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Australia storm sweeps three to their death as it pounds east coast

SYDNEY Giant waves, cyclone-strength winds and torrential rain swept three people to their deaths on Australia's east coast on Monday after the storm forced hundreds to flee their homes.Waves up to five meters (17.5 feet) were pounding much of the east coast, including Sydney, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning of further danger as the storm moves south.Two bodies were found in cars washed away in flood waters while a man was swept off the rocks south of Sydney's surfing beach of Bondi, police said.The New South Wales state emergency services said they had received more than 9,250 calls and had conducted 280 flood rescues. Insurers received more than 11,150 claims with estimated insured losses of A$38 million, the Insurance Council of Australia said. It expects the number of claims to rise further over the coming days. Stocks in Australia biggest insurers, including QBE Insurance, Insurance Australia Group and Suncorp, skidded in a stronger wider market. But CLSA analyst Jan Van Der Schalk did not see a major earnings impact on insurers who said they were still assessing the impact of the catastrophe.Australian websites including Channel Nine, Foxtel Play and Domino's Pizza went down on Sunday when Amazon Web Service's Sydney zone experienced a two-hour power outage, ITnews website said. An Amazon spokesman declined to comment but Amazon Web Services’ status page on Monday showed several connectivity issues in Sydney had been resolved.Automated teller machines and point-of-sale banking services were also hit. A spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New South Wales state said Newcastle, the world's largest exit point for sea-borne thermal coal and used by global miners Glencore, Rio Tinto and Anglo American, was placed on restricted ship movements over the weekend but did not sustain any damage."While some sites had minor production interruptions, none of these has impacted our contractual obligations or production forecasts," Glencore said.Port Kembla, the largest vehicle import hub in Australia, remained closed as the storm moved south. (Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Warriors cap comeback, KO Thunder in Game 7

(The Sports Xchange) - The Golden State Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-88 in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals on Monday to set up a rematch with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA Championship.Stephen Curry hit five second-half 3-pointers and scored 36 points in all for Golden State, who will host the opener of the best-of-seven NBA Finals on Thursday in Oakland.The defending NBA champions, who rallied from a 3-1 series deficits, were down by 13 in the first half and eight early in the third quarter before gunning their way to a shot at becoming the NBA's first repeat winner since Miami in 2012 and '13.Golden State, who made seven 3-pointers in the first half, got 10 over the final 24 minutes to catch and pass the Thunder, the third-seeded team in the Western playoffs.Klay Thompson and Draymond Green bombed in consecutive threes to give the Warriors an 88-77 lead with 4:44 to go, but the Thunder would not go quietly.Russell Westbrook scored on a drive and Kevin Durant scored seven consecutive points, and all of a sudden Oklahoma City were back within 90-86 with 1:40 to play.However, Curry, fouled on a desperation 3-point attempt, cashed in three free throws, then iced Golden State's comeback with one final 3-pointer with 26.8 seconds left, opening a 10-point lead.Curry finished 13-for-24 from the field and 7-for-12 from 3-point range on a night when the Warriors shot better from beyond the arc (45.9 percent) than overall (43.5 percent). Curry also found time for eight assists.Thompson hit six 3-pointers to account for almost all of his 21 points, helping Golden State outscore Oklahoma City 51-21 on long-distance shots.Green added 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Warriors, who became just the 10th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series. Durant led the Thunder with 27 points, hitting 10 of his 19 shots and three of his seven 3-point attempts. He also had seven rebounds.Westbrook recorded a 19-point, 13-assist double-double, but he shot just 7-for-21.Oklahoma City shot just 38.2 percent from the field and made only seven of its 27 3-point attempts.Serge Ibaka added 16 points for the Thunder, who were seeking to become first team in NBA history to beat two 65-win teams in the same playoffs. Oklahoma City eliminated the West's second seed, the San Antonio Spurs, in the second round.While the Warriors were holding the Thunder to five field goals in the third quarter, Curry was heating up at the other end of the court.Golden State trailed 48-42 at the half before using a 15-6 spurt to open the third quarter and go up 57-54, their first lead since the second minute of the game.The 15 points were the result of five 3-pointers, including three by Curry, who had made only two the entire first half. (Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Sharapova may not play again, says Russia's Tarpishchev

MOSCOW Maria Sharapova may not play again after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium, the president of the Russian tennis federation was quoted as saying on Thursday.Shamil Tarpishchev told the R-Sport news agency that Sharapova's situation was "bad".The five-times grand slam champion faces a possible ban of up to four years for failing a drugs test at the Australian Open in January.British media reported that she had been due to attend an International Tennis Federation (ITF) anti-doping hearing in London on Wednesday.There has been no subsequent comment by the ITF. Sharapova stunned the world in March when she said she had returned a positive test for the Latvian-made heart medication which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA's) banned list from Jan. 1.The world's highest-paid sports woman claimed to have been taking meldonium on doctor's orders for 10 years and had failed to note that it had become a banned substance until hearing of her failed test at the year's first grand slam. She was provisionally suspended on March 12 pending the hearing, and has lost a number of her lucrative sponsorship deals.She said at the time that she hoped she would be allowed to play again. The World Anti-Doping Agency WADA said in April, after hundreds of athletes had tested positive for meldonium, that bans might be overturned due to a lack of clear scientific information on how long the drug takes to be excreted. (Reporting by Alexander Winning; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov/Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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