Saskatchewan News

New scrutiny of timeline after Arkansas executes 4th inmate

News Talk 650 CKOM - 1 hour 24 min ago
VARNER, Ark. — Arkansas wrapped up an accelerated executions schedule with a lethal injection that left the condemned inmate lurching and convulsing before he died, prompting calls for investigations and renewed scrutiny of the state's efforts to put multiple inmates to death on a compressed timeline. Kenneth Williams on Thursday became the fourth convicted killer executed in Arkansas in eight days as the state sought to carry out as many lethal injections as possible before one of its drugs expires Sunday. An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the execution said that about three minutes in, Williams' body jerked 15 times in quick succession — lurching violently against the leather restraint across his chest — then the rate slowed for a final five movements. J.R. Davis, a spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson who did not witness the execution, called the movements "an involuntary muscular reaction" that he said was a widely known effect of the surgical sedative midazolam, the first of three drugs administered. Williams' attorneys released a statement calling witness accounts "horrifying" and demanding an investigation into what they called the "problematic execution." Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before one of its lethal injection drugs expires on Sunday. That would have been the most in such a short time since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, but courts issued stays for four of the inmates. The four lethal injections that were carried out included Monday's first double execution in the United States since 2000. Williams read a prepared final statement before the execution began, apologizing to the families he "senselessly wronged and deprived of their loved ones." He also spoke in tongues, the unintelligible but language-like speech used in some religions. But his prayer faded off as the midazolam took effect. He said, "The words that I speak will forever be, will forever ..." before he fell silent. The inmate breathed heavily through his nose until just after three minutes into his execution, when his chest leaped forward in a series of what seemed like involuntary movements. His right hand never clenched and his face remained what one media witness called "serene." After the jerking, Williams breathed through his mouth and moaned or groaned once — during a consciousness check — until falling still seven minutes into the lethal injection. A Friday morning tweet from the account of a Republican state Sen. Trent Garner, who witnessed the execution, said Williams did not "seem in pain. ... It was not cruel, unusual, botched or torture." Williams was sentenced to death for killing a former deputy warden, Cecil Boren, after he escaped from prison in 1999. At the time of his escape in a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop, Williams was less than three weeks into a life term for the death of a college cheerleader. "Any amount of movement he might have had was far less than any of his victims," said Jodie Efird, one of Boren's daughters, who witnessed the execution. State officials have called Arkansas' string of executions a success, declaring justice served and "closure" for victims' families. Some concerns had been raised about Monday's execution of Jack Jones, whose mouth moved after attorneys said he should have been unconscious, though a federal judge determined it did not appear to be "torturous and inhumane." All of the Arkansas inmates — including Williams — have died within 20 minutes of their executions beginning, a contrast from troubled midazolam-related executions in other states that took anywhere from 43 minutes to two hours. Though witnesses to those lengthier executions also described hearing inmates breathe heavily, snore or snort or seeing them struggle against their restraints. "The long path of justice ended tonight and Arkansans can reflect on the last two weeks with confidence that our system of laws in this state has worked," Hutchinson said in a statement issued after Williams' execution. Davis, the governor's spokesman, said later that he was sure Hutchinson would follow up "as he does with every execution," but that the governor was confident the Department of Correction "did what it was supposed to do." Davis stood by his previous description of the state's executions as "flawless." Dale Baich, an assistant federal public defender who witnessed a flawed 2014 Arizona execution that took two hours, said in an email early Friday that after reading media reports, "It appears from witness accounts that Mr. Williams was not fully sedated when the paralytic was administered. "At a minimum, this was a deviation from the protocol." Williams' lawyers had said he had sickle cell trait, lupus and brain damage, and argued the combined maladies could subject him to an exceptionally painful execution in violation of the U.S. Constitution. They argued Arkansas' "one size fits all" execution protocol could have left him in pain after a paralytic agent rendered him unable to move. State and federal courts rejected the claims. Williams was sentenced to death for killing Boren after escaping from the Cummins Unit prison in a barrel holding a mishmash of kitchen scraps. He left the prison — where the execution chamber is located in another part of the facility — less than three weeks into a life prison term for killing University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff cheerleader Dominique Hurd in 1998. At the conclusion of that trial, he had taunted the young woman's family by turning to them after the sentence was announced and saying "You thought I was going to die, didn't you?" After jumping from the barrel, he sneaked along a tree line until reaching Boren's house. He killed Boren, stole guns and Boren's truck and then drove away to Missouri. There, he crashed into a water-delivery truck, killing the driver. While in prison, he confessed to killing another person in 1998. At the time of Boren's death, investigators said it did not appear Boren was targeted because of his former employment by the Arkansas Department of Correction. ___ Follow Kelly P. Kissel at www.twitter.com/kisselAP and Andrew DeMillo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ademillo. Kelly P. Kissel And Andrew Demillo, The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Six stories in the news today, April 28

News Talk 650 CKOM - 1 hour 30 min ago
Six stories in the news for Friday, April 28 ——— WHAT IS DONALD TRUMP UP TO ON NAFTA? First, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to rip up NAFTA. Then he didn't. This week he did again. Now, he's saying he won't. But maybe, he says, he'll change his mind again and rip it up if he can't get a good deal. What's going on?  Gary Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute, a top U.S. expert on the trade agreement, says it's all part of a concept that negotiating clout stems from the power to walk away. ——— BOMBARDIER REJECTS BOEING DUMPING CLAIM Bombardier is rejecting Boeing's claim in a complaint filed with the U.S. government that it has dumped its new CSeries commercial jet into the United States at below cost. Seattle-based Boeing is calling on the Trump administration to issue an order against the sale of the plane in the American market. But Bombardier rejects the dumping claim, saying it complies with the laws and regulations of the countries where it operates. ——— ONTARIO BUDGET: BILLIONS PROMISED FOR HEALTH CARE Ontario's Liberal government is promising to inject billions of new dollars into health care in its first balanced budget in a decade, a fiscal plan designed to appeal to nearly everyone in the province ahead of an election next summer. The $141-billion budget tabled Thursday includes measures targeted at both young and old, people who access the health-care system and anyone who owns or rents a home and pays an electricity bill. ——— NOVA SCOTIA BUDGET: TAX CUT PROMISED Nova Scotia's Liberal government has promised an average $160 tax cut for half the province's population, in a surplus budget that seeds the ground for an election campaign that may begin within days. Premier Stephen McNeil touted the move as proof his restraint of public sector wages over the past year has permitted him to shift money back to taxpayers, even as he books a $26-million surplus in this year's $10.5-billion budget. ——— MILITARY TO ISSUE REPORT ON SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR The Canadian Armed Forces will release its third progress report today on how it is addressing harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour. This follows a scathing report in April 2015 in which former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps concluded sexual misconduct is "endemic" in the military and that the leadership has tolerated abuse. Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance has called sexual misconduct in the ranks a threat to morale and operational readiness. ——— SEN. DON MEREDITH TO LEARN FATE SOON Sen. Don Meredith could find out as early as next week what punishment he'll face for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl. The Senate's ethics committee — which has been pondering a range of sanctions from reprimand to outright expulsion — is hoping to finalize its recommendations and table them in the upper chamber next week. The committee is to meet again Tuesday to go over its draft report. ——— ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY: — Statistics Canada will release February data on the gross domestic product by industry and industrial and raw materials prices for March. — The Parliamentary Budget Officer will post a report entitled "Economic and Fiscal Outlook - April 2017." — Provincial and territorial justice ministers meet with Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to discuss delays in the criminal courts. — Sam Alec will be sentenced in Vancouver for killing three people, including two cyclists, in a drunk-driving incident in May 2015. — The annual East Coast Music Awards week continues in Saint John, N.B., through Sunday. The Canadian Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Macedonia's head seeks emergency talks after parliament riot

News Talk 650 CKOM - 1 hour 38 min ago
SKOPJE, Macedonia — Macedonia's president called an emergency meeting of political leaders Friday, hours after demonstrators — mostly supporters of the country's dominant conservative party — invaded parliament and assaulted opposition lawmakers. Police said 77 people, including opposition Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev, the head of a small ethnic Albanian opposition party and 22 police, were injured in the overnight riot when demonstrators stormed the legislature and attacked lawmakers to protest the election of a new speaker despite a months-old deadlock in efforts to form a new government. It was unclear whether opposition party leaders would heed President Gjorge Ivanov's call for a meeting to defuse the tension. The European Union condemned the violence, and said that the cornerstones of democracy should be respected. Clashes lasted for hours Thursday night, with police initially doing little to stop the invasion. Eventually, they used stun grenades to evacuate the building, and free lawmakers and journalists trapped inside. Macedonia has been gripped by a deep political crisis for more than two years, and repeated efforts — including international mediation — have failed to improve things. The country has been without a government since elections in December failed to give any party a governing majority. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said Friday that "violence is unacceptable, even more so when it happens in the house of democracy." Mogherini, attending a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Malta, called the incident a "serious crisis that can be dangerous." The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Nigeria says 15 suspected Boko Haram fighters shot dead

News Talk 650 CKOM - 1 hour 38 min ago
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Nigeria's military says at least 15 gunmen believed to be Boko Haram Islamic extremists have been shot dead during a battle with soldiers. Spokesman Kinsley Samuel says in a statement that the fighting occurred Thursday morning when the extremists attacked a base in the Sambisa forest in northern Nigeria. The forest had been a Boko Haram stronghold until the government declared the group "crushed" late last year. Boko Haram's fighters continue to carry out suicide bombings and other attacks in northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, including against troop locations. The military spokesman says the extremists attacked Thursday with a large cache of weapons that soldiers seized. Samuel says a number of the extremists were wounded in the fighting. The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

B.C. New Democrat leader heads to Vancouver Island for today's campaign

News Talk 650 CKOM - 1 hour 45 min ago
VANCOUVER — British Columbia's New Democrat Leader John Horgan will speak at a union convention in Victoria today as part of his campaign leading up to the provincial election on May 9. At a campaign stop in Prince George yesterday, Horgan noted that today is National Day of Mourning, which is held each year to honour workers who were killed on the job. Horgan said no one should go to work with fear they won't come home safe. B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark was also focused on workers during her campaign yesterday, visiting a North Vancouver sawmill and wood chip plant. Clark defended a call on the federal government to ban U.S. coal exports through B.C. in retaliation against American tariffs imposed on softwood lumber. In the final stretch to the polls, Clark is trying to keep her Liberal party in power ahead of Horgan's New Democrats, and Andrew Weaver's Green party.   The Canadian Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Woman dies after Stockholm truck attack; death toll now 5

News Talk 650 CKOM - 2 hours 25 min ago
STOCKHOLM — Swedish authorities say a woman in her 60s injured in the April 7 truck attack in Stockholm has died, raising the death toll to five. In a statement Friday, the Stockholm police said the woman, who has not been publicly identified, had been hospitalized in southern Sweden. A 39-year-old Uzbek man, Rakhmat Akilov, has pleaded guilty to a terrorist crime for ramming the truck into a crowd on a main pedestrian shopping street in the Swedish capital. Police have not disclosed a motive for the attack and no extremist group has claimed responsibility for it. Akilov's Swedish residency application was rejected last year but police said there was nothing to indicate he might plan an attack. The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

'Going to beat that case:' Wall promises carbon tax court battle

News Talk 650 CKOM - 3 hours 18 min ago
Premier Brad Wall made his clearest indication yet he'll challenge a federal carbon tax in court during a speech Thursday night. Speaking at the premier's dinner in Saskatoon, a fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Party, Wall rallied supporters around a carbon tax battle. "We will be the only province in Canada without a carbon tax," he told the Prairieland Park crowd. "Because we're going to beat that case in court." Wall has hinted at legal action in the past, but had a clearer picture in his latest remarks. Speaking to reporters afterwards, the SaskParty leader expressed confidence in the province's case. "On an initial analysis our justice lawyers believe there's a reasonable chance for success," he said. He also pointed to the Manitoba government's recent pledge to not sign on to a carbon tax system, questioning how the federal Liberals would move forward. "How does a national government design a tax that will only affect two of the units of the federation?" he asked. "We're optimistic about winning in court, and we will take it to court." SEPARATE SCHOOL FUNDING Wall also said more details are coming next week on the province's response to a court decision affecting the province's separate school systems. The Court of Queen's Bench ruling determined provincial funding for non-Catholic students attending a Catholic board school was in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "We're pretty confident we can make sure this ruling doesn't stand," Wall told reporters. He indicated the Christ the Teacher School Division (CTSD), who lost the 10-year court battle, was considering an appeal. Wall also warned the decision could have an impact on student bases for Buddhist, Muslim and Lutheran schools across the province. The premier mentioned Bill 63 as well, saying the reason it was being introduced was to prevent similar court battles. "Every once in a while there might be cause for the government to intervene and say 'no, we're not sure if that's in the interest of students,'" he said. But he insisted the bill would still allow school boards to operate independently and make their own decisions. "We're going to provide them the latitude they need to do their work and represent their rate-payers and provide good education," he said. "Because by-and-large that's what they do." U.S. TRADE The premier took time during his speech to comment on the current trade relationship with the United States. He suggested a trade war would hurt Americans more than Canadians, given several states have a trade surplus with provinces like Saskatchewan. "We're not China, we're not Mexico when it comes to trade balance," he said. "There is more to lose for them than there is for us." Wall also complimented Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his handling of the softwood lumber and dairy products dispute. "I think the prime minister's approach so far has been on point," he said, adding Saskatchewan would support his efforts. "Whatever we can do to help Canada, Saskatchewan is there."

Alex Jones loses primary custody; ex-wife gets joint custody

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 22:59
AUSTIN, Texas — A jury has stripped right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of having primary custody of his children and awarded joint custody to his ex-wife. The Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/2oOBEd9) reports that state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo (nah-RAHN'-hoh) also announced Kelly Jones will decide where their three children will live. The Travis County jury deliberated all Thursday afternoon and late into the night before returning its verdict. In closing arguments, the ex-wife's attorney told jurors the radio personality is a "cult leader" who's turning their children against her. Earlier, Alex Jones' attorney told the jury the children, ages 9, 12 and 14, are thriving under Jones' care and he should remain the sole caregiver. ___ Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Thursday's Games

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 22:58
Thursday's Games NHL Playoffs Second Round Ottawa 2 N.Y. Rangers 1 (Senators lead series 1-0) Pittsburgh 3 Washington 2 (Penguins lead series 2-1) --- AHL Playoffs First Round (best-of-five) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2 Providence 1 (Penguins lead series 2-1) --- NBA Playoffs Toronto 92 Milwaukee 89 (Raptors win series 4-2) San Antonio 103 Memphis 96 (Spurs win series 4-2) --- MLB American League Seattle 2 Detroit 1 Cleveland 4 Houston 3 N.Y. Yankees 3 Boston 1 L.A. Angels 2 Oakland 1 National League Philadelphia 3 Miami 2 Atlanta 7 N.Y. Mets 5 Washington 16 Colorado 5 L.A. Dodgers 5 San Francisco 1 (10 innings) Arizona 6 San Diego 2 Interleague St. Louis 8 Toronto 4 (11 innings) St. Louis 6 Toronto 4 --- The Canadian Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Hundreds protest budget cuts outside premier's dinner

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 22:53
Hundreds of people gathered at the entrance of Prairieland Park Thursday evening to protest Premier Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party's budget. Demonstrators blocked the entrance to the parking lot, backing up traffic on Ruth Street all the way to Lorne Avenue at some points. They waved signs in front of windshields, booing and yelling at the drivers who were attending the Premier's fundraising dinner. "They're people of very few words. They put their heads down and won't look at you," said Dave Cunningham, who walked up to driver's side windows to engage with attendees. "Man up with what's going on in our province." Several of the drivers attempted to force their way through the crowd, with angry yelling matches breaking out after protesters were bumped by the cars. One incident saw two protesters laid on the hood of a car that wouldn't stop, riding for 20 feet before the car stopped and they got off. Yikes. This wasn't a good sight. #yxe pic.twitter.com/Jm9g4aNgNX — Chris Vandenbreekel (@Vandecision) April 28, 2017 Things continue to escalate between drivers and protesters. This car bumped one. "If you hit her she can sue you." #yxe pic.twitter.com/r1Uj5zCz9a — Chris Vandenbreekel (@Vandecision) April 27, 2017 Organizers from the Canadian Union of Public Employees warned both drivers and demonstrators not to make contact with each other to avoid legal trouble. That didn't stop Bob Stadnichuk from slapping bumper magnets reading "keep liquor public" on dozens of vehicles. "Hopefully they'll see it and it'll be a nice memento to put in their treasure chest," he said. Stadnichuk said he's been speaking out against liquor store privatization for two years, and now he's speaking out against Bill 40 which would allow for the sale of 49 per cent of each crown corporation. "We told people this is what was going to end up happening," he said. "Now they'll go after SaskTel and SaskPower." "Now we're out here to make sure this government does not do anymore of these cuts." Drivers are ending up with some unexpected bumper stickers #yxe pic.twitter.com/w7VyBlNFfT — Chris Vandenbreekel (@Vandecision) April 27, 2017 Signs held by demonstrators addressed several issues including education cuts, the sale of crown corporations, the Global Transportation Hub scandal and health care funding. But the most common sign slogan was "break the Wall." The protest began shortly before 5 p.m., with police not arriving on-scene to direct traffic until 6:15 p.m. They asked demonstrators to get off the road and stay on the sidewalks, but many still tried to block vehicles and hold signs up to drivers. No arrests were made. Officers four-strong watched the perimeter of vehicles entering the parking lot, asking protesters politely to move aside. Demonstrators were largely respectful of the orders, choosing instead to yell "shame" at the drivers. Things going smoother with police on scene. #yxe pic.twitter.com/RJAgTFni3F — Chris Vandenbreekel (@Vandecision) April 28, 2017 Wall responds Premier Brad Wall briefly referenced the protest during his speech at the dinner, noting his wife "made it through the demonstration." After his speech, he addressed the issue to reporters. "I said before the budget was introduced that this would not be a popular budget," he said. "We know people are upset. Obviously they're going to express that dissent as they did today." He said the protests should be encouraged in a free society. "They're part of politics, and they should be."

Whitecap Dakota First Nation hopes to vote on self-government in 3 years

CBC Saskatchewan - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 21:57
The First Nation, located 26 kilometres south of Saskatoon and with a membership of 616 people, signed an agreement-in-principle with the federal government Thursday.
Categories: Saskatchewan News

Lundqvist makes 41 saves, gives Rangers a chance in Game 1 loss to Senators

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 21:26
OTTAWA — Henrik Lundqvist didn't care about all the great saves he made Thursday night, he was only concerned about the ones he didn't. Lundqvist stopped 41-of-43 shots but the Ottawa Senators defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 in the opening game of its Eastern Conference semifinal as Erik Karlsson scored the winner on a lucky shot. The Senators captain was below the goal line when he let a shot go that bounced off Lundqvist's head to give the Senators the lead, and ultimately the victory, at 15:49 of the third period. "There's three guys in line with that puck and I pick it up, but it just hit me in the head and it's in," said Lundqvist. "I assumed having that many guys right in the line with the puck it would not end up right in front of me, but it did. "It's a tough one." Lundqvist was the difference in the first period as the Senators outshot the Rangers 21-12. Ottawa's Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone both had exceptional chances and if not for Lundqvist the Rangers would have found themselves trailing early on. "They have some smart and skilled players so they're going to find some looks, there's no question about it, especially on their power play so you try to make good reads, make good decisions and some you anticipate and some is reaction I guess," said Lundqvist. "But it's tough to lose it like this when it's a nothing play." While Lundqvist felt responsible for the loss, his teammates know they missed their share of opportunities. New York had a chance to tie the game with a power play with 39 seconds remaining, and Lundqvist on the bench, but was unable to capitalize. "I think both goalies played really well and carried their teams," said Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh. "We had a lot of looks, certainly looks we wished we had capitalized on, and they're going to say the same thing when they look back. "It's going to take a goal you don't see very often to decide it like that. Obviously we wish it didn't happen, but at the same time I thought we played a hard fought game with them and know it's going to be some fun hockey as we continue." The Senators neutral zone trap caused the Rangers some trouble at times. They know they'll need to find a way through to have success. "We'll look at some things and see what we did well against it and things where we can make some adjustments," said Marc Staal. "I thought at times we were good against it and other times forcing a little bit. The second period they were hemming us in quite a lot of that period. We did a better job in the third period." While the loss was deflating in many ways the Rangers take confidence in the fact their goalie has been unbelievable and realize a lucky bounce is often the difference in the post-season. "He made some big stops for us and kept it tight and we always know he's going to be there," said Staal. "You knew they were going to push in their building in Game 1 and we have to find a way to answer in Game 2. Playoffs come down to a bounce and one shot here or there and Thursday we were on the wrong side of it." Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Taliban announce spring offensive, vow to build institutions

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:55
ISLAMABAD — Afghanistan's Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive Friday, promising to build their political base in the country while focusing military assaults on coalition and Afghan security forces. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced the launch of the offensive in an email statement that boasted Taliban control over more than half of the country, referencing a February report issued by Washington's special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction. That report said that the Afghan government had control or influence over only 52 per cent of Afghanistan's 407 districts last year, down from 63.4 per cent previously. The Taliban dubbed this year's offensive "Operation Mansouri," named for the Taliban leader killed last year in a U.S. drone strike. "Hence, keeping the evolving situation in mind, this year's Mansouri Operations will differ from previous ones in nature and will be conducted with a twin-tracked political and military approach," said Mujahid. He did not make any mention of peace talks with the government. Attempts to find a peaceful end to Afghanistan's protracted war have been relentlessly unsuccessful. On the political side, Mujahid said the Taliban were going to begin building institutions in areas under their control, establishing what he called "social justice and development" mechanisms. He didn't offer specifics nor did he indicate whether this was an indication that the Taliban would step up their brand of justice that during their rule included the chopping off of hands for those convicted of theft and public executions. While the Taliban may be officially announcing their spring offensive, recent attacks including one earlier this week on an army base in northern Afghanistan that killed more than 140 Afghan soldiers would seem to warn of a tough fighting season ahead. In the latest attack, the Taliban disguised as Afghan army soldiers slipped into the compound of the 209 Corps in northern Afghanistan's Balkh province. While two militants exploded their suicide vests, the others opened fire on scores of soldiers. As well as the Taliban, Afghanistan is also battling an emerging local Islamic State affiliate known as Islamic State in Khorasan. The Taliban announcement of the offensive coincides with the anniversary of Afghanistan's so-called Saur Revolution against its pro-Russian rulers, which led to a 10-year uprising by U.S. backed Islamic insurgents or mujahedeen against an invading Soviet army. The Soviets withdrew defeated in 1989. Kathy Gannon, The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Crosby scores twice, Bonino has winner as Pens beat Caps

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:50
WASHINGTON — Sidney Crosby scored two goals in 52 seconds, Nick Bonino had the winner in the third period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night. Crosby versus Alex Ovechkin got much of the buzz heading into the showdown of two of NHL's best teams, and Ovechkin collected his fourth goal of the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov tied it in the third, but Marc-Andre Fleury made 15 of his 32 saves in the final period to help the defending Stanley Cup champions to the victory. Crosby was a threat to score just about every time he touched the puck. He beat Braden Holtby with his first two shots of the second period. Holtby stopped 18 shots, but he allowed Bonino's goal at 12:36. Game 2 is Saturday night. The Capitals had waited since their Game 6 overtime loss to the Penguins a year ago for another shot at them, and coach Barry Trotz was among many who said it felt right for these teams to meet again. The NHL's divisional playoff format put the top two teams in the regular season on this crash course to meet in the second round for one of the most anticipated series since, well, last year. A red-rocking Verizon Center was electric through a goal-less first period, and the sellout crowd got a chance to boo quickly in the second period. When Washington defenceman Matt Niskanen lost the puck battle with Patric Hornqvist in the neutral zone, Crosby finished on a 2-on-1 with Jake Guentzel 12 seconds in. As public-address announcer Wes Johnson was just finishing announcing that goal, Holtby allowed a juicy rebound off Olli Maatta's point shot that Hornqvist corralled and fed to Crosby for his second of the night. Within the first 64 seconds of the second period, Crosby had as many goals as he had points in the Penguins' series against the Capitals last year. Two days after saying he enjoys the battle against Crosby, Ovechkin answered in vintage fashion 18:17 into the second, firing a snap shot short side on Fleury. It was Ovechkin's 11th goal in 14 career playoff games against Pittsburgh. Then Kuznetsov scored his first, finishing a powerful shift by hitting the empty net at 8:05 of the third period off a tape-to-tape pass from Niskanen. Bonino untied it with 7:24 left , taking a pass along the boards from Scott Wilson and beating Holtby. Fleury made a flurry of five saves with 3 minutes left to preserve the victory. NOTES: LW Chris Kunitz returned to the Penguins' lineup after missing the first round and final five games of the regular season with a lower-body injury. Kunitz appeared in his 107th playoff game, tying Hall of Famer/co-owner Mario Lemieux for fifth on the Penguins' career list. ... Pittsburgh LW Carl Hagelin remained out with a lower-body injury that has sidelined him since mid-March. ... Capitals D Karl Alzner missed his fifth consecutive game with an upper-body injury. ... Washington did not have a power play in a playoff game for the first time since Game 7 of the first round against the New York Islanders in 2015. ___ More AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey ___ Follow Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SWhyno Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

'Bobbi Jene,' 'Keep the Change' top Tribeca Film Fest awards

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:38
NEW YORK — "Keep the Change," a romance about a couple who meet at a community for people on the autistic spectrum, and "Bobbi Jene," a documentary about an American dancer in the Israeli dance company Batsheva, were the top winners at the 16th Tribeca Film Festival. In the awards, announced in a ceremony Thursday night, Rachel Israel's debut feature, "Keep the Change," won the Founders Award for best narrative feature. The jury called it "a heartwarming, hilarious and consistently surprising reinvention of the New York romantic comedy, which opens a door to a world of vibrant characters not commonly seen on film." Tribeca co-founder Jane Rosenthal happily noted that all five feature film awards went to movies directed by women. The festival also gives an award, named after Nora Ephron, to a female director. That prize went to Petra Volpe, writer-director of "The Divine Order," a drama about women's suffrage in Switzerland. "Bobbi Jene," which follows the dancer Bobbi Jene Smith as she moved back the U.S., took the best documentary award and honours for its cinematography and editing. The jury praised director Elvira Lind's film for "pushing nonfiction intimacy to bold new places." Best international feature went to Elina Psykou's Greek drama "Son of Sofia." The director of the best narrative short, Kaveh Mazaheri, for "Retouch," said he was unable to attend the festival because of Republican President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban. Mazaheri, an Iranian filmmaker, said in a video message that he and his crew were unable to get visas for Tribeca. He said his absence was "a pity" due to Trump's "fascinating decisions." Courts have halted Trump's bid to stop immigration from six predominantly Muslim counties: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Trump has appealed the courts' rulings, saying he's trying to keep the United States safe. Jake Coyle, The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Karlsson beats Lundqvist late as Senators win Game 1 against Rangers

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:37
OTTAWA — Erik Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal late in regulation as the Ottawa Senators snatched Game 1 from the New York Rangers 2-1 on Thursday night. The Senators captain beat fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist on an innocent shot from just above the goal-line — one that pinged off Rangers centre Derek Stepan and into the back of the net. "Just wanted to get the puck in there and hope for a good bounce and got a great bounce," said Karlsson. "Those are always nice to get. And I think that the amount of pucks that we put at the net we deserved one of those." It was Karlsson's first goal and seventh point of the playoffs. The 26-year-old, who's been playing with a foot injury, also logged more than 28 minutes in the win, which put Ottawa ahead 1-0 in the best-of-seven second-round series.  Lundqvist had been superb to that point for New York and finished with 41 saves. Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots, beaten only by Ryan McDonagh. Ryan Dzingel also scored for Ottawa, with Game 2 lying ahead on Saturday evening. "I think the players didn't want to get swept in four," said Senators head coach Guy Boucher. "We heard from everybody how good they are. It's all you could hear is how much they're going to crush us." The Sens, playing in front of crowd that wasn't near full, had plenty of opportunities to take the early lead. Ottawa drew three power plays in the opening 20 minutes, but failed to score on any of them. Lundqvist was key to stopping those efforts. The 35-year-old continued his brilliant play from the first round in stopping all nine shots the Senators mustered with the man advantage and 21 in all. He made maybe his finest two stops on Mark Stone during a flurry around the Rangers net on the first Ottawa power play and then made another blocker stop late on the 24-year-old. Lundqvist had the worst regular season of his Hall of Fame-bound career (.910 save percentage), but was superb in stopping 195-of-206 shots (.947) during a six-game first-round win over Montreal. Anderson wasn't tested near as much at the other end, but was forced to hang tough when McDonagh walked past a row of Senators during a New York power play and made an attempt on goal that ultimately went wide. The Rangers captain didn't miss on another power play in the second, his point shot sailing past Anderson for the 1-0 lead with pesky winger Chris Kreider camped out in front. New York went 1-15 with the man advantage in the first round. Slumping through the first half of the middle period, the Sens grabbed momentum by punishing the Rangers with a series of heavy shifts down low in the offensive zone. The speedy Viktor Stalberg nearly scored when he slipped behind the New York defence at one point, but he was denied, just as Michael Grabner was at the other a few moments earlier. Ottawa finally broke through with another power play — on the second of two minor penalties for American rookie Brady Skjei. Lundqvist looked as if he'd continue stonewalling their efforts when he brushed a Kyle Turris shot aside from the left face-off circle, but the rebound came right to Dzingel and he didn't miss on the Sens' 33rd shot. The Senators controlled almost 57 per cent of even-strength shot attempts after 40 minutes. It was more Lundqvist in the third. First was a stop of Clarke MacArthur on a redirection from the slot and then another showstopper on Dzingel, who'd gotten behind the New York defence. Lundqvist snatched his shot with the glove as the Canadian Tire Centre crowd murmured in frustration. It wasn't until less than five minutes remained in regulation that Karlsson finally beat his Swedish counterpart with the go-ahead marker. His shot came from a spot in the right corner. Earlier in the day Karlsson called the Rangers the favourites in Ottawa's first second-round series in four years. "But we're going to take care of our stuff and we're going to do the things that we think we need to do well to have a chance to win this series," said Karlsson. "If we do all those things right we're definitely going to have a chance." Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Passenger who was dragged off jetliner settles with United

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:37
CHICAGO — The passenger who was dragged off a flight after refusing to give up his seat settled with United for an undisclosed sum Thursday in an apparent attempt by the airline to put the fiasco behind it as quickly as possible. David Dao's legal team said the agreement includes a provision that the amount will remain confidential. One his lawyers praised United CEO Oscar Munoz. Munoz "said he was going to do the right thing, and he has," attorney Thomas Demetrio said in a brief statement . "In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened ... without attempting to blame others, including the city of Chicago." The deal came less than three weeks after the episode and before Dao had even sued. The deal means United will not face a lawsuit, which could have been costly, both in legal bills and in further damage to the airline's reputation. Keeping settlement amounts secret is standard practice, including because companies often don't want others contemplating lawsuits or negotiating deals over separate grievances to know how much they've been willing to pay previously. Several legal observers unconnected to Dao's case said a payout to him of a few million dollars was possible. Chicago-based attorney Terry Sullivan said United executives may have been willing to pay as much as $5 million to make this particular case go away. "United just couldn't afford any more bad publicity on this," he said. United issued a brief statement Thursday, saying it was pleased to report "an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard Flight 3411." The dragging was one of several recent embarrassments for United. The airline was criticized in March after a gate agent stopped two teenage girls from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings — an apparent violation of a dress code for passengers travelling in a program for employees and their dependents. Then a giant showcase rabbit died this week after it was shipped across the Atlantic on a United flight from London's Heathrow Airport to O'Hare. Cellphone video of the April 9 confrontation aboard a jetliner at Chicago's O'Hare Airport sparked widespread public outrage over the way Dao was treated. The footage showed airport police officers pulling the 69-year-old Kentucky physician from his seat and dragging him down the aisle. His lawyer said he lost teeth and suffered a broken nose and a concussion. In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Demetrio said the settlement also averts any lawsuit against Chicago officials. The airport police officers who pulled Dao off the jet work for the city. "I praise Mr. Munoz and his people for not trying to throw the city under the bus or pass the buck," Demetrio said. "He stood in front of the world and has stated that, 'We, United, take full responsibility.'" Demetrio said it was "unheard of" for a company to admit responsibility so quickly and completely. "I hope corporate America notices when you goof up, people respect you a heck of a lot more when you admit it, instead of making people go through three years of depositions, motions, court hearings." He said Dao was also impressed that "United stepped up to the plate." The incident arose from a common air travel issue — a fully booked flight. Wanting to seat four crew members, the airline offered passengers $400 and later $800 to voluntarily relinquish their seats. When no one did, United selected four passengers at random. Three people got off the flight, but Dao refused, saying he needed to get home to treat patients the next day. The airline then summoned the officers, who forcibly removed Dao. The dragging was a major public-relations crisis for United. The company's response in the immediate aftermath was widely criticized. Munoz first defended the airline and described Dao as "belligerent" before publicly apologizing days later and vowing to do better. The three airport police officers who took Dao off the plane were placed on leave from the Chicago Department of Aviation. The agency released a report Monday in which the officer who pulled Dao from his seat, James Long, gave his version of events. Long said Dao was verbally and physically abusive and was flailing his arms before he lost his balance and struck his mouth on an armrest. The department's roughly 300 officers guard the city's two main airports but are not part of the regular Chicago police force. They receive less training and cannot carry guns inside the terminals. Also Thursday, the airline released a report detailing mistakes that led to the incident. United said it would raise to $10,000 the limit on the payments it offers to customers who give up seats on oversold flights and increase training for airline employees. The airline has vowed to reduce, but not eliminate, overbooking. United representatives have not said whether ticket sales have dropped since Dao was removed from the jet. ___ Follow Michael Tarm on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mtarm . Michael Tarm And Don Babwin, The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

White House wants to push tax overhaul without Democrats

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:35
WASHINGTON — A senior administration official said Thursday the White House plans to push its tax overhaul without any support from congressional Democrats. It's a sign of the intense partisanship over President Donald Trump's outlines for cutting tax rates in hopes of stimulating faster economic growth, increasing business activity and helping the middle class. The proposal unveiled Wednesday would also repeal several taxes that target the wealthy but eliminate many deductions they use. Democratic lawmakers say the plan would favour the wealthy and blow a deep hole in the federal budget. An independent estimate by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates federal revenue would plunge $5.5 trillion over a decade under the Trump plan, likely causing the deficit to balloon. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has suggested faster economic growth of 3 per cent or more would replace the lost tax revenue, a position most budget experts dispute. The administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss private deliberations, suggested Thursday that the White House might also find a way to work around a Senate rule that requires a 60-vote majority to pass bills that increase the deficit over the longer term. Under the rule, measures passed by a simple majority that increase the deficit expire in a 10-year window. The official indicated that the administration might not necessarily need to follow a 10-year window, noting that budget forecasts are often inaccurate. It was unclear how the suggested manoeuvr would overcome Senate procedure. Republicans currently hold a 52-seat majority in the Senate, leaving them in need of support from at least eight Democrats under the rule. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he planned to pass a tax overhaul without Democratic support, but only if it didn't add to long-term deficits. "Regretfully we don't expect to have any Democratic involvement in" a tax overhaul, McConnell said. "So we'll have to reach an agreement among ourselves." The Trump tax outline would reduce the top corporate tax rate by 20 percentage points, to 15 per cent, and enable private business owners to claim the new lower rate for their incomes. The number of tax brackets for individuals would be reduced from seven to three, with the top tax rate lowered from 39.6 per cent to 35 per cent. It would roughly double the standard amount taxpayers could deduct. The measure would eliminate the estate tax and reduce taxes on investments primarily paid by the wealthy. It would further reduce the tax burden for the rich by eliminating the alternative minimum tax, which ensures the high-income can't get away with paying little to no taxes. Senate Democrats quickly came out against the proposal. "This scheme is a massive tax giveaway to millionaires, billionaires and big corporations at the expense of middle-class families," said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. Josh Boak, The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Actor Diane Guerrero meets immigrant taking refuge in church

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:34
DENVER — Actor Diane Guerrero has met with a woman who is seeking refuge from deportation in the basement of a Denver church. Guerrero, who stars in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, met with Jeanette Vizguerra on Thursday and told the woman and her daughters not to make the same mistake she did as a child by remaining silent. Guerrero was 14 when her parents and her older brother were deported to their native Colombia. She decided to stay behind and live with friends. Guerrero was in Denver for a gathering of immigrant rights activists. Vizquerra has been living in the basement of the First Unitarian Church since February out of fear of being deported. She was recently named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of the year. The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

Trump to sign order aimed at expanding offshore drilling

News Talk 650 CKOM - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:34
WASHINGTON — Working to dismantle his predecessor's environmental legacy, President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order Friday that could lead to the expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. With one day left to rack up accomplishments before he reaches his 100th day in office, Trump will order his interior secretary to review an Obama-era plan that dictates which locations are open to offshore drilling, with the goal of the new administration to expand operations. It's part of Trump's promise to unleash the nation's energy reserves in an effort to reduce reliance on foreign oil and to spur jobs, regardless of fierce opposition from environmental activists, who say offshore drilling harms whales, walruses and other wildlife and exacerbates global warming. "This order will cement our nation's position as a global energy leader and foster energy security for the benefit of American people, without removing any of the stringent environmental safeguards that are currently in place," Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters at a White House briefing Thursday evening. Zinke said the order, combined with other steps Trump has taken during his first months in office, "puts us on track for American energy independence." The executive order will reverse part of a December effort by President Barack Obama to deem the bulk of U.S.-owned waters in the Arctic Ocean and certain areas in the Atlantic as indefinitely off limits to oil and gas leasing. It will also direct Zinke to conduct a review of the locations available for offshore drilling under a five-year plan signed by Obama in November. The plan blocked new oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. It also blocked the planned sale of new oil and gas drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska, but allowed drilling to go forward in Alaska's Cook Inlet southwest of Anchorage. The order could open to oil and gas exploration areas off Virginia and North and South Carolina, where drilling has been blocked for decades. Zinke said that leases scheduled under the existing plan will remain in effect during the review, which he estimated will take several years. The order will also direct Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to conduct a review of marine monuments and sanctuaries designated over the last 10 years. Citing his department's data, Zinke said the Interior Department oversees some 1.7 billion acres on the outer continental shelf, which contains an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil and 327 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas. Under current restrictions, about 94 per cent of that outer continental shelf is off-limits to drilling. Zinke, who will also be tasked with reviewing other drilling restrictions, acknowledged environmental concerns as "valid," but he argued that the benefits of drilling outweigh concerns. Environmental activists, meanwhile, railed against the expected signing, which comes seven years after the devastating 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Diana Best of Greenpeace said that opening new areas to offshore oil and gas drilling would lock the U.S. "into decades of harmful pollution, devastating spills like the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, and a fossil fuel economy with no future. "Scientific consensus is that the vast majority of known fossil fuel reserves - including the oil and gas off U.S. coasts- must remain undeveloped if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change," she said. Jacqueline Savitz of the ocean advocacy group ocean advocacy group Oceana warned the order would lead to "corner-cutting and set us up for another havoc-wreaking environmental disaster" in places like the Outer Banks or in remote Barrow, Alaska, "where there's no proven way to remove oil from sea ice." "We need smart, tough standards to ensure that energy companies are not operating out of control," she said, adding: "In their absence, America's future promises more oil spills and industrialized coastlines." ___ Follow Matthew Daly and Jill Colvin on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC and https://twitter.com/colvinj Matthew Daly And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press ©2017 The Canadian Press

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