Theo Walcott has called for Arsenal to “step it up” and lay down a marker in the Barclays Premier League title race with a flying start to the new season. Press Association The Gunners are set to play the second match of their Asia tour against a Thailand XI at the My Dinh National Stadium on Wednesday as manager Arsene Wenger continues his squad’s preparations for the new campaign. There has been much talk of the need for Arsenal to bring in some marquee signings this summer – with one £30million bid for Liverpool’s Uruguay striker Luis Suarez rejected, while Real Madrid’s £25m-rated forward Gonzalo Higuain, Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, and even Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney have been touted as potential new arrivals. Walcott, who was top scorer with 21 goals last term, believes no matter what the team make up is, they must all build on a superb end to the previous campaign which saw the Gunners go on a 10-match unbeaten league run to snatch fourth place ahead of Tottenham and with it secure another shot at the Champions League, with a two-legged play-off ahead next month. “The way we ended the season last year, 11 games undefeated – we need to do it from the start, which I believe we can,” Walcott said, quoted on the club’s official website, www.arsenal.com. “The manager shows so much belief in us in every single game so we need to step up and I think we have got a very good chance of challenging this season. Every game in the Premier League is very tough and very interesting. It always comes down to the last few games, so we need to believe in ourselves. “Time will tell if players come in or not, but we just work with the squad we’ve got at the moment. Come the start of the season, there could be changes. We know it is a very long campaign, but we are all very excited about our prospects.” England midfielder Jack Wilshere missed Sunday’s 7-0 win over an Indonesian side in Jakarta with illness, but is expected to feature on Wednesday. As well as being busy on a recruitment drive, Arsenal are also looking to offload several more fringe players this summer to help free-up the Emirates Stadium wage bill. However, Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner appears no closer to departing after talks with German club Eintracht Frankfurt broke down over personal terms and Hull manager Steve Bruce, who had the forward on loan when at Birmingham and Sunderland, admitted a deal to bring him to the newly-promoted Premier League club could prove too expensive. Ivory Coast forward Gervinho, who did not travel to Asia because of illness, has been linked with a £7m switch to Roma. Elsewhere, Arsenal’s Costa Rica international Joel Campbell, 21, has received a work permit to play in England, having spent time in both France and Spain following his initial signing in the summer of 2011. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with a loan move to Crystal Palace.
MIAMI – As expectations ratcheted up once LeBron James signed with the Lakers in July, Luke Walton had at least one comforting thought entering the season:Someone has done it before.No one can appreciate the magnitude of Walton’s challenge better than Erik Spoelstra, who like Walton was starting his third year with the Heat when The Decision in 2010 changed the scope of his job dramatically.Spoelstra and Walton acknowledged they talked in the offseason, with Walton saying the conversation lasted several hours. While Walton preferred to keep most of the details private, but Spoelstra shared at least one thing he told Walton: He thinks he’s the right man for the job. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Walton’s situation is slightly different than Spoelstra’s but no less affected by drama: Word of an uncomfortable encounter with team president Magic Johnson reinforced the pressures Walton faces trying to whip a formerly rebuilding franchise into a playoff contender.Of course winning big in Miami on Sunday night continued to smooth things over for the Lakers, who improved to 7-2 in their last nine games. In his postgame press conference, Walton didn’t look like he was carrying much weight on his shoulders.“I try not to think that far into the future,” he said. “I’m pretty locked in on what we’re trying to do right now, but he’s, it’s nice having the best player in the world.”Rondo rejoins team in MiamiWhile he wasn’t wearing purple and gold, Rajon Rondo was on the Lakers bench, wearing a light gray suit and a blue wrap around his surgically repaired right hand, fresh off a Thursday procedure.But even unable to play for the next four-to-five weeks, Rondo was expressive. He mocked at smoothing the creases out in Luke Walton’s suit. He helped rebound and pass to Brandon Ingram during the halftime warmup. He gestured with his left about plays and movements while talking with the coaching staff.Oh yes, he talked a lot. And he did, but moreso with players than with coaches.“We made a rule tonight: He’s welcome in the coaches’ huddle but he’s not allowed to talk,” Walton quipped. “And he did pretty good with it. He had some suggestions, but it was really nice having him with the group. He just brings a great energy to our team, being on the bench with the way he talks to all his teammates.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“He’s the perfect guy to coach that team,” Spoelstra said. “He has purple and gold bleeding from him. He is a Laker. He did a tremendous job with Golden State when he had to take over for Steve [Kerr], and if you look at his whole professional career, all of [it] he has been involved with are teams like this with great expectations, with a lot of pressure and a lot of noise. He doesn’t know any different. I don’t think you can find a better fit than to coach that team.”Coaching James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Spoelstra can admit now: For much of that first season, he was trying to stay afloat.Like the Lakers, the 2010-11 Heat started 8-7, and outsiders were questioning if Spoelstra, who came up through the NBA coaching ranks after starting as a video coordinator, had the chops to lead one of the most ambitious super teams ever assembled. Even when the Heat got to the Finals, they were hammered for losing to the Dallas Mavericks.“I was just trying to not screw it up,” he said. “And I was in survival mode. I didn’t want to get in the way, and I found a way to get in the way.”But now in his 11th season, after leading that core to two championships, Spoelstra is as entrenched in Miami as any coach in the NBA.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
While the overall number of people buying coverage in the health law’s exchanges rose, the number of people not getting help with their premiums fell for the third-straight year. While some consumers may have found other coverage (through Medicare or jobs), rising premiums have been a problem. The court decision blocking Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement does not necessarily preclude other states’ work requirements from going forward. But the decision is likely to spark lawsuits in those states that have already had their work programs approved by HHS. The window for bipartisan action on health care costs on Capitol Hill has closed. The Justice Department’s decision to join the state attorneys general lawsuit on preexisting conditions was likely the last straw. Issues surrounding coverage of preexisting conditions will now likely dominate the political discussion leading up to the midterm elections this fall. Two things worth noting from the month of June. First, the recent court decision on risk-corridor payments to insurers seems to be a significant blow to the industry. Also, the Trump administration announced a major reorganization of Cabinet-level agencies. Although this is a common step for an administration, and something that rarely moves beyond “pie-in-the-sky” discussions, this one seems to be encapsulating the debate about the safety-net and social welfare programs. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Read the latest on the Bill of the Month series:”Father’s And Son’s Injuries Lead To The Mother Of All Therapy Bills,” By Stephanie O’Neill.Related StoriesGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsCannabis users could be more tolerant to anesthesia agentsUnited Nations sounds alarm bell on drug-resistant infectionsIf you have a medical bill you’d like NPR and KHN to investigate, you can submit it here.Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too:Julie Rovner: Kaiser Health News’ “Unlocked And Loaded: Families Confront Dementia And Guns,” by JoNel Aleccia and Melissa BaileyStephanie Armour: NPR’s “Rising Cost of PrEP to Prevent HIV Infection Pushes It Out of Reach for Many,” by Shefali Luthra and Anna GormanAnna Edney: The New York Times’ “Emergency Rooms Run Out of Vital Drugs, and Patients Are Feeling It,” by Katie ThomasJoanne Kenen: The Washington Post’s “College Students Are Forming Mental-Health Clubs — and They’re Making a Difference,” By Amy Ellis NuttTo hear all our podcasts, click here.And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunes, Stitcher or Google Play. Jul 6 2018A federal District Court judge in Washington, D.C., has — for now — blocked Kentucky’s proposal to add a work requirement for much of its adult Medicaid population. The decision, while far from final, is likely to prompt lawsuits from advocates in other states where the Department of Health and Human Services has approved similar proposals.Also this week, HHS released updated enrollment information about those purchasing health insurance in the individual market. Despite efforts by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress to depress enrollment by cutting outreach and canceling federal payments to insurers, the number of people who actually paid their first month’s premium was up slightly in 2018, compared with 2017.This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are: Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Joanne Kenen of Politico.Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast: