WADA says IOC should consider ban on Russian athletes in Rio

LONDON The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday recommended that the IOC and International Paralympic Committee should consider banning all athletes entered by the Russian Olympic Committee for next month's Rio Olympics.WADA was responding to a damning independent report produced by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren and published on Monday that revealed evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.WADA made seven recommendations after the report was published, including one that Russian government officials be denied access to international competitions, including Rio 2016.Among the other recommendations, WADA said international federations from sports implicated in the report consider action against Russian national bodies and that McLaren and his team complete their mandate provided WADA can secure funding."Shamefully, the McLaren Report corroborates the allegations, exposing a modus operandi of serious manipulation of the doping control process in the satellite laboratory set up in Sochi for the 2014 Games; and, the Moscow laboratory since 2011 and after the Sochi Games," WADA president Sir Craig Reedie in a statement. "Not only does the evidence implicate the Russian Ministry of Sport in running a doping system that's sole aim was to subvert the doping control process, it also states that there was active participation and assistance of the Federal Security Service and the Centre of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia."The WADA-backed independent report confirmed allegations made by former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory head Grigory Rodchenkov, who two months ago told the New York Times that dozens of Russians used performance-enhancing drugs in Sochi with approval from national sports authorities. The report said Russia's Sports Ministry had overseen the manipulation of athletes' analytical results for years before Sochi.In Sochi itself, where international observers were scrutinising the drug tests, positive results could not simply be brushed away, so a system of sample-swapping was put in place with the help of the FSB intelligence service, the report said. McLaren described the deceptions to Reuters as "beautiful in it's simplicity". (Reporting by Steve Keating/Martyn Herman; Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Frank Pingue)

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Grammy-winning singer Chaka Khan enters rehab for drug abuse

LOS ANGELES Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Chaka Khan has postponed all performances for this month after checking herself into a drug addiction rehabilitation program, her representatives said in a message posted on her website.The 63-year-old vocalist has struggled with a dependence on prescription pain medications and has "voluntarily entered the program to get healthy and stay that way," the statement said, though it did not say when or where treatment began.The treatment was described only as "an addiction rehabilitation and aftercare program" that would require her to "postpone all dates scheduled for the month of July.""As part of the ongoing outpatient treatment the doctors have urged her to resume recording mid-July and commence all performances beginning August 1st and onward," according to the statement posted on Sunday. Khan, who first gained fame in the 1970s as the lead female vocalist for the funk band Rufus, launched her solo career with the 1978 smash hit "I'm Every Woman." Her 1984 chart-topping version of the song "I Feel For You," from the hit album of the same name, was written and first recorded by Prince and is widely credited as the first R&B track to feature a rap, which was performed by Grandmaster Melle Mel. Prince, a longtime friend and collaborator with Khan, died in late April from an accidental overdose of the powerful opioid painkiller fentanyl. He was 57. (Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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'Walkers on water' overwhelm Italian lake installation

SULZANO, Italy A yellow fabric walkway floating on Lake Iseo in northern Italy has attracted twice as many visitors as expected and has been forced to close at night for essential repairs and cleaning.Last Saturday, Bulgarian-born artist Christo opened "The Floating Piers", a 3 km (two mile)-long walkway from Sulzano on the mainland to the Monte Isola and San Paolo islands, usually accessible only by boat.Authorities in the area 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Milan had expected around 40,000 visitors a day and to keep the walkway open around the clock. But after 97,000 came on Wednesday alone, they decided to close it between midnight and 0400 GMT. Made of some 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes covered with shimmering yellow fabric, the piers have suffered more wear and tear than expected. The linked cubes are anchored to the bed of the lake, forming a 16 meter-wide, 35 centimeter-high surface designed to move gently with the waves.Admission is free. Volunteers are on hand in case anyone falls into the water. The installation closes on July 3. (Writing by Isla Binnie; editing by Andrew Roche)

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Paris exhibition displays Chirac-like 18th century Japanese masks

PARIS Three antique Japanese theater masks that bear a striking resemblance to former French president Jacques Chirac will go on display from Tuesday in a Paris museum he set up 10 years ago and that will now bear his name."There are thousands of Chiracs in Japan," said Jean-Jacques Aillagon, who served as culture minister during Chirac's presidency, explaining that the late 18th century masks represent a Japanese theater character that was always carved with similar features.The museum, which specializes in early art from Africa, Asia and the Americas, will be renamed "Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac". The exhibition delves into his long-hidden passion for such works of art. The 83-year-old Chirac was better known for his taste for food and beer, and a pundit once said about him: "Men usually read Playboy hidden behind the cover of a poetry book, but Chirac reads poetry behind a copy of Playboy."Saying she also spoke in his name, Chirac's wife Bernadette told reporters: "France is never greater than when it engages with other cultures, other people. It's a strong message and one that is very relevant now." Chirac, a center-right politician who was a prominent figure in French politics for decades, was president from 1995 to 2007. (Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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