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A game of two popes: Vatican plays down talk of World Cup rivalry

VATICAN CITY - With Argentina meeting Germany in the World Cup final, the Vatican on Friday brushed aside talk of soccer rivalry between Argentine Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict, a German.

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Balotelli courts more controversy with gun photo

ROME, July 11 – Italy striker Mario Balotelli has stoked more controversy by publishing a picture of himself on Instagram pointing a gun at the camera with the message "a big kiss to all the haters".

Italy 8:16am EDT

Yankees' Tanaka has small elbow ligament tear

- New York Yankees' starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow and could be out of the game for about six weeks, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Thursday.

10 Jul 2014

Diving-Former Olympic champion Newbery pleads guilty to drug charge

- Australia's former Olympic champion diver Chantelle Newbery has pled guilty to drug charges, local media reported on Friday.

2:24am EDT

Mayweather set for Maidana re-match in September

- Undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather Jr., widely regarded as the world's top pound-for-pound boxer, announced on Thursday that he will return to the ring in September for a re-match with Argentina's Marcos Maidana.

10 Jul 2014

'Relaxed' Monty sets U.S. Senior Open pace with 65

- Britain's Colin Montgomerie, making the most of a "relaxed" grouping, birdied four of his last seven holes to seize a one-shot lead in the opening round of the U.S. Senior Open in Edmond, Oklahoma on Thursday.

10 Jul 2014
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Argentina and Germany start final preparations

RIO DE JANEIRO - Argentina and Germany were both back at work on Thursday, secretly hatching their plans for Sunday's World Cup final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

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Argentina beat Dutch in shootout to set up Germany final

RIO DE JANEIRO - Argentina reached their first World Cup final in 24 years on Wednesday, beating the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties after the first scoreless semi in the tournament's history, with old foes Germany awaiting them in Sunday's showpiece.

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Suarez loses appeal against biting ban

RIO DE JANEIRO - Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, banned from all soccer activity for four months and nine competitive internationals for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match, has lost his appeal, FIFA said on Thursday.

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Tour de France underway

Cyclists chase the yellow jersey in the race across France.

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Brazil fans weep

Brazil fans react to their World Cup defeat.