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G-7 pledges ‘equitable’ world vaccine usage, but information scarce

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G-7 pledges ‘equitable’ world vaccine usage, but information scarce

 

Leaders of the Group of Seven economic powers pledged Friday to immunise the world’s neediest people against the coronavirus by giving money, and precious vaccine doses, to a U.N.-backed vaccine distribution effort.

But the leaders, under pressure over their vaccination programmes at home, were unable to say precisely how much vaccine they were willing to share with the developing world, or when.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the G-7 leaders held a virtual meeting that equal distribution of vaccines was “an elementary question of fairness.”

But she said, “No vaccination appointment in Germany is going to be endangered.”

After their first meeting of the year — conducted remotely because of the pandemic — the leaders said they will accelerate global vaccine production and deployment” and support “affordable and equal access to vaccines” and treatments for COVID-19. They cited a combined $7.5 billion from the G-7 to U.N.-backed COVID-19 efforts.

“This is a global pandemic, and it’s no use one country being far ahead of another,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as he opened the virtual summit with the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. The U.K. holds the G-7 presidency this year.

“We’ve got to move together,” Johnson said, speaking from the prime minister’s 10 Downing St. residence to the other leaders in their far-flung offices. “So, one of the things that I know that colleagues will be wanting to do is to ensure that we distribute vaccines at cost around the world.”

Wealthy nations have bought up several billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, although several countries in the developing world have little to none.

G-7 leaders are keen to avoid appearing arrogant — and don’t want to cede the terrain of vaccine diplomacy to less democratic but faster-moving countries such as China and Russia.

Johnson, whose country has recorded almost 120,000 virus-related deaths, vowed to send “the majority of any future surplus vaccines” to the U.N.-backed COVAX initiative to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable citizens.

But Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly said it was “difficult to say with any kind of certainty” when or how much Britain will donate.

French President Emmanuel Macron gave a firmer goal, saying Europe and the U.S. should allocate up to 5 percent of their existing COVID-19 vaccine stocks to the poorest countries quickly.

“This is worth an enormous amount. It is worth our credibility,” Macron said after the meeting,

“If we can do this, then the West will have a presence” in African countries, he said. If not, those countries will turn to Chinese and Russian vaccines and “the power of the West will…not be a reality.”

Macron’s office said France was ready to hand over 5 percent of its doses but would not give exact numbers or a date.

As the African continent awaits delivery of doses through COVAX, an African Union-created vaccines task force said Friday that it would be getting 300 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in May. The AU previously secured 270 million doses from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson for the continent of 1.3 billion people.

The governments of Canada and the European G-7 nations are under pressure to speed up their domestic vaccination campaigns after being outpaced by Britain and the U.S.

Asked later Friday about Macron’s proposal, Germany’s Merkel said that “we have not yet spoken about the percentage.”

“We haven’t yet spoken about the timing” either, the chancellor told reporters in Berlin. “That still has to be discussed.”

Development and aid organisations welcomed the commitments but said rich Western countries needed to do more, and soon.

Gayle Smith, chief executive of anti-poverty agency the ONE Movement, said “world leaders are finally waking up to the scale of this crisis.”

“It beggars belief that in the midst of a global pandemic a handful of countries have accumulated over a billion vaccines more than they will need, while 130 countries have no vaccines at all,” she said.

The summit marked Biden’s his first major multilateral engagement since taking office. America’s allies hope that U.S. re-engagement with the world after the “America first” years under former President Donald Trump would mean a more organised approach on issues such as the pandemic and climate change.

Biden signed the U.S. up to the COVAX plan, which Trump declined to endorse, and has promised to distribute $4 billion in U.S. funding to the programme.

The G-7 meeting — and a speech by Biden at the Munich Security Conference on Friday — comes the day the United States formally rejoins the Paris climate agreement, the largest international attempt to curb global warming. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the historic accord in 2017.

The Biden administration also said it was willing to enter talks with Iran and world powers to negotiate a return to the 2015 agreement to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, which was repudiated by Trump.

In a joint statement reflecting the United States’ re-embrace of international organisations, the G-7 leaders vowed to “make 2021 a turning point for multilateralism and to shape a recovery that promotes the health and prosperity of our people and planet.”

They said post-pandemic economic recovery efforts would place the fight against climate change and declining biodiversity “at the centre of our plans.”

A full G-7 summit is scheduled to take place in June at the Carbis Bay seaside resort in southwest England.

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Guregian: After this train wreck, Patriots will be easy prey for Tom Brady & Bucs

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Guregian: After this train wreck, Patriots will be easy prey for Tom Brady & Bucs

FOXBORO — After watching the embarrassing display put on by the Patriots against the Saints, it’s easy to forecast an even worse beat-down next week.

At this point, the way the Patriots are playing, the only thing that might undermine Tom Brady and the Buccaneers during Sunday’s primetime game is overconfidence.

The Patriots were that bad, especially on offense.

They couldn’t run. They couldn’t block or protect the quarterback. They couldn’t hold on to passes. And, they couldn’t stay onside when it counted most.

Mac Jones?

He struggled under the weight of pressure, finally turning the ball over with three interceptions — including a pick-six — during the 28-13 loss.

Playing from behind wasn’t a recipe for success for the rookie quarterback, although he hung in like a champ for much of the game, and kept fighting despite the chaos around him.

But an anemic offense wasn’t the only problem. The defense and special teams don’t get off the hook. Those units didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory, either.

After the Patriots crawled back to within eight with 9:22 to play, the Saints put together a 13-play scoring drive that took 6:47 off the clock and put the game out of reach.

When the Patriots have needed a stop this year, the defense hasn’t provided it. In this case, the Saints just lined up and knocked the Pats off the ball, repeatedly moving the chains en route to the game-clinching drive.

“We needed one more stop, and didn’t get it,” said defensive captain Devin McCourty. “That’s what it comes down to in this league, we needed to give our offense one more opportunity … that killed us. That’s the game of football.”

Special teams?

Jake Bailey had a blocked punt, while he sailed a third-quarter kickoff out of bounds to set the Saints up with good field position at the 40.

Overall, front to back, it was one of the worst performances you’ll ever see from a Bill Belichick-coached team. If it wasn’t Jameis Winston and the Saints, the score would have been much worse.

“Obviously, New Orleans has a good defense, but we’ve got to move the ball better than we did today,” Belichick said. “(We have to) play better in the defense. Play better in the kicking game.”

Let’s just say if this is the team that shows up against Brady, it will be a slaughter of epic proportions.

That’s how overmatched the Patriots looked for much of the game.

“It’s disappointing,” Belichick went on. “There’s no magic sauce here. Just have to go back to work and do better.”

While the season is still young, sitting at 1-2 with the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers on deck doesn’t leave many with confidence of a Patriots rebound. High hopes for the season have quickly fizzled.

So Belichick better find some of that magic sauce or else it will be another long season.

It wasn’t supposed to be this bad. After an offseason spending spree, boosting the front seven as well as the weapons on offense, the team has struggled out of the gate. It looks no better than last year’s 7-9 version.

They still can’t stop the run at key moments in the game, and they still can’t consistently generate offense, especially if the opposing team takes away the run game.

The two high-priced tight ends?

Driving for a score at the end of the first half, with a fourth down play on the 22, Hunter Henry jumped offsides to kill that drive.

Jonnu Smith?

A complete and utter disaster. He had the dropsies, and then some. His butter-fingers led to a pick-six to start the third quarter. He just couldn’t hold on to the ball, catching just one of six targeted passes.

Meanwhile, last week’s hero Damien Harris was held to 14 yards rushing on six carries. Jones wound up the top rusher with 28 yards on six carries.

Isn’t running the ball supposed to be a strength?

The fact Jones had to take off and run so many times was largely due to the fact he continues to get no protection from his world-class offensive line.

That unit has been disappointing to say the least.

Jones was hit six times on his first 17 dropbacks. By the end of the game, he was sacked twice, hit 11 times, and rushed on practically every throw.

As center David Andrews said, the line didn’t “hold up our end of the bargain.”

Not even close. And if that continues to be the case, Jones won’t survive the season.

“We just got to be better,” said Andrews, “better in everything we do.”

Worst of all?

The Patriots lost James White to a hip injury in the second quarter. He was carted off, so one of their most dependable players and chain-movers appears to be gone indefinitely. Neither J.J. Taylor nor Brandon Bolden filled in adequately either in running the ball or blitz pickup.

“Losing him was crucial,” receiver Kendrick Bourne said of White. “Third down, he’s a problem for defenders.”

On the afternoon, the Patriots converted 7-of-19 third down chances (36.8%). They also didn’t get the ball in the end zone the one time they advanced to the opposing 20.

The Patriots were behind all game, and as in the opener against the Dolphins, couldn’t make enough plays to give themselves a chance.

“There’s a lot of stuff to fix,” said McCourty. “You can talk about different things any time you fall short, but we have to stop putting ourselves in those positions, too. We can’t play every game from behind, and try to rake and claw to get one stop … we gotta put ourselves in the driver’s seat in these games where we’re playing from ahead.”

Two out of the first three weeks — both losses — they’ve had to play from behind and with the high-powered Bucs, who lost its first game to the Rams out in LA, heading to town, it’s hard imagining the Patriots changing the narrative jumping ahead.

Brady merely completed 41 passes, threw for 432 yards with a touchdown in the losing cause. So he’ll arrive in Foxboro needing just 68 passing yards to break Drew Brees’ career passing yardage record.

He’ll also be angry from losing, and hellbent on beating the Patriots, not the best combination for the home team.

The hype is already off the charts for No. 12’s return. The Patriots are going to have to deal with all the headlines, while trying to fix what’s broken.

“We’re not good enough to get lost in the headlines,” said McCourty. “We’ve got to focus in on what we need to do … we can’t worry about anything else.”

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How to replace a lost or damaged COVID-19 vaccination card

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How to replace a lost or damaged COVID-19 vaccination card

It’s growing increasingly common to be asked for “proof of vaccination” around Boston, whether it’s at the host stand of restaurant or waiting in line for a Bruins game at TD Garden. But what happens if that precious piece of paper gets lost or destroyed?

Just an hour north of Boston, 29-year-old John Tackeff faced that dilemma in New Hampshire back in May.

“I had been storing my card in my wallet, which was not a great idea. I had it folded and after a month or so you totally couldn’t read it, it was all smudged,” he told the Herald.

After encountering dead ends through local government help lines and websites, Tackeff ended up trekking back to the mass vaccination site where he received his shots. He explained his situation to the National Guard stationed there. They were surprised he couldn’t get the card replaced any other way, Tackeff said, but looked up his information and issued him a new one.

Four months later, there’s still no federal or state one-size-fits-all solution to replace a COVID-19 card.

Patients who got their shots at Massachusetts mass vaccination sites can request a card copy through the company that ran those sites.

CIC Health, which ran pop up sites at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium and Hynes Convention Center, offers an online portal where cards can be reported lost or destroyed. The company will then send new cards through the mail.

Here’s where it gets a little more complicated. Patients who were vaccinated at Natick and Eastfield malls, Danvers Doubletree, and the former Circuit City in Dartmouth will need to access their vaccine records through an email they got from provider Curative, or call their support line.

Vaccinated persons who got shots at their doctor’s office or through the local health department, like at a community pop-up event, will have to turn to their primary care provider. And if a local business like CVS or Stop & Shop was the site of vaccination, the patient can go through whatever online portal that business has set up. But the online vaccine records provided are often listed as “backups” because they haven’t been distributed by the CDC, like in the case of Walmart’s portal.

To get government-issued proof of COVID-19 vaccination, file an immunization record request with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The state will send a paper record of vaccination history, but it won’t be a card.

It may be tempting to carry that little CDC card around at all times, but several readers contacted the Herald to describe how much damage their cards suffered while stashed in wallets. It doesn’t take very long for ink to rub off, and it just takes one push from a jokester at a pool party to ruin a card completely.

The CDC recommends taking a photo of the card, and most businesses will accept a shot on a cell phone as proof.

Retailers also sell COVID-19 card-specific protection sleeves. These sleeves can be a better option than laminating a card, because a future health-care provider can take out the paper record and write in any necessary booster shots.

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Red Sox Notebook: Christian Arroyo back in lineup for second time since July 17: ‘He needs at-bats’

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Red Sox Notebook: Christian Arroyo back in lineup for second time since July 17: ‘He needs at-bats’

For the first time in more than two months, Christian Arroyo was back in the Red Sox’ starting lineup and playing second base for Sunday night’s series finale against the Yankees.

Arroyo has made just one start since July 17 as the 26-year-old missed the majority of the last two months with a hamstring strain as well as a difficult battle with COVID-19.

The most commonly used second baseman on the Red Sox’ roster this year, Arroyo projects as the starter if the Sox make the postseason. Jose Igelsias, who had started 10 straight games at second base before Sunday, is ineligible for the postseason roster and manager Alex Cora wants to get Arroyo some at-bats.

“I think it was more about who we’re facing,” Cora said of the Sox’ matchup vs. Yankees lefty Jordan Montgomery.

Iglesias is hitting .289 with a .777 OPS against lefties this year compared to Arroyo hitting .324 with an .882 OPS off them.

“He needs at-bats, right?” Cora said of Arroyo. “It’s not like we’re going from one to the other. It’s not like playing Dustin Pedroia and playing Cora in ’07 towards the end. If it was Cora/Pedroia early on, then I understand.

“We’ll be fine. He’s a good defender, he’s a good hitter. I think he has done an amazing job. We can use him in different ways too, later in the game. I felt today with the matchup we have, it’s a good one for him. We’ll see how it goes. I know in Baltimore, most likely, we’ll face a lot of lefties too. Let’s keep taking it day by day.”

Verdugo back in

Alex Verdugo seems to be slipping back into Cora’s good graces against lefties, too.

He’s been alternating with Kyle Schwarber in left field as Cora continues to mix and match depending on the lefty. It was Verdugo in there on Sunday.

Verdugo is hitting just .221 with a .546 OPS against lefties this year.

“He’s been solid,” Cora said of Verdugo. “Obviously we know he can hit lefties, we know that. Compared to last year it’s a lot different numbers wise but we still believe in this guy, he’s not a platoon guy, he’s an everyday player.”

The 25-year-old was the key player acquired for Mookie Betts from the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his first full season as a big leaguer, he’s trying to prove he’s capable of playing every day throughout the long season.

He entered Sunday ranked as the 11th-best everyday left fielder in MLB this season with 2.3 WAR, a .289 average, 13 homers and 59 RBIs.

“Obviously playing a full season is a lot different than playing parts of 162 or just getting called up for a little bit and he’s learning a lot,” Cora said. “One thing for sure, he understands his swing, he knows how to hit. He really does. I think when we made that change in Buffalo, hitting him lower in the lineup, trying to get somebody, it was about the top of the lineup but also keeping him right behind J.D. Martinez. He’s been dominating right-handed pitching. That’s what we envisioned. He’s a good player, a player we really like and there’s still stuff he’s going to get better at.”

Taylor still out

Josh Taylor received an MRI on his sore back on Sunday and was placed on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain. Taylor first hurt himself in the weight room and it’s been bothering him for a while, Cora said. He won’t be eligible to return until the final day of the season on Oct. 3.

He’s been the skipper’s preferred lefty out of the bullpen all year and his absence was felt on Saturday, when Darwinzon Hernandez was summoned in a key spot and gave up the game-losing grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton.

“It’s a tough one to lose him,” Cora said. “He’s been dominating against lefties throughout the season. Really, really good against them and he was throwing the ball well. It seems like velocity was up since he rejoined us after being on the COVID-IL. It’s tough.”

Cora will rely on left-handers Hernandez, Austin Davis and Martin Perez while Taylor is out.

Garrett Whitlock, on the 10-day injured list with a pectoral strain, is feeling better but hasn’t yet started throwing off a mound. The Sox were originally hopeful he’ll be able to return as soon as he’s eligible on Thursday, but Cora said he can’t speculate on a date yet.

Houck in the ‘pen

Tanner Houck is back in the bullpen and throwing some important innings for the Sox.

“It’s not like there’s a big moment for him,” Cora said. “The goal is for him to go multiple innings. You’ve seen it before. He’s dominant too…

“Trust the kid, trust him, trust his stuff, obviously in Baltimore, there are a lot of right-handed hitters in that lineup so he’s going to be very important for us.”

Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta are likely to be the three starters for the upcoming series with the Orioles starting on Tuesday.

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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ opens 2nd to ‘Shang-Chi’ at box office

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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ opens 2nd to ‘Shang-Chi’ at box office

“Dear Evan Hansen” may have been a hit on Broadway, but the filmed adaptation of the Tony-winning show is off to a slow start at the box office in its first weekend in theaters.

The Universal musical that’s playing exclusively in theaters grossed an estimated $7.5 million from 3,364 locations, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

First place again went to Disney and Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which added $13.3 million in ticket sales in North America, bringing its domestic total to $196.5 million. The superhero pic has topped the charts for four consecutive weekends and this weekend surpassed “Black Widow” to become the highest domestic earner of the pandemic.

With little in the way of high-profile competition this weekend, “Dear Evan Hansen’s” $7.3 million was enough to land it in second place. While critics were less than impressed, audiences that did turn out this weekend were fans and gave it an A- CinemaScore.

Women made up an estimated 62% of the audience according to exit polls. Directed by Stephen Chbosky and written by Steven Levenson, “Dear Evan Hansen” is about a high school student with social anxiety disorder.

“We are tremendously proud of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and everything about it,” said Universal’s head of distribution Jim Orr. “With an exceptional film and great audience scores, we think that’ll lead to a better than normal run at the domestic box office.”

Despite its prestigious pedigree and star-studded cast including Julianne Moore and Amy Adams, “Dear Evan Hansen” has become somewhat of a punching bag on social media since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. At the heart of the jokes is the fact that the film has a 27-year-old Ben Platt, who originated the role, playing a teenager.

“Musicals have always had mixed results at the box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “It’s really difficult to pin down and project what a musical might earn on opening weekend, especially in this marketplace.”

Earlier this year, the adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” underwhelmed at the box office despite stellar reviews — but it was also streaming on HBO Max simultaneously.

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Companies, activists push to speed zero-emission truck sales

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Companies, activists push to speed zero-emission truck sales

Officials from companies with fleets of trucks are urging governors across the country to embrace a rule meant to speed the adoption of zero-emission trucks and reduce a potent source of greenhouse gases spewed from the large commercial vehicles.

In a letter released late last week, representatives of companies including IKEA, Nestle, Siemens, Etsy, eBay, Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever joined with environmental activists and investors to call for the wide adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule.

Transportation is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., with trucks being one of the top culprits, activists said.

The rule requires manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to increase sales of zero-emission models over time in states where the policy is put in place. As production ramps up, the cost to manufacturers and buyers should come down, advocates said.

Supporters of the rule say companies increasingly are demanding clean trucks and vans to help meet climate and pollution goals and to save on the costs of fuel and maintenance. Approval of the rule by state governments could help give an added nudge to truck makers, backers said.

“The ACT rule will help bring down costs for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by requiring manufacturers to increase model availability to meet the needs of fleet operators and driving investment in clean transportation research and development,” the companies and advocacy groups said in the letter.

“This will enable cost-effective electrification of commercial vehicles at the pace and scale needed to meet climate and air quality goals,” they added.

The switch to zero-emission trucks also will help reduce pollution in lower-income neighborhoods, many of which border highways, major roads and shipping centers, and where residents often have health problems like asthma, advocates said.

The rule has already been adopted in California and is being considered in several other states, including Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York and Colorado.

“Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are an essential part of the logistics networks that millions of Etsy sellers rely upon to deliver items to their buyers around the world, but these vehicles contribute disproportionately to air pollution and global warming emissions,” Chelsey Evans, senior manager of sustainability for Etsy, said in a statement. “Widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles, including through the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule, is key to combating climate change.”

The letter was organized by the nonprofit group Ceres.

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Ticker: Johnny Ramone’s guitar tops $900K at auction; UMass Lowell professor lands $2.7M Alzheimer’s grant

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Ticker: Johnny Ramone’s guitar tops $900K at auction; UMass Lowell professor lands $2.7M Alzheimer’s grant

The primary guitar used by Johnny Ramone, on each of the Ramones records and at nearly 2,000 shows over the band’s career, sold for $937,500 at auction this weekend.

The 1965 Mosrite Ventures II electric guitar sold to an unnamed buyer in the U.S. in bidding on the Ramones and Punk Collection of Daniel Rey hosted by RR Auction.

“The consignor was thrilled with the results and is very happy that the guitar is in the hands of someone who will curate Johnny Ramone‘s Mosrite for future generations to enjoy,” said Bobby Livingston, executive VP at RR Auction.

It was played at every Ramones performance until his retirement: from November 1977 through August 1996, for about 1,985 shows.

The fretboard shows an incredible amount of wear from his aggressive down-stroke playing style. Secured to the guitar with gaffer’s tape is the original strap and three Ramones picks.

UMass Lowell professor gets $2.7M Alzheimer’s research grant

A University of Massachusetts Lowell researcher has received a $2.7 million federal grant to continue her research into the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The National Institutes of Health grant will help engineering associate professor Joyita Dutta look at the disease from a network perspective, viewing the interconnections between the regions of the brain, the university said in a statement last week.

She will use machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to build models from existing patient imaging data.

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High school football Stars of Week 3

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High school football Stars of Week 3

High school football superlatives from Week 3

DIVISION 1

*Jacob Leonard completed 16-of-29 passes for 145 yards and a pair of scores as Taunton handed Middleboro its first loss, 28-8.

*Mack Gulla ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns as Franklin defeated Duxbury, 27-14.

*Jayden Abreu completed 9-of-10 passes for 165 yards and two scores as Lawrence defeated Andover for the first time in 37 years, 37-26.

*Zach Gabriel rushed for 140 yards and three touchdowns as Newton South outscored Waltham, 38-31.

*Xaverian earned his second straight win as Michael Oates ran for 124 yards and two scores in a 42-6 win over Brockton.

DIVISION 2

*Jaden Lewis rushed for 195 yards and scored twice as Durfee defeated Somerset Berkley 34-14 for its first win of the season.

*Marcues Jean-Jacques had 151 all-purposes yards and two touchdowns, while registering five tackles and two pass breakups in Arlington’s 25-17 win over Brookline.

*Andre Sullivan ran for 209 yards and three scores as Beverly beat Peabody, 55-35.

*Tyler Lane ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries as Milford nipped Natick, 28-27.

*Jason O’Keefe caught nine passes for 150 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 110 yards and a second score as Marshfield defeated BC High, 35-0.

*James Murphy completed 18-of-26 for 252 yards and two touchdowns as Reading defeated Danvers, 14-10.

*Conner Zukowski was nearly perfect, completing 15-of-18 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns as Mansfield defeated Stoughton, 42-14.

DIVISION 3

*Mike Landolfi completed 14-of-20 passes for 235 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for a sixth, as Hanover rolled to a 47-13 win over Dighton-Rehoboth. Joe Curran was the top target with nine catches for 142 yards and three scores.

*James Doody caught six passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns as Marblehead defeated North Andover, 42-8.

*Davie Barretto and Mark Marchese combined to rush for 280 yards and four touchdowns as Revere rolled past Medford, 34-6.

*Ryan Carroll had three sacks as Silver Lake knocked off Norwood, 20-7.

DIVISION 4

*Andrew Meleski ran for 208 yards and a touchdown as Ashland edged Wayland, 24-20.

*Dylan Gordon rushed for 287 yards and scored four touchdowns as Foxboro rolled to an easier-than-expected 51-14 win over Plymouth South.

*Henry Gates completed 10-of-20 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns as Scituate handled Malden Catholic, 35-0.

*Alex Arbogast ran for 162 yards and three touchdowns on six carries as Tewksbury defeated Hopkinton, 34-3.

DIVISION 5

*Jason Romans caught four passes for 145 yards and two scores as Bishop Fenwick defeated Austin Prep, 28-7.

*Dan Sullivan threw three touchdown passes as Dover-Sherborn remained undefeated with a 42-0 win over Sharon.

*Matthew Kirrane threw for 156 yards and two touchdowns as Norton went to 3-0 with a 27-6 win over East Bridgewater.

*Mason Andrade ran for three scores as Watertown defeated Saugus, 32-6.

*Alex Diaz ran for 212 yards on 11 carries as Greater Lowell beat Essex Tech, 35-14.

DIVISION 6

*Sandwich earned its first win as Patrick Morin ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-14 victory Falmouth.

*Drew Donovan ran for two scores and also picked off pair of passes as Abington held off North Quincy, 27-21.

*Gavin Elder completed 13-of-17 passes for 272 yards and two scores, both going to Calvin Polchlopek, who had five receptions for 128 yards in Bellingham’s 20-14 win over Medfield.

*Jacob Coulstring rushed for 212 yards and three scores as Rockland defeated Whitman-Hanson, 23-7.

*David Brown ran for 140 yards and three touchdowns as St. Mary’s knocked off Bishop Feehan, 28-14.

DIVISION 7/8

*Xavier Polanco rushed for 231 yards and four touchdowns as Latin Academy headed into its bye week with a 41-8 win over Boston Latin.

*Ryan Silva ran for 135 yards and four touchdowns as Old Colony cruised to a 46-0 win over Wareham.

*Ashton Gabler and Tyler Richards teamed up to rush for 338 yards and three touchdowns as South Shore defeated Upper Cape, 22-6.

*Nick Sawyer rushed for over 200 yards and a touchdown, while adding a 65-yard TD reception as Lowell Catholic defeated Lowell Catholic, 35-28.

ISL/PREP

*Mason Hatfield ran for a school-record 293 yards and three touchdowns, while adding three receptions for 84 yards as Dexter Southfield defeated Worcester Academy, 35-6.

*Hudson Weidman threw for 133 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 111 yards and a fifth score as Pingree defeated Kingswood Oxford, 40-6.

*James Birch rushed for 212 yards and a pair of scores as Roxbury Latin edged Middlesex 16-13.

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Lucas: Biden policies call for return of the misery index

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Lucas: Biden policies call for return of the misery index

It is time to bring back the misery index.

No, not as an indicator of economic distress by everyday people faced with inflation and other economic concerns — although a good case can be made for that.

Nor is it in reference to a dictatorial President Biden policy over COVID-19 masking and vaccinations — although a good case can be made for that, too.

Technically the misery index is determined by economists by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It was made popular by Jimmy Carter in 1976 when he defeated Republican President Gerald Ford.

You may have recently noticed it by the soaring hikes in the price for groceries, gasoline and other consumer purchases.

But now, thanks to the lame and lamented presidency of Joe Biden, we have the return of the misery index. Only this time the misery is not based on economics, but human misery instead.

If nothing else, Biden has spread more misery around the country and overseas than any of our recent presidents. And it extends from the humanitarian crisis at the southern border to the miserable confines of Afghanistan.

While Biden can wave hundreds of thousands of unvetted, unmasked and unvaccinated illegal immigrants into the country, he is unable or unwilling to rescue hundreds of Americans he left stranded in Afghanistan.

He can sneak in the thousands of illegal Haitian immigrants, but he cannot lift a finger to help thousands of Afghan interpreters and allies he left behind to be killed in Afghanistan.

Talk about misery. What can be more miserable for an American than to be abandoned by your country? Joe Biden is a master of misery.

We used to say — and believe — the phrase that we as Americans do not leave anyone behind. Only now, thanks to Biden, we not only do leave Americans behind, but we forget them too.

Think about the misery those Americans, or what the thousands of Afghan allies are going through now that Biden has abandoned them to the Taliban, ISIS and other terrorist groups hunting them down.

Misery? How about the misery the families of the 10 innocent Afghans, including children, killed in Kabul by a U.S. drone? Think about what they are going through because of a military mistake?

Biden, with the folly of his hasty and reckless pullout from Afghanistan, has has killed more children (seven) than he has terrorists since he’s been president.

If the administration of former President Donald Trump were responsible for those civilian deaths, it would have been condemned as a war crime and he would have been called a war criminal. Did Biden, the commander in chief, give the order to launch that attack?

Instead, before calling it a “mistake,” hapless Gen. Mark Milley, the self-righteous chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, called it a “righteous strike.” It was apparently launched in retaliation for the killing of 13 U.S. soldiers on duty outside the Kabul airport days earlier.

These soldiers were not in combat, but were dealing with Afghans trying to storm the airport to get out of Afghanistan. They were part of a contingent of troops flown in to help deal with the botched Biden evacuation mess. Think of the misery their loved ones are going through.

This is not even to mention the misery of all those Haitians and others down at the southern border in and around Del Rio, Texas, who have flooded across the Rio Grande.

Not only are thousands living in squalid conditions under a bridge, but they are still coming — all unvaccinated, unmasked and unvetted.

Not only are they living in misery, thanks to Biden’s open borders, but they have caused misery for the residents of Del Rio as well as for thousands of other Americans living in other border towns.

If nothing else, Biden believes in spreading the misery around.

And where are the politicians? Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who made a big deal out of seeing “kids in cages” when Trump was president, have yet to inspect the horrendous living conditions in Del Rio or anyplace else along the border since Biden became president.

Meanwhile, Biden administration is secretly shipping these newcomers by bus to various parts of the United States, without anybody knowing anything about who they are or where they are going.

One thing for sure, though, is that they will not be transported to Martha’s Vineyard because that is where Barack Obama and John Kerry live.

Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.

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Pandemic, Amazon driving growth of east metro mega-business centers

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Pandemic, Amazon driving growth of east metro mega-business centers

An enormous new kind of trucking center is rolling into the Twin Cities — thanks in part to the pandemic and the home-delivery giant Amazon.

In Woodbury, Lake Elmo, Oakdale and Cottage Grove these kind of facilities have been proposed for development, with a total combined floor space of 109 football fields.

“We call them flex-centers,” said Carolyn Bates, research director for JLL, a worldwide real-estate service provider. The company reports a metro-area boom in the centers, which combine warehousing, offices, distribution and sometimes light manufacturing.

Their defining feature is their gigantic size. For example, a seven-building project in Cottage Grove will have 2.4 million square feet, the size of 31 typical Cub Foods stores.

EAST METRO PROJECTS

The east metro projects remain mysteries, with the occupants not yet known. None of them has been officially approved, but city officials have welcomed the potential additions to employment and tax base.

JLL’s Bates said businesses are presently asking for 13 million square feet for such facilities in the metro area.

“That is a very big number,” she said. Usually, demand hovers around 7 million to 8 million square feet.

That need is being met, in part, by similar centers proposed or underway in Blaine, Burnsville, Brooklyn Park and Arden Hills.
Bates said the demand is driven by COVID and the success of Amazon.

The company blazed a trail in home-delivery e-commerce by building its unified warehouse/office/distribution centers nationwide. It opened an 855,000-square-foot Fulfillment Center in Shakopee in 2016, and plans to open a 755,000-square-foot center in Lakeville this fall.

Amazon sales soared as COVID-fearful customers stayed home and ordered products on-line. In April, the company reported a 44 percent 12-month jump in sales.

OTHER COMPANIES FOLLOW AMAZON

An Amazon Fulfillment warehouse seen July 8, 2019 in Shakopee. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Now, other companies are catching up. According to JLL, they are following the Amazon prototype of the multi-purpose mega-center.

“It is no surprise to me to see more interest in warehousing complexes,” said Kristina Handt, administrator of Lake Elmo, where a one-million-square-foot project is proposed.

At a meeting Sept. 14, the Lake Elmo City Council heard about the plan to build on a 77-acre site at 34th Street and Ideal Avenue. The $104 million proposal calls for four buildings, employing 560 workers.

Handt welcomes not only the increase in the tax base, but the diversification. The city has proportionately fewer business and more housing than its neighbors.

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Vikings thrilled to have a loud sellout crowd as fans return to U.S. Bank Stadium

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Vikings thrilled to have a loud sellout crowd as fans return to U.S. Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium can indeed get loud. Justin Jefferson found that out on Sunday.

As a rookie wide receiver last season for the Vikings, Jefferson didn’t play a single home game in front of fans due to the coronavirus pandemic. But in Sunday’s 30-17 win over Seattle, the first regular-season game with fans at U.S. Bank Stadium since Dec. 29, 2019, Jefferson got a taste of what it’s all about.

“I was sitting on the bench with Justin Jefferson during the first drive and I forgot he had never been in our stadium for a regular-season game with a full crowd like that, and he was saying, ‘Oh, it’s loud in here,’ ” said quarterback Kirk Cousins. “And I kind of looked at him thinking, ‘I guess this is your first time.’ He was really impressed.”

Yes, Jefferson was. After his three-yard touchdown reception from Cousins with 16 seconds left in the half put the Vikings up for good at 21-17, he did his dance “The Griddy,’’ and it was warmly received by the crowd, announced to be 66,729.

“It was crazy,’’ Jefferson said. “It was so energetic.’’

The Vikings, who did have fans for two preseason games last month, made a big deal out of fans returning for the regular season. Among other things, there was a pregame country music concert outside the stadium, and before the game there was an elaborate introduction of players that featured plenty of special effects, including snow coming down in the indoor venue.

“I missed our fans a lot,” said linebacker Eric Kendricks. “They brought the energy. I knew driving to the stadium, I saw everybody out and being rowdy and everybody was excited about the game and it showed.’’

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said kickoff being at 3:25 p.m., rather than noon, might have made the fans even more rowdy.

“It was great,’’ Zimmer said. “It seemed like the fans have been pent up for a year, so I’m glad that they came out. It was nice to have a late-afternoon game where they could hit some of the local establishments before the game.”

GRIFFEN BOUNCES BACK

After missing one game with a concussion, Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen bounced back.

Griffen had three tackles, including a sack of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson in the third quarter for a loss of nine yards.

“My sack, I think every big play creates a momentum swing,’’ Griffen said of the play that soon led to the Seahawks punting and the Vikings getting a field goal on their next drive for a 27-17 lead.

Griffen, who returned to the Vikings this season after playing for Dallas and Detroit in 2020, had his first sack for them since Dec. 8, 2019, against Detroit. It came after Griffen had sat out Sept. 19 at Arizona following a Sept. 16 incident in which he swerved to miss a deer and his car hit a tree and he sustained a concussion.

“It’s going to take a little bit, but I’m still getting my feet under me,” Griffen said of not signing with Minnesota until Aug. 23 and then missing some time after the accident. “The more reps I get, the better I feel like I’m going to get.’’

COUSINS AND ‘SWAG’

Vikings running back Alexander Mattison said Cousins having a locker this season next to the hip Jefferson has led to one change in the quarterback.

“Being around Jet in the locker room, the lockers are switched around a little bit, he has a little more swag to him,’’ Mattison said.

Cousins was asked if that was a good word choice.

“(Tight end) Irv (Smith Jr.) said that a couple months ago, too,’’ Cousins said. “I don’t know. I think if you win it helps.’’

Cousins then joked about the word while referring to Kyle Shanahan, now San Francisco’s coach and once Cousins’ offensive coordinator with Washington.

“Kyle Shanahan used to say that my swag was having no swag,’’ Cousins said. “He told me as a rookie (in 2012) to never change.”

DEFENSE STEPS UP

After allowing 308 yards of total offense in the first half Sunday, the Vikings allowed just 81 in the second half and held the Seahawks.

“Defensively, we started out a little shaky,” Zimmer said. “They gave us some different things that we had to take care of.”

Kendricks called it a case of the defense “settling down.” In the end, the Vikings who entered the game giving up an average of 30.5 points and 420 yards, had their best defensive game of the season.

BRIEFLY

Jefferson, in his 19th career game, became the fastest receiver in team history to reach 100 catches and now has 108. “It’s a good achievement,” he said. … Inactive for Minnesota were running back Dalvin Cook (ankle), linebacker Anthony Barr (knee), tackle Christian Darrisaw (groin), cornerback Harrison Hand (hamstring), quarterback Kellen Mond and defensive linemen James Lynch and Patrick Jones II. … A source said the Vikings want to re-sign tackle Blake Brandel, who was waived Saturday when running back Ameer Abdullah was signed off the practice squad, to at least the practice squad if he clears waivers Monday. …  The Vikings were 9 of 14 on third-down conversions.

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