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golf 400HONOLULU: American rookie Scott Langley made an impressive start to his PGA Tour career Thursday, going bogey free in the opening round of the Sony Open to seize a one-shot lead.


Langley, 23, who earned his full-time Tour card at qualifying school, shot an eight-under 62 -- with his round at the Waialae Country Club including a 56-foot eagle shot and a 29-foot birdie putt.


He ended one shot ahead of playing partner and fellow rookie Russell Henley, a three-time winner on the Web.com Tour, who was alone in second spot.


"I was pretty nervous starting out," Langley said. "I settled down after three or four holes and made some nice birdies early. That got me in a nice rhythm for the day.


"Looking back at all my rounds professionally thus far, this might be the best one."


South African Tim Clark and American Scott Piercy posted matching rounds of 64, while Canada's Stephen Ames and American Jeff Overton were a further stroke back.


Americans Matt Kuchar, US Open champion Webb Simpson and Tim Herron are among 10 players tied for seventh at four-under 66.


Langley is no stranger to high-level golf. He tied for low amateur three years ago in Pebble Beach and previously qualified for two US Opens.


"I am a young guy," said Langley, who used to play on the Hooters Tour. "But I am old enough to know that we have a lot of golf left. I am excited about the next few days."


Langley had a hot putter throughout his round. He got off to a quick start by making a 14-foot putt for birdie at the second hole.


He also made birdie putts of 23 and 25 feet at the third and fourth to quickly move to three-under. After four straight pars, Langley drained a 56-foot eagle shot to make the turn at minus-five.


At the par-four 16th, Langley rolled in a 29-foot birdie putt to move into the lead. He then got up and down for birdie at No. 18 to finish one stroke ahead of the field.


Henley converted back-to-back birdie chances at 14 and 15.


"I was just trying to keep up. He got off to a hot start, we both did. It was just fun to compete out there. I was very comfortable playing with Scott," Henley said.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013

afghan-refugeesISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday gave 1.6 million Afghan refugees the right to stay another six months, extending a deadline on their residency papers that had been due to expire at the end of December.


The decision was taken by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, according to a statement from his office. His spokesman confirmed that Afghan refugees would now be entitled to stay in Pakistan until the end of June 2013.


A spokeswoman for the UN Refugee Agency said Pakistan had promised not to expel any registered refugee.


"We got assurances from Pakistan that they would respect the voluntary nature of returns and would not expel any registered refugee," Duniya Aslam Khan told AFP.


More than five million Afghans fled their homeland for Pakistan in the early 1980s, soon after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan.


Since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban, 3.8 million have returned, leaving 1.6 million behind, most born and brought up in Pakistan.


In late October, UNHCR boosted incentives for Afghans to return and around 10,000 Afghans went home from October 23 to November 30 -- more than double the number who were repatriated in the same period last year.


But despite pressure from Islamabad and the extra incentives, the vast majority of the Afghans still in Pakistan are reluctant to return to a country gripped by war and poverty.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012


KARACHI: Spice Girls are set to make a much-awaited comeback by performing at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. Apparently Victoria Beckham, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisholm are “95 percent” confirmed to perform at the closing event.

The group have not sung together since 2008, but they have provisionally agreed to sing their 1996 track “Wannabe” as one of two songs.

Geri is expected to wear a Union Flag dress like she did at the 1997 Brit Awards.

Victoria revealed in a radio interview on Wednesday that she would like to appear with the group next month.

She said, “I’m so respectful of my past and I love the other girls. We have some fantastic fans. Who knows, maybe some day we’ll do something else with the Spice Girls. I would love nothing more.”

“I don’t know about a comeback tour but I loved being back with the girls. There was a lot of fun, we did so much together and we’ll see. If they’re up for something then I certainly am,” Victoria said.

During a program, she added: “We are so proud to be English and we are very excited about the Olympics.”

A source said, “The girls were approached for the Games two years ago. It’s always been on the cards.”

“Victoria is in London until the end of the Games and David’s exclusion from the football team means she has time to reunite with the Spice Girls.”

“Talks are back in full swing and the balance of power rests with Mel C. Everyone is hopeful she will agree to perform.”

The London Games will be held from July 27 to August 12.

afghanistan-natoKABUL: Three US soldiers have been shot dead by an Afghan worker on a military base in southern Afghanistan, in a deadly 24 hours for NATO-led forces in the country during which six soldiers died in rogue attacks.

The shooting took place on Friday night in the Garmsir district of Helmand province, not far from where three US special forces soldiers were killed by an Afghan policeman and comrades earlier in the day.

"Let me clearly say that those two incidents clearly do not reflect the overall situation here in Afghanistan," the chief coalition spokesman, Brigadier-General Gunter Katz, told reporters on Saturday.

Copyright Reuters, 2012


KARACHI: John Abraham has shown his clout. He has reportedly asked the makers of “Shootout At Wadala” to drop his former flame Bipasha Basu from the film. It seems that recent interviews where Basu caustically hinted at infidelity during her nine-year relationship with John Abraham did not go down well with the actor.

It is overheard that Abraham has asked his Shootout At Wadala director to drop Basu from the film. Basu has a small role to play in the film. She was supposed to play the role of Chitra, the love interest of Sabir’s character (played by Manoj Bajpayee), who is Dawood Ibrahim’s elder brother in the film. Abraham plays Manya Surve, a gangster who bumps into Sabir.

The film has a small interaction between Chitra and Manya Surve.

Abraham is, however, not interested to share any space with Basu and hence asked his director to find a replacement for Chitra.

However, crew members including Bajpayee, Sonu Sood and Tusshar Kapoor are mum about the latest replacement.

After nine years of a steady relationship, Abraham and Basu broke-up two years back. Both have moved on in life and Abraham found love in Priya, an investment banker and both are planning to get hitched anytime soon.

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