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SARANSK, Russia (AP) — Valerie Fayzullina expresses a hopeful sense of wonder as she stands near a wire sculpture of a soccer player, in the shadows of eight new apartment high-rises and a freshly finished stadium that will host stars as big as Cristiano Ronaldo this month.

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SARANSK, Russia (AP) — With nagging injuries, heavy marking from opponents and some simply uninspired play, the top stars of the 2018 World Cup have struggled to deliver on the impossible expectations they carried into the tournament, with one prominent Portuguese exception.

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VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — The possession football championed by coaches like Pep Guardiola is supposed to produce aesthetically-pleasing goals. Against strong defenses and world-class goalkeepers, sometimes you need to go back to basics.

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MOSCOW (AP) — The suspect in a taxi crash near Red Square that injured two Mexican soccer fans and six other pedestrians as Russia hosts the World Cup told interrogators he fell asleep at the wheel, Moscow city police said Sunday.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor expressed regret Thursday for a backstage melee at a Brooklyn arena that saw him caught on camera hurling a hand truck at a bus full of fighters, and he is negotiating a plea deal to resolve criminal charges in the case.

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AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Billy Graham saved souls there. Karl Wallenda once walked on a tightrope above the gridiron. The Rolling Stones performed there in 1972, getting fans so worked up that a couple dozen got arrested. And there was football. Lots of football.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Shohei Ohtani was put on the disabled list by the Los Angeles Angels with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow Friday, an ominous injury that will be re-evaluated in three weeks and brought the two-way Japanese sensation's remarkable rookie season to at least a tempor…

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Reveling in his pardon powers, President Donald Trump said Friday he's thinking "very seriously" about pardoning former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, whose conviction was already overturned by the Supreme Court in 1971.