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Democrats see tax “framework” to pay for huge $3.5T package

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Democrats see tax “framework” to pay for huge $3.5T package

WASHINGTON — The White House and congressional Democrats have agreed to a framework of options to pay for their huge, emerging social and environment bill, top Democrats said Thursday. Now they face the daunting task of narrowing the menu to tax possibilities they can pass to fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion plan.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California announced the progress as Biden administration officials and Democratic congressional leaders negotiated behind the scenes. The package aims to rewrite tax and spending priorities to expand programs for Americans of all ages, while upping efforts to tackle income inequality and fight climate change.

Staring down a self-imposed Monday deadline, lawmakers said they would work nonstop to find agreement on specifics. Democrats’ views on those vary widely, though they largely agree with Biden’s idea of raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to fund the package.

“We certainly think it’s progress,” Biden press secretary Jen Pskai said at the White House.

Biden has been putting his shoulder into the negotiations, inviting more than 20 of his party’s moderate and progressive lawmakers to the White House for lengthy meetings this week. He’s working to close the deal with Congress on his “Build Back Better” agenda at a time when his presidential campaign promises are running into the difficulty of actually governing.

But the party has been divided over many of the details.

Moderate Democrats, most prominently Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, are demanding that the massive dollar total be reduced. The revenue options to pay for it — that mostly means taxes — being considered can be dialed up or down, the leaders say. The ultimate price tag may certainly slip from the much-publicized $3.5 trillion.

Republicans are solidly opposed to the package, calling it a “reckless tax and spending spree.” So Democrats will have to push it it through Congress on their own, which is only possible if they limit their defections to a slim few in the House and none in the Senate.

“We’re proceeding,” Pelosi said. “We intend to stay the course and pass the bill as soon as possible.”

The congressional leaders huddled early Thursday with the chairmen of the tax writing committees to agree to the framework, pulling from work already being done on those panels. They are intent on sticking to Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year.

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, has already drafted his version, which would raise about $2.3 trillion by hiking corporate tax rates to 26.5% for businesses earning more than $5 million a year and increasing the top individual tax from 37% to 39.6% for those earning more than $400,000, or $450,000 for married households.

The House panel’s bill also includes a 3% surtax on the adjusted incomes of very wealthy people making more than $5 million a year.

The Senate Finance Committee under Sen. Ron Wyden has not yet passed its bill, but has been eyeing proposals that further target the superrich including efforts to curtail practices used to avoid paying taxes.

“I’m not going to get into any specific stuff today, but I’ve made it very clear as chairman of the Finance Committee a billionaire’s tax will be on the menu,” Wyden said.

Those tax goals align with the Biden administration, which is marshaling arguments that the increases are fundamentally about fairness at a time of gaping income inequality.

According to a new analysis released Thursday by the White House, the wealthiest 400 families worth more than a billion dollars paid an average tax rate of just 8.2% between 2010 and 2018. Treasury Department tables show that is lower than the average tax rate of families with an income of roughly $142,000.

The analysis suggests two clear reasons why billionaires pay a lower rate than the upper middle class: They derive income from stocks, dividends and other assets that are taxed at lower rates and they can permanently avoid paying tax on certain investment gains that by law are excluded from taxable income.

Without divulging a framework, Wyden indicated he is in agreement with the House’s plans for certain retirement savings accounts used by the wealthy to shield liabilities.

Targeting “Mega IRAs,” Democrats hope to correct what they see as a flaw in the retirement savings system enabling billionaires to amass millions in independent retirement accounts without ever paying taxes. Under some proposals, individuals earning beyond $400,000 would be barred from contributing to their IRAs once their account balances top $10 million.

The Biden administration has also shown interest in one climate change tax — a so-called pollution importer fee, which would essentially impose a tariff on goods coming from countries without certain emissions controls — and seen as a way to pressure China.

Gaining less traction seems to be a carbon tax that could fall on households and stray from Biden’s pledge not to tax those earning less than $400,000.

Another big unknown: Whether Democrats can coalesce around a plan to rein in prescription drug costs, which could save the government hundreds of billions that could be used for Biden’s goals

Thursday’s sudden announcement of framework options caught key lawmakers off guard, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the chairman of the Budget Committee, and others playing leading roles in assembling one of the biggest bills Congress has ever attempted.

Schumer later acknowledged about the emerging framework — “it’s hardly conclusory, but it was a good step of progress.”

Yet the framework could help the congressional leaders show momentum as they head toward crucial deadlines and start to address concerns raised by Manchin and other moderates who want a more clear-cut view of what taxes are being considered before they move forward, aides said.

On Monday, the House plans to begin considering a separate $1 trillion package of road and other infrastructure projects as a first test of Biden’s agenda. That public works bill has already passed the Senate, and Pelosi has agreed to schedule it for a House vote to assuage party moderates who badly want that legislation passed but are leery of supporting the larger $3.5 trillion measure.

But progressives are threatening to defeat the public works bill as inadequate unless it is partnered with the broader package. To make sure both bills can pass, Democratic leaders are trying to reach agreement on the bigger bill.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate remain at a standstill over a separate package to keep the government funded past the Sept. 30 fiscal year-end and to suspend the federal debt limit to avert a shutdown and a devastating U.S. default on payments. Senate Republicans are refusing to back that House-passed bill, despite the risk of triggering a fiscal crisis.

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Associated Press writers Marcy Gordon and Josh Boak contributed to this report.

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Gophers lock down high-scoring Mavericks, 3-0, in women’s hockey

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Gophers lock down high-scoring Mavericks, 3-0, in women’s hockey

Blue liners Madeline Wethington and Gracie Ostertag each had a goal and assist, and goaltender Makayla Pahl won her first start of the season as Minnesota beat Minnesota State Mankato, 3-0, in a women’s hockey game Friday night at Ridder Arena.

It was the best game of the young season for the Gophers (2-3 overall, 2-3 Western Collegiate Hockey Association), who played five freshmen on Friday including center Ella Huber, who finished with three assists. They have a chance to pull to .500 when the teams meet tomorrow for a 4 p.m. puck drop in Mankato.

“We’ve played well in spurts like that, and you’re going to have your dips, but our dips were not very big and not very long,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said. “So, a pretty complete game.”

Freshman Ella Huber finished with three assists, and senior center Taylor Heise scored her 100th career point in her 100th career game and the Gophers.

All of the Gophers’ goals were scored on the power play, the product of a relentless forecheck that kept the Mavericks pinned in their own end for long stretches and locked down and offense that entered the game averaging 5.4 goals a game.

Pahl earned the shutout — the first of her career — but had help; only 14 shots got through the Gophers’ active backcheck. Overall, the Gophers outshot the Mavericks 47-14.

“I think they had maybe one, maybe two Grade A chances,” Frost said. “Our D was able to stay up, our tracking was good.”

Wethington scored the first goal on assists by Ella Huber and Ostertag at 12:14 of the first period. Ostertag scored the second on a wrist shot from the point after trading passes with Wethington. Huber earned the third assist.

The Gophers drew a power play with 1:29 left in the second period and scored just as it was ending to start the third period when Heise threw a wrist shot on net from outside of the right circle for a 3-0 lead.

The Mavericks entered the game averaging 5.4 goals a game but had trouble establishing a forecheck. Leading scorer Kelsey King put a hard wrister on net that Pahl deflected with her stick 1:16 into the second period but Minnesota State (5-2, 1-2) didn’t get its second shot through until 13 minutes, 20 seconds later.

That included a power play with a shot on net.

By then, the Gophers were winning 2-0, and their best defense was their offense. Mavericks goaltender Calla Frank stopped a whopping 44 shots, many of the Grade A scoring chances. Playing three high, the Gophers were within a breath of finishing 4 for 4 on the power play, but they whiffed on two shots at an empty net on their fourth player advantage.

Ranked fifth in this week’s USA Hockey poll, Minnesota dropped its first two games to No. 2 Ohio State, then split a series at No. 7 Minnesota Duluth. But they have now scored first in four of their five games, and on Friday committed only one penalty, which had been an issue.

“We’re really trying to find our identity as a team, and we’ve played some real good hockey through the first four games,” Frost said. “We didn’t get the results we wanted but it was mainly because our lows were too low. Tonight, we just kept getting better as the game kept going on.”

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Jan. 6 panel moving swiftly as it sets Steve Bannon contempt vote

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Jan. 6 panel moving swiftly as it sets Steve Bannon contempt vote

WASHINGTON — A congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection has moved aggressively against close Trump adviser Steve Bannon, swiftly scheduling a vote to recommend criminal contempt charges against the former White House aide after he defied a subpoena.

The chairman of the special committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the panel will vote Tuesday to recommend charges against Bannon, an adviser to Donald Trump for years who was in touch with the president ahead of the most serious assault on Congress in two centuries. And late Friday, President Joe Biden said he thinks his Justice Department should prosecute.

“The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas,” Thompson said in a statement Thursday. Bannon, he said, is “hiding behind the former president’s insufficient, blanket and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke. We reject his position entirely.”

If approved by the Democratic-majority committee, the recommendation of criminal charges would go to the full House. Approval there would send them to the Justice Department, which has final say on prosecution.

Asked if the Justice Department should prosecute those who refuse to testify, Biden said yes.

“I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable,” Biden told reporters Friday at the White House.

Later Friday night, White House press secretary tweeted that Biden “supports the work of the committee and the independent role of the Department of Justice to make any decisions about prosecutions.”

The showdown with Bannon is just one facet of a broad and escalating congressional inquiry, with 19 subpoenas issued so far and thousands of pages of documents flowing to the committee and its staff. Challenging Bannon’s defiance is a crucial step for the panel, whose members are vowing to restore the force of congressional subpoenas after they were routinely flouted during Trump’s time in office.

The committee had scheduled a Thursday deposition with Bannon, but his lawyer said Trump had directed him not to produce any information protected by executive privileges afforded to a president, and Bannon wouldn’t comply “until these issues are resolved.” Bannon, who was not a White House staffer on Jan. 6, also failed to provide documents to the panel by a deadline last week.

Still, the committee could end up stymied again after years of Trump administration officials refusing to cooperate with Congress. The longtime Trump adviser similarly defied a subpoena during a GOP-led investigation into Trump’s Russia ties in 2018, but the House did not hold him into contempt.

Even though Biden has been supportive of the committee’s work, it is uncertain whether the Justice Department would choose to prosecute the criminal contempt charges against Bannon or any other witnesses who might defy the panel. Even if it the department does prosecute, the process could take months, if not years. And such contempt cases are notoriously difficult to win.

Members of the committee are pressuring the department to take their side.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who also sits on the Jan. 6 panel, said he expects the Justice Department to prosecute the cases.

“The last four years have given people like Steve Bannon the impression they’re above the law,” Schiff said during an interview for C-SPAN’s Book TV that airs next weekend. “But they’re going to find out otherwise.”

While Bannon has outright defied the Jan. 6 committee, other Trump aides who have been subpoenaed appear to be negotiating. And other witnesses are cooperating, including some who organized or staffed the Trump rally on the Ellipse behind the White House that preceded the riot.

Many of the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 marched up the National Mall after attending at least part of Trump’s rally, where he repeated his meritless claims of election fraud and implored the crowd to “fight like hell.” Dozens of police officers were injured as the Trump supporters overwhelmed them and broke through windows and doors to interrupt the certification of Biden’s victory.

The rioters repeated Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud as they marched through the Capitol, even though the results of the election were confirmed by state officials, upheld by courts and even rejected by Trump’s own attorney general.

The panel has also issued a subpoena to a former Justice Department lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, who positioned himself as Trump’s ally and aided the Republican president’s efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election.

A Senate committee report issued last week showed that Clark championed Trump’s efforts to undo the election results and clashed as a result with department superiors who resisted the pressure, culminating in a dramatic White House meeting at which Trump ruminated about elevating Clark to attorney general.

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Authorities call fatal stabbing of UK lawmaker a terrorist act

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UK counterterror officers lead probe in lawmaker’s slaying

LEIGH-ON-SEA, England — A long-serving member of Parliament was stabbed to death Friday during a meeting with constituents at a church in England, in what police said was a terrorist incident. A 25-year-old man was arrested in connection with the attack, which united Britain’s fractious politicians in shock and sorrow.

Counterterrorism officers were leading the investigation into the slaying of Conservative lawmaker David Amess. In a statement early Saturday, the Metropolitan Police described the attack as terrorism and said the early investigation “has revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism.”

Amess, 69, was attacked around midday Friday at a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town about 40 miles (62 kilometers) east of London. Paramedics tried without success to save him. Police arrested the suspect and recovered a knife.

They did not identify the suspect, who was held on suspicion of murder. Police said they believed the suspect acted alone, and were not seeking anyone else in connection with the killing, though investigations continue.

The slaying came five years after another MP, Jo Cox, was murdered by a far-right extremist in her small-town constituency, and it renewed concern about the risks politicians run as they go about their work representing voters. British politicians generally are not given police protection when they meet with their constituents.

Tributes poured in for Amess from across the political spectrum, as well as from the community he had served for decades. Residents paid tribute to him at a vigil at a church in Leigh-on-Sea.

“He carried that great East London spirit of having no fear and being able to talk to people and the level they’re at,” the Rev. Jeffrey Woolnaugh said at the vigil, attended by about 80 people. “Not all politicians, I would say, are good at that.”

Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he and his Cabinet were “deeply shocked and heart-stricken.”

“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future, and we’ve lost today a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague,” Johnson said.

The prime minister would not say whether the attack meant politicians needed tighter security, saying, “We must really leave the police to get on with their investigation.”

Amess had been a member of Parliament for Southend West, which includes Leigh-on-Sea, since 1997, and had been a lawmaker since 1983, making him one of the longest-serving politicians in the House of Commons.

A social conservative on the right of his party, he was a well-liked figure with a reputation for working hard for his constituents and campaigning ceaselessly to have Southend declared a city.

Amess, who leaves a wife and five children, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 for his service, becoming Sir David.

Flags at Parliament were lowered to half-staff amid a profusion of questions about lawmakers’ security.

“This is an incident that will send shockwaves across the parliamentary community and the whole country,” House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said. “In the coming days we will need to discuss and examine MPs’ security and any measures to be taken, but for now, our thoughts and prayers are with David’s family, friends and colleagues.”

Violence against British politicians is rare, but concerns have grown about the increasingly bitter polarization of the country’s politics.

In 2016, a week before the country’s divisive Brexit referendum, Cox, a Labour Party lawmaker, was fatally stabbed and shot in northern England. Also, several people have been jailed in recent years for threatening lawmakers.

British lawmakers are protected by armed police when they are inside Parliament, and security there was tightened after an attacker inspired by the Islamic State group fatally stabbed a police officer at the gates in 2017.

But politicians have no such protection in their constituencies. Amess published the times and locations of his open meetings with constituents on his website.

Two other British lawmakers have been attacked over the past two decades during their “surgeries,” regular meetings where constituents can present concerns and complaints.

Labour legislator Stephen Timms was stabbed in the stomach in 2010 by a student radicalized by online sermons from an al-Qaida-linked preacher.

In 2000, Liberal Democrat Nigel Jones and his aide Andrew Pennington were attacked by a man wielding a sword during such a meeting. Pennington was killed and Jones wounded in the attack in Cheltenham, England.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May, a Conservative, tweeted that Amess’ killing was a “tragic day for our democracy,” and former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was “shocked and horrified.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party said on Twitter: “In a democracy, politicians must be accessible and open to scrutiny, but no one deserves to have their life taken while working for and representing their constituents.”

Kim Leadbeater, Jo Cox’s sister and now a member of Parliament herself, said it was “horrific” that Amess’ family was experiencing what hers had gone through.

“They will think about this every single day for the rest of their lives,” she said.

“I find myself now working as a politician and trying to do good things for people, and it’s really important you get good people in public life, but this is the risk we are all taking, and so many MPs will be scared by this.”

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Lawless reported from London. Pan Pylas also contributed to this report.

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‘The Red Shoes’ returns to Open Eye Theatre with its fairytale story turned noir

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‘The Red Shoes’ returns to Open Eye Theatre with its fairytale story turned noir

“The Red Shoes” are afoot again at Open Eye Theatre.

Described as a “film noir fairytale,” the production was first seen in 2017. An expanded remount was shut down by the pandemic after one preview performance in March 2020. Now, it’s back. “Red Shoes” features actor Kimberly Richardson (as it did in previous incarnations) and was conceived, designed and directed by Joel Sass, Open Eye’s producing artistic director.

“The Red Shoes” gets its name from from a Hans Christian Andersen story about a young girl and a pair of red shoes, according to Open Eye. This version “further explores elements of detective fiction, multiple personality and psychological mystery.” And there are dolls, masks and manipulated objects.

In a review of the 2017 show, Pioneer Press theater critic Dominic Papatola said: “Probably the best adjective to describe ‘The Red Shoes’ is ‘intricate.’ It’s a pleasing puzzlement with lots of moving parts, a story that constantly morphs in scale and a staging that keeps you guessing.”

The show runs through Oct. 31 at Open Eye Theatre in Minneapolis. Tickets are $26-$18, available at openeyetheatre.org. The show is recommended for 14 and older.

Also from Open Eye: Night Shade at the Bakken. Open Eye Theatre brings the puppet collective Night Shade from Portland, Ore., and Mr. Bonetangles from Austin, Texas, to the rooftop of the Bakken museum for a special Halloween puppetry extravaganza. 7 p.m. Oct. 21-31; $24; Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S., Mpls.

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It’s time to stop paying for a VPN

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It’s time to stop paying for a VPN

By Brian X. Chen, The New York Times Company

I am done with paying for a virtual private network, a service that claims to protect your privacy when you are connected to a public Wi-Fi network at the local coffee shop, the airport or a hotel.

For more than a decade, security experts have recommended using a VPN to shield your internet traffic from bad actors who are trying to snoop on you. But just as tech gadgets become outdated over time, so does some tech advice.

The reality is that web security has improved so much in the past few years that VPN services, which charge monthly subscription fees that cost as much as Netflix, offer superfluous protection for most people concerned about privacy, some security researchers said.

Many of the most popular VPN services are now also less trustworthy than in the past because they have been bought by larger companies with shady track records. That is a deal-breaker when it comes to using a VPN service, which intercepts our internet traffic. If you cannot trust a product that claims to protect your privacy, what good is it?

“Trusting these people is really critical,” Matthew Green, a computer scientist who studies encryption, said about VPN providers. “There’s no good way to know what they’re doing with your data, which they have huge amounts of control over.”

I learned this the hard way. For several years, I subscribed to a popular VPN service called Private Internet Access. In 2019, I saw the news that the service had been acquired by Kape Technologies, a security firm in London. Kape was previously named Crossrider, a company that had been called out by researchers at Google and the University of California for developing malware. I immediately canceled my subscription.

In the past five years, Kape has also bought several other popular VPN services, including CyberGhost VPN, Zenmate and, just last month, ExpressVPN in a $936 million deal. This year, Kape additionally bought a group of VPN review sites that give top ratings to the VPN services it owns.

A Kape spokeswoman said that Crossrider, which has long been shut down, was a development platform that was misused by those who distributed malware. She said Kape’s VPN review sites maintained their independent editorial standards.

“It kind of sets a concerning precedent from the consumer standpoint,” said Sven Taylor, founder of the tech blog Restore Privacy. “As the average user goes online to look for information about the product, do they know that what they’re reading might have been written by the company that owns the end product?”

A caveat: VPNs are still great for some applications, such as in authoritarian countries where citizens use the technology to make it look as if they are using the internet in other locations. That helps give them access to web content they cannot normally see. But as a mainstream privacy tool, it is no longer an ideal solution.

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Bremer Bank CEO says she opposed bank sale out of community concern, not self-preservation

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Bremer Bank CEO says she opposed bank sale out of community concern, not self-preservation

Jeanne Crain, president and chief executive officer of the Bremer Financial Corporation, briefly took the witness stand in Ramsey County District Court on Friday to explain her opposition to a forced sale of Bremer Bank, one of the Midwest’s largest farm lenders.

Jeanne Crain, CEO of St. Paul-based Bremer Financial Corp. (Courtesy of Bremer Bank)

Her comments capped the 13th day of testimony in the Minnesota Attorney General’s petition to unseat the three trustees of one of the state’s oldest philanthropies.

Established in 1944 by German banker and St. Paul philanthropist Otto Bremer, the Otto Bremer Trust owns 92 percent of the Bremer corporation, which is the holding company for Bremer Bank, a major farm lender in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

Crain has played a leading role in efforts to block the trustees from selling controlling shares in the corporation to aggressive East Coast hedge funds. Trustees have acknowledged that an Oct. 2019 share sale — since frozen by the courts — was designed to unseat her and the board and unload Bremer Bank to new owners.

Chris Burns, an attorney with the Attorney General’s office, asked Crain — who became CEO in 2016 after more than 30 years in the banking industry — if she was aware of allegations that she and other bank board officials had their own self-preservation at heart in attempting to block a bank sale. Board members are paid for their service.

Crain said that as a shareholder approaching retirement age, she’d actually benefit from a bank sale, and doubly so given that as CEO, she would be entitled to a contractually-required severance payment. She said her concern, however, was the direction the bank would take in the event of a hostile takeover.

“I do own shares in Bremer. It’s interesting to me how the allegation has been phrased. … I’m well protected from change of control,” she said. “I could retire comfortably. It was never about anything for me personally. … (My) contract, I’d have a severance payment. It protects the CEO in the event of a position by the board to release me.”

Her testimony is expected to resume Monday, to be followed by a cross-examination by the Trust’s attorneys.

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Keeler: Pat Shurmur won’t change. It’s up to Von Miller, Justin Simmons and Broncos defense to rescue what’s left of 2021.

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Keeler: Pat Shurmur won’t change. It’s up to Von Miller, Justin Simmons and Broncos defense to rescue what’s left of 2021.

The other day we asked Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, in light of recent events, if he’d ever Googled himself. His response was to whip out a pencil.

“I don’t. I don’t, really. I’m not a very social-media savvy guy,” Shurmur replied, pulling the prop from his pocket. “I just don’t consume it. I don’t see the point in most of it, quite frankly.

“I mean, I still use a pencil. And I really mean that.”

You don’t bring a pencil to a gunfight. Not with the ammo running around the rest of the AFC West.

And with that, we welcome quarterback Derek Carr and the circus dressed up as the Las Vegas Raiders back to town for Alumni Weekend. The Raiders are looking for a head coach. The Broncos are looking for the Genius Bar. This should be fun.

Shurmur is 56. At this point, the man’s more removable than fixable. No, if the Broncos (3-2), after a two-game losing skid, want to control the narrative — and the season — again, coach Vic Fangio and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell are going to have to grab the reins.

Lost in the relentless cycle of run-run-pass-punt-cringe is a defense with more open wounds right now than the fake Halloween corpse that’s dangling from your neighbor’s front door.

The Steelers averaged 55.3 rushing yards over their first four games. They gashed the Broncos for 147 on the ground last Sunday.

Pittsburgh converted seven out of 12 third-down tries, and from an average distance of 6.8 yards per attempt. According to Denver Post charting, the fifth-most expensive defense in football missed eight tackles, a season high, at Heinz Field.

Over the past two games, Donatell’s unit has given up a combined 50 points, has allowed five drives of 75 yards or more (after surrendering only two, total, in over its first three games), and given up 12 “explosive” pass plays of at least 16 yards — including 50-yard and 59-yard strikes by an aging Ben Roethlisberger.

In the battle of Fangio vs. inches, the inches are leading on every judge’s scorecard. The blasted things won’t stop knocking Uncle Vic to the canvas.

“You just have to fight through these times,” said Fangio, whose 3-0 September is starting to feel like a very, very long time ago. “It gets tough at times.

“Some doubt can creep in from all different angles. But you have to fight through that, have a great week of preparation and go out and play your best on the following week.”

By all accounts, the last week of prep has proven to be more temperamental than great. Fangio confirmed that there was a heated disagreement among defensive players on Wednesday, calling it “a little dust-up. A little frustration. Nothing major.”

Frustration over …

“Just guys doing their jobs the right way. That’s all.”

It takes a village, especially without Josey Jewell around to plug holes and with pass-rusher Bradley Chubb still on the mend. It takes well-compensated vets, such as cornerback Kyle Fuller ($9.47 million cap hit), and defensive linemen Shelby Harris ($4 million) and Dre’Mont Jones ($1.1 million), pulling their respective weights.

Fuller is playing like trade bait. Based on Post charting, Harris logged just one sack, one pressure and 1.5 knockdowns through five games. Jones has registered no sacks and 2.5 knockdowns.

After collecting five takeaways against three teams that are a combined 2-13, the Broncos nabbed just one, combined, over their last two defeats to Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

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Bill Clinton recovering from urological infection, aide says

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Bill Clinton recovering from urological infection, aide says

ORANGE, Calif. — Bill Clinton will remain hospitalized overnight as he recovers from a urological infection. But a spokesman said Friday that he was doing better and was in good spirits.

“All health indicators are trending in the right direction, including his white blood count which has decreased significantly,” spokesman Angel Ureña said in a statement.

Clinton, 75, will remain at the University of California Irvine Medical Center overnight so that he can receive further intravenous antibiotics, Ureña said.

“President Clinton continues to be in excellent spirits, and is deeply grateful for the outstanding care he is receiving and the well wishes that people have sent from across America and around the world,” the statement said.

An aide to the former president said that Clinton was in an intensive care section of the hospital, though not receiving ICU care.

The aide, who spoke to reporters at the hospital on the condition his name wasn’t used, did not elaborate on the reason Clinton was in the ICU. He said Clinton had a urological infection that spread to his bloodstream, but he is on the mend and never went into septic shock, a potentially life-threatening condition.

Clinton was in good spirits and juggling books and watching TV coverage about his hospitalization, the aide said. Hillary Clinton was with him in the hospital, though not his daughter, Chelsea Clinton. There was no immediate word on any timeline for his release.

President Joe Biden said Friday during remarks at the University of Connecticut that he had spoken to Clinton and the former president “sends his best.”

“We’re all thinking about President Clinton today,” he said. “He’s always been the comeback kid.”

Later, Biden told reporters that Clinton is “not in any serious condition” and is “getting out shortly.”

Clinton was hospitalized on Tuesday evening for what Ureña only described as a non-COVID-19-related infection.

In the years since Clinton left the White House in 2001, the former president has faced health scares. In 2004, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery after experiencing prolonged chest pains and shortness of breath. He returned to the hospital for surgery for a partially collapsed lung in 2005, and in 2010 he had a pair of stents implanted in a coronary artery.

He responded by embracing a largely vegan diet that saw him lose weight and report improved health.

He repeatedly returned to the stump, campaigning for Democratic candidates, mostly notably his wife, Hillary, during her failed 2008 bid for the presidential nomination. And in 2016, as Hillary Clinton sought the White House as the Democratic nominee, Bill Clinton — by then a grandfather and nearing 70 — returned to the campaign trail.

A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation said the former president was in the Los Angeles area for private events related to his charitable organization. The UCI Medical Center is in Orange County, about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Los Angeles.

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Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed from Hartford, Connecticut. Associated Press writers Alexandra Jaffe contributed from Washington and Robert Jablon contributed from Los Angeles.

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Infant son of late Saint Louis basketball coach visits Chaifetz Arena for first time

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Infant son of late Saint Louis basketball coach visits Chaifetz Arena for first time

ST. LOUIS–The SLU Billikens hosted an open practice for the public Friday night at Chaifetz Arena ahead of the start of the 2021-2022 men’s college basketball season, and one of the youngest people in attendance may be the most inspirational member of the SLU fanbase this coming season.

Penn Stuen is the son of Ford Stuen, Head Coach Travis Ford’s nephew and former assistant coach, who passed away at the age of 29 in May. Stuen’s widow, Courtney, gave birth to Penn in August. The couple also has a daughter, Lucy.

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Exclusive look into the new Mizzou’s new medical research building

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Exclusive look into the new Mizzou’s new medical research building

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new state-of-the-art research building on the University of Missouri’s campus could bring patients from across the state to Columbia for health care. 

Missouri Chief Capitol Bureau Reporter Emily Manley is the only reporter who’s been inside the building before next week’s grand opening and spoke with health officials and building directors about the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building. 

Inside the 265,000 square foot building, there’s an MRI machine found nowhere else in the state. There are labs the size of football fields, a unit that allows researchers to conduct human trials and space to produce pharmaceutical drugs.

Researchers and those in charge of the building say this building puts Columbia and Mizzou on the map for health care. 

“The whole goal is to improve the health of Missourians,” executive director for the building Dr. Richard Barohn said. “This building is a game-changer for the University of Missouri. It really puts us in the heart of the conversation of how you can improve health.”

After breaking ground in 2019, Mizzou is ready to open the doors on its new $221 million dollar research building. 

“Science has evolved to the point where it’s different than just going to your typical health care provider 30 or 40 years ago,” Barohn said. “Now with the advent of precision health tools, we can really deliver a different type of health care.”

Barohn, a neurologist that specializes in muscle and nerve disease, says precision health research involves looking at genetic, behavioral, and imaging factors. 

Inside the new facility, researchers will be looking closely at things like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 

“It’s approximately a football field’s worth of open wet lab space where our teams of scientists that study similar disorders can work together,” associate director of the building Dr. Scott Rector said. 
Rector said the open space concept could lead to fast findings. 

“Traditionally it takes about 20 years to go from a discovery at the bench to getting that into a patient,” Rector said. “We hope that the philosophy in the building would be that we could expedite that process and get to that endpoint more quickly.”

In the basement, there’s an MRI machine found nowhere else in Missouri. 

“Twice the horsepower of other scanners in hospitals,” radiologist for MU Health Dr. Talissa Altes said. 

The device, known as a 7T MR machine, gives doctors and researchers a better look inside the human body. 

“Particularly going to steer patients who may have Parkinson’s and some other of the dementias because those are the diseases that really start in the small structures of the brain that we are going to be able to see better with the 7T,” Altes said. 

She said this machine could cut the time it takes for a scan in half. 

“I expect people will be coming from St. Louis and Kansas City because we’ll be able to see certain structures that are important for their diseases,” Altes said. 

The structure will also house microscopes that can see at the atomic level.
 
“For instance, we can use this for our biology research for COVID or for influenza where we are looking at the molecular structure of an actual viral particle,” scientific director for NextGen Precision Health Dr. Thomas Spencer said. 

By next spring, there will also be space on the third floor of the building for clinical trials for patients. 

“Realistically, take something from the bench to the bedside in the terms of producing a molecule that can be used for clinical trials in humans,” Spencer said. 

The Clinical Translational Science Unit (CTSU) will allow patients to participate in trials for research. Spencer expects there to be more than 100 physicians and researchers working in the clinical trial space. 

“Patients will come in or volunteers and they can stay part of the full day,” Spencer said. “Maybe they will have to take something we will monitor it in their blood, or they do some type of exercise and then we monitor them. It’s a good way to understand how diseases affect the human body.”

The cutting-edge research going on inside the new facility could lead to a health care discovery.
 
“We would hope that we make an initial discovery at the bench, we would do pre-clinical testing since we have the capability, we would then be able to do clinical testing in patients and then we could develop the drug for those types of studies,” Rector said. 

The grand opening for the building is Tuesday. Roughly 40 to 50 researchers will work in the building.

Nearly two dozen of them are already at Mizzou while the rest are being recruited from around the country. The MRI will be ready for patients in the next two to three weeks. 

“We’re going to be a designation for certain types of treatment,” Spencer said. 

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