Dodgers Defeat Rays to Claim World Series Title

The Los Angeles Dodgers won their first Major League Baseball World Series in more than three decades Tuesday night, shaking off a slow offensive start to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6. For five innings, the Rays appeared to be in control in their bid to force a deciding seventh game in the series with pitcher Blake Snell allowing just one hit and zero runs. But the Dodgers rallied in the sixth inning, scoring a run on a wild pitch by Rays reliever Nick Anderson and a second run on a fielder’s choice one batter later. Star outfielder Mookie Betts, who came to the Dodgers in an offseason trade, pushed the lead to 3-1 with a home run in the eighth inning. Tampa Bay’s only run came by way of a first-inning home run by Randy Arozarena, who emerged as a star during the postseason with nine total home runs. The Rays had more chances early in the game with multiple runners on base in the first two innings.  But Dodgers pitchers were able to hold the Rays in check, striking out 16 total batters and allowing just two hits in the final eight innings.Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas.Reliever Julio Urías struck out Willy Adames to seal the victory for the Dodgers and send their players into a celebratory pile on the infield. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was named the World Series Most Valuable Player after compiling a .471 batting average with two home runs and seven runs scored in the series. The championship is a culmination of years of recent success for Los Angeles, which has won more regular season games than any other team since the 2010 season but suffered repeated heartbreak in the playoffs. The Dodgers lost the 2017 World Series in seven games to the Houston Astros, and a year later fell in the World Series to the Boston Red Sox.  Last season brought a first-round defeat at the hands of the eventual champion Washington Nationals. “This is our year,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game. “We said it.  This is our year.” All of the 2020 World Series games were played in Arlington, Texas, one of the effects the coronavirus pandemic had on the Major League Baseball season.  The league postponed its usual start from the end of March to the end of July, with teams playing just 60 regular season games instead of 162.  No fans were allowed into stadiums until the last two rounds, when only a limited number were able to see games in person. The schedule was further thrown into chaos with multiple teams experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.  Tuesday night, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was removed in the eighth inning, and after the game it was announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. “It’s a bittersweet night for us.  We’re glad to be done,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “I do think it’s a great accomplishment for our players to get this season completed.” 

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Halloween Goes On at White House With a Few Twists

With a bit of rejiggering, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump played host Sunday to hundreds of superheroes, unicorns, skeletons and even a miniature version of themselves as part of a Halloween celebration at the White House.
In years past, the president and first lady personally handed out candy to the costume-clad kids. This year, the treats were provided separately as participants walked along a path on the South Lawn.  
The kids still briefly met the president and first lady, who waved and offered words of encouragement from a safe distance about how much they liked the costumes. Trump and the first lady have both recently recovered from COVID-19.
Trump was particularly pleased with a young boy with a distinctly Trump head of hair and a partner who did her best Mrs. Trump impersonation. The president motioned for them to turn and pose for the cameras, and they happily agreed.
Another tot, a true princess it appeared, was so smitten with the cameras that she kept waving at them as she walked along, never noticing the VIPs behind her.
The spooky celebration was changed up a bit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Guests older than 2 were required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. The same went for all White House personnel working the event, while any staff giving out candy also wore gloves.
The South Portico of the White House was decorated with bright-colored leaves in various shades of autumn, chrysanthemums and pumpkins, while a military band set the mood by playing songs such as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

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Texas Singer-Songwriter Walker Dies at 78

Jerry Jeff Walker, a Texas country singer and songwriter who wrote the pop song “Mr. Bojangles,” has died at age 78.Walker died Friday of cancer, family spokesman John T. Davis told The Associated Press.”He had battled throat cancer for many years, and some other health issues,” Davis said Saturday.Walker emerged from New York’s Greenwich Village folk scene in the 1960s, and he was a founding member of the band Circus Maximus. He moved to Texas in the 1970s and in 1972 scored a hit with his version of the Guy Clark song “L.A. Freeway.”Walker and the Lost Gonzo Band in 1973 recorded an album live in Texas called “Viva Terlingua” that became a classic of the country-rock scene. Walker had since released more than 30 albums.In 1986, he formed independent music label Tried & True Music and released albums under it.Walker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, he told the Austin American Statesman in 2018.”I guess I took my singing for granted, and now I don’t,” he told the newspaper.In 2017, it was announced that Walker had donated more than 100 boxes of his music archives to The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, including tapes, photographs, handwritten lyrics and artifacts.Walker’s survivors include his wife, Susan; son, Django; and daughter, Jessie Jane. 
 

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IOC Chief Bach Says Olympics Cannot Be ‘Marketplace of Demonstrations’

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said the Olympic Games are not about politics and must guard against becoming a “marketplace of demonstrations.”
Against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement to protest racial injustice, calls have increased this year for a change to Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which bans any form political protest during the Games.
World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe said earlier this month he believes athletes should have the right to make gestures of political protest during the Games, contrary to official IOC policy.
“The Olympic Games are firstly about sport. The athletes personify the values of excellence, solidarity and peace,” Bach wrote in The Guardian.
“They express this inclusiveness and mutual respect also by being politically neutral on the field of play and during the ceremonies. At times this focus on sport needs to be reconciled with the freedom of speech all athletes also enjoy at the Games.
“The unifying power of the Games can only unfold if everyone shows respect for and solidarity to one another. Otherwise, the Games will descend into a marketplace of demonstrations of all kinds, dividing and not uniting the world.”
Bach said he experienced the “political impotence” of sport when West Germany was among several countries to boycott the 1980 Moscow Games.
“As chair of the West German athletes’ commission I strongly opposed this boycott because it punished us for something we had nothing to do with – the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet army,” Bach, the winner of team fencing gold at Montreal 1976, wrote.
“It’s no consolation that we were ultimately proven right that this boycott not only punished the wrong ones, but that it also had no political effect… the Soviet army stayed nine more years in Afghanistan.
“The Olympic Games are not about politics. The IOC, as a civil non-governmental organization, is strictly politically neutral at all times.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the IOC to delay this year’s Tokyo Games until 2021. 

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Bilingual Virtual Festival Features American, Russian Playwrights

A bilingual virtual festival featuring American and Russian playwrights is taking place as tensions between the two countries are high and serving as a reminder of how art can bridge differences. Maxim Moskalkov has the story.
Camera: David Gogokhia     

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