Gong Show: After let call, Murray loses at Open; Serena wins

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NEW YORK (AP) — Andy Murray lost his way, seven consecutive games and, eventually, his riveting five-set U.S. Open quarterfinal against Kei Nishikori after a loud noise from a malfunctioning sound system interrupted a key point, resulting in a do-over. Whether or not the gong-like sound, and chair umpire Marija Cicak’s let ruling, was the reason that Nishikori wound up ...

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Paralympic Games open to theme: 'Heart knows no limits'

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The Paralympic Games opened Wednesday with 4,350 athletes demonstrating first-hand their creed: “The heart knows no limits; everybody has a heart.” Wheelchair daredevil Aaron Wheelz showed the spirit in the opening act. As a countdown from 10 reached its end, Wheelz raced down a giant ramp and somersaulted in the air through a giant 0 ...

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Fresh protests press Maduro in tense Venezuela crisis

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Caracas (AFP) – Thousands of Venezuelans staged rival demonstrations Wednesday for and against President Nicolas Maduro in a new test of strength as the opposition pushes for a vote on driving him from power. A week after a mass protest in the capital Caracas, Maduro opponents rallied near offices of the electoral authorities nationwide, demanding a recall referendum in the ...

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Yosemite hails largest expansion since 1949 with land donation

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By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Yosemite National Park on Wednesday announced its largest expansion in seven decades with the donation by a conservancy group of a large meadow surrounded by trees that will be home to dozens of endangered species. Ackerson Meadow at the western edge of the current park was purchased from a private couple earlier this ...

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Barcelona arrives in New York looking to expand US market

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NEW YORK (AP) — Barcelona’s official motto is “mes que un Club”, or “more than a club” in the Catalan language. In an effort to take over the U.S. market, the Spanish soccer powerhouse is showing that it’s also a global, multimillion dollar business. Looking to capitalize on its biggest assets — superstars like Lionel Messi and Neymar — and ...

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Terror link over gas cylinders found in Paris car

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Paris (AFP) – French police were holding a couple with links to radical Islam on Wednesday after gas cylinders were found in a car near Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral, sources close to the investigation said. The Peugeot 607 was discovered abandoned, with its headlights flashing, at the weekend in a part of the city that is hugely popular with tourists, ...

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North Dakota pipeline fight gives spark to Native American activism

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By Andrew Cullen and Ruthy Munoz CANNON BALL, N.D./WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Native American tribe’s efforts to halt construction of a crude oil pipeline in North Dakota have swelled into a movement, drawing international attention and the support of movie stars and social media, and making a major oil company blink. While the tribe’s lawyers work to persuade a federal ...

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Syrian opposition says to reject any U.S./Russia deal unlike own plan

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By William James LONDON (Reuters) – Syria’s main opposition negotiating group would reject any deal struck by Russia and the United States on Syria’s fate that was very different from its own proposed transition plan, the group’s general coordinator Riyad Hijab said on Wednesday. The High Negotiations Committee, which is backed by Saudi Arabia and Western powers and has been ...

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Lavrov, Kerry to hold Syria talks this week

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry will meet Thursday and Friday in Geneva to try to hammer out a deal on cooperation in Syria, Moscow said. But Kerry’s spokesman would not confirm the meeting Wednesday, suggesting that last-minute negotiations were continuing. The two top diplomats agreed to a “personal meeting” after “working ...

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Ash Carter: Russia sowing seeds of global instability

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OXFORD, England (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter accused Russia on Wednesday of sowing seeds of global instability and questioned whether Moscow genuinely wants a viable cease-fire in Syria. In a hard-hitting speech at Oxford University, Carter emphasized deep skepticism about Russian intentions in Syria, even as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry weighed more talks with Russian Foreign ...

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