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Rallying: Sainz takes another step towards Dakar victory

(Reuters) - Carlos Sainz moved a step closer to a second Dakar win on Thursday after finishing the 12th stage with a 44 minute lead over Peugeot team mate Stephane Peterhansel and two days remaining.

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Triathlon: ITU launches investigation into Schoeman allegations

(Reuters) - The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has launched an investigation into allegations that Olympic bronze medalist Henri Schoeman of South Africa failed a doping test at the Rio Games in 2016, the ruling body said in a statement on Thursday.

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BRIEF-Canopy Growth Increases Bought Deal Financing To $200.7 Mln

* CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION ANNOUNCES INCREASE TO BOUGHT DEAL FINANCING

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Zagitova leads, Russian pairs sweep podium at Europeans

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Twice world champion Evgenia Medvedeva was upstaged by Russian compatriot Alina Zagitova in the short program at the European championships on Thursday as Russians pairs swept the podium on home ice.

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North Korea Olympic officials in Switzerland ahead of IOC talks

GENEVA (Reuters) - North Korean Olympic officials arrived in Switzerland on Thursday ahead of weekend talks at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to finalize Pyongyang's participation in the Winter Games in South Korea next month.

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Back with old sponsor, Patrick seeks car for Daytona and Indy

(Reuters) - Danica Patrick has found a sponsor for the final two races of her career at this year's Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500. All she needs now is some wheels.

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IOC tests over 14,000 athletes ahead of Winter Olympics

(Reuters) - Over 14,000 doping tests have been conducted ahead of next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in an effort to protect clean athletes and safeguard the Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Thursday.

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Russia chooses neutral gray for Winter Olympians' outfits

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian competitors at next month's Winter Olympics will be kitted out in predominantly gray uniforms with no national markings, in keeping with their status as neutral athletes after the national team was barred over doping allegations.

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Zagitova spoils Medvedeva's comeback to take lead at Europeans

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Twice world champion Evgenia Medvedeva was upstaged by Russian compatriot Alina Zagitova in the short program at the European championships on Thursday as the Olympic gold medal favorite made her comeback following a two-month injury layoff.

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Fleetwood, Tanihara lead in Abu Dhabi as McIlroy returns

(Reuters) - Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood and Japan's Hideto Tanihara took the first round lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Thursday, while Rory McIlroy returned to competitive golf for the first time since October.

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Garcia shares Singapore Open lead after disrupted first day

(Reuters) - Masters champion Sergio Garcia and American Kurt Kitayama both carded five-under-par 66 to share the lead after the first round of the Singapore Open on Thursday.

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BRIEF-Carl Icahn Releases Open Letter To Xerox Shareholders

* CARL ICAHN SAYS "WE ARE OBVIOUSLY IN FAVOR OF" RENEGOTIATING FUJI XEROX JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT TO MAKE IT MORE FAVORABLE FOR XEROX‍​

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Wilander fears Rod Laver slot may inhibit Kyrgios vs. Tsonga

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Nick Kyrgios must not let playing on Rod Laver Arena douse his natural fire when he plays Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the standout match of the Australian Open third round on Friday, according to former champion Mats Wilander.

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Snowboarding: British 'shred-homies' ready to take on the world

LONDON (Reuters) - Great Britain broke their duck on snow at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and now they are gunning for further glory in Pyeongchang.

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Canada heads back to gold medal drawing board

TORONTO (Reuters) - When the International Olympic Committee opened the doors of the Winter Games to National Hockey League players in 1998 picking a Team Canada was so simple everyone could do it. And they did.

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Short track still Korea's most likely path to gold

(Reuters) - While there has been much handwringing over sluggish ticket sales for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, empty seats will not be an issue inside the Gangneung Ice Arena when short track speed skating is in session.

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Beijing Games could help end NHL/IOC standoff

(Reuters) - Since saying "I do" to the International Olympic Committee in 1998 the National Hockey League and Winter Games have endured an often tumultuous relationship, one that ended last year in an acrimonious separation.

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BRIEF-Beta Hunt Mine Gold Production Increases 21 Pct In Q4 2017

* BETA HUNT MINE GOLD PRODUCTION INCREASES 21 PCT IN Q4 2017; EXITS YEAR AT 70,000 OUNCE ANNUALIZED PRODUCTION RATE Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Unhindered Halep dashes past Bouchard into third round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Top seed Simona Halep eased fears over her fitness with a brisk 6-2 6-2 demolition of Canada's Eugenie Bouchard to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

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Mercedes to launch 2018 F1 car on same day as Ferrari

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One champions Mercedes will launch their new car on the same day as rivals Ferrari ahead of pre-season testing next month.

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Australia steps up efforts to woo Chinese tennis tourists

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The Australian Open has stepped up efforts to lure Chinese tennis fans to Melbourne Park by boosting broadcast and sponsorship deals.

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'Pyongyang Olympics?' Backlash reveals changing attitudes in South Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - An agreement between South and North Korea to march under a unity flag and field a joint ice hockey team at next month's Olympics was met sharp criticism by many in the South on Thursday, highlighting changing attitudes toward the country's northern neighbor.

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Dakar 12th stage canceled for bikes and quads

(Reuters) - Dakar Rally organizers canceled the 12th stage for motorcycles and quadbikes in Argentina on Thursday for safety reasons due to the weather.

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Tennis: Unhindered Halep dashes past Bouchard into third round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Top seed Simona Halep eased fears over her fitness with a brisk 6-2 6-2 victory over Canada's Eugenie Bouchard to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

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Tennis: Birthday girl Kerber sets up Sharapova clash

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former world number one Angelique Kerber celebrated her 30th birthday on Thursday with an emphatic 6-4 6-1 win over Donna Vekic at the Australian Open to set up an intriguing third round clash of former champions with Maria Sharapova.

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Tennis: Injured Del Potro battles through to third round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro battled an apparent thigh injury and sapping heat to down Russia's Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6(4) 6-7(0) 6-4 and reach the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

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Goffin's hopes over as he succumbs to Benneteau

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Dark horse David Goffin's Australian Open hopes went up in smoke as he fell to a 1-6 7-6(5) 6-1 7-6(4) to French veteran Julien Benneteau in round two on Thursday.

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Two Koreas' 'one flag' emblematic of once better ties

SEOUL (Reuters) - North and South Korea's plan to march together under the same blue-and-white Korean peninsula flag at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next month marks the revival of an emblem of warmer ties between the old foes from years past.

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Djokovic survives Melbourne furnace to beat Monfils

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Six-times champion Novak Djokovic survived the Rod Laver Arena furnace to reach the third round of the Australian Open with a 4-6 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory over Gael Monfils on Thursday.

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Tennis: Lucky loser Pera sends ninth seed Konta out

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Lucky loser Bernarda Pera sent ninth seed Johanna Konta tumbling out of the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday with a 6-4 7-5 upset in blazing sunshine on court two.

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Tennis: Muguruza outfoxed by Hsieh in second-round defeat

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Third seed Garbine Muguruza became the latest big-name casualty at the Australian Open as she lost 7-6(1) 6-4 in the second round to tricky Taiwanese doubles specialist Hsieh Su-wei on Thursday.

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Canada's Osborne-Paradis says Pyeongchang suits his style

(Reuters) - Canadian skier Manny Osborne-Paradis says the quick snow and medium terrain of the course in Pyeongchang will play to his strengths when the gliding specialist goes for his first Winter Olympics medal in South Korea next month.

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WTA Finals to move to Shenzhen from Singapore in 2019

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - China's growing influence over women's tennis moved up a notch on Thursday when the southern metropolis of Shenzhen was announced as the new venue for the season-ending WTA Finals from 2019 to 2028.

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Tennis: Powerful Pera sends ninth seed Konta out

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number 123 Bernarda Pera sent ninth seed Johanna Konta tumbling out of the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday with a 6-4 7-5 upset in blazing sunshine on court two.

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Sharapova too hot for Sevastova, reaches third round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova suffered a late wobble in the blazing center court heat before easing past 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-1 7-6(4) to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

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Golf: Rahm returns to California a year older and much wiser

(Reuters) - Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson head into this week's CareerBuilder Challenge with their careers heading in opposite directions.

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IAAF not privy to any championships bid concerns: CEO

(Reuters) - Athletics global governing body has not been made aware of any information that would give it concern about successful world championship bids by Doha and Eugene, Oregon, the IAAF's chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

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Doping: CAS to hear appeals from 39 banned Russians next week

(Reuters) - The cases of 39 Russian athletes given lifetime Olympic bans following doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Games will be heard next week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Wednesday.

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Russia's World Cup likely target for Islamic State: U.S. analysis firm

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The World Cup soccer tournament to be held in Russia in June and July will be an "attractive target" for Islamic State given Russia's role in the territorial defeat of the militant group, the U.K.-based analysis firm, IHS, said on Thursday.

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IAAF wants to link Oregon meet to LA Olympics to grow sport

(Reuters) - Global athletics is hoping to link the 2021 world championships in Oregon to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics in a bid to maximize interest in the sport in the United States, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

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Chelsea through on penalties, Bournemouth lose to Wigan

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea won a penalty shootout to beat second tier Norwich City on Wednesday and sneak into the FA Cup fourth round following a tempestuous replay that ended 1-1 after extra time with the Premier League champions reduced to nine men.

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Bournemouth dumped out of FA Cup by third tier Wigan

LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League Bournemouth were dumped out of the FA Cup after an embarrassing 3-0 third-round replay defeat by third tier Wigan Athletic on Wednesday.

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Rallying: Sainz stretches Dakar lead after penalty rescinded

(Reuters) - Spaniard Carlos Sainz stretched his Dakar Rally lead to more than an hour on Wednesday after organizers rescinded a 10-minute penalty imposed earlier in the week for an incident with a quadbike.

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Man stabbed before Atletico Madrid game: emergency services

MADRID (Reuters) - A 22-year-old man was rushed to hospital in a serious condition after being stabbed near Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium before a King's Cup game between Atletico and Sevilla on Wednesday, emergency services said.

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BRIEF-BMO Bank Of Montreal Increases CDN$ Prime Lending Rate To 3.45 Per Cent

* BMO BANK OF MONTREAL INCREASES CDN$ PRIME LENDING RATE TO 3.45 PER CENT

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Coach tells ex-USA gymnastics doctor Nassar in court to 'go to hell'

LANSING, Mich. (Reuters) - A coach who sent dozens of young girls for treatment to USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to molesting female athletes, told the disgraced physicians on Wednesday to "go to hell" for his crimes.

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Holder Fernandez leads at Europeans, French pair upset Russian rivals

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Spain's Javier Fernandez stumbled on a quad Salchow but still took the lead after the short program at the European figure skating championships on Wednesday before French duo Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres upset their Russian rivals in the pairs.

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Doubts over McGregor as UFC announces title fight

(Reuters) - UFC president Dana White has said that the organization's lightweight title will be put up for grabs in a showdown between interim holder Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, casting doubts over the reign of current champion Conor McGregor.

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Holder Fernandez leads at Europeans after short program

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Spain's Javier Fernandez stumbled on a quad Salchow but still took the lead after the short program at the European figure skating championships on Wednesday as he bids to win a sixth consecutive title.

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U.N. mediator invites Syria, opposition to Vienna talks next week

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria said on Wednesday he had invited the Syrian government and opposition to a special meeting to be held next week in Vienna, Austria.

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Ruined and neglected, Sarajevo tracks still hold hope for some

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Once a pride of Olympic Sarajevo and known as the steepest and fastest in the world, the bobsleigh track on Mount Trebevic is now dilapidated and abandoned, a shadow of its former glory.

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BRIEF-Scythian Biosciences Increases Size Of Its Previously Announced C$10 Mln "Bought Deal" Offering To C$12.5 Mln

* SCYTHIAN BIOSCIENCES CORP. ANNOUNCES INCREASE TO BOUGHT DEAL FINANCING WITH SERRUYA PRIVATE EQUITY AND THE DELAVACO GROUP AS OTHER STRATEGIC INVESTORS

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Koreas to form unified ice hockey team, march together in Olympics

SEOUL (Reuters) - The two Koreas will field a combined women's ice hockey team and march together under one flag at next month's Winter Olympics in the South, Seoul said on Wednesday, after a new round of talks amid a thaw in cross-border ties.

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Sharapova gets patience test with Melbourne set to sizzle

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova returns to Rod Laver Arena for the first time since her drug ban for a second round match against Anastasija Sevastova on Thursday as players, officials and fans alike prepare for sweltering heat at the Australian Open.

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Norway's Northug almost certain to miss Olympics

(Reuters) - Double Olympic gold medallist Petter Northug will not take part in this weekend's World Cup cross-country skiing competition in Planica, Slovenia, and is almost certain to miss next month's Olympics in Pyeongchang.

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Koreas to form unified ice hockey team, march together in Winter Olympics

SEOUL (Reuters) - The two Koreas agreed during rare talks on Wednesday to form a combined women's ice hockey team to take part in next month's Winter Olympics in the South, and march together under a unified peninsula flag at the opening ceremony, a joint statement released by Seoul's unification ministry said.

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Stanley Cup winner Paek returns to Korea for Pyeongchang tilt

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Jim Paek, head coach of the South Korean men's national ice hockey team, is a man of two Olympic nations.

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Seed slayers Bencic, Zhang tumble back to earth

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Seed slayers Belinda Bencic and Zhang Shuai were brought back down to earth at the Australian Open on Wednesday as they both failed to follow up their first-round exploits.

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Second seed Wozniacki battles back from the brink

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Second seed Caroline Wozniacki saved two match points as she battled back from 5-1 down in the deciding set to beat Melbourne Park debutante Jana Fett 3-6 6-2 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

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Karlovic becomes oldest man in third round for 40 years

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Croatia's Ivo Karlovic became the oldest man to reach the third round of the Australian Open for 40 years when he edged Japan's Yuichi Sugita in five sets in searing heat on Wednesday.

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Nadal mows down Mayer to reach third round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Top seed Rafa Nadal continued his marauding path through the Australian Open, hammering Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-3 6-4 7-6 (4) to reach the third round on Wednesday.

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Tennis: Tsonga edges Shapovalov to strike blow for old guard

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - There was a time when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was one of the new kids bounding on to the block, swinging from the hip and shaking up the established hierarchy in men's tennis.

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North Korea to send cheerleaders to Olympics but Japan sees little to applaud

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea will send a 230-strong cheering squad to the Winter Olympics in the South next month, Seoul said on Wednesday after both sides held talks amid a thaw in inter-Korean ties and as Japan urged caution over the North's "charm offensive".

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Garcia hopes for another golden year from Singapore start

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Sergio Garcia finally fulfilled his incredible promise when he captured a first major at last year's U.S. Masters and the Spanish Ryder Cup veteran is hoping for another big season as he kicks off his 2018 campaign at a familiar venue.

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Tennis: Second seed Wozniacki battles back from the brink

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Second seed Caroline Wozniacki saved two match points as she battled back from 5-1 down in the deciding set to beat Melbourne Park debutante Jana Fett 3-6 6-2 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

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North Korea to send cheerleaders to Olympics but Japan sees little to celebrate

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea will send a 230-strong cheering squad to the Winter Olympics in the South next month, Seoul said on Wednesday after both sides held talks amid a thaw in inter-Korean ties and as Japan urged caution over the North's "charm offensive".

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Tennis: Karlovic becomes oldest man in third round for 40 years

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Croatia's Ivo Karlovic became the oldest man to reach the third round of the Australian Open for 40 years when he edged Japan's Yuichi Sugita in five sets in withering heat on Wednesday.

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Tennis: Seed slayers Bencic, Zhang tumble back to earth

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Seed slayers Belinda Bencic and Zhang Shuai were brought back down to earth at the Australian Open on Wednesday as they both failed to follow up their first-round exploits.

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North Korea to send 230-strong cheering squad to Olympics in South, says Seoul

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea will send around 230 people as a single cheering squad to the Winter Olympics in the South next month, South Korea's unification ministry said in a statement after officials from the two Koreas held talks on Wednesday.

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Tennis: Tsonga tames Shapovalov in five-set classic

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga required all his years of experience to tame Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov and reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

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Tennis: Second seed Wozniacki fights back from the brink

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Second seed Caroline Wozniacki saved two match points as she battled back from 5-1 down in the deciding set to beat Melbourne Park debutante Jana Fett 3-6 6-2 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

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Tennis: Dream grand slam debut continues for 15-year-old Kostyuk

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Ukrainian 15-year-old Marta Kostyuk became the youngest player to reach the third round of a grand slam in over 20 years when she defeated local wildcard Olivia Rogowska at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

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Tennis: Svitolina struggling with injury after second round win

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Fourth seed Elina Svitolina revealed she had been dealing with injury issues at the Australian Open after successfully negotiating a tricky second round match against Katerina Siniakova on Wednesday.

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Tennis: Giant killers Bencic and Zhang tumble back to earth

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Seed slayers Belinda Bencic and Zhang Shuai were brought back down to earth at the Australian Open on Wednesday as they both failed to follow up their first-round exploits.

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Tennis: Svitolina sets up clash with 15-year-old compatriot

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Fourth seed Elina Svitolina came through a first set wobble to set up a third-round meeting with 15-year-old compatriot Marta Kostyuk with a 4-6 6-2 6-1 victory over Katerina Siniakova on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-ARHT Media increases size of private placement financing to $5 mln

* ARHT MEDIA ANNOUNCES UPSIZING OF PRIVATE PLACEMENT FINANCING

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Man United overhaul Spanish pair as Europe's biggest earners

ZURICH (Reuters) - Manchester United enjoyed the biggest revenue of any European club in the last financial year after a 32 percent increase propelled them above Real Madrid and Barcelona, UEFA said in an annual report published on Tuesday.

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Handball: Sweden stun hosts Croatia to advance into main round at Euros

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Sweden will carry a maximum four points into the European handball championship main round after a 35-31 win over hosts Croatia who also advanced on Tuesday.

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U.S. Olympic gold medalist Biles says doctor sexually abused her

(The Jan. 15 story was refiled to correct the attribution of quote in the last paragraph to Biles, not Douglas)

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BRIEF-ONE Gas Issues 2018 Financial Guidance Increases 2017 Financial Guidance

* ONE GAS ISSUES 2018 FINANCIAL GUIDANCE; INCREASES 2017 FINANCIAL GUIDANCE

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Wall St. eases as oil prices, General Electric fall

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street paused its rally on Tuesday, weighed down by weakness in General Electric shares and as lower oil prices dragged down the energy sector.

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Victim of ex-USA gymnastics doctor says abuse led to dad's suicide

LANSING, Mich. (Reuters) - One of the victims of USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to molesting dozens of girls, on Tuesday blamed the disgraced doctor for her father's suicide.

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Former McLaren boss Whitmarsh takes on new F1 role

LONDON (Reuters) - Former McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is returning to Formula One in a temporary role advising the sport's governing body on cost control measures.

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Wall St. eases on lower oil prices

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's major stock indexes pared gains in late afternoon trading on Tuesday as lower oil prices weighed on the energy sector.

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US STOCKS-Wall St eases on lower oil prices

* GE slides after saying it would take $6.2 bln 4th-quarter charge

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Motor racing: Hamilton misses sponsor event but back on social media

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton pulled out of his first sponsor engagement of the year on Tuesday but reappeared on social media after wiping his accounts clean over the Christmas break.

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Motor racing: Williams pin their hopes on youngest line-up

LONDON (Reuters) - Former world champions Williams have put their faith in the youngest and least experienced driver lineup on the Formula One starting grid, and it could come back and bite them.

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Canada's Virtue and Moir named flag bearers for Pyeongchang Olympics

TORONTO (Reuters) - Olympic gold medal ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will carry Canada's flag into the opening ceremonies of the Pyeongchang Winter Games, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC)announced on Tuesday.

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AC Milan's owner says nothing illegal in deal with Berlusconi

MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan's president said on Tuesday his purchase of the soccer club from former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi was conducted legally and transparently after a finance police report indicated potentially suspicious elements in the deal.

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Boxing: Joshua decries 'fake news' about his chin

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Anthony Joshua has dismissed as 'fake news' suggestions that he has a weak chin ahead of his world heavyweight unification bout with New Zealander Joseph Parker.

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BRIEF-Metatron (MRNJ) Releases BitMeet, A Bitcoin Crypto-Currency Trading Progressive App For All Mobile Platforms

* METATRON (MRNJ) RELEASES BITMEETâ„¢A BITCOIN CRYPTO-CURRENCY TRADING PROGRESSIVE APP FOR ALL MOBILE PLATFORMS Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Belgium to mark Merckx anniversary in 2019 Tour start

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium will host the start of the Tour de France in 2019 with two stages paying homage to the country's greatest ever cyclist, Eddy Merckx, on the 50th anniversary of his first victory in the race.

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Nadal takes center stage ahead of Kyrgios clash

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal takes center stage on Rod Laver Arena for his Australian Open second round match against Leonardo Mayer on Wednesday but anyone looking for a wild atmosphere would be better off waiting for the last match on Hisense Arena.

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Subway-themed sports shoes are just the ticket for Berliners

BERLIN (Reuters) - Dozens of sports shoe enthusiasts stormed Adidas stores in Berlin on Tuesday to snatch a pair of shoes launched in collaboration with the public transport network that incorporate the same pattern as the subway's seats, as well as an annual ticket.

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Sweden already schooling future Winter Olympians

OSTERSUND, Sweden (Reuters) - Next month's Winter Olympics is the immediate focus for Sweden but the country is already training its next generation of winter sports athletes in special high school programs that combine sports and education for ambitious teenagers.

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Rigas carries Danish speed skating hopes to Pyeongchang

(Reuters) - Denmark's hopes of a first-ever medal in an individual event at the Winter Olympics rest on the shoulders of Elena Rigas, an inline skater who made the transition to ice skating and has qualified for the mass start in South Korea.

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Olympics: A level playing field, with pebbles

MAUCHLINE, Scotland (Reuters) - Mark Callan recoils at the idea of a Zamboni ever being driven out onto one of his curling sheets.

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Sirotkin joins Williams with Kubica as reserve

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin will race for Williams this season after being chosen ahead of Polish rival Robert Kubica on Tuesday in what the Formula One team said was a multi-year deal.

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Sandgren claims first grand slam win to land Wawrinka clash

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - American battler Tennys Sandgren won his first ever grand slam singles match on Tuesday to set up a dream Australian Open clash with former champion Stan Wawrinka.

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Sirotkin to partner Stroll at Williams Formula One team

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin will race for Williams this season after being chosen ahead of Polish rival Robert Kubica in a multi-year deal.

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Sirotkin to race for Williams Formula One team

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin will race for Williams this season, the Formula One team said on Tuesday.

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Cycling: Greipel claims emotional Tour Down Under stage win

(Reuters) - German Andre Greipel snatched his 148th professional victory when he claimed an emotional win in the Tour Down Under opening stage on Tuesday.

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Sublime Federer breezes through Melbourne opener

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Defending champion Roger Federer was quickly into his majestic stride with a straight-sets victory over Slovenian Aljaz Bedene in his opening match at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

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Cycling: Froome should not race until investigation over - Bardet

PARIS (Reuters) - Chris Froome should rule himself out of racing until a probe into his failed drugs test for an asthma medication during last year's Tour of Spain has been concluded, twice Tour de France podium finisher Romain Bardet said on Tuesday.

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Djokovic delighted after elbowing out Young

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic was delighted with his return to the grand slam arena after a long injury layoff, the Serb having dealt American Donald Young a 6-1 6-2 6-4 thrashing to reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

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Federer breezes through opener in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Defending champion Roger Federer got quickly into his majestic stride with a straight-sets win over Slovenian Aljaz Bedene in his opening match at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

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Tennis: Wawrinka happy to be back, but still feeling pain

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Stan Wawrinka feels great to be back after his first-round victory at the Australian Open on Tuesday but is still experiencing pain in the left knee that required surgery last season.

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German Kuske keen to make up for Sochi bobsleigh 'debacle'

(Reuters) - Germany's Kevin Kuske wanted to bring his bobsleigh career to an end after their 'debacle' at the 2014 Sochi Games but after a change of heart the four-time Olympic champion is ready to push for another shot at glory in Pyeongchang next month.

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Tennis: My brother still makes fun of me, says Zverev

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Alexander Zverev can no longer hope to fly under the grand slam radar following a brilliant 2017 season but the hype has done little to change things on the home front, the 20-year-old wunderkind insists.

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Halep survives date with Destanee in opening round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number one Simona Halep flirted with another early exit from the Australian Open and suffered an ankle injury before rallying to reach the second round with a 7-6(5) 6-1 victory over local teenager Destanee Aiava on Tuesday.

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Djokovic elbows Young out to reach second round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic celebrated his long-awaited return to the grand slam stage with a 6-1 6-2 6-4 demolition of American Donald Young to reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

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Tennis: Kerber consigns 2017 to the history books

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Angelique Kerber has turned the page on a horror 2017 season and is focused firmly on making a fresh start to her career, the German said after sailing into the second round at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

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Sharapova finds her groove on Melbourne return

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova's previous match at the Australian Open sent her career spiraling to the darkest of depths but she returned in bright sunshine on Tuesday with a performance that went some way to banishing those demons.

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Plan for joint Olympics team with North gets icy reception in South Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - While Seoul forges ahead with plans to use the upcoming Winter Olympics to showcase inter-Korean unity, some South Korean athletes are "furious" at proposals to form joint teams with North Koreans, highlighting a broader lack of enthusiasm for some of the government’s peace-making plans.

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Sharapova enjoys winning return to Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former champion Maria Sharapova enjoyed a winning return to the Australian Open as she wore down Germany's Tatjana Maria 6-1 6-4 on Tuesday to take her place in the second round.

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Tennis: Prize money row rumbling behind scenes at Melbourne Park

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Six-times Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is leading calls for players to be given a greater share of the sport's revenues and have their own union independent of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), a report in the Daily Mail said.

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Tennis: Raonic slumps to early exit at Melbourne Park

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former world number three Milos Raonic was sent tumbling out of the Australian Open first round by Lukas Lacko on Tuesday, the Canadian's earliest grand slam exit since the 2011 French Open.

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Tennis: Aggressive Konta makes light work of Brengle

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Ninth seed Johanna Konta skipped past Madison Brengle into the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, the Briton overpowering her American opponent 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes on Hisense Arena.

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LeBron James says Trump has emboldened racists in the U.S.

(Note language that may offend some readers in fourth paragraph)

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Olympic gold medalist Biles says doctor sexually abused her

(Reuters) - Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles said on Monday she was sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar, the latest in a list of female athletes to accuse the doctor of misconduct.

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BRIEF-MTY Food Group Increases Its Quarterly Dividend By 30%

* MTY FOOD GROUP INC - ‍ANNOUNCES AN INCREASE OF 30% OF ITS QUARTERLY DIVIDEND PAYMENT, WHICH INCREASES FROM 11.5¢ PER SHARE TO 15¢ PER SHARE​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +91 806 749 1136)

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Germany and Denmark stunned in Euro handball thrillers

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Holders Germany scraped a controversial 25-25 draw against Slovenia and Olympic champions Denmark suffered a shock 28-27 defeat by the Czech Republic in a pair of European handball championship classics on Monday.

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Olympics: Norwegian biathlete Bjoerndalen misses out on Games selection

(Reuters) - Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time, will not take part in this year's Games in Pyeongchang after missing out on selection for the team, the Norwegian Biathlon Association said on Monday.

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Partner's scent eases women’s response to stress

(Reuters Health) - During a stressful time, smelling a partner’s scent might help ease anxiety, a study suggests.

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Djokovic in action on day of returns in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic is finally back in action on day two of the Australian Open on Tuesday, returning to the venue of his greatest grand slam success, hoping his elbow will hold up after keeping him on the sidelines for six months.

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Canada set for multi-pronged assault in Pyeongchang

LONDON (Reuters) - Canada's speed skating team for the Winter Olympics in South Korea is much stronger than four years ago and will offer medal threats in multiple distances, according to the country's Dutch coach Bart Schouten.

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South Korea's speed skaters face tough competition on home ice

(Reuters) - Picking up medals on the fast ice of the Gangneung Oval at the Winter Olympics could be a tall order for South Korea's speed skaters, according to Dutchman Bob de Jong, who is assistant coach of the hosts' national team.

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Nadal happy with rollicking start at Melbourne Park

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A ruthless Rafa Nadal preserved his creaky knees for tougher tests down the road by routing Dominican journeyman Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1 6-1 6-1 to sail into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday.

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Kyrgios off to flying start in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Home hope Nick Kyrgios launched his Australian Open campaign with a 6-1 6-2 6-4 demolition of Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva on Monday to continue his bright start to the year.

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Kyrgios eases to quickfire victory in Melbourne opener

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Home hope Nick Kyrgios launched his Australian Open campaign with a 6-1 6-2 6-4 demolition of Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva on Monday to continue his bright start to the year.

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Golf: James starts another long drive to success

(Reuters) - Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy have the potential to compete in long drive competitions, but would have to focus exclusively on the discipline for a year or so to be competitive, according to world champion Justin James.

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Nadal charges into second round at Australian Open

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A ruthless Rafa Nadal preserved his creaky knees for tougher tests down the road by routing Dominican journeyman Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1 6-1 6-1 to sail into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday.

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North Korean orchestra could be music to the ears of Olympic organizers in South

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea is expecting a large North Korean delegation at next month's Winter Olympics, likely including the country's main symphony orchestra, the governor for the Games' host province said on Monday, as relations appear to start hitting the right note.

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Lukewarm reception would not faze Sharapova - Wilander

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former champion Maria Sharapova will not care less what reception she receives when she plays her first Australian Open match since completing a doping ban on Tuesday, according to three-times Melbourne winner Mats Wilander.

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Coco goes bananas as Americans slip up at Australian Open

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Coco Vandeweghe's petulant standoff over a shortage of bananas was the low point on a horror day for the United States at the Australian Open on Monday as a raft of American players skidded out of the season's first grand slam in the first round.

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Edmund out-guns Anderson for first-round shock

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Britain's Kyle Edmund outfought Kevin Anderson in a court three marathon to send the 11th seed tumbling out of the Australian Open 6-7(4) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the first round on Monday.

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Shapovalov dazzles on Melbourne debut

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Denis Shapovalov dazzled in pink as he claimed a debut victory over Greek newcomer Stefanos Tsitsipas in a battle of the teenagers at the Australian Open on Monday.

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Dimitrov schools Austrian Novak to reach second round

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Grigor Dimitrov looked every inch the potential grand slam champion as he schooled qualifier Dennis Novak 6-3 6-2 6-1 to reach the second round of the Australian Open on Monday.

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Sumo: Japan top referee to resign over kissing, touching junior ref: Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sumo's top-ranked referee will resign over an incident in which he kissed and touched a teenage referee while drunk, Japanese media reported, the latest scandal to hit the country's ancient national sport.

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Bencic sends Venus packing on bleak day for America

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Swiss Belinda Bencic sent an early shockwave through the Australian Open on Monday by toppling last year's finalist Venus Williams on an opening day of carnage for American tennis.

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Tennis-Dimitrov schools Novak to reach second round at a canter

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Grigor Dimitrov gave qualifier Dennis Novak a lesson in grand slam tennis to reach the second round of the Australian Open at a canter with a 6-3 6-2 6-1 victory on Monday.

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Kizzire prevails in marathon playoff to win Sony Open

(Reuters) - Patton Kizzire outlasted James Hahn over six playoffholes to win the Sony Open in Hawaii on Sunday for his second win of the PGA Tour season. Kizzire, who entered the day a shot back of the lead, carded a two-under-par 68 that put him tied at the top of the leaderboard on 17-under with Hahn (62). Kizzire, who also won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November, finally came out on top of the playoff with a winning par on the 17th.

cnn.com

Reports: Iran releases 440 anti-government protesters

Iran has released more than 400 people detained in anti-government protests that broke out across the country in late December, state-run media reports.

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Bencic sends Venus crashing out of Australian Open

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Belinda Bencic sent an early shockwave through the Australian Open by dumping last year's finalist Venus Williams out of the first round with an impressive 6-3 7-5 win on Monday.

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Stephens tumbles out in first round, Ostapenko impresses

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Sloane Stephens became the first big casualty at this year's Australian Open as the U.S. Open champion tumbled out in the first round against China's Zhang Shuai.

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Patriots must beat Jaguars for Super Bowl return

(Reuters) - There is a new challenger standing in the way of the New England Patriots' path to another Super Bowl.

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Motor racing-Dan Gurney, all American racer, dead at 86

(Reuters) - American racer Dan Gurney, a Formula One and Le Mans 24 Hours winner in the 1960s who started a trend by spraying champagne on the victory podium, died in California on Sunday aged 86.

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Dennis Rodman arrested on DUI suspicion in California

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former basketball star Dennis Rodman was released from jail in California on Sunday after being arrested hours earlier on suspicion of driving under the influence, Newport Beach police said.

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Highlights of Australian Open day one

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Highlights of Monday's opening day of the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of the year:

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Motor racing: Dan Gurney, all American racer, dies at 86

(Reuters) - American racer Dan Gurney, a Formula One and Le Mans 24 Hours winner in the 1960s who started a trend by spraying champagne on the victory podium, died in California on Sunday aged 86.

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Rallying: Peterhansel wins stage but Sainz remains well ahead

(Reuters) - Reigning champion Stephane Peterhansel fought back to win the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally in Bolivia on Sunday but Peugeot team mate Carlos Sainz remained more than an hour clear of the field.

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Pumping on Colombia's Transandino pipeline halted after bomb attack

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Pumping on Colombia's southern Transandino pipeline was halted on Sunday after a bomb attack by the ELN rebels spilled crude into a river, state-run oil company Ecopetrol and the military said.

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Olympic: Virtue and Moir lead strong Canada figure skating team

(Reuters) - A powerful and experienced figure skating team headlined by 2010 Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and 2014 Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan will represent Canada at next month's Winter Olympics, Skate Canada said on Sunday.

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Perfect Paisley claims maiden European Tour victory at SA Open

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - England's Chris Paisley produced six birdies in a faultless final round of 66 to claim a maiden European Tour victory by winning the South African Open at the Glendower Golf Club outside Johannesburg on Sunday.

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Alpine skiing: Irrepressible Hirscher wins fifth slalom of the season

WENGEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - The irrepressible Marcel Hirscher stayed on course for his seventh successive overall World Cup title and sounded a warning to his Olympic rivals with another dominant win on Sunday, this time in the slalom at Wengen.

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Venus to battle Bencic as Australian Open gets underway

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The Australian Open gets underway with a bang on Monday, with last year's finalist Venus Williams taking on resurgent Swiss talent Belinda Bencic in a much-anticipated clash of generations on Rod Laver Arena's center court.

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'Ice master' aims to aid scorching times in Gangneung

(Reuters) - Conventional wisdom says the Gangneung Oval's lack of elevation will make it impossible for any speed skaters to break a world record at the Winter Olympics, but Canadian Mark Messer is hoping to turn that perception on its head.

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Dutch keen to retain crown on Gangneung ice

(Reuters) - The Dutch contingent headed for the Winter Olympics aim to top the speed skating medal table once again, but expecting them to repeat their dominance from Sochi four years ago is unrealistic, according to technical director Arie Koops.

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Alpine skiing: Goggia completes Italian double in Austria

BAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM, Austria (Reuters) - Sofia Goggia completed a double for Italy at Bad Kleinkirchheim by winning Sunday's shortened downhill in difficult conditions to follow up Federica Brignone's win in the Super G on Saturday.

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Joshua faces Parker in heavyweight unification bout in March

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Anthony Joshua will put his perfect 20-fight, 20-knock-out record on the line when he takes on New Zealand's Joseph Parker in a world heavyweight unification bout in Cardiff, Wales on March 31.

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Golf: Europe dominate singles to defend EurAsia title

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A dominant Europe won eight of the 12 singles matches against Asia on Sunday to rally from behind and successfully defend their EurAsia Cup title with a 14-10 victory in Malaysia.

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Tennis: Kyrgios can become global superstar, says Becker

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian maverick Nick Kyrgios is ready to win over his doubters and can become an 'international sporting superstar' according to former world number one Boris Becker.

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Federer says he should not be favorite at 36

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Roger Federer says a 36-year-old should not really be considered a favorite for the Australian Open, although when the man in question is himself, no one was taking him seriously.

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Golf: Hoge leads as players put Hawaii missile scare behind them

(Reuters) - Unheralded Tom Hoge birdied the final two holes to take a one-stroke lead after an eventful third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii on Saturday.

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Missile false alarm causes panic for PGA Tour players

(Reuters) - Some of the world's top professional golfers were panicked by a false report of an incoming ballistic missile in Hawaii on Saturday, with one hiding under a mattress and another fleeing to the basement of his Honolulu hotel.

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Figure skating: Chan and Daleman win at Canadian titles as Olympics loom

(Reuters) - Patrick Chan won the Canadian figure skating championships men's title for the 10th time on Saturday, while Gabrielle Daleman celebrated her 20th birthday by winning the women's competition.

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Tennis: Tomic slide continues with Australian Open failure

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Bernard Tomic's slide down the ATP rankings is set to continue after he fell 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the final round of Australian Open qualifying on Sunday.

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Figureskating: Searching for the next Asada, Japan rebuilds

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese figure-skating fans head into next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in an unusual position with no-one in their once powerhouse women's team assuming the mantle of the retired Mao Asada.

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Golf: Missile false alarm causes panic for PGA Tour players

(Reuters) - Some of the world's top professional golfers were panicked by a false report of an incoming ballistic missile in Hawaii on Saturday, with one hiding under a mattress and another fleeing to the basement of his Honolulu hotel.

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Rallying: Sainz takes Dakar lead as Peterhansel hits trouble

(Reuters) - Spaniard Carlos Sainz seized the lead in the Dakar Rally from Peugeot team mate Stephane Peterhansel on Saturday after the defending champion struck a rock and lost an hour and 45 minutes repairing his car.

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Motor racing: Rosenqvist leads Formula E championship after Marrakesh win

(Reuters) - Sweden's Felix Rosenqvist took the lead in the Formula E championship for the first time on Saturday after winning the third race of the season in Marrakesh for India's Mahindra Racing.

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Cycling: This year’s Vuelta to be decided in the mountains

MADRID (Reuters) - Tour of Spain organizers are hoping the 2018 race will be decided in the mountains as they unveiled the course for the next edition on Saturday.

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Paisley holds one-shot lead in South African Open

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Chris Paisley of England carded a round of 70 on Saturday to hold a one-stroke lead going into the final round of the European Tour’s South African Open at the Glendower Golf Club.

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Feuz leads from front to win for second time at Wengen

WENGEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - Swiss Beat Feuz led from the front on Saturday to win the downhill at Wengen, one of the oldest and most prestigious races of the World Cup skiing season, for the second time.

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Figureskating: Haunted by Sochi, Chan fights overthinking

TORONTO (Reuters) - Patrick Chan is hoping the acknowledgement that his biggest enemy may well be himself could propel him to figure skating gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics at the third time of asking.

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Figureskating: From Hanyu's shadow, Uno leaps eagerly to the attack

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shoma Uno first stepped on the ice at five, but it was the rough-and-tumble of hockey he had his eyes on - until a chance meeting with a Japanese figure skater changed everything.

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Brignone revels in tough conditions to win Super G

BAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM, Austria (Reuters) - Italian Federica Brignone won the women's World Cup Super G race on Saturday, saying she reveled in the tough conditions which forced organizers to switch the program.

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Kerber issues Australian Open warning with Sydney triumph

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former world number one Angelique Kerber continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-4 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty in the Sydney International final on Saturday, giving herself a welcome boost ahead of next week's Australian Open.

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Mertens defends Hobart title after edging rain-hit final

HOBART (Reuters) - Belgian Elise Mertens defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania 6-1 4-6 6-3 in a rain-interrupted final to defend her Hobart International title on Saturday.

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Golf: Asia rally to stay one point clear of Europe in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Asia made a strong comeback after trailing early to split Saturday's EurAsia Cup foursomes with Europe as the hosts maintained a one-point lead over the defending champions going into the final day's 12 singles matches.

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Tennis: Returning Djokovic still managing elbow injury

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Former world number one Novak Djokovic admits his elbow is not yet 100 percent as the Serb prepares to return from six months out at the Australian Open.

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Tennis: Kerber issues Australian Open warning with Sydney triumph

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former world number one Angelique Kerber continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-4 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty in the Sydney International final on Saturday, giving herself a welcome boost ahead of next week's Australian Open.

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Tennis: Tired of the 'roller-coaster', Kyrgios seeks a steady ride

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - An upbeat but calm Nick Kyrgios heads into the Australian Open feeling confident about his mental game and keen to keep a level head through the season after a "roller-coaster" ride in 2017.

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Tennis: Brand-less, slam-less Halep looks for more in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Simona Halep enters the Australian Open with the world number one ranking and a familiar set of doubts over her ability to win a grand slam.

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Tennis: Dimitrov, Zverev ready to step up to grand slam glory

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev, two men who made perhaps the biggest steps forward in 2017, believe they are ready to contend for the title at the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on Monday.

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Keep calm, Konta ready to carry on

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Johanna Konta is free from injury, ready to put a terrible second half to 2017 behind her and with Andy Murray recuperating from hip surgery, happy to shoulder the burden of British tennis fans at the Australian Open.

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Tennis: Uncle Toni still 'more than anything' for Nadal

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal embarks on a new era without his coach and uncle in the players' box at the Australian Open but the Spaniard said he would always welcome advice from his lifelong mentor with open arms.

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Tennis: First grand slam title was 'overwhelming', says Stephens

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Without a victory since her stunning U.S. Open triumph last September, American Sloane Stephens admitted on Saturday that the experience of becoming a grand slam winner had been "overwhelming". "I think it's always a tough transition when you go from not playing tennis for 11 months to winning a grand slam," Stephens told a news conference at the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.

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South Korea says North Korea suggested talks to send performance group to winter olympics

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's unification ministry said on Saturday that North Korea has proposed working-level talks on the prospects of sending its performance 'art' group to the winter olympics held in the South.

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Golf: Improved Harman surges three shots clear in Hawaii

(Reuters) - Left-hander Brian Harman took another small step towards a spot on the United States Ryder Cup team when he eagled his final hole to take a three-shot halfway lead at the Sony Open in Hawaii on Friday.

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Tennis: Wawrinka feared for career during long layoff

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Stan Wawrinka feared his debilitating knee injury might be the end of a glittering tennis career boasting three grand slam titles and said he had only been cleared to play the Australian Open two days before the tournament.

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Golf: McIlroy downplays heart scare, says 'nothing to worry about'

(Reuters) - Four times major champion Rory McIlroy has taken to social media to downplay a report that he suffered a "heart scare" in 2016.

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Bautista Agut beats del Potro to win Auckland title

AUCKLAND (Reuters) - Roberto Bautista Agut continued to shine in New Zealand when the Spaniard won his second Auckland Classic title with a 6-1 4-6 7-5 victory over second seed Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday.

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Figure skating: Daleman shrugs off sickness to lead in Vancouver

(Reuters) - Gabrielle Daleman shrugged off pneumonia-like symptoms to take the women's short program lead as defending champion and favorite Kaetlyn Osmond took a tumble at the Canadian figure skating championships in Vancouver on Friday.

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North Korea says IOC is considering South Korea's proposal for united women's hockey team: Yonhap

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's International Olympics Committee (IOC) official said it is considering South Korea's proposal for a united female hockey team, Yonhap news agency reported on Saturday.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Zecotek Increases Non-Brokered Private Placement

* ZECOTEK PHOTONICS - INCREASED PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED PRIVATE PLACEMENT ON DEC 29, 2017 TO 15.3 MILLION UNITS OF CO TO BE SOLD AT $0.30 PER UNIT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Medicaid payment increases tied to greater pediatrician participation

(Reuters Health) - - When state Medicaid programs increased physician payment rates, more pediatricians agreed to treat low-income kids covered by the health insurance program for the poor, a U.S. study suggests

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Factbox: Mascots at Winter Olympics through the years

(Reuters) - A list of the mascots for the Winter Olympics from 1968-2018:

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Navratilova backs Kvitova, Venus at Australian Open

(Reuters) - Former world number one Martina Navratilova believes Petra Kvitova's attacking style of play makes her one of the top contenders for next week's Australian Open, while Venus Williams' experience gives her the edge over the rest of the women's field.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-WEC Energy Group Increases Number Of Directors On Its Board To 14

* WEC ENERGY GROUP INC - ON JAN 10, 2018, BOARD INCREASED NUMBER OF DIRECTORS CONSTITUTING THE BOARD FROM 13 TO 14 Source text : [http://bit.ly/2qXSfl4] Further company coverage: