Money Matters - Simplified


U.N. convention on biodiversity convenes

Nagoya -- The loss of global biodiversity is threatening human societies as well as the natural world, a United Nations convention in Japan has been told.

The warning came at the start of a two-week meeting in Nagoya of the U.N.'s Convention on Biological Diversity, the BBC reported Monday.

"[Buddhist scholar] Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki said 'the problem of nature is the problem of human life'. Today, unfortunately, human life is a problem for nature," Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the convention, told delegates in his opening speech.

Tanasugarn takes WTA Osaka tournament

Osaka, Japan -- Tamarine Tanasugarn battled Kimiko Date Krumm for more than three hours Sunday before claiming the championship of the Japan Women's Open tennis tournament.

Tanasugarn, No. 94 in the world, topped the sixth-seeded Date Krumm 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1 in the 3-hour, 7-minute match. It was her fourth WTA title overall but first since June 2009 when she defended her tournament championship of the tour stop in the Netherlands.

She was the fifth player this year ranked higher than 90th to win a tournament title.
Tanasugarn piled up eight service breaks, including three in the third set, overcoming four drops of serve of her own. She won 62 percent of the points in the third set, compared to 49 percent in the first two.

Stosur opens Japan Women's Open with win

Osaka-- Top-seeded Samantha Stosur opened defense of her Japan Women's Open tennis title with a straight-set victory Monday.

Stosur breezed past wild-card entrant Sachie Ishizu 6-0, 6-3 in 56 minutes. Stosur took 72 percent of the points in first set in establishing control and didn't face a break point in moving into the second round.

Second-seeded Marion Bartoli needed only nine minutes more on the court to claim her first-round win, defeating Julie Coin 6-2, 6-1. Bartoli lost only six points in her eight service games and four of those came in the one break she dropped.

Vettel's Japan win helps championship bid

Suzuka, Japan -- Sebastian Vettel dominated the Japanese Grand Prix Sunday and moved closer to Mark Webber in the Formula One championship standings.

Vettel, who won the race's pole position, led for most of the 53-lap race and held off Red Bull Racing teammate Webber down the stretch, defeating him by 0.9 seconds.

The victory was the third of the season and eighth of the German's career, and tied him with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at 14 points behind Webber with three races to go in the season.

Red Bull claimed the 1-2 positions for the third time this season and strengthened its hold on constructors' title with a 45-point lead over McLaren.

Nadal, Monfils to meet in Japan Open final

Tokyo -- World No. 1 Rafael Nadal was pushed to three sets Saturday but still advanced to the title match of the Japan Open where he'll meet Gael Monfils.

Nadal was on the court more than 2 1/2 hours before he got past Viktor Troicki 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (9-7). Troicki managed three breaks on Nadal, including one when Nadal was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set.

But Nadal was able to fight off two match points in the tie-breaker, winning the final three points in improving to 65-8 on the year and earning his eighth finals appearance of the year. He'll be looking for his seventh title in 2010.

Study: Men, women sweat differently

Osaka, Japan -- Women need to work much harder than men to build up a sweat when exercising, Japanese researchers say.

Scientists at Osaka International University and Kobe University discovered that men on average start perspiring much more quickly than women and then twice as much when they are in the middle of exercising, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Men are more efficient at sweating, meaning their bodies are working more effectively, while women required a much higher body temperature before they started losing moisture, the researchers said.

One researcher said there may be an evolutionary reason why men and women have evolved to sweat differently.

Japanese Cabinet approves stimulus plan

Tokyo -- Japan's Cabinet approved a $61.3 billion stimulus spending package Friday and Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda pledged to support currency intervention.

Noda said "decisive action, including intervention, if necessary," would be used to keep the yen from gaining strength.

For the first time in six years, the Bank of Japan began selling yen in September to reduce its value. In spite of the intervention, the yen hit a 15-year high against the U.S. dollar Thursday at 82.11 yen. The yen's strength undermines the value of Japanese exports, a critical component of the country's economy.

Japan refinery to close as demand shrinks

Tokyo -- A major oil refinery in Japan may be slated to close due to falling demand, sources told the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

JX Holdings Inc., may close down its Negishi Refinery in Isogo Ward, Yokohama, as demand for gasoline in Japan is expected to decline 16 percent in the next five years, Yomiuri Shimbun said.

The refinery produces 270,000 barrels per day, about half of what JX Holdings plans to trim from its current production of 1.8 million barrels a day, produced by eight refineries. By the end of the month, the firm expects to cut production to 1.4 million barrels per day, sources told the newspaper.

Garcia-Lopez continues winning ways

Tokyo -- Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated the lone seeded player on Wednesday's schedule in second-round play at the Japan Open tennis tournament.

Garcia-Lopez, coming off a tournament title in Thailand last week, defeated sixth-seeded Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-6), 6-4. Garcia-Lopez lost just 12 points in 11 service games and saved all four of the break points he faced.

Lopez only had to deal with two break points but Garcia-Lopez cashed one of those, which was the difference in the second set.

Actor Manabu Oshio released from jail

Tokyo -- Japanese entertainer Manabu Oshio, who faces trial for his alleged role in a woman's death, has been released from jail on $120,000 bail. court officials said.

The 32-year-old actor and singer was arrested for allegedly giving a bar hostess the synthetic drug ecstacy in August 2009 and failing to get her help when she fell ill. She eventually died.

The Kyodo News said Oshio, who has been in jail for about 10 months, was released this week after his lawyers posted bail.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).