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Wheelchair basketball player David Eng named Canada’s Paralympics flag-bearer

Written on July 24, 2019 at 18:57, by

RIO DE JANEIRO – When David Eng made his Paralympic debut 12 years ago in Athens, coach Mike Frogley would jot down a word each day and pin that word on the wall.

They were words like “leadership” and “commitment,” character traits Frogley wanted his players to embody.

They were words, Eng decided then and there, to live by.

“I started focusing on that,” Eng said. “That was what I wanted to become, was that type of person.”

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The 39-year-old veteran of Canada’s wheelchair basketball team has been chosen to carry the Maple Leaf into the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Canada’s Aurelie Rivard entering Rio Paralympics as swimmer to beat

Frogley, now the high performance director for Wheelchair Basketball Canada, said there was no better choice. Every player and every team, he said, “starts with great character.”

“And that’s what David is: great character that allows us the opportunity to be great,” Frogley said. “And he’s a great representation of Canada, (he) embodies all the things that Canadians hold in the highest regard, his work ethic, his discipline, his commitment to the team … those are things all Canadians share in, so they share in him marching out holding our flag.”

The two-time Paralympic gold medallist, who was cheered on by both the men’s and women’s wheelchair teams at his news conference Tuesday morning, will be competing at his fourth Games. Canada won gold in Eng’s debut in 2004, took the silver at the 2008 Beijing Games and won gold four years ago in London.

The Canadian co-captain, who was born with one leg shorter than the other, took up the sport when he was just 12 through the encouragement of his uncle Gerald Brule, a former national team player.

His first team was a senior men’s squad, where the “hoops were pretty high” for a 12-year-old, and the chairs were “almost hospital chairs.” He went on to play college wheelchair ball at the University of Texas in Arlington, and now suits up for two club teams: Gladiateurs de Laval and the New York Rollin Knicks.

Eng is a big NBA fan, and rode the emotional roller-coaster of the Toronto Raptors’ historic playoff run last spring.

READ MORE: Rio 2016: Canada’s youngest Paralympic swimmer’s heads out from Moncton

“I love the Raptors. I think Drake should be our ambassador for wheelchair basketball,” Eng said with a chuckle. “He played a guy in a wheelchair on ‘Degrassi: (The Next Generation.)’ He’s a big Raptor guy.

“If Drake (reads) this: tweet me, we need to talk.”

The Toronto rapper, who’s also the Raptors’ global ambassador, played Jimmy Brooks on the popular television series. His character on the show suffered a spinal cord injury in a shooting.

Eng is also a huge Kobe Bryant fan, and named his husky dog “Kobe” after the retired Los Angeles Lakers superstar.

He models his career, he said, on a variety of players and people.

“Michael Jordan, I liked his dedication and heart for the game, love for the game,” Eng said. “Magic Johnson, I liked his team bonding approach, making your team better. Michael Jackson (the late singer), he was a perfectionist who paid attention to all the little details.

“So I take little pieces of everybody and try to emulate and replicate it in my own career.”

Michael Jackson also happens to be his go-to pre-game music.

READ MORE: Rio 2016: Paralympics will go ahead with major budget cuts

“‘Man in the Mirror’ is one of my favourites, ‘Billie Jean’ … I like more of the old Michael Jackson.”

Eng wore a Superman t-shirt for his pre-game warm-up from the time he was 12 until 21, but replaced it with the Superman diamond-shaped logo he had tattooed on his left shoulder.

He’s fiercely passionate about the Paralympic movement.

“There’s nothing more human than the Paralympics,” Eng said. “You have diversity, you have disability … and you go out there and you maximize what you’ve got and you perform, and it’s really inspiring.

“If I were to compare the Olympics and the Paralympics, we’ve got the back stories of the athletes and what they went through. They already succeeded in something before they started competing. The true value of sport, we’re really embracing it right now at the Paralympics.”

Canada has long been a leader in wheelchair basketball. In Rio, however, Eng will guide a team that features six rookies after half of Canada’s core of players retired post-London.

“We want to still be a leader, it’s another motivation,” Eng said. “We have new athletes coming in and we want to show that it wasn’t just the individuals on the team, but it was the concept, the program behind it that made us so successful.”

Canada opens the Paralympics on Thursday against Spain, and will also meet Algeria and Great Britain in preliminary-round action.

The Canadians captured silver at last summer’s Parapan Am Games in Toronto, losing the final to the United States.

The Canadian women, silver medallists at last summer’s Parapan Am Games, also open the Paralympics on Thursday when they face Great Britain.

El Salvador players say offered cash before Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Canada

Written on July 24, 2019 at 18:57, by

El Salvador players were offered financial inducements to win, draw or avoid a heavy defeat in their crunch World Cup qualifier against Canada, the country’s football association said on Tuesday.

“Players with the national football team reveal the supposed arrangement ahead of their game with Canada,” the association said on the team’s Facebook page.

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A heavy defeat for the Salvadorans in Tuesday evening’s match in Vancouver could prevent their neighbours Honduras from progressing to the final stage of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

Honduras are in pole position to advance but Canada could edge them on goal difference if they run up a big score against El Salvador and Honduras lose to Group One leaders Mexico at the Aztec stadium.

READ MORE: FIFA ethics court drops investigation of President Infantino

Mexico are unbeaten in five matches and the Salvadorans sit bottom of the group with two points from a possible 15.

The association said a Salvadoran businessman and former president of local club Alianza FC approached the players with financial inducements before they travelled to Canada at the weekend.

“Players with the national team tonight revealed at a press conference a tape in which the Salvadoran businessman Ricardo Padilla offered them ‘rewards’ for winning, drawing or even losing against Canada,” the association said.

Team captain Nelson Bonilla played the tape of the 10-minute conversation to reporters in Vancouver on Monday night.

In it, the man identified as Padilla promised varying amounts of money depending on the result and the time played by each player, from $30 a minute for a win to $10 a minute in a 1-0 defeat.

“In reference to what we heard, we want to make it clear that we are against anything of this kind,” Bonilla said.

“We want to be transparent about everything that has happened with the national team.”

LIFETIME BANS

Fourteen El Salvador internationals were banned for life for match-fixing in 2013.

FIFA said it was aware of the issue and was looking into the matter.

READ MORE: FIFA says top officials, including Sepp Blatter, awarded themselves $80M over 5 years

“FIFA does comment on whether or not investigations are underway into alleged cases of match manipulation so as not to compromise any possible investigations,” a spokesperson said.

CONCACAF did not respond to emailed requests for comment and the football associations of Canada, Honduras and Mexico made no mention of the allegations on their websites.

Padilla, however, said there was nothing wrong with the offer as he was not asking the players to throw the game.

“Let them investigate, I’m not worried,” he told the Salvadoran newspaper La Prensa Grafica. “Those who want to see it as something bad can see it that way and those who want to see it as something good then they can too.”

Relations between El Salvador and Honduras have not always been harmonious on the soccer pitch and the two Central American nations went to war in 1969 after a rancorous best-of-three World Cup series.

The short-lived conflict had been brewing for months but angry scenes during the matches led to border skirmishes in which hundreds of people were killed in what was forever remembered as the Soccer War.

8 new public schools open in Calgary this month

Written on July 24, 2019 at 18:57, by

Hundreds of students enrolled in Calgary’s public school system headed back to class on Tuesday in brand new schools.

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) is opening 8 new schools this month, including:

Auburn Bay SchoolCopperfield SchoolKenneth D. Taylor School (in Evanston)New Brighton SchoolNelson Mandela SchoolPeter Lougheed School (in Saddle Ridge)William D. Pratt School in (in Royal Oak)Buffalo Rubbing Stone School (in Panorama Hills)

Although originally set to open on Sept. 6, Buffalo Rubbing Stone School will instead open on Sept. 26 due to construction delays. In addition, Peter Lougheed School is expected to open during the “first week” of school, according to the CBE.

“We are working closely with the families of these schools to provide updates on construction and contingency plans for students,” CBE spokesperson Dany Breton said.

READ MORE: A look inside Calgary’s new Nelson Mandela High School

The new schools have a total capacity of 6,600 students.

“These new facilities will not only benefit the students who are attending them, but also the community, as these new schools grow into hubs of activity,” Chief Superintendent David Stevenson said.

In addition to eight new schools, modernization projects at Bowness High School and Jack James High School have been completed.

Bowness now offers a new wing of classrooms, a culinary arts classroom and a robotics lab, as well as automotive and wood shop upgrades.

Jack James, meanwhile, has undergone upgrades to auto body, building trades, horticulture and child care spaces.

A new Catholic school also opens this month; Our Lady of Grace School in Evanston will have students ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 9.

ChangSha Night Net

Halifax council to consider starting over on Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park

Written on July 24, 2019 at 18:57, by

Our live coverage has ended. This is an archived live blog.

Halifax regional councillors will decide whether to ditch a controversial recommendation to develop parts of the area around the Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area.

Municipal staff are calling on councillors to roundly reject a June report that recommended allowing development to take place on much of the land slated for a regional park near Bayer’s Lake.

The park is supposed to buffer a provincial wilderness area but critics say the facilitators report would have thrown that into jeopardy. The park has been promised since 2006 but much of the land is owned by private companies that want to develop the land instead. None of the privately owned land is zoned for development.

READ MORE: Municipal report recommends against Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes development

The August report from staff recommends against any further action on the facilitator’s report and calls on councillors to reject all proposals from developers to build on the land.

It goes on to recommend against beginning the secondary planning process requested by the developers who own the land.

Staff also suggest councillors direct staff to “explore opportunities and develop a program to acquire land” to create the proposed park.

Guns for transit tickets

Councillors are also expected to debate a recommendation to create a gun amnesty program similar to a previous program in the municipality in 2009.

The program is being recommended in response to a spate of gun violence earlier this spring that killed four men.

READ MORE: Province slams Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes report

Citizens would be allowed to turn over firearms and/or ammunition to the police without fear of being charged with possession of an unrestricted, restricted, or prohibited firearm. In return the individuals would receive 50 single Transit tickets for each firearm handed in.

Firearms turned over to Halifax RCMP or Halifax Regional Police would be checked for involvement in prior criminal activity.

If approved the program would run for two weeks between September 12 and 23, 2016.

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What to expect from Apple’s iPhone 7 event

Written on July 24, 2019 at 18:57, by

It’s that time of year again. Apple is expected to unveil its latest iPhone lineup during its annual fall press event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

In typical Apple fashion, little information has been released about the event; however, an invitation sent to members of the media read, “See you on the 7th,” leading many to believe the tech giant will show off the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

ChangSha Night Net

READ MORE: Apple expected to release a new iPhone next week

Of course, Apple has not released any information regarding what will be released – but the rumour mill is already churning up ideas about what the new phones might include.

But the iPhone 7 likely won’t be the only attraction on Wednesday. Here is what many expect to be unveiled during the event:

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

The announcement of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is expected to revolve around audio capabilities. That’s because Apple is expected to unveil a phone without a headphone jack.

Rumours surrounding the removal of the headphone jack have been circulating for about a year and have not been well-received by Apple users. In fact, an online petition accusing Apple of trying to rip off customers by removing the headphone jack has been signed over 303,000 times.

READ MORE: Apple patents and leaks pointing to a waterproof iPhone 7

But, if Apple is planning on releasing an iPhone without a traditional headphone jack, it’s likely the company will unveil some sort of adapter to support existing audio devices. We may also see Apple branded Bluetooth wireless headphones to go with the phone.

WATCH: Apple Pay now available in Canada

Some believe the company will introduce a new type of Apple branded headphones that plug into the phone’s lightning port (where you plug your phone in to charge).

Overall, the physical design of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus isn’t said to be changing much. But, according to a report by Bloomberg, one of the new models may include a second camera on the back of the phone to take higher quality photos and offer a better zoom.

READ MORE: Here is everything Apple announced at WWDC 2016

As with every iPhone iteration, both new devices will likely have upgraded internal components and faster chips.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple will finally ditch the 16 gigabyte model and make 32 gigabyte the smallest available model. This comes after thousands of users with 16gb phones complained that Apple’s operating took up a large chunk of their devices’ storage. For example, iOS 8 required at least 5.7GB of free space in order to be installed on most iPhone and iPad models.

Apple Watch

Two years after introducing its first wearable device, Apple is expected to unveil the second version of the Apple Watch.

While most rumour sites don’t believe the company is going to significantly change the Apple Watch’s design, the biggest change to the device is expected to be built-in GPS capability. That means you won’t necessarily need to bring your iPhone with you in order to track things like your daily run on your watch.

According to Apple rumour site 9to5Mac, the new Apple Watch will also have better battery life.

iOS 10

We will likely also find out an official release date for iOS 10 Wednesday. However, thanks to Apple’s beta testing program, we already know most of the changes coming to the new operating system for iPhone and iPad.

The messaging app has been revamped to allow users to customize their messages. For example, you can now hand draw a response that will animate once opened by friends and messages that say things like “Happy Birthday” will send animated balloons flying across your screen.

Another new feature called “invisible ink” will allow you to send your friends a photo or message that remains hidden until they swipe across it.

An example of iOS 10’s invisible ink feature. (Screenshot/Apple)

But there will be some big changes for users to get used to.

“Slide to unlock” is gone – once iOS 10 is installed, swiping right will now bring users to a revamped notifications screen. To unlock your phone, you will now need to hold your finger over the TouchID fingerprint sensor on your home button, or  – if you don’t have a phone with a fingerprint sensor – click the home button to get to the unlock screen.

READ MORE: Goodbye ‘Stocks’ app! Apple to let you delete those un-deletable iPhone apps

If that makes you hesitant to install the new operating system, take this into consideration – Apple will finally let you remove those unwanted apps, like the Stocks app.

An updated MacBook Pro

Anyone who has been holding out for a new MacBook will know that Apple hasn’t updated its MacBook Pro laptop line in a while. And while there are some rumours that Apple is gearing up to release a new MacBook Pro, it’s unclear whether or not the computer will be unveiled during Wednesday’s event.

9to5Mac reported the new laptop could include an OLED touch screen panel above the keyboard, a thinner design and the addition of a USB-C port; but other details surrounding the laptop remain scarce.

Global News will have live coverage of Apple’s iPhone event, starting at 1 p.m. ET.