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from Left field:

Federer at his sublime best in Paris

By Greg Rusedski

The Paris Masters was going to determine who was going to be the last players to qualify for the ATP world finals in London. The last few places were up for grabs and all the players that were in pole position ended up qualifying. The top eight for the field ended up being Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish.

The other story of the week concerned Djokovic and whether he would play after shoulder problems in Basel. If he didn't play he would have missed his commitments for the master series events and it would have cost him over 1 million pounds in bonus pool money. He did play!

Could Murray continue his unbeaten run since the U.S. Open and win his fourth event in a row?

Also worth noting that Nadal pulled out the week before the event to concentrate on the ATP world finals and the Davis Cup final. With all the other big names playing it wasn't a big loss. This was a smart thing for Nadal to do because he needs the rest.

from FaithWorld:

Bishops see more selfish Europe 20 years after Berlin Wall fell

referendum Photo; Irish "Yes" campaigners celebrate in Dublin, 3 Oct 2009/Cathal McNaughton)

Europe has become increasingly selfish and materialistic in the 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the heads of the Roman Catholic bishops' conferences across Europe said at the end of their three-day annual meeting at the weekend.  "The crisis sweeping Europe today is serious," they said in a statement after the session in Paris. They cited materialism, individualism and relativism as major challenges facing European society.

The bishops' sober assessment contrasted with the upbeat mood that the overwhelming "Yes" vote in Ireland's Lisbon Treaty referendum created.  It must be noted they drew up their statement before they'd heard the news from Dublin on Saturday. And their statement ended with a note of Christian hopefulness. Still, their diagnosis is so fundamental it's hard to imagine they would have changed much in the text.

The best and worst of taxis around the world

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Live in a big city, ride public transportation every day, and chances are that you pay very close attention to your experience when riding in a taxi cab.

From grumpy drivers to fanciful detours, taking a taxi through the congested heart of a major city can easily become the most irritating — and costly — part of your day.

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