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Trump communication with foreign leader prompted whistleblower complaint: Washington Post

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California on September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s promise to a foreign leader so troubled an official in the U.S. intelligence community that it prompted them to file a whistleblower complaint, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The Post, which cited two former officials familiar with the matter, said it was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver. The communication was a phone call, one former official said, according to the Post.

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern,” a legal threshold that requires notification of congressional oversight committees, the Post said.

But the acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to share details about the complaint with lawmakers, the Post reported.

Maguire has defended his refusal by asserting that the subject of the complaint is beyond his jurisdiction, the Post said.

House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, has sought to compel U.S. intelligence officials to disclose the full details of the whistleblower complaint to Congress.

Atkinson is scheduled to appear at a closed hearing of the committee on Thursday and Maguire has agreed to testify before the panel in open session a week later, Schiff said in a statement.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Representatives of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence could not be reached.



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Fernando Ricksen: Ex-Rangers player dies aged 43 after battle with motor neurone disease

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Ricksen, who won 12 caps for the Dutch national team, had been battling the disease for six years after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in October 2013.

The former defender spent six years at the Glasgow club, where he won the domestic cup double in 2002 and the treble in 2003.

Following his diagnosis, Ricksen raised money to find a cure for the disease, and a benefit match was held in January 2015. It attracted more than 41,000 fans to Ibrox, raising £320,000 ($399,000) with the proceeds split between Fernando, his daughter Isabella, MND Scotland and the Rangers Charity Foundation.

“It’s very sad news for everyone connected with Rangers and, more importantly, his young family,” Rangers coach Steven Gerrard told a news conference Wednesday.

“So on behalf of the club I would like to pay tribute. He was fantastic player and he had a decorated career.

“He played with his heart on his sleeve, he was that type, and that was epitomized when he was taken ill in 2013. I think he was given 18 months to live at the time and he has fought ever so hard up to this point.

“That sums up the character, the warrior type on the pitch and off the pitch. But we certainly send our condolences to his young family.”

Ricksen joined Rangers in 2000 when then manager Dick Advocaat signed him from AZ Alkmaar. He went onto become a fan favorite due to his combative style of play.

Peter Lovenkrands, who joined Rangers at the same time as Ricksen and also spent six years with the Scottish club, paid tribute to his former team-mate on social media.

“You looked after me when we signed at Rangers together, taking me back and forward to training because I didn’t have a car, great memories on and off the pitch!” Lovenkrands said on Instagram.

“A true warrior and leader on the pitch! You’ll be truly missed. RIP my friend.”

Ricksen eventually left Rangers and joined Russian side Zenit Saint Petersburg where he was reunited with Advocaat.

Coincidentally, Ricksen was part of the Zenit team that beat Rangers in the 2008 UEFA Cup final, although he was an unused substitute for the final.

The Russian side also paid tribute to its former player on Twitter.

“We’re deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our former player Fernando Ricksen,” it said. “He battled bravely against motor neurone disease right until the end and we are all thinking of him and his family at this difficult time.”



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Brad Pitt on fathers, sons and confronting Harvey Weinstein, in interview with CNN

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But masculinity was still a theme the movie star was eager to discuss when he spoke with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about fathers, sons and confronting Harvey Weinstein, ahead of the release of his latest movie, the sci-fi thriller “Ad Astra.”
The film, directed by James Gray and also starring Tommy Lee Jones and Liv Tyler, tells the story of astronaut Roy McBride (Pitt), who is searching for his missing father. In his quest he uncovers secrets that could destroy the universe.

Speaking about parental relationships, Pitt, 55, said: “My individual experience is somewhat universal, in the fact that you know our parents, our universe, our gods, our first imprint on on how to behave, react, feel in the world.

“And with that, to different degrees, some of us more than others, carry pain and confusion from that. I think it almost takes a lifetime to understand what was yours, and what was theirs,” he told Amanpour.

Brad Pitt stars as tortured astronaut Roy McBride in "Ad Astra."

“My dad always said he wanted to give me a better life than he had coming from extreme poverty, and he did it. And it makes me think, as a dad, what do I have to offer that’s better than I had, to my kids?” he added.

The film explores themes of father-son relationships, masculinity and vulnerability and loneliness — a topic Pitt was eager to address in his work.

“We’ve all experienced loss, we’ve all experienced great loneliness at times. And we’re good at packing that away and not dealing with it. Some of us are really good at it, at getting through it and coming out the other side as a more well rounded, I think more confident, more loving human being,” he said.

Brad Pitt had the most chill response to the envelope mixup with 'Moonlight's' Oscar win
Pitt has been candid about his divorce and his struggles with sobriety. In September 2016, his wife, Angelina Jolie, filed for divorce after two years of marriage and more than 10 years as a couple, and in 2017, the actor spoke to GQ about quitting drinking, admitting he was “boozing too much.”

Speaking about his divorce and relationship with alcohol, Pitt told Amanpour: “What I realized is that I was running to avoid tough feelings, painful feelings.”

“I just didn’t know how to deal with them. Anything I found that I used for escape,” Pitt said. “Those kinds of em… those kinds of difficult feelings, I don’t know how better to describe it. It can be anything, drugs, booze, Netflix, snacks. Anything. I don’t want at this point to be running from anything,” he said.

“I want to sit in it, I want to feel it, I want to get through the rough night. I found in doing so, you come out the other side with a more profound understanding, of yourself and a greater gratefulness of those in your life. And the birds and the trees and everything else.”

James Gray on 'Ad Astra,' little green men and firing Brad Pitt into space
The actor also spoke about an encounter with Harvey Weinstein. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whom Pitt dated in the 1990s, was among the main sources for The New York Times reporting that broke open the scandal surrounding the accused movie producer, who has since pleaded not guilty to multiple sexual assault charges.

The actress told the publication that before they began filming “Emma,” Weinstein asked her to come to a meeting with him at his suite at a Beverly Hills hotel. The NYT reported that Paltrow said the meeting “ended with Mr. Weinstein placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages.”

Paltrow went on to say that she refused Weinstein’s alleged advances, immediately left, and told her then-boyfriend Pitt what had happened.

Pitt, she said, confronted the producer.

Asked by Amanpour about challenging a man whom few people were willing to cross, Pitt said: “At that moment, I was just a boy from the Ozarks on the playground.. and that’s.. and that’s how we confronted with things.”

“I just wanted to make sure nothing was going to happen further, because she (Paltrow) was going to do two films. I think the interesting thing is that we, Hollywood specifically, but the workplace, men and women’s dynamics is being recalibrated, recalibrated in a very good way that is long overdue. And I do think that’s an important story to tell.”

CNN’s Lisa Respers France, Sandra Gonzalez and Chloe Melas contributed to this article.



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Want to travel back in time? Use episodic memory – Harvard Health Blog

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You can picture the long-ago scene perfectly: The waiter opens your bottle of champagne with the familiar — yet always startling — pop. The bubbles tickle your nose as you sniff the effervescent liquid. You raise your glass as you look into the eyes of your spouse. You see pupils dilate as those eyes look at you in return. “Happy anniversary,” you say, “to the love of my life.” This is episodic memory in action.

Episodic memory allows you to mentally time-travel back to an episode of your life and relive it in vivid detail. You also use episodic memory to remember the name of someone you recently met at a party. It enables you to remember to take a detour because there is construction along your usual route. In fact, most of the time when you speak about “memory,” you are referring to episodic memory, which involves several parts of the brain.

The hippocampus is crucial for episodic memory

If you drew a line between your ears you would pass through the most critical structure for episodic memory. The hippocampus looks somewhat like a seahorse with a head, body, and tail. It is always turned on, recording thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and sensations that arise from other regions of the brain. One part of the hippocampus binds these disparate aspects of experience into a coherent whole. Another part tags it with an index that will allow the memory to be retrieved minutes, hours, days, or years later.

Learning and retrieving information: the frontal lobes

What you pay attention to determines what you will remember. If you are watching your favorite television show and your spouse walks in and gives you a verbal to-do list, you will have difficulty remembering the list if your attention was focused on the television. You can, however, use your frontal lobes to focus your attention. Located behind your forehead, the frontal lobes also enable us to voluntarily retrieve memories. In fact, when you are searching for a specific memory, it is your frontal lobes that are doing the searching.

Trying to remember whether you learned that medical information from a Harvard Health Blog post or a supermarket tabloid? The frontal lobes also help you remember the source and context of information that you learn.

Providing context: the parietal lobes

Have you had the “aha!” experience where you suddenly recall the information you’re looking for — such as the name of a friend who is walking toward you? The conscious recollection of episodic memory comes from the parietal lobes, located in the top, back part of the brain.

Episodic memory: left brain versus right brain

You have two hippocampi, frontal lobes, and parietal lobes, one on each side. The left-brain system is specialized for words and language. The right-brain system is particularly good at remembering non-linguistic information including images, body language, and tone of voice. So, when you recall a conversation with your friend, your left hippocampus remembers the words that were spoken, and your right hippocampus remembers how they were spoken, your friend’s face, and the emotion conveyed.

Aspects of episodic memory decline in normal aging

One reason it is useful to know about the different parts of the episodic memory system is that frontal lobe functions — such as learning, searching, and ability to recall source — tend to decline in normal aging. For this reason, it’s normal for people to notice three changes in episodic memory as they age:

  • Because learning diminishes, information may need to be repeated a couple of times in order to get it into the hippocampus so it can be remembered.
  • Because the search process slows, it may take more time or a hint or a cue to retrieve a memory.
  • Because the ability to judge source declines, it may be more common to experience trouble recalling where we learned information.

In normal aging, however, once information is learned, a person should be able to retrieve it — even if it takes a bit of time, or a hint or cue. By contrast, if a person cannot retrieve learned information, this suggests some problem in addition to normal aging is present. In future blogs I will discuss what happens to episodic memory in disorders of aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease.



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Indonesia arrests around 200 as thick smog from forest fires reaches hazardous levels

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The country’s National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said Monday that 185 people had been arrested across six provinces hit by fires and four corporations were under investigation. He added that “99% of the forest and land fires occurred due to human factors.”

Fires and ensuing smog are a persistent problem during the summer months caused by slash and burn techniques to clear the land — the same practice that led to fires in the Brazilian Amazon earlier this year.

As of this year, more than 328,000 hectares (about 800,000 acres) of land have been burned, hundreds of residents evacuated, and more than 9,000 personnel have been deployed to battle the flames, according to Indonesia’s National Board for Disaster Management.

The fires have impacted the lives of people across the region. Singapore and Malaysia have both choked in a dense haze all week as a result of the fires, with air quality reaching unhealthy levels.

More than 600 schools have closed in Malaysia because of the air pollution, affecting hundreds of thousands of students, according to the Singapore-based Straits Times. Schools in parts of Indonesia’s smog-hit Sumatra and Borneo islands have also shut, with air quality considered “hazardous” to health in several areas.
Authorities are now scrambling for a solution to the crisis. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Tuesday that 52 planes were conducting water bombing operations against the forest fires and 5,500 additional personnel were deployed in haze-hit Riau province on Sumatra.
After leading a prayer meeting in Riau province’s Pelalawan, the Indonesian leader stressed that the best way to stop the haze is “prevention before the incident” and vowed to crack down on “arsonists” behind the fires.
Both Malaysia and Indonesia are inducing artificial rain through cloud seeding methods in a bid to aid relief efforts.
A forest fire in Sumatra, Indonesia, on September 9, 2019.

Hazardous levels of pollution

During Jokowi’s visit to Pelalawan, air pollution exceeded 300 micrograms per cubic meter — levels considered hazardous on the Air Quality Index (AQI), according to the country’s Antara news agency.

In nearby Jambi province, air quality had deteriorated to 407 micrograms per cubic meter, while Sampit on Borneo Island reached 427 Wednesday.

A reading of 150 is considered “unhealthy,” while below 50 is “good.”

AQI measures a variety of pollutants to gauge air quality, which is typically defined by the concentration of fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, per cubic meter.

The microscopic particles are considered particularly harmful because they are small enough to lodge deep into the lungs and can pass into other organs or the bloodstream, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Indonesian haze: Why it's everyone's problem
The unusually high AQI levels in the region have been linked to smoke from the Indonesian fires, according to the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC). The ASMC website described “persistent hotspots with extensive moderate to dense smoke haze” in Indonesia’s Sumatra and Kalimantan regions, which have been detected for several weeks now by satellite data.
Several states in Malaysia also recorded unhealthy levels of air quality in the past 24 hours, with Sri Amin in Sarawak on Borneo Island reaching a “hazardous” peak of 397.

Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) issued a health advisory last Tuesday, also pointing to the Indonesian fires as the cause of the pollution and warning residents to stay indoors. According to the NEA, there were 1,286 hotspots detected in Sumatra and Kalimantan on Tuesday.

Deteriorating air quality is also threatening to impact the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, a marquee annual event for the city state and a major tourist attraction.
Motorcyclists wear protective masks in Palangkaraya city in Central Kalimantan.

The problem

For around two decades, large paper and palm oil plantations have farmed the rich peatlands that run along the Sumatran coast of Indonesia and the island of Borneo.

Every year, existing farmland is dried out and burned for the next season’s crop and to clear surrounding forests for expansion. The fires are large and hard to control. The dry, carbon dioxide-rich peatlands can burn for many weeks.

At times, the AQI in Indonesia has reached as high as 1,000, with visibility falling below 100 meters (328 feet).

Authorities in Indonesia have long tried to put a stop to the illegal practice, and those found guilty can be fined up to 10 billion rupiah ($700,000), while managers of firms doing the burning can face up to 10 years in jail. Despite this however, the fires have continued.

Last month, Jokowi said he felt felt “embarrassed” by the fires, acknowledging the smoke’s effects on Singapore and Malaysia, according to local media Bernama.

CNN’s Jessie Yeung, Michael Guy and Tom Sater contributed.





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U.S. bankers seize on repo-market stress to push for softer liquidity rules

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Big U.S. banks are using the recent chaos in short-term funding markets as an opportunity to pressure the Federal Reserve to ease liquidity requirements they have long despised.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) 2019 legislative conference in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

On Wednesday, a major industry lobbying group and the chief executive of the largest U.S. bank criticized Fed-imposed standards of how much idle cash banks must keep on hand, blaming a liquidity rule that is hated on Wall Street for causing market jolts in recent days.

“Banks have a tremendous amount of liquidity, but they also have a lot of restraints on how they could use that liquidity and how much they have to maintain at the Fed,” JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) CEO Jamie Dimon said at an event in Washington hosted by the Business Roundtable, a corporate trade association he chairs.

Another group, the Bank Policy Institute, published an essay here by its chief economist, Bill Nelson, who said policymakers should rethink liquidity requirements imposed since the 2007-2009 global financial crisis.

“The volatility this week should cause everyone to worry about how the financial system will behave the next time a financial shock places strains on market liquidity,” Nelson wrote.

Their comments came after the Fed injected more than $125 billion into the overnight repurchase agreement market over two days. Banks rely on those contracts to fund short-term obligations, but had trouble finding the money they needed on Tuesday. That sent rates spiking to 10% from a little over 2%.

Market participants said a confluence of events caused the cash crunch. Corporations withdrew funds from money-market accounts to cover their tax bills. On the same day, banks and investors used idle dollars to absorb $78 billion in U.S. Treasury notes.

Another factor was the Fed’s effort to shrink its balance sheet. Bank reserves parked there overnight – which can be made available to other banks if needed – are at their lowest level since 2011.

But bankers also pointed to the liquidity coverage ratio, or LCR, as an exacerbator of repo-market stress.

The rule requires U.S. lenders with more than $250 billion in assets to hold a large pool of high-quality, easily tradeable assets that can cover cash outflows during times of extreme stress.

Ironically, said Nelson, that meant lenders could not use those idle funds to back overnight trades during this week’s stress.

“Rather than having the Fed lend to banks in stress once every generation or so at some (very minimal) risk to taxpayers, current solutions tend towards the Fed acting as a regular market participant at direct risk to taxpayers,” he wrote. The Bank Policy Institute had warned in recent weeks that money markets looked poised to encounter volatility, due in part to the liquidity rule. Its members include JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), the four largest U.S. banks.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell disputed the idea that the LCR needed to change.

“It’s not impossible that we could come to a view that the LCR is calibrated too high, but that’s not something we think right now,” he said.

The Fed is in the process of reviewing its capital and liquidity rules after Congress passed a bank deregulation bill in 2018. The central bank’s vice chairman, Randal Quarles, is leading the effort.

Under a “tailoring” proposal it drew up, banks with less than $700 billion in assets could see their liquidity requirements drop by as much as 30%. But standards for globally systemic banks like JPMorgan are not expected to change meaningfully.

Bankers have complained often and loudly about the LCR’s impact on profits since its implementation in 2015. They have also met frequently with Quarles to push their views on liquidity and capital requirements since President Donald Trump appointed him.

His most recently available calendars show meetings and calls with executives or board members from JPMorgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N), Bank of New York Mellon Corp (BK.N), State Street Corp (STT.N), as well as representatives of the Bank Policy Institute, the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Forum and the Institute of International Finance.

At the event on Wednesday, Dimon said the Fed did the “right thing” when it intervened in the repo market. But he emphasized that structural issues need to be fixed.

“It’s not a big deal given that it happened in good times,” he said. “If we don’t fix the underlying problem, it will hurt the economy in bad times.”

Reporting by Katanga Johnson in Washington; Additional reporting by David Henry in New York and Pete Schroeder in Washington; Writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Michelle Price, Franklin Paul and Lisa Shumaker



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Report: DEA joins investigation into Skaggs’ death

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FILE PHOTO: Jul 12, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs (45) rounds the bases after a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Drug Enforcement Administration is working to find the source of the drugs that Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs took before he died, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported on Wednesday.

Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his Southlake, Texas, hotel room on July 1 when the Angels were in town to play the Texas Rangers. His autopsy revealed he had oxycodone, fentanyl and ethanol in his system.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid, and the DEA typically joins investigations when fentanyl is involved to try to find the source, ESPN reported.

MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem declined to comment on the report, but Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey told ESPN, “We continue to cooperate with law enforcement on this important matter.”

When the medical examiner’s office released the autopsy report on Aug. 30, Skaggs’ family issued a statement that potentially implicated a team employee in his death. No team employee, however, has been tied publicly to the case.

—Field Level Media



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Diamondbacks bounce back with 5-4 win over Marlins

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A bullpen blowup put the Arizona Diamondbacks in a tough spot Tuesday night.

A next-day bounce back keeps their slim NL wild-card hopes alive.

Mike Leake worked effectively through traffic into the seventh inning, Domingo Leyba had two RBIs and the Diamondbacks rebounded from an ugly loss to beat the Miami Marlins 5-4 on Wednesday.

“After a really tough night last night where you’re kind of ground down, the guys came out today, quick turnaround, and executed the game plan and won a baseball game,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.

Arizona had dropped to 5 ½ games back in the NL wild-card race after a bullpen blowup led to a 12-6 loss to Miami Tuesday night.

The Diamondbacks responded by jumping on Sandy Alcantara (5-14) early to keep their slim playoff chances alive with nine games to go.

Abraham Almonte hit his first career leadoff home run and Christian Walker added a solo shot for Arizona.

Leake (12-11) gave up solo homers to Austin Dean and Starlin Castro, but limited the rest of the damage in 6 2/3 innings. Archie Bradley retired the final four batters for his 15th save.

“Pretty good game in general. Back and forth,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We didn’t get enough big hits to get over the hump today.”

The Marlins (53-99) are one defeat from the third 100-loss season in team history, the first since 2012.

Leake allowed four earned runs in 26 innings over previous four starts, but the Marlins hit him hard early.

Marlin hit his 20th homer in the second inning and Harold Ramirez followed with a run-scoring single. Dean hit a solo homer in the fourth.

Leake gave up three runs on eight hits and struck out four.

“The home runs are kind of chance pitches that are not quite getting where they’re supposed to,” Leake said.

Alcantara allowed one run over seven innings his last start, against San Francisco. He wasn’t nearly as effective against the Diamondbacks, who scored four runs off the right-hander in the first three innings.

Alcantara left a 1-2 pitch up and over the plate in the first inning to Almonte, who sent it into the pool deck in right-center.

Leyba hit run-scoring triple and scored on Jerrod Dyson’s single in the second inning, then drove in another run in the fourth on a groundout. Walker’s 26th homer put Arizona up 5-3 in the sixth.

Alcantara allowed five runs — four earned — on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

“I want to go as deep as I can. Sometimes that doesn’t happen,” Alacantara said. “Don’t want to have a bad day, but today was not a bad day. I want to finish strong. I have two starts left. Working hard to get better every time.”

INTERFERENCE QUESTION

Arizona catcher Alex Avila was called for catcher’s interference on a swing by Ramirez in the eighth inning, prompting a visit to the umpire by Lovullo.

The reason? Avila thought the ball was already in his glove when Ramirez made contact. Under baseball rules, catcher’s interference can’t be called if the catcher already has the ball in his glove.

Lovullo talked over the bang-bang play with plate umpire Brian Knight and the umpires gathered, but ultimately decided Ramirez struck Avila’s glove just before he caught it.

“I just wanted them to get together because Al felt strongly it was in his glove,” Lovullo said. “The umpires thought it was approaching. I haven’t seen the play, but was told the umpires got it right.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: C Jorge Alfaro was back in the lineup after being hit on his non-throwing hand by a bat and leaving Tuesday’s game in the second inning.

Diamondbacks: CF Ketel Marte was out of the lineup and had a precautionary MRI after leaving Tuesday’s game in the fifth inning with back stiffness. He is expected to get a CT scan next and his status for the upcoming series at San Diego is still up in the air. … SS Nick Ahmed was out for the second straight due to an injured finger on his throwing hand suffered in Monday’s game.

UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Robert Duggar has allowed two runs or less in five straight starts heading into Friday’s game at home against Washington.

Diamondbacks: RHP Merrill Kelly is 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts heading into Friday’s game at San Diego.

———

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports





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Three killed in speed boat record attempt in Italy

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The accident, in which the boat crashed into an artificial dam, happened near the finish line at the Lido di Venezia on Tuesday night.

Fabio Buzzi, a 76-year-old Italian businessman and power boat world champion, was among the dead. He was leading the team’s attempt to set a record time in the adrenaline-fueled trip from Monaco to Venice.

Italian Luca Nicolini and Dutch pilot Eric Hoorn also died in the crash, according to Rai, Italy’s national broadcaster. A fourth man, Italian Mario Invernizzi, survived with injuries.

Buzzi was attempting to break his Monte Carlo to Lido di Venezia record. On Tuesday, he and his crew left Monte Carlo at 3 a.m. local time and were expected to arrive in the Lido at 9 p.m. Buzzi had traveled the same route in the past but had always arrived in daylight hours.

The vessel was nearly at the finishing line when it hit the Punta Sabbioni spit, built to protect the city’s “Mose” flood barrier, the AFP news agency reported.

The Mose system was designed to protect the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Venice, which is slowly sinking.

Venice will stop letting huge cruise ships dock in its historic center

Emergency workers, including the fire brigade and coastguard, were at the scene for the rescue operation.

A spokesman for the Italian Fire Brigade said the three bodies were found in the cabin underwater. Their exact cause of death is unclear.

According to the spokesman, Invernizzi survived because he was “thrust out of the boat by the impact.”

“We are heartbroken. Accidents like this have a very strong impact on all of us,” said Gianni Darai, spokesman of Venice Assonautica, the nautical association that organized the event.

Cruise ship rams tourist boat in busy Venice canal, four hurt

The vessel measured 39 feet long and had a Fiat engine. It was probably traveling at 79 knots per hour — just short of its 80 knots per hour maximum — Darai told CNN.

The distance between Monte Carlo and Lido di Venezia by water is about 1,380 miles, la Repubblica newspaper reports.

Buzzi was attempting to break his 2016 record of 22 hours and five minutes. According to Darai, the team had succeeded in its efforts, making the journey in less than 19 hours.

Darai described speed boat racing as a “dangerous sport” and told CNN that others have died in this way around the world.

The cause of the crash remains unclear.



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Georgia Toxic Air Test Results Disputed

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Richard Peltier, PhD, assistant professor, environmental health sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Dyron Hamlin, chemical engineer, GHD.

“Summary of Air Sampling,” city of Smyrna, GA, Sept. 16, 2019.

“Summary of Air Sampling,” city of Willowbrook, IL, February 2019.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: “Ethylene Oxide, Carcinogenic Dose-Response Assessment,” June 28, 2019.

Lucy Fraiser, PhD, principal/owner, Lucy Fraiser Toxicology, Fayetteville, AR.

Jason McCarthy, lives in Covington, GA.

Troy Kirkpatrick, spokesman, BD, Covington, GA.

Jennifer Bennett, spokeswoman, city of Smyrna, GA.

Roy Acree, fire chief, Smyrna, GA.

Janet Rau, president, Stop Sterigenics — Georgia, Atlanta.

Tony Adams, lives near Sterigenics, Atlanta.





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