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Calls for investigations after power restored in Manhattan

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 14:03
NEW YORK - A Manhattan power outage that temporarily turned off the bright lights of the big city only lasted for a few hours, but left plenty of lingering questions and calls for investigations on Sunday. Con Ed President Tim Cawley insisted the Saturday night blackout that darkened more than 40 blocks of Manhattan including Times Square wasn’t due to high demand on the electrical grid, but said it would take some time to determine what exactly did happen. “We think the grid is sound,” Cawley said Sunday, adding, “If there are lessons we can apply, we will.” He said the system was prepared to deal with high demand, like that expected this coming week as temperatures rise. Officials definitively ruled out either cyber- or physical acts of terrorism of any kind. Thousands of people crowded the streets Saturday evening, using their cellphones as flashlights while they tried to stay cool amid the humid July evening, where temperatures hit the low 80s. In the theatre district, marquees darkened just before evening performances were set to begin. Most Broadway musicals and plays cancelled their Saturday evening shows, though some cast members staged impromptu performances in the street. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Sunday the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity should investigate the work being done by Con Edison to maintain and upgrade the city’s power grid. He added that “this type of massive blackout is entirely preventable with the right investments in our grid,” encouraging a thorough investigation that could shed light on wider electricity issues that could have national impact. Gregory Reed, a professor of electric power engineering at the University of Pittsburgh who once worked at Con Ed, said the utility had done a good job in restoring power quickly, but said it underscores a need throughout the country to invest more in infrastructure. “We have a lot of networks that have aging infrastructure and antiquated systems,” he said. “We have to build higher levels of resiliency.” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio both said they would be directing agencies under their control to look into what happened. The questions raised by the blackout weren’t just about the power, they were political as well as de Blasio was criticized for being on the presidential campaign trail when the outage happened. He returned to the city on Sunday, and insisted that the situation had been well-managed, that he had been in touch with his staff and started his trip back as soon as it became clear the blackout would not be quickly resolved. “You have to take charge wherever you are, and I did that,” he said. The outage stymied subway service throughout the city, affecting nearly every line. New York City’s Emergency Management Department said the A, C, D, E, F, M, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 trains had resumed running in both directions by around 2 a.m. Sunday. No injuries were reported. The police and fire departments brought personnel and equipment in from other parts of the city to help, including 400 police officers and 100 traffic agents, as well as 93 additional ambulances. The outage came on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage that left most of the city without power. Deepti Hajela, The Associated Press

Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski falls in Wimbledon women’s doubles final

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 14:01
WIMBLEDON, England - Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski came up just short in her quest for a Wimbledon title. The fourth-seeded team of Dabrowski and Xu Yifan of China were defeated by No. 3 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova in the women’s doubles final on Sunday. Su-Wei and Strycova needed only one hour six minutes to win the match 6-2, 6-4. It was the first women’s doubles appearance in a Grand Slam final for Dabrowski and Xu. The 27-year-old Canadian has won two Grand Slam titles in mixed doubles. Earlier in the day, Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in a five-set thriller for his fifth Wimbledon’s men’s title. The Canadian Press

Djokovic tops Federer in historic final for 5th at Wimbledon

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 13:50
WIMBLEDON, England - For nearly five tight, tense and terrific hours, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer traded the lead, playing on and on and on until an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker was required to settle their memorable Wimbledon final. In the end, it was Djokovic who emerged victorious, coming back to edge Federer 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) and become the first man in 71 years to take home the trophy from the All England Club after needing to erase championship points. “Unfortunately in these kinds of matches, one of the players has to lose,” Djokovic said. “It’s quite unreal.” After facing two match points at 8-7 in the last set, he wound up claiming his fifth Wimbledon title and second in a row. This triumph also earned Djokovic his 16th Grand Slam trophy overall, moving him closer to the only men ahead of him in tennis history: Federer owns 20, Rafael Nadal has 18. “I just feel like it’s such an incredible opportunity missed,” said Federer, who actually accumulated 14 more total points, 218-204. “I can’t believe it.” He has ruled grass courts since the early 2000s; he has won Wimbledon eight times dating to 2003, and this was his record 12th appearance in the title match. But Djokovic is now 3-0 against Federer in finals at the place and 4-0 against him in five-setters anywhere. This one was unlike any other, though. That’s because, while it was reminiscent of Federer’s 16-14 fifth-set victory over Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final, that score is no longer possible: The All England Club altered its rule this year to do away with never-ending matches and institute a tiebreaker at 12-all in a deciding set. At one point during the final set Sunday, Djokovic asked chair umpire Damian Steiner whether the change called for the tiebreaker at 10-10. Later, when Djokovic held for an 11-10 lead, it was Steiner who got confused, beginning to call out the score as 11-9, before catching himself. “I respect whatever the rule is,” Federer said when asked what he thinks of the altered setup. “So really, it is what it is, you know?” Federer and Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in what became as much a test of focus and stamina as it was about skill. It is the longest final in the history of a tournament that dates to the 1870s, eclipsing by nine minutes Nadal’s five-set win over Federer in 2008. Like that one, this is destined to be discussed for years. “I’ll try to forget,” joked Federer, who is less than a month shy of his 38th birthday and would have been the oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the professional era. “It was a great match. It was long. It had everything. I had my chances. So did he. I thought we played some great tennis. In a way, I’m very happy with my performance, as well,” Federer said during the trophy ceremony. “But Novak, it’s great. Congratulations, man. That was crazy. Well done.” First, it was Federer who kept falling behind, then coming back. He twice trailed by a set even though he came quite close to winning the match in three: Federer was two points from grabbing the opening set on seven occasions but couldn’t do it; he was one point from seizing the third, but again came up short. Then, Federer was down a break early in the crucible of the fifth. And then, after seemingly gaining the upper hand, standing a single point from winning while serving for the victory at 8-7, 40-15, he faltered. He sent a forehand wide on the first championship point, and Djokovic produced a cross-court forehand winner on the next. Soon enough, the 32-year-old Djokovic had broken back and on they would play for another 45 minutes. “Definitely tough to have those chances,” Federer said. Djokovic has done this to him before. In the semifinals of the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Opens, Djokovic erased two match points each time before coming back to win. Looking at the bigger picture, there’s also this takeaway from Sunday: Nadal’s status as Federer’s principal nemesis has been well-documented and much-examined over the years - which is a small part of why Friday’s semifinal victory for Federer was fraught with meaning. But it’s now high time to discuss Djokovic’s edge over Federer. Djokovic has won their past five meetings and holds a 26-22 advantage overall head-to-head, including 10-6 at Grand Slam tournaments and 3-1 at Wimbledon. By the reverberating sound of things around the old arena Sunday, a vast majority of the spectators were pulling for the popular Federer. Made it seem as though he might be British, not Swiss. While one person cried out, “We love you both!” - a fitting sentiment, given the high quality and unceasing shifts in momentum - the “Come on, Roger!” count far outnumbered the shouts for his Serbian foe. Yes, they roared for Federer’s ace on the very first point and when he sent the final to a fifth set. They even applauded when he kicked a ball to a ball boy or when he brought his racket around his back to make meaningless contact after Djokovic served a let. And then there were the “Awwwws.” So many “Awwwws” - pained sighs of despair accompanying a missed backhand here, a double-fault there, by their guy. It wasn’t until the fourth set that Federer faced so much as one break point, no small accomplishment against Djokovic, considered by many to be the greatest returner of his, or perhaps any, generation. Still, even though Federer did get broken in that set, he won it to send this match to a fifth. What already was fun to watch became completely riveting. That’s not to say the tennis was perfect, because both men showed signs of fatigue and perhaps nerves. Federer’s mediocre approach shot provided Djokovic an opening for a backhand pass that earned a break and a 4-2 lead. Djokovic’s double-fault in the next game helped Federer break back, and the ensuing changeover was filled with a fugue of fans’ voices chanting the first names of both. As the newfangled tiebreaker carried the last set alone past the two-hour mark, it was Djokovic who was better. When Federer shanked a forehand off his racket frame, it was over, allowing Djokovic to renew his personal tradition of plucking some blades of Centre Court grass and chewing on them. “Constant pressure,” Djokovic said. “I had to fight and find my game to stay in the match.” ___ More AP tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press

England wins first Cricket World Cup after all-time classic

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 13:45
LONDON - England won the Cricket World Cup for the first time in extraordinary circumstances on Sunday, beating New Zealand by a tiebreaker of boundaries scored after the final was tied after regulation play and again following the first Super Over in the tournament’s 44-year history. England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler ran out Martin Guptill off the last ball of the Super Over as the New Zealand opener scrambled back for a second run that would have earned the Black Caps their first world title. Both teams scored 241 after the regulation 50 overs per side, with England hitting 14 off the last over - including a six made up of two runs followed by an accidental four deflected off the bat of the diving Ben Stokes - to tie New Zealand’s 241-8. That meant the World Cup’s first ever Super Over, which fans watched with hands around their heads and with a rule explainer required on the big screens inside the home of cricket. Stokes and Buttler were England’s first designated batsmen and they struck 15 - including two fours - off six balls delivered by Trent Boult. New Zealand pair Jimmy Neesham and Guptill also struck 15 off Jofra Archer but England won courtesy of a superior boundary count - 26 to 17 - across regulation play and the Super Over. “The most ridiculous game of cricket to have ever been played,” Buttler said, almost lost for words. While New Zealand has lost two straight finals, the country that invented cricket has finally become its world champion. England had previously lost three finals, including one at Lord’s. After Buttler collected Jason Roy’s throw from deep midwicket and removed the bails with his left hand, England’s players erupted in celebration - but still had an agonizing wait before the decision was confirmed by the TV umpire. “OUT,” read the message on the big screen after Guptill was shown to be a yard (meter) out of the crease. Buttler threw his glove into the sky and was soon mobbed by some teammates. Roy was carried on another’s shoulders. Archer ran off on his own, sliding on his chest across the Lord’s turf. There were heroes everywhere in blue shirts, not least Buttler, whose clean catch and grab ultimately won England one of the most dramatic finishes of a match in any sport. Buttler also struck a defining 59 off 60 balls in a 110-run partnership with Stokes as England recovered from a perilous position of 86-4 chasing 242. And what about Stokes, born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and playing almost a year after he was cleared by a court of affray following a street brawl on a night out in September 2017. He struck a match-high 84 not out that included two extraordinary sixes in the final over of regulation play - possibly the most remarkable over in the sport’s long history. Needing 15 to win, England had two dot balls before Stokes smashed the ball high toward long-on. Boult took a catch but fell backward and trod onto the boundary cushion before he had time to release the ball. A six was awarded, and England required nine off three balls. If that wasn’t dramatic enough, check out what happened next. Stokes slogged the ball into the leg side and set off to run two. As he sprinted back to the striker’s end, he dived and stretched his bat out in a desperate bid to reach the crease - only for the ball, thrown in by Guptill, to strike Stokes’ bat and deflect all the way to the boundary edge in front of the Lord’s pavilion. Confusion reigned but England had just scored six runs - two ran, along with a four. Three required off two balls. Stokes was still on strike and he pushed the ball down the ground, setting off again for a two to ensure he kept the strike. Adil Rashid was running to the non-striker’s end and was easily run out, but Stokes had the strike and England had an extra run. In an almost exact replica of that next-to-last delivery, Stokes toed a yorker out to long-on and again attempted to run two. This time it was Mark Wood ran out at the non-striker’s end but again England collected the single to take the match to the Super Over - a tiebreaker some in the ground might not even have heard of. After a 10-minute break, Stokes and Buttler came back out and hit 3, 1, 4, 1, 2 and 4 between them. The Black Caps had to score more than England but they couldn’t. Humiliated in a group-stage exit at the 2015 World Cup, England ripped up its ODI game and started all over again with a new coach, a new director of cricket and a new mindset. Four years later, they are on top of the world. ___ More AP cricket: www.apnews.com/Cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80 Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

Canada’s Wickens leads emotional warm-up lap in Toronto almost year after crash

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 13:45
TORONTO - Canada’s Robert Wickens made an emotional return to IndyCar racing on Sunday.   Almost a year after a horrific crash left Wickens a paraplegic, the 30-year-old from Guelph, Ont., led the warm-up lap for Honda Indy Toronto in an Acura NSX that’s been modified with hand controls. “Honestly I’m just over the moon with how crazy this is . . . this is just incredible,” Wickens told NBC before getting into his car. “It’s going to feel like I won the race.” A huge roar erupted from the Exhibition Place crowd as Wickens, with his fiancee Karli Woods in the passenger seat, took off. Woods stifled several screams while the duo tore around the track. Wickens had joked that how fast he would go would be dictated by “Karli’s screaming” and how her stomach was handling the speed. “Hopefully we can give it a good run, and enjoy the moment. We’ve been through so much together,” Wickens said. Wickens also gave the start command, saying: “Future drivers of mine, start your engines!” - a nod to perhaps owning his own team one day. Wickens was having one of the most dominant rookie seasons in IndyCar history, reeling off seven top-five finishes including a thrilling third place in Toronto at this time last year before he crashed at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 19. Wickens was travelling around 184 miles an hour and trying to pass Ryan Hunter-Reay when the two cars slightly touched. Hunter-Reay’s car careened into the wall. Wickens’ car soared over Hunter-Reay’s and into the fence, spinning around like top as it exploded into pieces, leaving just the tub that came to rest on the track. Wickens, who uses a wheelchair, suffered a thoracic spinal fracture, spinal cord injury, neck fracture, tibia and fibula fractures to both legs, fractures in both hands, fractured right forearm, fractured elbow, four fractured ribs and a pulmonary contusion.   Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

S Carolina mental hospital patient died at bottom of dogpile

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 13:40
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A patient at a state mental hospital in South Carolina has died after being at the bottom of a dogpile of several employees - something specifically prohibited in their training. The State newspaper reports three of the 13 employees involved in the death of 35-year-old William Avant in January had not been through training on physically restraining patients. His death hadn’t been previously reported. Video of the incident showed the employees on top of Avant at a Columbia mental hospital for four minutes. His face was blue and he was unresponsive when they got up. The State Law Enforcement Division investigated Avant’s death but did not press charges. The newspaper reports agents and the Department of Mental Health refused to release records. They cited patient privacy laws even though Avant died in the government’s care. ___ Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com The Associated Press

England wins first Cricket World Cup in dramatic style

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 13:24
LONDON - England won the Cricket World Cup for the first time in extraordinary circumstances on Sunday, beating New Zealand by a tiebreaker of boundaries scored after the final was tied after regulation play and again following the first Super Over in the tournament’s 44-year history. England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler ran out Martin Guptill off the last ball of the Super Over as the New Zealand opener scrambled back for a second run that would have earned the Black Caps their first world title. Both teams scored 241 after the regulation 50 overs per side, with England hitting 14 off the last over - including a six made up of two runs followed by an accidental four deflected off the bat of the diving Ben Stokes - to tie New Zealand’s 241-8. That meant the World Cup’s first ever Super Over, which fans watched with hands around their heads and with a rule explainer required on the big screens inside the home of cricket. Stokes and Buttler were England’s first designated batsmen and they struck 15 - including two fours - off six balls delivered by Trent Boult. New Zealand pair Jimmy Neesham and Guptill also struck 15 off Jofra Archer but England won courtesy of a superior boundary count - 22 to 14 - in regulation play. While New Zealand has lost two straight finals, the country that invented cricket has finally become its world champion. England had previously lost three finals, including one at Lord’s. After Buttler collected Jason Roy’s throw from deep midwicket and removed the bails with his left hand, England’s players erupted in celebration - but still had an agonizing wait before the decision was confirmed by the TV umpire. “OUT,” read the message on the big screen after Guptill was shown to be a yard (meter) out of the crease. Buttler threw his glove into the sky and was soon mobbed by some teammates. Roy was carried on another’s shoulders. Archer ran off on his own, sliding on his chest across the Lord’s turf. There were heroes everywhere in blue shirts, not least Buttler, whose clean catch and grab ultimately won England one of the most dramatic finishes of a match in any sport. Buttler also struck a defining 59 off 60 balls in a 110-run partnership with Stokes as England recovered from a perilous position of 86-4 chasing 242. And what about Stokes, born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and playing almost a year after he was cleared by a court of affray following a street brawl on a night out in September 2017. He struck a match-high 84 not out that included two extraordinary sixes in the final over of regulation play - possibly the most remarkable over in the sport’s long history. Needing 15 to win, England had two dot balls before Stokes smashed the ball high toward long-on. Boult took a catch but fell backward and trod onto the boundary cushion before he had time to release the ball. A six was awarded, and England required nine off three balls. If that wasn’t dramatic enough, check out what happened next. Stokes slogged the ball into the leg side and set off to run two. As he sprinted back to the striker’s end, he dived and stretched his bat out in a desperate bid to reach the crease - only for the ball, thrown in by Guptill, to strike Stokes’ bat and deflect all the way to the boundary edge in front of the Lord’s pavilion. Confusion reigned but England had just scored six runs - two ran, along with a four. Three required off two balls. Stokes was still on strike and he pushed the ball down the ground, setting off again for a two to ensure he kept the strike. Adil Rashid was running to the non-striker’s end and was easily run out, but Stokes had the strike and England had an extra run. In an almost exact replica of that next-to-last delivery, Stokes toed a yorker out to long-on and again attempted to run two. This time it was Mark Wood ran out at the non-striker’s end but again England collected the single to take the match to the Super Over - a tiebreaker some in the ground might not even have heard of. After a 10-minute break, Stokes and Buttler came back out and hit 3, 1, 4, 1, 2 and 4 between them. The Black Caps had to score more than England but they couldn’t. Humiliated in a group-stage exit at the 2015 World Cup, England ripped up its ODI game and started all over again with a new coach, a new director of cricket and a new mindset. Four years later, they are on top of the world. ___ More AP cricket: www.apnews.com/Cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80 Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

Prominent Montreal lawyer James Duggan among victims of Quebec plane crash

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 13:18
MONTREAL - James Duggan, a well-known Montreal lawyer who spent years fighting for the rights of RCMP officers to unionize, was among the three victims of a plane crash that occurred in a remote region of northern Quebec on Friday. Quebec provincial police confirmed Sunday that the 67-year-old was aboard the float plane that went down near Lac Boulene, southeast of Chibougamau. Duggan was a prominent attorney who was instrumental in the battle to unionize RCMP officers.  Duggan, who started representing members of the RCMP in the 1980s, was part of the group of lawyers who scored a major victory when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in January 2015 that RCMP members had the right to form a union and collectively bargain with the federal government. More recently, his firm spearheaded a class-action lawsuit on behalf of officers and civilian employees alleging harassment in the force. Frederic Serre of the Quebec RCMP Members’ Association, who has known Duggan for 25 years, will remember his friend most for the kindness and attention he showed to “people going through hell.” “They weren’t just cases, he knew there were people behind those cases,” Serre said in a phone interview Sunday. In a “cruel twist of fate,” Serre said Duggan died just before the National Police Federation announced it had been certified as the bargaining agent for the RCMP membership - something he said Duggan and the association had been waiting 25 years for. “It’s their battle and they won it, and it’s sad that Jim will never get to see it,” he said. Ex-NDP leader Tom Mulcair, a former colleague and friend of Duggan’s, described him as “an exceptionally brilliant lawyer” who dedicated his career to fighting for workers wronged by their employers. “He had a strong sense of what was right and what was wrong, and he was the type of person who always fought for the underdog, always fought to redress unfair situations,” Mulcair said in a phone interview on Sunday. Mulcair said he will remember Duggan’s strong performances in court, his love for his family as well as the dozens of fishing trips the two of them took together. The president of the Quebec RCMP Members’ Association described Duggan as one of the “first warriors of RCMP unionization,” and expressed his condolences to Duggan’s loved ones, including his spouse, son and daughter. “James has been in every fight of the association for the protection of the rights of members of the RCMP,” Serge Bilodeau said in a statement. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton said a Hercules aircraft was dispatched Friday evening to respond to an emergency locator beacon. Search and rescue technicians parachuted to the site where they found three people without vital signs and were later pronounced dead. The other victims were Jacques Bissonnette, 69, and Claude Laplante, 77. A fourth man survived the crash. The four men were travelling together to a fishing trip, police said. Serre said Duggan owned the plane and was an experienced pilot. “When things got really crazy he would just get on his plane and go fishing,” he said. Working alongside his son at his firm, Duggan Avocats, Duggan specialized in labour, constitutional, administrative, human rights, electoral and aviation law. The site notes Duggan was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition for his services to the legal profession. In 2016, he was named a Lawyer Emeritus by the Quebec Bar Association. Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

Canadians Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay finish fourth at World Championships

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 13:14
GWANGJU, Korea, Republic Of - Canadians Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay will have to try again for a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The duo narrowly missed qualifying for the 2020 Games, finishing fourth in the women’s 10-metre synchro platform final on Sunday at the FINA World Championships. Only a Top-3 finish guaranteed a ticket to Tokyo, meaning they will have to wait until April’s World Cup to secure an Olympic spot for Canada. “I think we got nervous because we knew what was on the line,” said Benfeito. “I think we started off really well, our first dives were probably better than we’ve ever done, obviously round four and round five were not the best.” The Canadians ranked second in the preliminary round, and were sitting in the same spot after three dives of the final. They sank to fourth after missing their final two dives to finish with 304.05 points, just 0.81 points behind Americans Samantha Bromberg and Katrina Young, who finished with the bronze medal. China’s Lu Wei and Zhang Jiaqi were first with 345.24 points. Both Canadians will compete in the individual 10m platform on Tuesday. The Canadian Press

Barry’s flood threat lingers as storm slowly sweeps inland

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 13:12
NEW ORLEANS - Tropical Storm Barry dumped rain as it slowly swept inland through Gulf Coast states Sunday, sparing New Orleans from a direct hit but stoking fears elsewhere of flooding, tornadoes, and prolonged power outages. Though the system’s winds were steadily weakening since it made landfall Saturday in Louisiana, its rain bands created a flooding and tornado threat stretching from central Louisiana to eastern Mississippi and beyond. Several parishes or counties in both states were under flash flood warnings. Far from the storm’s centre, tornado warnings were issued Sunday morning in both states, though no serious damage or injuries were reported. President Donald Trump asked people across the region to keep their guard up, saying on Twitter Sunday: “A big risk of major flooding in large parts of Louisiana and all across the Gulf Coast. Please be very careful!” Forecasters warned of a continued threat of heavy rains into Monday as the centre of the storm trudged inland. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Sunday parts of south-central Louisiana could still have rainfall totals of up to 12 inches (30 centimetres), with isolated pockets of 15 inches (38 centimetres). “This rainfall is expected to lead to dangerous, life-threatening flooding,” forecasters wrote in an advisory Sunday. In Mississippi, forecasters said eight inches (20 centimetres) of rain had fallen in parts of Jasper and Jones counties, with several more inches possible. With torrential rain pounding the state’s Interstate 59 corridor, only the headlights of oncoming cars were visible on the highway, and water flowed like a creek in the median. Barry was expected to weaken to a tropical depression Sunday as its centre moves from northern Louisiana into Arkansas. The system, which had briefly become a Category 1 hurricane, was clinging Sunday to tropical storm status with maximum sustained winds falling to 40 mph (65 kph). New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Sunday the city was “beyond lucky” that rainfall there fell well short of early predictions of a deluge that could overwhelm the city’s pumping systems. “We were spared,” she said at a news conference, while noting the city was ready to help nearby parishes hit harder. In a sign that the city was returning to normal, flights were resuming Sunday at its airport. Restaurants reopened, and people were retrieving their cars from medians and other high ground. About 112,000 customers in Louisiana and another 5,000 customers in Mississippi were without power Sunday afternoon, according to poweroutage.us. Carrie Cuchens, who lost power at her home southeast of Lafayette, said crews were out working to remove trees that fell on power lines. Forecasters say the area, where several parishes were under a flash flood warning, could see 2 inches (5 centimetres) of additional rain on Sunday. Though some yards had pooling water, Cuchens didn’t think her or her neighbours’ homes would flood. “There’s certainly water, certainly a lot of water, and as it continues to rain there’s always that concern,” she said. Another worry is that large trees could topple because of the saturated ground. “If this rain sits on top of us, the ground of course now is already saturated,” she said. “The roots are so saturated that if any wind, or any kind of shift happens, they’re easier to come up out of the ground. It’s not snapping limbs – it’s the whole entire tree. We have 100-year-old trees back here.” To the southeast in Morgan City, Lois and Steve Bergeron spent Sunday cleaning up their lawn, which was littered with debris from trees. They were grateful the damage wasn’t worse. “At least it didn’t hit our house,” she said. And in Mandeville, north of New Orleans along Lake Pontchartrain, Michael Forbes was also picking up limbs and other debris at his home as a drizzle fell. Water got under his house, which is on stilts, but there was no damage and the power never went off. “I’ll take this any day over something like Katrina,” he said Sunday. “This will clear out, we’ll clean up and we’ll go on.” ___ Drew reported from Raleigh, North Carolina. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Kevin McGill in New Orleans; Jay Reeves in Mandeville; Rogelio Solis in Morgan City; and Jeff Martin in Atlanta. ___ For the latest on Tropical Storm Barry, visit https://apnews.com/Hurricanes . Rebecca Santana And Jonathan Drew, The Associated Press

Officials flagged 900 food items from China with ‘problems’ over two years

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 12:32
OTTAWA - Canadian inspectors intercepted nearly 900 food products from China over concerns about faulty labels, unmentioned allergens and harmful contaminants that included glass and metal between 2017 and early 2019, according to internal federal records. The document provides an inside look at imports from China that caught the attention of officials for appearing to fall short of Canadian standards - from gum balls with “extraneous” metal, to three-minute chow mein that contained an insect, to spicy octopus feet flagged for a “non-specific hazard.” The list, compiled by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, was obtained through access-to-information law. Its release comes at a time of significant public interest in Canada about cross-border food inspections, especially those involving China. The scrutiny of agricultural goods has been central to a diplomatic dispute between Canada and its second-biggest trading partner. Bilateral frictions have intensified since the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver and China’s subsequent detention of two Canadians on espionage allegations. The governing Liberals have come under pressure from rival Conservatives to respond by taking a harder line when it comes to Chinese imports. In recent weeks, China asked Canada to suspend all its meat-export certificates to the Asian country after Chinese customs inspectors detected residue from a restricted feed additive, called ractopamine, in a batch of Canadian pork products. A statement by China’s embassy in Ottawa said the investigation uncovered at least 188 forged veterinary health certificates and argued the Canadian system had “obvious safety loopholes.” Chinese authorities have also blocked imports of Canadian canola seeds, alleging they found pests in some shipments. The federal government says it has tried unsuccessfully to send a delegation of inspectors to China to examine the evidence. The economic consequences of China’s trade actions on Canadian food shipments, as well as the detentions of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, are widely seen as attempts by Beijing to pressure the Liberal government into releasing Meng. The list from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency shows it’s not uncommon for inspectors to raise concerns about imports from China. Between Jan. 1, 2017 and Feb. 29, 2019, agency officials “detected problems” with 889 food or food ingredient imports into Canada from China, according to the document. Only four food shipments, however, from China were refused entry into Canada over that period, CFIA’s quarterly reports show. An agency spokeswoman said CFIA investigates concerns to determine if it’s a hazard or fails to comply with Canadian standards. When necessary, she said officials take action - including minor label corrections, recalls, product seizure, entry refusals and the cancellation of licences. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in an emailed statement that the issues in the CFIA list do not necessarily correlate to a particular problem with imported food products from foreign countries. “This is a list of cases reported to the CFIA that informs operational and follow-up activities to verify compliance and take any appropriate actions, in accordance with laws and regulations,” Bibeau said. “The Canadian food safety system is strong and recognized as one of the best in the world and the government is confident in all products approved by the CFIA as safe for local consumption as well as for export.” The list only provides numbers for China and does not include comparable numbers for Canada’s other trading partners. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer recently called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step up inspections on all products from China and to consider slapping tariffs on imports. Bibeau’s office has said Canada has no intention of increasing inspections on Chinese imports. Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor, an expert in agri-food trade and policy, wrote in an email that Canada would likely take a long time before implementing actions against Chinese imports. “Canada will always play to the rules and exhaust all democratic channels available through international trade agreements such as (the World Trade Organization),” wrote Afesorgbor, an assistant professor at the University of Guelph.  “Any retaliatory action may result in trade war and that may negatively affect the two countries.” Glenford Jameson, a Toronto-based lawyer with expertise in the food sector, said the CFIA list provides an extra level of detail that’s usually omitted from public documents. He added that none of the concerns flagged in the document are highly unusual. “This list is a list that wouldn’t be surprising from any country, including the United States, and is really just a byproduct of having a stringent food-inspection and food-regulatory system,” Jameson said. “No food commodity is traded at 100 per cent perfect compliance all the time.” Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

Djokovic edges Federer in 5 sets for 5th Wimbledon trophy

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 12:24
WIMBLEDON, England - Novak Djokovic became the first man in 71 years to win Wimbledon after facing match points in the final, coming back to beat Roger Federer in an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker Sunday. By barely emerging to win 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) after nearly five tight, tense and terrific hours, Djokovic claimed his fifth championship at the All England Club and second in a row. “Unfortunately in these kinds of matches,” Djokovic said, “one of the players has to lose.” This triumph also earned Djokovic his 16th Grand Slam trophy, moving him closer to the only men ahead of him in tennis history: Federer with 20, and Rafael Nadal with 18. Federer has ruled grass courts since the early 2000s; he has won Wimbledon eight times dating to 2003, and this was his record 12th appearance in the title match. But Djokovic is now 3-0 against Federer in finals at the place and 4-0 against him in five-setters. This one was unlike any other, though. That’s because, while it was reminiscent of Federer’s 16-14 fifth-set victory over Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final, that score is no longer possible: The All England Club altered its rule this year to do away with never-ending matches and institute a tiebreaker at 12-all in a deciding set. At one point during the final set Sunday, Djokovic asked chair umpire Damian Steiner whether the change called for the tiebreaker at 10-10. Later, when Djokovic held for an 11-10 lead, it was Steiner who got confused, beginning to call out the score as 11-9, before catching himself. Federer and Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in what became as much a test of focus and stamina as it was about skill. It is destined to be discussed for years. “I’ll try to forget,” joked Federer, who is less than a month shy of his 38th birthday and would have been the oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the professional era. First, it was Federer who kept falling behind, then coming back. He twice trailed by a set. He was down a break early in the crucible of the fifth. And, then, after seemingly gaining the upper hand, standing a single point from winning while serving for the victory at 8-7, 40-15, he faltered. He sent a forehand wide on the first championship point, and Djokovic produced a cross-court forehand winner on the next. Soon enough, the 32-year-old Djokovic had broken back and on they would play. Djokovic has done this to Federer before. In the semifinals of the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Opens, Djokovic erased two match points before coming back to win each time. ___ More AP tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press

CP NewsAlert: Novak Djokovic wins Wimbledon men’s title for fifth time

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 12:09
WIMBLEDON, England - Novak Djokovic has defeated Roger Federer to capture his fifth Wimbledon men’s title. More coming. The Canadian Press

Some MPs are warning the parliamentary workload is going to kill someone

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 12:06
OTTAWA - Some MPs are warning the high-stress, high-stakes environment of politics coupled with relentless work schedules and bouts of politically motivated marathon voting and debating sessions are one day going to kill someone. Winnipeg MP Kevin Lamoureux, who has been an MP for nine years and served as the Liberal’s deputy house leader since the last election, says all parties should figure out a better way for opposition parties to make themselves effective than triggering 30-hour voting marathons like one that occurred in March. “I believe it’s only a question of time before someone will in fact die from it,” Lamoureux says. “It’s insane and completely irresponsible.” Lamoureux has been an elected politician for 25 of the last 29 years, mostly in the Manitoba legislature, and spent all but the last four in opposition. He says he knows the frustration of opposition parties trying to keep a majority government from ramming through controversial bills but that no other workplace would tolerate forcing people to be awake for that long. He says he knows at least one MP, whom he wouldn’t name, whose health prevented him from participating. Others resorted to wearing diapers to help get them through the night. Outgoing MP Tony Clement, who was a high-ranking Conservative until he got caught emailing and texting explicit digital images of himself last fall, says nobody knows better than he does how the pressures of political life can contribute to making bad decisions. “I know no one is going to get out the tissue-box for politicians,” says Clement. “But people are going to commit suicide. People are going to die before their time. People are going to make horrendous personal mistakes and I can obviously speak from personal experience on that one.” For Clement it’s much more than just overnight voting. It’s the “near-constant online harassment and online judgement,” the non-stop hours of work, constant travel, high-stress decisions and the anxiety that comes from knowing how tenuous your job is. Clement points to a recent British Medical Journal survey of United Kingdom MPs that found more than one-third suffered from at least one mental-health problem, compared to about one-quarter of the British population as a whole. Anxiety and depression were the most common. He says he would expect similar results if Canadian MPs were surveyed. Clement says pressure to get re-elected and partisanship mean any time one party raises an idea such as eliminating Friday sittings or limiting evening sittings to make work-life balance easier, MPs in other parties scorn it, so nothing ever changes. Both Clement and Lamoureux say the overnight votes should stop but that taking them away would require giving opposition parties some other way to get in the government’s face when a controversial issue has arisen. The March voting marathon - 30 hours of consecutive votes on 257 motions to oppose government spending plans - was done so the Conservatives could express their displeasure with the government’s refusal to continue a House of Commons committee probe of the SNC-Lavalin affair. It was the third time in the current term of Parliament that MPs were up all night for votes. A relatively easy 12-hour session took place in June 2018 when the Conservatives were protesting the cost of the carbon tax. A 21-hour voting marathon took place in March 2018 when the Conservatives wanted to get the Liberals to let Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national-security adviser testify at a committee about the invitation given to a convicted terrorist for a reception during Trudeau’s trip to India. In the previous Parliament, the NDP and Liberals forced 22 hours of voting on the Conservative government’s budget bill to express displeasure over changes to environmental laws. Clement says he isn’t sure what the answer is. Lamoureux says governments could be forced to introduce legislation by certain deadlines to ensure a minimum amount of debating time, and opposition parties could be given a way to delay bills for a period of time. He also believes there should be a parallel Commons chamber created to allow additional debating time for private member’s bills, which would add some heft to the influence non-cabinet ministers have in Parliament. Private member’s bills are from MPs who are not in cabinet but there is less time in the schedule for debating them. Many die on the vine, simply never reaching final votes. In this Parliament only 10 of 269 private member’s bills passed. In the last Parliament, 19 of 458 private member’s bills got through. Liberal Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who has a young child, says overnight votes are rare but that evening votes, which keep MPs with young families at work long into the evening, are also problematic. He said moving votes to the daytime would go a long way to encouraging a better balance. It also could encourage more young people, a more diverse population, to seek election. He says the best time for this to be addressed is at the start of the next Parliament after the election, when the routine is to debate the rules that govern house procedures. Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Calls for investigations after power restored in Manhattan

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 11:50
NEW YORK - A Manhattan power outage that temporarily turned off the bright lights of the big city only lasted for a few hours, but left plenty of lingering questions and calls for investigations on Sunday. Con Edison engineers and planners are looking into what happened at a substation on Saturday evening that caused the blackout, which stretched 30 blocks from Times Square to the Upper West Side for about four hours. Thousands of people crowded the streets Saturday evening, using their cellphones as flashlights while they tried to stay cool amid the humid July evening, where temperatures hit the low 80s. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Sunday the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity should investigate the work being done by Con Edison to maintain and upgrade the city’s power grid. He added that “this type of massive blackout is entirely preventable with the right investments in our grid,” encouraging a thorough investigation that could shed light on wider electricity issues that could have national impact. Gregory Reed, a professor of electric power engineering at the University of Pittsburgh who once worked at Con Ed, said the utility had done a good job in restoring power quickly, but said it underscores a need throughout the country to invest more in infrastructure. “We have a lot of networks that have aging infrastructure and antiquated systems,” he said. “We have to build higher levels of resiliency.” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was criticized for being on the presidential campaign trail when the outage happened, both said they would be directing agencies under their control to look into what happened. “You just can’t have a power outage of this magnitude in this city,” Cuomo said Saturday. “It is too dangerous, the potential for public safety risk and chaos is too high, we just can’t have a system that does that, it’s that simple at the end of the day.” The outage stymied subway service throughout the city, affecting nearly every line. New York City’s Emergency Management Department said the A, C, D, E, F, M, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 trains had resumed running in both directions by around 2 a.m. Sunday. No injuries were reported. The outage comes on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage that left most of the city without power. The Associated Press

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