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Ranking past 15 No. 1 overall MLB draft picks, from top tier (Bryce Harper) to too soon to tell (Adley Rutschman) to mistakes (Brady Aiken)

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Ranking Past 15 No. 1 Overall Mlb Draft Picks, From Top Tier (Bryce Harper) To Too Soon To Tell (Adley Rutschman) To Mistakes (Brady Aiken)

For the second time in four years, the Orioles have the first choice in the MLB draft. Their most recent No. 1 overall pick came in 2019, when Baltimore decided to shape its rebuild around catcher Adley Rutschman, who has helped spark the Oroles’ recent turnaround with his solid two-way play.

Recent history says whoever Baltimore takes with the No. 1 pick will turn into a top prospect, at the least, and potentially an All-Star or even a Most Valuable Player.

From a potential Hall of Fame slugger (Bryce Harper) to a World Series MVP (Stephen Strasburg) to a player who never reached the big leagues (Brady Aiken), here’s a look at the past 15 players to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick and how they have fared. In this exercise, we rank the players in three categories: top tier, too soon to tell and mistakes.

Top tier

2010: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

Bryce Harper has lived up to the hype. The left-handed slugger famously left high school after his sophomore year to become draft-eligible as a 17-year-old, and Harper was an easy choice for the Washington Nationals that season and signed a $6.25 million signing bonus. He made his MLB debut in April 2012 and helped the Nats reach the postseason for the first time while winning National League Rookie of the Year. Harper had one of the best seasons in MLB history in 2015 at age 23 and unanimously won the NL MVP award after slashing .330/.460/.649 with 42 home runs and 124 walks with a 1.109 OPS. The six-time All-Star and 2018 Home Run Derby champ became a free agent after his age-25 season and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, the richest contract in the history of North American sports at the time. Harper, 29, who won his second NL MVP award in 2021 with the Phillies, has a career slash line of .281/.391/.528 with a .919 OPS and 282 home runs. While he’s currently on the injured list, Harper is of the elite players in baseball and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

2007: David Price, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

David Price, a heralded left-handed pitching prospect out of Vanderbilt, received $8.5 million guaranteed, including a $5.6 million signing bonus, before quickly rising through the minor league ranks and helping the Tampa Bay Rays reach the World Series in 2008. Price, 36, who has a 155-82 record with a career 3.33 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, is a former Cy Young Award winner, a five-time All-Star and a 2018 World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox. He has also pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers, but reports say Price is leaning toward retirement after the 2022 season, his 14th in the big leagues and the final season of the seven-year, $217 million free-agent deal he signed with the Red Sox in December 2015. Price in the Hall of Fame conversation.

2011: Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates

Gerrit Cole has the distinction of being a first-round pick twice. The New York Yankees took the right-hander with the 28th overall pick in the 2008 draft, but Cole opted to attend UCLA, where he had a breakout sophomore season and solidified his top prospect status as a junior. The Pittsburgh Pirates gave Cole an $8 million signing bonus, the highest ever offered to a rookie, and he made his MLB debut in June 2013 and helped the Pirates reach the postseason three straight years. Pittsburgh traded Cole to the Houston Astros in January 2018, and he immediately became one of the game’s best starting pitchers and finished in the top five of Cy Young Award voting his two years in Houston before signing a nine-year contract worth $324 million with the Yankees, the largest for a pitcher in MLB history. The four-time All-Star has finished in the top five of Cy Young voting five times, including second twice, and has a career 125-65 record with a 3.20 ERA and 1,797 strikeouts. He’s been one of the best pitchers in the game the last four years and is putting together a Hall of Fame resume.

2012: Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

Current Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias was in his first year in the Houston Astros’ front office when the franchise took shortstop Carlos Correa first overall as a 17-year-old out of a Puerto Rican high school ahead of the consensus top player, Mark Appel. After breaking his leg in the minors in 2014, Correa made his MLB debut in June 2015 and quickly made his mark, helping the Astros reach the playoffs while earning AL Rookie of the Year. He became an All-Star at the age of 22 in 2017, when he was a key member of Houston’s World Series championship team. He was an All-Star again in 2021, his last with the Astros. In March, Correa signed a three-year contract worth $105.3 million with the Minnesota Twins — the $35.1 million average annual salary became the highest for an infielder in MLB history — and he can opt out after each season. Correa has a career slash line of .277/.356/.479 with an .834 OPS and 143 home runs. He’s still elite at 27.

2009: Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

Before signing a then-record-breaking seven-year, $245 million contract to return to the Washington Nationals after earning World Series MVP honors in 2019, Stephen Strasburg was among the most heralded right-handed pitching prospects of all time. He went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA in his final season at San Diego State before the Nationals gave him a record-breaking four-year, $15.1 million contract minutes before the signing deadline, and he made his long-awaited MLB debut June 8, 2010, striking out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates in seven innings. Injuries derailed much of his career, but Strasburg pitched his best when it mattered most, going 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 47 strikeouts in the 2019 playoffs, and he’s the only No. 1 draft pick to be named World Series MVP. Since then, however, the three-time All-Star has thrown only 30 1/3 innings while battling multiple injuries. The 33-year-old has a career 113-62 record, a 3.24 ERA and 1.096 WHIP with 1,723 strikeouts in 1,470 innings across 13 seasons.

2015: Dansby Swanson, Arizona Diamondbacks

In 2015, the Arizona Diamondbacks made Dansby Swanson the first college shortstop to be taken No. 1 overall in more than 40 years. Just a few months later Swanson was included in a trade with the Atlanta Braves that the Diamondbacks surely regret (remember Shelby Miller?). The move helped speed up the Braves’ rebuild, and in August 2016 Swanson made his MLB debut as a 22-year-old. He’s been their shortstop ever since. In 2020, he finished 18th in NL MVP voting, and last season Swanson batted .302 and hit 14 home runs in 87 games to help Atlanta win the World Series. For his career, Swanson’s slash line is .255/.323/.419 to go with 91 homers.

Too soon to tell

2019: Adley Rutschman, Orioles

Perhaps it’s no surprise the Orioles are 27-20 since catcher Adley Rutschman made his major league debut in Baltimore. After all, Rutschman was always regarded as a can’t-miss two-way prospect, and he’s showing that same ability with the Orioles after a slow start. The former Oregon State standout signed with the Orioles for $8.1 million, the highest signing bonus at the time, and steadily rose in the minor league ranks. In 2021, Rutschman batted .312/.405/.490 in 43 games at Triple-A Norfolk, and only a triceps strain prevented him from starting the 2022 season in Baltimore. The 2019 Golden Spikes Award winner as the best amateur player in the U.S. debuted this season on May 21, and after a slow start is batting .221 with a .714 OPS and 18 extra-base hits in 145 at-bats. He’s also providing above-average defense behind the plate, so while it’s too soon to tell, he hasn’t shown any red flags or battled any serious injuries, putting him at the top of this tier.

2017: Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins

Like Mickey Moniak the year before, Royce Lewis was California’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school senior and went No. 1 overall. Lewis, a shortstop, has been ranked among the game’s top prospects ever since being taken by the Minnesota Twins and seemed ready to debut in 2021 before tearing his ACL in February and missing the season. He finally reached the big leagues as a 22-year-old May 6 and performed well — he batted .308 with four doubles, two home runs, five RBIs and five runs in 39 at-bats across 11 games — before being sent back down to Triple-A. The Twins quickly called him back up, but on May 29 he tore the same ACL again in a collision with the outfield wall in his first action in center field. Baseball America’s No. 59 ranked prospect will miss the remainder of the 2022 season.

2018: Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers

It was no surprise the Detroit Tigers took Casey Mize with the first pick in 2018. He was the consensus top-rated prospect after dominating the Southeastern Conference at Auburn and agreed to a $7.5 million signing bonus with the Tigers. He quickly rose in the minors — he had a 0.35 ERA in four starts in High-A, then threw a no-hitter in his first start at Double-A in 2019 — and made his major league debut in August 2020 and made seven starts. Mize made the rotation in 2021, starting 30 games and posting a 7-9 record and 3.71 ERA. After starting this season as the No. 2 starter in Detroit, Mize was placed on the injured list, and on June 10 it was revealed that Mize had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. The 25-year-old has a 7-13 career record with a 4.29 ERA in 188 2/3 innings.

2020: Spencer Torkelson, Detroit Tigers

Spencer Torkelson was considered the best college bat in the draft and was still just 20 years old when the Detroit Tigers took him first overall. The first baseman and third baseman signed with the Tigers for more than $8.4 million, a record at the time, and with the minor league season canceled because of the coronavirus he made his minor league debut in 2021. He excelled at each level, reaching Double-A in June and Triple-A in August. Torkelson beat Rutschman to the big leagues as the Tigers opened the season with him on the roster. Torkelson’s struggled, however, and is batting .198 with 16 extra-base hits in 243 at-bats across 77 games.

2021: Henry Davis, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates surprised many by passing on two highly regarded prep prospects and Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter to take right-handed-hitting catcher Henry Davis out of Louisville with the No. 1 pick in 2021. It’s too early to tell whether that was the right move, as Davis has shown flashes of power but has struggled with strikeouts and staying on the field. He reached Double-A before the halfway point of his first full season and was named to this year’s Futures Game, but on Friday Davis was placed on the injured list with a wrist injury. After hitting .341 in 22 games at High-A, Davis struggled in Double-A before the injury. He’s batting .274/.397/.531 in 49 career minor league games and is ranked as the game’s No. 44 prospect, according to Baseball America.

2016: Mickey Moniak, Philadelphia Phillies

Originally committed to play at UCLA, Mickey Moniak decided to accept a $6.1 million signing bonus after the Philadelphia Phillies took the high school outfielder out of California with the No. 1 pick in 2016. He slowly rose in the minors before finally reaching the big leagues in September 2020. Moniak hasn’t stuck there full time, however, and has 12 hits in 90 MLB at-bats across parts of three seasons. He’s currently on the Phillies roster, though.

Mistakes

2008: Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay Rays

Tim Beckham never lived up to the hype that surrounded the teenager out of Georgia. The shortstop was suspended 50 games in May 2012 for a second positive test for a “drug of abuse” before he finally made his big league debut with the Tampa Bay Rays in September 2013 as a 23-year-old. He then tore his ACL in the offseason and missed all of 2014, and he batted .222/.274/.429 in his first full season a year later. In 2017, after another demotion to Triple-A the year before, Beckham was traded to the Orioles, where he quickly made his mark and played some of the best baseball of his career, batting .306 with 10 home runs in 216 at-bats with Baltimore in 2017. His play dropped off in 2018, his last with the Orioles, before he spent one more major league season with the Seattle Mariners in 2019. He hasn’t played in the big leagues since. For his career, Beckham batted .249/.302/.431 in 472 games, but he had a relatively long career compared to the next guys on this list.

2013: Mark Appel, Houston Astros

Mark Appel’s journey to the big leagues made the news last month, as he made his MLB debut as a 30-year-old rookie reliever with the Philadelphia Phillies on June 29, nearly 13 years after first hearing his name called in the 2009 draft. He was a contender to be the No. 1 pick out of Stanford in 2012 but was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the eighth pick. He didn’t sign and returned to Stanford, and a year later the Houston Astros, who considered Appel with the No. 1 pick in 2012, took the right-hander first overall. However, after an underwhelming minor league career, he was traded to the Phillies in December 2015, and after being designated for assignment, Appel stepped away from baseball at age 26 in February 2018. In March 2021, he attempted a comeback that culminated in his major league debut, in which he pitched one inning of relief against the Atlanta Braves. He’s appeared in three games and thrown four innings without allowing a run. He didn’t pan out as a No. 1 overall pick, but he could still stick around as a major league reliever.

2014: Brady Aiken, Houston Astros

Yes, the Houston Astros were bad enough back then to have the No. 1 pick three consecutive years. And yes, in 2014 they took a player who is one of three in history to be selected first overall and not reach the big leagues — not yet, at least. Left-hander Brady Aiken was considered the top prospect heading into the draft and after it appeared the two sides had agreed to a $6.5 million signing bonus, the offer was reduced to $5 million after a physical revealed a problem with the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. Aiken never signed, becoming the first No. 1 pick not to do so since Tim Belcher in 1983. The Astros, in hindsight, were correct about the physical — Aiken had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in March 2015. The Cleveland Indians took Aiken with the No. 17 pick in 2015 despite the issue, but he struggled on the mound and in 2019 took time away from the game. Cleveland released Aiken in October 2021 — he was only 25 — and he remains a free agent. He’s among the biggest busts in baseball history, and certainly in the last 15 drafts.

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86% of voters vote to recall Two Harbors mayor

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86% Of Voters Vote To Recall Two Harbors Mayor

TWO HARBORS — After seven months of controversy, residents voted to recall embattled Mayor Chris Swanson, ending his nearly 6-year run as mayor.

An unofficial tally of both in-person and absentee ballots, with 100% of precincts reporting, show 86% of voters voted to recall Swanson, with 1,149 voting “yes” to recall Swanson and only 180 voting “no” to keep him in office, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State website . The question on the ballot was: “Shall Mayor Christopher Swanson be recalled?”

There were 2,215 registered voters in Two Harbors as of 7 a.m., according to the Secretary of State website.

Swanson did not immediately return an email or voicemail seeking comment from the News Tribune.

Todd Ronning, chair of the Resign or Recall Committee, said the group “couldn’t be more happy with the results.”

“Our group and our community has been through a lot in the last six months,” Ronning told the News Tribune.

According to the Two Harbors City Charter , the council president will take over mayoral duties and a special election will be held during the next general election to fill the remainder of Swanson’s term, which expires January 2025. Ben Redden is the council president.

Recall efforts were spurred by Swanson’s underwater hotel and cryptocurrency pursuits in January, which brought a slew of other potential conflicts of interest and ethical concern to the surface.

Reviews of his actions have found he violated the city’s code and communications policy and was less than forthcoming with potential interests.

Two Harbors City Attorney Tim Costley in March issued a memorandum of opinion that found Swanson repeatedly used his official city position “for personal benefit or business interests” on a number of issues .

And in July, the Minnesota Office of the State Auditor found Swanson may not have disclosed all of his business and nonprofit interests before they went in front of the City Council. The auditor’s office also sided with the City Council and city attorney in their handling of the potential conflicts of interests.

“I would suggest that the actions of the City Council not only protected local citizens’ interest, but also helped protect the mayor, too,” State Auditor Julie Blaha told the News Tribune at the time. “I think he avoided some problems because (the City Council) avoided a number of contracts.”

Swanson has maintained he’s done nothing wrong and refused to resign, even after the City Council voted 6-0 in June asking him to resign. He did not attend a regularly scheduled council meeting from mid-June until Monday, when he arrived about nine minutes into the meeting, after the public comment period ended.

The Resign or Recall Committee began collecting signatures to move the recall forward in March. It needed 20%, or 498 signatures, of the city’s registered voters to sign the petition. It first gathered nearly 1,000 signatures, 735 of which were verified by the city. But the committee withdrew its petition because it had told people their signatures would be private and it learned later that would not be the case. Its second round of signatures garnered 618 signers, 532 of which were verified by the city.

“It looks like everyone who signed that petition pretty much got out and voted,” said Cynthia Kosiak, an organizer and attorney for the Resign or Recall Committee. “Which is not, generally, what happens.”

A lawsuit seeking to nullify the recall brought forward by a supporter of Swanson, who was represented by Swanson’s attorney, against the city and recall committee was dismissed in June.

The city spent $35,773 by bringing in outside attorneys to defend itself, Miranda Pietila, city financial director, said at the council meeting Monday.

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Samsung announces the Galaxy Z Fold 4

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Samsung Announces The Galaxy Z Fold 4

By CNBCTV18.com August 10, 2022, 7:15 PM STI (Update)

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Samsung is touting the Galaxy Z Fold 4 as its lightest and strongest Fold ever with a 6.2-inch cover screen and a 7.6-inch main screen.

Samsung is touting the Galaxy Z Fold 4 as its lightest and strongest Fold ever with a 6.2-inch cover screen and a 7.6-inch main screen. The phone is available in three colors – Graygreen, Phantom Black or Beige.

The device also has a new taskbar to help you do more as a multitasker. Samsung describes it as a “PC-like powerhouse in your pocket that transforms One UI-optimized apps to give you menus and more at a glance.”

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes with plenty of tools to get your gears going. And when you add third-party apps optimized for Multi-View, you unlock new levels of comfort with every press.

(This is a developing story. Follow this space for more updates.)

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US inflation slows from a 40-year peak but remains high

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Us Inflation Slows From A 40-Year Peak But Remains High

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER

WASHINGTON (AP) — Falling gas prices gave Americans a slight break from the pain of high inflation last month, though overall price increases slowed only modestly from the four-decade high that was reached in June.

Consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July compared with a year earlier, the government said Wednesday, down from a 9.1% year-over-year jump in June. On a monthly basis, prices were unchanged from June to July, the smallest such rise in more than two years.

Besides gasoline, among the consumer purchases whose prices sank from June to July were airfares, which plunged nearly 8%. Hotel room costs fell 2.7%, used car prices 0.4%. Such items had previously delivered some of the economy’s steepest price jumps.

Those declines lowered so-called core inflation, a measure that excludes the volatile food and energy categories to provide a clearer picture of underlying inflation. Core prices rose just 0.3% from June, the smallest month-to-month increase since April. And compared with a year ago, core inflation amounted to 5.9% in July, the same year-over-year increase as in June.

Wednesday’s report raised hopes that a modest slowdown in inflation might enable the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates by less than had been anticipated when it meets in late September. Many economists had forecast that it would increase its benchmark rate three-quarters of a point for a third straight time. But financial markets are now predicting that a half-point increase is more likely.

The prospect of slower inflation and smaller Fed rate hikes buoyed the stock market as trading began Wednesday, with futures pointing to a solid increase in the S&P 500 index.

Still, core prices have slowed in the recent past only to re-accelerate in subsequent months. And plenty of items are continuing to grow more expensive. Food prices kept surging in July, for example, and have risen 13% from a year ago, the largest such increase since 1979. The costs of rent, medical care and furniture also rose at elevated rates.

Average paychecks are rising faster than they have in decades, but not fast enough to keep up with higher costs.

President Joe Biden has pointed to declining gas prices as a sign that his policies — including large releases of oil from the nation’s strategic reserve — are helping lessen the higher costs that have strained Americans’ finances, particularly for lower-income Americans and Black and Hispanic households.

Yet Republicans are stressing the persistence of high inflation as a top issue in the midterm congressional elections, with polls showing that elevated prices have driven Biden’s approval ratings down sharply.

On Friday, the House is poised to give final congressional approval to a revived tax-and-climate package pushed by Biden and Democratic lawmakers. Economists say the measure, which its proponents have titled the Inflation Reduction Act, will have only a minimal effect on inflation over the next several years.

While there are signs that inflation may ease in the coming months, it will likely remain far above the Federal Reserve’s 2% annual target well into next year or even into 2024. Chair Jerome Powell has said the Fed needs to see a series of declining monthly core inflation readings before it would consider pausing its rate hikes. The Fed has raised its benchmark short-term rate at its past four rate-setting meetings, including a three-quarter point hike in both June and July — the first increases that large since 1994.

A blockbuster jobs report for July that the government issued Friday — with 528,000 jobs added, rising wages and an unemployment rate that matched a half-century low of 3.5% — solidified expectations that the Fed will announce yet another three-quarter-point hike when it next meets in September. Robust hiring tends to fuel inflation because it gives Americans more collective spending power.

One positive sign, though, is that Americans’ expectations for future inflation have fallen, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, likely reflecting the drop in gas prices that is highly visible to most consumers.

Inflation expectations can be self-fulfilling: If people believe inflation will stay high or worsen, they’re likely to take steps — such as demanding higher pay — that can send prices higher in a self-perpetuating cycle. Companies then often raise prices to offset higher their higher labor costs. But the New York Fed survey found that Americans’ foresee lower inflation one, three and five years from now than they did a month ago.

Supply chain snarls are also loosening, with fewer ships moored off Southern California ports and shipping costs declining. Prices for commodities like corn, wheat and copper have fallen steeply.

Yet in categories where price changes are stickier, such as rents, costs are still surging. One-third of Americans rent their homes, and higher rental costs are leaving many of them with less money to spend on other items.

Data from Bank of America, based on its customer accounts, shows that rent increases have fallen particularly hard on younger Americans. Average rent payments for so-called Generation Z renters (those born after 1996) jumped 16% in July from a year ago, while for baby boomers the increase was just 3%.

Stubborn inflation isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. Prices have jumped in the United Kingdom, Europe and in less developed nations such as Argentina.

In the U.K., inflation soared 9.4% in June from a year earlier, a four-decade high. In the 19 countries that use the euro currency, it reached 8.9% in June compared with a year earlier, the highest since record-keeping for the euro began.

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Prominent Iranian poet Houshang Ebtehaj dies at 94

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Prominent Iranian Poet Houshang Ebtehaj Dies At 94

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Tehran, Iran — Houshang Ebtehaj, a distinguished Iranian poet whose modest but influential work made him a major figure in his own country and in world literature, died Wednesday in Cologne, Germany. He was 94 years old.

His death was confirmed by his daughter, Yalda Ebtehaj, who said on Instagram that her father, known by his pseudonym “Sayeh”, or Shadow, had “joined the other world”. In the message, she quoted a verse written by her father in the style of the great mystical poet Rumi: “Roam, roam roam… There are strangers in this house, so you wander strangely.”

The cause of death was kidney failure, according to semi-official Iranian media. Ebtehaj had lived in Germany since the late 1980s.

He was born in 1928 in the Iranian city of Rasht, some 240 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of Tehran, the capital. He started writing when he was young and published his first book of poetry when he was just 19 years old. Throughout the 20th century, Ebtehaj contributed to the popularity of the ghazal – a traditional form of Persian poetry set to music that expresses the writer’s feelings, especially about love, with moving intensity.

Filled with romance and melancholy longing, his work was not considered too political. But socialist politics was central to Ebtehaj’s identity. He sympathized with Iran’s communist Tudeh party and paid the price after the overthrow of Iran’s secular Western-backed monarchy in 1979. During the young Islamic Republic’s crackdown on leftists and liberals after the revolution, Ebtehaj landed in jail for almost a year.

He was released in 1984, when a well-known Iranian poet appealed to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, then President, to secure Ebtehaj’s freedom. Poet Mohammad-Hossein Shahriar wrote in a letter that Ebtehaj’s detention made angels cry on the throne of God.

Ebtehaj became recognized in Iran for his innovative verse which built on the foundations of Rumi and the famous 14th century Persian poet Hafez, combining traditional forms with modern social themes. He was also a musicologist and scholar, lecturing at universities across Europe on his critique of Hafez’s mystical lyric poetry. However, the international reach of his poetry remained somewhat limited, with only one collection translated into English.

Ebtehaj is survived by two sons and two daughters. His wife, Alma Maikial, died last year.

Condolences poured in from dozens of Iranians on Twitter, as well as cultural institutions and Iranian embassies.

The Iranian Embassy in Berlin said it was in mourning with “all lovers of Persian culture and literature around the world”.

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Trump says he’s testifying Wednesday in NY investigation

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Trump Says He’s Testifying Wednesday In Ny Investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump will be questioned under oath Wednesday in the New York attorney general’s long-running civil investigation into his dealings as a real estate mogul, he confirmed in a post on his Truth Social account.

Trump’s testimony comes amid a flurry of legal activity surrounding him, taking place just days after FBI agents searched his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida as part of an unrelated federal probe into whether he took classified records when he left the White House.

He arrived at the New York attorney general’s office shortly before 9 a.m. in a multivehicle motorcade. As he left Trump Tower in New York City for the short ride downtown, he waved to reporters assembled outside but did not comment.

The New York civil investigation, led by Attorney General Letitia James, involves allegations that Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, misstated the value of prized assets like golf courses and skyscrapers, misleading lenders and tax authorities.

“In New York City tonight. Seeing racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow, for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history!” Trump wrote on Truth Social, invoking his oft-repeated claims about James, who is Black, and the investigation.

“My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides,” Trump added. “Banana Republic!”

Messages seeking comment were left with James’ office and with Trump’s lawyer.

Trump’s testimony is happening at a critical point in James’ investigation, midway through a pivotal week in his post-presidency.

In May, James’ office said that it was nearing the end of its probe and that investigators had amassed substantial evidence that could support legal action, such as a lawsuit, against Trump, his company or both.

The Republican billionaire’s deposition — a legal term for sworn testimony that’s not given in court — is one of the few remaining missing pieces, the attorney general’s office said.

Two of Trump’s adult children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, testified in the investigation in recent days, two people familiar with the matter said. The people were not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity.

The Trumps’ testimony had initially been planned for last month but was delayed after the July 14 death of the former president’s ex-wife, Ivana Trump, the mother of Ivanka, Donald Jr. and another son, Eric Trump, who sat for a deposition in James’ investigation in 2020.

On Friday, the Trump Organization and its longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, will be in court seeking dismissal of tax fraud charges brought against them last year in the Manhattan district attorney’s parallel criminal probe.

James, a Democrat, has said in court filings that her office has uncovered “significant” evidence that Trump’s company “used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions.”

James alleges the Trump Organization exaggerated the value of its holdings to impress lenders or misstated what land was worth to slash its tax burden, pointing to annual financial statements given to banks to secure favorable loan terms and to financial magazines to justify Trump’s place among the world’s billionaires.

The company even exaggerated the size of Trump’s Manhattan penthouse, saying it was nearly three times its actual size — a difference in value of about $200 million, James’ office said.

Trump has denied the allegations, explaining that seeking the best valuations is a common practice in the real estate industry. He says James’ investigation is part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” and that her office is “doing everything within their corrupt discretion to interfere with my business relationships, and with the political process.”

“THERE IS NO CASE!” Trump said in a February statement, after Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that James’ office had “the clear right” to question Trump and other principals in his company.

While James has explored suing Trump or his company, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has long pursued a parallel criminal investigation.

That probe had appeared to be progressing toward a possible criminal indictment, but slowed after a new district attorney, Alvin Bragg, took office in January.

A grand jury that had been hearing evidence disbanded. The top prosecutor who had been handling the probe resigned after Bragg raised questions internally about the viability of the case.

Bragg has said his investigation is continuing, which means that Trump could invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and decline to answer questions from James’ investigators.

According to the subpoena issued by James’ office, Trump was to appear in person at the attorney general’s office, located in a Manhattan office tower that has doubled as the fictional conglomerate Waystar Royco’s headquarters on HBO’s “Succession.”

As vociferous as Trump has been in defending himself in written statements and on the rally stage, legal experts say the same strategy could backfire in a deposition setting because anything he says could potentially be used against him or his company in the criminal investigation. No former president has even been charged with a crime.

In fighting to block the subpoenas, lawyers for the Trumps argued New York authorities were using the civil investigation to get information for the criminal probe and that the depositions were a ploy to avoid calling them before a criminal grand jury, where state law requires they be given immunity.

Last summer, spurred by evidence uncovered by James’ office, Manhattan prosecutors filed charges against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization. Prosecutors said Weisselberg collected more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation.

Weisselberg and the company have pleaded not guilty.

Weisselberg and Eric Trump each invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times when questioned by James’ lawyers during separate depositions in 2020, according to court papers.

The former president could choose to do the same, but it’s likely “he’ll claim lack of knowledge on many questions,” New York University law professor Stephen Gillers said.

That could be a successful strategy, since Trump is known as more of a “big-picture guy” Gillers said. “So he’ll answer the big-picture questions and those answers will be general enough to keep him out of trouble, or so his lawyers will hope.”

“On the other hand, his impetuosity makes him a lawyer’s nightmare and his overconfidence may lead him astray. Whoever questions him will encourage that,” the professor added.

Once her investigation wraps up, James could decide to bring a lawsuit and seek financial penalties against Trump or his company, or even a ban on them being involved in certain types of businesses.

___

Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

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Foxconn warns of slowing smartphone demand

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Foxconn Warns Of Slowing Smartphone Demand

foxcon Technology Group, the world’s largest iPhone maker, said demand for smartphones and other consumer electronics was slowing, prompting it to be cautious in the current quarter.

President of Foxconn Young Liu said the smartphone market could remain stable for the rest of the year compared to a year earlier. He listed possible risks, including geopolitical developments, inflation and the pandemic.

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