Britain's Brown hits back

LONDON – BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown has hit back over allegations he bullied his staff, in a row that has heaped pressure on the government months before elections.

In his first direct response to accusations that his fiery temper horrified his staff, Mr Brown dismissed the story that the country’s top civil servant had been compelled to give him a verbal warning about his behaviour.


French, British join strike fray

PARIS – STAFF at Germany’s Lufthansa have brought a swift end to their strike, but action Tuesday by French air traffic controllers and a strike vote by British Airways staff spells more turbulence ahead.

While Lufthansa managed to head off what had been planned as a four-day strike after only one day, the French five-day action was expected to disrupt domestic and European routes, while for the most sparing long-haul flights.

Canada wins 1st ice dance gold

VANCOUVER – TESSA Virtue and Scott Moir danced their way to Canada’s first ever Olympic figure skating ice dancing gold on Monday.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States won silver with world champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia claiming bronze after the free dance final at the Pacific Coliseum.

Barry denies City rifts

MANCHESTER – MANCHESTER City midfielder Gareth Barry has dismissed reports that manager Roberto Mancini has ‘lost’ the dressing room as the Italian gears up for his biggest week since taking charge at Eastlands.

1,000 US dead in Afghan war

WASHINGTON – THE number of US soldiers who have died in Afghanistan reached 1,000 on Monday, according to website, a grim milestone in the war launched more than eight years ago.

The independent website, which tracks military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq, said 54 US soldiers have died in Afghanistan so far this year, compared with a toll of 316 last year – the worst since the US-led invasion of 2001.

Rules on colleges tighten

SYDNEY – AUSTRALIAN colleges catering to foreign students will face more rigourous regulation by year’s end as the government weeds out unscrupulous operators, the education minister said on Tuesday.

Under a bill passed on Monday, all colleges and schools providing courses to international students will have to re-register with the government under strengthened criteria by Dec 31.

Industrial site for tender

A DEVELOPER has committed to bid for an industrial site at Yishun Avenue 6 for at least $11.5 million, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which will put up the parcel for public tender.

The 1.42ha plot with a 60-year lease period can be developed for a variety of uses under ‘Business 1’ zoning. These uses include clean and light industries and warehouse, said an URA statement on Tuesday.