Markets/Sports Tokyo shares open flat TOKYO Tokyo shares opened flat as investors sat on their hands awaiting the release of minutes from the US Federal Reserve meeting. The benchmark Nikkei fell 0.04 percent or 10.12 points to 23,086.63 in early trade. The broader Topix index eased 0.11 percent, or 1.83 points, to 1,607.99. "We expect today's market to lack a sense of direction. Thin trade is expected for Tokyo shares until the US Fed releases the minutes" on Wednesday, Okasan Online Securities said in a note. "Investors will likely shop for bargains among small- to medium-size shares," the brokerage said. SBI Securities added: "High-tech shares may benefit after the Nasdaq rose (to another record finish at 11,129.73, up 1.0 percent)." US and European shares mostly advanced overnight despite lingering concerns over US-China trade woes, while investors kept their eyes on the political stalemate over a new stimulus package aimed at lifting the US economy. The Dow closed down 0.3pc at 27,844.91 while the S&P 500 also lost 0.3pc to 3,381.99. Race to develop vaccine gathers pace SYDNEY Australia's leader called Wednesday for coronavirus immunizations to be mandatory, wading into ethical and safety debates raging around the world as the race to develop a vaccine gathers pace. Almost 30 potential vaccines are now being tested on humans across the globe in the hope of ending a pandemic that has now killed more than 775,000 people and infected nearly 22 million, according to an AFP tally. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he wants all 25 million Australians to get the jab after the country secured access to a vaccine now under development by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. "There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis," he said. -AFP SPORTS Zak Crawley shines for England LONDON As Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley strolled to the wicket shortly before 3.20pm on Monday afternoon you could have been forgiven for thinking there was little to gain. There was no chance of a winner in England's second Test against Pakistan due to previous rain and bad light having limited us to just 96.2 overs across the first four days, and there were no fans inside the Ageas Bowl to watch the 38.1 overs of play before Joe Root's declaration sealed a draw. Yet as the gloom that had engulfed much of the Test was replaced with a spell of sustained sunshine, Crawley also shone. The best of the action from the final day of the second Test as Crawley impressed before the game ended in a draw He certainly wouldn't have seen his third Test fifty, and first from the No 3 spot, as any less significant than his previous two despite it coming in a game that was going absolutely nowhere. Crawley had looked set for a lengthy run at first drop after winning his battle with Kent colleague Joe Denly for a batting during the first Test against West Indies last month. Both players knew that with Root returning for the second Test following the birth of his second child, that one of them would miss out. Both got in and got out in the first innings against West Indies but whereas Denly followed suit second time around - a staple of his 15-Test career - Crawley got in and pushed on, making 76 from No 4 and sealing his spot at No 3 for the following week. He only got one Test in that position, though, before losing his place - not because of his admittedly disappointing return of nought and 11 but because England opted to tinker with the make-up of the side and play an extra seamer with a quad niggle leaving Ben Stokes unable to bowl, save for a few overs in the series opener against Pakistan. -AFP -AFP
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