USA Swimming Suspends Phelps

first_imgMichael Phelps’ comeback took a major hit on Oct. 6th, with USA Swimming suspending the 18-time Olympic champion for six months and forcing him to withdraw from next year’s world championships.Phelps also lost six months of funding from the sport’s national governing body as a result of his second DUI arrest. The 29-year-old swimmer is banned from participating in USA Swimming-sanctioned meets through April 6, 2015.Phelps can still train with his North Baltimore club, but he had already qualified for the world championships in Russia next August, which is the biggest international meet leading up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.Phelps came out of retirement earlier this year with his sights set on competing at a fifth Olympics in Rio. Being barred from the world meet could put a serious dent in those ambitions.His latest arrest came about a month after Phelps won three golds and two silvers at the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia. He had retired after the 2012 London Olympics, having won a record 18 gold medals and 22 medals in four games.Phelps’ monthly funding stipend of $1,750 will be halted for six months, costing him a total of $10,500. That is small change compared to the millions he earns through several major endorsements, including Aqua Sphere, Subway, Under Armour, Omega and Master Spas.“Michael accepts USA Swimming’s sanctions,” according to a statement from his representatives at Octagon. “He has apologized for his actions and, as he shared yesterday, is taking steps to address them.”Over the weekend, Phelps announced he was entering a six-week, in-patient program, a week after he was arrested and charged with drunken driving in his hometown of Baltimore.“Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future,” he said in a series of posts on his Twitter account.U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said, “We think the sanctions are appropriate and we are glad that Michael is seeking help. We are grateful that nobody was hurt and appreciate the speed at which USA Swimming and Michael took action.”USA Swimming said Phelps violated its Code of Conduct, and cited a section of its 2014 Rule Book in punishing Phelps. Its executive committee approved the sanctions, which take effect immediately.“Michael’s conduct was serious and required significant consequences,” said Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming executive director. “We endorse and are here to fully support his personal development actions.”While Phelps was still working out his schedule for the upcoming year, he will miss the first three U.S. Grand Prix meets in Minneapolis in November, Austin, Texas, in January and Orlando, Florida, in February.The earliest he could return to Grand Prix competition would be at a meet in Mesa, Arizona, that begins April 15.USA Swimming’s punishment was its harshest ever imposed on its superstar. The governing body suspended Phelps for three months in 2009 after a photo emerged of him using a marijuana pipe, even though he was not charged.USA Swimming took no action after Phelps’ 2004 drunken driving arrest when he was 19.Phelps was charged on Sept. 30 with driving under the influence, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines on Interstate 95. He registered .14 percent on a blood-alcohol test after he was stopped on a speeding violation; the legal limit is .08 percent in Maryland.His trial is scheduled for Nov. 19.If convicted, Phelps faces up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine and the loss of his driver’s license for six months.In 2004, Phelps was arrested and charged with drunken driving on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, fresh from the Athens Olympics, where he won six gold medals.Phelps pleaded guilty to the charges, but as a young first-time offender he avoided conviction. A judge imposed 18 months’ probation and a fine but waived the conviction, which means Phelps now faces the same penalties a first-time offender would.(BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Alicia Keys and Canadas indigenous movement share human rights award

first_img Login/Register With: The award is presented each year to an artist and an activist who have stood up to injustice, inspired others and furthered the cause of human rights. “There’s a veil that’s lifted so we’re not able to say anymore, ‘I didn’t know that,’” she said Saturday in Montreal, where she was honoured for her activism. “I do feel thoroughly confident that it’s rising such a powerful energy among the people — us the people. We are really feeling how important it is to be vocal and to take our beliefs and what we see around us and not accept it as it is.” Facebook She also co-founded a group that encourages young people to mobilize for change and speak out on issues such as gun violence and criminal justice reform. Advertisement Alongside Keys, members of Canada’s indigenous rights movement were also recognized for their fight to end discrimination and improve living conditions in indigenous communities. “If an indigenous person is killed there’s no coverage on the news,” she said. “It’s similar in America, where if a brown or a black person is killed there’s much less coverage.” Advertisement At a news conference ahead of the award ceremony, Keys said she was inspired by socially aware artists such as Nina Simone, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley, all of whom were able to use their art “as this beautiful vehicle to remind us of our own personal power.” She said she believes people are increasingly aware of social inequality and are ready to do something to fight it. The 15-time Grammy winner received Amnesty International’s “Ambassador of Conscience” award which she shared with members of Canada’s indigenous rights movement. MONTREAL — American recording artist and humanitarian Alicia Keys believes a change is coming, as people in both Canada and the United States wake up to the fight against inequality and injustice. “There are far more good things than negative things overall, and the health care in Canada, I have to say, is quite impressive,” she said. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Alicia Keys said she sees similarities between the struggle of indigenous communities in Canada and that of communities fighting for equal treatment in the United States. Twitter On hand to accept the award were Quebec Idle No More founders Melissa Dupuis and Widia Lariviere, Inuk writer Delilah Saunders and activist Melanie Morrison. “You start to see how our struggles and the issues we all care about are similar no matter where we live and I think that’s bringing us together so much more, as humanity, as people,” she continued. “It’s amazing that the fight we’re having across Canada on so many different issues is finally being taken notice of,” she said. Morrison said she hoped the award would pressure the Canadian government to “follow through on their promises to indigenous people” and act on issues such as problematic policing, the need for clean water on reserves and the lack of progress on the national inquiry. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Despite the problems in the US and Canada, Keys stressed there’s a lot to be praised about both countries. Cindy Blackstock and Senator Murray Sinclair were also named as award recipients but did not attend the ceremony. Keys, who shot to fame as a songwriter and R&B artist, is known for her philanthropic work, including as co-founder of “Keep a Child Alive,” a non-profit providing treatment and care to families affected by HIV in Africa and India. Advertisement Morrison, who has been a leader in the push for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, said she was deeply touched to receive the award.last_img read more

Calgary conference looks to diversify energy landscape

first_imgAn event in Calgary aims to break boundaries in the technology entrepreneurship and energy industries.The inaugural Energy Disruptors United 2018 Conference is set for May 15 and 16 in the Big Four Building at Stampede Park.It’s believed through conversations, ways can be found to diversify the energy landscape and ensure the industry is moving forward backed by energy trailblazers, artists, entertainers, and technology.last_img

Starbucks Canada to provide inclusiveness training for corporate stores offices

first_imgTORONTO – Starbucks stores and offices across Canada will close for part of an afternoon next month to provide training about creating a “culture of warmth and belonging.”The announcement Friday comes nearly a month after Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. publicly apologized for the arrest of two black men who had been refused permission to use the washroom of a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia.A Philadelphia police spokesman said Starbucks employees called 911 after the men refused to leave.The parent company to Starbucks Canada said last month that it had ordered more than 8,000 U.S. Starbucks stores to close on the afternoon of May 29 so that nearly 175,000 employees can receive training on unconscious bias.Starbucks Canada initially didn’t follow suit, but said Friday it will provide training on June 11 for four regional offices in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, as well as 1,095 company-operated stores in Canada.The training session will address implicit bias and promote “conscious inclusion,” said a memo to Starbucks Canada staff.“We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect. …We must never be complacent in our desire to be inclusive,” Michael Conway, president of Starbucks Canada, said in the memo.The founder of Toronto-based Sojourner Mediation & Consulting Services said she welcomed the Starbucks initiative, but added she wonders what the company hopes to accomplish.“Creating a warm and welcoming environment is really about how do you deliver excellent customer service to everybody. But that doesn’t take in mind that not everybody is going to be impacted by racialized discrimination,” said Tomee Sojourner-Campbell.She recommends going beyond customer service and training front-line staff and store managers how to deal with complaints and allegations that may arise.“There’s always a way of ensuring that you treat people with respect, within the boundaries of what you’re allowed to do.”The Philadelphia arrests prompted protests at the Starbucks and a national boycott.A video of the incident shows police talking with two black men seated at a table. After a few minutes, officers handcuff the men and lead them outside as other customers say they weren’t doing anything wrong. Philadelphia-area media said the two were waiting for a friend.Philadelphia police released a recording of the call from the Starbucks employee that led to the arrests. In the recording, a woman is heard saying, “Hi, I have two gentlemen in my cafe that are refusing to make a purchase or leave.” She gives the address of the Starbucks store, and the entire call lasts less than 30 seconds. In the communications between police and dispatch that were also released, someone refers to “a group of males inside causing a disturbance,” and additional officers are sent.In the week since, the men received an apology from Philadelphia’s police commissioner, have met with the CEO of Starbucks and have started pushing for lasting change at the coffee shop chain, including new policies on discrimination and ejecting customers.Starbucks has said the coffee shop where the arrests occurred has a policy that restrooms are for paying customers only, but the company has no overall policy. The men’s lawyer, Stewart Cohen, said they were illegally profiled.last_img read more

3 things small business owners should know for 2019

first_imgNEW YORK — Now that the new year is here, small business owners may find themselves trying to understand changes brought about by federal and state laws. Here are three things owners need to know for 2019:— Tax filing season. Business owners will learn what impact the new tax law is having on their finances. Many owners who are sole proprietors, partners and shareholders in S corporations will be trying to figure out if they can claim the 20 per cent deduction for qualified business income. The computations for the deduction can be complex, and depend on an owner’s income, and a spouse’s income as well, and how much they pay their employees. There are other big changes — for example, companies like manufacturers that can now use the cash accounting method instead of the previously required accrual method will be reconfiguring their ledgers.Owners who didn’t do year-end tax planning may want to consider getting an extension of the filing deadline for their returns to give themselves breathing room. You can learn more about the new tax law and how to get an extension on the IRS website, www.irs.gov .— Internet sales tax. The majority of states have enacted laws requiring retailers who sell in their states to collect sales tax even if they have no physical location like a store or distribution within the state. Most of the laws exempt retailers who have $100,000 or less in revenue and 200 or fewer transactions in a given state. Some of the laws are already in effect, while others go into effect during 2019. Some states have not acted yet.Retailers can use software or services to help them collect tax, submit it to state tax authorities and compile required returns. The software is likely compatible with a retailer’s e-commerce system. Search online for more information,— California’s Consumer Privacy Protection Act. The law, which potentially affects thousands of companies located outside of California, requires businesses to disclose what they do with consumers’ personal information, and gives consumers more control over what happens to that data. Consumers have the right to have the information deleted from companies’ computer systems. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, but companies must be in compliance with some of its provisions before the end of 2019. However, the law is expected to be amended because of several contradictions and other issues. You can search online for more information; some law firms have written primers to help explain the law.___For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssb_____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenbergJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Doc Walker to play the Lido Theatre

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Country Duo Doc Walker will bring their Acoustic Songs & Stories from the Heartland Tour to Fort St. John and the Lido Theatre this February.Doc Walker, presented by Moose FM will perform on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at the Lido Theatre starting at 8 p.m.  Tickets will be $40 plus fees and taxes.Tickets go on sale Friday October 12, 2018 at 10 a.m. at the Systems Sound Source or online at energetictickets.ca With over 20 Top 10 singles in total, Doc Walker is one of the most recognized Canadian country acts of the past two decades. The group has received multiple Canadian Country Music Awards, including Fans’ Choice, Group or Duo of the Year, CMT Video of the Year, Single of the Year, and Country Music Program or Special of the Year. In addition, Doc Walker has been nominated for several JUNO Awards for Country Album of the Year, including a win in 2009 for the album Beautiful Life. Country legends Doc Walker released their new album, Weathervane. The first single from the new record, “Heart of the Heartland” pays homage to small town pride across the country.Produced by Gavin Brown and Dave Wasyliw, and written by Chris Thorsteinson, Dave Wasyliw, Todd Clark, Gavin Slate, the song was inspired by hometown pride, fond memories of youth and continuing to find new inspiration in one’s roots, in this case, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and Winnipeg, which has long been home for bandmates Dave Wasyliw and Chris Thorsteinson.“Heart of the Heartland is about all of the lives that were lived, and all of the memories that were created in a now dying town. One man’s connection to the broken concrete and dilapidated structures that harbour the ghosts of his entire childhood, and his unshakable hometown pride,” says bandmate Dave Wasyliw. “In short, Weathervane is the record we’ve always wanted to make. We don’t set out in a specific direction when we start writing for an album. We write, and write, and re-write. Much like a weathervane, it’s almost as if we’ll lick our finger, and hold it to the wind to see if we are on the right track.”last_img read more

Grande Prairie RCMP charge two people following Search Warrant Execution

first_imgPolice say an investigation revealed both were wanted on outstanding warrants and they were arrested without incident.  Subsequent to the arrests, CRU executed a search warrant on the vehicle.As a result of the search warrant execution, police seized illegal drugs, weapons, including a firearm and ammunition, Canadian currency and an array of stolen property.Charged is 37-year-old Orval Hayes of no fixed address and a 27-year-old female whose name will not be released at this time.These matters are now before the court GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – The Grande Prairie RCMP have charged two people following a search warrant.On the afternoon of Friday, September 20, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Grande Prairie RCMP Crime Reduction Unit attended a local residence to ensure a male was abiding by his court-appointed curfew.According to RCMP, while there, members located a second male and a female in a vehicle on the property.last_img read more

As The Playoff Nears Notre Dame Is Running Out Of Time

Stanford 9-2911950%16% ▲ 6a3% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Utah 8-32337260%<1% ▲ 21<1% Iowa 11-04122937%30% ▲ 212% Florida 10-112101931%13% ▲ 212% TCU 9-2191850%<1% ▲ 21<1% Michigan St. 10-1521747%47% ▲ 217% Oklahoma 10-135162%64% ▲ 9a25% Northwestern 9-21621550%<1% ▲ 21<1% The new College Football Playoff committee rankings are out, and the committee shook lots of things up.Notre Dame fell from No. 4 to No. 6 after an ugly win against Boston College over the weekend. Oklahoma (at No. 3) and Iowa (at No. 4) sneaked into the top four ahead of the Fighting Irish, and Michigan State leapfrogged them too, landing at No. 5. At this stage of the season, those teams control their own destinies, but the Irish don’t.Florida joined Notre Dame as the other big loser after the Gators squeezed out an overtime win against Florida Atlantic. The Gators fell four spots to No. 12.But there are still several major games left to be played in the next two weeks, so let’s turn to FiveThirtyEight’s projections of how the committee will order teams in its final rankings Dec. 6. College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings as of Nov. 24. Playoff probability changes are since Nov. 23; only changes greater than 5 percentage points are shown. Temple 9-225354838%<1% ▲ 21<1% Ohio State 10-18349%25% ▼ 8a7% Baylor 9-179218%21% ▲ 217% Toledo 9-12420439%<1% ▲ 21<1% UCLA 8-322231815%<1% ▲ 21<1% Michigan 9-21013157%7% ▲ 21<1% Mississippi 8-3181779%<1% ▲ 21<1% Florida State 9-21319130%<1% ▲ 21<1% Washington St. 8-32022450%<1% ▲ 21<1% Clemson 11-014659%71% ▲ 2116% Alabama 10-121360%64% ▲ 2121% Mississippi St. 8-32115200%<1% ▲ 21<1% North Carolina 10-11481641%10% ▲ 212% Oregon 8-3176240%<1% ▲ 21<1% Oklahoma St. 10-111141420%10% ▲ 212% RankingProbability of … Navy 9-115163827%<1% ▲ 21<1% Notre Dame 10-1678—a21% ▼ 104% Oklahoma’s odds of making the playoff jumped 9 percentage points to 64 percent in our model. That’s tied with Alabama and just behind Clemson’s odds of 71 percent. Of the remaining teams, Michigan State is handicapped to have the best shot, at 47 percent, largely because the Spartans are favored if they play Iowa for the Big Ten title. (First they have to beat Penn State this weekend.) That Big Ten championship would be a de facto play-in game for the playoff (should Iowa win against Nebraska on Friday). The model puts the Hawkeyes’ playoff chances at 30 percent.Three spots after Iowa comes Notre Dame. The Irish’s playoff odds took a significant hit, down to 21 percent. Our model has consistently projected that both a strong one-loss Big 12 champ (like Oklahoma) and an undefeated or one-loss Big Ten winner (Michigan State or Iowa) were good bets to make it to the playoff over Notre Dame.Several other teams are on the cusp of the playoff: Ohio State at 25 percent (down 8 percentage points after their first loss of the season); Baylor at 21 percent (needing Oklahoma to slip up, among other things); and two-loss Stanford at 16 percent. All these teams need some surprises to make it in, but there’s still some football left.For those of you who want more nitty-gritty details about our projections, check out our original methodology manifesto, as well as a methodology update. read more

Can Katie Ledecky Break The 8Minute Barrier

Ledecky tends to pace herself about a half-second faster (per 50 meters) in the 400. She swam the middle lengths of her pre-Olympics 400 record in an average of 30.2 seconds, compared with 30.7 in her 800-meter record. If she follows a similar pattern this time, she’ll need to approximately match that 30.2 — which she can do by essentially swimming exactly her 400-meter race, plus an extra 400 meters in the middle at around 30.4 seconds — barely slower than her worst split in that event of 30.3.This is a tall order, indeed. But there are reasons to think it’s not impossible. Ledecky improved her best time in the 200 meters by 0.68 seconds, and in the 400 meters by 1.91 seconds. Let’s compare those improvements to what she needs for eight minutes: First, a note on how fast eight minutes would be: Since the ban on body-length and non-textile swimsuits in 2009, no woman other than Ledecky has managed to swim under four minutes in the 400-meter freestyle. So eight minutes would literally mean swimming 800 meters faster than anyone else can swim half the distance. But while that sounds crazy, it’s not out of character: Ledecky already swims the 1,500 meters at a faster pace than any other woman swims the 800 meters, and her present 800-meter time would already put her in the 10 fastest women in the 400 meters in the textile era.So can she do it? Perhaps even now?It would definitely take an incredible effort, great even among her great efforts. Using her splits from these Olympics and from her previous best times at each distance, I’ve constructed what this hypothetical 7:59.99 swim would look like, and it doesn’t look easy: We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics.So far in these Olympics, the 19-year-old freestyle swimming sensation Katie Ledecky has won four medals for the U.S., three of them gold, and shattered the 400-meter world record in stunning fashion. She has just one event left in these games, and it’s the one that rocketed her to prominence in 2012: the 800-meter freestyle. She swam a leisurely 8:12.86 in her qualifying heat on Thursday, which is both an Olympic record and faster than any other woman has ever swum this distance. A repeat swim in the final would assure her a gold medal.Ledecky’s world record in this event — set somewhat unexpectedly at the Arena Pro Swim Series in January in Austin — is 8:06.68. Even before these Olympics began, people have started to wonder whether she might — someday — be able to achieve the unthinkable: A per-lap improvement over 800 similar to what she has done in the 200 and 400 would put her within a few seconds of eight minutes.Does her preliminary time tell us anything? A time of 8:12.86 is a far cry from 8:00, and many of the best world records set in these games have been preceded by near-misses in the earlier rounds. But as a distance event, and as close to guaranteed of advancing as is possible, Ledecky’s time doesn’t tell us much. She was in a comparable situation in the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia, when she put up 8:19.42 in her preliminary heat, a full 8.42 slower than her then-world record of 8:11. And here’s how that turned out: She went on to break her record by 3.61 seconds (shattering what was then an 8:10 barrier in the process).A similar 12.08-second improvement on her leisure heat this year would be 5.9 seconds faster than her record, and would put her at 8:00.78. While a jump that large isn’t necessarily implied by the fact that she has done it before, it at least suggests that such an improvement — which would only be slightly larger than what her times and trends already suggest — is credible. And when you’re that close to such a milestone, who knows. A slightly faster reaction time here, a slightly longer sprint at the end there — plus it will be her last race of the games so she should hold nothing back — and the impossible looks a lot more plausible. read more

Luciano Spalletti relishing Inters late winner

first_imgLuciano Spalletti is proud of his side after they left it late to snatch a dramatic victory over Sampdoria.Spalletti disclosed he didn’t insult the officials but enjoyed the manner they won the game saying “We must always live on the edge.”Three goals were disallowed at Marassi two for Inter, one for the hosts. However, Marcelo Brozovic fired in at the 94th minute to ensure three points for Inter.Spalletti screamed into a television camera and was then sent off for dissent.“I turned towards the television camera to shout goal and the fourth official told me I had done so with excessive impetus,” Spalletti explained to DAZN.Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.“I had turned towards the camera because it was an important goal, but they interpreted it as an excessively emotional reaction.”The Serie A giants enjoyed their second last-gasp victory in a week after leaving it late to beat Spurs from behind in the Champions League.“This way of winning shows the character of this team, which keeps fighting for every ball and stays in the game. It might mean taking a few risks, but we are Inter and we must always live on the edge to get a victory.“Seeing this passion gives me greater strength to go forward and I’m glad that element is here rather than the tactics, as those will come with time.“We took this issue of character to each and every player individually to make sure it was absorbed the right way.”last_img read more