Guinea qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals in bizarre fashion on Thursday after a drawing of lots was required to separate them and Mali. They will go through to a quarter-final on Sunday in Equatorial Guinea's capital Malabo against Group C winners Ghana while unfortunate Mali go home. The surreal event took place during a meeting of the tournament Organising Committee at a hotel in Malabo and was attended by AFP.
Jury selection in the trial of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev resumed Thursday after a massive snowstorm forced the US federal court to close for two days. It is the latest setback to the trial's schedule. Judge George O'Toole initially expected opening arguments to begin January 26 but even before the storm, the timetable slipped because jury selection has taken longer than expected.
Arch-rivals Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova set up a dream Australian Open final Thursday while Andy Murray ground down Tomas Berdych to give himself a fourth crack at winning the Melbourne Park title. Williams battled past gallant fellow American Madison Keys while Sharapova demolished Russian compatriot Ekaterina Makarova to ensure the top seeds meet in Saturday's showpiece. She has a 16-2 record against Sharapova, with the Russian five-time Grand Slam champion losing their every encounter since 2004. An impressive Murray swept into a fourth Australian final in six years as he zeroed in on the elusive title, dousing big-serving Czech Berdych 6-7 (6/8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.