Day-night Tests one step closer

They have a concept, they have a venue, now they just need to find the ball.

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Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket on Monday announced they had progressed plans to stage the first ever day-night Test match in either Hobart or Adelaide in November 2015.

The discussions come after the ICC paved the way for member countries to work together on staging Test cricket under lights.

The pink ball remains an issue, however, with Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland saying they would continue to test different brands in Sheffield Shield cricket this year before giving the historic Test the green light.

“We used Kookaburra pink balls in our Shield trial last year. We are continuing to trial other balls – Dukes balls have been used in other parts of the world,” Sutherland said.

“We obviously have the intent of getting the ball as close as possible to in terms of how they behave to the red ball.”

Sutherland admitted the strong push for day-night Test cricket had stemmed from TV ratings for Perth Test matches.

He said figures showed the later timezone bumped up nationwide audiences by 40 per cent – and they’re aiming to have the proposed Test finish at about 9.30pm (AEST) each day.

“We believe that’s evidence of itself that we’ll get greater viewership and more opportunities for people to attend,” he said.

He said the “ultimate aim” of Cricket Australia was to make Test cricket more popular.

“The last thing we want to do is see Test cricket wither on the vine,” he said.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White added they weren’t worried about “messing with the traditions of Test cricket”.

“Since Test cricket was played in 1876 there have been significant changes,” White said.

“Covered pitches, over limits, fielding restrictions, introduction of helmets, changing of the no-ball law.

“As administrators we must keep evolving.”

Day-night match testing will take place in round two of the Sheffield Shield in 2014.

Sutherland said the Gabba would need to improve their lighting before Brisbane could be considered as a location for day-night Tests, while Perth’s timezone has ruled it out of being a possible location in the future.

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Paraguay’s Zanotti makes history

Fabrizio Zanotti on Sunday became the first Paraguay-born player to win on the European Tour, defeating world No.

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2 Henrik Stenson at the fifth extra play-off hole to capture the BMW International Open.

The 31-year old Asuncion-born player posted a final round 65 to join Stenson (67), Frenchman Gregory Havret (66) and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello (67) in the play-off in the 2 million euros ($A3 million) event on the Gut Larcenhof course.

After Havret dropped out at the second extra hole, the current 305th world ranked Zanotti, competing in his 180th Tour event, matched the birdies of Stenson and Cabrera-Bello at the third extra hole when rain began falling heavily.

Stenson and Cabrera-Bello were then in rough off the tee at the fourth extra hole, the par four 18th, with the Spaniard dropping out after finding water guarding the green with his second shot.

Stenson was forced to lay-up short of the green before then matching Zanotti’s par.

However, Stenson found the water with his tee shot at the fifth extra hole, the shortened par four 17th, with Zanotti laying-up with the aim of getting a par.

Zanotti created European Tour history when Stenson, who found a bunker with his third shot, conceded victory after failing to sink his next shot.

A delighted Zonitti, who lost his playing card last season but regained it last November by finishing second at the Tour School, was doused in champagne ahead of being handed a first prize cheque for 333,330 euros.

“I feel very, very happy and it is a moment I’ve been waiting for a long time,” he said

“I have worked hard, and I am very happy. I am happy too for my wife, Lucia who was here to see my first win and to my coach, and also to my sports psychologist Patricia Fuentes.

“This win also will be huge in Paraguay, as everybody is going to be very happy for me. Everyone was expecting a lot from me in Paraguay, so this win is going to be great for Paraguay that only has five golf courses in all the country.”

Victory also earned Zanotti a two-year Tour exemption.

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Coalition MPs want changes to RET

The Abbott government is under internal pressure to amend the renewable energy target (RET), as backbenchers call for aluminium smelters to be exempt from the scheme.

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Coalition MPs concerned about the cost imposed by the RET on the energy-intensive industry have signed a petition calling on the government to consider the sector as it reviews the climate policy.

The government is soon expected to complete its review of the RET, which is designed to ensure 20 per cent of all electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

The petition signed by 25 coalition MPs follows Palmer United Party MP Clive Palmer’s pledge to oppose any changes to the scheme before 2016.

Liberal backbencher Dan Tehan said the RET review provided an opportunity for a “serious look” at the scheme, which he claimed would hit aluminium producers with an $80 million impost in coming years.

But he denied the coalition was walking away from the policy.

“If it is imposing costs which potentially threaten the long-term viability of industries, then we should take action,” he told ABC Radio on Monday.

The Victorian MP said the Portland aluminium smelter in his electorate provided more than 700 jobs and played a vital role supporting the state’s electricity grid.

The 20 per cent target would still be met if the aluminium sector was given a complete exemption from the policy, he said.

Junior minister Mitch Fifield denied there was any internal division, saying that signatories to the petition had “simply made a suggestion”.

Their input to the review was welcome, he said.

But Labor’s Andrew Leigh said the proposal lacked merit, arguing taxes and charges should apply across the board.

“This is a very strange call being made by the next generation of Liberal party leaders,” he told Sky News.

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We knew it wasn’t going to be easy: Bishop

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Australia is still determined to send unarmed police to the MH17 crash site despite Ukrainian forces mounting a fresh offensive in the rebel-controlled area.

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Eleven Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers on Sunday abandoned a planned site visit with a 38-strong Dutch team due to heavy shelling in eastern Ukraine.

“I would have rathered the mission went ahead today but the fighting had intensified so the correct decision was taken not to go in,” Ms Bishop told AAP in Amsterdam.

“It sets us back a day but we are determined to fulfil the promise that we made that we would bring our people (victims) home.”

Ms Bishop was speaking at Schiphol airport before flying to Kiev with her Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans.

Asked if she was concerned about Ukraine’s military action, Ms Bishop said: “We always knew there was a conflict between the Ukrainian military and the separatists.”

“We had hoped that there would be an exclusion zone,” she said.

“But it appears that fighting has in fact taken place within the exclusion and around Donetsk today. It’s a very fluid situation.”

The Australian and Dutch team remains in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk and on Monday will again attempt to travel to the crash site 60km away.

Canberra is relying on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to negotiate access with the separatists.

Ms Bishop spoke with OSCE chairman and Swiss president Didier Burkhalter on Sunday.

Australia’s special envoy to Ukraine, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, is in touch with senior Ukrainian officials in Kiev.

The foreign minister said whether AFP officers travelled to the site was “a day by day proposition”.

The contingent on the ground provides advice which is then considered by the national security committee.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy but we are being very careful to balance the fact of the conflict with our need to get onto the site to carry out this humanitarian task of recovering bodies and remains,” Ms Bishop said.

Canberra believes Sunday’s fighting underlines the need for the Ukrainian parliament to ratify a deal that would allow Australia to send in a small number of armed police and soldiers.

The foreign minister has signed an in-principal agreement with her Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin.

Getting it finalised, however, has been complicated by the collapse of the ruling coalition and the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

“We will work very hard to have it ratified as soon as possible,” Ms Bishop said on Sunday.

“(But) there may be a number of reasons why, logistically, the parliament can’t be returned earlier (than Thursday as is currently scheduled).”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Sunday said an international military mission to secure the MH17 crash site was “unrealistic”.

“We concluded with our international partners that there’s a real risk of such an international military mission becoming directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine,” Mr Rutte told reporters in The Hague.

The conflict “would then acquire an international dimension that would lead to further escalation”.

There are presently 170 unarmed AFP officers in Ukraine in Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kiev.

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Australia hog pool podium with 10 medals

Magnussen edged out compatriots Cameron McEvoy and Tommaso D’Orsogna with an impressive swim of 48.

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11 seconds.

Australians claimed 10 medals in a one-sided session that landed them four golds, four silvers and two bronze medals to take their haul so far to a table-topping 38.

The 23-year-old Magnussen, who won a silver and bronze at the London 2012 Olympics, now has two Glasgow golds, having won the 4x100m freestyle relay on Friday.

“For me, it was a two-man race,” Magnussen told reporters.

“The plan was to sit next to Cam (McEvoy) and switch it up when I needed to. I felt like I took a lot of pressure off myself and I was able to enjoy it.”

It was the first time that an Australian has won the event since five-times Olympic champion Ian Thorpe in 2002 in Manchester. The country have now won this race nine of the 12 times it has been contested at the Games.

The Aussie gold rush started with Belinda Hocking storming to victory in the 200m backstroke in a Games record 2:07.24.

“It feels awesome. I am really happy. I was so nervous but I had some confidence from last night (she won bronze in the women’s 100m backstroke),” Hocking said.

Even when an Australian could not win they ensured there was still green and gold on the podium.

Alicia Coutts snatched silver from home favourite Hannah Miley as they were left in the wake of England’s Siobhan O’Connor who swam a Games record in the 200m individual medley.

Ben Treffers and Mitch Larkin secured an Australian one-two in the 50m backstroke with England’s Liam Tancock third.

England’s Fran Halsall defended her 50m butterfly title with a new Games and British record of 25:20.

The evening’s action concluded with an emphatic Australian performance to win a thrilling 4x200m freestyle relay, edging out Scotland and South Africa..

(Reporting by Sam Holden; editing by martyn herman)

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Ndiku takes 5000m title

With Mo Farah missing from the Commonwealth Games, Kenya’s Caleb Ndiku was so confident of winning the 5000m, he dyed his hair gold.

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His confidence was well placed, as he backed up his flamboyance with a strong win on the opening day of athletics at the Games.

The world indoor 3000m champion took his chance in the absence of Olympic champion Farah who withdrew from the Games last week due to illness and led a predictable Kenyan one-two at Hampden Park, with Isiah Koech taking silver.

Out of nine medals on offer on the opening day of athletics, all in distance events, Kenya claimed five.

Flomena Daniel won the women’s marathon in another Kenyan double, with Caroline Kilel coming second, but Australia’s Michael Shelley denied the Africans a Sunday sweep.

Shelley took a surprise marathon gold in a time of two hours 11 minutes and 15 seconds, ahead of Kenyan Stephen Chemlany and Uganda’s Abraham Kiplimo.

He was one of eight Australian gold medallists on day four of competition, lifting their country clear of England on top the medals table with 26 gold in a total of 73.

England has 23 gold and 57 medals in all, while host nation Scotland went without a gold on Sunday to remain in third place with 11 golds.

While Kenya are expected to dominate the distance events at the athletics, the sprints will be a different story, even without six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt who’s only running the 4x100m relay.

Bolt’s world championship winning relay teammate Nickel Ashmeade clocked 10.40 seconds to win his 100m heat on Sunday, while England’s Adam Gemili was the fastest qualifier in 10.15.

In the women’s 100m heats, Nigerian Blessing Okagbare headed the qualifying times with 11.20, while Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown won her heat in 11.29.

Australia finished the track cycling program as the dominant nation on seven gold medals, with Stephanie Morton beating her teammate and defending champion Anna Meares in the women’s sprint final.

Laura Trott of England overcame a kidney infection to win the women’s 25km points race, while New Zealand’s Shane Archbold won his country’s fourth cycling gold, taking out the 20km scratch race.

Australia has also been dominant in the pool, claiming the trifecta in the men’s 100m freestyle on Sunday, led by James Magnussen, while England’s Fran Halsall won her second gold for the Games when she added the 50m butterfly to her 50m freestyle title.

But New Zealand’s dominance of rugby sevens was brought to an end by South Africa with a 17-12 win in the final at Ibrox.

New Zealand have won every sevens gold since the sport was introduced to the Games in 1998, but after taking the lead with an early try, were run over by the South Africans who won their country’s fifth gold of the Games.

New Zealand captain DJ Forbes acknowledged the end of an era.

“We are part of the legacy that has gone before us – we’d never been beaten,” Forbes said.

“As a country we have a lot of chances to win medals but as a New Zealand rugby player it is disappointing to come second.”

South Africa also won gold in the women’s lawn bowls four, defeating Malaysia in the final.

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Emirates airline says will not fly over Iraq after MH17

Emirates will stop flying over Iraq due to concerns over jihadist missile attacks following the MH17 air disaster in Ukraine, the airline’s president Tim Clark told The Times on Monday.

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Almost 300 people aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 died when it came down in eastern Ukraine nearly two weeks ago, with Washington and Europe claiming it was shot down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile fired by pro-Moscow militants.

“This is a political animal but… the fact of the matter is MH17 changed everything, and that was very nearly in European airspace,” Clark told The Times in an interview published on Monday.

“We cannot continue to say, ‘Well it’s a political thing’. We have to do something. We have to take the bull by the horns,” added the British president of the Dubai-based carrier.

Clark predicted other carriers would also decide to stop flying over Iraq, as the global airline industry reviews the risk of overflying combat zones.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a Boeing 777 aircraft, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people aboard on July 17 when it was downed close to the village of Grabove, in the rebellion-wracked region of Donetsk in east Ukraine.

“The horrors that this created was a kick in the solar plexus for all of us,” Clark told the daily paper.

“Nevertheless having got through it we must take stock and deal with it.”

On Sunday meanwhile, the commercial director of Malaysia Airlines called for a complete overhaul of the way flight paths are deemed safe following the plane’s downing by a suspected missile.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Hugh Dunleavy said the disaster would have “an unprecedented impact on the aviation industry”, claiming that airlines can no longer depend on aviation authorities for reliable information about flying over conflict zones.

“For too long, airlines have been shouldering the responsibility for making decisions about what constitutes a safe flight path, over areas in political turmoil around the world,” he wrote.

“We are not intelligence agencies, but airlines, charged with carrying passengers in comfort between destinations.”

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Magnussen claims gold and revenge

Magnussen’s still the king and the queen’s been deposed, but she’s not going anywhere.

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James Magnussen reaffirmed himself as Australia’s fastest man in water and, while not quite redemption for his London Olympic failings – that opportunity will come in Rio in two years’ time – he’s on the way.

The world champion claimed gold in the 100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday, exacting revenge on teammate Cameron McEvoy and setting himself up for another crack at the Americans.

“I just wanted to get the win tonight. Reaffirm to myself I’ve still got it, still going good and now I can focus on doing the quickest race I can against the Americans at the Pan Pacs (next month),” he said.

Magnussen admitted his loss to McEvoy at the Australian trials in April had stung his pride.

“It did motivate me and I probably trained quite a bit harder between trials and here because of it,” Magnussen said.

But Anna Meares’ reign as the Commonwealth’s, and even Australia’s, fastest female cyclist is over after teammate Stephanie Morton beat her in the final of the women’s sprint.

Morton denied Meares a record sixth Commonwealth Games gold medal and then asked her training partner, mentor and friend to share top spot on the dais with her.

But it was no farewell gesture, with Meares emphatically putting an end to rumours she might retire at the Games and declaring she’s determined to defend her Olympic sprint gold medal in Rio in 2016.

“I am not done yet. Who said that?,” she said.

“I will definitely be going to Rio, that is my projection.”

Matthew Glaetzer then won the keirin to claim Australia’s seventh gold medal at the velodrome to finish as the Games’ top track cycling nation, also winning eight silver and five bronze from the 17 events.

Australia won eight gold on Sunday to pull clear of England at the top of the medals table with 26 gold in a total of 73.

England has 23 gold and 57 medals in all.

The day got off to a stunning start for Australia with Michael Shelley opening the athletics program with a shock win in the marathon, while Jess Trengove took bronze in the women’s event.

Melissa Breen cruised through to win her heat in the opening round of the 100m at Hampden Park and is in a strong position to earn a place in her first major final, while Jodi Elkington won the gold medal in the women’s para-sport long jump.

But it was in the pool where Australia’s expected dominance continued, winning four gold to bring their total to 15 out of the 28 golds so far with two days left of competition.

McEvoy backed up after the 100m to join David McKeon, Ned McKendry and Thomas Fraser-Holmes to win the 4x200m freestyle relay, while Belinda Hocking won the 200m backstroke and Ben Treffers took gold in the 50m backstroke.

Australia had to settle for bronze in sevens rugby as it fell yet again to New Zealand in the semis.

The Hockeyroos brushed Scotland aside 9-0 to take their goal tally for the Games to 22 in three games, while they haven’t been scored against.

And the netballers had a similarly massive win, thrashing Barbados 77-27.

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Liverpool sign defender Lovren from Southampton

“The 25-year-old Croatian international today put pen to paper on a long-term deal with the Reds after completing his medical,” the Premier League club’s website (南宁夜网.

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Liverpool, runners-up to Manchester City last season and preparing for a return to the Champions League after an absence of nearly five years, have also signed striker Rickie Lambert and midfielder Adam Lallana from Southampton.

“It’s a dream come true. I’m happy and glad to be here. I’m proud and can’t wait to start. I know we have millions and millions of supporters – Liverpool is more than a club,” Lovren, whose career began at Dinamo Zagreb, said.

“After I played at Anfield last season, I said to myself: ‘One day I hope I’ll be able to play here for Liverpool’. The fans will know from the first minute that I’m a player that will give 100 percent on the pitch.”

Lovren was part of the Croatia squad for this year’s World Cup finals in Brazil and was unluckily adjudged to have tripped Brazil striker Fred to concede a controversial penalty in the opening match when the score was 1-1.

Croatia eventually lost 3-1 and bowed out in the group stage.

Liverpool have been on a spending spree this off-season after they recouped around 81 million euros ($108.77 million) by selling striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona this month.

They reportedly pulled out of signing France striker Loic Remy from promoted Queens Park Rangers earlier on Sunday after a medical exam.

Lovren made 31 appearances for Southampton since signing from French club Olympique Lyon last year.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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Obama stresses need for Mideast ceasefire

US President Barack Obama has stressed the need for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza during a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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In a statement issued on Sunday, the White House said Obama “made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement”.

The call between the two leaders came as the Islamist Hamas movement fired more rockets at Israel, despite claims it had accepted a UN request for a 24-hour extension of a humanitarian truce in war-torn Gaza.

Hamas’s belated acceptance of diplomatic calls for a temporary ceasefire was announced several hours after Israel resumed its devastating military assault on the Palestinian enclave after a pause of more than 24 hours.

In the call, Obama “underscored the United States’ strong condemnation of Hamas’ rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself”.

But the US head of state also “reiterated the United States’ serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza”, according to the White House.

Obama reiterated Washington’s support for Egypt’s initiative to ease the situation and stressed that “ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarisation of Gaza”.

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Militants kidnap Cameroon minister’s wife

Suspected Boko Haram militants have kidnapped the wife of a senior Cameroonian minister and a traditional leader in attacks in the far north of the country that left at least six dead.

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Cameroon sent warplanes and elite troops from its Rapid Intervention Battalion to stop the fighters after two attacks on Sunday in Kolofata, close to the Nigerian border, said a regional police source.

Another source close to the local police force told AFP news agency Boko Haram had “kidnapped many people,” adding: “There was the sultan, the wife of the deputy prime minster and several police officers”.

Four civilians and two police officers were killed in the attacks on the residence of Amadou Ali, the deputy prime minster in charge of parliamentary relations, and the sultan of Kolofata, Seiny Boukar Lamine.

A source close to the sultan’s family said “four people, including the younger brother of the sultan were killed, (while) he, his spouse and children were kidnapped”.

The two attacks were carried out simultaneously at around 5am.

Another police officer said fighter planes were deployed to Kolofata early on Sunday morning and “there was shelling in the area” after the attacks, without giving further details.

The Nigeria-based Islamist group Boko Haram has stepped up raids into northern Cameroon, murdering and stealing with impunity despite military efforts to clamp down on its insurgency.

On Thursday evening, two Cameroonian soldier were killed as they tried to defend a local village from fighters.

Cameroon, like other west African countries, has beefed up its operations against Boko Haram since the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls over three months ago sparked an international outcry.

Also on Sunday, at least five people were killed in two attacks on Nigeria’s largest northern city, Kano, by suspected militants from the Islamist group.

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Obama tells Israel Gaza truce needed

US President Barack Obama has spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and stressed the need for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire in the raging Gaza conflict.

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Both the Israelis and Hamas exchanged strike and counter-strike on day 20 of the war, as world leaders pushed for an elusive ceasefire.

In a statement, the White House said Obama “made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement” brokered by Egypt.

Obama “reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself” and stressed the need to “ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarisation of Gaza,” while reiterating “serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives,” the statement read.

Israeli media, meanwhile, says Netanyahu’s security cabinet is holding a meeting extending from Sunday evening into the early hours of Monday to discuss the next steps.

Earlier, fighting renewed apace, as Israel pounded Gaza with aerial, naval and artillery bombardments after a night of rocket fire from Hamas.

The two sides had observed a 12-hour humanitarian pause on Saturday, giving medics a chance to pull bodies from rubble they had not been able to reach under fire.

But Hamas rocket fire prompted Israel to abandon an extension of that truce on Sunday, and subsequent Hamas calls for another ceasefire were ignored by both sides, as world leaders pushed for a permanent cessation of hostilities.

Neither side has agreed to the truce demands of the other, in a conflict that has killed more than 1,030 Palestinians, 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians inside Israel.

A controversial incident on Thursday – when a UN school acting as a shelter was shelled, killing 15 people – drew fierce condemnation from Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.

The Israeli army confirmed on Sunday it had hit the school, but said it was a “single errant mortar” round, denying that people were killed “as a result of (army) operational activity”.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif engaged in a round of telephone diplomacy late on Sunday to rally support and humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza.

He spoke with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and regional leaders, stressing that the priority was to get food and medical aid into areas worst hit by Israel’s military offensive.

Meanwhile US Secretary of State John Kerry was still working for Israel and Hamas to agree to further halts in the bloodshed ahead of hoped for Egypt-led peace talks, a US official said.

Israel rejected a Kerry-proposed ceasefire earlier in the week, and Hamas has resisted truce efforts by Cairo, which has made an enemy of the Palestinian Islamist group that is allied to the Muslim Brotherhood that Egypt has designated a “terrorist” organisation.

Israel insists it will continue its mission to destroy Hamas tunnels used to launch attacks on the Jewish state, and Hamas wants a lifting of the crippling Gaza blockade that has been in place for eight years.

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The complete guide to having a creative breakthrough

By Hannah Newman | @HannahNewmanSci

We all struggle for a moment of insight.

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Whether you’ve been banging your head against the wall for days or just woke up to a problem this morning, the desire for a creative boost is a powerful one. It’s the same feeling that plagues writers facing a blank page or advertisers developing a brand’s next campaign—and learning how to achieve it can have a profound impact. Here are some tips to avoid your next headache or create something the world has never seen before:

Sleep

Just like a car needs gas to drive, your brain needs sleep to fire on all cylinders. Sleep consolidates what you’ve learned throughout the day, strengthening neural connections and, more importantly, creating new ones. Making original associations between different pieces of information stored throughout the brain (like that thing you read in the news and your college professor’s dog) is at the heart of having a “eureka” moment (Archimedes supposedly coined the termwhile running naked through the streets of Syracuse, Italy after realizing the fraud in Hiero’s “gold” crown by stepping into his bath and seeing water spill out.) For most adults seven hours of shuteye is recommended; new research suggests eight might be too much. So even if you don’t work at a company with designated “nap rooms” or Energypods, make sure to plan your sleep schedule accordingly.

So grab a buddy and begin talking. Within the constant tension, dialogue, and sheer physical proximity lies an “Aha!” moment waiting to happen.

A recent study led by Wenfu Li, a psychology professor at Southwest University in China, found that individuals who had the most “openness to experience” were significantly more likely to be creative. Though openness, one of the classic “Big Five Personality Traits,” is not just marked by a willingness to try new things. You can also increase your openness by unleashing your inner child and being more imaginative, paying close attention to your feelings, and pondering complex issues.  

Letting the unconscious mind work its magic may do more than just help with novel idea generation; it can also help you identify which of your ideas are the most creative, suggests a related study done by Dijksterhuis, Simone M. Ritter, and Rick B. van Baaren of Radbound University Nijmegen’s Behavioral Science Institute in the Netherlands. In this case, participants who played a computer game for two minutes instead of thinking about the problem at hand (how a student can earn some extra money) were twice as good at weeding out which of their ideas were the most creative.

So don’t be afraid to take time away from the problem you’re trying to solve andlet it stew. It’s no surprise insights often happen in the shower or while daydreaming. Giving your mind a break may be just the thing you need to generate your next creative breakthrough.

This article was originally published on Quartz. Click here to view the original. © All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

 

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