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Associated Press
2014-01-04 10:42 PM

TOP STORY:

SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP

LONDON -- The Premier League clubs start their FA Cup campaigns in the third round, with the standout fixture seeing Arsenal host neighbor Tottenham, while Manchester City is at Blackburn, and Everton faces Queens Park Rangers. By Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.

NEW/DEVELOPING:

OLY--SOCHI-PUTIN'S GAMES

After a journey of joy across nine time zones and into space, the Olympic torch relay is approaching something the 2014 Winter Games' organizers and Russia's leaders didn't plan for and certainly didn't want: a city in mourning. The Russian city of Volgograd is burying its dead this week -- 34 victims of twin suicide bombings that went off just 400 miles from where the Sochi Games will be held. These Olympics are being dubbed "Putin's Games." For Russia's top man, eager to impress the world and show he can pull off a major multinational event and the intricate security that goes with it, that moniker could turn out to be a compliment or a curse. By Rob Harris. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN SERIES ROUNDUP

BRISBANE, Australia -- Serena Williams showed she has carried her momentum from 2013 into the new season, beating No. 2-ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-5 on Saturday to defend her title at the Brisbane International and set the tone for the Australian Open. SENT. By John Pye. 700 words, photos.

CRI--AUSTRALIA-ENGLAND

SYDNEY -- Australia skittled England for 155 in its first innings and then built a lead of 311 runs on the second day of the fifth Ashes test at the Sydney Cricket Ground to edge closer to a 5-0 series whitewash. SENT. By Keiran Smith. 650 words, photos.

OLYMPICS:

OLY--PUTIN-DEMONSTRATIONS

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has rescinded a blanket ban on demonstrations in and around the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi. SENT. By Jim Heintz. 450 words.

TENNIS:

TEN--BRISBANE-MEN'S FINAL

BRISBANE, Australia -- Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt earned three-set victories on Saturday to set up a meeting in the Brisbane International final, renewing a rivalry that stretches back to the last millennium. SENT. By John Pye.

CRICKET:

CRI--PAKISTAN-SRI LANKA

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Mohammad Hafeez notched his first test half century in 11 innings and foiled Sri Lanka's hopes for victory as Pakistan secured a draw in the first test on Saturday. SENT. By Rizwan Ali.

CRI--NEW ZEALAND-WEST INDIES

NELSON, New Zealand -- Opener Martin Guptill struck early for New Zealand with an 81 to lead the hosts to victory over the West Indies by 58 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis Method in the fourth one-day cricket international on Saturday. SENT.

GOLF:

GLF--TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Jordan Spieth thought the Plantation Course was a blast to play when he arrived at Kapalua. He had even more fun Friday. Coming off a sensational rookie season, Spieth opened the new year by never coming close to bogey and making a 12-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 7-under 66. That gave him a share of the lead at the Tournament of Champions with fellow newcomer Michael Thompson, Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson. SENT. By Doug Ferguson.

Other stories:

-- NEWARK, New Jersey -- BC-HKN--NHL Roundup. SENT. 550 words.

YOUR QUERIES: Questions and story requests are welcome. Contact your local AP bureau or the AP International Sports Desk in London by telephone at 44-207-427-4105 or email lonsports@ap.org.

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