BEIRUT, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese General Security agents raided on Tuesday money transfer firms and offices accused of sending funds to the Islamic State (IS) group, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) said.

According to the TV report, the firms in several areas of Beirut are suspected of involvement in sending around 20 million U.S. dollars to Syria's Qalamoun region and subsequently to IS militants in other parts of Syria.

""The General Security had been monitoring the owners and employees of these firms prior to today's crackdown that has been organized with the approval of the relevant judiciary authority,"" the report said.

The doors of several firms were sealed, the TV network added.

" " Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return against Stephane Robert of France at the ATP Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament on Sunday. Photo: IC

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are on course for another showdown after winning their opening matches at the ATP Indian Wells Masters in the California desert on Sunday.

Less than two months after Federer claimed an 18th major title in a classic Australian Open final Authentic Jason Pominville Jersey , the two great -rivals could meet again, this time in the fourth round at Indian Wells.

Both won in style on Sunday, with Spanish fifth seed Nadal pouncing on Guido Pella's serve to break the Argentine five times en route to a 6-3, 6-2 victory in sizzling afternoon heat.

Federer enjoyed the relative cool of an evening match but was back in the locker room before working up a -major sweat, easing to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Frenchman Stephane Robert in front of an appreciative capacity crowd of around 16,000 spectators.

""The beginning was difficult, just because I've never played him before, so I'm not sure about his patterns,"" ninth seed Federer said in a courtside interview. ""I was very happy I was able to loosen up and play good tennis. I started to serve really well, move around the court great.""

While it was Federer's first match against Robert, he is far more familiar with Nadal. They have met 35 times, with Nadal holding a 23-12 edge.

Needing to win their respective third-round matches for a 36th meeting to happen, Nadal next faces 26th-seeded compatriot Fernando Verdasco, while Federer plays American 24th seed Steve Johnson.

""For sure I saw the draw,"" a relaxed Nadal said, adding that he was not really focused on Federer.

""I go day by day. That's my way, to -focus on my next match. I think I played a solid match [today].""

The path to the final on that side of the draw is littered with tricky obstacles, however, as second seed Novak Djokovic and in-form Australian Nick Kyrgios lie in wait as potential future opponents.

Djokovic, however, must next negotiate a dangerous third-round opponent in Argentine Juan Martin del Potro after the three-time defending champion advanced with an unconvincing 6-4, 7-6 (75) victory over Briton Kyle -Edmund.

Marin Cilic was the only top-ranked player to lose on Sunday. The Croatian sixth seed was beaten 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 by American teenager Taylor Fritz.

The tournament lost its top seed on Saturday when Andy Murray was upset 6-4, 7-6 (75) by Canadian Vasek Pospisil, who rushed the net whenever the -opportunity arose and also feasted on the Scot's second serve.


SHENZHEN, China, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Guangdong has gained a lot from a pre-season game against CSKA during the EuroLeague China Tour this week.

The eight-time Chinese basketball champion has found a star player in the 20-year-old Zhao Rui and raised its confidence to take on the best in the new CBA season.

Zhao, playing his first season with the team, scored a team-high 19 point in front of maybe the best defensive line in Europe. With Yi Jianlian leaving the team to join the Los Angeles Lakers, Guangdong is expecting Zhao to step up.

"Zhao is a smart player," said Guangdong head coach Du Feng. "Sometimes he might be a little unstable but he can really do a lot of things."

Du said the team has learned a lot from its 101-75 loss to the EuroLeague champion.

Guangdong had been leading for most of the first period before CSKA needed quite a fight to get the win, with Milos Teodosic on court for 27 minutes. Both teams delivered high-level performances which excited the crowd time and time again.

"It's actually a victory for us, though we are 26 points behind on the scoreboard," Du said. "You don't often have chance to challenge a world-class team such as CSKA, and our players learned a lot."

Du himself has been learning from European basketball. He went to Europe months ago to watch the EuroLeague Final Four games, and also took part in the European coach clinic.

Guangdong has acquired former NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer in the new season, and the team is ready to fight for its ninth CBA title.

EuroLeague China Tour ended with two victories for CSKA, but the influence in China is far beyond the results.

The games attracted generous coverage by CCTV, Tencent and LeTV, the three main sports broadcasters in China. EuroLeague China also scheduled a series of social activities and a basketball coach clinic.

"It's very important for us to develop our league together with CBA," said EuroLeague CEO Jordi Bertomeu.

One foggy Christmas Eve, Santa Claus made Rudolph the most popular reindeer of all-time. Once chastised for his red nose, Rudolph's name went down in history when his guiding light saved Christmas for kids the world over.

Folklore aside, and much to the delight of kids in every age group, it's indisputable fact that reindeer really do exist. They may not fly (except for special ones like Dancer and Prancer), but they roam North American landscapes and are commonly known by other names, such as Caribou.