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Around & about / News and notes

>Dakar Rally rolls out

The Dakar Rally roared out of Buenos Aires with a ceremonial parade of hundreds of vehicles departing from its famed Obelisk on Saturday.

The 16-day trek will take drivers 5,903 miles across northern Argentina, through the Andes, the Atacama Desert of Chile and back to the Argentine capital.

The first leg is a 230-mile cruise northwest to Victoria, where competitors will prepare for today's first full race day. Defending champions Carlos Sainz in the cars category and Cyril Despres in motorcycles return to defend their titles.

Officials listed a record 430 official starters, up from the 362 who were enrolled last year. The actual number starting the race is always lower, but is also expected to be a record.

NASCAR driver Robby Gordon is entered in the cars category for the third straight year and sixth overall.

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>Briefly

* Dominique Corder, a standout quarterback at a community college in Brainerd, Minn., was shot and killed early Saturday in his hometown of Indianapolis, police said. Corder, 20 led Central Lakes College to a 10-2 record this season.

* Top-ranked Rafael Nadal started 2011 with a win over rival Roger Federer, beating the Swiss 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to defend his title at the World Tennis Championships exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

From News and wire service reports.