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With No. 8 pick overall, Twins prepare for highest draft pick since 2017

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With No. 8 Pick Overall, Twins Prepare For Highest Draft Pick Since 2017

Preparation for the 2022 amateur baseball draft has been underway since last year. But Tuesday, the Twins will kick it up another level in anticipation of the three-day, 20-round draft, which begins on Sunday.

A collection of about 45 people — from scouts to analysts to the general manager group — will meet every day from morning to evening at Target Field as the Twins prepare for their highest selection — their first pick is eighth overall — since 2017, when they drafted Royce Lewis with the first pick in the draft.

“Being inside the top 10 is nice because you can shape your list of players you want to hone on throughout the course of the spring, so from a planning standpoint, it’s really nice,” vice president of amateur scouting Sean Johnson said. “ … You want to keep that mentality of, ‘Man, I hope this player makes it to our pick.’ And that usually is the case, but you have to obviously be ready for five or six other scenarios to unfold.”

That’s what this week’s meetings are for. Drafting eighth, Johnson said, requires a different attitude and approach than in the late 20s — the Twins picked 27th in 2020 and 26th last year — when the group is spending the night seeing how the board falls and then reacting.

Over the course of the spring, in addition to scouting players, the Twins have tried to gauge the tendencies of the teams in front of them — some teams, for example, are wary of taking high school players — and tried to piece together, through conversations at the field, with agents and media members, who the teams in front of them might be targeting.

The key, Johnson said, at No. 1 or 5 or 10, is to keep a big group and not narrow it down too quickly.

“If we just said, ‘We’re going to scout eight different players,’ there’s a chance we might end up with a ninth guy on the list that we didn’t think would be there just for a lot of different reasons,” Johnson said. “… You want to keep your group a little bit bigger than eight but still really drill down on the players you think actually are going to show up in that range.”

And this year, that’s likely to be a position player. Prep bats — Druw Jones and Jackson Holliday, sons of former major leaguers Andruw Jones and Matt Holliday — are expected to be among the first few picks. Johnson said he would be surprised if a pitcher was taken in the top five, and there’s a chance that the first 10 picks are all position players.

The top arm in the draft, high school righty Dylan Lesko, underwent Tommy John surgery in April, and within the college pitching ranks, there’s been a lot of injuries, too, making it a difficult demographic to predict, Johnson said.

“I think the right way to look at any draft is you just play the hand you’re dealt,” Johnson said. “Would we love to take a pitcher at eight? Sure, if there was one that we really, really liked. But there just won’t be any on our board, in all likelihood, in that range, so this year it’s all position players, which we’re certainly fond of in the first round.”

Recent mock drafts from Baseball America and The Athletic’s Keith Law have had Jacob Berry, an infielder from Louisiana State University, and Cam Collier, a third baseman at Chipola College, a junior college in Florida, respectively linked to the Twins.

In the coming days, the Twins will spend time setting their board, lining up around 200 players and running through simulations as they focus in on their top pick and prepare for all potential outcomes, weighing feedback from all those in the room.

“We want people to feel like the work they’ve done has made a difference in the outcome,” Johnson said. “… The hope is that our group feels like the decisions we make are ours together and collectively.”

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The Federal Trade Commission should launch an effort to extend online privacy protections

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The Federal Trade Commission Should Launch An Effort To Extend Online Privacy Protections

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission is expected to begin drafting federal rules to expand online privacy protections as early as Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter.

If passed, the rules could impose significant new responsibilities on companies that process consumer data, including potentially prohibiting certain types of data collection practices, the sources said.

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USD/CAD looks to establish a new bearish leg after falling to a two-month low

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Usd/Cad Looks To Establish A New Bearish Leg After Falling To A Two-Month Low

There were some big moves between the dollar pairs in yesterday’s trade and USD/CAD was no exception as it shrugged off the memory of the jump to 1.2980 last Friday in a drop below 1.2800 following the release of US CPI data. There hasn’t been much relief since the decline with the slight retracement earlier stopping at the 100-day moving average (red line) at 1.2793 – a level that was broken yesterday and has helped stop the downtrend initially on August 1st.

The break below the key technical level is a boost for the sellers and paves the way for the next test of the 200-day moving average (blue line) at 1.2741. This is the key support level to watch now as a break below will open the way for another leg down the pair.

It’s hardly a coincidence that we see the dollar pairs in general approaching the test of another set of key technical levels where a breakout could trigger the next leg down in the dollar.

I would like to say that yesterday’s late oil price spike helped keep the loonie more stable, but given its recent volatility, it’s hard to really pin down such a pattern in oil swings. For now, Dollar sentiment is still the main driver of FX and technicals are defining the action right now, as also seen with the Euro, Pound and Yen.

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California man claims in court documents he caught his wife trying to ‘kill’ him by pouring Drano into his drinks

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California Man Claims In Court Documents He Caught His Wife Trying To 'Kill' Him By Pouring Drano Into His Drinks

A photo appears to show Yue Yu, a dermatologist and wife of Jack Chen, pouring Drano. Chen alleged that Yu was trying to poison her.Courtesy of Jack Chen

  • Jack Chen said he started noticing a “chemical taste” in his lemonade around March and April.

  • A doctor diagnosed him with “two stomach ulcers, gastritis and esophagitis”, according to court documents.

  • Chen installed cameras in the house to see if his wife was poisoning him and claimed to have caught her doing so.

A Newport Beach doctor says he caught his wife poisoning him with Drano three times, according to an application for a restraining order filed Aug. 5 in Orange County Superior Court.

Jack Chen filed for divorce and asked the court to a restraining order against his wife, Yue “Emily” Yu.

Yu was arrested Aug. 4 by the Irvine Police Department, according to a department news release. She was released a day later after posting $30,000 bond.

She has not been charged, and Yu’s attorney, David E. Wohl, told Insider, “Ms. Yu vehemently and unequivocally denies ever attempting to poison her husband or anyone else. “

The husband said his suspicions began around March and April when he said he noticed a “chemical taste” in his lemonade which he usually likes to drink hot, according to court documents.

When he developed symptoms, Chen, who is a radiologist, went to the doctor for an examination, according to the filing requesting an injunction, and he revealed two stomach ulcers, gastritis and esophagitis.

“Based on the diagnosis and my suspicions about the chemical taste, I installed cameras in our kitchen,” according to Chen’s injunction request. “I got footage of Emily poisoning me three times.”

Chen’s attorney, Steven Hittleman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but told USA Today that his client recorded Yu putting drain cleaner in his drinks on July 11, 18 and 25.

“After the first video of her poisoning him, he had his morning tea and put Saran wrap on it,” Hittelman told USA Today. “She peeled it off again and put the Drano in it.

Several screenshots in the docs appear to show Yu in the kitchen, pouring a bright orange jug of what Chen says is Drano.

Woman Pouring Drano By Kitchen Table.Woman Pouring Drano By Kitchen Table.

The photo appears to show Yue Yu pouring out the contents of a bright orange jug near the dining table.Courtesy of Jack Chen

Another photo shows a close-up of the bright orange Drano decanter.

Grab Your Hand For A Jug Of Drano.Grab Your Hand For A Jug Of Drano.

Drano Jack Chen’s photo was allegedly used by his wife Yue Yu to poison him.Courtesy of Jack Chen

The court documents preface the poisoning allegations with details of a long history of alleged abuse by Yu and his mother, Yuqin “Amy” Gu.

Chen claimed that his wife and stepmother were physically and emotionally abusive towards him and his two children.

“Emily’s parenting, if you could call it that, revolves around yelling, name calling, verbal abuse, hitting, pushing, pulling and being emotionally abusive,” the documents state.

Yu’s lawyer denies these allegations and stated that “these defamatory and false allegations were made by Mr. Chen in an attempt to gain an advantage in the divorce and custody case he filed against Ms. Yu. , one day after his arrest”.

Read the original Insider article

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US gas prices fall below $4 a gallon

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Us Gas Prices Fall Below $4 A Gallon

U.S. gasoline prices fell below $4 a gallon on Thursday, returning to their lowest level since March, a drop that provided relief to Americans struggling with the skyrocketing cost of everything from groceries on rent.

The national average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline now stands at $3.99, according to AAA. That’s higher than a year ago, but still well below the peak near $5.02 in mid-June. Energy costs are fueling general measures of inflation, so the decline is also good news for policymakers who have struggled to contain price increases and for President Biden, who has pledged reduce gas costs.

The national average includes a wide range of prices, from nearly $5 a gallon in Oregon and Nevada to around $3.50 in Texas and Oklahoma. But, broadly speaking, the decline reflects a number of factors: weaker demand, as high costs have kept some drivers off the roads; a sharp drop in world oil prices in recent months; and the fact that a handful of states have suspended gasoline taxes.

Whatever the causes, the lower prices are a welcome change for drivers for whom the added expense – often $10-15 more for a tank of gas – had become another hurdle as they sought to regain a normal life after the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have new diseases and rising inflation, and people are expecting a recession,” said Zindy Contreras, a student and part-time waitress in Los Angeles, where gas prices are near 5. $40 a gallon. “If I didn’t have to worry about my tank of gas costing $70, that would be a huge relief, for once.”

Ms. Contreras only half-filled her 2008 Mazda 3 due to higher prices, which cost her between $25 and $30 each visit to the pump, and she had found opportunities to carpool with friends . These days, Ms Contreras typically takes gas twice a week, driving 15 miles to and from work each week and an additional 10 to 50 miles a week, depending on her plans.

“The pressure on affordability becomes very real when you see these high prices at the gas pump,” said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Global. “So in that sense, it’s definitely a positive sign for those people who are struggling.”

That cushion – money not spent on gasoline that can go elsewhere – extends to businesses as well, especially as the price of diesel fuel also falls. Diesel, which is used to power, for example, farm equipment, construction machinery and long-haul trucks, also fell from June’s record, but at a slower pace than gasoline prices .

Lower gasoline prices are also good news for the economy, as businesses are under less pressure to pass on energy costs to their customers, which would add to the country’s inflation problem.

The government announced this week that consumer price inflation slowed in July to an annual rate of 8.5% from 9.1% in June, largely thanks to lower petrol prices . If it persists, the slowdown in inflation could allow the Federal Reserve to ease its interest rate hike campaign.

It would also be something of a victory for Mr Biden, who has spent the past several weeks clamoring for lower gas prices, even as he says he expects to do more to cut costs. Mr Biden has criticized oil companies for their record profits thanks to high oil and gas prices, and this year he released some of the country’s oil stocks in a bid to prevent prices from rising too fast.

“I will continue to do what I can to bring down the price of gasoline at the pump,” he said during a briefing in late July.

Even as they watch prices fall, economists and consumers say they wonder if this is a temporary reversal.

“I’m not ready for it to go a little higher and then fight here to fill it up,” said Christina Beliard, a 27-year-old fashion influencer in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Ms. Beliard bought a Jeep Wrangler last year but now regrets the purchase because the vehicle isn’t as fuel efficient as the Toyota Camry she used to drive. For work, she sometimes has to drive to her accounts on TikTok and Instagram, platforms on which she promotes brands, and to attend events in New York, about 60 miles from her home.

Connecticut is one of the states that has suspended its gasoline tax until November. And Ms. Beliard, who used to spend $95 to $100 a week to fill up her Jeep, is now paying $74 to $80. Yet she is tired of the high tab.

“I’m trying to figure out, how long is this going to last?” ” she says.

This is a difficult question to answer. More than half of the cost of gasoline at the pump is determined by global oil prices, and these are volatile and subject to a myriad of forces, many of which are difficult to predict.

Oil prices fell to their lowest point since the start of the war in Ukraine in February, a drop that reflects growing concern that a global recession will hit demand for crude. Prices could rise again for several reasons: the tide of war could further hamper global oil supplies, energy investors’ views on the economy could change, and hurricanes later this year could damage refineries and pipelines. from the Gulf Coast, choking off the supply.

For now, however, the steady decline is providing respite for Americans worried about their finances as the economy slows.

“If gasoline prices stay at or near the levels they’ve been at, that would mean a lot more cushion for households,” Ms Bovino said.

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Albuquerque man charged with murdering 2 Muslim men knew them, police say

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Albuquerque Man Charged With Murdering 2 Muslim Men Knew Them, Police Say
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The man accused of murdering two Muslim men this summer in Albuquerque knew the victims, according to court records.

Muhammad Atif Syed, 51, has been charged with two counts of murder in the murders of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41. An investigation is underway to determine if Syed was involved in the murders of two other Muslim men in the area.

Murders Spread Fear and Panic in Albuquerque’s Muslim Community

Syed was arrested Monday after authorities followed him from a Costco to his home in Albuquerque, where they found a Volkswagen Jetta matching the description of the vehicle police had previously asked the public to watch.

Syed left the Jetta’s house before authorities detained him in Santa Rosa, NM, halfway between Albuquerque and the Texas border. He told officers he was traveling to Houston “to find a new place for his family to live because the situation in Albuquerque was bad,” and mentioned recent shootings of Muslims, according to court records.

The shootings – a string of four killings over the past year, including three in a 10-day period – had rocked Albuquerque’s 5,000-strong Muslim community. Some businesses closed early, refused to go out after dark and stopped going to daily prayers at a local mosque, the Islamic Center of New Mexico, where armed guards were posted. At least three of the shootings followed a pattern in which the victim was ambushed and left for dead, police said.

During Hussein’s killing last month, police say the gunman hid in a bush near an alley, waiting for Hussein to park and get out of his vehicle, at which point he was shot “through the bush several times”. Police found multiple firearms in Syed’s home and vehicle, Deputy Police Commander Kyle Hartsock told a news conference on Tuesday, including at least one that matched casings found at the scene. two murders.

In an interview with a detective from Albuquerque Police Headquarters, Syed said he’s known Hussain since 2016 and that he knew Hussein through “parts of the community.” Both victims were regular members of the mosque, center spokesman Tahir Gauba told The Washington Post. (Although the men shared a similar surname, they were unrelated, Gauba said.)

Police said “an interpersonal conflict may have led to the shooting.”

Syed denied any involvement in the killings, police said. His daughter told KRQE, a local television news station: “I believe they are going to release my father. He did not do anything. »

His daughter and wife told the station they knew three of the victims but that Syed was not responsible for the murders. Shaheen Syed, Syed’s eldest son, told police he knew about the shooting but was not involved.

The elder Syed told authorities that he and his son sometimes go into the desert to shoot his AK-47 – an activity he described to police as “hunting” – and that he enjoys it. gun because he had one in Afghanistan. He told the police that he fought the Taliban there.

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Conversational intelligence firm Jiminny raises $16.5 million to unlock sales team insights – TechCrunch

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Conversational Intelligence Firm Jiminny Raises $16.5 Million To Unlock Sales Team Insights - Techcrunch

Jiminny, a UK-based conversational intelligence platform that companies use to record, transcribe and analyze communications from across sales teams and other customer-facing teams, announced today today that it had raised $16.5 million in a Series A funding round.

Founded in London in 2016, Jiminny provides companies with the technology to better understand how well their sales or customer support teams are interacting with their customers through voice, video, email and mobile. messaging.

By integrating into a company’s broader technology stack, including calendars, CRMs, dialers and video conferencing tools, Jiminny can provide insights such as which staff are most successful in converting that “call from initial discovery” into a serious prospect (or even a sale), and dive right into the call that made it possible.

Jiminny: Sales Team Data from ‘Discovery Call’

Businesses can also use Jiminny to identify customer sentiment and satisfaction, and pinpoint messages that sales and marketing teams need to focus on, for example.

A central part of Jiminny is its data, which breaks down conversations in terms of metrics such as talk-to-listening ratio, listening skills, and monologues, to show which staff is best at which skill, and which of them. between them offers the best results. From there, companies can identify the practices that work best and use that information to train other staff.

Conversational Intelligence Firm Jiminny Raises $16.5 Million To Unlock Sales Team Insights - Techcrunch

Jiminny: dive into engagement statistics

On top of that, Jiminny offers a “chat and whisper” feature, which is basically a live coaching tool that allows executives and senior sales reps to join a voice or video call and talk to new colleagues. what they should say.

conversation piece

The nascent conversational intelligence space is heating up, with companies like Observe.ai recently securing $125 million in funding, while Gong hit a $7.25 billion valuation with a fundraising round. $250 million fund. In the area of ​​mergers and acquisitions, Zoominfo acquired Chorus.ai last year for $575 million shortly after Allego acquired Refract.

According to Jiminny founder and CEO Tom Lavery, this has been driven (predictably enough) by the rise of remote and hybrid working, with companies looking for new ways to generate insights and upskill those working in remote locations. disparate.

“The shift to hybrid working over the past two years has led to explosive growth in demand for conversational intelligence tools and solutions with adjacent capabilities such as voice artificial intelligence technology, for example,” said Lavery at TechCrunch. “This comes as customer service and sales reps look to add these tools to their existing sales technology stack, scale up operations when operating remotely, and formalize and improve staff coaching.”

While it’s clear that Jiminny operates in a busy space, the company says it stands out on several fronts, including the range of languages ​​it supports – businesses can use Jiminny to transcribe over 30 languages , including French, Spanish, German, and Japanese, and turn them into actionable data in English. On top of that, Jiminny also touts its ability to provide summaries of long sales calls, while supporting a wider range of CRMs compared to rivals in the space.

Despite only raising $2.5 million in seed funding over its six-year run, Jiminny has amassed a pretty impressive list of clients including Cision and Just Eat. And with an additional $16.5 million in the bank, the company has a solid financial foundation to build on that.

“Our funding round will help accelerate our expansion into more markets with ongoing product development,” Lavery said. “We will also double our research and development efforts to drive innovation that will benefit our customers.”

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