A couple held hostage for five years by a Taliban-linked network and forced to raise three children while in captivity were initially targeted for ransom because of the impending birth of their first child, the Canadian man at the heart of the case speculated Saturday.Joshua Boyle said he and his wife Caitlan Coleman heard at least half a dozen reasons why they had been snatched from a village in Afghanistan and held against their will by the Haqqani network over the years they were imprisoned.The most credible, however, had to do with the fact that Coleman was well into the third trimester of pregnancy at the time of their capture in 2012.“As near as we can tell, we were targeted to be kidnapped because it was well-known by the eventual-kidnappers that Caitlan was heavily pregnant,” Boyle said in an email sent to the Canadian Press. “They spoke often immediately following the kidnapping that ‘America will pay for you very quickly, America will not want to risk the baby is born here in prison.’”Boyle said Coleman was the obvious focus of the kidnappers during the first few weeks of captivity, seeing him as secondary.Kidnappers used to taunt him by saying that the U.S. government was expressing interest in securing Coleman’s release while Canadian officials were showing no interest in his plight, Boyle said. There is no indication as to whether the captors were conveying accurate information at the time.Their guards’ confidence in a “get-rich-quick scam” began to erode by late November, he said, a month after the couple had been seized and several weeks before the child was born at the end of December 2012.Coleman would give birth three more times during the following five years, with three of the children surviving and accompanying their parents back to Canada after being liberated by Pakistani commandos.One of the children, who Boyle described as an infant daughter, was killed in retaliation for his refusal to accept an offer from the kidnappers at some point during the family’s captivity.Boyle did not elaborate on the offer, but called for his abductors to be brought to justice both for killing his daughter and raping Coleman.Boyle told The Canadian Press that conditions during the five-year ordeal changed over time as the family was shuffled among at least three prisons.He described the first as “remarkably barbaric,” the second as more comfortable and the third as a place of violence in which he and his wife were frequently separated and beaten.Conditions also varied based on the guards on duty, Boyle said, adding that one would allow the family to eat mangoes while another could withhold soap from the group for months at a time.“We developed a sad joke with each other, that if we said ‘No, no, I think this change will be good because X’ it would invariably turn out to be bad, and when we said ‘No, no, this is bad news because X’ we’d be proven wrong again,” he said.This certainly proved true on Oct. 11 when commandos stormed the area where the family was being held.The rescuers were acting on intelligence from the United States indicating the group had been moved to Pakistan.Boyle provided few details of the rescue other than to say it involved gunfire surrounding a car in which the group was travelling.He said the rescue was the most dramatic example yet of the pattern of reversed expectations.“When it became clear that there were bullets ripping into the car we assumed this to be very bad … but by the grace of God, no, it turns out it was the best thing to happen to us in five years,” he said.In a video released by Pakistan’s military that was filmed before he left that country for home, Boyle said Pakistani security forces positioned themselves between the hostages and their Haqqani network captors to keep the family safe amid the gunfire.“A major comes over to me while I still have blood on me. The street is chaos and he says to me, ‘In the American media they said that we support the Haqqani network and that we make it possible. Today you have seen the truth. Did we not put bullets in those bastards?’” Boyle recalled, appearing beside his wife and children in the video.“And so I can say to you I did see the truth, and the truth was that car was riddled with bullets. The ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence agency) and the army got between the criminals and the car to make sure the prisoners were safe and my family was safe. They put them to flight and they ran like cowards. And this is proof enough to me the Pakistanis are doing everything to their utmost.”The circumstances under which the video was recorded were not immediately clear.The release came nearly five years to the day since Boyle and Coleman lost touch with their families while travelling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital, Kabul.The couple had set off in the summer 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and eventually to Afghanistan.Boyle said the couple was helping ordinary villagers in a Taliban-controlled area when they were seized.The family returned to Toronto aboard an Air Canada flight on Friday night.Boyle said an initial statement delivered to reporters was delayed due to a “medical emergency” involving one of his children. But Saturday morning, he released a statement to CTV News saying that doctors believe his youngest daughter will recover.“Our daughter has had a cursory medical exam last night, and hospital staff were enthusiastically insistent that her chances seemed miraculously high based on a quick physical.”He wrote in the statement that medical work-ups are being arranged for the rest of his family, and that “God-willing”, the physical and mental healing process will soon begin.With files from The Associated Press
TORONTO – A veteran detective leading the investigation into alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur said Wednesday that in the course of his work on the case he came across “concerning” information that has now triggered an internal police probe.Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga wouldn’t provide further details, but said he became aware of the information after reviewing two previous police investigations into five missing men from Toronto’s gay village.“I saw something I felt needed to be investigated further,” he said in an interview.Last week, Idsinga prepared a report with his findings and sent it to the force’s professional standards unit.“I think you should take a look at this because we’re accountable for what we do,” he said he told the internal investigators.“I’m not the one to decide whether mistakes are made or not, but I think it’s something that certainly needs to be investigated. It was concerning.”Police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray said the force’s professional standards unit launched the internal investigation on Monday, but she also declined to discuss the nature of the information that prompted the probe.Two sources with knowledge of the case, but who did not want their names used because they were not authorized to speak publicly, told The Canadian Press that the “concerning” information was linked to a police interview with McArthur years ago for an unrelated incident.The sources stressed it had nothing to do with the missing men, but they said Idsinga and his team didn’t know about the McArthur interview until some time after they arrested him on Jan. 18, 2018, when they charged him with two counts of first-degree murder.McArthur, a 66-year-old self-employed landscaper, has since been charged with four more counts of first-degree murder. All six alleged victims had ties to the city’s gay village.Members of the city’s LGBTQ community have complained for years that police were ignoring their concerns about a possible serial killer on the loose. Late last year, Toronto police assured the community that there was no known link between the different missing person cases.Gray said police were aware of the concerns and willing to work with the community to find solutions.“We know this information will be disappointing to some members of the community,” she said in a statement. “In addition to listening to their concerns, we have always said we are open to a public inquiry into these investigations and Chief (Mark) Saunders has already taken steps to consider what areas can be reviewed right now, during the ongoing investigation.”Mayor John Tory issued a statement saying he’s “deeply disturbed” by the revelations.“I support open and transparent reviews of how our police service handles missing person cases generally and how these specific investigations were conducted,” Tory said, noting he and the public have many questions related to the case.Police have recovered the remains of seven people from planter pots found at a home in midtown Toronto where the 66-year-old self-employed landscaper stored equipment.Over the years police have launched two projects into the disappearance of men from the gay village.The first police probe — named Project Houston — was launched in 2012 to investigate the disappearance of three men: Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, Majeed Kayhan, 58, and Abdulbasir Faizi, 42.Idsinga said he became involved with that project when police found some evidence suggesting that Navaratnam “had met with foul play.” The investigation involved looking into “online cannibalism groups,” he said.“We essentially investigated that to determine if it was reality or fantasy — we determined it was fantasy,” he said.By 2014, police had closed Project Houston, saying none of their findings would classify anyone as a suspect of a criminal offence.“There was nothing pointing to McArthur at that time,” Idsinga said.In August 2017, police launched Project Prism, which looked into the disappearances of two men from Toronto’s gay village — Andrew Kinsman, 48, and Selim Esen, 44.At some point between those two projects, sources said, police interviewed McArthur for an unrelated incident, but homicide detectives involved in the latest investigation, which led to McArthur’s arrest, didn’t find out about that interview until recently.McArthur popped up onto police radar in the fall of 2017 as part of Project Prism, which has now turned into a murder investigation, Idsinga said.“It’s not until November that we find some evidence that leads us to believe Andrew Kinsman may have met with foul play and Bruce McArthur is a suspect in whatever offence has been committed against Andrew Kinsman,” Idsinga said.“It’s Jan. 17 where we find some evidence that not only are Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen dead and murdered, but that Bruce McArthur is a suspect in those murders.”Police have since charged McArthur with murder in the deaths of Kinsman, Esen, Kayhan, Navaratnam, Dean Lisowick and Soroush Mahmudi.
MONTREAL – Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault took the Couillard Liberals to task Thursday after a leaked report showed a $4-billion Green Fund aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions has been mismanaged and failed to meet targets.The confidential preliminary document obtained by Montreal’s Le Devoir suggests questionable decisions have cost hundreds of millions in public funds without producing the desired environmental benefits.The report by the Green Fund’s management board uncovered a lack of rigour among government departments that used it to finance projects, noting many projects did not guarantee the ultimate goal of reducing carbon emissions, the newspaper reported Thursday. The board examined 183 climate-change reduction actions, recommending that many be cancelled immediately or re-evaluated.Legault, under heavy fire in recent days, saw an opportunity on Day 29 of the campaign to tee off on the Liberals.“What we know is the Green Fund is $4 billion, financed by Quebecers, and it’s poorly managed,” said Legault, whose own environmental credentials have been called into question during the campaign. “There are departments that are drawing from the fund without assuring the projects chosen are the most optimal ones, that reduce the most greenhouse gases.”Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard didn’t dispute the findings. He portrayed the document as evidence that his government’s increased oversight of the troubled Green Fund is yielding results.“We greet this report favourably and will certainly implement all of its recommendations,” Couillard said.He noted that 40 per cent of the funding goes towards improving transport, which by far accounts for the most greenhouse-gas emissions in the province.“Can we do better? We can always do better,” Couillard said. “So we’ll take the report and make sure it’s applied.”Sidney Ribaux, co-founder of non-profit environmental group Equiterre, said the problems with the fund were no secret.“There’s nothing that’s surprising to me. What they’re saying is we’ve been worried about this for years, and we’ve been asking the government to do something about it,” Ribaux said.Ribaux cited previous problems with the fund — including its use to fund a natural-gas pipeline extension. The report also noted there wasn’t much follow-up on investments.“You need to evaluate when you invest a billion dollars,” Ribaux said.Couillard said he remains confident the province will be able to reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gases 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, even though the effort is going slowly.In March, the province said it was nearly halfway to its goal.He touted the party’s public transit platform, including free transit for students and seniors.“I think in Quebec, we’re doing well, we’re by far the province with lowest emissions,” Couillard said. “If you look at our emissions per capita, per year, we’re at the same level as Europe.”
The Canadian Press EDMONTON – A 29-year-old man has been charged in the deaths of two young children who were found in a southeast Edmonton apartment after their injured mother was taken to hospital.Ashton Brian Lafleche appeared briefly by closed-circuit television in provincial court this morning.Lafleche is facing two counts of second-degree murder, as well as charges of assault causing bodily harm and breach of probation.Here’s what we know about the killing of two young children found at a home at 80 Ave and 71 St #yeg #yegcrime @CityNewsYEG @660NEWS @BTCityNewsCGY pic.twitter.com/CXBiFdRNn5— Carly Robinson (@CarlyDRobinson) December 7, 2018His defence lawyer, Gary Smith, set the matter over to Dec. 21.Acting Staff Sgt. Terrie Affolder said police were called on Wednesday about a woman who had been obviously assaulted and who was being chased by a man outside.She was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries and, a few hours later, a naked man acting erratically was arrested at a garage.Sweet grass and teddy bears sit outside the apartment where two young children were found dead Wednesday night. Police are not releasing ages or the name of the 29-year-old man arrested and charged in the case #yeg #yegcrime pic.twitter.com/4iBHXsPC3O— Carly Robinson (@CarlyDRobinson) December 7, 2018
HIGH LEVEL – Thousands of people are back in their homes in High Level, but it doesn’t mean the wildfire threat to communities in northern Alberta is over, and if it gets worse, you could be paying.Canadians have seen rates increase over the years following natural disasters.With floods in eastern Canada and wildfires continuing to burn in Alberta, it could have an impact on your finances in the future.Rob de Pruis with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said right now he’s not 100 per cent sure what rates will look like following the wildfire season.He said so far wildfire-related claims in High Level aren’t major.“The types of claims that we’re seeing would be smoke damage claims or additional living expenses that people may have had while they’re out of their home and evacuated.”More information from @InsuranceBureau on the return home for residents of High Level and surrounding areas. Huge kudos to the first responders and govt officials who made this happen. Hope many more will head home soon. #abfire https://t.co/rfhltA7SBg— Celyeste Power (@celyeste) June 3, 2019De Pruis said it’s a better situation than past years when direct fire damage and flooding pushed up rates across much of the province and country.He goes on to say there’s been an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather, above the 30-year average.“One thing that we’ve really noticed is the flooding, when we look at things as a whole, one of the main perils that we see across the country that is quite costly. We’re doing quite a bit of work in a number of areas on the mitigation.”The IBC has kept records on catastrophic losses due to major natural disasters since 1983. Among those events were the Edmonton tornado in 1987, the ice storms in Quebec in 1998, the floods in Calgary and southern Alberta in 2013 and the wildfire in Fort McMurray in 2016.READ MORE: Hundreds of Fort McMurray insurance claims unresolved after two yearsThose records also show an increase in the number of dollars claimed from these catastrophic losses. The year with the highest amount of damages was 2016, with over $5 billion, primarily due to the Fort Mac fires.FULL REPORTDe Pruis points out that the Insurance Bureau is working with federal and provincial governments to ensure homes aren’t built in flood zones and those in fire-prone areas are made with more resilient and flame-retardant materials. WILDFIRE INSURANCE INFORMATION
APTN National NewsThe Yukon is looking at developing oil and gas near Whitehorse.Public meetings are being held, with many Yukoners accusing the government of participating in a smoke and mirror exerciseAPTN‘s Shirley Mclean reports.
The Canadian PressTo his supporters, Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew’s troubled past is a story of personal redemption. To his opponents, it’s one of a man who hasn’t fully come clean about his actions and doesn’t deserve the keys to the premier’s office.Kinew, 37, has stayed on as Opposition leader despite previous criminal charges and revelations in the media and in attack ads by the governing Progressive Conservatives about homophobic and misogynistic rap lyrics and social media posts.The revelations, which started just as he was making his first election run in 2016 and continued through to his NDP leadership victory in 2017, might have persuaded some politicians to walk away. But Kinew has persisted and expects the governing Tories to ramp up their ads about his past now that the election campaign is underway.“Whether it’s fatalist, or whether it’s realist, I have accepted the fact that it’s going to be a tough road,” Kinew said in an interview.“I do worry a lot about what the (Tory) attacks ads are going to be like, on a personal level, because I’ve been at the centre of media firestorms before, so that does scare me.“But I continue to believe that the broader goal of standing up for health care and standing up for Manitobans is important enough for me to push forward.”Kinew was born in Kenora, Ont., and lived on the Onigaming First Nation as a young boy. His late father was a residential school survivor who endured horrific abuse and passed on to Kinew the importance of Anishinaabe culture and language.Both Kinew’s parents were well educated and wanted the same for him. He spent some of his formative years in a well-to-do suburb in southern Winnipeg and graduated from a private high school.Kinew studied economics in university and began abusing alcohol.In his 2015 memoir, “The Reason You Walk,” Kinew admitted to some of his legal troubles from 2003 and 2004 — convictions for impaired driving and an assault on a taxi driver.Court records included details about the assault not contained in the book. It started with Kinew hurling racial insults at the driver. Kinew got out and punched the cabbie in the face while he was still sitting behind the wheel, facts read into the court record say.Kinew recently received a record suspension for his convictions.The book also did not mention two assault charges Kinew faced in 2003 involving his former partner Tara Hart. Hart told The Canadian Press in 2017 that Kinew flung her across their living room, leaving her with severe rug burns.The charges were stayed in 2004 and Kinew has denied the allegation.Kinew went to Alcoholics Anonymous in his 20s and, his supporters say, turned over a new leaf. He later worked at the CBC, became the University of Winnipeg’s first director of Indigenous inclusion and wrote his book.He is known as a good public speaker. He has hosted a TV documentary series and toured on the Canadian literature circuit. Political analysts say Kinew’s ability to work a room may be better than that of his opponents.“He is a naturally gifted communicator and he has grown those talents to become even better,” said Paul Thomas, professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Manitoba.Just as Kinew started running in the 2016 election, lyrics and social media posts from his past surfaced.In one song, he bragged about slapping women’s genitalia. In a Twitter post from 2009, he mused about whether it was possible to get avian flu from “kissing fat chicks”. In another Twitter post, he joked about having run over a cat.Kinew has repeatedly apologized for his harmful behaviour while continuing to deny the domestic violence accusation.Thomas says Kinew’s story will resonate with some people as that of a troubled young man making good.“If you read his autobiography and listen to him talk, there was a moment where he turned his life around and he found direction and purpose.“Some people will say, ‘Well, I’m convinced by that. He is a different man.’”Kinew is married to Lisa Monkman, a family physician, and has three children. Despite the spotlight on his personal history, he shows no sign of letting up.“Being in leadership isn’t just about the good times. It’s also about the struggle,” Kinew said.“I really am committed to being the voice of people who are not happy right now in Manitoba, people who want us to do better.”firstname.lastname@example.org
LONDON — British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has been fired after an investigation into leaks from a secret government meeting about Chinese telecoms firm Huawei.Prime Minister Theresa May’s office says May has “lost confidence” in Williamson.Downing St. says “the prime minister’s decision has been informed by his conduct surrounding an investigation into the circumstances of the unauthorized disclosure of information from a meeting of the National Security Council. “An investigation was launched last week after newspapers reported that the security council, which meets in private, had agreed to let Huawei participate in some aspects of Britain’s new 5G wireless communications network.The government insists no decision has been made about that.The Associated Press
The pollsters tested messaging with the respondents, finding that while some arguments resonated — such as “the sale would generate a lot of money for health care or balance the budget” — more than 50 per cent of people were still against any sale.One month after the government received the polling it announced a panel to review assets, and one year after that, in April 2015, announced its plan to sell up to 60 per cent of Hydro One.In the interim, the government had taken another crack at asset sale polling, with Pollara asking 1,202 Ontarians if Hydro One should be owned by the government. Three-quarters said yes, though most also said it was worthwhile to do a review.After the Hydro One sale formed a centrepiece of the government’s budget, 63 per cent of respondents were opposed — most of them “strongly” opposed, polling found.Expanding beer sales to grocery stores, however, got a 76-per-cent thumbs up. More people were aware of the beer retailing changes than the Hydro One sale or the budget itself, the polling found.Premier Kathleen Wynne said last week that the partial sale was important for the $4 billion it’s expected to net for infrastructure spending.“It absolutely is necessary and it’s partly why you’re seeing the economic growth that we’re seeing in Ontario,” she said. “It’s extremely important to the economy of this province and to municipalities that we continue that investment so that’s what we’re going to do.”Hydro One’s 15-per-cent initial public offering came in November 2015 and a further 15-per-cent tranche was sold in April 2016.But still, the polling remained highly unfavourable.The most polling data from October 2016 shows 69 per cent of respondents oppose the sale — 54 per cent “strongly” and 15 per cent “somewhat.”Deputy Progressive Conservative leader Steve Clark said it’s “disappointing” the government didn’t listen to its own polling.The Canadian Press TORONTO — More than a year before Ontario’s Liberal government announced in 2015 that it would partially privatize Hydro One, polling it commissioned showed strong opposition to the idea.That opposition has not waned in the years since, with a large majority of respondents consistently saying they’re against the sale in polling conducted from early 2014 to the present and examined by The Canadian Press.Pollara conducted research at the government’s behest in January and February of 2014 asking people for their thoughts on selling Hydro One, the LCBO, Ontario Power Generation, Ontario Lottery and Gaming, and even eHealth.The general response: Don’t do it.Looking to lower Ontario power rates? Start with Pickering, where $550 million will be wastefully spentOntario cuts hydro bills by 17%, but ultimately it will cost ratepayers $1.4 billion a year more“Most Ontarians would not support the provincial government selling a controlling interest in any of the five Crown corporations tested,” the research said. “Approximately one half oppose any sale at all, while a further 17 to 27 per cent would only support the sale of a minority of shares.”Just 25 per cent of respondents supported selling Hydro One. Slightly more were in favour of selling the LCBO, with 30 per cent support, while about 20 per cent of people said they were in favour of selling the other three Crown agencies.A spokeswoman for the premier said eHealth will not be sold.NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it’s “frightening” that it was apparently ever considered. On Hydro One, she said it’s not too late to halt further sales, before more than the current 30 per cent is privatized.“It’s pretty disturbing when even their polling shows that people are completely against the selloff of assets, particularly Hydro One, and she still turns around and ignores that and goes ahead and sells it,” Horwath said.Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press
Amendments to the Faculty Handbook were approved during Senate 605 held Feb. 6 and can be viewed online. Please click here for the summary report on the meeting which includes information on the amendments. View the President’s Report of the meeting.
HARTFORD, Conn. — Ten states and nearly two dozen members of Congress are joining the National Rifle Association in supporting gun-maker Remington Arms as it fights a Connecticut court ruling involving the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.Officials in the 10 conservative states, 22 House Republicans and the NRA are among groups that filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court this week asking justices to overturn the ruling.Madison, North Carolina-based Remington made the Bushmaster rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators at the Connecticut school in 2012.The state Supreme Court ruled in March that a survivor and relatives of nine victims could sue Remington over how it marketed the rifle.Remington and its supporters say the lawsuit is barred by a 2005 law that shields gun makers from liability.Dave Collins, The Associated Press
Displayed at the front of Michelle Thomas’s classroom was a colourful quilt made up of carefully crafted squares, each with the same common goal — to honour the memory of Tina Fontaine.Created by students in Brock’s Studies in Indigenous Culture I course, the blanket contains messages of hope and remembrance related to the slain 15-year-old girl, whose blanket-wrapped body was pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River in 2014. Fontaine’s murder renewed a call for a national inquiry into the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.Students in a Studies in Indigenous Culture I course created a blanket as part of the Blankets for Tina movement in honour of slain teen Tina Fontaine.As part of various rallies across the country, the Blankets for Tina movement was created, encouraging participants to wear a blanket in the teen’s honour to ensure she is not forgotten.Fontaine’s powerful story and the justice sought after her death was among several difficult topics tackled by the Indigenous Culture class during the winter term.It was while learning about Fontaine that Aboriginal Adult Education student Cassandra Green began to feel an innate connection to the teen. This prompted her to tell her own story — both as an Indigenous woman and a survivor of sexual violence. Green used the quilt space, as well as the accompanying write up required by each of the 23 participating students, as an opportunity to open up.“I put myself out there on my square,” she said before describing her design, which also included symbols from her Bear Clan Mohawk and Ojibwe heritage.Green was hopeful the project would help to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and would encourage Canadians to become more informed about the history of Indigenous communities.For Brendan Burke, a third-year Public Health student with a minor in Indigenous Studies, the project evoked a number of emotions.“We all sat in a circle and spoke about what each piece of the blanket meant to us — how we were representing Tina, speaking for her and making sure she’s not forgotten,” he said. “It was very meaningful.”Burke, who also self-identifies as Indigenous, filled his square with a Tree of Peace to represent the peaceful place Fontaine has now hopefully found herself, while also symbolizing change that is on the horizon for future generations of Indigenous people.Thomas said she was inspired to introduce her class to the project after seeing the Blankets for Tina campaign pick up steam on social media.“It was very moving,” she said, “and helped to give people a sense of responsibility of what they can do to create change, whether they are Indigenous or not.”Thomas said her students put a lot of thought and effort into their contributions to the project, expressing how Fontaine’s story personally impacted them and what their hopes are for the future.“I think it was really inspiring for them,” she said. “They understand that it’s important that we remember these stories. We can’t sweep it under the rug; those days are over.”Upon its completion, the blanket was presented to the Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education, where it will eventually be put up on display.Thomas hopes the blanket will inspire other Brock students to take an Indigenous Studies course to learn more about Canada’s history.“We are always looking for allies,” she said. “We all need to come together, learn that common history and figure out how we’re going to move forward.”
PLAYERAGEPAWARPREV. HIGHCAREER WARYR+1YR+2YR+3YR+4YR+5NEXT 5 YRS. What’s in store for Giancarlo Stanton’s Yankees career?For players whose first 7-WAR season came between ages 25-29, average statistics in that season and each of the next five seasons, 1920-2017 IN FIRST 7-WAR SEASONWAR IN… *Average for 66 comparable players.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs Comparable players*276628.06.027.65.04.44.13.63.020.2 For our historical group — which includes the likes of Frank Robinson, Manny Ramirez and Tony Gwynn — the drop was relatively steep from their career-best season. On average, they fell from 8.0 WAR that year to 5.0 the following season, with the total diminishing over each of the next five years in a predictable aging pattern. Only 10 of the 66 ever had another season as good as their breakout campaign. Granted, Stanton’s big year was slightly less out of place with the rest of his career, so he’ll probably feel the pull of regression a bit less than other players might. And a batter who produces between 3 and 5 WAR is no bum — quite to the contrary, 5 WAR is roughly the border where All-Star seasons start to take shape.Plus, the Yankees might not even need Stanton to reproduce his 2017 in order to have a great season next year: Their run differential suggests they were roughly as good as the 104-win L.A. Dodgers last year, despite winning “only” 91 games. New York would have been formidable without Stanton, and with him (plus Judge, Gary Sanchez and others), they’ll be a right-handed power-hitting squad the likes of which the game may never have seen before.But at the same time, Stanton will probably not reach the heights of his performance from 2017 ever again — meaning the Yankees are getting a very good player but probably not one with perennial MVP potential. After all, there’s a reason they call it a “career year”: You only get one of them per customer.Either way, after several relatively quiet offseasons, general manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees seem to be returning to their big-ticket superstar roots. Now we’ll see if they can also revive the tradition of winning World Series. G. Stanton276927.26.434.6?????? After several weeks of involved trade discussions that would send prized Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton to either the San Francisco Giants or St. Louis Cardinals, the baseball world was thrown a curveball Friday when it was reported that Stanton rejected both deals — and that the New York Yankees had swooped into the bidding. According to multiple reports, and assuming Stanton approves the deal, the Yankees had done on Saturday what the Giants and Cards couldn’t: They reeled in the game’s top power hitter.There were only two hitters last season who hit more than 50 home runs in MLB. Now, the Yankees have both of them: Stanton and fellow right-handed behemoth Aaron Judge. There’s reason to think Stanton will like hitting in Yankee Stadium as much as his new teammate. According to The Baseball Gauge’s park adjustments, Marlins Park was the third-most-difficult home run-hitting park for right-handed batters last season, which had the effect of depressing righty homers by about 20 percent relative to an average MLB ballpark.1The full-season park factor listed by The Baseball Gauge is 0.90, implying a 10 percent drop, but that number also reflects that a team plays half its games on the road, in (presumably) neutral parks. So the effect in Marlins home games alone would be about 20 percent. You read that right: Stanton smashed an MLB-leading 59 bombs — the most in baseball since 2001 — and took a serious run at Roger Maris’s pre-steroids HR record despite playing in one of the game’s most difficult parks for right-handed power hitters. There’s a reason Stanton was named NL MVP even though his team finished 20 games out of first place — it was one of the great individual seasons of this millennium.If you use The Baseball Gauge’s adjustment and extrapolate Stanton’s 2017 homers to a typical park, he’d project to have hit about 66 homers — easily shattering Maris’s mark. What’s more, Yankee Stadium ranked as the third-most-favorable park in baseball for right-handed home run hitters last season. Continuing our exercise above to project Stanton’s season into Yankee Stadium, he would figure to have hit around 73 homers (!!!) if he’d played in the Bronx instead of Miami. Now, the obvious caveats apply: Park factors are imperfect measurements that don’t account for each park’s exact dimensions, instead inferring the effect in a somewhat noisy way by looking at the change in home runs between a team’s home and road games. But even so, Stanton is probably going to get some kind of assist in his power numbers simply by upgrading his park situation.The real question for the Yankees is whether that boost will be enough to offset the tug of regression to the mean. Stanton had the best season of his career in 2017, and not just in the HR column, where he set a new career high by 22 homers. He also reached new career marks in isolated power, strikeout rate, on-base plus slugging and wins above replacement,2Using an average of the WAR models found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. in addition to playing 150 games in a season for the first time since 2011. There’s a very good chance that last season was the best we’ll ever see out of Stanton, who still has at least 10 years and $295 million left on his gargantuan contract. It would be unfair to expect him to reproduce anything close to that level of performance, particularly given his history of injuries.According to WAR, Stanton was worth 7.2 wins at age 27 last season, the first time he ever broke the seven-win barrier in a single season. Since 1920, 66 hitters have cracked 7 WAR for the first time between the ages of 25 and 29 (provided they also put up at least 20 career WAR from their rookie season through their breakout season).3Stanton has 34.6 career WAR through 2017. Those players had that big year at an average age of 27.2 — roughly the same as Stanton last year — so they make for a good sample from which we can draw a comparison for Stanton’s next few seasons.
When you see a fella who doesn’t know where he is one minute and comes back on with his head all strapped up; he’s a true warrior.“In all the world, I’ve never seen anyone like him.”10 more yearsThere is a strong possibility that O’Driscoll has played his last match at Lansdowne Road, while Donncha O’Callaghan, on the verge of tears during the anthems, will not be in the second row shake-up by the Autumn internationals.Changing of the guard: O’Driscoll with Luke Marshall and Paddy Jackson. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan) “I think Drico is playing brilliant,” Donnacha Ryan told TheScore.ie. “As long as he continues to do that, age is only a number so he should keep going.“They’d be better qualified to answer your question than me but they are great leaders.Drico, for me, has been awesome. They should give him a development contract and sign him up for another 10 years, the way he’s going.”The French players admitted they were lucky to get back into a match they trailed 13-3 at the break and paid credit to the tenacity of O’Driscoll.Winger Maxime Medard said, “O’Driscoll is a legend and he showed that again tonight. I don’t think we have seen the last of him yet.”Snapshot: Was that Brian O’Driscoll’s last game at Lansdowne Road?Man of the match Murray backs decision to replace him on the hour THE IMMEDIATE REPORT on Brian O’Driscoll’s fitness, following Ireland’s 13-13 draw with France, was that he had sustained ‘a heavy blow to the leg’ and needed stitches to his left ear.Anyone viewing the Ireland centre as he left the pitch in a daze will be keenly aware of the blows he shipped to keep Ireland in the match.O’Driscoll should travel to Australia this summer on the Lions tour, his fourth, and may call it an international day after the Third Test at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.Ireland coach Declan Kidney will hope to utilise his skill and bravery on last time, against Italy, next week but stated his belief after the game that O’Driscoll has more to give at international level.Having received treatment just after the 70-minute mark, O’Driscoll twice threw himself at Frenchmen with distinct height and weight advantages as Ireland repulsed a French wave.A scrum was awarded to the home side and common sense intervened. O’Driscoll was replaced by Conor Murray and assisted up the touchline by two members of the coaching staff.France then scored after a quick-tap penalty and drive by Louis Picamoles. Frederic Michalak slotted the conversion. Brian O’Driscoll ran back onto the field and the crowd erupted.Asked if the sight of their backline leader rejoining the battle helped motivate the players in the final stages, Keith Earls told TheScore.ie, “Of course it does.” He added:
Motorola made a huge splash when it introduced the Atrix 4G smartphone and its companion laptop. Much of the excitement was diminished when people found out that the laptop would cost $450 and that the companion experience wasn’t quite ideal (at least not what you’d want considering the price), but the fact that they rolled out the technology remains exciting.What the Atrix 4G did pack that had the most potential (even if it too had shortcomings) was Webtop, the built-in application that lets you dock your phone and use it to get to the web via a full Firefox browser (with the phone’s docking options). Apparently that app won’t be unique to the Atrix 4G, it will be landing on all Motorola’s “high-performance” Android-powered smartphones before long. In fact, expect to see it happen by June.We’ll see if Webtop comes preloaded on the upcoming Droid Bionic, as that is one of the notable releases on the way from Motorola, though it doesn’t seem like it will work out because of time constraints.via Engadget
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga visited the Hellenic Shipyards at Skaramangas last week, where she urged the workers not to request the government to pressure the Germans not to decrease activities at the shipyard but, rather, to “demand that the state undertakes Skaramangas as well as the country’s entire shipbuilding and maintenance sector”. She said that a single, public agency should be created “that will oblige even the shipowners to assign projects to the shipyards, thus limiting their profits”. Papariga met with the shipyard’s workers’ union and also visited the Railcar Unit.On the impact of the global financial crisis in Greece, Papariga said that three things should be demanded from the government: First of all, that those who gained before the crisis should pay the price of the crisis; second, those who gained during the crisis should pay the price of the crisis; and third, an end must be put, here and now, to the immense cost of the armaments for offensive rather than defensive purposes.She added that the above also pertained directly to the shipyards, because “the workers who are at the razor’s edge must not pay the price of the crisis”, stressing that it was “unacceptable” that workers have remained unpaid for six months “because a bogus company was set up as part of the privatisation” of the shipyard.On the new developmental model introduced by the new government, Papariga said that investments were being made “where the profits are big,” whereas the KKE’s position consisted of a pro-people growth for Greece in which all the investments will not be channelled only to the sectors of tourism, shipping and green development.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The PanAustralian Justice for Cyprus Coordinating Committee (PASEKA) will be holding their one-day national conference tomorrow at the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria. Those attending the conference will learn about the Cyprus issue, familiarise themselves with PASEKA activities, meet other people from other states who are assisting the other states’ SEKA. Young people are encouraged to attend the conference. Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided free of charge and a projector and laptop will be made available.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram It’s not every day you find 22 carriages of Sydney’s old monorail up for grabs on classified site Gumtree. Harry Tsoukalas, manager of second-hand sales for Metropolitan Demolitions, placed the strange but intriguing ad just a couple of weeks ago in the hopes of saving the carriages from the scrap yard, and within a couple of days and a bit of media coverage, all the carriages have been sold.“We’ve got every single one allocated to people,” Tsoukalas tells Neos Kosmos.If you’re curious to know who would be in need of an aged monorail, you’d be surprised.The majority of the carriages have gone to an Australian Taiwanese man, who has a number of amusement parks and is keen to give customers a novel way of getting around. For Harry, selling the carriages was a labour of love, hoping to see them used for their intended purpose again. “We gave priority for the people that want to use them as monorails,” he admits about choosing the right buyers.A monorail superfan also snapped up a couple of carriages in the hopes of realising a dream.“She wants to make a house out of them and make them work so they can be moving up and down on a rail,” Harry says about one of the buyers. “She wants to live in it.” Harry reveals that the buyer, an American national who has lived in Sydney for years, even rented an apartment that had a view to the monorail line. She was even present when Harry was dismantling the monorail.Another buyer hopes to make the carriage into a food van and a landscaper has bought one to utilise in his designs. For Harry, the sales meant the monorail would get a second life and remain in Australia’s history.“It was a different thing, the monorail, I didn’t just want to scrap it,” he says.“There’s a lot of things we don’t really care about, we just throw them away and smash them. “We need to be a little bit more selective.”Harry has one more carriage left that he hopes to sell to help raise funds for a volunteer to the company who was injured in a freak accident. The carriage is just a shell at the moment, but Harry believes it could give a small business owner a novel way to present themselves. “If someone wants to use it, maybe they can put it on a trailer and use it as an espresso bar,” he says. For more information about the last monorail carriage for sale, visit www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/sydenham/miscellaneous-goods/the-sydney-monorail…
Calvitie : une piste de traitement pour faire repousser les cheveux ?Pour la toute première fois, des chercheurs sont parvenus à faire repousser des cheveux en cultivant en laboratoire des cellules de cuir chevelu. Depuis près de 40 ans, les scientifiques cherchent à cloner des follicules pileux, ces cellules qui sont à l’origine des cheveux. Une technique qui ouvrirait de nouvelles voies pour traiter la calvitie ou la perte de cheveux entrainée par la prise de médicament. Après avoir échoué à de multiples reprises, des chercheurs ont finalement réussi à faire repousser des cheveux en cultivant en laboratoire des cellules humaines de derme papillaire. “C’est un pas important qui va aider à faire avancer ce champ de recherche”, a expliqué à l’AFP le Dr Colin Jahoda, professeur de biologie à l’Université Durham au Royaume Uni, un des co-auteurs de l’étude. Cette nouvelle “méthode permet de développer un grand nombre de follicules ou de régénérer les follicules existants en utilisant des cellules du derme papillaire provenant d’une centaine de donneurs de cheveux”, explique le Dr Angela Christianio, professeur de dermatologie à l’Université Columbia à New York.Des cellules greffées sur le dos de souris Au cours de leur recherche, l’équipe a prélevé des cellules papillaires chez sept personnes puis les a cultivées en laboratoire. “On a induit leur agrégation de manière à créer les conditions nécessaires à la croissance des cheveux comme chez des souris”, explique le Dr Claire Higgins, de l’Université Columbia. Et au bout de quelques jours, ces cellules papillaires ont effectivement été greffées dans de la peau humaine, elle-même implantée sur le dos de souris. Chez les rongeurs, les chercheurs avaient constaté que les cellules papillaires étaient capables d’interagir et de reprogrammer la peau où elles sont greffées pour produire de nouveaux follicules. Résultat de l’expérience, dans cinq des sept tests, la greffe a entraîné la production de nouveaux cheveux pendant au moins six semaines. Une analyse génétique a permis de prouver que les nouveaux follicules pileux étaient humains et génétiquement similaires aux donneurs de cellules papillaires.”Je pense que c’est fabuleux. Le fait qu’ils peuvent obtenir une néogénèse (régénération) de cheveux… est le futur de la médecine moderne”, a comment le Dr. Michele Green, dermatologue du Lenox Hill Hospital de New York. Aujourd’hui, pour traiter la perte de cheveux avec une transplantation, “vous devez prendre des follicules sur une zone de la tête et les transplanter sur une autre zone de la tête… Cela limite ce que vous pouvez faire pour vos cheveux”, a souligné la spécialiste citée par LiveScience. Des recherches à poursuivreÀ lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Toutefois, de nouvelles études sont nécessaires avant que cette technique puisse être testée chez des humains, indiquent les auteurs de l’étude publiée dans les Comptes rendus de l’Académie américaine des sciences (PNAS). Pour le moment, les chercheurs doivent encore parvenir à déterminer les origines des propriétés des nouveaux cheveux (couleur, texture, emplacement sur la tête et angle de pousse notamment). La prochaine étape “est ainsi de rechercher les signaux moléculaires” qui contrôlent la production des follicules et donc la croissance des cheveux, conclut le Dr Jahola.Le 22 octobre 2013 à 13:36 • Maxime Lambert
Battle Ground – Battle Ground will offer a free nine-week summer program offering recreational activities for parks for young children.Battle Ground’s Summer Playground Program, every Wednesday and Thursday, offers activities for children ages 4 through 10. Each week has a different theme and children will be able to make at least one arts and crafts project to take home.Sessions are held Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon at Kiwanis Park at 422 S.W. Second Ave. and from 2 to 4 p.m. at Horse Thief Park at the intersection of Southwest 12th Avenue and Southwest 11th Street.Sessions are held Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon at Florence Robison Park at 1900 N.W. Ninth St. and from 2 to 4 p.m. at Cresap Park at 1911 S.E. Second Place.The full schedule listing is online at www.cityofbg.org/summerplayground. There is no need to register.