Hamburg

German athletes explore Olympic protest options

Hamburg- Orange bath robes have been mentioned as German athletes are exploring methods to express their protest over China's actions in Tibet within Olympic rules at the Beijing Games.

News reports on Sunday quoted water polo player Soeren Mackeben as saying that his team is considering wearing "bath robes in orange, the colour of the (Tibetan) monks."

Mackeben said wearing the robes was not compulsory as they are not part of the official German Olympic kit for the August 8-24 Games.

He insisted he will not breach the Olympic Charter and express his opinion on Tibet outside Olympic areas in the Chinese capital.


Hamburg Masters remains upbeat in fight with ATP

Hamburg - German tennis supremo Georg von Waldenfels hopes that the scenery around at the Rothenbaum tennis centre won't be as tranquil in mid-May 2009 as it was on Friday.

The only sounds came from playing children in a school yard opposite the stadium of the Hamburg Masters Series - which is fighting the ruling men's tennis body ATP in a Delaware Court in an effort to preserve the tournament as an elite event in May.

"The fight David vs. Goliath continues," von Waldenfels told a news conference at the DTB headquarters which are located in the Rothenbaum stadium.


AAA joins calls for Mosley to resign over sex-affair

Hamburg  - The world's largest auto club, the American Automobile Association (AAA), late Friday joined calls for Max Mosley to resign as president of the governing motorsport body FIA over a sex affair.

"AAA recognizes that Mr Mosley has dedicated many years of his life to advancing the interests of mobility and motorsport. However, after careful consideration, AAA has conveyed to Mr Mosley that it would be in the best interest of all concerned if he were to step down," AAA public relations managing director Yolanda Clark was quoted as saying by news reports.

Clark named the damage done by the revelations about Mosley "clearly public."


Ten-man Munich beat Bochum 3-1 for nine-point lead

Hamburg - Ten-man Bayern Munich overcame an early double- disaster to beat VfL Bochum 3-1 and raise their Bundesliga lead to nine points on Sunday.

Bochum led early from Mimoun Azaouagha's 25-metres blast and things looked grim for Munich when Mark van Bommel was sent off in the 27th.

But Lucio headed the equalizer in the 31st and Munich won from a penalty by Franck Ribery and Christian Lell in the final 16 minutes.

Bayern lead the way with 57 points into the final eight matches of the season. Schalke 04 are on 48 points, SV Hamburg and Werder Bremen have 47 each.

Borussia Dortmund struck twice in the final minutes to hand Bayer Leverkusen their third straight defeat, 2-1.


Sports cars remain popular despite eco-debate

Audi TTS sports carHamburg - Despite rising prices at the pump and car manufacturers actively working on clean-drive technology and more economical vehicles, sports cars remain popular with several new models coming onto the market soon.

"Sports cars are not influenced by the current eco-debate. They are emotional objects," says market analyst Nick Margetts from the market research organisation Jato Dynamics.

Mercedes has given the SL and SLK a makeover just in time for spring in Europe. Volkswagen also unveiled the new Scirocco, featuring an avant garde design and a package of new technology, at the recent Geneva Motor Show.


Real or fake? Lucrative trade in imitation Ferraris, Bugattis

Hamburg - Ferrari and Bugattis LogoIn an operation dubbed "Red Passion" Italian police earlier this year launched a nationwide crackdown on secret workshops manufacturing imitation Ferraris, confiscating 14 finished cars and eight more under construction.

Acting on a tipoff from Ferrari's headquarters in Maranello, police eventually seized more than a dozen suspects across the nation. But experts agree that this is only the tip of the iceberg with thousands of imitation classics from the 1960s and 1970s manufactured by secret workshops all over the world.


Zenit St Petersburg make UEFA Cup semis

Hamburg - Zenit St Petersburg comfortably moved into the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup for the first time Thursday despite going down 1-0 at home to German side Bayer Leverkusen.

Dmitriy Bulykin scored the only goal of the game for Leverkusen after 18 minutes, heading Gonzalo Castro's cross past Vyacheslav Malafeev, but the Russians held a commanding 4-1 lead from the first leg and so progress 4-2 on aggregate. (dpa)


New laptops from Acer

Hamburg - New laptops from AcerAcer is launching several new laptops on the market.

The TravelMate 4720 comes equipped with a 14.1 inch display with WXGA resolution. The 999 dollar computer achieves a battery life of up to 3.5 hours, the manufacturer reported through its Hamburg offices.

The TravelMate 5720 is somewhat larger and has a 15.4 inch WXGA display. While the 4720 model is available with an integrated graphics chip, the TravelMate 5720 can also be equipped with various graphics processors from ATI. The base version costs 849 dollars.


External hard drives work faster via USB than ethernet

USAHamburg - An external hard drive with an USB connection usually operates faster than one connected to the network via ethernet, according to a comparison by a German magazine.

Transferring five gigabytes of data via USB requires between two and a half and three minutes, according to the Computer-Bild magazine in its issue dated 7/2008.

The magazine tested 16 computers, half with USB and half with ethernet connections. Ethernet connections took between 10 and 15 minutes to transfer five gigabytes of data. (dpa)


Hitchcock was right: Birds cooperate in task-solving, experts claim

BirdsHamburg, Germany  - Hitchcock was right: Birds do cooperate to solve tasks which no individual bird could master alone, according to a team of German scientists.

Until now, such group problem-solving efforts have been thought to be restricted to humans and other primates, such as chimpanzees. But the team of scientists headed by Dr. Amanda Seed at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, discovered the same group techniques used among pairs of rooks.


Exasperated parents of crybabies should seek help

Hamburg/Leipzig (dpa) - Mia was born and started to cry. All babies do.
But Mia did not stop. At the age of three weeks, she cried for eight
hours at a stretch, almost without interruption and apparently without
cause.

It drove her father, Thomas Bruch, to distraction.

Parents who are at their wit's end because of their infant's
constant squalling should seek help. They can find it these days at
many children's hospitals and "crybaby clinics."

"If a child cries for at least three hours, on more than three days
per week, for a least three weeks, we call it a crybaby," remarked
Margret Ziegler, a physician at the Munich Children's Centre's "crybaby
consultation".


Firefighting beetle robots may help humans fight forest fires

RobotHamburg, Germany  - Compact robots that scuttle across the landscape like enormous armour-plated beetles may one day help humans fight deadly forest fires in remote areas, according to a team of German scientists.

Looking for all the world like old-fashioned Volkswagen beetle cars - except with multiple legs where the wheels ought to be - a brigade of these robots could carry water or foam extinguishing agents to the most dangerous firefighting locations, places where humans would face certain peril.


Greens agree to Germany's first state coalition with CDU

Hamburg  - The German Greens agreed Wednesday to their first state coalition ever with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), according to a Greens official, Antje Moeller.

The two parties, formerly deadly rivals, had agreed after weeks of negotiations on broad terms to jointly rule the city-state of Hamburg, one of the 16 German states.

An accord would be widely seen as a boost to Merkel, since a successful alliance with the Greens at state level might encourage her to ditch her current partner, the Social Democrats, if friction in the federal coalition were to become too great.


Fend off pushy offers of drink with nice response

Hamburg - "Thank you, but I'd rather have a glass of water" is a good way to refuse alcoholic drinks offered by people who seem to want to force others to drink.

It's important that when someone is invited to drink they say thanks for the offer, according to etiquette trainer Imme Vogelsang of Hamburg. At the same time, the person invited should make it clear that they do not want any alcohol.

That way, they do not snub the person who extended the invitation, but they also clearly state their position. When someone offers to buy a round, especially when the atmosphere is festive, it's advisable to accept a non-alcoholic drink.


Germany's CDU, Greens sign first-ever coalition deal in Hamburg

Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU) & Social Democrats (SPD)Hamburg  - Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Greens signed their first-ever coalition agreement at state level in Hamburg's City Hall Thursday.

The deal, which comes after five weeks of intensive political talks, has yet to be approved by the executives of the two parties, but observers expected the city-state would soon be ruled by the first-ever coalition of this stripe.

The Greens, who have in the past tended to pair with the, meet on April 27 to finalize the agreement.


Affordable laptops suitable for everyday tasks

LaptopHamburg  -  Finding a laptop for as little as 600 euros (944 dollars) for everyday use is not as difficult as one would imagine, according to a test of 10 laptops conducted by German magazine Computer Bild.

All the computers tested cost less than 660 euros. The test showed that cheaper computers can compete with more expensive laptops.

If the cheaper computer has a dual-core processor, then the differences between the low end and high end models are barely noticeable.

Only when it comes to operating games with complicated 3-D graphics do the cheaper computers reach their limits. (dpa)


Most CD blanks are acceptable

Blank CDHamburg  - Consumers generally won't go wrong buying any CD blanks on sale with reputable dealers. A recent test by Computer Bild magazine showed that 41 of 45 blanks provided "satisfactory" overall results.

In its 9/2008 issue, the Hamburg-based magazine looked at both single-use and rewritable CD as well as blanks with special characteristics, such as those intended for audio use or those offering extra capacity. They were tested on various burners for storage quality and robustness.


Hobby sailors beware: Chartered yachts sometimes have defects

Palma/Hamburg  - The weather could hardly be better for the start of a cruise: sunshine and moderate to brisk winds. The crew of the chartered yacht Babu are itching to set sail.

After the handover of the yacht on the Spanish island of Majorca, the hobby sailors from the German port of Hamburg immediately put to sea.

As the Babu chugs along off Palma, Majorca's chief city, skipper Kai commands, "Ready to set sail!" which elicits satisfied grins. Co- skipper Ulf begins to crank out the main sail from the mast. But the sail gets stuck after just a metre and a half. The previous crew apparently took it in too hastily.


The ABC of snorkelling: equipment for beginner divers

Hamburg  - Snorkelling is a wonderful and enjoyable hobby - just dive into the water and you're in another world.

But as soon as the air supply is gone, it quickly becomes obvious that you need a diving permit if you want to get a good look at life beneath the waves.

You will also need the right equipment. A mask, snorkel and flippers are part of the basic gear to go under water.

The most important item is the mask which can cost between 25 euros (39 dollars) and 100 euros (158 dollars).

It's important that the mask fits the shape of the face and creates a waterproof space around the nose and eyes without pinching the skin.


Find a way to set your inner clock when working shifts

Hamburg - The most difficult time for Ullrich Grubig is in the middle of the night, although that's when there is the least amount of work to do.

While his body wants to sleep, Grubig, a precision mechanic, has to stand at his machine. He must hang on until 5 am when his shift ends. Then he can go home and go to bed. Grubig actually is lucky that the overnight shift ends relatively early.

"When shifts end at 8 am, it's usually too bright by the time you get to bed, and that makes it harder to sleep," said Daniel Hicklin, who works at a sleep clinic in Bad Zurzach, Switzerland that advises people who work irregular hours. Daylight signals the body that it's time for activity, not sleep.


VW reports earnings jump ahead of AGM

carmaker Volkswagen AGHamburg  - Europe's biggest carmaker Volkswagen AG presented a picture of a solid financial performance at its annual general meeting Thursday as a power struggle took shape behind the scenes for the control of the German-based group.

VW Chef Martin Winterkorn told shareholders attending the AGM in Hamburg that never had the company sold so many cars and earned so much money with the group reporting before the meeting a 26-per-cent jump in first-quarter after-tax profit to 929 million euros (1.48 billion dollars).

As a result, laying a challenge to the carmaker's rival, the Japanese auto group Toyota.


Telecom Italia slashes cable-laying plans in German city

Hamburg  - Telecom Italia has sharply cut back its plans for a high-speed data network in Germany's second-biggest city, Hamburg, according to news reports Friday.

The telco's German subsidiary Hansenet would limit the optical fibre network to a single city district as a "pilot" project, the Hamburger Abendblatt said. Hansenet had decided to concentrate on more important issues.

Speaking to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, Hansenet spokesman Carsten Nillies confirmed a delay of two to three months in construction and a reduction in the investment from 50 million to just 10 million euros (16 million dollars).


Biofuels under fire as food crisis looms

Hamburg  - The increased use of biofuels has been partially responsible for a hefty increase in food prices worldwide with Western governments now having second thoughts on "green fuels" such as ethanol.

Once praised as the answer to global warming, several nations rushed into subsidizing biofuels, failing to heed warnings from experts that it leads to more clearing of rainforests and in fact a further increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.


Trends in kitchens include islands and cabinets that open with a tap

Hamburg  - There are kitchens and then there are temples to cooking. The latter sometimes take up the same amount of space as a one or two-bedroom apartment.

In that amount of space luxury kitchens can offer everything that makes cooking nice: a kitchen island, compartments for keeping food warm, one or two ovens, an enormous refrigerator, an induction stove and all kinds of storage space behind softly gliding drawers and cabinets that open with just a light tap.

As luxury kitchens can cost quite a lot of money, they should be timeless. Kitchen makers are going for simple elegance.


Misrepresentations in cosmetics: Eye cream is a waste of money

Hamburg - Consumers should not base their decisions about buying cosmetics on the price and image of a brand, according to Paula Begoun, a cosmetic expert in the United States who has spent more than two decades explaining the fine print on cosmetic product packages.

Begoun, 55, says its always better to read the fine print to find out what's in the creams and something about the companies that make them. She uses published research to support her work and investigates herself whether a product, with its particular ingredients, can deliver what it promises, and how it is different from other similar products. She also assesses how well the product can be tolerated and possible allergic reactions.


Arrests, injuries as German May Day riots go on

Hamburg/Berlin - Leftist radicals rioted in three German cities overnight Thursday and into Friday, clashing with riot police who had anticipated trouble in the traditional May Day parades.

The clashes tended to centre on opposing rallies by the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).

In the worst violence in the northern port city of Hamburg, police said they detained 250 rioters.

The leftists set fire to a police car, six private cars and 3,000 tyres in a storage yard. They set bonfires on the streets and in a park in a bid to draw off police and force cancellation of the parade by 1,500 right-wing marchers.


Former con-man Harksen repays money at 100 euros a month

Juergen HarksenHamburg - Juergen Harksen, 47, the confidence trickster who bilked German investors of millions of dollars and lived a life of luxury in Cape Town, told a German newspaper Saturday he was beginning repayments this month at 100 euros monthly.

Harksen was pictured in the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper with his new wife Claudia, a South African model.

He told the paper he was working as a wine salesman after completing in February his sentence of six years and nine months in custody. He was also writing a second book. After the first, about his frauds, this one would describe life in a German jail.


Test shows most blank CD-ROMs are reliable

Hamburg  - CD-ROMCustomers cannot go wrong with most blank CDs for sale on store shelves, a test by German magazine Computer Bild showed recently.

Around 41 of 45 tested blank CDs were given a "satisfactory" rating in the test.

The test, results of which will appear in the 9/2008 cover issue, included ordinary CDs, as well as ones designed especially for audio use and ones with extra capacity. They were tested in multiple CD burners to check their storage quality and robustness.

Testers complained mostly about how easily the CDs were scratched and about routine imperfections making it impossible for the CD to be played.


Unusual CDU-Greens alliance takes over in state of Hamburg

Christian Democratic UnionHamburg - An unusual alliance between Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the left-of-centre Greens took office Wednesday in the German state of Hamburg.

The new state assembly re-elected Ole von Beust, 53, as mayor, the state premier's title, and then approved his choice of three Green and six CDU ministers. The two parties have never partnered before at such a high level.


Archaeologists find Queen of Sheba's palace at Axum, Ethiopia

Queen of ShebaHamburg - Archaeologists believe they have found the Queen of Sheba's palace at Axum, Ethiopia and an altar which held the most precious treasure of ancient Judaism, the Ark of the Covenant, the University of Hamburg said Wednesday.

Scientists from the German city made the startling find during their spring excavation of the site over the past three months.

The Ethiopian queen was the bride of King Solomon of Israel in the 10th century before the Christian era. The royal match is among the memorable events in the Bible.


Longer days lift spirits, while shorter skirts bring on the flirt

Hamburg - Buds are sprouting, birds are twittering and the convertibles and sunglasses are coming out.

Even though the overnight temperature still drops to near freezing, the flirting season is on. Everyone knows that even the most tender ray of sunshine warms not only the cheeks, but also stirs emotions. Winter coats are aired and scarves loosened as the spirit of spring takes off.

Are all these feelings just a fluke? No, not at all. Although scientists are not in agreement about what causes them, the symptoms are the same: good humour and a tingling in the belly.


Repower wins further Italian wind turbine order

Suzlon CompanyHamburg  - Repower, the German constructor of wind turbines which is controlled by Suzlon of India, said Friday it had won a major new order from a unit of Italian oil group ERG.

No value was disclosed for the order for firm delivery of 50 turbines in the 2-megawatt class and options on 30 more.

The ERG unit, Enertad, had secured the supply of 160 megawatts with the turbines, most to be installed in Italy. Twelve of those in the option block were earmarked for sites in France, Repower said.

Under the declaration of intent, Enertad must exercise the options by this September.


Simpsons and Sesame Street theme parks open in California

Hamburg  - California has two new theme parks based on Sesame Street and the popular cartoon series The Simpsons.

From May 17, visitors to Universal Studios Hollywood will be able to go on the Simpson's Ride, according to the Los Angeles tourist office at an event in Hamburg.

Visitors to the theme park can ride on the Simpson's rollercoaster, hop on a ghost train and go to a live show with Krusty the Clown, one of the characters from the series.

Another highlight on offer is the Universal World of Entertainment where sets, costumes, special effects and props from Hollywood's film history are on show.


Biopirates hijack traditional knowledge about nature

Hamburg  - Business concerns in the West often make money by patenting their own medicines and agricultural products based on the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.

A US company has patented a yellow bean grown for thousands of years in South America, while pesticides using substances from the Indian neem tree have been sold by transnational corporations in Europe and elsewhere.

A company in Germany is marketing a cure for respiratory ailments based on extracts from the African Pelargonium plant genus.

Some of these patents have been returned after years of litigation, but that is not enough for some participants at the UN conference on biodiversity, which takes place in Bonn from May 19-30.


Mitsubishi recalls Outlander diesel in Europe

Mitsubishi recalls Outlander diesel in EuropeHamburg  - Mitsubishi is recalling 5,269 Outlander SUVs sold in Europe and fitted with the 2.2 litre DI-D diesel engine because of problems with the electronic engine management system, the car maker has announced.

The engine could shut down in certain driving situations. The problem was found during internal quality controls, Mitsubishi said.

Only the models produced and sold in Europe between September 2007 and January 2008 are affected by the fault, the company said. (dpa)


Online speed dating helps people pair up with a click

Hamburg  - After hours of preparation and excitement over a blind date, there's nothing worse than meeting the guy and having to listen to him talk for hours about his bonsai trees.

Thanks to speed dating, singles can avoid such horror dates and get to know a lot of potential partners in a short time. This type of dating is now making headway on the internet. There are new websites where flirtatious people can give speed dating a try, and some of them use webcam, voice-chat and texting technologies as they allow people to participate conveniently from the couch in their living room.


New ideas instead of sequels: Fresh supplies for PC Gamers

New ideas instead of sequels: Fresh supplies for PC GamersHamburg  - PC gamers tend to be a tradition-bound bunch: If there's a title in the stores from a known-and-loved series, a purchase is likely to follow.

The month of May will require a bit of an open mind, however, as there are no major sequels on the horizon. Instead a number of completely new items are ready for take-off, including Goin' Downtown, an adventure game, and the ambitious Windchaser. Even the online role playing game Age of Conan, lauded in advance, dares to tread new ground, since it is aimed exclusively at adults.


Twin tuners and hard drives: tips for buying an HDTV receiver

Hamburg  - Twin tuners and hard drives: tips for buying an HDTV receiverHigh-definition TV is the newest big thing. About 1.4 million Germans will have HDTV by the end of the year, according to BITKOM, a Berlin-based industry association.

That means they'll need a television with the HD-ready or Full-HD logo and a receiver to turn the high-definition satellite or cable signals into pictures and sound.

"Of course, this raises the question of who even needs HDTV," says Reinhard Otter of Video, a magazine published in Stuttgart.


Free OpenOffice 3.0 software now in test version

Hamburg  - Free OpenOffice 3.0 software now in test versionOpenOffice, the free office software suite, now has version 3.0 available in a test version.

The test version is available for free download at e. openoffice. org, according to the operators. New features include Startcenter, which allows quick access to important features.

Alongside a few new icons, OpenOffice brings some zoom to its status bars. Tables can now be operated collaboratively. For the first time, files created in Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2008 can be imported.


China falls out of favour as a holiday destination

Hamburg/Berlin  - Sports fans with valid tickets will be counting the days until this year's Summer Olympics in China, but the athletics extravaganza is a turn-off as far as many other tourists are concerned. Some travel operators are even reporting a marked drop in enquiries.

Those keen on culture should wait until the sports wave has ebbed especially since the Olympics seem to have driven up the price of hotel rooms and other services.

Germans are among the world's keenest travellers yet operators are agreed that fewer will be heading for China this year.


New hair colour products provide greater range of options

New hair colour products provide greater range of optionsHamburg  - Too dull, too limp, too plain or simply too grey - most women become exasperated with their hair at some point and when that occurs they soon march into a drug store for hair dye products or go straight to their hair dresser for professional help.


Do like the birdies do - birds instinctively pick healthiest fruit

Hamburg, Germany  - Birds instinctively choose the fruit which is healthy and shun less health-giving food options, German researchers found.

Given a choice, birds flock to fruits with the highest levels of antioxidants known as flavonoids, which boost the immune system.

The German researchers offered a group of blackcaps, a common European summertime bird, a choice of two foods containing different amounts of flavonoids.

They found that the birds deliberately selected the food with added antioxidants.

Birds fed modest amounts of flavonoids over a period of four weeks developed stronger immune systems.


Second night of storms in Germany cuts rail links

Hamburg  - A second night of storms that hit Germany early Saturday cut rail links and killed flamingos in a zoo.

Fierce winds and lashing rain hit parts of southern and western Germany, blowing down trees and causing flash floods.

In Krefeld near the Dutch border, a second night of huge hailstones left nine flamingos in the city zoo dead. A zoo spokesman said four birds were killed when hit on the head, and five suffered such severe bone fractures that they had to be put down.

The German railways closed a main electrified line from the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg to Frankfurt because overhead power lines were knocked down by trees. Trains from Frankfurt to Berlin and Hamburg were also disrupted by similar damage.


Second night of storms in Germany cuts rail links

FlamingosHamburg - A second night of storms that hit Germany early Saturday cut rail links and killed flamingos in a zoo.

Fierce winds and lashing rain hit parts of southern and western Germany, blowing down trees and causing flash floods.

In Krefeld near the Dutch border, a second night of huge hailstones left nine flamingos in the city zoo dead. A zoo spokesman said four birds were killed when hit on the head, and five suffered such severe bone fractures that they had to be put down.


Hamburg's carpet warehouse a big tourist attraction

Hamburg  - The smell of stored tobacco, tea and roasted coffee excite the senses of visitors to Hamburg's historical warehouse complex known as the Speicherstadt.

Until a few years ago huge quantities of luxury goods were still being stored behind its bulky red-brick walls. Now, many of its once dark and deep store-rooms have been converted into modern offices and showrooms for the IT and fashion industries.

But about half the complex is occupied by import-export companies dealing in oriental carpets. There are close to 300 of them trading in more than
750-million-dollars-worth of carpets a year, making Hamburg the largest carpet warehouse in the world, and the Speicherstadt the biggest facility of its kind.


Global warming "lull" only temporary, German researchers caution

Global warming "lull" only temporary, German researchers cautionHamburg - A "lull" in global warming over the next decade should not be misinterpreted as meaning that the greenhouse effect has stopped, German researchers warn.

North Atlantic sea surface temperatures may actually decrease slightly in the next decade, the researchers with Germany's Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel.


Backup software: Necessary but not easy

Hamburg  - Backup software: Necessary but not easyMany data backup programs are either difficult to use or not completely reliable, testing has shown. In the worst cases, the software suffers from both defects.

That was the finding of a recent study by the Hamburg-based Computer Bild magazine. It tested six pure backup programs, as well as four security suites and two CD/DVD burning programs that offer data backup functionality.

Only one of the pure data backup programs earned a grade of "good." Of the remaining programs three earned "sufficient" and eight "unacceptable."


New PC games in June offer more than just football

Hamburg  - Most Germans likely have summer plans that revolve around the upcoming European Football Championships. But PC game companies have ensured there's some entertainment available for those who do not want to watch 22 men running after a ball.

There's Mass Effect a highly praised role-playing game. Other offers include Dracula: Origin, Pro Cycling Manager - Tour de France 2008, and for strategists, "Sins of a Solar Empire." Additionally Spore Creature Creator will offer some early insights into the evolution simulation Spore.


Nighttime serenading enables lemurs to find mates in the dark

Hamburg  - Forget online chat rooms, tiny flying lemurs in the rain forests of Madagascar find just the right partners the old- fashioned way, with a moonlight serenade which they croon with a sexy vocal accent, according to German researchers.

And not only do the prospective mates recognize these love songs, they also recognize subtle variations in "dialect" which indicate sub-species among these tiny tree-top creatures.

Males of these nocturnal species use these serenade calls to let females know that they are looking for love.

The researchers recorded advertising calls from the three species and then played them back to grey mouse lemurs, noting what response, if any, they made.


Jungle sloths not as slothful as city sloths, German researchers say

Hamburg  - Sleepy sloths in steamy jungles are not nearly as sleepy and slothful as is commonly believed, according to a team of German researchers.

In fact, wild sloths are actually quite mentally alert and active, compared to sedentary zoo sloths. They only give the impression of being as lazy as city zoo sloths, the scientists from Germany's Max Planck Institute say.

In the first experiment to record the electro-physiology of sleep in a wild animal, three-toed sloths carrying miniature electroencephalogram recorders slept 9.63 hours per day - six hours less than captive sloths did, reports an international team of researchers working on the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Barro Colorado Island in Panama.


Keep that rubbish coming, Hamburg tells Naples

Hamburg  - From Naples, the Italian city with nowhere to dump its rubbish, the freight trains take 44 hours to reach Hamburg, a German city that is only too happy to incinerate the stinking mess.

Hamburg's municipal sanitation department has contracted with the Italian government's garbage supremo to destroy 30,000 tons of garbage from Campania, the Italian region that includes Naples, as part of a German promise to burn 160,000 tons for the Italians.

Sanitation spokesman Reinhard Fiedler declined to say what Hamburg is charging to transform all that refuse into ash and flue gas. But he said the work was not being subsidized by Hamburg taxpayers.


Dream cars find a new home on Hamburg's waterfront

Hamburg  - German businessman Oliver Schmidt dislikes the word "museum" and that is why visitors to a fascinating new display of cars in the heart of Hamburg will find no reference to it.

"The term museum conjures up images of dust and boredom and that is not what this is all about," said 34-year-old Schmidt.

Together with his friend and architect Thomas Koenig, 36, Schmidt has created Prototyp, a collection of cars, memorabilia and art in the fast-growing Hafencity district along the Elbe river which flows though this north German seaport.


Mazda2 three-door on sale

Hamburg  - The new Mazda2 three-door supermini is now available in European showrooms with an entry price of around 11,450 euros (17,770 dollars), the Japanese car maker has announced.

The three-door version comes at 500 euros cheaper than the five- door version which was introduced late last year.

The 1.3-litre engine fitted to both models comes in a 55 kW/75 hp and 63 kW/86 hp version. The 1.5-litre engine develops 76 kW/103 hp. In addition Mazda offers a 1.4-litre diesel version with 50 kW/86 hp.


Show your bikini figure - on beach and stroll through town

Hamburg  - A hard-earned bikini figure deserves a grand entrance. After all, who wants to sell their looks short while on the beach or taking a dive from the board?

Fashion designers, have discovered this sentiment among sun worshippers, pool goers and beach vacationers. The days when an oversized T-shirt and flip-flops were sufficient for shuffling to the pool bar or the kiosk are over. Tunics, short skirts and beach attire along with matching bracelets and necklaces make it all look a lot better. The right bag and sunglasses go even further to complete the outfit.


Discovering the animal kingdom at the zoo

Cologne/Hamburg  - How loud is an elephant? What does goat's hair feel like? And how does it smell inside a predator animal's cage?

Those are a few questions that a child might want answered at a zoo and it comes as no surprise that zoos are one of the most popular places for families to visit.

They are an excellent place for young children to gain more experience with animals. But when it comes to questions about keeping animals in captivity, parents should provide open and honest answers to their children.

Having direct contact with animals is an amazing experience for most children.

Children from urban areas have little contact with animals and are often only familiar with them through television.


Brighten up your home with flowers and plants this summer

Hamburg  - It's nearly summer, and flowers and plants are coming out, but not just on balconies and in gardens.

Decorative motifs inspired by plants are one of the biggest design trends of the season. Stylized leafy twines adorn chairs and paravents and small end tables resemble large blossoms.

The infamous large-format prints used on sofa covers as well as country patterns of strewn flowers in miniature format are nowhere to be found in furniture designs nowadays. The floral pattern for 2008 is discreet and delicate, but nevertheless striking.


Discount memory cards suffice for standard digital cameras

Hamburg, Germany - You don't need the most expensive memory card in the store if you're using a standard digital camera. Regular cards are fast enough for regular photography, reports Computer Bild (Computer Picture) magazine in its issue cover dated 13/2008.

The Hamburg-based magazine found that data transfer time from a PC to a memory card varied greatly in a test of multiple memory cards. But the same test found little difference in time when transferring data from the card to the computer.

Thus, it only makes sense to invest a lot of money into a quicker card if you're planning to transfer a lot of data from your computer to your camera or if you use a very fast single-lens reflex camera. (dpa)


Dealing with slow DSL

Hamburg, Germany  - It sounds great: lightning quick surfing at up to 16 megabits per second. The reality, though, is often somewhat different. The transmission rates claimed by Internet service providers are rarely achieved in practice. In some cases it is the equipment being used on the customer side that's to blame - not to mention the settings on the computer and router.

Roughly one in five calls to the call centre of DSL (digital subscriber line) provider Hansenet is related to the speed of the Internet access, says Markus Leptien, director of the company's application development department in Hamburg. "We can then check fairly quickly whether there's a problem with the line," the engineer explains.


German scientists invent wireless bionic eyeball to cure blindness

Hamburg  - German scientists have invented a wireless bionic eyeball that can restore vision in patients who have become blind due to retina damage or disease.

About 30 million people around the world are legally blind due to retinal diseases. The new prosthetic device caps 12 years of research to help these patients. This work has resulted in a unique system - a fully implantable visual prosthesis.

The scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisburg, Germany, say that the bionic eye can bypass the damaged retina.

The system comprises the implant and an external transmitter integrated in an eyeglasses-frame.


Hiking vacationers make demands for services

Hamburg - Some hikers need only a space on the floor where they can spread out their sleeping bag in the evening.

But there are other types of hikers who belong in a different class, and it's one that has grown over the past few years. These hikers value luxury and don't want to spend the night in a youth hostel or small private room.

Professor Heinz-Dieter Quack of the European Tourism Institute in Trier, Luxembourg, separates hikers into the "old" and the "new."


Jewellery comes in bright colours this summer

Hamburg  - Dresses, blouses, skirts and pants in bright orange, pink and yellow - the colours of summer 2008 - have been hanging in boutiques and department stores since early this year.

The bright-colour trend is also reflected in jewellery fashions this year. Large stones glisten in blue, green and red tones and similar to the flashy clothing, attract attention.

"The colours of the season occur in the entire rainbow," said Karl-Eugen Friedrich, chairman of the German association of jewellers in Cologne. To emphasize the trendy green, red and blue tones, the size of the piece of jewellery is important. "A pendant can have a diameter of as much as three centimetres."


Nutritious food can help prevent bags under the eyes

Hamburg  - The consequences of a night of drinking often show the next day around the eyes. They can be bloodshot and shadows can appear on the skin around the eye sockets.

Drinking and a lack of sleep are not the only causes of these conditions. It also depends on lifestyle. Healthy eating, exercise and as little stress as possible can help prevent redness and shadows around the eyes, but sometimes genetics is to blame. People who are predisposed to shadows can't do much about it.

There are solutions for all other cases, but people should also be aware that long-lasting shadows or "bags" under the eyes and tear ducts are possible signs of a serious illness.


New super-explosives pack a wallop without polluting the environment

Hamburg - A new generation of super-powerful conventional explosives will soon be able to reduce the risks of accidental detonation and pollution of the environment, according to a team of German researchers.

The researchers from the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich say the new explosives are safer to transport than TNT and less toxic to the environment, apart from being more powerful.

They found the alternative to TNT in a recently explored class of materials called tetrazoles. These derive most of their explosive energy from nitrogen instead of carbon as TNT and others do.

Their study of these more environmentally friendly explosives is scheduled for the June 24 issue of Chemistry of Materials, a bi- weekly journal.


Hamburg thanks lifelong collector for new maritime museum

Hamburg thanks lifelong collector for new maritime museumHamburg  - The German city of Hamburg gained a major new museum devoted to maritime history on Wednesday, thanks to the lifelong obsession of an 80-year-old millionaire with collecting model ships.

The models in glass cases illustrate the evolution of ships from canoes and galleys, through the age of sail, to today's supertankers.

They fill almost all nine storeys of the museum building, which was formerly a waterside warehouse.


German inventor claims success with wind-assisted freighters

German inflation hits 15-year record of 3.3 per cent in JuneHamburg  - Six months after the first freighter put to sea drawn by a giant kite, a German company said Thursday that the invention could "realistically" reduce a ship's fuel use by 15 per cent.

Enthusiastic proponents say that the computerized SkySails system could usher in a new age of wind power in commercial shipping, although the main power still comes from the ship's engine. Because of high oil prices, even small savings are valuable to ship-owners.


Airbus opens second delivery centre for giant A380 planes

A380Hamburg - Stepping up output of its giant A380 plane, Airbus opened a second delivery centre Friday in the German city of Hamburg.

Reflecting its Franco-German heritage, the company builds the hulls of the two-deck planes in Toulouse, France and paints them and fits the seats in Hamburg, sharing out most of the work equally.

The delivery centre is an office block for the use of customers when they check out a plane before paying for it. They spend several days trying out the controls, watching videos from every seat and test-flying the jet for up to six hours before flying it away.


German broadcaster admits blunder with US flag

US FlagHamburg  - One of Germany's main broadcasters admitted Friday that it had inadvertently altered the US flag in a news show about the inauguration of a new US embassy in the capital Berlin.

Sources said the Thursday blunder, a day before the embassy opened on US Independence Day, cost two staff their jobs at the ARD news centre in the northern city of Hamburg. ARD is one of Germany's two national public networks.

Apologizing, deputy editor in chief Thomas Hinrichs said a background image Thursday evening had shown seven white stripes on the flag. The US flag has seven red and six white stripes.


Imports help computer game aficionados stay up to date

Hamburg  - An avid gamer, Eje Stabler is not always prepared to wait for the German release of computer games. And thanks to online stores specializing in imported games, he doesn't have to.

These stores, once frequented by gamers keen on becoming the first to own a game from Japan or the United States, are becoming more popular, especially as non-gamers find them full of surprising deals.

"'Ryo ga Gotoku' is my favorite game and I want to play the sequel," says Stabler, a 24-year-old apprentice. Japanese trade magazines sang the praises of the Playstation 2 version of the gangster epic. So Stabler decided not to wait for a German version of the game that has been available in Japan since 2006. Instead, he went to an importing shop.


High fuel costs trigger breathtaking changes in car industry

Hamburg - High fuel prices are triggering major changes in the car market worldwide with customers turning their backs on fuel-guzzlers and the industry rethinking its product line-up.

In the United States, the world's largest car market, the sales figures for May showed a major shift from SUVs (sports utility vehicles) and pickup trucks to more economical small cars.

"May was a watershed month," said Ford's Vice-President of Marketing and Communications, Jim Farley, admitting that the industry is catching on to their customers' new buying habits.

The market leader in the US, General Motors (GM), saw sales in May falling by a quarter to 272,00 units with Ford's sales down to 257,000.


Italy cost over-runs hit German wind-turbine builder Nordex

Italy cost over-runs hit German wind-turbine builder NordexHamburg  - High costs on Italian and British projects triggered a profits warning Wednesday from wind-turbine builder Nordex and sent the German company's shares plummeting by 16 per cent.

By late afternoon the stock was trading at just 22.77 euros. Nordex said its full-year revenue forecast remained at 1.1 billion euros, but pegged down its 2008 earnings before interest and tax from 77 million to a lower range of 60 to 66 million euros.


Summer drinks go fruity

Hamburg - This summer's thirst quenchers come combined with fruit or fruit flavours, and the more exotic the better. 

As any thirsty person scanning the drink aisle for something refreshing can tell you, drinks from bottled waters to beers and sodas are being mixed with some kind of fruit. 

"Fruit is a downright trend," said Sepp Gail of Germany's drink retailer's association in Munich. The current accompaniment to the summer months, however, is not orange or strawberry flavours, but mango, passion fruit, lime and guarana, the seed of a climbing plant of the same name. Among the fruit flavoured bottled waters on the market, lemon and orange flavours are history. Today there are combinations such as lemon-lime, apple-mint and apple-pear. 


Danes blamed after German airport is jammed with cars

Hamburg - A German airport blamed wave after wave of vacationing Danes on Thursday for jamming its 10,000-space parking buildings, prompting ugly scenes as more travellers arrived.

Hamburg Airport in the north of Germany has suddenly become a magnet for people from southern Denmark, thanks to enticingly cheap airfares to holiday destinations in the summer sun and low-cost parking for cars while vacationers are away.

But as the car-parks declared themselves "full up," the travellers kept arriving, forming tailbacks outside car parks. Many voiced fury and panicked, with just minutes to go before their flights departed.

By Thursday, many cars with Danish registration plates were parked illegally on nearby grass verges.


Windows Live Mail archiving notice can be switched off

Hamburg - Computer users can disable pop-ups in Microsoft Windows' Live Mail alerting them that they can compress their news archives. 

Those annoying little pop-ups can be switched off. Start Live Mail and press the Alt key. Then, open the Services menu, accessible under Extras/Options/More Options, and unclick the "database all" option. (dpa)


Only 13 per cent of internet users employ Vista Online

Hamburg  - Only 13 per cent of internet users employ Vista OnlineWindows XP remains the most common computer operating system among internet users, according to a survey conducted by a German marketing firm.

According to a survey by Fittkau & Maass, 75.8 per cent of internet surfers use Windows XP while only 13 per cent use Vista Online, which has been on the market since early 2007.


Coming months to bring some gaming highlights

Hamburg - PC game manufacturers are among those who do not like summer as many consumers prefer to be outdoors enjoying the weather rather than playing computer games. As a result, manufacturers slashes the number of releases dramatically during this period. 

Meanwhile, marketing campaigns are kicking into high gear to build up hype for autumn releases and this year is no exception. There's Spore, which has already been widely praised. Other highlights include the online role-playing game, Warhammer, and the real-time Starcraft II, which hopes to build on the success of its successor. 


Big oil slick on major German river after barges collide

Elbe RiverHamburg - A barge carrying diesel fuel was in collision with another vessel in Germany Wednesday, causing a 10-kilometre-long oil slick on the Elbe river, which empties into the North Sea.

Emergency services said up to 400 tons of diesel was spilled in the worst shipping accident near the city of Hamburg for four years.

The anchor of a 95-metre river freighter, the Aldebaran, ripped open four tanks of the 82-metre tanker barge Undine. The vessels scraped one another along their starboard rails while passing on the Elbe, a busy waterway that begins in the Czech Republic.


Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki praises Obama pullout plan

Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki praises Obama pullout planHamburg  - Speaking to a German magazine, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has praised a plan by US presidential candidate Barack Obama to withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.

In an interview to appear in its Monday issue, the news magazine Der Spiegel asked him when US troops should leave.

"As far as we are concerned, as soon as possible. The US presidential candidate Barack Obama has spoken of within 16 months. We think that would be the right time frame, with some slight variations," he said.


Swords, guitars or spatulas: weapons for this year's console games

Hamburg - It's time to take a break from gaming's guns and ammo. 

This season's handheld console aficionados will be prone to taking up swords, guitars and the occasional ladle when they do electronic battle. In addition, there are two new motorcycle racing games set for release. Additionally, publisher Square Enix has come up with a new installment of its seemingly never-ending Final Fantasy series. 


Pets top children's wish list

Dog and CatHamburg - Horses, dogs and cats make children happy, topping the wish list of most children under 10 years, a survey conducted by the German Toy Manufacturing Association found.

Although there were differences according to age and sex, some 21.9 per cent of the children interviewed said that having a horse, dog, cat and even a tiger would make them happy.

The wish list changes among children over 10 years with boys especially preferring to have a computer, according to the poll.


Hiking free of aches and pains takes good preparation

Hamburg - Taking time out for a hike lasting several weeks is becoming an increasingly popular pastime with the 900-kilometre St James Way in Spain experiencing a renaissance with thousands of people reviving a tradition dating back to the early Middle Ages.

Such a "pilgrimage" is no easy walk in the park and need plenty of advance preparation.

If you heed a few common hikers' guidelines and are reasonably healthy, you can walk such a long route without having to give-up in frustration with blistered feet, backache or other physical limitations.


Therapeutic help now available for pathological shopping addicts

Hamburg - Are you an oniomaniac - a shopping addict? Up to 10 per cent of all consumers in Western industrialized countries are addicted to shopping to some degree, according to German researchers, who say they have developed the first anti-shopping-addiction therapy that actually works.

Oniomania, the scientific term for "pathological addiction to shopping," was first recognized a century ago by the Leipzig psychiatrist Emil Kraeplin, who wrote a scientific treatise about people in large cities who simply could not resist the urge to buy pretty things which made them feel better - even if they stashed away the items at home unopened, never to be used.


New search engines identify unknown songs

Hamburg - Sometimes there's nothing worse than having a song stuck in your head. It's particularly frustrating if you picked up a melody somewhere, but don't even know the artist or title. The internet may ease your pain. Specialized online services are helping identify those nameless favourites.

There are a variety of ways to name that tune. The Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology records the user singing the tune and tries to identify it against a database of melodies, an approach known as "Query by Humming." The technology was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute in Ilmenau.


Apple's iPhone 3G is speedy, but lacks the "oomph" factor

Hamburg - Apple's iPhone 3G is speedy, but lacks the "oomph" factorApple's new iPhone 3G has been on the market for just a few days, but some reviewers have had access to it for weeks and have already aired their views on the phone. Most have praised its ease of use although it is by no means perfect.

The iPhone 3G supports the third generation of mobile phone standards (UMTS/HSDPA) and GPS navigation. Matthias Kremp, of the news website Spiegel Online, says users will see the biggest benefit in the iPhone's internet access speed.


That thing is a 'person' - improving your relationship with objects

Hamburg - Next time you kiss your car when it starts on a cold day, or you curse your computer when it crashes - you may be relieved to know that it is only human nature to regard inanimate objects as sentient beings like yourself.

Scientists in Germany say our minds are hard-wired to interact with other human beings to such a degree that our minds just work better when we subconsciously think of objects in our environment as having human minds of their own.


We all started out as diamonds in the rough, German scientists say

Hamburg - We all started out as diamonds in the rough - literally - according to German scientists who say crystalline interfacial water layers played a fundamental role in biology and evolution on planet Earth.

These primordial pools of microscopic hydrogenated diamonds in the rough were the original soup from which all life sprang billions of years ago, say the scientists from the Institute of Micro and Nanomaterials at Ulm University in Germany.


We all started out as diamonds in the rough, German scientists say

We all started out as diamonds in the rough, German scientists sayHamburg  - We all started out as diamonds in the rough - literally - according to German scientists who say crystalline interfacial water layers played a fundamental role in biology and evolution on planet Earth.

These primordial pools of microscopic hydrogenated diamonds in the rough were the original soup from which all life sprang billions of years ago, say the scientists from the Institute of Micro and Nanomaterials at Ulm University in Germany.


Checking the oil level with a button

Hamburg - Checking the oil level in a car often ends in frustration in a bid to find the oil stick and getting your hands all dirty.

Instead, why not just press a button in the car with a display indicating the exact oil level?

Several new cars already have such a comfortable feature which car parts supplier Hella has made available to several manufacturers over the past two years.

Now engineers at Hella have developed a more advanced Ultrasonic Level Sensor (Puls) that not only puts an end to all the hassle of opening the bonnet for the regular oil check but monitors the quality of the oil, telling the driver exactly when he should go for an oil change.


The car that changed the world - Tin Lizzie turns 100

Hamburg - When the Ford Model T went into production in 1908, it marked the beginning of an era when motoring became affordable to the masses and an end to the horse and cart age.

Thousands of enthusiasts the world over are this week celebrating the centenary of the car affectionately known as "Tin Lizzie" in Richmond, Indiana in the United States.

It is just one of several events leading up to the October 1 anniversary when the first Model T drove off the assembly line.

The Model T was a dream come true for Henry Ford who wanted to make transportation by motor car affordable by introducing assembly line production.


Keep fit and watch TV at the same time

Hamburg - Too lazy to go to the gym? Several gadgets, that can easily be stored under lounge furniture, are on the market to help you keep up the training while you are watching TV or listening to music.

- A balance board is a wooden board with a ball underneath. It might take a little practise to stand on it but with time it can help improve coordination, body balance, foot and waist muscles.

- The Flexi-Bar looks like a bow with a rubber knob on either end. It was developed by physiotherapists. By swinging the gadget, vibrations are created which help to keep the deep spine muscles active, according to the manufacturers.


Having friends is especially important to women

Hamburg - Having a best friend is especially important to women, a recent representative survey of women aged 25 to 55 in Germany shows.

Asked what really counts in life, 97 per cent answered "having and keeping good friends." In second place was a relationship: 95 per cent of the women questioned said it was especially important to have a long-term partner and to be happy in the relationship.

The study, which appears in the August edition of a lifestyle magazine published in Hamburg, also showed that 91 per cent consider financial independence an important life goal.


Can this really be the way to make a purr-fect cup of coffee?

Hamburg, Germany - Can this really be the way to make a purr-fect cup of coffee? A type of coffee from Indonesia owes its special aroma to fermentation in the most unusual of places: cat stomachs.

The beans of Kopi Luwak coffee are eaten by a certain type of skulking cat, according to the German coffee association in Hamburg. They ferment in the animal's stomach and are later excreted. The beans are then collected and processed.

A kilogramme of roasted beans costs 120 euros (191 dollars) according to the association, but it said the aroma is "incomparably full." (dpa)


Professionalism, not creativity, key to creating business cards

Hamburg - In this digital age, there are still plenty of opportunities, private and professional, to exchange business cards.

Companies generally print standardized business cards for their employees. But the self-employed often find the costs of printing sufficient numbers too high. Making your own cards on your PC is a cheaper alternative.

There are a variety of programs to create business cards. Office supply and software companies like Sigel, Avery, Zweckform and Data Becker offer sets of card-creating software and special paper with pre-punched cards. These easy-to-use programs also come with a variety of fonts and graphics.


Tiny beer-swilling jungle creature may cure hangovers, scientists say

Hamburg  - A tiny beer-swilling, rodent-like jungle creature which drinks the equivalent of a case of 3.8 per cent beer every night and never gets inebriated may hold the clue to the ultimate hangover cure for humans, according to German scientists.

The Malaysian pen-tailed tree shrew drinks the beer-like fermented nectar of the flowers of the bertram's palm in such quantities that the equivalent amount of alcohol would cause a human to collapse in a drunken stupor, say the scientists from Bayreuth University in Germany.


End of the road for big SUVs?

Hamburg, Germany - The days of the huge SUVs such as the Hummer, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 are numbered as high fuel prices and a bad eco-image are causing sales to plunge and comes as manufacturers are offering a better alternative in the compact SUV segment.

Hollywood stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron were often seen driving the fuel-guzzling Hummer in the 1990s, making it the ultimate male status symbol in wealthy suburbia.

The trend toward full-sized SUVs then spread rapidly from the US to many European countries. In London, the Range Rover Sport was a favourite among the jet-set who did not have to worry about exorbitant parking fees, taxes or fuel prices.


Finally! The "convertible" shoe that morphs into a sandal

Hamburg - To meet the demands of tourists who are invariably surprised by the caprices of summertime weather, German researchers have developed a "convertible" canvas shoe that morphs into a sandal with the flick of a zipper.

And if the weather suddenly changes again (which it always does during a summer vacation), you just zip the canvas top back onto the sandal soles - while meanwhile putting up the top on your convertible rental car.

Best of all, you don't have to pack beach sandals in your luggage. You are already wearing two-in-one shoes. Arriving at the beach, you just remove the canvas tops and slip them into your backpack and - presto - you are wearing comfy sandals.


Daughters influence their mother's dress style

Hamburg - Daughters have a particular influence on their mothers when it comes to fashion, according to a survey.

Twelve per cent of mothers asked admitted to having looked at their daughter's modern styles, according to a survey conducted by a research institute on behalf of a German women's magazine.

In addition, one in 10 mothers said they learned to get over their prejudices. Nine per cent said that through their daughters they have become more easy going in their everyday style.

Mothers of more than one daughter learned the most from the daughter who was the most different from her, according to experts.

More than 1,000 mothers between the ages of 30 and 65 took part in the survey. (dpa)


New Google product highlights trends

New Google product highlights trendsHamburg - A new Google service lets users track internet trends.

The "Insights for Search" feature lets users see what searches were popular in a particular country during a specific time span, according to Google's offices in Hamburg. Searches can also show the rate at which certain searches became more popular among users. For those who want even more detail, data for individual or several countries is available.


Uninstallation software deemed unreliable

Hamburg - Software for uninstalling programs does not work completely reliably, a new test has shown.

For that reason computer users are advised to stick with the uninstallation function included in Windows and to reach for special software only if problems arise, according to Hamburg-based magazine Computer Bild. The magazine tested five programs and compared the results with Windows' Add/Remove programs function.

Only one piece of software, priced at 19 dollars, even received the grade of "satisfactory."


Tata planning electric-drive version of Nano - report

Tata planning electric-drive version of NanoHamburg - Indian car maker Tata Motors, which is planning to produce the world's cheapest car selling at 1,700 euros (2,600 dollars), also has plans to produce an electric-drive version, according to a German press report.

The E-Nano would be built in cooperation with the Norwegian electric car specialist firm Miljoebil Grenland, the Hamburg-based Auto Bild newspaper said.


Patriot anti-missile system

Patriot anti-missile systemHamburg - The "Patriot" weapons system is designed to protect against both airplane and missile attacks.

In the US-developed system, each unit consists of eight mobile launching ramps, each with four rockets.

Complete with launching ramps, radar and control station, the system is mounted on lorries. It can detect several targets simultaneously, but its effectiveness is, however, a matter of dispute.


Working from scratch: Barebones PCs let buyers pick their parts

Hamburg - It's a bit like buying property with just a building frame on it. The dimensions are predetermined, but what kind of heating to use, wood floors or tiles, how the windows should look - that's all left for the customer to decide. Barebones PCs work on the same principle. They contain only the case, power supply and motherboard. Everything else is customer selected.

While the term "Barebones" technically applies to all PCs that do not come with a complete preinstalled set-up, the term has come to take on a different meaning. Tom Seiffert from the hardwaremaker Shuttle near Hamburg notes that the term now refers to PCs with a distinctively small physical profile regardless of whether they come fully configured.


Check specifications of MP3 players before buying

Hamburg - The iPod may be the industry leader among MP3 players, but that does not mean it's right for you.

Before any major purchase, customers should consider what they want to do with their MP3 player. Christine Tantschinez of the Stuttgart-based magazine audio says a lot depends on an individual's needs. They determine the size of the device, the pre-packaged components and the price.

"If you just want music for jogging, then go for a very simple model," she says. A display might not even be necessary and you could get away with relatively little memory - just two to four gigabytes.


BenQ releases a 24-inch full-HD resolution display

BenQ releases a 24-inch full-HD resolution displayHamburg, Germany - BenQ has expanded its LCD display offers by a 24-inch model. The G2400WD has a reaction time of 2 milliseconds, according to BenQ and has a contrast value of 4000:1. The full HD display with HDMI connections will cost 379 euros (594 dollars). (dpa)


Wolves spreading westward across Europe

Howling WolvesHamburg - The mournful howling of wolves is echoing these days through the forested woodlands of eastern Germany for the first time in centuries, according to conservationists who say that wolves are spreading into Western Europe now that all their natural enemies have long since disappeared.

The cunning canine is even outsmarting its most dangerous mortal enemy - man. Wolves are encroaching on urbanized areas, even being spotted on the outskirts of large cities like Berlin.


Wurst-case scenario for dachshunds as German enthusiasm fades

Hamburg - Dog breeders are calling it a "wurst-case scenario" for dachshunds as Germans are apparently losing interest in owning the stubborn "sausage dog" that has long been equated with Germany.

Dachshunds used to be as common on the streets of Germany as beer bellies and lederhosen and VW Beetles. But, like the Beetle, the dachshund has gone out of style.


New Elbe Philharmonic Hall taking shape in Hamburg

Hamburg - At the western tip of Hamburg's harbour redevelopment, the dramatic design of the new Elbe Philharmonic Hall emerges slowly from the mists.

Expected to be completed in two years, it will bring to the northern German port not only a new concert hall, but also a 110-metre landmark visible to approaching ships from way down river.

The designers are Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, whose portfolio includes the Tate Modern in London, the Allianz Arena in Munich and the de Young Museum in San Francisco.


Germany claims world's first fuel-cell passenger boat

Germany claims world's first fuel-cell passenger boat Hamburg - Germany inaugurated Friday what it said was the world's first fuel cell-powered passenger boat in commercial use.

The FCS Alsterwasser is powered by twin fuel-cell motors similar to those already in use in the Germany Navy's most modern submarines and will take up to 100 passengers on lake cruises in the city of Hamburg. The cells burn hydrogen and emit no carbon dioxide.


OSCE observers fault Georgians in conflict

OSCE observers fault Georgians in conflict Hamburg - European observers have faulted Georgia in this month's Caucasus conflict, saying it made elaborate plans to seize South Ossetia, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.

In a report to appear in its Monday edition, it said officials of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had said acts by the Georgian government had contributed to the outbreak of the crisis with Russia.

Spiegel said OSCE military observers in the Caucasus had described preparations by Georgia to move into South Ossetia.


World Cup match may have been fixed, says German report

World Cup match may have been fixed, says German report Hamburg  - A match at the 2006 World Cup involving five-time world champions Brazil may have been rigged by an Asian betting syndicate, an investigate journalist claims in an interview with the German magazine Spiegel.

In the report to appear Monday, the Canadian journalist Declan Hill said his research had shown that an Asian syndicate wanted Ghana to lose the quarter-final match by at least two goals. Brazil went on to win 3-0 in Dortmund.


Return of the Ford Capri

Return of the Ford CapriHamburg - The legendary Ford Capri is to return in a new guise with a concept study set to be unveiled at next year's Frankfurt Motor Show, Germany's auto-motor-sport magazine reports.

While the last original Capri in 1986 featured rear-wheel drive with a six cylinder engine, the new version would be built on an existing platform with front-wheel drive, the magazine reports.

Drawings published by the magazine show a fresh style with some typical Capri features, but a larger front grille with air intakes. The headlights are embedded in the fenders. Narrow side windows contrast with a large sloping windscreen.


Social networking is best mind training

Hamburg - Intense social networking with family and friends helps improve your intelligence and memory more than any other method, according to German researcher Siegfried Lehrl of the University of Erlangen.

Quoted in the latest edition of the magazine Vital, Lehrl said that while mind games and puzzles such as Sudoku improve memory, social interaction activates the brain on several levels with the positive effects becoming especially visible during the course of a lifetime.

Several studies found that people who meet regularly with other people had much better cognitive abilities or brain-based skills needed for the simplest to the most complex task compared to a group with less social interaction, the report said.


How the city of Hamburg became a famous New World gateway

How the city of Hamburg became a famous New World gatewayHamburg - It was called the Embarkation City, and it certainly lived up to its reputation.

Between 1850 and 1939, some 5.2 million European emigrants left their homelands via Hamburg in search of a better life across the Atlantic.

Today, the northern German port's achievement in becoming a Gateway to the New World is remembered by a museum called "BallinStadt - Emigrant World Hamburg."


Birds recognise themselves in the mirror

Birds recognise themselves in the mirrorHamburg - Birds recognise their own reflection in the mirror as being themselves and not that of another bird, according to German researchers.

The recognition of "self" has been known to exist among primates such as chimpanzees and orang-utans.

There have also been reports that dolphins and elephants share the same ability.

All these animals live in a complex social world, as do humans, which experts believe may be linked to self-recognition.


BMW plans "megacity" car to go on sale 2015

Hamburg - BMW plans to include in its range by 2015 a "megacity" car more suited to crowded urban streets than to the open road, the German company's chief executive, Norbert Reithofer, said in an interview released Wednesday.

The design would be a response to rising fuel prices and tough new environmental regulations.

"It'll be a car with a completely new look, with two engines available. One will be a very efficient internal combustion engine and the other will be a purely electric model," he told the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit. (dpa)


Chinese vice-premier in Germany, meets top minister

Chinese vice-premier in Germany, meets top minister Hamburg  - A Chinese vice-premier, Zhang Dejiang, was visiting Germany Wednesday, the first high-level visit since China's controversial crackdown in Tibet this year.

Zhang had talks in the port city of Hamburg with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Both also toured the Airbus factory in the city where giant airliners are wired up and painted and attended the start of a two- day business meeting dubbed the Hamburg Summit which is held every two years.


Germany's Conergy in talks on ownership of solar factory

Hamburg  - Troubled German solar-energy company Conergy said Thursday it was in talks over the future of its solar-cell plant at Frankfurt an der Oder, east of Berlin.

Conergy is one of a raft of German makers of renewable-energy equipment that grew rapidly, fostered by government legislation aimed at cutting carbon emissions.

Responding to a report by the Seoul newspaper Maeil Business Newspaper that it was in talks on selling the site to South Korean electrical group LG, Conergy said, "We are in talks about a strategic partnership in Frankfurt an der Oder."


Europeans ignorant about China, says former German chancellor

Hamburg - People in Europe and North America are ignorant of China's enormous historical achievements, former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt said Thursday.

Addressing the Hamburg Summit, a meeting of business leaders from China and Germany, the elder statesman said China had made vast economic progress over the past 30 years.

He and other speakers called on European nations to intensify dialogue with China and improve relations, despite criticism in the West of China's human-rights policies, especially its controversial crackdown on protesters in Tibet this year.

France's minister of foreign trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, said the European Union was determined to step up investment in China as much as possible.


Hamburg gets its official Beatles memorial at last

Hamburg gets its official Beatles memorial at lastHamburg  - "All you need is..." patience and money. 28 years after the then completely unknown Beatles played their first gig in Hamburg, and seven years after the idea was born of honouring the band with a memorial square, the legendary mop tops are back in the city.

The Beatles laid the foundation stone of their career in the early 1960s in the Hamburg neighbourhood of St Pauli. It is there where five stainless steel sculptures now depict the musicians, doing what they did best.


EADS threatens to withdraw from US air tanker bidding: report

Hamburg - European aerospace concern EADS has threatened to withdraw from the bidding for a 35-billion-dollar contract for new US air tankers after the Pentagon halted the competition, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

"We will only submit a bid if we are sure we will have a fair chance," the weekly quoted a senior EADS manager as saying.

The US Defence Department on Wednesday cancelled the competition that pitted Airbus maker EADS against US rival Boeing, leaving a decision to the new US administration that takes office in January 2009.

Analysts quoted by Der Spiegel said the move would benefit EADS' rival, which has a chance to reenter the bidding with a new tanker aircraft with a larger fuel capacity.


Elves, robots, and primordial soup: New PC games for September

Hamburg - One side wants to build something up while the other wants to knock down some monsters. These urges may seem to be polar opposites, but they do in fact have a common denominator: both are the key principles behind PC games hitting the stores in September. The biggest attention has gone to the life simulation Spore.

The other is Warhammer Online, a role playing game that is being viewed as one of the most important competitors to the best-selling World of Warcraft. Not that the two games are completely alone: the game to the film Wall-E, a strategy game called Romance XI and a snooker simulator are also slated to appear.


Clean and easy: Google's new browser Chrome

Clean and easy: Google's new browser ChromeHamburg - Google is generally known as the quintessential internet search engine. But now the U. S. company is trying to capture the browser market as well. Chrome is the name of its free new internet browser, and it's available for download in a beta version from the Google website. The program installs quickly and impresses with its clear design and easy interface. Experts are warning about potential security risks, however.

There's nothing wrong with giving the browser a try, says Urs Mansmann from the Hanover-based computer magazine c't.


Cattle have magnetic sense of direction, Google Earth proves

Cattle have magnetic sense of direction, Google Earth provesHamburg, Germany - Grazing cows tend to face the North and South Poles, according to German scientists who studied 308 herds using Google Earth satellite photos.

The Boreal bovine orientation suggests that they, like migratory birds, sea turtles and monarch butterflies, tune into Earth's magnetic fields, says Hynek Burda, a biologist at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.


Trying on clothes in a magic mirror

Trying on clothes in a magic mirrorHamburg, Germany - Wouldn't it be nice if we could shop for clothes without constantly having to try them on in the fitting room?

That futuristic vision could soon become a reality thanks to the "virtual mirror" presented by German researchers at a consumer electronics show in Berlin.

This mirror-like display enables shoppers to see themselves wearing different items of clothing without having to undo a single button, according to the Fraunhofer researchers at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.


Genetic map of Europe shows little diversity

Hamburg - Two international research teams have compiled a genetic map of Europe, revealing little genetic diversity between the various nationalities and closely resembling geographic boundaries.

The data, published by Classic Biology, reveal a genetic barrier between the Finns and the rest of Europe. This is not surprising because the relatively small Finnish population for generations lived nomadic lives almost isolated from the rest of Europe.

The researchers found that the genetic map closely resembled the pattern of three major human migrations mainly from the south.


Legal software downloads make inroads

Hamburg - Most computer programs are usually bought in a store stored on a CD or DVD-ROM and packed in a box.

But the ways of shopping are changing and computer users are finding more offers to download software directly from the internet. Experts see many pros to the switch, but also a few cons.

Commercial software downloads were fairly rare until a few years ago, says Daniel Rasch, an editor at the Hamburg-based Computer Bild magazine. Many people did not have fast-enough internet connections to make downloading new applications practical.

"But the variety is definitely picking up now."


Deadly shooting sprees at schools and universities

Hamburg  - The shooting spree at a school in western Finland on Tuesday added to the growing list of bloodshed committed by students at schools and universities over the past decade. Following is a list of the bloodiest incidents:

-- September 23, 2008: Police report nine killed in a shooting spree by a gunman at a trade school in Kauhajoki, some 300 kilometres north-west of the Finnish capital Helsinki.

-- February 14, 2008: Seven people, including the gunman who shot himself dead, are killed and some 20 wounded when the former sociology student goes on a shooting rampage at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.


German bank confirms 500-million-euro writedown

German bank confirms 500-million-euro writedown Hamburg  - HSH Nordbank, a troubled German public-owned bank, confirmed Wednesday that the world financial crisis had wiped 500 million euros (700 million dollars) off the value of its assets.

The Hamburg-based bank said the third-quarter write-down would include 120 million euros that vanished in last week's collapse of Wall Street investment banking firm Lehman Brothers.

After a 2007 write-down of 1.3 billion euros and a first-half-2008 write-down of 511 million euros, the new setback increases the HSH Nordbank loss to 2.3 billion euros.


Relaxation made easy - tips for wellness vacationers

Hamburg - The healthy properties of water is ancient knowledge that goes back at least to the Romans.

Vestiges of their thermal baths can be found all over Europe, and people today are rediscovering the meaning of the Latin phrase "sanus per aquam" (health through water).

Wellness travel accounts for 60 per cent of all trips taken primarily for health reasons, according to the European spas association in Brussels. Trips to spas and rehabilitation centres comprise the remainder.

More than any other age group, 35- to 50-year-olds or people who find themselves in the middle of their most difficult work years - increasingly are part of the boom.


Retro trend reaches realm of bicycle design

Hamburg -Retro trend reaches realm of bicycle designLooking into the future is easy to do at autumn bicycle trade shows when manufacturers highlight their new products.

A new trend is now emerging - the retro look is honing in on bicycle design.

"The retro trend in bicycle design so far has been on the fringes, but you can certainly assume that it will continue and gain impetus," said Andre Glaeser of Germany's bicycle club. Siegfried Neuberger, director of Germany's two-wheeler industry association, agrees.


Remember RAM size when buying laptops

Hamburg -Remember RAM size when buying laptops Laptop buyers should pay special attention to the amount of RAM installed in the computer. Two gigabytes (GB) is the rock-bottom threshold, recommends Hamburg-based Computerbild magazine, as that is enough to work with Windows Vista.

Those who must satisfy "memory hungry" applications like photo editors are best advised to go for a model with 3 GB of RAM. The magazine tested eight current laptops costing around 500 dollars each.


Big coal plant wins clearance in Germany, Greens angry

Big coal plant wins clearance in Germany, Greens angry Hamburg - The state of Hamburg granted regulatory approval Tuesday for one of Europe's biggest coal-fired power stations, angering the environmentalist Greens Party which had campaigned for a gas plant instead.

Swedish-based utility Vattenfall has already begun construction of the 1,654-megawatt plant, which will burn imported hard coal and use river water for cooling.


Armstrong may have to accept support role at Astana

Hamburg - Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong may have to support his Astana team-mate Alberto Contador in next year's Tour, the team's cycling director Johan Bruyneel said.

"At the end of the day, the strongest rider will be supported, regardless of that person's name or what they've accomplished in the past," Bruyneel said on the team's website.

Contador won the 2007 Tour de France and followed that up by winning this year's Giro in Italy and Vuelta in Spain.

"Alberto is the best professional cyclist in the world," Bruyneel said. "The strongest rider will be supported."

Armstrong, 37, announced last month he was coming out of retirement to ride with the Astana team in 2009.


Germany must live up to role in Europe, president says

Berlin, GermanyHamburg  - President Horst Koehler marked German Unity Day on Thursday with a call to the country to live up to its expectations in Europe.

Germany's national day, a public holiday, marks the reunification of the two Germanys 18 years ago.

"There is no reason for us to make ourselves bigger than we are, but not smaller either," Koehler said in an address delivered in the northern port of Hamburg, where the main celebrations were held.


What the future holds: Software for amateur astrologists

Hamburg - For centuries, astrologers studied celestial constellations in a bid to unravel the future. Thanks to modern technology, a glance at your computer screen suffices nowadays.

Beginners can check Astrology 2008 from Rondomedia publishing. Users enter the date, their location and, when possible, the exact time of their birth. Within minutes, the software performs its calculations.

The resulting graphic might not make much sense, but the program is accompanied by texts with more detailed data about personality, the future and relationships as well as finances and career. Charts are available showing on which days the signs are good and bad for love and emotions, strength, professional success and financial business.


Self-destructing e-mail addresses

Self-destructing e-mail addressesHamburg - Lucky is the e-mail user who hasn't received solicitations for aphrodisiacs or online casinos - commonly known as spam. The single best way to avoid unwanted e-mails is to avoid giving out your e-mail address in the first place. That's easier said than done, however, especially since many online shopping transactions require an e-mail address.

One potential alternative are disposable e-mail addresses. As these are automatically deactivated after a short time, users can reveal them without worrying about increasing their spam load.


A good cut and grooming can make hair look fuller

A good cut and grooming can make hair look fullerHamburg - Most women crave fuller hair, but in reality the dream of having flowing tufts is comparatively easy to achieve with the right cut and appropriate hair care.

Even fine, thin hair can be made to look like there's a plenty of it. Getting the right cut is the first precondition.

"Not much can be done to create volume with medium-length, fine


Lufthansa expands luxury jet plant in Germany

Lufthansa expands luxury jet plant in Germany Hamburg - Lufthansa is expanding a plant in Germany that remodels wide-bodied jets for use by billionaires as flying homes, the German airline said Thursday.

Demand for individually styled big aircraft had been soaring, Lufthansa's Technik division said.

The plant in Hamburg is not the city's only address for the super- rich who want gold-plated taps and the softest beds when they travel. Some of the world's most expensive super-yachts come from a dockyard in the city.


Fast and warm: Tests on external hard drives

Hamburg - Fast and warm: Tests on external hard drivesIf speed matters when transferring data, then consumers can hardly go wrong when buying an external hard drive. The Hamburg-based Computer Bild magazine recently tested eight devices in the 2.5 and 3.5 inch format, and the results were encouraging.

The devices all received a grade of "good" for their speed. The noise levels on the hard drives were also checked, with most models barely audible, the magazine reports. The test did reveal that many models run very warm, which can have a negative effect on service life, the experts feel.


Soccer coaches and monster hunters: New PC games in October

Soccer coaches and monster hunters: New PC games in OctoberHamburg - Gamers are repeat offenders. There are few other explanations for why revived older games or sequels to famous titles frequently top the sales charts.


Testicles an "ethical" source of stem cells, German scientists claim

Testicles an "ethical" source of stem cells, German scientists claimHamburg, Germany - Faced with strict German laws banning the use of human embryos, a team of German scientists came up with a radical new "ethical" source for stem cells - men's testicles.

The scientists believe their breakthrough may offer a whole new range of treatments for diseases like Parkinson's and diabetes and for spinal cord injuries involving use of men's own stem cells to replace damaged or diseased cells in their own bodies.


Sports world still calm amid finance market turmoil

Sports world still calm amid finance market turmoilHamburg - With banks battling for survival, markets reporting takeover scrambles and company directors facing penalities for bad performance, it seems trade floors and commerce chambers are beating sports pitches and locker rooms for sheer drama these days.

The world of sports - as yet - appears remarkably unaffected by the global market crisis.

Tennis player Andrea Petkovic at least is keeping her focus firmly on her fitness, not on finances.


Car makers ride the green wave

Hamburg - Major car makers are falling over each other with announcements of plans to produce zero-emission electric drive and fuel-saving hybrid vehicles with experts agreeing that demand for such vehicles is so high that the industry will probably not be able to meet it fully in the coming years.

All the big car makers had an electric-drive vehicle on show including the French, Japanese, German and U. S. manufacturers, at the recent Paris Motor Show. After spending decades in the backyards of hobby mechanics the electric car is becoming a realistic alternative, triggered by a leap in lithium-ion battery technology that is lighter and more compact than the heavy nickel-cadmium version.


Swiss scolds German finance minister in tax spat

Hamburg - Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey scolded a German leader in an interview published Saturday and denied Switzerland was a tax haven.

In remarks to Der Spiegel, the German weekly, she said Switzerland was "astonished" at the tone of remarks Tuesday by German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, who grumbled Berne was not tipping Germany off about tax evaders.

She warned him not to try to place Switzerland on an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) black-list of nations that assist foreigners to evade taxes.

This would be a breach of a German-Swiss taxation treaty, she charged. "It would not be the approach one expects from a state bound by the rule of law," added Calmy-Rey.


Second German bank lines up for rescue

Berlin, GermanyHamburg - A second German bank lined up Saturday for a government rescue, as officials reportedly debated whether to force recapitalization on shy commercial banks.

One of the banks run by Germany's 16 states, BayernLB, has already appealed for help, and a second landesbank, HSH Nordbank, run by the states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, said it had decided in principle to apply.


Ballack apologises but case not closed for Loew

Hamburg (dpa) - Germany captain Michael Ballack has apologised for a recent critical statement on coach Joachim Loew but Loew said on Sunday that the case was not yet closed.

"I have taken notice of Michael Ballack's statement. But a personal meeting is more important. I will make my final assessment after that," Loew said on the website of the German football federation DFB.

Loew said he talked with Ballack on the phone Saturday and said the face-to-face meeting will take place in Germany in the near future.

DFB president Theo Zwanziger said that Loew alone would decide how to end the issue. There is speculation that Loew could axe Ballack as captain.


Tokio Hotel's third album delayed till next year

Hamburg - Tokio Hotel will not have its third album available till early next year, the German hit band's manager said Sunday, dashing hopes among teenage fans of a release this year.

The quartet, fronted by soft-faced 19-year-old singer Bill Kaulitz, has sent teen girls into a frenzy in Europe and is currently touring the United States.

The group won best new artist honours at the MTV Video Music Awards last month, and MTV Latin Awards this month.

Manager David Jost said, "There'll be no album release this year. It looks as if the third album will be out in March or April next year, probably simultaneously round the globe."


Sea levels to rise a metre this century, German experts warn

Hamburg, Germany - Sea levels around the world will rise one metre this century, according to German scientists who warn that global warming is happening much faster than hitherto predicted.

Citing UN date on climate change, two senior German scientists say that previous predictions were far too cautious and optimistic.

Earlier estimates predicted a rise of 18 to 59 centimetres in sea levels this century. But that estimate is woefully understated, according to Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who heads the Potsdam Institute for Research on Global Warming Effects, and Jochem Marotzke, a leading meteorologist.

"We now have to expect that the sea level will rise by a metre this century," said Schellnhuber in Berlin.


Nadal leads in unchanged ATP top 10

Rafael Nadal reigns supreme in men's tennisHamburg - Rafael Nadal of Spain led the way in the men's tennis rankings, with the latest list published on Monday by the ATP seeing an unchanged top 10.

Nadal, who has already clinched the prestigious year-ending top spot for the first time in his career, has 7,100 points.

Former number one Roger Federer, who won a third straight home title at the Swiss Indoors in Basle on Sunday, is second with 5,805 points, and third-ranked Serb Novak Djokovic has 4,575 points.


Jankovic finishes the year top of WTA list

Hamburg - High-flying Serb Jelena Jankovic tops the women's tennis rankings issued on Monday by the WTA and is already assured of staying there until next year.

Jankovic has 4,555 points and, according to a WTA statement on Saturday, has clinched the prestigious year-ending number one position for the first time in her career as well.

Russian Dinara Safina ranks second with 3,752 points and Serena Williams of the United States is third on 3,716 points in an unchanged top 10.


Hamilton focused on securing drivers' title in Brazil

Hamburg  - Lewis Hamilton heads into this weekend's final Formula One Grand Prix of the season at Interlagos in Brazil knowing a fifth-place finish will see him crowned the youngest ever F1 world champion.

Local favourite Felipe Massa of Ferrari is the main obstacle between Hamilton and the title, which could be the McLaren driver's regardless of what he does himself if Massa finishes third or lower.

Robert Kubica of BMW-Sauber is the only other driver in with a chance of the title but the Pole is nine points behind the McLaren man so needs to win the Brazil GP and hope both Hamilton and Massa finish out of the points.


Attacks on Syria, a land embroiled in several conflicts

Syria & IraqHamburg  - The Syrian Arab Republic, a neighbour of both Israel and Iraq, is embroiled in several conflicts. The country has been the target of several military attacks:

October 26, 2008: US soldiers attack a village near the Iraqi border, Syria claims. Nine people are said to have been killed and 14 injured in the commando raid. According to Iraqi sources, the operation was to target suspected terrorists that had previously attacked Iraqi security forces on the border. The US military has not officially confirmed the operation.


All the pressure on Hamilton, says Massa

Hamburg  - Ferrari's Felipe Massa believes all the pressure is on title rival Lewis Hamilton ahead of the final Formula One race of the season, Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

The McLaren-Mercedes driver Hamilton holds a seven-point lead over Massa following his victory in Shanghai on October 19 and will be crowned the youngest F1 world champion ever at the age of 23 if he finishes in fifth place or higher.

Even if Hamilton finishes outside the points, he will still clinch the drivers' title, if Massa finishes third or lower.

But despite the destination of the championship being out of his hands, the Brazilian feels confident that he could still snatch the title from Hamilton.


Electric bikes "silently" taking over the city

Hamburg - The familiar cluttering sound of motorbike scooters that has reigned in southern European for more than a century may be ending as an electric scooter silently takes over the streets.

Until a few years ago, the electric scooter was considered an inventors' joke with a cumbersome heavyweight battery pack that made it about as manoeuvrable as a loaded Bedford truck. But the latest battery-driven scooters and bikes can hardly be distinguished from their petrol-driven cousins with the new battery technology making it possible to hide the battery pack in the bodywork, giving it the same optimal weight distribution as in conventional bikes.


Ford's new Fiesta is a classy global supermini

Ford's new Fiesta is a classy global superminiHamburg - A wind of change is blowing through the supermini segment and following hard on the heels of the new Mazda 2 and the Seat Ibiza is Ford's contribution, the revamped Fiesta, now in its seventh generation.

The Blue Oval badly needs to win back customers in this market which it once dominated. After all, the Fiesta was the best-selling car in its class for a decade. The latest Fiesta is a truly global vehicle to be sold in dozens of markets around the world, from Asia to Eastern Europe.


Christmas decorations mix modern with traditional to cater to young

Hamburg - Glittery stars, ornaments piled on ornaments, tinsel and wooden figures: The practice of digging deep into the decoration box will be part of Christmas 
2008. 

People tuned in to tradition are delighted by such displays, while purists are horrified. But Christmas is a time when contrasting worlds of taste collide but still manage to celebrate the holiday peacefully together under the Christmas tree. 

The two conflicting decoration styles seem to have particularly inspired younger designers who have used entirely different forms in their creche and incense smoker creations. 


Winter brings makeup in chocolate and coffee tones

Winter brings makeup in chocolate and coffee tonesHamburg - The leaves are changing to brown and red tones, a sign that the cold weather months have arrived. 

Gradually, thicker coats are appearing, often wrapped around a man or woman carrying a hot chocolate or cappuccino. The delicious brown tones in those drinks are not just in the paper cups this season. They can also be found in the make-up of the women passers-by, as many cosmetic companies this season feature shades of brown. 


Winter arrives early in Germany

GermanyHamburg - The first snow of the autumn blanketed parts of central and southern Germany on Thursday, leading to power outages and numerous accidents on slippery roads.

A 29-centimetre layer of snow covered the Zollernalb district of the south-west state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, where police closed roads blocked by trees that collapsed under the weight of the snow.

Hundreds of homes in the city of Reutlingen were without power after electricity pylons were brought down in the abrupt change of weather.


Vandals desecrate Muslim graves at German cemetery

Hamburg - Vandals desecrated 17 Muslim graves at a cemetery in Hamburg over the weekend, police said Sunday.

The assailants besmeared the graves and overturned headstones and memorial slabs early Saturday, police said. They also daubed a swastika on a piece of linen and draped it over some of the graves.

Police said the attack appeared to be the work of a confused person or persons "without any political knowledge." dpa


Podolski ponders future at Bayern By Barry Whelan

Hamburg - Lukas Podolski came off the bench to set up one goal and score another from the penalty spot, but the Germany striker's future at Bayern Munich continues to be a matter of speculation.

Not for the first time this season, Podolski had to hear stinging criticism last week from club general manager Uli Hoeness.

And despite the continued absence of Luca Toni, who is nursing bruised ribs, there was again no place in the starting line-up for Podolski when Bayern took on Arminia Bielefeld at home on Saturday.

Coach Juergen Klinsmann said he wanted to try out a 4-2-3-1 system - using Miroslav Klose as a lone striker - for Wednesday's Champions League visit to Fiorentina.


Media hails world champion Hamilton and Brazil race suspense

Lewis HamiltonHamburg - There was a sigh of relief in Lewis Hamilton's native Great Britain on Monday amid a common agreement around the world that the sport of Formula One had never seen a more dramatic finale.

"Phew Lew," titled The Sun after Hamilton had claimed the world title over Felipe Massa in a "final lap drama" of the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.

French paper Le Figaro named Hamilton "world champion of suspense" and Britain's Daily Telegraph said he "redefined sporting drama."


Former drivers hail Hamilton's success

Lewis HamiltonHamburg - Former racing greats have been lining up to praise Lewis Hamilton following the McLaren-Mercedes driver's achievement in becoming the youngest Formula One world champion.

Hamilton, at the age of 23 years and 300 days, pipped Ferrari's Felipe Massa to the title by a single point after passing Timo Glock of Toyota on the last lap to finish fifth in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.

"That was the most exciting Formula One race I have ever seen in my life and it was for the world title," said Damon Hill, the last Briton to be crowned world champion in 1996.


Loew set to meet Frings to resolve dispute

Germany coach Joachim LoewHamburg - Germany coach Joachim Loew appears set to meet Torsten Frings on Tuesday in order to resolve another national team conflict after making peace with captain Michael Ballack.

Kicker sports magazine said that Loew wanted to meet Frings around Werder Bremen's Champions League match with Greek club Panathinaikos. The German football federation (DFB) only confirmed that the meeting was due this week.


German engineering strikes enter fourth day

German engineering strikes enter fourth day Hamburg - Workers in Germany's engineering sector were on a rolling strike for a fourth day Tuesday, underlining their union's calls for an 8-per-cent pay rise.

According to the IG Metall union, hundreds of workers participated in the strikes in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state. With the beginning of the morning shift at 5 am (0400 GMT) about 400 workers laid down work at Wadan Yards in Rostock-Warnemunde.

The union wants to expands its strikes to all of Germany, idling a number of plants for several hours, increasing pressure on employers to improve income offers.


Wladimir Klitschko lines up Rahman for title defence

Hamburg - Wladimir Klitschko will defend his IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against former champion Hasim Rahman in Mannheim, Germany, on December 13.

Confirming the fight on his website, Klitschko said: "Hasim Rahman is a very strong and experienced opponent who I definitely won't be underestimating."

Rahman, who will be 36 when the fight takes place, knocked out Britain's Lennox Lewis to win the world title in 2001, but was in turn knocked out by Lewis in a rematch later that year.

Wladimir Klitschko, 32, had been looking for a replacement after Russian mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin pulled out with an injury he suffered during a training session in his home town Kursk.


German industry workers demonstrate for more pay

IG Mettal UnionHamburg - Thousands of German factory workers walked off their jobs Tuesday and attended demonstrations, demanding wage rises of 8 per cent on the fourth day of nationwide labour disruption.

In the port city of Hamburg, 5,000 repair workers left a riverside shipyard and trooped through a pair of 100-year-old tunnels originally built for horse-and-buggy traffic to reach the other side of the river for one of the biggest rallies.


Littbarski takes coaching job in Liechtenstein

Hamburg  - Former Germany winger Pierre Littbarski was on on Tuesday appointed coach and sports director at Liechtenstein football club Vaduz.

Littbarski, 48, received a contract until 2010, Vaduz said on its website.

He succeeds Swiss Heinz Hermann at Vaduz, who play in the Swiss first division, where they are currently ranked eighth from 10 teams, and have won the Liechtenstein Cup the last 11 years.

The announcement came two weeks after Littbarski was sacked at Iran club Saipa Tehran. Littbarski has also coached in Japan at Yokohama (two stints) and Fukuoka, at Australian club Sydney and German side MSV Duisburg.

Littbarski won 73 Germany caps as a player and won the 1990 World Cup. (dpa)


Spurs hope to reverse UEFA Cup fortunes against Zagreb

Hamburg - Tottenham Hotspur hope to carry their rising Premier League form into the UEFA Cup on Thursday while Aston Villa seek a second win and Manchester City seek a good start into the competition.

Spurs were humbled 2-0 at Udinese in their opening group D match two weeks ago but now hope to rise from last place with a victory against Dinamo Zagreb.

City, who were idle on the first group match day, are at home as well, against Dutch side Twente Enschede in group A. Villa visit Slavia Prague after defeating former winners Ajax Amsterdam in their group F opener.


Loew lays down the law as peace returns to Germany

Hamburg - An apology from Torsten Frings appears to have restored the peace to the German national team set-up after a mini-revolt threatened to upset the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Coach Joachim Loew had found himself having to deal with a number of brush fires in the last few weeks despite Germany's solid start to its World Cup qualifying campaign.

Late Tuesday he met Werder Bremen's Frings in Berlin to tell him in no uncertain terms he would have to prove himself if he wants to win back his place in the team.

Loew had last week summoned his captain, Michael Ballack, for talks after the Chelsea midfielder had made some highly critical comments in a newspaper interview.


Steinway & Sons unveils most expensive piano

Steinway & SonsHamburg - US-based piano maker Steinway & Sons unveiled Wednesday the most expensive grand piano it has ever built: a 1.2-million-euro (1.5 million dollar) instrument with inlays of 40 different woods.

The 150-year-old company, which has a main workshop in the German city of Hamburg, said it took four years to make the piano for a Chinese customer, Guo Qingxiang.

The lid of the model, named the Sound of Harmony, is decorated with a copy of a picture by Chinese painter Shi Qi. Woods used included ebony, ashwood and rosewood. (dpa)


Alonso renews Renault contract by two years until 2010

fernando-alonsoHamburg  - Former world champion Fernando Alonso has renewed his contract at Renault until 2010, the French Formula One team announced on Wednesday.

Team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr was given another one-year contract.

The Spaniard Alonso hopes to relive his glory of the past at the team for which he won the world title in 2005 and 2006. He spent the 2007 season at McLaren but was unhappy there and returned to Renault.


Bierhoff interested in Munich general manager job

Hamburg  - Oliver Bierhoff could be reunited with Juergen Klinsmann as the current Germany general manager appears interested in the same job at Bayern Munich once Uli Hoeness leaves.

"I would not rule out finding myself in the position of Bayern Munich general manager at some stage," Bierhoff was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Bierhoff and Klinsmann acted as general manager and coach, respectively, for the German national team from 2004 onwards. Klinsmann did not renew his contract in 2006 and is now coach in Munich.

Hoeness is set to step down as Munich general manager next year after three decades on the job and is expected to be elected club president to succeed Franz Beckenbauer.


Pregnant pets and pregnant women have same needs

Pregnant pets and pregnant women have same needsHamburg - From morning sickness to ultrasound examinations, the symptoms and medical treatment that pregnant women experience are well known.

But what about pets? What should owners do when their dogs and cats get pregnant? Firstly, they should recognize that, as in humans, pregnancy is not an illness, said Thomas Steidl, a veterinarian from Tuebingen, Germany. But at the same time, owners should not take

their pet's condition too lightly.


Schalke and Bayern in crunch tie as Hoffenheim seek six pack

Hamburg- Leaders Hoffenheim will be looking to continue their remarkable series when they travel to Hertha Berlin on Sunday, but the top game of the weekend takes place the same day in Gelsenkirchen where Schalke 04 take on champions Bayern Munich.

Hoffenheim extended their winning run to five game by thrashing Karlsruhe 4-1 last Saturday, with the Bosnia striker Vedad Ibisevic taking his goal tally to a spectacular 13 from 11 games.

The promoted side, who have scored 25 goals in their last seven league games, now face a tough proposition in seventh-place Hertha whose strong recent form was somewhat tarnished with a 5-1 defeat at Werder Bremen last weekend.


Vitali Klitschko told to fight Gomez

Hamburg - Ukraine heavyweight Vitali Klitschko has been ordered to make a mandatory defence of his World Boxing Council (WBC) title against the German-based Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez.

The WBC agreed at its 46th general assembly in Chengdu, China Thursday that should the promoters of both boxers fail to agree on a fight, the bout would be open to purse bids on December 19 at the WBC's headquarters Mexico City.

Klitschko, 37, returned to the ring after a four-year absence to reclaim the WBC belt last month by beating Samuel Peter in a one-sided fight in which the Nigerian retired after the eighth round.


Stuttgart and Udinese win in UEFA Cup

Stuttgart and Udinese win in UEFA CupHamburg - German Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart and Serie A team Udinese on Thursday stayed on course for a place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Cup with victories in their group games.

Udinese won 2-1 at Spartak Moscow to register their second win from two games and move to the top of Group D with six points, while Stuttgart, who lost their first Group C game in Sevilla, bounced back with a 2-0 win against Partizan Belgrade.

Both goals for the home side were scored by Germany striker Mario Gomez late in the game.


Good night for German clubs in UEFA Cup

Good night for German clubs in UEFA Cup Hamburg - German Bundesliga clubs VfB Stuttgart, VfL Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin on Thursday stayed on course for a place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Cup with good results from their group games.

Wolfsburg had to come from behind to beat Dutch club Heerenveen 5-1 in the so-called Group of Death.

With AC Milan, Braga and Premier League side Portsmouth also in Group E, the German side went into the game knowing that they could not afford to lose at home.


Favourites win in UEFA Cup

Favourites win in UEFA CupHamburg - There were victories for most favourites in Thursday's UEFA Cup group games, with Serie A clubs AC Milan and Udinese being two of six club with two wins from two matches.

Former Champions League winners Milan needed a goal four minutes into injury time from substitute Ronaldinho to break down the Sporting Braga defence.

The other Group E game saw German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg come from behind to beat Dutch club Heerenveen 5-1 in the so-called Group of Death.


Favourites win in UEFA Cup, but some leave it late

Favourites win in UEFA Cup, but some leave it lateHamburg - There were victories for most favourites in Thursday's UEFA Cup group games, with Serie A clubs AC Milan and Udinese being two of six club with two wins from two matches.

Former Champions League winners Milan needed a goal four minutes into injury time from substitute Ronaldinho to break down the Sporting Braga defence.

The other Group E game saw German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg come from behind to beat Dutch club Heerenveen 5-1 in the so-called Group of Death.


Vitali Klitschko unhappy with Gomez fight

Vitali KlitschkoHamburg  - Ukrainian heavyweight Vitali Klitschko believes there is little interest in a fight ordered by the World Boxing Council (WBC) with the German-based Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez.

Klitschko, 37, had wanted to line up another opponent, preferably the Russian Nikolay Valuev, with the Briton David Haye also a possible candidate.

But he has now been told to make a mandatory defence of his WBC belt against the WBC's top-ranked contender Gomez.

"I can well remember knocking Gomez down when he was my sparring partner," Klitschko was quoted as saying by Friday's Bild newspaper.


Force India ends engine contract with Ferrari

Force India ends engine contract with FerrariHamburg  - The Force India Formula One team announced Friday that it has brought to an early end its engine deal with Ferrari, opening the way for a possible switch to Mercedes for next season.

The team, which is controlled by Indian billionaire Vijay Mally and has Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil as its drivers, had agreed a deal in 2007 to take Ferrari engines until the end of the 2009 season.

"Force India Formula One Team today announces it has ended its contract with Ferrari," the team said in a statement.


Carmakers eying German banking bail-out program

Carmakers eying German banking bail-out program Hamburg - Carmakers struggling to fund lease purchase sales may turn to a German government fund originally devised to bail out banks, according to a news report Saturday.

The financial services divisions of most automakers hold banking licences in Germany and could qualify for guarantees. Interest rates on those guarantees average about 
2 per cent annually, which is significantly cheaper than commercial borrowing rates in the current credit crunch.


Leverkusen held 3-3 in Karlsruhe after 3-0 lead

Leverkusen held 3-3 in Karlsruhe after 3-0 lead Hamburg - Bayer Leverkusen threw away a 3-0 lead in a 3-3 draw at SC Karlsruhe on Saturday and failed to go top again in the Bundesliga standings.

Patrick Helmes, Stefan Kiessling and Michael Kadlec were on target in the opening 24 minutes for Leverkusen, but Karlsruhe rallied from Anthony da Silva, Tim Sebastian and Alexander Iashvili.


Leverkusen throw away three-goal lead in 3-3 Karlsruhe draw

Leverkusen throw away three-goal lead in 3-3 Karlsruhe drawHamburg - Bayer Leverkusen threw away a 3-0 lead in a 3-3 draw at SC Karlsruhe on Saturday as they failed to go top again in the Bundesliga standings.

Patrick Helmes, Stefan Kiessling and Michal Kadlec were on target in the opening 24 minutes for Leverkusen who appeared on course for a fifth straight victory.

But Karlsruhe rallied from Anthony da Silva, Tim Sebastian and Alexander Iashvili to earn a point after losing the previous five matches.


Proper home ventilation prevents moisture damage and mildew

Hamburg  - Ventilating a home was no problem in the past because even when windows were kept shut, there was a constant exchange of air through poorly insulated exterior walls, joints, and cracks.

This uncontrolled ventilation wasted a lot of energy, though, and made the home's occupants turn up the heat. To save energy, buildings in Germany have been better insulated and equipped with modern windows in recent years.

But the new, airtight windows with heat-insulating glazing have a negative side. "Unless ventilation methods are changed, air moisture caused by showering, cooking, and washing isn't drawn out of living quarters, kitchens, and bathrooms," noted Dirk Petersen, who works for Hamburg's consumer advice centre.


No stopping Bayern as normal service resumes in Germany

Hamburg - Five wins in a row have taken champions Bayern Munich to within a whisker of going top of the Bundesliga table for the first time this season.

It seems to be a case of normal service resuming in German football after Bayern under Juergen Klinsmann took a long time to find their feet and little Hoffenheim were the unlikely team to beat.

On Sunday, however, the club which won promotion in successive years saw its five-game winning series come to an end in a 1-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin.

Meanwhile Bayern defeated Schalke 2-1 in a crucial game in Gelsenkirchen to move to 24 points from 12 games.


Jankovic tops final WTA rankings - Williams sisters rise

Hamburg - Jelena Jankovic topped the year-ending women's tennis rankings issued on Monday by the WTA, with Venus Williams climbing into sixth place courtesy of her title at the 2008 finale in Doha.

Jankovic, who was stopped in the Doha semis by Williams, tops the final list with 4,710 points. She was assured of the 2008 top spot ahead of the final week of action.

US Open champion Serena Williams is second with 3,866 points, swapping positions with Dinara Safina, who has 3,817 points.

Venus Williams climbed from eighth to sixth place after her three-set win Sunday over Vera Zvonareva. The Russian finalist also rose two places, from nine to seven.


Force India lands McLaren and Mercedes deal

Formula OneHamburg - Force India will be powered by Mercedes engines and use McLaren equipment as well next season, the Formula One team of Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya announced on Monday.

Mallya said in a Force India statement that the long-term deal had been set up with the help of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and motorsport supremo Max Mosley.

The news came a few days after Force India announced an early end of its engine deal with Ferrari which was originally due to run 2007-2009.


England match more than a test for Germany's Loew

England match more than a test for Germany's LoewHamburg - Germany coach Joachim Loew will have some clear words to say to the squad he names Thursday for next week's classic encounter with old rivals England.

Loew is to use the opportunity of the friendly international in Berlin to lay down some rules and guidelines on how he expects his players to behave for the rest of the qualification campaign for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.


Continued uncertainty over Mark van Bommel's Bayern Munich future

Bayern MunichHamburg - Bayern Munich's Bundesliga title chances are growing in the same way as the uncertainty about the future of captain Mark van Bommel at the club.

The Bild daily reiterated on Tuesday that van Bommel could be leaving when his contract expires after the season.

Talks between the Dutch midfielder and the club are set for December, but Kicker sports magazine also suggested this week that "the tendency at the club is towards departure."


Talking car technology making progress

Talking car technology making progressHamburg  - Smart car-to-car communication will one day make traffic jams obsolete and significantly improve road safety. That is the vision of several major car makers who recently presented the technology under realistic driving conditions at a test track in Germany.

Several cars, motorcycles and a truck could be seen communicating with each other at the Opel test track in Dudenhofen Germany based on wireless WLAN technology.


Alfa's baby Mito gets a little help from Ferrari

Alfa's baby MitoHamburg - This is a small car with a big mission: Alfa Romeo's new Mito hatch is designed to grab sales from BMW's iconic Mini and breathe new life into the famous Italian marque at the same time.

Getting the looks right is essential, if young people are to be lured to the brand and the makers of this sporty three-door hatchback have come up with a cheeky shape which oozes style.


Super luxury carmakers buck the credit crunch

Super luxury carmakers buck the credit crunchHamburg - As the credit crisis slices into global car sales, some of the world's most exclusive automobile manufacturers are weathering the storm with aplomb.

Their customers are people so super-rich that the economic downtown dents neither their income or desire to own the most expensive luxury vehicles money can buy.

While former financial high-flyers struggle to offload their BMW and Mercedes-Benz limousines, elitist British maker Aston Martin based in rural Warwickshire reports a surge of interest in high-end models.


Cologne longing for "Prince Poldi" as carnival gets underway

Hamburg - The carnival season is underway in Cologne and many locals would like to see it capped by the return of their football prince Lukas Podolski.

Plenty of revellers dressed in Podolski's Germany jersey with the number 20 and even mayor Fritz Schramma got involved once the carnival action started at 11:11 local time on Tuesday.

"Poldi is just the striker we need next to Milivoje Novakovic. We need a personality like Lukas on the pitch. He is the one who delivers what we need: Goals! Poldi and Cologne belong together," the Bild daily on Wednesday quoted Schramma as saying.


Premier League clubs top European merchandising sales

English Premier League LogoHamburg - The English Premier League has the biggest merchandising potential in Europe with an income of 171 million euros (217 million dollars) in the 2007-08 season, a report released on Wednesday said.

According to the European Football Merchandising Report compiled by the German Sport + Markt agency, the Premier League ranks ahead of Spain's Primera Liga (145 million euros), the German Bundesliga (127), France's Ligue 1 (86), Italy's Serie A (64) and the Dutch Eredivisie (22).


Loew calls German players oversensitive

Joachim LoewHamburg - Germany coach Jochim Loew has criticised the attitude of some players and said the recent disputes with captain Michael Ballack and Torsten Frings were harmful for the team's image.

Loew told Wednesday's edition of the Sport-Bild weekly that professional players should accept being benched and not express their dissatisfaction in public.

"There is a growing tendency that players express their dissatisfaction as soon as they are benched. We would do good to talk about the quality of football instead of players' sensitivities," Loew said.


Combine pots, decorative pebbles to create garden on a windowsill

Hamburg - Orchids, cyclamen and cacti - put them next to one another on a windowsill, add a little fantasy and together they become more than just a few plants positioned where the sun shines in.

They become a lovingly-arranged, potted garden assembled with the help of a huge selection of house plants now available in shops.

"Thirty years ago you had more or less the same 10 plants, but today there are about 250 green candidates to choose from," said John Langley, a master florist from Hamburg.


Laughter as medicine: How it helps people lead healthier lives

Laughter as medicine: How it helps people lead healthier livesHamburg - Have you laughed today? Good thing if you have because most people take life too seriously.

But those who laugh are healthier because laughing helps them loosen up. Though it causes the pulse initially to quicken, its slows down considerably, so that blood pressure sinks.

"The skeletal muscles relax and the overall result is better circulation to the muscles," said psychologist Michael Titze, chairman of an association called HumourCare in Tuttlingen, Germany, and a researcher into laughter.


Schalke test Leverkusen's title mettle; Bayern lie in wait

Bayer Leverkusen LogoHamburg - After moving almost unnoticed to the top of the Bundesliga, Bayer Leverkusen have a chance of putting one of their chief rivals behind them in the German league's top game on Saturday.

Leverkusen take on visiting Schalke 04 who will be seeking to bounce back from a 2-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich last weekend which has left them five points adrift of the leaders.

Leverkusen, who are equal on 25 points with promoted Hoffenheim, have emerged as a title contender under new coach Bruno Labbadia who has a young side playing an attractive attacking game.


Three newcomers as Frings and Lusaka - Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Zambia's north-central Comiss England match

Germany captain Michael BallackHamburg - Torsten Frings asked to be omitted for Germany's friendly with England after a recent row and captain Michael Ballack is recovering from injury as coach Joachim Loew on Thursday nominated three newcomers into his 20-player squad.

Defender Marvin Compper and midfielder Tobias Weis from Bundesliga sensation TSG Hoffenheim as well as VfL Wolfsburg defender Marcel Schaefer were invited for the first time ahead for Wednesday's match in Berlin.


Germany delicenses two Turkish-language broadcasters

Turkey Hamburg - Germany cancelled the licences of two Turkish-language Islamic television stations Thursday, eight weeks after senior executives were sent to jail for embezzlement.

The stations, Kanal 7 INT and TVT, were linked to the Deniz Feneri charity, which collected alms for the poor from devout Muslims living in western Europe.


Leverkusen hang on to top spot; Bayern stunned by Gladbach comeback

Leverkusen hang on to top spot; Bayern stunned by Gladbach comeback Hamburg - Bayer Leverkusen downed Schalke 2-1 to stay top of the Bundesliga on Saturday, while Bayern Munich lost ground after conceding two late goals at Borussia Moenchengladbach to draw 2-2.

Hoffenheim meanwhile stayed level on 28 points with Leverkusen at the top after edging Wolfsburg 3-2.

Bayern were left three points behind in third place after they were hit by two late goals in two minutes at lowly Moenchengladbach.


Leverkusen hang on to top spot; Gladbach peg Bayern

Leverkusen hang on to top spot; Gladbach peg BayernHamburg - Bayer Leverkusen downed Schalke 2-1 to stay top of the Bundesliga on Saturday, while Bayern Munich lost ground after conceding two late goals in a 2-2 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Hoffenheim meanwhile stayed second, level on 28 points with Leverkusen but with a slightly inferior goal difference after edging Wolfsburg 3-2.

Bayern were left three points behind in third place after they were hit by two late goals in two minutes at lowly Moenchengladbach.


Hit and miss: Gaming flat screen TVs put to the test

Flat screen displaysHamburg  - Flat screen displays for gaming PCs might not be ready for prime time yet, but they're not far off, either, according to a recent test by Computer Bild Spiele magazine.

The Hamburg-based periodical put six 22- to 24-inch monitors through their paces. One of the 24-inchers earned a score of "good"; the rest achieved only "satisfactory."

The test winner was the Samsung Sync Master 2493HM, which the testers saw as having a high image contrast, good anti-reflection characteristics and very good colour fidelity.


Maradona fever in Scotland while England and Germany clash

Diego MaradonaHamburg - The tie between England and Germany at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin may be the most high-profile international friendly on this week but much attention will also be on Diego Maradona's Argentina, who take on Scotland in his first match in charge.

Maradona arrived in Scotland to a hero's welcome at the weekend with Scottish fans clambering for autographs, many clutching a picture of his "hand of God" goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.


Sutil confident of continuing with Force India

Adrian SutilHamburg - Adrian Sutil has dismissed speculation that he won't be driving for the Force India Formula One team next year.

"I have a clear statement from the team that they are planning with me. Anyway, I already have a valid contract for 2009," the 25- year-old German told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Although Force India announced last month that Sutil would be retained in 2009, speculation has grown over his future ever since a new engine deal was signed with McLaren-Mercedes on November 10. (dpa)


Rebel chief Nkunda aims to take over whole of Congo

Rebel chief Nkunda aims to take over whole of Congo   Hamburg - Laurent Nkunda, the rebel chief whose armies have swept aside Congolese government forces, aims to take over the whole of the Democratic Republic of Congo, he said in an interview published Wednesday in Germany.

He told the weekly newspaper Die Zeit that under his leadership, the DR Congo would take over a seat representing Africa in the United Nations Security Council within five years.

His forces have won control in tracts of the east of the DR Congo.


John Terry helps England to win against Germany as Spain win

John Terry helps England to win against Germany as Spain winHamburg  - Captain John Terry scored a late winner as England downed Germany 2-1 in an international friendly in Berlin Wednesday while Luca Toni helped salvage a draw for world champions Italy against Greece and European champions Spain overcame Chile.

In other international action, Serbia demolished Bulgaria 6-1 in in Belgrade and could even afford the luxury of missing two penalties as Savo Milosevic bade farewell to the national side.


Asian blossoms set trend in autumn and winter fragrances

Asian blossoms set trend in autumn and winter fragrancesHamburg  - As winter draws near and the temperatures drop and the world becomes cold and dark, fragrances that add a bit of warmth, sensuality and exoticism to the air are usually in fashion.

That's also the case this year. While over the summer light, fresh scents were in, now heavier Asian florals and seductive, sensuous essences are taking over perfumeries.


Christmas celebrations may vary, but family remains the anchor

Christmas celebrations may vary, but family remains the anchorHamburg  - Celebrating Christmas with family remains very important to young people even in times when attending the traditional Christmas Eve religious service has lost its meaning for many people. Some don't even know what the holiday is all about.

"In a mobile world the family is an anchor," said Sabine Koppe of a Hamburg-based organization that follows trends in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. That's why holidays such as Christmas carry a lot of weight.


Accidents snarl roads as Germany waits for storm

Hamburg - Accidents snarled high-lying snowed-over roads Friday in Germany as Alpine countries stood by for high winds, sinking temperatures and heavy snow.

In the upland central state of Thuringia, a highway maintenance vehicle spreading salt to melt the snow was struck by a skidding truck, destroying both vehicles, police said. The drivers suffered only minor injuries.

Further north in the Harz mountains, trucks became immobilized when they could not climb steep grades on a snow-covered federal highway and had to be towed free.

Germany's first snow of this winter at sea level, a couple of centimetres deep, covered parts of northern Germany early Friday. The weather front, which marked the shock arrival of winter, was moving south.


Positive test on Italian rider Piepoli confirmed

Hamburg  - A positive test by the Italian rider Leonardo Piepoli for CERA, the third generation of the blood booster EPO, at this year's Tour de France has been confirmed by a French laboratory.

The internet website cyclingnews said Friday the B sample of the initial positive finding at July's Tour had been confirmed by the French laboratory of Chatenay-Malabry.

The 37-year-old rider is facing a two-year ban. (dpa)


Two dead, dozen hurt in winter accidents in Germany

Berlin, GermanyHamburg - Snow and ice played havoc on German roads, causing numerous accidents that left two dead and more than a dozen injured, police said Saturday.

The abrupt arrival of winter turned roads in skating rinks, forcing police to close the A4 autobahn near the eastern city of Dresden for several hours after it was blocked by trucks unable to move forward.


Cool Hoffenheim reclaim Bundesliga top as Leverkusen freeze

Cool Hoffenheim reclaim Bundesliga top as Leverkusen freezeHamburg  - TSG Hoffenheim kept their cool in a heated Cologne atmosphere to reclaim the Bundesliga lead from Bayer Leverkusen who were caught out cold in Bielefeld on saturday.

As winter weather hit Germany, league top scorer Vedad Ibisevic struck twice and fed Demba Ba for the other as promoted Hoffenheim won 3-1 in Cologne in a tense match which both teams ended with 10 men.


New titles for mobile consoles

Hamburg - The Playstation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo DS have been on the market for over three years now, but the wave of new titles is not slowing down at all.

While perhaps this applies more to the DS than the PSP, there's plenty of new games to go around as stores gear up in November for the Christmas season. This month's titles include murder and manslaughter, crazy rabbits, sing-crazy wobbly creatures and even tips on how to cook.

One DS title that was a hit at the trade fairs is now finally coming to stores: Unsolved Crimes, set in 1970s New York, a vibrant backdrop for exciting mobster hunts. And that's exactly what the player has to do, stepping into the role of a freshly commissioned member of the homicide department.


Netbooks not suitable for photo editing, report says

Hamburg  - Computers from the relatively new "netbook" category are best suited to surfing the internet while on the go, experts agree.

They are far less effective for processor-intensive tasks like photo and video editing, reports Hamburg-based Computer Bild following a recent test of eight current netbook models.


European giants on the brink of Champions League knock-out stage

Manchester UnitedHamburg - European champions Manchester United and Italian title-holders Inter Milan are among some of the continent's leading teams hoping to ensure their passage to the Champions League knock-out stage in this week's penultimate group matches.

Nine-time European champions Real Madrid, meanwhile, badly need a win following two defeats to already-qualified Juventus, while England's remaining contingent of Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea are among other contenders looking to seal their progress.


Advent in Europe sparkles with Christmas markets

Advent in Europe sparkles with Christmas marketsHamburg  - Every Advent, a special atmosphere grips several German and European cities. Christmas shoppers jostle light-heartedly to strains of Silent Night by choirs. The crisp air is redolent of gingerbread, egg punch and fir needles. And people gather after work at outdoor Christmas markets and warm up with mulled wine.


DFB not amused about double yellow card incident

Hamburg - The fans loved it, some of the players as well, but the ruling German football body DFB was not amused about a referee showing two yellow cards simultaneously during a second division match on the weekend.

On Sunday, referee Thomas Metzen dug deep into his shirt pockets and threw up his hands with a yellow card in each one to book Mainz 05 player Miroslav Karhan und St Pauli Hamburg's Florian Bruns.

News reports on Tuesday said that Metzen has received a warning from the DFB and was told never to do this again. He reportedly escaped further sanctions and told the Bild daily that "it was a mistake."


Juventus draw at Zenit St Petersburg

Juventus draw at Zenit St PetersburgHamburg - Zenit St Petersburg and Serie A giants Juventus played out a scoreless draw in a Champions League Group H encounter Tuesday.

Juventus, already qualified thanks to back-to-back wins against Real Madrid, dominated possession at the Petrovsky stadium in St Petersburg, but Zenit came closest to scoring when Pavel Pogrebnyak saw his long-range shot come back off a post.

Danny, who earlier saw a goalbound shot blocked, almost snatched victory and all three points for the home side close to the end by his shot went narrowly wide.


Arsenal, United and Real progress in Champions League

Hamburg - Both Arsenal and Real Madrid needed 1-0 wins to book their places in the last 16 of the Champions League Tuesday while a draw was sufficient for Manchester United to ensure their berth in the knockout stages.

Arsenal put a torrid week which saw William Gallas stripped of the captaincy and Arsene Wenger's side crash 3-0 at Manchester City behind them, registering a solid performance to beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 thanks to a late Nicklas Bendner score.

Kiev finished the game with 10 men after Olexandr Aliyev received a straight red card for trying to move the referee away from the ball as he wanted to take a free-kick quickly.


Ants offer clues to help improve flow of traffic, German experts say

Hamburg, Germany  - Ever wonder how hundreds of ants are able to go up and down a narrow twig without bumping into each other?

A team of German scientists want to find out how ants avoid collisions so that they can apply the same principles to cars on the motorways.

The scientists built an ingenious super "ant farm" complete with roads and bridges and a veritable city of ants. Then they observed the traffic patterns of the ants and fed their findings in to a computer.

The Dresden Institute of Technology collective intelligence expert Dirk Helbing and his team set up an ant highway with two routes of different widths from the nest to some sugar syrup, according to their findings, published in New Scientist.


Car AC can clear damp windscreens on winter days

Hamburg  - Even though car air conditioners (AC) work overtime during the summer, they should also be switched on during winter to remove damp air from the cockpit and prevent the windscreen from fogging-up, manufacturers recommend.

The air in the vehicle is not only heated up, but also dried as the defrost function helps clear the windscreen. Many car heating systems automatically engage the air conditioner in the defrost position. But if the car has no automatic climate control, the

defrost position should be adjusted manually.

A car AC is basically designed to move heat from the car interior to the exterior similar to a refrigerator.


Pilot Morgenstern ready for takeoff in ski-jumping season

Pilot Morgenstern ready for takeoff in ski-jumping seasonHamburg - Thomas Morgenstern is restricted to Austrian air space with his freshly obtained pilot's licence, but has permission for takeoff on the ski-jumping hills everywhere when he starts his World Cup title defence on the weekend.

Morgenstern, 22, received his pilot's licence last month which allows him to fly single-engine crafts in Austria.

"I am a pilot! ... It is a great feeling," Morgenstern said on a blog on the Red Bull website.


Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan advance in Champions League

Hamburg  - English and Spanish clubs completed their Champions League charge when Liverpool and Atletico Madrid swept into the knockout phase on Wednesday.

Italian champions Inter Milan also progressed to join Serie A rivals Juventus in the last 16 despite a 1-0 defeat at home to Panathinaikos

Liverpool joined defending champions Manchester United and Arsenal in the last 16 with a 1-0 win over Olympique Marseille, while Atletico complete a Spanish quartet including city rivals Real Madrid, Barcelona and Villareal by beating PSV Eindhoven 2-1.

However last season's losing finalists Chelsea will have to wait after being held 1-1 at Girondins Bordeaux.


Employees in hospitality industry often sexually harassed

Hamburg  - People who work in the hotel and restaurant industries often are the target of sexual harassment on the job, says a report by a Bilbao-based European agency for security and health in the workplace.

Nearly 8 per cent of hospitality employees complain about sexual harassment on the job, according to the report, which was referenced by a German professional association for food and restaurants based in Mannheim. In other branches about 2 per cent complain.

In addition, about 12 per cent see themselves as the target of intimidation and 6.5 per cent have been confronted with physical violence. In other sectors, the figures are 8.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively.


Nordic combined looks to new format in post-Manninen era

Hamburg  - Nordic combined skiing has undergone a complete overhaul to raise its popularity but has lost its superstar Hannu Manninen when the World Cup season starts on Saturday.

Manninen, 30, announced his retirement in May, quitting after a poor 2007-08 season. He is the sport's most decorated athlete with four World Cup trophies 2004-2007, a record 45 race wins, a sprint world title and team golds at worlds and Olympics.

The Finn will now watch from the sidelines as the sport twinning ski-jumping and cross-country skiing has changed face again for popularity and television reasons.


Violence involving Ajax fans ahead of Hamburg game

Hamburg - Fans of Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam have clashed with police in the northern German city of Hamburg ahead of a UEFA Cup tie in the city later Thursday.

Just hours before the game against Bundesliga side SV Hamburg, around 450 Ajax fans blocked the Reeperbahn, the famous red district in the city, breaking windows of a hotel and holding up traffic for around 40 minutes, said police spokesman Ralf Meyer.

On Wednesday night, between 30 and 40 Ajax supporters smashed up a local bar before attacking police called to the scene. Around 40 people were taken into custody as a result.

"Around 50 or 60 glasses were broken and the furniture was destroyed," said Meyer.


CSKA Moscow book place in knockout phase of UEFA Cup

Hamburg  - CSKA Moscow booked their place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup Thursday with a 2-1 victory over Polish side Lech Poznan in a Group H encounter.

Alan Dzagoev latched on to a pass from Vagner Love to open the scoring for the Russians and Yuri Zhirkov doubled the home side's lead at the Luzhniki Stadium with a left-footed volley just before the break.

Semir Pilic pulled on back for Poznan from a free-kick after 66 minutes.

The victory was CSKA's third win in succession in the group and moves CSKA on to nine points from three matches, five clear of Nancy and eight ahead of Poznan. Deportivo La Coruna and Feyenoord Rotterdam, who are both still without a point, meet later Thursday.


Milan, CSKA progress as City, Spurs move closer

Milan, CSKA progress as City, Spurs move closerHamburg  - A late strike from Filippo Inzaghi was enough to salvage a 2-2 draw for AC Milan away to Portsmouth in the UEFA Cup Thursday and book the Serie A side's place in the tournament's knockout stages.

CSKA Moscow also progressed thanks to a 2-1 win over Lech Poznan while Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester and Standard Liege moved a step closer with victories.

Milan found themselves behind when Younes Kaboul headed home a Glen Johnson cross and looked to be heading for certain defeat when Kanu made it 2-0 for Pompey.


Ajax come to life again with win in Hamburg

Ajax come to life again with win in HamburgHamburg  - The concept of total football was nowhere to be seen, but Thursday night's 1-0 victory at SV Hamburg was a sign that Ajax Amsterdam are coming back to life.

The outcome of the UEFA Cup group match all but assured the Dutch club of a place in the knockout stages, as a domestic and international slump could be nearing its end.

"The victory was very important. We haven't had a lot of success in Europe lately," said coach Marco van Basten.


UEFA pays broadcasters for Euro 2008 blackout, says German report

UEFA denies censoring Euro 2008 TV imagesHamburg - UEFA has agreed to pay compensation to broadcasters who lost live pictures as a result of a power blackout during a Euro 2008 match, Germany's Spiegel news magazine reported.

Football's organizing body in Europe has agreed to pay "a high six-figure sum" to the German public broadcaster ZDF, according to the report released in advance of Monday's publication.

All broadcasters affected will be paid unspecified compensation, according to the report.


Video disc recorders do far more than just copy TV programs

Hamburg  - Avid TV fans, who do not want to miss an episode of their favourite programmes, are now in a conundrum over video disc recorders.

On the one hand, these devices offer far more features that video cassette recorders ever did. But on the other hand, the amount of new options can be so overwhelming that many people use only a fraction of the new functions.

Modern video recorders are truly multifunctional devices. Used properly, they can offer a wide range of services - from time- delayed recording to creation of a personalized DVD archive.

The first step is linking the recorder to the television.

"The recorder has to be linked to the television and the antenna," says Michael Wagner of Panasonic in Hamburg.


Mobile phone cameras no substitute for digital cameras

Mobile phone cameras no substitute for digital cameras Hamburg  - Even though modern mobile phones can take good photos, they are no match for a good digital camera, according to a test by Germany's Computer Bild magazine.

The test compared six mobile phone cameras ranging in price from 170 to 500 euros (229 dollars to 675 dollars) and Sony's DSC-H3 camera, which costs just under 280 euros.

The best camera scored a good grade of 2.3. Nonetheless, the best mobile phone, the Nokia 6220 Classic, scored a satisfactory grade of 3.4.


Gloom in Schalke, Hertha on a high in tale of two cities

Schalke 04 LogoHamburg - In the Ruhr area city of Gelsenkirchen, they've been waiting 50 years. In Berlin, it's been even longer.

Passions run high in the former, one of the traditional heartlands of German football, where a pall of gloom hangs over Schalke 04 after what is turning out to be a disappointing Bundesliga season.

Another disappointing season, one could say, for despite huge ambitions - and a huge outlay on new players - Schalke's last league title was in 1958, before the Bundesliga was formed in 1962.


Bayern want Timoschuk, ready for Podolski sale

Bayern Munich LogoHamburg - Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are seeking to sign Ukrainian midfielder Anatoly Timoschuk from Zenit St Petersburg and are ready to release frustrated forward Lukas Podolski, general manager Uli Hoeness said.

Hoeness, who met Timoschuk for talks in Munich on Sunday, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Monday that Timoschuk was a possible signing for next season.

"We had informational talks on a possible transfer from July 1, 2009," Hoeness said.


Germany battles to retain its place on the F1 calendar

Mercedes and BMW LogoHamburg - Mercedes and BMW have both come out strongly in support of Germany continuing to host a Formula One grand prix in the wake of reports at the weekend that the country could be without a F1 race in 2010 for financial reasons.

Hockenheim GmbH, the cash-strapped company that runs the Hockenheim circuit, is considering withdrawing from the 2010 German Grand Prix and officials from the Nuerburgring have already said they would be unable to stage the event, which would leave the country without a F1 race for the first time in nearly half a century.


Choreographer Cherkaoui wins major German arts prize

Sidi Larbi CherkaouiHamburg - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, the choreographer, has won the 75,000-euro (95,000-dollar) Kairos Prize for his contributions to modern dance, the Alfred Toepfer Foundation said Tuesday.

His mother is a Flemish Catholic and his father a Muslim Moroccan, and his dances, like his ancestry, often mix two cultures. His latest work Sutra, partly inspired by China's Shaolin martial arts, is set to premiere in Berlin on Wednesday.

The private Hamburg foundation is set to hand over the prize, awarded annually to leaders in the arts, in February. (dpa)


Car makers to re-invent the car as industry braces for worst crisis

Hamburg  - Car factories from Detroit, to Tokyo and Munich are grinding to a halt as the car industry faces its biggest shake-up in decades with millions of unsold, new cars standing idle in the parking lots of dealerships and storage depots.

But while analysts are asking themselves whether big names such as General Motors, Chrysler and Ford will survive the winter, engineers are looking at nothing less than re-inventing the car for a new era of sustainability.

Paradoxically, the crisis in the industry comes at a time when car makers are announcing almost weekly, new innovations in clean-drive technology and dealerships are offering special discounts. Cars have never been safer, more efficient and versatile.


Hoffenheim close to perfection ahead of Munich game

TSG Hoffenheim LogoFrankfurt/Hamburg - TSG Hoffenheim are playing almost perfect football going into Friday's Bundesliga topper at Bayern Munich, according to their sponsor Dietmar Hopp.

But Hopp, 68, a German billionaire co-founder of software giants SAP and former striker at the club, won't be on hand for the hyped game as he is on holiday in Florida.

Tensions between the leaders Hoffenheim and the champions Munich rose when Munich general manager Uli Hoeness suggested that Hoffenheim's players were earning more than the club said.


End of an era as EBU could lose Olympic broadcast rights

EBU Logo Hamburg - Olympic television broadcasts from 2014 onwards could be aired by private networks in Europe instead of the state-run stations which covered the Games for the last 50 years, a German television executive said on Wednesday.

Dieter Gruschwitz, the head of sports at the ZDF state network, said that such a scenario was not out of the question after the International Olympic Committee rejected an offer from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for the 2014 and 2016 Games.


Udinese progress in UEFA Cup as Nijmegen stun Spartak

Udinese progress in UEFA Cup as Nijmegen stun Spartak Hamburg  - Udinese secured a 2-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Cup Wednesday to book their place in the last 32 of the tournament, while in the other match in Group D NEC Nijmegen shocked Spartak Moscow to keep their hopes of qualification alive.

The Serie A side went into the match against Zagreb needing just a draw to progress and never looked back after going in front through an early goal from Fabio Quagliarella. Christian Obodo sealed the win with Udinese's second goal 11 minutes from time.

Igor Biscan pulled one back for the Croats in time added on.


Natural cosmetics also can cause irritation and allergic reactions

Natural cosmetics also can cause irritation and allergic reactionsHamburg - Natural cosmetics can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions similar to ordinary cosmetic products, dermatologists say.

Consumers should thus be careful when selecting a new product, said dermatologist Antje-Ulrike Wagner in an article published in the November edition of a German pharmacy magazine. Generally, contact allergies to herbal ingredients seldom occur, but people with sensitive skin should test a cream on the inside of the arm for three days before using the new product on the face.


German duo Hamburg and Wolfsburg advance in UEFA Cup

German duo Hamburg and Wolfsburg advance in UEFA Cup Hamburg  - Bundesliga teams Wolfsburg and SV Hamburg chalked up wins to progress from the group stage of the UEFA Cup with a game to spare on Thursday.

England's Aston Villa also progressed despite a home defeat, while Portugal's Sporting Braga and Spain's Valencia also booked their places in the Round of 32.

Wolfsburg joined already qualified Group E rivals AC Milan into the last 32 with a 3-2 victory over visiting Portsmouth, leaving the Premier League side crashing out without a win from three matches.


Cosworth set to build standard engine as F1 tries to save money

Cosworth LogoHamburg - The Cosworth company is set to build a standard engine for Formula One teams as part of a major cost-cutting scheme, the ruling body FIA announced on Friday.

The announcement, made in a letter by FIA boss Max Mosley to all teams, came just hours after Honda announced its withdrawal from F1 racing due to the global economic crisis.

The news from Japan sent shockwaves through the sport but seemed to confirm the urge of Mosley and the sport's commercial area boss Bernie Ecclestone that spendings must be slashed as soon as possible.


Honda exit confirms the cold hand of recession on sport

Honda exit confirms the cold hand of recession on sportHamburg - Honda's withdrawal from Formula One racing came as a shock on Friday, but there were several signs over the past days that the auto industry's crisis would spill over into world sport.

Less than a fortnight ago General Motors announced the premature end of their endorsement of golf star Tiger Woods, saving them an estimated 7 million dollars (5.5 million euros) a year.


World's oldest entertainer spends 105th birthday on stage

Johannes HeestersHamburg - The world's oldest entertainer, Dutch-born musical star Johannes Heesters, turned 105 Friday doing what he has always done: putting on stage makeup and going out on stage to perform.

Heesters, who is also in the thick of a lawsuit and a controversy about remarks this week on Dutch television, has been booked to perform for a season of the operetta The White Horse Inn.

Reviewers conceded last month that he quavers a bit now, but where else in the world can you pay to see a 105-year-old tenor?

His role, as the Emperor Franz Joseph, requires him to sing only one song and spend eight minutes on stage.


The Germany fairy tales are over, says Bierhoff

Germany enter Euro 2008Hamburg - The fairy tales are over for German football as national team manager Oliver Bierhoff urged hard work for future success in an interview published on Saturday.

"We must realize that the summer fairy tale, and the summer fairy tale 'reloaded' - if you want to give Euro 2008 this name - is over ... We must be down to earth again," Bierhoff told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.


Calls mount in Germany for state aid to industry

Calls mount in Germany for state aid to industry Hamburg  - Calls mounted in Germany Saturday for the government to come to the aid of industry as the nation battens down for what may be its worst downturn for 15 years.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected calls for the federal government to increase borrowing and give Germans more to spend. One proposal this week had called for Germans to be given 500-euro (630-dollar) vouchers to spend on slow-selling products.


Five teams battle to reach Champions League KO stage

Five teams battle to reach Champions League KO stageHamburg - Five teams are fighting for the last three places in the knockout stage of the Champions League when the last group matches take place on Wednesday and Thursday.

There is also plenty at stake for clubs now out of contention in the Champions League but seeking UEFA Cup participation as third-place finishers in their groups.

Roma, Chelsea, Girondins Bordeaux in Group A, and Panathinaikos and Anorthosis Famagusta in Group B are vying for the remaining three places in the last 16.


Bayern Munich join chase for Hamburg striker Olic

Bayern Munich LogoHamburg - Bayern Munich have joined the list of clubs interested in signing SV Hamburg's Croatia striker Ivica Olic, according to a report to appear in Germany's Bild newspaper.

The German champions have made a firm offer for the player who has also been linked in various media reports with moves to Juventus, Valencia, Villareal and Liverpool, Bild reports.

The mass-circulation daily, in its edition to appear Tuesday, quotes Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as saying Olic would make a perfect partner for strikers Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose.


Diego banned for four games in latest Bremen blow

Hamburg  - Playmaker Diego from troubled top club Werder Bremen was banned for four Bundesliga matches by the German football federation on Tuesday for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Diego, 24, grabbed SC Karlsruhe player Christian Eichner by the throat and neck during the teams' league match on Saturday which Karlsruhe won 1-0.

The incident went unnoticed by the referee but the DFB acted upon television footage. The DFB said that Bremen and Diego have accepted the ruling.

The Brazilian midfielder will miss the final match of the year on the weekend and the first three games after the winter break. He is eligible to return in late February for the match at Energie Cottbus.


Bayern have bitter-sweet memories - and Ribery - on their side

Bayern Munich LogoHamburg - Bayern Munich will be going out for victory at Olympique Lyon on Wednesday to make absolutely sure of top spot in Group F of the European Champions League.

A win followed by a victory on Saturday at VfB Stuttgart - and possible top spot in the Bundesliga - would be the perfect end to the year for Bayern in Juergen Klinsmann's first term in charge.

Yet a defeat in Lyon might conceivably be considered a good omen for the German champions.

The last time Bayern lost on French soil - a heavy 3-0 defeat at Lyon in March 2001 - they went on to win Europe's top crown just two months later.


Drogba helps Chelsea into knockout stages, Panathinaikos through

Drogba helps Chelsea into knockout stages, Panathinaikos throughHamburg - A neatly taken second-half goal from substitute Didier Drogba helped Chelsea book their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a
2-1 victory Tuesday over Romanian side CFR Cluj.

Despite the win, last year's beaten finalists Chelsea still finish second in Group A behind Roma, who secured top spot with a 2-0 win over Bordeaux, who qualify for the UEFA Cup.


Panathinaikos surprise; Drogba helps Chelsea through

Panathinaikos surprise; Drogba helps Chelsea throughHamburg  - Panathinaikos are one of the surprise top seeds in the knockout stages of this season's Champions League after a 1-0 victory over Anorthosis Famagusta ensured the Greeks of finishing atop Group B.

Inter Milan could have finished top, but Jose's Mourinho's team went down 2-1 to Werder Bremen as a result of second-half goals from Claudio Pizarro and Markus Rosenberg, which earned the German side a UEFA Cup berth. Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted for the Serie A side.


Lightweight materials making cars more economical

Lightweight materials making cars more economicalHamburg - For decades cars have become bigger and heavier with more luxurious and safety gadgets, but several car makers are bucking the trend with new lightweight materials and design principles that save both fuel and resources.

Heavier cars mean more fuel consumption and more wear-and-tear of components such as suspension and tyres.

Audi pioneered weight-saving technology 10 years ago with aluminium bodies which are two-thirds lighter than conventional steel. It is alloyed with magnesium and silicon for additional strength.


Real convince under Ramos; wins for Bayern, Porto; United pegged

Real convince under Ramos; wins for Bayern, Porto; United pegged Hamburg - Real Madrid powered to a 3-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg under new coach Juande Ramos while Bayern Munich and Porto also enjoyed victories in the Champions League on Wednesday.

European champions Manchester United were meanwhile held 2-2 by Danish visitors Aalborg, while Fiorentina and Dynamo Kiev clinched narrow wins to go into the UEFA Cup.


Tanning in a solarium provides no protection against sunburn

Hamburg  - Tanning in a solarium before going into the sun provides no appreciable protection against sunburn. However, it does raise the risk of skin cancer considerably, according to information from a German cancer support association and a German dermatological prevention organization.

As ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate deep into the skin, they also accelerate the ageing of the skin. Despite these risks, 14 million Germans use solariums, making Germany Europe's top country for artificial tanning, according to a study conducted this year and recently published by the two groups.


Prefab mobile homes for modern-day nomads seek foothold

Hamburg  - Packing boxes will always be necessary when moving house, but there may come a time when the need to refurnish and redecorate with every move is a thing of the past.

Mobile prefabricated homes that move with their owner are seen by some as an architectural concept with potential. And these moveable structures already are available today.

Flexibility and mobility increasingly are big issues for people looking to invest in a home. Christoph Windscheif of the association of prefabricated homes in Bad Honnef, Germany, speaks of an "ambitious vision of the future" as a factor.

"There certainly are people who can imagine that type of modern nomadic life," said Windscheif.


New jewellery trends feature glistening stones and reddish gold

New jewellery trends feature glistening stones and reddish goldHamburg  - A gift of jewellery can express love, status, luxury or simply a zest for life.

But it always expresses a special emotion. That makes necklaces, bracelets and rings a favourite Christmas gift. But jewellery must match both a person's outfit and the current fashion.

While everything points to clean lines and discreet colours in fashion, jewellery by contrast is breaking away and going off in its own direction.


Hamburg Airport gains rail link to city

Hamburg Airport LogoHamburg - Germany's fourth-biggest airport, in Hamburg, gained its own rail link Thursday when a 3-kilometre tunnel from the air terminal to the rail system opened.

A 26-minute ride to downtown on the electric-train link costs 2.60 euros (3.35 dollars), far less than the expensive airport coaches which are the bugbear of air travellers in many nations.

Defenders of the German language were upset at plans to call the new underground station "Hamburg Airport" in English. So the German word for airport was added in parentheses, making the name "Hamburg Airport (Flughafen)".


Pavin set to be next US Ryder Cup captain

Corey PavinHamburg - Corey Pavin looks set to replace Paul Azinger as US Ryder Cup captain for the 2010 event with Europe.

The United States defeated Europe 16[0xbd]-11[0xbd] at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky in September to win the trophy for the first time since 1999 but have not secured victory in Europe since The Belfry in 1993. The 2010 contest takes place at Celtic Manor in Wales.

Former US Open winner Pavin, 49, was Tom Lehman's assistant at Ireland's K Club in 2006 when Europe won by 18[0xbd]-9[0xbd].

Europe are expected to name their captain in 2009, with former Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal the current favourite. (dpa)


Tough draw - or a tea party? CL set for showdown

Champions league LogoHamburg - The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League made by Franz Beckenbauer pitted nine-time European champions Real Madrid against four-time winners Bayern Munich.

Fortunately - perhaps - for both teams it was only a mock draw staged by Germany's pay-TV broadcaster Premiere. So try again: this time the Kaiser pulls Chelsea out of the hat for Bayern.

Smiles all round, but anything's possible when the real draw takes place at UEFA headquarters at Nyon, Switzerland on December 19.


Fisichella and Sutil still not certain of Force India drive in 2009

Fisichella and Sutil still not certain of Force India drive in 2009Hamburg - Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil are still not certain of driving for the Force India team in the 2009 Formula One season after team boss Vijay Mallya said in an interview Thursday that he has yet to finalise his driver line-up.

Mallya said in October that the pair would continue in 2009 but told the BBC that his team's newly signed technical link-up with McLaren to use the same engines, gearbox and hydraulics as McLaren- Mercedes had changed things.


Beefy-arms Santa flings trees aboard ships

Beefy-arms Santa flings trees aboard ships Hamburg  -  A Santa Claus with arms like a lumberjack flung small Christmas trees as gifts to sailors aboard ships tied up in the German port of Hamburg Thursday.

Werner Koop, representing a fir-tree growers' association in nearby Schleswig-Holstein state, said, "We wanted to show a little solidarity with seafarers."

Santa's boat chugged through the docks, distributing trees among crews who are likely to spend December 25 at sea or on river voyages. Thanks to Santa's powerful discus-style throw, none of the 50 trees fell in the water. (dpa)


Lehmann doesn't rule out club move and future coaching career

Jens LehmannHamburg - Former Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will decide on his future based on the success of his club VfB Stuttgart and doesn't even rule out another move at the age of 39.

"I like it a lot in Stuttgart, the atmosphere is nice and the people as well. But you never know what will happen ... It will depend a bit on the sporting development in Stuttgart," Lehmann told Saturday's edition of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) daily.

"I know I am 39 years old, but I don't feel this number."


Fisichella and Sutil confirmed as Force India drivers for 2009

Force India f1 LogoHamburg - The Force India Formula One team ended speculation about its driver line-up for the 2009 season Saturday by confirming it will continue with Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Force India also confirmed that Vitantonio Liuzzi will be retained as the official test and reserve driver "to give complete driver continuity" for the team's second season in F1.

Earlier this week, team boss Vijay Mallya re-opened the issue of who would drive for Force India in 2009 when he said in an interview that he was yet to finalise his driver line-up.


Experts recommend treating online addiction as a disease

Hamburg  - Addiction to online games should be treated as a distinct illness, experts recommended recently.

Round-the-clock gaming or chatting can have long-term negative impacts on a child or teenager's social, mental and emotional development, said psychologist Joerg Petry at an annual convention on gambling addiction in Hamburg.

"The pull of the PC as a medium is so strong that people turn completely inward," he said. In this way, some addicts come to play 50 consecutive hours or spend 100 hours a week at their computer.

But Petry says studies with students have shown that online addiction is not as widespread as assumed hitherto. It often proves just a a temporary problem during adolescence.


New proof of giant black hole at galaxy's centre, German experts say

New proof of giant black hole at galaxy's centre, German experts sayHamburg, Germany  - A team of German scientists have come up with compelling, new proof that a huge, giant black hole of unimaginable dimensions is at the very heart and centre of our galaxy.

For decades, astronomers have speculated about the possibility of a black hole at the Milky Way galaxy's centre. But because of the billions of stars which lie between Earth and the hub of the galaxy, it has always been impossible to see what is actually at the centre.


Alta Badia takes over scrapped Val d'Isere slalom on December 22

Alta Badia takes over scrapped Val d'Isere slalom on December 22Hamburg - The Italian resort of Alta Badia will on December 22 host a men's World Cup slalom ski race which was cancelled due to adverse weather on Sunday in Val d'Isere, France, the ruling body FIS said on Monday.

Alta Badia also hosts a giant slalom on Sunday, December 21. Snowfall and strong wind forced organizers to cancel the race in Val d'Isere. (dpa)


Singapore Airlines increases charges for emergency exit seats

Singapore Airlines increases charges for emergency exit seatsSingapore/Hamburg  - Singapore Airlines has implemented a new charge for economy class passengers who want to book a seat beside an emergency exit.

Passengers will now have to pay a minimum of 50 dollars for an advance, online seat-booking on each stretch of the route.

The decision means a flight on the airline's Frankfurt-Singapore-Sydney route can cost an additional 100 dollars.

So far, passengers could check-in online and book an emergency exit seat free of charge.


Tense time for top teams in UEFA Cup group climax

Hamburg  - Two-time UEFA Cup champions Tottenham Hotspur are one of several big names fighting for a place in the Round of 32 knockout round of the competition as the group stage reaches its climax on Wednesday and Thursday.

With nine places still up for grabs, it will be a tense time for Spurs along with the likes of the Spanish trio of Sevilla, Deportivo La Coruna and Racing Santander, Italy's Sampdoria or Greece's Olympiakos.

Meanwhile, some of Germany's contingent are in trouble. Hertha Berlin need a victory, a draw may not be good enough for VfB Stuttgart, while Schalke 04 must hope rivals fail to win their games.


Afghan youth silent at sister-killing trial in Germany

Hamburg - An Afghan-born youth declined to testify Tuesday at his trial for the murder of his own sister in Germany.

The May 15 stabbing death of Morsal O, 16, in Hamburg attracted enormous attention at a time when Germans were concerned at a rash of "honour killings" by immigrants from archaic central Asian societies.

The term usually refers to a Muslim daughter being killed by the male members of her own family who collectively decide she has disgraced the family honour through a sexual relationship.

As more details of the Morsal case have emerged, some media have suggested the case may not fit that pattern.


Deportivo, Copenhagen and Lech Poznan advance in UEFA Cup

Deportivo, Copenhagen and Lech Poznan advance in UEFA Cup Hamburg - Spain's Deportivo La Coruna, Poland's Lech Poznan and Danish side Copenhagen secured places in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup on Wednesday.

French side St Etienne drew with Valencia, while Hamburg downed Aston Villa and Wolfsburg drew at AC Milan to finish top of their groups.

Deportivo needed a 73rd-minute goal from Mexican striker Omar Bravo to edge French side Nancy in Group H where three teams were fighting for two qualifying places behind CSKA Moscow.


Get the facts before considering permanent make-up

Get the facts before considering permanent make-upHamburg  - Perfect make-up all day, every day, remains the goal of many women. Some even strive for perfection after swimming or coming off a long day of work.

While eyeshadow and blush fade far too quickly, permanent make-up promises a fresh tone and a perfectly made-up face. The permanent make-up business is booming, but anyone considering having the procedure should inform themselves well in advance.


Williams announce January 19 rollout of new F1 car

Williams announce January 19 rollout of new F1 carHamburg  - Williams will unveil its car for the 2009 Formula One season on January 19 in Portugal, the British team said on Thursday.

The rollout of the FW31 car with drivers Nico Rosberg of Germany and Kazuki Nakajima of Japan will take place on the Algarve Motor Park Circuit near the town of Portimao.

But the 2009 colours won't be unveiled until February 27, Williams said. The January rollout will see a car with a winter test painting.

The 2009 season starts on March 29 with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.


Spanish duo crash out; Spurs, Olympiakos book UEFA Cup KO berths

Spanish duo crash out; Spurs, Olympiakos book UEFA Cup KO berths Hamburg - Two-time winners Sevilla and fellow Spanish side Racing Santander both crashed out of the UEFA Cup, while England's Tottenham Hotspur were among teams to advance to the last 32 Thursday

Sevilla, winners of the competition in 2006 and 2007, slipped to a 1-0 Group C defeat at Sampdoria who earn a place in the knockout stage.

Germany's VfB Stuttgart clinched the third spot in the group by downing group winners Standard Liege 3-0 to bag one of the six remaining places at stake on the night.


Gross calls for return to basics as equipment rules swimming

http://www.topnews.in/files/Michael-Gross.jpg " alt="Michael Gross" title="Michael Gross" width="113" height="150" align="left" />Hamburg - Former German swim star Michael Gross has entered the debate on new suits which have led to a flood of world records by calling on his sport to return to its basic equipment.

"It has become a technology battle which even overshadows the doping debate. That is a wrong turn for the sport," Gross told Deutsche Presse-Angentur dpa.

"Swimming is risking manoeuvring itself on to the sidelines."

Gross called for a return to "swim shorts and suits" or at least for a standard suit to be used by all athletes.


Life in the fast lane appears over for sport

Hamburg  - Honda's decision to quit Formula One has come as a shock and signalled that the world economic crisis has hit the world of sports for good.

The troubled carmakers are not only aiming to cut costs in their motorsport engagement, but like others are also scaling down their general sports involvement and endorsements amid the grim realities.

Even the International Olympic Committee is cautious. The IOC has postponed the bidding process for the US television rights of the 2014 and 2016, hoping for a more favourable economic climate next year.

The IOC makes almost 1 billion dollars from Olympic TV rights.


Harrington shines as Tiger rests for most of the season

Hamburg  - Although Tiger Woods took yet another step towards immortality by winning his 14th major, it was Irishman Pedraig Harrington who grabbed the headlines when he became the first European to win the PGA Championship in 78 years.

Harrington added the Open to take two of the four majors on offer in 2008, but could do little to prevent Europe from relinquishing their hold on the Ryder Cup with a 16.5 to
11.5 defeat against the US at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

Trevor Immelman managed to beat Tiger Woods by three shots in The Masters played at Augusta in April to win the first major on offer for the year.


Spain shine brightest in year of football highlights

Hamburg  - If expectations were weighing heavily on the shoulders of Luis Aragones, he was not showing it. Stepping before the assembled press on the eve of the European Championship final, the coach of Spain knew it was time his country delivered.

Spain had reached the Euro 2008 final undefeated, but failure had defined the country's national football team for decades.

Not since winning the 1964 European title had Spain won a major tournament, and the national team had suffered defeat to France in the 1984 European final, the last time it had gone so far.

Now Aragones and Spain were up against the tournament team par excellence: Germany, winners of three World Cups and three European Championships.


Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt stand out on Planet Olympia

Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt stand out on Planet OlympiaHamburg  - Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps starred on Planet Olympia while Spain were Europe's football stars and Lewis Hamilton prevailed in a galactic Formula One finale.

Jamaica's Bolt rewrote sprint history in Beijing with three earth- shattering world records. The American swimmer Phelps won eight gold medals and became the most successful Olympian ever with a total 14 golds.

Two months earlier, in June, Spain finally shrugged off their image of underachiever when their classy football gave them the Euro 2008 crown.


Hamilton to be the face of Formula One for years to come

Hamilton to be the face of Formula One for years to comeHamburg  - Lewis Hamilton's dramatic clinching of the 2008 drivers' title in the last lap of the final race of the season heralds what many believe will be the Briton's domination of Formula One for the foreseeable future.

The 23-year-old's passing of Germany's Timo Glock in the Brazilian Grand Prix to move to fifth place, helped the McLaren-Mercedes driver take the title by one point from race winner Felipe Massa of Ferrari.


Ordering your bookmarks and how to fight browser chaos

Hamburg  - If your browser's list of bookmarks has become so long that you can only see the bottom entries by scrolling down, it may be time for some housekeeping. Still, once dozens or even hundreds of links have piled up, getting them back in order can be an arduous task. It may be time for a different approach such as ongoing maintenance of your favourites. Several tools can help with this task.


German New Year's Eve ritual involves dead English music hall comic

Hamburg  - Millions of Germans will settle down in front of their TV sets on New Year's Eve for what has become an annual ritual - the airing of an ancient British comedy sketch starring a long-dead, music-hall comedian.

This year is the 45th anniversary of the broadcast which has become as much a part of New Year's Eve for Germans as singing "Auld Lang Syne" is in English-speaking countries. The 15-minute sketch, acted by Freddie Frinton and May Warden, this year will be televised by every major regional public-TV channel in Germany and by a scattering of commercial networks as well.


New Year's Eve fireworks harbour serious accident risks

Hamburg  - New Year's Eve fireworks attract people of all ages into the streets to ring in the coming year with colourful fountains of fire, glittering, noisy displays and loud bangs.

However, the festive spirit turns dangerous every year when many a firecracker explodes too close to someone in the crowd. Burns, eye injuries and trauma caused by the blasts are among the most common outcomes. But some of these accidents can be avoided.

"Despite all the instructions and warnings, firecrackers are consistently handled wrongly or carelessly. Typically, alcohol and the heightened mood of the evening are contributing factors," said Klaus Gotzen, director of a German association representing the pyrotechnic industry.


Junior German managers say bosses do not listen to them

Hamburg  - A survey among junior managers in Germany has found that a majority believe their bosses do not listen to what they say.

Only one in six (17 per cent) described their superiors as "very good listeners," according to the poll taken among 400 managers by the Management Leadership Academy in the town of Ueberlingen on Lake Constance.

Many of the managers said work appraisals by their bosses were poor. Only one in eight (12 per cent) was completely satisfied with feedback from the top. Around 44 per cent said feedback was "good".


Movies without a screen - Hamburg opens its first listening salon

Hamburg  - Every other Thursday, a Hamburg movie house puts away its screen in the hope of bringing people together to listen to a story read aloud.

"The radio feature is an audiovisual art and a sensual experience," said the organizers of the first Hamburg Listening Salon.

The programme is designed to let guests listen to a radio feature to promote debate and is followed by a discussion with the author of the piece.

From December, pieces focusing on controversial topics or current affairs will be on the agenda. (dpa)


Good graphics cards on the cheap

Good graphics cards on the cheapHamburg  - Graphics cards suitable for PC gaming need not cost several hundred dollars, according to a recent test of 10n current models by the Hamburg-based Computerbild Spiele magazine.

The Sapphire HD4670, an 89-dollar unit offering 512 MB of onboard memory, may have only achieved eighth place in the rankings, but that was enough for the same "Good" grade as the other graphics card in the test.


Digitial frames offer good images, but some have failings

Digitial frames offer good images, but some have failings Hamburg  - Almost all digital frames offer good images, but a test by Germany's Computer Bild magazine highlights problems such as energy consumption.

Some of the frames tested use lots of energy. The most energy-intensive model tested, when operated 12 hours a day, consumed 12.35 euros (16.50 dollars) worth of energy a year. The most energy-efficient model consumed the equivalent of 3 euros a year, the report said.


Get faster access to system preferences in Mac OS X

Get faster access to system preferences in Mac OS X Hamburg  - The system preferences of Mac OS X are generally found in the same-named application. But anyone who wants faster access to certain settings can achieved that by moving the icon for those settings to the system's dock or toolbar.

To do so, find the appropriate icon under System/Library/PreferencePanes and pull the icon to the dock or the toolbar. Then, simply click on the icon to access the appropriate setting. (dpa)


Ammann and Schlierenzauer fancied for Four Hills glory

Hamburg  - Simon Ammann aims to make ski-jumping history for Switzerland while Gregor Schlierenzauer looks to end an Austrian title drought at the Four Hills Tour which starts on Monday.

Swiss jumpers have three runner-up finishes in the previous 56 editions of the prestigious German/Austrian competition but never topped the final podium.

Ammann, 27, aims to end the rot as the double 2002 Olympic champion and 2007 world champion is in top form, having won four of seven World Cup events this season and made the podium in two others.

But he won't underestimate Schlierenzauer at the Tour with its stops in Oberstdorf (December 29), Garmisch-Partenkirchen (January 1), Innsbruck (January 4) and Bischofshofen (January 6).


Kawasaki to quit MotoGP world championship

Kawasaki LogoHamburg - Japanese motorcycle maker Kawasaki will quit the MotoGP World Championship with immediate effect, the autosport. com website reported on Tuesday.

Citing sources, autosport. com said that Kawasaki will make the official announcement on Monday (January 5).

The report said that Kawasaki was withdrawing from the top level series due to the global economic crisis and below-par results since returning to the event in 2003.


Niche open-top cars take the limelight 2009

Niche open-top cars take the limelight 2009Hamburg  - Despite all the reports of gloom in the car industry, niche cars remain in vogue with a host of elegant cabriolets planned for 2009 emphasizing all the fun of open-top driving with more space, technical features, lighter and efficient engines.

Among the stars are the new Audi A5 four door Roadster, the new BMW Z4 and the Mercedes E-Class Convertible that is hitting the roads later in the year.


Rogge: IOC was surprised by Tibet unrest; defends silent diplomacy

Hamburg - The unrest in Tibet took the International Olympic Committee by surprise and it could only react with crisis management to the rising tensions around the Beijing Games, IOC president Jacques Rogge said in an interview.

But the Olympic supremo also told Saturday's edition of Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the Games would have been a disaster had the International Olympic Committee openly criticised hosts China over human rights issues instead of conducting a silent diplomacy.

"We achieved the maximum. The Games would have been a fiasco if we had dealt more aggressively with China," said Rogge four months after the Olympics in the Chinese capital.


Calling all prospective yogis: Take heed

Hamburg  - Madonna practices yoga and so does Courtney Love. Even the German national football team swears by it.

The word yoga translates from Sanskrit into English roughly as "union with superiors" and originated in India. Through its growing popularity in the United States, it has been making a triumphant advance around the world.

The holistic exercise promises relaxation, flexibility and stability. However, anyone who would like yoga to bring their body, spirit and soul into alignment should pay attention to a few things. This begins with the selection of the right type of yoga the practitioners of which are called yogis.


To text or not to text? How short messages have changed flirting

http://www.topnews.in/files/Messages-02895.jpg " alt="To text or not to text? How short messages have changed flirting" title="To text or not to text? How short messages have changed flirting" width="150" height="121" align="left" />Hamburg  - There is space for just 160 characters on that little cell phone screen, not much space for recounting disastrous misunderstandings, sleepless nights and awful embarrassments.

Text messages are both a curse and a blessing - above all when they are used in new relationships or to flirt.


Best-selling Austrian author Johannes Mario Simmel dies at 84

Vienna/Hamburg  - Best-selling Austrian writer Johannes Mario Simmel died Thursday at the age of 84 in Switzerland, his lawyer said in Hamburg Friday.

With 73 million copies of his 35 novels and novellas printed, Simmel was one of the most successful German-language writers.

But critics regarded the prolific novelist and screenwriter as a popular fiction writer, rather than as a creator of serious literature.

Simmel was born in Vienna on April 24, 1924. While his Jewish father fled to Britain from the Nazis, Simmel spent the war in Austria.

After a career as a reporter, his breakthrough came in 1960 with You Don't Always Have Caviar, a spy novel set in World War II and arguably his most famous book.


Airline crash toll slumps: 2008 was safer year, says agency

Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC)Hamburg - Last year's death toll in passenger aviation crashes fell to 598 worldwide, well below the average of the past decades, German analysts said Thursday in Hamburg.

The annual analysis by the private Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) was published in the German aviation magazine Aero International. It said most of the crashes in 2008 were evidently caused by human error.

Indicating 2008 was a safer year, the analysts said the toll was 153 lower than in 2007, and 259 lower than the 10-year average of death tolls.


Dubai coaching job for Pagelsdorf

Dubai coaching job for PagelsdorfHamburg - Former SV Hamburg and Hansa Rostock coach Frank Pagelsdorf is to coach Dubai's Al Nasr, returning to the club he led briefly four years ago, it was reported Thursday.

Bild newspaper said Pagelsdorf, 50, was due to start his new post on Thursday.

The engagement came at short notice after the Pagelsdorf, who was dismissed by second-division Rostock in November, was on holiday in the United Arab Emirates.

The former Bundesliga player coached Al Nasr in late 2004 and 2005 after four years at SV Hamburg and a spell in charge of VfL Osnabrueck. (dpa)


Hamburg's Silva out with groin injury

Alex SilvaHamburg - Brazilian midfielder Alex Silva will miss the German Bundesliga football restart in late January over a groin injury, his club SV Hamburg said on Saturday.

Hamburg said that Silva, 23, sustained a hernia and will be out of action for up to four weeks. As a result, he misses a January 27 cup match with 1860 Munich and the Bundesliga restart three days later against champions Bayern Munich. (dpa)


Settlers and simulations: PC gaming highlights for 2009

Settlers and simulations: PC gaming highlights for 2009Hamburg  - Some years bring clusters of wildly creative new titles to fans of PC gaming. The year 2009 is not shaping up to be one of them, though. Game publishers instead appear to have hunkered down and hammered out continuations of successful titles from the past. That means we can look forward to a new edition of the settle-and-develop series Anno and a third episode in the Sims life simulation series.


Mini computers enough for standard tasks

Mini computers enough for standard tasksHamburg  - Mini computers are often an alternative to traditional PCs, at least when it comes to standard tasks. Buyers of these devices are acquiring a full-value computer for an affordable price, concluded Computer Bild magazine in a test of eight models.

Mini PCs generally come with at least one DVD burner installed, and many also come with wireless LAN (WLAN) as well. While they generally contain very little space for expansion, it is nevertheless possible to upgrade the machines using external hard drives, TV cards, or WLAN antenna via the USB port.


A fix is available for Mac's mail problems

A fix is available for Mac's mail problemsHamburg  - Mac OS X's mail program sometimes stops showing all of the messages on launch. One potential cause of this is an extremely high number of e-mail messages in the inbox, particularly when that number reaches several thousand.

To solve the problem, copy the "mail" folder found in the Library section of the your private directory. Then open the original mail file and delete the "Envelope Index" found there.


Plastic was yesterday, liquid wood is the plastic of tomorrow

Plastic was yesterday, liquid wood is the plastic of tomorrowHamburg, Germany  - Plastic was one of the great chemical inventions of the 20th century, but now liquid wood may be the plastic of the 21st century, according to a group of German scientists.

Plastics are non-biodegradable as well and in many cases harbour carcinogens and other toxic substances.

And apart from all that, most plastics are based on petroleum, a non-renewable resource.


Refined code of conduct required at gym and pool

Refined code of conduct required at gym and poolHamburg  - Sometimes people's behaviour at the gym can put an abrupt end to their fellow gym-goer's comfort and relaxation.

For some, an example might be a woman in her 30s shaving her legs in the shower. For others it could be the older man sitting in the sauna without a towel under his bottom.

During winter, many people flock to pools, saunas, gyms and fitness studios and wellness services are gaining popularity. But not everyone knows how to behave in these facilities. Morals and manners are one thing; other rules are critical for hygiene.


Toyota unveil 2009 Formula One car in cyberspace

Toyota LogoHamburg - Toyota unveiled its 2009 Formula One car on Thursday - not in a typical race track rollout in front of the world media but via the internet in these hard economic times.

"Our target this year is to fight to win the first race for Toyota in Formula One," team boss Tadashi Yamashina said.

The team is upbeat that it will be competitive despite several rule changes imposed by the ruling body FIA. Some are visible on the car through a wider front wing and a slimmer and higher rear wing.


Hoffenheim looking for Ibisevic replacement: Derdiyok says no

Hoffenheim looking for Ibisevic replacement: Derdiyok says no Hamburg  - Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok on Friday reportedly turned down an offer from surprise Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim who are looking for a replacement for injured top striker Vedad Ibisevic.

Derdiyok told German sports magazine Kicker that he was committed to a move to league rivals Bayer Leverkusen from his current Swiss club Basle.

"I am honoured by their interest, but I have already given my word to Bayer Leverkusen to join them and I will not change that," he was quoted as saying on the Kicker website.


Hoffenheim striker Ibisevic has knee surgery

Vedad IbisevicHamburg - Hoffenheim striker Vedad Ibisevic has undergone a successful operation on his injured right knee, the German league leaders said Saturday.

The Bundesliga's top scorer with 18 goals tore his cruciate ligament in a friendly game against SV Hamburg during a training camp in Spain on Wednesday.

The Bosnia striker had surgery at St Elisabeth hospital in Heidelberg and will be out for the rest of the season.

Swiss forward Eren Derdiyok has meanwhile turned down an approach. from Hoffenheim who are now in the market for a replacement striker.


New USB WLAN: Quicker and more efficient

New USB WLAN: Quicker and more efficientHamburg  - WLAN USB sticks that sport the newest N transmission standard can retrieve data from the internet up to four times faster than those working with the prior G standard.

They can also broadcast across longer distances and require up to 50 per cent less energy, reports Hamburg-based Computer Bild.

While devices working with the G standard could reach an effective transfer rate of maximally 23 megabits per second, WLAN sticks with the new N standard achieve up to


Get some "watch bees" to protect your garden from caterpillars

Hamburg, Germany - Honey bees are more effective than insecticides in keeping harmful pests such as caterpillars away from your prize flowers, according to a team of German scientists.

Like winged watchdogs, honey bees chase away intruders who threaten to devour their beloved pollination buds. Not only do they chase away humans, but also other bugs.

Caterpillars are particularly sensitive to bees since the buzzing of the insects' wings irritates the sensitive hairs on their bodies.

Unable to tell apart a harmless bee and a predatory wasp, the leaf-munching larvae are frightened away, according to researcher Dr Jurgen Tautz, from the University of Wurzburg in Germany.


School gas leak injures 40 in Germany

Germany FlagHamburg - A gas leak at a school in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein injured 40 students and teachers on Monday, police said.

Emergency services evacuated between 350-400 students from the school complex in Bornhoeved after fumes of nitrous gas leaked into the buildings.

Students and teachers taken to nearby hospitals for treatment after complaining of headaches, muscle pain, nausea and throat irritation.

Nitrous gasses usually occur when plastic is burned.

"The fire department is looking for the source," a police spokesman said. (dpa)


Google phone to reach Germany in two weeks

Google phone to reach Germany in two weeks Hamburg  - Germany is to gain its first mobile phone using Google's Android operating system in two weeks' time, wireless company T-Mobile said in Hamburg on Monday.

The G1 phone, which is manufactured by HTC of Taiwan, is a direct competitor to Apple's iPhone, which is sold in Germany exclusively by T-Mobile. Both phones have touch screens. The G1 has the added feature of a tiny fold-inside keyboard.


How to be a good couch surfer

How to be a good couch surferHamburg  - The idea is as simple as it is ingenious - people from all over the world come together in an online network to offer accommodation on their sofas to others. In return, they can spend time abroad on a couch anywhere around the globe.

Online communities that bring so-called couch surfers together such as hospitalityclub. org, bewelcome. org and couchsurfing. com are booming.

Couchsurfing. com alone has about 600,000 members according to the website's operators. But in order for you to enjoy a good night's sleep on a foreign couch, there are a few things to take into consideration.


New styles turn brides into dancers on their own stage

New styles turn brides into dancers on their own stageHamburg  - A wedding dress should be festive, and a close look at the current bridal collections reveal more than just classic styles and fabrics.

The trend is toward details such as jewellery elements that are placed sparingly on the dress. This is an example of how bridal designers have been inspired by casual wear.

"It's all about inconspicuous elegance - the new style isn't loaded down or opulent," said designer Christiane Wirth of Ilsenburg, Germany, who designs her own bridal gowns.


How to shine on your wedding day

How to shine on your wedding dayHamburg  - Every bride wants to be the most beautiful woman at her wedding. Her dress, shoes, veil and flowers are carefully selected, ordered, purchased and prepared in advance.

But the bride's outfit is not complete until her make-up is on and her hair is styled. However, women should not go overboard on their big day. Hair and makeup do not require a lot of preparation.


Surgery to remove cataracts proves highly successful

Surgery to remove cataracts proves highly successfulHamburg - Sensitivity to light, a steady decline in eyesight or blurred vision can all indicate the formation of a cataract.

Cataracts, a thickening of the eye's lens, impairs vision and can occur at any stage of a person's life, though they are more common among the elderly.


Hamburg and Schalke advance against lower opposition

Hamburg and Schalke advance against lower opposition Hamburg  - Bundesliga clubs SV Hamburg and Schalke 04 on Tuesday advanced to the quarter-finals of the German cup with victories against lower league opposition.

Hamburg beat second division 1860 Munich 3-1, while Schalke managed a 4-1 victory at third division club Carl Zeiss Jena.

In Hamburg Munich goalkeeper Philipp Tschauner gifted the home side the opening goal just before the break when his pass to Mathieu Beda, was intercepted by Piotr Trochowski, whose ball found Ivica Olic.


Clean with a passion to keep boredom at bay, housekeepers advise

Clean with a passion to keep boredom at bay, housekeepers adviseHamburg  - A necessary evil, a burdensome duty or simply a source of stress - cleaning house is not everyone's favourite topic.

And hardly anyone would think mops and rags could be combined with a wellness programme. But there is another way of thinking about cleaning, experts say. It just depends on the right attitude.


Design classics available on the internet are often knockoffs

Design classics available on the internet are often knockoffsHamburg  - When internet furniture dealers lure buyers with bargain basement prices for alleged design classics, consumers often end up with fakes, an interior design magazine in Germany reported recently.

When the internet price is as little as one-third of the store price, the buyer can assume that a knockoff will be delivered.

Often the furniture never even gets to the buyer because the maker of the copied, brand-name furniture finds out about the deal and catches the transport truck at the border.


Loew: Hoffenheim - plus Hamburg, Leverkusen - to challenge Bayern

Hamburg  - TSG Hoffenheim will continue to shine while SV Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen could also pose a threat to Bayern Munich's Bundesliga title ambitions, Germany coach Joachim Loew said.

Speaking ahead of the Friday night Bundesliga restart with the duel between Hamburg and Munich which he will attend, Loew told the Bild daily that he doesn't necessarily expect Bayern to romp to another title.

"Everyone is speaking of Hoffenheim and Bayern, but I rate Hamburg a title contender as well because the team is quite robust. I also consider Leverkusen strong. They will play at the top," Loew said.

Hoffenheim top the league on goal difference over Munich, with Hamburg and Hertha Berlin just two points behind and Leverkusen three.


Hamburg take Rincon on loan from Deportivo Tachira

Hamburg take Rincon on loan from Deportivo Tachira Hamburg  - SV Hamburg announced Friday that they have agreed a deal with Venezuela's Deportivo Tachira to take Tomas Rincon on loan until the end of 2009.

The Bundesliga club will pay between 200,000 and 300,000 euros (260,00 to 390,000 dollars) for the services of the 21-year-old midfielder and also have an option to sign Rincon until 2013.

Rincon is seen as a replacement for Dutch international Nigel de Jong, who moved to English Premier League club Manchester City for a fee of 16 million pounds (22 million dollars) last week.


Hamburg stun Bayern Munich 1-0 to go top in the Bundesliga

Hamburg stun Bayern Munich 1-0 to go top in the BundesligaHamburg  - Bayern Munich were caught out cold on Friday night as they lost 1-0 at SV Hamburg in the Bundesliga restart which lifted the hosts to the top of the table.

Croatia forward Mladen Petric headed the winner seconds before halftime for a courageous Hamburg team which has lost just one of the last eight meetings with the defending champions Munich.

Hamburg were denied twice by the post against Munich, who were far from the form of Tuesday's emphatic 5-1 cup win at VfB Stuttgart but had several chances to equalize in the second half.


Hamburg defender Reinhardt out for three months with foot fracture

SV Hamburg LogoHamburg - SV Hamburg paid a heavy price for their 1-0 win over Bayern Munich as central defender Bastian Reinhardt is sidelined for three months with a foot fracture sustained in Friday night's Bundesliga top match.

Hamburg said on saturday that a post-match x-ray revealed the nature of the injury and that further examinations will determine whether Reinhardt, who limped off the pitch in the second half, requires surgery.

"Bastian will probably be sidelined for three months," said team doctor Oliver Dierk. (dpa)


Bundesliga the most profitable league in Europe

Bundesliga LogoHamburg - The German Bundesliga is an example of how to run a professional football league, according to a London sports marketing expert.

"In economic terms and considering income and costs, the Bundesliga is the most profitable league in Europe," Emmanuel Hembert said in an interview published Saturday in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.

The 39-year-old pointed to the league's modern stadiums, its booming corporate hospitality sector and the fact that the Bundesliga now makes as much money from sponsorship as the English Premier League.


Hoffenheim beat Cottbus to top Bundesliga

Hoffenheim beat Cottbus to top Bundesliga Hamburg  - TSG Hoffenheim showed no signs of stage fright in their new home stadium as they held the Bundesliga lead with a 2-0 victory against lowly Energie Cottbus on Saturday.

Demba Ba and loan hiring Boubacar Sanogo were on target in the Rhein-Necker stadium after Hoffenheim played their home games in the first half of the season in nearby Mannheim.

Hoffenheim top the table with 38 points, Hertha Berlin and Hamburg have 36 each and champions Munich are fourth on 35. Munich crashed 1-0 in Hamburg on Friday while Hertha defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 on Saturday.


Bayern's Kroos to go on loan to Leverkusen

Bayern's Kroos to go on loan to Leverkusen Hamburg  - Bayern Munich are to send teenage star Toni Kroos out on loan to Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen.

The 19-year-old midfielder, who is currently building up match fitness following an ankle injury, is to move immediately to Leverkusen until the end of the 2010 season, Bayern media director Markus Hoerwick confirmed to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Saturday.

No details were given about the finances of the 18-month deal.


Hamburg sign Streit, Gravgaard in late shopping spree

SV HamburgHamburg - SV Hamburg Monday welcomed Schalke midfielder Albert Streit and Danish defender Michael Gravgaard among a flurry of new signings confirmed by the club on the last day of the transfer window.

Gravgaard, 30, arrives on loan until the end of the season from French side Nantes where he had struggled to claim a place since him move last summer from FC Copenhagen.

Streit, 28, also arrives initially on a loan deal from Schalke where he had been suspended by coach Fred Rutten after complaining of a lack of first-team opportunities.


IOC says no reason to doubt Phelps' apology

International Olympic Committee LogoHamburg - The International Olympic Committee on Monday said it had no reason to doubt swimming super star Michael Phelps' apology after being photographed with a pipe usually used for marijuana consumption.

A photograph of the American was published in an English tabloid on the weekend that showed Phelps using a long glass pipe. The photograph was allegedly taken at a party in South Carolina.

Phelps admitted that he was the person in the photograph, but did not admit to smoking marijuana, nor did he say whether there was any marijuana in the pipe.


IBU announces two positive doping tests

International Biathlon Union Hamburg - Two biathletes tested positive for doping substances at a World Cup meet in December, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) said on Tuesday.

The IBU did not release the names of the athletes because they have the opportunity to call for the examination of the b-sample. The doping tests were carried out at the World Cup season opener in Ostersund, Sweden.

Depending on the offence, the athletes can face a ban of up to two years.

Russian news agency Allsport reported that the two athletes were Russians who had committed blood doping. dpa


Biathlon doping suspects seek examination of b-sample

Biathlon doping suspects seek examination of b-sampleHamburg - Biathletes who submitted positive doping tests at the World Cup season-opener in December have requested the examination of the b-sample, the ruling body IBU said on Wednesday.

IBU secretary general Nicole Resch made the announcement in a telephone interview to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, saying the examination would tale place "as soon as possible" which will likely be before the world championships starting February 13.


Belgian cyclist Nolf dies in his sleep at Tour of Qatar

Hamburg - Belgian cycling talent Frederieck Nolf died in his sleep in Qatar where he was taking place in the Tour of Qatar, his team and race organizers announced on Thursday. He was 21 years old.

Belgian legend Eddie Merckx, one of the race organizers, announced the death and said that Thursday's stage was scrapped on order to commemorate Nolf.

"Frederieck died on Wednesday night in his sleep," his team Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator said in a short statement.

Team manager Christophe Sercu was quoted as telling Belgian reporters that Nolf was found dead in the morning in his hotel room. He said that there were no indications of a health problem on Wednesday night or during past medical examinations of the young rider.


ROUNDUP: Traditionalist bishop refuses to recant on Holocaust

Traditionalist bishop refuses to recant on HolocaustHamburg  - An arch-conservative bishop whose remarks on the Holocaust plunged the Vatican into crisis is refusing to recant, according to an interview with a German magazine released Saturday.

Bishop Richard Williamson told the news weekly Der Spiegel he wanted first to examine the historical evidence against his claims that no Jews were gassed in the Holocaust.

"And if I find such evidence then I will correct my remarks. But that will take time," the controversial member of the traditionalist St Pius X Society said.


Leaders Hoffenheim snatch late draw as Hamburg sink to defeat

Leaders Hoffenheim snatch late draw as Hamburg sink to defeat Hamburg  - Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim snatched a late goal for a 1-1 draw at bottom club Borussia Moenchengladbach while Hamburg threw away a two-goal lead as they went down 3-2 at lowly Karlsruhe on Saturday.

With Hertha Berlin also failing to get a win on Friday, the results could benefit champions Bayern Munich who face Borussia Dortmund at home on Sunday.


ROUNDUP: Leaders Hoffenheim snatch late draw as Hamburg slip up

Leaders Hoffenheim snatch late draw as Hamburg slip upHamburg  - Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim left it late to snatch a 1-1 draw at bottom club Borussia Moenchengladbach while Hamburg were stunned by a stoppage-time goal as they went down 3-2 at lowly Karlsruhe on Saturday.

With Hertha Berlin also failing to get a win on Friday, the results could benefit champions Bayern Munich who will go second if they beat Borussia Dortmund at home on Sunday.


February's new PC games offer all kinds of roles

February's new PC games offer all kinds of rolesHamburg  - Games bring out all kinds of traits in a person and this applies especially to computer and video games.

Sometimes, living virtually means taking on the role of a fighter for a good cause, becoming a warrior slaying a dragon to save a princess and other times it means conquering the world. On other occasions, it means shepherding a group of virtual people through their everyday existences and helping them realize their dreams.


Alpine ice man was bludgeoned and then shot, German experts say

Alpine ice man was bludgeoned and then shot, German experts sayHamburg, Germany  - The famous Alpine ice man, whose 5,000-year-old mummified body was discovered in a melting glacier, was bludgeoned and then finished off with an arrow by prehistoric assailants, according to a team of German researchers.

Adding new clues to the Stone Age riddle, the paleo-forensic scientists at Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich say they can now prove that the Oetz Valley Glacier man, dubbed Oetzi, did not die of exposure after having suffered a non-lethal blow with a blunt object, possibly a stone from a slingshot.


Williams tops women's tennis rankings

Serena WilliamsHamburg - American Serena Williams remains top of a virtually unchanged women's tennis rankings issued Monday by the WTA ruling body.

Williams, who beat Dinara Safina in the final of the Australian Open on January 31 to take top spot, heads the rankings with 9,432 points followed by the Russian on 9,150 points.

Serbian Jelena Jankovic, who topped the rankings ahead of the Australian Open, remains third, with Russia's Elena Dementieva fourth.

The only change in the Top Ten sees Nadia Petrova of Russia leapfrog Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska into ninth place.


Austrian ski federation to take legal action over doping claims

OeSV LogoHamburg - The Austrian ski federation (OeSV) announced Monday that it is to take legal action against L'Equipe after the French sports newspaper published an article claiming an Austrian biathlete was one of five skiers who had failed a dope test.

"The OeSV biathletes have undergone doping controls several times in recent weeks and following discussions with the national anti- doping agency (NADA) and the IBU
(International Biathlon Union) there are absolutely no complaints," said OeSV sporting director Markus Gandler in a statement.


Doping fears rise ahead of biathlon worlds

Doping fears rise ahead of biathlon worlds Hamburg - With just days to go until the start of the biathlon world championships in South Korea, it remains unclear how many skiers have failed dope tests.

"We have positive A-samples," Anders Besseberg, president of the International Biathlon Union (IBU), told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Monday.

Besseberg dismissed earlier media reports that up to eight biathletes have failed dope tests, saying that the IBU had "never made public" the number of A-samples that had returned positive.

"We don't have eight positive A-samples," he added.


Pius Society chief demands Williamson retraction on Holocaust

Hamburg  - The superior of an ultra-conservative group which is being re-admitted to the Catholic Church said in an interview Tuesday that he has told one his bishops, Richard Williamson, to "correct" his denial of the Holocaust.

"He should study the historical facts quickly and correct his false statements. The sooner the better," said Bernard Fellay.

The interview was reported by the German news website Spiegel Online, which said it received written replies to questions posed by telephone. Fellay heads the Society of Saint Pius X, a group opposed to modern Catholic theology.


Matthaeus dismisses Norway link

Lothar MatthaeusHamburg - Lothar Matthaeus on Wednesday dismissed speculation that he was a candidate for the Norwegian national team coaching job.

"I have never talked with Norway. I have a valid contract at Maccabi Netanya and I will fulfil it. We have big aims," Matthaeus told the Eurosport television network.

The record-capped Germany player Matthaeus was linked with a move to Norway from his club job in Israel by Norwegian media ahead of the nation's friendly with Germany in Dusseldorf set for later Wednesday. (dpa)


Australia, South Korea stay top in WC qualifying with away draws

Australia, South Korea stay top in WC qualifying with away draws Hamburg  - Australia on Wednesday took another step towards the finals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when they held Japan to a goalless draw in Yokohama.

The home side dominated the match against the Socceroos, who had earlier announced that they would donate their match fee to the victims of devastating bushfires that has caused nearly 200 deaths in Australia.

But even though they had most of the possession the 2002 co-hosts could not find a way past Mark Schwarzer in the Australian goal.


Roger and out for Wales as Poland clinch late win

Roger and out for Wales as Poland clinch late winHamburg  - A late goal from Roger Guerreiro gave Poland a 1-0 victory over Wales in a friendly international in Portugal on Wednesday.

The Brazilian-born player lobbed goalkeeper Boaz Myhill from outside the area 10 minutes from time in Vila Real St Antonio.

The result was a boost for coach Leo Beenhakker's side ahead of a World Cup qualifying Group 3 match against Northern Ireland in Belfast on March 28.

Poland are two points behind Slovakia in the group, level on points with the Czech Republic and Slovenia.


Ireland come from behind to take victory

Ireland come from behind to take victoryHamburg  - Ireland on Wednesday were helped by a dubious penalty to come from behind to beat Georgia 2-1 in a European World Cup Group 8 qualifier played in Dublin.

In other European qualifiers played on the night Northern Ireland moved into second place in Group 3 with a 3-0 victory in San Marino, while Albania played to a goalless draw in Malta.

In Dublin, Alexander Iashvili gave the visitors the lead after just 46 seconds when Irish defender Stephen Kelly failed to stop the Karlsruhe striker from getting to the ball five metres from the goal- line.


France, Germany lose at home; Dutch held by Tunisia

France, Germany lose at home; Dutch held by TunisiaHamburg  - France and Germany each lost Wednesday night at home in friendly internationals, while England fielded a record- equalling David Beckham but still slumped to a 2-0 defeat in Spain.

Germany were humbled 1-0 by Norway in Dusseldorf, while the Les Bleus were beaten 2-0 by Argentina in Marseille.

In Dusseldorf, Christian Grindheim scored from close range in the 63rd minute to get a new spell in charge by coach Egil Olsen off to a winning start.


New trends for exotic teas boosts market

Hamburg  - Tea-drinkers can hardly miss the variety of brews on offer in the stores these days - from green teas with chilli peppers, cocoa beans in rooibos tea to coffee-flavoured black teas.

Individual blends are constantly being expanded by teas that branch off into new fields of taste. German tea specialist Alexander Linhart expects even bolder and more eclectic blends to come in future.

"These days there are two types of tea drinkers," said Linhart. There's the classic tea lover, who traditionally prefers unflavoured green or black tea leaves. And there's the second type which Linhart believes is now the larger group, who drink intricate blends with strong aromas, and are thus always in search of new tastes.


Hoffenheim crash 4-1 against Leverkusen - could lose league lead

Hoffenheim crash 4-1 against Leverkusen - could lose league lead Hamburg  - TSG Hoffenheim had to swallow their first home defeat of the season, 4-1 against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night, and are now in danger of losing the Bundesliga lead and their magic.

Patrick Helmes scored twice, high under the bar in the third and on the stroke of halftime for a season tally of 15. Simon Rolfes (12th) and Gonzalo Castro (48th) got the other goals for Leverkusen, who also beat Hoffenheim (5-2) in the teams' first season meeting.


ROUNDUP: Hertha Berlin go top with 2-1 win over champions Munich

Hertha Berlin go top with 2-1 win over champions MunHamburg  - Andrey Voronin was the two-goal hero as Hertha Berlin stunned champions Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday to claim the Bundesliga lead.

The Ukraine forward Voronin headed home in in the 38th minute and struck again in the 77th in the Olympic stadium to lift Hertha past Munich and TSG Hoffenheim into first place they last occupied in October 2006. Miroslav Klose got the temporary equalizer in the 62nd.


Hertha beat Bayern 2-1 to claim Bundesliga lead

Hertha beat Bayern 2-1 to claim Bundesliga lead Hamburg - Andrey Voronin was the two-goal hero as Hertha Berlin stunned champions Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday to claim the Bundesliga lead.

The Ukraine forward Voronin headed home in in the 38th minute and struck again in the 77th in the Olympic stadium to lift Hertha past TSG Hoffenheim into first place they last occupied in October 2006. Miroslav Klose got the temporary equalizer for Munich in the 62nd.


Bargains aplenty when online auctions end on weekdays

Hamburg  - Online deals abound, especially if customers keep their eyes on auctions where the gavel comes down on a workday. Many items selling for lower prices than comparable items when auctions are held at a weekend, reported a German computer magazine.

Therefore, sellers should schedule their auctions to end over the weekend, notes Computer Bild Spiele.

If a seller has problems describing his product, a quick scan of the internet should turn up a pre-written prescription. The magazine suggests using whole blocks of text as they often include the best item descriptions.


Robot ranchers will ride herd on wind farms in future, experts say

Robot ranchers will ride herd on wind farms in future, experts sayHamburg, Germany  - Robot ranchers will tend the windswept ranges of sprawling wind farms in the future, according to a team of German robotic scientists.

Wind turbine generators already dot the horizon for miles in any direction in many parts of the world. Tending the mighty windmills has been an arduous task for human technicians. Rotor blade damage is a routine, but annoying problem which entails many man-hours of maintenance.


Branson tells German magazine he'll test-fly spacecraft this year

Branson tells German magazine he'll test-fly spacecraft this year Hamburg  - British entrepreneur Richard Branson has told a German magazine he will test-fly a joy-riding spacecraft this year.

Branson's company, Virgin Galactic, plans to take passengers to the verge of space, though not high enough to achieve earth orbit. The tourists will experience weightlessness for several minutes.

The take-offs are expected to be from the US state of New Mexico.


AC Milan draw in Bremen; Hamburg score good away win

AC Milan draw in Bremen; Hamburg score good away winHamburg  - Brazilian midfielder Diego scored late in the game Wednesday to give German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen a share of the spoils against former Champions League winners AC Milan in a UEFA Cup first-leg game in the round of 32.

SV Hamburg comfortably won 3-0 at Dutch club NEC Nijmegen, while VfL Wolfsburg lost 2-0 at PSG.

In Bremen, Filippo Inzaghi thought he had given the Serie A club victory with his 36th-minute goal as Werder Bremen failed to capitalize on the many chances they created in the second half.


Gold, platinum blond hair colour is "in" but difficult to achieve

Gold, platinum blond hair colour is "in" but difficult to achieveHamburg  - The blonde hair tones seen on many heads could not possibly be attributed to nature. And it's clear that a number of Hollywood stars are helped along, so that their hair shines in white or peroxide blonde.

Blonde hair has always been considered especially attractive. Since supermodel Agyness Deyn brought the short platinum blonde haircut to the catwalk, the hair colour that keeps coming back into style is back again in entirely new looks.


Modular sofas give a room more versatility

Modular sofas give a room more versatilityHamburg - A sofa, a love seat and a chair. That's how living room seating has looked for decades.

But in times of constant change, the days of such static seating combinations are numbered. Nowadays, flexibility is in demand. Designers have answered by creating modular sofas or sectionals. Customers select the height, width, colour and fabric that meets their individual needs and essentially put the elements together themselves. This individuality is something experts see as crucial.


Arboleda the villain and hero as Lech Poznan draw with Udinese

Arboleda the villain and hero as Lech Poznan draw with Udinese Hamburg  - Lech Poznan came from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw at home to Udinese in their UEFA Cup round of 32 first-leg tie Thursday.

After a goalless first period, Udinese wasted no time in the second half, going in front five minutes after the restart when Fabio Quagliarella headed home a Gaetano D'Agostino free-kick.

The Serie A side doubled their lead five minutes later when Lech goalkeeper Turina blocked a strike from Gokhan Inler only for the ball to rebound off defender Manuel Arboleda and into his own net.


1ST LEAD: Mixed fortunes for English sides in UEFA Cup

1ST LEAD: Mixed fortunes for English sides in UEFA Cup Hamburg - English clubs suffered mixed fortunes in UEFA Cup round of 32 first-leg ties Thursday as Tottenham Hotspur conceded two late goals to go down to Shakhtar Donetsk while Manchester City drew away to FC Copenhagen.

Spurs paid the price for some poor defending in the Olympiyskiy Stadium when substitute Yevgen Seleznov was able to head Brazilian midfielder Jadson's free-kick past goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes 11 minutes from time to put the home side in front.


Hoffenheim back on top of Bundesliga as Bayern and Hertha crash

Hoffenheim back on top of Bundesliga as Bayern and Hertha crashHamburg - Hoffenheim went back to the top of the Bundesliga Saturday after Hertha Berlin slipped to defeat at Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich were stunned in a 2-1 home defeat to Cologne.

Demba Ba scored a hat-trick for Hoffenheim who missed a stoppage-time penalty in an entertaining 3-3 draw at VfB Stuttgart - enough to put coach Ralf Rangnick's side back on top on goal difference.

The results could benefit third-placed SV Hamburg who will go top if they can win at fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.


ROUNDUP: Hoffenheim go top as Bayern, Hertha crash in Bundesliga

Hoffenheim go top as Bayern, Hertha crash in BundesligaHamburg  - Hoffenheim went back to the top of the Bundesliga Saturday after previous leaders Hertha Berlin slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich went by the same scoreline at home to Cologne.

Demba Ba scored a hat-trick for Hoffenheim who missed a stoppage-time penalty in an entertaining 3-3 draw at VfB Stuttgart - the point enough to put Ralf Rangnick's side back on top on goal difference.

The results could benefit third-placed SV Hamburg who will go top if they can win at fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.


Users should not expect miracles from PC loudspeakers

Users should not expect miracles from PC loudspeakersHamburg  - Hi-fi systems are in no danger of being replaced by computers, said the Hamburg-based computer magazine Computebild.

But while the best PC loudspeakers cannot match the sound quality or volume levels of a good stereo system, some computers still offer sounds good enough to liven up computer games or provide background music while working, reports Computerbild magazine

But that's about all users should expect. After all, a good pair of hi-fi speakers can cost 300 euros (386 dollars).


Bundesliga brakes are on for big two Bayern, Bremen

Hamburg  - The new year has not been kind so far to German football giants Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen.

Champions Bayern slumped at home to Cologne on Saturday in their third defeat in four games since the Bundesliga winter break.

Werder meanwhile went down to a last-minute goal at lowly Energie Cottbus and have just one point in four games since the season resumed at the end of last month.

However on a day of thrills and spills in the Bundesliga, Bayern's unexpected defeat was again not punished by immediate rivals.

Hertha Berlin led at Wolfsburg but lost 2-1, while Hoffenheim missed a penalty in stoppage time in an entertaining 3-3 draw at VfB Stuttgart.


Lehmann rejects unsporting jibe after boot-throwing incident

Jens LehmannHamburg - Former Germany keeper Jens Lehmann has expressed "surprise" at being accused of unsporting behaviour by Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick for throwing an opponent's boot away.

Striker Sejad Salihovic's boot came off at the feet of Stuttgart's Lehmann 20 metres from goal in Saturday's 3-3 Bundesliga draw. Instead of handing it back, the keeper threw it over his shoulder.

The Bosnia forward had to retrieve the shoe from the roof of the net where it had landed. Rangnick said Lehmann's action was "highly unsporting."


Possible new US Formula One team set for launch

Danica PatrickHamburg - A new American Formula One team will unveil plans Tuesday to enter the sport in 2010 with female Indy Car Series driver Danica Patrick as a possible driver.

The new USF1 team, which involves former Ferrari and Williams team manager Peter Windsor as well as designer Ken Anderson, will officially announce plans on Speed TV.

"Proving that American technology, American drivers and the American competitive spirit can compete and win on the F1 global stage has been our mission for several years now," said the team on its website ahead of the official launch.


Book now to sail on the Sea Cloud Hussar

Book now to sail on the Sea Cloud HussarHamburg - Bookings are presently being accepted for the maiden voyage of the Sea Cloud Hussar vessel next year.

The new tall ship is owned by Sea Cloud Cruises and will begin its 12-day maiden voyage from Malta to the Greek port of Piraeus on April 5, 2010.

The ship will ply the waters of the Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula and northern Europe, said the Hamburg-based company.

Sea Cloud Cruises already has two traditional sailing vessels: the Sea Cloud built in 1931 and the Sea Cloud II which was launched in 2001.


All to play for after first leg Champions League matches

All to play for after first leg Champions League matches Hamburg  - There is all to play for in the Champions League after Tuesday night's first round matches in the round the last 16 failed to produce any clear winners.

Inter Milan were held to a goalless draw by Manchester United in Italy, Barcelona played to a 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyon and former winners Porto drew 2-2 in Madrid against Atletico.

The only victory on the night belonged to Arsenal who missed a number of excellent chances against AS Roma, but still registered a 1-0 victory through Robin van Persie's first half penalty.


All to play for after first-leg Champions League matches

All to play for after first-leg Champions League matchesHamburg  - There is all to play for in the Champions League after Tuesday night's first-round matches in the round of the last 16 failed to produce any clear winners.

Inter Milan were held to a goalless draw by Manchester United in Italy, Barcelona played to a 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyon, and former winners Porto drew 2-2 in Madrid against Atletico.

The only victory on the night belonged to Arsenal, who missed a number of excellent chances against AS Roma but still registered a 1- 0 victory through Robin van Persie's first-half penalty.


Spanish clubs facing Armada in UEFA Cup

Spanish clubs facing Armada in UEFA CupHamburg  - Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna has a mountain to climb if it wants to advance to the round of the last 16 in the UEFA Cup.

Having lost the first leg last week 3-0 in Denmark against Aalborg, the La Liga side will have to win Thursday's return leg by four clear goals or hope for the lottery of a penalty shoot-out (if they win 3-0) if they want to avoid being knocked out.

The UEFA Cup is Deportivo's last chance of a trophy this season, since they are already out of the King's Cup - and eighth in La Liga.


Bayern Munich tear Sporting apart, Liverpool win at Real Madrid

Bayern Munich tear Sporting apart, Liverpool win at Real Madrid Hamburg  - Former champions Bayern Munich and Liverpool on Wednesday took a giant step towards the quarter-finals of the Champions League by winning their first leg round of the last 16 matches away from home.

The German champions made history with the highest-ever away victory in the Champions League by trouncing Sporting Lisbon 5-0, while Liverpool managed a 1-0 victory at Real Madrid.

There was also a victory on the night for Chelsea, who beat Juventus 1-0, while the final game between Villarreal and Panathinaikos ended in a 1-1 draw.


NEWS FEATURE: IOC seeks stronger UN links with observer role

IOC seeks stronger UN links with observer roleHamburg  - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants to strengthen its partnership with the United Nations by gaining observer status at the UN General Assembly.

The UN confirmed an application had been received from the IOC, and told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that a decision could be expected by the beginning of September.


German-Polish refugee museum dispute looms over historic dinner

German-Polish refugee museum dispute looms over historic dinnerHamburg - Germany and Poland showed no signs Friday of settling the dispute over a controversial museum appointment, as the neighbours' heads of state met for an historic dinner in the German city of Hamburg.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk were meeting for the first time since an ongoing dispute over a museum remembering expulsions after World War II had flared up again in recent weeks.


Hertha Berlin back to the top

Hertha Berlin back to the topHamburg  - Hertha Berlin on Saturday moved back to the top of the German Bundesliga after beating last-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1.

The club from the capital benefited from Hoffenheim's goalless draw at Borussia Dortmund, that left the surprise team in the league, who are playing in their first season in the top flight on 41 points - two behind Hertha.


ROUNDUP: Hertha Berlin back to the top - at least for a day

Hertha Berlin back to the top - at least for a dayHamburg  - Hertha Berlin on Saturday moved back to the top of the German Bundesliga after beating last-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1.

The club from the capital benefited from Hoffenheim's goalless draw at Borussia Dortmund, that left the surprise team in the league, who are playing in their first season in the top flight on 41 points - two behind Hertha.


Runes of Magic provides no-cost ticket to fantasy realm

Hamburg  - At least 11.5 million people try to take over the world regularly albeit they're trying to conquer a virtual one. Their numbers reflect how many players pay monthly subscription fees for the online role playing game (RPG) World of Warcraft. Yet after more than four years in the Warcraft's realm of Azeroth, some players may be asking themselves whether online RPGs are anything other than cold, hard commercialism, designed only to lure subscribers to pay real money for months on end.


Test: Data recovery programs deemed reliable

Test: Data recovery programs deemed reliable Hamburg  - Computer users can generally rely on their data recovery software, the Hamburg-based magazine Computerbild concluded in a recent test of five programs. The editors recreated various files from a hard drive as well as removable media such as storage cards and sticks.

When files are deleted from the computer's recycling bin, the operating system releases the storage space for overwriting. Hence the rule of thumb - the sooner the user starts the recovery process, the greater the chances of recovering the data intact.


Nadal heads virtually unchanged Top 10

Nadal heads virtually unchanged Top 10Hamburg - Spain's Rafael Nadal continues to head a virtually unchanged ATP men's tennis rankings Top 10 issued by the ruling body on Monday, followed by Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

The only change saw Frenchman Gael Monfils rise to his best-ever ranking of 9th, swapping places with Spain's Fernando Verdasco.

At the top, Nadal has 14,360 points, while Federer stands on 11,000.

ATP top 10 as of March 2 (previous ranking in parenthesis):


Serena Williams continues to top women's tennis rankings

Serena Williams continues to top women's tennis rankingsHamburg - American Serena Williams remains top of an unchanged women's tennis rankings issued Monday by the WTA ruling body.

Williams leads the rankings with 9,982 points followed by Russia's Dinara Safina on 9,021.

Sister Venus Williams, who won the WTA tournament in Acapulo on the weekend, beating Italy's Flavia Pennetta 6-1, 6-2 in the final, remains fifth.

WTA top 10 as of March 2 (previous ranking in parenthesis):


Honda team says no comment on management buy-out reports

Honda LogoHamburg - Reports of a management buy-out which would allow the Honda team to compete in the 2009 Formula One season would not be confirmed by the team on Monday.

A spokeswoman told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa the Honda racing team had "no further comments or updates to make on the team's situation at this time."

British media reports have said a buy-out is being led by the team principal Ross Brawn and chief executive Nick Fry.

The future of the team has been in doubt after Honda announced in December it was withdrawing as constructor and engine supplier from Formula One.


Hamburg and Bremen book their places in last four of German Cup

Hamburg  - Werder Bremen cruised to a 5-2 win over VfL Wolfsburg to book their place in the semi-finals of the German Cup Wednesday while SV Hamburg had a few nervy moments before prevailing 2-1 against SV Wehen.

Five-time winners Bremen raced into an early two-goal lead thanks goals in the first six minutes from midfielders Diego and Mesut Ozil and although Wolfsburg managed to restore parity, a brace from Claudio Pizarro ensured a comfortable win for Thomas Schaaf's side.


Women can expect new-look suits, trouser suits in summer

Hamburg  - Courageous, fashion-conscious women will reach for overalls made from denim or jersey this summer.

But that's just a fashion phenomenon for certain occasions. At the other end of the style scale, designers have rediscovered office clothing, reshaping it with unconventional tailoring and using new fabrics to give suits and trousers suits a new, detailed look.

"The classic trouser suit offers new details," said the Munich-based style consultant Georg Stiels after viewing collections for summer 2009. Shorter trouser legs, shorter sleeves and new blazer styles are just some of the ideas in the new creations. The so-called new suit had a place alongside the dress and blouse at the core of the new women's fashion collections.


Schalke defeat Cologne 1-0 in Bundesliga

Schalke defeat Cologne 1-0 in BundesligaHamburg  - Schalke 04 edged Cologne 1-0 in a Bundesliga football match on Friday which gave the hosts a breather after a midweek embarrassment in the German cup.

Germany midfielder Jermaine Jones scored the winner with a low shot from the edge of the area 28 minutes into the match after a nice move on the right wing.

Schalke were far from glorious and had no other scoring chance as the fans chanted "Rutten out" in the direction of beleaguered coach Fred Rutten in the closing stages. However, the win at least partly made up for a 1-0 cup defeat at second division Mainz on Tuesday.


Voronin hat-trick sends Hertha four points clear

Voronin hat-trick sends Hertha four points clear Hamburg  - Andrey Voronin scored a hat-trick as Hertha Berlin defeated Energie Cottbus 3-1 away to open up a four-point lead at the top of the German Bundesliga on Saturday.

Champions Bayern Munich came from behind to thrash visiting Hanover 5-1 and are one of four teams level on 42 points, four behind Hertha.

Hoffenheim who fought out a goalless draw with visiting Werder Bremen, are joint second with Bayern, while Wolfsburg are fourth thanks to a 1-0 win over Karlsruhe.


ROUNDUP: Three-goal Voronin sends Hertha four points clear

Three-goal Voronin sends Hertha four points clearHamburg  - Andrey Voronin bagged a hat-trick as Hertha Berlin defeated Energie Cottbus 3-1 away to open up a four-point lead at the top of the German Bundesliga on Saturday.

Champions Bayern Munich came from behind to beat visiting Hanover 5-1 and are one of four teams level on 42 points, four behind Hertha.

Hoffenheim who fought out a goalless draw with visiting Werder Bremen, are joint second with Bayern, while Wolfsburg are fourth thanks to a 1-0 win over Karlsruhe.


Hamburg to meet Bremen in German cup semi-finals

Hamburg to meet Bremen in German cup semi-finals Hamburg - SV Hamburg and Werder Bremen are to meet in a northern derby in the draw for the semi-finals of the German Cup made Saturday.

The other semi-final match sees Bayer Leverkusen up against second-division Mainz 05.

Leverkusen eliminated title-holders Bayern Munich 4-2 in the quarter-finals while Mainz knocked out first-division Schalke 1-0.

The semi-final matches are to be played on April 21 and 22. The final is in Berlin's Olympic Stadium on May 30. (dpa)


New computer games in March put new twist on trading cards

New computer games in March put new twist on trading cardsHamburg  - Card games have tended to translate badly into computer games in the past. Nonetheless, a new game called Battleforge, which is due out in March, will try to meld real-time strategy games with virtual playing cards.

Battleforge is just one of many new games hitting shelves this month. It stands out, though, in the way it tries to break away from classic gaming setups.


Getting your money's worth: Test your DSL speeds

Getting your money's worth: Test your DSL speeds Hamburg  - DSL connections are often slower than the speeds claimed by the DSL providers. That's why Hamburg-based Computer Bild magazine recommends that customers test the speed of their internet connection.

A cost-free test can be run using the tool provided on http://dsl-speedtest.computerbild.de. Make sure you turn off all programs including virus scanners before running the measurement. The test should also be repeated at various times of the day to provide a meaningful, average value.


Internet radio offers something for everyone

Internet radio offers something for everyoneHamburg  - If you're one of those people who can never find anything good on the radio, it might be time to check out web-based radio and expand your music collection free of charge.

There are thousands of internet radio stations out there. Many of them focus on niches such as jazz from the 1920s or Puerto Rican salsa.

Streamripper, Screamer Radio, clipinc, Phonostar Player and Nexus Radio are all programmes to help listeners sort through the stations. Some allow listeners to legally transfer individual songs to their permanent collections.


Just browsing - Firefox catching up with Internet Explorer

Just browsing - Firefox catching up with Internet Explorer Hamburg  - Firefox is eroding Internet Explorer's reign as the most popular internet browser. An online study conducted by marketing research firm Fittkau & Maass showed that 38.4 per cent of German-speaking internet users browse either with Firefox version 3. x or 2. x.

The Internet Explorer 7. x version accounted for 37.2 per cent of the same group, while the previous version, 6. x, had 16 per cent.


Generic USB memory sticks not always a bargain

Generic USB memory sticks not always a bargain Hamburg  - Generic USB sticks are often not worth buying mainly because they often take so long to record data, the German computer magazine Computer Bild reported recently.

A test of 43 USB memory sticks with eight to 16 gigabytes (GB) of storage space, showed that the five generic sticks, all purchased online, were significantly lacking in speed and had no particular price benefits.


NEWS FEATURE: Hertha hit the heights but stay coy on title chances

Hertha hit the heights but stay coy on title chancesHamburg  - Hertha Berlin have moved closer to realizing club manager Dieter Hoeness's dream of parading the Bundesliga trophy through Brandenburg Gate.

A hat-trick by on-loan striker Andrey Voronin in a 3-1 win at Energie Cottbus on Saturday has put the Berlin club four points clear at the top with 11 matches remaining.

Yet Hoeness and Hertha are doing their best not to raise hopes in the German capital of a first title win for 78 years, decades before the Bundesliga began in 1963.


Ullrich says all will be revealed in book

Jan UllrichHamburg  - Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich said the question of whether he was ever guilty of doping would be answered in a book he intended to write.

"These questions are not that easy to answer. Such things will be written about in a book which I will write for my fans and also for myself," he was quoted as saying in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

The 1997 Tour winner said that he would give himself as much time as he needed to write the book.

Ullrich suggested in the interview that not everything had been above board during his career.


Immunotherapy against pollen allergy can help prevent asthma

Immunotherapy against pollen allergy can help prevent asthmaHamburg/Berlin  - Winter is almost over in the Northern Hemisphere and hay fever sufferers are already beginning to sneeze and sniffle.

About 10 million people in Germany are allergic to pollen, said the Association of German Allergists in Hamburg, northern Germany,.

Although most sufferers try to deal with the symptoms themselves, that can have potentially dangerous consequences.


Serena Williams top unchanged women's tennis rankings

Serena Williams top unchanged women's tennis rankings Hamburg - American Serena Williams remains top of an unchanged women's tennis rankings issued Monday by the WTA ruling body.

Williams leads the rankings with 9,432 points followed by Russia's Dinara Safina on 9,021.

WTA top 10 as of March 9 (previous ranking in parenthesis):


Nadal leads unchanged Top 10 tennis rankings

Nadal leads unchanged Top 10 tennis rankings Hamburg  - Spain's Rafael Nadal continues to head an unchanged ATP men's tennis rankings Top 10 issued by the ruling body on Monday, followed by Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

At the top, Nadal has 14,360 points, while Federer stands on 11,000.

ATP top 10 as of March 9 (previous ranking in parenthesis):


Ahonen announces return to ski-jumping

Ahonen announces return to ski-jumpingHamburg - Janne Ahonen announced Monday that he is to return to ski-jumping less than a year after announcing his retirement from the sport, the Finnish STT news agency reported Monday.

Ahonen called time on his career in March 2008, just two and a half months after claiming a record fifth title at the prestigious Four Hills tour, saying he no longer had the drive to train and wanted to call it a day at the peak of his powers.


ROUNDUP: Ahonen announces return to ski-jumping

Ahonen announces return to ski-jumping Hamburg  - Janne Ahonen announced Monday that he is to return to ski-jumping less than a year after announcing his retirement from the sport, the Finnish STT news agency reported Monday.

Ahonen called time on his career in March 2008, just two and a half months after claiming a record fifth title at the prestigious Four Hills tour, saying he no longer had the drive to train and wanted to call it a day at the peak of his powers.


Liverpool crush Real as Bayern hit Sporting for seven

Liverpool crush Real as Bayern hit Sporting for sevenHamburg  - Liverpool cruised into the quarter-finals of the Champions League Tuesday with a 4-0 victory over Real Madrid, while Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Villarreal also progressed.

Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Ryan Babel and Andrea Dossena were all on target for Liverpool at Anfield to ensure a 5-0 aggregate win and it could have been even more against a poor Real side but for some goalkeeping heroics from Iker Casillas.


Will lithium prevent clean revolution?

Hamburg  - Will millions of electric eco-cars one day solve our climate and energy problems? If batteries are charged with renewable wind and solar energy, electric cars are currently the cleanest on the road. But most batteries are made of lithium, a finite and expensive natural resource, which prompts sceptics to question the ambitious plans of many car makers.

Some analysts are already sounding warnings that the latest lithium-ion battery technology will at best occupy a small niche market. Lithium is a limited natural resource with most deposits in Bolivia, Chile and some in Australia and Tibet.


Munich gain respect with Champions League dozen

MunichHamburg - A deadly dozen for the biggest aggregate victory in Champions League history has brought the smile back on Bayern Munich's face.

Munich may be inconsistent in German action, but have impressed in Europe. Their form reached new heights on Tuesday night when they demolished hapless Sporting Lisbon 7-1, which, coupled with a 5-0 win in Portugal, resulted in a staggering 12-1 from both games.

"We sent clear signals that we are a force to be reckoned with. We are among the top eight in Europe, are hungry and want more!" said coach Juergen Klinsmann.

The big win was duly noted abroad on Wednesday.


Manchester United and Barcelona progress with ease

Manchester United and Barcelona progress with easeHamburg  - Nemanja Vidic and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored as Manchester United booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan Wednesday, while a brace from Thierry Henry helped Barcelona past Olympique Lyon.

Arsenal needed penalties to make to the next round at the expense of Roma and Porto progressed via the away goals rule after their scoreless draw with Atletico Madrid left the tie level at 2-2 on aggregate.


10-man Galatasaray hold Hamburg; wins for CSKA Moscow, Dynamo Kiev

10-man Galatasaray hold Hamburg; wins for CSKA Moscow, Dynamo KievHamburg  - Germany's SV Hamburg were unable to overcome a 10-man Galatasaray in a 1-1 draw in the first leg of UEFA Cup's last 16 on Thursday.

The Turkish side, who won the competition in 2000, had Emre Asik sent off in the 53rd minute for a professional foul on Mladen Petric.

The dismissal came four minutes after Marcell Jansen had levelled a 32nd-minute goal from captain Ayhan Akman.

Collin Benjamin came close to a winner for the Bundesliga side with a shot headed off the line and onto the bar by Mehmet Guven.


Voronin gets the winner again as Hertha beat Leverkusen

Voronin gets the winner again as Hertha beat Leverkusen Hamburg  - Andrey Voronin was the familiar hero as Hertha Berlin defeated Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 on Saturday to maintain a four-point Bundesliga lead.

Voronin scored the winner early in the second half, with plenty of luck on his side as the ball went into the net off his chest after goalkeeper Rene Adler had saved his first shot.

Hertha top the table with 49 points, with Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg following on 45 points each. TSG Hoffenheim have 43 and SV Hamburg take 42 into their Sunday game with lowly Energie Cottbus.


ROUNDUP: Voronin winner sees Hertha retain Bundesliga lead

Voronin winner sees Hertha retain Bundesliga leadHamburg - Andrey Voronin was the familiar hero as Hertha Berlin defeated Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 on Saturday to maintain a four-point Bundesliga lead.

Voronin scored the winner early in the second half, with plenty of luck on his side as the ball went into the net off his chest after goalkeeper Rene Adler had saved his first shot.

Hertha top the table with 49 points, with Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg following on 45 points each. TSG Hoffenheim have 43 and SV Hamburg take 42 into their Sunday game with lowly Energie Cottbus.


PC games: Better once they cool off

PC games: Better once they cool offHamburg  - The principle of "higher, faster, further" seems to have been taken very much to heart by computer game developers. They strive valiantly in a never-ending quest for titles with better graphics, "never before seen" game play and everything else ratcheted up a notch over the last generation - at least in theory.


NEWS FEATURE: Munich aim to mount pressure on Hertha

Bayern MunichHamburg  -  may still trail leaders Hertha Berlin by four points but the holders have started the psychological warfare as the Bundesliga season reaches the deciding stages.

Fifteen goals for three wins in eight days have restored confidence at the Munich camp.

"It's important that Berlin feels the Bavarian breath. It is time for them to falter," said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.


Diabetics at a higher risk of kidney and nerve damage

Diabetics at a higher risk of kidney and nerve damage Hamburg  - Diabetics not only are at higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, they are also more susceptible to diseases of the eyes, kidneys and nervous system.

But in cases where blood-sugar levels are well controlled, and blood pressure and blood fat levels reduced, the risk is lower, according to Jens Kroeger from Germany's Centre for Diabetology in Hamburg.


German scientists block cystic fibrosis symptoms in mice

Hamburg, Germany  - German researchers have found that the symptoms of cystic fibrosis can be prevented in an animal model by spraying amiloride into the lungs of young mice.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that leads to the dehydration of the mucous membranes in the lungs, intestines and other organs. It is the most common, life-shortening genetic disease in Western Europe and North America.

The Heidelberg University Hospital researchers have succeeded in preventing cystic fibrosis lung disease in an animal model by spraying amiloride into the lungs of young mice. This is the first therapy to successfully attack the root cause of the widespread hereditary disease in a living organism.


Klitschko seeks new opponent after Haye bout in doubt, says report

Klitschko seeks new opponent after Haye bout in doubt, says report Hamburg - Ukraine heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko is looking for a new opponent after doubts have emerged over a planned fight in June with Britain's David Haye, Germany's Bild newspaper reported Wednesday.

Bild quoted Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente as saying the two sides had been close to a fight deal "but then there were increasingly more demands" from Haye's management.


ROUNDUP: Bremen and Marseille through to UEFA Cup quarter-finals

ROUNDUP: Bremen and Marseille through to UEFA Cup quarter-finalsHamburg - German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen and Olympique Marseille on Wednesday became the first clubs through to the quarter- finals of the UEFA Cup after both drawing their away games 2-2.

Werder Bremen held French side St Etienne 2-2 in their second leg match of the last 16 to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

There was better news for French football though as Marseille came from behind to snatch a dramatic extra time 2-2 draw at Ajax Amsterdam for a 4-3 aggregate victory.


Formula One enters the unknown in ground-breaking season

Formula One enters the unknown in ground-breaking seasonHamburg  - It has probably never been more difficult to predict the outcome of a Formula One season as this year.

A question mark hangs over world champion Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren-Mercedes team who have struggled in testing, while newcomers Brawn GP - successor to Honda - are suddenly seen as a serious threat.

The 2009 season looks like being a real pointer to where Formula One is heading from both a sporting and economic perspective.


F1 gears up for more rule changes

F1 gears up for more rule changesHamburg  - The 2009 Formula One season sees a raft of rule changes with the driver's championship decided by number of race wins, tighter aerodynamic regulations, the return of slick tyres, the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) and the end of in-season testing.

The most comprehensive rule changes in recent years are all part of the sport's attempt to make racing more entertaining while also cutting costs in an effort to ride out the global economic crisis.


Hamilton stays hungry as he plays the fame game

Hamilton stays hungry as he plays the fame gameHamburg  - Lewis Hamilton is living the dream. At 24, the youngest champion in Formula One history has the sort of celebrity lifestyle which harks from a now distant era in Formula One.

A popstar girlfriend, millions in his bank account, a villa in Switzerland and - most recently - an MBE from the Queen have all been accrued with success on the track in just two seasons.

Not that Hamilton can be confused with the playboy racing drivers that were once a regular feature of the paddock.


Vettel ready to shine in 2009

Hamburg - Sebastian Vettel certainly isn't getting carried away by all the hype surrounding him ahead of the 2009 Formula One season.

The 21-year-old German had a stand-out 2008 with Toro Rosso, finishing seventh in the drivers' world championship and becoming the youngest grand prix winner in the sport at the Italian GP in Monza.

Vettel's performances saw Toro Rosso's mother team Red Bull quickly move to sign him up for 2009 and led many commentators to say he is a world champion in the making.


F1 finds harmony in grim times to ensure bright future

Hamburg  - The world economic crisis appears to be a blessing in disguise for Formula One racing.

Not only have the grim economic realities drastically sped up major cost-cutting, they have also led to unique harmony between teams for the common goal of a bright future.

Luca di Montezemolo, the boss of Ferrari and the newly founded F1 team organisation FOTA, spoke of "an unprecedented moment in the history of Formula One" after the teams agreed to various measures to improve the sport.

"We do believe we can make it (F1) stronger and better in the future, and certainly if we work together we can really achieve some of those goals," said McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh.


Holders Zenit and ex-champs CSKA crash in UEFA Cup

Holders Zenit and ex-champs CSKA crash in UEFA CupHamburg  - Title holders Zenit St Petersburg were dumped by Udinese and the 2005 winners CSKA Moscow crashed against Skakhtar Donetsk on a bad Thursday for Russia in the UEFA Cup round of 16.

Zenit won 1-0 on the night but that was not good enough to reverse last week's 2-0 defeat in Italy as Udinese made a European quarter-final for the first time.

That also applied to Donetsk, who rebounded from a 1-0 first-leg loss in the Russian capital with a 2-0 home win over CSKA.


1ST LEAD: Hamburg oust Galatasaray on bad night for UEFA Cup champs

Hamburg oust Galatasaray on bad night for UEFA Cup champsHamburg  - Paolo Guerrero scored twice and Ivica Olic the other as SV Hamburg fought from 2-0 down to a 3-2 triumph at Galatasaray Istanbul for a place in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

Galatasaray led from Harry Kewell's penalty and Milan Baros, but Guerrero's double in the 57th and 60th and Olic in the 89th turned the tide.

Hamburg won the round of 16 tie 4-3 from both games, ending Galatasaray's dream of playing in the May 20 final in their home town of Istanbul.


F1 gears up for more rule changes

F1 gears up for more rule changesHamburg - The 2009 Formula One season sees a raft of rule changes with the driver's championship decided by number of race wins, tighter aerodynamic regulations, the return of slick tyres, the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) and the end of in-season testing.

The most comprehensive rule changes in recent years are all part of the sport's attempt to make racing more entertaining while also cutting costs in an effort to ride out the global economic crisis.


FEATURE: F1 gears up for more rule changes

F1 gears up for more rule changesHamburg  - The 2009 Formula One season sees a raft of rule changes with the driver's championship decided by number of race wins, tighter aerodynamic regulations, the return of slick tyres, the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) and the end of in-season testing.

The most comprehensive rule changes in recent years are all part of the sport's attempt to make racing more entertaining while also cutting costs in an effort to ride out the global economic crisis.


FEATURE: F1 finds harmony in grim times to ensure bright future

F1 finds harmony in grim times to ensure bright futureHamburg - The world economic crisis appears to be a blessing in disguise for Formula One racing.

Not only have the grim economic realities drastically sped up major cost-cutting, they have also led to unique harmony between teams for the common goal of a bright future.

Luca di Montezemolo, the boss of Ferrari and the newly founded F1 team organisation FOTA, spoke of "an unprecedented moment in the history of Formula One" after the teams agreed to various measures to improve the sport.


Hertha crash as Bayern, Wolfsburg close gap at top of Bundesliga

Hertha crash as Bayern, Wolfsburg close gap at top of Bundesliga Hamburg - Hertha Berlin saw their lead at the top of the Bundesliga slashed to one point after they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Stuttgart on Saturday, while Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg both won.

Champions Bayern overcame bottom side Karlsruhe 1-0 thanks to a goal from Argentinian Jose Ernesto Sosa, while Wolfsburg made it seven league wins in a row with a 3-0 victory at Arminia Bielefeld.

Hertha have 49 points, with Bayern and Wolfsburg joint second on 48 with the same goal difference and goals scored.


ROUNDUP: Hertha crash as Bayern, Wolfsburg close gap at top

Hertha crash as Bayern, Wolfsburg close gap at topHamburg - Hertha Berlin's lead at the top of the Bundesliga was slashed to one point after they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday, while Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg both won.

Champions Bayern overcame bottom side SC Karlsruhe 1-0 thanks to a goal from Argentine Jose Ernesto Sosa, while Wolfsburg made it seven league wins in a row with a 3-0 victory at Arminia Bielefeld.

Hertha have 49 points, with Bayern and Wolfsburg joint second on 48 with the same goal difference and goals scored.


Flight fare search engines yield deliver best prices

Hamburg  - Search engines specializing in flight prices seem to be the way to go to when looking for affordable flights, according to Germany's Computer Bild magazine.

The search engines yielded the best deals in online travel agencies, the report added. The magazine tested several ticket search engines and online travel agents on 30 different routes.

First place went to search engine Swoodoo, which found the best price in 13 instances. Second place went to checkflix. de, followed by kelkoo.


Recordable DVDs: More errors at higher speeds

Recordable DVDs: More errors at higher speeds Hamburg  - DVD writers boasting high speeds sound good, but their error rates are high, also too.

A total of 48 different recordable DVD blanks were recently put to the test by Computer Bild magazine. The Hamburg-based magazine determined that burn speed has a major impact on quality. Quality is excellent when burning at four to eight times the standard burn speed. At a 16x tempo, however, the error rate climbs quickly.


Nadal stretches ATP lead with Indian Wells crown

Nadal stretches ATP lead with Indian Wells crown Hamburg - Rafael Nadal stretched his lead at the top of the men's tennis rankings by virtue of his Indian Wells Masters title on Sunday.

The Spaniard leads the list issued on Monday by the ATP with 14,990 points from Switzerland's Roger Federer (10,910) and Serbian Novak Djokovic (8,420). Nadal beat fourth-ranked Briton Andy Murray in straight sets on Sunday.


Safina closes in on Williams in WTA rankings

Safina closes in on Williams in WTA rankings Hamburg - Serena Williams of the United States retained top spot in the women's tennis rankings issued on Monday by the WTA while Russian Dinara Safina drew closer to her despite a quarter-final exit last week in Indian Wells.

Williams remained on 9,432 as she didn't play in the Californian Masters event, while Safina improved to 9,121 points. Third-placed Serb Jelena Jankovic has 7,985 points.


Domenicali calls it a decisive year for Raikkonen at Ferrari

Kimi RaikkonenHamburg - Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen appears to be standing before a make-or-break season at Ferrari.

"As a driver and a Ferrari man, he is well aware that it's an important season. He's intelligent enough to understand that," Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali told Monday's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

The 2009 season getting underway this weekend with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, and Domenicali said Raikkonen's performances this year were certainly important as to whether he has a long-term future with the Italian marque.


Champion Steinigen said East German biathletes drank doping punch

Champion Steinigen said East German biathletes drank doping punchHamburg - East German biathletes were given banned substances in drinks during the 1980s, Olympic biathlon champion Jens Steinigen said Tuesday.

Speaking to German Press Agency dpa Steinigen said that the practice was then stopped.

"The team doctor at the time then stopped this as there were obviously problems with giving the right doses. Nobody knew how much the athlete drank and thereby took doping substances," he said.


Alternative driving concepts: What's hype - what's realistic?

Alternative driving concepts: What's hype - what's realistic?Hamburg  - The big car makers presented a flurry of alternative driving concepts and eco-cars at the recent Geneva Motor Show leaving many a motorist wondering when such cars will be available in the showroom.

The next three years will bring a number of cars onto the roads that have so far only been seen as concept studies at big motor shows or circulated on the internet as teaser images. Yet much of what we have seen lately remains hype and may only appear on our roads 10 years from now.


How to create living space in all rooms of a home

How to create living space in all rooms of a homeHamburg  - There was a time when a sofa could have a pressed board on the back because it would never be placed anywhere except against a wall.

Trend experts say those days are over as individual rooms are blending into one another to create large living spaces that are divided only by a shelf or sofa. And this development is having an affect on other furniture as well.

"All furniture fits everywhere," is how the association for the German furniture industry describes the new trend in words.


Atouba looking to extend contract with SV Hamburg

Atouba looking to extend contract with SV Hamburg Hamburg - Defender Thimothee Atouba wants to extend his contract at Bundesliga club SV Hamburg when it runs out at the end of the season.

"I want to stay," the 27-year-old Cameroonian told Friday's Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper.

Atouba is currently building up his fitness as he continues his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury sustained last October.

"If things continue as they are then Timmy could be available for us in the final games of May," said Hamburg coach Martin Jol.


Reports say Kahn turns down Schalke general manager job

Reports say Kahn turns down Schalke general manager jobHamburg  - Former Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has turned down the job of general manager at troubled Bundesliga club Schalke 04, Kicker sports magazine reported Friday.

Kicker said that according to its information, Kahn, 39, will inform Schalke he has no further interest in the position.

There was no immediate confirmation.

Kahn was interviewed following the dismissal of Andreas Moeller on March 9.

Schalke on Thursday also dismissed Dutch coach Fred Rutten.


ROUNDUP: Schalke confirm Kahn's ruling out of general manager job

Schalke confirm Kahn's ruling out of general manager job Hamburg  - Former Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has ruled himself out of the running for the position of general manager at troubled Schalke 04, the Bundesliga club confirmed Friday.

Kahn was interviewed following the dismissal of Andreas Moeller on March 9 but the 39-year-old has now informed Schalke that he has no further interest in the position due to other commitments.

"I isn't possible at this moment in time. But it is not a big issue, it doesn't cause us problems," said supervisory board head Clemens Toennies.


Russia beat Azerbaijan in World Cup qualifying

Russia beat Azerbaijan in World Cup qualifying Hamburg  - Roman Pavlyuchenko was the man of the match as Russia defeated Azerbaijan 2-0 in 2010 World Cup qualifying on Saturday.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker opened the scoring in Moscow with a curling free-kick in the 32nd minute and fed Konstantin Zyrianov for the other in the 71st.

Russia improved to nine points from four games in qualifying group 4, one point behind leaders Germany who were due to play minnows Liechtenstein later Saturday in Leipzig.


Japan a step away, North Korea score important win

Japan a step away, North Korea score important win Hamburg  - Japan are a win away from qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa after beating Bahrain 1-0 in the Asian qualifying zone on Saturday.

There was also an important win for North Korea, whose 2-0 victory against the United Arab Emirates took them to the top of Group B, while Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia also kept alive their hopes of making it to South Africa with victories.


1ST LEAD: Russia beat Azerbaijan in World Cup qualifying

Russia beat Azerbaijan in World Cup qualifyingHamburg  - Roman Pavlyuchenko was the man of the match as Russia defeated Azerbaijan 2-0 in 2010 World Cup qualifying on Saturday.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker opened the scoring in Moscow with a curling free-kick in the 32nd minute and fed Konstantin Zyrianov for the other in the 71st.

Russia improved to nine points from four games in qualifying Group 4, one point behind leaders Germany who were due to play minnows Liechtenstein later Saturday in Leipzig.


2ND LEAD: Germany, Russia win in World Cup qualifying

Germany, Russia win in World Cup qualifyingHamburg  - Germany defeated Liechtenstein 4-0 in World Cup qualifying on Saturday but group rivals Russia remained on their heels with a 2-0 over Azerbaijan.

Captain Michael Ballack, Marcell Jansen, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski were on target for the three-time world champions Germany in Leipzig.

In Moscow, Roman Pavlyuchenko scored and set up Konstantin Zyrianov for the other as Russia prevailed over Azerbaijan.


Diabetics at a higher risk of kidney and nerve damage

Diabetics at a higher risk of kidney and nerve damageHamburg  - Diabetics are not only at higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, they are also more susceptible to diseases of the eyes, kidneys and nervous system.

But in cases where blood-sugar levels are well controlled, and blood pressure and blood fat levels reduced, the risk is lower, according to Jens Kroeger from Germany's Centre for Diabetology in Hamburg.


Researchers blame genetics for sudden cardiac arrest in athletes

Researchers blame genetics for sudden cardiac arrest in athletesHamburg, Germany  - A team of German scientists say they have found a genetic cause for mysterious sudden deaths of perfectly healthy athletes who collapse and die of cardiac arrest.

German researchers at Heidelberg University Hospital claim to have discovered a seemingly insignificant genetic modification that may in fact spawn a potentially, fatal cardiac condition.


Brawn confirm 270 job losses

Brawn confirm 270 job lossesHamburg - The Brawn GP Formula One team is to reduce the workforce at the team's Brackley factory in England by 270 to cut costs.

The team made the announcement shortly after celebrating a one-two victory in Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

"It's very unfortunate that we've got to do that but it's the change of technical regulations and obviously we are now a private team," said team chief executive Nick Fry.

"We are about 700 people at the moment and we talked to the staff about going down to about 430."


Maldives aims to end separation of islanders and tourists

Maldives aims to end separation of islanders and tourists Hamburg  - The Maldives has initiated a new tourism policy aimed at increasing contact between visitors and inhabitants of the island chain in the Indian Ocean, the country's tourism minister said.

Speaking recently to the German weekly newspaper, Die Zeit, the minister, Ahmed Ali Sawad, said there would no longer be a "parallel world" of resort islands kept separate from the islands inhabited by Maldivians.


Hamilton dampens expectations ahead of Malaysian GP

on dampens expectations ahead of Malaysian GP Hamburg - Lewis Hamilton is playing down the chances of replicating the third-place finish he achieved in Sunday's season- opening Formula One race in Australia in this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.

"Firstly, we shouldnt get carried away by our podium in Australia. Yes, we had a fantastic race but were all aware that our car isnt capable of repeating that sort of performance on sheer pace alone," said the defending world champion in a statement on the McLaren-Mercedes team website.


Australia one step closer to World Cup with victory over Uzbekistan

Australia one step closer to World Cup with victory over Uzbekistan Hamburg - Australia moved top of Asian World Cup qualifying Group 1 courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Uzbekistan in Sydney Wednesday to all but book their place at the 2010 finals in South Africa.

Substitute Joshua Kennedy put the home side in front on 66 minutes and a Harry Kewell penalty seven minutes later made the game safe after Richard Garcia was fouled in the area by Ansur Ismailov.


Gerolsteiner: Kohl showed no signs of doping

Gerolsteiner: Kohl showed no signs of doping Hamburg - Former officials of the now defunct Gerolsteiner cycling team said on Wednesday that Austrian rider Bernhard Kohl showed no indication of using forbidden doping substances.

Then team boss Hans-Michael Holczer said that Kohl was "not even suspicious" until he was found to have used the third generation of the blood booster EPO, known as CERA, at the 2008 Tour de France.


German hockey player banned for one year over doping violation

German hockey player banned for one year over doping violation Hamburg - Germany field hockey international Sebastian Draguhn has been banned for one year for a doping rule violation, the nation's hockey federation DHB announced on Wednesday.

The 2006 world champion Draguhn was sanctioned for not being available for an out-of-competition doping test in August 2008. He has the right to appeal the ruling.


NEWS FEATURE: YouTube shuts out German users in dispute over fees

YouTube shuts out German users in dispute over feesHamburg  - Users of YouTube, the online video service, lost access Wednesday to a vast array of contemporary music in Europe's biggest nation after a dispute with a German fees agency escalated.

"This video is not available in your country," said a message when computers connected to the internet in Germany tried for example to open YouTube's Viva la Vida clip by British rock bank Coldplay.


Schalke end search for interim coach, keep faith with trainer trio

Schalke end search for interim coach, keep faith with trainer trio Hamburg  - Schalke 04 Wednesday ended their search for an interim coach for the rest of the Bundesliga season, opting instead to stick with a trio of caretaker trainers.

A statement said the club had "great confidence" in Mike Buskens, Youri Mulder and Oliver Reck who had been appointed last week after the dismissal of Fred Rutten.

The trio had initially agreed to take charge while Schalke looked for a coach to lead the team until the end of the season.


Bulgaria close in on Ireland and Italy

Bulgaria close in on Ireland and ItalyHamburg - Bulgaria closed in on leaders Italy and Ireland in Group 8 of the European World Cup qualifiers with a 2-0 victory against Cyprus in Sofia on Wednesday.

Ivelin Popov and Dimitar Makriev scored the goals for the Bulgarians, who continued their unbeaten run in the qualifying campaign, but have just seven points from their five matches after drawing their opening four games.

Italy and Ireland, who clash in a later game in Bari, head the group with 13 and 11 points respectively.


1ST LEAD: Zyrianov keeps Russia in the hunt, Bulgaria close in

Zyrianov keeps Russia in the hunt, Bulgaria close inHamburg  - Konstantin Zyrianov on Wednesday scored the only goal of the match to keep Russia in the hunt for a place at the 2010 World Cup finals with a 1-0 victory against minnows Liechtenstein, while Bulgaria closed in on leaders Italy and Ireland in Group 8.

In Vaduz Zyrianov scored in the 38th minute against the underdogs to secure a victory that sees the Russians move to within a point of the leading Germans in Group 4. Both teams have played five games.

Germany, who are on 12 points, can extend their lead at the top though with a victory in Wales later Wednesday.


Sunglass styles for summer 2009: Flashy and extra large

Sunglass styles for summer 2009: Flashy and extra largeHamburg  - Large colourful and flashy. Sunglass fashion this summer is definitely conspicuous.

"Colourful frames are hot and as well as frames with way-out patterns, such as spider webs, peace signs or skulls," said Gabriele Gerling of Germany's central association of opticians in Dusseldorf. Retro is the number one catchword. However, the styles are not reverting to fashion trends just from the 1950s and 1960s. This year everything from the 1930s to the 1970s is represented.


Podolski to escape sanctions after Ballack row

Podolski to escape sanctions after Ballack row Hamburg - Germany striker Lukas Podolski will face no sanctions after he appeared to slap captain Michael Ballack in an altercation during the 2-0 defeat of Wales in Cardiff on Wednesday, team manager Oliver Bierhoff said.

Bierhoff said in Cardiff early Thursday that the two players had cleared up their differences after the game and the matter was now closed.

"The important thing is that nothing has been left unresolved," he said.


Wladimir Klitschko to defend titles against Haye

Wladimir Klitschko to defend titles against Haye Hamburg - Ukraine heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko is to fight Britain's David Haye on June 20, his management confirmed Thursday.

The bout will take place in Europe but a venue has yet to be established.

"The contracts are being signed today," Klitschko manager Bernd Boente of the Hamburg-based Klitschko Management Group said.

Several venues in Germany would like to stage the bout in which Klitschko will be defending his WBO and IBF titles against former cruiserweight champion Haye.


German federation expects no FIFA sanctions on Podolski

Lukas Podolski Hamburg  - The German football federation DFB believes FIFA will take no action against Lukas Podolski over a pitch altercation with captain Michael Ballack during Germany's 2-0 victory over Wales in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

Podolski struck out a hand which made slight contact with Ballack's cheek during an angry exchange of words in a second-half incident.

A DFB spokesman said Friday it did not believe football's world governing body FIFA would punish the Bayern Munich striker for unsporting behaviour as the referee took no action at the time.


Skype slams T-Mobile ban in Germany

Skype slams T-Mobile ban in GermanyHamburg - Skype, the company which provides free phone services via the internet, slammed German wireless company T-Mobile on Saturday over its announced ban on skyping with the Apple iPhone.

The ban, put in place this month, has raised hackles in the technology media round the world.

Jean-Jacques Sahel, Skype's senior executive for regulation issues in Europe, said the ban had come as a surprise. He accused T-Mobile's parent, Deutsche Telekom, of suppressing competition.

Skype is a subsidiary of the US-based internet auction service eBay.


Wolfsburg rout Munich 5-1 to take Bundesliga lead

Wolfsburg rout Munich 5-1 to take Bundesliga leadHamburg  - Edin Dzeko and attacking partner Grafite were on fire with two goals each as VfL Wolfsburg hammered Bayern Munich 5-1 for the Bundesliga lead on Saturday.

The Bosnia forward Dzeko broke a 1-1 tie with his strikes in the 63rd and 65th minute and Grafite did his share in the 74th and 77th as Wolfsburg moved atop the standings with the victory and because Hertha Berlin crashed 3-1 at home against Borussia Dortmund.


ROUNDUP: Wolfsburg hammer Munich 5-1 to take Bundesliga lead

Wolfsburg hammer Munich 5-1 to take Bundesliga leadHamburg - Edin Dzeko and attacking partner Grafite were on fire again with two goals each as VfL Wolfsburg hammered Bayern Munich 5-1 for the Bundesliga lead on Saturday.

The Bosnia forward Dzeko broke a 1-1 tie with his strikes in the 63rd and 65th minute for a season tally of 15 and Brazil's Grafite did his share in in the 74th and 77th - the latter with an amazing back-heeler - to become league top scorer with 20 goals.

Wolfsburg moved atop the standings with their eighth straight victory and because Hertha Berlin crashed 3-1 at home against Borussia Dortmund.


Godfathers and pirates: New PC games for April

Godfathers and pirates: New PC games for AprilHamburg  - High expectations can lead to serious disappointment and PC gamers are all too acquainted with that feeling. Many games that are heavily hyped before hitting stores often turn out to be nothing special at all. That's why flying under the radar can be advantageous sometimes.


Early foray into disc backups has limited household use

Early foray into disc backups has limited household useHamburg - Computer users nowadays have a choice of hard drives for storing data - the computer's drive, an external drive, a memory stick or any of a variety of options.

But 20 years ago, that kind of variety was not available. And the hard drive options of that period cost hundreds of dollars for a mere 20 megabytes of storage. Anything larger was unaffordable.

That spurred research institutes to find a way to set up a giant data storage unit, resulting in the 1987 creation of the Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) at the University of California.


VfL Wolfsburg: An unlikely Bundesliga title challenger

VfL WolfsburgHamburg  - VfL Wolfsburg are trying hard to keep their feet on the ground after a 5-1 demolition of holders Bayern Munich made them new Bundesliga leaders and top title favourites.

"They played like champions," said German football federation sports director Matthias Sammer on Premiere pay-TV after the final whistle on Saturday.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung paper agreed on Sunday, saying: "The title would no longer be a miracle."


Former Ireland manager Kerr signs Faroes job

Former Ireland manager Kerr signs Faroes job Hamburg - Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr on Monday signed a two-and-a-half-year contract as Faroe Islands national team coach, the Faroe football federation said in a statement.

Kerr, 56, will be in charge until the end of the qualifying campaign for Euro 2012.

He will take charge of the North Atlantic islands team immediately, his first match coming in June against Serbia in World Cup 2010 qualifying. The Faroes lie bottom of Group 7 with just one points while Serbia top the standings.


German doping ruling angers victims and others

German doping ruling angers victims and others Hamburg  - A decision by Germany's umbrella sports organization and Olympic Committee DOSB to allow five former East German athletics coaches to continue on their jobs despite doping confessions drew harsh reactions from victims and others on Tuesday.

The five coaches - Klaus Baarck, Gerhard Boettcher, Rainer Pottel, Maria Ritschel and Klaus Schneider - on Monday admitted in a statement issued by the DOSB to their involvement in the state-run doping system of the former communist state.


Manchester United struggle at home, Arsenal draw away

Manchester United struggle at home, Arsenal draw awayHamburg - Defending Champions League title holders Manchester United on Tuesday disappointed as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Porto in a first leg quarter-final match played in Manchester.

The other quarter-final played on the night saw Arsenal draw 1-1 at Villarreal.

In Manchester Porto had the ideal start when Cristian Rodriguez made the most of poor defending just four minutes into the game and beat Edwin Van der Sar with a well taken shot from 13 metres.


Welcome to the comfort zone - Mercedes new E-class impresses

Mercedes new E-class impressesHamburg - Calling all company car users and well-heeled family fathers - the all-new E-class from Mercedes-Benz is as solid and reliable as customers of this marque expect, with a host of clever electronic trickery and greener engines too.

The new limousine also goes a long way towards restoring the model's tarnished reputation for durability after some irksome quality control slip-ups in the past.


German cyclist Schumacher appeals doping ban before CAS

German cyclist Schumacher appeals doping ban before CAS  Hamburg - German cyclist Stefan Schumacher has lodged an appeal against a doping ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

The CAS confirmed on Wednesday it received the according letter from Schumacher's lawyer Michael Lehner. A date for a hearing is yet to be announced.

Schumacher won two time trials at the 2008 Tour de France and wore the overall leader's yellow jersey for two days at the famed race before retests of his Tour samples in autumn revealed that he had used the latest generation of the blood booster EPO, known as CERA.


Barcelona demolish Bayern, Chelsea stun Liverpool

Barcelona demolish Bayern, Chelsea stun LiverpoolHamburg  - Barcelona handed out a 4-0 drubbing to Bayern Munich in their quarter-final first-leg Champions League clash Wednesday while Chelsea came from behind to stun Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield.

Lionel Messi netted a brace for the Spanish league leaders while Branislav Ivanovic also scored twice for Chelsea to leave both sides in a strong position ahead of next week's second-leg ties.

Barcelona struck twice in the first 15 minutes against Bayern at the Camp Nou as the German champions once again paid the price for their defensive frailties.


Loew: Podolski must behave or face the consequenes

Loew: Podolski must behave or face the consequenes Hamburg - Forward Lukas Popolski faces grave consequences if he misbehaves in the Germany jersey again, coach Joachim Loew said in a newspaper interview published on Thursday.

Loew told the Badische Zeitung daily that Podolski "lost a lot of sympathy" when he slapped captain Michael Ballack in the face during a heated argument between the two in the second half of last week's World Cup qualifier in Cardiff against wales.


Bayern Munich back to winning days

Bayern Munich back to winning days Hamburg - Bayern Munich, who were humbled 4-0 at Barcelona midweek in a Champions League game found back to their winning ways Saturday as they beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 in a Bundesliga game. First half goals by Franck Ribery, Luca Toni and Lucio gave the home side a comfortable lead and Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger gave Bayern the victory that took them to second place in the table behind VfL Wolfsburg.


Timo Glock hopeful of positive verdict in diffuser row

Formula One driver Timo GlockHamburg - Formula One driver Timo Glock believes there is a good chance of FIA ruling in favour of the diffusers being used by Williams, Brawn GP and his Toyota team. Motorsport's ruling body will hear the protests lodged by BMW- Sauber, Ferrari and Red Bull against the controversial designs on Tuesday in Paris.

"Three teams had the same idea. This shows that they believed it was legal from the start," Glock told the German ZDF national television network.


Immunotherapy against pollen allergy can help prevent asthma

Immunotherapy against pollen allergy can help prevent asthmaHamburg, Germany - Spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere - and with it, a time of suffering for those who are susceptible to hay fever. About 10 million people in Germany are allergic to pollen, said the Association of German Allergists in Hamburg, northern Germany,.

Although most sufferers try to deal with the symptoms themselves, that can have potentially dangerous consequences.


Poisonous flowers make yards dangerous for children

Poisonous flowers make yards dangerous for children Hamburg - Parents should be careful about what they plant in their garden as flowers such as brugmansia, golden chain and nightshade can all lead to serious poisoning among children, reports a German safety organization. Even the small blue berries from ivy are dangerous. Indeed, flowers and berries are especially dangerous for two and three-year- olds, since they are so prone to putting such items into their mouth.


Nadal remains top of unchanged ATP list

Nadal remains top of unchanged ATP list Hamburg - Rafael Nadal remained comfortably top of an unchanged men's tennis rankings issued on Monday by the ATP. Spain's Nadal leads with 14,470 points, far ahead of former number one Roger Federer of Switzerland (11,020), Serbia's Novak Djokovic (9,010) and Scotland's Andy Murray.


Down to your last shirt? Strip off at this nudist hotel

Down to your last shirt? Strip off at this nudist hotelHamburg, Germany - In these dire economic times, when tourists are down to their last shirt and hotels go bankrupt at the drop of a hat, only the most innovative and ingenious hotels can hope to get by on the bare essentials. The new Rosengarten Hotel (Rose Garden) in the quaint Black Forest region of Germany is bucking the downturn by booking buck-naked guests.


Chelsea set up semi-final clash with Barcelona

Chelsea set up semi-final clash with Barcelona Hamburg - Chelsea suffered a serious fright against Liverpool Tuesday before eventually drawing 4-4 to set up a Champions League semi-final clash with Barcelona, who progressed at the expense of Bayern Munich. Guus Hiddink's side went into the quarter-final match at Stamford Bridge holding a comfortable 3-1 lead from the first leg at Anfield but were stunned by a Fabio Aurelio free kick and Xabi Alonso penalty in the opening half hour.


Hertha Berlin's Voronin banned and fined over red card offence

Hertha Berlin's Voronin banned and fined over red card offenceHamburg  - Hertha Berlin striker Andrey Voronin was banned for three Bundesliga matches and fined 10,000 euros (13,300 dollars) by the ruling body DFB on Wednesday over a red-card offence.

Voronin lost his temper in the 89th minute of Hertha's 2-0 league defeat at Hanover 96 on Saturday. He was dismissed for a foul on Hanover Leon Andreasen and then kicked the ball at Andreasen in disgust about the red card.


ECB official warns of risks from low interest rates

ECB official warns of risks from low interest rates Hamburg - A senior European Central Bank (ECB) warned Wednesday that cutting interest rates below 1 per cent could severely hit money markets and result in lending between banks freezing up.

In a speech delivered in Hamburg, Axel Weber, the president of Germany's influential central bank the Bundesbank, said that trimming rates in the 15-member eurozone to below 1 per cent could mean banks lending with each other would become "completely paralyzed." Weber is also a member of the ECB's governing council.


Ronaldo the hero as United set up semi-final date with Arsenal By George Burns

Ronaldo the hero as United set up semi-final date with Arsenal By George BurnsHamburg  - A Cristiano Ronaldo wonder goal from all of 40 metres helped Manchester United beat Porto 1-0 Wednesday to book their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

United will now meet fellow English Premier League side Arsenal after goals from Theo Walcott, Emmanuel Adebayor and a Robin van Persie penalty ensured a 3-0 win over Spanish side Villarreal for the Gunners, who progress to the last four 4-1 on aggregate.


For smoother hair, blow dryer is better than hair straightener

For smoother hair, blow dryer is better than hair straightener Hamburg  - Hair straightening irons that use heat and pressure to make hair look smooth should be avoided, according to Hamburg's star hair stylist Manfred Martz.

"Hair dryers are the secret," Martz said. Hair tends to hang limp after using a straightening iron, while blow drying smooth gives it a certain natural volume, he said.


New particle accelerator in Germany switches on X-ray beam

New particle accelerator in Germany switches on X-ray beam Hamburg  - The most intense X-ray beam of its type in the world was switched on Thursday in a 2,300-metre circular tunnel under the German city of Hamburg, the Desy research institute said.

The new machine, known as a synchrotron, has been remodelled from an earlier particle accelerator at the site and is named Petra III.


Dynamo Kiev first team into UEFA Cup semi-finals

Dynamo Kiev first team into UEFA Cup semi-finalsHamburg  - Dynamo Kiev became the first team to book their place in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Thursday thanks to a 3-0 defeat of French side Paris St Germain.

The tie was finely balanced at 0-0 after the quarter-final first leg in France but the Ukrainians took control from the start at the Valeri Lobanovskiy stadium in Kiev, scoring twice in the opening 16 minutes.

Ismael Bangoura opened the scoring after just four minutes with a low shot and PSG goalkeeper Mickael Landreau punched the ball into his own net 12 minutes later to hand the home side a two-goal lead.


German vessel rescues 75 from sinking ship off East Africa

German vessel rescues 75 from sinking ship off East Africa Hamburg - A German container ship rescued 75 passengers from a sinking passenger ship off the coast of Tanzania on Thursday, a spokesman for the German ship's operators said.

He said the MS Dorian responded to an SOS from the stricken vessel after other ships in the vicinity declined to provide assistance, fearing the call was a trap set by pirates.

The incident happened in an area where pirates have often attacked commercial shipping and held their crews for ransom.


1ST LEAD: German and Ukrainian clubs make up last four of UEFA Cup By George Burns, dpa

UEFA CupHamburg  - SV Hamburg set up an all-German UEFA Cup semi- final tie against Werder Bremen despite losing 2-1 to Manchester City Thursday while Ukrainian clubs Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev will meet in the other semi after prevailing in their quarter-final ties.

Leading 3-1 from the first leg, Hamburg looked to have one foot in the last four of the competition when Paolo Guerrero took advantage of City's failure to clear a low cross from Jonathan Pitroipa to fire a low shot low into the corner after 12 minutes.


Tyler Hamilton retires after another positive doping test

Olympic cycling champion Tyler HamiltonHamburg  - Olympic cycling champion Tyler Hamilton of the United States retired on Friday after admitting to have failed another doping test.

Hamilton, 38, told the cyclingnews website that he tested positive for the steroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) at an out-of-competition test in February.

Hamilton said he was aware that an over-the-counter medication he used to treat depression contained the banned substance. He said he used the medication after his mother was diagnosed with cancer.


Grafite guns down Leverkusen to keep Wolfsburg on course

Grafite guns down Leverkusen to keep Wolfsburg on course Hamburg  - Brazilian striker Grafite scored both goals as leaders VfL Wolfsburg edged Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Saturday to stay three points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.

A Luca Toni header gave Bayern a hard-fought 1-0 win at Arminia Bielefeld, while Mario Gomez struck a hat-trick as VfB Stuttgart ran out 3-0 winners at Cologne to move third.

Grafite hit the winner for Wolfsburg five minutes from time to give Felix Magath's side a 10th successive victory.


Two-goal Grafite keeps Wolfsburg clear of Bayern

Two-goal Grafite keeps Wolfsburg clear of BayernHamburg  - Brazilian striker Grafite scored both goals as leaders VfL Wolfsburg edged Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Saturday to stay three points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.

A Luca Toni header gave defending champions Bayern a hard-fought 1-0 win at Arminia Bielefeld, while Mario Gomez struck a hat-trick as VfB Stuttgart ran out 3-0 winners at Cologne to move third.

Grafite hit the winner for Wolfsburg five minutes from time to give Felix Magath's side a 10th successive victory - equalling a record set by Borussia Moenchengladbach in 1987.


Online programs help boost photo editing

Online programs help boost photo editingHamburg  - When Jens Kuerpick looks at photos from old, school outings, he can't help but grin. Not because he and his old buddies were just kids back then, "but because they all have red eyes in the photos," the Dusseldorf university student says.

Those flaws can now be fixed using a computer. Yet digital photo editing is also increasingly being used for artistic aspects. Practical solutions can come through special programs on the internet.


Tests of USB charging devices come with many safety problems

Tests of USB charging devices come with many safety problems Hamburg  - Many USB charging devices are actually a genuine threat to the user's safety, a recent study by the Hamburg-based Computer Bild magazine found.

The magazine tested 30 charging devices, primarily for use with MP3 players with a USB port. Nine of the models had significant safety issues, the test showed. A high-voltage test even sent sparks flying in five of the devices.


Magath stays low key as Wolfsburg keep on winning

Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath Hamburg  - Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath is still picking Bayern Munich to retain the German league title but it's getting harder for him to suppress a smile.

With just six games remaining, Wolfsburg stay three points ahead of Bayern and have a superior goal difference.

Magath's insistence his team are still only targeting a top-five place is looking increasingly questionable.

"Ten per cent," was how Magath rated his team's chances of winning the Bundesliga in an interview with DSF television on Sunday.


The way to a lady's heart is through her stomach - if you're a chimp

The way to a lady's heart is through her stomach - if you're a chimpHamburg  - The way to a lady's heart is through her stomach - if you're a male chimpanzee seeking a mate. But you have to be patient and feed her lots of meat over a long period of time, according to new findings by German scientists.

Wild female chimpanzees copulate more frequently with males who share meat with them over long periods of time, according to a study led by German researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Munich.


Nadal extends lead at top of ATP rankings

Nadal extends lead at top of ATP rankings Hamburg - Rafael Nadal extended his lead at the top of the men's tennis rankings issued on Monday by the ATP thanks to a fifth straight victory Sunday in the Monte Carlo Masters.

Spain's Nadal leads with 15,390 points, followed by former number one Roger Federer of Switzerland on 10,760 and Serbia's Novak Djokovic on 9,520 points.


Safina claims women's top ranking from Williams

Safina claims women's top ranking from Williams Hamburg - Russia's Dinara Safina replaced American Serena Williams at the top of the latest women's tennis rankings issued on Monday by the WTA.

Safina is at the top for the first time. Her bro