Spiritual advisers offering final comfort in execution rooms
For decades, Missouri executions played out in similar fashion: An inmate was strapped to a gurney in a drab room, alone except for the eyes of witnesses staring through thick glass as unidentified executioners administered the lethal chemical from behind a cinderblock wall.
Starbucks' recovery, solid in China, still slow in the US
Starbucks said its business in China, its second-largest market after the U.S., has largely recovered, with same-store sales up 5% in the first quarter. Starbucks said it’s seeing fewer customers in China, but they’re spending more when they visit. The company opened almost 160 stores in China during the first quarter, for a total of more than 4,800. But in the U.S., same-store sales were down 5% for the quarter despite the holiday drinks that usually draw customers. Starbucks said it's confident U.S. same-store sales will rise between 5% and 10% in its fiscal second quarter as the pandemic's impact continues to fade.
After losing Mahomes, Chiefs and Henne hold off Browns 22-17
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne celebrates after a run during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. – The Kansas City Chiefs had lost Patrick Mahomes to a concussion and were in danger of losing the game. With their star quarterback reduced to a spectator, the oft-forgotten bunch opposite Mahomes' high-powered offense forced the Browns to punt in the waning minutes. After the teams swapped field goals, with Butker breaking the Chiefs playoff record with a 50-yarder into the wind, the Browns marched for what could have been a momentum-swinging score heading into halftime. First, the Browns held the Chiefs when Mayfield threw an interception and Butker missed a field goal.
Top cornerbacks standing out on NFL's Super Bowl hopefuls
Nearly every team still vying for the Super Bowl has an elite cornerback often capable of shutting down an opponent's top receiver all by himself. The NFC playoff bracket has three of the conference's four Pro Bowl cornerbacks: Green Bay's Jaire Alexander, Los Angeles' Jalen Ramsey and New Orleans' Marshon Lattimore. Staley's scheme has employed Ramsey in multiple roles throughout the season, and his job often changes from play to play. Oddly enough, the remaining playoff team perceived to have the least dominant cornerbacks is defending champion Kansas City, the favorite to make it back to the Super Bowl. “Some of the best cornerbacks happen to play on the best teams, that’s all I can say,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said.
Browns Pro Bowl guard Bitiono back for playoffs after COVID
FILE - Cleveland Browns offensive guard Joel Bitonio (75) blocks in the third quarter an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Cleveland, in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo. Browns Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio will be activated from the COVID-19 list Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, after missing last weeks playoff win over Pittsburgh. The Pro Bowl left guard has was activated from the COVID-19 list Friday after missing last week’s wild-card win over Pittsburgh. It was a devastating development for Bitiono, who had endured so much losing with the Browns before this turnaround season. On Wednesday, coach Kevin Stefanski returned in person to the team after also missing last week's game with COVID-19.
Stefanski out of basement, back with Browns after COVID-19
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski looks on from the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Pittsburgh. Positive COVID-19 tests have knocked Stefanski out of Cleveland's wild-card game at Pittsburgh on Sunday night the Browns' first playoff appearance since the 2002 season. (AP Photo/Justin Berl, File)CLEVELAND – Browns coach Kevin Stefanski doesn't plan a trip downstairs to his basement any time soon. Stefanski returned to the team's facility Thursday, 10 days after the first-year coach tested positive for COVID-19 and he was forced to miss Cleveland's playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Stefanski will make his playoff debut on the sideline this week when the Browns play the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The Latest: MLS's Canadian teams to face challenges again
Garber said while he felt for the challenges facing the Canadian teams, the league had to abide by made-in-Canada health guidelines. Green Bay (13-3) hosts the Los Angeles Rams (11-6) in a NFC divisional playoff game Saturday. Also, Thursday night’s Southeastern Conference women’s basketball game featuring No. ___Georgetown has canceled its men’s basketball game against DePaul on Wednesday night, citing a COVID-19-related issue with the program. ___Two SMU men’s basketball games scheduled for this week have been postponed because of a positive COVID-19 case and ensuing contact tracing issues in the program.
QB Jones inactive for Giants; McCoy to start at Seattle
(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)The New York Giants will be without starting quarterback Daniel Jones for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Jones was not expected to play because of a hamstring injury suffered last week against Cincinnati. Colt McCoy will make his first start of the season at QB for the Giants. Seattle was without both starting right tackle Brandon Shell (ankle) and backup Cedric Ogbuehi (calf) leaving a major question on the offensive line. ___CLEVELAND-TENNESSEEBrowns: WR Taywan Taylor, WR KhaDarel Hodge, CB Denzel Ward, RB Dontrell Hilliard, S Tedric Thompson, DE Joe Jackson.
Starbucks sales recover faster than expected in US, China
Starbucks saw faster-than-expected recovery in the U.S. and China in its fiscal fourth quarter, giving it confidence as it heads into the holiday season. Global same-store sales fell 9% from the prior year, a better showing than the 12% to 17% drop Starbucks anticipated in July. U.S. same-store sales were down 9% in the July-September period, while China’s fell 3%. Limited or full lobby seating is now available in 63% of U.S. stores and 90% of stores in China. Adjusted for non-recurring costs, Starbucks earned 51 cents per share, solidly beating analysts’ forecast of 31 cents.
Camp injuries, virus protocols had some NFL teams scrambling
I think theres a lot of teams in the league right now that are dealing with all kinds of injuries.He's right. Teams all over the league were sent scrambling during camp. Certainly not during training camp when players are going hard to make the roster as the start of the regular season rolls closer. It's the soft tissue injuries and those things that you are trying to prevent with the ramp-up period," Bitonio said. That will certainly be something to monitor as the regular season begins and teams deal with injuries and potential replacements.
Starbucks' holiday cups will be back this week
We're barely into pumpkin spice latte season and already the holiday cups are on their way. The coffee chain said on Wednesday that its holiday drinks, foods and its signature red and green cups will be back in stores on Thursday. For Starbucks, the seasonal offerings are a way to create buzz, give their fans what they want and boost sales. Although in the past Starbucks has experimented with less Christmasy cups, this year it's sticking to the holiday theme with red and green designs. To develop this year's cups, Starbucks' designers drew inspiration from Christmas movies and songs, as well as previous iterations of the signature vessel.
Every Starbucks growth strategy is working
Stephen Chernin/Getty ImagesSEATTLE, Wash. - Starbucks has put several plans in place to accelerate growth, and they all seem to be working. The tactics are paying off: Sales at cafes open at least a year grew 6% globally in the third quarter, Starbucks announced Thursday. Net sales grew 8.1% to an all-time high of $6.8 billion. Because of the successful quarter, Starbucks improved its financial outlook for the year. One strategy is adding more stores: In the third quarter, the company opened 442 net new stores, one third of them in China.