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UPDATE: Tom Brady losing more than just his cool…

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UPDATE: Tom Brady losing more than just his cool…

Tom Brady is losing more than just his cool. Games are starting to slip from his grasp and so, too, is his touch.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion, who missed nearly two weeks of Tampa Bay’s training camp to tend to a personal matter this summer, gave his offensive line a tongue-lashing during the Buccaneers’ 20-18 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

“There’s too many plays we’re not making,” Brady said after the Bucs fell to 3-3 — his worst start after six weeks since 2012.

“We didn’t earn the win. It’s a game of earning it and it’s a game of playing well and performing well and we’re just not going a good job of that,” Brady said. “I don’t think we’ve done it for six weeks. I think we’re all playing less than what we’re capable of.

“We all have to look at ourselves in the mirror,” added Brady, “and figure out why.”

That’s precisely what Twitter was saying after Brady’s dressing down of his offensive line as his latest sideline tirade came after he missed his team’s Saturday walkthrough to attend the wedding of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Coach Todd Bowles insisted Monday that Brady’s trip to New York City to serve as part of Kraft’s star-studded guest list had nothing to do with the Buccaneers’ loss to the Steelers, which dropped them into a tie with the Atlanta Falcons atop the topsy-turvy NFC South.

Bowles also maintained that his 45-year-old QB isn’t receiving preferential treatment in his 23rd NFL season even though he was allowed to miss a chunk of training camp for personal reasons that Brady has not discussed publicly since rejoining the team after an 11-day absence.

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“He works as hard as anybody,” Bowles said. “Special treatment — there have been a few guys that have missed meetings and some practices for some special thing — that just doesn’t get publicized because they’re not him. It just kind of comes with the territory. You don’t worry about it too much.”

What is worrisome to his fans is Brady’s dramatic dropoff following a newsy offseason in which he retired in February, unretired a month later and after missing much of training camp found his marriage to Gisele Bundchen the subject of rampant tabloid speculation centering on his unretirement.

Brady’s 3.2% touchdown rate while attempting to pass is a career low and he has just eight TD passes in six games after throwing a combined 96 in his first two seasons in Tampa, including the playoffs.

He had 17 TD passes by this time a year ago and 14 the year before that.

The Bucs are averaging 20.2 points per game, down from 30.1 points last season. Take away safety Mike Edwards’ pick-six in Week 2 and the Bucs’ offense is averaging a mere 19 points per game.

Four times Brady has started a season 3-3, his first two years as a starter with the Patriots in 2001 and ’02 and again in ’05 and ’12.

He’s fortunate to be .500 this year, too.

The Falcons’ fourth-quarter rally fell short in a 21-15 loss to Tampa Bay in Week 5 thanks largely to a disputed roughing-the-passer penalty on Atlanta defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Even that fortuitous flag turned out to be costly for Brady, who was fined $11,139 for trying to kick Jarrett following his takedown.

Asked after the loss to the Steelers and their second-string secondary what was his message to his teammates, the profanity-laced berating of his O-line aside, Brady said, “We have to score more points.”

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That’s the rallying cry across the league where a dozen teams are averaging fewer than 20 points per game and the 49ers (20.1) are just outside that mark along with the Bucs.

At 15.2 points, the Broncos are the lowest-scoring team in the league as Russell Wilson continues to struggle making quick decisions behind a banged-up offensive line. In four prime-time games so far, the Broncos have managed 16, 11, 13 and 16 points, losing three of them and overcoming 10 three-and-outs in the other.

Five times Denver’s defense has held opponents to 17 points or fewer in regulation, leading Troy Aikman to declare after Denver’s 19-16 loss to the Chargers in overtime Monday night that “it’s hard to imagine you can play that well defensively and hold the score down that low consistently and hae a losing record.”

The reasons for the paucity of points are plenty.

__Several teams didn’t play their starters in the preseason and have spent the season ironing out the kinks on offense.

__Several veterans have changed teams, and recreating chemistry takes time.

__”Shell” defenses popularized by former Broncos coach Vic Fangio in the red zone are throttling offenses inside the 20-yard line.

The troubles in Tampa might run a little bit deeper.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, if you’re not making the plays, it doesn’t matter if it’s the Steelers or the Chiefs for the Packers or the Saints,” Brady said. “You either make the plays or you don’t. It’s a production business.”

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And no, Brady stressed, it’s not just the offensive line’s fault.

“It’s all of us. It’s our whole offense,” Brady said. “We have to do a better job in the run game, in the pass game. Everyone has to do a better job. Obviously, there’s no position that’s performing at an elite level right now.”

Quarterback included.

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More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Remember last year’s Memorial Day travel jams? Chances are they will be much worse this year

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Remember last year’s Memorial Day travel jams? Chances are they will be much worse this year

The patience of Memorial Day weekend travelers was tested Thursday by widespread delays across the country, but there were relatively few canceled flights, raising hopes that airlines can handle bigger crowds expected Friday.

By early evening on the East Coast, more than 6,000 flights had been delayed Thursday, with the biggest backups at the three major airports in the New York City area and Dallas-Fort Worth International.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasha Pidlubniak waits for a domestic flight at Miami International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Miami. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

 

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Pasha Pidlubniak waits for a domestic flight at Miami International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Miami. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

 

The Transportation Security Administration predicted that Friday will be the busiest day for air travel over the holiday weekend, with nearly 3 million people expected to pass through airport checkpoints. It could rival the record of 2.9 million, set on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year.

“Airports are going to be more packed than we have seen in 20 years,” said Aixa Diaz, a spokesperson for AAA.

When they aren’t waiting out flight delays, travelers are reporting sticker shock at the prices.

At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Larisa Latimer of New Lenox, Illinois, said her airfare was reasonable but other expenses for a getaway to New Orleans were not.

 

 

 

 

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Motorists travel along Interstate 24 near the Interstate 40 interchange Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to hit the pavement over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

Motorists travel along Interstate 24 near the Interstate 40 interchange Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to hit the pavement over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

“I just have to make the accommodation,” she said. “The rental car is up … this year, the hotel accommodations were very unusually expensive.”

Kathy Larko of Fort Meyers, Florida, used frequent-flyer miles — and some flexible scheduling — to pay for her trip to Chicago.

“I’m really conscious of looking at the cost of the entire trip. We’re staying a little farther out than we normally would” to get a lower hotel rate, she said. “We’re also flying back a day later, because we could get cheaper miles.”

More travelers will be on the road. AAA estimates that 43.8 million people will venture at least 50 miles (80 kilometers) from home between Thursday and Monday, with 38 million of them taking vehicles.

 
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Travelers wait at a TSA checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

 

Travelers wait at a TSA checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

 

Airport unions are using the holiday weekend to highlight their demands.

About 100 workers who clean airplane cabins and drive trash trucks at the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, started a 24-hour strike Thursday, demanding better pay and healthcare, according to the Service Employees International Union. About 15% of flights were delayed, but it was unclear whether the strike played any role.

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A planned strike at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York was averted, however. Teamsters Local 553, which represents about 300 workers who refuel passenger and cargo jets at JFK, said that it reached a settlement with Allied Aviation Services and called off a walkout planned for Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Ridley, 4, left, rides on a suitcase as he and his father Chris Ridley make their way through the Nashville international Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

George Ridley, 4, left, rides on a suitcase as he and his father Chris Ridley make their way through the Nashville international Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

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“We are happy an agreement has been reached, a need for a strike averted, and we are hopeful that the deal will be ratified by our members,” said Demos Demopoulos, the secretary-treasurer of the local.

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Associated Press video journalist Melissa Perez Winder in Chicago and Associated Press radio reporter Shelley Adler in Washington contributed to this report.

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Texas health department appoints anti-abortion OB-GYN to maternal mortality committee

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Texas health department appoints anti-abortion OB-GYN to maternal mortality committee

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ health department has appointed an outspoken anti-abortion OB-GYN to a committee that reviews pregnancy-related deaths as doctors have been warning that the state’s restrictive abortion ban puts women’s lives at risk.

Dr. Ingrid Skop was among the new appointees to the Texas Maternal Morality and Morbidity Review Committee announced last week by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Her term starts June 1.

The committee, which compiles data on pregnancy-related deaths, makes recommendations to the Legislature on best practices and policy changes and is expected to assess the impact of abortion laws on maternal mortality.

Skop, who has worked as an OB-GYN for over three decades, is vice president and director of medical affairs for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion research group. Skop will be the committee’s rural representative.

Skop, who has worked in San Antonio for most of her career, told the Houston Chronicle that she has “often cared for women traveling long distances from rural Texas maternity deserts, including women suffering complications from abortions.”

Texas has one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the U.S., and doctors have sought clarity on the state’s medical exemption, which allows an abortion to save a woman’s life or prevent the impairment of a major bodily function. Doctors have said the exemption is too vague, making it difficult to offer life-saving care for fear of repercussions. A doctor convicted of providing an illegal abortion in Texas can face up to 99 years in prison and a $100,000 fine and lose their medical license.

Skop has said medical associations are not giving doctors the proper guidance on the matter. She has also shared more controversial views, saying during a congressional hearing in 2021 that rape or incest victims as young as 9 or 10 could carry pregnancies to term.

Texas’ abortion ban has no exemption for cases of rape or incest.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which says abortion is “inherently tied to maternal health,” said in a statement that members of the Texas committee should be “unbiased, free of conflicts of interest and focused on the appropriate standards of care.” The organization noted that bias against abortion has already led to “compromised” analyses, citing a research articles co-authored by Skop and others affiliated with the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

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Earlier this year a medical journal retracted studies supported by the Charlotte Lozier Institute claiming to show harms of the abortion pill mifepristone, citing conflicts of interests by the authors and flaws in their research. Two of the studies were cited in a pivotal Texas court ruling that has threatened access to the drug.

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Michigan farmworker diagnosed with bird flu, becoming 2nd US case tied to dairy cows

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Michigan farmworker diagnosed with bird flu, becoming 2nd US case tied to dairy cows

A Michigan dairy worker has been diagnosed with bird flu — the second human case associated with an outbreak in U.S. dairy cows.

The male worker had been in contact with cows at a farm with infected animals. He experienced mild eye symptoms and has recovered, U.S. and Michigan health officials said in announcing the case Wednesday.

A nasal swab from the person tested negative for the virus, but an eye swab tested Tuesday was positive for bird flu, “indicating an eye infection,” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said.

The worker developed a “gritty feeling” in his eye earlier this month but it was a “very mild case,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical executive. He was not treated with oseltamivir, a medication advised for treating bird flu, she said.

The risk to the public remains low, but farmworkers exposed to infected animals are at higher risk, health officials said. They said those workers should be offered protective equipment, especially for their eyes.

Health officials say they do not know if the Michigan farmworker was wearing protective eyewear, but an investigation is continuing.

In late March, a farmworker in Texas was diagnosed in what officials called the first known instance globally of a person catching this version of bird flu from a mammal. That patient reported only eye inflammation and recovered.

Since 2020, a bird flu virus has been spreading among more animal species — including dogs, cats, skunks, bears and even seals and porpoises — in scores of countries.

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The detection in U.S. livestock earlier this year was an unexpected twist that sparked questions about food safety and whether it would start spreading among humans.

That hasn’t happened, although there’s been a steady increase of reported infections in cows. As of Wednesday, the virus had been confirmed in 51 dairy herds in nine states, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. Fifteen of the herds were in Michigan.

The CDC’s Dr. Nirav Shah said the case was “not unexpected” and it’s possible more infections could be diagnosed in people who work around infected cows.

U.S. officials said they had tested 40 people since the first cow cases were discovered in late March. Michigan has tested 35 of them, Bagdasarian told The Associated Press in an interview.

Shah praised Michigan officials for actively monitoring farmworkers. He said health officials there have been sending daily text messages to workers exposed to infected cows asking about possible symptoms, and that the effort helped officials catch this infection. He said no other workers had reported symptoms.

That’s encouraging news, said Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota epidemiologist who has studied bird flu for decades. There’s no sign to date that the virus is causing flu-like illness or that it is spreading among people.

“If we had four or five people seriously ill with respiratory illness, we would be picking that up,” he said.

The virus has been found in high levels in the raw milk of infected cows, but government officials say pasteurized products sold in grocery stores are safe because heat treatment has been confirmed to kill the virus.

The new case marks the third time a person in the United States has been diagnosed with what’s known as Type A H5N1 virus. In 2022, a prison inmate in a work program picked it up while killing infected birds at a poultry farm in Montrose County, Colorado. His only symptom was fatigue, and he recovered. That predated the virus’s appearance in cows.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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