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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  • Several major roads to be closed during this week’s 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


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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.

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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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