The Upshot


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  • No more 'cut-throat' grand tours, says Wiggins

    Bradley Wiggins is turning his back on "cut-throat" road racing and has ruled out competing in any more grand tours, the 2012 Tour de France champion said on Thursday. Wiggins, who won a silver medal in the team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday, will instead focus on the track where he hopes to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in two years' time. "That will probably be it for the grand tours. I can't imagine doing that now." Wiggins, a four-time Olympic gold medallist, has not raced a grand tour since pulling out of last year's Giro D'Italia.

  • Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash
    Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

    MOSCOW (AP) — Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage.

  • Pity the poor Russian billionaire; Putin’s costing them billions
    Pity the poor Russian billionaire; Putin’s costing them billions

    How are Russian oligarchs affected by U.S. sanctions? Bloomberg's Rob LaFranco explains in the video above.

  • Aston Martin confirms Lagonda revival with first official image
    Aston Martin confirms Lagonda revival with first official image

    When the William Towns-designed futuristic original Lagonda was revealed in 1976 it was one of the most technically complex, striking and expensive cars in the world. In fact it was so complex to build that Aston Martin struggled to keep up with customer demand (which came primarily from the Middle East). Nearly 40 years on Aston Martin is a completely different company in terms of the technology and investment at its disposal and while it is still dedicated to the finest craftsmanship and personalization, it can now offer those services within a state of the art production facility, rather than a couple of draughty factory units. Specific details about what prospective owners can expect from the new car remain a secret, and according to the company, as each model will be tailored exactly to an individual client's demands unless an owner chooses to reveal particulars about his or her Lagonda, that's the way that things are going to remain -- confidential.

  • 'Downton Abbey': Lady Mary Gets Her 'Bite' Back & 4 More Season 5 Hints
    'Downton Abbey': Lady Mary Gets Her 'Bite' Back & 4 More Season 5 Hints

    "Downton Abbey" doesn't return for its fifth season on Masterpiece PBS until January 4, 2015, but on Tuesday night, members of the show's cast gave television writers several hints at what's ahead. "Downton" will pick up six months after the Season 4 finale, and according to Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates), one of the four cast members who joined Executive Producer Gareth Neame at the PBS portion of the Television Critics Association Tour on Tuesday in Beverly Hills, the new drama packs in everything viewers have come to love about the show. Here are five more Season 5 hints we learned from Joanne, Gareth, Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Allen Leech (Tom Branson) and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith)...

  • EU sanctions on Russian banks would hit economy, business
    EU sanctions on Russian banks would hit economy, business

    By Megan Davies MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's state-controlled banks would have to turn to the state, domestic borrowers or new regions such as Asia if EU sanctions shut off investment, hurting their ability to lend to local businesses and further damaging the country's fragile economy. Under measures being considered by European Union governments in response to the Ukraine crisis, European investors would be banned from buying new debt or shares of banks owned 50 percent or more by the state. While the Russian government would step in to meet banks' funding needs, longer-term financing could be hit, hurting the banks' ability to finance business projects and crimping the country's growth potential. It could also cause nervous investors to avoid Russia altogether, encouraging more capital outflows and putting pressure on the rouble.

  • China probes more than 25,000 people for graft in first half of year

    China investigated more than 25,000 people for corruption in the first six months of 2014, state media said on Friday, amid a nationwide crackdown on graft. Nearly 85 percent of the cases investigators pursued involved bribes of more than 50,000 yuan ($8,000) or embezzlement of 100,000 yuan, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the country's top prosecutor, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP). China's leadership under President Xi Jinping has presided over an anti-graft campaign to shore up a ruling mandate shaken by suspicion that officials waste taxpayer money or use their positions for personal advantage. Xi has said graft threatens the survival of the ruling Communist Party.

  • Surgeons remove 232 teeth from Indian teenager
    Surgeons remove 232 teeth from Indian teenager

    Ashik Gavai, 17, sought medical help for a swelling on the right side of his lower jaw and the case was referred to the city's JJ Hospital, where they found he was suffering from a condition known as complex odontoma, head of dentistry Sunanda Dhivare-Palwankar told AFP. The youngster's father, Suresh Gavai, said that the family had been worried that Ashik's swelling was a cancerous growth. "I was worried that it may turn out to be cancer so I brought him to Mumbai," Gavai told the Mumbai Mirror newspaper. "I think it could be a world record," she said.

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