Bishop moves to calm Jerusalem furore

The federal government will advise Islamic counterparts there is no shift to its Middle East policy as it seeks to calm an “overreaction” to its decision to stop calling East Jerusalem “occupied”.

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Islamic nations are furious at the change, which they say was made without consultation, and there are fears a diplomatic row could affect Australian exports.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is blaming Labor for what she says is a “complete and utter overreaction”, while she prepares to meet ambassadors in Canberra in coming days to try to quell tensions.

“We support a two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace behind internationally recognised boundaries,” she told Network Ten on Sunday.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb stood by the government terminology, which he said was “most fitting” for the long-disputed section of the ancient holy city.

“There was a misunderstanding or an overreaction,” he told Sky News.

“Once it’s clarified that our position on Israel has not changed one iota then hopefully this issue will pass.”

A group of ambassadors from Islamic countries – including key cattle and sheep export markets – have warned they could block Australian farm exports to the Middle East if the position isn’t reversed.

The move would be disastrous for Australian farmers and could jeopardise the government’s efforts to break into new export markets in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Ms Bishop will meet ambassadors in Canberra to explain the government position and advise them there had been no change in policy.

“There’s been a terminological clarification,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Houston in the US on Saturday.

“We absolutely refuse to refer to ‘occupied’ East Jerusalem.”

Mr Abbott said people were reading too much into what began merely as an argument between Attorney-General George Brandis and Greens senator Lee Rhiannon.

“In the end, given the particular sensitivities in the Middle East right now … we all have to be conscious of being constructive,” he said.

Some Islamic nations are reportedly considering a motion in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Australia.

The issue comes just a few weeks out from a yet-to-be formally announced visit to Australia by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Netanyahu, who will be the first sitting Israeli PM to visit Canberra, told the opening of his most recent cabinet meeting that Australia’s change of words was “courageous” and “refreshing”.

He said Australia had refused to “sanctify a lie”, and anyone who was interested in a peaceful resolution should realise it must be based on truth, and not “historical lies”.

Taylor set to be let off Origin leash

A teammate has affectionately compared him to a big Labrador but Queensland will hope for a lot more than a few licks when they unleash Dave Taylor in State of Origin game two.

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In the past Taylor’s bark had been worse than his bite, and the hulking Gold Coast utility’s attitude has been questioned as he failed to reach his obvious potential.

Considered to be in the Origin doghouse in recent times, Taylor seems poised to cap a turnaround by ending a two-year exile and coming off the Maroons bench in Wednesday night’s must-win clash with NSW in Sydney.

Queensland coach Mal Meninga appeared to reveal his hand when Taylor, Ben Te’o, Jacob Lillyman and Chris McQueen started on the bench in the team’s Origin dress rehearsal, Sunday’s opposed session against the Maroons Under-18s at their Gold Coast camp.

Taylor was considered such a lost cause in his last Origin campaign in 2012 that Meninga contemplated never picking the Gold Coast giant again.

But Gold Coast and Queensland teammate Nate Myles predicted Taylor would be a howling success in game two after witnessing his transformation first hand.

“You can never question Dave’s heart. He is like a big Labrador,” Myles said.

“He’s always got the right intentions.

“But he’s always going to be the one who decides his own fate.

“He’s changed a few things at training and you can just see how his form is getting better and better.

“I try to help him because of the person he is.

“A lot has been said about his talent but, once he realises that he can decide his own destiny, his potential will be endless.”

Apart from his attitude, Myles believed his teammate had also collared his on-field unpredictability, at least partly.

“You know what he can do. You just don’t know if he is going to do it at the right time and situation,” he said.

“Hopefully he gets on when we are in a good position and then he can do some good things to help the team.”

Queensland backrower Sam Thaiday could barely recognise the man he first met as a cocky – but still very large – 17-year-old at the Broncos.

“His wife and his two girls have really settled him down and he is enjoying the Gold Coast lifestyle,” he said.

“When I first met him at the Broncos he was a child superstar.

“He was really good in the junior ranks and thought he could just walk into the NRL but he’s learned lessons and hard ones over the years.

“It’s good to see the big fella back.

“In Origin you need that spark and an X-factor.”

Emissions cuts still on target: Hunt

Environment Minister Greg Hunt says Australia will hit greenhouse gas reduction targets easily, despite his government’s push to dismantle the carbon tax and a reported backflip on funding for solar energy.

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Climate change mitigation was a focus during Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recent visit to the White House, where US President Barack Obama said he accepted the government’s mandate to repeal the carbon tax.

But Mr Obama urged Australia and other nations to adopt “ambitious domestic climate policies as the basis of a strong international response”.

“The big point here is that the carbon tax hasn’t been doing its job,” Mr Hunt told Seven Network on Sunday.

“Why did the Australian people vote to get rid of it? Because you had a $7.5 billion tax on electricity and gas … [and] emissions went down by 0.1 percent in the first full year of the carbon tax.”

New modelling by energy advisory firm RepuTex suggests Australia can expect to fall well short of its target of five per cent emission reductions by 2020.

Its analysis predicts that by 2020 the emissions reduction fund alone will purchase between 30 and 120 million Australian carbon credit units, leaving a carbon shortfall of more than 300 million tonnes.

Mr Hunt says the country is still on track.

“We will hit our targets and we’ll do it easily,” he said.

The assurance comes as Fairfax Media reports Mr Hunt was forced to back down from a promise to the Clean Energy Council last November that the coalition was still committed to its $500 million “1 million solar roofs” program, a policy leftover from the 2010 election.

Mr Hunt reportedly described the flagship solar rebate program as a “shining beacon” of the government’s direct action climate policy – though the policy had not been reaffirmed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Asked to respond to the report, Mr Hunt said: “We’ve added $1 billion during the course of the budget process to the emissions reduction fund … we’ve had to make some difficult choices.”

The solar “debacle” is the latest in a string of broken government promises on renewable energy policy, opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said.

“When Greg Hunt talked about this the Australian people [and] the solar industry were of the view that the renewable energy target was a bipartisan position,” he told Sky News.

India crush feeble England to win one-day series

The tourists cruised to a win that gave them an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series after another feeble England batting display in which the hosts were bowled out for a paltry 206 at Edgbaston.

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India’s Mohammed Shami took three for 28 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja two wickets each, with Moeen Ali’s fluent 67 the only positive for England.

The Indian batsmen made light work of their chase with Ajinkya Rahane (106) and Dhawan sharing a 183-run opening partnership and the latter smashed the last ball over the ropes to reach the target with more than 19 overs remaining.

“It’s really special and I’m really happy for the team,” batsman Rahane, who scored his 106 off 100 balls, told Sky Sports. “The bowlers did really well.”

“Initially it (the pitch) was doing a bit but I was determined to stay there and focus on the target. The way Shikhar batted today was great to watch from the other end.

“It’s a great challenge to open. You have to prepare your mind and accept that challenge.”

India won the toss and England struggled from the start, the top three back in the pavilion with just 23 runs on the scoreboard.

Kumar removed openers Alex Hales and Alastair Cook in the fifth over and Gary Ballance, who replaced the injured Ian Bell who fractured a toe in the nets, got a leading edge.

Joe Root (44) and Eoin Morgan (32) patiently rebuilt with a fourth-wicket stand of 80 before both fell to spin, Morgan turning Jadeja to leg-slip and Root playing a reverse sweep straight to Dhawal Kulkarni at backward square off Suresh Raina.

Jos Buttler fell lbw to Shami, Chris Woakes was run out by a brilliant low throw from Raina and only some big blows from Moeen took England towards 200, the all-rounder hitting four fours and three sixes before he was bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin.

Harry Gurney took the only India wicket, at least ensuring that England avoided their first ever 10-wicket defeat in an ODI on home soil, when Rahane chipped a full toss to Cook in the covers.

Dhawan finished on 97 not out and India hit 29 boundaries to expose a huge gulf in class between the sides.

“It was a very tough day, it’s amazing how quickly sport changes,” said under-pressure England captain Cook, who many critics and former England players have called upon to resign the one-day captaincy.

“We have played some bad cricket and I don’t know why that is. We’ve not played anywhere near our potential and there’s no excuses.

“India have outskilled us, bowled better, batted better and fielded better. We have to stay true to our beliefs and work hard.”

The final match of the series is in Leeds on Friday. The first game was abandoned.

(Reporting by Justin Palmer and Sam Holden, editing by Tony Goodson)

Airbus offers Poland joint ventures, no urgency in share stake

In December, the Polish government said it would consider buying a stake in Airbus Group, then known as EADS.

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Polish media have said the east European country is interested in taking a 1-2 percent stake in Toulouse, France-based Airbus Group.

Talk of integration expanded in July when the head of the company’s helicopters division told Reuters that Poland could become Airbus’s fifth core nation alongside Britain, France, Germany and Spain, in a partnership designed in part to support its bid for a military helicopter contract.

“The invitation was to join the Airbus Group but not immediately with some stake in it. The story of (Poland’s) stake is really marginal, this is not the most obvious way or the most key way to enter the Airbus Group,” Fabrice Lievin, Airbus Vice President for Industrial Globalization said on Tuesday.

“Getting a stake is not the best way; even the Polish government understood it’s not the best way. They themselves have to construct (new state defence holding company) PGZ, to make some rationalisation,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the MSPO Polish defence show.

“It’s not what is at stake in the future, it’s about Poland restructuring its industry and us helping them. It can go many ways, for example joint ventures – so there is a capital link, but it’s on a project to project basis. It (the shareholder stake) could be a symbol, but it’s not what is important.”

Airbus Group is competing with Sikorsky of the United States, a unit of United Technologies, and AgustaWestland, owned by Italy’s Finmeccanica for a deal to supply 70 military transport helicopters.

It is the world’s largest active military helicopter competition and its value is estimated around $3 billion.

Airbus Helicopters is also expected to compete with rivals including AgustaWestland and U.S. aerospace giant Boeing for a further potential contract for 30 attack helicopters.

Poland is moving that purchase forward by two years as part of a review of its army modernisation programme triggered by the crisis in Ukraine, Polish deputy defence minister Czeslaw Mroczek told Reuters last month.

The prospect of major purchases by a front-line NATO country that maintains robust defence spending, in contrast with cutbacks in many Western nations, has attracted foreign firms to the defence show being held in central Poland until Sept 4.

Poland’s finance ministry estimates the country will spend around 130 billion zlotys between 2013 and 2022 on modernising its armed forces.

Poland already spends 1.95 percent of its GDP on the army, one of the highest rates of military spending.

Last year a senior Airbus Group official was as saying the company wanted to “marry with Poland”.

However, analysts say it faces hurdles including close defence and security ties between Poland and the United States since the end of the Cold War, as well as any potential fallout from a row over French arms sales to Russia at a time of heightened tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine.

Asked whether France’s decision to pursue the sale of Mistral warships to Russia had affected France-based Airbus’s standing in Poland, Lievin said the two issues were “totally unrelated”, but for Airbus “it would’ve been easier without it”.

(Writing by Tim Hepher, editing by David Evans)

No reheated soup, but plenty of leftovers for Serie A

Morata, 21, has played for Spain at several age levels and Juventus clearly believe in his potential as they showed by spending 20 million euros (15.

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94 million pound) on him.

But it was hardly the sort of marquee signing to be expected from one of Europe’s biggest and most ambitious clubs.

Once the first choice destination for the world’s top players, Serie A increasingly seems to be looked upon as a place for older players to see out their careers.

Among those to arrive during the transfer window were 33-year-old Patrice Evra, who moved from Manchester United to Juve, his 32-year-old former team mate Nemanja Vidic, who joined Inter Milan, and Ashley Cole, 33, who went from Chelsea to AS Roma.

Verona, possibly encouraged by veteran striker Luca Toni’s scoring achievements last season, brought in 35-year-old Mexico defender Rafael Marquez and former Argentina forward Javier Saviola, 33, while 34-year-old Mali international Seydou Keita, once at Barcelona, joined AS Roma.

Meanwhile, fallen European giants AC Milan, who missed out on Europe after finishing eighth in Serie A last season, signed misfiring Chelsea striker Fernando Torres after they allowed maverick forward Mario Balotelli to join Liverpool.

SPRINGBOARD CLUBS

Milan supporters have become used to seeing their club sign players who have struggled elsewhere, including Michael Essien who joined last year.

Then, they also brought back Kaka for a second stint in an attempt to revive his career, a move known locally as “re-heated soup.”

Kaka had won the World Player of the Year award during his first stint at the club and then moved to Real Madrid, where he never found his best form.

Not surprisingly, his return to Milan was less impressive than his first spell.

Clubs in countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands seem to have accepted their fate to act as springboards for players moving between Latin America, Eastern Europe or Africa and Europe’s biggest clubs.

Colombians James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao sharpened their teeth at Porto, making it their first stop in Europe following moves from South America, while compatriots Jackson Martinez and Juan Quintero are still at the club.

Italian clubs, however, appear to be unsure if they should concentrate on developing young talent or sign players with some experience.

Milan, for example, have been promising to focus on youth, yet sold 19-year-old Bryan Cristante, one of their brightest prospects, to Benfica hours before Monday’s transfer deadline expired.

MOST EXPENSIVE

Serie A’s most expensive transfer window deal was 21-year-old Argentine Juan Iturbe, who joined Roma from Verona for 22 million euros (17.53 million pound).

Roma, last season’s runners-up, were by far the biggest spenders. They splashed out 58 million euros, but also raked in 26 million by selling defender Mehdi Benatia to Bayern Munich, double the fee paid to Udinese for the Moroccan a year ago.

Despite missing out on Sanchez and Falcao, Juventus did quite well in the transfer window, if only because they managed to hold on to midfielders Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal when some of Europe’s richest clubs had shown interest.

French teenager Kingsley Koman could prove an inspirational signing after joining on a free transfer from Paris St Germain.

Napoli gambled on qualifying for the Champions League group stage and their playoff defeat by Athletic Bilbao ended their hopes of any big signings, leaving Rafael Benitez’s team facing an uncertain season.

Inter Milan, in their first full season since being taken over by Indonesian business tycoon Erik Thohir, spent a modest 12 million euros, two thirds of that on Chile defender Gary Medel. Neighbours Milan spent almost exactly the same.

Chievo, Cesena, Atalanta, Sampdoria, Parma and Genoa all spent under 10 million euros, according to the website Transfermarkt.de, and promoted Empoli spent nothing at all.

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Tim Collings)

China’s Peng routs Swiss teen to reach U.S. Open semis

Peng, 28, delivered a master lesson to the 17-year-old Bencic in an unlikely quarter-final between unseeded players, winning the groundstroke rallies and unleashing pinpoint passing shot winners after luring the Swiss to the net with short balls.

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After 2013 junior world number one Bencic netted a backhand for her 19th unforced error on the first match point of the 64-minute clash, Peng pumped her fist in exaltation, but later was at a loss of words.

Asked about reaching her first grand slam singles semi-final in her 37th attempt in a major, an emotional Peng took a few moments to collect herself.

“This is amazing time for me,” said Peng, ranked world number one in doubles, but whose best singles result in 36 previous slams was to the fourth round.

“A lot of tennis. It’s a long time, the career. It’s tough sometimes. I’m thinking to give up and stop play because I don’t know if I can make it or not.”

Peng has won 16 doubles titles, most recently claiming the French Open title with Hsieh Su-wei, but has yet to win a tour singles title.

“I really thank my coach, my parents. They always tell me to fight and keep going and never ever give up. And this today was coming,” Peng said.

SURPRISING PATHS

Peng and Bencic both carved out surprising paths to the quarter-finals.

The 39th-ranked Chinese rattled off three impressive upsets in a row from the second round, ousting fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, 28th seed Roberta Vinci and 14th-seeded Lucie Safarova.

Big-hitting Bencic, last year’s French and Wimbledon junior champion who is ranked 58th, also upset 31st seed Kurumi Nara, sixth seed Angelique Kerber and ninth-seeded Jelena Jankovic.

Bencic was the youngest player to reach the U.S. Open quarters since compatriot Martina Hingis in 1997. Hingis, is a friend and practice partner, whose mother Melanie Molitor coaches the up-and-coming Swiss player.

The teenager had shown impressive composure in her run to the quarters, but the precision brilliance of Peng frustrated her.

Bencic showed her frustration by muttering angrily at herself, and swiping at the air with her racket. After falling behind 2-0 in the second set, she bickered with the umpire after being issued a coaching warning.

Peng, meanwhile, stayed focussed on business.

The Chinese winner was never threatened in the one-sided contest, winning 54 points to 36, ripping 24 winners to double Bencic’s total, while committing only seven errors in a virtuoso performance.

Peng will play either former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, the 10th seed from Denmark, or Italian 13th seed Sara Errani in the semi-finals.

Top-seeded two-time defending champion Serena Williams used a medical timeout to have her right foot and ankle re-taped during the second set of her quarter-final doubles match against Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Williams, playing with her sister Venus, appeared to be all right after timeout but it proved to be a disappointing performance.

The fourth-seeded Russians went on to win 7-6 (5) 6-4, advancing to the semi-finals after Serena double-faulted on the last two points of the match.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

Manchester City’s Guidetti still hoping for Celtic switch

The 22-year-old forward rushed to Glasgow on Monday in the hope of following in the footsteps of fellow Swede Henrik Larsson, who achieved iconic status at Celtic by scoring 242 goals in 315 games in his seven years there.

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“It was chaos yesterday. I don’t think I ate all day,” Guidetti told newspaper Sportbladet as he arrived on Sweden’s west coast for duty with the Under 21 side.

“It was just wait, wait, wait. Hundreds of fans stood outside the stadium and waited in the middle of the night,” said Guidetti, who had been told that he was surplus to requirements at the City of Manchester Stadium.

It looked like the wait was in vain, for him and the fans, but media in Scotland reported on Tuesday that the Scottish FA had accepted the transfer paperwork and it was now up to world governing body FIFA to judge if the move could be approved.

“I hope that it sorts itself out with Celtic, otherwise I’ll have to stay at City and that’s not the worst thing that could happen,” Guidetti said. “Unfortunately, the papers weren’t finished in time and now it’s up to FIFA to decide.”

Guidetti, who says playing barefoot during five years spent living in Kenya helped him develop his skills, has never played a senior game for Manchester City, who he joined from Swedish club Brommapojkarna in 2008.

He burst on to the scene in the 2011/12 season, scoring 20 goals in 23 games on loan at Feyenoord. Last term he went to City’s Premier League rivals Stoke City on loan, but failed to find the net in six games.

A move to Celtic could be exactly what he and the club need.

After several loan spells, Guidetti is eager for a run of games and Celtic, knocked out in the Champions League playoffs and struggling at the start of their league campaign, are crying out for a new Larsson.

“We did actually talk about the number seven (Larsson’s old shirt),” Guidetti told Sportbladet. “They’re big shoes to fill, but it would have been fun.”

Having granted Celtic a 24-hour extension to the transfer deadline, the Scottish FA is now expected to plead the club’s case to FIFA.

(Reporting by Phil O’Connor, editing by Tim Collings)

‘Awful’ Cowboys to step up against Manly

After an “awful” golden point win, North Queensland backrower Gavin Cooper hopes a step up in the class of opposition will lift his side in Saturday night’s crunch NRL home clash with Manly.

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Cooper baulked at saying they took wooden spooners Cronulla for granted but admitted they “put the foot off the gas” before a late Johnathan Thurston field goal sealed the dramatic 20-19 win on Monday night.

“That was awful,” he said of their display.

North Queensland booked a finals berth with the less than convincing victory and can finish as high as fourth if they defeat the table-topping Sea Eagles.

Easier said than done – the last time the Cowboys downed Manly was their 22-20 triumph way back in round eight 2011 in Townsville.

Manly will back themselves to seal the minor premiership on Saturday night after winning the last six clashes against North Queensland.

But Cooper – nominated as North Queensland’s Ken Stephen Medal finalist for community work – believed Manly would bring the best out of them.

“I don’t want to discredit Cronulla but when we have played the better teams we have aimed up a little bit better – hopefully that is the case on Saturday,” he said.

“There is a bit to play for.

“They have been a speed bump for the club for a while.

“We took a step back (against Cronulla). It gets really serious next week but this is when we need to start playing our best footy.”

North Queensland made an encouraging start against a Cronulla outfit without 17 regular first graders when boom lock Jason Taumalolo scored within the first 90 seconds.

“I think we put the foot off the gas after that first try,” Cooper said.

“I don’t think we are allowed to score in the first two minutes any more.

“We didn’t take them lightly during the week…(but) they nearly blew us off the park.”

Cooper said they wouldn’t be able to get out of jail if they produced a similar effort against Manly, who again showed their fighting spirit to seal a Jamie Lyon-inspired, last gasp 26-25 win over Penrith last round.

“They showed on the weekend that you can never discount them, they plucked one out of thin air,” he said.

“They will be coming up here looking to ruin our night.”

Gillett’s head spinning over blunder, Hunt

A bizarre sin binning is not the only thing Brisbane backrower Matt Gillett has been coming to terms with of late.

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Gillett may still be getting his head around referee Ben Cummins’ last round clanger but the Broncos forward says teammate Ben Hunt’s meteoric rise has also been something to behold.

Gillett not only tipped surprise Dally M Medal contender Hunt to match Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk in their must-win NRL away clash on Friday night but also one day usurp the Storm playmaker’s Test and Queensland No.7 jersey.

Gillett was left scratching his head – along with most watching the game – when he was incorrectly sin-binned by Cummins in last round’s win over the Dragons for being offside, despite running 40m to make a tackle.

“It was one of those decisions that was out of my hands, I just had to cop it and take a 10 minute rest,” Gillett said.

“I was a bit confused but you can’t change those decisions.

“I just had to get off the field and do my time.”

Gillett says he is now more worried about Brisbane downing Melbourne for the first time since round nine 2010 and clinching their NRL finals berth.

And he believes Hunt will be the key.

Gillett has marvelled at Hunt’s transformation in 2014.

Hunt won the NYC 2009 Player of the Year but struggled to find his feet in first grade, spending more time on the bench as a back-up hooker.

But thrown the starting No.7 jersey this year by coach Anthony Griffin, Hunt hasn’t looked back.

Hunt received a sobering reality check with a flat performance the last time he tangled with Cronk in round 20’s 30-8 home loss.

However, Gillett backed him to bounce back at AAMI Park on Friday night.

“He’s been a pleasure to watch,” he said.

“I am sure Ben was looking forward to this challenge (against Cronk).

“Obviously Cooper is the Australian and Queensland halfback.

“One day Ben probably wants to be in those shoes. I am sure he will be up to it.”

Hunt is one player grateful for the faith shown by Griffin, who marks his 100th and possibly last game at the helm before Wayne Bennett reclaims the reins.

“A lot of players are here because of Hook (Griffin),” Gillett said.

“I think a lot of us here owe him a fair bit. He stuck by us so we want to stick by him and do a good job for him.

“I am sure he doesn’t want us to be thinking that way but he is why a lot of players are around here – it’s because of him.”

Marsh spearheads big Aussie win

Explosive allrounder Mitchell Marsh has spearheaded a crucial 62-run bonus point win over South Africa to book Australia’s place in the one-day tri-series final in Harare.

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Looking to save face after their embarrassing defeat at the hands of lowly Zimbabwe two days ago, Australia came out with renewed purpose with both bat and ball, setting the Proteas a target of 288 to win.

Faf du Plessis scored his second consecutive hundred against Australia this series, but Marsh’s incredible 86 not out from 51 balls and two wickets proved the difference as the Proteas were all out for 220 after 44 overs.

Had Australia lost, they would have opened the door for Zimbabwe to beat South Africa in the last round-robin match on Thursday and bump them out of the final to be played on Saturday.

But now the decider will pit Australia against fierce rivals the Proteas.

After Australia were sent in, in-form opener Phil Hughes played beautifully for 85, before late in the innings Marsh came in at No.6 and found the middle of the bat with the most memorable knock of his career.

In the 47th over, the 22-year-old opened the shoulders to blast Dale Steyn for three consecutive sixes – the first time that’s happened to the Proteas star in his career.

Marsh crunched 64 off 24 balls as Australia clubbed 70 runs from the final five overs to lift out of trouble in the middle overs and post a competitive 7-287.

The seven giant sixes Marsh piloted over the fences – but mostly over the grandstands – is the most by an Australian in an innings since Shane Watson hammered 15 against Bangladesh in 2011.

Australia’s decision to open the bowling with Glenn Maxwell paid immediate dividends as the part-time spinner claimed the wicket of Quinton de Kock.

Marsh further proved why he’s considered to have a massive future in all three forms of the game for Australia when he knocked over danger man Hashim Amla.

However, the match really tipped into Australia’s favour when spinner Nathan Lyon took the crucial wicket of South African captain AB de Villiers, who posted an unbeaten century in the Proteas’ seven-wicket win over Australia last week.

De Villiers picked George Bailey out at square leg and South Africa were 3-64.

Du Plessis (126 off 109 balls), who has had most of his success against Australia over the years, played a magnificent innings featuring eight fours and six sixes.

But he was running out of partners when Mitchell Johnson (2-30) decimated the stumps of David Miller.

The No.6 had two stumps sent flying out of the ground as Johnson showed his fearsome pace can be effective on even the slowest of wickets.

Du Plessis was ultimately out hit wicket to Kane Richardson, who took two wickets.

US, Slovenia remain unbeaten at World Cup

Slovenia and United States both remained undefeated at the World Basketball World Championships with comfortable wins on Tuesday while Australia surprised Lithuania and Mexico picked up a historic win.

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Phoenix Suns playmaker Goran Dragic led Slovenia with 22 points and the other four starters also scored in double digits in an 89-72 win over South Korea to improve to 3-0 atop Group D.

Korea, who dropped to 0-3, were led by 20-year-old Lee Jong Hyun with 12 points, five rebounds and four blocks.

Group D also saw the biggest surprise of the day as Australia handed Lithuania their first loss of the competition, an 82-75 victory in Gran Canaria.

Australia saw their 19-point halftime lead dwindle to three points late in the game but managed to hold on – thanks to 18 points from Joe Ingles while Aron Baynes scored 14 points.

Renaldas Seibutis led all scorers with 21 points for Lithuania while Darjus Lavrinovic had 14 points. But they were not enough as the Europeans dropped to 2-1 and were joined by Australia on the same mark in the group.

In the other Group D game, Mexico beat Angola 79-55 for their first win in this year’s competition – and their first victory at the worlds in 40 years.

Mexico, whose last win dates back to their 85-84 defeat of Australia at the 1974 World Championship, were paced by Hector Hernandez’s 24 points while Gustavo Ayon had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Yanick Moreira led Angola with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Both teams are 1-2 in the group.

Group C is topped by the United States, who breezed past winless New Zealand 98-71 thanks to 21 points from Anthony Davis while Kenneth Faried had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Ukraine picked up another victory in their first World Cup by knocking off Turkey 64-58 behind 19 points from Olexsandr Mishula.

Ukraine improved to 2-1 while Turkey dropped to 1-2 despite 14 points and 20 rebounds from Omer Asik.

Dominican Republic also jumped to 2-1 with a 74-68 win over Finland, who fell to 1-2. Eloy Vargas scored 18 points to lead four Dominicans in double figures

Finland wasted a 23-point showing from Petteri Koponen in the loss.

Groups A and B had a rest day on Tuesday. All four groups will be in action on Wednesday.

Parents who prevented ill son from being treated freed from jail

“We’ll go as soon as possible to see my son.

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We have been dying to see his face for so long,” Ashya’s father Brett King, 51, told reporters on Tuesday as he and his wife Naghemeh King, 45, left the Soto del Real prison north of Madrid.

A Spanish judge ordered their release after British prosecutors withdrew an extradition order for the couple in a case that prompted an outpouring of public support for them in Britain.

The pair were free to leave Madrid and be reunited with their son, who has a brain tumour and is being treated in a hospital in Malaga, southern Spain.

They were arrested in Spain under a European arrest warrant for taking five-year-old Ashya out of hospital in England after disagreeing with doctors over his cancertreatment.

Prosecutors had said they suspected the parents of “cruelty” but the British Crown Prosecution Service said on Tuesday it was withdrawing the warrant as Ashya had been properly looked after.

A Madrid judge promptly ordered the case to be shelved, judicial sources said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the news on his Twitter feed, saying: “It’s important this little boy gets treatment & the love of his family.”

Ashya’s parents took him out of a hospital in Southampton, southern England, last week, in search of alternative treatment for Ashya.

The Kings are planning to sell their apartment in Malaga to fund proton beam therapy, an alternative to radiotherapy, for Ashya, according to their Spanish lawyer Juan Isidro Fernandez Diaz.

After the family left Britain with their seven children, police applied for an arrest warrant over fears that the condition of Ashya, who has undergone surgery and has to be fed through a special piece of equipment, could deteriorate.

The parents were detained on Saturday but the case prompted an outcry in Britain, where some 130,000 people signed a petition calling for the boy to be reunited with his parents.

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was “not appropriate” to “throw the full force of the law” at Ashya’s parents for their actions.

The chief of police in Hampshire, the force which originally applied for the arrest warrant, said that all involved needed to ask what was best for Ashya.

“It is my view as Chief Constable that the situation today is not right,” said Andy Marsh in a statement.

“Irrespective of what has happened it is our view that Ashya needs both medical treatment and for his parents to be at his side.”