NEWCASTLE, England — Manchester City moves 15 points clear at the top of the English Premier League after extending its winning run to 18 games at Newcastle. The 1-0 win is enough on a night when Rafael Benitez's men slip to a fifth consecutive home defeat for the first time since 1953. SENT: 450 words, photos.
Liverpool is breaking the world transfer record for a defender by signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in a $100 million move. The transfer fee of 70 million pounds ($94 million) could reach 75 million pounds ($100 million) depending on Van Dijk's achievements at Liverpool. By Rob Harris. SENT: 610 words, photo.
— SOC--LIVERPOOL-SOUTHAMPTON SIGNINGS — Van Dijk is 6th Southampton-to-Liverpool transfer in 4 years. SENT: 340 words, photos.
AMERICAN AIRLINES-PLAYERS REMOVED
DALLAS — American Airlines apologizes to two members of the Memphis Grizzlies' NBA G League affiliate who were kicked off a plane in Dallas after a flight attendant wrongfully accused them of stealing blankets. SENT: 410 words.
MELBOURNE, Australia — Alastair Cook has moved his unbeaten century to 111 and England to 203-2, still trailing Australia by 124 runs on day three of the fourth Ashes test. Joe Root is with him on 53. By Julian Linden. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 0700 GMT.
MOSCOW — Vitaly Mutko bows to mounting pressure and steps down as chairman of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee after being dogged by investigations that highlight his role in a state-backed doping program. By Vladimir Isachenkov. SENT: 410 words, photo.
BARCELONA, Spain — There is one clear winner in the Spanish league as it enters its winter break: Ernesto Valverde. In his first four months as Barcelona<s coach, Valverde has helped the team recover from the shock exit of Brazil star Neymar in the summer and take a commanding lead of the Spanish league. By Joseph Wilson. SENT: 960 words, photo.
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa — South Africa storms to an innings win over Zimbabwe, needing less than two days of the four-day test to dispatch the visitors. SENT: 330 words.
— RGU--BATH FINED — Bath fined $80K for letting Faletau play for Wales vs Springboks. SENT: 270 words.
— SOC--ITALIAN ROUNDUP — AC Milan beats Inter 1-0 to reach Italian Cup semifinals. SENT: 300 words, photos.
— SAI--SYDNEY-HOBART — Wild Oats XI expected to win race for 9th time. SENT: 180 words, photos. Will be updated after appeal.
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