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Twins ask Giants if they knew Sam Dyson was injured

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Twins reliever Sam Dyson will meet with Dr. Neal El-Attrache in Los Angeles regarding his ailing right shoulder, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reports. Dyson will likely need to undergo surgery.

The Twins acquired Dyson from the Giants ahead of the July 31 trade deadline in exchange for Jaylin Davis and two minor leaguers, Prelander Berroa and Kai-Wei Teng. Dyson appeared in two games for the Twins before being placed on the 10-day injured list with right biceps tendinitis. He returned on August 13 but was sidelined after a September 3 appearance with the same injury.

According to Neal, Dyson revealed to the Twins that he had been pitching through discomfort since mid-July. Dyson’s physical didn’t raise any red flags, but the Twins asked the Giants if they knew the right-hander was injured when the trade was consummated. The Giants said they did not, and the Twins haven’t been able to find any evidence showing otherwise.

In 2016, Padres GM A.J. Preller was suspended 30 games for hiding medical information regarding lefty Drew Pomeranz, whom the Padres traded to the Red Sox in mid-July that year. The next year, the Padres extended Preller through 2022. MLB has since standardized medical disclosures, but as we’ve seen in recent years, front office executives aren’t shy when it comes to gaming the system. The Twins’ inquiry isn’t unfair.

Dyson, 31, posted a combined 3.32 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 13 walks across 63 1/3 innings between the Giants (51 innings) and Twins (11 1/3 innings). He will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020, likely earning a slight raise on his current $5 million salary, but he may not be available out of the bullpen until midseason.

Vaginal birth and Caesarean: Differences in babies’ bacteria

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The UK scientists say these early encounters with microbes may act as a “thermostat” for the immune system.

And they may help explain why Caesarean babies are more likely to have some health problems later in life.

The researchers stress women should not swab babies with their vaginal fluids – known as “vaginal seeding”.

How important are gut bacteria?

Our bodies are not entirely human – instead we are an ecosystem with around half our body’s cells made up of microbes such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Most of them live in our gut and are collectively known as our microbiome.

The microbiome is linked to diseases including allergy, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s, whether cancer drugs work and even depression and autism.

This study – by Wellcome Sanger Institute, UCL, and the University of Birmingham – assessed how the microbiome forms when we leave our mother’s sterile womb and enter a world full of bugs.

Regular samples were taken from the nappies of nearly 600 babies for the first month of life, and some provided faecal samples for up to a year.

The study, published in the journal Nature, showed vaginally born babies got most of their early bacteria from their mother.

But Caesarean-section babies had high levels of hospital bugs such as Klebsiella and Pseudomonas.

“What surprised me and scared me was the amount of healthcare bugs showing up in these children,” Dr Trevor Lawley, from the Wellcome Sanger Institute said.

“It could be 30% of their total microbiome.

“But what excites me is we have an amazing body of data now that we can build on, to think about how to properly establish the human ecosystem, starting at birth.”

The microbiome

  • You’re more microbe than human – if you count all the cells in your body, only 43% are human
  • The rest is our microbiome and includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and single-celled archaea
  • The human genome – the full set of genetic instructions for a human being – is made up of 20,000 instructions called genes
  • But add all the genes in our microbiome together and the figure comes out at between two million and 20 million microbial genes
  • Our microbiome is also known as our “second genome”

Does this affect the baby’s health?

It is already known that children born by Caesarean are at higher risk of some disorders such as type 1 diabetes, allergies and asthma.

An errant immune system – the body’s defence against infection – can play a role in all of them.

Differences between vaginally-delivered and Caesarean babies faded over time and largely evened out by their first birthdays.

So a leading idea in the field is that the bugs which first colonise us are crucially important and help train our immune system to tell friend from foe.

“The hypothesis is that the moment of birth might be a sort of “thermostat” moment, which sets the immune system for future life,” says researcher Dr Nigel Field from UCL.

The study – the Baby Biome Project – will continue to follow the babies through childhood, and should provide more clarity.

How else can you alter a baby’s microbiome?

The method of birth had the biggest impact on the babies’ microbiomes, but antibiotics and whether or not mothers breastfed their babies, also altered the fledgling relationship between our microbial and human halves.

Previous research in this field has led to a trend for “vaginal seeding” in which mothers rub vaginal fluid on the face and mouth of their babies after a Caesarean.

However, the study showed that even vaginally-born babies were getting no more vaginal bacteria than Caesarean babies.

Instead, the bacteria passed from mother to baby were coming from contact with the mother’s faeces during labour.

The researchers said vaginal seeding risked exposing babies to dangerous Group B strep.

In the future it might be possible to give Caesarean babies a cocktail of good bacteria at birth, so that their relationship with the microbial world starts on the right path.

“These are bugs that are dedicated to us and we’re dedicated to them,” said Dr Lawley.

“My main interest is – what are the bugs that are passed from mother to child? This isn’t an accident, these bugs are deeply evolved with humans.

“That’s what we want to understand and preserve – that form of kinship between mother and child.”

What should pregnant women do?

Dr Alison Wright, the vice president of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said the findings were groundbreaking, but should not deter women from having a Caesarean.

She said: “In many cases, a Caesarean is a life-saving procedure, and can be the right choice for a woman and her baby.

“The exact role of the microbiome in the newborn and what factors can change it are still uncertain, so we don’t think this study should deter women from having a Caesarean.”

Wall Street ends flat as mixed economic data signals caution

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U.S. stocks barely budged on Monday, with slight gains in shares of Apple offset by mixed economic data that added to caution over the prolonged U.S.-China trade war.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rose 0.5% after U.S. trade regulators approved 10 of 15 requests for tariff exemptions by the iPhone maker. Micron Technology Inc (MU.O), which supplies components to Apple, advanced 0.9%.

U.S. employment in the services sector shrank for the first time in 9-1/2 years in September, IHS Markit’s Purchasing Manager’s Index showed. The data also showed manufacturing activity rose in September, topping expectations.

Earlier in the day, a survey showed a manufacturing recession deepening in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy.

“What’s been a question within the market is whether or not we are headed toward a recession within the next 12 months. So all of the data releases are increasingly important,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

Any upbeat data offers investors hope the United States will be able to avoid a recession, she said.

Investors also have been cautious about progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks after a Chinese agriculture delegation canceled a visit to Montana.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 14.92 points, or 0.06%, to 26,949.99, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.29 points, or 0.01%, to 2,991.78 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 5.21 points, or 0.06%, to 8,112.46.

“People are tentative and want to sit on the sidelines. We’re sitting here just below highs, and there’s no urgent need to chase them unless they break out, and of course no one wants to sell them either,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

American Express (AXP.N) shares gained 1.2% after it announced a share repurchase plan and a dividend increase.

Juniper Networks Inc (JNPR.N) rose 2% as Needham upgraded the network gear maker’s stock to “buy.”

Boeing .BA.N edged lower after that European antitrust regulators were set to investigate the planemaker’s $4.75 billion bid for the commercial aircraft arm of Brazil-based Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA).

Additionally, the chief of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration was to detail progress on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft inquiry to international air regulators.

Social network Facebook Inc (FB.O) fell 1.6% and was among the biggest drags on the S&P 500 along with (AMZN.O), down 0.5%.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.22-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.21-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 42 new highs and 50 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 5.90 billion shares, compared with the 7.1 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Borderlands 3 the fastest selling game in 2K’s history

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Borderlands 3 has managed to sell over five million copies in its first five days – doubling the amount Borderlands 2 sold in its first week of release and making it the fastest-selling game 2K has ever made.

The Borderlands franchise has now generated over $1bn in sales, becoming only the second 2K franchise to do so.

These aren’t the only records the game has broken however. With 70 per cent of players buying Borderlands 3 digitally in the first five days, it’s also enjoyed 2K’s highest percentage of digital sales for a cross-platform title.

It’s even become 2K’s highest-selling title on PC in a five-day window, which is of note given the PC version of Borderlands 3 is an Epic Games store timed exclusive.

“We are immensely grateful to everyone who played a role in making the Borderlands series the global, pop culture phenomenon that it is today, including hundreds of developers at Gearbox and many who have made this their life’s work,” said David Ismailer, president of 2K.

“We also want to thank the Borderlands community. Mayhem does not happen by itself, and their passion for the series is what drives us to make each game an amazing experience.”

If you’re not responsible for one of the five million purchases and have yet to make up your mind on the new looter shooter, you can have a read of our review here, in which Vikki Blake says of the game: “Borderlands may be polarising, but it’s back nonetheless: bigger, better, and more unapologetic than ever.”

Read Greta Thunberg’s full speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit

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Teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg spoke at the United Nations on Monday about climate change, accusing world leaders of inaction and half-measures.

Here are her full remarks:

My message is that we’ll be watching you.

This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe.

The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

Fifty percent may be acceptable to you, but those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice.

They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.

So a 50 percent risk is simply not acceptable to us, we who have to live with the consequences.

How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business as usual and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than eight and a half years.

There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable and you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

You are failing us, but the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you and if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up and change is coming, whether you like it or not.

Mets, Marlins trade grand slams in sixth inning

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The Mets’ playoff hopes are very close to extinction, entering Monday night’s action with an elimination number of three, meaning any combination of three Mets losses and wins by the Nationals and Brewers will dash their dreams. Fortunately for the Mets, the schedule set them up with four games at home against the Marlins before ending the season hosting the Braves for three.

Things were looking bleak as the Marlins took a 6-0 lead in the sixth inning thanks to a grand slam from catcher Jorge Alfaro — his second homer of the game — off of lefty Steven Matz. The Mets, however, answered right back with a grand slam of their own from shortstop Amed Rosario in the bottom half of the sixth.

Fortunately for the Mets, the Marlins have one of the worst bullpen ERAs in baseball at 5.11. Unfortunately for the Mets, their bullpen has the exact same 5.11 ERA.

Labour pledges free personal care for over-65s in England

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Currently, state help with the cost of home or residential help is available for those with assets below £23,250.

Labour says the pledge, costing an estimated £6bn a year, will double the number of those not having to pay.

It would bring England into line with Scotland, where personal care is free for those with the most severe needs.

In his keynote speech to the Labour conference on Monday, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the move would be funded out of general taxation.

A future Labour government would pass legislation to enshrine a right to free personal care for those most in need, consulting on “eligibility criteria to ensure this system works for all”.

Labour said it would give more details of how it would be paid for in its election manifesto but the Conservatives said the opposition’s already extensive spending commitments meant “there simply won’t be enough money to pay for it”.

In anticipation of a general election this autumn, Labour has already pledged this week to axe prescription charges in England and remove the charitable status of private schools as a first step to “integrating” them into the state sector.

But the leadership remains under pressure over Brexit, with delegates set to vote on a motion pushing for a clearer Remain stance in a future EU referendum if Labour wins power.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to solve the crisis in social care, which has bedevilled previous Tory and Labour governments due to its cost and complexity.

Mr McDonnell said cuts to care funding since 2010 had left a million people not getting the care they need and “87 people dying a day waiting for care”.

Subsidising the cost of basic tasks such as getting in and out of bed and going to the toilet will enable more people to continue to live independently in their homes, he said.

Free personal care is something campaigners have long been calling for in England.

Scotland has already introduced it and Wales and Northern Ireland each provide some level of universal entitlement. In Wales the cost of home care is capped, while in Northern Ireland the over-75s get it for free.

Both the Tories and Labour have been talking about reforming the system for over two decades – Tony Blair came to power in 1997 promising to look at it.

But neither has managed it. Why? The cost and complexity have proved to be insurmountable barriers.

What is more, how much impact the policy has depends on the threshold that is set for accessing it. Even in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the bar for getting help is set very high. Only those with the most severe needs get it.

The devil, as always, will be in the detail.

Based on Scottish figures, Labour said the move could save those currently self-funding their care almost £10,000 a year while 70,000 fewer families would be liable for “catastrophic” lifetime care costs in excess of £100,000.

Removing the distinction between health and care needs, Mr McDonnell argued, will most help families of dementia sufferers, who face the highest costs and, in many cases, have been forced sell their homes to pay for care.

“I believe the right to dignity in retirement is a part of that right to health at any stage of life,” he said. “The truth is our social care sector is a national scandal.

“The next Labour government will introduce personal care free at the point of use in England

“Funded not through the Conservatives’ gimmicky insurance schemes But, like the NHS and our other essentials, through general taxation.”

The pledge goes beyond what Labour promised in its 2017 election manifesto – in which it vowed to raise the minimum asset threshold for free care, cap the amount anyone has to pay during their lifetime and support free end of life care.

Under the current means-tested system, if an individual has assets worth more than £23,250, including property, they must pay the full cost of residential care without help from the council.

Those with assets above £14,250 have to contribute, but may get some help from state.

Labour, whose long-term aim is to provide free personal care to all working age adults, says support for over-65s will alleviate the pressure on the NHS by reducing delayed transfers of care from hospital and admissions to care homes and hospitals.

‘Catastrophic costs’

Mr McDonnell also pledged to close the gap in social care funding – Labour has already pledged to spend an extra £8bn a year over five years – and give local authorities extra support to provide care so services are not outsourced to private firms.

The King’s Fund think tank has estimated that free personal care could cost £6bn a year in 2020-21, rising to £8bn by 2030.

The organisation said Labour’s announcement was a welcome step but “it is not the same thing as free social care, and some people would still be left facing catastrophic costs.”

In its Spending Round earlier this month, the government announced a further £1.5bn in extra funding for social care and promised to look at giving councils more leeway to raise extra funds via council tax bills.

Timeline: Key events in Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case

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Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], will appear in a Vancouver, Canada, courtroom on the first of three days of trial starting on Monday. Here is a timeline of the case and its geopolitical implications.

AUG. 22, 2018: A New York court issues an arrest warrant for Meng, so that she could be detained to stand trial in the United States.

NOV. 29, 2018: The United States learns that Meng will be passing through Vancouver International Airport on her way to Mexico.

DEC. 1, 2018: Meng is arrested by Canadian police in Vancouver as she changes planes. The arrest is not made public until Dec. 5. The Chinese embassy in Canada demands her release.

DEC. 6, 2018: Chinese officials say they have not been given a reason for Meng’s arrest. The White House and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both move to distance themselves from the arrest.

DEC. 7, 2018: Court proceedings show that the United States issued the arrest warrant because it believes Meng covered up attempts by Huawei-linked companies to sell equipment to Iran, breaking U.S. sanctions against the country.

DEC. 8, 2018: China says the arrest of Meng was “extremely nasty” and threatens Canada with consequences if it does not release her.

DEC. 10, 2018: Two Canadians are detained in China – a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig, and businessman Michael Spavor. China denies their arrests are related to Meng’s case. The arrests are made public on Dec. 11 and Dec. 12.

DEC. 11, 2018: Meng is released on bail by a British Columbian court. U.S. President Donald Trump says he will intervene in the case if it would serve national interests.

DEC. 21, 2018: The United States and Canada call on China to release the detained Canadian citizens, after reports that they are questioned daily, have not been given access to lawyers, and are not allowed to turn the lights off at night.

JAN. 8, 2019: Huawei’s links to companies suspected of operating in Iran and Syria, breaking sanctions.

JAN. 22, 2019: The U.S. Justice Department announces it will formally seek the extradition of Meng to the United States.

JAN. 23, 2019: John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, tells Chinese-language media that Huawei can make a good case against extradition, thanks in part to Trump’s comments about his willingness to get involved.

JAN. 26, 2019: Trudeau fires McCallum after his comments to the press, marking the first time a Canadian ambassador had ever been fired.

FEB. 4, 2019: Canadian canola shipments are delayed in clearing Chinese customs, slowing trade to one of Canada’s biggest exporters.

MARCH 1, 2019: Canada approves the extradition order of Meng to the United States.

MARCH 3, 2019: Huawei sues the Canadian government over Meng’s arrest. China claims detained Canadian Michael Kovrig stole state secrets.

MARCH 6, 2019: China says it found “hazardous pests” in Canadian canola samples and blocks most shipments of the crop.

APRIL 29, 2019: Canadian farm exports across the board hit obstacles at Chinese ports.

MAY 1, 2019: China blocks shipments entirely from two Canadian pork producers.

MAY 5, 2019: Canada pressures the United States to help with its diplomatic dispute, with limited success.

JUNE 25, 2019: China blocks all pork shipments from Canada.

JULY 15, 2019: Canada will postpone the decision on whether to allow Huawei to build a 5G cellphone network in Canada, due to the ongoing dispute.

AUG. 22, 2019: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Trudeau that American officials are working to release the detained Canadians.

SEPT. 5, 2019: Canada appoints veteran business consultant Dominic Barton as the new ambassador to China.

PlayStation 5: Sony says next console will have eco-friendly low power mode

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Never mind the future of Fortnite and FIFA, the next PlayStation console is making eco-friendliness a major priority.

Sony has kept its cards close to its chest so far regarding the follow-up to its successful PlayStation 4 (PS4), but has used the unlikely surroundings of a UN Climate Summit to reveal some details.

The Japanese tech company joined 20 other major gaming firms at the meeting in New York on Monday, where it offered news of a more energy efficient standby mode on its next console.

Much like the PS4, the next PlayStation will allow users to suspend their game sessions by putting the console into a low power state, which can also download software updates and charge controllers.

But while the current system uses 8.5W while in standby mode, its successor could consume as little as 0.5W.

Those who buy the console when it launches, which is widely expected to be during the final months of 2020, will have to manually enable the energy-saving option – but Sony will encourage them to do so.

Jim Ryan, president and chief executive of the PlayStation division, said: “If just one million users enable this feature, it would save equivalent to the average electricity use of 1,000 US homes.”

The environmentally-conscious announcement was one of several made by game companies at the UN meeting.

Xbox maker Microsoft said it would set a new target to reduce its supply chain emissions by 30% by 2030, while Ubisoft, which has created franchises like Assassin’s Creed, will source materials from eco-friendly factories.

Together, the gaming industry has agreed to a 30 million tonne reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, to be achieved via improvements to energy management, packaging, and device recycling.

Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, said he was “encouraged by the commitment” shown by the industry, adding: “It shows recognition that we all must play our role in the global effort to lower carbon emissions and effect real change towards sustainability.”

2nd vaping-related death in Kansas brings national death toll to 9

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Another person has died from a severe respiratory illness linked to vaping, bringing the national death toll to nine.

The patient, a Kansas resident, was a man over age 50 who had underlying health conditions, according to a statement from the Kansas governor’s office announcing the death.

This is the second such death in that state. Other states that have reported vaping-related lung illness deaths are California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Oregon.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 530 cases nationwide, and state health departments are investigating hundreds more.

Patients have experienced coughing, fever, trouble breathing, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea and general fatigue. Some have needed to be hospitalized in intensive care units and placed on ventilators.

The majority of patients are between the ages of 18 and 34, and nearly three-quarters are men, according to the CDC.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said her state is working with investigators elsewhere in the country to compare notes on the illnesses.

“We are coordinating a response to combat this epidemic, so that families can avoid such tragic outcomes,” Gov. Kelly said in a written statement.

Patients have reported vaping a variety of electronic cigarette devices, including those containing THC, CBD, nicotine or a combination of those ingredients.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations previously launched an investigation into the products behind the illnesses, but has come up with no single device or ingredient that links all of the cases.

As the investigation continues, Michigan and New York have passed statewide bans on the fruity and minty e-cigarette flavors that health officials say are attractive to young people.

And the FDA proposed a rule that would permit companies to sell e-cigarettes only after they’ve shown the products would serve the public health. Companies have until May 2020 to submit that evidence to the FDA.

“Until these rules and regulations go into effect, education is our best defense,” Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said in a written statement.

“Talk to your kids. Talk to your grandkids,” he said. “Keep talking about these issues.”

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