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Both web and Java development are capable of solving this problem. The decision comes down to (among other things): - Which technology are you more comfortable with? - Which technology do you *want* to use / learn more about / expand your skillset with. - What requirements do you have? For example, Web does an easier job of cross-platform.
To retrieve news/sports updates, you would need to implement an HTTP request to a web service that provides these updates. There are many RSS samples out there that I would recommend as a starting point. Being a WebWorks forum here, if you do decide to go the Web route we could provide some direction there.
Regarding XML vs database; to what end? If you're looking at saving data for offline usage, a database is likely your best bet; both Java and Web have SQLite implementations. Web also has local storage and, on BB10, IndexedDB.
XML is a file structure, not necessarily a data storage mechanism. If you did want to save your data in an XML file structure, you would need to explore the FileSystem APIs to save that data somewhere persistent on the user's device.