Olympic Ratings Fall Sharply: NBC Says 17 Million Watched Opening Ceremony In U.S.

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics drew nearly 10 million fewer viewers than the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

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Buccaneers receiver expected to miss four months after undergoing knee procedure, per report

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The Buccaneers‘ title defense will begin with several players on their Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. One of those players is receiver Justin Watson, who is expected to be out for at least for months after undergoing a knee procedure, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Joining Watson on the team’s PUP list are tight end Cameron Brate, receiver John Franklin and cornerback Chris Wilcox.

A fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft, Watson is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Although he hasn’t been a huge factor in Tampa Bay’s passing game, Watson has been a steady force on special teams with 20 tackles on coverage units. He made one special teams tackle during the Buccaneers’ victory over the Packers in the NFC Championship Game.

After catching just one pass during his rookie season, Watson set career highs with 15 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin struggling with injuries, Watson made two starts in the Buccaneers’ first four games of the 2020 season. He caught seven of 11 targets for 94 yards over that span that included a season-high four receptions in Tampa Bay’s Week 4 win over the Chargers. Watson did not catch another pass during the 2020 season, however, as the Buccaneers received solid contributions from then-second-year receiver Scott Miller and Antonio Brown, who was acquired at midseason.

With Brate and Watson on the PUP list, the Buccaneers signed De’Quan Hampton, a former receiver at USC who most recently played for the Los Angeles Wildcats of the now-defunct XFL. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Hampton, who was signed to play tight end for the Buccaneers, had training camp stints with the Lions and Saints after not being selected in the 2017 draft.

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Bucs’ Cameron Brate, Justin Watson physically unable to perform

TAMPA — One of Tom Brady’s favorite targets and a veteran receiver won’t be starting Bucs training camp on time Sunday.

Tight end Cameron Brate and receiver Justin Watson were placed on the active/Physically Unable to Perform list when players reported and underwent physicals Saturday.

Watson is expected to miss four months after undergoing a knee procedure, according to an ESPN report.

Brate, who began the 2020 season as the Bucs’ third tight end, emerged with a bigger role after the season-ending Achilles injury to O.J. Howard vs. the Chargers in Week 4.

Brate had only one reception for three yards to that point. He finished the regular season with 28 receptions for 282 yards and two touchdowns and added another TD in the NFC Championship Game at Green Bay.

Of course, Brate’s biggest catch may have been of the Lombardi Trophy tossed to him by Brady over the Hillsborough River during the boat parade.

Watson saw his role diminished as a receiver with the addition of rookie Tyler Johnson and the signing of Antonio Brown midway through the season. He finished with seven receptions for 94 yards and no TDs last season.

The Bucs signed free-agent tight end De’Quan Hampton, who played for the Los Angeles Wildcats in the XFL.

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Mets newcomer Hill expected to start Sunday vs Toronto


Mets newcomer Rich Hill is expected to make his debut for the NL East leaders on Sunday when New York plays Toronto at Citi Field.

Mets manager Luis Rojas said Hill would arrive at the ballpark before Saturday night’s game against the Blue Jays and throw on the side.

The Mets acquired the 41-year-old left-hander in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday for veteran pitcher Tommy Hunter and minor league catcher Matthew Dyer.

Hill went 6-4 with a 3.87 ERA in 19 starts for the Rays this season. He faced Toronto on July 11 and gave up three runs on four hits and three walks in five innings.

Hill will be a much-needed addition to a starting rotation that has been depleted by injuries, most notably ace Jacob deGrom being on the 10-day injured list with tightness in his right forearm.

Left-handed David Peterson had been expected to return sometime in August after being sidelined with an oblique strain, but the Mets announced Saturday they were moving him to he 60-day IL after he fractured his right foot walking back to the clubhouse following Friday night’s win.

Rojas also said righty Carlos Carrasco will make a rehab start with Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday.

The 34-year-old veteran, who was acquired in the offseason trade with the Cleveland Indians that also brought Francisco Lindor to New York, is expected to pitch three innings.

Carrasco hasn’t pitched in the majors this year while recovering from a hamstring injury. He’s started twice in the minors, allowing five runs in 3 2/3 innings.


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Report: Bus Fire Causes CA Agency to Consider Retiring Electric Buses

The Washington Free Beacon reported Friday:

The Foothill Transit agency, which serves the valleys surrounding Los Angeles, will decide on Friday whether costly Proterra buses purchased in the last decade are still operable. Problems cited by the agency include not only the bus that caught fire in what’s described as a “thermal event,” but also buses that melt in the California heat and have transmission failures. Roland Cordero, the agency’s director of maintenance and vehicle technology, says the problems with the buses are exacerbated by Proterra’s inability to help with repairs.

“With the number of failures we are experiencing and the inability of Proterra to provide parts, these [Battery Electric Buses] BEBs will only get worse as we continue to operate them whenever the BEBs are available for service,” Cordero wrote prior to Friday’s executive board meeting.

According to the Proterra website, its vehicles have “proven themselves through more than 20 million miles of service in communities across North America, operating at a lower overall cost than a 35- or 40-foot diesel, hybrid, or CNG transit vehicle.”

However, the electric bus company that has been praised by President Joe Biden’s administration watched its stock drop over the past month due to reports of problems with its product, the Beacon article continued:

In Philadelphia, mechanical failures and weak battery performance forced city officials to shelve buses received as recently as 2019. In Duluth, Minnesota, the buses were taken off the road because their brakes couldn’t handle the city’s hills. The publicly known failings of Proterra’s buses have not deterred key members of the Biden administration, including the president himself, from touting the company on multiple occasions.

A Foothill Transit spokeswoman said the “thermal event” noted in the report referred to a January 2020 incident when a Proterra bus caught fire while connected to a charger.

“The agency’s report complains that parts for the buses it purchased are ‘difficult to obtain’ and that expired warranties force the transit agency to pay tens of thousands of dollars for ‘advanced technology parts,'” the Beacon article said.

Meanwhile, Breitbart News reported in May watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust said there were still unanswered questions following Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm’s sale of her massive holdings in Proterra.

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Covid Hospitalizations Tick Up Across U.S. Due To Delta Variant — These 17 States Are Leading The Way

Nearly 30% of Missouri’s hospital ICU beds are taken up by Covid-19 patients, compared to just over 1% in Vermont.

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A month after Florida Surfside building collapse, recovery mission nears end

MIAMI: The search for victims of the Florida apartment building collapse a month ago on Saturday (Jul 24) is drawing to a close, as rescue teams halted work at the site of the disaster that killed at least 97 people.

“It’s hard to believe that a month has now passed since perhaps the greatest tragedy in our community’s history,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said on Twitter on Saturday.

“While the site of the collapse was confined to the size of just one block in a close-knit city, its reverberation has been felt far beyond our county, touching lives all over the world,” she added in a video posted on social media.

Rescue workers ended their search on Friday for victims at the site of the Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront building that partially collapsed overnight on Jun 24.

With the exception of a teenager who was rescued in the first hours after the collapse, rescuers were unable to save any of the building’s residents who had not escaped, and announced on Jul 7 that they were abandoning the search for survivors.

READ: Death toll at Florida condominium collapse site climbs to 94

READ: Surfside pushes back on report on delayed building repairs

After the removal of thousands of tons of rubble, all that remains of the building north of Miami beach are a few foundation walls.

Authorities have identified 97 bodies, but believe one victim is still missing, Levine Cava said this week.

Miami-Dade police continue to search for the 98th victim at the site where the building debris was deposited.

While the exact reason for the collapse remains unknown, preliminary findings have shown some of the building’s structure appeared degraded.

The rest of the building was brought down in a controlled explosion July 4 to allow for the recovery operation to continue.

A memorial honoring the victims may be built on the site of the disaster, officials said last week.

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Bolts make deal with Montreal to move up and take F Dylan Duke in Round 4

Tampa Bay completed its first trade during the 2021 NHL Draft to grab left wing Dylan Duke of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

The Lightning dealt their Fourth Round selection in the 2022 Draft to Montreal to move up into the Fourth Round this year and take Duke with the 126th overall pick. The Bolts didn’t own a Fourth Round selection in the 2021 Draft entering Saturday.

Duke is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward from Strongsville, Ohio. In 50 games with the U-18s during the 2020-21 season, he recorded 29 goals and 49 points, ranking second on the team in both categories. He was named a Top 3 player for Team USA.

Duke registered four points (3 goals, 1 assist) in five games for Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championship in April 2021.

Duke is ranked the 29th North American skater in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings. He’s committed to the University of Michigan. His father Steve Duke played hockey at Western Michigan University and professionally in the ECHL and AHL. His younger brother Tyler Duke is also a player in the National Team Development Program with the U-17 team.

Duke is 18 years old and shoots left. He is the second player the Lightning selected from the US NTSP after they took defenseman Roman Schmidt in the Third Round with their first pick of the draft (96th overall).

Photo by Rena Laverty

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Can Japanese Natto Beans Help Fight Covid-19 Coronavirus? What This Study Really Showed

Natto is a traditional Japanese dish that has a distinctive pungent odor and like a romantic comedy can be quite gooey.

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Lightning take defenseman Roman Schmidt with top pick

With no picks among the first 95 in this weekend’s NHL draft, the Lightning were more spectator than participant.

Having previously traded their first and second-round selections (as well as their fourth-round selection), their first pick didn’t come until No. 96 overall.

Nearly 3-1/2 hours into the draft’s second day Saturday, the Lightning made their first selection, drafting defenseman Roman Schmidt with the final pick of the third round.

Schmidt, 18, is listed at 6-feet-6, 209 pounds. He spent the past two years with the U.S. National Team developmental program. He committed to play at Boston University but will play the upcoming season with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League.

Schmidt was ranked the 58th-best prospect among North American skaters by NHL central scouting, the 65th-best prospect by TSN’s Bob McKenzie and 85th by The Hockey News.

Despite their lack of early-round picks, the Lightning have drafted and developed treasures throughout the later rounds. Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn were third-rounders, Ross Colton and Mathieu Joseph were taken in the fourth, while Ondrej Palat was unearthed in the seventh.

The Lightning traded their first-round pick at the deadline in a three-team trade that brought veteran defenseman David Savard from Columbus. Because the Lightning were strapped by the salary cap, it cost them a first- and fourth-round selection to get Detroit and Columbus to take on most of Savard’s salary.

Tampa Bay traded its second-round pick during the 2020 draft to move up to select center Jack Finley 57th overall in the second round.

The Lightning’s fourth-round pick, traded to Detroit in the Savard deal, was used by Red Wings (and former Lightning) general manager Steve Yzerman to trade up to No. 38 in a swap with Vegas. The Red Wings used the pick to select defenseman Shai Buium.

The Lightning’s next pick comes in the fifth round (160th overall). They also choose at No. 192 in the sixth round and have three seventh-round selections (196, 211 and 224).

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