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Ireland go into Tuesday's World Cup clash against South Africa in Canberra faced with a question that even fanciful Test nations have struggled to find an answer for. How does one tame the rampaging AB de Villiers before he destroys the rivals' bowling attack, dents their morale and leaves them dumbstruck by what just hit them? The West Indies once more suffered at the hands of the South African captain who, despite a stomach illness, smashed an audacious 162 off 66 balls with 17 boundaries and eight sixes in Sydney on Friday to fashion a 257-run win. The Proteas, one of the pre-tournament favourites, needed the brutal attack by their 31-year-old captain to steady the ship after they were stunned by India by 130 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground a week ago.
US Secretary of State John Kerry held tense talks with his Russian counterpart in Geneva Monday to end fighting in Ukraine, where the UN says more than 6,000 have died in less than a year. The meeting with Sergei Lavrov in an upscale Geneva hotel came less than a week after Kerry accused Moscow of lying to his face about its involvement in the conflict, which has triggered the worst post-Cold War crisis between the US and its allies, and Russia. High-stakes talks between Kiev and Moscow were also set to get under way in Brussels to resolve a bitter gas dispute which threatens deliveries to Europe, after Russia began direct supplies to parts of separatist-held eastern Ukraine.
Britain's Prince William met China's Communist President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday before strolling through the Forbidden City, the former home of the country's deposed imperial dynasties. Xi warmly welcomed the second-in-line to the British throne, making the highest-profile visit to China by a member of the royal family since Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip in 1986. William was met by the Chinese leader on the first full day of a trip which comes as London and Beijing have traded diplomatic barbs over pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, a former British colony. "The British royal family has great influence not just in Britain but across the world," said Xi, who is due to visit Britain himself later this year.