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IPL 2022 Auction Live: Shreyas Iyer Biggest Buy So Far, RCB Splurge On Harshal Patel


Day 1 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction in Bengaluru was halted after auctioneer Hugh Edmeades collapsed during the event today. Franchises were bidding for Wanindu Hasaranga when the incident took place. Earlier, Harshal Patel was bought for a whopping Rs 10.75 crore Royal Challengers Bangalore after Rajasthan Royals started the second round with a bang by picking up Shimron Hetmyer and Devdutt Padikkal.

Shreyas Iyer was sold to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a whopping Rs 12.25 crore after Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada went to Punjab Kings for Rs 8.25 core and 9.25 crore respectively. Other big names like David Warner, Mohammed Shami were picked up by Delhi Capitals and Gujarat Titans respectively while Faf du Plessis was bought for Rs 7 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB).

Two new teams (Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants) have joined the existing eight franchises Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings, Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Rajasthan Royals as 10 teams, their owners, coaches, support staffs, scouts join the bidding war in the two-day long IPL 2022 auction that started today. (Full coverage of IPL 2022 auction live)

‘We Are Not There Yet’: As States Drop Mask Rules, the C.D.C. Stands Firm


The White House has been meeting with outside health experts to plan a pandemic exit strategy and a transition to a “new normal,” but the behind-the-scenes effort is crashing into a very public reality: A string of blue-state governors have gotten ahead of President Biden by suddenly abandoning their mask mandates.

Two of the administration’s top doctors — Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser for the pandemic, and Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both expressed qualified optimism on Wednesday about the direction of the pandemic. If cases continue to fall and no new variants arise, the country “could be heading toward what we would consider more normality,” Dr. Fauci said in an interview.

But Dr. Fauci cautioned that the situation “is still unpredictable,” and said any transition out of the current crisis would be gradual. And Dr. Walensky said pointedly that while her agency is working on new guidance for the states, it is too soon for all Americans to take off their masks in indoor public places.

“Our hospitalizations are still high, our death rates are still high,” she said during a news briefing by the White House Covid response team. “So, as we work toward that and as we are encouraged by the current trends, we are not there yet.”

The gubernatorial frenzy to drop mask mandates comes as the White House Covid response coordinator, Jeffrey D. Zients, and the government’s top doctors are soliciting advice from a wide array of public health experts, including some former Biden advisers who have very publicly urged the president to shift course. Mr. Zients referenced the sessions briefly on Wednesday, saying the White House is also reaching out to governors and local public health officials to talk about “steps we should be taking to keep the country moving forward.”

The talks, according to numerous participants, are aimed at drafting a fresh playbook for the delicate next phase of the pandemic, when the coronavirus threat is likely to recede but the possibility of a new variant and another deadly surge remains very real. They are addressing a range of issues beyond masking and mitigation, from how to get new antivirals to people who test positive for the virus to whether to upgrade ventilation systems in schools.

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Macron visits Kyiv after crisis talks with Putin: Live news


France’s Emmanuel Macron is in Kyiv for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, seeking a breakthrough in the East-West deadlock over Ukraine.

The Tuesday meeting comes a day after he met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow for discussions that lasted more than five hours, marking the highest-profile intervention yet by a Western leader.

“The next few days will be decisive and will require intensive discussions which we will pursue together,” Macron told reporters after meeting Putin.

The French president said he had made proposals of “concrete security guarantees” to Putin, who suggested some of the ideas could help ease the crisis.

The first US troops reinforcing NATO allies on the alliance’s eastern flank have arrived in Romania, Defence Minister Vasile Dancu says.

Washington is deploying nearly 3,000 extra soldiers to Poland and Romania to shield Eastern Europe from any potential spillover from the Ukraine crisis.

Dancu told reporters about 100 US troops were now on the ground in Romania, handling logistics. “The Americans have arrived,” he said. “It will not be long before the rest of the troops arrive.”

The US.currently has about 900 soldiers in Romania, a NATO member since 2004 and host to a ballistic missile defense system, some as part of the NATO force and some under separate bilateral arrangements. France recently said it also plans to send troops to Romania.

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Where Fox News and Donald Trump Took Us

Jeremy W. Peters, who covers politics and the media for The Times, is the author of “Insurgency: How Republicans Lost Their Party and Got Everything They Ever Wanted,” from which this article is adapted.

When Roger Ailes ran CNBC in the mid-1990s, he gave himself a talk show called “Straight Forward.” It long ago vanished into the void of canceled cable programs and never received much attention after the network boss moved on to produce more provocative and polarizing content as chairman of Fox News. But “Straight Forward” was a fascinating window into what kind of people Mr. Ailes considered stars.

Donald Trump was one of them. In late 1995, Mr. Ailes invited Mr. Trump, then a 49-year-old developer of condos and casinos, on the show and sounded a bit star-struck as he asked his guest to explain how a Manhattan multimillionaire could be so popular with blue-collar Americans.

“The guy on the street, the cabdrivers, the guys working on the road crews go, ‘Hey, Donald! How’s it going?’” Mr. Ailes observed while the two men sat in front of a wood-paneled set piece that gave the studio the appearance of an elegant den in an Upper East Side apartment. “It’s almost like they feel very comfortable with you, like you’re one of them. And I’ve never quite figured out how you bridge that.

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Moroccan boy trapped in well has died, according to state media

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A Moroccan boy who had been trapped in a well since Tuesday has died, according to two media outlets, Morocco’s state news agency, Maghreb Arab Press, and SNRT.

The 5-year-old boy, previously identified only as Rayan, was retrieved by rescue teams from the well on Saturday but did not survive his ordeal, state media reported.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco offered condolences to Rayan’s family in a phone call, according to a statement from the Royal Palace.
“Following the tragic accident that claimed the life of the child Rayan Oram, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God protect him, made a phone call to Mr. Khaled Oram, and Mrs. Wassima Khersheesh, the parents of the deceased who passed away, after falling into a well,” the statement said.
Rayan fell into the well Tuesday afternoon and was discovered after he was heard crying, his mother said in an interview with state-owned Al-Aoula TV two days later.
She said he was playing nearby before he disappeared, and that she quickly called authorities after finding out what had happened.
As rescue efforts continued throughout the week, gripping much of the country, the hashtag #SaveRayan went viral across North Africa.
The boy’s father previously told Al-Aoula that authorities sent food and water down the well and that he saw his son drinking some water.
“He was moving, and drank a little bit of water. I believe he will be okay, God help him,” he said.
Local media also reported that the child had taken food and water that was dropped down to him using a rope.
A report from MAP noted that it would be difficult to determine the time needed to complete the rescue operation, because of the nature of the soil that remained to be dug up in the horizontal gap connecting the well with a parallel hole.
Authorities used machinery in the difficult operation because the diameter of the well was only just over a foot and a half wide, Al-Aoula reported.

Several establishment Republicans push back on party’s punishment of Cheney and Kinzinger

The criticism underlines the ongoing intra-party feud between loyalists to former President Donald Trump and some elements of the Republican establishment that continue to push back against his de facto leadership of the party.
“Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol. Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost,” Romney said in a tweet.
The GOP I believe in is the party of freedom and truth. It’s a sad day for my party—and the country—when you’re punished just for expressing your beliefs, standing on principle, and refusing to tell blatant lies,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wrote on Twitter.
Cheney and Kinzinger are the lone Republicans serving on the January 6 select committee. Cheney previously faced rebuke for her decision to vote to impeach Trump, which resulted in her removal from GOP House
“If the price of being willing to tell the truth and get to the bottom of what happened on January 6, and make sure that those who are responsible are held accountable is a censure, then I am absolutely going to continue to stand up for what I knew was right,” Cheney told CNN this week. “And I think that it is a sad day for the party of Lincoln that that’s where we are.”

Erdogan, playing a mediating role, arrives in Ukraine: Live news


Turkey, which has interests in both Ukraine and Russia, has been playing a mediating role in the crisis so far. While Ankara is involved with Moscow in several global conflicts, it also sells weapons to Ukraine.

Western powers still fear a Russian invasion is possible given the build-up of more than 100,000 soldiers at the Ukraine border, but Moscow denies having plans to attack.

It has instead blamed the United States and the Washington-led NATO alliance for undermining the region’s security and demanded sweeping guarantees from the West.

The US has dismissed Moscow’s main proposals – that NATO cease activity in Eastern Europe and never allow ex-Soviet state Ukraine to become a member – as non-starters.

And further angering the Kremlin on Wednesday, Washington announced it will deploy troops to Eastern Europe to “deter and defend against any aggression”.

The European Union is working on a joint response to the letter which many of its member states received from Russia earlier this week asking for security guarantees, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says.

“We are working on the coordination of the response… We are united in the European Union and therefore it is clear that the response will mirror, will reflect that unity,” she told reporters on a visit in Helsinki.

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ABC News suspends ‘The View’ host Whoopi Goldberg

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News suspended “The View” host Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks on Tuesday night, one day after she drew significant criticism for falsely declaring that the Holocaust was “not about race.”

“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” ABC News president Kim Godwin said in a statement.
“While Whoopi has apologized, I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments,” Godwin added. “The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family and communities.”
As Godwin said in her statement, Goldberg had in fact apologized for her remarks. On Monday night, Goldberg apologized in a note posted to Twitter. And on Tuesday, Goldberg opened up “The View” offering yet another apology.

Newsom defends maskless photo at NFL playoff game

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom defended himself on Monday amid outrage over a maskless photo he took Sunday with basketball legend Magic Johnson at an NFL playoff game in Los Angeles where all spectators were required to wear masks.

“I was trying to be gracious, and I made a mist — you know, I mean, I was trying to be gracious,” the governor told reporters at a news conference on state mental health initiatives. “I took the mask off for a brief second. But I encourage people to continue to wear them.”

Conservatives also pointed to a video of what appeared to be Newsom greeting Johnson maskless.

Newsom wasn’t the only high-profile California politician facing backlash from the photo. Johnson posed with a maskless San Francisco Mayor London Breed and outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — and tagged Breed, Newsom and Garcetti in his Instagram posts.

For Newsom as well as Breed, the photo was yet another optics stumble. Newsom is seeing special outcry since he has presided over some of the nation’s strictest mask mandates across the state. Last year’s failed recall effort against the governor gained steam after photos circulated showing him dining unmasked with lobbyists at an exclusive restaurant during a late 2020 surge, as he asked Californians to avoid gatherings.

Breed had her own share of trouble after video emerged of her dancing maskless at an indoor show with R&B band Tony! Toni! Toné! last year while San Francisco remained under tight restrictions.

Sony Buys ‘Destiny’ Game Developer Bungie for $3.6 Billion

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Microsoft is committed to releasing at least the next three Call of Duty games on Sony’s PlayStation, Bloomberg News has reported. But eventually Microsoft could decide to take the series exclusively to its Xbox console and Windows computers. Sony, meanwhile, made clear that Destiny 2 and other titles won’t go solely to PlayStation platforms.

“This acquisition will give SIE access to Bungie’s world-class approach to live game services and technology expertise, furthering SIE’s vision to reach billions of players,” Sony said in the statement. Bungie will continue to operate independently, “maintaining the ability to self-publish and reach players wherever they choose to play.”

Sony is a regular acquirer of video game studios, though Bungie is by far its largest of the past decade. The Japanese entertainment and technology giant typically buys less established studios and enhances them with marketing and development resources, as it did for Naughty Dog and Guerrilla Games. Sony also holds minority stakes in some bigger game companies, such as Epic Games Inc., the maker of Fortnite. In recent years, Sony has made some smaller acquisitions, notably Burbank, California-based Insomniac Games in 2019 and Finland’s Housemarque, aiming to bolster its library of PlayStation exclusives.

While Microsoft has focused on packing its subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, full of games big and small, Sony’s blueprint is to develop large blockbusters and keep them exclusive to PlayStation — a strategy that helped the PlayStation 4 sell more than 116 million units, well ahead of the Xbox.

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