Winners, grades, reactions and highlights from July 15th

As WWE continues its march to SummerSlam on July 30 in Nashville, the company hosted an episode of SmackDown on Friday night that introduced new women's champions... (Author: Gardener)

July 15thAs WWE continues its march to SummerSlam on July 30 in Nashville, the company hosted a Friday night episode of SmackDown that pitted new Women's Champion Liv Morgan against the ever-tough Natalya in singles competition. The blue-branded underdog titlist's first in-ring appearance was just an announced segment for a show that also featured the latest The Street Profits vs. The Usos rivalry for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships as well as Mr. Money in the Bank, Theory, and Madcap Moss, one of the competitors he defeated for the honor. Uso's SummerSlam MatchAfter Pat McAfee missed last week's broadcast following a sneak attack from Happy Corbin at Money in the Bank, Pat McAfee kicked off Friday's broadcast with an in-ring promo detailing the storyline between him and Corbin His normal, vivacious and charismatic self, McAfee sucked audiences into his promo and almost set off a "Douchebag Corbin" chant before the former King of the Ring interrupted the A-Show to greet new SmackDown Women's Champion Liv to introduce Morgan for her match with Natalya. The Queen of Harts put the titleholder on the defensive, forcing her to fight from below if she wanted to claim the win. She did so, overcoming a late German suplex and a sit-out powerbomb to give ObLIVion the pinfall win - the perfect opponent for Morgan at this point. She can get along well with anyone, and that was the case here, but she's also incredibly knowledgeable and the kind of seasoned competitor a young star would want to work with as she finds her footing in a new role. Morgan is always evolving and growing and evolving as a performer, and performances like this will only earn her management's trust. Whether that trust will be earned quickly enough for those in power to resist the urge to give Rousey her title back remains to be seen, but Morgan got it right early in that title run and became an insufferable jerk who would do anything for a dollar!" McAfee said of his former Indianapolis Colts teammate, "That's not monkeypox. That's Happy Corbin being allergic to being great," McAfee said in response to his rival's apology for not going in the ring with him." You know, you're doing a great job. Better than Kayla," Paul Heyman said as he interrupted Megan Morant's backstage interview with the youngest Mr. Money in the bank in WWE history, Theory. "You know, and I know I'm responsible for the biggest career break," Heyman told Theory, recalling his days as head of creative on Raw and briefly propelling the young star into the main roster . New Day's Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods answered two weeks of ass whipping by the NEW, VICIOUS Viking Raiders, coming into the ring dressed like the heels and wasting little time poking fun at them. This understandably brought Erik and Ivar out and after a short, dull promo, they marched to the square circle for the third consecutive attack by the popular tandem. Until Jinder Mahal and Shanky lunged at her, determined to take revenge for a punch that also left her. Erik and Ivar jumped to the ground and the Babyfaces (and Mahal) stood up to close the segment. That was...okay, but none of it was better than what we've already seen. The Viking Raiders are new and vicious, but seem even more struggling with engaging with audiences as generic brutes than they did a year or two ago when they were enjoying themselves as part of the 24/7 Championship nonsense . None of this really helps anyone involved, with the exception of Mahal, who in a month's time when he finally drops his guard and dances with Shanky might be the most cocky babyface on the list. Until then, you can expect more "meh" from this program. Backstage, Kayla caught up with Braxton with Gunther cutting a promo denouncing the idea of ​​failing and hacking Ludwig Kaiser again for losing to Shinsuke Nakamura last week. Gunther hacking fools will always be an asset. Woods, who kept the continuity of being terrible at accents, was much appreciated. The cameraman photographed Gunther from an angle to make him look even taller than he is. She repeated much of the same rhetoric from a week ago before heading to her scheduled match with Aliyah, this time with no physical interaction between them. It was okay and Evans is clearly a better heel than she is a baby face so there is certainly potential for her to establish herself as a force on Friday night. This, like so many of the blue brand shows in its entirety, felt more like a repeat than anything new or interesting. Hopefully the creative team resists the urge to do this again next Friday, because if they don't, fans will begin to resent and the sneers that greet Evans won't be the result of her great heel work, but rather her indifference against the same, the same. Speaking of replays, Drew McIntyre hit the ring for his match with Sheamus with a shot on the line for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle. Like last week, The Celtic Warrior delivered another bait and switch. McIntyre did not catch McIntyre off guard as the Scottish Warrior survived a brief offensive from Holland and carried him to victory with the Claymore. More of that here. McIntyre won to set up the inevitable showdown with Sheamus, but the match was dull at best. The repetitive nature of it all overshadows some damn good matches between McIntyre and Sheamus a few weeks ago, and that's unfortunate. C for the whole thing. "She's a special kind of specimen," McAfee said of Evans has never heard a military veteran talk about his history on duty just for fans to chant "fuck you." "I have no idea what's happening but I'm glad to be out here," McAfee echoed sentiments across the WWE Universe. McIntyre taunted Sheamus and delivered White Noise to Holland to set up the Claymore finish During the match between Madcap Moss and Theory, Paul Heyman again tried to get young talent to act in the best interests of the undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns by he approached the former and teased the idea of ​​Moss vs. The Tribal Chief. Moss declined the Special Counsel and entered the ring for the match with Money in the Bank's current briefcase holder. A hard-fought match came to an unsatisfactory end when a desperate Theory on the receiving end of a billowing Moss used said briefcase to blast the Babyface. Repeated gunfire ensued before ring announcer Samantha Irvin Moss announced the winner. "Who cares?!" exclaimed Theory before proclaiming himself the next Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. This brought out Sami Zayn and the Usos who forced Theory back into the ring area where Moss propelled him into the break. This was a surprisingly good match, highlighting two cast members on the brink of fame. The theory is obvious. He's won Money in the Bank, shared the ring with Steve Austin at WrestleMania, and worked with Mr. McMahon all year. He's the new chosen one and will be consistently in the main event sooner rather than later. However, Moss has gradually evolved into a red hot babyface who wins over the crowds and has them firmly in his corner by the end of the game. His power, intensity, and aggression is exactly what you're looking for in a top star of the future, and he hasn't disappointed since breaking free from Happy Corbin and starting this run, even if WWE Creative didn't necessarily have his back. Indeed, one could argue that Moss was more impressive than the guy with the briefcase here, and to those who are paying attention, that's not particularly surprising. Cole and McAfee were repeatedly impressed by Moss' strength, which helped keep the viewer interested and compelled him to sit up and pay attention. The theory of dismissing the game's ending while simultaneously addressing the future as if it were preordained is just great work from a tainted heel and exactly what fans will ridicule him well into the future. "Honorary Uce" Sami Zayn joined Michael Cole and Pat McAfee at the commentary position for the evening's main event, a showdown between The Street Profits' Angelo Dawkins and Jimmy Uso. Montez Ford and Jey Uso accompanied their respective partners. In the relatively rushed match, Dawkins benefited from a referee jab and the resulting dazed Charles Robinson, who scored the pinfall win after the sky high, although Uso's right shoulder was off the mat at the time after the match and recent referee controversy appeared Adam Pearce and announced that the special referee for the SummerSlam match between the two teams will be none other than Hall of Famer and six-time Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett.A Brawl closed the show, but nothing could match the over-brilliant announcement by Making up for Jarrett's role at SummerSlam in Nashville. Jarrett and Nashville go hand in hand as he grew up in Tennessee and founded Impact Wrestling in the city. His career is so intertwined there and he has absolutely earned the right to appear on that stage and be part of a match with the very real possibility of being the best of the weekend. The referee nonsense was a bit much for a game that only had a few minutes to play anyway, but it got us to the Jarrett announcement before ending the show with a wild brawl, so it can largely be forgiven. Props on Zayn, who was phenomenal in his comments and helped create some fun, engaging banter with McAfee, who he plays very well against. C for the match, Double A for ensuring Double J comes on the SummerSlam broadcast " I have a history of shoulder injuries, I know something about shoulders, and that shoulder blade was about a foot off the mat," Zayn said in a great line.


A priceless addition

The Ability Center of Greater Toledo is recruiting for a new litter of service dogs (Author: Gardener)

The Ability Center of Greater ToledoTOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The month of July marks the arrival of a litter of puppies with an important life purpose. Eventually, if all goes well, they will become service dogs that will be matched with new families by the Ability Center of Greater Toledo. Allison Leatherman first met her service dog, Taylor, three years ago, three years after the car accident that left her in a wheelchair. "At first everyone was like, 'You should get a companion animal,' but I was like 'No.' But eventually Leatherman accepted that none of those things were true. That's why everything changed when she brought Taylor to her house. She gave me purpose," Leatherman said. About three months after the new puppies are born, the Ability Center needs new foster families, or "puppy raisers." The organization's public relations manager, Mallory Crooks, said it was a challenge. So people are not sure about the opportunity because they are not sure how well it will fit into their life plan," Crooks said. All of the caregivers and volunteers throughout our organization don't pay a dime for anything.” Currently, the Ability Center has about 70 dogs in its program, and each one requires an investment of about $70,000 to raise and train. In addition to volunteering for a caregiver, you can donate money or buy items from an Amazon Wishlist online. Click here to submit an idea for Feel Good Friday with Sashem Brey. Please include the title when you click here to report it.


Phil Mickelson's trip to St Andrews ended on a whimper

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods both missed the cut at the Open Championship, but only one was sent off to a standing ovation. (Author: Gardener)

Phil Mickelson'sANDREWS, Scotland -- When Tiger Woods made his special walk onto the 18th hole on Friday at the Old Course, Phil Mickelson was as far away as he could get. Woods was showered with applause and brought to tears on the 18th. Mickelson was around the turn of this course, two miles from golf holes, spectators and gulls. That may have been perfect for Mickelson. It was a seminal moment in the golf year and in Woods' career, perhaps his swan song on the game's most sacred ground. Mickelson received nothing of the sort. Perhaps a few hundred spectators were hanging out in the stands as Mickelson crossed the Swilcan Bridge two hours after Woods. Woods essentially made this hike alone (out of respect from his playing partners), his hat in his right hand, held high in the sky. Mickelson ducked into line behind Lucas Herbert and his caddy, on and off the bridge in a jiffy. The Mickelson we saw this year is the calmest version of him we've ever seen. He's gone cold to the press and avoided ceremonial moments like this week's Open Champions Dinner, only to promise he couldn't be happier. Woods welcomed the ceremony all week, even though his Golf was so ugly. Woods isn't retiring, but he doesn't expect the next Open at St Andrews to take place until 2030 at his favorite spot on earth. In eight years, Woods will be 54 years old. Mickelson will be 60 years old. The age at which most of the game's legends tend to take one final spin at the Open Championship. Has he considered his last lap, or is that much too early? At the pace at which we're going, the professional golf landscape will look very different. For now, all we have is Friday at the Old Course, where Mickelson nodded and waved thumbs up around the property and golf fans interacted in the way they usually do in person, and respectfully swooned. He has now competed in two PGA Tour events this year and missed the cut in both. He has played two LIV golf events this year that are played without a cut. He only broke par once. His golf at St Andrews, he says, is almost good. His aura remains incredibly un-Phil Mickelson-like. In past iterations, Mickelson has competed in pre-Tournament Celebration of Champions hit-and-giggle. This week it was suggested that he pass, and he agreed. In years past, he'd taken breaks to take photos on the bridge, or at least look up while being cheered on. Mickelson kept his head down. In comparison, Woods posed for photos on the bridge all week, including a solo picture with Jack Nicklaus. This image will be placed in the World Golf Hall of Fame if not already done. The same is true for the photos of Woods, which will come up on Friday afternoon 18th. After the ovation, Woods spoke to the press for 13 minutes. He's never seemed happier shooting nine over nine. He spoke deeply about his feelings about how much respect he felt for Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas as he passed them in the fairway. He talked about how "it felt like the whole tournament was right there" as he tapped in for a final bogey on the 18th. Mickelson birdied on the 18th, which earned him all the applause he needed. He signed for a missed cut, as did Woods, then the R&A media department informed his team that three journalists were waiting to speak to him. The press secretary quickly whipped around the corner to pass the word, "Guys, that was a resounding 'no'."


Peanut Pusher reaches the summit of Pikes Peak on Friday morning

A man successfully pushed a peanut to the top of Pikes Peak on Friday morning. A man is said to have pushed a peanut up Pikes Peak with his nose 93 years ago. Now Bob Salem from Colorado Springs will be the first. Pushing the peanut up the hill is in honor of Manitou Springs... (Author: Gardener)

morningA man successfully pushed a peanut to the top of Pikes Peak on Friday morning. This achievement comes two days ahead of what would have been required to break a record. A man is said to have pushed a peanut up Pikes Peak with his nose 93 years ago. Now Bob Salem from Colorado Springs will be the first. Pushing the peanut up the mountain is in honor of 150 years of celebration of Manitou Springs city life. Before his trip, KRDO sat down with him. Salem insisted he wasn't crazy, just "eccentrically challenged." RELATED: 'I'm not crazy': Man hopes to break record by pushing peanuts up Pikes Peak Get content and info for must-see stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more straight to your inbox now . TO ADD THE 9NEWS APP TO YOUR ROKU STREAMING DEVICE: Add the channel from the ROKU store or search for KUSA. For both Apple TV and Fire TV, search "9NEWS" to find the free app to add to your account. Another Fire TV option is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.


Which prospects stood out in Friday's scrimmage?

Adam Sýkora scored and signed his entry-level contract, but what other New York Rangers prospects impressed during Friday's practice session? (Author: Gardener)

FridayTARRYTOWN — A week with Adam Sýkora left the New York Rangers optimistic about their second-round picks in this year's NHL draft. "How could you not like him?" Director of Player Development Jed Ortmeyer said. "He always has a smile on his face. He's got a great energy in the room so it's been fun getting to know him and working with him this week.” In fact, the Blueshirts were so impressed with the 17-year-old Slovakian that they wouldn't let him leave the MSG training center without to put pen to paper. Following Friday's prospect scrimmage that marked the end of this summer's development camp, Sýkora was promptly brushed aside and offered him the chance to sign his three-year entry-level deal. "I didn't expect that," he said with a beaming smile. More:Rangers reach out to Vincent Trocheck in centre: what it means for their future This came after the energetic winger became the first player to score during scrimmage. The first half ended in a goalless draw, with 20-year-old goalkeeper Dylan Garand withstanding pressure from Sýkora and the rest of Team White. But his goal – slammed into the net after a rebound that smashed the crossbar – opened the floodgates and sparked a 5-1 win over Team Blue. "These are my goals that I scored the most (last) season or in the World Cup," said Sýkora, who will either join the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL next season or return to Slovakia to play for to play HK Nitra. The 5-foot-10, 172-pounder was one of a few standouts from the scrimmage. It was no surprise that forwards Will Cuylle and Brennan Othmann and defender Matthew Robertson performed well. They entered the camp viewed as the most advanced prospects and left with that perception mostly intact. Cuylle and Othmann each met on Friday, with Cuylle serving as a menacing physical presence. The 6-foot-4, 209-pounder was a bull who came to the corners and net front where he hunted for tips and detours. Othmann is leaner and more skilled, but struggles to play up and down the ice. And when the 2021 first-round pick gets the puck in the offensive zone with a touch of an opening, he blasts his highly-regarded left-footed shot in a hurry. "They are definitely taking that step forward and doing everything we've asked them to do," Ortmeyer said of Cuylle and Othmann. We'll see how their game will determine where they end up in training camp.” Robertson also had an impressive week. Foot-4, 201-pounders and effectively getting the puck out of the D-zone. Despite being drafted in 2020, this was the former fifth-round pick's first development camp. "Lots of energy, competes, he's got some skills − he's kind of a water bug," Ortmeyer said. "He's getting ready for World Junior Camp (Team USA) here in a couple of weeks. He likes the big stage and he's got a bit of bragging so it's fun to watch him play threats on the ice.He was stopped by Garand on at least three high-quality scoring chances and set up teammates for a few others, including a couple while playing on the opposite wing of Cuylle.Additionally to his skill and offensive instincts, the 19- The 19-year-old was a reliable forechecker, chasing the puck carrier deep into his own zone to disrupt and create turnovers if he can continue to gain strength and overcome concerns about his size , he looks like a future third-line playmaker The fourth of 2019 The 21-year-old has never caught a shot he didn't like He's looking for every mo Ability to unleash h is a big right-handed slap shot. "That's a big part of my game, getting a good hard slap shot," he said with a big smile. “I think a lot of younger guys have a misconception about trying to do the pretty pass and all that stuff but just getting pucks to the net. He also runs well for a 6-foot-3 defender and uses that trait to aggressively “jump in the rush whenever he sees an opportunity. That led to a goal on Friday that gave Team White a 4-0 lead. Skinner said he's put on 20 pounds of muscle over the past year to haul over 200 pounds and expects to take it on after 13 points (four goals and nine assists) in 49 games for Hartford last season for a major AHL role. When we pick an MVP for scrimmage - and the week for that matter - it has to be Bobby T. That "internal engine" revved up from start to finish, with the 23-year-old winger being the most dynamic player on Friday appeared to be on the ice. There was no official shot count but he netted at least five in scrimmage and had a good fight with Garand, the keeper stole him a couple of times but Trivigno finally broke through with a wrist shot from the SL, leaving Team White with 2: 0 in the lead. The 5-foot-8, 161-pounder shields the puck incredibly well for his size and was able to create scoring chances from the rush when defenders were draped on him. His speed is an advantage and he uses it to carry the puck into the offensive zone when he has possession and to harass opponents when he does not have possession. He's also not afraid to toss his body around, as he showed while chasing the 6ft-7 Adam Edstrom in his very first shift for a hit. "He has a big heart," said Ortmeyer. “He plays hard, he competes and we are very happy to have him in our group. He got a taste of pro hockey at the end of the season last year, so he knows what it takes. He'll have a great summer and be ready for the training camp." It was a tough end for Garand, who unexpectedly rejoined Olof Lindbom after an injury. All three goals against Garand came after Lindbom's exit. Berard's shoulder seemed like the second-round pick of 2018 hitting the chest after a close-range save, which caused him to fall to the ground in pain and not come back."It's just better to be safe in July," said Ortmeyer, who didn't have details on the It was a particularly hard-fought game, with prospects keen to make their mark while team president Chris Drury, the management team and several scouts and coaches watched on. Cuylle, Jayden Grubbe, Victor Mancini and Matt Rempe were among those most physically fit players on the ice."We wanted to see competition," Ortmeyer said. "We wanted the guys to compete and fight for jobs and leave a good taste in the mouths of management and get us excited for September's training camp.” Mercogliano is the New York Rangers' beat reporter for the USA TODAY Network. Read more about his work at and follow him on Twitter @vzmercogliano.


Friday 15 July afternoon weather forecast

Friday 15 July afternoon weather forecast (Author: Gardener)

afternoonYou are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Democrats' two abortion rights bills seek to avoid 'a country of forced births' Rep. Strickland: 10-year-old Ohio rape victim 'a textbook example' of need for US abortion protections Man reunites with mother after two years, Sarpy Sheriff's Office polls Help identify four suspects involved in the July 4th attack One person died after a grain truck and train collided in Iowa Temperatures above average for the Central Plains and storms for the Midwest Heat remains in the South while severe storms hit the Northeast. Sweltering heat persists in south and west while severe storm threat hits north Ohio Valley Severe storm threat and sweltering heat for much of central and eastern U.S. Hear what this parmesan producer has to say about worst drought in 70 years Heavy rain in parts of the South as the Atlantic tropics become more intense. The heat continues to dominate the Southeast while severe storms are for Plains CNN climate crisis correspondent Bill Weir in New Orleans, where extreme heat has made it feel well over 100 degrees. Risk of flooding the Central Plains record heat for parts of the west and storms for the east. Remnants of Agatha threaten Florida as severe storms head east. Over 45 million under severe storm and tornado threat East Coast while dry conditions persist in West CNN10: The day's big stories explained in 10 minutes


Tiger Woods receives an emotional farewell from St Andrews

Tiger Woods said this will not be his last British Open. He just doesn't know if his body would be fit enough to keep up when he returns to the home of golf. (Author: Gardener)

Tiger WoodsST ANDREWS, Scotland — Tiger Woods took off his cap a few paces from the Swilcan Bridge, knowing Friday could be the last time he crosses at a British Open in St Andrews. Stop!" Some photographers cried out as they positioned themselves for another historic moment in the home of golf. Woods just kept walking, even as tears formed in his eyes. "That's when I realized - that's when I started thinking about it - next time it comes here I might not be there," Woods said. He said this won't be his last British Open. Woods just doesn't know if his 46-year-old body, which has suffered from multiple surgeries on both his legs and carried on his back would be fit enough to compete when he returned to the home of golf Woods mentioned the year 2030. Woods greeted the thousands of fans in the stands on the left and thousands more swaying from hotel balconies and Rooftops on the edge of the Old Course watching, some peeping through windows, others without a ticket, hanging up on the course fence on the street to the right of the 18th fairway Rory McIlroy saw him n the first fairway - starting his second round when Woods finished a 75 to miss the cut - and tipped his cap. Justin Thomas stood at the first tee and nodded to Woods. "As I got closer to the green, the ovations got louder," Woods said. It was here that Woods won his first Open in 2000, becoming the youngest player to finish a career Grand Slam. He won another maroon jug in 2005 at St Andrews, the year Jack Nicklaus ended his great championship career. No one has ever won an Open at St. Andrews three times, and Woods wasn't about to change that. The only thing that was ceremonial for him was his golf - a 78 on the first round, just a birdie on the second round despite the mildest conditions of the week. The Old Course, which had been relatively quiet all morning, came alive as he neared the finish. "People knew I wasn't going to make it," Woods said. "But the ovation got louder when I got home. And for me that was … just the respect. I have always respected this event. I've always respected the traditions of the game.” “I put my heart and soul into this event over the years,” he said. "And I think people appreciated my game." Woods gave them little to celebrate in what might be his final round at St Andrews. After ripping his drive over the Old Course Hotel sign and into the 17th fairway, hotel guests and spectators lined up against the wall in front of the hotel and the Jigger Inn. The grandstand behind the 17th was full, and six people were standing deep in the space behind the street and the grandstands. It was similar when Nicklaus last played in 2005. He was 65 and had announced months ago that it would be his last Open, his 166th and final Major. Everyone knew it was coming. Even Woods doesn't know his future, only that he was grateful - and happy - to play an open on the Old Course just 17 months after his car accident in Los Angeles and to have broken enough bones that doctors decided to amputate his right leg thinking . He went to the 18th tee, the home hole. He said all he could think about was whether to hit 3-wood or 5-wood. But as he walked off the tee and approached the bridge, he noticed that his caddy, Joe LaCava, was lagging behind. So did Matt Fitzpatrick and Max Homa, who had an emotional day with the greatest golfer of their lives. I got goosebumps," said Fitzpatrick, who won his first major with the U.S. open won. "I just looked around and saw everyone getting up and gave him a standing ovation when he came down 18. "It's totally deserved and I think towards the end you could see he was a little bit emotional too. Not even Woods could deny that. He chipped a mid-iron to about 4' for one last birdie chance, a fitting send-off. Thomas, Shane Lowry and Viktor Hovland were on their second shots to the first hole. They all turned to watch Woods finish. All that mattered to Woods was an ovation, which he won't forget. "It's very emotional for me," he said. “For me it felt like this was my last British Open here in St Andrews. And the fans, the ovation and the warmth, it was an amazing feeling, I understand what Jack and Arnold (Palmer) have been through in the past. That's how I felt at the end."


Friday 15 July morning weather forecast

Friday 15 July morning weather forecast (Author: Gardener)

morningYou are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Russian missile attack on civilians in Vinnytsia kills over 23. Wife of US Navy officer convicted in Japan of fatal crash asks government help Ivana Trump, first wife of former President Donald Trump, dies. More Ukrainian civilians have been injured and killed, raising questions about whether they are targets The Sarpy Sheriff's Office is asking for help identifying four suspects involved in the July 4 attack, sports forecast New shark species could be by 2050 reach British waters Why sharks are important to ocean ecosystems Severe thunderstorms carve a path of destruction through the mid-Atlantic History comes to life at the oldest operating lighthouse in the US Break down what you see in groundbreaking new images from NASA see Above-average temperatures for the Central Plains and storms for the Midwest Heat remains in the South while severe storms hit the Northeast. Severe storm risk persists in the South and West, while severe storm risk hits North Threat and sweltering heat for much of the central and eastern US Heavy rain over parts of the South while Atlantic tropics intensify Heat continues to dominate the Southeast while Heavy storms are possible felt well over 100 degrees flooding in the Central Plains record heat for parts of the West and gales for the East. Remnants of Agatha threaten Florida as severe storms head east. Over 45 million under severe storm and tornado threat East Coast while dry conditions persist in West CNN10: The day's big stories explained in 10 minutes


Simon While on the demoralization of the humanities and what to do about it

The humanities operate under a culture of managerialism - could the answer lie in reconnecting old traditions with post-1960s progressivism? (Author: Gardener)

post-1960sWhat state is the Australian academic humanities in? The signs are everywhere, but let's just say that when humanities scholars get together these days, the conversations inevitably revolve around a single topic: how bad things are. The humanities are not alone in this. We all work under management regimes - let's call them neoliberal - that care about things like efficiency, job safety, profits, productivity, compliance and fulfilling the strategic plan. This widespread deterioration in working conditions affects the humanities in a special way. For centuries, the humanities have been the place where cultural values ​​and understandings have been developed and discussed; where the story was uncovered; where heritage has been preserved and valued; where abstract thoughts were allowed to roam freely. Therefore, neoliberal managerialism, with its loyalty to market forces rather than to values, traditions, ideas and people, is particularly damaging to them. Those who appreciate the importance of the humanities tend to delve into them first. In theory, the humanities are important to culture as a whole; in practice they are mainly of importance to themselves. This circularity limits and further demoralizes the humanities. In trying to overcome this circularity, it is helpful to recall the history of European humanities. Broadly speaking, they have gone through three phases since their inception in their modern form some six centuries ago. First they took over from the church the responsibility for the cultural and spiritual life of independent lords. By 1800, the Germans had come up with a name that stuck for this type of secular spiritual cultivation: education. At the same time, the humanities disciplines solidified. In the mid-19th century, a liberal arts education meant simultaneously nurturing and training in the processes and science of a particular discipline. In its next phase, the humanities were given responsibility not only for the cultivation of an individual, but also for the flourishing of citizenship. With the rise of political democracy in the late 19th century, the ruling class came to believe that the populace needed a liberal arts education in order to exercise their power responsibly. People had to develop their capacity for critical reflection and analysis, their appreciation of sacred cultural heritage, and their civic virtue. That way, it was thought, democracy, now in the hands of the working class, would not descend into populist chaos. In the first two phases of humanities history, academics were viewed as independent professionals with autonomy to shape their own workplace ecology and purposes. They were regarded as holders of a worthy office, which ultimately was not the responsibility of the university that happened to employ them, but of the discipline in which they had been trained over the years. Education is thought of economically. Its first value is to increase national economic productivity; his second to secure good jobs for graduates. Although the humanities have a larger economic function than they are often credited with, they remain secondary in terms of gross domestic product and the labor market. That is the main reason why they are marginalized by politicians and business interests that are almost exclusively concerned with economic prosperity. Government funding changes are interfering with the purpose of universities Viewing the education system as a tool for economic productivity has changed everything. When I started my academic career in the 1980s, universities were still self-governing institutions, run primarily by academics for their students and themselves. Department heads (there were departments back then), deans, even rectors were academics. The universities were democratized. The old technical colleges were renamed "universities"; the "binary system" became the "uniform national system". The proportion of student participation in the total age cohort has quadrupled between 1970 and 2000 astonishingly. University construction projects increased, as did marketing budgets. To pay for it, universities became globalized corporations. Students became paying customers. International students (who are less likely to take liberal arts courses) became the most attractive customers because they could be billed more. Courses became a commodity that was increasingly taught not by salaried academics but by precariously placed teachers on temporary contracts. Administrators became bosses with total control of the institution whose primary concern was sales and profits (as well as their own salaries, which went into the stratosphere). The few in power at universities rarely collaborated meaningfully with those who taught and researched. Today, even low academic managers often know little about the people or disciplines they are asked to lead. After education was considered an economic tool, the humanities also changed internally. They are shared in new ways. Above all, a post-disciplinary humanities have emerged. Traditional disciplines—philosophy, history, English, the classics, art history—are often viewed today by both managers and students not as practice and science built up over centuries, but as limitations to be liberated from. New programs, studies and degrees are proliferating. Almost anything can be studied without the need for disciplinary training. Courses such as media studies, law, museum studies and international relations are attractive because they produce graduates who are supposedly “ready for work”. However, since students are primarily registering for the certificate, many of these courses do not teach any practical skills at all. They teach "theory" in a new liberal democratic mindset - more or less the same theory and mindset across the board. Stop telling students to study STEM instead of humanities for the post-coronavirus world. With the emergence of these new programs and fields, the traditional humanities disciplines reactively mutated into the “old humanities” so that they began to condemn and censure their successors. Even people who do not remember the traditional structure and values ​​of the university (and that will soon be not only all students, but also all scientists) can feel that the ancient humanities require a long training, a slowly acquired understanding of the past of a discipline, a breadth of knowledge and sympathy. Old and new humanities are in conflict because a similar methodological and conceptual legacy of reflection, a similar archeology of discovery is mostly not present in the present-centred new humanities. And because the ancient humanities, embedded in history, have a less utilitarian ethos than the new post-disciplines. At the same time, a new prestige economy has developed. The ancient humanities are still at the top of the world. Internationally, the most renowned universities, even in Anglo-Saxon countries, have not yet fully followed the post-disciplinary path. Arguably, the post-disciplines dominate Australian humanities more than anywhere else in the world. But academic prestige remains with Oxbridge and the Ivy League, where the ancient liberal arts still reign. In Australia, the ancient liberal arts is increasingly being supported by upper-middle class students who can afford the cost of tuition without worrying too much about debt and immediate job prospects, alongside some students who love subjects in the ancient liberal arts enough to do so Take the risk of sacrificing something for them. And I don't think we should forget the small group of students who receive scholarships to study more traditional subjects at the Ramsay Center for Western Civilization or at some sandstone universities. A certain elitism, which is historically decisive for the humanities, is reinforced here again. Arts education faces massive cuts – but its value is felt everywhere What is remarkable is that this new turn in the humanities – the turn to managerialism, to postdisciplinarity, to economism – happened at the same time as the humanities were swinging further to the left. Neoliberal managerialism and the new humanities have common roots. As many studies have shown (e.g. recently Gary Gerstle's The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order), the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, which spawned a range of liberation movements - civil rights, feminism, anti-colonialism, LGBT rights - also offered Space for the coming neoliberalism. Both movements - neoliberalism and radicalism of the 1960s - are committed to freedom and the breaking down of barriers. Both are secular and culturally egalitarian. The radicalism of the 1960s was unique in that it did not primarily involve class struggle or economic justice; it was more about lifestyle and recognition of marginalized identities. In 1968, radical students demanded that their education leave the ivory tower and become “relevant”—relevance that neoliberalism has provided, albeit on unexpected terms. The left turn in the humanities is not in itself a threat to the market-oriented business model of the universities. But the fact that the post-disciplinary humanities and neoliberal managerialism swim in the same historical stream does not mean that if you study law or international relations, for example, you will hear much praise for neoliberalism. A dismay at the devastation that an intensive market orientation wreaks on long-cherished values ​​and that seeps autonomy into areas that help generate markets. However, when conservative politicians lament that the educational system has been taken over by "Marxists" or (in the United States) by "Critical Race Theory," they are pointing to the manner in which the educated public has embraced the progressive values ​​of the humanities . The educated public has so successfully assimilated the ethos of the 1960s, which is also that of the academic humanities, that this ethos now defines a class - the "knowledge class" that Thomas Piketty has called the "Left Brahmins". This is the class that just helped remove the liberal-national coalition from power, for example. I think Piketty is right when he argues that left Brahmin resentment from those who cannot, or at least cannot have, join the educated elite is one of the most powerful drivers of contemporary politics, at least in English-speaking countries. It fuels the populism exploited by Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison, and with it a right-wing politics of defiance against the humanities. As George Orwell noted decades ago in The Road to Wigan Pier, there is something repulsive about progressivism, embraced by those unfamiliar with the struggles and sheer physical wear and tear of those without the proper certificates. In the popular view, the humanities scholar embodies such gilded radicalism. Of course, it's not as if all humanities scholars subscribed to the entire program of the left after the 1960s. In the ancient humanities at sandstone universities, courses such as Elizabethan drama, the history of medieval Korea, or the grammatical structures of Indo-European languages ​​are still taught. Such courses do not need to be organized around progressive sensitivities. Nonetheless, those academics - a small fraction - who wish to, for example, push back denunciations of the historical role of the white man or extol the canon of the "big books" tend not to speak in public or even in the classroom. The defunding of arts degrees is the final battle in a 40-year culture war The defunding of arts degrees is the final battle in a 40-year culture war In the universities, the humanities, especially the old liberal arts, are demoralized, torn by managerialism and many more are humanities scholars just as precariously employed as everyone else. But they are also on the side of the winners of the Kulturkampf. I'm talking, of course, about computers, the Internet and everything related to it. Digitization came about at about the same time as university managerialism and neoliberal hegemony. The Internet itself is widely believed to have been invented in 1983, five years before Labor Party Education Secretary John Dawkins took the first steps to democratize and govern the university system in Australia. The World Wide Web was introduced to the public in 1993 during the boom in undergraduate enrollments, about a decade after the introduction of the first microcomputers. Social media started a little later, in the second half of the first decade of this century. On the one hand, digitization facilitates knowledge retrieval in a way that professions and institutions cannot control. In fact, the humanities today live as much online as they do in universities. Digitization has also changed everyday working life and the feeling of work at universities - especially in the humanities - this time for the worse. Let me enumerate just a few of their implications as they affect the state of the humanities. Since the emergence of COVID, it has now become a matter of course for students to have a right to online teaching. There was a time when small groups of students and teachers would meet weekly to discuss a specific topic. The intimacy and charisma that once flowed sometimes (only sometimes!) through the teaching of humanities disciplines in classrooms and lecture halls has been diluted almost to the point of disappearing. Because large courses are easier and cheaper to teach and administer than small ones, thanks to computers, managers have radically cut back on the range of courses, with the result that course content has become more general and superficial. Likewise, departments have been closed and merged into large and immature schools, increasingly administered online from the university center. 2. Computers have changed the way academics work. Academics do much more mindless work today than they used to. 3. Computers have allowed managers to take full control. This is just as true at universities as anywhere else. Universities have succumbed to what French economist Cédric Durand has dubbed "techno-feudalism." There is less and less room for academics to do their own thing, out of sight of the machine, out of sight of the bosses, out of reach of the routine forms they have to endlessly fill out. There's little room to be inventive or friendly or, when it comes to being interestingly eccentric. 4. Digitization has helped turn students away from the old humanities. Although the Internet is a memory palace and a hive of humanities activity, it has changed the objects of attention and the nature of students' attention. Books encourage practices and habits of learning and concentration that were once embraced by the humanities but are difficult to sustain online, not least because of the seductive power of social media. This transformation alienates students from the old humanities. I know that what I have described will not be new to us in the industry. Speaking openly about our demoralization and the reasons for it in classrooms and in public is a step in the right direction. But critical openness doesn't do much in practice, not least because those who could change something about the situation - the university management and their payers, namely politicians and the students - don't hear us. But there could be a crack in the system: these fee-paying students. As it turns out, the students didn't rebel against their exploitation for one simple reason. You pay for a certificate and not for the content of your training. Still, I think that if the ideological message conveyed to them in the liberal arts can be refocused, at least some students might become restless enough in the future to put pressure on the system. As I have already indicated, the Australian humanities have combined the spirit of post-sixties progressivism with passivity in the face of degradation by managerialism, digitization and neoliberalism. We need to be able to more firmly connect the traditional humanities with the intellectual, moral and political advances of progressivism after the 1960s. We must develop the new progressive worldview that does not accept the global dominance of a white, European, carbon-emitting, patriarchal oligarchy. At the same time, we must uphold the old disciplines and their protocols and canons, even though they were mostly established by elitist, Eurocentric, white men. If we could accomplish this feat, we could keep alive the old continuities and promises of education and civic virtue, but under new terms. It would be socially radical left, culturally more conservative. Such left-wing conservatism would not only allow the past, in the form of the ancient humanities, to judge and censure the present; it would allow the future, in the form of a progressive social hope, to also tribunalize the present. Our current situation certainly requires all the scrutiny and imagination it can get.


The dominant Evans leads after Friday morning's sweep

Toyota's Elfyn Evans has stormed to the top of Rally Estonia after winning all the stages on Friday morning, while points leader Craig Breen withdrew from the race overnight. (Author: Gardener)

morningEvans put in a flawless performance in the four gravel tests, extending a 12.5 second lead over Hyundai's Ott Tanak while championship leader Kalle Rovanpera was third, 18.7 seconds back. After winning Thursday night's Super Special, M-Sport's Breen dropped from the lead to fourth before a mistake in Stage 4 resulted in his retirement. Hyundai's Thierry Neuville finished the morning lap in fourth place despite struggling with the balance of his i20 N, while Toyota's Esapekka Lappi struggled with a brake problem to finish fifth ahead of M-Sport's Adrien Fourmaux. After rolling his Toyota in the shakedown, Takamoto Katsuta came into service in seventh while Gus Greensmith, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Oliver Solberg completed the Rally1 field. Rain had been expected for the crews on Friday morning but instead it was glorious sunshine that would hamper the order of the best on the now dusty gravel stages. It was Evans who emerged as the pacesetter as the Welshman made the most of his sixth place on the road coupled with a brave ride to claim the stage win. Evans had feared a bad jump early in the test, but the Toyota driver and the majority of the field opted to take the fall carefully. Tanak announced at the end of the stage that he suffered a drop in power towards the end of the pass. Rovanpera, who was forced to clean the streets, set the third fastest time, some 7.9 seconds back, and admitted he was "lucky" after hitting a rock that caused minor damage to a right rear wheel. Overnight leader Breen was a further 0.4s slower ahead of Neuville, while Lappi reduced the time as he struggled with a braking issue that sapped his confidence. En route to Stage 3, Evans continued to battle Tanak as the Toyota driver emerged 1.0s faster than the Estonian, who was relieved to have his Hyundai back at full power. The effects of street cleaning cost Rovanpera further time, but the Finn stayed in the running, just 4.8s slower than Evans and 1.1s faster than Breen. The top four were beginning to drift away from Neuville, who was struggling for confidence on the fast gravel roads. Meanwhile, Lappi's braking problem worsened, although the Toyota driver managed to limit the loss to 10.7 seconds. There were no such problems for Evans as he clinched a hat-trick with stage wins on stage four and claimed the honor by 4.3 seconds over Rovanpera who managed to go 0.9 seconds ahead of Tanak. It was a challenging stage for Hyundai as both Tanak and Neuville made modifications to their cars prior to the stage that adversely affected performance. Neuville lost 10.0 seconds after revealing he was "struggling a lot to keep the car straight" during testing. At the front, Evans completed the clean stage wins on stage five as he led Rovanpera by 1.8 seconds while Tanak continued to battle with his car to set the third fastest time. Greensmith gave M-Sport some hope by setting a time good enough for fourth place, 1.1s faster than teammate Loubet, who luckily escaped a run-in with a drainage ditch. The field is doing a second run of the morning stages this afternoon.