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Updated: 53 min 48 sec ago

Conservative leaders to attend against Bill C-69 in Saskatchewan

1 hour 54 min ago
MOOSOMIN, Sask. - The premiers of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick joined Conservative leader Andrew Scheer on a panel at a rally in rural Saskatchewan on Saturday that was held to draw attention to legislation that would overhaul how major energy projects are assessed. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe called Bill C-69 “the no more pipelines bill.” “We have a very thorough process that does work. What we need is a federal government that supports our resource industries across this nation,” Moe told a crowd of hundreds in southeastern Saskatchewan. “Unfortunately what we have is a federal government that is pressing forward with Bill C-69.” Scheer vowed that if elected in October, he would repeal C-69 if it passed, but his government’s first job would be to scrap the carbon tax. He said he will spend from now until the federal election fighting against Trudeau’s energy policies. “We’re not interested in Justin Trudeau’s offers of bailouts,” said Scheer. “We want Justin Trudeau to get out of the way.” Rally organizer Sinclair Harrison said before the event that he hoped the rally would encourage TransCanada Corp. to reapply to build Energy East, a pipeline that would have transported oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to New Brunswick and Quebec. The company scrapped the $15.7 billion project in 2017. Energy East would have featured a tank terminal in Moosomin, Sask., near where the rally took place. There were also plans for additional pipelines to be built further south.   Harrison said the area already sees tax revenue coming from the existing TransCanada mainline and is reaping the benefits from construction taking place on another nearby pipeline. “We’re here to speak for the silent majority that are in favour of pipelines,” said Harrison. “The more pipelines, the better off we are.” New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs also said he hopes to revive the defunct project. “When I read the T-shirts about the world needs more Canadian oil, New Brunswick needs more Canadian oil,” Higgs said. Afterwards, Moe said he is willing to work to improve C-69 and has submitted suggestions as part of the consultation process to the federal government. He also said he is talking to different premiers, including Higgs, about developing more energy corridors throughout Canada. Saturday’s crowd also heard from local business and municipal leaders who spoke about the importance of pipelines to the sustainability of rural communities and the construction industry, as well as safety. About 50 kilometres away near St-Lazare, Man., approximately three dozen tanker cars of a Canadian National train derailed early Saturday. An undetermined amount of oil leaked, CN said, but it was later contained and there were no reports of injuries or a fire. Marlene Spear from Langenburg, Sask., who’s husband works in oil and gas and whose son-in-law was at the derailment, attended the rally and believes more pipelines are needed because it is safer than moving oil by rail. “Travelling the oil and gas across our country by train is not necessarily any safer than travelling it though a pipeline,” Spear said.  Marc Porter, from Wawota, Sask., was also at the rally, and said times are tough. “This is the first year that I’ve ever applied for unemployment insurance, probably since I was a kid, so it hasn’t been that great.” Saturday’s rally comes as a truck convoy that started in Red Deer, Alta., is making its way to Ottawa as part of a protest in support of the energy sector. Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

Canada’s Justin Kripps wins a World Cup four-man bobsled race in Lake Placid

2 hours 11 min ago
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Canada’s Justin Kripps won his first career four-man bobsled World Cup race Saturday, rallying his team back from fourth place to top the podium. Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., finished his second run in 54.75 seconds to move into top spot. Kripps, along with Cam Stones, of Whitby, Ont., Saskatoon’s Ben Coakwell and Calgary’s Ryan Sommer were in fourth entering the final run. “I thought after the first run we had a good shot,” Kripps said. “I knew the boys could push faster than we did in the first run, and they did. I’m just so happy for all the team.” Latvia’s Oskars Kibermanis drove to the silver medal, and Russia’s Maxim Andrianov was third. Germany’s Francesco Friedrich missed the podium for the first time all season, coming in fourth. He remained comfortably in the World Cup four-man overall points lead with one race remaining. Kripps had previously won three silvers and a bronze in four-man bobsled but had never topped the podium. He said the team has been starting to come together of late. “We are just starting to gel right now, and we will build on this momentum to the final races on home ice (Calgary and Whistler),” said Kripps, who took bronze with Stones on Friday in a two-man race. Monaco’s Rudy Rinaldi was the surprise leader after the first heat, leading by one-tenth of a second. But he crashed in his second run and finished 19th. The top U.S. sled was piloted by Hunter Church, who placed eighth on the Americans’ home Mount Van Hoevenberg track. Chris Spring piloted his Canadian sled of Neville Wright, Fabio Goncalves Silva and Dexter Janke were 10th at 1:50.37. Nick Poloniato drove his crew of Patrick Norton, William Auclair and Kostelnik Teodor to 18th at 1:51.00.   The Canadian Press

Police: Aurora attacker used gun he shouldn’t have owned

2 hours 12 min ago
AURORA, Ill. - The man who opened fire and killed five co-workers including the plant manager, human resources manager and an intern working his first day at a suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse, took a gun he wasn’t supposed to have to a job he was about to lose. Right after learning Friday that he was being fired from his job of 15 years at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Gary Martin pulled out a gun and began shooting, killing the three people in the room with him and two others just outside and wounding a sixth employee, police said Saturday. Martin shot and wounded five of the first officers to get to the scene, including one who didn’t even make it inside the sprawling warehouse in Aurora, Illinois, a city of 200,000 about 40 miles (65 kilometres) west of Chicago. After that flurry of shots and with officers from throughout the region streaming in to help, he ran off and hid in the back of the building, where officers found him about an hour later and killed him during an exchange of gunfire, police said. “He was probably waiting for us to get to him there,” Aurora police Lt. Rick Robertson said. “It was just a very short gunfight and it was over, so he was basically in the back waiting for us and fired upon us and our officers fired.” Like in many of the country’s mass shootings, Friday’s attack was carried out by a man with a violent criminal history who was armed with a gun he wasn’t supposed to have. Martin, 45, had six arrests over the years in Aurora, for what police Chief Kristen Ziman described as “traffic and domestic battery-related issues” and for violating an order of protection. He also had a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi that should have prevented him from buying his gun, Ziman said. He was able to buy the Smith and Wesson .40-calibre handgun on March 11, 2014, because he was issued a firearm owner’s identification card two months earlier after passing an initial background check. It wasn’t until he applied for a concealed carry permit five days after buying the gun and went through a more rigorous background check using digital fingerprinting that his Mississippi conviction was flagged and his firearm owner’s ID car was revoked, Ziman said. Once his card was revoked, he could no longer legally have a gun. “Absolutely, he was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm,” she said. But he was, and on Friday he took it and several magazines of ammunition to work. Scott Hall, president and CEO of Mueller Water Products Inc., which owns Henry Pratt, said that Martin came to work for his normal shift Friday and was being fired when he started shooting. “We can confirm that the individual was being terminated Friday for a culmination of a various workplace rules violations,” he told a news conference Saturday. He gave no details of the violations by Martin at the plant that makes valves for industrial purposes. A company background check of Martin when he joined Henry Pratt 15 years ago did not turn up a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi, Hall said. The employee who survived being shot is recovering at a hospital, Ziman said Saturday. None of the officers who were shot received life-threatening wounds, she said. Police identified the slain workers as human resources manager Clayton Parks of Elgin; plant manager Josh Pinkard of Oswego; mould operator Russell Beyer of Yorkville; stock room attendant and fork lift operator Vicente Juarez of Oswego; and human resources intern and Northern Illinois University student Trevor Wehner, who lived in DeKalb and grew up in Sheridan. It was Wehner’s first day on the job, his uncle Jay Wehner told The Associated Press. Trevor Wehner, 21, was on the dean’s list at NIU’s business college and was on track to graduate in May with a degree in human resource management. “He always, always was happy. I have no bad words for him. He was a wonderful person. You can’t say anything but nice things about him,” Jay Wehner said of his nephew. ___ Associated Press writers Carrie Antlfinger and Amanda Seitz contributed to this report. Babwin and Rousseau reported from Chicago. Don Babwin And Caryn Rousseau, The Associated Press

Emotional funeral for Sala held in his Argentine hometown

2 hours 43 min ago
PROGRESSO, Argentina - Family, friends, supporters and former teammates paid tribute to striker Emiliano Sala in his small Argentine hometown on Saturday, almost four weeks after he died when the plane he was in crashed into the English Channel. The 28-year-old Sala’s body received a hero’s welcome in Progreso where much of the grieving population paid their last respects to their soccer idol before the body was taken away for cremation. “It is something that I still cannot understand or accept because it hurts so much,” said Progreso resident Lucia Torres, who was in tears. “My town shut down on Jan. 21 and remains shut down to this day.” Sala was the best-known figure from Progreso, a town of several thousand inhabitants in Argentina’s Santa Fe province, and was adored by many. He had been known since childhood here as “Emi.” A post-mortem found that Sala died from injuries to his head and torso when his plane crashed in the channel. The single-engine aircraft was flying from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff where Sala was due to start a new career playing for the Welsh capital’s Premier League club. Among those in attendance at Saturday’s funeral were Cardiff City’s manager Neil Warnock and his Nantes teammate Nicolas Pallois. Sala’s body was recovered from the seabed wreckage last week but the plane’s pilot is still missing. Authorities have said that the Air Accidents Investigation Branch investigation could take up to 12 months. A pre-inquest review hearing was set for Nov. 6. “The truth is I understand little of all this. I would like to find out who was responsible, that someone would tell me ‘this is what happened,’ but fate seems to have led us to this,” Sala’s aunt, Mirta Taffarel, told local media amid tears. Sala’s body was flown to Argentina and arrived in Buenos Aires on Friday before being driven to Progreso, where Sala grew up. The Associated Press

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

2 hours 49 min ago
VANCOUVER - A global communications marketing firm says it is suspending its contract with former British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell in light of an allegation in a British newspaper that he groped a woman in the United Kingdom. Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July, and was engaged on a part-time basis as a consultant through a retainer agreement. However, the company says it and Campbell have “mutually decided to suspend their consulting arrangement” until a police investigation in the United Kingdom is complete. On Friday, the Daily Telegraph reported that London police are investigating a complaint from a woman who was an employee at the Canadian High Commission when Campbell was high commissioner to the U.K. The newspaper says the complainant alleges she was groped in 2013 and filed a complaint with police in January. The Metropolitan Police in London could not be reached for comment on Friday or Saturday. Campbell also could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman issued the following statement on his behalf: “This complaint was transparently disclosed and became the subject of a full due diligence investigation at the time by the Government of Canada and was found to be without merit.” The Daily Telegraph story includes the woman’s name, but The Canadian Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault without their active consent and was not able to contact the woman. Campbell was premier of British Columbia from 2001 until 2011. He was appointed high commissioner to the U.K. in 2011 and left the diplomatic post in 2016. The Canadian Press

Nembhard scores 21 points on perfect shooting, Florida handles Alabama 71-53

3 hours 11 min ago
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Canada’s Andrew Nembhard couldn’t miss. And for a while Alabama couldn’t hit. Nembhard, a 19-year-old from Aurora, Ont., and freshman star for Florida, scored a career-high 21 points without missing a shot and the Gators pounded the Crimson Tide 71-53 on Saturday in easily their most lopsided road win of the year. The Gators (14-11, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) held the Tide (15-10, 6-6) without a field goal for nearly eight minutes to start the game. “We did a pretty good job of dictating some tempo defensively,” Florida coach Mike White said. “If this became a track meet, we wouldn’t have had a chance.” His team then fought off a second-half rally attempt before it became too worrisome. Nembhard, whose previous scoring high was 13 points, made all nine field goal attempts, including a pair of three-pointers. He came in shooting 38 per cent. “The more I’m in the gym, I think, the more my confidence builds up,” he said. “Coach (White) likes to help me a lot.” Keyontae Johnson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Gators, who shot 54 per cent from the floor. KeVaughn Allen scored 13. Kira Lewis Jr., like Nembhard a freshman five-star recruit, led Alabama with 14 points. Donta Hall and John Petty each scored 10 points. “They took it to us from the start,” Tide coach Avery Johnson said. “They threw the first punch and we stumbled basically for the rest of the game. “We tried to make a little bit of a run there - I think we cut it down to eight - but they were always in control of the game.” The Tide rebounded from that opening field goal drought to shoot 44 per cent. But Alabama made just 10 of 22 free throw attempts and managed only one point better than its season-low. The Gators took a 51-34 lead on Jalen Hudson’s three-pointer with 13:17 left. Alabama managed to cut it to single digits a few minutes later with an 8-0 spurt. The Tide rally fizzled with missed shots on a pair of chances to pull to within five or six and Nembhard followed with a basket and free throw to effectively end the threat. “I just feel like we lacked energy and we didn’t execute our game plan very well,” Petty said. “We had some major lapses on offence also.” BIG PICTURE Florida: The Gators have won eight in a row at Coleman Coliseum. Florida’s last loss there came in 2006 and that team didn’t lose again on its way to SEC tournament and national titles. Alabama: With a home loss that won’t look good on the NCAA Tournament resume, the Tide didn’t make a basket until Galin Smith’s layup with 12:15 left before halftime, missing its first seven shots. JOHNSON’S TAKE The Tide coach said the team had little energy before the game and after it tipped off. “I don’t think the sky is necessarily falling but boy it’s really cloudy right now,” Johnson said. “I’m very disappointed in myself. I’m very disappointed with our effort.” LOCKE DOWN The Gators have found a way to win back-to-back games without Noah Locke scoring much. Coming off a 1-of-10 shooting, three-point performance in a victory over Vandy, he missed all four shots against the Tide. “He was a part of us getting a lot of stops,” White said. UP NEXT Florida plays its second straight road game, visiting LSU Wednesday night. Alabama visits Texas A&M Tuesday night. The Aggies beat the Tide 81-80 on Jan. 12. The Associated Press

International rules must be enforced, Freeland says after Munich conference

3 hours 27 min ago
Canada will continue to meet with like-minded nations as it aims to bridge divides between countries at a time of simmering international tensions, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said from Germany on Saturday. The approach is necessary as Canada strives to reinforce the “rules-based international order,” Freeland said in a conference call with reporters as she wrapped up her time at the Munich Security Conference. “We also think we need to … bring together specific coalitions around specific issues,” she said, listing the Lima Group - which helped empower Venezuela’s opposition in its fight against President Nicolas Maduro - as an example of Canada doing just that. The group helped identify the politician Canada and its allies recognize as Venezuela’s real leader, Juan Guaido, as a contender to bring down Maduro’s regime. “There is now a very long list of countries who have recognized Juan Guaido as interim president,” she said. “That is a sign that the international community is coming together around democracy in Venezuela.” But she added that Canada is not - and should not be - leading the fight against Maduro. “This is a process led by the people of Venezuela,” she said. “They are the ones who need to win this effort. Our job as the international community is to support them, and that is very much what we’re doing.” She said that beyond seeking out like-minded countries, Canada will continue to name and shame those involved in human rights abuses, listing the country’s involvement in protesting the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as an example of such an approach. The federal government has appointed former Liberal MP Bob Rae as Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar and pledged $300 million over the next three years to combat the crisis there. Last September, Parliament voted unanimously to strip Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, of her honorary Canadian citizenship for failing to stop the atrocities committed against the Rohingya people. Freeland’s public push for a rules-following international order also comes in the midst of an ongoing dispute between Canada and China, following what she called the superpower’s “arbitrary” detention of two Canadians in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. Freeland said the detention of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig was central to her discussion with Rob Malley, president of the International Crisis Group, and is yet another example of nations rallying together. “The ICG has been a very important partner in working to build international support,” she said. Numerous countries - including Germany, France, the Netherlands, the U.K., Australia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia - have spoken against the men’s detention. Earlier this week in Munich, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said the American response had not been strong enough. Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

3 hours 42 min ago
OTTAWA - Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation from cabinet this week has stoked long-standing frustration, disappointment and anger among Canada’s veterans, who say they have been ignored and betrayed by the Trudeau government. The Liberals went out of their way during the last federal election to court former service members, as Justin Trudeau promised to improve service delivery and reinstate a lifelong disability pension for veterans after years of Conservative cuts and inaction. That pension, first introduced after the First World War, was abolished by the Conservatives with unanimous support in the House of Commons in 2006 and replaced by a suite of rehabilitation programs and financial compensation for injured soldiers. Since then, the Liberals have run through three veterans-affairs ministers in as many years - Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould - while making little headway on improving service delivery and breaking their pension promise. The government has increased some supports and benefits for veterans and unveiled its own so-called Pension for Life program that will roll out in April, but that program has been widely assessed as falling far short of Trudeau’s original pledge. “Our key concern is there’s been a betrayal of the commitment that the prime minister made in the election of 2015,” said Brian Forbes, chair of the National Council of Veterans Associations, which represents more than 60 veteran groups. “That is felt very strongly in the veterans’ community.” The Liberals have also been roundly accused of ignoring the various ministerial advisory groups and other mechanisms established after the 2015 election to solicit feedback from the veterans’ community about its needs and concerns. All of which had sowed seeds of discontent even before Wilson-Raybould was handed the veterans-affairs portfolio on Jan. 14, taking over from O’Regan in a move widely regarded as a demotion from her previous role as justice minister. Now, while parliamentarians and Canadians at large wonder about the truth surrounding Wilson-Raybould’s discussions with the prime minister’s office about SNC-Lavalin, many veterans feel they have been forgotten. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has added responsibility for veterans to his duties, but only temporarily. “It’s like the veterans are the last priority in this story,” said Aaron Bedard, an Afghan War veteran from B.C. who led an unsuccessful legal battle against the government to reinstate the old disability pension. “We don’t have a minister of veterans affairs anymore.” Even before Wilson-Raybould’s departure, some veterans and veterans’ groups had questioned the number of ministers who have handled the portfolio under the Liberals - and what that says about their importance to the government. Not that the trend has been unique to the Liberals; all told, there have been seven veterans-affairs ministers in the past decade, not counting Sajjan. The Conservatives had three in less than two years, leading up to the last election. That in itself creates difficulties, says Scott Maxwell, executive director of Wounded Warriors Canada, which helps former service members with mental-health injuries, because new ministers take time to find their footing. “It just makes it difficult to get the work done,” Maxwell said in an interview earlier this month, before Wilson-Raybould’s resignation. “That’s something we’ve tracked as a barrier.” Yet Wilson-Raybould was also different in that many of her predecessors were seen as up-and-comers getting promotions and looking to impress, not senior ministers getting a demotion. While she repeatedly denied that description, insisting that working for veterans was vitally important, it nonetheless stuck with some veterans. “When you’re saying you’re being demoted and you’re being sent to veterans affairs, it’s a slap in the face for us,” said Daniel Tremblay, an Afghan War veteran from Ottawa who is now struggling with back problems and post-traumatic stress. “It should be a promotion, not a demotion. That way you know the individual wants to be there and cares for us.” The Trudeau government is scrambling to contain the damage caused by Wilson-Raybould’s resignation, which followed a Globe and Mail story saying the Prime Minister’s Office had pressured her to intervene in a criminal case against SNC-Lavalin. Yet her resignation also makes a difficult task for the government even harder, as the Liberals already faced an uphill climb selling their Pension for Life program ahead of this year’s federal election. It’s difficult to assess how veterans’ concerns affect federal elections given that the community is spread across the country, but anecdotal evidence has suggested many former service members voted Liberal in 2015 - largely because of the disability-pension promise. That appears almost certain to change in October - although the question is who veterans will actually support. Bedard, who worked with the Liberals in the last election, said the Conservatives have repeatedly reached out to him and other veterans over the past year or so. And he believes many who feel betrayed by Trudeau will follow him in voting for the Tories under Andrew Scheer or, barring that, Maxime Bernier’s upstart People’s Party of Canada. “It’s just lip service everywhere,” Bedard said. “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure he’s out. And I know every veteran I talk to on the phone and all of my closest friends that are passionate, advocate-type veterans will do anything to get this guy out. He betrayed us.” Yet others still remember the deep cuts to frontline work at Veterans Affairs Canada that were imposed by Stephen Harper’s government and the Conservatives’ refusal to reinstate the disability pension after a decade in power. “The (veterans-affairs) file has been mismanaged for a decade or more,” said Nova Scotia veteran David MacLeod, who was forced to leave the military in 2010 for medical reasons. “Based on mismanagement alone, I will not be supporting any of the major political parties in the coming election. I support one of the smaller parties or a credible independent candidate.” - Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Nunavut edges Quebec to win main draw game for first time at Scotties

3 hours 45 min ago
SYDNEY, N.S. - Nunavut’s Jenine Bodner skipped her team to an historic victory in the opening draw at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts on Saturday afternoon. She stole a point in the 10th end for a 4-3 win over Quebec’s Gabrielle Lavoie at Centre 200, giving the territory its first-ever win in the main draw of the women’s national curling championship. After four blank ends, Lavoie had hammer in the 10th and a chance for the victory. But her takeout attempt rolled out to give Bodner a single point and the win. Bodner played lead when Nunavut made its Scotties debut with a 1-2 record in the 2016 qualification event. She’s back now as a skip, although she throws second stones. Her Iqaluit Curling Club team includes Jennifer Blaney at vice-skip (throwing fourth), second Alison Griffin (throwing third) and lead Megan Ingram. Alternate Sadie Pinksen threw first stones Saturday. The unpopular qualification round was scrapped last year, giving every province and territory a spot in the main draw of the 16-team event. Nunavut went 0-3 at the 2017 Scotties and was 0-8 last year. In other early games, British Columbia’s Sarah Wark scored four in the 10th end for a 7-6 win over Nova Scotia’s Jill Brothers. Ontario’s Rachel Homan topped Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville 6-4 and Alberta’s Chelsea Carey beat Manitoba’s Tracy Fleury 7-6. Draw 2 was scheduled for Saturday night. Play continues through Feb. 24. --- Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Halifax Thunderbirds unveiled as name of new National Lacrosse League team

3 hours 48 min ago
Halifax’s new professional lacrosse team now has a name: the Thunderbirds. The name was unveiled at the Halifax Convention Centre on Saturday. The National Lacrosse League’s fifth Canadian franchise was announced in September, and is under the ownership of Curt Styres. The roster will be mostly made up of players from the Rochester Knighthawks, who are relocating to Halifax under Styres’ leadership. Chief Morley Googoo of the Assembly of First Nations for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland says the thunderbird is a symbol of power, strength, and nobility. The team will begin playing during the 2019-2020 season at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.   (Global News) The Canadian Press

Flames snap 4-game skid, beating Penguins 5-4

3 hours 50 min ago
PITTSBURGH - A big second period ended up being just enough for the Calgary Flames. Michael Frolik had the first of four second-period goals for Calgary, and the Flames held on to snap a season-long four-game skid with a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Frolik, Austin Czarnik, Travis Hamonic and Sam Bennett scored during a mid-game 17-minute span for Calgary, which held off a late Pittsburgh charge that included a pair of third-period power-play goals by Evgeni Malkin. “They’re a good team and they had a good pushback there at the end,” said Bennett, whose goal with 1:29 left in the second period ended up being decisive. “We got on our heels a little bit, but in the end, we gutted it out and that’s a huge win for our team after not the best showing in the last couple games.” Calgary got its only win on a four-game, eight-day trip and avenged a 9-1 loss to Pittsburgh in October during the teams’ other meeting this season. Despite numerous chances playing 6-on-5 over the game’s final 90 seconds, the Penguins couldn’t get the equalizer. Malkin had three points after serving a one-game suspension for swinging his stick at Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl. “I think we fought hard,” Malkin said. “Just (wish) we would have played better 5-on-5.” Mike Smith made 34 saves to win for the first time since Jan. 13 for Calgary, which entered Saturday tied for the best record in the Western Conference. The Flames never trailed after Andrew Mangiapane opened the scoring 7:06 into the game. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who welcomed back defenceman Justin Schultz from a 53-game absence because of a fractured left leg. Schultz assisted on Jake Guentzel’s goal that tied the game at 1 late in the first period. But the Penguins allowed at least five goals for the seventh time over their past 17 games and are 7-9-1 in that stretch. They have dropped to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They entered Saturday one point clear of ninth-place Carolina. Malkin nearly pulled Pittsburgh back from a 5-2 deficit with goals at 5:42 and 14:41 of the third period. Each of those was assisted by Crosby, but Crosby could not convert two prime scoring chances in the final minute. “You know it’s coming, right?” Flames coach Bill Peters said of the Penguins’ late surge. “We made it a little harder than we would’ve liked by putting them on the power play.” Before he was relieved by Casey DeSmith for the start of the third period, the Penguins’ Matt Murray allowed five goals on 24 shots, though his performance was at least in part attributable to shoddy defence and bad luck. The puck on the goal credited to Mangiapane - the second of his career - hit at least three sticks after it was shot from the left point by Oliver Kylington. The goal that gave the Flames the lead for good 1:29 into the second period was a loose puck swatted in when no Penguins player picked up Frolik after Murray had stopped Matthew Tkachuk. Ninety-three seconds after that, Czarnik’s third of the season was a shot from the top of the left circle that deflected off the stick of a Penguins defender. And Hamonic’s goal from the right-wing boards with 3:58 left in the second hit Guentzel’s stick on the way in. Bennett’s goal 2 1/2 minutes later gave Calgary five goals in a game for the 18th time this season. The Flames moved into second in the NHL in goals. “Obviously, there’s stuff you still want to clean up but everything’s moving back to where it was when we were buzzing,” Smith said. “That’s a good team there. … We wanted to finish this road trip off on a right note here and get two points tonight.” NOTES: Flames C Derek Ryan had three assists, the second three-point game among the 210 he’s played in the NHL. … Penguins RW Phil Kessel had two assists, the first of which (on Crosby’s goal) accounted for his 800th career point. Kessel is the 17th U.S.-born player to reach that milestone. … Crosby has eight points over his past four games. UP NEXT Flames: Calgary will return to the Scotiabank Saddledome for the first time in 11 days when it hosts the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Penguins: The Penguins play home games on consecutive days for the second of three times all season, hosting the New York Rangers on Sunday. ___ More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press

Canadian A.J. Lawson’s threes send South Carolina past Texas A&M 84-77

3 hours 58 min ago
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A.J. Lawson of Brampton, Ont., had 23 points off six of South Carolina’s program record-tying 16 three-pointers to rally past Texas A&M 84-77 on Saturday. The Gamecocks (13-12, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) trailed by double digits in the first half and were down 45-35 after Savion Flagg opened the second half for Texas A&M with a three-pointer. Tre Campbell quickly answered for the Gamecocks to start a 29-15 run over the next 13 minutes to take control. Lawson, a six-foot-six freshman, led the way with 13 points after halftime, going 4 of 4 from behind the arc for his second game with 20 or more points in the past three contests. Lawson hit 6 of 7 from behind the arc overall as the Gamecocks shot 51.6 per cent (16 of 31) from distance. “We’ve been working on it,” Lawson said of his team’s long-range shooting. Chris Silva added 22 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks as South Carolina continued its surprise run in the SEC. Just 5-7 entering league play, the Gamecocks came in tied for fourth in the SEC. Texas A&M (10-13, 3-9) saw its two-game win streak end. “When the other team makes 16 threes, it’s hard to win on their floor,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. Flagg led the Aggies with 24 points and Wendell Mitchell had 20. South Carolina finished 16 of 31 from behind the arc and tied the school mark for most in a game set against Campbell in November 2007. Hassani Gravett had 18 points off four three-pointers. The Aggies came in winning consecutive SEC games for the first time this season with victories over Missouri and Georgia. And they started this one like they didn’t want the run of success to end. Mitchell had a three-pointer and a three-point play in the first two minutes to lead a 24-12 start. Mitchell’s third three of the half with 5:27 to play gave Texas A&M its biggest lead at 34-21. That’s when the Gamecocks, behind the six-foot-nine Silva, finally got things going. Silva skied for an alley-oop off a feed from Gravett, then followed with a 3-pointer to start the charge. South Carolina closed a 14-4 surge on Silva’s bucket that cut things to 38-35 in the half’s final minute. But Josh Nebo put back a missed shot and TJ Starks went for a breakaway layup in the final 25 seconds to put the Aggies up 42-35 at the break. BIG PICTURE Texas A&M: The Aggies have struggled much of SEC play and showed some life early on at South Carolina. But Texas A&M could not handle the Gamecocks hot outside shooting or contain Silva on the inside. TJ Starks, a normally reliable shooter off the bench, had trouble finding his shooting touch, making just six of 14 attempts and missing all three of his three-point tries. South Carolina: The Gamecocks have gotten into a bit of a habit in falling behind and charging back. They were down 13 points in the second half against Arkansas last week before coming back to win. They overcame a similar double-digit deficit in the second half here, too. UP NEXT Texas A&M returns home to play Alabama on Tuesday night. South Carolina ends a two-game home stand with Mississippi on Tuesday night. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 The Associated Press

CN says train leaking crude following derailment in western Manitoba

3 hours 58 min ago
ST-LAZARE, Man. - A train carrying oil has derailed and is leaking in western Manitoba. Canadian National Railway says in a statement that 37 cars carrying crude left the tracks early Saturday morning near St-Lazare, just east of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boundary. CN says there is “a partial leak” of crude, and its environmental team is working to clean up the site and protect the environment. It says there are no reports of injuries or fires, and it’s still determining how much oil has spilled. St-Lazare is about 50 kilometres from Moosomin, Sask., where conservative leaders have been speaking at a pro-pipeline rally. Supporters of moving oil via pipelines argue it’s a safer alternative to shipping by rail. Barry Lowes, reeve of the Rural Municipality of Ellice-Archie, which surrounds St-Lazare, attended the Moosomin rally later Saturday after viewing the derailment from a distance. “I could see them off the track. I could see machinery working down there,” said Lowes, noting there was a foul smell in the area. He said “quite a bit” of oil had spilled in an area close to the Assiniboine River, and one farmer lives close to the derailment. He noted it’s not the first derailment in the community: in 1991, about 400 residents of St. Lazare fled their homes when a train derailment spilled dangerous chemicals. They returned six days later. Lowes said that isn’t happening with this derailment, but said there’s always a risk for the community. “If you’ve got trains, you’re going to have derailments,” he said.  The Canadian Press

Canada’s Andrew Nembhard scores 21 and Florida handles Alabama 71-53

4 hours 30 min ago
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Canadian freshman star Andrew Nembhard scored a career-high 21 points without missing a shot and Florida throttled Alabama’s offence in a 71-53 win on Saturday. The Gators (14-11, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) held the Crimson Tide (15-10, 6-6) without a field goal for nearly eight minutes to start the game and fought off a second-half rally attempt. Nembhard, from Thornhill, Ont., had a previous career high of 13 points, but shattered it on Saturday, making all nine field goal attempts, including a pair of three-pointers. Keyontae Johnson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Gators, who shot 54 per cent from the floor. KeVaughn Allen scored 13. Kira Lewis Jr., like Nembhard a freshman five-star recruit, led Alabama with 14 points. Donta Hall and John Petty each scored 10 points. The Tide rebounded from that opening field goal drought to shoot 44 per cent. But Alabama made just 10 of 22 free throw attempts and managed only one point better than its season-low. The Gators took a 51-34 lead on Jalen Hudson’s three-pointer with 13:17 left. Alabama managed to cut it to single digits a few minutes later with an 8-0 spurt. The Tide rally fizzled with missed shots on a pair of chances to pull to within five or six and Nembhard followed with a basket and free throw to effectively end the threat. BIG PICTURE Florida: The Gators have won eight in a row at Coleman Coliseum. Florida’s last loss there came in 2006 and that team didn’t lose again on its way to SEC tournament and national titles. Alabama: With a home loss that won’t look good on the NCAA Tournament resume, the Tide didn’t make a basket until Galin Smith’s layup with 12:15 left before halftime, missing its first seven shots. UP NEXT Florida plays its second straight road game, visiting LSU Wednesday night. Alabama visits Texas A&M Tuesday night. The Aggies beat the Tide 81-80 on Jan. 12. The Associated Press

Vatican defrocks former US cardinal McCarrick for sex abuse

4 hours 41 min ago
VATICAN CITY - Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been found guilty by the Vatican of sex abuse and defrocked, as calls rose Saturday for Pope Francis to reveal what he knew about the once-powerful American prelate’s apparently decades-long predatory sexual behaviour. The announcement Saturday, delivered in uncharacteristically blunt language for the Vatican, meant that the 88-year-old McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., becomes the highest-ranking churchman and the first cardinal to be punished by dismissal from the clerical state, or laicization. He was notified Friday of the decision, which was upheld upon his appeal and approved by Pope Francis. The pontiff next week leads a summit of bishops from around the world who have been summoned to Rome help him grapple with the entrenched problems of clerical sex abuse and the systematic coverups by the Catholic church’s hierarchy. Decades of revelations about priests who have sexually preyed on minors and their bosses who shuffled abusive clergy from parish to parish instead of removing them from access to children have shaken the faith of many Catholics. They also threaten the moral authority of Francis and even the survival of his papacy. McCarrick, who in his prestigious red cardinal robes hobnobbed with presidents, other VIP politicians and pontiffs, is now barred from celebrating Mass or other sacraments including confession and from wearing clerical garb. He is to be referred to as Mr. McCarrick. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Holy See’s guardian of doctrinal purity, issued a decree on Jan. 11 finding McCarrick guilty of “solicitation in the sacrament of confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power,” the Vatican said. That commandment forbids adultery. On Wednesday, Congregation officials considered his appeal and upheld the decree. The pope “recognized the definitive nature of this decision made in accordance with (church) law, rendering it as ‘res iudicata,'” the Vatican said, using the Latin phrase for admitting no further recourse. The McCarrick scandal was particularly damning to the church’s reputation because it apparently was an open secret in some ecclesial circles that he slept with adult seminarians. Francis yanked McCarrick’s rank as a cardinal in July after a U.S. church investigation found credible an allegation he fondled a teenage altar boy in the 1970s. McCarrick’s civil lawyer, Barry Coburn, said Saturday that his client had no comment on the defrocking. Coburn declined to say if McCarrick would stay at the residence in Kansas where he moved after Francis ordered him to live in penance and prayer while the investigation into his actions continued. But the Salina, Kansas, diocese, said “Mr. McCarrick will continue to reside at the St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria until a decision of permanent residence is finalized.” Besides bishops arriving for the sex abuse summit, victims’ rights advocates are also converging on Rome. They are demanding that Francis, other Vatican officials and bishops elsewhere come clean about how McCarrick managed such a meteoric rise through church ranks despite reports about his sexual life. “The pope has known from the earliest days of his papacy, or he should have known, that ex-cardinal McCarrick was a sexual predator,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, an advocate at BishopAccountability.org. “He has a resistance to removing bishops and he also has a tolerance for bishops who are sexual wrongdoers,” Doyle told The Associated Press on Saturday near St. Peter’s Square. Of the defrocking, Doyle said: “Let McCarrick be the first of many. I can think of 10 other bishops who are substantively, credibly accused of sexual abuse with minor and sexual misconduct with adults, who should be laicized.” A conservative lay group, The Catholic Association, said in a statement that much more must be done to hold accountable “those in the church hierarchy who looked the other way as McCarrick rose through their ranks” and to ensure that priestly celibacy is restored and youths are safeguarded from sexual abuse. Walking with Doyle was Phil Saviano, a board member of BishopAccountability.org, and a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest. While calling McCarrick’s defrocking “ultimately a good thing,” he said the punishment should have been meted out long ago. He said he hoped Francis isn’t “throwing a bone to his dissenters in an attempt to quiet everybody down. And then McCarrick will be the one and only, because there are certainly many others who have allegations against them who should face some accountability.” His account of being abused helped the Boston Globe produce a Pulitzer-winning investigation into church coverups, which was chronicled in the movie “Spotlight.” When ordained a priest in his native New York City in 1958, McCarrick embraced a vocation that required celibacy. Later on in his career, McCarrick curried cachet at the Vatican as a stellar fundraiser. A globe-trotting powerbroker, McCarrick liked to be called “Uncle Ted” by the young seminarians he courted. Despite apparent common knowledge in church circles of his sexual behaviour, McCarrick rose up through the ranks, even serving as the spokesman for fellow U.S. bishops when they enacted a “zero tolerance” policy against sexually abusive priests in 2002. One of his accusers, James Grein, the son of a family friend of McCarrick’s, testified to church officials that, among other abuses, McCarrick had repeatedly groped him during confession. He said the abuse, which went on for decades, began when he was 11. “Today I am happy that the pope believed me,” Grein said in a statement issued through his lawyer. He expressed hope that McCarrick “will no longer be able to use the power of Jesus’ church to manipulate families and sexually abuse children.” Grein said pressure must be put on U.S. state attorney generals and senators to change the statute of limitations for abuse cases. “Hundreds of priests, bishops and cardinals are hiding behind man-made law,” he said. The current archdiocese of Washington, D.C., where McCarrick was posted at the pinnacle of his career from 2001-2006, said it hoped that the Vatican decision “serves to help the healing process for survivors of abuse, as well as those who have experienced disappointment or disillusionment because of what former Archbishop McCarrick has done.” Complaints were also made about McCarrick’s conduct in the New Jersey dioceses of Newark and Metuchen, where he previously served. Francis himself became implicated in the decades-long McCarrick coverup after a former Vatican ambassador to Washington accused the pope of rehabilitating the cardinal from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI despite being told of his penchant for young men. Francis hasn’t responded to those claims but he ordered a limited Vatican investigation. The Vatican has acknowledged the outcome may produce evidence that mistakes were made and said Francis would “follow the path of truth, wherever it may lead.” Sexual abuse scandals have threatened to taint the legacy of past papacies, including that of John Paul II, who has since been made a saint. The Rev. Marcial Maciel, a pedophile, enjoyed John Paul II’s admiration for his success in spurring vocations and for inspiring generous financial donations. Maciel’s predatory crimes against children were ignored for decades by the Vatican bureaucracy. ___ Frances D’Emilio is on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/fdemilio Frances D’Emilio, Nicole Winfield And Trisha Thomas, The Associated Press

Sam Gagner headed back to Oilers; Canucks deal him for Ryan Spooner

4 hours 52 min ago
Sam Gagner is back with the Edmonton Oilers, the team with which he spent the first seven seasons of his NHL career. The Oilers acquired Gagner in a deal Saturday with Vancouver that sent centre Ryan Spooner to the Canucks. The Oilers expected to have the 29-year-old Gagner for their road game against the New York Islanders on Saturday night. “We’ve liked Sam to be a part of our club,” Oilers assistant GM Keith Gretzky said on the team’s website. “He can add experience in the locker-room and we think he can help us on our power play.” The Oilers selected Gagner sixth overall in the 2007 draft, and the 29-year-old posted five consecutive seasons with 41 or more points to start his NHL career. He’s spent most of this roller-coaster season however on loan to the Toronto Marlies, scoring 12 goals and picking up 37 points in 43 AHL games. “It’s a great situation for us and for himself,” Gretzky said. “He wants to play in the NHL and he’s going to get an opportunity. I feel that he’s going to help our hockey club.” The deal comes less than a day after the Oilers sent Cam Talbot to Philadelphia for fellow goalie Anthony Stolarz. Meanwhile, Vancouver is the third NHL stop this season for Spooner, who has split his 2018-19 campaign between the New York Rangers, Oilers and Bakersfield Condors. The 27-year-old from Ottawa had two points (1-1-2) in 16 games with the Rangers, three points (2-1-3) in 25 games with the Oilers and six points (2-4-6) in seven games with the Condors. Originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round, 45th overall in the 2010 NHL draft, Spooner has collected 163 NHL points (48-115-163) in 314 career games.     The Canadian Press

Nadav Lapid’s ‘Synonyms’ wins top prize at Berlin Film Fest

4 hours 57 min ago
BERLIN - Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” a movie about a young Israeli man who uproots himself to France and is determined to put his homeland behind him, won the Berlin International Film Festival’s top Golden Bear award on Saturday. A jury headed by French actress Juliette Binoche chose the movie from a field of 16 competing at the first of the year’s major European film festivals. Set in Paris, it stars Tom Mercier in the role of Yoav, who refuses to speak Hebrew and is accompanied by an ever-present French dictionary as he tries to put down roots and create a new identity for himself. Lapid said as he accepted the award that some in Israel might be “scandalized” by the movie “but for me, the film is also a big celebration - a celebration, I hope, also of cinema.” “I hope that people will understand that fury and rage and hostility and hate … are only the twin brothers and sisters of strong attachment and powerful emotions,” he said. The festival’s best actor and best actress awards went to Wang Jingchun and Yong Mei, respectively, for their roles as a couple who lose their son in director Wang Xiaoshuai’s “So Long, My Son.” The three-hour Chinese family saga spans three decades of history from the 1980s to the present, portraying a society in constant change. The best director honours went to Germany’s Angela Schanelec for her family drama “I Was at Home, But.” The festival’s jury grand prize award was won by French director Francois Ozon’s “By the Grace of God,” a movie about the long-term effects of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. Italian anti-Mafia journalist Roberto Saviano, along with Maurizio Braucci and Claudio Giovannesi, took the best script award for “Piranhas,” a film following teenagers growing up in a dangerous world of crime in Naples. Saviano said writing the screenplay was meant to “show resistance,” and added that “speaking the truth in our country has become very complex.” This year’s competition originally comprised 17 films, but famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s “One Second,” set amid the chaos and violence of the country’s 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, was withdrawn after festival started. A festival statement on Monday said it wasn’t possible to present it “due to technical difficulties encountered during post-production.” It did not elaborate. Binoche said at Saturday’s ceremony that jury members “regret that we were not able to consider” the film. This year’s “Berlinale” was the last under Dieter Kosslick, its director of the last 18 years. German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said he “always positioned the Berlinale on the fronts of the big, controversial debates of our times.” Kosslick will be replaced by a team of Carlo Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek. Locarno film festival chief Chatrian will become the festival’s artistic director and Rissenbeek, a German movie industry official, will be its managing director. Geir Moulson, The Associated Press

Police: Aurora gunman likely knew he was being fired

5 hours 1 min ago
AURORA, Ill. - The man who gunned down five co-workers and wounded a sixth at a suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse before shooting and wounding five police officers brought his gun to a meeting in which he was going to be fired, authorities said Saturday. Because Gary Martin brought his gun to Friday’s meeting at the sprawling Henry Pratt Co. warehouse in Aurora, he likely knew he might be about to lose the job he had held for 15 years, police Chief Kristen Ziman said at a news conference. Ziman said she didn’t know what had been conveyed to Martin, why he was being fired or whether he had shown up for his regular shift or was there just for the meeting. But she said as soon as he was fired, he pulled his handgun and began shooting. Three of the five co-workers he killed were in the room with him and the other two were just outside, she said. Frantic calls to 911 started pouring in from frightened workers at 1:24 p.m. and officers arrived at the scene within four minutes, authorities said. Martin fired on the officers when they arrived, striking one outside and another near the building’s entrance. The other three wounded officers were shot inside the building. None of their wounds are considered life-threatening, Ziman said Saturday. All of the officers who were wounded were shot within the first five minutes of police arriving at the scene, authorities said. After that flurry of shots and with officers from throughout the region streaming in to help, Martin ran off and hid inside the 29,000-square-foot building. Police used an armoured rescue vehicle called a Bearcat to enter the building, Aurora police Lt. Rick Robertson said. Teams of officers then began to search the massive building, finding Martin hiding in the back about an hour later and killed him in an exchange of gunfire, he said. “He was probably waiting for us to get to him there,” said Robertson. “It was just a very short gunfight and it was over, so he was basically in the back waiting for us and fired upon us and our officers fired.” Police identified the slain workers as human resources manager Clayton Parks of Elgin; plant manager Josh Pinkard of Oswego; mould operator Russell Beyer of Yorkville; stock room attendant and fork lift operator Vicente Juarez of Oswego; and human resources intern and Northern Illinois University student Trevor Wehner, who lived in DeKalb and grew up in Sheridan. It was Wehner’s first day on the job, his uncle Jay Wehner told The Associated Press. Trevor Wehner, 21, was on the dean’s list at NIU’s business college and was on track to graduate in May with a degree in human resource management. “He always, always was happy. I have no bad words for him. He was a wonderful person. You can’t say anything but nice things about him,” Jay Wehner said of his nephew. The worker who was shot but survived was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, authoritiessaid. A sixth police officer suffered a knee injury during the search of the building. Martin had been arrested six times in Aurora over the years, including for domestic battery, Ziman said. He was able to buy the Smith and Wesson .40-calibre handgun he used in the attack because an initial background check didn’t catch that he had a prior felony conviction in Mississippi, the chief said. Martin was issued a firearm owner’s identification card in January of 2014 after he passed the initial background check and he bought the gun that March 11. It wasn’t until he applied for a concealed carry permit five days later and went through a more rigorous background check that uses digital fingerprinting that his 1995 felony conviction in Mississippi for aggravated battery was flagged and his firearm owner’s ID card was revoked, she said. Once his card was revoked, he could no longer legally have a gun. The shooting shocked the city of 200,000, which is about 40 miles (65 kilometres) west of Chicago. “For so many years, we have seen similar situations throughout our nation and the horrible feeling that we get when we see it on the news. To experience it first-hand, is even more painful,” said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin said Friday. Resident Christy Fonseca said she often worries about some of the gang-related crimes and shootings around her mother’s Aurora neighbourhood. But she never expected the type of phone call she got from her mom on Friday, warning her to be careful with an active shooter loose in the town. Police cars with screaming sirens revved past her as she drove to her mother’s house, where the Henry Pratt building is visible from the porch stoop. It was only when they flipped on the television news that they realized Martin had killed people just a few hundred feet away. “In Aurora, period, we’d never thought anything like this would happen,” Fonseca, a lifelong resident, said as she looked out at the warehouse where Henry Pratt makes valves for industrial purposes. ___ Associated Press writers Carrie Antlfinger and Amanda Seitz contributed to this report. Babwin and Rousseau reported from Chicago. Don Babwin And Caryn Rousseau, The Associated Press

Vatican defrocks former US cardinal McCarrick for sex abuse

5 hours 5 min ago
VATICAN CITY - Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been found guilty by the Vatican of sex abuse and defrocked, as calls rose Saturday for Pope Francis to reveal what he knew about the once-powerful American prelate’s apparently decades-long predatory sexual behaviour. The announcement Saturday, delivered in uncharacteristically blunt language for the Vatican, meant that the 88-year-old McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., becomes the highest-ranking churchman and the first cardinal to be punished by dismissal from the clerical state, or laicization. He was notified Friday of the decision, which was upheld upon his appeal and approved by Pope Francis. The pontiff next week leads a summit of bishops from around the world who have been summoned to Rome help him grapple with the entrenched problems of clerical sex abuse and the systematic coverups by the Catholic church’s hierarchy. Decades of revelations about priests who have sexually preyed on minors and their bosses who shuffled abusive clergy from parish to parish instead of removing them from access to children have shaken the faith of many Catholics. They also threaten the moral authority of Francis and even the survival of his papacy. McCarrick, who in his prestigious red cardinal robes hobnobbed with presidents, other VIP politicians and pontiffs, is now barred from celebrating Mass or other sacraments including confession and from wearing clerical garb. From now on he is referred to as Mr. McCarrick. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Holy See’s guardian of doctrinal purity, issued a decree on Jan. 11 finding McCarrick guilty of “solicitation in the sacrament of confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power,” the Vatican said. That commandment forbids adultery. On Wednesday, Congregation officials considered his appeal and upheld the decree. The pope “recognized the definitive nature of this decision made in accordance with (church) law, rendering it as ‘res iudicata,'” the Vatican said, using the Latin phrase for admitting no further recourse. The McCarrick scandal was particularly damning to the church’s reputation because it apparently was an open secret in some ecclesial circles that he slept with adult seminarians. Francis yanked McCarrick’s rank as a cardinal in July after a U.S. church investigation found credible an allegation he fondled a teenage altar boy in the 1970s. McCarrick’s civil lawyer, Barry Coburn, said Saturday that his client had no comment on the defrocking. Coburn also declined to say if McCarrick was still living at the Kansas friary where he moved after Francis ordered him to live in penance and prayer while the investigation into his actions continued. Besides bishops arriving for the sex abuse summit, victims’ rights advocates are also converging on Rome. They are demanding that Francis, other Vatican officials and bishops elsewhere come clean about how McCarrick managed such a meteoric rise through church ranks despite reports about his sexual life. “The pope has known from the earliest days of his papacy, or he should have known, that ex-cardinal McCarrick was a sexual predator,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, an advocate at BishopAccountability.org. “He has a resistance to removing bishops and he also has a tolerance for bishops who are sexual wrongdoers,” Doyle told The Associated Press on Saturday near St. Peter’s Square. Of the defrocking, Doyle said: “Let McCarrick be the first of many. I can think of 10 other bishops who are substantively, credibly accused of sexual abuse with minor and sexual misconduct with adults, who should be laicized.” A conservative lay group, The Catholic Association, said in a statement that much more must be done to hold accountable “those in the church hierarchy who looked the other way as McCarrick rose through their ranks” and to ensure that priestly celibacy is restored and youths are safeguarded from sexual abuse. Walking with Doyle was Phil Saviano, a board member of BishopAccountability.org, and a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest. While calling McCarrick’s defrocking “ultimately a good thing,” he said the punishment should have been meted out long ago. He said he hoped Francis isn’t “throwing a bone to his dissenters in an attempt to quiet everybody down. And then McCarrick will be the one and only, because there are certainly many others who have allegations against them who should face some accountability.” His account of being abused helped the Boston Globe produce a Pulitzer-winning investigation into church coverups, which was chronicled in the movie “Spotlight.” When ordained a priest in his native New York City in 1958, McCarrick embraced a vocation that required celibacy. Later on in his career, McCarrick curried cachet at the Vatican as a stellar fundraiser. A globe-trotting powerbroker, McCarrick liked to be called “Uncle Ted” by the young seminarians he courted. Despite apparent common knowledge in church circles of his sexual behaviour, McCarrick rose up through the ranks, even serving as the spokesman for fellow U.S. bishops when they enacted a “zero tolerance” policy against sexually abusive priests in 2002. One of his accusers, James Grein, the son of a family friend of McCarrick’s, testified to church officials that, among other abuses, McCarrick had repeatedly groped him during confession. He said the abuse, which went on for decades, began when he was 11. “Today I am happy that the pope believed me,” Grein said in a statement issued through his lawyer. He expressed hope that McCarrick “will no longer be able to use the power of Jesus’ church to manipulate families and sexually abuse children.” Grein said pressure must be put on U.S. state attorney generals and senators to change the statute of limitations for abuse cases. “Hundreds of priests, bishops and cardinals are hiding behind man-made law,” he said. The current archdiocese of Washington, D.C., where McCarrick was posted at the pinnacle of his career from 2001-2006, said it hoped that the Vatican decision “serves to help the healing process for survivors of abuse, as well as those who have experienced disappointment or disillusionment because of what former Archbishop McCarrick has done.” Complaints were also made about McCarrick’s conduct in the New Jersey dioceses of Newark and Metuchen, where he previously served. Francis himself became implicated in the decades-long McCarrick coverup after a former Vatican ambassador to Washington accused the pope of rehabilitating the cardinal from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI despite being told of his penchant for young men. Francis hasn’t responded to those claims but he ordered a limited Vatican investigation. The Vatican has acknowledged the outcome may produce evidence that mistakes were made and said Francis would “follow the path of truth, wherever it may lead.” Sexual abuse scandals have threatened to taint the legacy of past papacies, including that of John Paul II, who has since been made a saint. The Rev. Marcial Maciel, a pedophile, enjoyed John Paul II’s admiration for his success in spurring vocations and for inspiring generous financial donations. Maciel’s predatory crimes against children were ignored for decades by the Vatican bureaucracy. ___ Frances D’Emilio is on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/fdemilio Frances D’Emilio, Nicole Winfield And Trisha Thomas, The Associated Press

Canadian A.J. Lawson’s threes send South Carolina past Texas A&M 84-77

5 hours 10 min ago
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A.J. Lawson of Brampton, Ont., had 23 points off six of South Carolina’s program record-tying 16 three-pointers to rally past Texas A&M 84-77 on Saturday. The Gamecocks (13-12, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) trailed by double digits in the first half and were down 45-35 after Savion Flagg opened the second half for Texas A&M with a three-pointer. Tre Campbell quickly answered for the Gamecocks to start a 29-15 run over the next 13 minutes to take control. Lawson, a six-foot-six freshman, led the way with 13 points after halftime, going 4 of 4 from behind the arc for his second game with 20 or more points in the past three contests. Chris Silva added 22 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks as South Carolina continued its surprise run in the SEC. Just 5-7 entering league play, the Gamecocks came in tied for fourth in the SEC. Texas A&M (10-13, 3-9) saw its two-game win streak end. Flagg led the Aggies with 24 points and Wendell Mitchell had 20. South Carolina finished 16 of 31 from behind the arc and tied the school mark for most in a game set against Campbell in November 2007. Hassani Gravett had 18 points off four three-pointers. The Aggies came in winning consecutive SEC games for the first time this season with victories over Missouri and Georgia. And they started this one like they didn’t want the run of success to end. Mitchell had a three-pointer and a three-point play in the first two minutes to lead a 24-12 start. Mitchell’s third three of the half with 5:27 to play gave Texas A&M its biggest lead at 34-21. That’s when the Gamecocks, behind the six-foot-nine Silva, finally got things going. Silva skied for an alley-oop off a feed from Gravett, then followed with a 3-pointer to start the charge. South Carolina closed a 14-4 surge on Silva’s bucket that cut things to 38-35 in the half’s final minute. But Josh Nebo put back a missed shot and TJ Starks went for a breakaway layup in the final 25 seconds to put the Aggies up 42-35 at the break. BIG PICTURE Texas A&M: The Aggies have struggled much of SEC play and showed some life early on at South Carolina. But Texas A&M could not handle the Gamecocks hot outside shooting or contain Silva on the inside. TJ Starks, a normally reliable shooter off the bench, had trouble finding his shooting touch, making just six of 14 attempts and missing all three of his three-point tries. South Carolina: The Gamecocks have gotten into a bit of a habit in falling behind and charging back. They were down 13 points in the second half against Arkansas last week before coming back to win. They overcame a similar double-digit deficit in the second half here, too. UP NEXT Texas A&M returns home to play Alabama on Tuesday night. South Carolina ends a two-game home stand with Mississippi on Tuesday night. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 The Associated Press

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