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Dec. 25, 2012 at 10:59 PM
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Va. Tech to wear Sandy Hook helmet decals

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- The Virginia Tech football team will wear decals honoring the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Coach Frank Beamer said Tuesday.

The Hokies will wear ribbon symbols on their helmets to remember those slain Dec. 14 at the Connecticut elementary school as well as victims of a similar tragedy at Virginia Tech in 2007, Beamer told The Roanoke Times in Orlando, Fla., as the team prepared to play Rutgers in Friday's Russell Athletic Bowl.

The decals include the word "Prevail" and the number 58 -- the total number of victims of both school shootings.

"We've been through what those people up in Sandy Hook are going through," he said. "We prevailed in Blacksburg. If anything, it brought us closer and [made us] more determined. The same thing is happening there, where the community is just coming together.

"It's a terrible thing to happen, but we've got to prevail," the coach added. "We can't let one person define Blacksburg or Virginia Tech. They can't let one person define them."

Ex-MLBer Andruw Jones arrested for battery

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Former Major League Baseball outfielder Andruw Jones was arrested in suburban Atlanta Tuesday after a domestic dispute, police said.

The Gwinnett County Police Department told WAGA-TV, Atlanta, officers responded to a domestic disturbance call involving the former five-time all-star outfielder and his wife in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Probable cause to arrest Jones was established and he was booked into the county jail on battery charges just before 4 a.m. Tuesday, the broadcaster said.

Jones, who played for the Atlanta Braves from 1996-2007, was released from jail on $2,400 bond.

Jones, 35, played the last two seasons for the New York Yankees before signing a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Rakuten Eagles of Japan's Pacific League this month.

Considered on the game's top defensive outfielders, he compiled 434 homers, 1,298 RBI and a .254 batting average in 2,196 games over a 17-year career with the Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas, Chicago White Sox and the Yankees.

Nadal skips Abu Dhabi event with virus

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal Tuesday pulled out of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition in Abu Dhabi with a stomach virus.

"I am very disappointed that I will not be able to compete this year in Abu Dhabi," Nadal said in a statement. "I was really excited about returning to play and I always have a wonderful experience at the event and this is the first time I will miss the tournament."

Nadal was to join world No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic, Serbian countryman Janko Tipsarevic, the Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych, Briton Andy Murray and Spain's David Ferrer at the winner-take all $250,000 event, which begins Thursday.

With the 11-time Grand Slam winner's decision to pull out, Nadal will be replaced by "another top player," tournament director Greg Sproule said.

Nadal, who was planning on using the event as part of his rehabilitation from a knee injury, said the decision to skip the three-year Abu Dhabi event was made by doctors.

"My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing," he said. "Unfortunately, doctors have informed me that my body needs to rest in order to fight this stomach virus."

Tamils picket Australia cricket match

MELBOURNE, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Dozens of Tamil protesters gathered at a showcase cricket match in Melbourne Wednesday to denounce alleged war crimes by Sri Lanka's government.

About 150 protesters assembled at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during the opening day of the second test between Australia and Sri Lanka to denounce Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and urge fans to boycott the event, The Age reported.

"This is a military dictatorship," protest organizer Trevor Grant told the newspaper. "The U.N. report after the war in 2009 said the Rajapaksa regime needed to be investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity and they needed an independent investigation.

"Rajapaksa has refused point blank to do that."

The group asserted Rajapaksa was using the high-profile cricket test to launder his "dirty image."

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