Brazil’s President Rousseff visits U.S. with economic, environmental agenda

WASHINGTON, June 29 (UPI) — President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff is visiting the United States with an economic and environmental agenda as she will talk with President Barack Obama on climate change.

Rousseff’s visit was originally planned for 2013, but she canceled after allegations that the National Security Agency spied on her. She arrived on Saturday and began talks on Monday with U.S. and Brazilian business executives in New York as she seeks to sell a much-needed $63 billion infrastructure project.

Rousseff is suffering from a record-low 10 percent approval rating. Brazil’s economy has dwindled from a booming 7.5 percent increase in gross domestic product in 2010 to an economy expected to contract by 1.1 percent in 2015 that struck with 8.5 percent inflation.

Her visit is also seen as an attempt to mend relations between the two countries after the NSA scandal.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Rousseff via telephone before her arrival, where…

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Sharrouf mother-in-law tells of heartache

The mother-in-law of Australian Islamic State fighter Khaled Sharrouf has spoken of her 'devastation' on TV.

The mother-in-law of Australia’s most notorious Islamic State fighter, Khaled Sharrouf, says a photo of her grandson holding a severed head is the worst thing she has ever seen, and is in no doubt the boy has been traumatised.

Karen Nettleton said she was devastated when she saw the grotesque pictures of the boy, then seven, holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier.

‘I saw this picture of this little boy holding a head. And it just devastated me … The worst thing that I have ever seen in my life,’ she told the ABC in an interview aired on the 7.30 program on Monday night.

‘Surely it’s got to traumatise him.

‘The main thing I worry about is – it’s gonna follow him everywhere his whole life. From one picture to do that, you know. He’s a sweet, sweet boy.’

Ms Nettleton says she has been working to get her grandchildren and daughter Tara, the wife of Sharrouf, home to Australia, but claims the Australian Federal Police has refused to help.

‘I…

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Tomic emerging as a Wimbledon dark horse

Bernard Tomic is shaping as a Wimbledon sleeper despite landing in a tough section of the men’s draw.

London, UK, 28 June 2015 | AAP

Bernard Tomic is shaping as a dark horse at the All England Club despite landing in a tough section of the Wimbledon men’s draw.

The Queenslander’s eyes are locked on the prize as he prepares to navigate a campaign that could see him face titleholder Novak Djokovic in round three.

Still stinging from his shock French Open final loss, Djokovic first must negotiate a path past tough German Philipp Kohlschreiber, the highest-ranked unseeded player in the draw – and possibly Lleyton Hewitt in round two.

Yet Tomic says it’s much too early to be thinking about that.

“It’s not easy for Novak to start that match off,” Tomic said.

“So you have to respect everyone but for me obviously being a seed now it opens a little bit some doors paper-wise.

“But that can not mean a lot.”

Tomic required cortisone injections to get through the French Open but is feeling freer after persevering with new orthotics.

“In Halle, I played a match with them, which wasn’t the best thing to do but I forced myself to be ready for Wimbledon,” he said.

“To play with these new in-soles is very difficult. I’ve never played with them. So for four or five days I had started playing with them, it was tough. But I’ve gotten used to them now.

“I’m moving a lot better in them and my back pain is easing off, so I think that was the cause. So we’ll see how it goes but it’s definitely a lot better than Paris.

“I’m a lot more confident this year heading into Wimbledon. It’s a tournament I’ve done really well at in the past so it’s a good feeling being back here.”

Tomic has this week enjoyed quality practice sessions with compatriots Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios.

“Nick, he was serving very good. He’s very confident as well. He’s got a good draw as well to do some damage,” Tomic said.

“And obviously hitting today with Lleyton, he’s an always an amazing hit on grass.

“I’ve been practising very well. So for me, the last two days have been crucial to train well.

“It’s the days you do before Wimbledon that make the big difference.”

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Greek bank chair: Situation serious, no debt deal ‘insane’

ATHENS, Greece, June 21 (UPI) — The head of the National Bank of Greece, the country’s largest bank, said it would be “insane” not to reach an agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Louka Katseli, chair of the bank, told BBC News that although banks are not under the immediate threat of running out of money, the country’s financial situation is serious and could become severe if there is not a deal struck.

“I think sanity will prevail and an agreement will be made because I really cannot see any reason why our partners and creditors of the Greek government cannot forge an agreement,” Katseli said. “To enter into such unchartered waters and take up all the risk both for the eurozone and for Greece for two or three billion difference, I think it’s insane.”

The European Central Bank raised €1.8 billion in emergency funds for Greece on Friday to keep Greece’s banking system operating through the weekend, just two days after…

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World celebrates first International Day of Yoga

PARIS, June 21 (UPI) — Thousands of yogis around the world held public yoga sessions to celebrate the first International Day of Yoga, established by the United Nations, on Sunday.

“By proclaiming 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the General Assembly has recognized the holistic benefits of this timeless practice and its inherent compatibility with the principles and values of the United Nations,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said in a statement. “Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace. Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress.”

The draft resolution to establish International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 69th session of the General Assembly. It was approved by a record 175 member states in December.

“Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action… a…

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