Guinea into Cup of Nations quarters after lots drawn
Guinea qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals in bizarre fashion on Thursday after a drawing of lots was required to separate them and Mali. They will go through to a quarter-final on Sunday in Equatorial Guinea's capital Malabo against Group C winners Ghana while unfortunate Mali go home. The surreal event took place during a meeting of the tournament Organising Committee at a hotel in Malabo and was attended by AFP.
Jury selection resumes for Boston bombings trial
Jury selection in the trial of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev resumed Thursday after a massive snowstorm forced the US federal court to close for two days. It is the latest setback to the trial's schedule. Judge George O'Toole initially expected opening arguments to begin January 26 but even before the storm, the timetable slipped because jury selection has taken longer than expected.
Serena in dream Sharapova final, Murray makes decider
Arch-rivals Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova set up a dream Australian Open final Thursday while Andy Murray ground down Tomas Berdych to give himself a fourth crack at winning the Melbourne Park title. Williams battled past gallant fellow American Madison Keys while Sharapova demolished Russian compatriot Ekaterina Makarova to ensure the top seeds meet in Saturday's showpiece. She has a 16-2 record against Sharapova, with the Russian five-time Grand Slam champion losing their every encounter since 2004. An impressive Murray swept into a fourth Australian final in six years as he zeroed in on the elusive title, dousing big-serving Czech Berdych 6-7 (6/8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.
Obama budget to propose spending lift for military, domestic programs
By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's budget will call for an increase in U.S. domestic and military spending that would end spending caps known as 'sequestration,' a White House official said, setting up a new source of conflict with Republicans in Congress. Obama intends to announce his plans during a meeting with congressional Democrats in Philadelphia on Thursday. The fiscal 2016 budget, which the White House intends to unveil on Monday, would fund a host of programs that Republicans are unlikely to support. It is the latest salvo by the Democratic president lobbed at a Congress controlled by the opposition party and follows a defiant State of the Union address last week that critics said betrayed an unwillingness to seek compromise.
As Romney weighs '16 bid, his past donors commit to Jeb Bush
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Closing in on a decision about whether to again run for president, Mitt Romney is finding that several past major fundraisers and donors in key states have defected to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.