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Maddux returns to Atlanta, throws out ceremonial first pitch

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ATLANTA (AP) — Hall of Famer Greg Maddux threw out the ceremonial first pitch for Sunday night’s Game 5 of the World Series.

Maddux, wearing his Braves jersey, tipped his cap in response to an ovation from fans as he walked onto the field. Fittingly, he threw the pitch to Eddie Perez, who was often his designated catcher.

Perez, also a former Braves coach, now is a special advisor for player development for the team.

Maddux won four consecutive Cy Young Awards for the Chicago Cubs and the Braves, including in 1995 when he posted a remarkable 19-2 record with a 1.63 ERA for Atlanta’s 1995 World Series champion team.

It was a rare Atlanta appearance for “Mad Dog” Maddux. The 55-year-old Maddux is the pitching coach for UNLV.

SLUMPING BREGMAN MOVES DOWN

Houston manager Dusty Baker moved struggling third baseman Alex Bregman down in his batting order.

Entering Game 5, Bregman had only one hit in 14 World Series at-bats (.071) with no homers and one RBI. He was hitting seventh. He was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in Saturday’s night’s 3-2 loss while hitting third in Game 4.

Baker met with Bregman to discuss the move.

“He understood,” Baker said. “He went out and took extra BP and just trying to find his stroke. So he’s a team guy. There’s no problem with him moving.”

Baker said he hoped to move Bregman back up in a lineup with the designated hitter if the Series returns to Houston for Game 6.

PERFECT AT HOME

The Braves entered Game 5 of the World Series against Houston trying to extend one of their most impressive home postseason performances in team history.

Entering Sunday night’s game, the Braves were 7-0 at home in the postseason, including wins in Games 3 and 4 of the World Series. It is their second-longest home winning streak in the postseason, and the longest in one postseason. They won eight consecutive home postseason games from Oct. 7, 1995, to Oct. 9, 1996.

Overall, the Braves had won 12 of their last 13 home games before Game 5.

Despite the strong finish, the Braves’ home advantage wasn’t nearly as notable in the regular season. They were 42-38 at home and 46-35 on the road.

Astros manager Dusty Baker knows his team also plays well at home. The Astros are 5-2 at home this postseason but needed to avoid elimination to move the Series back to Houston.

“I’m just trying to figure out a way to get back in this thing, and more than anything, figure out a way to get back to Houston with some life because Houston gives us what Atlanta gives them,” Baker said.

SUPER ROSARIO

One day later, Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario’s backhanded catch at the wall of Jose Altuve’s drive in the eighth inning was still being discussed. Rosario, running at full speed, appeared to have luck on his side as he stuck his glove out at the last second for the catch.

“I tip my cap,” right-hander Luke Jackson said. “What a play by Rosario. I think that’s why he’s got the nickname Super Rosario right now.”

It was a highlight of Atlanta’s 3-2 win but not necessarily one to use as a guide for young outfielders, according to Braves manager Brian Snitker.

“I’m not even going to go look at that again,” Snitker said after the game. “I’m just glad he caught it. … That’s probably not an instructional video we show our minor leaguers.”

ALVAREZ SORE BUT STARTING

Left fielder Yordan Alvarez, who crashed into the wall trying to catch Jorge Soler’s go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of Game 4, was sore but able to start Sunday night.

Baker said he initially feared Alvarez hurt his shoulder reaching for the ball when he hit the fence.

“He banged his knee on the fence because he had paint or something that came off on his knee,” Baker said.

ASTROS’ NL OUTFIELD

Baker had to reconfigure his outfield for the World Series games played in Atlanta, with no designated hitter under National League rules.

Alvarez normally was a designated hitter but his move to the outfield meant Kyle Tucker has shifted to center field, where he played only four games in the regular season. Michael Brantley is starting in right field.

“Playing center is definitely different, but I think I’ve done a good job,” Tucker said Saturday. “I just try to go out there and do my best and try to catch as many balls and get in as fast as possible. I think overall we’ve done pretty good.”

REMEMBERING ’95 — SORT OF

Braves closer Will Smith, a native of Newnan, Georgia, said he cherishes memories of watching Atlanta games with his father. But the memories of the Braves’ 1995 World Series title are faint. Smith was only 6 and on vacation in Panama City, Florida, with his family when the Braves beat the Indians in the World Series.

“I just remember my dad being super excited when Marquis Grissom caught the last out,” Smith said. “I knew they won, but I was still too young to remember much.”

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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Stephen Colbert Flattens Anti-Vax Aaron Rodgers With Omicron 1-Liner

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Eat This, Not That!

I’m a Virus Expert and Here’s a Sure Sign You’ve Had COVID

The New York Times reports more than 775,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and more than 48 million have had the virus. However, many others have likely had COVID but weren’t tested or were asymptomatic and didn’t realize they had it. While it’s impossible to know if you’ve been infected without seeing a physician or getting tested, there are signs you’ve had it. COVID affects everyone differently, but according to virus and medical experts Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with, here are the



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China says 85% of citizens will use Mandarin by 2025

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BEIJING (AP) — China is launching an aggressive campaign to promote Mandarin, saying 85% of its citizens will use the national language by 2025.

The move appears to put threatened Chinese regional dialects such as Cantonese and Hokkien under even greater pressure, along with minority languages such as Tibetan, Mongolian and Uyghur.

The order issued Tuesday by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, said use of Mandarin, known in Chinese as “putonghua” or the “common tongue,” remains “unbalanced and inadequate” and needs to be improved to meet the demands of the modern economy.

Critics have sporadically protested changes to the education system and employment requirements that have steadily eroded the role of minority languages, calling it a campaign to eradicate cultures that don’t conform with the dominant Han ethnic group.

Along with the 2025 goal, the policy aims to make Mandarin virtually universal by 2035, including in rural areas and among ethnic minorities.

The promotion of Mandarin over other languages has sparked occasional protests, including last year in the Inner Mongolia region when the Mongolian language was replaced by standard Mandarin as the language of instruction.

China’s ruling Communist Party has denounced all such movements as a form of separatism and repressed them ruthlessly. It says language conformity is necessary for the sake of the economy and national unity.

The policy is backed up by legal requirements and the document issued Wednesday demanded strengthened supervision to “ensure that the national common spoken and written language is used as the official language of government agencies and used as the basic language of schools, news and publications, radio, film and television, public services and other fields.”

It calls also on officials to “vigorously enhance the international status and influence of Chinese” in academia, international organizations and at global gatherings.

Government attempts to promote Mandarin through its worldwide network of Confucius Institutes have been controversial, with critics denouncing them as an attempt to promote the party’s agenda and quash discussion of topics such its human rights record.

___

This story corrects the day the State Council issued the order on language.



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Vivid sunsets across the country bring a stunning close to November

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Vivid sunsets across the country bring a stunning close to November



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Biden mourns Michigan school shooting victims

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The Daily Beast

Michigan Student Kills Three Classmates in Shooting Rampage, Sheriff Says

WDIVOXFORD, Michigan—Three students are dead after a teenage gunman opened fire at a Michigan high school on Tuesday, sending terrified students scrambling for cover and barricading in their classrooms, according to authorities. Eight other people were shot and injured in the horrific attack at Oxford High School in Michigan, including a teacher, Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe told reporters at a news conference. The suspected shooter, who has not yet been publicly identified, is a 15-y



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Powell: New virus variant clouds economic outlook

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Powell: New virus variant clouds economic outlook



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Walmart said she shoplifted; jury awards her $2.1 million

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MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman who says she was falsely arrested for shoplifting at a Walmart and then threatened by the company after her case was dismissed has been awarded $2.1 million in damages.

A Mobile County jury on Monday ruled in favor of Lesleigh Nurse of Semmes, news outlets reported.

Nurse said in a lawsuit that she was stopped in November 2016 when trying to leave a Walmart with groceries she said she already paid for, according to AL.com. She said she used self-checkout but the scanning device froze. Workers didn’t accept her explanation and she was arrested for shoplifting.

Her case was dismissed a year later, but then she received letters from a Florida law firm threatening a civil suit if she didn’t pay $200 as a settlement, according to her lawsuit. That was more than the cost of the groceries she was accused of stealing.

Nurse said Walmart instructed the law firm to send the letters — and that she wasn’t the only one receiving them.

“The defendants have engaged in a pattern and practice of falsely accusing innocent Alabama citizens of shoplifting and thereafter attempting to collect money from the innocently accused,” the suit contended.

WKRG reported that the trial featured testimony that Walmart and other major retailers routinely use such settlements in states where laws allow it, and that Walmart made hundreds of millions of dollars this way in a two-year period.

Defense attorneys for Walmart said the practice is legal in Alabama. A spokesperson told AL.com that the company will be filing motions in this case because it doesn’t “believe the verdict is supported by the evidence and the damages awarded exceed what is allowed by law.”



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Republican Colleague Tom Reed Calls Lauren Boebert’s Vile Attacks A ‘Pox On All Our Houses’

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This “has to stop,” an outraged Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) said Monday of the racist and Islamophobic attacks by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), calling her behavior a “pox on all our houses.”

He was referring to Boebert’s appalling joke in a speech to constituents last week in which she suggested that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a Muslim, could be a suicide bomber.

“I … condemn the kind of comments that were made by my colleague in Congress towards a fellow colleague on the other side of the aisle,” Reed said on CNN’s “OutFront.” “This is a pox on all our houses.”

He added: “We have degraded to a point in the institution of Congress [to a] level of hate I’ve never felt before.”

This “rhetoric, this type of commentary, has to stop. We need to focus on the American people and solving their problems. That’s got to be the mission,” said Reed, the former leader of the House Problem Solvers Caucus.

This is the “institution of Congress, this is the People’s House, and we have to respect each other,” Reed added. American citizens “should be working together as opposed to engaging in what could be called antics of a high-school-level nature.”

Boebert claimed in her talk to constituents in Colorado that she had just stepped into an elevator with Omar at the U.S. Capitol recently when a concerned police officer rushed over before the doors closed.

“I look to my left and there she is, Ilhan Omar,” Boebert said with a laugh in a video clip of her tale. “I say, well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.”

She also claimed she glanced at the Democratic lawmaker and said: “Oh, look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.”

Omar said none of that happened.

Boebert claimed she called Omar on Monday to apologize — but attacked her instead — and suggested Omar “sympathizes with terrorists.”

“I never want anything I say to offend someone’s religion, so I told her that,” Boebert recounted Monday in an Instagram video recapping the conservation.

But then Boebert said she told Omar that “she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric.”

That’s when Omar ended the call.

Omar is calling for Boebert to face some sort of sanction from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), which is unlikely.

“To date, the Republican Party leadership has done nothing to condemn and hold their own members accountable for repeated instances of anti-Muslim hate and harassment,” Omar said in a statement Monday.

“This is not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has mainstreamed bigotry and hatred. It is time for Republican Leader McCarthy to actually hold his party accountable.”

Also on HuffPost

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.





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