Delight as Serena Williams ‘welcomes baby girl’

Serena Williams. (AP)
Updated 02 September 2017
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Delight as Serena Williams ‘welcomes baby girl’

MIAMI: Tennis superstar Serena Williams gave birth to a baby girl on Friday, US media reported, prompting an outpouring of delight from fellow professionals, celebrities and fans of the sporting icon.
Williams, who will turn 36 later this month, was admitted to the St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on Wednesday before going into labor overnight.
There was no immediate confirmation of the birth from Williams’ representatives.
Elder sister Venus Williams described herself as “super excited” after being informed of the reports concerning the baby as she walked on to the court for her third-round match at the US Open in New York.
However she declined to take questions on the subject in her post-match press conference.
“I’m definitely available to answer questions about tennis. That’s all right now,” Venus told reporters.
Earlier, a producer with the Florida-based WPBF television station cited hospital sources as saying Williams’ daughter weighed in at six pounds and 13 ounces (3.09 kilograms). Celebrity magazine US Weekly cited an unnamed source close to the tennis star confirming the birth.
Williams, who is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, was swiftly greeted with an avalanche of congratulations from well-wishers.
“Congrats Serena!!! So much joy for you!!!” Spanish star Rafa Nadal wrote on Twitter.
Pop diva Beyonce took to Instagram to send her message, posting a portrait of a pregnant Williams in a flowing white gown with the message: “Congratulations Serena!“
Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou added on Twitter: “Congratulations @SerenaWilliams for your baby girl. I am so happy for you and I feel your emotion. Recover well & enjoy without limitation.”
US tennis legend Chris Evert meanwhile chimed: “I’m so thrilled for her. And what a role model she’s going to be for her daughter.”
Media reports said 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena — who revealed she was pregnant in April — was induced overnight Thursday.
Other fans meanwhile wasted no time in anointing the tennis star’s daughter as a future champion.
“Hello to the future queen of tennis,” one post on Twitter read. “A future champion is born,” added another.
Those sentiments sparked light-hearted alarm for Spanish star Garbine Muguruza. Told that Williams’ baby is a girl, Muguruza replied: “Well, I hope she doesn’t play tennis.”

Williams has vowed to return to competitive tennis in January to defend her Australian Open title, which she won while newly pregnant.
Williams last month told Vogue in a wide-ranging interview that she had set herself a goal of returning to play in Melbourne at next year’s Open.
“It’s the most outrageous plan,” she said. “I just want to put that out there. That’s, like, three months after I give birth. I’m not walking anything back, but I’m just saying it’s pretty intense.”
Williams’ coach Mouratoglou meanwhile joked Friday that he expected to hold the tennis star to her word.
“Btw @serenawilliams I wish you a speedy recovery... we have a lot of work ahead of us,” Mouratoglou wrote in a Twitter post.
Williams also revealed in her Vogue interview she had long suspected she would give birth to a girl.
“Two weeks after we found out (about the pregnancy), I played the Australian Open. I told Alexis it has to be a girl because there I was playing in 100-degree weather, and that baby never gave me any trouble. Ride or die. Women are tough that way,” Williams told the magazine.
A separate article in Vanity Fair in June said Williams, who unveiled her pregnant body in a nude cover photo for the magazine, planned to tie the knot with Ohanian later this year after the birth. The couple announced their engagement in December after meeting in 2015 in Rome.


‘No-deal’ Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

Updated 25 September 2018
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‘No-deal’ Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

  • Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement
  • Without a deal, the UK would move to customs arrangements set by the WTO for external states with no preferential deals

LONDON: Leaving the European Union without a proper divorce deal could ground airlines, stop hauliers from lugging goods to the world’s biggest trading bloc and even make headaches for pet owners who want to take their dogs on holiday, according to government documents.
With just six months to go until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that negotiations are at an impasse and that the EU must come up with new proposals on how to craft a divorce settlement.
Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a “no-deal” Brexit that they say would spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.
Britain, which has warned it could leave without a deal, published 25 technical notices on Monday covering everything from commercial road haulage and buying timber to airline regulations and taking pets abroad.
“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission,” the government said.
Overall, the government has published more than 65 such notices giving a glimpse of what a no-deal Brexit — the nightmare scenario for chief executives of most multinationals operating in Britain — would look like.
Amid warnings that trucks could stack up on both sides of the English Channel in the confusion of a no deal, Britain said it would seek to strike bilateral agreements with European countries to ensure hauliers would retain access.
The notices covered a vast swathe of the British economy, warning, for example, that labels on packaged food would have to be changed.
“Use of the term ‘EU’ in origin labelling would no longer be correct for food or ingredients from the UK,” the government said.
Honey producers would have to change their labels while EU countries might not accept British mineral water, the government said.
In the worse case scenario for pet owners, dogs, cats and even ferrets might need health certificates and rabies jabs. Travel plans would have to be discussed with a vet at least four months in advance before traveling to the EU.
That would mean someone wanting to take their pet to the EU on March 30, 2019, the day after Britain leaves the bloc, would have to discuss the trip with a vet before the end of November.
Without a deal, the UK would move from seamless trade with the rest of the EU to customs arrangements set by the World Trade Organization for external states with no preferential deals.
Brexiteers accept there is likely to be some short-term economic pain but say the government is trying to scare voters about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
Britain, many Brexiteers say, will thrive in the longer term if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity and excessive debt-funded welfare spending.