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Bhutan, the remote Himalayan kingdom famous for measuring gross national happiness, on Tuesday took the first steps to lift its coronavirus lockdown, saying there was limited community transmission.The country of 750,000 people between India and China — one of the few nations in the world that have yet to register a virus death — has so far recorded 225 infections.”Experiences in many countries reveal a surge in Covid-19 cases, mostly detected in the second week of post-lockdown,” Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, a doctor who continues to practice on weekends, said in a television address late Monday. “Which is why our re-opening strategies should be gradual.”The shutdown was first imposed in early August after a Bhutanese woman tested positive after interacting extensively within the community. She had earlier tested negative.The health ministry said the lockdown was being gradually lifted as there had been an uptick in cases in recent days but no widespread community outbreak.It added that most new cases were from confined clusters or quarantine facilities where Bhutanese returning from overseas have to stay for 24 days. Under the new guidelines, people will be allowed to leave their homes for non-essential activities like walking from Tuesday to Thursday.In the following three days, public transport would resume. Private travel would be allowed after that.If there is no major outbreak, the government would further relax other restrictions.International flights to the isolated nation remain suspended. Topics :
The Gilbreath sisters always knew they wanted to play college basketball together.When the sisters, senior guard Briana and redshirt junior guard Stefanie, looked at schools in Northern California during the recruiting process, they couldn’t agree on one they both wanted to play for. Once they got to Southern California, the only school on their radar was UCLA.Back to basics · Women of Troy junior guard Stefanie Gilbreath is back in the lineup. Gilbreath was sidelined for her first three years at USC because of multiple knee injuries. She averages three points per game. – Luciano Nunez | Daily TrojanBut once the sisters saw the UCLA campus, they knew it wasn’t the right fit.Though they were done with the West Coast and were ready to head back to their home in Texas, their cousin, a club basketball coach in California, told them they should visit USC.After taking their cousin’s advice, the Gilbreaths were sold on becoming Trojans. And so began their sister act on the women’s basketball team.With Stefanie constantly battling injuries throughout her last few seasons on the team, the journey hasn’t been an easy one for the Gilbreath sisters.“It’s been a real roller coaster, with all the injuries, trying to get back,” Stefanie said. “But everything happens for a reason, and I’ve had a great team be there with me. My team, trainers, coaches, my sister, my family — they have all been very supportive and I probably wouldn’t even be here without them.”But after three years of sitting out because of various ailments, Stefanie is finally getting some playing time this season.“I’ve been waiting a long time to play alongside her,” Briana said. “For me and her personally, it’s good for us. We get that feeling of being on the court just like we were in high school, and it’s a bond that really can’t be replaced.”Stefanie also expressed happiness in being able to play alongside her younger sister again.“There’s always been that one year when we don’t play together, but for it to be three years or two years, it was really weird,” Stefanie said.Getting back on the court and reaching her full potential won’t come automatically for Stefanie, and she is well aware of the fact that she can’t do it alone.“Now it’s starting to come together,” Stefanie said. “My teammates have been working with me to make sure I know all the plays. They have been helping me get back to what I know and how I played.”With Stefanie back in action and Briana already a leading scorer for the Women of Troy, the Gilbreath sisters are certainly back in business. The idea of two sisters playing on the same college team isn’t unheard of, but it is rare. Even more rare, according to Briana, is leaving Texas to play a college sport elsewhere.“Growing up in Texas, it’s all about sports in general,” Briana said. “Everyone loves sports. It’s really tough to get out of Texas. You have Texas A&M, University of Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor and all these different schools that try to get you to not leave Texas. It’s tough to leave the area and go somewhere else, especially California. It was a tough decision, but I think we made the right one.”This season, which was rocky at first for the Women of Troy, brought with it the third-toughest schedule in the nation, according to RealTimeRPI.com, and some hard losses in the preseason. Regardless of the troubles USC faced at the beginning of its journey, recent wins — including a narrow victory over UCLA — have given the team new momentum.“At first it was kind of rocky but we have to remember we played a lot of top-25 teams in the preseason,” Briana said. “We learned from our losses obviously, and we started off the Pac-12 pretty strong. We have really found our identity as of lately, and it is going really well.”Now that Briana is in her last year and Stefanie is in her second to last year, the two Women of Troy share yet another goal for the future: to play in the WNBA. With such a long history of togetherness behind them, it probably wouldn’t be surprising to anyone if they played professional basketball as a duo as well.
Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies PreviousDodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the plate during the second inning of Friday’s game against the Nationals at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor watches his RBI triple during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Friday, May 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 10: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a RBI triple past a diving Adam Eaton #2 of the Washington Nationals in the fourth inning of the game allowing Alex Verdugo #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to score a run at Dodger Stadium on May 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 10: Alex Verdugo #27 is congratulated at the dugout by Joc Pederson #31 and manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after scoring a run in the fourth inning of the game against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on May 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 10: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers crosses the plate after hitting a lead off solo home run in the first inning of the game against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on May 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gives a thumbs-up before the team’s baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Friday, May 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 10: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run, for his second of the game, in the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on May 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson (31) celebrates his solo home run with third base coach Dino Ebel during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Friday, May 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 10: Relief pitcher Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers in the seventh inning of the game against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on May 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the plate during the second inning of Friday’s game against the Nationals at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)NextShow Caption1 of 10Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the plate during the second inning of Friday’s game against the Nationals at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)ExpandLOS ANGELES — In baseball’s version of the gig economy, Joc Pederson has been making the most out of a part-time job.In fact, if Pederson is not the most productive platoon player in baseball, he is certainly one of the most dangerous in that reluctant membership. He hit two solo home runs to back a four-hit shutout as the Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 5-0 on Friday night.“Obviously every player wants to be in there every day, thinks he’s the best option,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Pederson’s role. “Teams sort of stack the lefties against us, as far as starters, at times and that sort of cuts into his consistency. But he’s not letting it affect him, which is easier said than done.“He’s doing a good job of preparing every day and waiting for his number to be called. And when he does … the numbers don’t lie. He’s been productive.” “It’s tough. It’s definitely something that I’ve had to work on,” Pederson said of living with his limitations. “Obviously we’ve had some long runs of lefties this year where … I had a really good game the night before but I don’t play for a few days. It’s tough to pick up where you left off and that’s what you want to do obviously. But you’re just out of rhythm a little bit.“So it’s a mental grind and you just have to stick with it, I guess. I don’t know. I’m still working on it.”A combination of low batting average (.229) and high impact that confuses some, Pederson checks all the boxes for a creature of the launch-angle era – he strikes out with frequency (27 times), walks a fair amount and hits the ball a long way when he makes contact. He has more home runs than singles (10) this season.“He knows the strike zone. He’s always been good at that,” Roberts said. “Now you layer in that the mechanics are sound and knowing where the barrel is at. I think if you look back a couple years ago there was a lot of hard contact, but it was on the negative (angle), on the ground.“Now you kind of work in the mechanics piece that he’s cleaned up. So now you’ve got the barrel, you’ve got the nice trajectory, knowing the strike zone – he’s going to slug. … It’s a very dangerous combination.”Though he said he doesn’t “try” to hit home runs, his swing certainly looks like he does.“That’s fair to say,” Pederson acknowledged. “I think I have an overly aggressive swing. I definitely try to hit the ball hard because I think good things happen when you hit the ball hard. But, yeah, the goal is to hit the ball on the barrel as much as possible.”Related Articles Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire While Pederson was slugging, Kenta Maeda was cruising. The right-hander’s walk rate has climbed to worrisome heights this season – a career-high 4.2 per nine innings through his first seven starts. Those worries were engaged when Maeda walked Adam Eaton to start the game.But 28 of his next 39 pitches found the strike zone and he retired 18 of the next 20 batters he faced through six innings. Wilmer Difo’s leadoff single in the third inning was the Nationals’ only hit and Maeda walked Gerardo Parra with two outs in the fourth.“Walks have been my problem throughout my outings this year,” Maeda said through his interpreter. “But not aiming too much for the batter to swing at a pitch out of the zone, changing my mindset helped me out today.”None of the Nationals’ baserunners advanced past first base until Julio Urias worked himself into a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the eighth. Max Muncy got him out of it with an excellent diving play at third base.Urias retired the side with less drama in the ninth to close out the shutout and earn his second save this week. Friday’s production came in the first and fifth innings off Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez. The leadoff home run was the 14th regular-season leadoff homer of his career (third this season), tying him with Rafael Furcal for the second-most in franchise history (well behind Davey Lopes’ 28).“I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it,” Pederson said when asked if there is something in his approach as a leadoff hitter. “Good energy to start the game, trying to get a good pitch to hit. I wish I had a better answer for you.”In the fourth, Nationals right fielder Adam Eaton dove for Chris Taylor’s shallow fly ball and came up empty. Alex Verdugo scored from first base on the two-out triple to make it 2-0.An inning later, Pederson led off by clubbing a 2-and-1 sinker into the seats down the right field line.It was his 12th home run of the season and third multi-home run game – despite his cemented status as a platoon player. All 12 of Pederson’s home runs (and 25 of his 26 starts) have come against right-handed pitchers. That matches Christian Yelich for the most home runs against right-handed pitching by any hitter in baseball this season.