WORLD SPORTS at 1330 GMT
Top-ranked Belgium will become the first team to qualify for next year's European Championship if it beats San Marino in Group I. Russia, which is eight points clear in second place in the same group, could also advance by beating Scotland. The Netherlands is another top team in qualifying action. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2100 GMT, photos.
RGU--RUGBY WORLD CUP-TYPHOON
TOKYO _ A typhoon that has caused the first ever cancellation of Rugby World Cup games has ended Italy's prospects of reaching the quarterfinals and could also upset Scotland's chances of progressing to the knockout stages. By John Pye. SENT: 950 words, photos.
_ RGU--Rugby World Cup-Typhoon-The Latest
STUTTGART, Germany _ Simone Biles targets her fifth world all-around title and the seventh in a row for the United States ahead of next year's Olympics in Tokyo. By James Ellingworth. UPCOMING: 500 words by 1700 GMT, photos.
In response to the NBA defending Daryl Morey's freedom of speech, Chinese officials took it away from the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 960 words, photos.
SUZUKA, Japan _ Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton knows a win at this weekend's typhoon-threatened Japanese Grand Prix will go a long way in sealing a sixth Formula One championship. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 495 words, photos.
_ CAR--F1-Japanese GP-Typhoon _ Typhoon could affect Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. SENT: 240 words, photos.
PUNE, India _ Mayank Agarwal hit his second consecutive hundred as India reached 273-3 at stumps against South Africa on the first day of the second test on Thursday. By Chetan Narula. SENT: 460 words, photos.
SHANGHAI _ John Isner served his 1,000th ace of the season but it wasn't enough to stop defending champion Novak Djokovic from moving into the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-3 win on Thursday. By Sandra Harwitt. SENT: 400 words, photos.
TOKYO _ Two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka says she intends to represent Japan at next year's Tokyo Olympics. SENT: 110 words, photos.
BERLIN _ Germany's young players did enough in one hour against Argentina to indicate its post-World Cup shakeup is working and that a bright future awaits. By Ciaran Fahey. SENT: 600 words, photos.
FAIRFAX, Virginia _ Christian Pulisic said he won't let his benching with Chelsea affect his play for the U.S. national team as it prepares for a match against Cuba, pronouncing himself in peak form despite scant playing time of late. By Ben Nuckols. SENT: 425 words, photos.
AS--KOREAS-WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
SEOUL, South Korea _ South Korea said Thursday it's unclear if North Korea will allow a live broadcast when it hosts the South's national soccer team for a World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang next Tuesday. By Kim Tong-hyung. SENT: 290 words, photos.
MOSCOW _ Vladimir Putin says Russia wants to leave its doping “shortcomings” in the past, even as it faces questions regarding data tampering. SENT: 130 words, photos.
TOYOTA, Japan _ At times it felt like only a force of nature could stop New Zealand's streak of wins at the Rugby World Cup. And that's what happened. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 730 words, photos.
FUKUOKA, Japan _ Ireland still gets a chance to finish top of its Rugby World Cup group after avoiding a typhoon _ for now. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 880 words, photos.
Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has been heavily criticized for the Pumas failing to get out of the pool stage at the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 16 years. But Ledesma is defiant. By Foster Niumata. SENT: 795 words, photos.
For Mamuka Gorgodze the thought of his last Rugby World Cup match and last outing for Georgia doesn't make him tear up. Doesn't make him emotional at all. Because he's already retired once. By Foster Niumata. SENT: 620 words.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand _ Former All Blacks center Ma'a Nonu has become the highest-profile player to commit to a Major League Rugby franchise, signing with the San Diego Legion for the 2020 season. SENT: 340 words.
LAHORE, Pakistan _ Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq says it’s an “eye-opener” how a second-string Sri Lanka whitewashed his top-ranked team 3-0 in the Twenty20 series. By Rizwan Ali. SENT: 440 words, photos.
LAHORE, Pakistan _ Sri Lanka's trouble-free tour of Pakistan amid presidential-level security has paved the way for other cricket teams to play in the country, according to Sri Lanka coach Rumesh Ratnayake. By Rizwan Ali. SENT: 300 words, photos.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia _ Former world badminton champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand has been cleared of a doping violation because she proved she ate contaminated meat. SENT: 230 words, photos.
Protesters handed out T-shirts and held up signs in support of Hong Kong on Wednesday night when the Washington Wizards hosted a team from the Chinese Basketball Association. SENT: 890 words, photos.
BUFFALO, New York _ Marcus Johansson scored 1:30 into overtime, leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. SENT: 395 words, photos.
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