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Favourites New Zealand coasted into the quarter-finals of the Dubai Rugby Sevens on Friday, as they looked to follow up on their win at Australia's Gold Coast in the first of the IRB Sevens World Series. The Kiwis saw off France 24-5 and Portugal 38-0 before hammering the dangerous Kenya 40-0, although there were indications that the east Afrians were saving some energy for Saturday's knockout stages. New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens said of his team's performances: "We've come on and our younger guys are really pushing into the team now. "We started scratchily this morning but we've kicked on and to get 40 points on the board against Kenya is great for us."
By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department extended six-month Iran sanctions waivers on Friday to China, India, South Korea and other countries in exchange for their reducing purchases of Iranian crude oil earlier this year. The waivers had been expected. Under a law governing sanctions imposed on Iran's disputed nuclear program by the United States, the State Department is required to determine whether the Islamic Republic's oil consumers have reduced their purchases.
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian police plan to talk Friday to the operator of the crane that collapsed this week and killed two workers at a stadium set to host the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament opener. Police said they hope the interview will help investigators pinpoint the cause of the accident, which has cast more doubt on Brazil's preparedness for hosting the showcase event.
Beaver Creek (United States) (AFP) - Switzerland's Lara Gut won the first downhill of the women's alpine World Cup season on Friday on the new Raptor course built for the 2015 World Championships. Gut continued a strong start to a season that will be highlighted by the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, notching her second victory in three races after her giant slalom triumph in Soelden, Austria, last month. The 22-year-old, who is aiming for Olympic glory in February after she missed the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games recovering from a hip injury, clocked 1min 41.26sec to beat Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather by 0.47sec. Italy's Elena Fanchini was third, 0.98sec behind the winner.
EU leaders slammed Russia on Friday for meddling in its affairs after Ukraine rejected a landmark accord with the European Union designed to draw the ex-Soviet state into the Western fold. The snub by Ukraine highlighted a worsening EU-Russia tug-of-war over former Soviet satellites in eastern Europe. "The times of limited sovereignty are over in Europe," European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said at the close of the summit. The two-day summit in the Lithuanian capital on the EU's eastern flank was to have celebrated a five-year drive to cement ties between the bloc and Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The post-Thanksgiving shopping rush sparked incidents of violence across the United States as a police officer was injured breaking up a fight, a shopper was shot in the leg over a TV and a Walmart was evacuated, according to police and media reports. In White Plains, just north of New York City, an outlet of Wal-Mart Stores Inc was evacuated on Friday, with employees and shoppers saying they had been warned of a possible bomb threat. In Romeoville, Illinois, police shot a suspected shoplifter in the shoulder late Thursday night after the car he was driving dragged an officer through the parking lot of a Kohl's department store, Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey said in a video posted by the Chicago Tribune newspaper.