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Los Angeles Rams GM Les Snead Talks About the Value of Draft Picks

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IRVINE, Calif. — Six months ago, as the Los Angeles Rams celebrated winning Super Bowl LVI with the usual parade and pep rally, their top front office executive took a cheeky victory lap of his own.

Les Snead, the Rams’ general manager, built the team’s win-or-bust roster with trades for quarterback Matthew Stafford and other key players by offloading 12 of Los Angeles’s draft picks ahead of last season. Most observers viewed it as an all-in bet that the Rams could win now, not wait to build a team based on potential. Basking in the victory at the parade, Snead wore a T-shirt that bore his face and the profanity laced internet meme about his view of draft picks that emerged around him and his aggressive approach.

The Rams’ bold methodology cut against conventional approaches to roster construction in the N.F.L., where draft picks are typically coveted because they allow teams to sign potentially impactful players at the lowest salaries allowed.

U.S. Rules Out Releasing $3.5 Billion to Afghanistan’s Taliban-Controlled Central Bank

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The US has no plans to release $3.5 billion in frozen funds to Afghanistan’s Taliban-controlled central bank, but will look for ways to benefit the country’s people directly, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

“We don’t see recapitalization of the Afghan central bank as a near-term option,” Price told a briefing. He said the US doesn’t have confidence that the bank will use the money wisely or keep it from falling into the hands of terrorists.

Price’s comments signaled that the Biden administration has abandoned any possibility of releasing the money directly to the government after it was revealed that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had been living in the heart of Kabul for some time before he was killed in a drone strike in late July.

Read More: Biden’s Decision to Quit Afghanistan Is Still the Right Call

The assets were frozen after US forces withdrew from Afghanistan a year ago and the Taliban took over. US officials had been meeting Taliban leaders in Uzbekistan as part of efforts to reach a settlement on the money.

Zawahiri’s presence on Afghan soil only underscored concerns that the Taliban wouldn’t keep the money from benefiting terrorist groups, Price said.

The funds make up half of the $7 billion in frozen Afghan assets held in US financial institutions. President Joe Biden in February issued an executive order allocating half of the money for distribution to families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, while reserving the remainder for “the benefit of the Afghan people.”

How Quitting a Job Changed My Work-Life Balance

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We asked people who quit their jobs during the “Great Resignation” how it changed how they approach work. This is what they told us.

‘Wordle’ #424 Hints, Word Puzzle Clues and Answer—Wednesday, August 17

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As much as we love Wordle, the online brainteaser can stump us all at times, as seasoned professionals and newbies alike can find it difficult.

This is why Newsweek has compiled a list of tips and tricks, to help you figure out the latest Wordle.

The game’s developer, Josh Wardle created Wordle for his puzzle-loving partner Palak Shah. He began working on the game in 2013 and later returned to the project in his spare time, during lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you can do so here. The premise of the game is fairly simple, it requires players to guess a five-letter word in six attempts or less.

The puzzle is color-coded, and this helps you figure out the answer. So when a letter is in the right position, it will turn green. Any letters that are in the word but have been placed in the wrong position will turn yellow. Letters that aren’t in the word will become gray.

It became such a worldwide success that The New York Times Company bought Wordle from its original creator in January 2022 for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.

Other Wordle-inspired puzzles include the music-based Heardle, the math-based Nerdle, and the challenging Quordle, which requires players to solve four words in just nine attempts.

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Anne Heche Revealed Who She Wanted to Play Her in Biopic Before Death

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Anne Heche opened up on the two actresses she would choose to portray her in a biopic of her life just months before she died.

Heche, 53, passed away on August 12 from brain injuries she sustained a week earlier during a fiery accident after her Mini Cooper crashed into a Los Angeles home.

Only a few months before her untimely death, Heche was quizzed about who would play her in a movie documenting her turbulent life.

In a foretelling of the tragic events to unfold, the Men In Trees actress revealed she had already given the question a lot of consideration.

Heche shared which two actresses she would want cast on the Behind the Rope podcast.

Anne Heche knew exactly which actresses she wanted to portray her in a biopic of her life
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

“If they were going to make a movie about your life and they were going to cast a young, Anne Heche at the start of your career [does] any actress come to mind?” podcast host David Yentef asked her.

“I’ve already thought about it,” she declared.

Without skipping a beat, Heche declared she wanted either Miley Cyrus or The Good Place’s Kirsten Bell to play her.

“The two of them share a personality and ability to face the world in a way that I would want [because I have].”

Heche revealed an affinity for Cyrus because they both started as child actors—Cyrus as Hannah Montana and Heche in local theatre before starring in TV series Another World.

“I started when I was 12 supporting my family it was in dinner theatre in New Jersey making $100 a night,” she said.

The actress marveled at Cyrus’ ability to play two characters on Hannah Montana and then her transition into a global pop superstar in adulthood.

“To go from Disney to Wrecking Ball… that’s a pure artist, engaging with the world to give them the best possible time. She’s also a great f**king actress,” Heche explained.

She then revealed she loved Kirsten Bell who “gave me my second Emmy nomination,” after they played mother and daughter in the 2004 Lifetime movie, Gracie’s Choice.

“I see myself a lot in her,” Heche said, praising the actress for her talent and sense of humor.

“I don’t think it’s any mistake I played her mom and I want her to play me.”

But in an ominous twist, Heche also came up with the idea in the podcast to play her own mother in the biopic.

“That would get ratings,” she joked.

Heche suffered critical injuries in the dramatic crash on August 5, with footage appearing that also showed Heche’s vehicle reportedly hitting an apartment complex’s garage moments before the collision that would take her life.

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Indian-American Congressman introduces legislation in US House on CAATSA sanctions waiver to India

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WASHINGTON: Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna has introduced a legislative amendment in the US House of Representatives to provide a waiver to India against the punitive CAATSA sanctions for its purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia arguing that this will strengthen defence partnership between New Delhi and America.
The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was brought in 2017, provides for punitive actions against any country engaged in transactions with the Russian defence and intelligence sectors.
In October 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the then-Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions.
“While India faces immediate needs to maintain its heavily Russian-built weapons systems, a waiver to sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) during this transition period is in the best interest of the US and the US-India defence partnership to deter aggressors in light of Russia and China's close partnership,” says the legislative amendment moved by Khanna, the Democratic lawmaker from California.
“The historic amendment will strengthen the US-India defence partnership and ensure that India does not face crippling sanctions at a time when we need to build the alliance,” Khanna told PTI, a day after introducing the legislation.
“It is an utmost significant and urgent initiative to broiled the US-India relationship. I am hopeful my colleagues will pass it on a bipartisan basis,” Khanna said in response to a question.
The legislative amendment says that India faces immediate and serious regional border threats from China, with continued military aggression by the Government of China along the India-China border.
Noting that India relies on Russian-built weapons for its national defence, the legislative amendment says that the United States should take additional steps to encourage India to accelerate its transition off Russian-built weapons and defence systems while strongly supporting India's immediate defence needs.
The US has already imposed sanctions on Turkey under the CAATSA for the purchase of a batch of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.
Following the US sanctions on Turkey over the procurement of S-400 missile systems, there were apprehensions that Washington may impose similar punitive measures on India.

Woman Backed for Pretending to Go ‘Missing’ on a Hiking Trip

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A man and his brother who “repeatedly” left his girlfriend and her friend behind on a challenging hike before they went “missing” have received a storm of criticism on online forum Reddit.

In a post shared on Reddit’s Am I The A**hole (AITA) subforum, the girlfriend (user cattiskillys) said she, her friend Paula as well as her boyfriend Jack and his brother Tyler made plans to go hiking and the user suggested an doing “easier flatter trail” because Paula would be hiking for the first time.

In a later post, the user said: “Everything about the planning of the trip made it obvious it was meant to be a slower paced walk on a beginner trail with chatting and snacks. Not a f***ing trail running day.”

However, on the day of the hike, “we started at a normal pace and the guys just kept going faster,” the poster said.

Paula later joked that they “should stop chasing and let them [the men] wonder” and the user suggested they “just hang out at the viewpoint until the guys noticed, or found us on the way back down.”

A couple carrying backpacks while walking along a hiking trail in a forest.
iStock/Getty Images Plus

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), every year more than 600,000 people go missing in the U.S. and tens of thousands remain missing for over a year—what many agencies consider “cold cases.”

However, the number of those who have gone missing in America’s vast wilderness is unknown, as both the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service don’t keep track of this figure, The New York Post reported in July 2020.

But according to David Paulides, the founder of The North America Bigfoot Search (a database of wildland disappearances that took place under “mysterious circumstances”), there are at least 1,600 people still missing in the wild across the U.S., the Post reported.

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Great White Shark the Size of a ‘Four-Wheel Drive’ Attacks Teen Fishing

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A giant great white shark the “size of a small four-wheel drive,” attacked and bit a teen who had been fishing in Australia.

Luke Pascoe, 17, had been spearfishing off Mistaken Island, near Goode Beach in Albany when the great white shark attacked, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development said in a statement.

The teenager told 9News that he looked down and spotted the shark “cruising in front” of him.

“It took one turn, had a look at me, took another turn, and on that last turn it just came straight for me and bit me on the legs,” Pascoe told the news outlet, who said he then went into shock.

“You don’t really realise you’ve been bitten by a shark,” he said. “So I gritted my teeth and kicked as hard as I could with both legs just trying to get back to shore or at least to a point where I felt the shark couldn’t get me anymore.”

A stock photo shows a great white shark baring its teeth. A great white shark attacked a teen in Australia.
Peter_Nile/Getty

Pascoe told ABC that his best friend Connor Shirley saved his life after giving him a piggyback to shore.

When Pascoe had been bitten, Shirley noticed what was happening and sprung into action. Shirley told 9News that he thought he was dreaming at first.

“It was huge, the size of a small four-wheel drive,” he told the news outlet.

The teen made a tourniquet from his dive belt to stop his best friend from bleeding and piggybacked his friend 2km to shore, ABC reported.

“I owe my life to him. I was lying in bed last night and I was thinking to myself how lucky I am to still be here,” Pascoe told ABC.

Pascoe was rushed to hospital and where they found several lacerations on his lower leg. He is currently still in hospital recovering.

Great white sharks can be found in coastal areas around Western Australia. They sometimes swim into the shallows, in areas where people swim. Despite their infamous reputation, great white sharks do not actively hunt humans.

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Russia’s daily Covid cases cross 30k for first time since March

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MOSCOW: Russia reported 33,106 new daily coronavirus cases on Wednesday, authorities said, the highest figure since mid-March this year.
Sixty-three people in Russia died of coronavirus over the past day, the country's taskforce against the virus said.
Russia said in early July that it was ending all restrictions to combat the spread of Covid-19, including the requirement to wear masks, citing a steady decline in deaths from the virus.
However, it did not rule out re-introducing restrictive measures if the situation deteriorates.

Crimea ‘sabotage’ highlights Russia’s woes in Ukraine war

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KYIV: A spate of fires and explosions has turned Russian-annexed Crimea from a secure base for the further invasion of Ukraine into the latest flashpoint highlighting Moscow's challenges ahead in a war that is nearing the half-year mark.
A statement from British defence intelligence on Wednesday that "Russian commanders will highly likely be increasingly concerned with the apparent deterioration in security across Crimea, which functions as rear base area for the occupation."
Even Russia itself acknowledged it was an "act of sabotage" that caused Tuesday's explosions and fires that ripped through an ammunition depot near Dzhankoi in once-secure Crimea, leading to chaotic scenes when around 3,000 people had to be evacuated.
As a vivid reminder of Russia's vulnerability in Crimea, detonations at the depot near Dzhankoi were still continuing on Wednesday.
A week earlier, Russia's military in Crimea already came under pressure when Ukraine said nine Russian warplanes were destroyed following explosions. At the time, Moscow still offered the possibility of a wayward cigarette butt as the cause.
No such explanations would suffice anymore as the war, which had long centered on brutal fighting in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, has now given southern Crimea increasing importance.
Worsening the outlook in Crimea was a report by the Kommersant business paper, that explosions had also taken place near Gvardeyskoye in the center of the peninsula. By Wednesday, there still was no comment from the Russian authorities.
The British intelligence report said Gvardeyskoye and Dzhankoi "are home to two of the most important Russian military airfields in Crimea."
Ukraine has stopped short of claiming responsibility for any of the blasts, including those at another Crimean air base last week. Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has used it to launch attacks against Ukraine in the war that began on February 24.
If Ukrainian forces were behind the explosions, that would represent a significant escalation in the war. Such attacks could also indicate that Ukrainian operatives are able to penetrate deeply into Russian-occupied territory.
On the eastern front, the stalemate between both sides continued, with the brutality of the shelling causing ever more death and destruction.
In the Donetsk region at the forefront of the Russian offensive, two civilians were killed and seven others were wounded by recent Russian shelling of several towns and villages.
Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers fired cruise missiles at the Odesa region overnight, leaving four people injured, according to Odesa regional administration spokesman Oleh Bratchuk.
In the southern city of Mykolaiv, two Russian missiles damaged a university building early Wednesday but injured no one.
The Russian forces also shelled Kharkiv and various parts of the Kharkiv region overnight, damaging residential buildings and civilian infrastructure but inflicting no casualties.
On Thursday, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres plans to travel to Ukraine for a meeting in the western city of Lviv with Zelenskyy and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are expected to discuss the grain shipments and a possible fact-finding mission to the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shelling.