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N. Ireland leader threatens to quit after IRA bomb trial collapse

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson threatened to resign Wednesday unless there is a judicial inquiry into the aborted trial of a man suspected in a 1982 IRA bombing in London. Robinson said the British government had kept him in the dark on the issue of secret amnesty letters given to fugitive suspects -- the issue that caused the high-profile Hyde Park bombing trial to be abandoned.

N. Ireland leader threatens to quit after IRA bomb trial collapse

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson threatened to resign Wednesday unless there is a judicial inquiry into the aborted trial of a man suspected in a 1982 IRA bombing in London. Robinson said the British government had kept him in the dark on the issue of secret amnesty letters given to fugitive suspects -- the issue that caused the high-profile Hyde Park bombing trial to be abandoned.

Team Canada squeaks by Latvia in Olympic hockey quarter-finals

SOCHI, Russia - Team Canada has advanced to the men's hockey semifinals at the Winter Olympics with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Latvia. Shea Weber scored the winning goal on the power play with just under seven minutes left in the third period of the quarter-final game. The defending champions will play the United States in the semifinals in a rematch of the gold-medal game four years ago in Vancouver. The loss tarnished an outstanding performance by 21-year-old Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, who was brilliant as Canada outshot the Latvians 57-16.

UK Treasury chief warns Scotland that a vote for independence means leaving pound

LONDON - Scotland has been warned. If it votes to leave the United Kingdom later this year, then the new country walks away from the pound. That's the hard-line and potentially game-changing message presented Thursday by U.K. Treasury chief George Osborne, who ruled out a currency union in a speech in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. "The pound isn't an asset to be divided up between the two countries after breakup as if it were a CD collection," Osborne said. "If Scotland walks away from the U.K., it walks away from the U.K. pound."

UK's Osborne says no legal reason independent Scotland should keep pound

British finance minister George Osborne said Thursday there was no legal reason the rest of the United Kingdom should share the pound with an independent Scotland if it votes to break away in a referendum this year. "There's no legal reason why the rest of the UK would need to share its currency with Scotland," Osborne said in a speech. "If Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the UK pound."

England and Wales urge Scotland: Don't leave us

By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - Despite sporting and historic rivalry, England and Wales had one message for Scotland on Tuesday: don't leave us. As debate over Scotland's independence referendum heats up, an opinion poll showed a rising number of English and Welsh want Scotland to stay in the 307-year group forged by the Treaty of the Union that created the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

RugbyU: Ireland beat Scotland in Six Nations clash

Ireland opened their Six Nations campaign with an impressive 28-6 win over Scotland at Lansdowne Road on Sunday. The Irish will go on to face two-time defending champions Wales, who beat Italy on Saturday, next Saturday in Dublin while the Scots face England, who lost to France also on Saturday. pi/nr

RugbyU: All-Ireland World Cup bid gets political backing

Ministers from both sides of the border have signalled their backing for an all-Ireland bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. A meeting to discuss the bid involving the Belfast and Dublin governments took place in Armagh, in the British controlled province of Northern Ireland, on Wednesday. Northern Ireland executive sports minister Caral Ni Chuilin and tourism minister Arlene Foster held talks with their Republic of Ireland counterparts, Leo Varadkar and Michael Ring.

Estonia says will send up to 55 troops to C.Africa

Estonia's defence ministry on Thursday said that it was willing to send up to 55 troops to the Central African Republic as part of an EU military operation there. European Union nations agreed in principle last week to launch the operation to help restore security there amid fears of civilian massacres. A final decision is to be taken on January 20.

Finnish economy stalls amid industry slowdown

Finnish growth unexpectedly flatlined in the third quarter when consumers were hit by a slowing job market and lower public spending, the national statistics institute announced on Thursday. Economic growth stalled in the July to September period, unchanged from the previous quarter, despite a forecast increase of 0.4 percent from Statistics Finland. The second-quarter figure was revised downwards to 0.1 percent from 0.2 percent in September.
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