Foreign language web addresses coming

The first non-Latin language website address domains are on their way, the internet’s overlords say.


Online domains in which website addresses would end with words in Chinese, Russian, or Cyrillic have been approved, the US-based internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) says.

“It’s happening – the biggest change to the internet since its inception,” said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s Generic Domains Division, on Wednesday.

“In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined.”

Online neighbourhoods with addresses ending in the Chinese word for “game”; the Arabic word for “web” or “network”, or the Cyrillic words for “cite” and “online”, had been cleared and more should quickly follow suit, ICANN said.

“They are all IDNs, scripts that are different from the Latin script, basically,” Atallah said.

“One of the goals of the program is to promote choice and diversity in the (top level domain) space.”

Top level domains have historically been English language terms such as “.com” or “.gov.”

Those cleared to manage new domains must now give companies or organisations with trademark claims the first chance at registering website addresses.

The “sunrise” period should be over in about 60 days and the domains open for anyone to register websites with registrars that essentially act as domain name wholesalers, ICANN says.

The change naming “greater top level domains” is expected to expand the number from fewer than two dozen to more than a thousand.

ICANN is considering more than 1800 requests for new web address endings, ranging from the general such as “.shop” to the highly specialised like “.motorcycles.”

Many of the requests are from large companies such as Apple, Mitsubishi and IBM – with internet giant Google alone applying for more than 100, including .google, .YouTube, and .lol – internet slang for “laugh out loud.”

California-based ICANN says the huge expansion of the internet, with some two billion users around the world, half of them in Asia, means new names are essential.

There are currently just 22 top level domains, of which .com and .net comprise the lion’s share of online addresses.

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WCB wants more info from Murray Goulburn

Takeover target Warrnambool Cheese and Butter factory (WCB) wants one of its three suitors, Murray Goulburn Co-operative, to provide more information over aspects of its bid.


Murray Goulburn announced its takeover proposal for WCB on October 18, joining Bega Cheese and Canadian dairy giant Saputo in the battle for the company.

Murray Goulburn has bid $7.50 per share for WCB, valuing the target at $420 million and surpassing the earlier bids from Bega and Saputo.

WCB chairman Terry Richardson on Thursday said WCB had met with Murray Goulburn seeking further details of its proposal.

Mr Richardson said the Murray Goulburn offer was within the “fair value” range determined by an independent expert but was subject to a competition condition that was currently uncertain and would take several months to be determined.

“There is uncertainty about the ability of Murray Goulburn to satisfy the competition condition, and we require them to clearly articulate their intentions for WCB, its business, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders,” Mr Richardson told the company’s annual general meeting in Warrnambool.

The Murray Goulburn proposal is subject to approval by regulators, which could prove problematic given the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission opposed Murray Goulburn’s previous attempt to take control of WCB, in 2010.

But Murray Goulburn has said it will seek formal merger authorisation through the Australian Competition Tribunal, which applies a net public interest test in contrast to the ACCC’s focus on competition.

Before Murray Goulburn launched its bid, the WCB board had backed the Saputo offer, in the absence of a superior offer.

Saputo is offering $7 per WCB share, which values WCB at $390 million.

Mr Richardson said that offer was of fair value, and Saputo had indicated that it would increase WCB’s production capacity, retain its employees, introduce new products and pay a competitive milk price to dairy farmers.

He said the independent expert had assessed the Bega offer of $2 in cash and 1.2 Bega shares for each WCB share as neither fair nor reasonable.

WCB believed the Bega offer, if successful, would result in job losses, reduced competition and lead to a regional milk pricing system.

Shares in WCB were 2.5 cents lower at $8.105 at 1332 AEDT.

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RBA earnings still historically low

Low interest rates around the world are hurting the Reserve Bank of Australia’s bottom line and are stopping it from restoring its reserve fund quickly.


The Reserve Bank Reserve Fund (RBRF) stood at $2.5 billion at the end of the 2012/13 financial year. Its primary purpose is to provide a capacity to absorb losses.

In the RBA’s annual report, released on Thursday, governor Glenn Stevens said no dividend will be paid to the government this year with the money paid instead to the reserve fund.

“The board’s view is that the earnings should be devoted in their entirety to rebuilding the Reserve Bank Reserve Fund, the Bank’s main permanent capital reserve, which had been depleted by the large accounting losses in 2009/10 and 2010/11.”

“The board considers that further transfers to this reserve will be needed in future years to restore its balance to a level that adequately reflects the Banks risks.”

The large accounting losses were caused by low interest rates and the Australian dollar’s surge that took it above parity with the US dollar.

In 2011/12 the RBA paid a $500 million dividend to the Federal government and kept $596 million for transfer to the RBRF.

“In 2012/13, the Treasurer determined that all earnings available for distribution be credited to the RBRF,” the RBA said.

“With this transfer of $588 million, the balance of the RBRF at 30 June 2013 stood at $2.501 billion.”

In addition, Treasurer Joe Hockey on Wednesday announced an $8.8 billion grant to the RBA to strengthen its ability to implement monetary policy and foreign exchange operations.

The only way the RBA can boost its reserve fund is by retaining net profits or by grants from the federal government.

The RBA said in the report that underlying earnings were still “exceptionally low in historical terms”.

“The bank said low levels of interest rates in Australia and in the countries in which Australia’s international reserves are held are the factors in keeping underlying profits low.”

In the 12 months to 30 June 2013, the RBA recorded an accounting profit of $4.313 billion, up from $1.076 billion the previous financial year, the RBA’s annual report said.

Underlying earnings were $3.725 billion in 2012/13, compared to a loss of $39 million the previous year.

The Reserve Bank’s underlying earnings come from interest on almost all of its assets while it pays no interest on a large portion of its liabilities including banknotes in circulation and capital and reserves.

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Rampant Ronaldo shoots down 10-man Juve

The Portuguese forward’s double took his goal tally in Europe’s elite club competition to seven in three appearances this season, only the second player to achieve the feat after AC Milan’s Filippo Inzaghi.


Ronaldo, who has also been on prolific form in La Liga, put Real ahead in fourth minute at the Bernabeu when he sped onto Angel Di Maria’s pass, rounded Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and finished superbly from a tight angle.

Spain forward Fernando Llorente levelled for the visitors in the 22nd minute before the referee ruled Giorgio Chiellini had impeded Sergio Ramos in the penalty area and Ronaldo put away the 29th-minute spot kick.

Italy centre back Chiellini had a night to forget as he was shown a straight red card three minutes into the second half when he checked Ronaldo’s run down the right with a flailing arm and Juve hardly threatened Real’s goal for the rest of the game.

Real, seeking the 10th European crown that has eluded them since 2002, top the group with a perfect nine points with three games to play, with Galatasaray in second on four points after they thumped bottom-placed FC Copenhagen 3-1 in Istanbul.

Juve are third on two points and the Italian champions are in real danger of failing to make the last 16 with their next game at home to Real looming on November 5.

“We have taken a very important step towards securing qualification,” Real captain Iker Casillas said on

“It wasn’t easy but we have taken the first step, getting nine points from three matches,” added the Spain keeper. “We have to go to Turin now and at least avoid defeat.”

Ronaldo’s brace lifted him above former Real and Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy into third on the all-time list of Champions League top scorers with 57 goals.

Only Barcelona forward Lionel Messi with 63 and Raul, another ex-Real forward, with 71 are ahead of the 28-year-old.

There was no place in the Real starting line-up for Gareth Bale, who succeeded Ronaldo as the world’s most expensive player in the close season.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti deployed in-form Angel Di Maria on the right despite Bale’s return to action after injury as a second-half substitute against Malaga at the weekend.

The 100 million-euro (85.3 million pounds) Wales winger replaced Karim Benzema with just over 20 minutes left but failed to make much of an impact and did not manage to complete a single pass.


France striker Benzema turned in another disappointing performance, fluffing one easy chance on the hour when he was right in front of an empty goal, and was again roundly whistled by the impatient Real fans.

Their treatment of the 25-year-old was in stark contrast to the warm ovations given to both Llorente and Juve playmaker Andrea Pirlo when they made way in the second half.

Juve, two-time European champions, came into the match in Madrid after suffering their first defeat of the Serie A season when they squandered a two-goal lead and conceded four times in 14 minutes to lose 4-2 against Fiorentina.

Before Chiellini’s dismissal they looked capable of challenging Real, with Carlos Tevez busy up front and the impressive Paul Pogba roving down the left.

However, once they were a man down, they could only muster three attempts on goal compared to 10 in the first half.

“We are disappointed with the result, but I think we played a very good game,” Tevez said on

“It was very difficult in the second half with 10 men,” added the Argentine.

“We don’t have to make excuses, we made mistakes today and when you make mistakes against these opponents you are always punished.”

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Martyn Herman and Justin Palmer)

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Four for Ibra as five-star PSG humble Anderlecht

The Sweden international struck after 17, 22 and 36 minutes – the eighth quickest treble in Champions League history – and added PSG’s fifth just past the hour to lead the French champions to victory at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.


His third goal was so good it earned a round of applause from the generous home fans, and Ibrahimovic – seldom afraid to play to the galleries – applauded them back.

Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani was also on the scoresheet in the second half as Laurent Blanc’s team moved to nine points from three games, top of the group and within sight of the knockout stages.

“I feel good,” Ibrahimovic told “This year we are stronger, we have stronger players. We could win the competition but remember that the further you go, the harder it is.”

Anderlecht, once UEFA Cup champions, had no answer to Ibrahimovic’s power and finishing, and are bottom of the section after three consecutive defeats.

Ibrahimovic’s feats made him only the fourth player to score four in one Champions League game, and he now has 10 goals in the past five games for club and country.

He missed a presentable early chance, too, stabbing wide from an angle with only keeper Thomas Kaminski to beat.

Thereafter he could hardly miss.

He set PSG on their way to their biggest away win in European competition by outwitting the Anderlecht defence, pulling off his marker with subtle movement to slide home Gregory van der Wiel’s low centre at the far post.

Van der Wiel was provider again five minutes later, surging into space on the right flank and crossing for Ibrahimovic, who finished into the bottom corner with a wonderful improvised flick of his right boot.


The highlight of the match arrived nine minutes before half-time, when Ibrahimovic pounced on a loose, bouncing ball 25 metres out and produced a right-foot half-volley that kept bending away from Kaminski’s outstretched hand until it slammed into the roof of the Anderlecht net.

The procession continued within seven minutes of the restart, when defender Chancel Mbemba slipped, allowing Blaise Matuidi to square for Cavani, who slotted home.

Ibrahimovic’s fourth and PSG’s fifth was another clinical finish.

The 32-year-old latched on to a lofted Thiago Motta pass down the right, cut inside to the area, and beat Kaminski with another half-volley that went in off the far upright.

Anderlecht came close to a consolation when Luka Milivojevic’s shot took a deflection and PSG keeper Salvatore Sirigu was forced into a reflex save.

The only comfort for the home fans was that Ibrahimovic went easy on them in the final minutes.

Another delicious piece of skill allowed him to drag the ball back before chipping a shot on to the roof of the net, and then Kaminski reclaimed some pride, making a double save from Ibrahimovic, who realised enough damage had been done and leant down to check the keeper was not hurt.

(Writing by Stephen Wood, editing by Justin Palmer) nL5N0ID4EN

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Party’s over for Australian Olympians at Rio

Australian delegations have generally allowed their athletes to linger after competition rather than head home, with the heady cocktail of youth, alcohol and pent-up energy being released leading to a string of embarrassing incidents.


“We will be expecting an extremely high standard of behaviour in Rio – bad behaviour will not be tolerated,” Australia’s new chef de mission Kitty Chiller said in comments published by The Australian newspaper on Thursday.

“Athletes need to understand their responsibilities, so our village and the flight home will be dry.”

Australia slumped to its lowest medal haul in 20 years at the London Games, sparking a fierce backlash from Australian media pundits who accused the team of wasting taxpayer money and being more focused on leisure than success.

Members of Australia’s swim team, who underperformed at London, were criticised for drunkenness in an independent review and the men’s 100 metres freestyle relay team were embroiled in scandal for taking Stilnox, a sedative banned by the Australian Olympic Committee, as part of a team bonding exercise.

The team were also embarrassed by rower Josh Booth who was detained by police for damaging shop windows after being out drinking following the final of the men’s eight.

Chiller said athletes who had finished their events would be permitted to attend social functions and would be encouraged to sit down with team managers to work out a “structure” to their post-competition activities.

But all-night partying would not be tolerated.

“There will be severe consequences for those who overstep the line and I don’t care who they are,” she said.

“Many countries send their athletes home after they finish competing. We don’t do that because we want our athletes to have a holistic experience but that does not mean spending every night in a nightclub and sleeping the next day.

“If we’re about high performance, then athletes are not going to be walking into the village at 7 a.m. drunk or making noise or disrupting other athletes,” she added.

“It’s about creating the best environment to achieve performance success. If people want to go and have a drink, within reason, go outside the village, and that’s fine, but don’t disturb others when you come back in.

“They can party any time, they can party when they get back, but the two weeks of the Olympic Games might be their only opportunity, so don’t waste it.”

(Writing by Ian Ransom; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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Two-goal Kiessling makes right headlines in Leverkusen romp

The forward headed Leverkusen ahead on 22 minutes and Simon Rolfes added a penalty early in the second half, his third goal in as many matches in the group stage, after Kiessling had been fouled.


Sidney Sam, top scorer in the Bundesliga this season, added a third and Kiessling pounced from close range as dominant Leverkusen leapfrogged the Ukraine side into second place in Group A on six points, one behind Manchester United.

Kiessling made headlines on Friday when he scored a “phantom goal” against Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, his second-half header allowed to stand after everyone missed that it had gone in through the side netting.

Leverkusen won the match 2-1 but later said they were embarrassed by the incident which reignited a long debate about whether goal-line technology should be used in Germany and whether a replay should be staged.

There was no controversy, however, as the Bundesliga, who have made their best ever start to a league season, brushed aside a Shakhtar side who offered little attacking threat.

Kiessling rose high to meet Giulio Donati’s cross from the right and the ball crept into the left corner past a flailing Andriy Pyatov to put the Germans ahead.

Shakhtar’s best moment came just before halftime when Alex Teixeira could only fire into the side netting after a quick counter-attack.

A push in the back on Kiessling by Shakhtar captain Darijo Srna allowed Rolfes to confidently score from the spot and Sam made it 3-0 on 57 minutes with a clinical finish after a pass from Son Heung-Min.

Kiessling, overlooked by Germany for the last three years despite a glut of goals, put the gloss on an easy victory, walking the ball into the net after Pyatov had spilled a shot 18 minutes from time.

(Writing by Justin Palmer, editing by Martyn Herman)

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Lions’ hurt can rouse Robshaw: Lancaster

England coach Stuart Lancaster has backed Chris Robshaw to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on the British and Irish Lions tour when he leads his country in next month’s internationals at Twickenham.


Robshaw, aged 27 and who has led England in 16 of the last 19 Tests since he was first made captain in the 2012 Six Nations, had been thought to be under pressure from fellow flanker Tom Wood for the role in the Tests against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.

However, Lancaster — who rested Robshaw from England’s pre-season tour of Argentina — said having had a break from the sport, for all the disappointment of missing out on the Lions’ 2-1 series win in Australia, would have done the back-row forward good.

“It obviously hurt him, but it happened at a time when he had an opportunity to get away from rugby,” Lancaster said Wednesday after announcing Robshaw as his captain at a squad training camp in Leeds, northern England.

“To be able to get abroad, get some sun on his back, put things in perspective and reflect on what he had done over the last 12 months meant he quite rightly came back having moved on.

“He’s had to fight to get in the England side and he knows it’s not something he can take for granted.

“He’s had disappointments in the past but he’s always come back from them.”

Meanwhile Lancaster said he was looking to learn from the example of world champions New Zealand when it came to considering his leadership options come the 2015 World Cup in England.

“Let’s say it’s the week before the World Cup, Chris breaks his leg and no-one else has captained England – it’s quite a void to fill,” Lancaster said.

“I look at the Richie McCaw-Kieran Read situation with New Zealand — when McCaw is out, Read steps in.

“It wouldn’t be too hard to stretch the imagination to see something similar with us.

“I’ve not made any assurances beyond the QBE (November) internationals and my mindset is to make sure some other players have experience of captaining the team.

“It might happen by default because of injury, form or fitness, or it might happen by design, but at the moment there is no need to do that,” Lancaster added.

But the coach said he had no qualms about giving the captaincy to Robshaw, rather than Wood who deputised for the Quins forward in Argentina.

“Chris has been in great form through the first half of this season and his experience as England captain meant it was a pretty easy decision,” Lancaster said.

“I’m delighted for Chris and I’m sure he’ll do a great job. My priority has always been to decide on the captain on form and fitness.

“We want a broad leadership group but when it came down to it, Chris was the standout to captain the side,” explained Lancaster ahead of England’s match against Australia at Twickenham on November 2.

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Cardozo salvages late draw for Benfica

The result means the two clubs are level on four points in Group C, five points behind leaders Paris St Germain, who crushed Anderlecht 5-0.


Olympiakos opened the scoring in a rain-hit Lisbon through attacking midfielder Alejandro Dominguez in the 29th minute.

But it was the former Benfica keeper Roberto who was key to the final outcome.

Roberto, returning to the Luz stadium as Olympiakos’ No. 1, failed to clear a corner in the 83rd minute and Cardozo pounced to earn his side a precious point.

“We could have played better. Now we have to win in Greece and hope that Paris St Germain beats (Olympiakos) too,” Benfica striker Lima told Portuguese radio. “The fight for second spot is between us and Olympiakos.”

Olympiakos coach Michel told “We were better today than Benfica. I am proud for my players. They displayed their personality and tough mentality.

“We did not hide and looked Benfica in the eyes. We prevailed throughout the match, with or without water on the pitch.”

Olympiakos’ Kostas Mitroglou, who scored a hat-trick in the previous round, was a constant headache for the Lisbon club’s defence in the first half.

He fired just wide when through on goal from a tight angle and then floated a header near the post.

It was Mitroglou who provided the assist for Dominguez with a clever back heel, and the Argentine then confused centre back Ezequiel Garay with a dummy before slotting home.

The rain was so heavy the ball often got bogged down in midfield, forcing both teams to opt for a direct style of play.

And the surface water denied Olympiakos a second goal when a shot from David Fuster found a puddle instead of rolling in.

“We wanted to win but in the Champions League every point is important. Our players fought a lot, including against this rain,” said Benfica coach Jorge Jesus.

“The match demanded of a lot physical and mental strength because of it, and we lived up to it.”

In the end, 27-year-old Roberto, who made a flying save from a Cardozo free kick in the opening minutes, lost focus for a second and the Paraguayan did not spare him a second time.

(Editing by Stephen Wood)

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Ex-Real coaches Mourinho and Pellegrini meet again

Portuguese Mourinho succeeded Argentine Pellegrini as Real Madrid coach in May 2010 and after Pellegrini re-surfaced as Malaga’s manager five months later, they faced each other seven times in La Liga and the Kings Cup in two and a half seasons.


Mourinho emerged on top in five of their seven encounters, including 7-0 and 6-2 La Liga drubbings, before they both left Spain for England at the end of last season.

The Premier League is a far more unpredictable competition than La Liga and they will meet on Sunday with little to choose between them on current form.

Chelsea are second on 17 points, City are fourth on 16, both have won their last two league matches by convincing scores and both won away in the Champions League this week with Chelsea beating Schalke 04 and City winning at CSKA Moscow.

Both teams have also been tipped as potential champions and both at the very least are targeting a top four finish but City have the better recent record having won four and drawn one of their last five matches against Chelsea including last season’s Community Shield and FA Cup semi-final victories at Wembley.


Chelsea could end the weekend in top spot if they beat City and current league leaders Arsenal slip up.

But Arsenal are making the short trip across London to Crystal Palace who have lost seven of their eight league matches and parted company with manager Ian Holloway on Wednesday and so a Palace win would constitute the biggest upset of the season.

Until they were beaten 2-1 by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, Arsenal had gone 12 games unbeaten since losing their opening Premier League match to Aston Villa in August.

Saturday’s match will be the first between them since February 2005 and the Gunners have a doubt over midfielder Jack Wilshere who picked up an ankle knock against Borussia on Tuesday. Palace have far bigger doubts over their ability to stay in the Premier League after promotion last season.

Palace were crushed 4-1 at home by Fulham in another London derby on Monday and look all set for more capital punishment from Arsene Wenger’s in-form and free-scoring side.

Liverpool could also move into top spot if they win, at home to mid-table West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal lose, although West Brom are on a good run, and apart from a penalty shootout defeat to Arsenal in the League Cup, are unbeaten in their last six matches which includes a 2-1 win at Manchester United.

The champions, who beat Real Sociedad 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, a scoreline that barely reflected their dominance, will be pleased the focus switches back to what they do on the field at home to Stoke City rather than the revelations from former manager Alex Ferguson’s latest autobiography.

Ferguson’s thoughts on his 26 years as manager made the front and back pages this week, but the thoughts of his successor David Moyes are firmly focused on making former United player Mark Hughes’ return to Old Trafford an unhappy one as the current Stoke boss.

United have made their poorest start to a season for 24 years and are eighth, eight points behind Arsenal with just one win from their last four league games having let Southampton steal a last-gasp equaliser for a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last week.

Moyes, given Ferguson’s full support this week, will be hoping that Robin van Persie returns to action after missing the Real Sociedad game with toe and groin niggles. Stoke are hovering just a point above the drop zone after scoring one goal and taking just two points from their last five league matches.

Bad as that is, it is better than bottom-of-the-table Sunderland’s recent run of six successive defeats but new boss Gus Poyet, whose first match in charge ended in a 4-0 hammering at Swansea City last week, will be hoping for a change of fortune on Sunday.

Sunderland host arch-rivals Newcastle United in what is bound to be a typically passionate Tyne-Tees derby, and a first win of the season might just be the kick-start Sunderland need to save a season that seems destined to end in relegation.

(Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by Martyn Herman)

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