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Magic finally get a playoff game at home; OKC, Indy on ropes

Orlando returned to Florida with home-court advantage. Indiana and Oklahoma City are seeking some home-court magic. A trio of Game 3s in the NBA on Friday night - Toronto at Orlando, Boston at Indiana and Portland at Oklahoma City - have three very different story lines. The Magic got a split of their first two games with the Raptors, the Pacers are reeling after a late-game collapse in Game 2 left them trailing the Celtics 2-0, and the Thunder have seemed completely out of sorts as they've gotten into a 2-0 hole against the Trail Blazers. "I still don't think we understand how good a team we can be when we play well," Magic coach Steve Clifford said. Indiana had a great chance at getting a split slip away late in Game 2 at Boston. The Pacers have now lost 16 of their last 24 games overall, are looking at a fourth consecutive first-round ouster and have never won a series after losing the first two games. Having said all that, the Celtics are leery of a letup. "We know anything can happen in the playoffs," Boston guard Kyrie Irving said. The Thunder have shot the ball horribly from the outside, but more than anything else have been doomed by one bad quarter in each of their first two games against the Trail Blazers. In Game 1 (a five-point loss), they lost the first quarter by 14. In Game 2 (a 20-point loss), they lost the third quarter by 16. Oklahoma City is 2-14 this season when shooting 41 percent or less, which includes both of the two games. Despite that, Thunder star Paul George said he has a simple message for teammates. "Keep shooting," George said. "We're going to make shots. Keep shooting. We missed shots, so what? Keep shooting." A look at Friday night's games: RAPTORS AT MAGIC Series tied, 1-1. Game 3, 7 p.m. EDT, ESPN. NEED TO KNOW: Orlando is...

Rabbis: 'Not kosher' to buy at grocery store during strike

BOSTON (AP) - As thousands of Stop & Shop workers remain on strike in New England, some Jewish families are preparing for Passover without the region's largest supermarket chain, which has deep roots in the local Jewish community. A number of rabbis in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have been advising their congregations not to cross picket lines to buy Jewish holiday essentials at the store that one analyst says has the highest sales of kosher products among New England grocery stores. More than 30,000 Stop & Shop workers walked off the job April 11 over what they say is an unfair contract offer, a claim the company disputes. "The food that you're buying is the product of oppressed labor and that's not kosher," said Rabbi Barbara Penzner, of Temple Hillel B'nai Torah, a reconstructionist synagogue in Boston. "Especially during Passover, when we're celebrating freedom from slavery, that's particularly egregious." Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen, of Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel, a conservative synagogue in New Haven, Connecticut, cited ancient Jewish law prohibiting artisans from taking the livelihood of fellow artisans. Tilsen said that ban is akin to the use of replacement workers by companies during labor strikes, which Stop & Shop has employed. "I am not making any judgment about the current strike," he stressed. "I am stating that we, local Jews, must respect the workers' action." But at Temple Shalom, a reform synagogue in the Boston suburb of Newton, Rabbis Allison Berry and Laura Abrasley said it's ultimately a personal decision, though one they suggest should be framed within the American Jewish community's long history of supporting organized labor. "Jewish law is interpreted in different ways," they said via email. "We encourage our...

Study: Genetic test predicts middle-aged obesity risk

NEW YORK (AP) - Can a genetic test identify newborns at risk of becoming severely obese by middle age? Researchers say they have come up with one, and that it might allow interventions in childhood to avoid that fate. The test examines more than 2 million spots in a person's genetic code, seeking variants that individually nudge a person's obesity risk up by a tiny amount. The researchers drew on previously published data about those variants to create a risk score. A high score didn't guarantee obesity, nor a low score rule it out. But middle-aged people with scores in the top 10 percent were 25 times as likely to be severely obese as those in the bottom 10 percent, scientists reported in a paper released Thursday by the journal Cell. Those two groups were separated by an average weight difference of about 29 pounds (13 kilograms), researchers said. Analysis showed the genetic propensity to obesity began having an effect on weight around age 3. Up to about age 8, "you might be able to make a difference in the kids who are born susceptible to obesity," said one author of the study, Dr. Sekar Kathiresan of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. But it will take further research to see whether intervening would work, Kathiresan said. The results for middle age came from a study of about 288,000 people. Overall, the risk-score research included data from more than 300,000 people at various ages. Severe obesity was defined as a body mass index of 40 or more. Results show genetic inheritance "plays a large role in how heavy one gets," Kathiresan said. The risk score probably takes about half of a person's genetic propensity into account, he said, and it shows similar accuracy in predicting ordinary obesity, defined as a BMI...

Perspective | ‘Yes, yes, yes’: Before he became a Boston Marathon champion, he was a boy learning about sports and his own abilities in Maryland

Gwena and Gerry Herman were driving along Interstate 95 when they learned of the win. The boy who had joined their Baltimore athletic program at 2 years old and who had trained with it through high school had won the men's wheelchair race at the Boston Marathon. Not only had Daniel Romanchuk taken first place, the 20-year-old had become the youngest person ever and the first American in 26 years to do so. "Yes, yes, yes," Gwena Herman posted on her Facebook page. "So so happy for him!!!" Then 10 minutes later: "So so exciting. Daniel is one of the hardest working athletes we have ever had come out of the program!!" Then three minutes later: "No sprint to the finish this time. Total domination!" The Boston Marathon is known for showcasing the human body's potential and in that sense, Romanchuk's victory was no different. It showed an athlete at the top of his game. His 1 hour, 21 minutes and 36 second finish was the culmination of years of training and discipline. But his win also showed something else. It showed the significance of a phrase he heard often while growing up and training in Maryland and which he has been known to reference in interviews: "Teach kids they can before someone tells them they can't." That is the motto of the Bennett Blazers, the adaptive sports program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute that Gwena and Gerry Herman started in 1989. The program, which is a chapter of Disabled Sports USA, has helped hundreds of children with physical disabilities participate, and many times excel, in sports they might not have been able to try otherwise. "Often times, parents come to our program, and all they've been getting is negative news," Gerry Herman told me. Those parents have been told mostly about what their children can't do. Herman said he gets to...

Cherono wins at the wire

Boston Two-time Boston Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa turned onto Boylston Street with a sliver of a lead, leaning in front of two other runners with the finish line in sight. Unfortunately for him, one of them was the fastest man in the field. Lawrence Cherono needed every bit of his speed to outkick Desisa in a sprint to the tape on Monday, passing him just steps away from the finish line to win the 123rd Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 7 minutes 57 seconds. Desisa, who won in 2015 and 2013, the year the race was overshadowed by a bombing at the finish line, eased up after realizing he was beaten and finished 2 seconds back. Kenneth Kipkemoi was third, another 8 seconds behind, one of seven Kenyans in the top 10. "It was no man's race to win," said Cherono, who had won in Seville, Prague, Honolulu and twice in Amsterdam but never in a major marathon before. "I kept on focusing. And at the end, I was the winner. I'm so grateful, so happy." Worknesh Degefa broke away from defending champion Des Linden and the rest of the women's pack in the Framingham flats and ran alone for the last 20 miles to claim the $150,000 first prize and a gilded olive wreath from Marathon, Greece. The 28-year-old Ethiopian, who set a national record while finishing second in Dubai less than three months ago, won in 2:23:31. Kenya's Edna Kiplagat was second, reducing a gap of more than two minutes to 42 seconds at the finish. American Jordan Hasay was third and Linden was fifth. "Seeing Degefa go out - you know her ability, you know what she's done and you wonder how it translates to this course," Linden said. "But when she starts putting down those super quick miles, you say 'All right, this is her race to lose.' She becomes the outlier and you let her just go and hope that she might come...

Correction: Election 2020-Bill Weld story

BOSTON (AP) - William Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts who two years ago ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket, on Monday became the first Republican to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 primaries. Weld, 73, said in announcing his candidacy that "it is time to return to the principles of Lincoln - equality, dignity and opportunity for all." He said, "There is no greater cause on earth than to preserve what truly makes America great. I am ready to lead that fight." Weld has accused Trump of leaving the nation in "grave peril" and has said his "priorities are skewed toward promotion of himself rather than for the good of the country." While Trump's overall approval ratings have been poor for much of his presidency, he remains popular with Republican voters. The Republican National Committee in January issued a nonbinding resolution to declare the party's undivided support for Trump. The move by Weld makes Trump the first incumbent president since George H.W. Bush in 1992 to face a notable primary challenge. Fiscally conservative but socially liberal, Weld is known for an unconventional, at times quirky, political style and a long history of friction with the party he now seeks to lead. Weld endorsed Democrat Barack Obama over Republican nominee John McCain in 2008, later saying it was a mistake to do so, and has enjoyed a decadeslong friendship with the Clintons, which began early in his career when he served alongside Hillary Clinton as a lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate proceedings. Weld's nomination by President Bill Clinton to be U.S. ambassador to Mexico touched off a bitter public spat with then-Sen. Jesse Helms, a conservative Republican from South Carolina who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Years earlier, Weld was among a...

A column suggested waiters could ‘tamper’ with Trump officials’ food. Amid backlash, the Boston Globe pulled it.

The roughly 1,200-word op-ed that appeared on the Boston Globe's website Wednesday began with the author looking back on one of his "biggest regrets" in life - "not pissing in Bill Kristol's salmon." "I was waiting on the disgraced neoconservative pundit and chief Iraq War cheerleader about 10 years ago at a restaurant in Cambridge and to my eternal dismay, some combination of professionalism and pusillanimity prevented me from appropriately seasoning his entree," wrote Luke O'Neil, a Boston-based freelance journalist and regular contributor to the Globe's opinions section. (O'Neil has also contributed to The Washington Post.) By Thursday evening, amid fierce backlash from critics who decried its contents as "hateful, divisive, counter-productive rhetoric," the Globe first revised the piece and then took the unusual step of pulling it entirely. Rather than quell the outrage, though, the decision incensed others, including O'Neil, who slammed the publication's integrity. The Globe did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Thursday. As O'Neil wrote in the column posted Wednesday morning, his trip down memory lane to the Kristol meal was triggered by the recent resignation of former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Nielsen was one of several top Trump Cabinet officials who had been forced out of restaurants and movie theaters over their ties to the current administration's controversial policies, and O'Neil argued that the trend should continue. Watching people such as White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., get "shown the door," O'Neil wrote, was "one of the only times it seemed like any of the architects of this ruinous xenophobic pre-pogrom might be forced to contend, however briefly, with the consequences of their policy decisions." (In her...

JetBlue to offer flights to London from NY and Boston

After mulling it over for a long time, JetBlue is taking a leap - across the pond, that is. JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes announced Wednesday that the airline plans to start flying to London from New York and Boston in 2021. Hayes said customers want the service, and it will strengthen JetBlue in key Northeast markets. The airline hasn't picked which London airport it will use. JetBlue shares rose 58 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $16.92 in anticipation of the widely rumored announcement. The CEO made it official during an employee gathering at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. JetBlue leaders have been talking about the possibility of flights to Europe since mid-2016, around the time they announced plans to tweak their Airbus orders to get a longer-range plane. Hayes said the airline waited until the right plane came along, a single-aisle plane with plenty of range to avoid the need for costlier two-aisle or "widebody" planes. JetBlue will convert an existing order with Airbus to acquire 13 A321LR jets. They will be outfitted much like the Airbus planes that JetBlue flies on transcontinental routes but with more lie-flat seats in the premium cabin, which the airline calls Mint. "This opens up a number of markets that haven't traditionally been served in this way," Hayes said in an interview. "You can anticipate other European destinations. It puts cities like Dublin and perhaps Amsterdam in scope." The trans-Atlantic market is highly competitive. The three largest U.S. carriers all fly across the Atlantic in revenue-sharing deals with big European carriers - American Airlines has a deal with British Airways and Iberia; United Airlines teams up with Germany's Lufthansa; and Delta Air Lines has partnerships with Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic. Delta...

Business Highlights

___ Capitol Hill hearing on online hate sees it firsthand WASHINGTON (AP) - A congressional hearing on online hate turned into a vivid demonstration of the problem when a YouTube livestream of the proceedings was bombarded with racist and anti-Semitic comments. YouTube disabled the live chat section of the streaming video about 30 minutes into the hearing Tuesday. Executives from Google and Facebook are appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, defending their companies' efforts to screen out hate speech. ___ France softens stance ahead of May plea for new Brexit delay BRUSSELS (AP) - Chances that Britain would crash out of the EU Friday without any future plan appear to be shrinking. Tough-guy France softened its stance and showed willingness to accept yet another delay in the long-awaited Brexit. But British Prime Minister Theresa May still has a rough day ahead of her at an EU summit Wednesday. ___ Airbnb reverses, will allow listings in Israeli settlements SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Airbnb is rescinding its plan to bar listings in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The company says it has decided to allow listings throughout the entire West Bank, but will donate any of its profits from the region to humanitarian aid organizations. ___ Mnuchin says he'll 'follow the law' on Trump tax returns WASHINGTON (AP) - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that his department intends to "follow the law" and is reviewing a request by a top House Democrat to provide President Donald Trump's tax returns to lawmakers. But in Capitol Hill appearances Tuesday, Mnuchin dodged over whether he would comply with the request to supply Trump's tax returns by Wednesday and he also said he has not promised to authorize the IRS to supply the returns. ___ Putin outlines...

Medias Rojas alzan banderín de la Serie Mundial

BOSTON (AP) - Diez trofeos. Los Patriots de Nueva Inglaterra llevaron sus seis trofeos de Super Bowl al Fenway Park el martes para ayudar a los Medias Rojas de Boston a celebrar su nuevo cetro de la Serie Mundial, y presentar un nuevo banderín delante del Monstruo Verde por cuarta vez en 15 años. "Recuerdo mi primera vez, cuando llegué en el 2000, todo el mundo hablaba sobre la maldición. Nunca pensamos en la maldición", dijo Manny Ramírez, el Jugador Más Valioso de la Serie Mundial de 2004, la que acabó con la sequía. "Llegamos, ganamos dos, y ahora ellos han ganado otros dos. Es increíble. Cuando ves estos trofeos, entonces te das cuenta de que valió la pena, el venir aquí". Los ex astros de los Medias Rojas Pedro Martínez, David Ortiz e incluso Curt Schilling entraron al terreno antes del partido inaugural de temporada en casa contra los Azulejos de Toronto, cuando se les entregaron los anillos de la Serie Mundial a los campeones de 2018. Entonces, Rob Gronkowski y Julian Edelman, el Jugador Más Valioso del Super Bowl, encabezaron a una decena de Patriots _ portando un sexteto de trofeos Lombardi _ a la lomita para el primer lanzamiento ceremonial. Todo ello ayudó a alegrarles los corazones a los fanáticos de los Medias Rojas que esperaron pacientemente durante la ceremonia de una hora por el regreso de los campeones defensores a sus predios tras un pobre comienzo de campaña de 3-8 como visitantes. La espera se acabó. Han pasado más de tres meses desde que Boston tuvo la oportunidad de celebrar un título deportivo, cuando los Patriots vencieron a los Rams de Los Ángeles en el Super Bowl. Eso coronó una serie de 12 títulos deportivos desde 2001 _ los Bruins en hockey y los Celtics en la NBA ganaron uno cada uno _ para una ciudad que...

Wynn Resorts removes security head after he admits to spying

BOSTON (AP) - Wynn Resorts removed its security chief after he acknowledged spying on a former employee following allegations of sexual misconduct against company founder Steve Wynn came to light. CEO Matthew Maddox said James Stern, the executive vice president of corporate security, was informed Saturday the company would "no longer require his services," according to a lengthy legal brief to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission released Tuesday. Stern told the commission last week he'd surveilled company co-founder Elaine Wynn and three employees, including one named in The Wall Street Journal's 2018 report about the misconduct allegations. Steve Wynn has denied the sexual misconduct allegations. The gaming commission, following last week's hearings, is deliberating privately on whether Wynn Resorts is still suitable to hold a state casino license as it plans to open the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in June. A written decision is expected later. Stern, a former FBI agent, testified he'd sent undercover operatives to monitor current and former employees, including former Wynn casino stylist Jorgen Nielsen, who was a named source in the Journal's January 2018 story. It's not clear who the other two persons surveilled were, but, in its Tuesday memo, the company stressed that neither Nielsen nor the others were victims of Steve Wynn's alleged misconduct. The company also said Stern's surveillance of Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of Steve Wynn, happened around 2012 and stemmed from an unrelated lawsuit brought by Kazuo Okada, a Japanese billionaire and fellow Wynn Resorts co-founder. Elaine Wynn told regulators last week she disclosed to company officials in 2009 a $7.5 million payout Steve Wynn made to a female employee who'd claimed he'd raped and impregnated her. . ..

LEADING OFF: Red Sox get rings, Puig gets new nickname

A look at what's happening around the majors Tuesday: BOSTON BASH The Red Sox are set to receive their 2018 World Series rings ahead of their home opener at Fenway Park. Boston plans to unveil a championship banner, and ceremonies will include a flyover by four F-16 jets prior to the first pitch. The club will sport gold-trimmed hats and jerseys, as well. One member of last year's team who won't attend is Craig Kimbrel. The All-Star closer and current free agent declined an invitation. The 2019 season hasn't been quite so sparkling. Boston returns from a season-opening West Coast swing 3-8, and the starting pitching has been especially suspect. Chris Sale (0-2, 8.00 ERA) faces Toronto in the home opener. His fastball has averaged 90.7 mph over his first two outings, down from 95.4 mph last season. EL GUERRERO ROJO The Reds have lost eight straight since an opening day victory, a skid they'll try to end against the Marlins. Cincinnati went 30 innings between runs during one stretch, though the offense has scored 10 times over the past two games. The team has still shown some fight - or at least Yasiel Puig did during a bench-clearing fracas with Pittsburgh on Sunday. Images of Puig trying to take on the entire Pirates team - on a day when Pittsburgh wore its bright yellow throwback uniforms - went viral immediately, and fans are already printing them on T-shirts featuring a new nickname for the Cuban slugger - "El Guerrero Rojo," or The Red Warrior. DEGROMINATOR Jacob deGrom (2-0, 0.00 ERA) is back on the mound for the first time since striking out a career-best 14 against Miami last week. His Mets take on Minnesota at Citi Field. The NL Cy Young Award winner has 24 strikeouts over 13 innings this season, extending the NL's longest active scoreless streak to 26 innings and his record stretch of starts...

Author of 'The Woman's Hour' headlines Literary Festival

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (AP) - NEWBURYPORT - Elaine Weiss, author of an acclaimed novel about women's fight for the right to vote, will headline the Newburyport Literary Festival on April 26-27. Weiss will discuss her book, "The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote," in a conversation with author Linda Hirshman during the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Market Square. The theme of the free 14th annual festival is "Open a Book, Open Your World," and the two-day event will feature such authors as Russell Banks, Eric Jay Dolin, Joyce Maynard, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Andre Dubus III and Hank Phillippi Ryan, as well as numerous poets, screenwriters, nature writers and journalists, reading from and discussing their work. Weiss is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She also has been a frequent correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. According to her biography, her long-form writing garnered a Pushcart Prize Editor's Choice award, and she is a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Her first book, "Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army in the Great War" was excerpted in Smithsonian Magazine online and featured on C-Span and public radio stations nationwide. Her latest book, "The Woman's Hour," tells the story of women's long crusade for the right to vote, and the forces of history, culture and politics that made the quest so difficulty - including the racism that came close to defeating the cause. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, a new author on the schedule this year, has received praise for his first book, "Friday Black," a collection of short stories that tackles important instances of racism and cultural unrest. A...

Labor Dept proposes new rules on joint employer standard

NEW YORK (AP) - The Labor Department is proposing new rules to determine whether companies can be considered joint employers, sharing control over workers in one of the businesses. The proposed rules announced last week would affect companies including those that are franchises or that are in a contractor/subcontractor relationship. There has been controversy and litigation over the joint employer standard in recent years. The Labor Department's proposal creates a test to help determine if a company is a joint employer: - Does the company have the power to hire or fire a worker? - Who supervises and control the employee's work schedules or conditions of employment? - Who determines how much employees are paid and how are they paid? - Who maintains a worker's employment records? The current joint employer standard has been on the books since 1958; under it, companies must exercise "direct operational and supervisory control" over employees to be considered joint employers. But in 2015, under the Obama administration, the National Labor Relations Board said in a contractor/subcontractor case that it will consider factors such as whether a company exercised control over employees "indirectly through an intermediary, or whether it has reserved the authority to do so" in determining whether companies are joint employers. That decision was criticized by small business and franchise groups who said it would take away small companies' control over their workers. The International Franchise Association said at the time that individually-owned franchises, which are often small businesses, could be drawn into national labor disputes between unions and franchisors. There were concerns that individual owners wouldn't have the final say over matters like how much they...