Giants fire coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese

Giants coach Ben McAdoo was already on the hot seat when he decided to bench franchise quarterback Eli Manning before Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders 

Giants coach Ben McAdoo was already on the hot seat when he decided to bench franchise quarterback Eli Manning before Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders 

Giants coach Ben McAdoo was already on the hot seat when he decided to bench franchise quarterback Eli Manning before Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders 

Less than a year after reaching the playoffs with an 11-5 record and only one week after benching franchise quarterback Eli Manning, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo was fired on Monday along with general manager Jerry Reese amidst a disastrous 2-10 campaign. 

McAdoo and Reese will be replaced on an interim basis by defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams, respectively, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made an official announcement.

This marks the first time since 1976 that the Giants have ever fired a coach in the middle of the season, but it’s certainly not a surprise given the team’s record and the public scorn after Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts was ended in Sunday’s loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Even Giants co-owner John Mara acknowledged that the decision to bench Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, and evaluate backup quarterbacks Geno Smith and Davis Webb could have been handled better.

It was reported on Monday that the New York Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo (right) and general manager Jerry Reese in the midst of a 2-10 season. McAdoo recently benched longtime starting quarterback Eli Manning (left). General manager Jerry Reese was also fired

It was reported on Monday that the New York Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo (right) and general manager Jerry Reese in the midst of a 2-10 season. McAdoo recently benched longtime starting quarterback Eli Manning (left). General manager Jerry Reese was also fired

It was reported on Monday that the New York Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo (right) and general manager Jerry Reese in the midst of a 2-10 season. McAdoo recently benched longtime starting quarterback Eli Manning (left). General manager Jerry Reese was also fired

Fans hold up signs for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Ben McAdoo during the first half of an NFL football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Giants

Fans hold up signs for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Ben McAdoo during the first half of an NFL football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Giants

Fans hold up signs for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Ben McAdoo during the first half of an NFL football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Giants

Manning was given the option of starting the Giants’ remaining games and extending his streak – the most among active quarterbacks – but last Tuesday, a tearful Manning said it would be too difficult to start a game in which he knew he’d be removed. Also, he explained, such a scenario ‘tarnishes the streak.’

Mara agreed on Wednesday.

‘I think if he’s playing well in the first half, we’re winning the game, it looks like we’ve got a chance, the offense is clicking, I would argue then keep him in the game,’ Mara said. ‘But having him definitively come out at the end of the first half, I can understand why he would object to that.

ELI MANNING FACTS 

  • Drafted first overall in 2004
  • Named to four Pro Bowls
  • A two-time Super Bowl MVP
  • Guided the Giants to upset wins over the New England Patriots in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI 
  • Started every Giants game since November 21, 2004 when he replaced Kurt Warner in Week 10 of his rookie season
  • Sits as the Giants’ all-time leader in in passing yards (50,625), touchdown passes (334) and interceptions (222)
  • Father Archie Manning also played at Ole Miss and was a first-round pick. He would go on to be named to two Pro Bowls over a 14-year career with the New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers, and Minnesota Vikings
  • Older brother Peyton Manning was also a first-round pick who went on guide the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos to Super Bowl victories
  • Once hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ 

 

‘It was presented the way Ben thought it ought to be presented,’ Mara continued. ‘And could we have done it differently? I guess you argue that we could’ve, yes.’

Mara was asked about Reese and McAdoo last week, but did not want to comment.

‘I’m not going to address their job status,’ he said. ‘We obviously have some decisions to make in the offseason.’

Obviously Mara did not wait until the off-season, and instead named defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo the team’s interim coach while the team searches for Reese and McAdoo’s replacements.

Fan reaction to Manning’s benching was immediate, with many calling for Reese and McAdoo to be fired – something that happened less than a week later. The Giants were already been eliminated from playoff contention and currently have 19 players on injured reserve.

Was Mara surprised by the outpouring of support for Manning, who many felt deserved better treatment?

‘Yes and no,’ Mara said Wednesday. ‘I expected there was going to be an emotional reaction from fans. I would say it’s been a little in excess of maybe what I had expected, but given what he has meant to our franchise and to so many people for so long, it’s understandable.’

McAdoo posted a 13-16 record since being promoted to head coach from offensive coordinator in 2016. His firing is the first mid-season head coaching move by the Giants since Bill Arnsparger was replaced seven games into the 1976 season by John McVay. 

After serving as offensive coordinator for the Giants in 2014, McAdoo replaced longtime Giants coach Tom Coughlin in 2016.

Coughlin won a pair of Super Bowl titles with Manning and Reese, the latter of whom worked as the Giants’ director of player personnel before being named general manager in 2007.  

Eli Manning (center in a blazer) alongside other members of the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants including (from the left) left guard Kevin Boothe, right guard Chris Snee, defensive end Dave Tollefson, long snapper Zak DeOssie, co-owner Steve Tisch, and running back Brandon Jacobs. The win was the franchise's fourth Super Bowl victory 

Eli Manning (center in a blazer) alongside other members of the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants including (from the left) left guard Kevin Boothe, right guard Chris Snee, defensive end Dave Tollefson, long snapper Zak DeOssie, co-owner Steve Tisch, and running back Brandon Jacobs. The win was the franchise's fourth Super Bowl victory 

Eli Manning (center in a blazer) alongside other members of the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants including (from the left) left guard Kevin Boothe, right guard Chris Snee, defensive end Dave Tollefson, long snapper Zak DeOssie, co-owner Steve Tisch, and running back Brandon Jacobs. The win was the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl victory 

Giants general manager Jerry Reese (left) was fired with the Giants at just 2-10 on the year 

Giants general manager Jerry Reese (left) was fired with the Giants at just 2-10 on the year 

Giants general manager Jerry Reese (left) was fired with the Giants at just 2-10 on the year 

Team co-owner and CEO John Mara (left) and the New York Giants might be looking at a future without Eli Manning (right) for the first time since before they acquired him in 2004

Team co-owner and CEO John Mara (left) and the New York Giants might be looking at a future without Eli Manning (right) for the first time since before they acquired him in 2004

Team co-owner and CEO John Mara (left) and the New York Giants might be looking at a future without Eli Manning (right) for the first time since before they acquired him in 2004

Although he’s credited with two of the Giants’ four Super Bowl titles, Reese’s tenure with the team was marred by his decision to re-sign kicker Josh Brown in 2015 even though the team was aware that Brown had admitted to physically abusing his now-former wife. 

Reese refused to speak about the decision after Brown was suspended for a game in August of 2016 despite the fact that Manning, Mara, and even McAdoo – who was not even with the Giants when Brown was re-signed – addressed the issue. 

Mara would ultimately call the decision to re-sign Brown ‘misguided’ after the team released him in October of 2016. 

‘He certainly admitted to us that he abused his wife in the past,’ Mara told WFAN in 2016. ‘What’s a little unclear is the extent of that.’

Brown was never charged with a crime, but according to the incident report compiled by the sheriff’s office in King County, Wash., Brown’s then-wife, Molly, accused him of around 20 incidents of physical abuse dating back to 2009.

Manning has started every Giants game since November 21, 2004 when he replaced Kurt Warner in Week 10 of his rookie season.

The former Ole Miss star has guided the Giants to two Super Bowl victories and is the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards (50,625), touchdown passes (334) and interceptions (222).

Despite the 2-9 record, Manning played relatively well for the Giants in 2017. He completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 2,411 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also posted a respectable quarterback rating of 84.1. Besides a host of injuries along the offensive line, Manning also lost top wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall for the season, which limited his options significantly.

Barkin tapped as next president of Richmond Fed bank

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve’s Richmond regional bank is announcing that Thomas Barkin, a senior executive at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., will be the bank’s next president.

He will succeed Jeffrey Lacker, who resigned as the bank’s president in April after revealing his involvement in a leak of confidential information in 2012 that had triggered congressional and FBI investigations.

Barkin, 56, who will take over at the Richmond bank on Jan. 1, will be a voting member next year of the Federal Open Market Committee, the panel of Fed board members and regional bank presidents, who set interest-rate policies for the central bank.

Barkins’ appointment was announced Monday by Margaret Lewis, who headed the bank’s search committee. Barken is currently the chief risk officer at McKinsey & Co.

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Woman could die from a sneeze or the germs in the air

A former teacher is forced to wear a face mask every time she leaves the house – because the germs in the air could kill her.

Hannah Evans, 27, takes a staggering 100 tablets a day to combat three rare conditions which leave her effectively without an immune system.

One of the conditions – called mass cell activation disorder (MCAD) – leaves her so vulnerable that being exposed to someone sneezing could kill her. She also Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and postural tachycardia syndrome.

Her illnesses have left her battling for her life with pneumonia, which then turned into sepsis, which can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Hannah now wears a personal white face mask covered in diamantes every time she leaves the house – which she says draws negative comments from strangers who fear she has a contagious disease.

Former teacher Hannah Evans wears a mask everywhere as she could die from germs in the air

Former teacher Hannah Evans wears a mask everywhere as she could die from germs in the air

Former teacher Hannah Evans wears a mask everywhere as she could die from germs in the air

The 27-year-old, from South Wales, suffers from mass cell activation disorder (MCAD) which weakens her immune system

The 27-year-old, from South Wales, suffers from mass cell activation disorder (MCAD) which weakens her immune system

The 27-year-old, from South Wales, suffers from mass cell activation disorder (MCAD) which weakens her immune system

The newlywed, of Neath, South Wales, said: ‘For years, I was too embarrassed to wear a mask.

‘I started wearing my mask every time I go out about six months ago.

‘I’ve only ever had one negative comment from somebody saying I shouldn’t be out if I’ve got germs that people can catch.

‘But the mask is for my safety. You can’t catch my condition.’

Hannah's mask drawers comments from strangers who fear she has a contagious disease

Hannah's mask drawers comments from strangers who fear she has a contagious disease

Hannah’s mask drawers comments from strangers who fear she has a contagious disease

She was once left battling for her life with pneumonia, which then turned into sepsis

She was once left battling for her life with pneumonia, which then turned into sepsis

She was once left battling for her life with pneumonia, which then turned into sepsis

WHAT IS MCAD?

Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s defence system.  

In a healthy person, these cells release chemical mediators, such as histamine, in reaction to foreign bodies, but in a person with MCAS this function is impaired.

Amongst the triggers are a variety of different foods, exercise, chemicals, fragrances and stress. 

Many sufferers struggle to identify their triggers.

MCAS can present simultaneously in patients who have Ehlers Danlos syndrome and/or postural tachycardia syndrome.

The available treatments for MCAS stabilise the mast cells and mitigate the effects of the chemicals they release, e.g. anti-histamines.

Avoiding triggers is also a key part in coping with this illness.

Intensive care  

Hannah’s other conditions include Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which makes her body’s connective tissues collapse and can leave sufferers in constant pain.

She also has postural tachycardia syndrome, which causes an abnormal increase in heart rate after sitting up or standing. 

It typically causes dizziness, fainting and other symptoms.

To cope with a host of symptoms she has up to 16 IV injections and 16 different painkillers every day.

Hanna said: ‘I’ve had a nose bleed before, which has turned into double pneumonia, which then turned into sepsis.

‘I was in intensive care for four-and-a-half months.’

Now Hannah wants to raise awareness of the MCAD and is urging people to be more hygienic – warning that someone or coughing or sneezing on her could have deadly consequences.

She is raising awareness of her condition and urging people to be more hygienic

She is raising awareness of her condition and urging people to be more hygienic

She is raising awareness of her condition and urging people to be more hygienic

Because of her conditions the cold and flu season leaves her very afraid

Because of her conditions the cold and flu season leaves her very afraid

Because of her conditions the cold and flu season leaves her very afraid

Hannah takes a staggering 100 tablets a day to combat her three  illnesses

Hannah takes a staggering 100 tablets a day to combat her three  illnesses

Hannah takes a staggering 100 tablets a day to combat her three  illnesses

She said: ‘Someone could sneeze in their hands and then open a door and I could have touched that door.

‘Somebody could be coughing next to me, and they might have a virus that’s only giving them a tickly cough.

‘That virus will end up putting me in intensive care. That’s how extreme it is. ‘

Hannah is now hoping to get through the winter without having to visit hospital.

She added: ‘Every year since I was a little girl I would end up in hospital. Hopefully this year will be different.’

WHAT IS EDS?

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is the name for a group of rare inherited conditions that affect the connective tissue.

Connective tissues provide support in skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, internal organs and bones. 

Different types of EDS are caused by faults in certain genes that make connective tissue weaker.

Depending on the type of EDS, the faulty gene may have been inherited from one paren, or both.

Sometimes the faulty gene isn’t inherited, but occurs spontaneously.

EDS can affect people in different ways. For some the condition is relatively mild, while for others their symptoms can be disabling.

Some of the rare severe types can even be life-threatening.

Source: NHS Choices 

WHAT IS POTS?

Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) is an abnormal increase in heart rate that occurs after sitting up or standing.

It typically causes dizziness, fainting and other symptoms. 

PoTS is most common in girls and women aged 15 to 50.

Some people have mild symptoms, while others find the condition affects their quality of life. 

In many cases, the cause is unknown. Teenagers can develop PoTS and find it gradually disappears a few years later. 

It can develop suddenly after a viral illness or traumatic event, or during or after pregnancy.

PoTS often improves gradually over time, and there are a number of self-care measures and medications that can help.

Source: NHS Choices 

 

Trump takes sitting senator to Utah to deter Romney run

It’s not surprising that President Trump would choose to travel to Utah Monday alongside Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican who’s represented the state in the Senate for the last 40 years. 

But Trump has broader intentions than just taking Hatch for a ride aboard Air Force One and championing one of the senator’s causes: shrinking the national monuments of Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante.

The president wants to keep former GOP nominee Mitt Romney out of the U.S. Senate.  

President Trump stopped to speak to reporters as he left the White House Monday for Utah. He's taking Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch with him on board Air Force One, signaling he'd rather see Hatch seek re-election than Mitt Romney run for Hatch's seat

President Trump stopped to speak to reporters as he left the White House Monday for Utah. He's taking Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch with him on board Air Force One, signaling he'd rather see Hatch seek re-election than Mitt Romney run for Hatch's seat

President Trump stopped to speak to reporters as he left the White House Monday for Utah. He’s taking Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch with him on board Air Force One, signaling he’d rather see Hatch seek re-election than Mitt Romney run for Hatch’s seat

Former GOP nominee Mitt Romney (pictured) is mulling a Senate run if Sen. Orrin Hatch retires. However, it looks like President Trump is trying to keep Hatch in the upper chamber so he doesn't have a nemesis Republican in that seat

Former GOP nominee Mitt Romney (pictured) is mulling a Senate run if Sen. Orrin Hatch retires. However, it looks like President Trump is trying to keep Hatch in the upper chamber so he doesn't have a nemesis Republican in that seat

Former GOP nominee Mitt Romney is mulling a Senate run if Sen. Orrin Hatch (pictured) retires. However, it looks like President Trump is trying to keep Hatch in the upper chamber so he doesn't have a nemesis Republican in that seat

Former GOP nominee Mitt Romney is mulling a Senate run if Sen. Orrin Hatch (pictured) retires. However, it looks like President Trump is trying to keep Hatch in the upper chamber so he doesn't have a nemesis Republican in that seat

Former GOP nominee Mitt Romney (left) is mulling a Senate run if Sen. Orrin Hatch (right) retires. However, it looks like President Trump is trying to keep Hatch in the upper chamber so he doesn’t have a nemesis Republican in that seat 

Romney, a Mormon with roots in the state who previously served as the governor of Massachusetts, has been mulling a run for Hatch’s seat, if Hatch indeed announces his retirement. 

However, Hatch hasn’t committed either way, a move that is angering Romney’s people, according to Politico.

They believe it’s Trump’s doing – and they may be right, as Trump has told friends he wasn’t into the idea of a Sen. Romney, the publication reported.  

If Hatch stays in the Senate, he’ll likely continue to be a strong ally for the president. 

Even though Romney is a Republican, he’s probably act more like Sen. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who is leaving the Senate after next year, and has sworn to spend his remaining time in the upper chamber calling a certain president of the United States out. 

Romney displayed that kind of behavior during last year’s presidential campaign. 

Mitt Romney (right) famously got dinner at Jean Georges restaurant in New York with President-elect Donald Trump (left) as Trump was considering Romney to be his secretary of state 

Mitt Romney (right) famously got dinner at Jean Georges restaurant in New York with President-elect Donald Trump (left) as Trump was considering Romney to be his secretary of state 

Mitt Romney (right) famously got dinner at Jean Georges restaurant in New York with President-elect Donald Trump (left) as Trump was considering Romney to be his secretary of state 

On March 3, 2016, the ex-GOP nominee appeared at the University of Utah and labeled then-candidate Trump a ‘fraud.’ 

‘He’s playing the American public for suckers: he gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat,’ Romney said. 

The former nominee didn’t endorse one of the remaining GOP candidates – Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. John Kasich – but suggested to Republican voters that they vote in their state for who would do the most damage to thwart Trump’s march to the nomination. 

It didn’t work. 

Fast-forward to the aftermath of Trump’s electoral win and the Romney-Trump relationship was back in the news as the president-elect seemed to be courting him to be secretary of state.

The question was whether Trump’s overtures were serious or if the president-elect was making Romney dance to simply, eventually embarrass him. 

After highly-publicized meetings at Bedminster and then in New York, Trump called Romney to tell him he’d decided to go with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson instead. 

Since then, Romney has contemplated ways to get back in the political game, including testing the waters for this Senate seat. 

Meanwhile, President Trump’s former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has been threatening to take out incumbent Republican senators in an effort, he says, to get the body to better cooperate with the president’s agenda. 

While previously eyeing Hatch as a senator who needed to be replaced, according to the Washington Examiner, Bannon is now contemplating endorsing Hatch so that Romney stays out. 

‘If Steve had a choice between Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney, he would pick Hatch 10 times out of 10,’ a Bannon insider told the Examiner’s David Drucker.  

Trump is seemingly following suit by taking Hatch to Utah Monday. 

 The president has invited the Utah senator to take Air Force One to and from Salt Lake City. 

The two men will disembark from Air Force One side-by-side and then travel to the Utah state capitol where the president will sign the executive order shrinking Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante. 

‘It will be one of the great, really, events in this country in a long time. So important for states’ rights and so important for the people of Utah,’ Trump pledged as he left the White House Monday. 

Doctors: Over a year to see if uterus transplant…

Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) – Doctors in Dallas say it took over a year to determine if a woman who received a womb transplant would become the first in the U.S. to give birth.

Baylor University Medical Center officials said at a news conference Monday that the mother has returned home and her newborn son is fine. He remains hospitalized for monitoring.

Dr. Tiffany Anthony says it took months to ensure that the transplanted uterus would be functional and then many more to determine if the implanted embryo would prove viable.

In this undated photo provided by Baylor University Medical Center the first baby born as a result of a womb transplant in the United States lies in the neonatal unit at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. (Baylor University Medical Center via AP)

In this undated photo provided by Baylor University Medical Center the first baby born as a result of a womb transplant in the United States lies in the neonatal unit at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. (Baylor University Medical Center via AP)

In this undated photo provided by Baylor University Medical Center the first baby born as a result of a womb transplant in the United States lies in the neonatal unit at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. (Baylor University Medical Center via AP)

Officials on Friday confirmed the birth.

A birth from a transplanted uterus is a milestone for the U.S. but one achieved several years ago in Sweden.

Baylor officials said Monday that eight transplants have been performed and that one of those woman is pregnant.

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Russia faces decision on Winter Olympics ban for doping

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) poses for a photo with Russian winter Olympic athletes at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics; the team could be banned from the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang for doping violations

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) poses for a photo with Russian winter Olympic athletes at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics; the team could be banned from the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang for doping violations

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) poses for a photo with Russian winter Olympic athletes at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics; the team could be banned from the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang for doping violations

The International Olympic Committee meets from Tuesday to decide whether to bar Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics for doping violations, in one of the weightiest decisions ever faced by the Olympic movement.

The build-up to the high-stakes summit in Lausanne just 66 days before the start of the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, has been dominated by an almost daily drip of negative news for the winter sports heavyweights.

On November 26, athletics’ ruling body the International Association of Athletics Federations maintained its two-year-long suspension of Russia imposed over claims of state-sponsored doping.

That ban prevented its athletes from competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics and this year’s World Championships in London.

The IAAF felt they were left with little choice after the World Anti-Doping Agency had announced on November 16 that Russia was still not compliant with international rules on doping.

WADA’s refusal to lift the suspension of Moscow’s national anti-doping body raised the stakes in Russia’s possible exclusion from Pyeongchang.

Russia’s chances of going to Pyeongchang have been further damaged by a raft of bans handed out to its medallists at the Sochi 2014 Games in the past week.

In total Russia was stripped of 11 of its 33 medals for cheating, meaning it has lost its position at the top of the Sochi medals table to Norway. Russia has slipped to fourth place.

The explosive, WADA-commissioned 2016 McLaren report alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia and led to the country being shut out of the agency.

The investigation said the cheating peaked at the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Russian secret agents are said to have engineered an elaborate system of state-backed doping.

– ‘Axis of evil’ –

Among those named and shamed for drug-taking last month was Russia’s flag carrier at the Games, Alexander Zubkov, who was stripped of his four and two-man bobsleigh titles.

The prospect of exclusion from Pyeongchang is causing consternation in Moscow.

Ahead of last week’s draw for the 2018 football World Cup that will be hosted by Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said the doping allegations were an attempt “to create an image of an axis of evil” against his country.

“But this is all because we are such a great sport superpower,” added Mutko, who was barred from attending the 2016 Rio Olympics over the drug-cheating scandal.

In an appeal to the IOC he added: “We are relying on common sense, on the IOC Charter, on the assumption that no one abolished the presumption of innocence.”

In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of putting indirect pressure on the IOC to block Russia from the Games in South Korea.

He warned if the IOC left Russia out in the cold, it would cause “serious harm to the Olympic movement”.

“There are two options,” Putin said. “Either forcing Russia to compete under a neutral flag or not letting it go to the Olympics at all.”

“Either one is humiliation for the country,” he insisted.

A ban on Russia would have a major impact on competition in Pyeongchang, notably in disciplines like figure skating, cross-country skiing, speed skating and bobsleigh.

And Russia’s ice hockey team has won gold eight times if you include the titles as the Soviet Union and as a united post-Soviet team.

While its situation appears bleak, Russia can take heart from recent history, as WADA’s refusal to re-admit Russia may not be fatal to the country’s chances of competing in Pyeongchang.

In 2016, the IOC ignored the doping agency’s calls to ban Russia from Rio, instead leaving the decision to individual sports bodies.

And historically the IOC has proven reluctant to issue a blanket ban on a single country, one notable exception being South Africa, which under apartheid was barred from the Games between 1964 and 1988.

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Jane Seymour sexually assaulted by producer Ray Stark

Jane Seymour lent her voice to the #metoo movement on Monday as she once again told the story about how she was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood producer.

The British actress appeared on Megyn Kelly Today, where she told the host that after being asked to attend a screening of her film test at the home of a famed Hollywood producer she arrived to find herself alone with the man.

That is when Seymour claims he put his hand on her upper thigh ‘in the wrong place’ and told her she ‘knew what she had to do’ if she wanted the role in his film, prompting her to immediately leave his home.

She told Megyn that years later she attended a private dinner for Princess Margaret at the man’s home where he offered her the role that would make her a star in Somewhere in Time after not recognizing her from their previous encounter.

That seemed to confirm it was Ray Stark, as in a past interview with Barnes and Noble about how she got the role in Somewhere In Time, Seymour said: ‘I was attending a party at the home of [veteran producer] Ray Stark, where he was entertaining a member of the British royal family.’

Seymour also used the interview to reveal her own son was recently roofied by a powerful publicist following a film premiere, claiming that the unnamed man then tried to drive off with the then-20-year-old film student. 

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Her too: Jane Seymour appeared on Megyn Kelly Today (above) on Monday and revealed she was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood producer when she started in Hollywood

Her too: Jane Seymour appeared on Megyn Kelly Today (above) on Monday and revealed she was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood producer when she started in Hollywood

Her too: Jane Seymour appeared on Megyn Kelly Today (above) on Monday and revealed she was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood producer when she started in Hollywood

Revelation: The actress (above in 1978) said a powerful producer put his hand on her upper thing 'in the wrong place' and told her she 'knew what she needed to do' to get a film role

Revelation: The actress (above in 1978) said a powerful producer put his hand on her upper thing 'in the wrong place' and told her she 'knew what she needed to do' to get a film role

Revelation: The actress (above in 1978) said a powerful producer put his hand on her upper thing ‘in the wrong place’ and told her she ‘knew what she needed to do’ to get a film role

Clues: Seymour said the same man producer her film Somewhere In Time and had a dinner for Princess Margaret, seeming to confirm it was Ray Stark (above with Barbara Streisand in 1968) 

Clues: Seymour said the same man producer her film Somewhere In Time and had a dinner for Princess Margaret, seeming to confirm it was Ray Stark (above with Barbara Streisand in 1968) 

Clues: Seymour said the same man producer her film Somewhere In Time and had a dinner for Princess Margaret, seeming to confirm it was Ray Stark (above with Barbara Streisand in 1968) 

‘I came to Hollywood about 22 or 23 years old. I came to do a test for my first Hollywood movie and nd it was a wonderful producer, we had a great experience,’ said Seymour, who would not name Stark on account of the fact that he had ‘passed.’ 

‘I did the test. And another producer called my agent and said, “I want to test Jane, as well, for another movie.” It was like, wow, amazing. The second producer, the one I’m going to talk about, had gotten a copy of the first test and wanted to screen it for me so I could see it. And he told my agent and I was told to go to his house because he was having a big screening of a movie with lots of people.’

Seymour said that when she arrived at the house however, there were no other people to be found. 

‘And the next thing I know, he says, “you’re amazing, you’re fantastic. I’m so excited. I’ve told everyone that you’re the perfect person for our movie, the director and everybody. Now, it’s your turn,'” said Seymour.

‘And I said, “my turn?” He said, “yeah, you know what you’ve got to do..”‘

Seymour revealed that after replying ‘give a great screen test, the director shook his head and ‘put his hand on my thigh, right up close in the wrong place.’

She immediately ran off, explaining: ‘He basically got furious. He called the cab. And he turned to me and he looked me in the eye and he said, “if you ever tell anyone that you were ever here, let alone what happened, you will never work again anywhere, anywhere in the world.” And I was shaking.’

Seymour said she decided to tell her team that she did not attend the meeting, adding that two of the men she told this to expressed their relief about her decision to not go to the home due to rumors and stories they had heard over the years.

The actress then found herself back at the same home years later for a dinner in honor of Princess Margaret’s visit to Los Angeles. 

Stark did not recognize her however, and later that night offered her the chance to audition for Somewhere In Time.

‘I was invited to this man’s house again. I was not going to go but I was asked because I was British and Princess Margaret was going to be there and they wanted me to be there,’ said Seymour, who despite quitting acting after her first encounter with Stark returned to the business over time.

‘So, I showed up and sadly being English, I was a little bit early. And there he was and he looked at me, and he said, “don’t I know you?” and I am shaking and I went, “not if you don’t remember me” and walked away. And he persisted three times, he kept following me, saying “do I know you? do I know you?” and I said – anyway at the end of the thing he said, “I’ve got a movie for you’ and he gives me the whole spiel.” 

That was not the end of Seymour’s experiences of sexual assault in Hollywood however, with her son Sean Flynn suffering an even worse fate she revealed after an encounter with a publicist.

‘He was 20 years old, he was at film school. He made a film called Numb, he was at a Hollywood event talking about his film, being a young filmmaker, and a publicist came up to him and said, “come with me, I can take you to some people that will be much better for your career, come with me,”‘ said Seymour. 

‘So he grabbed his friend, thank god, and they went into the car with this guy and they were in the car and all of a sudden my son was going all loopy, and he doesn’t know what’s happened. The guy had roofied him, whatever roofies are. And then started grabbing his private parts and started to make out with him. And his friend mercifully was completely sober and saw what was going on, when the car stopped, he grabbed my son and they ran.’

Seymour was appearing to promote her new book of inspirational stories, The Road Ahead. 

Girl is reunited with her birth parents 22 years later

A Chinese couple had waited over 20 years and finally reunited with their daughter in east China.

The couple had left a note on their daughter, Jingzhi, to meet up at the famous Broken Bridge in Hangzhou, after 10 and 20 years of their daughter’s birth.

With the help of local media, the family finally met on the Chinese Valentine’s Day after two decades in early August.

Xu Lida and his wife walked to the Broken Bridge in Hanzhou along with their daughter, Jingzhi

Xu Lida and his wife walked to the Broken Bridge in Hanzhou along with their daughter, Jingzhi

Xu Lida and his wife walked to the Broken Bridge in Hanzhou along with their daughter, Jingzhi

According to Zhejiang Television, Xu Lida and his wife, Qian Fenxiang, sent Jingzhi to Suzhou community centre just five days after she was born in 1995.

They left a note stating that they hope to meet their daughter at the Qixi Festival 10 years or 20 years later on the Broken Bridge in Hanzhou.

In 2005, the Xu couple kept their promise and waited for their daughter to show up at the bridge.

They were spotted by a broadcasting crew from Zhejiang Television and were told that a woman was holding a promise letter from the other side of the bridge.

The family is interviewed by a television host at the Broken Bridge in Hanzhou, east China

The family is interviewed by a television host at the Broken Bridge in Hanzhou, east China

The family is interviewed by a television host at the Broken Bridge in Hanzhou, east China

Mother Qian Fenxiang is happy to see her daughter Jingzhi after 22 years of separation

Mother Qian Fenxiang is happy to see her daughter Jingzhi after 22 years of separation

Mother Qian Fenxiang is happy to see her daughter Jingzhi after 22 years of separation

From then, the couple had learnt that their daughter was adopted by an American family and had a name known as Catherine Su Pohler, or Kati.

According to Zhejiang Television, the woman was a friend of the Pohler family to help Kati look for her biological parents.

Both parties attempted to re-schedule for a second meeting in 2015, but Jinzhi couldn’t make it and agreed to meet two years later in 2017.

The family finally reunited on August 28, the Chinese Valentine’s Day, as they walked to the Broken Bridge together, video shows.

Jingzhi's parents take their American-raised daughter to Starbucks for breakfast

Jingzhi's parents take their American-raised daughter to Starbucks for breakfast

Jingzhi’s parents take their American-raised daughter to Starbucks for breakfast

Jingzhi will stay with her parents in Hanzhou for two days before setting off to America

Jingzhi will stay with her parents in Hanzhou for two days before setting off to America

Jingzhi will stay with her parents in Hanzhou for two days before setting off to America

It’s the happiest moment for Xu and his wife, to be able to see their long-lost daughter, Jingzhi.

Being raised in an American family, Jingzhi did not speak any Chinese, but her parents can be seen trying to communicate with her and buying her breakfast from Starbucks.

The television host asked if Jingzhi will call them father and mother, she replied: ‘I don’t know. I will think about it.’ 

Xu explained they abandoned Jingzhi due to the one-child policy and they were struggling to raise two children at the same time.

Jingzhi stayed with her parents for a short two days before going back to America.

She told the reporter that she would like to keep in touch with them and meet up more to know more of her Chinese root.  

Yodel delivery driver drops repeatedly throws parcel

  • Grant Baxter angered to find his delivery thrown around by Yodel driver
  • The 39-year-old from Milton Keynes caught the dodgy delivery on CCTV
  • He says the parcel could have been fragile medical goods for his son

Karen Gilchrist For Mailonline

A John Lewis customer has been left furious after his parcel was repeatedly tossed in the air by a Yodel delivery driver before being thrown onto his first floor balcony.

Grant Baxter wasn’t in when the delivery company dropped off his parcel but returned to his home in Milton Keynes to find it on the balcony above his front door.

Surprised as to how it got there, the 39-year-old checked his CCTV footage and was shocked to see the delivery driver repeatedly throw the parcel up in an attempt to land it on the balcony.

Grant Baxter returned home to find his John Lewis delivery on the first floor balcony above his front door

Grant Baxter returned home to find his John Lewis delivery on the first floor balcony above his front door

Grant Baxter returned home to find his John Lewis delivery on the first floor balcony above his front door

The driver can be seen dropping the delivery on the ground once and tossing it up twice more and catching it before eventually landing it on the other side of the balcony railings. 

Mr Baxter was outraged as the parcel was a gift for his mother-in-law’s birthday.

He also pointed out that it could have been a more fragile medical delivery for his son, who is severely disabled.

The 39-year-old from Milton Keynes checked his CCTV to find that a Yodel driver had thrown the parcel in the air several times and dropped it on the ground

The 39-year-old from Milton Keynes checked his CCTV to find that a Yodel driver had thrown the parcel in the air several times and dropped it on the ground

The 39-year-old from Milton Keynes checked his CCTV to find that a Yodel driver had thrown the parcel in the air several times and dropped it on the ground

When Mr Baxter complained to Yodel, they informed him that the parcel had been delivered to a neighbour further down his road. However, he said the CCTV indicates that this is ‘obviously not the case’.

Yodel was not available for comment when contacted by MailOnline. 

John Lewis was also not available for comment at the time of publishing, though when contacted by Mr Baxter’s wife they asked to see a copy of the CCTV. 

Mr Baxter was furious as the parcel was a gift for his mother-in-law's birthday. Though he claimed it could also have been a fragile medical delivery for his disabled son

Mr Baxter was furious as the parcel was a gift for his mother-in-law's birthday. Though he claimed it could also have been a fragile medical delivery for his disabled son

Mr Baxter was furious as the parcel was a gift for his mother-in-law’s birthday. Though he claimed it could also have been a fragile medical delivery for his disabled son

Mr Baxter has also shared the footage on Facebook with the title ‘Share please yodel delivering at its best # epic fail!!!

This is not the first time disgruntled customers have taken to the internet to complain of postal services’ delivery fails.  

 

Facebook rolls out messenger app for kids under 13

Reuters

By Daniel Trotta

Dec 4 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc on Monday rolled out Messenger Kids, an app that lets the world’s biggest social media company expand into a so-far untapped market of kids under 13 while also giving parents complete control over what their children see.

Facebook normally requires users to be at least 13 years old. The new app gives it a chance to win brand loyalty from younger children at a time when it faces competition for teenagers from other social media platforms such as Snapchat.

There already are a handful of other apps that children can use with parental consent, and kids can communicate with each other using texting on cellpones.

Facebook said research showed young children were already using technology on a regular basis – but on apps built for teens and adults, raising concern among parents that their children might be communicating with strangers.

At the same time, parents were willing to let their children aged 6 to 12 use social media as long as there was strict parental control. Facebook Messenger Kids requires parents to set up an account and approve their children’s contacts.

“There’s really a gap in the market for a messaging app for kids that also gives parents control,” Facebook spokeswoman Lauren Svensson said. “We’re going to see how kids are using it, and that will allow us to add updates in future versions as necessary.”

The stand-alone app on children’s devices can be controlled by a parent’s Facebook account that will allow kids to use video chat and send photos, videos or text messages to friends approved by their parents.

Monday’s unveiling was billed as a preview because so far it is only available in the United States and only on iOS, or Apple operating systems. The app was 18 months in development, Svensson said.

Facebook said it consulted with 1,200 parents plus online security and child development specialists, including the National Parent-Teacher Association, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Connect Safely, Center on Media and Child Health, and Sesame Workshop. (Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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