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Snell wins 20th, ties Rays record in 4-0 victory over Texas

For Blake Snell, all the setbacks set up all these victories.Snell became the major leagues’ first 20-game winner in two years, helping pitch the Tampa Bay Rays past the Texas Rangers 4-0 Tuesday night.Snell (20-5) threw one-hit ball for five innings and tied the Tampa Bay record for victories in a season. David Price also won 20 in his Cy Young Award season of 2012.Little more than a year ago, things were much different.Snell, Tampa Bay’s 2011 first-round draft pick, was demoted to Triple-A Durham during last season with a 6-14 career record. Since returning to the Rays on Aug. 8, he’s 25-6.“Knowing what it’s like to struggle, that helps me a lot,” Snell said. “It’s always in the back of my head.”Snell won his eighth straight start. The 25-year-old lefty struck out five to reach 200 this year, walked two and threw 92 pitches, exiting with a 1.97 ERA.No one in the big leagues won more than 18 games last season. Rick Porcello won 22 in 2016, with Max Scherzer and J.A. Happ each winning 20.Tampa Bay has won four straight and 13 of 16 this month in a last-ditch attempt to wrest the AL second wild-card playoff berth from Oakland. The Rays began the day trailing the A’s by 6 ½ games.“It feels good being counted on,” Snell said, “because I know what it’s like to not be counted on.”“We’ve just been playing good team baseball when I pitch. The guys are helping me swinging it, playing defense, and I’ve been doing well as well,” he said.Manager Kevin Cash didn’t even pretend he knew Snell would win 20 games or strike out 200 this season.“No,” Cash said. “I think Blake deserves the bulk of the credit, but there’s been a lot of people in our player development system, (coaches) Kyle Snyder and Stan (Boroski), a lot of work has gone in. And I think our catchers deserve a lot of credit.”The Rays scored three times in the fourth against Yovani Gallardo (8-6). Willie Adames hit a two-run homer and Joey Wendle had an RBI double.Snell remained the AL leader in wins over Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, who won his 19th on Tuesday night.Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos had the only hit against Snell, a second-inning single.“His fastball command, it was not great today,” Chirinos said. “I was able to hit the breaking ball my first at-bat. After that, I thought he was going to throw me more fastballs, but he stuck with the same plan — changeup, changeup, changeup.”Three Rays relievers completed the four-hit shutout with four scoreless innings.Wendle tied a career high with four hits, including two doubles.Rays: C Jesus Sucre fouled a pitch off the top of his left foot. He was hobbling after the game, but X-rays were negative.Rangers: OF Joey Gallo missed his second game since fouling a ball off his right little toe over the weekend in San Diego. Manager Jeff Banister said, “I don’t foresee it lingering.”The Rangers were not shut out their first 75 home games through Sunday. Now Texas has been shut out on a total of only six hits in the first two games of this three-game series.They hadn’t been shut out back-to-back on consecutive nights at home since Detroit blanked Texas Aug. 13-14, 2016.The crowd cheered ex-Ranger Carlos Gomez when, standing at the dugout railing, he made a one-handed grab of a one-hop foul ball by Sucre.Rays: Diego Castillo (3-2, 3.24) will start as the opener for the fifth time in 11 days.Rangers: LHP Yohander Mendez (2-1, 3.86) will start the final game in the three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.(AP)

Whistleblower warns WADA of 'catastrophe' if Russia ban eased

Whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov said Tuesday the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) risked a "catastrophe for clean sport" if it lifts a suspension against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency later this week.Former Moscow laboratory chief Rodchenkov, who lifted the lid on Russia's doping scandal in 2015, said Russia could only be readmitted if it acknowledged the government role in the scandal and provided full access to past test results."WADA must not fall prey to manipulation and false assertions from the Ministry (of Sport), the same arm of the Kremlin that facilitated the doping program and asserted false compliance," Rodchenkov wrote in a USA Today editorial."To do so, would be nothing short of a catastrophe for clean sport."Rodchenkov's comments come two days before WADA meets in the Seychelles to discuss Russia's status.The global drug-testing watchdog revealed last week that its compliance committee had recommended lifting its three-year suspension after receiving assurances from Russia's Ministry of Sport.The apparent softening of WADA's stance triggered an outcry from athletes and national anti-doping agencies around the world, who accused WADA of caving in to pressure from the International Olympic Committee.Rodchenkov, one of the architects of the doping program exposed by WADA's investigations branch under lawyer Richard McLaren, urged the agency to hold firm in its demands."I feel it's important to clarify what is a clear and firm demand from WADA, that there must be a full recognition of the McLaren Report by Russian sports authorities and that they must hand over all evidence, including the database and all physical samples, in the Moscow laboratory," said Rodchenkov, who now lives in hiding in the United States."It is clear that given the circumstances we face in the standoff between WADA and Russia, and any decision by WADA to reinstate RUSADA -- which would then be followed by the reinstatement of the Moscow laboratory -- would be a catastrophe for Olympic sport ideals, the fight against doping and the protection of clean athletes."The United States Anti-Doping Agency has been scathing of the prospect of Russia being readmitted this week.On Tuesday, the United States Olympic Committee also urged caution, stating that WADA must make a decision that leaves athletes feeling they are competing on a "level playing field, without any doubts.""Anything that stops short of satisfying that will not only be a huge disappointment to the USOC and American athletes, but to the entire Olympic and Paralympic movements," USOC chief executive Sarah Hirshland said in a statement.(AFP)

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The Belt and Road

2018 Belt and Road International Forum held in Beijing

Masood Khalid, Pakistani Ambassador to China, speaks at 2018 Belt and Road International Forum in Beijing on June 28.The Belt and Road International Forum was held in Beijing on June 28, with the theme of “The Win-Win of the Belt and Road Initiative”. Nearly 200 Chinese and foreign guests attended, including officials, diplomatic envoys, experts and think tanks.Topics of discussion included international economic cooperation corridors, economic integration, regional connectivity, and cultural exchange.At the forum, the BRI Think-tank Alliance Presentation Platform, BRI Entrepreneurs’ Alliance and the BRI Fund of Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation were launched. "The Belt and Road" Think-Tank Alliance Presentation Platform is also launched here today in Beijing.“The Belt and Road” Think-Tank Alliance Presentation Platform aims to draw on the wisdom of the Belt and Road Initiative through further interactions with experts from various research institutions at home and abroad. It will conduct policy analysis, political consultation as well as sharing platforms for information, resource and achievement.Wang Xiaohui, Editor-in-Chief of CIIC, believes this platform will promote win-win cooperation among Asia, Europe and Africa by carrying out the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit.”“By facilitating exchanges between entrepreneurs and think-tank experts, we mobilize domestic and foreign experts to make targeted subject research and risk assessment reports on enterprise investment projects, provide “one - to -one” strategic consultation, to help solve their problems when going aboard, “he said. Honored guests jointly launch "The Belt and Road Entrepreneurs' Alliance" in Beijing, June 28th. “The Belt and Road” Entrepreneurs Alliance was co-established by CIIC, China World Peace Foundation (CWPF) and Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation (BJIPCF), and supported by China Enterprise Confederation and China Enterprise Directors Association. It will promote business case and experience sharing, inviting experts to give lectures, issuing country-level big data reports, holding analysis report on overseas investment environment and Belt and Road entrepreneurs forum, etc, as a move to enhance global cooperation on production capacity and help Chinese enterprises go global.Li Fugen, Vice President of CIIC, said that under the principles of policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, the Alliance will draw on information, resources, capital, business opportunities and talents to facilitate enterprises to increase visibility in global market. He also disclosed that this alliance would maintain close connection with embassies to China. Projects recommend by the embassies will be assigned to entrepreneurs by Belt.china.org.cn. "The Belt and Road" Fund of Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation, co-initiated by Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation, Beijing Jiangyin Enterprise Chamber of Commerce, and ZZ HD Health Industry Group, is also launched here today. “The Belt and Road” Fund of Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation was co-initiated by Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation (BJIPCF), Beijing Jiangyin Enterprise Chamber of Commerce, and ZZ HD Health Industry Group. With the funds donated by entrepreneurs, more favorable environment will be fostered for cultural exchanges among countries along the Belt and Road, thus advancing the Belt and Road Initiative and win - win cooperation.the most urgent one. For that reason, the Foundation will play an active role in providing investment and financing support for and preventing risks in economic and trade cooperation, bilateral or multilateral connectivity.The forum was co-hosted by China Internet Information Center (CIIC), China World Peace Foundation (CWPF), Beijing International Peace Culture Foundation (BJIPCF) and Jiangsu Normal University (JSNU); jointly organized by China.org.cn Belt.china.org.cn and China Development Gateway, and supported by Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Belt and Road Research Institute of Beijing Normal University, ZZ HD Health Industry Group and Beijing Hanyihuang Cloisonne Crafts Co. Ltd. (XINHUA)

2018-07-01

Work conference held in Yiwu for China, Czech to coordinate their efforts in promoting Belt and Road Initiative cooperation

By APD Writer He Wei The conference, which jointly organized by the western development department of the National Development and Reform Commission and the second foreign policy department of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade kicked off on June 6, 2018. It is of great significance in implementing the plan for China-Czech cooperation and promoting bilateral communication and cooperation. Both sides took a review on the development of the plan and held a talk over the cooperation prospects on trade, finance, think tank and projects. The priority work of the China and Czech cooperation in the next phase was discussed during the conference.Both sides reached an agreement on enhancing the cooperation on the field of policy coordination, facility connectivity, economic and trade, investment, finance and culture aiming at boosting the economy of both countries and benefiting the people. Almost 100 people from government officials, financial institutions, think tanks  and enterprises of both countries attended the conference.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

2018-06-06