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Global growth back at pre-crisis levels, says World Bank

Global growth back at pre-crisis levels, says World Bank

Business
The World Bank says global economic growth is likely to speed up this year, after a stronger than expected 2017.The bank's new forecast is that the world economy will expand by 3.1% this year before slowing slightly.It will be the first time since the financial crisis that growth is operating at its full potential.However, the report warns the upswing will be short term, with gains in improving living standards and reducing poverty levels at risk long term.For the immediate future, the bank sees a reasonably upbeat prospect.The bank's president Jim Yong Kim said: "The broad-based recovery in global growth is encouraging". The forecast is better than what the bank was expecting in its previous assessment last June.Among the large economies, the up-rating is especially marked for the eurozon...
Ray BLK: Sound of 2017 winner looks back

Ray BLK: Sound of 2017 winner looks back

Entertainment
Ray BLK never expected to win the BBC's Sound of 2017."I just remember thinking it was a prank," she laughs. "I wasn't prepared for it at all."The soul singer was the first unsigned artist to top the annual list, which predicts the biggest new stars in music - but she resisted the temptation to rush out an album."It would have been too soon," she says. "People were only just getting to know me at that point."On her first single of 2017, Patience (Freestyle), the 24-year-old explained she'd only bother us when she had something to say. "They're running just to get in first place / I'm walking, going at my own pace," she sang. "They say slow and steady wins the race."That's not to say Ray, who was born Rita Ekwere in Nigeria, has been dragging her heels. Over the last 12 months, she's appear...
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte hits back at 'little man' Jose Mourinho

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte hits back at 'little man' Jose Mourinho

Sports
Antonio Conte's feud with Jose Mourinho intensified further on Saturday as the Chelsea head coach called the Manchester United boss a "little man" and "fake" before issuing an apparent challenge.Simmering tensions between Conte and his predecessor as Chelsea boss ignited on Friday, when Mourinho made reference to match-fixing allegations.And, following Chelsea's goalless draw in the FA Cup third round at Norwich, Conte took the opportunity to respond in measured fashion - appearing to relish the forthcoming Premier League clash scheduled for February 25.Conte said: "The situation is very clear. I don't have anything to clarify."It will be the opportunity in the game against United when we go to Old Trafford."Me and him face to face. I'm ready. I don't know if he's ready."Conte had been acc...
Past of 'cocaine cowboys' pilot may come back to haunt him

Past of 'cocaine cowboys' pilot may come back to haunt him

World
The colorful past of a pilot who has long bragged about flying loads of drugs for Colombian cartels during Miami's "cocaine cowboys" era in the 1980s may come back to haunt him in an auto fraud case. A federal judge agreed Friday to let prosecutors use as evidence much of Mickey Munday's open bragging about his past in media interviews, social media posts and in the 2006 documentary "Cocaine Cowboys." But U.S. District Judge Robert Scola ruled that most direct drug references can't be introduced. "I'm trying to minimize the term 'cocaine cowboy' being used," Scola said at a hearing. "It's very prejudicial." What Scola will allow in the auto fraud trial, which starts Tuesday, are references Munday frequently made about his prowess as a pilot, driver and boat captain. Prosecutors say it's r...
Philippines wants money back from Sanofi for dengue vaccine

Philippines wants money back from Sanofi for dengue vaccine

Health
The Philippine government will demand a refund of 3.5 billion pesos ($ 69.5 million) from vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur and look at possible legal action after a study showed the vaccine used in a dengue immunization program could expose some people to severe illness, the health chief said Friday. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the government will also seek compensation for treatment of children who may develop severe dengue. No deaths have been confirmed, but at least one immunized child has developed dengue. The Department of Health put on hold its dengue immunization drive, which was launched last year and is the world's first such public program, after France-based Sanofi Pasteur released the study last week. More than 730,000 public school children aged 9 and above in three...