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11 people killed in reported gun attack at bar in Brazil

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 23:11
RIO DE JANEIRO - A gang of gunmen reportedly attacked a bar in the capital of Brazil’s northern Par state Sunday afternoon, and authorities said 11 people were killed. The state security agency confirmed late Sunday only that six women and five men died in the incident in the Guam neighbourhood of the Par state capital, Belm. The G1 news website said police reported that seven gunmen were involved in the attack, which also wounded one person. The news outlet said the attackers arrived at the bar on one motorcycle and in three cars. In late March, the federal government sent National Guard troops to Belm to reinforce security in the city for 90 days. Brazil hit a record high of 64,000 homicides in 2017, 70% of which were due to firearms, according to official statistics. Much of Brazil’s violence is gang related. In January, gangs attacked across Fortaleza, bringing that city to a standstill with as commerce, buses and taxis shut down. Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second biggest city, experiences daily shootouts between rival gangs and also between police and criminals, battles that often result in the deaths of innocent bystanders. Fogo Cruzado, a group that monitors shootings in the Rio metropolitan area, says there were 2,300 shootings in Rio and its suburbs during the first 100 days of this year. Killings attributed to police gunfire in Rio de Janeiro state have reached a record high, rising 18% in the first three months, in a spike partly attributed to a campaign of a zero tolerance for criminals being pushed by state leaders. One of new President Jair Bolsonaro’s main campaign promises was that he would loosen Brazil’s strict gun laws, arguing that because criminals are well-armed with illegally obtained guns, “upstanding citizens” should have the right to defend themselves with legally bought guns. Bolsonaro has made good on that campaign promise with two presidential decrees that make buying guns easier, though federal prosecutors are seeking to get the courts to block that move. The Associated Press

Rape trial begins for ex-NFL player Kellen Winslow Jr

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 23:10
SAN DIEGO - Kellen Winslow Jr., a former NFL No. 1 draft pick and son of a Hall of Famer who starred for his hometown San Diego Chargers, goes on trial Monday on multiple charges, including raping two women last year and the 2003 rape of an unconscious 17-year-old girl. The 35-year-old who once was the highest-paid tight end in the NFL but saw his career sidetracked by injuries could face life in prison if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, totalling 12 counts. A total of five women are listed as victims in the complaint that also includes allegations of lewd conduct and indecent exposure. His attorney, Brian Watkins, said in an email to The Associated Press that “we look forward to vindicating Mr. Winslow.” Winslow was initially arrested in 2018 after authorities say they found ties to him and two alleged break-ins at the home of a 71-year-old woman on June 1 and an 86-year-old woman on June 7 in the Pacific beach town of Encinitas, north of San Diego. After posting bail, he was arrested again on the additional charges of raping two women, a 54-year-old female in March of 2018 and a 59-year-old female in May of 2018. Both women were attacked in Encinitas. He is accused of kidnapping the 54-year-old. Also in May of 2018, a 57-year-old woman accused Winslow of exposing himself to her. Another woman stepped forward to say she had been attacked by him when she was 17, according to the investigation. While he was out on $2 million bail, he was arrested for lewd conduct in front of a 77-year-old woman at a gym on two separate occasions in February of this year. He has been jailed since without bail. Prosecutors say he appeared to target middle-aged and elderly women. Winslow is the son of Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow. The former University of Miami star had 469 catches for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns in 105 games. Drafted No. 6 overall by Cleveland, he broke his right leg in his rookie season, then sustained a serious right knee injury in a motorcycle accident that off-season. From 2004 to 2013, he played for Cleveland, Tampa Bay, New England and the New York Jets. He was suspended in 2013 with the Jets for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. That same year, he was arrested after a woman told police she saw him masturbating in a parked car outside of a New Jersey department store. Winslow was arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana, and the charge was dropped after he completed court-ordered terms. Julie Watson, The Associated Press

Kawhi Leonard ailing but still scoring in double-overtime win over Milwaukee

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 22:39
TORONTO - Kawhi Leonard’s teammates had long gone by the time he emerged from the nether-regions of the Raptors locker-room to get dressed. It was 11:29 p.m. local time. Treatment beckoned after leading Toronto to a 118-112 double-overtime win over Milwaukee, cutting the Bucks’ lead in the Eastern Conference final to two games to one. Leonard appeared to favour his leg during a gritty 52-minute performance Sunday night that featured 36 points, nine rebounds and five assists. While teammates Kyle Lowry and Norm Powell fouled out, Leonard kept going and going. So much for load management. It was Leonard’s longest-ever NBA shift. The reticent superstar, who was limited to nine games last season with a quad injury as a San Antonio Spur, offered little when asked about his health after the game. “I’m good. I’m just going to keep fighting and be playing.” Does it feel like you’ve played 52 minutes, he was asked? “Definitely. Yeah. I mean it’s 52 minutes and it’s in the playoffs so you definitely feel it. When you play 30 minutes, you feel it still. (I’ve) just got to not worry about it, get my treatment and move on to the next one.” Teammate Marc Gasol acknowledged Leonard was hurting. “Yeah but when we needed him to make the plays, he made them,” said the Spanish big man. “No question that he wasn’t 100 per cent physically but when we needed him to make plays defensively and offensively I thought he did a tremendous job of pushing through it and helping us obviously big-time to get that win.” Lowry and Fred VanVleet took a more stoic approach. “You’re on the floor, you’re good enough,” said VanVleet. “We go out there and go to war for each other. To see him out there battling, and obviously (he) wasn’t moving very fast - but if he’s out there, he’s good enough.” “He’s definitely not 100 per cent right now but not many people are,” said Lowry, wearing a compression glove on his hand. Asked how he summons the energy to be a force at both ends of the court, Leonard said “(I) just want to win. That’s it. “We’re here. Nobody wants to go home. We want to keep striving and reach that goal. That’s it. That’s what I pride myself on - both ends of the floor.” While it’s hard to tell, Leonard said he was enjoying himself, especially after his injury-shortened 2017-18 season “This is what we started playing - to have fun. And that’s what I’m going out there doing just playing and just enjoying my time. But at the same time you want to win. “(I’m) just putting it all together and just remembering where I was last year. (I’m) just pretty much enjoying the moment.” Leonard did display a dry sense of humour when asked about Pascal Siakam’s two free throw misses with seven seconds left in regulation time and the Raptors leading 96-94. The misses allowed Khris Middleton’s layup to tie it with 2.2 seconds remaining and force overtime. Siakam said later he apologized for missing the free throws. “I was like ‘Damn I damn near played an hour tonight’ and he was like ‘My bad, (Kawhi). I’ll make it up with the free throws next time,'” Leonard said. ___ Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Kawhi Leonard scores 36 points in Raptors’ 118-112 double OT win over Bucks

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 22:14
TORONTO - By the time a wobbly Kawhi Leonard made his final field goal, the game was almost an hour old. More than three hours in real time. Kyle Lowry had long ago fouled out. Norman Powell was also gone. It was a war of attrition. Last man standing. And one of the Raptors’ best team efforts of these playoffs. Leonard scored 36 points, including eight in the second overtime period, to lift the Raptors to a 118-112 thrilling victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, throwing Toronto a lifeline in the Eastern Conference finals. “We played with a much tougher mindset,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “We were kind of gritty and we didn’t really have much choice there. Those guys had to roll those minutes and they kept on playing and fighting and doing everything they could to keep us in the game.” The Raptors trail Milwaukee 2-1 in the best-of-seven series heading into Tuesday’s Game 4.   Pascal Siakam had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Marc Gasol bounced back from a horrible Game 2 to score 16 points and grab 12 rebounds, Powell scored 19 points off the bench, and backup guard Fred VanVleet, seldom-used this post-season, had six assists in a solid 31 minutes, despite taking an elbow to his lower eyelid that required post-game stitches. “Those guys came in and just fought the whole game,” Siakam said. “That’s what we did all season. We always had that mentality. Just being at this moment, the highest stage, and having those guys step up. Sticking together at the end there when we could have gotten down on ourselves, but we didn’t.” Lowry, playing with a taped sprained left thumb, had 11 points, five assists and four rebounds before fouling out midway though the fourth quarter. Danny Green had just three points on 1-for-9 shooting, but played a huge role on the defensive end. Leonard, who missed all but nine games last season in San Antonio because of a serious quadriceps injury, logged a playoff career-high 52 minutes, and was a perfect 3-for-3 shooting over the nailbiting final five minutes including a massive dunk in which he took of from near the top of the key. “It’s amazing,” Powell said of Leonard. “He’s a guy that all he wants to do is win. He doesn’t care about accolades, the points. We feed off of that. He’s a great leader for us.” The 27-year-old superstar appeared to be limping for much of the night, and after post-game treatment told reporters: “I’m good. I’m just going to keep fighting and be playing.” As the minutes ticked on, and the tension rose, the level-headed Leonard kept the team calm. “To be able to go out there and play 52 minutes and lead the team with his voice in the timeouts, telling us to stay calm, stay in the moment, not get anxious - it’s amazing to have a guy like that on the team,” Powell said.  The game was up against the series finale of HBO’s blockbuster hit “Game of Thrones,” and fans flocked to Twitter to virtually crown Leonard “the King in the North.” Giannis Antetokounmpo had 12 points and 23 rebounds before fouling out in the second overtime period. George Hill had 24 points to top the Bucks.  The Raptors led for most of the night, going up by double digits in the first quarter and responding to every Bucks run. But they managed just nine points in the third quarter, and when Hill hit a floater with 12.7 seconds left in the frame, the Bucks pulled to within 77-75 with one quarter left to play. Lowry and Leonard had back to back three-pointers that put the Raptors ahead by eight with 9:05 to play. Five straight points by Antetokounmpo pulled the Bucks within four, but when the “Greek Freak,” who’s the front-runner to win the season’s MVP award, missed badly on a free throw, the crowd chanted “Air ball!” A frustrated Lowry fouled out with 6:12 to play, and the Bucks, who hadn’t led since 2-0, scored five straight points to pull even two minutes later. Malcolm Brogdon’s basket with 38 seconds left in regulation pulled the Bucks to within two points. Siakam missed two free throws with 7.4 seconds left prompting groans from the Scotiabank Arena crowd that included rappers Drake and Gucci Mane, actor Mike Myers, former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre, Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban and Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner. “Those are shots that you practise and you think about every day,” Siakam said. “At that moment, you’re kind of mad at yourself. My teammates did a good job of just calming me down.” Khris Middleton scored with 2.2 seconds to play. There were no end-of-regulation heroics this time for Toronto as Siakam missed on a long jumper to send the game into overtime. Green’s three with 3:32 left in the first overtime, his first make of the game, had Toronto up by three. Baskets by Siakam and Leonard gave Toronto a four-point cushion before Brogdon, with a basket, and Hill, with two free throws, tied it up with 14.5 seconds to play. Leonard’s basket at the buzzer bounced off the rim, sending it to double OT. Antetokounmpo, who was double-teamed all night, fouled out with 4:24 left in the second OT.  “Obviously they changed their matchup,” the Bucks forward said. “I tried not to think about it too much, but whenever I tried to make a play, I saw they were showing bodies, they were sending a second guy there.” A Gasol three and Leonard dunk off a Green steal had the Raptors up by three. Then, leading by a point, Leonard had a steal and dunk and it was a two-point game with a minute to play. A big Siakam block led to a Leonard basket, the Bucks turned over the ball and it was game over. Despite pre-game talk of changes to Toronto’s starting lineup, Nurse stuck with his same five. It proved to be a smart choice, as Gasol, who struggled mightily in Game 2 and shot just 2-for-9 from deep through the first two games, connected on his first two three-point shots. The Raptors raced out to an early 11-point lead and took a 30-21 advantage into the second. The Bucks pulled to within three points midway through the second, but a Lowry three-pointer capped a 12-4 Toronto run that restored the Raptors’ 11-point cushion. Serge Ibaka hit a three-pointer with 1.1 on the clock to send Toronto into the halftime break up 58-51. The emergence of Powell, who had 14 points in Game 2, is good news for the Raptors, whose bench has been terrible throughout the post-season. “He’s just been good at both ends,” Nurse said before the game. “I think it’s just a type of game that it is and the type of player he is. He’s fast, he’s athletic, he’s played aggressive. When the ball has swung around to him, he vaults up like he’s going to make them. There’s no hesitancy there, and he knocks them down.” The Raptors dropped a narrow 108-100 decision in Game 1, leading for 37 minutes before falling apart in the fourth quarter. In Game 2, they were destroyed virtually from the opening tipoff, falling behind 9-0 in the first two minutes and trailing by as much as 28 points en route to a 125-103 loss. A loss would have been a horrible result for Toronto. Historically, teams that have led 2-0 went on to win seven-game series 94 per cent of the time. But of the exceptions: the Cleveland Cavaliers trailed Boston 0-2 in last year’s Eastern Conference finals before winning the series. The Raptors have never won a series after falling behind 0-2, but have twice tied up the series, in 2016 against Cleveland and 2002 versus Detroit. Awaiting the winner is either the Golden State Warriors or Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors can sweep Portland with a victory on Monday, giving them more than a week’s rest before the NBA Finals tip off. Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

Raphael Lavoie, Mooseheads beat Storm to secure at least a spot in semifinal

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 21:26
HALIFAX - The Halifax Mooseheads aren’t ready to sit back now that they are the first team guaranteed to advance at the Memorial Cup. Antoine Morand opened the scoring and Raphael Lavoie potted a highlight-reel goal that put Halifax ahead for good in a 4-2 win against the Guelph Storm on Sunday. The Mooseheads, who have opened the four-team tournament with back-to-back wins, are assured at least a spot in the semifinal regardless of the outcome of their last round-robin game against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. A third straight victory would send them directly to the championship game. “We played good the first two games but we have one more and we’re focused on that,” said Morand.  “We’re making sure we play the ‘Moose’ way and I think we did that.” Maxim Trepanier and Samuel Asselin also scored for the host Mooseheads while Alexis Gravel stopped 33 shots for the win. Sean Durzi had both goals for the Ontario Hockey League champion Storm as Anthony Popovich made 38 saves in defeat. Guelph forward Liam Hawell had the game’s first true scoring opportunity while on an early power play but was turned away by Gravel with the glove hand. That save turned out to be big when less than three minutes later Morand opened the scoring, deflecting a pass from Jocktan Chainey over the blocker of Popovich at 5:10 of the first. The Storm didn’t get rattled, however, and maintained much of the play through the opening period before finally solving Gravel in the final minute. Durzi let go of a bomb from the point that went through a crowd and over Gravel’s blocker at 19:10 to send the two squads into first intermission tied 1-1, with the shots favouring Guelph 16-8. “Even though the amount of shots was in Guelph’s favour I thought 5-on-5 we were playing pretty good,” said Mooseheads coach Eric Veilleux. “Just a matter of us trying to keep it that way 5-on-5.” Guelph went on its fourth power play of the game at 5:03 of the second, but it was the Mooseheads that took advantage to regain the lead as they came out looking much different than the first 20 minutes. Shortly after Joel Bishop blocked a point shot that left him crawling to the bench in agony, Lavoie would strike with 15 seconds still remaining on Guelph’s man advantage. Lavoie, an 18-year-old draft-eligible forward, made a strong solo effort as he headed down the ice 1-on-2 while shorthanded and split the Storm defence with a toe drag before beating Popovich 6:48 into the second. Trepanier extended the lead to 3-1 less than four minutes later when he banged home a loose puck sitting behind Popovich in the crease on a play that began with a Guelph turnover behind its own net. “I think we did a good job staying composed with our emotion,” said Morand. “Guys were skating the puck and giving the forwards a good opportunity to attack.” The Storm took three straight minor penalties after falling behind two goals and gave Halifax 1:22 of 5-on-3 time that led to Popovich having to bail him teammates out more than once. Halifax was outshooting Guelph 17-5 up to that point in the second and was ahead in shots 28-25 entering the third. Guelph finally made good on its fifth power play when Durzi struck for the second time just 1:07 into the third to make it a one-goal game, but Asselin responded six minutes later on his own rebound to send the pro-Mooseheads crowd of 10,036 into a frenzy. “Not our best night by any stretch, mismanaged the puck, lost puck battles and foot races,” said Storm head coach George Burnett. “We had an opportunity early in the third but our club didn’t respond the way we had been responding in the playoffs.” Late in the game the Storm had one final power-play opportunity and could have pulled Popovich for a 6-on-4, but Burnett didn’t want to take the chance of being scored on when goal differential could dictate who advances. “A one-goal deficit, may have considered it but we didn’t have the puck near enough most of the evening and we didn’t think the goal differential was something we should be playing around with at that point in time,” said Burnett. Halifax opened the tournament with a 4-1 win over the Western league champion Prince Albert Raiders while Guelph beat the Quebec league champion Huskies 5-2 to open its tournament. Rouyn-Noranda and Prince Albert, ranked No 1 and No. 2 respectively in the Canadian Hockey League meet Monday. ___ Follow @KyleCicerella Kyle Cicerella, The Canadian Press

Koepka survives Bethpage Black to win PGA Championship

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 20:57
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - His place in PGA Championship history finally secure, Brooks Koepka draped both arms around the top of the Wanamaker Trophy and let out a deep sigh. The stress was more than he wanted. The satisfaction was more than he imagined. Koepka lost all but one shot of his record seven-shot lead Sunday. Then he lost the brutal Long Island crowd, which began chants of “D.J.! D.J.!” as Koepka was on his way to a fourth straight bogey that allowed Dustin Johnson to pull within one shot. “It’s New York,” Koepka said. “What do you expect when you’re half-choking it away?” He responded like a player capable of piling up major championships faster than anyone since Tiger Woods. Motivated by the crowd turning on him, Koepka delivered the key shots over the closing stretch as Johnson faded with two straight bogeys. He closed with a 4-over 74 for a two-shot victory and joined Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship since it went to stroke play in 1958. That gives him four of the last eight majors he played and makes him the first player to hold two back-to-back majors at the same time. He won his second straight U.S. Open last summer 60 miles down the road at Shinnecock Hills before a far less rowdy crowd. When his 6-foot par putt fell on the last hole, Koepka thrust his muscular right arm in the air and hugged his caddie hard. “Today was definitely the most satisfying out of all of them for how stressful that round was - how stressful D.J. made that,” Koepka said. “I know for a fact that was the most excited I’ve ever been in my life there on 18.” Koepka said at the start of the week that majors are sometimes the easiest to win. This one should have been. It wasn’t. And it didn’t help that a raging wind that gusted up to 25 mph turned Bethpage Black into a beast, with Johnson (69) the only player out of the last 12 groups to shoot par or better. Koepka’s 74 was the highest final round by a PGA champion since Vijay Singh (4-over 76) won in a playoff at Whistling Straits in 2004. “I’m just glad I don’t have to play any more holes,” Koepka said. “That was a stressful round of golf. I’m glad to have this thing back in my hands.” Koepka appeared to wrap it up with a gap wedge from 156 yards to 2 feet on the 10th hole for a birdie, as Johnson made his first bogey of the round up ahead on the 11th. That restored the lead to six shots, and the coronation was on. And then it all changed in a New York minute. Four holes later, Koepka walked off the 15th tee with a one-shot lead. He looked over to his left to see Johnson facing a 7-foot par putt on the 16th hole - the most difficult hole at Bethpage Black on Sunday because it was into the wind - to stay within one shot. The groan of the crowd told him Johnson had missed. “I felt like as long as I had the lead, I was fine,” Koepka said. “As long as I put it in the fairway, I was going to be all right.” Koepka, who finished at 8-under 272, returned to No. 1 in the world with a performance that defines his dominance in golf’s biggest events. He was the first wire-to-wire winner in the PGA Championship since Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983. It was his third straight year winning a major, a feat achieved by only seven others since the Masters began in 1934 - Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Peter Thomson and Ralph Guldahl. Winning four of his last eight majors is a stretch not seen since Woods won seven out of 11 when he captured the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. Next up is the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where Koepka already is the betting favourite as he defends his title for the second time. No one has won the U.S. Open three straight years since Willie Anderson in 1905. No one will doubt whether Koepka is capable the way he is playing. Johnson knew he was a long shot going into the final round - no one had ever lost a seven-shot lead in a major - and he still managed to make Koepka work for it. He came undone with a shot he thought would be perfect - a 5-iron from 194 yards, dead into the wind on the 16. It one-hopped over the green into thick rough. “Hit the shot I wanted to right at the flag,” Johnson said. “I don’t know how it flew 200 yards into the wind like that.” Johnson now has runner-up finishes in all four of the majors, the wrong kind of career Grand Slam. “I gave it a run,” he said. “That’s all you can ask for.” Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., shot a 3-over 73 to finish in a tie for 29th at 5 over. Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., had the best round of his tournament, shooting a 1-over 71 to finish in a tie for 64th at 11 over. It was more than anyone expected, especially when Koepka was six shots ahead with eight holes to play. The crowd sensed a collapse and began chanting Johnson’s nickname on the par-3 14th as Koepka went long and was headed for a fourth straight bogey. Koepka is a 29-year-old Floridian with an imposing figure, power off the tee and out of the rough, no obvious weakness in his game and the kind of mental fortitude that majors require. He needed all of it to win this one. “I wasn’t nervous,” he said. “I was in shock of what was going on.” Bethpage has a reputation for being over the top, and it irritated Harold Varner III, who shot 81 playing in the final group. “I thought it was pretty weird how they were telling Brooks to choke,” Varner said about the 14th hole. “That’s not my cup of tea. I was pulling for him after that.” Koepka held it together at the most crucial moment. He piped his driver down the 15th fairway and two-putted for par. And he drilled another one into the 16th for another par. He kept it interesting to the end, three-putting the 17th as the lead went back to two shots, and pulling his driver on the 18th into fescue so thick it left him little choice but to lay up and scramble for par. Once his medium lob wedge settled 6 feet away, he could relax. Finally. Woods won the Wanamaker Trophy in consecutive years twice, in 1999 and 2000, and again in 2006 and 2007. Koepka was starting to draw comparisons with Woods for the way he obliterated the competition, much like Woods in his 12-shot victory in the 1997 Masters and 15-shot victory in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Koepka tied the PGA Championship record by opening with a 63. He broke the major championship record for 36 holes at 128. He set another PGA Championship record with his seven-shot lead. In the end, just having his name on the heaviest championship trophy in golf was all that mattered. ___ For more AP golf coverage: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press

11 people killed in reported gun attack at bar in Brazil

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 20:47
RIO DE JANEIRO - A gang of gunmen reportedly attacked a bar in the capital of Brazil’s northern Par state Sunday afternoon, and authorities said 11 people were killed. The state security agency confirmed late Sunday only that six women and five men died in the incident in the Guam neighbourhood of the Par state capital, Belem. The G1 news website said police reported that seven gunmen were involved in the attack, which also wounded one person. The news outlet said the attackers arrived at the bar on one motorcycle and in three cars. In late March, the federal government sent National Guard troops to Belm to reinforce security in the city for 90 days. Brazil hit a record high of 64,000 homicides in 2017, 70% of which were due to firearms, according to official statistics. Much of Brazil’s violence is gang related. In January, gangs attacked across Fortaleza, bringing that city to a standstill with as commerce, buses and taxis shut down. Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second biggest city, experiences daily shootouts between rival gangs and also between police and criminals, battles that often result in the deaths of innocent bystanders. Fogo Cruzado, a group that monitors shootings in the Rio metropolitan area, says there were 2,300 shootings in Rio and its suburbs during the first 100 days of this year. Killings attributed to police gunfire in Rio de Janeiro state have reached a record high, rising 18% in the first three months, in a spike partly attributed to a campaign of a zero tolerance for criminals being pushed by state leaders. One of new President Jair Bolsonaro’s main campaign promises was that he would loosen Brazil’s strict gun laws, arguing that because criminals are well-armed with illegally obtained guns, “upstanding citizens” should have the right to defend themselves with legally bought guns. Bolsonaro has made good on that campaign promise with two presidential decrees that make buying guns easier, though federal prosecutors are seeking to get the courts to block that move. The Associated Press

India’s marathon election ends, vote count begins Thursday

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 20:31
KOLKATA, India - Voting in India’s mammoth national election ended Sunday with the seventh and final phase of a grueling poll that lasted more than five weeks, as exit polls predicted a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party and its allies. Vote counting begins on Thursday, and the election result will likely be known the same day. The election is seen as a referendum on Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP’s main opposition is the Congress party, led by Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has produced three prime ministers. Exit polls by four leading television news channels – Republic, TimesNow, New Delhi Television and India today- projected a victory for the BJP and its allies with 287 to 339 seats out of 543 – far ahead of the 272 seats needed to form the next government. The Congress party and its allies are likely to win 122 to 128 seats, the TV channels said. Indian television channels have had a mixed record in the past in predicting election results. Total voter turnout in the national election was 64.9%, the election commission said, lower than 66.40% in the last national vote in 2014. Gandhi questioned the way the election was conducted by the autonomous Election Commission, saying the election schedule was manipulated to help Modi’s party. “The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore,” Gandhi tweeted Sunday evening, without giving any details. Sunday’s voting covered Modi’s constituency of Varanasi, a holy Hindu city where he was elected in 2014 with an impressive margin of over 200,000 votes. Modi spent Saturday night at Kedarnath, a temple of the Hindu god Shiva nestled in the Himalayas in northern India. The final election round included 59 constituencies in eight states. Up for grabs were 13 seats in Punjab and an equal number in Uttar Pradesh, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, nine in West Bengal, four in Himachal Pradesh and three in Jharkhand and Chandigarh. In Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, voters lined up outside polling stations early Sunday morning to avoid the scorching heat, with temperatures reaching 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit). Armed security officials stood guard in and outside the centres amid fear of violence. While the election, which began April 11, was largely peaceful, West Bengal, located in eastern India, was an exception. Modi is challenged there by the state’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, who heads the more inclusive Trinamool Congress party and is eyeing a chance to go to New Delhi as the opposition’s candidate for prime minister. Modi visited West Bengal 17 times in an effort to make inroads with his Hindu nationalist agenda, provoking sporadic violence and prompting the Election Commission to cut off campaigning there. On Sunday, Nirmala Sitharaman, a BJP leader and the country’s defence minister, accused Banerjee’s supporters of attacking her party members and preventing them from voting at several places in six of the nine constituencies in West Bengal. She did not provide details. Banerjee denied the accusation and said Modi’s government used security forces to intimidate her party’s supporters. Prodeep Chakrabarty, a retired teacher in Kolkata, said Modi’s BJP was desperate to win some seats against Banerjee’s influential regional party. “People are divided for many reasons. We have to wait for a final outcome to see who people are voting for. Things are not predictable like before,” he said. Minorities in India, especially Muslims, who comprise about 14 per cent of the country’s 1.3 billion people, criticize Modi for his Hindu nationalist agenda. Modi’s party backed a bill that would make it easier to deport millions of Bangladeshis who have migrated to India since Bangladesh’s independence in 1971. The bill, however, eases a path to citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsees and Jains – non-Muslims – who came from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan over decades. Voters were also up early Sunday in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state, where election workers arranged for drinking water, shade and fans to cool them down. “I straightaway came from my morning walk to cast my vote and was surprised to see enthusiasm among the voters,” said Ramesh Kumar Singh, who was among the first to vote. “There were long queues of people waiting patiently to cast their votes, which is a good sign for democracy.” During the election campaign, Modi played up the threat of Pakistan, India’s Muslim-majority neighbour and archrival, especially after the suicide bombing of a paramilitary convoy in Kashmir on Feb. 14 that killed 40 Indian soldiers. Congress and other opposition parties have challenged Modi over a high unemployment rate of 6.1% and farmers’ distress aggravated by low crop prices. Some of Modi’s boldest policy steps, such as the demonetization of high currency notes to curb black-market money, proved to be economically damaging. A haphazard implementation of “one nation, one tax” – a goods and services tax – also hit small and medium businesses. ___ Sharma reported from New Delhi. Associated Press writer Biswajeet Banerjee in Lucknow, India, contributed to this report. ___ This story has been corrected to reflect that the last national election took place in 2014, not 2004. ___ This story has been corrected to say in the 6th paragraph that 2014 turnout was 66.40%. Julhas Alam And Ashok Sharma, The Associated Press

Leonard scores 36 points in Raptors’ 118-112 double OT win over Bucks

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 20:17
TORONTO - Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points to lift the Raptors to a 118-112 thrilling double-overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, throwing Toronto a lifeline in the Eastern Conference finals. The Raptors trail Milwaukee 2-1 in the best-of-seven series heading into Tuesday’s Game 4.   Pascal Siakam had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Marc Gasol bounced back from a horrible Game 2 to score 16 points and grab 12 rebounds, and Norman Powell scored 19 points off the bench.  Game 4 is Tuesday in Toronto, then the series shifts to Milwaukee for Game 5. Kyle Lowry, playing with a taped sprained left thumb, had 11 points, five assists and four rebounds before fouling out midway though the fourth quarter. Danny Green, one of the team’s top shooters in the regular season, had just three points on 1-for-9 shooting, but played a huge role on the defensive end. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 12 points and 23 rebounds before fouling out in the second overtime period. George Hill had 24 points to top the Bucks.  The Raptors led for most of the night, going up by double digits in the first quarter and responding to every Bucks run. But they managed just nine points in the third quarter, and when Hill hit a floater with 12.7 seconds left in the frame, the Bucks pulled to within 77-75 with one quarter left to play. But if there was any angst creeping into the Scotiabank Arena crowd, Lowry and Leonard had the fans roaring with back to back three-pointers that had the Raptors ahead by eight with 9:05 to play. Five straight points by Antetokounmpo pulled the Bucks within four, but when the “Greek Freak,” who’s the front-runner to win the season’s MVP award, missed badly on a free throw, the crowd chanted “Air ball!” A frustrated Lowry fouled out with 6:12 to play, and the Bucks, who hadn’t led since 2-0, scored five straight points to pull even two minutes later. Fred VanVleet and Hill traded threes, then Leonard connected from 16 feet and the Raptors clutched a two-point lead going into the final two minutes. Malcolm Brogdon’s basket with 38 seconds left pulled the Bucks to within two points. Siakam missed two free throws with 7.4 seconds left prompting groans from the Scotiabank Arena crowd that included rappers Drake and Gucci Mane, actor Mike Myers, former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre, Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban and Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner. Khris Middleton scored with 2.2 seconds to play. There were no end-of-regulation heroics this time for Toronto as Siakam missed on a long jumper to send the game into overtime. Green’s three with 3:32 left in the first overtime, his first make of the game, had Toronto up by three. Baskets by Siakam and Leonard gave Toronto a four-point cushion before Brogdon, with a basket, and Hill, with two free throws, tied it up with 14.5 seconds to play. Leonard’s basket at the buzzer bounced off the rim, sending it to double OT. Antetokounmpo fouled out with 4:24 left in the second OT. A Gasol three and Leonard dunk off a Green steal had the Raptors up by three. Then, leading by a point, Leonard had a steal and dunk and it was a two-point game with a minute to play. A big Siakam block led to a Leonard basket, the Bucks turned over the ball and it was game over. Despite pre-game talk of changes to Toronto’s starting lineup, Nick Nurse stuck with his same five. It proved to be a smart choice, as Gasol, who struggled mightily in Game 2 and shot just 2-for-9 from deep through the first two games, connected on his first two three-point shots. The Raptors raced out to an early 11-point lead and took a 30-21 advantage into the second. The Bucks pulled to within three points midway through the second, but a Lowry three-pointer capped a 12-4 Raptors run that restored the Raptors’ 11-point cushion. Serge Ibaka hit a three-pointer with 1.1 on the clock to send Toronto into the halftime break up 58-51. The emergence of Powell, who had 14 points in Game 2, is good news for the Raptors, whose bench has been terrible throughout the post-season. “He’s just been good at both ends,” Nurse said before the game. “I think it’s just a type of game that it is and the type of player he is. He’s fast, he’s athletic, he’s played aggressive. When the ball has swung around to him, he vaults up like he’s going to make them. There’s no hesitancy there, and he knocks them down.” The Raptors dropped a narrow 108-100 decision in Game 1, leading for 37 minutes before falling apart in the fourth quarter. In Game 2, they were destroyed virtually from the opening tipoff, falling behind 9-0 in the first two minutes and trailing by as much as 28 points en route to a 125-103 loss. A loss would have been a horrible result for Toronto. Historically, teams that have led 2-0 went on to win seven-game series 94 per cent of the time. But of the exceptions: the Cleveland Cavaliers trailed Boston 0-2 in last year’s Eastern Conference finals before winning the series. The Raptors have never won a series after falling behind 0-2, but have twice tied up the series, in 2016 against Cleveland and 2002 versus Detroit. Awaiting the winner is either the Golden State Warriors or Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors can sweep Portland with a victory on Monday, giving them more than a week’s rest before the NBA Finals tip off. Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

NHL prospects Durzi, Suzuki been working together a long time for a Memorial Cup

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 20:00
HALIFAX - When Guelph Storm defenceman Sean Durzi found out his NHL rights had been traded in late January, he knew exactly which teammate to turn to for some advice. “Nick Suzuki, my best buddy, he was one of the first guys I called and he kind of talked me through it,” said Durzi. “Roller-coaster of a year, for myself to go through (a trade) was all new territory for me.” The 20-year-old Durzi was drafted 52nd overall in 2018 by the Toronto Maple Leafs, but was part of a package sent to the L.A. Kings for veteran defenceman Jake Muzzin in late January, four weeks ahead of the NHL trade deadline. The 19-year-old Suzuki, taken 13th overall by Vegas in 2017, went through a similar situation when the Montreal Canadiens acquired him from the Golden Knights for Max Pacioretty in September 2018 while still in junior.  Right now Durzi and Suzuki are attempting to bring Guelph its first ever Memorial Cup championship, and began the tournament with a 5-2 victory over the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Saturday. Durzi had three assists, including a fine set up on a 2-on-1 with the centreman Suzuki to punctuate a win over the No. 1 ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League. Durzi then had both goals for the Storm in their 4-2 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Sunday, with Suzuki assisting on one of them. “Makes it a lot easier (to play) the way he sees the ice,” Suzuki said about Durzi. “He has great vision, works hard every day.” Durzi and Suzuki entered the OHL together in 2015-16 and have been chasing the same goals ever since despite having different trajectories as players. The blueliner was taken 228th in the 2014 OHL Draft by the Owen Sound Attack and was cut as a 16-year-old. He returned to his hometown of Mississauga, Ont., and played another year of triple-A before making the leap. Suzuki was taken fourth overall at the OHL Draft a year later, and made the Attack roster alongside Durzi for the 2015-16 season on his first attempt. They would instantly click in mini camp and chose to be roommates for the duration of their time in Owen Sound. “(Suzuki) was coming in, first rounder, highly-touted prospect. Two weeks in (to the season) I moved right into his house,” said Durzi. “We share similar interests, both love the game and want to play in the NHL one day.” They went to the 2017 NHL Draft together in Chicago hoping to both hear their names. Suzuki, from London, Ont., went in the first round while Durzi didn’t get selected. Durzi, six-foot 187 pounds, went back the next year in Dallas and was picked in the second round, giving him the feeling of both excitement and relief.  “When I went back the next year it was unbelievable,” said Durzi. “I had a good year, worked hard in the summer. I was motivated.” Suzuki added: “(He) has earned everything he has got.” Guelph manager/coach George Burnett decided to load up in January for a push to the Memorial Cup and made five major trades, including a blockbuster with Owen Sound that got him Suzuki and Durzi. That transaction went down only 19 days before the Muzzin deal, making it a hectic couple of weeks for Durzi. While Suzuki, five-foot-11 183 pounds, was the key to the deal and went on to produce 42 points in 24 playoff games to win the OHL championship and post-season MVP, Durzi did his part from the back end. He had 27 points in 24 contests, second only to defence pairing Dmitri Samorukov, an Edmonton Oilers prospect. “Sean’s as capable at moving the puck as anyone in our league,” Burnett said about Durzi.  “He plays a bit of a high-risk game at times, he and Samorukov have made a nice pair… His ability to create off the rush, join the rush and create on the power play is very special. We’re very happy to have him doing that for our hockey club.” Durzi had to deal with various injuries over the past two season that limited him to only 40 regular-season games last year, and just 35 this season. He was still able to produce 26 goals and 86 points in those 75 combined games. Already in his overage season, Durzi’s final junior game will happen this week in Halifax. After that his attention will shift to trying to make it as a pro with the Kings organization. “To speak with them and see how much they like me is really reassuring,” said Durzi. “It’s a risk to take a young prospect but I can work every day to show them they made the right decision.” ___ Follow @KyleCicerella Kyle Cicerella, The Canadian Press

Saudis say they will defend themselves, as Trump warns Iran

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 19:56
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Saudi Arabia does not want war but will not hesitate to defend itself against Iran, a top Saudi diplomat said Sunday after the kingdom’s energy sector was targeted this past week amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf. U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, warned Iran that it will face destruction if it seeks a fight, while Iranian officials said their country isn’t looking for war. Trump spoke after a rocket hit near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, spoke a week after four oil tankers- two of them Saudi - were targeted in an alleged act of sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and days after Iran-allied Yemeni rebels claimed a drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline. “The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want war in the region and does not strive for that… but at the same time, if the other side chooses war, the kingdom will fight this with all force and determination and it will defend itself, its citizens and its interests,” al-Jubeir told reporters. On Sunday night, the U.S. military command that oversees the Mideast confirmed an explosion outside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and said there were no U.S. or coalition casualties. A State Department spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that “a low-grade rocket did land within the International Zone near the U.S. Embassy.” The spokesman said that “attacks on U.S. personnel and facilities will not be tolerated and will be responded to in a decisive manner” and added that the U.S. will hold “Iran responsible if any such attacks are conducted by its proxy militia forces or elements of such forces.” Earlier, after initial reports of the attack, Trump tweeted a warning to Iranian leaders: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” Trump tweeted. A senior Iranian military commander was quoted as saying his country is not looking for war, in comments published in Iranian media on Sunday. Fears of armed conflict were already running high after the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region earlier this month to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran. The U.S. also has ordered nonessential staff out of its diplomatic posts in Iraq. Trump had appeared to soften his tone in recent days, saying he expected Iran to seek negotiations with his administration. Asked on Thursday if the U.S. might be on a path to war with Iran, the president answered, “I hope not.” Sunday night’s apparent rocket attack was the first such incident since September, when three mortar shells landed in an abandoned lot inside the Green Zone. Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press that a Katyusha rocket fell near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy. He said that the military was investigating the cause but that the rocket was believed to have been fired from east Baghdad. The area is home to Iran-backed Shiite militias. As tensions escalate between the U.S. and Iran, there have been concerns that Baghdad could once again get caught in the middle , just as it is on the path to recovery. The country hosts more than 5,000 U.S. troops, and is home to powerful Iranian-backed militias, some of whom want those U.S. forces to leave. The U.S. Navy said Sunday it had conducted exercises in the Arabian Sea with the aircraft carrier strike group ordered to the region to counter the unspecified threat from Iran. The Navy said the exercises and training were conducted Friday and Saturday with the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group in co-ordination with the U.S. Marine Corps, highlighting U.S. “lethality and agility to respond to threat,” as well as to deter conflict and preserve U.S. strategic interests. The current tensions are rooted in Trump’s decision last year to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers and impose wide-reaching sanctions, including on Iranian oil exports that are crucial to its economy. Iran has said it would resume enriching uranium at higher levels if a new nuclear deal is not reached by July 7. That wouldpotentially bring it closer to being able to develop a nuclear weapon, something Iran insists it has never sought. Energy ministers from OPEC and its allies, including major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, are meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to discuss energy prices and production cuts. Iran’s oil exports are expected to shrink further in the coming months after the U.S. stopped renewing waivers that allowed it to continue selling to some countries. OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers have production cuts in place, but the group of exporters is not expected to make its decision on output until late June, when they meet again in Vienna. The United Arab Emirates’ energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei told reporters at the meeting he does not think relaxing the oil production cuts in place is the right measure. His comments suggest there’s support within OPEC and other oil-producing nations, like Russia, to continue propping up oil prices after a sharp fall last year. Oil is now trading above $70 a barrel and closer to what’s needed to balance state budgets among Persian Gulf producers. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, meanwhile, has called for a meeting of Arab heads of state on May 30 in Mecca to discuss the latest developments, including the oil pipeline attack. The kingdom has blamed the pipeline attack on Iran, accusing Tehran of arming the rebel Houthis, which a Saudi-led coalition has been at war with in Yemen since 2015. Iran denies arming or training the rebels, who control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa. “We want peace and stability in the region, but we won’t stand with our hands bound as the Iranians continuously attack. Iran has to understand that,” al-Jubeir said. “The ball is in Iran’s court.” Al-Jubeir also noted that an investigation, led by the UAE, into the tanker incident is underway. The state-run Saudi news agency reported Sunday that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss regional developments. There was no immediate statement by the State Department about the call. An English-language Saudi newspaper close to the palace recently published an editorial calling for surgical U.S. airstrikes in retaliation for Iran’s alleged involvement in targeting Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure. The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Hossein Salami, was quoted Sunday as saying Iran is not looking for war. But he said the U.S. is going to fail in the near future “because they are frustrated and hopeless” and are looking for a way out of the current escalation. His comments, given to other Guard commanders, were carried by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency. The USS Abraham Lincoln has yet to reach the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil traded at sea passes. __ Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, and Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Bassem Mroue in Bahgdad contributed to this report. Aya Batrawy And Fay Abuelgasim, The Associated Press

Raphael Lavoie, Mooseheads beat Storm to secure at least a spot in semifinal

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 19:54
HALIFAX - Raphael Lavoie scored a highlight-reel goal that put his team ahead for good as the Halifax Mooseheads beat the Guelph Storm 4-2 on Sunday at the Memorial Cup. The 18-year-old draft-eligible forward made a strong solo effort for the Mooseheads’ second goal of the game, as he headed down the ice 1-on-2 while shorthanded and split the Storm defence with a toe drag before beating Anthony Popovich 6:48 into the second period. Halifax, the only undefeated team remaining at the four-team tournament, has won back-to-back games to open competition and is guaranteed to advance to at least the semifinal regardless of the outcome of its last round-robin game against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Antoine Morand, Maxim Trepanier, Samuel Asselin also scored for the host Mooseheads while Alexis Gravel stopped 33 shots for the win. Sean Durzi had both goals for the Ontario Hockey League champion Storm. Anthony Popovich made 38 saves in defeat. Guelph forward Liam Hawell had the game’s first true scoring opportunity while on an early power play but was turned away by Gravel with the glove hand. That save turned out to be big when less than three minutes later Morand opened the scoring, deflecting a pass from Jocktan Chainey over the blocker of Popovich at 5:10 of the first. The Storm didn’t get rattled, however, and maintained much of the play through the opening period before finally solving Gravel in the final minute. Durzi let go of a bomb from the point that went through a crowd and over Gravel’s blocker at 19:10 to send the two squads into first intermission tied 1-1, with the shots favouring Guelph 16-8. Guelph went on its fourth power play of the game at 5:03 of the second, but it was the Mooseheads that took advantage to regain the lead as they came out looking much different than the first 20 minutes. Shortly after Joel Bishop blocked a point shot that left him crawling to the bench in agony, Lavoie would strike with 15 seconds still remaining on Guelph’s man advantage. Trepanier extended the lead to 3-1 less than four minutes later when he banged home a loose puck sitting behind Popovich in the crease on a play that began with a Guelph turnover behind its own net. The Storm took three straight minor penalties after falling behind two goals and gave Halifax 1:22 of 5-on-3 time that led to Popovich having to bail him teammates out more than once. Halifax was outshooting Guelph 17-5 up to that point in the second and was ahead in shots 28-25 entering the third. Guelph finally made good on its fifth power play when Durzi struck for the second time just 1:07 into the third to make it a one-goal game, but Asselin responded six minutes later on his own rebound to send the pro-Mooseheads crowd into a frenzy. Halifax opened the tournament with a 4-1 win over the Western league champion Prince Albert Raiders while Guelph beat the Quebec league champion Huskies 5-2 to open its tournament. ___ Follow @KyleCicerella Kyle Cicerella, The Canadian Press

11 people reported killed in gun attack at bar in Brazil

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 19:40
RIO DE JANEIRO - A gang of gunmen roared up to a bar in Belem city in Brazil’s northern Par state and opened fire, killing six women and five men Sunday afternoon, media reports said. State officials would confirm only that “a massacre” occurred but gave no details. The G1 news website said police reported that seven gunmen were involved in the attack, which also wounded one person. The news outlet said the attackers arrived at the bar on one motorcycle and in three cars. A Par state spokeswoman, Natalia Mello, said only: “A massacre is confirmed.” State communications officials stopped answering phone calls. Military and civil police in Par state also did not answer phone calls or respond to emails. In late March, the federal government sent National Guard troops to Belm to reinforce security in the city for 90 days. Brazil hit a record high of 64,000 homicides in 2017, 70% of which were due to firearms, according to official statistics. Much of Brazil’s violence is gang related. In January, gangs attacked across Fortaleza, bringing that city to a standstill with as commerce, buses and taxis shut down. Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second biggest city, experiences daily shootouts between rival gangs and also between police and criminals, battles that often result in the deaths of innocent bystanders. Fogo Cruzado, a group that monitors shootings in the Rio metropolitan area, says there were 2,300 shootings in Rio and its suburbs during the first 100 days of this year. Killings attributed to police gunfire in Rio de Janeiro state have reached a record high, rising 18% in the first three months, in a spike partly attributed to a campaign of a zero tolerance for criminals being pushed by state leaders. One of new President Jair Bolsonaro’s main campaign promises was that he would loosen Brazil’s strict gun laws, arguing that because criminals are well-armed with illegally obtained guns, “upstanding citizens” should have the right to defend themselves with legally bought guns. Bolsonaro has made good on that campaign promise with two presidential decrees that make buying guns easier, though federal prosecutors are seeking to get the courts to block that move. The Associated Press

Brooks Bandits win Jr. A title with 4-3 win over Prince George Spruce Kings

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 19:37
BROOKS, Alta. - Simon Boyko scored twice, including the eventual winner, as the Brooks Bandits beat the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-3 on Sunday to win Canada’s men’s junior-A hockey championship. William Lemay and Nathan Plessis also scored as Brooks built a 4-1 lead by the second intermission. Nick Poisson and Nolan Welsh both had third-period goals as Prince George’s rally came up short. Patrick Cozzi scored 2:22 into the second period. Pierce Charleson made 26 saves for the win. Logan Neaton stopped 25 shots for the Spruce Kings. The Bandits did not score on their three power plays and Prince George was 1 for 2 with the man advantage. Brooks is the fourth host team in the last five years to win the national title, joining the Portage Terriers (2015), Cobourg Cougars (2017) and Chilliwack Chiefs (2018). The Canadian Press

11 people reported killed in gun attack at bar in Brazil

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 19:13
RIO DE JANEIRO - A gang of gunmen roared up to a bar in Belem city in Brazil’s northern Par state and opened fire, killing six women and five men Sunday afternoon, media reports said. State officials would confirm only that “a massacre” occurred but gave no details. The G1 news website said police reported that seven gunmen were involved in the attack, which also wounded one person. The news outlet said the attackers arrived at the bar on one motorcycle and in three cars. A Par state spokeswoman, Natalia Mello, said only: “A massacre is confirmed.” State communications officials stopped answering phone calls. Military and civil police in Par state also did not answer phone calls or respond to emails. In late March, the federal government sent National Guard troops to Belm to reinforce security in the city for 90 days. Brazil hit a record high of 64,000 homicides in 2017, 70% of which were due to firearms, according to official statistics. Much of Brazil’s violence is gang related. In January, gangs attacked across Fortaleza, bringing that city to a standstill with as commerce, buses and taxis shut down. Rio de Janeiro experiences daily shootouts between rival gangs and also police that often kill innocent bystanders. One of new President Jair Bolsonaro’s main campaign promises was that he would loosen Brazil’s strict gun laws, arguing that because criminals are well-armed with illegally obtained guns, “upstanding citizens” should have the right to defend themselves with legally bought guns. Bolsonaro has made good on that campaign promise with two presidential decrees that make buying guns easier, though federal prosecutors are seeking to get the courts to block that move. The Associated Press

Koepka survives Bethpage Black to win PGA Championship

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 19:03
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - Brooks Koepka took his place in PGA Championship history with a wire-to-wire victory, minus the style points. In a raging wind that turned Bethpage Black into a beast, Koepka lost all but one shot of his record seven-shot lead Sunday. He lost the brutal Long Island crowd, which began chanting “DJ!” for Dustin Johnson as Koepka was on his way to a fourth straight bogey. But he delivered the key shots over the closing stretch as Johnson faded with two straight bogeys, and Koepka closed with a 4-over 74 for a two-shot victory and joined Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship since it went to stroke play in 1958. Koepka said at the start of the week that majors are sometimes the easiest to win. This one should have been. It wasn’t. His 74 was the highest final round by a PGA champion since Vijay Singh won in a playoff in 2004 at Whistling Straits. “I’m just glad I don’t have to play any more holes,” Koepka said. “That was a stressful round of golf. I’m glad to have this thing back in my hands.” Koepka appeared to wrap it up with a gap wedge from 156 yards to 2 feet on the 10th hole for a birdie, as Johnson made his first bogey of the round up ahead on the 11th. That restored the lead to six shots, and the coronation was on. And then it all changed in a New York minute. Koepka missed three straight fairways and made three straight bogeys, having to make a 6-foot putt on No. 11 to keep it from being worse. The wind was so fickle that it died as he hit 7-iron to the par-3 14th that sailed over the green, leading to a fourth straight bogey. The crowd sensed a collapse, and began chanting, “DJ! DJ! DJ!” as Koepka was playing the hole. Ahead of him, Johnson made birdie on the 15th - the toughest hole at Bethpage Black all week - and the lead was down to one. That was as close as Johnson got. His 5-iron pierced through a wind that gusted close to 25 mph, over the green and into a buried lie. He missed the 7-foot par putt, went long of the green on the par-3 17th for another bogey and had to settle for 69. “Hit the shot I wanted to right at the flag,” Johnson said of his 5-iron from 194 yards on the 16th. “I don’t know how it flew 200 yards into the wind like that.” Johnson now has runner-up finishes in all four of the majors, the wrong kind of career Grand Slam. “I gave it a run,” he said. “That’s all you can ask for.” Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., shot a 3-over 73 to finish in a tie for 29th at 5 over. Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., had the best round of his tournament, shooting a 1-over 71 to finish in a tie for 64th at 11 over. Koepka returned to No. 1 in the world with a performance that defines his dominance in golf’s biggest events. He becomes the first player to hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time, having won a second straight U.S. Open last summer 60 miles down the road at Shinnecock Hills. He was the first wire-to-wire winner in the PGA Championship since Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983. And what stakes his claim as one of the best in his generation was a third straight year winning a major. Only Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Peter Thomson and Ralph Guldahl have done that since the Masters began in 1934. He now has four majors in his last eight, a streak not seen since Woods won seven out of 11 when he captured the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. Next up is the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where Koepka defends his title for the second time. No one has won the U.S. Open three straight years since Willie Anderson in 1905. No one will doubt whether Koepka is capable the way he is playing. The 29-year-old Floridian is an imposing figure, a power off the tee and out of the rough with no obvious weakness in his game and the kind of mental fortitude that majors require. He needed all of it over the final hour of this one. Koepka doesn’t know his resting heart rate, and he said on the eve of the final round that it probably was not much different on the first tee of a major than when he was chilling on his couch. But he could feel this one getting away from him. He could sense Johnson making a charge. He could hear it. “How could you not with the ‘DJ’ chants,” Koepka said. “I heard everything.” Bethpage has a reputation for being over the top, and it irritated Harold Varner III, who shot 81 playing in the final group. “I thought it was pretty weird how they were telling Brooks to choke,” Varner said about the 14th hole. “That’s not my cup of tea. I was pulling for him after that.” Koepka held it together at the most crucial moment. He piped his driver down the 15th fairway and two-putted for par. And he drilled another one into the 16th, which played the most difficult in the final round because it was into the wind. Johnson hit 5-iron just over the green. The wind died enough 20 minutes later that Koepka hit 7-iron only to 50 feet and had another good lag putt to get par. He kept it interesting to the end, three-putting the 17th as the lead went back to two shots, and pulling his driver on the 18th into fescue so thick it left him little choice but to lay up and scramble for par. Once his medium lob wedge settled 6 feet away, he could relax. Finally. Woods won the Wanamaker Trophy in consecutive years twice, in 1999 and 2000, and again in 2006 and 2007. Koepka was starting to draw comparisons with Woods for the way he obliterated the competition, much like Woods in his 12-shot victory in the 1997 Masters and 15-shot victory in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Koepka tied the PGA Championship record by opening with a 63. He broke the major championship record for 36 holes at 128. He set another PGA Championship record with his seven-shot lead. In the end, just having his name on the heaviest championship trophy in golf was all that mattered. Jordan Spieth registered his first top 10 since the British Open last summer with a 71 to finish at 2-under 278, six shots behind. He tied for third with Patrick Cantlay (71) and Matt Wallace (72). This really was a two-man race over the back nine that not many would have seen coming at the start of the final round. Only the outcome was expected. ___ For more AP golf coverage: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press

11 people reported killed in gun attack at bar in Brazil

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 18:45
RIO DE JANEIRO - A gang of gunmen roared up to a bar in Belem city in Brazil’s northern Par state and opened fire, killing six women and five men Sunday afternoon, media reports said. State officials would confirm only that “a massacre” occurred but gave no details. The G1 news website said police reported that seven gunmen were involved in the attack, which also wounded one person. The news outlet said the attackers arrived at the bar on one motorcycle and in three cars. In late March, the federal government sent National Guard troops to Belm to reinforce security in the city for 90 days. A Par state spokeswoman, Natalia Mello, said only: “A massacre is confirmed.” State communications officials stopped answering phone calls. Military and civil police in Par state also did not answer phone calls or respond to emails. The Associated Press

Australia’s leader vows to get back to work after shock win

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 18:42
SYDNEY, Australia - A jubilant Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed Sunday to get straight back to work afterashock election victory by his conservative government that has left bewildered voters wondering how they were taken by surprise. The opposition Labor Party, meanwhile, began another bout of postelection soul searching while starting the task of finding a new leader, after Bill Shorten stepped down following an emphatic defeat Saturday in a poll many had seen as unlosable for his party. Centre-left Labor, which has governed Australia for only 38 of its 118 years as a federation, was rated an overwhelming favourite, both in opinion polls and with odds-makers, to topple the conservative Liberal-National coalition government after its six years in power. Instead, Morrison - who became prime minister only last August when a contentious internal party vote dumped Malcolm Turnbull as its leader - swept the coalition to victory with what is likely to be an increased representation in Parliament. The result is much the same as the last election, which delivered the government a single-seat majority in 2016. Since then, public expectations have taken a roller coaster ride based on the media’s reporting of polls. Opinion polling has been a factor in conservative and Labor governments ousting four of their own prime ministers in the past decade, mostly recently elevating Morrison to prime minister. Sydney University political scientist Stewart Jackson said the polls that had put Labor ahead of the government for the past two years were too consistent for too long to be credible. “That indicates ‘herding,’ where the pollsters themselves are getting results that they don’t think are right and are adjusting them,” Jackson said. “Because statistically, polls should never come up like that.” Martin O’Shannessy, who headed the respected Newspoll market research company in Sydney for a decade until 2015, said he was “shocked” by the government’s victory, given the polling. “It’s not possible to tell exactly how the current polls are being conducted because they don’t have the same method statement that polls in the past have had,” O’Shannessy said. Until Saturday, Newspoll had accurately predicted the winner of every Australian state and federal election since its inception in 1985. Australia has made voting compulsory, so pollsters’ surveys of Australians’ party preferences usually come close to the election result. Newspolls are published every few weeks and are reported by the Australian media like a game score of the government and opposition’s popularity and achievements. Morrison’s predecessor, Turnbull, justified overthrowing his predecessor, Tony Abbott, in 2015 on the basis of “30 losing Newspolls.” Turnbull’s administration had trailed Labor in more than 30 Newspolls before his government replaced him with Morrison as elections loomed. O’Shannessy said Sunday, “You should never sack the prime minister on the basis of a Newspoll - ever.” Labour lawmaker Anthony Albanese, who was defeated by Shorten in a ballot of the party leadership in 2013 and will contest for the job again, said he had expected to be in government based on polling. “The truth is that clearly there is a major gap between what the polling was showing and what the outcome was,” Albanese said. “That is something that no doubt will be examined over coming days and weeks.” With just over 75% of votes counted by Sunday evening, the coalition had won 73 of the 76 seats needed to form a majority government, according to calculations from the Australian Broadcasting Corp. With seven seats still undecided, the coalition was expected to make further gains by the end of counting. The government had gone into the election as a minority government, with just 73 seats. Labour was holding 65 seats, with independents and minor parties claiming six. The possibility remains that the coalition will again have to govern in the minority, relying on agreements with independent and minor party lawmakers to do government business. Still, Shorten’s move to concede defeat late Saturday night confirmed a resounding victory for the Morrison administration. Speaking before attending church in his electorate in southern Sydney on Sunday morning, Morrison thanked Australians for returning him to office. “I give thanks to live in the greatest country in all the world,” he said. “Thanks again to all Australians all across the country.” The 51-year-old, who received a congratulatory phone call from President Donald Trump earlier Sunday, said he was eager to return to work on Monday to form his new government. A key Morrison ally, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, paid tribute to his leader’s campaigning for securing the victory. “The prime minister led from the front,” Frydenberg told ABC TV. “From the minute the starter’s gun was fired in this campaign, we knew we were behind, but we also knew we were in it, and no one knew this better than the prime minister.” “He crisscrossed the country with great energy, belief, and conviction. He was assured, he was confident, and he was across the detail, and he sold our economic plan to the Australian people, a plan that resonated with them,” Frydenberg said. Analysts credited the result also to a simple coalition platform centring on promises of keeping taxes to a minimum. Labour entered the race grappling with a low popularity rating for Shorten, a 52-year-old former union boss widely seen as having a pallid personality. Rather than frame the election as a battle between him and the more outgoing Morrison, Labor strategists instead pushed a broad platform of policies. Shorten campaigned heavily on reducing greenhouse emissions, while promising a range of other reforms, including the government paying all of a patient’s costs for cancer treatment, and a reduction in tax breaks for landlords. While senior Labor lawmaker Chris Bowen conceded his party may have suffered for what, for an opposition party, was an unusually detailed campaign, Shorten insisted it had been right to fight the election on issues rather than personalities. “I’m disappointed for people who depend upon Labor, but I’m glad that we argued what was right, not what was easy,” Shorten told supporters. Shorten would have been Australia’s sixth prime minister in six years had he been elected. Many Australians have at least welcomed Morrison’s announcement of a change in Liberal policy in that the party can no longer dump a prime minister by internal party vote, meaning they will lead the country for a full three-year term unless an early election is called. So high was public confidence of a Labor victory, Australian online bookmaker Sportsbet paid out 1.3 million Australian dollars ($900,000) to bettors who backed Labor two days before the vote. Sportsbet said 70% of wagers had been placed on Labor at the slender odds of $1.16 to $1.00. As Labor absorbed the defeat, deputy leader Tanya Plibersek and Albanese told reporters they were considering running for the party’s leadership. ___ Associated Press writer Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report. Trevor Marshallsea, The Associated Press

Koepka survives Bethpage Black to win PGA Championship

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 18:22
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - Brooks Koepka took his place in PGA Championship history with a wire-to-wire victory, minus the style points. In a raging wind that turned Bethpage Black into a beast, Koepka lost all but one shot of his record seven-shot lead Sunday. He lost the brutal Long Island crowd, which began chanting “DJ!” for Dustin Johnson as Koepka was on his way to a fourth straight bogey. But he delivered the key shots over the closing stretch as Johnson faded with two straight bogeys, and Koepka closed with a 4-over 74 for a two-shot victory and joined Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship since it went to stroke play in 1958. Koepka said at the start of the week that majors are sometimes the easiest to win. This one should have been. It wasn’t. His 74 was the highest final round by a PGA champion since Vijay Singh won in a playoff in 2004 at Whistling Straits. “I’m just glad I don’t have to play any more holes,” Koepka said. “That was a stressful round of golf. I’m glad to have this thing back in my hands.” Koepka appeared to wrap it up with a gap wedge from 156 yards to 2 feet on the 10th hole for a birdie, as Johnson made his first bogey of the round up ahead on the 11th. That restored the lead to six shots, and the coronation was on. And then it all changed in a New York minute. Koepka missed three straight fairways and made three straight bogeys, having to make a 6-foot putt on No. 11 to keep it from being worse. The wind was so fickle that it died as he hit 7-iron to the par-3 14th that sailed over the green, leading to a fourth straight bogey. The crowd sensed a collapse, and began chanting, “DJ! DJ! DJ!” as Koepka was playing the hole. Ahead of him, Johnson made birdie on the 15th - the toughest hole at Bethpage Black all week - and the lead was down to one. That was as close as Johnson got. His 5-iron pierced through a wind that gusted close to 25 mph, over the green and into a buried lie. He missed the 7-foot par putt, went long of the green on the par-3 17th for another bogey and had to settle for 69. “Hit the shot I wanted to right at the flag,” Johnson said of his 5-iron from 194 yards on the 16th. “I don’t know how it flew 200 yards into the wind like that.” Johnson now has runner-up finishes in all four of the majors, the wrong kind of career Grand Slam. “I gave it a run,” he said. “That’s all you can ask for.” Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., shot a 3-over 73 to finish in a tie for 29th at 5 over. Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., had the best round of his tournament, shooting a 1-over 71 to finish in a tie for 64th at 11 over. Koepka returned to No. 1 in the world with a performance that defines his dominance in golf’s biggest events. He becomes the first player to hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time, having won a second straight U.S. Open last summer 60 miles down the road at Shinnecock Hills. He was the first wire-to-wire winner in the PGA Championship since Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983. And what stakes his claim as one of the best in his generation was a third straight year winning a major. He joins a most elite group - only Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have done that since the Masters began in 1934. He now has four majors in his last eight, a streak not seen since Woods won seven out of 11 when he captured the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. Next up is the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where Koepka defends his title for the second time. No one has won the U.S. Open three straight years since Willie Anderson in 1905. No one will doubt whether Koepka is capable the way he is playing. The 29-year-old Floridian is an imposing figure, a power off the tee and out of the rough with no obvious weakness in his game and the kind of mental fortitude that majors require. He needed all of it over the final hour of this one. Koepka doesn’t know his resting heart rate, and he said on the eve of the final round that it probably was not much different on the first tee of a major than when he was chilling on his couch. But he could feel this one getting away from him. He could sense Johnson making a charge. He could hear it. “How could you not with the ‘DJ’ chants,” Koepka said. “I heard everything.” Bethpage has a reputation for being over the top, and it irritated Harold Varner III, who shot 81 playing in the final group. “I thought it was pretty weird how they were telling Brooks to choke,” Varner said about the 14th hole. “That’s not my cup of tea. I was pulling for him after that.” Koepka held it together at the most crucial moment. He piped his driver down the 15th fairway and two-putted for par. And he drilled another one into the 16th, which played the most difficult in the final round because it was into the wind. Johnson hit 5-iron just over the green. The wind died enough 20 minutes later that Koepka hit 7-iron only to 50 feet and had another good lag putt to get par. He kept it interesting to the end, three-putting the 17th as the lead went back to two shots, and pulling his driver on the 18th into fescue so thick it left him little choice but to lay up and scramble for par. Once his medium lob wedge settled 6 feet away, he could relax. Finally. Woods won the Wanamaker Trophy in consecutive years twice, in 1999 and 2000, and again in 2006 and 2007. Koepka was starting to draw comparisons with Woods for the way he obliterated the competition, much like Woods in his 12-shot victory in the 1997 Masters and 15-shot victory in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Koepka tied the PGA Championship record by opening with a 63. He broke the major championship record for 36 holes at 128. He set another PGA Championship record with his seven-shot lead. In the end, just having his name on the heaviest championship trophy in golf was all that mattered. Jordan Spieth registered his first top 10 since the British Open last summer with a 71 to finish at 2-under 278, six shots behind. He tied for third with Patrick Cantlay (71) and Matt Wallace (72). This really was a two-man race over the back nine that not many would have seen coming at the start of the final round. Only the outcome was expected. ___ For more AP golf coverage: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press

AP Exclusive: Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost are engaged

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 18:12
Wedding bells are in the future for actress Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost of “Saturday Night Live.” Johansson’s publicist Marcel Pariseau tells The Associated Press Sunday that the private couple is officially engaged after two years of dating. Pariseau says no date has been set for the nuptials. Johansson, 34, was previously married to actor Ryan Reynolds and journalist Romain Dauriac, with whom she has a daughter named Rose who was born in 2014. This is the first marriage for the 36-year-old Jost, who is the co-anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update. The couple recently walked the red carpet together at the premiere of “Avengers: Endgame,” in which Johansson plays the character of Black Widow. Kristin M. Hall, The Associated Press

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