African Union-led force and French troops.
The U.K. defense ministry said it's in discussions with France about providing "limited logistical support" but that sending U.K. combat troops "is not on the table."
Central African Republic has seen an upsurge in Muslim-Christian violence along with widespread killings, torture and rapes.
French officials have warned that the former colony is on the verge of genocide.News Topics: Government and politics, General news
People, Places and Companies: United Kingdom, France, Central African Republic, Western Europe, Europe, Central Africa, Africa
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mostly lower on Wall Street in early trading as retailers report weak results.
Aeropostale fell after reporting a loss in the third quarter as the teen retailer slashed prices in an effort to pull in shoppers. L Brands, the owner of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, fell after reporting that its sales dropped 5 percent last month.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,856 as of noon (1700 GMT) Thursday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,788. The Nasdaq composite was down seven points, or 0.2 percent, at 4,030.
The market has fallen over the past four days. If it closes down on Thursday it would match the longest losing streak since September.News Topics: Business, Stock prices, Stock indices and averages, Retail industry, Stock markets, Leading economic indicators, Economy, Financial markets, Retail and wholesale, Consumer services, Consumer products and services, Industries
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Crisis-stricken Ireland which a few days ago became the first eurozone member to exit a bailout, has been named the best country in the world for business by US business magazine Forbes. This is the first time Ireland has won the title since Forbes begun compiling the list in 2006.
“Today's finding by Forbes that we are the best country in the world for business is above all a testament to the hard work and innovation of our businesses and workers," he said,” Ireland's Jobs Minister, Richard Bruton
"It is the latest in a range of indicators which shows that the environment for business here is steadily improving, and shows that the hard work and sacrifices of so many people are yielding tangible results in terms of international competitiveness and the jobs we so badly need.”
It appears that some at least of the medicine dished out by the troika in Ireland has been helpful. Dublin moved up from number six last year,as a result of improved scores on monetary freedom and the high return from the Irish Stock Exchange Overall Index.
Forbes looked into a total of 145 countries and graded them according to11 different criteria including innovation, taxes, corruption, red tape and stock market performance.
Ireland scored well across the board for business friendliness and very near the top for low tax burden, investor protection and personal freedom.
Despite Ireland's recent economic problems it remained a pro-business country that continued to attract investments from some of the world's biggest companies over the last ten years, Forbes said.
In fact, the US magazine said that the economic downturn had made it more attractive for companies moving to Ireland as nominal wages fell by 17 percent between 2008 and 2011, which help keep labor costs in check.
The fact that unemployment remains stubbornly high also means that companies have a large labor pool from which to pick from, it said.
Forbes said there are now over 1,000 overseas companies with a presence in Ireland, adding that the country also serves as the European headquarters for a number of US firms, including Google, Twitter and Facebook.
The rest of the top five in the rankings are New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and Sweden. The United States continued its four year slide and is now ranked at number 14 after sitting in second place in 2009.
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) — Thirty two teams and a world of possibilities.
The 31 countries that qualified for the 2014 World Cup and host nation Brazil will cross fingers and toes and hope for the luck of the draw on Friday when their names are plucked from bowls one by one in a globally televised extravaganza to determine where, when and, most importantly, who they will play in Brazil next June at football's showcase tournament.
Will Brazil be paired in a tough opening group of opponents who could sink its campaign for a sixth World Cup victory, souring the tournament that, all told, is costing the nation nearly $11 billion?
Who will triumph if four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi is drawn against Cristiano Ronaldo, his nemesis in the most intense individual rivalry in football? There will be frissons of excitement if the draw groups Messi's Argentina and Ronaldo's Portugal together.
Could defending champion Spain be drawn to play its opening game against the Netherlands? That repeat of the ill-tempered 2010 final would also cause sharp intakes of breath.
With the world title at stake and because of football's rich and deep sporting, historical and political rivalries, the transparent bowls holding the teams' names are bound to cough up mouthwatering match-ups.
Around the world, eyes will be trained on 1998 World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane and other former stars from the eight nations that have won the trophy as they pluck out balls containing slips of paper bearing the teams' names. Even in the 177 football-playing nations and territories that didn't qualify for the month-long tournament, fans will hope for encounters worthy of the sport's showcase.
Bosnia-Herzegovina will get its first taste of the nervous excitement of a World Cup draw, having qualified as an independent nation two decades after its war that killed more than 100,000 people. Other nations are old hands: Seven have qualified for each of the last seven World Cups — Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain and the United States.
Although it likes to consider itself the fun-loving soul of football, Brazil will field a team next year that so far is yet to wow with its play like some of its great squads of the past, with jewels including Pele. Brazilian fans, like those from all the strongest nations, will pray their team isn't drawn in the toughest group, which is sure to be dubbed the "Group of Death," a label of questionable taste that football is fond of.
The 90-minute draw ceremony, televised live to more than 190 countries, will shift into higher gear Brazil's efforts to use the tournament as a window on the world. Keen to show that it has more to offer than sandy beaches, samba and soccer, the world's seventh-largest economy has built and renovated 12 stadiums and poured billions more into other public works.
Such expenditure in a country with millions living in third-world poverty has sparked vigorous debate about the value of sporting mega-events, especially with Olympic host Rio de Janeiro also spending heavily to prepare for the summer games of 2016. Protesters who poured into Brazil's streets during the Confederations Cup warm-up tournament in June listed World Cup spending among their grievances.
Some 1,300 guests and 2,000 journalists were converging on the Brazilian Atlantic beach resort of Costa do Sauipe for the draw. Aside from Uruguay's Oscar Tabarez and Miguel Herrera of Mexico, all the team coaches were expected, anxious to find out not only who their opponents will be but where in the world's fifth-largest country they will play.
Depending on how they are drawn, some teams will travel considerably further than others in the country that is more than 4,000 kilometers from tip to toe and across. Some will have to play in the heat and humidity of the Amazon basin, with Manaus in the heart of the jungle considered perhaps the most potentially physically taxing venue for players, especially those from more moderate climes. None of the previous seven World Cups held in the Americas, starting with the first edition in Uruguay in 1930, were won by a European team.
The draw procedure itself is fairly straightforward. It should take around 35 minutes to divide the 32 teams into eight groups — labelled from A to H — of four teams each. The basic principle of pulling names from hats has been used by governing body FIFA for decades, although the draw has become increasingly showbiz since it was first televised in 1966.
FIFA and Brazilian authorities say they spent some $11 million organizing this draw. That included erecting the tent the size of an aircraft hangar, with nearly 50 kilometers of cabling, 36 tons of lighting and 9,000 square meters of floor space — making it larger than nearly all of the world's cathedrals.
Husband and wife team Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert, both presenters on Brazilian television, will emcee the show. Samba singer Alcione, Sao Paulo rapper Emicida and others are providing the entertainment.News Topics: Sports, 2014 FIFA World Cup, FIFA World Cup, Sports TV, Men's sports, Men's soccer, Professional soccer, International soccer, Events, Television programs, Entertainment, Arts and entertainment, Sports media, Soccer
People, Places and Companies: Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil, South America, Latin America and Caribbean
HONG KONG (AP) — Leading scores Thursday in the Hong Kong Open, a co-sanctioned European and Asian Tours event at 6,699-yard, par-70 Hong Kong Golf Club:First Round David Higgins, Ireland 33-31 —64 Andrea Pavan, Italy 33-32 —65 Prom Meesawat, Thailand 34-32 —66 Andrew Dodt, Australia 34-32 —66 Lam Chih Bing, Singapore 32-34 —66 Seve Benson, England 33-33 —66 Mardan Mamat, Singapore 33-33 —66 Adam Gee, England 33-33 —66 Sujjan Singh, India 33-33 —66 Stuart Manley, Wales 33-34 —67 Jbe Kruger, South Africa 33-34 —67 Wade Ormsby, Australia 34-33 —67 Jaakko Makitalo, Finland 34-33 —67 Nacho Elvira, Spain 33-34 —67 News Topics: Men's golf, Golf, Sports, Men's sports
People, Places and Companies: David Higgins, Andrea Pavan, Prom Meesawat, Andrew Dodt, Seve Benson, Mardan Mamat, Adam Gee, Sujjan Singh, Stuart Manley, Wade Ormsby, Jaakko Makitalo, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Asia
NEW YORK (AP) — More than a dozen Russian diplomats and their spouses living in New York City have been charged in a $1.5 million fraud of a government health program for the poor.
The diplomats were charged in a complaint unsealed on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan.
The complaint alleges that the defendants systematically submitted fraudulent applications for medical benefits for pregnancies, births and care for young children. Federal prosecutors say the diplomats under-reported their income on the applications so that they would qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Prosecutors are expected to detail the charges at a news conference later Thursday.News Topics: General news, Diplomacy, Fraud and false statements, International relations, Government and politics, Crime
People, Places and Companies: Russia, New York City, New York, Eastern Europe, Europe, United States, North America
STAVANGER, Norway (AP) — Norwegian police say they have charged 73 people with child pornography offenses in a nationwide crackdown on an alleged pedophile network.
The National Criminal Investigation Service said Thursday it had staged a series of raids targeting individuals suspected of exchanging videos and images online of children suffering "severe sexual abuse."
Police said the raids Wednesday targeted suspects living with children and suspects with previous child abuse convictions.
Police spokeswoman Lena Reif hinted many more people are involved in the network, but said investigators prioritized cases where the suspects were considered at "higher risk of being physical abusers."News Topics: General news, Child sexual exploitation, Child abuse, Child pornography, Child exploitation, Crimes against children, Crime
People, Places and Companies: Norway, Western Europe, Europe
NEW YORK (AP) — William Bratton, whose tenure as New York City police commissioner in the 1990s was marked by a steep decline in crime, has been chosen to lead the nation's largest police force again.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced the appointment Thursday, saying Bratton is a "proven crime-fighter" who knows how to keep the city safe.
Bratton is being named to lead the NYPD as it tries to maintain a historic drop in crime and an extensive counterterrorism program, even as its tactics have come under increased scrutiny.
Bratton, who has also led the Boston and Los Angeles police departments, will succeed Raymond Kelly, who has been praised as one of the most effective commissioners in the NYPD's history. Last year, there were 414 murders in the city, a record low, and this year is on pace to be lower still
Bratton is arguably the most important administration appointment for de Blasio, a Democrat who takes office Jan. 1. He will replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Bratton, known for his outsized personality and fondness for the limelight, was police commissioner under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican, from 1994 to 1996. He emphasized the broken-windows theory of police work: that criminals who commit small crimes, such as vandalism, also commit more serious crimes.
Bratton helped spearhead the use of CompStat, a data-driven system of tracking crimes that allows police to better allocate their resources to high-crime areas. The real-time system is still used today.
Crime immediately plummeted under Bratton, who benefited from an influx of new police officers.
The year before Bratton took office, there were 1,946 murders citywide; by contrast, in 1996 there were 983, the first time it had dipped under 1,000 since 1968.
But Bratton frequently fought with Giuliani over who deserved the lion's share of the credit. He resigned after two years.
Bratton, who had led the Boston Police Department and the formerly independent New York City Transit Police before running the NYPD, was tapped to head another big-city police force in 2002. He spent seven years atop the Los Angeles Police Department and is credited with cleaning up the scandal-plagued department's image. Crime dropped every year he was in office.
He has been working at private security firms since 2009.
De Blasio has stressed he will continue the city's record public safety gains while improving police-community relations, which he said he believes have been strained by the police tactic known as stop-and-frisk.
The tactic allows police to stop anyone believed to be acting suspiciously. Its supporters say it has driven down crime while its critics say it unfairly targets black and Latino men.
Bratton has said he supports the proper use of the tactic. Police stops surged 49 percent during his time in Los Angeles, according a study by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
A federal judge ruled over the summer that the NYPD sometimes carried out its stops unconstitutionally by unfairly targeting minorities.
De Blasio made reforming, but not eliminating, stop-and-frisk one of the centerpieces of this mayoral campaign.News Topics: General news, Municipal governments, Police, Local governments, Government and politics, Law enforcement agencies
People, Places and Companies: William Bratton, Bill de Blasio, Ray Kelly, Michael Bloomberg, Rudolph Giuliani, New York City, New York, United States, North America
Inflation in the eurozone will remain below target for the next two years and the European Central Bank (ECB) is ready to act if necessary to lift a listless economy, it said on Thursday. The Bank left its key interest rate at the record low 0.25 percent after a surprise cut in November.
“Our monetary policy stance will remain accommodative for as long as necessary, and will thereby continue to assist the gradual economic recovery in the euro area,” ECB head Mario Draghi said after a meeting of the Bank’s governing council.
Dragi explained that price pressures in the eurozone are expected to remain subdued and inflation is expected to stay under but close to the ECB’s 2 percent target. The Bank is “ready to consider all available instruments” regarding money market conditions Draghi said
d. Incoming information and analysis have confirmed our assessment and monetary policy decisions of last month. Underlying price pressures in the euro area are expected to remain subdued over the medium term. In keeping with this picture, monetary and credit dynamics remain subdued. At the same time, inflation expectations for the euro area over the medium to long term continue to be firmly anchored in line with our aim of maintaining inflation rates below, but close to, 2%. Such a constellation suggests that we may experience a prolonged period of low inflation, to be followed by a gradual upward movement towards inflation rates below, but close to, 2% later on. In this context, the Governing Council confirmed its forward guidance that it continues to expect the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time. This expectation continues to be based on an overall subdued outlook for inflation extending into the medium term, given the broad-based weakness of the economy and subdued monetary dynamics. With regard to money market conditions and their potential impact on our monetary policy stance, we are monitoring developments closely and are ready to consider all available instruments.
Analysts widely expected the decision to leave the rate unchanged after inflation rose to 0.9 percent in November from 0.7 percent the month before.
The ECB predicts that in 2014 it will average 1.1 percent and 1.3 in 2015.
Eurozone growth will remain slug gist at 1.1 percent next year.
Draghi gave a moderately upbeat forecast for the coming two years: “Output is expected to recover at a slow pace, in particular owing to some improvement in domestic demand supported by the accommodative monetary policy stance. Euro area economic activity should, in addition, benefit from a gradual strengthening of demand for exports…the overall improvements in financial markets seen since last year appear to be working their way through to the real economy, as should the progress made in fiscal consolidation.,” he told a news conference after the meeting.
“In addition, real incomes have benefited recently from lower energy price inflation. At the same time, unemployment in the euro area remains high, and the necessary balance sheet adjustments in the public and the private sector will continue to weigh on economic activity,” he added.
Draghi said the risks to that outlook were skewed to the downside.
Those threats included higher commodity prices, weaker domestic demand and export growth, and failure by eurozonegovernment to implement structural economic reforms.
Economists are now debating whether the ECB needs and will go ahead with another long-term refinancing operation (LTRO), which gives banks access to cheap cash early in 2014 as it did with more than a trillion euros in late 2011 and early 2012.
"The level of preparedness is pretty high on all (policy options)," Draghi said.
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) — FIFA expects the World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo that was damaged in a fatal construction accident to be ready by mid-April, just two months before the start of the World Cup..
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said "April 14th or 15th" is the new planned delivery date.
The Arena Corinthians stadium is due to host the June 12 opening match featuring host nation Brazil.
Blatter told a news conference that "for the time being there is no plan B" to find another stadium.
Two construction workers died last week when a crane crashed and damaged part of the stadium.News Topics: General news, Sports, 2014 FIFA World Cup, Men's soccer, International soccer, Professional soccer, FIFA World Cup, Soccer, Events, Men's sports
People, Places and Companies: Brazil, Sao Paulo, South America, Latin America and Caribbean
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Rock-throwing and tear gas marred the election of a new rector at the University of Buenos Aires as a small group of activists clashed with police outside the building, and several officers were injured.
Protesters who want a more democratic process of choosing who runs Argentina's leading public university were kept out of the congressional hall where economics dean Alberto Barbieri was elected rector with triple the votes of Federico Schuster, the candidate favored by activists linked to President Cristina Fernandez.
Barbieri addressed peaceful protesters earlier, inviting them to help reform university elections, and said afterward that he wishes his victory were more democratic. But he also condemned the violence and said while a small group was fighting Thursday, 300,000 students were studying in UBA's many campuses.News Topics: General news, Protests and demonstrations, Education, Political and civil unrest, Social affairs
People, Places and Companies: Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina, Buenos Aires, South America, Latin America and Caribbean
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The U.N.'s economic body for Latin America and the Caribbean says the region's poverty is now easing at a slower pace.
U.N. economists based in Santiago said Thursday that 164 million people, or 28 percent of the region's population, are still considered poor. That is nearly unchanged from last year.
Out of those, 68 million of them are in extreme poverty.
The last annual report said growing job income and economic growth helped lift a million people out of poverty to the lowest rate in more than three decades.
But the UN economic body said the pace in poverty reduction has slowed considerably after a decade of progress.News Topics: General news, Poverty, Economy, Human welfare, Social issues, Social affairs, Business
People, Places and Companies: Chile, Latin America and Caribbean, South America
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Decked out in 1940s throwback tailored dresses and perfectly coiffed curls, the Victory Belles seem delightfully out of place in the age of hip-hop.
They sing big-band classics at the National World War II Museum and flirt playfully with the audience, leaving bright red lipstick kisses on the smiling faces of America's aging war heroes. But these sexy, glam 20-somethings are not just singers in the tradition of wartime entertainers. They are a living museum exhibit about love songs in an era before texting and Skype, when saying goodbye meant you might not see a loved one for years — or maybe ever again.
With the World War II generation rapidly dying out, their performances have taken on new meaning.
"This music still makes me happy," said Forrest Villarrubia, who served as a Marine in the Philippines in 1944 and was celebrating his 88th birthday at the museum on Nov. 20.
After the show, Villarrubia posed for photos with the Victory Belles. As they serenaded him with a soft rendition of "Happy Birthday" and applied red lipstick kisses to his cheeks, his face broke into a wide smile.
For the museum, better known for its war machine exhibits than for big-band and boogie-woogie, the Victory Belles offer a different window into the culture of the era.
"There were just so many beautiful love songs written back in World War II," said Victoria Reed, the museum's entertainment director who founded the Victory Belles in 2009. "People really knew what it meant to miss each other. It was such a great time for music."
"It feels silly sometimes, putting on the lashes and the makeup," said Cristina Perez, who joined the Belles this year, and like the other performers, spends nearly two hours achieving a period look in hair and makeup before each show.
"Then you go out there and you see how these people connect, and the memories you bring back, and it's just so moving," Perez added.
The troupe just wrapped up a "Spirit of America" show and is now performing "A Swingin' Christmas," which runs through the end of the year and includes a mix of war-era classics and holiday tunes. During their last "Spirit of America" performance on Nov. 20, the crowd clapped and sang along with the troupe to such war-era classics as "It's Been a Long, Long Time" and "As Time Goes By."
Often they perform as a trio, a nod to the Andrews Sisters, who sang for the troops with Bob Hope and whose 1940s hits included "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," ''Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else But Me)" and "I Can Dream, Can't I?" The sisters — LaVerne, Maxene and Patty — are deceased. Patty was the last to die, in January 2013 at age 94. The Andrews Sisters sold more than 75 million records, including many songs that kept spirits high on the home front and in the war zones.
Mandi Ridgdell, a Belle since 2010, said her grandfather had served in the Navy during the Korean conflict. He passed away in 2001, and it was her grandmother who encouraged her to audition for the Victory Belles by taping a newspaper clipping about the try-outs to Ridgdell's bedroom door, along with a note that read: "Your papa would have loved this."
"The rest is history," said Ridgdell, a Gonzales, La., native who studied theater at Northwestern State University. "I can't imagine doing anything else. This is not my job anymore. It's who I am."
The Victory Belles perform at the museum's Stage Door Canteen, a theater named after the armed forces recreational center created in New York during World War II where stars such as Betty Davis and Rita Hayworth entertained.
Elsewhere in the museum, exhibits mainly showcase war artifacts and memorabilia, from war planes and bombers suspended from pavilion ceilings to vintage photographs, uniforms, weapons, diaries, letters, medals and recorded testimonials from veterans. World War II veterans are on hand daily to greet visitors and share their war stories.
The museum is in the midst of a years-long $320 million expansion that, when complete in 2016, will have quadrupled its size. It opened in 2000 as the National D-Day Museum. The facility was later designated by Congress as America's National World War II Museum and is operated as a nonprofit. Construction is underway on a new pavilion that will house exhibits on campaigns in Europe and the Pacific. The first phase, titled the "Road to Berlin," is scheduled to open in November 2014.
The Victory Belles travel the world, and have performed at USO shows in Hawaii, Guam and Japan. Ridgdell said she believes strongly in the enduring therapeutic qualities of the era's music. She performed this past summer for service members in Okinawa, where more than 120,000 Allied and Japanese troops died in ferocious combat as World War II neared its close in 1945.
The crowd at Okinawa last summer included many 18- and 19-year-olds. "We didn't change anything about our show," said Ridgdell. "We sang 1940s music, and they loved everything about it."
If You Go...
VICTORY BELLES: At the National World War II Museum in New Orleans; http://www.nationalww2museum.org/ . Now performing "A Swingin' Christmas." Future shows include "New Year's Swingin' Eve" on Dec. 31; "Jump, Jive & Wail: The Music of Louis Prima" on Feb. 1-2 and Feb. 8-9; and the "Spirit of America" on Wednesdays from Jan. 15 through Aug. 27.
Follow Stacey Plaisance on Twitter @splaisanceNews Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Lifestyle, Travel, Museums, Veterans, Music, Cosmetics, Cultural history museums, Living history museums, War and unrest, Recreation and leisure, Leisure travel, Entertainment, Personal care, Beauty and fashion
People, Places and Companies: Bob Hope, Betty Davis, Rita Hayworth, Louis Prima, Japan, New Orleans, East Asia, Asia, Louisiana, United States, North America
SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Leading scores Thursday in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, a co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tours event at 7,831-yard, par-72 Gary Player Country Club:Partial First Round Play suspended by lightning SCORE THRU Luke Donald, England -5 11 Jamie Donaldson, Wales -3 12 Thomas Bjorn, Denmark -3 6 Brendon de Jonge, Zimbabwe -3 9 Martin Kaymer, Germany -2 6 Darren Fichardt, South Africa -1 11 Thongchai Jaidee, Thailand -1 10 Sergio Garcia, Spain -1 9 Charl Schwartzel, South Africa -1 8 Peter Uihlein, United States -1 7 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Spain -1 7 Henrik Stenson, Sweden -1 7 News Topics: Men's sports, Men's golf, Golf, Sports
People, Places and Companies: Gary Player, Luke Donald, Jamie Donaldson, Thomas Bjorn, Brendon de Jonge, Martin Kaymer, Darren Fichardt, Thongchai Jaidee, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Peter Uihlein, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Henrik Stenson, South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa
NEW YORK (AP) — Thalia, the Mexican-born pop star and actress, is covering the U.S. coasts, receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles and landing her own fashion line at Macy's stores, including the Herald Square flagship in New York.
The multi-year deal with Macy's was announced Thursday, the same day she was to be honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Her new brand will be called Thalia Sodi and will include dresses, tops, pants, shoes and jewelry — with the potential of adding more categories.
Macy's Inc. CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement that Thalia is a "trendsetter for Latinas," and described her style as "flirty, fun, vivacious and put together."
Items won't be in stores until 2015, though.News Topics: Business, Arts and entertainment, Lifestyle, Fashion, Beauty and fashion, Music, Celebrity, Entertainment
People, Places and Companies: Macy's Inc, Thalia, Terry J. Lundgren
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — UN authorizes military action by African and French troops in the Central African Republic.News Topics: Government and politics, General news
People, Places and Companies: Central African Republic, Central Africa, Africa
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Scores Thursday after the first innings of the first one-day international between South Africa and India at the Wanderers:
South Africa 358-4 after 50 overs (Quinton de Kock 135, AB de Villiers 77; Mohammed Shami 3-68).News Topics: Sports, Cricket
People, Places and Companies: South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa
SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Lightning halted the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge and Luke Donald's rapid start at the 30-man invitational on Thursday.
Donald opened with a birdie and an eagle on his first two holes and was 5 under after 11 when a second interruption for lightning saw players come off for good.
The former top-ranked Englishman is two ahead of Jamie Donaldson and Thomas Bjorn. Donaldson played 12 holes, while Bjorn was 3 under with three birdies in six holes.
Playing for the first time since ending last season with the FedEx Cup and European money list titles, Henrik Stenson was 1 under after seven, with six straight pars after a birdie on No. 1.News Topics: Sports, Men's sports, Men's golf, Golf
People, Places and Companies: Luke Donald, Jamie Donaldson, Thomas Bjorn, Henrik Stenson, South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa