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It’s showtime again in LA as the world’s highest-priced sports team are closing in on their first appearance in the World Series for 25 years

BASEBALL: McGwire barrage edges towards record

MARK McGWIRE slugged his way to the brink of immortality on Wednesday night, striking two home runs to move within two of Roger Maris' 37- year-old Major League record.

Baseball: Home run history for McGwire

MARK McGWIRE became the first National League player in 49 years to hit 54 home runs in a season when he sent a pitch from Justin Speier over the centre-field wall in the eighth inning of the St Louis Cardinals' 7-6 home defeat by the Floria Marlins on Wednesday night.

Baseball: McGwire's gain eclipsed by Mets

MARK McGWIRE, of St Louis, regained pole position in the major league home run standings but the New York Mets took over the lead in the National League wild-card race with an 8-3 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday.

Baseball: Money game turns surreal

Major League baseball starts in style today. Rupert Cornwell on a new comfort zone

Baseball team owners allow Murdoch to join their club

WHAT does the man who has everything buy? A baseball team. Rupert Murdoch will purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers for a reported $311m (pounds 195m) to $350m after overcoming one of those annoying obstacles that the seriously wealthy despise - getting permission.

Rupert strikes out Ted

Murdoch wanted one of baseball's mightiest teams. His media - and sporting - rival Ted Turner said: `I'll squish him like a bug.' He didn't, of course. By Rupert Cornwell

Turner moves to keep Murdoch off the Dodgers' pitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The media magnate Ted Turner, owner of the Atlanta Braves team, planned to make a rare appearance at a baseball owners' meeting today in an effort to block his media rival Rupert Murdoch from buying the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Football: No more jokes if United move to Wembley

FAN'S EYE VIEW NO 241

Books: A BIG HIT STRIKES IT LUCKY

Don DeLillo's latest epic, Underworld, brilliantly interweaves voices, incidents and telling details into a moving, empowering people's history. Blake Morrison hails a great American novelist

How 'The Fish' came to mend racial bridges

Phil Davison reports on the baseball triumph that has managed to heal the rifts of a divided state - for now

Baseball: World Series - Cuban upstarts pitch for world domination

Tonight in Miami's Pro Player Stadium, a Cuban defector and rookie pitching star called Livan Hernandez will open hostilities in one of the most intriguing World Series in years.

Baseball: Marlins quick to join big fish in ball pond

Kevin Brown pitched a complete game as the Florida Marlins became the quickest expansion team to reach the World Series by beating the defending champions, the Atlanta Braves, to win the National League Championship Series.

Baseball: Red faces for the Indians

The Baltimore Orioles started well in their attempt to reach a World Series since 1983, taming the Cleveland Indians 3-0 in the first game of the American League Championship Series.

Baseball: Atlanta's pitching can prevail in the year of big hitters

It's October, which in America means the baseball play-offs, and the annual question of the 1990s: who can stop Ted Turner's Atlanta Braves winning the World Series? Rupert Cornwell weighs up the form, and also considers how the sport's most famous record improbably survived another year.

Murdoch's empire scores a media double

In LA the Dodgers fall, while in New York a rival editor is sacked
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Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
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Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
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Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
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A speech made by the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister urging women not to laugh in public in order to preserve morality has sparked a backlash on social media from women posting defiant selfies of themselves laughing at his remarks.
GALLERYWhy are Turkish women having a chuckle at the government's expense?
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Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star