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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 124)

Southwestern Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship history

The Southwestern Athletic Conference, otherwise known as the SWAC, holds an annual men’s basketball tournament with the winner getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The conference features 10 teams: Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Grambling State, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, Prairie View, Southern and Texas Southern

The SWAC men’s basketball tournament begins March 13 and runs to March 14.

The SWAC started having men’s basketball tournaments in 1978.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE COLLEGE BASKETBALL COVERAGE

Read below for a list of past champions.

2019: PRAIRIE VIEW

Westlake Legal Group Gary-Blackston-Getty Southwestern Athletic Conference men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/grambling-state-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa/alcorn-state-braves fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc de111371-086c-5118-9598-e99019e1bd83 article

Prairie View won the SWAC in 2019. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Prairie View defeated Texas Southern, 92-86. Gary Blackston was named MVP of the tournament.

2018: TEXAS SOUTHERN

Texas Southern knocked off Arkansas-Pine Bluff for its fourth title in five years. They defeated the Golden Lions, 84-69. Trae Jefferson was named MVP of the tournament.

2017: TEXAS SOUTHERN

Texas Southern narrowly escaped beating Alcorn State, 53-50. Marvin Jones was named tournament MVP.

2016: SOUTHERN

Southern briefly ended Texas Southern’s reign in 2016. They defeated Jackson State, 54-53. Roman Banks was named MVP.

METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

2015: TEXAS SOUTHERN

Texas Southern won a second straight title in 2015. The Tigers defeated Southern, 62-58. Madarious Gibbs was named MVP of the tournament.

2014: TEXAS SOUTHERN

Texas Southern won its first title since 2003. The Tigers defeated Prairie View, 78-73, in 2014. Aaric Murray was named MPV of the tournament.

2013: SOUTHERN

Southern narrowly defeated Prairie View, 44-43, in 2013. Derick Beltran was named tournament MVP.

2012: MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

Mississippi Valley State defeated Texas Southern, 71-69, in 2012. Cor-J Cox was named MVP of the tournament.

2011: ALABAMA STATE

Alabama State defeated Grambling State, 65-48. Tremayne Moorer was named MVP of the tournament.

2010: ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF

Arkansas-Pine Bluff took down Texas Southern, 50-38. Junior Allen Smith received the MVP trophy.

ACC MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

2009: ALABAMA STATE

Alabama State defeated Jackson State, 65-58. Andrew Hayles was named MVP of the tournament.

2008: MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

Mississippi Valley State narrowly defeated Jackson State, 59-58. The Delta Devils’ Carl Lucas was named MVP.

2007: JACKSON STATE

Jackson State defeated Mississippi Valley State, 81-71. Trey Johnson was named MVP of the tournament.

2006: SOUTHERN

Southern defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 57-44. Peter Cipriano was the MVP.

2005: ALABAMA A&M

Alabama A&M defeated Alabama State, 72-53. Obie Trotter was named MVP of the tournament.

2004: ALABAMA STATE

Alabama State won its second title in four years in 2004. They defeated Alabama A&M, 63-58. Malcolm Campbell was named MVP.

2003: TEXAS SOUTHERN

Texas Southern defeated Alcorn State, 77-68. Ra’Kim Hollis was named MVP of the tournament.

2002: ALCORN STATE

Alcorn State turned around the next season and defeated Alabama State, 70-67.

2001: ALABAMA STATE

Alabama State finished 2001 as the SWAC regular season and conference champion. The Hornets defeated Alcorn State, 64-52.

2000: JACKSON STATE

Jackson State defeated Southern in 2000, 76-61.

1999: ALCORN STATE

In 1999, Alcorn State was back on top. The Braves defeated Southern, 89-83.

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1998: PRAIRIE VIEW

Prairie View knocked off Teas Southern for a SWAC title, 59-57.

1997: JACKSON STATE

Jackson State won the SWAC title in 1997. The Tigers defeated Mississippi Valley State, 81-74.

1996: MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

Mississippi Valley State defeated Jackson State, 111-94.

1995: TEXAS SOUTHERN

Texas Southern won a second straight title in 1995. The Tigers defeated Mississippi Valley State, 75-62.

1994: TEXAS SOUTHERN

Texas Southern defeated Jackson State, 70-67.

1993: SOUTHERN

Southern defeated Jackson State, 101-80. They went as far as the second round in the NCAA Tournament that season.

1992: MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

Mississippi Valley State won its second SWAC title in 1992. The Delta Devils defeated Southern, 85-77.

1991: JACKSON STATE

Jackson State defeated reigning champion Texas Southern, 70-66.

1990: TEXAS SOUTHERN

Texas Southern knocked off Southern from its SWAC throne. The Tigers beat Southern, 94-89.

1989: SOUTHERN

The Jaguars three-peated in 1989. Southern defeated Texas Southern in 1989, 86-81.

1988: SOUTHERN

Southern won a second straight title in 1988. The Jaguars defeated Grambling, 78-62.

AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1987: SOUTHERN

Southern became the first team to score more than 100 points in a SWAC title game. The Jaguars defeated Grambling, 105-55.

1986: MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

Mississippi Valley State defeated Prairie View, 75-58.

1985: SOUTHERN

Southern finally ended Alcorn State’s reign in 1985. The Jaguars defeated the Braves, 85-70.

1984: ALCORN STATE

In 1984, Alcorn State defeated Texas Southern 78-69.

1983: ALCORN STATE

Alcorn State won SWAC title No. 3 in 1983. The Braves defeated Texas Southern, 81-69.

1982: ALCORN STATE

Alcorn State became the first multi-champion in 1982, 87-77, over Jackson State.

1981: SOUTHERN

Southern defeated Jackson State in 1981, 69-63.

SUN BELT CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1980: ALCORN STATE

Alcorn State won the first SWAC title, 83-61, over Grambling State.

Westlake Legal Group Southwestern-Athletic-Conference-logo-SWAC Southwestern Athletic Conference men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/grambling-state-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa/alcorn-state-braves fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc de111371-086c-5118-9598-e99019e1bd83 article   Westlake Legal Group Southwestern-Athletic-Conference-logo-SWAC Southwestern Athletic Conference men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/grambling-state-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa/alcorn-state-braves fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc de111371-086c-5118-9598-e99019e1bd83 article

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The Cosmic Irony of Bernie Sanders’s Rise – What makes Bernie Sanders so threatening to the Democratic establishment is that he stands for what millions of Democrats thought their party stood for all along.

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How Millennials Could Make the Fed’s Job Harder

Westlake Legal Group 23millennial-econ-facebookJumbo How Millennials Could Make the Fed’s Job Harder United States Economy United States Savings Pensions and Retirement Plans Millennial Generation Labor and Jobs Interest Rates Inflation (Economics) Federal Reserve System Banking and Financial Institutions

WASHINGTON — “They say millennials are lazy,” billboards plastered across 15 major cities declared last summer. “Retire early and prove them right.”

That sentiment, reflected in ads for the investment manager Prudential, is the stuff of a 30-year-old’s fantasy — and the Federal Reserve’s nightmare.

A young generation of aggressive savers could leave central bankers with less room to cut interest rates, which they have long done to boost growth in times of economic trouble.

To leave the work force early, millennials would need to build up massive retirement funds and consume less in the process. That hit to demand could slow growth and force rates to drop ever lower to entice spending. And if today’s workers actually managed to retire young, it would exacerbate the situation by shrinking the labor force, further weighing on the economy’s potential.

Millennials, who are roughly between the ages of 24 and 39 and have not lived through pronounced price spikes, already have the lowest inflation expectations of any adult generation. Their belief that costs will not increase could eventually slow actual price gains by making it hard for businesses to charge more. The Fed’s main interest rate includes inflation, so that would leave it with even less room to cut.

It may not come to this. Millennials could become more worried about inflation as they age, giving companies more room to lift prices. Their difficult post-recession entry into the labor market means many are laden with student debt, so it’s unclear if they will be able to retire young. But many indicate that they want to leave the work force early — an ambition that economists say could spell macroeconomic trouble if realized.

“It would lower interest rates — that’s certainly true,” said Joseph Gagnon, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “It would be a double whammy: It directly raises savings” and “it would further reduce the need to invest in factories and offices for these people.”

Interest rates have been falling for decades, and demographics are a major factor in that decline, economists say. Once people are past middle age, they are living longer without working correspondingly later in life, so they have been saving heavily to fund extended retirements.

Millennials, already accused of killing everything from paper napkins to mayonnaise, would happily exacerbate the drop in interest rates, which baby boomers have driven to date.

Of millennial workers with an active 401(k), 43 percent expect to retire before the age of 65, based on data from T. Rowe Price. For Generation X — often defined as those aged 40 to 55 — that figure is 35 percent. While the T. Rowe Price survey targeted a privileged group, broader polls have turned up similar findings.

Members of Gen X are short on savings, so they may need to work further into old age. But younger people have time to turn things around: While they got a slow start, they are still under the age of 40. Millennials have begun saving more as they work in greater numbers and benefit from a record-long economic expansion.

There’s even a movement — Financial Independence, Retire Early, or “FIRE” — dedicated to frugality in pursuit of quitting the work force as soon as possible.

Scott Rieckens, 36, and his wife Taylor, 35, began following a FIRE plan in 2017. The couple, who have one child, ditched their leased cars and $3,000-a-month apartment in San Diego to move to Bend, Ore. They save more than 50 percent of their income and aim to have the $1.7 million they think they’d need to retire by their early 40s, though Mr. Rieckens doesn’t plan to completely stop working then.

He recently produced a documentary on the FIRE movement, released last year, which drew more than 10,000 people to screenings in over 200 cities. The audience skewed younger, Mr. Rieckens said, explaining that FIRE appeals to millennials partly because they have faced precarious jobs without pensions.

“You start to get this sense of lack of control, and fear,” he said. “You can take control of your life.”

The Rieckens may be extreme savers, but many millennials with means are prioritizing saving. According to a recent Bank of America survey, 25 percent of millennial savers had amassed more than $100,000, up from 16 percent in 2018.

They have good reason. Millennials have grown up with dire warnings that Social Security will be exhausted by the time it is their turn to use it. They came of age in the worst downturn since the Great Depression, so they are no strangers to economic insecurity.

But there’s a paradox to thrift: Saving, even if virtuous on an individual level, can cause economic trouble en masse. If ambitious cash stockpiling were to catch on, it could exacerbate secular stagnation, a term that the Harvard University economist Lawrence H. Summers repopularized to describe the low-growth, low-inflation state of many advanced economies.

When consumers save a big portion of their income, they are not spending as much on dinners out, movie nights and cars. Businesses respond by investing less in equipment and technology, and productivity stalls. Bosses are unwilling to pay their workers more for the same output, and weak pay gains further restrain spending.

Retirement saving behavior is not the only driver causing economic torpor and lower rates. Inequality has left a small number of people with more money than they can realistically spend. Slower labor force growth and more iterative technological improvements could also have an impact.

The lower interest rates that result from high and unequal saving might sound great — think cheaper mortgages — but they leave economies vulnerable to shocks. In the United States, for example, rates are now in a range of just 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, leaving the Fed room for about six quarter-point rate cuts in a downturn. Headed into the last recession, rates topped 5 percent.

Fed officials think mass bond-buying and promises to keep rates low for longer can give them power to fight a slump. But the jury is out on whether such alternatives will add enough ammunition to make up for lost room on interest rates.

Even Ben S. Bernanke, a former Fed chair with an optimistic take on the central bank’s ability to prop up the economy in a downturn, says officials could end up in a tight spot if rates drop substantially lower.

It is anyone’s guess whether they will stabilize at low levels, rise or resume their descent.

“A continued downtrend is as likely as reversion to normal,” Mr. Summers said. “Lots of the structural forces that are driving this seem likely to continue.”

That’s what makes millennial retirement behavior so interesting: It is a wild card still, one that could slightly lift or substantially lower rates going forward.

Policy could influence how things play out. The government could nudge workers toward later retirement or ramp up deficit spending on old-age benefits. Mr. Summers’s research shows that fiscal spending is already propping rates up. Alternately, uncertainty about the fiscal future — like whether the present complacency over large deficits continues — could spur millennials to save more now.

What is clear is that rates are unlikely to head higher soon. That makes maintaining slow but stable inflation more important than ever.

Doing so is proving difficult. The Fed’s preferred inflation index accelerated just 1.6 percent over the past year. It has never sustainably topped 2 percent since the Fed formally adopted that goal in 2012.

That shortfall is threatening to derail inflation expectations. Americans who lived through the great inflation of the 1970s remember an era when services and goods were rapidly increasing in price, and they tend to have a higher outlook for future prices.

Millennials and Generation Z are a different story. Rents and tuition have gotten pricier, but computing power worth millions of dollars a generation ago now fits into a $600 phone. Free entertainment abounds. As America’s collective memories of breakneck price gains fade, the nation’s younger people have become an anchor that threatens to drag down overall expectations.

John C. Williams, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech last month that “there is still time to avert this fate.” Moving inflation up and keeping it there could convince millennials, he said.

“In this case, it’s fortunate that the young are impressionable.”

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Newly Released Database Shows How China Criminalized Muslim Faith

Westlake Legal Group 5e4af0e623000001010be219 Newly Released Database Shows How China Criminalized Muslim Faith

Beijing (AP) — For decades, the Uighur imam was a bedrock of his farming community in China’s far west. On Fridays, he preached Islam as a religion of peace. On Sundays, he treated the sick with free herbal medicine. In the winter, he bought coal for the poor.

But as a Chinese government mass detention campaign engulfed Memtimin Emer’s native Xinjiang region three years ago, the elderly imam was swept up and locked away, along with all three of his sons living in China.

Now, a newly revealed database exposes in extraordinary detail the main reasons for the detentions of Emer, his three sons, and hundreds of others in Karakax County: their religion and their family ties.

The database obtained by The Associated Press profiles the internment of 311 individuals with relatives abroad and lists information on more than 2,000 of their relatives, neighbors and friends. Each entry includes the detainee’s name, address, national identity number, detention date and location, along with a detailed dossier on their family, religious and neighborhood background, the reason for detention, and a decision on whether or not to release them. Issued within the past year, the documents do not indicate which government department compiled them or for whom.

Taken as a whole, the information offers the fullest and most personal view yet into how Chinese officials decided who to put into and let out of detention camps, as part of a massive crackdown that has locked away more than a million ethnic minorities, most of them Muslims.

The database emphasizes that the Chinese government focused on religion as a reason for detention — not just political extremism, as authorities claim, but ordinary activities such as praying, attending a mosque, or even growing a long beard. It also shows the role of family: People with detained relatives are far more likely to end up in a camp themselves, uprooting and criminalizing entire families like Emer’s in the process.

Similarly, family background and attitude is a bigger factor than detainee behavior in whether they are released.

“It’s very clear that religious practice is being targeted,” said Darren Byler, a University of Colorado researcher studying the use of surveillance technology in Xinjiang. “They want to fragment society, to pull the families apart and make them much more vulnerable to retraining and reeducation.”

The Xinjiang regional government did not respond to faxes requesting comment. Asked whether Xinjiang is targeting religious people and their families, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said “this kind of nonsense is not worth commenting on.”

Beijing has said before that the detention centers are for voluntary job training, and that it does not discriminate based on religion.

China has struggled for decades to control Xinjiang, where the native Uighurs have long resented Beijing’s heavy-handed rule. With the 9/11 attacks in the United States, officials began using the specter of terrorism to justify harsher religious restrictions, saying young Uighurs were susceptible to Islamic extremism.

After militants set off bombs at a train station in Xinjiang’s capital in 2014, President Xi Jinping launched a so-called “People’s War on Terror”, transforming Xinjiang into a digital police state.

The leak of the database from sources in the Uighur exile community follows the release in November of a classified blueprint on how the mass detention system really works. The blueprint obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which includes the AP, showed that the centers are in fact forced ideological and behavioral re-education camps run in secret. Another set of documents leaked to the New York Times revealed the historical lead-up to the mass detention.

The latest set of documents came from sources in the Uighur exile community, and the most recent date in them is March 2019. The detainees listed come from Karakax County, a traditional settlement of about 650,000 on the edge of Xinjiang’s Taklamakan desert where more than 97 percent of residents are Uighur. The list was corroborated through interviews with former Karakax residents, Chinese identity verification tools, and other lists and documents seen by the AP.

Detainees and their families are tracked and classified by rigid, well-defined categories. Households are designated as “trustworthy” or “not trustworthy,” and their attitudes are graded as “ordinary” or “good.” Families have “light” or “heavy” religious atmospheres, and the database keeps count of how many relatives of each detainee are locked in prison or sent to a “training center.”

Officials used these categories to determine how suspicious a person was — even if they hadn’t committed any crimes.

“It underscores the witch-hunt mindset of the government, and how the government criminalizes everything,” said Adrian Zenz, an expert on the detention centers and senior fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Reasons listed for internment include “minor religious infection,” “disturbs other persons by visiting them without reasons,” “relatives abroad,” “thinking is hard to grasp” and “untrustworthy person born in a certain decade.” The last seems to refer to younger men; about 31 percent of people considered “untrustworthy” were in the age bracket of 25 to 29 years, according to an analysis of the data by Zenz.

When former student Abdullah Muhammad spotted Emer’s name on the list of the detained, he was distraught.

“He didn’t deserve this,” Muhammad said. “Everyone liked and respected him. He was the kind of person who couldn’t stay silent against injustice.”

Even in Karakax county, famed for its intellectuals and scholars, Emer stood out as one of the most renowned teachers in the region. Muhammad studied the Quran under Emer for six years as a kid, following him from house to house in an effort to dodge the authorities. Muhammad said Emer was so respected that the police would phone him with warnings ahead of time before raiding classes at his modest, single-story home of brick and mud.

Though Emer gave Party-approved sermons, he refused to preach Communist propaganda, Muhammad said, eventually running into trouble with the authorities. He was stripped of his position as an imam and barred from teaching in 1997, amid unrest roiling the region.

When Muhammad left China for Saudi Arabia and Turkey in 2009, Emer was making his living as a doctor of traditional medicine. Emer was growing old, and under heavy surveillance, he had stopped attending religious gatherings.

That didn’t stop authorities from detaining the imam, who is in his eighties, and sentencing him on various charges for up to 12 years in prison over 2017 and 2018. The database cites four charges in various entries: “stirring up terrorism,” acting as an unauthorized “wild” imam, following the strict Saudi Wahhabi sect and conducting illegal religious teachings.

Muhammad called the charges false. Emer had stopped his preaching, practiced a moderate Central Asian sect of Islam rather than Wahhabism and never dreamed of hurting others, let alone stirring up “terrorism,” Muhammad said.

“He used to always preach against violence,” Muhammad said. “Anyone who knew him can testify that he wasn’t a religious extremist.”

None of Emer’s three sons had been convicted of a crime. But the database shows that over the course of 2017, all were thrown into the detention camps for having too many children, trying to travel abroad, being “untrustworthy” or “infected with religious extremism,”or going on the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. It also shows that their relation to Emer and their religious background was enough to convince officials they were too dangerous to let out from the detention camps.

“His father taught him how to pray,” notes one entry for his eldest, Ablikim Memtimin.

“His family’s religious atmosphere is thick. We recommend he (Emer) continue training,” says another entry for his youngest son, Emer Memtimin.

Even a neighbor was tainted by living near him, with Emer’s alleged crimes and prison sentence recorded in the neighbor’s dossier.

The database indicates much of this information is collected by teams of cadres stationed at mosques, sent to visit homes and posted in communities. This information is then compiled in a dossier called the “three circles”, encompassing their relatives, community, and religious background.

It wasn’t just the religious who were detained. The database shows that Karakax officials also explicitly targeted people for activities that included going abroad, getting a passport or installing foreign software.

Pharmacist Tohti Himit was detained in a camp for having gone multiple times to one of 26 “key” countries, mostly Muslim, according to the database. Former employee Habibullah, who is now in Turkey, recalled Himit as a secular, kind and wealthy man who kept his face free of a beard.

“He wasn’t very pious, he didn’t go to the mosque,” said Habibullah, who declined to give his first name out of fear of retribution against family still in China. “I was shocked by how absurd the reasons for detention were.”

The database says cadres found Himit had attended his grandfather’s funeral at a local mosque on March 10, 2008. Later that year, the cadres found, he had gone to the same mosque again, once to worship and once to celebrate a festival. In 2014 he had gone to Anhui province, in inner China, to get a passport and go abroad.

That, the government concluded, was enough to show that Himit was “certainly dangerous.” They ordered Himit to stay in the center and “continue training.”

Emer is now under house arrest due to health issues, his former student, Muhammad, has heard. It’s unclear where Emer’s sons are.

It was the imam’s courage and stubbornness that did him in, Muhammad said. Though deprived of his mosque and his right to teach, Emer quietly defied the authorities for two decades by staying true to his faith.

“Unlike some other scholars, he never cared about money or anything else the Communist Party could give him,” Muhammad said. “He never bowed down to them — and that’s why they wanted to eliminate him.”

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Coronavirus Updates: Cruise Ship Passengers, Some Infected, Flown Back to U.S.

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 17JAPAN-SHIP12-promo-videoSixteenByNine3000-v5 Coronavirus Updates: Cruise Ship Passengers, Some Infected, Flown Back to U.S. Ships and Shipping Recession and Depression Epidemics Deaths (Fatalities) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

More than 300 Americans were evacuated from a contaminated cruise ship in Japan. Fourteen of them tested positive for the coronavirus and will be placed in isolation in the United States.CreditCredit…Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images

A day before 328 Americans were to be whisked away from a contaminated cruise ship in Japan, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo told passengers that no one infected with the new coronavirus would be allowed to board charter flights to the United States.

But those plans were hastily changed after the test results for 14 passengers came back positive — just as they were being loaded onto buses and dispatched to the airport, where two reconfigured cargo jets were waiting to fly them to military bases in California and Texas.

After consultations with health experts, the U.S. government decided to let the infected evacuees, who were not yet exhibiting symptoms, board the flights.

The reversal was the latest chaotic turn in a two-week quarantine of the ship, the Diamond Princess, that has become an epidemiological nightmare.

Even as the Americans were flying home and countries like Australia, Canada and South Korea were preparing to evacuate their own citizens, the Japanese Health Ministry announced on Monday that 99 more cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed on the cruise ship, bringing the total to 454.

The infected Americans — who officials said were asymptomatic and “fit to fly” — were moved into a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft, where they were isolated and monitored.

All of the evacuated American cruise ship passengers, including those who have tested negative for the virus, will be placed in a further 14-day quarantine.

Those who develop symptoms or later test positive will be sent to “an appropriate location for continued isolation and care,” the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services said in a joint statement.

With the arrival of the 14 infected passengers from Japan, confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States nearly doubled, to 29.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge-v30 Coronavirus Updates: Cruise Ship Passengers, Some Infected, Flown Back to U.S. Ships and Shipping Recession and Depression Epidemics Deaths (Fatalities) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has infected more than 71,400 people in China and 25 other countries.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168948843_04c7ed21-316b-441f-80f7-c0d1b74e551f-articleLarge Coronavirus Updates: Cruise Ship Passengers, Some Infected, Flown Back to U.S. Ships and Shipping Recession and Depression Epidemics Deaths (Fatalities) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Raising China’s national flag on the near-empty streets of Tianjin.Credit…Yuyang Liu for The New York Times

China signaled on Monday that it would postpone the annual session of its Communist Party-dominated legislature because of the coronavirus epidemic, a symbolic blow to a government that typically runs with regimented discipline.

The annual full meeting of the legislature, called the National People’s Congress, is a major event in China’s political cycle. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders were expected to lay out their agenda for the year, issue the annual budget and pass major legislation.

Each March, nearly 3,000 delegates gather in the vast Great Hall of the People, next to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

But delay is now virtually certain, judging from an announcement from the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which oversees the legislature. The announcement said that the committee will consider vote on Monday on whether to delay the congress.

The National People’s Congress is dominated by Communist Party politicians, and it would be extremely unlikely that the proposal would be up for formal approval unless Mr. Xi had agreed it was necessary.

A postponement would be the first time in recent memory that the annual legislative session has been delayed. Even in 2003, when China was battling SARS, the congress went ahead as usual.

The terse wording of the announcement gave no clue when the congress would convene.

Delaying the congress is unlikely to seriously derail Chinese policymaking, which is controlled by a small circle of party leaders.

Nearly 1,000 passengers and crew members aboard the cruise ship Westerdam in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, were being tested for the coronavirus on Monday, after a passenger who had already disembarked tested positive for the virus, officials said.

The cruise ship operator, Holland America Line, had planned to send all passengers home after a difficult voyage during which the ship was turned away by ports in five countries for fear that someone aboard might have the coronavirus.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

With the discovery of the infected passenger — an ailing American woman who was screened at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — the exodus of passengers has come to a halt.

Mang Sineth, the deputy governor of Preah Sihanouk Province, said the authorities and medical teams have been collecting samples from everyone left aboard the Westerdam to test for the virus. He said he could not estimate how long the testing would take or when the results would be available.

Holland America insisted during the cruise that all 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members were free of the disease. Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, said on Monday that before anyone left the ship, the temperature of each person aboard was checked and 20 people with mild symptoms were tested for the virus; no fevers and no infections were found.

But when 145 passengers from the ship arrived at the airport in Kuala Lumpur and were screened and tested, one passenger was confirmed to have the virus. The passenger, 83, is now hospitalized along with her husband, 85, who is showing symptoms of the disease but has twice tested negative.

As of Sunday, 601 former passengers were in hotels in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, the World Health Organization said.

One of those passengers, Christina Kerby, said they have been told to stay in their hotel rooms as much as possible, but they have not been barred from going outside or leaving the country.

A Russian court ruled on Monday that a woman who had escaped coronavirus quarantine must be forcibly isolated in a hospital, sending a clear message to all potential escapees and dodgers.

To prevent the virus from taking hold in Russia, the country has closed its roughly 2,600-mile border with China and ordered the quarantine of hundreds of Russian citizens who recently returned from China.

But at least five people have escaped, citing poor conditions at hospitals and frustration over their status.

Alla Ilyina, the woman ordered into isolation on Monday, made headlines in Russia by carrying out an elaborate plan to escape the 14-day quarantine. On Feb. 7, she broke an electromagnetic lock in her room and fled the hospital while doctors attended to an incoming patient.

Mrs. Ilyina tested negative for coronavirus upon her arrival from China. The court ruled that she would have to stay in a hospital for at least two days and get two negative coronavirus tests before she can return home. After the ruling was issued, she was taken by ambulance to the Botkin infectious diseases hospital in St. Petersburg.

Mrs. Ilyina’s lawyer told Interfax, a Russian news agency, that they would appeal the court’s decision.

On Monday, another court in St. Petersburg registered a case against another person who had escaped quarantine in the same hospital. So far, only two people have tested positive for coronavirus in Russia, both of them Chinese nationals. Both have since been released from the hospital.

The only Russian citizen to test positive for the virus so far is aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

The world’s second-largest economy practically shut down three weeks ago as the coronavirus outbreak sickened tens of thousands of people, unexpectedly lengthening a Chinese holiday.

The freeze set off warnings that the global economy could be in jeopardy if the world’s pre-eminent manufacturing powerhouse stayed shut for long.

Now, as some factories rumble back into action, the monumental task of restarting China is becoming clear. China’s efforts to contain the virus are clashing with its push to get the country back to work, requiring the country’s leaders to strike a balance between keeping people safe and getting vital industries back on track.

Quarantines, blocked roads and checkpoints are stopping millions of workers from returning to their jobs. Supply lines have been severed.

The reopening of businesses means trying to bring together again much of China’s 700 million-strong labor force after what had become a nearly three-week national holiday. China’s containment efforts have effectively carved up the country. At least 760 million people — slightly over half the country’s population — are under various kinds of lockdown.

The coronavirus epidemic has prompted China to reconsider its trade and consumption of wildlife, which has been identified as a probable source of the outbreak.

The practice is driven by desire to flaunt wealth and beliefs about health benefits from products made from certain animals.

Officials drafted legislation to introduce controls and plan to present it at the next preparatory session for the annual National People’s Congress. The details of the proposal are not yet clear, but the goal is to end “the pernicious habit of eating wildlife,” according to a statement released on Monday by the Standing Committee of the congress.

Although the exact origin of the coronavirus is still under investigation, health officials and scientists say it spread outward from a wholesale market in Wuhan where vendors legally sold live animals from crowded stalls in close quarters with meats and vegetables.

The epidemic has inflamed public sentiment that the consumption of animals like reptiles, civets and hedgehogs is fundamentally unsafe.

The trafficking of endangered or threatened wildlife is prohibited in China, but Wang Ruihe, an official with the National People’s Congress, said last week that enforcement was lax.

The new coronavirus, like the one that caused the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003, has been traced to bats and is believed to have jumped from them to another mammal and then to humans. In the case of SARS, the virus first leapt from bats to civets.

One study has suggested that pangolins, an endangered species whose meat and scales are prized in China, might have been the carrier of the new virus.

The number of new coronavirus cases dropped to a three-week low, according to official data released on Monday. Experts said the dip was largely because of the lockdown measures the Chinese government has imposed on several cities to keep the spread of the virus at bay.

On Monday, the government of China reported 2,048 new infections and 105 deaths over the previous 24 hours. The number of new coronavirus cases reported in China had started to level off around Feb. 6, suggesting that the outbreak might be slowing. But last Thursday, officials added more than 14,840 new cases to the tally of the infected in Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, after they changed the criteria for diagnosing patients.

The trend suggests that the epidemic that once seemed hopelessly out of control a few weeks ago could be contained — at least, for now.

“The measures taken have been extraordinary and we are seeing the effects,” said Raina MacIntyre, the head of biosecurity research at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

China has sealed off several cities, threatened quarantine violators with stiff punishments and rounded up sick people in mass quarantine centers in Wuhan.

But public health experts caution that the worst is not over.

Some experts view the figures reported by China with some skepticism. The government has a history of covering up data that makes it look bad, and the combination of flawed tests and limited medical resources means some cases would be missed even with the best intentions.

Public health experts say the coronavirus is also highly contagious, more so than the virus that caused the SARS outbreak of 2002-3, and may be more difficult to curtail.

Australia will evacuate more than 200 of its citizens who have been trapped on the cruise ship in Japan, and quarantine them for two more weeks at a mining camp in the northern city of Darwin, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday.

The passengers, many of them elderly, will take a Qantas flight to Australia on Wednesday, he said. New Zealanders on the Diamond Princess will be able to join flight and will be subject to quarantine in Darwin.

The passengers flying out on Wednesday will join more than 200 evacuees from Wuhan, China, the center of the epidemic, who have been housed at the mining camp since last week.

Australia airlifted 242 other people from Wuhan to Christmas Island, where they have been staying for two weeks. Mr. Morrison said they would be released and be able to fly home in the coming hours.

Mr. Morrison acknowledged that some of the cruise ship passengers would be frustrated by the additional two weeks in isolation. American passengers, who were flown from Japan to the United States on Monday morning, voiced distress after they learned that they, too, would face an additional two weeks in quarantine.

But Mr. Morrison emphasized that the spread of infections on the ship — 454 have been confirmed — had forced health officials to take extra precautions.

“Our first responsibility is that we have to protect the health and safety of Australians in Australia today,” he said.

Australia has had 15 cases of the coronavirus, and eight of the patients have now recovered, according to the Australian health minister, Greg Hunt.

Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon, citing the confirmation of a coronavirus case in Tokyo, are limiting the race this year to elite runners, including wheelchair elites, the event announced on its website Monday.

A statement posted on the site said that all registered runners could defer their entry to the 2021 event, but that runners who defer would have to pay again and would not receive refunds for this year’s race. About 38,000 participants had signed up for the race scheduled for March 1. Of that number, 245 are elite runners and 30 are elite wheelchair athletes, Reuters reported.

The Hong Kong Marathon, scheduled for Feb. 9, was canceled as coronavirus cases in the semiautonomous Chinese city increased. Hong Kong now has 57 confirmed coronavirus cases.

Japan’s Imperial Household Agency also canceled birthday celebrations for the emperor, an event within the Imperial Palace that normally draws large crowds in Tokyo. Emperor Naruhito turns 60 on Feb. 23. This would be his first birthday since he became emperor.

Three masked robbers appeared at dawn on Monday outside a Hong Kong supermarket. There, they held a deliveryman at knife point and made off with over a $100 worth of one of the most sought after commodities in this city of seven million: toilet paper.

Toilet paper has been sold out across the city for weeks after a run on the product was prompted by rumors that manufacturers in mainland China would cease production or that the border would be sealed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Retailers have dispelled the rumor, saying there is no genuine shortage. But bulk packs of toilet paper are snatched off supermarket shelves almost as soon as they are restocked, and city blocks are crowded with residents lined up at shops just to buy the product.

So short is the supply that lovers exchanged individual rolls on Valentine’s Day as a sort of pragmatic joke. Online, users have offered to barter surgical masks, which actually are in short supply, for a few rolls of toilet paper. And one hoarder was shamed on social media when neighbors spotted an apartment whose windows were crowded by a wall of toilet paper rolls.

The toilet paper stolen in Monday’s heist was later discovered stashed at a hotel, local news outlets reported, but the perpetrators remain at large. The police said two people had been arrested in connection with the heist, but they were looking for others.

Last week, the police arrested a man charged with stealing eight boxes of heavy-duty face masks, known as N-95 masks, from a parked car after smashing its windows.

Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, has repeated an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that has spread from small-town China to the right-wing news media in the United States: The new coronavirus originated in a high-security biochemical lab in Wuhan.

In a television interview on Fox News on Sunday, Mr. Cotton suggested that a dearth of information about the origins of the virus raised more questions than answers.

“We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that,” Mr. Cotton said on the program Sunday Morning Futures. He then raised the possibility that the virus originated in a “biosafety level-4 super laboratory.” Such laboratories are used for research into potentially deadly infectious diseases.

“Now, we don’t have evidence that this disease originated there but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says, and China right now is not giving evidence on that question at all,” he added.

The Chinese authorities say the outbreak began in a market in Wuhan where wild animals were sold. The city is also home to a biochemical laboratory.

After receiving criticism for lending credence to what has been largely considered a fringe theory, the senator took to Twitter to say he did not necessarily think the virus was an “engineered bioweapon.”

That idea, he said, was just one of several hypotheses that included the possibility that the outbreak was a “deliberate release.”

He also said it was possible that the virus spread naturally, “but almost certainly not from the Wuhan food market.”

Research and reporting was contributed by Russell Goldman, Austin Ramzy, Ivan Nechepurenko, Steven Lee Myers, Claire Fu, Tiffany May, Richard C. Paddock, Sui-Lee Wee, Alexandra Stevenson, Roni Caryn Rabin, Ben Dooley and Keith Bradsher.

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Jeff Bezos Commits $10 Billion to Address Climate Change

Westlake Legal Group 17bezosfund-facebookJumbo Jeff Bezos Commits $10 Billion to Address Climate Change Philanthropy Global Warming Bezos, Jeffrey P Amazon.com Inc

SEATTLE — Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and the world’s richest man, said on Monday that he was committing $10 billion to address the climate crisis in a new initiative he called the Bezos Earth Fund.

The effort will fund scientists, activists and nongovernmental organizations, Mr. Bezos said in a post on Instagram. He said he expected to start issuing grants this summer.

“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” he wrote. “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.”

Mr. Bezos has in the past done little philanthropy. With a net worth of $130 billion, he long preferred to focus on Amazon and other private ventures, such as Blue Origin, which makes rockets. Mr. Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

More recently, Mr. Bezos has ramped up his giving. His largest donation to date was $2 billion, unveiled in September 2018, to help homeless families and build a network of Montessori preschools, an effort that he announced with his then-wife, MacKenzie.

In September, Mr. Bezos unveiled the Climate Pledge, committing Amazon to meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years ahead of schedule and to be carbon neutral by 2040. As part of the pledge, Mr. Bezos said Amazon was ordering 100,000 electric delivery trucks from Rivian, a Michigan-based company that Amazon has invested in.

At the time, Mr. Bezos said Earth’s climate was changing faster than predicted by the scientific community five years ago. “Those predictions were bad but what is actually happening is dire,” he said.

Mr. Bezos made the pledge after Amazon’s employees agitated on climate change. For a year, workers pressed Amazon to be more aggressive in its climate goals, staging walkouts and talking publicly about how the company could do better.

On Monday, Mr. Bezos provided only rudimentary details about what the new climate effort would do and did not directly address priorities that he would support, other than “any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.”

The fund will provide donations, rather than make investments that Mr. Bezos would expect to see a profit from, according to a person with knowledge of the plan who was not authorized to speak publicly. The new fund is not connected to Amazon.

Even if Mr. Bezos were to spend all $10 billion immediately, he would still remain the world’s richest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This month, Mr. Bezos sold more than $4 billion in Amazon shares as part of a prearranged trading plan, according to regulatory filings. Amazon declined to comment on the share sales.

Mr. Bezos has also been spending his fortune in other ways. He recently agreed to pay $165 million for a Beverly Hills estate owned by David Geffen, the media mogul and co-founder of DreamWorks. Separately, Bezos Expeditions, which oversees The Post and Mr. Bezos’ charitable foundation, is purchasing 120 undeveloped acres in Beverly Hills for $90 million, though the deal is not finalized.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Easy for Woods to find perspective even after finishing last

Westlake Legal Group Tiger-Woods5 Easy for Woods to find perspective even after finishing last fox-news/sports/golf fox-news/person/tiger-woods fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 932b7e2f-8fc2-5ab8-93db-3c0b0b37635a

The red shirt. A late tee time on Sunday.

All the ingredients were in place for Tiger Woods at Riviera except for the location. The closest he came to the leaders was when they were making birdie on the par-5 opening hole and Woods was 100 yards away — with a much larger following — as he was about to three-putt the par-5 11th for another bogey.

The closest he got to the winner was on the 18th green to hand the Genesis Invitational trophy to Adam Scott, who held his nerve and holed all the right putts on a course so difficult no one could do better than 68.

Woods finished 68th out of 68 players who made the cut. Only three other times in his career has he posted a 72-hole score higher than his 295 at Riviera, and the most recent was nearly seven years ago. He was 22 shots behind the leader, the widest margin for Woods since the 2015 Memorial, which also was last time he finished last.

So it wasn’t a good week.

It’s not the end of the world, either.

Riviera was another reminder that Woods is going to struggle from time to time, and this would be the place for that to happen. Woods never played Riviera that well when he was at his best, which explains why he ran his professional record to 0-12 on the fabled course off Sunset Boulevard.

Think back to Woods at his absolute best. During a stretch from late 1999 until the Masters in 2000, Woods won or was runner-up in 10 out of 11 events on the PGA Tour.

The exception? A tie for 18th at Riviera.

He probably wouldn’t even be playing if not for Hyundai taking over as title sponsor and wisely signing up Woods’ foundation to run it, and the PGA Tour elevating the status of the event in line with Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill and Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village.

The difference is Palmer bought and nurtured Bay Hill. Nicklaus built Muirfield Village. Woods went 12 years without playing Riviera, a course he loves but for some reason could never play well.

“I have historically never putted really well here,” he said going into the tournament.

He finished with 117 putts over four rounds, including a four-putt and a three-putt in the same round. He was 67th in the key putting statistic, which stands out even more considering only 68 players made the cut.

Is it alarming? Not at all.

A year ago, Wood started his year in the Pacific chill of Torrey Pines and finished 11 shots behind. He was eight shots behind at Riviera and 13 behind in his debut at Chapultepec for the Mexico Championship. Then, he skipped Bay Hill when his body didn’t feel quite right and he wanted a week of rest.

So he wound up playing five times before the Masters, and it worked out well for him in the end.

Woods was planning to be in Mexico this week for the first World Golf Championship of the year until canceling his hotel room at the last minute and choosing not to enter on Friday.

“The idea is to peak around Augusta time,” he said. “I just felt I wasn’t going to be ready for next week — a little rundown and playing at altitude as well isn’t going to help that. So take the week off.”

Yes, he is passing on a 72-man field with no cut and probably free points for the world ranking (he fell to No. 9), Ryder Cup and FedEx Cup. It’s one of several big events on the calendar. It won’t hurt him to miss.

Where he shows up next is uncertain — odds are he will be at Bay Hill and The Players Championship, and then the Match Play in Texas for his last tune-up ahead of Augusta National. The Honda Classic was not ruled out. But he likely will play five times before the Masters.

What he made clear was that he will be playing more, not less.

Woods has been saying that since he returned from the fourth back surgery that rejuvenated his life and his career, and last year he proved it. He played 15 times from January to December, including the Presidents Cup and his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. That was five fewer than the year before.

“How much do I play, when do I play, do I listen to the body or do I fight through it?” Woods said. “There are some things I can push and some things I can’t. And so I had a theory this year that I may play about the same amount. … I won’t play a lot more than that just because of the physical toll and I want to stay out here for just a little bit longer.”

Something else he said Sunday suggested Woods has a different outlook from those watching and cheering him. Yes, he wants to get to No. 83 in career wins and set the PGA Tour record. Majors matter the most, and he hasn’t given up to the chase to 18 to catch Jack Nicklaus.

But that Masters title was big. He won a major again. His family was there. If that’s all there is, that’s plenty.

Because even after a bad week at Riviera, he never lost perspective.

“This part of my career really didn’t exist a few years ago,” he said. “So to be able to do that no matter what I shooting, it’s still disappointing. It’s still frustrating. I’m still a little ticked. But I also look at it from a perspective which I didn’t do most of my career, that I have a chance to play going down the road.”

Westlake Legal Group Tiger-Woods5 Easy for Woods to find perspective even after finishing last fox-news/sports/golf fox-news/person/tiger-woods fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 932b7e2f-8fc2-5ab8-93db-3c0b0b37635a   Westlake Legal Group Tiger-Woods5 Easy for Woods to find perspective even after finishing last fox-news/sports/golf fox-news/person/tiger-woods fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 932b7e2f-8fc2-5ab8-93db-3c0b0b37635a

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Justin Bieber Finally Shaves Off Mustache, World Cheers

Westlake Legal Group 5e4ac969230000050139b3c7 Justin Bieber Finally Shaves Off Mustache, World Cheers

Our long, scruffy national nightmare is over: Justin Bieber has shaved his mustache. 

The pop star has been rocking a particularly bedraggled form of facial hair for a while now much to the dismay of his legion of fans and even wife Hailey Bieber, who wouldn’t allow him to walk down the aisle at their wedding if said ’stache was present. 

After the internet banded together to urge the singer to keep a stiff upper lip (and shave his own), Bieber seemingly finally got the message and posted a series of videos of himself on Sunday in the bathroom with a razor. 

As The Rolling Stones song “Miss You” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone” played in the background, the “Yummy” singer shaved his face clean in one fell swoop.

Bieber seemed quite content with the new look, sharing a fresh-faced selfie on Instagram after the deed was done. 

But he went on to tease his fans in the caption that the facial hair might make a return some day. 

“I shaved,” he captioned a photo of his “baby face,” before somewhat threateningly adding, “MUSTASHIO went on holiday, but he will be back in due time.”

The makeover won him major praise on social media with his wife chiming in with “yeeeeee 😍,” while Bieber’s mother added in the comments, “Ya praise God.”

“Where the hell is ricardo musatachio?? What have you done with him,” manager Scooter Braun wrote. 

Beliebers online were similarly enthused with many gleefully posting about the transformation.

The 25-year-old at least has had a sense of humor about the ordeal.

He previously posted a photo with the @dudewithsign Instagram account about his refusal to shave, while promoting his latest work, “Changes.” The new album was released earlier this month along with a revealing 10-part docuseries, “Justin Bieber: Seasons, that takes fans behind the curtain of the singer’s sometimes-troubled public persona.

The album, Bieber says, is a love letter to his model wife, who’s stuck by him through thick and thin ― no, we’re not talking about his facial hair anymore. 

“I got the best wife in the world. She supports me through so much. I’m really honored to be her husband,” the singer recently told Apple Music’s Beats 1 host Zane Lowe. 

“This is an album I wrote in the first year of our marriage, so it’s so fresh,” he continued. “There’s so much more to learn about commitment, and building trust, and foundation.” 

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Mike Trout rips cheating Astros, calls for bigger punishment

Westlake Legal Group 9538877-mike-trout-mlb-seattle-mari-fedaea66defba510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ Mike Trout rips cheating Astros, calls for bigger punishment fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-angels fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/mike-trout fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 81ab06da-f113-5b5c-8356-ffdaa6046853

Mike Trout thinks the Houston Astros should pay more dearly for their cheating ways.

The Los Angeles Angels‘ three-time AL MVP ripped the Astros and questioned the discipline handed out by Major League Baseball on Monday after he reported to spring training.

“It’s sad for baseball,” Trout said. “It’s tough. They cheated. I don’t agree with the punishments, the players not getting anything. It was a player-driven thing. It sucks, too, because guys’ careers have been affected. A lot of people lost jobs. It was tough.

“Me going up to the plate knowing what was coming? It would be fun up there. A lot of guys lost respect for some of the guys.”

Trout didn’t make a suggestion for what the Astros players’ punishment should have been, but the scandal obviously touched a nerve in the Halos’ brilliant center fielder, who has spent his entire career playing against Houston in the AL West.

“Obviously the GM got fired and Hinch got fired,” Trout said of punishments for Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch. “But the players getting nothing, that’s definitely not right, for sure.”

“I think everybody wants it to be a clean, level playing field,” Trout added. “I didn’t know it wasn’t until this stuff came out, and then you realize when we played at them at (Houston) or whatever, they were hitting a lot of balls. They’ve got a lot of great players over there for sure, but it was something different.”

Anthony Rendon also reported to his new team Monday, but the Angels’ new $245 million third baseman was more circumspect in his thoughts on the Astros, his hometown team. Rendon’s Washington Nationals beat Houston in the World Series last year.

“Even when I watched their games over the previous years, it was suspicious,” Rendon said. “It looked weird. They were (sitting) on balls that were very tough pitches, and just the way that they were playing the game. They’re all talented players. I love those guys over there, especially what they’ve done in my city of Houston to help us out. But it definitely raises a lot of question marks, watching those games.”

Westlake Legal Group 9538877-mike-trout-mlb-seattle-mari-fedaea66defba510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ Mike Trout rips cheating Astros, calls for bigger punishment fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-angels fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/mike-trout fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 81ab06da-f113-5b5c-8356-ffdaa6046853   Westlake Legal Group 9538877-mike-trout-mlb-seattle-mari-fedaea66defba510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ Mike Trout rips cheating Astros, calls for bigger punishment fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-angels fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/mike-trout fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 81ab06da-f113-5b5c-8356-ffdaa6046853

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5 American ghost towns abandoned to time

Some American towns that were once booming centers for industry and trade have become effective ghost towns, left abandoned and rotting as remnants of bygone eras.

These towns can be found throughout the country, from Pennsylvania to California and Alaska. They may have thrived as mining towns or promising state capitals before being stricken by economic hardship or disaster.

WHAT ARE THE 5 MOST POPULOUS US STATES?

Here’s a look at five such towns:

Centralia, Pa.

The coal-mining town of Centralia, once home to 2,700 people, was built in the 1850s after a rich deposit of anthracite coal was discovered.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-Centralia 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c

The underground fire in Centralia has burned since 1962. The intense heat ruptured the earth and leaked dangerous smoke and gases into the community. Experts say the fire may burn for another century.

But in 1962, a raging underground coal fire spread beneath the town after municipal employees tried to burn trash at a garbage dump and ignited an exposed coal seam, according to History. The fire still burns beneath the town today.

Over the years the extreme heat opened fissures in the ground that leaked dangerous levels of smoke and carbon monoxide, forcing the government to issue evacuation orders in 1981. A decade later, all real estate was claimed under eminent domain and condemned by the state.

Now, only about seven holdouts remain in the ever-burning ghost town, according to WNEP-TV. When they die, the property will be given to the government.

Rhyolite, Nev.

A gold mining settlement on the eastern edge of Death Valley, Rhyolite was booming when it was built in 1904. The gold rush attracted as many as 10,000 people to the town. Industrialist Charles M. Schwab purchased a mine and invested in the town’s infrastructure, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-Rhyolite 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c

The last train pulled out of Rhyolite in 1914, and the power was shut down two years later.

Rhyolite reached its peak in 1907 when the financial panic signaled its downfall, according to the National Parks Service. Mines closed and banks failed over the next few years. In 1916, the lights and power were turned off. The town was used as a movie set for Old West films in the 1920s.

Now, only a few intact buildings remain as relics to the town’s once-prosperous past, including three walls of a bank, part of a jail, the train depot and a building known as the Bottle House.

Cahawba, Ala.

The Civil War-era town of Cahawba served as Alabama’s first state capital from 1819 to 1826, and is known as the state’s “most famous ghost town.”

Westlake Legal Group iStock-cahaba 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c

Cahawba’s population dwindled after a major flood and the county seat’s transfer to nearby Selma.

The thriving antebellum river town was a major distribution center for cotton, and was home to 3,000 people before the Civil War, according to a website detailing its history and legacy. During the war, 3,000 captured Union soldiers were held in a prison at the center of town. It later became a short-lived village for freed slaves after the war.

Citizens and businesses slowly abandoned the town in the late 1860s after a major flood and the removal of the county seat to nearby Selma.

Now known as Old Cahawba Park, all that remains are the abandoned streets, moss-covered ruins of buildings and cemeteries, and the tale of an apparition called “Pegues’ Ghost,” which was known to appear at parties during the town’s height.

Bodie, Calif.

The gold mining town of Bodie was established in 1859, and grew from just 20 miners to a boomtown of an estimated 10,000 people by 1880, according to the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

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Bodie was settled by William “Waterman” S. Bodey in 1959.

It has been reported the town once held 65 saloons, numerous brothels and “houses of ill repute,” gambling halls and opium dens for its colorful crowd of gunfighters, robbers, prostitutes and miners from countries around the world, according to a website dedicated to the town.

A major fire ravaged Bodie in 1932, destroying much of the town. It has remained untouched for decades.

Today, California State Parks preserve the remains of Bodie in a state of “arrested decay” for tourists and an occasional ghost, according to the parks department.

Kennecott, Alaska

The copper mining town of Kennecott was established in 1903, and by 1938 it was mined out and deserted.

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The copper mining town of Kennecott thrived for just over three decades until the last of its five mines were tapped out.

During its heyday, the Kennecott Mining Corp. established its five mines as models of state-of-the-art technology and progressive management, even paying workers higher salaries than anywhere in the lower 48 states, according to Alaska.org.

The giant red mill building used by the company still stands today, towering 14 stories above the Kennicott glacier (a clerical error on official paperwork accounts for the two different spellings).

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Today, Kennecott is a National Historic Landmark.

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