Monthly Archives: November 2018
Connor McDavid believes Team North America’s youth will be the group’s main asset at the World Cup of Hockey, not its Achilles’ heel.
Last year’s first-overall draft pick was optimistic following North America’s 90-minute practice at Bell Centre on Monday — the team’s first of 13 practices ahead of their tournament-opener against Finland on Sept. 18.
Green Day, The Killers set to perform in Toronto for World Cup of Hockey celebrations
World Cup of Hockey roster finalized for Finland, Russia and Czech Republic
Carey Price on the World Cup
“Everyone has us pegged as the underdogs and we’ll happily take that,” said the 19-year-old McDavid. “We’re going to surprise some teams. We have a lot of speed and skill.
“That’s definitely our character trait. We just have to use it to our advantage.”
North America, which is made of the top players under 23 years old, is in a pool with veteran filled teams Sweden, Finland and Russia.
McDavid’s sentiment that skill and speed will be a game-changer for Team North America was echoed throughout the dressing room.
“What’s going to help us is how fast we are,” said Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “We have youth on this team, so we should be able to jump into things right away.”
Added 19-year-old Jack Eichel: “We’re young and we can use that to our advantage. We can play with a lot of pace.”
READ MORE: McDavid, Eichel headline North American roster for upcoming World Cup of Hockey
Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon suggested the tournament’s format — three group-stage games followed by a semifinal and a best-of-three final series — was to North America’s advantage.
“This isn’t a full season or playoffs,” said MacKinnon, one of 11 Canadians on Team North America. “This is one-and-done. We have the talent and ability to beat anyone. I don’t think there’s a more skilled team than ours.”
Head coach Todd McLellan tested out line combinations for the first time on Monday after weeks of brainstorming.
McDavid played with Mark Scheifele of the Jets and Jonathan Drouin of the Lightning. Johnny Gaudreau was on a line with Eichel and Brandon Saad, while Auston Matthews practised with MacKinnon and Nugent-Hopkins.
Team North America’s potential fourth line combined Dylan Larkin with Sean Couturier and newcomer Vincent Trochek. New York’s J.T. Miller was the extra skater.
The Quebec-born Drouin, who was one of Tampa Bay’s best players in the post-season last year, was thrilled to be paired with McDavid.
“As time moves on, we’ll see if there’s chemistry,” said Drouin. “He’s exceptional, everybody knows it. You saw just today at practice how quick he is, how smart he is with the puck.”
On defence, Morgan Rielly was paired with Aaron Ekblad. Shayne Gostisbehere played with Colton Parayko while Ryan Murray was on a pairing with Seth Jones. Jacob Trouba was the extra skater on defence.
With several more practices to come, McLellan will shuffle his lines until he’s satisfied with the combinations. The Edmonton Oilers coach admitted it’s been a difficult task, especially since he and his coaching staff do not know each player very well yet.
“We’re just looking for a starting point,” sad McLellan. “We put groups together based on how we feel players might play with each other. We’d like to keep consistency with lines, but we also need to experiment.”
READ MORE: World Cup of Hockey jerseys ‘are something out of a comic book’
McLellan has yet to name a team captain, though he’s expected to give it to McDavid.
“It’s an evolving process,” said McLellan. “We have an idea of who should be stepping up, but we want to see it throughout training camp and throughout an exhibition game or two.
“We’re looking for a strong leadership group. It’s a lot of pressure on an individual to wear a ‘C’. We’ll be looking for a group effort. But we will end up with a captain and a few assistants.”
The under-24 team will play preliminary matches against Team Europe and the Czech Republic before the tournament begins.
The latest numbers released by the BC Wildfire Service suggest this year’s wildfire season was significantly less widespread and costly compared to last year.
Ryan Turcot with the BC Wildfire Service says the 2016 wildfire season got off to an early and active start.
“In April and May we did see an above average number of wildfires specifically up in the north-eastern corner of the province, but we got rain in June and July, and even in August, we got periods of extensive precipitation, so over the course of the summer weather overall was favourable for wildfire suppression,” says Turcot.
Since April 1, the BC Wildfire Service responded to just over 1,000 wildfires. That’s compared to 1,800 wildfires by the same time last year and the 10-year average of just over 1,600 wildfires.
“So we have seen about two-thirds of what’s considered normal,” says Turcot.
READ MORE: Global BC coverage of this year’s wildfires
Just under 100,000 hectares of land have been burned by wildfires during this fire season, compared to just under 297,000 hectares last year, costing the province $109 million as compared to $250 million last year.
But even though the campfire ban along the South Coast of the province has already been lifted and we are only several weeks away from the official start of fall, Turcot says we are not out of the woods yet.
“The fire danger rating across the province is on a downward trend but it still exists and the BC Wildfire Service is urging people to use an abundance of caution when they are in the backcountry,” he says. “Unsafe activity this time of year can still cause a wildfire.”
Jumping into competition for Team Canada was like jumping into a boiling pot for Carey Price.
There was no time for the 29-year-old to settle back into the crease at the World Cup of Hockey following a near-10 month layoff from game competition. Canada, which started training camp just outside the nation’s capital on Monday morning, expects Price to be ready to go as their No. 1 when the two-week tournament gets underway in Toronto later this month.
Canadiens’ Carey Price, wife Angela, welcome daughter Liv
Carey Price, Jonas and Corey Diabo surprise students with musical instruments in Kahnawake
Canadiens goalie Carey Price out for six weeks
Carey Price: an inspiration to First Nation youth
“If you’re here you have to be ready to play and you have to be ready to play from Day 1 and Carey was aware of that when he accepted the invitation,” said Canadian general manager Doug Armstrong following the team’s first practice.
“We’re very comfortable that Carey is ready and he’s very comfortable that he’s ready to go.”
Price missed almost all of last season for the Montreal Canadiens with a sprained MCL in his right knee. He last played in late November.
READ MORE: Canadiens shut down star players Carey Price, P.K. Subban for the season
The B.C. native was in upbeat spirits among his Canadian teammates at Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, if admittedly anxious to finally get back into game action.
Head coach Mike Babcock said no plan had yet been formalized for goaltending duties during the exhibition slate — that’s expected Wednesday — though Price said he expected to play a full game in his first action whenever that might be.
Canada gets going with the first of three pre-tournament games against the United States in Columbus on Friday.
Price, who allowed only three goals in helping his country to gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, couldn’t say how long it might take him to return to pre-injury form.
“Over 400 games in the NHL it shouldn’t take me too long to get back into it,” he said.
Canada won’t have long to wait given the hurried nature of the World Cup, which finishes only two weeks after it begins on Sept. 17. The squad is rich, too, with backup options in the event that Price struggles, boasting 2016 Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby as well as two-time Stanley Cup champion Corey Crawford.
How much opportunity either gets in the three pre-tournament games is yet unclear, though Babcock has indicated that none of his goalies would play on back-to-back nights with the Canadians playing host to the Americans in Ottawa on Saturday.
Price was the top goalie in the NHL before he got hurt.
He posted two shutouts in winning nine of his first 11 starts for the Canadiens last fall (.932 save percentage), recapturing the form which earned him the 2015 Vezina Trophy in a landslide. Price garnered 27 of 30 first-place votes following a campaign of nine shutouts and a league-leading .933 save percentage.
READ MORE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price wins Lou Marsh Trophy after career-best season
Montreal fell apart in his absence last season. The club finished 13th in the Eastern Conference with only 82 points — a distant 11 points back of a playoff spot — a far cry from the 110-point campaign of a year earlier with Price healthy.
Price still winces at the thought of sitting out while his team piled up losses.
“It’s definitely not a vacation that’s for sure,” he said. “Especially when your team is not doing well it’s tough to sit by the wayside and watch the struggle. You feel really helpless. Any guy who has been out for a long time would tell you that you’re a part of the team but you don’t really feel part of the team because you feel kind of useless.”
Price was back to par physically about a month after the regular season ended, though the mental frustration lingered. Once he returned to the ice in early August he regained a rhythm, building the confidence which has him feeling ready to go for Canada.
He said he hadn’t considered skipping the tournament.
“I’m just going to come back and just try and do all the things made me successful two years ago,” Price said. That’s all that I can control.”
KABUL – Twin bombings near the Afghan Defence Ministry have killed at least 24 people, including two security force generals, in an attack claimed by the Taliban.
Public Health Ministry spokesman Ismail Kawasi says another 91 people were wounded in Monday’s attack in central Kabul. Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said a district police chief and five other police officers were among those killed.
READ MORE: Attack on American University of Afghanistan ends with at least 13 people dead
Deputy Defence Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said the second bombing was caused by a suicide attacker who struck the area of the first blast after security forces gathered there. He said the attack took place as ministry employees were leaving their offices for the day. Senior police investigator Faredoon Obiadi said the suicide attacker was wearing a military uniform.
A district police chief and an army general were among those killed in the attack, three officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. Dozens of ambulances raced to the scene after the blasts, and security forces blocked off roads leading to the area.
Ashuqullah, 34, who like many Afghans has no surname, described the scene of chaos he witnessed.
READ MORE: Joshua Boyle, Canadian held hostage in Afghanistan, pleads for help in new video
“The second explosion was so strong, and many people, including security officials, were killed and wounded,” he said.
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack in a statement, saying “the enemies of Afghanistan have lost their ability to fight the Security and Defence Forces of the country and thus attack highways, cities, mosques, schools and common people.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said his group had carried out the attack. The insurgents have been fighting to overthrow the U.S.-backed government for 15 years, and frequently target Afghan security forces.
JERUSALEM – A group of former Israeli politicians, security officials, artists and social activists on Monday urged the government to hold a national referendum on the future of the Palestinian territories.
The group launched the campaign ahead of the 50th anniversary next year of the 1967 Mideast war, in which Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
The Palestinians seek to establish an independent state in the territories. Two decades of on-again, off-again peace efforts have repeatedly failed.
READ MORE: Netanyahu shifts Israel further right, appoints ultranationalist defence minister
The Israeli group, calling itself “Decision at 50,” is led by prominent figures in Israel’s so-called peace camp, which believes an Israeli withdrawal from occupied lands is essential for the country’s survival.
They believe that establishment of a Palestinian state will ensure Israel’s future as a democracy with a solid Jewish majority. The alternative, they say, is a “binational” state in which Israel either risks losing its Jewish majority or ruling over millions of disenfranchised Palestinians in an apartheid-style situation.
The group’s founders include Ami Ayalon, a former head of the Shin Bet internal security agency, Amram Mitzna, a retired general, and Gilead Sher, who was a peace negotiator under former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
READ MORE: Palestinians mark uprooting anniversary with sirens, marches
The group said it sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking to hold the referendum. Netanyahu himself has endorsed the idea of a Palestinian state. But peace efforts have remained frozen throughout most of his seven-year tenure amid wide gaps with the Palestinians over all major issues.
“Every day in which our control over the Palestinian territories persists brings us closer to the end of Israel as the democratic state of the Jewish people,” Ayalon said. “Netanyahu sees the disaster ahead, but he is not courageous enough to act.”
Netanyahu’s office declined comment.
More than 70 people have gotten sick in a hepatitis A outbreak linked to smoothies made with strawberries contaminated with the virus, U.S. health officials are reporting.
So far, about 70 cases been identified across seven states: Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cyclospora outbreak: Canadian health officials warn of parasite causing illnesses
Q & A: A look at listeria, pathogen found in ice cream and hummus
Nails in potatoes prompts recall in Atlantic Canada
READ MORE: Hepatitis A found in scallops from Philippines, spurred outbreak in Hawaii
At least 32 people have ended up in the hospital because of their illness. No deaths have been reported.
The CDC says traceback evidence is pointing to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt as the culprit for the outbreak.
“In interviews, nearly all ill people interviewed reported drinking smoothies containing strawberries at Tropical Smoothie Café locations in a limited geographical area,” the CDC said in a statement.
By August 8, Tropical Smoothie Café removed the Egyptian frozen strawberries from their restaurants in Maryland, N.C., Virginia and West Virginia.
READ MORE: Are food-borne illnesses, recalls on the rise in Canada?
Right now the CDC is working with public health officials in the effected states. Keep in mind, people with hepatitis A won’t show symptoms until 15 to 50 days after consuming contaminated food or drink.
“We expect to see more ill people reported in this outbreak because of this long incubation period,” the CDC warned.
Genise Clark, a Virginia Beach woman who became sick with hepatitis A, told Fox News that she used to go to Tropical Smoothie Café almost daily.
“I really enjoyed them. I started getting sick to my stomach and I really wasn’t sure why. I took over-the-counter medicine and then I lost my appetite, so I started drinking smoothies a lot more because I wasn’t able to eat. I was trying to get some type of nourishment from the fruit,” she said.
READ MORE: Navigating gaps in Canada’s food safety system
Clark said she’s seeking legal action and she isn’t the only one. Last week, the Associated Press reported that lawsuits are already being filed, including one class action case.
(It’s unclear if the Egyptian frozen berries made their way to Canada. So far, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada have not listed any warnings tied to the frozen goods.
In June, however, PHAC reported an outbreak of hepatitis A in three provinces that was tied to a frozen berry blend. Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend was recalled in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.
Health Canada did not yet respond to a request for comment on Labour Day.)
READ MORE: ‘I thought I was going to die’: Years later the lingering impact of listeriosis
Hepatitis A is a serious illness that affects the liver. Symptoms include:
Yellow eyes or skinAbdominal painPale stoolsDark urineFever and fatigue
Because of vaccines, cases of the virus have died down and are typically linked to international travel or occasional foodborne illnesses.
The company’s CEO, Mike Rotondo, addressed customer concerns in a statement last month.
READ MORE: Health officials suspect E. coli illnesses linked to leafy greens
“‘Eat better, feel better’ is not just a marketing slogan — it’s a promise, and it’s something I believe in very dearly. Recently, some strawberries may have made their way into the supply chain that could challenge that concept. I sincerely apologize for any issues this may have caused for any of our customers,” Rotondo said.
“We voluntarily and immediately removed all of those strawberries from all of our cafes, and we have sourced new strawberries for every location. We take this issue very seriously. Your health and your safety is our top priority.”
B.C.’s NDP government delivered its first throne speech in 16 years on Friday.
The speech reiterated many of the promises the party made during the election campaign, but a few pledges were absent.
Coverage of the BC NDP on Globalnews长沙夜网:
NDP puts the brakes on Massey Tunnel replacement
NDP puts the brakes on Massey Tunnel replacement
NDP government puts Massey Bridge on hold
NDP government eliminates tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges starting next month
NDP announce the removal of Metro Vancouver bridge tolls
BC NDP raise minimum wage to $11.35
1) Election finance reform
NDP Leader John Horgan waves during a campaign stop in Penticton, B.C., on Saturday May 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
NDP Leader John Horgan waves during a campaign stop in Penticton, B.C., on Saturday May 6, 2017.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The BC NDP reiterated a pledge to eliminate corporate and union donations in provincial elections. It also pledged to limit individual donations so that only B.C. residents can give money.
2) Fixed elections
NDP Leader John Horgan greets supporters before speaking during a campaign rally in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday April 23, 2017. A provincial election will be held on May 9. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
NDP Leader John Horgan greets supporters before speaking during a campaign rally in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday April 23, 2017. A provincial election will be held on May 9.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The BC NDP has also pledged to fix provincial election dates starting in the fall of 2021, and then hold them every four years.
3) Electoral referendum
B.C. political leaders Christy Clark, Andrew Weaver and John Horgan partake in an election debate moderated by Jennifer Burke. Global News
B.C. political leaders Christy Clark, Andrew Weaver and John Horgan partake in an election debate moderated by Jennifer Burke.
The government plans to hold a provincial referendum on proportional representation by November 2018.
4) Lobbying reform
An exterior view of the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria on August 26, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
An exterior view of the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria on August 26, 2011.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The NDP government also wants to make it so that former lobbyists can’t benefit from public service. In the NDP’s Confidence and Supply Agreement with the BC Greens, the parties pledged to introduce a multi-year prohibition on lobbying for ex-senior public office holders.
Rental sign in Vancouver. Global News
Rental sign in Vancouver.
The NDP have pledged to close fixed-term lease loopholes in an effort to stop “unfair rent increases.” They have also pledged to increase Residential Tenancy Branch supports for both renters and landlords. There was no mention of a $400 renters rebate that was mentioned during the provincial election.
6) Child care
Daycare in B.C. Global News
Daycare in B.C.
The government has pledged more child care spaces, to train more early childhood educators (ECEs), though there were no details on a timeline for this. There was no mention, however, of the party’s $10 a day child care plan. It did, however, mention a universal child care program.
A sold sign is pictured outside a home in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Jonathan Hayward/CP
A sold sign is pictured outside a home in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
The NDP has promised a “comprehensive housing strategy” that would increase supply and examine ways to curb speculation. Details on this strategy are still to come.
A woman walks past a man sleeping on the street in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Darryl Dyck/CP
A woman walks past a man sleeping on the street in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
The government has promised a legislated poverty reduction plan, but details on this have yet to be revealed.
A crosswalk outside Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. CP
A crosswalk outside Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
The NDP government’s first budget will take the step toward restoring educational funding. The government has already announced that it is eliminating tuition fees for adult basic education and ESL, and that it is ending post-secondary tuition for children in government care.
The vast majority of Canadians would feel the pinch of having to pay an extra $130 a month in interest payments on their debt. CP Images
The vast majority of Canadians would feel the pinch of having to pay an extra $130 a month in interest payments on their debt.
The throne speech promised a “fair wages commission” that would be established with the goal of delivering a minimum wage of $15 per hour.
11) Transit for people with disabilities
A majority of those surveyed said they preferred SkyTrain fares based on distance or the number of stops or stations passed to the current system where prices are determined by zone boundaries. Global News
A majority of those surveyed said they preferred SkyTrain fares based on distance or the number of stops or stations passed to the current system where prices are determined by zone boundaries.
The NDP government has pledged an annual bus pass for commuters with disabilities that will be available again in January 2018.
12) ICBC and BC Hydro
Damaged vehicles are seen at the ICBC Lower Mainland Salvage Yard, in New Westminster, B.C., on Friday August 11, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Damaged vehicles are seen at the ICBC Lower Mainland Salvage Yard, in New Westminster, B.C., on Friday August 11, 2017.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The NDP has pledged to “fix” issues at ICBC and BC Hydro. This comes amid news that the insurance provider is seeking a 6.4-per-cent increase for basic auto insurance from the B.C. Utilities Commission. The speech did not mention a previous NDP promise to freeze BC Hydro rates that was made during the election.
13) Health care
St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver. Global News
St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver.
The NDP government has promised to reduce and then eliminate Medical Services Plan premiums. No word on a timeline for when this will happen.
14) Post-secondary debt
The University of British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The University of British Columbia.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The government will consider ways to reduce post-secondary debt for students. No details were available on how this will be achieved.
Projet Montréal is on the lookout for a new leader.
Early Monday morning, the opposition party launched its leadership race, in order to determine who will face off against Mayor Denis Coderre in next year’s municipal election.
“Voters are looking for a different alternative and I think that Denis Coderre is offering the same old-style politician that we’ve seen for years and years and years,” Jimmy Zoubris, the party’s vice-president, said .
Projet Montreal asks for public consultation into police body cameras
Projet Montreal seeks input on bus 105 overcrowding
The party admits defeating the Coderre administration won’t be easy, but they’re ultimately up for the task.
“We’re going to have candidates that are present in every borough, and well known in every borough,” Zoubris said. “So we’re ready to put up a fight with Denis Coderre and put our ideas forward and see what the population says.”
Projet Montréal has been without a permanent leader since its founder, Richard Bergeron, stepped down in 2014.
Luc Ferrandez, the party’s interim leader, has already said he won’t run for the top post, something he re-emphasized on Monday.
READ MORE: Luc Ferrandez won’t run for Projet Montréal leadership again
“You want to be elected, not only on ideas, it’s on meeting people, it’s on being there, it’s on being popular,” he explained. “I don’t wish to be popular.”
In the 2013 election, the opposition party gathered 25 per cent of the vote – while Mélanie Joly came in second with 26 per cent and Équipe Coderre won by 32 per cent of the vote.
Ferrandez admits the mayor’s star power will be tough to beat, but says he’s confident Coderre’s popularity will eventually fade.
READ MORE: Projet Montréal questions city’s emergency protocol following Highway 40 accident
“I’m not sure that it works being controversial issue after issue, the way Mr. Coderre is and still being popular at the end,” he said. “How long will he last? When this trend will tip down, Projet Montréal will be there.”
As of Monday, only Rosemont-la-Petite-Patrie city councillor, François Limoges, had entered the race.
Party officials expect more people to enter before the October deadline, from both inside and outside the party.
The leadership vote will take place in December.
Putting words in your mouth! The big stories of the day include TTC workers drinking, Freshii calling calories on menu boards simplistic, and Ontario nursing homes serving healthier foods to seniors. Feast your ears on the show and hear it again!
TTC worker fails random alcohol test
Brad Ross TTC Executive Director of Corporate Communications discusses the results of random alcohol and drug test that started monday. The first day of testing resulted in two employees being suspended with pay for positive test results. The employees were not passenger vehicle operators.
View link »
2 TTC workers fail random alcohol, drug tests
Nursing home residents get 67 cents a day more for food from province
Back in March we told about the fight by several long-term care associations, hoping to raise the amount of money allotted to meals for seniors in nursing homes. Today we announce that there will be an increase starting July 1st of this year. Cathy Gapp is the CEO of AdvantAge Ontario. She explains that the 67-cent increase to $9 per day is double the amount requested. It comes after she and other advocates lobbied the government and media, including the John Oakley Show, about the cheap, processed food that seniors in nursing homes were served.
View link »
Outbreak of respiratory virus linked to six deaths at Halifax nursing home
Federal judge rules stripping people of Canadian citizenship without a hearing is unfair
In a key decision, Judge Jocelyne Gagne struck down provisions of the Citizenship Act enacted by the former Conservative government under Stephen Harper, saying they conflict with principles of fundamental justice. Immigration Lawyer Guidy Mamann defended on of eight cases — considered as test cases — that challenged the constitutionality of the changes made in May 2015.
View link »
Stripping people of Canadian citizenship without hearing is unfair: judge
Topics worthy of discussion
Sandra Pupatello, MP Peter Tabuns and Chris Stockwell have an enthusiastic conversation about the stories of the day.
View link »
VIENTIANE, Laos – President Barack Obama called off a planned meeting Tuesday with new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, seeking distance from a U.S. ally’s leader during a diplomatic tour that’s put Obama in close quarters with a cast of contentious world figures.
WATCH: Obama cancels meeting with Philippines president after insult
It’s unusual for one president to tell another what to say or not say, and much rarer to call the other a “son of a bitch.” Duterte managed to do both just before flying to Laos for a regional summit, warning Obama not to challenge him over extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
“Clearly, he’s a colorful guy,” Obama said. “What I’ve instructed my team to do is talk to their Philippine counterparts to find out is this in fact a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations.”
READ MORE: Philippine president to Obama: don’t ask about killings or ‘I will swear at you’
Early Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said the meeting with Duterte was off.
Duterte has been under intense global scrutiny over the more than 2,000 suspected drug dealers and users killed since he took office. Obama had said he planned to raise the issue in his first meeting with Duterte, but the Philippine leader insisted he was only listening to his own country’s people.
WATCH: Philippines president apologizes for Obama insult
“You must be respectful,” Duterte said of Obama. “Do not just throw questions.” Using the Tagalog phrase for “son of a bitch,” he said, “Putang ina I will swear at you in that forum.” He made the comment in a televised news conference in southern Davao City.
Eager to show he wouldn’t yield, Obama said he would “undoubtedly” still bring up human rights and due process concerns “if and when” the two do meet.
A public break with the Philippines would put Obama in a tough position, given the Southeast Asian nation’s status as a longtime U.S. treaty ally. A key part of Obama’s signature policy of engagement with Asia has been stronger military ties to Manila, including a defence pact the two allies signed in 2014 allowing U.S. forces to be based temporarily in designated Philippine military camps.
READ MORE: Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, fail to agree on cease-fire for Syria, talks to continue
Yet when it comes to Duterte, the Obama administration has sought to compartmentalize. Obama administration officials said they were confident military and other co-operation with the Philippines won’t be jeopardized despite misgivings about the country’s new leader.
The bizarre rift with Duterte was the most glaring example of how Obama has frequently found himself bound to foreign countries and leaders whose ties to the U.S. are critical even if their values sharply diverge.
In Hangzhou this week, Obama’s first stop in Asia, he heaped praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping for hosting the Group of 20 economic summit in his country, an authoritarian state long accused of human rights violations. Upon Obama’s arrival, social media exploded with speculation China had slighted Obama after there was no staircase awaiting him on the tarmac, forcing the president to deplane through a set of internal stairs he rarely uses.
That prompted Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, to say he would have refused to meet with Chinese officials if he were treated that way, calling it “such a sign of disrespect.”
WATCH: Philippines’ President Duterte goes on angry rant against UN
But U.S. officials said the incident actually stemmed more from a mix-up over finding a driver for the staircase-on-wheels who could communicate in English with the U.S. Secret Service. The officials requested anonymity to describe private diplomatic arrangements.
Obama’s next stop was another one-party communist country with a dismal rights record: Laos, where mysterious disappearances have fueled concerns about a government crackdown.
And sitting down with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Obama made no mention in public of the roughly 35,000 people Erdogan’s government detained following the summer’s failed coup in Turkey. Instead, he worked to reassure the NATO ally the U.S. would help bring to justice whoever was responsible for plotting the coup.
Obama also spent about 90 minutes Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, another leader whose fate seems intertwined with Obama’s in all the wrong ways. On opposing sides of many global issues, the U.S. and Russia are nonetheless trying to broker a deal to address the Syrian civil war and perhaps even partner militarily there.
WATCH: Obama calls Philippines president ‘colourful guy’
“President Putin’s less colorful,” Obama said, comparing him with Duterte. “But typically the tone of our meetings is candid, blunt, businesslike.”
Managing Duterte has become a worsening headache for Obama since the Filipino took office on June 30, pledging his foreign policy wouldn’t be constricted by reliance on the U.S. Washington has tried largely to look the other way as Duterte has pursued closer relations with China, a marked shift for the Philippines considering recent tensions over Beijing’s aspirations in the South China Sea.
This isn’t the first time Duterte’s penchant for eyebrow-raising comments has triggered diplomatic disputes.
Last month, Duterte said he didn’t mind Secretary of State John Kerry but “had a feud with his gay ambassador – son of a bitch, I’m annoyed with that guy.” He applied the same moniker to an Australian missionary who was gang-raped and killed, and even to Pope Francis, even though the Philippines is a heavily Catholic nation. He later apologized.
With a reputation as a tough-on-crime former mayor, Duterte has alarmed human rights groups with his deadly campaign against drugs, which Duterte has described as a harsh war. He has said the battle doesn’t amount to genocide but has vowed to go to jail if needed to defend police and military members carrying out his orders.
Hennessey reported from Hangzhou, China. Associated Press writer Teresa Cerojano in Manila, Philippines, contributed to this report.