The BBC’s Jonathan Head was at the protest Police in Thailand have used tear gas and water cannon against pro-democracy protesters outside the country’s parliament.Protesters protected themselves with inflatable rubber ducks which they had planned to float along the river behind parliament whilst inside MPs discussed reform.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Last week, we took a look at the past five World Series champions and the midseason trades they made to boost their championship chances.The impacts were undeniable, with either a push toward October or actual World Series performance: Justin Verlander in Houston (2017), Nathan Eovaldi in Boston (2018), Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist in Kansas City (2015), Jake Peavy in San Francisco (2014) and Aroldis Chapman in Chicago (2016). MORE: Here’s how to watch ‘ChangeUp,’ an MLB whiparound show, for free on DAZNSo it’s understandable if fan bases with high expectations are more than a bit steamed now that the only trade deadline of the 2019 season has come and gone and their favorite teams did next to nothing.These five teams who fancy themselves contenders — either for a World Series title or a playoff spot — did little to address very obvious needs.1. DodgersWhat they needed: They’ve had the best record in the NL since, well, forever. That lineup is stacked and the rotation is outstanding if everyone’s healthy (as expected) for October. But the bullpen? That’s a different story. It’s OK. It’s not awful. But OK bullpens rarely win championships. They needed to add an established late-innings piece to pair with closer Kenley Jansen (who has a career-worst 3.67 ERA, btw), and they were connected to the biggest names out there, but Shane Greene went to the Braves and the Pirates wound up not trading Felipe Vazquez. What they did: Nothing, really, aside from left-handed specialist Adam Kolarek. The Dodgers have a loaded farm system but opted to hold onto their prospects this time around.What that means: Internal options have to come through. Young starter Dustin May, one of those elite prospects who stayed, could break into the bigs in a relief role. Kenta Maeda has pitched out of the bullpen in October in recent years, so he could go back there, too. And other guys have to be better. 2. YankeesWhat they needed: We chronicled the Yankees’ recent pitching woes here , so we’ll just give you a couple numbers and let you dig into the other article if you’d like. In an eight-game stretch, they allowed 79 runs and every single starting pitcher had an ERA of at least 11.00. They were, of course, connected to pretty much every starting pitcher on the market.What they did: Nothing, because trading for Single-A pitchers with a 6.00 ERA this year doesn’t count as a deadline addition. What that means: Well, World Series expectations have been tempered, especially with the Astros — a team that already figured to be a prime contender — trading for elite starter Zack Greinke. They have to get healthy — Luis Severino and Dellin Betances have been out all year — and they have to get a few more surprises if they want to win in October. That lineup is really good when healthy, but it’s hard to win a bunch of 8-7 games in a row in that month. 3. CardinalsWhat they needed: They needed to get back to the postseason to end a stretch of three October-free years, an unacceptable skid for a franchise that, during an incredible 16-year run, reached the postseason 12 times, reached the NLCS nine times, reached the World Series four times — and won it all twice. They needed rotation help, lineup help and a bit of bullpen assistance, too, though that wasn’t as pressing.What they did: They traded away Jedd Gyorko. They traded for a Triple-A lefty (Zac Rosscup) and selected Adalberto Mejía off waivers from the Angels. Stunning, eh?What that means: Cardinals fans should probably stop believing the front office is committed to making sure it puts the best team on the field in the second half of the season. This isn’t exactly a track record of improvement: #STLCards recent Trade Deadline additions:2016: Zach Duke … missed playoffs2017: Tyler O’Neill … missed playoffs2018: Chasen Shreve, Giovanny Gallegos, Justin Williams, Conner Capel, Genesis Cabrera … missed playoffs2019: Zac Rosscup, an injured Tony Cingrani … TBD— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) July 31, 20194. Red SoxWhat they needed: Bullpen help, and lots of it. Boston relievers have combined for a 4.53 ERA this year; the only AL teams with worse numbers are the also-rans (Royals, Rangers, Mariners, Tigers and Orioles). The farm system is a bit bare, but some type of reinforcements were expected. What they did: Nothing. What that means: It means everyone else needs to pitch like Brandon Workman, one of the few bullpen bright spots this year (2.08 ERA), and it also means they need to make sure they don’t overwork Workman before October arrives. And some help from youngsters coming up from the minors wouldn’t hurt, either. 5. PhilliesWhat they needed: Expectations were guardedly optimistic for Phillies pitchers this year, but, well, that hasn’t panned out. The bullpen has been bad and the rotation hasn’t been any better — Aaron Nola is the only starter with an ERA under 4.46. And on Wednesday, a few hours before the deadline, they announced reliever David Robertson needs Tommy John surgery and is done for the year. What they did: They did actually make a few moves, but more of the band-aid variety. Jason Vargas joined the rotation in a trade with the Mets, and Drew Smyly was signed after he was released by Milwaukee. What that means: It’s hard to imagine that rotation winning an October series, if the team somehow manages to even get there. Smyly has been stunningly good in his two Philly starts (0.69 ERA) but he was released by both the Rangers and Brewers in the past two months, so maybe it’s not a good idea to bank on that continued production.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A As Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi prepares to formally take her seat in Parliament next week, ready to welcome tourists to the country, some are asking if Myanmar is ready (and willing) to accept the almost inevitable ‘bad’ tourist for the good.The region is well-known for tourism, with Thailand consistently ranking high on travelers’ bucket lists and Myanmar’s own tourism revenue doubling to US$319 million last year compared to 2008, the International Herald Tribune reported.However, according to Tourism Transparency founder Andrea Valentin, Myanmar must tread carefully if following in the footsteps of its neighbors. “The lessons to learn are pretty straightforward: If Burma wants to have more prostitutes than monks in the country, then they should follow Thailand’s tourism development approach,” Ms Valentin told online news site The Irawaddy.Last year, the National League for Democracy, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, said they would welcome tourists “keen to promote the welfare of the common people and the conservation of the environment”.This is a long way from Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s protest in 1999 when she said, “Burma will be here for many years, so tell your friends to visit us later. Visiting now is tantamount to condoning the regime”.Things have changed in the thirteen years since, with the United States this week easing restrictions on the operation of non-governmental groups in Myanmar and with international wholesalers itching to bring tourists to the country.Meanwhile, the world is watching and advocacy and rights groups remain vigilant.Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation executive director Rachel Durchslag wrote in the Huffington Post of the dangers of sex tourism, stating that “many of those being purchased for sex are victims of human trafficking or individuals with extremely limited life options”.The travel industry too is more aware of the sometimes subsequent evils of tourism and the industry’s unique role to identify practices such as human trafficking.Non-profit Airline Ambassadors Incorporated (AAI) and its staunch supporter International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) have come together to bring about an industry-specific human trafficking awareness program.“ITMI is proud to be working closely with AAI, to provide tourism industry professionals with the tools to recognize suspicious behavior and report it to the Transportation Security Administration or other law enforcement authorities,” ITMI chief executive Ted Bravos said.At the recent ITMI symposium, ITMI together with the tour directors in attendance raised enough money to build a safe house, which will be dedicated in Haiti later this year. Myanmar’s stunning temples, beaches and landscapes are luring tourists from across the globe.