Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

Albert Pujols goes deep for his first home run as a Dodger

PGA Championship tee times for Friday, featured groups, TV and streaming info

Canadian Corey Conners owns the lead after the first round of the 103rd PGA Championship, firing a 5-under-par 67 to give him a two-shot lead in the season's second major championship.

Conners birdied each of the four par-5 holes, carding six birdies and one bogey in total at Kiawah Island Golf Resort's Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. 

Six golfers – including Americans Brooks Koepka, Keegan Bradley and Aaron Wise – shared second place after shooting opening-round 69s.

Defending champion Collin Morikawa had a 2-under 70 and is tied with seven others, including 2005 PGA champ Phil Mickelson, three strokes off the pace.

Japan to hold off on using AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine: Media

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japan is likely to hold off on administering AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine despite expected approval on Friday (May 21), amid concerns about blood clots, public broadcaster NHK and other media reported.

The government is also expected to formally approve on Friday the  shot developed by Moderna as it seeks to speed up what has been the slowest inoculation campaign among rich countries.

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Former MLB All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez found guilty of sexual assault of teen girl

A Pennsylvania grand jury on Thursday found former Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

The two-time All-Star was placed on MLB's restricted list after the charges were filed in 2019, and he has not been eligible to play since the end of that season.

The grand jury in Westmoreland County late Thursday returned a guilty verdict on 15 of the charges facing Vazquez, including statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact or communication with a minor, indecent assault and corruption of a minor. Investigators said the incidents occurred in 2017, when the girl was 13 and 14.

During three hours of testimony Thursday, Vazquez, 29, maintained that he was unaware the girl was a minor during their relationship, which began in 2017 when she reached out on Instagram to wish him a happy birthday.

Colonial Pipeline CEO to testify before Congress next month

WASHINGTON — The chief executive of Colonial Pipeline is set to testify before Congress next month about a cyberattack that caused the company to halt operations for several days, leading to panic buying of gasoline in many communities.

Joseph Blount is scheduled to appear before the House Homeland Security on June 9, when lawmakers will question him about a ransomware attack that U.S. officials have blamed on a criminal hacking gang in Russia.

The company, which supplies about 45 percent of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, confirmed this week that it paid $4.4 million to the hackers in an effort to restart operations. Colonial said that after it learned of the May 7 ransomware attack, it took its pipeline system offline to do everything in its power to restart operations quickly and safely, and made the decision then to pay the ransom.

The hearing is part of the Oversight Committee’s ongoing focus on the security of the country’s critical infrastructure.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, said in a statement that the attack exposed cybersecurity vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure, the need for resilience in networks and the profitability of ransomware.

Tax changes would boost IRS monitoring of cryptocurrency use

The Biden administration is taking steps to ensure Americans who pay for goods or services with cryptocurrencies don’t sidestep the tax man.

The Treasury Department issued a report Thursday that outlines measures. Among the proposed changes, businesses that receive “cryptoassets” with a fair market value of more than $10,000 would have to report it to the IRS. That’s something businesses already have to do when with cash transactions of $10,000 or more.

The report explains that while the share of business transactions that involve cryptocurrency remains small, the new reporting requirement is necessary to discourage businesses from concealing such transactions from the IRS in the future.

The report notes that cryptocurrency “already poses a significant problem by facilitating illegal activity broadly, including tax evasion.”

Another policy change would require payment-services providers to file Form 1099 reports in order to discourage businesses from attempting to hide their income by using alternatives to traditional banks.

Digital currencies were holding on to gains late Thursday after the release of the Treasury Department report. The price of Bitcoin was up 2.5% to roughly $40,401, according to the online brokerage Coinbase. A day earlier, the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies fell sharply after China’s banking association issued a warning over the risks associated with digital currencies.

Albert Pujols goes deep for his first home run as a Dodger

Albert Pujols said when he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers that he felt like he still had plenty of gas left in the tank. And on Thursday night, he proved it. 

Pujols hit his first home run in a Dodger uniform – and the 668th homer of his career – to stake LA to an early 2-0 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The three-time National League MVP joined the Dodgers on May 15 as a free agent after being designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels.

Batting with a runner on base in the bottom of the second inning, the 41-year-old Pujols launched an 0-1 sinker from the Diamondbacks' Merrill Kelly 375 feet into the seats in right-center field.

The Machine’s FIRST home run as a Dodger. pic.twitter.com/8PJVYTfPfy

Pujols is a 10-time All-Star who's playing in his 21st MLB season. 

His 668 home runs put him fifth on the all-time list. He also ranks third in baseball history – behind only Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth – in career runs batted in. 

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