Water fights mark Thai New Year festival in April

Water fights mark Thai New Year festival in April Frankfurt, Germany  - Thais celebrate New Year in April with the Songkran Festival, which starts as a major spring cleaning before regularly escalating into good-natured water fights.

The festival is traditionally marked by cleaning one's house, Thailand's tourism authority said in Frankfurt. At the same time, the superiors of Buddhist monasteries bathe the Buddha images in the temples. Over the years, these ritual washings came to include Thais dousing each other with water.

Spring cleaning a computer speeds it up

Frankfurt  - Crumbs, fingerprints and dust bunnies: every computer gets dirty. And the dirt is not just unattractive and unhygienic; it can also shorten the computer's life span if, for example, the fan is clogged up and cannot cool the components. Cleaning is fast and choosing the right tools for the job is half the battle.

The keyboard, monitor and fans are particular dust magnets. Computers that see heavy use quickly show wear and tear. This can include crumbs, nasal hair and even nail varnish can smear the monitor, if it is touched frequently, says Dirk Plaehn from EDV-Clean-System, a service provider situated near Hamburg.

DFB suspends probe into Hoffenheim players' alleged doping breach

DFB suspends probe into Hoffenheim players' alleged doping breachFrankfurt - The control panel of the German Football Federation (DFB) announced Friday that it has suspended its investigation into two Hoffenheim players for an alleged violation of doping regulations.

The DFB probe began after Andreas Ibertsberger and Christoph Janker failed to appear directly after Hoffenheim's Bundesliga match on February 7 at Borussia Moenchengladbach for a post-match doping control.

Trichet rules out euro rule changes as crisis grows

European Central Bank (ECB) chief Jean-Claude TrichetFrankfurt  - European Central Bank (ECB) chief Jean-Claude Trichet ruled out on Thursday changes to the rules for joining the euro amid calls to help shield troubled Central and Eastern European economies from the global financial crisis.

"I would say that at this stage our position would be that it is extremely important that we do not change any framework," Trichet said at a press conference in Frankfurt following a meeting of the ECB's rate-setting council.

ROUNDUP: Europe cuts rates to historic low as recession deepens

Europe cuts rates to historic low as recession deepensFrankfurt  - The European Central Bank (ECB) cut rates for the fifth time in six months Thursday, lowering borrowing costs to an historic low and signalling further reductions in the coming months after it slashed its growth and inflation forecasts.

Thursday's hefty 50-basis-point reduction brought the ECB's benchmark refinancing rate down to 1.5 per cent and followed an announcement in London that the Bank of England (BoE) monetary policy committee had also trimmed the cost of money by 50 basis points.

German federation drops Schmelzer probe

German federation drops Schmelzer probeFrankfurt - German football authorities are to take no action against Borussia Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer for an incident in involving Hoffenheim midfielder Tobias Weis.

Anton Nachreiner, chairman of the German football federation's control panel, said Tuesday there was no evidence of serious unsporting behaviour by the player in the goalless Bundesliga match on Saturday.