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Five things we learned from the Ravens’ 42-38 loss to the Miami Dolphins – The Denver Post

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Five Things We Learned From The Ravens' 42-38 Loss To The Miami Dolphins - The Denver Post
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The Ravens entered the fourth quarter of their home opener with a three-touchdown lead thanks to one of the great performances of Lamar Jackson’s career. They finished it as 42-38 losers, licking their wounds after a disastrous defensive meltdown against the Miami Dolphins.

Here are five things we learned from their stunning loss:

Ravens don’t know where they’re going after epic meltdown

What can I say to sum up 15 minutes of unfathomable football horror? For Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, it was the recurring image of passes flying over his head. For her rookie teammate Jalyn-Armor Davis, it was a feeling that no one on the Baltimore defense could find the same wavelength as they tried to block the aqua blue avalanche heading their way. For coach John Harbaugh, it was the stinging realization that his team needed to mend their foundations in the weeks to come.

It wasn’t the most atrocious home loss in franchise history. It lacked the finality of the playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans that ended the Ravens’ antics throughout the 2019 season. It wasn’t marked by a single stunning play, like the 49-yard pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd who erased the Ravens’ playoff chances on the final day of the 2017 season. But for a boost, it was one for the annals.

You see, it wasn’t a tense contest for most of the afternoon. It was a party – a chance for Baltimore to shout hosannas for its sublime quarterback and refreshed squad.

For three quarters of their home opener on Sunday, the Ravens told us they were a reborn contender. They mocked the same Dolphins defense that suffocated them last season and covered their own defensive shortcomings with the takeaways that were so rare for them in 2021. Going into the game, we wondered if Miami had their number. When the score reached 35-14, it looked like the Ravens were saying no one would get their number in 2022.

Perhaps we should have read the first omens. The Ravens started with a 103-yard kickoff return. They interrupted Miami’s first drive with an interception. In their first real practice, they ran 18 plays and held the ball for nearly 11 minutes. All that, and with 10:54 left in the second quarter, they were tied at 7.

But whatever opportunities they left on the table seemed out of place in the light of Jackson’s masterpiece. His sharp scalpel shots put them up 28-7 at halftime, and when he slid 79 yards through the heart of Miami’s defense to make it 35-14 with 26 seconds left in the third quarter, chants of “MVP!” MVP!” echoed through M&T Bank Stadium.

Even the most cynical fan couldn’t have imagined the nightmare to come.

For the final 15 minutes, however, all of the disturbing storylines from the past year have returned to the building. The Ravens watched helplessly as Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, an uneven performer in his first two NFL seasons, completed a performance of 469 yards and six touchdowns. Injuries, fresh or lingering, hampered their more experienced cornerbacks, leaving much of the covering work for Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to bewildered rookies. The dominant front seven we saw in Week 1 against the New York Jets did nothing to hinder Tagovailoa. On offense, the Ravens couldn’t muster the kind of drive they relied on to put away games.

Assessing this slump against the electric event of the first three quarters, what do we know about the Ravens as we look ahead to 16 more weeks?

“There’s really no conclusion to be drawn at this point,” Harbaugh said.

Secondary health is already the #1 concern

We’ve spent the past nine months assuming the Ravens couldn’t reach the depths of 2021, when they finished last in pass defense. Humphrey and Marcus Peters would be back. Safety Marcus Williams would consolidate the back line. First-round pick Kyle Hamilton would be an immediate playmaker, and veteran Kyle Fuller would provide battle-tested depth. New defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald danced the plays in patterns not limited by traditional notions of position. No, it couldn’t get as bad as last year, when they gave up 435 yards to Derek Carr and 402 to Carson Wentz and 525 to Joe Burrow.

Well, Tagovailoa’s fourth quarter — 13 of 17 for 199 yards and four touchdowns — said 2022 could be just as bad.

With Fuller lost to a torn ACL late in the season, Brandon Stephens (quadriceps) inactive, Humphrey limited by groin pain and Peters fighting his way through after 20 months out with a torn ACL , they had to rely on Armour-Davis and another rookie, Damarion Williams, against the terrifying duo of Hill and Waddle.

We saw an array of horrors on Waddle’s 59-yard catch-and-run that set up Miami’s first touchdown. Linebacker Patrick Queen tripped and fell for coverage. Armour-Davis was knocked down by a block. Williams couldn’t push Waddle out of bounds.

As the Ravens protected a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter, Hill passed Peters for a 48-yard touchdown. He dusted it enough that he had time to stop and wait for Tagovailoa’s underground pass to reach him.

On Miami’s next possession, Hill sped past Armour-Davis, who seemed to think he would have a safety assist behind him. There were three Ravens who could have shaded on that side of the field, but none did as Hill caught a 60-yard touchdown with no one near him to tie the game at 35.

“There were communication issues across the defense,” Armour-Davis said when asked what happened on the play. “It’s something we have to sort out. It’s something we’ve been pushing all week, so it’s definitely disappointing.

When asked if the same answer could apply to the entire fourth quarter, the rookie said yes.

Logic tells us that was probably the nadir. Peters and Humphrey will feel better and play more snaps. So will Stephens, who looked like he wanted to play as he trained hard in front of coaches before the game. Armour-Davis will learn. But the Ravens can’t feel right, already looking at the same issues they couldn’t get past a year ago.

“You never thought we were going to have so many balls thrown over our heads,” Harbaugh said. “It just can’t happen; it’s not OK. I don’t care who’s over there, [or] what theyre doing.”

The Ravens killed their offensive demons 10 months ago

As disappointing as the day was, Jackson buried the idea that he couldn’t punish Miami’s offensive defense. His stats — 11 of 13 for 210 yards, three touchdowns and a perfect passer rating of 158.3 — tell a compelling story about how he got the ball going in the first half. On the contrary, he was better than the cold numbers said.

Facing a defense that had given him tantrums 10 months earlier, he only made an off-target shot at the last minute before halftime. His only incompleteness at this point was a beautifully feathered pass that tight end Mark Andrews dropped (not a phrase we utter often).

Jackson hit Rashod Bateman perfectly in stride for a 75-yard catch-up touchdown. He passed passes to Andrews and Demarcus Robinson in traffic. He hasn’t taken a bag all day.

Give credit to the Ravens pass protectors for this latest issue. They’ve spent all week hearing about how the Dolphins upset Jackson’s composure by cramming the line of scrimmage and firing safeties, unblocked, into Baltimore’s backfield. They did their homework on Miami’s Cover 0 while understanding the Dolphins might take a more patient approach this time around (which they did). Jackson operated from a clean pocket — “Our line did a hell of a job protecting me,” he said — and did more than enough damage to win the game.

The running game could not put away the game

Even though so much went well for the Ravens early on, their ground game continued to be a concern. Running backs Kenyan Drake and Mike Davis had 13 yards on eight carries on their nearly 11-minute drive that straddled the first and second quarters. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman turned to fullback Patrick Ricard and Andrews (on a straight snap no less) for two short conversions to extend that walk. The Ravens had four chances to hit the ball from the 2-yard line and couldn’t, with Jackson falling an inch down on third down and fumbling on fourth.

That’s a problem for a team that relies on the sport’s most productive ground operation.

We saw that weakness again in the fourth quarter, when the Ravens needed hard practice to blunt Tagovailoa’s momentum. They failed to convert fourth and ran on a drive and went three-and-one on the next. Drake and Davis, little helped by the same blockers who did a good job protecting Jackson, finished with a combined 12 yards on 11 carries.

“We are not there yet; we don’t block like we have to,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a good front, just like last week [against the Jets] was a good front, but we’re not doing that right now. So that’s one of the things that we have to look at carefully and try to get to where we need to be that way because that’s how you win games.

We don’t know enough to guess the Ravens for holding off No. 1 runner JK Dobbins for another week. As Dobbins detailed on Friday, he suffered an unusually devastating knee injury prior to last season, and we don’t know specifically what the Ravens are looking for to determine his readiness. What we do know is that they badly need a more dynamic threat in the backfield.

The defensive front has also disappeared

Nose tackle Michael Pierce and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike were among the best defensemen in the league in Week 1, and the Ravens generally owned the line of scrimmage in an easy win over the Jets. With the Dolphins on a starting right tackle and relying on ailing left tackle Terron Armstead (toe), Baltimore’s front seven looked set for another big day.

Instead, they had little impact on Tagovailoa as he fired at will as the game slipped away. The Ravens only had two hits from the quarterback and their only sack, by outside linebacker Justin Houston, came early.

Defensive tackle Calais Campbell credited Tagovailoa with the best performance of his three-year career: “He got on his feet, got rid of the ball, made quick decisions and passed the ball to his point guards and let them make plays. That’s what the quarterback does, so you have to give him his props. We were pressuring him and getting there sometimes, but he throws good, just putting him on the money [while] we press his face.

Fair enough. Sometimes the other guy is just good. But with their secondary discomfort, the Ravens could have used transformative play from their pass rush, and that never happened.

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How Chicago Cubs prospect Jordan Wicks — armed with new pitch — is setting himself up a big 2023 season

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How Chicago Cubs Prospect Jordan Wicks — Armed With New Pitch — Is Setting Himself Up A Big 2023 Season
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For left-hander Jordan Wicks, the big-league dream felt much closer over the weekend.

The Chicago Cubs brought 14 of their minor-league players to Wrigley Field for a multiday development camp at the ballpark. The group included some of their most highly-rated prospects: outfielders Pete Crow-Armstrong (No. 1 by Baseball America), Brennen Davis (No. 2), Owen Caissie (No. 8), first baseman Matt Mervis (No. 20) and pitchers Wicks, Ben Brown (No. 11) and DJ Herz (No. 13).

The orientation included a tour of the ballpark and facilities, meeting with Cubs coaches and major-league players, and preparing their respective offseason programs.

“We definitely go out on the field and imagine being out there,” Wicks said Sunday. “Who knows how far away it is?”

Wicks’ season set him up for an important 2023 that could put him on the cusp of the majors. Excluding a late-season injury shortened start, he posted a 2.95 ERA over his last 19 starts, which included surrendering one run or less in his final five outings at Double-A Tennessee. The underlying numbers suggested Wicks’ slow start, posting a 5.65 ERA through four starts with High-A South Bend, was somewhat out of his control.

“It was a lot of bad breaks in-game — soft contact hits, stuff that just didn’t really go my way,” Wicks recently told the Tribune. “And I was able to continue through that and power through it and make the best out of it.”

By mid-September at Tennessee, Wicks self-assessed his pitch mix was “10 times better” than where his stuff began at the beginning of the season, citing the confidence in all of his pitches. The Cubs’ 2021 first-round pick overcame a .359 Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) with South Bend, sixth highest among High-A pitchers this year (min. 50 innings). His main goal coming into the year was to improve his breaking balls. Wicks believes he succeed in that quest.

“It’s helped a lot in terms of giving them different things to think about,” Wicks said, “and it’s also helped to make the changeup even better.”

During the two months of the season, Wicks added another element to his repertoire: a cutter. Wicks called it a “pitch limiter.” It helps him generate more weak contact, record quicker outs and, ideally, lower his pitch count as he progresses through a start. He initially started incorporating the cutter into games in August.

“It’s done exactly what we wanted to which is limit pitches and be able to attack hitters,” Wicks said. “It has definitely done its job.”

The Cubs introduced the idea to Wicks shortly after he was promoted to Tennessee in mid-July. Based on Wicks’ pitch usage and his strengths and weaknesses, the Cubs’ pitching infrastructure — including their Research and Development department — thought the 23-year-old could handle adding a new pitch in-season and quickly take to it. Minor-league pitching coordinator Casey Jacobson recalled Wicks mentioning he thought adding a cutter would work well for him after one of his first starts with Tennessee.

The pitch could be a great weapon for Wicks against right-handed hitters to avoid overusing his changeup while complementing his devastating slider to put away lefties.

“It speaks to his aptitude, like, he knew that he’s got the two breaking balls right now, but they’re on the slower side in terms of velocity,” Jacobson said. “So you want something that’s a breaking ball that has some more pace and that’s kind of what we identified as well.

“It was a good situation where all the stars aligned.”

Left triceps tightness sidelined Wicks for 12 days, but he returned Sept. 2 and tossed seven shutout innings with two hits, no walks and eight strikeouts over his final two regular-season starts. After tightness cropped up in his one-inning start Aug. 20 that saw the lefty uncharacteristically surrender six runs (five earned), Wicks and the Cubs wanted to play the situation conservatively so late into the season.

Extended rest between starts resolved the issue. Getting minor-league pitchers through a full season is important in exposing them to the grind of a long season and understanding what it takes to get through that type of schedule. Sometimes that means learning how to bounce back and overcome from nagging stuff or injuries.

Jacobson was glad Wicks informed the team about his triceps tightness, something pitchers might experience late in the season.

“But rather than throw through it and maybe something worse happens, he’s honest with us up front,” Jacobson told the Tribune. “We can take care of it and we can get in front of it. Our training staff knocked that thing out of the park in a short amount of time. That’s obviously really good for him from a competitiveness standpoint, from his psychological standpoint, because he doesn’t want to be sidelined.”

Although he did not pitch during the Smokies’ postseason run, Wicks ultimately finished with 94⅔ innings between High-A South Bend and Double-A Tennessee, just shy of his combined total last year with Kansas State and South Bend. While increasing innings are important, big-picture development is part of the equation too.

“You’re challenging them with a different rest cycle — it’s not once a week anymore, they’re cutting off a recovery day that they might have had in college, the travels’ a little bit different, the training is probably a little bit different,” Jacobson said.

“We can take the next step then and he’s getting the chance now to throw on what would be major-league rest once a month. It’s something that these guys need to get exposed to, so that we can get their body to adapt to it.”

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Magic’s loss to Grizzlies gives insight into what Orlando needs to improve

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Magic’s Loss To Grizzlies Gives Insight Into What Orlando Needs To Improve
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Ahead of the Magic’s 109-97 preseason-opening loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Monday, coach Jamahl Mosley made clear what Orlando had been focusing on during training camp.

Get back in transition defensively. Protect the paint. Move the ball while also taking care of it.

After allowing 50 points in the paint, 30 fastbreak points and finishing with 25 turnovers that led to 33 Memphis points, it’s clear more work is needed.

“It was a great challenge for our guys,” Mosley said. “It was an opportunity for them to understand the level of growth and the things we’re going to have to continue to do to get where we’re trying to go.”

For most of the game, the Magic looked like a team that missed two days of training camp because of Hurricane Ian and is still working to understand one another.

But Orlando’s struggles with giveaways weren’t exclusive to Monday.

The Magic were one of the league’s more turnover-prone teams last season. They often have the right pass in mind but attempt it a second or two too late. Or don’t force the defense to collapse enough on drives and try to pass through clogged lanes.

A handful of Orlando’s giveaways are easily correctable — stepping out of bounds, traveling and offensive fouls.

“A lot of us have to get used to playing with each other,” said Paolo Banchero, who finished with 8 points (2-9), 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 turnovers in his preseason debut. “I feel like our process was a little different than most teams with the way we had to deal with training camp and cancelations. Coach told us before the game to treat preseason as extended training camp, getting used to the game and each other.”

The loss was a wake-up call but the Magic maintained their perspective.

It was just the first of five preseason exhibitions.

A lot of the areas the Grizzlies, who had the league’s second-best record in 2021-22 at 56-26, dominated Orlando in — especially points off turnovers and in the paint — are ones they thrived in last season.

The Magic’s performance wasn’t all bad, either.

They moved the ball well when they weren’t giving it away, finishing with 23 assists on 35 field goals. Their halfcourt defense was solid. They created open looks from beyond the arc (18-54 on 3s) but they didn’t make enough of them, also a struggle for last year’s team.

“These are great learning opportunities for each of these young men and our staff to be able to teach the things we’ll need to do to continue to grow,” Mosley said. “When and where we’re making passes, transition defense, how we’re getting back. [This] is going to be great teaching tape for us.”

Watching game film will be imperative to figure out how to cut out those mistakes. But what the Magic struggled at is clear.

“You can never not learn something from film,” said Cole Anthony, who led Orlando with 17 points (6-10, 4-8 on 3s) and 5 rebounds. “The main thing I can say is I don’t even have to watch the film to tell you we need to cut down the turnovers. We had 25 for 33 points for them. We cut that in half and we’re looking at a different ball game.

“It’s early. It’s going to be a lot of mistakes, but I think we can cut this stuff out sooner rather than later so by the time the regular season rolls around, we’re doing something, moving in the right direction and winning some games.”

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.

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Herschel Walker paid for girlfriend’s abortion, report says

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Herschel Walker Paid For Girlfriend’s Abortion, Report Says
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By BILL BARROW

DUNWOODY, Ga. (AP) — Herschel Walker, who has vehemently opposed abortion rights as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, paid for an abortion for his girlfriend in 2009, according to a new report published late Monday. The candidate called the accusation a “flat-out lie” and said he would sue.

The Daily Beast spoke to a woman who said Walker paid for her abortion when they were dating. The news outlet reviewed a receipt showing her $575 payment for the procedure, along with a get-well card from Walker and her bank deposit records showing the image of a $700 personal check from Walker dated five days after the abortion receipt.

The woman said Walker encouraged her to end the pregnancy, saying that the time wasn’t right for a baby, The Daily Beast reported.

In a statement, Walker said he would file a lawsuit against the news outlet on Tuesday morning.

“This is a flat-out lie — and I deny this in the strongest terms possible,” he wrote.

Matt Fuller, the politics editor for The Daily Beast, tweeted in response: “I can tell you we stand behind every word and feel very solid about the story.”

Later Monday night, Walker appeared on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News, where Walker was asked if he recalled sending a $700 check to a girlfriend.

“Well, I sent money to a lot of people,” he said. “I give money to people all the time because I’m always helping people. I believe in being generous. God has blessed me. I want to bless others.”

The allegation against Walker is the latest in a series of stories about the football legend’s past that has rocked the first-time candidate’s campaign in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. Earlier this year, Walker acknowledged reports that he had three children he had not previously talked about publicly.

Walker has often boasted of his work helping service members and veterans struggling with mental health. Yet The Associated Press reported in May that various records showed he overstated his role in a for-profit program that is alleged to have preyed upon veterans and service members while defrauding the government.

The AP also has reported that a review of public records detailed accusations that Walker repeatedly threatened his ex-wife’s life, exaggerated claims of financial success and alarmed business associates with unpredictable behavior. Walker himself has at times discussed his long struggle with mental illness.

As a Senate hopeful, Walker has supported a national ban on abortions with no exceptions for cases involving rape, incest or a woman’s health being at risk — particularly notable at a time when Roe v. Wade has been overturned by the Supreme Court and Democrats in Congress have been discussing codifying abortion rights into federal law.

“I’m for life,” Walker has said repeatedly as he campaigns. When asked about whether he’d allow for any exceptions, he has said there are “no excuses” for the procedure.

As the Republican nominee, Walker has sidestepped many questions about his earlier support for a national abortion ban, instead trying to turn the issue against his Democratic rival, Sen. Raphael Warnock, who supports abortion rights. Walker often characterizes abortion as “a woman killing her baby” and says he doesn’t understand how Warnock, a Baptist pastor, can support the procedure being legal.

Campaigning in Dunwoody, an Atlanta suburb, on Monday night, Warnock stressed his support for abortion rights.

“I have a profound reverence for life. I have a deep and abiding respect for choice. I believe a patient’s room is too small and cramped a space for a woman, her doctor and the United States government,” he said, emphasizing Walker’s support for a national ban.

Warnock was dismissive when told of The Daily Beast story and when asked whether it might affect the outcome in Georgia. “I’ll let the pundits decide,” he said.

Walker’s son, Christian Walker, criticized his father in a series of tweets late Monday, saying his family “asked him not to run for office.”

“I don’t care about someone who has a bad past and takes accountability,” Christian Walker tweeted. “But how DARE YOU LIE and act as though you’re some ‘moral, Christian, upright man.’ You’ve lived a life of DESTROYING other peoples lives. How dare you.”

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3 physicists share Nobel Prize for work on quantum science

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3 Physicists Share Nobel Prize For Work On Quantum Science
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By DAVID KEYTON and FRANK JORDANS

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Three scientists jointly won this year’s Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for their work on quantum information science that has significant applications, for example in the field of encryption.

Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John F. Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger were cited by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for discovering the way that unseen particles, such as photons or tiny bits of matter, can be linked, or “entangled,” with each other even when they are separated by large distances.

“Being a little bit entangled is sort of like being a little bit pregnant. The effect grows on you,” Clauser said in a Tuesday morning phone interview with The Associated Press.

It all goes back to a feature of the universe that even baffled Albert Einstein and connects matter and light in a tangled, chaotic way.

Clauser, 79, was awarded his prize for a 1972 experiment that helped settle a famous debate about quantum mechanics between Einstein and famed physicist Niels Bohr. Einstein described “a spooky action at a distance” that he thought would eventually be disproved.

“I was betting on Einstein,” Clauser said. “But unfortunately I was wrong and Einstein was wrong and Bohr was right.”

Clauser said his work on quantum mechanics shows that you can’t confine information to a closed volume, “like a little box that sits on your desk” — though even he can’t say why.

“Most people would assume that nature is made out of stuff distributed throughout space and time,” Clauser said. “And that appears not to be the case.”

Quantum entanglement “has to do with taking these two photons and then measuring one over here and knowing immediately something about the other one over here,” said David Haviland, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics. “And if we have this property of entanglement between the two photons, we can establish a common information between two different observers of these quantum objects. And this allows us to do things like secret communication, in ways which weren’t possible to do before.”

That’s why quantum information is not an esoteric thought experiment, said Eva Olsson, a member of the Nobel committee. She called it a “vibrant and developing field.”

“It has broad and potential implications in areas such as secure information transfer, quantum computing and sensing technology,” Olsson said. “Its predictions have opened doors to another world, and it has also shaken the very foundations of how we interpret measurements.”

Everything in the universe could be entangled but “usually the entanglement just kind of washes off. It’s so chaotic and random that when you look at it … we don’t see anything,” said Harvard professor Subir Sachdev, who has worked on experiments that look at quantum entangled material consisting of up to 200 atoms. But sometimes scientists can unsnarl just enough to make sense and be useful in everything from encryption to superconductors, he said.

Speaking by phone to a news conference after the announcement, Zeilinger said he was “still kind of shocked” at hearing he had received the award.

“But it’s a very positive shock,” said Zeilinger, 77, who is based at the University of Vienna.

Clauser, Aspect, and Zeilinger have figured in Nobel speculation for more than a decade. In 2010 they won the Wolf Prize in Israel, seen as a possible precursor to the Nobel.

While physicists often tackle problems that appear at first glance to be far removed from everyday concerns — tiny particles and the vast mysteries of space and time — their research provides the foundations for many practical applications of science.

The Nobel committee said Clauser developed quantum theories first put forward in the 1960s into a practical experiment. Aspect, 75, was able to close a loophole in those theories, while Zeilinger demonstrated a phenomenon called quantum teleportation that effectively allows information to be transmitted over distances.

“Using entanglement you can transfer all the information which is carried by an object over to some other place where the object is, so to speak, reconstituted,” said Zeilinger. He added that this only works for tiny particles.

“It is not like in the Star Trek films (where one is) transporting something, certainly not the person, over some distance,” he said.

When he began his research, Zeilinger said the experiments were “completely philosophical without any possible use or application.”

Since then, the laureates’ work has been used to develop the fields of quantum computers, quantum networks and secure quantum encrypted communication.

A week of Nobel Prize announcements kicked off Monday with Swedish scientist Svante Paabo receiving the award in medicine Monday for unlocking secrets of Neanderthal DNA that provided key insights into our immune system.

They continue with chemistry on Wednesday and literature on Thursday. The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday and the economics award on Oct. 10.

The prizes carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000) and will be handed out on Dec. 10. The money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

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Jordans reported from Berlin. Seth Borenstein contributed from Kensington, Maryland, and Maddie Burakoff contributed from New York.

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Petition to ban ‘corporate welfare’ for Chicago Bears stadium development rejected by Arlington Heights board

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Petition To Ban ‘Corporate Welfare’ For Chicago Bears Stadium Development Rejected By Arlington Heights Board
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The Arlington Heights Village Board Monday unanimously rejected a proposed referendum to prohibit public subsidies for a proposed Chicago Bears stadium development or any other private enterprise.

The board voted 9-0 to reject a petition for an “Anti-Corporate Welfare Ordinance,” which had been signed by some 565 registered voters and residents.

Mayor Thomas Hayes urged rejection of the measure, saying it would cause “severe negative economic impact.” He also alleged that some petitioners had said they were misled about the purpose of the proposal.

The Bears, who currently play in Chicago’s Soldier Field, have a preliminary agreement to buy the 326-acre Arlington International Racecourse from Churchill Downs Inc. for $197 million. The team has proposed a $5 billion redevelopment of the property to include a new enclosed football stadium and adjoining entertainment, retail and residential buildings.

The team has said it would pay for the stadium, but would need public help to pay for infrastructure, such as roads and utilities, for the mixed-use development.

The petition to the board would have prevented the village from offering any financial incentive not just to the Bears, but to any business or corporation.

The petition had been circulated by Americans for Prosperity-Illinois, based in neighboring Rolling Meadows. It is part of a national conservative libertarian group backed by the conservative billionaire Koch family.

The group’s deputy director, Brian Costin, told the board that he would continue to fight for the measure.

“Our ordinance is about equality before the law,” he said. “You shouldn’t be forced … to pay for the profits of others. … The citizens of Arlington Heights deserve to have the final say on the issue of corporate welfare.”

Village Manager Randall Recklaus warned that such a measure would prevent many programs the village has used successfully, from subsidizing public parking to al fresco dining.

One likely possibility for the Bears would be a tax increment financing, or TIF district. Under a TIF, any increases in property tax revenues in a designated area, such as the stadium development, would be used to pay for infrastructure improvements there. Property tax revenues going to local taxing bodies such as schools would be frozen at current levels for 23 years.

Board trustees argued that they have used such incentives carefully and successfully for several shopping centers.

“I’m hoping this is the end of (the petition),” Trustee John Scaletta told Costin, adding, “You’re wasting our time.”

The village allows a petitioner to gather signatures from 12% of registered voters, or nearly 7,000 signatures, to override the board and put the measure on the ballot.

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Hurricane Ian rescue, recovery efforts continue in Florida

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Hurricane Ian Rescue, Recovery Efforts Continue In Florida
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More than 500,000 homes and businesses in Florida remain without power nearly a week after Hurricane Ian hit the southeastern US state and left a trail of destruction and devastation.

Ian hit Florida on September 28 as a dangerous Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, and left more than two million customers across the state without power. Utility company officials say it will likely be Friday or Saturday before power is restored to at least 95% of its customers.

More than 1,500 people have been rescued as search and rescue teams carry out a painstaking door-to-door search for victims among destroyed homes and buildings. Ian’s US death toll has risen to more than 100 people from Florida to the state of North Carolina, with the majority of deaths in Florida. More than 50 deaths have been reported in Lee County, Florida, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Ian when it made landfall. Reuters says another 21 deaths have been reported by state officials from nine other counties.

Four deaths have been reported in North Carolina.

Lee County includes the hard-hit areas of Fort Myers and Sanibel and Pine Islands. The two barrier islands are cut off from the mainland after Ian destroys the only bridges that connect them, prompting rescue teams to drop supplies by helicopter on Pine Island. Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters Monday that temporary bridges will be built to reconnect Sanibel and Pine Islands to the mainland.

DeSantis on Monday defended officials who are coming under increasing scrutiny over the timing of their evacuation orders.

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit Florida on Wednesday. The Bidens traveled to Puerto Rico on Monday to get a first-hand look at the devastation of Hurricane Fiona, which hit the island days before Hurricane Ian emerged.

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