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Formula One: Alonso cheer, Raikkonen Woe for Ferrari

Fernando Alonso brought some welcome cheer to Ferrari after a troubled week by setting the fastest time in first practice for the Chinese grand prix on Friday.

However it was a mixed morning for the Italian giants and their new team principal Marco Mattiacci, who was installed after Stefano Domenicali dramatically quit on Monday, as Kimi Raikkonen was unable to complete a timed lap after mechanical problems.

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Nadal Eases into Monte Carlo Masters Quarterfinals

Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal had little trouble reaching the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters, beating Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-3 on Thursday.

Fourth-seeded Roger Federer also got through, shaking off a slow start before dispatching Czech player Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-1 in a little under one hour.

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Joyner-Kersee Trains with Palestinian Women

Dozens of Palestinian girls and women, most of them newcomers to the world of running, got a lesson in the basics Thursday from a track and field great — three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

The American, considered one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, came to the West Bank to encourage women to be physically active despite cultural restrictions and lack of opportunities.

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WWE Wrestlers in Saudi Arabia for Live Matches

Pro wrestlers with the WWE, including John Cena and champion Randy Orton, are in Saudi Arabia for three days of matches in the capital, Riyadh.

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. says it is the first time its franchise has held matches in the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom, home to Islam's holiest sites.

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Bale Leads Madrid 2-1 Past Barca for Copa Title

Gareth Bale filled the void left by the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, sealing Real Madrid's 19th Copa del Rey title with a late goal in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Barcelona.

Ronaldo's extra-time play gave Madrid the 2011 Copa del Rey title at Barcelona's expense. In his absence Wednesday, Bale scored in the 85th minute — his first goal in three "clasico" matches — to make sure Madrid repeated the feat.

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Pistorius Forensic Expert Continues Testimony

The prosecutor at the murder trial of double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius is continuing his cross-examination of one of the defense's forensic experts.

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel was questioning materials analyst and former policeman Roger Dixon Thursday on the expert's findings regarding Pistorius' fatal shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year.

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Man City Slips Further out of Title Contention

The Premier League trophy could be out of reach for Manchester City after a 2-2 home draw with last-placed Sunderland on Wednesday that capped a demoralizing four days for title chasers.

Samir Nasri's 88th-minute equalizer at Etihad Stadium will be of little consolation to City, which is now six points behind league leader Liverpool and four points behind second-place Chelsea.

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Crystal Palace Beat Everton 3-2 to Dent UCL Hopes

Crystal Palace dented Everton's hopes of Champions League football next season following a 3-2 away win in the English Premier League on Wednesday.

The Toffees had slipped into fifth place following Arsenal's 3-1 win over West Ham on Tuesday but could have reclaimed fourth spot with victory at Goodison Park.

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Tevez Denies Talk of Rift with Messi

Juventus striker Carlos Tevez has denied suggestions that a falling out with Lionel Messi is behind his ongoing absence from the Argentina side, saying that the two players "get on well".

"I don't know where they got such nonsense from! Everyone publishes it but the truth is that we get on well. We have shared moments together, training sessions, matches and there has never been a problem. He is a charming and very polite person," said Tevez in an interview with the Argentine daily Cronica on Wednesday.

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Fuel-Careful F1 Less of a Guilty Pleasure

As Earth's atmosphere warms alarmingly and fills with heat-trapping gases, and the writing on the wall — "People, we're in trouble!" — looms ever larger, Formula One has steadily become a guilty pleasure, the motorsport equivalent of blue whale burger or wearing panda fur.

All that precious fuel going up in smoke, speed, and outrageous noise. Unsustainable and increasingly unjustifiable.

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