Monthly Archives: December 2018

Rio 2016: What’s on tap for Canada on Day 9 at the Rio Games

Following an eventful Day 8, Sunday features some of the Olympics most anticipated events. With 23 medals up for grabs, Canada will try and keep up the pace of at least a medal a day at Rio 2016.

Here are some events to watch in Day 9 at Rio 2016.


Sunday will see golf’s first Olympic medals in the sport since 1904. Canadians Graham DeLaet and David Hearn have both made it to the final round. (6:00 a.m. ET)

Graham DeLaet of Canada, hits up to the 10th green during the third round of the men’s golf event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016.

AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Women’s Marathon

Canada hasn’t had a female marathon runner at the Olympics since 1996 but have two running at Rio 2016 —; Lanni Marchant from London, Ont. and Krista DuChene from Brantford, Ont. (8:30 a.m. ET)

Canada’s Lanni Marchant smiles after racing to a fourth place finish in the women’s marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday, July 27, 2014.



While Canada has been knocked out of the competition, tennis is still one of the Olympics’ marquee events. Britain’s Andy Murray will try and defend his 2012 Olympic gold medal against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina in the men’s single finals. Women’s double finals and mixed double finals will also be on tap. (11:00 a.m. ET)

Andy Murray plays against Kei Nishikori in Centre Court of Olympic Tennis Centre, Mens Singles Semifinal of Summer Olympic Games.

Cristiano Andujar/AGIF


Sunday will feature four gymnastics finals including the men’s pommel and floor exercise and the women’s uneven bars. Canada’s Shallon Olsen will also be competing in the women’s vault final at (1:47 p.m. ET)

Canada’s Shallon Olsen performs on the floor during the artistic gymnastics women’s qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016.

AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky


Canadians Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware both qualified for the 3m springboard final. They’ll both be diving for medals after failing to land on the podium in synchro pairs. (3:00 p.m. ET)

Canada’s Jennifer Abel throws her towel into the pool as she competes during the women’s 3-meter springboard diving semifinal in the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016.

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

Track and Field

What some call the most exciting 10 seconds in sports, the men’s 100m finals goes off just before 10 p.m. Look for Markham, Ont. native Andre De Grasse to try and knock off Usain Bolt for the title of world’s fastest man. (8:00 p.m. ET)

Su Bingtian of China, Jimmy Vicaut of France and Andre De Grasse of Canada compete in the 100m semifinals.

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

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Shooting into church van wounds 5 in Joplin, Missouri

JOPLIN, Mo. – A random shooting injured five people Saturday, including three members of a Joplin church who were starting a trip to St. Louis, police said.

A 26-year-old suspect was taken into custody and was being held but has not been formally charged, The Joplin Globe reported.

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“This came out of the blue, and all of a sudden people were shot and going to the hospital,” said Jason Glaskey, director of Christian education at Immanuel Lutheran Church, where three of the injured people take part in the church’s Comfort Dog ministry. Glaskey said two dogs were in the van and injured, but that no one else in the van was injured.

Police Capt. Bob Higginbotham told AP Radio that there was no apparent motive for the shootings, which began after the suspect’s father called police to report the suspect was firing rounds at their home.

READ MORE: Imam, assistant fatally shot after leaving NYC mosque

Officers went to the home, and then began pursuing a suspect vehicle. Police said the driver of that vehicle fired shots at the church van, which was stopped at a traffic light. Two people in the van were taken to a hospital, with one in critical condition and the other in serious but stable condition. One was released.

Also, two comfort dogs, which provide assistance to people, were injured, Glaskey told the newspaper. One was released, and one was still getting medical care Saturday afternoon.

Police said the suspect then shot at a pickup truck, injuring two adults. The driver is hospitalized, and the passenger was released, according to police.

“As rounds were being fired, they (police) continued to stay with that suspect, continued to pursue that suspect even though they knew the suspect was actively firing his weapon,” Police Chief Matt Stewart said at a news conference.

The man surrendered and was arrested at 5:22 a.m., police said.

READ MORE: Police respond to reports of shots fired at North Carolina mall

“We are very grateful that these victims do not appear to have life-threatening wounds because of this act,” Mayor Mike Seibert said.

Glaskey said he did not think anyone at the church knew the suspect, adding: “It was random.”

Church member Vicki Eby was in the van with her husband, Kenneth, who was driving. She told KOAM-TV they heard “three pops go off.”

“It was so dark, we didn’t know what was happening,” she said.

One of the bullets hit her husband’s lung, she said, adding that he’s in critical condition.

“If they hadn’t of gotten him to the hospital when they did, he wouldn’t be here,” she said. “They said that his chances were very, very slim. I was in shock. I just asked if they were going to fix him.”

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Calgary mother criticizes how security officials handled terror threat in Ontario

A Calgary mother is critical of the way security officials handled the terror threat that happened in Strathroy, Ontario.

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Aaron Driver was killed during a confrontation with RCMP officers last week. Driver moved from Winnipeg to Strathroy as a condition of a peace bond which was applied last year after he was arrested after being accused of supporting ISIS.

The situation hits close to home for Christianne Boudreau because her son Damion Clairmont was killed fighting for the Islamic State in 2014.

Clairmont was being watched by Canadian intelligence for two-years.

Boudreau said she had no warning at the time and didn’t receive any help from the government.

Speaking from her home in Eymet, France Saturday afternoon, she says the fact that officials knew Driver was making threats and didn’t act to help him or his family is a failure.

“It’s devastating, absolutely devastating. The whole family wanted to help him but they were left on their own to do it. I don’t think that’s right, I don’t think that’s fair to try to handle something of this magnitude and understand it from the beginning. It’s so complex, and then for him to be left in their care without assistance or support – it just wasn’t fair for any of them,” Boudreau said.

READ MORE: Aaron Driver’s father remembers son’s grief-stricken childhood, says ‘worst fears’ came true

“It’s a struggle when you have an adult like that, how do you force them into counselling? You can’t.”

“With the peace bond they could’ve use that. They could’ve said, ‘you have to go through the steps or if you do not comply we will put you back in prison.’ But that was never the case, there was no follow-up and so he was left to his family who don’t necessarily understand the complexities, don’t necessarily have the qualifications to deal with it,” Boudreau said.

“So for anything to work, the government should put something in place.”

Boudreau doesn’t think anything is going to change or a solution will be made to prevent something like this from happening again.

“I watched everything that rolled out in October 2014. There was a lot of promises made back then, in both those instances. As soon as it came off the radar and the cameras were off, it went away and here we are again with another senseless loss of life. It’s not just this young man who lost his life, it’s the family who will live with this forever,” Boudreau said.

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Suspect sketch released after Imam, friend killed outside Mosque in New York

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City police have released a sketch of the suspect they say fatally shot the leader of a mosque and a friend as they left afternoon prayers.

Police say witnesses described the shooter of 55-year-old Imam Maulama Akonjee and 64-year-old Thara Uddin as a man with a medium complexion, last seen wearing a dark shirt and blue shorts. Police released a sketch early Sunday of a dark-haired, bearded man wearing glasses.

READ MORE: Imam, assistant fatally shot after leaving NYC mosque

Authorities say the shooter approached them from behind as they left the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in Queens shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday. Police say video surveillance showed the suspect then fled south on 79th Street with the gun still in his hand.

This undated sketch provided by the New York City Police Department on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, shows a suspect believed to have shot the leader of a mosque and a friend in New York.

New York Police Department via AP

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Although police said no motive had been established for the killings Saturday afternoon near the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque, community members worried the slayings could be rooted in intolerance.

“There’s nothing in the preliminary investigation to indicate that they were targeted because of their faith,” said Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner of the New York Police Department.

The imam’s daughter, Naima Akonjee, said her father — described by worshippers as a pious man who gave compelling readings from the Quran — didn’t “have any problems with anyone.”

She said the imam and Uddin were close friends who always walked together to the mosque from their homes on the same street.

READ MORE: Police respond to reports of shots fired at North Carolina mall

Police said the men were shot in the head as they left the mosque in the Ozone Park section of Queens shortly before 2 p.m. They later were pronounced dead.

Sautner said that video surveillance showed they were approached from behind by a man a man in a dark polo shirt and shorts who shot them and then fled south on 79th Street with the gun still in his hand.

Police released a sketch early Sunday of a dark-haired, bearded man wearing glasses. Police said witnesses described the shooter as a man with a medium complexion.

No arrests had been made by early Sunday.

Members of the Bangladeshi Muslim community served by the mosque said they want the shootings to be treated as a hate crime. More than 100 people attended a rally Saturday night and chanted “We want justice!”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, held a news conference near the shooting scene, where Kobir Chowdhury, a leader at another local mosque, said, “Read my lips: This is a hate crime” directed at Islam. “We are peace-loving.”

Sandals lay on a street corner at the crime scene, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016, not far from the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, New York, where the leader of a New York City mosque has been fatally shot and an associate has been wounded in a brazen daylight attack.

AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

Sarah Sayeed, a member of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s staff who serves as a liaison to Muslim communities, attended the rally. “I understand the fear because I feel it myself,” she said. “I understand the anger. But it’s very important to mount a thorough investigation.”

Letitia James, who as the city’s public advocate serves as a watchdog over city agencies, said in a statement, “This violence is as alarming as it is senseless.” She urged the police department to “vigorously” investigate the slayings.

WATCH: Muslim leaders blame Donald Trump’s ‘anti-Muslim rhetoric’ for shooting deaths outside mosque 

Members of the community had felt animosity lately, with people cursing while passing the mosque, said worshipper Shahin Chowdhury. He said he had advised people to be careful walking around, especially when in traditional clothing.

He called the imam a “wonderful person” with a voice that made his Koran readings especially compelling.

Worshipper Millat Uddin said Akonjee had led the mosque for about two years and was a very pious man.

“The community’s heart is totally broken,” said Uddin, who is not related to Thara Uddin. “It’s a great misery. It’s a great loss to the community and it’s a great loss to the society.”

Naima Akonjee, 28, one of the imam’s seven children, said she rushed to her parents’ home after the shooting. She said her father was a caring man who would call her just to check up on whether she had eaten properly.

Neighbors also described Uddin as a pious and thoughtful man who prayed five times a day and went to the mosque. While at home, they said he would water his garden and one next door.

“A very honest, wise man … (And) a very helpful guy,” said neighbor Mohammed Uddin, who is not a relation of Thara Uddin’s.

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Competitor with cerebral palsy tackles Calgary Spartan Race thanks to Shriners Hospital

The聽annual Spartan Sprint Race in Calgary brought more than 4,600 people on Saturday.

The event involves 23 obstacles over 5 kilometers at the Wild Rose MX Park in southeast Calgary.

The race is no walk in the park, unless your walk includes climbing ropes, slithering through mud under barbed wire and swimming through a soupy mess of brown water.

鈥淚t’s good, it’s tough. We made it a bit more challenging this year with a few more hills and a few more obstacles,鈥?Dean Stanton, the regional director for Spartan Race Canada, said.

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The funds raised at the race go towards the Shriners Children鈥檚 Hospitals.

One of the people taking part is Phil Arsenault, who was born with cerebral palsy and once used a walker to get around.

鈥淭hey’ve helped me walk. They helped me learn how to walk from my first step – to running. I’ve had many surgeries and thanks to that, I’ve been able to walk and even do a Spartan race today,鈥?Arsenault, a Montreal native who is in Calgary this weekend for the race, said

Arsenault has had 6 surgeries at the Montreal Shiners Hospital to help loosen his cramped muscles.聽 He was thrilled to be able to finish the course with a personal best time, after competing in two other Spartan races this year.

鈥淢y legs right now are really sore, so I’m going to feel this for about a week but it’s worth it. I feel really good that I was able to finish the race and prove to other people that yes, I have cerebral palsy but I’m able to compete in not only one but three Spartan races this summer,鈥?Arsenault said, covered in mud at the finish line.

The Shriners run 22 hospitals across North America. All of them are in the United States, except for one in Montreal and one in Mexico City, according to Bill Miller of Calgary who sits on their board of governors.

鈥淪hriners hospitals have been in existence for 90 some years and we’ve truly helped hundreds of thousands of youngsters that would have gone without medical care in most cases. So it’s been extremely important for Shriners to get involved and to help youngsters across North America,” Miller said.

“It’s really exciting when you see these youngsters come through our hospital and to see them get treated and be well enough to come out and compete in an event like this, it truly shows that anybody with disabilities can do anything that other people can,鈥?Miller said.

Miller said Shriners raises $850 million U.S. per year to operate their hospitals, but as the number of volunteers drop, getting that money is that much tougher.

鈥淚t’s becoming harder and harder to fund our operations every year,鈥?Miller said. 鈥淭he number of Shriners are decreasing in North America the same way as most service organizations are. So it’s becoming more difficult and we are relying more and more on corporate Canada and corporate North America.鈥?/p>

For Phil Arsenault, crossing the finish line in a race like this is something he never thought possible as a child.

鈥淚t’s a dream come true. If you would’ve asked me at the age of five if I would be able to do a race like this? No way. But thanks to all the Shriners that helped me and took the time, I’m able to do this and I’m able to do so many other things in life,鈥?Arsenault said.

Miller says about half of the young Calgary patients that use Shriners medical help go to the Spokane hospital.

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