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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 121)

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts defends sending Clayton Kershaw back out: ‘It’s not about analytics’

Every managerial decision in the postseason is placed under a microscope. Throw in the lens of analytics, and the second-guessing from the public becomes rampant, especially when those decisions prove unwise. 

So had it not been for the Washington Nationals’ comeback that secured the franchise’s second NLCS berth following their thrilling Game 5 winner-take-all victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dave Martinez would likely be feeling the heat. The Nats manager let Stephen Strasburg hit for himself down two with two men on and no one out in the fifth inning (he tried to sacrifice bunt but wound up striking out). 

The script flipped in the eighth inning when Martinez’s counterpart, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts, sent Clayton Kershaw back out for the eighth inning. 

Kershaw, arguably the most accomplished pitcher of his generation — minus a mediocre postseason legacy that took another hit Wednesday — fanned Adam Eaton on three pitches to end the seventh. He threw three pitches in the eighth, too. But Anthony Rendon roped the second one over the left-field wall, and 20-year-old Juan Soto hammered the third one 449 feet into the bleachers. 

A two-run lead evaporated in a moment, and Roberts relieved Kershaw with Kenta Maeda. After the game, Roberts defended his decision. 

“I felt good about Clayton right there,” Roberts said. “Eaton, and when you got Rendon and Soto, so I felt that I liked Clayton. He threw, I don’t know what it was, a couple pitches, and we had Clayton ready for whatever today.

“It’s not about analytics, it’s about — he’s one of the best pitchers in the game … I felt really good about that,” Roberts said. “It’s more of, I don’t think it’s an analytic question. It’s a guy I believe in and trust. It didn’t work out.” 

Westlake Legal Group  Dodgers manager Dave Roberts defends sending Clayton Kershaw back out: 'It's not about analytics'

Roberts said he wanted to avoid using Maeda against Soto, hence his uneasiness to have the right-hander start the inning.

“The success that Clayton’s had against Soto, with the two-run lead, I’ll take Clayton any day in that situation,” Roberts said. “I just think it’s one of those where it was easy for me to get Clayton, with the low pitches to get Rendon and to go out there and get Soto. And to have Kenta behind him. That was my thought, and not have Kenta go through Soto.”

But Soto did not come to bat with the Dodgers holding a two-run lead; Rendon cut the margin to 3-2. Left-handed specialist Adam Kolarek, who had retired Soto all three times he faced him in the series with two strikeouts, wasn’t even warming up.  

Maeda then whiffed the three hitters he faced to get out of the eighth and Joe Kelly needed 10 pitches to navigate the ninth. When the game entered extra innings, Roberts stuck with Kelly, rendering closer Kenley Jansen useless in the bullpen until it was too late. 

“My eyes tell me that he should go back out there because he’s throwing the ball really well,” Roberts explained.  

Kelly loaded the bases and served up the back-breaking grand slam to Howie Kendrick. The fourth season of Roberts’ tenure ended in the same way as the previous three: a playoff disappointment.  

“If the blame falls on me,” Roberts said, “I’ve got no problem with it.”

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Elton John’s autobiography ‘Me’ discusses friendship with Princess Diana, cocaine use and being a dad

From tripping naked on drug-fuelled binges to rowing with Princess Diana and sharing a joke with the Queen, Sir Elton John does not hold back in his new autobiography, “Me.”

Coming hot on the heels of his musical biopic “Rocketman,” the brutally honest memoir delves into every nook and cranny of the 72-year-old star’s extraordinary life.

From the sordid to the embarrassing, the funny to the heart-rending, it is a candid look at a man whose career has spanned 50 years.

Kate Jackson picks out some of the best bits.

On cocaine, booze and getting clean

For 16 years, cocaine gave Elton the false confidence he needed to blend into an “elite little clique” he had never felt part of as “nerdy” Reginald Dwight, from Pinner, Middx.

But along with his heavy drinking, it also fuelled some extreme and violent behavior, including the time he stripped naked and punched then-manager John Reid on the set of the video for “I’m Still Standing.”

Westlake Legal Group Elton-John-Getty Elton John's autobiography 'Me' discusses friendship with Princess Diana, cocaine use and being a dad The Sun Kate Jackson fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 85a3e09e-a388-59cc-8e34-d1cca4c7febd

The first trailer for the Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’ debuted. (Getty Images)

It was while high on cocaine that the rocker hijacked a Rolling Stones gig after joining them on stage and mistook Bob Dylan for a gardener and offered him an outfit so he could change out of his scruffy clothes.

He writes: “My appetite for the stuff was unbelievable – enough to attract comment in the circles I was moving in.

ELTON JOHN SAYS HIS ‘RAVING SOCIOPATH’ MOTHER ATTEMPTED TO SABOTAGE HIS CIVIL PARTNERSHIP TO DAVID FURNISH

“Given that I was a rock star spending a lot of time in Seventies Los Angeles, this was a not-inconsiderable feat.”

In 1990, then-boyfriend Hugh Williams entered rehab, plunging Elton into a fortnight-long cocaine and whiskey binge. He tells how he isolated himself, did not wash, barely ate and, when he did, would vomit afterward.

It was at this point that he realized he would either have a heart attack or an overdose if he carried on.

He writes: “I had no idea how to live, but I didn’t want to die.”

So on July 29, 1990, he checked into rehab in Chicago at the age of 43. It was said to be the first time in his pampered life he had learned how to operate a washing machine.

Elton has now been clean for 29 years.

On his famous friends

Over a 50-year career, Elton has rubbed shoulders with pretty much every celebrity going.

He once gave John Lennon a rather rude cuckoo clock – where the bird had a wooden penis that popped in and out.

He writes how actress Liz Taylor would charm him into giving her his expensive jewelry.

And he was once gobsmacked when the Queen gave him a conspiratorial wink before jokingly slapping her nephew Viscount Linley around the face.

Rod Stewart, who adopted the alter ego of “Phyllis” to Elton’s “Beryl” in their friendship, sent him a domed hair dryer, like the sort used by pensioners in salons, when news of Elton’s hair loss hit the headlines.

Their banter and friendly rivalry led to Elton arranging for a blimp advertising one of Rod’s gigs to be shot down – and he suspects it was Rod who later stole one of his own promotional banners.

Westlake Legal Group 624e9f9e-elton Elton John's autobiography 'Me' discusses friendship with Princess Diana, cocaine use and being a dad The Sun Kate Jackson fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 85a3e09e-a388-59cc-8e34-d1cca4c7febd

Elton John said his farewell tour was the end of touring for him. (Reuters)

But one star he does not have much affection for is Tina Turner, after she criticized his clothes, hair and even the color of his piano ahead of a planned joint tour in 1997.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was a heated argument over her song “Proud Mary” when Elton told her to “stick her f—ing song up her ar-e”.

Not surprisingly, the tour was cancelled, although the pair did later make up.

On being a dad

Elton and husband David are parents to Zachary, 8, and Elijah, 6, who were both conceived using the same donor eggs and surrogate.

But fatherhood was not something Elton had yearned for, especially considering his own troubled childhood.

ELTON JOHN HIJACKED ROLLING STONES CONCERT HIGH ON COCAINE; KEITH RICHARDS WAS NOT HAPPY

In the book, he writes: “If you’d tried telling the Elton John of the Seventies or Eighties that he could find more fulfillment on a deep and profound level in changing a nappy than in writing a song or playing a gig, you’d probably have had to exit the room at high speed immediately afterwards, with crockery flying past your ears.”

So it was a surprise when he found parenting such a pleasure.

He writes: “I even found the toddler tantrums weirdly charming.

“You think you’re being difficult, my little sausage? Have I ever told you about the time I drank eight vodka martinis, took all my clothes off in front of a film crew and then broke my manager’s nose?”

And it is the simple pleasures, such as going to see a family movie or taking them to watch his beloved Watford FC, he enjoys the most.

So much so he is winding down from music to spend more time being a dad. It was when David presented him with their sons’ school schedule, charting their lives, that he realized he could not be an international rock star as well as the kind of dad he wanted to be.

Having taken pride in still performing 120 gigs a year, he planned for retiring from the stage.

He is currently in the middle of a 300-date Farewell “Yellow Brick Road” tour, ending in 2021.

He said earlier this year: “By the time I finish I’ll be at least 75. That will be a chance to reassess what I want to do. I just owe it to those children to be there for them.”

He also writes in the book about the time he was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and needed surgery to remove his prostate.

When a subsequent infection left him 24 hours away from death, he prayed to live to see his kids again. It was as he was recovering that he realized he had to stop touring.

Westlake Legal Group Elton-John-Getty Elton John's autobiography 'Me' discusses friendship with Princess Diana, cocaine use and being a dad The Sun Kate Jackson fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 85a3e09e-a388-59cc-8e34-d1cca4c7febd

Elton John discusses fatherhood in his autobiography “Me.” (ich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

He writes: “Music was the most wonderful thing, but it still didn’t sound as good as Zachary chattering about what had happened at Cubs or football practice.”

On his friend Princess Diana

Elton first became friends with Princess Diana in 1981 at an awkward 21st birthday party for Prince Andrew, and he recalls how he found her company and thirst for gossip irresistible.

He tells a fascinating story about a party years later, after she had separated from Prince Charles, during which Hollywood A-listers Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere competed for her attention.

ELTON JOHN WRITES QUEEN ELIZABETH SLAPPED HER NEPHEW ACROSS THE FACE IN FRONT OF HIM IN NEW BOOK

Elton’s husband David found the actors “squaring up to each other” and preparing to trade blows.

Action-man Sly then stormed off, saying: “I never would have come if I’d known Prince f—in’ Charming was gonna be here.”

Westlake Legal Group elton-and-diana Elton John's autobiography 'Me' discusses friendship with Princess Diana, cocaine use and being a dad The Sun Kate Jackson fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 85a3e09e-a388-59cc-8e34-d1cca4c7febd

Elton John discusses his friendship with Princess Diana and her sons Prince William and Harry’s happiness after falling in love. (AP)

Addressing his fall-out with Diana, Elton reveals it was over a photography book featuring nearly naked men, by fashion designer Gianni Versace – the proceeds of which were going to Elton’s Aids Foundation.

Diana had agreed to write the foreword but he says she pulled out at the last minute.

The pair made up in July 1997 after Versace was shot and killed. It was just seven weeks before Diana herself lost her life.

Elton famously played a special tribute of “Candle In The Wind” at her funeral but admits he has only listened to that version once since.

He also says he felt uncomfortable that the single, which is the biggest-selling UK song of all time, stayed at No. 1 for five weeks as it meant footage of Diana’s funeral was repeated on “Top Of The Pops.”

On love

The singer’s huge hits, such as “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Song,” might be about love but Elton’s experience with it has been as turbulent as the rest of his life.

He admits he would chase straight men as well as fall “hopelessly in love” with someone he spotted in a gay bar, convinced he was The One.

Westlake Legal Group eltonjohn Elton John's autobiography 'Me' discusses friendship with Princess Diana, cocaine use and being a dad The Sun Kate Jackson fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 85a3e09e-a388-59cc-8e34-d1cca4c7febd

After an adoption effort fell through, Elton John and David Furnish turned to a gestational carrier in 2010 to give birth to their son Zachary. (Reuters)

He lavished his love interests, including ex Hugh Williams, with expensive gifts, before tiring of them after a few months – and getting someone else to ditch them.

He writes: “It was absolutely dreadful behavior. I’d have one leaving at the airport at the same time as the new one was flying in.”

He even attributes the time he overdosed on Valium pills as probably due to “some catastrophic love affair gone wrong”.

In 1993, he met film-maker David Furnish. The pair entered a civil partnership on December 21, 2005 – the day the UK’s Civil Partnership Act came into effect. That partnership has now been converted into a marriage.

On his mother Sheila

When he was 13, Elton’s parents split up. Many of their arguments had been about his upbringing, so Elton blamed himself for their toxic relationship.

His own relationship with his mum Sheila was also turbulent. He describes how she often delivered hidings and even toilet-trained him by beating him with a wire brush.

Yet he says she could also be fun and was supportive of his career and of him when he came out as gay.

But when he married David, things took a turn for the worse.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-106737984 Elton John's autobiography 'Me' discusses friendship with Princess Diana, cocaine use and being a dad The Sun Kate Jackson fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 85a3e09e-a388-59cc-8e34-d1cca4c7febd

Sir Elton John and his mother Sheila Farebrother during The Fifth Annual White Tie & Tiara Ball to Benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation in Association with Chopard – Dinner at Elton John Residence in Windsor, England, United Kingdom. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage/Getty)

He recalls how she turned up to their civil partnership at the Guildhall in Windsor, Berks, “in character as a raving sociopath.”

She proceeded to moan, snap, storm off and complain about everything to everyone she met.

“X-Factor” judge Sharon Osbourne, a guest at the bash, told Elton: “I want to kill her.”

He also describes having to tiptoe around Sheila, never knowing what would enrage her next.

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Towards the end of her life, they had a bitter falling-out, which lasted seven years.

According to an interview with Sheila in 2015, it was sparked when she said to him: “You think more of that f—ing thing you married than your own mother.”

Sheila then auctioned off many of the gifts he had given her – and even hired “The Ultimate Elton Tribute Band” for her 90th birthday.

The pair reconciled ahead of her death, aged 92, in 2017.

This article originally appeared in The Sun.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5718811040001_5718803862001-vs Elton John's autobiography 'Me' discusses friendship with Princess Diana, cocaine use and being a dad The Sun Kate Jackson fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 85a3e09e-a388-59cc-8e34-d1cca4c7febd   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5718811040001_5718803862001-vs Elton John's autobiography 'Me' discusses friendship with Princess Diana, cocaine use and being a dad The Sun Kate Jackson fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 85a3e09e-a388-59cc-8e34-d1cca4c7febd

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Turkey’s military assault in Syria leaves more than 100 Kurdish fighters dead, report says

Westlake Legal Group Syria101019 Turkey’s military assault in Syria leaves more than 100 Kurdish fighters dead, report says Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc article 1782dec3-49df-56eb-ab17-9141ef3ff3c3

Turkey’s ongoing military assault in Syria has left more than 100 Kurdish forces dead, a report said Thursday morning, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s troops launched airstrikes and unleashed artillery shelling on Syrian towns and villages the length of its border.

Information about the rising death toll came as Turkey’s state-run news agency said Turkey-allied Syrian opposition fighters have “cleared of terror” two villages across the border in Syria — meaning there are no more Syrian Kurdish fighters in those villages.

The Middle East Eye, quoting Erdoğan, reported that 109 Kurdish fighters have been killed so far in Operation Peace Spring.

Meanwhile, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkish commandos entered the village of Beir Asheq, near the town of Tal Abyad on Thursday morning.

Turkish forces began a ground offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Wednesday under the cover of airstrikes and artillery shelling.

Turkey’s invasion of northeastern Syria started after U.S. troops pulled back from the area, paving the way for the assault on Syrian Kurdish forces, who have long been allied with the U.S.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said Turkish jets and artillery struck 181 targets east of the Euphrates River since the incursion started.

Turkey says it intends to create a “safe zone” that would push Kurdish militia away from its border and eventually allow the repatriation of up to 2 million Syrian refugees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093570006001_6093570393001-vs Turkey’s military assault in Syria leaves more than 100 Kurdish fighters dead, report says Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc article 1782dec3-49df-56eb-ab17-9141ef3ff3c3   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093570006001_6093570393001-vs Turkey’s military assault in Syria leaves more than 100 Kurdish fighters dead, report says Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc article 1782dec3-49df-56eb-ab17-9141ef3ff3c3

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NBA in China: Lakers, Nets Shanghai preseason game to have no media availability

The Chinese government reportedly canceled all media availabilities Thursday surrounding an NBA preseason game in Shanghai between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, an exhibition game that’s morphed into a flashpoint after Beijing began retaliating in response to a general manager’s tweet expressing support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

In addition to eliminating the gameday press sessions, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, China had already canceled news conferences Wednesday, nixed a pair of NBA Cares public relations events, removed signage featuring stars LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis from several buildings and banned the game from even being broadcast in China. There will still be a global feed, however, and the game can be viewed outside of the Communist country.

DENNIS RODMAN SUGGESTS HE CAN SOLVE ISSUES BETWEEN NBA AND CHINA: ‘I KNOW A THING OR TWO ABOUT DIPLOMACY’

Nearly all of the NBA’s partners in China – 11 of 13 businesses – have cut ties with the league, according to CNBC.

Westlake Legal Group NBA-China-billboard NBA in China: Lakers, Nets Shanghai preseason game to have no media availability Ryan Gaydos fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba/brooklyn-nets fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc ed05f4fe-b14b-567e-a334-b54971f26797 article

A worker takes down a billboard advertising an NBA preseason basketball game on Thursday between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (AP Photo)

The entire fracas stems from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeting “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong” from his personal account during the weekend. Morey has since expanded on the tweet but the damage control effort achieved little.

TRUMP MOCKS NBA COACH STEVE KERR FOR CHINA STANCE, CALLS HIM ‘LITTLE BOY’

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, meanwhile, has tried to walk a perilous line between supporting free speech and dealing with business partners overseen by a totalitarian government.

Silver said in a statement Tuesday that the league “will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues.”

“It is inevitable that people around the world – including from America and China – will have different viewpoints over different issues. It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences,” Silver said. “This is about far more than growing our business…Values of equality, respect and freedom of expression have long defined the NBA — and will continue to do so. As an American-based basketball league operating globally, among our greatest contributions are these values of the game.”

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The threat of cancelation has constantly loomed over the games, but Thursday’s tilt, as well as a second planned exhibition on Saturday, was still going ahead amid the stringent press restrictions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group NBA-China-billboard NBA in China: Lakers, Nets Shanghai preseason game to have no media availability Ryan Gaydos fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba/brooklyn-nets fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc ed05f4fe-b14b-567e-a334-b54971f26797 article   Westlake Legal Group NBA-China-billboard NBA in China: Lakers, Nets Shanghai preseason game to have no media availability Ryan Gaydos fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba/brooklyn-nets fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc ed05f4fe-b14b-567e-a334-b54971f26797 article

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Nobel Prizes In Literature Go To Olga Tokarczuk And Peter Handke

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1174963734_custom-c59d3e6cfb3209b00f2fbf3fdac795a77a170cbf-s1100-c15 Nobel Prizes In Literature Go To Olga Tokarczuk And Peter Handke

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk (left) won the postponed 2018 Nobel Prize for literature and Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke won the 2019 award. The Swedish Academy did not hand out a prize last year due to scandal. Beata Zawrel and Barbara Gindl/APA/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Beata Zawrel and Barbara Gindl/APA/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Nobel Prizes In Literature Go To Olga Tokarczuk And Peter Handke

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk (left) won the postponed 2018 Nobel Prize for literature and Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke won the 2019 award. The Swedish Academy did not hand out a prize last year due to scandal.

Beata Zawrel and Barbara Gindl/APA/AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 8:19 a.m. ET

In an unusual move, the Swedish Academy doled out Nobel Prizes in literature to two authors on Thursday: Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, who won the postponed 2018 award, and Austrian author Peter Handke, who won the prize for this year. The academy’s permanent secretary, Mats Malm, announced the winners at a press briefing in Stockholm.

Tokarczuk, 57, was recognized “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life,” according to the judges’ citation, released Thursday.

And judges said Handke, 76, won “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”

(More on why this year had two prizes in a second.)

For Tokarczuk, who has published more than a dozen works since her debut in 1993, the prize marks the latest — and greatest — in a string of recent honors.

Last year the Polish novelist became the first writer from her country to win the International Booker Prize, for her book Flights; and the novel Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, recently published in an English translation, made the list of finalists for this year’s International Booker, as well.

“She’s a writer preoccupied with local life, but at the same time inspired by maps and speculative thought, looking at life on Earth from above. Her work centers on migration and cultural transitions,” Swedish Academy member Anders Olsson explained Thursday, adding also that it is “full of wit and cunning.”

Or, as Kamil Ahsan put it in a review of Drive Your Plow earlier this year: “Tokarczuk is fundamentally a portraitist, a writer with a keen sense for sniffing out the incongruities that make a person.”

Meanwhile, Handke, an Austrian-born writer who now lives in France, is best known for his radical experiments with form — experiments like the 1960s drama Offending the Audience, in which the actors on stage spend an hour critiquing the “performance” of the spectators. He also wrote short stories, radio dramas and fiction works, perhaps the most notable of which is The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick.

More recently, Handke aroused controversy for his opinions in support of the late Yugoslav president and strongman Slobodan Milosevic, who had been charged with crimes against humanity before his death in jail awaiting trial. Handke also took part in his funeral in 2006, later calling Milosevic “a rather tragic man. Not a hero, but a tragic human being.”

In the uproar that followed his attendance at the funeral, German politicians sought to revoke his prestigious Heinrich Heine Prize, won that year, but Handke ended up turning it down anyway — “to spare my work, which I do not want to become an endless target for the vulgar insults of party politicians.”

“He has for some decades been one of the most influential writers of contemporary fiction, part of the literary debate already in 1966,” Olsson noted at the news conference in Stockholm, adding: “With great artistry he explores the periphery and unseen places.”

Now, casual followers may be wondering why this year — for the first time in nearly half a century — two writers were honored as Nobel laureates, rather than just one. The reason has little to do with the writers themselves, and everything to do with the organization awarding them their prizes.

The Swedish Academy, the 18-seat committee which selects the Nobel laureates in literature, decided not to hand out a prize last year after a widely publicized sexual assault scandal led to mass resignations and doubts about the academy’s legitimacy.

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After more than a dozen misconduct allegations surfaced against Jean-Claude Arnault, a Stockholm impresario who was closely linked with the committee and who was eventually convicted of rape, several prominent members sought to resign in protest last year.

Arnault — the husband of then-member Katarina Frostenson — was also found to have leaked the names of winners in advance, leading to big wagers in the robust betting markets that surround the notoriously tight-lipped literary prize.

Those resignations caused significant institutional issues, given that memberships in the body are for life. The 233-year-old institution, which had no ready regulations to replace members who step down, found itself diminished in number and incapable of naming a 2018 laureate with the authority it wished.

“The Academy needs time to regain its full complement, engage a larger number of active members and regain confidence in its work, before the next Literature Prize winner is declared,” the group announced in spring of last year.

It was the first year since World War II that the literary prize was not awarded.

Only in March, after amending regulations to allow its members’ resignation and replacement, did the Swedish Academy announce that the prize was back on this year — and that it would be anointing two writers with the honor for the first time since Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson split the award in 1974. This time though, unlike 1974, the committee is actually awarding two separate prizes — for 2018 as well as 2019 — rather than dividing one equally between the writers.

This year’s winners join Kazuo Ishiguro (2017), Bob Dylan (2016), Svetlana Alexievich (2015) and Patrick Modiano (2014) as the most recent laureates to win the prize. Altogether, 114 individuals have won the Nobel in literature since its institution in 1901.

Along with their medal, the winners will each receive 9 million kronor (about $918,000) at a ceremony expected to be held on Dec. 10 in Stockholm.

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‘The Masked Singer’ Unmasks Eagle And We’re Knocked Over With A Feather (Spoiler Alert)

Westlake Legal Group 5d9efbb9210000c30734373a ‘The Masked Singer’ Unmasks Eagle And We’re Knocked Over With A Feather (Spoiler Alert)

The Fox masquerade competition grounded the fine-feathered celebrity, forcing him to reveal his identity after a showdown against Flower, Penguin and Fox.

Eagle’s clue package included the tidbit that he listened to other people’s stories and the declaration that “I don’t just hang out with rock stars, I am one.”

The Eagle did not soar on his songs, “I’d Do Anything For Love” and “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.”

And so The Eagle has landed ― off the show. 

He joins previously unmasked competitors Laila Ali (Panda), Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir (Egg) and gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins (Ice Cream) in leaving the competition.

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Nobel Prizes In Literature Go To Peter Handke And Olga Tokarczuk

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-628911384_wide-92dd1503acd3bec261f52d6706de798aac5e46e6-s1100-c15 Nobel Prizes In Literature Go To Peter Handke And Olga Tokarczuk

A bust of Alfred Nobel, whose last will established the Nobel Prize in literature, stands outside a 2016 ceremony in Stockholm. This year, in a break with tradition driven by scandal, two writers have been honored with the prestigious award named for the late Swedish businessman. Soren Andersson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  Nobel Prizes In Literature Go To Peter Handke And Olga Tokarczuk

A bust of Alfred Nobel, whose last will established the Nobel Prize in literature, stands outside a 2016 ceremony in Stockholm. This year, in a break with tradition driven by scandal, two writers have been honored with the prestigious award named for the late Swedish businessman.

Soren Andersson/AFP/Getty Images

In an unusual move, the Swedish Academy doled out Nobel Prizes in literature to two authors on Thursday: Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, who won the postponed 2018 award, and Austrian author Peter Handke, who won the prize for this year. The academy’s permanent secretary, Mats Malm, announced the winners at a press briefing in Stockholm.

Tokarczuk, 57, was recognized “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life,” according to the judges’ citation, released Thursday. And judges said Handke, 76, won “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”

Now, casual followers may be wondering why this year — for the first time in nearly half a century — two writers were honored as Nobel laureates, rather than just one. The reason has little to do with the writers themselves, and everything to do with the organization awarding them their prizes.

The Swedish Academy, the 18-seat committee which selects the Nobel laureates in literature, decided not to hand out a prize last year after a widely publicized sexual assault scandal led to mass resignations and doubts about the academy’s legitimacy.

After more than a dozen misconduct allegations surfaced against Jean-Claude Arnault, a Stockholm impresario who was closely linked with the committee and who was eventually convicted of rape, several prominent members sought to resign in protest last year.

Arnault — the husband of then-member Katarina Frostenson — was also found to have leaked the names of winners in advance, leading to big wagers in the robust betting markets that surround the notoriously tight-lipped literary prize.

Those resignations caused significant institutional issues, given that memberships in the body are for life. The 233-year-old institution, which had no ready regulations to replace members who step down, found itself diminished in number and incapable of naming a 2018 laureate with the authority it wished.

“The Academy needs time to regain its full complement, engage a larger number of active members and regain confidence in its work, before the next Literature Prize winner is declared,” the group announced in spring of last year.

It was the first year since World War II that the literary prize was not awarded.

Only in March, after amending regulations to allow its members’ resignation and replacement, did the Swedish Academy announce that the prize was back on this year — and that it would be anointing two writers with the honor for the first time since Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson split the award in 1974. This time though, unlike 1974, the committee is actually awarding two separate prizes — for 2018 as well as 2019 — rather than dividing one equally between the writers.

This year’s winners join Kazuo Ishiguro (2017), Bob Dylan (2016), Svetlana Alexievich (2015) and Patrick Modiano (2014) as the most recent laureates to win the prize. Altogether, 114 individuals have won the Nobel in literature since its institution in 1901.

Along with their medal, the winners will each receive 9 million kronor (about $918,000) at a ceremony expected to be held on Dec. 10 in Stockholm.

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Trump Is Complicit in Erdogan’s Ethnic Cleansing

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Pete Buttigieg Unveils Sweeping LGBTQ Policy To Tackle Inequality

Democratic White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg on Thursday unveiled a sweeping plan to overturn institutionalized discrimination against the LGBTQ community through legal protections, affordable health care and ending President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.

Buttigieg’s policy rollout, titled “Becoming Whole: A New Era for LGBTQ+ Americans,” proposes nearly two dozen initiatives aimed at tackling inequality of marginalized groups from the classroom to the workplace. 

Its prime objectives include securing passage of the Equality Act, which would remedy the gap in federal civil rights laws by explicitly banning discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. The bill, passed by the House in May but stalled in the Senate, seeks to balance the scales for the LGBTQ+ community in all parts of public and commercial life, including housing, employment, credit, education and government-funded programs. The Trump administration opposes it.

The plan by Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would add a third, non-binary gender option, “X,” to the U.S. passport program, following a wave of states that have updated their driver’s licenses to include the new category.

He also vows to rescind the Trump administration’s restriction on transgender military service, which took effect in April. The policy bars any openly transgender or transitioning person from enlisting, and discharges those already in the military who openly identify themselves as such. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d9cfced210000420733eba0 Pete Buttigieg Unveils Sweeping LGBTQ Policy To Tackle Inequality

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According to a Public Religion Research Institute poll conducted the month the rule was implemented, 63% of Americans supported transgender military service. Those agreeing included 47% of the Republicans surveyed ― a 10% uptick from the organization’s findings in August 2017.

On health care, the Medicare for All Who Want It plan Buttigieg previously unveiled would provide coverage of gender-affirming treatments and surgical procedures, which currently may not be covered depending on the type of insurer and the state in which a patient is enrolled in coverage. Though the Affordable Care Act outlaws health insurance discrimination based on gender identity, legal fights have ensued at state and local levels over the matter.

Included in Buttigieg’s health care proposal would be coverage of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, the drug that protects high-risk individuals from contracting HIV.

Data released earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that in 2017, only 35% of gay and bisexual men at risk of HIV were using PrEP, a number the agency said was “too low.” Overall, according to the federal government, “of the estimated 1 million Americans at substantial risk for HIV and who could benefit from PrEP, less than 1 in 4 are actually using this medication.”

A major complication is that PrEP, branded as Truvada and manufactured by Gilead Sciences, can cost up to $2,000 per month. The federal government has attempted to obtain patents for the drug, spurring a challenge in August by Gilead.

Buttigieg’s Becoming Whole initiative sets a goal of ending HIV/AIDS by 2030. While that goal has also been adopted by Trump, in 2018, the president fired all members of his HIV/AIDS council who hadn’t already resigned in protest of his health policies, virtually shuttering operations for more than a year. New staffers were not announced until March.

Further signaling a lack of attention to the epidemic, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy has been inactive, having had no director since Amy Lansky stepped down in 2017. Buttigieg pledged to revitalize the office as president.

The release of his expansive list of initiatives comes as he prepares to join eight other Democratic presidential candidates Thursday night for CNN’s LGBTQ town hall in Los Angeles; others slated to appear include former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was scheduled to participate in the forum, but canceled after suffering a heart attack last week. He is expected to return to the campaign trail soon.

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Nunes to ask State Dept. about ‘strange’ and irregular’ requests to monitor US journalists in Ukraine

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Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Wednesday that he intends to ask the State Department for more information about “strange” and “irregular” requests allegedly made by ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch to monitor the communications of U.S. journalists in the country.

DEVIN NUNES SLAMS DEMS’ IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY AS ‘NOT REAL’: ‘IT’S A PARTISAN ADVENTURE’

Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Fox News’ “Hannity”  that he’s looking to ask Yovanovitch during her scheduled testimony Friday about her alleged efforts to monitor reporters.

Yovanovitch, who was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by former President Barack Obama in 2016, and fired by the State Department in May of this year, will give a deposition as part of the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

“What I’ve heard — and I want to be clear — there’s a difference. What I’ve heard is that there were strange requests, irregular requests to monitor not just one journalist, but multiple journalists,” Nunes told host Sean Hannity. “Now perhaps that was OK. Perhaps there was some reason for that — that it can be explained away. But that’s what we know and that’s what we’re going to be looking into.”

Hannity said multiple sources have told him they “believe there is evidence that government resources were used to monitor communications” of U.S. journalists and that Yovanovitch may have been involved. Nunes noted that if the State Department had conducted surveillance over press activity in the Ukraine, it may have been done properly.

“We also have concerns that possibly they were monitoring press from different journalists and others,” Nunes continued. “That we don’t know, but we have people who are giving us this information and we’re going to ask these questions to the State Department and hopefully they’re going to get the answers before she comes in on Friday.”

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John Solomon, who recently became a Fox News contributor, also said on “Hannity” Wednesday: “I think we need to dig in more. Ambassador Yovanovitch should be given an opportunity and Secretary of State Pompeo should tell us what happened.”

Solomon is an investigative reporter who has made headlines for breaking stories related to the ongoing Ukraine controversy that have fueled Trump’s support for Attorney General William Barr’s review of the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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