Yankees homer in MLB-record 28th straight game

The New York Yankees wasted no time in breaking the major league record for the longest streak of consecutive games with a home run.

DJ LeMahieu‘s leadoff homer off Toronto‘s Clayton Richard in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in New York made it 28 straight games with a home run, breaking the record set by the 2002 Texas Rangers.

During this current streak, 14 different Yankees have combined to hit 49 home runs. Aaron Judge got his first of the streak right after LeMahieu. It was the first home run since April 20 for Judge, who returned Friday from an oblique injury that sidelined him for two months.

The last game in which the Yankees failed to hit a home run was May 25 against the Kansas City Royals.

Last season, the Yankees set a separate major league homer-hitting record. Their 267 are the most hit by a team in a single season.

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Machado shakes off nerves, homers in return

BALTIMORE — Being back around the Birds is giving Manny Machado the butterflies.

“I’m a little more nervous today to come there,” said Machado, now with the San Diego Padres, as he returned to Camden Yards on Tuesday for the first time since being traded to the Dodgers last July. “I’m never nervous. I guess it’s like a weird nervous, in a way. It’s just different.”

Prior to his first plate appearance in the top of the first inning, Machado received a roaring, 40-second ovation from what appeared to be a significantly larger crowd than usual for a Tuesday night at Camden Yards. The former Oriole waved to the crowd, then stepped into the box to face Baltimore starter Jimmy Yacabonis with a runner on first and one out. Machado struck out looking,

Then, leading off the third inning in his second at-bat, Machado jumped all over a first-pitch fastball from Yacabonis, and sent it screaming over the wall in left-center field. The solo blast, which was Machado’s 100th career homer at Camden Yards, traveled an estimated 455 feet.

Machado was drafted by the Orioles in 2010, when he was the third overall selection behind Bryce Harper and Jameson Taillon. He debuted with the Orioles on Aug. 9, 2012, and helped turn a moribund franchise into a contender, as Baltimore made the postseason three times during Machado’s time there.

A four-time All-Star who’s known just as much for his defensive prowess as his slugging, the 26-year-old third baseman won a pair of Gold Gloves with the Orioles. In 2013, he won the Platinum Glove, an award given to the best defender in each league.

Instead of trading Machado following the 2017 season, with a year left on his contract, the Orioles opted to keep him in hopes of making a return to the playoffs. But Baltimore quickly faded from the playoff picture, leading to rampant speculation that the O’s would ship Machado to a contender. On July 18, 2018, the day after he made his fourth All-Star appearance, Machado was dealt to the Dodgers, with whom he moved to his natural position of shortstop and was part of a World Series run.

In February, Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. At the time, it was the largest free-agent contract in the history of North American pro sports. On Tuesday, a couple hours before the opener of a two-game set between San Diego and Baltimore, Machado admitted that leaving as part of a trade was the lesser of two evils.

“I didn’t make the choice. It was made for me. So it makes it a little easier,” Machado said. “They just ship you away, and you’re going somewhere else, across the country, and trying to meet new faces. It’s hard. But I don’t think any of the choices are easy. When you’re here for so long in a place that you call home, you see the same faces every day, the same people, it grows on you. To leave like that halfway through the year, it kind of sucks.”

As for his return, besides having steamed crabs for dinner (which he said he’ll do after Tuesday’s game), Machado doesn’t have any expectations.

“I don’t expect anything,” he said. “I expect to go out there and play baseball and win and just enjoy myself like I do every day. You really can’t expect anything. Whatever happens happens. You just take it and enjoy every moment of it, like I do every time. I know it’s the first time coming back. I’m going to see a lot of fans that supported us seven years, that I saw at third base, that I saw in the on-deck circle, I saw in the first row. Those faces will never be forgotten. Those fans were always there for us every single day. To see them again, it’s going to pretty fun to see those faces again.”

Chances are Machado will see fewer faces than he saw during his time in Charm City. Entering Tuesday’s action, the Orioles owned baseball’s worst record, at 22-56, and ranked 28th out of 30 teams in attendance, with an average of 16,758 fans per game.

The Padres, led by Machado and shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., were 38-40 entering Tuesday and three games out of the second wild-card spot in the National League.

In 77 games with San Diego this season, Machado is hitting .278 with 17 home runs and 48 RBIs.

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Sources: Rockets eyeing sign-and-trade for Butler

Once free agency starts on Sunday, the Rockets are planning to recruit Jimmy Butler to push the Philadelphia 76ers for a sign-and-trade deal that would allow the All-Star forward to join James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston, league sources tell ESPN.

The Rockets don’t have the salary-cap space to sign Butler, so they’d need the threat of the Sixers losing him for nothing to a team with the available room to motivate Philadelphia into a trade. The Rockets also would potentially need to make this a multiteam deal to satisfy the rules of base year compensation that would cover Butler’s outgoing salary.

The Sixers plan to be aggressive in signing Butler to a new deal, sources said, and could blunt a Rockets push with a full five-year, $190 million offer at the start of free agency on Sunday night. The Sixers could offer Butler a four-year, $146.5 million deal, too.

Butler would be eligible to sign a four-year, $140 million contract on the way to the Rockets, but Houston likely would need to include two of these players — center Clint Capela, guard Eric Gordon and power forward P.J. Tucker — to make the financial deal work, sources said.

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Woj: 76ers aren’t interested in letting Butler walk

Adrian Wojnarowski looks into the Rockets’ interest in a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler and the 76ers’ intentions to still sign him to a deal.

The 76ers are facing a free agency that includes Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick. They’re expected to make a significant four- or five-year offer to keep Butler, whom they acquired in a trade with Minnesota for Dario Saric and Robert Covington in November.

The Rockets offered Minnesota four future first-round picks for Butler before the Timberwolves agreed to the trade with Philadelphia, league sources said.

In a potential trade with Houston, the 76ers could turn Butler into a large trade exception and redirect the Rockets’ assets to additional teams.

If the Sixers were to lose Butler in free agency — and were in position to keep Harris and Redick — it is possible they could simply want the payroll flexibility and dismiss the potential idea of a sign-and-trade scenario for Butler.

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Woman Rejected A Man At A Party. He Shot Her Baby In The Head, Police Say

It was supposed to be a family gathering on the northeast side of Fresno, California. When reporters arrived at the putty-colored ranch house on Monday, coolers were still sitting in the front yard, and a pink-and-blue banner was tacked to the window. “Happy Birthday!” it said in looping letters.

But according to the Fresno Police Department, the weekend celebration turned tragic when a 23-year-old man couldn’t take no for an answer and opened fire after a young woman rejected his advances. One of the bullets hit her 10-month-old daughter in the head, and the child has been hospitalized ever since.

“We are hoping and praying that baby Fayth is able to survive this injury as well as make a full recovery,” Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said at a Sunday news conference hours after the shooting.

Before shots rang out early Sunday morning, Deziree Menagh, 18, showed up to the house party with her infant daughter, Fayth Percy. There, she ran into Marcos Antonio Echartea, who reached out and grabbed her by the hand. The 23-year-old was a virtual stranger to her, police said: The two had met for the first time about a week prior and hadn’t interacted since.

“There was no relationship,” Dyer said. “It was very apparent that he wanted a relationship with her.”

Uncomfortable with his advances, Menagh pulled away. She went back outside, joining the partygoers who had gathered in the yard, and told her friends and family what had just transpired.

Despite being rebuffed, Echartea allegedly continued to hound the young mother. He followed her outside, taking a seat on the porch, and tried to pull her close and force her to sit on his lap, Dyer said. Once again, Menagh pulled away. This time, she decided it was time to go.

After collecting Fayth from inside the house, Menagh left the party with a male friend. By then, it was nearly 4 a.m. on Sunday. They got in his car and started driving away, but they didn’t get very far. For some reason – police say they aren’t entirely clear why – the driver made a U-turn about a block away from where the party was happening and stopped the car. It’s possible that the two friends were waiting for Echartea to leave the area so that Menagh, who lives nearby, could get home safely, Dyer said.

But just as they were parking, they spotted him hurriedly pacing toward the car. As soon as Echartea got close, he pulled out a handgun and started firing, police said. Three rounds hit the driver’s side window. One came whizzing through the glass toward Fayth, who was in her mother’s arms in the passenger’s seat. The bullet struck the 10-month-old in the side of the head.

The window had been rolled up, which slowed the velocity of the bullets, Dyer added. If that hadn’t been the case, the infant likely would have died. “We’re very fortunate that she’s alive,” he said.

Menagh’s friend, who was unscathed, dialed 911 as he began speeding toward the hospital. Once they arrived, Fayth underwent emergency surgery to remove the bullet fragments from her head. The baby’s father, who hadn’t been at the party, met them there.

After the shooting, Echartea reportedly turned around and went back to the party. Police found him there and arrested him on suspicion of three counts of attempted murder. It’s not clear whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, though alcohol was being consumed at the party, authorities told KFSN.

Police also haven’t indicated whether the 23-year-old had been trying to hit Menagh or her male friend, or both, when he opened fire. But police did say that he was unrepentant when they showed up to take him into custody.

“When our detectives brought him downtown, he had no remorse,” Dyer told the news station. “He had just shot a 10-month-old baby and didn’t even seem to care or it didn’t faze him.”

As it turned out, Echartea was already wanted in another shooting “over a female,” Dyer said. On the night of May 27, he allegedly fired numerous shots into the house where his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend was living. One bullet penetrated the wall and came within approximately one foot of a 1-year-old who was inside.

“It’s very apparent that Marcos Echartea has no regard for human life, even a baby,” Dyer said.

Echartea has been booked into the Fresno County Jail, and it wasn’t immediately clear whether he had a lawyer. According to jail records, he faces a total of nine felony charges from the two incidents, including attempted murder, child endangerment and assault with a firearm, and his total bail is listed as more than $1.9 million.

Court records show that at the time of the shooting, Echartea was out on bond while awaiting sentencing in a domestic violence case. In January, he was charged with assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, false imprisonment with violence and exhibiting a deadly weapon. In March, he pleaded no contest to false imprisonment and had the other charges dropped, and was scheduled to appear for his sentencing hearing in July.

Police said on Sunday afternoon that Fayth was in critical but stable condition. A family friend told KSEE that the surgery had gone well, but the baby’s brain was swelling.

“I know the parents are broken, they’re hurting,” Dyer said. “We held hands at the hospital and prayed over the baby, and we’re asking that everyone in this community come together and pray for baby Fayth.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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US-Iran crisis: Trump lashes out at ‘ignorant and insulting’ statement

Donald Trump has lashed out at the “ignorant and insulting statement” released by Iran after the US president announced fresh sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation.

The tweets came after Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the move proved the White House was “mentally retarded”.

Mr Trump said it showed Iran’s leaders “do not understand reality”.

He unveiled the sanctions on Monday, saying they were a response to recent “aggressive behaviour” by Iran.

The sanctions target a number of individuals, notably Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who Mr Trump said was “ultimately responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime”.

The US has alleged Ayatollah Khamenei has access to vast wealth which helps fund the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRCG). In a 2018 op-ed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested it was as much as $95bn (£75bn) and was “used as a slush fund for the IRGC”.

But Mr Rouhani questioned why the US would single out a man who he said only “owns a Hoseyniyyeh [prayer venue] and a simple house”, calling the sanctions “outrageous and idiotic”.

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He also said it suggested the US is lying about wanting dialogue.

But Mr Trump said the only thing Iran understood was “strength and power, and the USA is by far the most powerful military force in the world”.

“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force,” he added in a tweet.

“In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.”

Who do the new sanctions target?

Some analysts said the sanctions were largely symbolic, although the US treasury department said the measures would lock up billions of dollars in assets.

Mr Trump said the measures would deny Ayatollah Khamenei, his office, and those closely affiliated with him, access to key financial resources and support.

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The treasury also said it was also imposing sanctions on eight senior commanders of the IRGC’s navy, air force, and ground forces, including the head of an air force unit that the US said had ordered the shooting down of a US surveillance drone last week.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – who was the country’s top negotiator on the nuclear deal – would be targeted later this week, it added.

How did tensions between the two countries escalate?

Tensions have increased steadily since May 2018, when Mr Trump abandoned the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, and began reinstating sanctions to force Iran to renegotiate the accord.

Last month, Iran scaled back some its commitments under the deal, including on the amount of low enriched uranium it is allowed to stockpile, after Mr Trump ended exemptions from US secondary sanctions for countries still buying Iranian oil.

On Tuesday – after Mr Trump’s tweets – Iran’s deputy foreign minister said “with attention to the promises that have not been carried out from the European side”, it had no reason left to carry out its nuclear deal commitments unilaterally,

Iran previously announced the stockpile limit would be breached on 27 June, and it plans to announce further reductions in its commitments on 7 July.

Tensions have manifested themselves in other ways, including the shooting down of the US drone over the Strait of Hormuz. Iran said it had violated its airspace; the US insisted it was over international waters.

The US has also accused Iran of being behind two sets of explosions that have damaged six oil tankers in the region, through which a fifth of the world’s oil passes each day. Iran has rejected the allegation.

Despite this, Mr Trump insisted he was willing to start negotiations on a new nuclear accord that would also see Iran agree to curb its ballistic missile programme and end what he calls its “malign” activities in the Middle East.

“If they don’t want to, that’s fine too. But we would love to be able to. And, frankly, they might as well do it soon,” he said.


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Leaving Gaza enclave for surgery still an ‘issue’, says UNRWA Director

With hundreds killed and more than 30,000 injured so far during the Gaza-Israel border protests, known as “The Great March of Return”, many Palestinians are now facing a future of life-long disability, unable to get the treatment they need.  

Referring to the “devastating impacts in human terms”, Matthias Schmale, director of the UN relief agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) has warned in an interview with UN News, that local hospitals do not have the capacity to deal with the most serious health cases, with 40 per cent of requests for permits to leave Gaza for treatment denied by Israel last month.  

During a visit to UN Headquarters in New York to highlight the upcoming pledging conference for UNRWA on 25 June, Mr. Schmale spoke to May Yaacoub of our UN News Arabic service.  


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We need to honour Jamal Khashoggi’s memory with justice for his murder: rights expert

Accountability for the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will be difficult to prove, but it is nothing less than the international community owes him, the UN-appointed independent rights expert involved in investigating his death has said.

In an interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, Agnès Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, suggests which judicial tools might help to make this happen.


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First-ever WHO global report on epilepsy highlights care gap in poorer countries

According to the first global report on epilepsy from the UN World Health Organization (WHO), this treatment gap exists even though medicines can cost as little as $5 per year, per patient.

In addition to a lack of available medicines to treat sufferers, many poor countries have far too few specialist medical professionals to help.

Poorer countries lack medicines and specialist doctors

In some countries, there is only one specialist neurosurgeon per million inhabitants, hence the push for treatment to be delivered through community health centres, said Dr. Tarun Dua, from WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

“The treatment gap for epilepsy is unacceptably high,” she said, amid evidence that almost a quarter of epilepsy cases are preventable. “We know that 70 per cent of people with the condition can be seizure-free when they have access to medicines that … can be delivered through primary health systems.”

Epilepsy affects nearly 50 million people around the world – 80 per cent live in low and middle-income countries – and is caused by childbirth trauma, brain infection or injury and stroke.

Because of abnormal electrical activity in the brain, sufferers can experience seizures or unusual behaviour, sensations and sometimes loss of consciousness.

Epilepsy sufferers shunned

Among the many misconceptions surrounding the disease is the mistaken belief that it is contagious, which partly explains why many sufferers are shunned and why they have a “feeling of disgrace”, Dr. Dua said.

This stigma is present in all countries, including the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland, she noted.

“I call epilepsy a neglected disease because no-one wants to talk about it,” Dr. Dua insisted, despite the fact that it is one of the most common neurological diseases, affecting one in 200 people.

In the workplace, it means that when someone has an epileptic attack, “suddenly there is a crisis and you don’t know what to do about it”, the WHO official cautioned, while also dismissing the erroneous belief that “if you play with a child with epilepsy, your child will get epilepsy”, or that sufferers are insane.

In low and middle-income countries, the WHO report – produced with non-governmental organizations including the International League Against Epilepsy and the International Bureau for Epilepsy – states that in addition to shortages of medicine, sufferers die prematurely because of lack of access to professional care following seizures, as well as other preventable causes, such as drowning, head injuries and burns.

According to WHO, people who are fitting should not be restrained and nothing should be put in their mouths; instead, a hand should be placed on them gently to offer reassurance and their airways should be kept clear until the episode is over and they gain consciousness.

Mental health problems affect one in five people with condition

Roughly half of adults with epilepsy have at least one other health condition, the report explains, the most common of these being depression and anxiety.

Some 23 per cent of adults with epilepsy will experience clinical depression during their lifetime and 20 per cent will have anxiety, it says.

“Mental health conditions such as these can make seizures worse and reduce quality of life,” according to WHO, which added that development and learning difficulties are also experienced by up to four in 10 children with the condition.
 

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UN health agency steps up fight against ‘invisible pandemic’ of antimicrobial resistance

The AWaRe portal divides antibiotics into three groups – Access, Watch and Reserve – and explains which antibiotics should be used to treat the most common and serious infections (Access), which ones should be available at all times in the healthcare system (Watch), and those that must be used sparingly or preserved and used only as a last resort (Reserve).

The campaign is designed to raise the proportion of global consumption of antibiotics in the Access group to at least 60%, and to reduce use of the antibiotics most at risk of resistance from the Watch and Reserve groups. Using Access antibiotics lowers the risk of resistance because they are ‘narrow-spectrum’ drugs that target a specific micro=organism rather than several. They are also less costly because they are available in generic form.

More than half of antibiotics used inappropriately

The importance of using the tool is underscored by WHO’s estimate that over half of antibiotics in many countries are administered inappropriately. Examples include the use of the drugs to treat viruses (antibiotics only treat bacterial infections), or patients being prescribed the wrong antibiotic.

Both practices can contribute to the spread of resistance and, in hospitals, patients run the risk of being infected with antimicrobial resistant bacteria that can cause blood and wound infections, pneumonia and meningitis.

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most urgent health risks of our time. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO

At the same time, around one million children die every year from pneumonia because of a lack of access to appropriate antibiotics, a tragedy that disproportionately affects low and middle-income countries.

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most urgent health risks of our time and threatens to undo a century of medical progress”, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement calling on governments to adopt AWaRe.

“All countries must strike a balance between ensuring access to life-saving antibiotics and slowing drug resistance by reserving the use of some antibiotics for the hardest-to-treat infections.”

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Billions globally lack ‘water, sanitation and hygiene’, new UN report spells out

“Mere access is not enough” said UNICEF’s Kelly Ann Naylor, Associate Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). “If the water isn’t clean, isn’t safe to drink or is far away, and if toilet access is unsafe or limited, then we’re not delivering for the world’s children”.

The Joint Monitoring Programme report, “Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2000-2017: Special focus on inequalities”, finds that while significant progress has been made toward achieving universal access to WASH, there are huge gaps in the quality of services provided.

“Children and their families in poor and rural communities are most at risk of being left behind”, Ms. Naylor said, urging Governments to “invest in their communities if we are going to bridge these economic and geographic divides and deliver this essential human right”.

The report reveals that since the turn of the century, 1.8 billion people have gained access to basic drinking water services, but vast inequalities in accessibility, availability and quality prevail.

Estimates show that 1-in-10 people still lack basic services, including 144 million individuals who drink untreated surface water. And the data illustrates that 8-in-10 people in rural areas lack access to these services.

“Countries must double their efforts on sanitation or we will not reach universal access by 2030,” said Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health.

“If countries fail to step up efforts on sanitation, safe water and hygiene, we will continue to live with diseases that should have been long ago consigned to the history books”, she spelled out. “Investing in water, sanitation and hygiene is cost-effective and good for society in so many ways”.

While open defecation has been halved since 2000, from 21 per cent to 9 per cent, 673 million people continue this practice in ‘high burden’ countries. Moreover, in 39 countries, the majority of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people openly defecating has increased.

The report also highlights new data showing that in 2017, three billion people lacked basic soap and water handwashing facilities at home, including nearly three quarters of those in the Least Developed Countries category.

Every year, 297,000 under-age-five children die from diarrhea linked to inadequate WASH. Poor sanitation and contaminated water also help transmit diseases, such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid.

“Closing inequality gaps in the accessibility, quality and availability of water, sanitation and hygiene should be at the heart of government funding and planning strategies”, Ms. Naylor stressed. “To relent on investment plans for universal coverage is to undermine decades worth of progress at the expense of coming generations”.   

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