Japan defeats Australia on softball diamond in first event of Tokyo Olympics

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NBC Olympics 20 July, 2021 - 08:50pm 20 views

Will the Tokyo Olympics happen?

Still under the banner of Tokyo 2020, they'll now take place from July 23 through Aug. 8, 2021. ... Take a look here at all the venues where athletes from around the world will be competing at the culmination of their years of training and devotion to their sport. CNETTokyo Olympics, one year late, are finally about to happen

Are the 2021 Olympics Cancelled?

The chief of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee won't rule out a last-minute cancellation of the Games due to COVID-19 concerns, he said on Tuesday. The Athletic2021 Olympics: Tokyo organizers won't rule out last-minute cancellation

What time is the Olympic opening ceremony?

Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone in the U.S., which means the Opening Ceremony will be broadcast live as it's happening on Friday, July 23 at 7 a.m. ET on NBC. It will also be streaming live on NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app. yahoo.comHow to watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony and Games

Fifty-six hours before the Olympic flame would be ignited at the Opening Ceremony and 183 miles north, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics officially got underway with a dropball from the pitching circle at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium.

It was fitting that one of the greatest Olympians in Japanese history, Beijing 2008 gold medalist softball pitcher Ueno Yukiko, delivered the opening pitch of her nation's Olympic Games Tuesday night. She would go on to notch her eighth Olympic win as Japan defeated Australia in five innings, 8-1, in an opening round game to get Japan’s delayed gold medal defense off to an emphatic start.

Ueno worked around some first inning trouble, loading the bases with one out and conceding the first run to Australia on a hit-by-pitch, but escaping without further damage. Japan immediately drew level in the bottom of the first on a Yamamoto Yu RBI single, then the hosts teed off with the long ball.

Naito Minori put Japan ahead in the bottom of the third with a two-run drive to center and Fujita Yamato followed one inning later with a mammoth two-run shot into the Australian bullpen. Then, in the bottom of the fifth, Yamamoto launched Japan’s third home run of the game to put the host nation up by seven with less than two innings to play. By rule, that ended the game.

Ueno and relief pitcher Goto Miu held Australia to just two hits over the five innings.

The game was also significant for its venue. Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium (converted to softball dimensions for the first week of the Games) is located in Fukushima Prefecture, which was devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011. Holding the first event of the Olympics there, even in the absence of fans, was meant to commemorate the recovery efforts of the past decade in the region.

Unlike previous Olympics, the Tokyo softball tournament is contested over just two rounds, a preliminary round-robin and the medal games. Both Australia and Japan will play the remaining four teams in the tournament – Mexico, Italy, Canada and the United States – in the coming days.

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How to Watch the Tokyo Summer Games | Outside Online - Outside

Outside 20 July, 2021 - 11:00pm

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Some of Outside’s favorite sports will be making their Olympic debut in Tokyo—namely sport climbing and surfing—and we’ll also have our eyes on other Olympic standbys such as marathon, canoeing/kayaking, running, and cycling.

We’ve assembled a guide to your (and our) favorite sports, when and how to watch them, who to keep an eye on, and some answers to your most pressing Olympic questions.

No, you are not stuck in an unending time loop. This summer’s Games will still officially be called Tokyo 2020, despite taking place in 2021.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on July 23, at 8 P.M. local time (7 A.M. Eastern / 4 A.M. Pacific). A few qualifying events will take place before then, but the vast majority will happen between then and the closing ceremonies on August 8 at 8 P.M. local time.

NBC will continue its dominance of Olympics coverage in the U.S., with local NBC cable channels broadcasting the opening and closing ceremonies both live in the morning and again at 7:30 P.M. EDT on their respective dates. Event coverage, as well as interviews and Games-related news, will be broadcast starting at 8 P.M. EDT most evenings, with major live events available to watch in the early morning hours for U.S. viewers.

Events and ceremonies can also be streamed live at NBCOlympics.com or via the NBCSports App, where you’ll find statistics, recaps, and more.

The above options do require cable or a TV provider though. If you don’t have either, your cheapest streaming option is through NBC’s Peacock. It’s free to sign up and much of Peacock’s Olympic coverage, including the opening and closing ceremonies and competition highlights, won’t require an upgrade. However, for live coverage of the more popular events you may need a premium plan ($5/month after a seven-day free trial).

If you already have Sling TV’s Blue Plan plus Sports Extra, you’ll be able to stream limited coverage on the Olympic Channel for $46/month. YouTubeTV ($55 to $65/month) has a dedicated YouTube Olympics Channel. Hulu and FuboTV also offer NBC channel add-ons to their services.

Who to Watch: The push for greater gender parity in canoe and kayak events has been coming for a long time now. This will be the first Games to allow women to compete in their own canoe slalom and canoe sprint events. International paddlers to keep your eye on include Jessica Fox of Australia and Maialen Chourrat of Spain. Meanwhile, a new favorite, 17-year-old Evy Liebfarth, will be one of the youngest representatives for Team U.S.A. after winning women’s canoe singles at the team trials in April.

Who to Watch: The Dutch women’s field has been particularly strong in road racing, while key contenders on the men’s side are Wout van Aert of Belgium and Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia, the latter of whom just secured a victory in the Tour de France. The ranks are equally stacked in the mountain biking events, with an unusually large number of countries bringing competitive showings in both the men’s and women’s fields. Dutchman Matheiu van der Poel is likely the man to beat and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot of France is a favorite in the women’s field. Team U.S.A. stars include Chloe Dygert and Haley Batten.

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Who to Watch: Keep your eyes on Team U.S.A. climbers Brooke Raboutou and Nathaniel Coleman, along with international favorite Adam Ondra, representing the Czech Republic. We put together a watch guide for the sport’s debut, and our friends at Climbing have published profiles of the competing teams and a comprehensive guide of where and how to watch specific competitions.

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Who to Watch: There has been ongoing concern about the quality of the waves at Tsurigasaki Beach, the location for the Olympic’s debut surfing competition, but things are looking up. The U.S. women’s team has strong contenders in Carissa Moore, who had a good year on the WSL tour and Caroline Marks, who is an upstart but expected to perform well. Kanoa Igarashi, who just might be the “LeBron of surfing,” grew up in the U.S. but has Japanese citizenship and will be representing the host country. Team Australia is competitive with surfers like Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons on the women’s side, while on the men’s side Brazil will likely be the team to beat.

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Bronze/Gold Matches: July 28th, 8 A.M. JST / 7 P.M. EDT

Who to Watch: Triathlete magazine has you covered with a full rundown of the events, including an explainer on the new Mixed Relay, where four athletes each complete a mini triathlon before passing the baton to their teammate. They’ve also got an in depth look at the women from around the world poised to make the podium, including Bermudan Flora Duffy and the youngest athlete on the U.S. team, Taylor Knibb.

July 26th, 6:30 A.M. JST / 5:30 P.M. EDT

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Who to Watch: Check out this guide from Women’s Running for a full rundown of the women’s events. The finals of some of the running events we’re most excited about are listed below, but the elimination rounds are expected to be just as thrilling. All eyes are on Aliphine Tuliamuk, winner of the U.S. Women’s 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, who gave birth to her first child just six months ago. Shorter distance races have been filled with their own doping drama and marijuana controversy within the U.S., and there will be an incredibly strong showing this year from veterans like Allyson Felix and exciting newcomers like Athing Mu.

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Olympics-themed special needs camp

41 Action News 20 July, 2021 - 11:00pm

Cancel the Olympics due to COVID? Head of Tokyo organizing committee doesn't rule it out

Yahoo Sports 20 July, 2021 - 07:54am

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Toshiro Muto sent shockwaves through the Olympics here Tuesday when he didn’t rule out scrapping this delayed and beleaguered event altogether. At a news conference, Muto was asked if the Games might still be canceled.

"We can't predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases," Muto said. "So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases.

"We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises."

While Muto didn't say anything was imminent and such a move remains almost unfathomable at this point, he sure didn’t say no, either.

A number of athletes, including American tennis star Coco Gauff, basketball player Bradley Beal and alternate gymnast Kara Eaker, have already been forced out of the Games due to positive tests. There have been numerous positive cases inside the Olympic Village itself, where the majority of the 11,000 athletes live in close quarters.

The number of Games-related infections soared past 70 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, cases in Tokyo, while still proportionately low per capita, are up substantially week-over-week. The capital city reported 1,387 new cases on Tuesday, not a huge number, but a 67.1 percent increase from the week prior. It is the 30th consecutive day cases have been up week-over-week.

As tens of thousands of athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and media continue to descend on Tokyo, there is little reason to think the situation will immediately improve.

What Muto didn’t express is how much is too much, and at what point pulling the plug on the Games would be truly viable. The International Olympic Committee has billions on the line in global television deals.

Muto’s statement was notable because he is known for being a cautious, by-the-book administrator with ties to the local financial industries and Japan’s ruling family. While this wasn’t a promise, it was some kind of a warning sign.

The Tokyo Olympics are not popular in Japan, where vaccination rates hover around just 20 percent and the event is seen as a potential superspreader. Fans have been barred from attending, and in an effort to control outbreaks, bars have been shuttered, foreign visitors banned and restaurants are supposed to shut down by 8 p.m.

The financial impact of the Covid restrictions are widespread and have hit mom and pop stores and every day workers … all so some international sporting festival can take place.

Signs of the discord can be seen in Monday’s decision by Toyota — arguably Japan’s largest brand — to pull advertising and sponsorship of the Games inside Japan, a move that distances it from the Olympics it once wholeheartedly backed.

On Tuesday, additional Japanese companies, including Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC Corp., decided against sending executives to the Opening Ceremony that will take place in a near empty, newly constructed, $1.4 billion stadium. It seems no one wants to be a part of this.

That’s still a long way from canceling the Games altogether, of course, let alone at such a late date.

Muto is correct, however, that monitoring cases and protocols is necessary. If there is an outbreak among athletes, then events, teams and competitions can be altered significantly.

Most of the athletes are young, fully vaccinated and, almost by definition, of incredible health and fitness level. The likelihood of anyone in that group suffering more than minor symptoms is low.

Yet the IOC and the Japanese government are engaged in relentless testing anyway, in part because of Japan’s low vaccination rates and public pressure to keep the Olympics from making the situation worse for everyday people.

That’s part of what Muto will be monitoring. And it is something that he knows — and he wants everyone else to know — can get much worse quite quickly.

Powell will have multiple suitors with the Trail Blazers making it a top priority at re-signing the high-flying guard, sources said.

The Cincinnati Fire Department came to the rescue after a homeowner heard dog cries coming from their garage wall.

Harvey Weinstein faces sexual assault charges related to alleged attacks on five women in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills between 2004 and 2013.

The Amy Heckerling-directed teen classic was released in July 1995.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday said an increase in prices was expected to be temporary, but his administration understood that unchecked inflation over the longer term would pose a "real challenge" to the economy and would remain vigilant. Biden said he told Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell recently that the Fed was independent and should take whatever steps it deems necessary to support a strong, durable recovery. "As our economy comes roaring back, we've seen some price increases," Biden said, while rejecting concerns the recent increases could be a sign of persistent inflation.

Chipotle blew away Wall Street's expectations in its Q2 earnings report.

Could the Rams bring back one of their old friends to replace Akers?

Texas House Republicans put forth a bill for a forensic audit of the 2020 election results in large counties that largely went for President Joe Biden on the same day Democratic lawmakers fled the state.

ESPN has finally landed Peyton Manning for its "Monday Night Football" broadcast. Kind of.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is an NBA champion. The Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions.

Shortly after Jeff Bezos — the world's richest man — completed his first spaceflight, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Oreg.) announced he's working on a plan for a new tax targeting space tourism.

This JBL soundbar comes with a wireless subwoofer to give you that instant surround sound feel. Get it now while it's still on sale.

The Bucks went from leading by 13 to scoring only 13 in the second quarter. But a strong second half and 50 points from Giannis propelled Milwaukee to the title.

Chris Paul has lost his last 12 playoff games with Scott Foster on the floor.

Find all the info you need to watch the Opening Ceremony and all the most anticipated events.

The USWNT plays its first game of the tournament early Wednesday morning. And yes, you can bet on it.

LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Trae Young and many others congratulated Milwaukee.

As the Senate barrels toward a key test vote Wednesday on a bipartisan infrastructure deal, some Senate Republicans involved in trying to nail down the deal have pleaded with Majority Leader Schumer to delay the vote until next week. Key Republicans in the bipartisan group of senators trying to work out the deal discussed sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying no GOP member will vote "yes" to start debate on any measure Wednesday, according to several Republican lawmakers emerging from late-night talks in the Capitol over how to pay for the $1.2 trillion package.

(Reuters) -The Delta variant of the coronavirus is the cause of more than 80% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases, but the authorized vaccines remain more than 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths, said top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci during U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday. The hearing featured a pointed exchange with Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul, in which he accused Fauci of lying about the National Institutes of Health providing funding for research at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Senator from Kentucky, who has sparred with Fauci during several pandemic-related hearings, alleged that the research may have played a role in developing the novel coronavirus at the Wuhan Lab.

A White House official and a senior Pelosi aide, both fully vaccinated, test positive for Covid-19

CNN 20 July, 2021 - 07:15am

A White House official and a senior aide in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, who are both fully vaccinated, have tested positive for Covid-19, CNN has learned. 

A White House official confirmed that the White House staffer tested positive off campus. 

“In accordance with our rigorous Covid-19 protocols, the official remains off campus as they wait for a confirmatory PCR test. The White House Medical Unit has conducted contact tracing interviews and determined no close contacts among White House principals and staff. The individual has mild symptoms,” the official said.

The White House official has not had any recent contact with President Biden, another administration official said.

A second administration official told CNN, “If the vaccines are 90-95% effective, you're going to have 5-10% of the vaccinated population who either test positive but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. What you won't have are members of the vaccinated population going to the hospital with a severe illness or dying."

Axios was first to report the breakthrough cases. 

Pelosi Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill said in a statement to CNN that the House Speaker has not had contact with the individual in her office who tested positive since exposure, which Hammill said occurred after contact with Texas Democrats last week. 

Some context: Six Texas lawmakers have tested positive for Covid-19 since Saturday. The lawmakers are part of the group that left Texas, flying from Austin to Washington, DC, to break the state House's quorum and block Republicans from passing a restrictive new voting law.

Officials with the group told CNN that all of the lawmakers participating in the quorum break trip are fully vaccinated, including those who have tested positive for Covid-19.

The number of excess deaths reported during India’s Covid-19 pandemic could be up to 10 times the official Covid-19 death toll, a working paper published by the US-based Center for Global Development said. 

Between 3.4 and 4.9 million estimated excess deaths were reported in India between Jan. 2020 and June 2021, while the Indian health ministry's reported death toll of approximately 400,000. 

"The Indian government has never asked for deaths to be under-reported,” Mandaviya added.

The Center for Global Development study was based on three different estimates of excess deaths. The first estimate of 3.4 million is based on the excess deaths recorded by India’s civil registration system, that keeps a record of births and deaths, in seven states which account for about half of India’s total population. 

The second estimate of four million deaths relies on India’s own seroprevalence surveys which show the proportion of the country’s population that has been infected with Covid-19, applying international infection fatality rates to this data.  

The third estimate of 4.9 million excess deaths relies on the Center for the Monitoring of the Indian Economy's survey of more than 800,000 individuals across all states to capture mortality during the first wave and some of the second wave.  

The study acknowledges that each of these three estimates have their limitations and that the number of excess deaths reported in the country do not equate to Covid-specific deaths. The authors specifically note that official death numbers tend to be underreported and that the data from the Center for the Monitoring the Indian Economy has not historically tracked closely with official mortality data. 

However it finds that the first wave of the pandemic was “more lethal than is popularly believed” and their estimates show a higher number of excess deaths reported during the first wave than the second. 

“Regardless of source and estimate, actual deaths during the Covid pandemic are likely to have been an order of magnitude greater than the official count,” the study noted.

“True deaths are likely to be in the several millions not hundreds of thousands, making this arguably India’s worst human tragedy since partition and independence,” it added. 

American swimmer Becca Meyers is withdrawing from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after she said the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee denied her request to bring her mother to serve as her Personal Care Assistant.

Meyers, who is deaf and blind, has relied on her mother as her Personal Care Assistant for all of her international meets since 2017, she said. However, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee denied the request to bring her mother to Tokyo due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Instead, Meyers said the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee will provide one Personal Care Assistant to assist the 33 American Paralympic swimmers, nine of whom are visually impaired.

"So, in 2021, why as a disabled person am I still fighting for my rights? I'm speaking up for future generations of Paralympic athletes in hope that they never have to experience the pain I've been through. Enough is enough," she wrote.

The Delta variant of Covid-19 now makes up more than 80% of sequenced samples in the United States, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday. 

The CDC’s variant-tracking webpage has not yet updated it’s Nowcast variant estimate data for the last two weeks. 

The most recent data from Israel evaluating effectiveness of Pfizer’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine against the Delta variant found the vaccine to be 64% protective against infection, and that the vaccine is 93% effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalizations.

Indonesia will extend its restrictions to curb Covid-19 to July 25, President Joko Widodo said in a speech streamed live on Tuesday.

Indonesia implemented restrictions in the beginning of July in all provinces on two of the country’s main islands, Java and Bali, then expanded them to 15 districts and cities outside of those two islands as the situation worsened.  

The measures closed mosques and churches and allowed restaurants and shopping malls to open only until 5 p.m. local time and 75% of non-essential workers must work from home and school education has to be done online. The restriction was to expire on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the country reported at least 38,325 new cases and 1,280 deaths, bringing total number of cases to 2,950,058 and total deaths to 76,200. Only 6% of its population are fully vaccinated, according to the ministry. 

On Monday, Indonesia reported 1,338 Covid-19 deaths, the highest daily number since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the ministry.

The United States will begin shipping more than three million additional Covid-19 vaccines to certain Central American countries on Tuesday, a White House official told CNN.  

The US plans to send ship 1.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Honduras and 1.5 million Moderna doses to El Salvador through the global vaccination program called Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, or COVAX, adding to prior shipments provided to both countries this year.

The US will also provide 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Panama in a bilateral donation, the official said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Monday that the US was also sending 3 million vaccines to Guatemala, after shipping 1.5 million Moderna doses there earlier this month. 

The shipments are part of an ongoing effort by the Biden administration to provide Covid-19 vaccines to other countries and reassert US leadership on the world stage. Sending the vaccines to Latin America will also serve to counter efforts by Russia and China to use their own state-funded vaccines to expand their influence in the region and across the globe.

The White House has said it has been monitoring and is concerned by efforts by Russia and China to use vaccines to make geopolitical gains. Many countries – including in Latin America, which has traditionally been an area of US influence – have been buying up large numbers of Russian and Chinese vaccines to fill the gaps in their own vaccine rollouts.

Over recent weeks, the US has announced a series of vaccine shipments. Psaki also said Monday that more than one million Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines were set to go to Gambia, Senegal, Zambia and Niger. 

The review for the much anticipated Hong Kong – Singapore travel bubble has been delayed to late August, Hong Kong government said in a news release on Tuesday.

The bubble aimed to allow quarantine-free travel, provided travelers showed proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

The two sides agreed that the review will now be conducted in late August, "taking into account the effectiveness of the enhanced infection control measures implemented by Singapore,” the statement said.

The government had been discussing air travel bubble, which would allow travelers of each cities to enter without quarantine, provided that they test negative for Covid-19. Originally planned for May, the measure had been delayed pending joint epidemiological review.

Singapore tightened its measures against Covid-19 on Monday as it reported its highest number of new infections since August last year. 

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto is not ruling out an 11th-hour cancellation of the Olympics Games amid rising Covid-19 cases.

"During the last five-party talk, it was clearly stated we’ll continue to monitor the coronavirus situation, and a five-party talk will be held if necessary," Muto added.

"At this stage, the coronavirus situation might get worse or better, so we will think about what to do when the situation actually arises," Muto said.

Belgium will maintain its compulsory mask mandate and tighten its travel rules following a review of its coronavirus measures, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced Monday.

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels Monday evening, De Croo noted that “the vaccination campaign is progressing very well, we now have more than 8 in 10 adults who have received a first dose, that puts us at the top in Europe.”

But the prime minister warned, “we have to relax the measures step by step. We have to remain vigilant. People can still get sick.”

Wearing a face covering will remain mandatory indoors in places such as: shops, public transport, cafes, bars, places of worship, or in places where social distancing can't be maintained, with the exception of children under the age of 12.

There will be a stricter procedure for countries from the European Union or Schengen area where dangerous virus variants circulate. When returning from such a European high-risk zone, people who have not yet been fully vaccinated must also take a PCR test on day 7 in addition to a PCR test on day 1.

The measures will be in place till at least Sept. 1 and will be reviewed in one month, a news release said.

In the latest figures from Sciensano, the Belgian Health Authority, the number of infections and admissions to hospital have begun to rise. 

From July 13 to 19, on average, 26 people were admitted to hospital each day, a 48% increase on the week before. 

The latest consolidated data on coronavirus cases shows that between July 10 to 16, an average of 1,330 cases were reported each day, a 42% increase on the week before. 

In total Belgium has recorded 1,107,208 cases and 25,213 coronavirus related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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