24. 09. 2018
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A nurse’s view: Fighting Ebola one day at a time in Sierra Leone – National

A nurse’s view: Fighting Ebola one day at a time in Sierra Leone – National

It’s the children who distress me most.” — MSF nurse Anja Wolz

Today the Ebola story appears to be all about numbers – big numbers. The World Health Organization released a plan for bringing the seemingly unstoppable Ebola outbreak in West Africa to an end.

It estimates the work will cost US$490 million.It suggests by the time the outbreak is over, more than 20,000 people may have contracted the virus.  For context, the largest previous outbreak occurred in 2000 in Uganda, when 425 people were infected.It sets a goal of stopping the outbreak in six to nine months. It’s not a projection or a promise — the WHO is calling it a goal. It’s a telling word choice.It estimates 3,580 international and national personnel will be needed to make this all work.

These are numbers unlike anything the world has ever seen before in relation to Ebola, and frankly few in public health would have ever dreamed — nightmared  —  of a scenario like what the world faces now with the outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

(Fingers are still crossed that Nigeria has contained the spread there, sparked by an infected government official from Liberia who travelled to Nigeria. So far Nigeria has recorded 17 cases, including the Liberian man, and six deaths — all from that one importation.)

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The plan, which the WHO calls a roadmap, is critically important work. But it’s hard to take in and it tells a story in numbers.

Ultimately, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a story about people. The people whose families and communities are being wiped out and the hugely courageous people who are trying to save lives and stop the spread of this hellish virus.

Anja Wolz is in the latter group of people. A nurse with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Wolz is working at Kailahun, Sierra Leone. She has written a first-person account of the gruelling and relentless work the national and international health-care workers fighting the outbreak face day after day after day.

She says the worst thing about the work is dealing with the children — orphaned, confused, sick and a heartbreak to caregivers whose instincts are to offer consoling hugs. The PPE — personal protective equipment, a.k.a. layers of head-to-toe coverings — the health workers must wear make hugging and even talking to the children difficult.

Wolz’s account can be read on the website of The New England Journal of Medicine, which was published Wednesday along with a slide show of photos that show the rudimentary facilities where these health-care heroes are trying to save lives. People who want to know the story behind the large numbers in the WHO’s containment plan can find it in Wolz’s words.

Today the WHO said to date at least 3,069 people in these West African countries have been infected with Ebola, and 1,552 have died.

©2014The Canadian Press

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24. 09. 2018
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Rob Ford apologizes for ‘embarrassing’ council – Toronto

Rob Ford apologizes for ‘embarrassing’ council – Toronto

TORONTO – Rob Ford is sorry.

The mayor began what could be his last council session with a speech thanking his fellow councillors and apologizing for “embarrassing” council.

“I know I put this council through some challenges, I know I embarrassed council and I want to thank sincerely the deputy mayor for taking on the reins and I can’t thank you enough for taking the job on,” the mayor told said during a five-minute speech in council chambers Thursday morning.

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The deputy mayor assumed many of the mayor’s responsibilities in November amid an ongoing police investigation into the mayor and Ford’s admission he smoked crack cocaine despite several months of denial. The police investigation is ongoing.

Thursday’s council meeting is the last before October’s election, which could end the Ford’s mayoral tenure (though a new Forum Research poll indicated he could be gaining popularity, placing him in second place behind John Tory). Ford remains popular with many city constituencies despite lying about everything from his substance use to city finances and policies.

The mayor mentioned several councillors by name and thanked some regular opponents like Gloria Lindsay-Luby, and Karen Stintz.

Councillor Peter Leon, who was selected for Ward 3 after councillor Doug Holyday was elected MPP for Etobicoke Lakeshore (a seat Holyday lost just months later), is “the nicest guy” Ford said he’s ever met.

The mayor sounded like he was choking back tears when in a trembling voice he thanked his brother, campaign manager and most strident advocate, Councillor Doug Ford.

“I did mislead you, I did coerce you, I had to do something to get you into the seat,” he said.  “I appreciate you having my back 24/7 and it’s been a challenge and I really want to thank you for being my best friend and all I can say is, Queen’s Park, you have no idea what’s coming up to you next.”

The mayor appeared to be alluding to his brother’s MPP ambitions – ambitions Doug Ford has recently downplayed even after announcing he won’t run again for council.

Torontonians go to the polls on October 27.

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24. 09. 2018
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Canada ranked one of top countries for scientific literacy – National

Canada ranked one of top countries for scientific literacy – National

TORONTO – Canada ranks higher than 10 other developed nations in scientific literacy, or the ability of citizens to read and fully comprehend a lengthy article about science in a newspaper, according to a report released Thursday by the Council of Canadian Academies.

The report said 42 per cent of Canadians “grasp basic concepts and understand general media coverage of scientific issues.”

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That is higher than Sweden at 35 per cent and the U.S. at just under 30 per cent. Japan was last at about five per cent, it said.

The findings are based on a 2013 survey of 2,000 Canadians and an assessment of relevant international data, according to the authors.

The data was not all conducted at the same time. The data on Japan was collected in 2001, the European data in 2005, and as science literacy has been increasing generally all over the world in the past decade, these rankings may not be perfect, said Arthur Carty, chair of an expert panel involved in the report and executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.

The survey measured Canadians’ attitudes towards science and tested their knowledge with simple true-or-false questions, such as “electrons are smaller than atoms” (answer: true).

The report – Science Culture: Where Canada Stands – is the most comprehensive look at public scientific engagement, attitudes and knowledge since 1989, its authors said.

In the past 25 years, Canadians have become more knowledgeable and engaged on scientific issues, though fewer people believe science holds the key to radically solving social problems, the report said.

Ninety-three per cent of Canadians polled said they have an interest in “new scientific discoveries,” ranking first among 35 nations, it said.

A third of respondents reported visiting a science or technology museum in the past year, and almost a quarter said they had signed petitions or joined street demonstrations on scientific issues such as oil pipelines, nuclear power or biotechnology.

The survey also found interest in science was more prevalent among younger, wealthier and well-educated respondents, and higher among men than women.

Scientist and broadcaster Jay Ingram said that while he’s heartened that Canadians do relatively well on measures of scientific literacy, it’s also important to remember that 58 per cent of Canadians do not have basic scientific knowledge.

“While 87 per cent of survey respondents [know] that the . . . earth goes around the sun is pretty good, that still leaves 13 per cent of Canadians who haven’t absorbed the astronomical knowledge of several centuries ago,” said Ingram, who was among 14 experts who compiled the report.

The panellists also examined the results of standardized science test scores of 15-year-olds, administered worldwide by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Canada ranked 10th out of 265 countries in 2012.

These scores have declined since 2006, said Carty, the panel chair.

“That raises some concerns about future performance and particularly our competitiveness vis-a-vis the science and technology giants of Asia,” said Carty.

It is important that Canada create and maintain a “science culture,” defined by the panellists as a society that “embraces discovery and supports the use of scientific knowledge and methodology,” the report said.

Leadership and vision are important in supporting science in Canada, but Ingram said the ultimate goal should be the fostering of a science culture that endures regardless of political leadership or policy.

The report also suggests targeting inequalities in access to science resources, in order to make the discipline inclusive and accessible to all Canadians.

“It’s all about ensuring that individuals in all segments of society have the opportunity to share in the wonder and excitement of science,” said Marc LePage, panellist and president of Genome Quebec.

“Perhaps the hockey analogy is that now we’re in the quarter finals,” said LePage. “The next step for us is to shoot for the Stanley Cup.”

The Council of Canadian Academies describes itself as a non-profit organization that “supports evidence-based, expert assessments to inform public policy development in Canada.”

In the survey conducted for the group, EKOS Research polled 2,000 Canadians via landline, mobile or online response. EKOS says it has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points 19 times in 20.

©2014The Canadian Press

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23. 08. 2019
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Thousands of triathletes receive warm welcome to Edmonton for international event – Edmonton

Thousands of triathletes receive warm welcome to Edmonton for international event – Edmonton

Watch above: Thousands of the world’s top triathletes are in the City of Champions for the TransCanada Corp. World Triathlon Grand Final. The opening ceremony kicked things off Thursday evening. Shallima Maharaj was there. 

EDMONTON — Thousands of athletes from nations around the world packed Churchill Square Thursday evening for the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final.

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The athletes streamed into the square carrying the flags of their countries, as hundreds of spectators gathered to welcome them to the City of Champions.

More than 3,000 of the world’s top triathletes, representing 73 nations, will be competing in and around Hawrelak Park for the next five days.

“We have been preparing for more than 18 months and we’re ready to welcome the world,” said Don Lowry, board chair, 2014 Triathlon Edmonton Ltd.

“We set a standard in 2001 when we did the world championship and it was classified by the International Triathlon Union as the best ever. And we set the target of beating that and improving on it this time,” added board member Brian Hetherington.

WATCH: World Triathlon Grand Final organizers appear on the Morning News

Thursday morning, Edmonton Oilers’ Captain Andrew Ference presented four of the top athletes with personalized Oilers’ jerseys.

Four of the top ranking athletes in the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final receive personalized Oilers’ jerseys from captain Andrew Ference.

Global News

Many of the athletes arrived in the city earlier this week and have been spending the past few days training on the course.

“It’s great to race in such a nice venue as here, in a great city like Edmonton,” said Spain’s Javier Gomez, the top-ranked male.

“I’m sure there’s going to be a great crowd supporting the athletes, it’s a very nice city. So I think we are all ready to race well and give it our best.”

Gomez has won three ITU Triathlon World Championships and won the silver medal for Spain at the 2012 Summer Olympics in men’s triathlon.

British athlete Jodie Stimpson, who ranks in the top three in the women’s race, says she’s really impressed with Edmonton’s course.

“It’s nice to have a final that’s not flat, to be honest,” she said Thursday morning. “This has got everything, it’s got a hill, it’s technical, it’s got a fast descent, so I’m really excited to race this course.

“I think Edmonton’s done a really good job of getting a hard course for the final.”

Canada’s Kyle Jones knows the course well; he placed second last year and first the year before.

“I really like the course, especially this year, they’ve made a few adjustments, but I think it suits me well. And obviously just having the home crowd behind you,” he said. “It’s really great for us Canadians.”

READ MORE: Elite triathletes take over the City of Champions

Athletes will compete in several categories, including U23, junior, mixed relay, aquathlon, corporate try-a-tri and paratriathlon. The women’s elite race goes Saturday, and the men’s will be held on Sunday.

There are still tickets available for the events. For more information, visit the World Triathlon Grand Final’s website.

Athletes from around the world packed Churchill Square Thursday, August 28, 2014 for the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final.

Shallima Maharaj, Global News

Athletes from around the world packed Churchill Square Thursday, August 28, 2014 for the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final.

Shallima Maharaj, Global News

Athletes from around the world packed Churchill Square Thursday, August 28, 2014 for the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final.

Shallima Maharaj, Global News

Athletes from around the world packed Churchill Square Thursday, August 28, 2014 for the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final.

Wes Rosa, Global News

Athletes from around the world packed Churchill Square Thursday, August 28, 2014 for the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final.

Wes Rosa, Global News

Four of the top ranking athletes in the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final receive personalized Oilers’ jerseys from captain Andrew Ference.

Global News

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23. 08. 2019
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Lawsuit claims police brutality, wrongful arrests at Ferguson shooting protests – National

Lawsuit claims police brutality, wrongful arrests at Ferguson shooting protests – National

ST. LOUIS – A federal lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that police in Ferguson and St. Louis County used excessive force and falsely arrested innocent bystanders amid attempts to quell widespread unrest after the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

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The five plaintiffs in the suit in St. Louis include a clinical social worker who said she and her 17-year-old son were roughed up and arrested after not evacuating a McDonald’s quickly enough. They also include a 23-year-old man who said he was shot multiple times with rubber bullets and called racial slurs by police while walking through the protest zone to his mother’s home, and a man who said he was arrested for filming the disturbances.

“The police were completely out of control,” said attorney Malik Shabazz of Black Lawyers for Justice, a group whose members sought to quell tensions at the nightly protests that stretched for more than week after Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, who is white, shot the unarmed Brown, who is black. “In those initial days, it was virtually a police riot.”

The lawsuit seeks $40 million in damages and names Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, Ferguson officer Justin Cosma, several unnamed officers identified collectively as John Doe, and the city and county governments.

Shabazz said the suit could be broadened to include additional plaintiffs. A St. Louis County police spokesman referred inquiries to County Counselor Patricia Redington, who said she had not seen the suit and declined comment. A public relations consultant working for the city of Ferguson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the immediate days after Michael Brown’s shooting, local police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who refused to disperse and, at times, broke into nearby stores. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon eventually placed the State Highway Patrol in charge of securing Ferguson with a more relaxed approach. Nixon later imposed a curfew that was lifted after several nights of clashes between police and protesters, and called in the National Guard, whose members have since departed Ferguson.

Plaintiff Tracey White said she and her son, a high school junior, were waiting for a ride from her husband at a West Florissant Avenue McDonald’s after attending an Aug. 13 “peace and love” rally at a Ferguson church when several rifle-carrying officers told her she was being arrested because she would not “shut up.” White said she and her son were detained for five hours at the county jail on charges of failing to disperse, but she said she was not provided with any records reflecting that charge or a future court date.

“It was so horrifying,” she said. “We did nothing wrong.”

Associated Press reporter Jim Salter in St. Ann, Missouri, contributed to this report.

©2014The Canadian Press

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23. 08. 2019
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Mediator talks in teachers’ dispute to resume tomorrow – BC

Mediator talks in teachers’ dispute to resume tomorrow – BC

WATCH: Both sides in the teachers’ dispute had a briefing with mediator Vince Ready today. But as Tanya Beja reports, there still isn’t a commitment to mediate.

RICHMOND, B.C. – A veteran labour mediator waded into a bitter dispute between the British Columbia government and its teachers Thursday, meeting with both sides in what could be the most significant development in a strike that is threatening to derail the start of the school year.

At the end of the meeting, mediator Vince Ready emerged to say the two sides still appeared very far apart. Still, he said he asked bargaining committees to reconvene with him on Friday.

READ MORE: Vince Ready to meet with Iker, Fassbender on Thursday

Earlier in the day, Ready described the meeting as “exploratory” as he assessed whether the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association, which bargains on behalf of the government, are close enough to begin formal mediation.

Teachers have been on strike since mid-June, though negotiations were largely stalled over the summer break, making a delayed start to the school year increasingly likely.

Ready, who has helped bring an end to a number of high-profile labour disputes in the province, acknowledged he was walking into a very difficult situation.

“Last time I met them, they were a long ways apart,” Ready said as he arrived at a hotel in Richmond, south of Vancouver.

The gathering followed a proposal from the province’s education minister, who asked the teachers’ union and the employer a day earlier to enter into mediation, put aside one of the most contentious issues in the dispute, and agree not to stage strikes or lockouts for two weeks.

Peter Cameron, the employers’ lead negotiator, said the education minister’s proposal wasn’t a prerequisite for mediation.

Union president Jim Iker did not comment as he arrived for Thursday’s meeting or when he left for the day. Iker has yet to say whether the federation is prepared to put the strike on hold and allow teachers to return to the classroom next week, though he has said such a move would likely require a vote from union members.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender issued a statement earlier on Thursday asking the union to put the proposal to teachers.

“Today, I am asking Mr. Iker and the BCTF leadership to canvass teachers in advance of Sept. 2 on the idea of suspending their pickets if (labour mediator) Vince Ready is engaged in mediation,” Fassbender said in the statement.

“There are only a few days ahead for Mr. Iker to seek a mandate from teachers on this idea. I think parents, students and communities would like to know whether the BCTF is willing to let schools open and allow teachers to work while mediator Vince Ready helps the parties to negotiate an agreement.”

The main issues have been wages and working conditions, such as class size and class composition.

Class size and composition were also highlighted in a long-running court battle, which resulted in a B.C. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year in favour of the union.

The court ruled that the provincial government violated the union’s collective bargaining rights when it stripped provisions related to class size and composition from the teachers’ contract in 2002. The government is appealing the decision.

During negotiations, the union has proposed a fund worth $225 million a year to deal with contract grievances related to the court case. The province wants the potential impact of such grievances to be suspended until the case makes its way through the appeal process.

Fassbender’s proposal this week would see those grievances taken off the table, instead leaving the courts to sort them out. Negotiations would instead focus on wages, class size and class composition, he said.

The education minister has repeatedly said the government will not use legislation to order teachers back to work.

The union has resumed picketing this week and announced plans to air radio ads targeting the provincial government. It has promised rallies outside the offices of the premier and several cabinet ministers next week if there’s no deal by then.

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23. 08. 2019
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Pilot project to put bus drivers behind protective shields gets underway – BC

Pilot project to put bus drivers behind protective shields gets underway – BC

WATCH: A pilot project to better protect transit bus drivers from abusive passengers will begin soon in Metro Vancouver. Jill Bennett has details.

It is the latest step in helping make Metro Vancouver bus drivers feel safer on the job.

Later this year, Plexiglass shield prototypes will be installed as part of a pilot project on a handful of Metro Vancouver buses.

Two shield prototypes will be tested in Victoria and Vancouver for six months.

If approved, they could eventually be installed on up to 1,600 busses.

The shield is meant to serve as a barrier between the driver and potentially violent passengers.

A long history of drivers being punched, spit on and sexually assaulted has prompted the innovation.

In March, a female bus driver was violently assaulted in an unprovoked attack, in which she suffered trauma, bruises, had quantities of her hair pulled out and her glasses smashed in the struggle.

WATCH: A bus driver who was viciously attacked on her job is speaking out about her ordeal


Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

Later this year, a 42-year-old woman in a wheelchair punched a bus driver in the head in Vancouver. She was later arrested.

Another bus driver in Surrey had his nose broken when he was punched while his bus was still in motion. The driver was able to bring the bus to a stop and open the doors, allowing the suspect to leave. Aside from the broken nose, the driver suffered broken bones in his face, continuing vision impairment in one eye and loosened teeth.

Union officials say the operators will be consulted for input before any permanent shields are installed.

“It is an opportunity to review it, criticize it to make sure that all of the concerns are listened to, and then there is the trial process for six months to get a broader perspective,” says Unifor local 111 President Nathan Woods. “One of the biggest concerns would be the passenger-driver relationship.”

When similar shields were tested in 2010, many drivers didn’t like them because they felt too closed off from their passengers. The drivers Global News talked to today were also divided on the idea.

So far this year, there have been 65 assaults on drivers that have led to criminal charges.

Transit police say they are happy with the outcomes of some of the trials involving bus driver assaults.

“In the last week alone, we’ve had three convictions for assaults against bus drivers with sentences that range from four months in jail to one year probation,” says Anne Drennan with Transit Police.

But the goal is to stop the assaults before they happen.

“The average time loss for a transit employee recovering from an assault is 59 days,” says Woods. “That is a lot of cash that could be unnecessary to pay out if there is no assault.”

With files from Jill Bennett

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23. 08. 2019
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Shaw Charity Classic pro-am allows amateurs to walk in pro’s footsteps

Shaw Charity Classic pro-am allows amateurs to walk in pro’s footsteps

WATCH ABOVE: Kevin Smith and golf analyst Robert Thompson discuss the benefits of playing in one of the pro-ams at the Shaw Charity Classic.

They come dressed to the nines, outfitted in their finest golf apparel. They sport caddies and tip it up on the same course where the pros will battle for the Shaw Charity Classic this week.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

But once you see the shots, it is easy to distinguish the amateurs from the Champions Tour players at the pro-ams that kick off the tournament this week.

Take, for instance, one unfortunate player on the first tee during the Thursday pro-am, an even that pairs four amateurs with one Champions Tour golfer.

The amateur, clearly spooked by playing in front of a crowd near the clubhouse at Canyon Meadows, snap hooked a ball that went 50 yards forward and lurched left, narrowly missing spectators milling around before striking a food counter. It ricocheted off the building and hit two trees before coming to rest not more than a few yards from where it started.

READ MORE: 5 players to watch at Shaw Charity Classic

And that’s common at any pro-am, where amateurs hit balls into trees and spectators, while the pros find fairways and make birdies.

Despite their occasional struggles on the course, each team of four players pays $20,000 to hang out with a legend over four—or more likely five—hours.

That means players tee it up with golfers like Champions Tour stars like Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer or Rocco Mediate. On the PGA Tour pro-ams, the stars, who have to play in the pro-ams, often see the events as opportunities to practice, occasionally ignoring the amateurs who have paid to chip and putt with the game’s best.

WATCH: One of the highlights of the Shaw Charity Classic is the pro-am held at the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club. It’s chance for local amateurs to tee it up with a legend of the game and raise money for charity. David Boushy reports.

Amateur golfers pick their playing partners at pro-am parties, though the top players are often assigned to key sponsors who support the tournament.

Unlike many of their PGA Tour counterparts, the Champions Tour players, who play two pro-ams each week leading into a tournament, are often outgoing and chatty with their playing partners, as if their personalities change when they hit the senior circuit. The players often sign autographs during their rounds.

READ MORE: 5 things to watch at the Shaw Charity Classic

During Steve Elkington’s pro-am today, for instance, the PGA Championship winner told stories about his caddie and his website, Secretinthedirt杭州夜网, while other Champions Tour pros read putts and gave swing tips.

Given the lofty price tag, it isn’t surprising to see many of Calgary’s biggest business names in the field, like oil and real estate entrepreneur Guy Turcotte, and Allan Markin, chair of Canadian Natural Resources, while Shaw Communications CEO Brad Shaw teed it up with Fred Couples and Packers Plus president CEO whacked it about with Scott Hoch.

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23. 07. 2019
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Bernhard Langer searches for fountain of youth, Shaw Charity title

Bernhard Langer searches for fountain of youth, Shaw Charity title

He’s just turned 57 and there’s nothing better that Bernhard Langer would like as a birthday present than to be picked for the European Ryder Cup team.

Langer, who turned 57 on Wednesday, has won five of 17 Champions Tour starts this year, and finished in the Top 10 at the Masters, which he has won twice.

He comes into Calgary for the Shaw Charity Classic with 23 wins on the Champions Tour, the circuit for the over 50 set. With 42 wins on the European Tour, and three additional PGA Tour victories, Langer is one of the game’s greats.

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And given his strong play there’s been a push to make him a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup. It is something Langer would welcome.

“It’s a great honor to represent your country and your tour any time in your career and it would be a thrill for me to be part of that,” says Langer.

European team captain Paul McGinley has all but squashed the notion that Langer could get picked for the team, but others in the Shaw Charity Classic field, including Fred Couples and Rocco Mediate, gave Langer their support.

Mediate, the winner of last year’s Shaw tournament, said he’d draft Langer for the European team without question.

“He would be my first pick—period,” said Mediate. “There wouldn’t even be a thought about it. I wouldn’t think about it twice. What Bernhard does is remarkable. He’s always been that kind of guy though. He’s got it all firing and it’s fun to watch.”

There’s a notion that a golfer’s skills deteriorate after the age of 40, but that’s been increasingly dispelled in recent years with the success of Langer, Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, Kenny Perry and others who have played well on both the Champions Tour and PGA Tour well into their fifties. And at the age of 59, Tom Watson came within one shot of winning the British Open at Turnberry in 2009.

Langer railed against the notion that age defines a golfer. Fit and slim, the German has made more than $2-million every year except once since joining the Champions Tour in 2007 when he turned 50. The golf ball, it would seem, doesn’t know the age of the player hitting it when it comes to Langer.

“Just because we are 51 or 52 or whatever age we might be, why does that make us worse than when we were 44 or 42?” he questioned. “It really doesn’t. It makes no sense. As I said, we have more experience, we have a better understanding of what we can do and how the game works and why certain things are happening because I’ve had more time grooving my swing.”

That doesn’t mean he’s found the eternal fountain of youth. Langer admits that there will come a time when he slows down and isn’t as competitive, but that time isn’t coming any time soon.

“I’ve been aching and hurting for many years,” he said. “It seems more and more, but I’m trying to ignore it and make the best of it.”

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23. 07. 2019
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Concussion test draws praise from parents, mixed reviews from doctors

Concussion test draws praise from parents, mixed reviews from doctors

HALIFAX – Brock Saumure, 17, still isn’t sure what happened that fateful day in May of this year, but one thing is clear – that’s the day the high school student got a concussion.

“I was told I had hit somebody the wrong way in rugby. The next day, I wasn’t right. I wasn’t finishing my sentences. I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion,” the athlete said.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

The teen from Timberlea said his condition was upgraded to a severe concussion a few weeks later. He describes the next few months as full of sensitivity to light and noise and full of headaches.

“It’s awful to be perfectly blunt with it,” he said.

“It’s nerve-wracking to think your child has had something like that happen to him,” said mother Deidra Saumure.

“Watching your child have no control over certain things is a sickly feeling.”

The teen abstained from sports during his recovery but now, he is strapping on his shoes and buckling up his helmet as he prepares to join the football team at Sir John A. MacDonald High School this fall.

And the first thing on his list is a baseline test.

Baseline testing is a series of tests designed to get a reading on an athlete. It can consist of strength, balance, visual tracking, memory and reaction tests.

It is meant to give doctors a reading of what an athlete’s ‘baseline’ is that way if he or she gets a concussion, the athlete can be monitored to see when he or she gets back to ‘normal’.

Robbie MacDonald, the co-owner of Nova Physiotherapy, said there is a difference between when an athlete feels 100 per cent better and when he or she is symptom free, which is where baseline testing comes in handy.

“What we’re able to do is have all these things assessed and establish what the individual normals are for that particular athlete. Then we’ll be able to better decide when safe return to play is for that athlete,” he said.

“We can actually say what the person was like before the concussion was received, and we can determine whether or not they’ve actually reached pre-concussion status.”

The company was approached by Complete Concussion Management to implement baseline testing.

MacDonald is proposing athletes of all ages get tested, particularly young athletes.

“That’s where the brain is still developing. People are more susceptible and more vulnerable to trauma to the brain,” he said.

“We would propose they do baseline testing every year, pre-season. Their baseline could certainly change from year to year, things like memory and recall visual tracking, as somebody grows and matures, sometimes these things could definitely be different.”

However, not everyone is on board with that idea.

Dr. Kevin Gordon, a pediatric neurologist at the IWK and a professor of pediatrics at Dalhousie University, said baseline testing can be both a good and bad tool.

Gordon said he recommends baseline testing for athletes who play high-risk sports, such as football, and those who are considering turning professional.

“Should it be incorporated into children’s sports? I’m not sure because I’m talking about a high cost with a low probability of something happening. Generally, 85 per cent of concussions recover within one to two weeks,” he said.

Gordon also shares concerns about baseline testing for children, whose results could be non-existent or change dramatically since they are still developing.

“It’s going to have to be done again next year because children change on an annual basis. Once you commit to a pre-testing environment, you are committing to annual re-checks to update your data,” he said.

“There may be many reasons why you can’t get a baseline on a kid. Someone who is inattentive, who can’t focus on the test well enough to actually get a reliable score.”

He also said the ‘normal’ gathered on an athlete is relative, saying what is normal pre-concussion may not be what is normal post-concussion.

“If you have a migraine and you tell on a scale of zero to 10, it’s an eight. If then you encounter a kidney stone after that, you’ll tell me your migraine is a two,” he said.

“If I had allowed them to return to play at their so-called baseline, I would have allowed them back in the game and I think that’s just a little too liberal an interpretation of a baseline test.”

The neurologist also reminds parents that baseline testing is just that – a test.

“The testing doesn’t prevent the concussion from happening. The testing just tells you where you were before the concussion happened,” he said.

Gordon said he would rather educate parents better on the signs and symptoms of concussions and what they can do in the event their children sustains one.

But for parents of athletes, like Deidra Saumure, baseline testing is a security blanket.

“He’s young. He has a whole life ahead of him,” she said of her son. “It’s important to me to make sure everything is fine up there.”

As for Brock, he admits he often wonders not if, but when, his next concussion will be.

“All the time. I worry I’m going to fall. I worry I’m going to hit somebody the wrong way. [That] Something’s going to happen,” he said.

The teen admits that besides buckling up his helmet, he isn’t taking many other precautions to ensure he does not get another concussion. But he is confident about getting baseline testing.

“I can see what I’m like before a concussion. I can see what I’m normally like and afterward I can see how far my brain has been damaged or altered to see what kind of issue we’re dealing with.”

“This is my precaution.”

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23. 07. 2019
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5 players to watch at Shaw Charity Classic

5 players to watch at Shaw Charity Classic

Rocco Mediate’s record-tying win at the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic overshadowed many of the other stars in the field at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club. That was understandable—Mediate shot 22-under to win last year, including tying the course record of 63—and there were few challengers for the title.

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This year the course is slightly different—the par five 15th hole has been turned into a monstrous 492-yard par four—meaning scoring will likely not be as low. That factor, and a rain that softened the course on Thursday, certainly brings a couple of the tour’s longer hitters, names like Fred Couples or John Riegger, into the mix.

The tournament kicks off on Friday and runs through Sunday. Here’s five players to watch at the Champions Tour event, which features golf’s biggest names over the age of 50.

Where: Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club
When: Friday to Sunday
What: Shaw Charity Classic—a Champions Tour event for golfers over the age of 50

Rocco Mediate

It is impossible to count out the effervescent Mediate, who clearly has great affection for Calgary and its fans. He recorded three incredible rounds last year—63, 64, 64—to win the tournament with some ease. Mediate has five Top 10 finishes this year on the Champions Tour, but his season hasn’t rivaled his 2013 campaign where he recorded two wins.

Fred Couples

The coolest man in golf, Masters winner Couples is always a fan favorite wherever he plays. Now 55, Couples is still among the longest hitters on the Champions Tour and despite playing a limited schedule this year—he’s only appeared in eight tournaments on the senior circuit—the golfer with the silky smooth swing has a win and five Top 10 finishes. He finished T10 at last year’s Shaw Charity Classic.

Shaw Charity Classic Pro-Am

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Shaw Charity Classic Pro-Am
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Pro-am kicks off for the Shaw Charity Classic
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Shaw Charity Classic volunteers

Bernhard Langer

With five wins on the Champions Tour this year, Langer comes to the Shaw Charity Classic having apparently located the fountain of youth. Langer, 57, who didn’t play the Shaw Charity Classic last year, enters this week having won two of his last four events.

“Being able to win two majors and five tournaments is a real blessing,” said Langer. “It doesn’t happen very often.”

He’s right—and Langer is easily one of field’s top picks.

Kirk Triplett

After finishing in a tie for third at last year’s Shaw Charity Classic, Triplett comes to this year’s tournament having recorded a Top 10 finish in half of the events he’s played. Triplett, who once played on the Canadian Tour (now PGA Tour Canada) before moving to the PGA Tour, where he played on the Presidents Cup team in 2000. With three wins on the Champions Tour, Triplett, who is 52, has become one of the tour’s most consistent players.

Stephen Ames

The Calgary resident has only played in one Champions Tour event since turning pro, and this is his debut in front of a hometown crowd. The four-time PGA Tour winner, including the 2006 Players Championship, was one of the founders of the Shaw Charity Classic and has been a big supporter of trying to bring the RBC Canadian Open to Calgary. Ames, who was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame earlier this week, has struggled on the PGA Tour this year, and says he intends to play a split between Champions Tour and PGA Tour tournaments next year.

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23. 07. 2019
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Woman’s survival highlights importance of emergency preparedness

Woman’s survival highlights importance of emergency preparedness

Watch above: surviving eight days in the wilderness

SASKATOON –  After a 62-year-old woman spent eight days in the wilderness, RCMP say her outdoor survival skills and experience saved her.

Paddle Canada, a national standards and accreditation organization for recreational paddle sports, said the story highlights the importance of being prepared.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

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Bryan Sarauer is one of the organization’s board members. He has been canoeing for 30 years, and he’s taking advantage of the final days of summer to go on a trip with friends; however, before he heads out on the water he runs through a checklist.

“An emergency blanket, string, fishing line, fishing hooks, flagging tape to make it easier for someone to find me,” he explained.

Sarauer is also bringing a device he hopes he won’t have to use.

“An emergency communicator that uses satellite, and that would allow me to send and receive messages in the wilderness,” he said.

Sarauer explained he brings a signal mirror, whistle, extra food and matches inside his life jacket, so if he gets separated from his boat, he’ll be ok.

He said the signal mirror can be purchased at a local outdoors store for a couple of dollars.

“{It’s about} making yourself large. Making yourself as visible as possible, so that if someone does come looking for you, that they can see you,” Sarauer said.

The 62-year-old woman was rescued after spending eight days in northern Saskatchewan.

She was on a canoe trip with her husband when they capsized in rapids on Kinosaskaw Lake.

Tragically, her husband’s body was found near the canoe Tuesday morning.

A search plane found the woman on the shoreline, where she had a fire burning and was waving at the aircraft.

“At that point they were called to the scene and chartered an aircraft to the area that could land on the water, and the members hiked into the area where the woman was located and brought her out to the plane,” said RCMP spokesperson Mandy Maier.

The woman was taken to hospital in La Ronge and released in good health.

Friends of the couple have identified the pair as Enid and David Dice of Prince Albert.

Fellow outdoor enthusiasts and friends hope for more answers about what happened to the couple in the coming weeks.

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23. 07. 2019
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Fatal slough car crash points to need for life-saving equipment – Saskatoon

Fatal slough car crash points to need for life-saving equipment – Saskatoon

Watch above: there are tools that can help you escape a vehicle in a life-threatening situation

SASKATOON – A tragic incident Tuesday near St. Denis resulted in the death of three seniors and a fourth person who’s age is still unknown.

The investigation is ongoing and it hasn’t been determined if the victims died during the roll-over or if they drowned when the vehicle came to rest in a deep slough.

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Nonetheless, it has many thinking about what can be done if you find yourself in a similar situation. With recent incidents fresh in her mind, it’s a thought that prompted Joan Nutall into action Thursday morning.

“It’s a wake up call and everybody should have something to be able to break the window and get out. It’s a dangerous thing,” said Nutall.

On Dec. 30, 2013, a 23-year-old woman’s car ramped the Circle Drive North bridge and plunged into the river below. The woman escaped but Nutall says that combined with several motor vehicle incidents this summer resulting in vehicles submerged in sloughs, led her to Home Hardware where she purchased the eight remaining, and potentially life saving tools appropriately named ResQMe.

Priced at $14.99, store owner Fred Kwan said a new shipment is on the way.

“We bought 144 just last week and sold them out in about three or four days” said Kwan.

The tool hooks to your key-chain and has a quick release for emergency situations. Global News tested the product at Amigo’s Auto Wrecking yard in Clavet.

Owner Blair Bentley says the caravan is a common vehicle and leads us to one in his lot of 6,000 vehicles. The ResQMe is designed for tempered glass only.

“The wind-shield glass is two panes of glass with a plastic laminate that sticks the two panes together,” preventing the wind-shield from breaking open.

Bentley recommends a side or rear window for the experiment. With a quick press and minimal pressure the driver side window shatters.

RCMP recommend using any hard object you may find in your vehicle. Bentley tests a hammer on the wind-shield of a different van which takes several hard blows before breaking.

The first tip if entrapped in a submerged vehicle is to stay calm. According to RCMP staff Sgt. Stephane Caron, if you don’t have any escape tools, be patient.

“Stay in the vehicle and wait for it to fill with water. It equalizes the pressure between the outside and inside and at that point the door becomes easier to open,” said Caron.

Most escape tools also have a blade which can be used to cut through seat belts which Caron said is useful especially if you’re suspended upside down in a vehicle.

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