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Kansas City Chiefs' Marquez Valdes-Scantling off to a good start with Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs Blog- ESPN – ESPN

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling said it was difficult leaving the Green Bay Packers in free agency because it meant losing Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback. He had no trouble joining the Kansas City Chiefs to play with Patrick Mahomes, though.

“Me and Aaron have a great relationship and it was really tough to walk away because I still had that opportunity on the table to play with him the rest of his career,” Valdes-Scantling said. “I walked away from that opportunity and walked into one with a very similar quarterback talent-wise. They’ve both won MVPs. They’ve both won Super Bowls. … Having this opportunity to build something long-term with Pat is going to be life-changing.”

It’s still early, with the Chiefs not beginning training camp until later this month, but Valdes-Scantling’s relationship with Mahomes is off to a good start. Mahomes went to Valdes-Scantling frequently during offseason practice, the result being a lot of catches and some big plays.

“He’s done a great job of learning the offense really fast and making plays when his number’s been called,” Mahomes said. “We had a couple of guys a little banged up and he got a lot of reps and made a lot of plays. When you do that, even when all of the other guys come back, you have that confidence that he can make those plays.

“You saw a couple of plays down the sideline where he was one-on-one and I just threw it up and let him make a play and he did.”

Valdes-Scantling was a deep threat for Rodgers and the Packers. He averaged a healthy 17.5 yards per catch during his four seasons with Green Bay and was the league leader in that category in 2020 at almost 21 yards per reception.

The Chiefs appreciate that aspect of Valdes-Scantling’s game, particularly after they traded a top deep threat in Tyreek Hill. But they see more ways he can help the Chiefs.

“Marquez can do a lot of different things,” coach Andy Reid said. “He’s got good start-stop abilities. He’s a big target. He can run your slant games. He can run your deep throws. He can run the intermediate routes. He’s got a good feel in space, so he gives us some flexibility in there.

“He’s able to work some of the primary underneath routes. He maybe didn’t do as much in Green Bay because of who they had there, so I’ve been pleased with how he goes about it.”

Valdes-Scantling, who at age 27 signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Chiefs in March, agrees he can grow beyond the player he was with the Packers.

“Not necessarily saying I was limited in Green Bay but we had specific roles,” he said. “When I was there we were a pretty good offense for my four years so it worked and we won a lot of football games. So you can’t really complain. We were winning.

“I’ve been a top deep threat in the four years of my career. Obviously, those stats speak for themselves. But also I’m not limited to just that. Coach Reid does a really good job of getting his playmakers the ball.”

Among his offseason practice catches was a no-look throw from Mahomes. It wasn’t the first no-look pass he’s caught. His former quarterback occasionally got him the ball that way, too.

“Playing with Aaron for four years, he did that a lot. I think one of my first passes that he threw to me in training camp was a no-look pass. I’m accustomed to it. They have eyes in the back of their head. They can throw the football any kind of way: behind his head, whatever. Pat’s gifted like that. He can do those kinds of things.

“If you get open, Pat will find you. He’s the best in the business doing that, finding the open guys and giving them chances.”

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Brown vs. O'Malley showdown in Maryland AG primary has a long history – The Washington Post

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Congressman Anthony G. Brown and former judge Katie Curran O’Malley both remember when they first met. It was the night before O’Malley’s husband, Martin O’Malley, then mayor of Baltimore and a gubernatorial candidate, announced that Brown would join his ticket as lieutenant governor.

The O’Malleys invited the Browns over for a casual pre-announcement dinner.

“She was a very gracious host, and it was a very pleasant evening,” Brown said.

“He’s lovely, and his family’s lovely,” O’Malley recalled.

But that was in 2005, and they are now on opposing teams, heading into the final stretch of a tight primary battle seeking the Democratic nomination to be Maryland’s next attorney general. While Brown and O’Malley still express admiration for one another, they’re also making clear their approach is best suited for the job of Maryland’s chief law enforcement official.

The race couldn’t be closer. A Goucher College poll released last week showed a statistical dead heat with 35 percent of voters undecided about who should replace Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D), who announced he wouldn’t seek reelection last year after two terms in office. The winner will square off in November against either Jim Shalleck or Michael Peroutka, the candidates running in the Republican primary.

Maryland has a glass ceiling. Democrats won’t break it this year.

There is little that differentiates Brown’s and O’Malley’s positions on most major issues, including abortion rights and gun violence. The question is who is most ready to step into the role, and that’s where the niceties end.

“The congressman is a legislator, he’s a politician,” O’Malley, 59, said of Brown. “But for this job, attorney general, the constitution requires that you have real legal experience in courtrooms. And I’m the only one that really brings that to the table. … I think it’s important, especially in light of rising crime, that your attorney general can strategize with the deputies and assistant attorney generals when we’re talking about going after drug traffickers, human traffickers and gun trafficking cases. And also can strategize on ways to go after gun manufacturers and gun shop owners.”

A graduate of Towson University and the University of Baltimore School of Law, O’Malley says her 30 years of experience working as an assistant state’s attorney, heading the white-collar crime unit and serving as a Baltimore District Judge gives her the tools the job demands.

O’Malley emphasizes Brown’s lack of trial experience in her campaign. In an ad released late last month, she looks into the camera and says, “My opponent, Anthony Brown, is a fine congressman, but he’s never tried a criminal case in Maryland and he doesn’t have the right experience for this job. I’ll be ready to fight for you on Day 1.”

Brown, 60, received his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard and served as a military lawyer in the Army and Army Reserve for 30 years before retiring as a colonel. He dismisses O’Malley’s assertion about the importance of courtroom experience to the job.

The idea that “having extensive trial experience is a key feature for being the attorney general, I would submit you don’t understand the responsibilities of the office or the organization of the office,” said Brown, whose résumé includes two terms in Maryland House of Delegates, two terms as the state’s lieutenant governor and three terms as a congressman representing Maryland’s 4th District.

“The work that has to be done in Maryland solving big problems requires a partnership between the executive branch including the office of the attorney general and the General Assembly,” he said. “In my practice, unlike Judge O’Malley, I’ve been involved in complex litigation, multi-partner litigation, class action litigation. … And those are more like the kinds of cases that the attorney general deals with. It’s big litigation. … The attorney general’s office is not in small claims court, they’re not in traffic court, they’re not doing minor misdemeanors.”

Baker paused his bid, rivals sought his endorsement. Why hasn’t it come?

In interviews last week, both candidates said the biggest issue for Marylanders in 2022 is the rise in crime and how to respond to it. They also said the attorney general should assume a key role in tackling gun violence, protecting abortion rights and civil rights, strengthening environmental regulations and prosecuting polluters. Both have said that when it comes to abortion rights, they want to enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade in Maryland’s constitution.

While many of their positions on the issues are similar, the different styles of the candidates do present a choice to voters, said D. Bruce Poole, former chairman of Maryland’s Democratic Party and former member of the Maryland House of Delegates.

“They’re both really well qualified, and they’re well liked,” said Poole, who has known Brown and O’Malley for many years and sees unique strengths in each of them. For voters, he says, “it depends on what you want.”

“Anthony is going to be very good at going down to the State House and working the levers of power. And if he has to go to Capitol Hill, I would imagine he would be very well-received. In terms of actual trial work, I would imagine he would have to go to a team and assemble a team for that,” he said. “Katie, on the other hand, understands what it’s like to be in the pit and fight it out. She is a friendly person, but she’s steely. And so if it’s fixed bayonets, she’s going to do fine with that. On the other hand, working in the legislature, I’m guessing she’s going to have to take the counseling of some others.”

No matter which candidate wins, the victor will likely be on a historic path. Brown would be the first African American to be Maryland’s attorney general. O’Malley would be the first woman. The winner of the Democratic primary has not lost the attorney general race in the general election since 1952.

Republicans Shalleck, the former elections chief in Montgomery County, and Peroutka, a former member of the Anne Arundel County Council, are on their party’s primary ballot but significantly trail the Democrats in funds raised. As of mid-June, Brown had $1.2 million available to spend, while O’Malley had nearly $839,000.

The last time Brown was in a statewide race in Maryland was when he ran for governor in 2014 and lost to Larry Hogan. But running for attorney general and winning a statewide office is not about seeking redemption for that failed bid, Brown said.

“I just view this as a continuum in life,” he said. “You take your skills, your experience, your talent. You couple that with your passion and commitment, and you apply it where the opportunities present themselves.”

This is O’Malley’s first run for elected office, although she has been immersed in politics since she was young. Her husband served two terms as mayor of Baltimore and two terms as governor. And her father, J. Joseph Curran Jr., served a term as lieutenant governor and 20 years as Maryland’s attorney general.

“I’ve known politicians all my life,” she said. “I’m married to one, and I was raised by one. So I think I have the skills to communicate effectively as an attorney general when talking about laws that need to be pursued.”

Both candidates enjoy strong name recognition and have “deep roots with establishment Democratic politics,” said Mileah Kromer, a political scientist at Goucher College. “So it’s not as if there’s an insider-outsider dynamic.”

She thinks how the candidates message their positions on abortion and gun control, two key issues in the state, could affect who wins. But with the July 19 Election Day fast approaching, she believes the race will probably come down to which campaign is best prepared.

“At this point, it’s how well each of the campaigns can do in contacting voters,” Kromer said. “It’s going to be super important, and it’s going to be not just a test of the candidates but a test of the campaign organization they have put together. … One thing that makes this race so interesting is that they’re both really capable candidates.”

Brown and O’Malley both acknowledge they’re in a hotly contested race, and observers say it would be foolish at this stage to predict a winner.

“It’s going to come down to the last 72 hours,” Poole said. Laughing, he added, “Anybody who says they know with certainty what’s going to happen has just demonstrated their incompetence in the matter.”

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Opinion | DeSantis is smarter than Trump. That makes him more of a threat. – The Washington Post

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is having a moment. Pundits are suggesting that the Jan. 6 hearings, by exposing former president Donald Trump’s complicity in a coup attempt, will redound to DeSantis’s benefit in 2024. Already, a poll in New Hampshire shows DeSantis topping Trump. The question, from the standpoint of those of us who have a sentimental attachment to American democracy, is which man is a bigger threat to the republic? I found myself grappling with that issue as I read a long and enlightening profile of DeSantis by Dexter Filkins in the New Yorker.

Filkins notes that, “while Trump, with his lazy, Barnumesque persona, projects a fundamental lack of seriousness, DeSantis has an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy. Articulate and fast on his feet, he has been described as Trump with a brain.” But do we really want a president who will work harder and more intelligently to implement a Trumpian agenda? Is it really better to have a president who is relentlessly focused on right-wing bugaboos such as critical race theory, transgender athletes, undocumented immigrants and “woke corporations” rather than one who is easily distracted into braggadocio about his golf game or his flooring?

Actually, the more I read about DeSantis, the more he reminds me not of Trump but of another disgraced Republican president. One of DeSantis’s Yale baseball teammates told Filkins he is really “smart” but deficient in interpersonal skills: “He has always loved embarrassing and humiliating people. I’m speaking for others — he was the biggest d—k we knew.” A former House colleague said of DeSantis: “He’s a little reclusive, a bit of an odd duck … but he’s just incredibly disciplined.”

Smart and disciplined but reclusive and unpleasant: Who does that remind you of? That’s right: Richard M. Nixon. And I don’t mean the Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency, implemented affirmative action, went to China and took other surprisingly liberal steps. DeSantis has never shown any similar willingness to challenge his base. I’m thinking of the Nixon who smeared his opponents (he accused Adlai Stevenson of having a “Ph.D. from Dean Acheson’s cowardly college of Communist containment”) and warred with the press (“You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore,” he said in 1962, “because gentlemen, this is my last press conference”). I’m thinking of the Nixon who employed the government against his “enemies list,” catered to White bigotry (the Southern strategy) and exacerbated social divisions in an attempt to mobilize the Silent Majority against liberal elites.

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DeSantis seems hellbent on carrying on the disreputable legacy of Tricky Dick, and with even less respect for democratic norms than Nixon displayed. Indeed, he wages culture war with a ruthlessness that recalls Nixon during the bombing of Cambodia.

DeSantis signed legislation severely curtailing mask and vaccine mandates for businesses and local governments, thereby running roughshod over private property rights even while denouncing Democrats as socialists. The University of Florida — controlled by DeSantis appointees — has forbidden professors from testifying against DeSantis plans to restrict mask-wearing and voting rights. A pediatrician was removed from a state board overseeing children’s health insurance after criticizing DeSantis’s outrageous reluctance to provide covid vaccines for children under five.

DeSantis refuses to say whether President Biden was legitimately elected and criticizes the Jan. 6 committee hearings. He created a special task force to police voter fraud even though there is no evidence of widespread fraud. In the name of election security, he also pushed through a bill restricting voting rights that was largely struck down by a federal judge as unconstitutional. A DeSantis-backed “anti-riot” bill, passed in response to Black Lives Matter rallies, was blocked by another federal judge for infringing on the First Amendment.

DeSantis signed a “don’t say gay” law restricting discussion of gender and sexuality issues in public schools — and then took away tax breaks from Disney for criticizing the legislation. In a similarly vindictive vein, he vetoed state funding for a Tampa Bay Rays training facility after the baseball team had the temerity to call for gun-safety legislation to stop mass shootings.

DeSantis signed legislation to limit what schools, colleges and workplaces can teach about race and identity, while promulgating teacher training wrongly claiming that the Founders didn’t really want separation of church and state. He also signed legislation that would give the state greater control over what is taught in universities under the guise of promoting viewpoint “diversity.” He is even threatening to investigate parents who take their kids to drag shows.

In short, DeSantis is engaged in one of the most alarming assaults on free speech and academic freedom since the dark days of McCarthyism in the 1950s, when Nixon rose to power. His actions may not be as blatant as inciting a mob to attack Congress, but his record reveals a troubling pattern of authoritarianism and vindictiveness that would be extremely dangerous in the Oval Office.

Just because DeSantis is smarter than Trump doesn’t mean that he is any less dangerous. In fact, he might be an even bigger threat for that very reason.

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What to look out for when signing a lease – The Washington Post

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When you’re renting an apartment, you may be a little wary of what you’re signing when it comes to your lease. It is more than likely written to protect the landlord’s interests. But tenant protections that are written into law in many jurisdictions require landlords to follow certain protocols.

For help understanding the details of leases, we contacted New York City-based Dan Mishin, the founder and CEO of the apartment-rental agency June Homes, and Rob Warnock, a senior research associate for the Apartment List rental platform based in San Francisco. Both responded via email. The following was edited for length and clarity.

Q: Which lease terms can be most confusing to first-time renters?

Warnock: First-time renters should take extra care understanding any costs that can arise beyond the monthly rent price. This includes utilities, paid amenities like parking or storage, renter’s insurance, pet insurance and late payment penalties, to name a few. Utilities can vary significantly between apartments based on the age of the unit and its appliances, and whether any utilities are shared between tenants. Try to get a clear understanding of these costs and factor them into a broader monthly budget that includes the base rent payment before signing a lease.

Remote work continues to shift U.S. housing landscape, Zillow finds

Mishin: Most first-time renters are unaware of these terms that they should take into consideration when signing a lease.

· gross vs. net lease: A gross lease is the most common and beneficial option for first-time renters because it gives them a predetermined rent for each month. During the pandemic, many landlords were securing tenants by offering several months free with a net lease. However, first-time renters are unaware that with a net lease, they are paying a higher rent over the entire lease because of getting those months free in the front end or back end.

· approval timing: Many landlords are not upfront about their requirements, including the approval timing. Some renters must wait up to a month for an answer, especially if renting in a condo or co-op building.

· guarantors: Although having a guarantor is one of the easiest ways to secure an apartment, many people are unaware of how it affects their lease. Having a guarantor allows you to use that person’s income to help you qualify for an apartment. However, if you don’t pay rent on time, it will affect the credit score of your guarantor.

Q: Which lease terms have the biggest impact on renters?

Warnock: Subletting rules, guest policies and use clauses can have a major impact on the experience of living in an apartment. Consider that such rules apply not only to you but also to neighbors who you share space with. But such terms are usually standardized and will typically limit tenants from engaging in disruptive behavior.

Where do homeowners pay the most in property taxes?

Mishin: Renting fees: Fees are generally overlooked when signing a lease and can lead to an increase in the upfront cost. Some leases may include a move-in fee, move-in deposit or hefty fees if you’re late on your rent. In most states, landlords are capped at how much they can charge for rent and late payments. It is recommended that you check your local state regulations about how much you should be paying.

· upfront payments: Upfront payments such as a security deposit can be intimidating. Before signing a lease, any first-time renter should check their state’s regulations and rules to determine how much they can legally be charged.

· termination clauses: Before signing a lease, connect with your landlord about potential termination scenarios. Most landlords are open to negotiating an opt-out with you to make sure the lease you sign is beneficial for both parties.

Q: Are there any lease terms that should cause a renter to hesitate to sign the lease?

Warnock: Any terms that suggest — directly or subtly — that the renter is solely responsible for maintenance, repairs or damage should be reviewed closely. Renters should familiarize themselves with local and state laws that dictate exactly what they can and cannot be held responsible for. Leases with vague move-out terms should also be avoided. The move-out process is extremely important as it dictates a tenant’s ability to recoup their security deposit. So that timeline should be reasonable and defined explicitly in the lease.

Mishin: Before signing a lease, you should always make sure that you are not paying more than expected. Common terms such as “security deposits,” “move-in fees,” and “extra deposits” are red flags when signing a lease. In most states, landlords cannot require you to pay more than one month of security deposit and charge you a move-in fee.

Verbal promises are another thing to keep an eye on. It’s a major red flag if a landlord gives you a verbal promise but is unwilling to put it in writing. This could lead to surprise fees and expenses.

Q: Can lease terms be negotiated?

Warnock: Typically, yes, and renters should always look for negotiation opportunities, because even small amounts of money saved every month can add up to a healthy sum. Renters should enter negotiations equipped with knowledge about their local market that they can use to their advantage, for example, how the price of an apartment compares to similar units in the same neighborhood or city.

Mishin: Yes. Termination terms/fees can be negotiated. In addition, broker fees can be negotiated. Some brokers may charge you up to 15 percent of your year’s rent. Usually, you can negotiate it down to one month.

Q: Are there any workarounds if someone must end a lease early because of a job loss or relocation or some other legitimate reason rather than just wanting to move?

Warnock: The first step is to check the early termination clause written in your lease. Sometimes the penalty is a modest one-time payment that could be worth it just to avoid a bigger hassle or uncomfortable negotiations. Subletting could be another option if your lease allows for it. But I would also recommend communicating honestly with the landlord — at a time when demand is high and rents are rising, an early termination could be seen as an opportunity for the landlord to replace you with higher-paying tenants.

Mishin: You can potentially negotiate with your landlord to have someone take over your lease. This is on a case-by-case basis. Landlords always tend to end a lease in the summer due to the high demand for apartments. If necessary, you can negotiate with your landlord to get out of the lease during the summer because they’ll be able to find a new tenant faster. If your lease ends in the spring and you need a few more months, you can negotiate with your landlord to extend the lease to the summer.

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Some states want a fetus to be considered a person. Defining those rights is tough – NPR

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NPR’s A Martinez talks with Carliss Chatman, a law professor at Washington and Lee School of Law, about fetus personhood laws as a new frontier in legal battles over reproductive rights.

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How a shape-shifting receptor influences cell growth – MIT News

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Receptors found on cell surfaces bind to hormones, proteins, and other molecules, helping cells respond to their environment. MIT chemists have now discovered how one of these receptors changes its shape when it binds to its target, and how those changes trigger cells to grow and proliferate.

This receptor, known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), is overexpressed in many types of cancer and is the target of several cancer drugs. These drugs often work well at first, but tumors can become resistant to them. Understanding the mechanism of these receptors better may help researchers design drugs that can evade that resistance, says Gabriela Schlau-Cohen, an associate professor of chemistry at MIT.

“Thinking about more general mechanisms to target EGFR is an exciting new direction, and gives you a new avenue to think about possible therapies that may not evolve resistance as easily,” she says.

Schlau-Cohen and Bin Zhang, the Pfizer-Laubach Career Development Assistant Professor of Chemistry, are the senior authors of the study, which appears today in Nature Communications. The paper’s lead authors are MIT graduate student Shwetha Srinivasan and former MIT postdoc Raju Regmi.

Shape-changing receptors

The EGF receptor is one of many receptors that help control cell growth. Found on most types of mammalian epithelial cells, which line body surfaces and organs, it can respond to several types of growth factors in addition to EGF. Some types of cancer, especially lung cancer and glioblastoma, overexpress the EGF receptor, which can lead to uncontrolled growth.

Like most cell receptors, the EGFR spans the cell membrane. An extracellular region of the receptor interacts with its target molecule (also called a ligand); a transmembrane section is embedded within the membrane; and an intracellular section interacts with cellular machinery that controls growth pathways.

The extracellular portion of the receptor has been analyzed in detail, but the transmembrane and intracellular sections have been difficult to study because they are more disordered and can’t be crystallized.

About five years ago, Schlau-Cohen set out to try to learn more about those lesser-known structures. Her team embedded the proteins in a special type of self-assembling membrane called a nanodisc, which mimics the cell membrane. Then, she used single molecule FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) to study how the conformation of the receptor changes when it binds to EGF.

FRET is commonly used to measure tiny distances between two fluorescent molecules. The researchers labeled the nanodisc membrane and the end of the intracellular tail of the protein with two different fluorophores, which allowed them to measure the distance between the protein tail and the cell membrane, under a variety of circumstances.

To their surprise, the researchers found that EGF binding led to a major change in the conformation of the receptor. Most models of receptor signaling involve interaction of multiple transmembrane helices to bring about large-scale conformational changes, but the EGF receptor, which has only a single helical segment within the membrane, appears to undergo such a change without interacting with other receptor molecules.

“The idea of a single alpha helix being able to transduce such a large conformational rearrangement was really surprising to us,” Schlau-Cohen says.

Molecular modeling

To learn more about how this shape change would affect the receptor’s function, Schlau-Cohen’s lab teamed up with Zhang, whose lab does computer simulations of molecular interactions. This kind of modeling, known as molecular dynamics, can model how a molecular system changes over time.

The modeling showed that when the receptor binds to EGF, the extracellular segment of the receptor stands up vertically, and when the receptor is not bound, it lies flat against the cell membrane. Similar to a hinge closing, when the receptor falls flat, it tilts the transmembrane segment and pulls the intracellular segment closer to the membrane. This blocks the intracellular region of the protein from being able to interact with the machinery needed to launch cell growth. EGF binding makes those regions more available, helping to activate growth signaling pathways.

The researchers also used their model to discover that positively charged amino acids in the intracellular segment, near the cell membrane, are key to these interactions. When the researchers mutated those amino acids, switching them from charged to neutral, ligand binding no longer activated the receptor.

“There’s a nice consistency we can see between the simulation and experiment,” Zhang says. “With the molecular dynamics simulations, we can figure out what are the amino acids that are essential for the coupling, and quantify the role of different amino acids. Then Gabriela showed that those predictions turned out to be correct.”

The researchers also found that cetuximab, a drug that binds to the EGF receptor, prevents this conformational change from occurring. Cetuximab has shown some success in treating patients with colorectal or head and neck cancer, but tumors can become resistant to it. Learning more about the mechanism of how EGFR responds to different ligands could help researchers to design drugs that might be less likely to lead to resistance, the researchers say.

The research was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health, including a Directors New Innovator Award.

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Morning Bid: Hoping for a calmer H2? Forget it – Reuters.com

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A picture illustration of U.S. dollar, Swiss Franc, British pound and Euro bank notes, taken in Warsaw January 26, 2011. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

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A look at the day ahead in markets from Saikat Chatterjee.

Investors hoping the second half of the year would bring some relief after a bruising six months, may not be feeling very optimistic after the last 24 hours.

The newsflow has been relentlessly gloomy. Talk of gas rationing in Europe, a political crisis in Britain and a fresh flare up of COVID-19 cases prompting fresh restrictions in Shanghai has put the boot firmly into risk appetite. read more

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World stocks are on the back foot, the dollar is comfortably perched at a two-decade high versus its major rivals and the U.S. Treasury bond yield curve is screaming recession risk.

Though sliding bond yields offered a boost to U.S. stock markets overnight, futures point to a bleak start. A gauge of European stock market volatility is nearing two-month highs.

Recession talk has also buffeted commodities with prices of copper, gold and oil sliding overnight on top of heavy losses this year.

But markets hoping for a break from the doom loop of falling asset prices forcing traders to cut positions and dragging in momentum-chasing hedge funds may not find any immediate relief.

On top of economic data this session, is the Federal Reserve’s minutes for the June meeting where it announced the sharpest hike in the U.S. benchmark interest rate in nearly 30 years.

It is likely to foreshadow more hikes as Fed officials have said their top priority is fighting inflation, even at the cost of growth with markets betting on another 75 bps rate hike later this month.

A battered sterling meanwhile was starting European trade on a weak footing (again) against a backdrop of political turmoil — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been gravely wounded by the resignation of ministers who said he was not fit to govern. read more

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Wednesday:

– ASML shares fall on report US wants to restrict sales to China read more

– Telecom Italia is looking to fetch a valuation of at least 25 billion euros including debt. read more

– Scandinavian airline SAS has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States to help cut debt. read more

– Macro corner: Germany May factory orders, Sweden May GDP, UK construction PMI, euro area May retail sales.

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Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; editing by Dhara Ranasinghe

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Analysis | Far from Ukraine, Sri Lanka is the epicenter of a global crisis – The Washington Post

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The war in Ukraine may still dominate international headlines. But it’s a country far from the battlefield that has turned into a kind of crucible of the global moment. For months, Sri Lanka has been in an economic death spiral: A public debt crisis, exacerbated first by the toll of the pandemic and then the disruptions provoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has led to shortages in food, fuel, cooking gas, medicines, cash and other essential commodities.

In a United Nations survey, some 70 percent of Sri Lankan households reported cutting back on food consumption, with food price inflation running at around 57 percent (contrast that to roughly 10 percent in the United States from the previous year). The country of 22 million people is more or less out of fuel and fresh shipments are still days away.

Mounting public anger and protests brought down the government of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in May, but crisis conditions endure and fears grow over the potential of new clashes between security forces and ordinary, irate civilians. Rolling power cuts are now standard parts of daily life, as are days-long lines for fuel. Schools and offices have been closed at least through the week in a bid to keep Sri Lankans off the roads.

Last week, doctors, medical staff, teachers and bankers in the capital Colombo marched in protest of their inability to get the necessary petrol or diesel to carry out essential work. “Things have become unbearable for the common man,” said a teachers union official to Reuters.

How one powerful family wrecked a country

Sri Lanka in May defaulted on its debt for the first time in its history as an independent nation. A caretaker government led by savvy veteran politician Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is attempting to steer the country out of its troubles, including by soliciting aid from regional powers India and China.

But the road ahead remains bleak for a country unable to pay for its imports. The government has resorted to rather desperate appeals: It introduced a scheme to give government employees an extra day off to grow crops in their backyards and also offered all of the nation’s 1.5 million public sector workers the possibility of taking five years unpaid leave so they could find employment abroad, emigrate and send much-needed remittances home.

Lines at passport offices are now lengthy, too, and the country’s online application system has been backlogged for months. The most desperate are attempting to flee via boat to nearby countries such as India. Analysts have likened the wipeout of the Sri Lankan economy to the financial chaos of the late 1990s in Southeast Asia’s major economies. Others warn of Sri Lanka turning into “South Asia’s Lebanon,” debt-ridden and dysfunctional.

Ten days of negotiations that began June 20 between the country’s interim government and officials from the International Monetary Fund over a potential bailout package concluded last week with no resolution. “In the past, we have held discussions as a developing country,” Wickremesinghe said Tuesday. “But now the situation is different. We are now participating in the negotiations as a bankrupt country. Therefore, we have to face a more difficult and complicated situation.”

Inside the collapse of the Rajapaksa dynasty in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s problems are, in many aspects, unique to its situation and self-inflicted. Yet the astonishing collapse of the country is also inextricably linked to a wider, interlocking series of global phenomena: The war in Ukraine has spiked global food and energy prices and pushed a tough situation in Sri Lanka over the edge.

“Sri Lanka would be in crisis even if you didn’t have a war in Ukraine, but it’s compounding everything,” Alan Keenan, an analyst at the International Crisis Group consultancy, said to my colleague Gerry Shih earlier this year. “This is the Ukraine effect: a credit line for fuel you thought could last two months now lasts one. Even if you get a bailout, you’re buying less food, less fuel, less medicine.”

Similar pressures exist elsewhere. A joint report from international humanitarian groups Oxfam and Save the Children in May found that one person is dying of hunger every 48 seconds in drought-ravaged Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. The conflict in Ukraine had led to prices spiking to record levels and made food “unattainable for millions” of people in East Africa.

“The number of people experiencing extreme hunger in the three countries has more than doubled since last year — from over 10 million to more than 23 million today,” the organizations noted in a statement. “This is against a backdrop of crippling debt that more than tripled in under a decade — from $20.7 billion in 2012 to $65.3 billion by 2020 — sucking these countries’ resources from public services and social protection.”

The organizations also cajoled major Western powers for not doing more: “[Group of Seven nations] and other rich nations have turned inwards in response to various global crises, such as COVID-19 and more recently the Ukraine conflict, including by backtracking on their promised aid to poor countries and driving them to edge of bankruptcy with debt.”

Indeed, for the United States and many of its European partners rallying around Ukraine, Sri Lanka is far from their focus. But leaders elsewhere are more concerned. Indonesian President Joko Widodo is said to have carried out his trip last week to both Kyiv and Moscow with the situation in Sri Lanka front of mind. He urged an end to hostilities and pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to ease conditions that have placed a chokehold on crucial exports of grain and fertilizer.

“Indonesia’s top goal is … for the war to end in Ukraine,” Andrew Mantong, international relations researcher at the Jakarta-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Nikkei Asia. “If that can’t be achieved, the second goal — and the most achievable — is to find a way for Russian and Ukrainian food and fertilizer supplies to be reintegrated into the global supply chain.”

In an interview with the Associated Press last month, a beleaguered Wickremesinghe said his government would consider sourcing Russian oil, no matter Western sanctions. He bemoaned how the war in Ukraine had accelerated Sri Lanka’s “economic contraction” and warned his nation would not be alone.

“I think by the end of the year, you could see the impact in other countries,” he said. “There is a global shortage of food. Countries are not exporting food.”

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A Core Ritual Returns: Twice-Weekly Alternate-Side Parking – The New York Times

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In New York, “your life revolves around alternate-side parking,” one driver lamented.

Good morning. It’s Wednesday. Today we’ll look at the return of twice-a-week alternate-side parking for drivers in Manhattan, the Bronx and much of the rest of the city. And we’ll eavesdrop on one awe-struck but ambivalent fireworks-watching party on Brooklyn’s waterfront.

Brittainy Newman for The New York Times

It was good while it lasted.

Since June 2020, drivers in many New York City neighborhoods have been able to halve the percentage of their waking hours devoted to moving their vehicles out of the paths of the Sanitation Department’s white, broom-spinning street sweepers.

During the pandemic, alternate-side parking, that special New York automotive dance, was cut back to once a week throughout the city. On Tuesday, the old schedule came roaring back.

Like the sweepers brandishing their whirligig brushes and trailing clouds of dust and leaves — a majestic sight that inspired my oldest child’s first compound word, “broom truck!” — the return of the mandated car-moving schedule brought some commotion.

A row of parked cars with fresh parking tickets on their windshields could be seen Tuesday on a stretch of Riverside Drive in Morningside Heights, my colleagues Hurubie Meko and Corey Kilgannon report.

“A lot of people didn’t get the memo,” said Michael Bergelson, surveying that scene.

He added a common urban driver’s lament, perhaps channeling some 1,700 people who had signed a petition as of Tuesday to maintain the once-a-week schedule: “If you live in New York and own a car, your life revolves around alternate-side parking.”

But that’s just it: If you live in New York and own a car.

Mayor Eric Adams did not emphasize this when he announced in April that the rules were returning to normal, but climate experts say that making it more expensive and less convenient to drive around the nation’s densest city is a key step in cleaning up New York’s air and reducing its contribution to the climate crisis.

Emissions from burning fossil fuels drive the global heating that threatens New Yorkers and others with flash floods, intense storms and extreme heat, and vehicles are second only to buildings as a source of pollution in the city.

City Hall has instead cited another growing problem: a pandemic increase in street trash and rat populations.

“Having cleaner streets is more important than the inconvenience of us having to move our cars more often,” Joe Goddu, another Morningside Heights driver, conceded as he tried to work on his laptop, perched on the hood of the Subaru he was babysitting until he could legally leave it where it stood.

Mr. Adams, a devoted biker, did say the $9 million the city is investing to improve cleaning will include the use of small mechanical sweepers on protected bike lanes, which have multiplied as part of an effort to get more people out of cars.


Weather

Expect a mostly sunny day near the high 80s. At night, it’s mostly cloudy. Temperatures will be around the low 70s.

ALTERNATE-SIDE PARKING

In effect until Saturday (Eid al-Adha).


Mike Catalini/Associated Press

Desiree Rios/The New York Times

The blue starbursts shone like floating sapphires. The red sparks danced in the air with the red dots of helicopters and the red logos of the Manhattan skyline. The gold shimmery ones drifted like willow branches behind the dark silhouettes of the port’s loading cranes.

There were literal oohs and aahs on Monday night from the wheelhouse of the Mary A. Whalen, the retired tanker docked in Brooklyn’s Red Hook section that serves as a maritime museum and education center, where a decent cross-section of the diverse neighborhood had gathered for a very local Independence Day.

Children had swum during the hotter hours in inflatable pools. Jelly doughnuts and hot dogs had arrived as pot luck. Now, the stereo view of relatively distant fireworks — Jersey City’s between the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center and Manhattan’s farther north behind several bridges — was, as usual, just perfect for the neighborhood’s residents, especially those who, for various reasons, don’t enjoy bangs and explosions.

Watching the red glare and smoke, I thought that 9/11 memories, too, were distant enough for enough of us for this to be … fine. I suddenly recalled an intense feeling of safety that I felt as a child on my dad’s shoulders in the chaos and crowds of booming fireworks at the Bicentennial in 1976, and on other Fourths past.

But when I clanked down the ladder to the deck, I found neighbors huddled around their beers and burgers darkly dissecting, and linking, recent news events. The mass shooting during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill. The Supreme Court ruling striking down New York’s tight restrictions on concealed-carry gun permits. The gunman in Buffalo who targeted a Black neighborhood.

Women on deck half-joked about having less patience for men in their lives since the decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Tiffiney Davis, who runs the Red Hook Art Project, had told me days earlier that the reversal of Roe was forcing young women who were graduates of her program into a strange dilemma: They had “made new lives for themselves away from the city,” where violence had marked their childhoods, or enrolled in out-of-state colleges, or made plans to “see the country,” she said. But now some were considering sticking with New York, because “their rights are not protected in other states, and that’s a different kind of fear.”

The common theme: The court rulings were out of step with a majority of Americans and New Yorkers, but delivered by the same political system the fireworks celebrated. There was a sense that New York feels like more of an island city than usual.

People on the deck had moved to America — to New York, specifically — from Peru and China and Russia and Israel. The fact that we were all here together, the host pointed out, is something to celebrate about America. Or was it, another guest said, something to celebrate about New York City?

Along the waterfront that day from Dumbo down to Red Hook, the vibe had been pretty darn great. On Pier Six, a middle-aged former camp counselor helped three young women — strangers — pitch a tent that had flummoxed them. Big families — of every race, speaking several languages — barbecued by the sparkling East River. One family, after a five minute chat, even offered me a spot on their blanket for the fireworks show. I walked home alone after midnight feeling safe, suffused with love for the reflections in Buttermilk Channel and the halal carts being towed home.

This morning, as I went out to walk the dog, someone set off firecrackers across the street. It wasn’t only the poodle who jumped.


METROPOLITAN diary

Dear Diary:

Once, when I lived in a fifth-floor walk-up on West 71st Street, I decided to take a narrow shelving unit I had found on the sidewalk back to the curb.

A few days after putting it out, I was walking down Broadway with my mother when we passed a street vendor.

I quickly noticed that one of the many items he had for sale was my old shelving unit.

Out of curiosity, I asked him the price.

He took a long look at me.

“Normally, it’s $15,” he said. “But you have a nice face. How about 10?”

— Lisa Sloane

Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Send submissions here and read more Metropolitan Diary here.


Glad we could get together here. See you tomorrow. — A.B.

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. You can find all our puzzles here.

Melissa Guerrero and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at [email protected]

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Max Scherzer strikes out 11, doesn't surrender a run in return to New York Mets – ESPN

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Max Scherzer’s return to the New York Mets‘ rotation on Tuesday night was a successful one, as he struck out a season-high 11 batters in six scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds, leaving after 79 pitches with the game tied 0-0.

Scherzer had last started for the Mets on May 18, when he left his start in the sixth inning and went on the injured list because of an oblique strain. After two minor league rehab starts (and one dog bite that didn’t delay his return), Scherzer looked like his usual self in his start at Cincinnati. His fastball to strike out Matt Reynolds in the second inning was clocked at 97.1 mph, matching his fastest pitch of the season — and it was his fastest pitch on a strikeout since 2020. Overall, he induced 15 swings and misses, or 18.9% of his pitches, topping his season rate of 14% entering the game.

He also showed no issues with his control, throwing first-pitch strikes to 17 of the 21 batters he faced and 57 of 79 pitches overall, and looked much sharper than he did in his Double-A rehab start for Binghamton last week, when Hartford scored three runs off him in 4⅔ innings and had several hard-hit balls. Indeed, this was Scherzer’s 28th career game with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks, passing Curt Schilling for the second most such games in a career, trailing only Randy Johnson, who had 36.

The Reds went on to win 1-0 with a run in the bottom of the ninth off Seth Lugo.

Scherzer’s return comes at a good time for a Mets rotation that has scuffled a bit of late. With Scherzer leading the way, the Mets went 15-7 in April and the rotation posted a 2.52 ERA and held opponents to a .183 average and .515 OPS. Since May 19, the rotation had a 4.92 ERA, only 23rd best in the majors, and opposing batters posted a .261 average and .765 OPS.

The Mets are also hoping to get Jacob deGrom back soon. He made his first rehab start on Sunday, striking out five of the six batters he faced in a Class A game (he hit the one he didn’t strike out) and hitting 100 mph in the process.