Thursday, 9 Apr 2020

More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials call on Barr to resign

Red Deer Rebels edge Kelowna Rockets 3-2

The Red Deer Rebels bested the Kelowna Rockets 3-2 in Western Hockey League action on Saturday night in a back-and-forth match-up.

The Rebels went up 2-0 in the first period on back-to-back power-play goals.

The Rockets struck back with two unanswered goals of their own in the second period, including a short-handed goal from Pavel Novak, to tie the game up at 2-2.

Elton John Stricken With Pneumonia, Cuts New Zealand Show Short

Elton John has pneumonia, and it’s unclear if he’ll continue what he says is his final world tour.

“I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more,” he said in a tweet. “I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had.”

John, 72, abruptly left the stage during Sunday’s concert in Auckland and returned minutes later for two more songs before saying, “I’ve just completely lost my voice. I can’t sing. I’ve got to go. I’m sorry,” the BBC reports.

Earlier in the set he told the sold-out crowd he’d been diagnosed with walking pneumonia.

He’s scheduled to play two more concerts in Auckland on Feb. 18 and 20, followed by shows in Australia, as part of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” world tour.

John thanked his fans Sunday on Twitter.

The flamboyant superstar took home his first Oscar in 25 years this year for “Rocketman,” which won for best original song. He won previously for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” in 1995.

Firefighters called to blaze in unoccupied Osoyoos hotel room

In a rare event, the Osoyoos Fire Department was called out to two reports of fire alarms at the same time on Sunday morning.

Around 4 a.m. fire trucks were dispatched to the Highland Inn on Highway 3.

TNT NBA All-Star Saturday Night Coverage Claims Gains Across All Platforms

The NBA All-Star Weekend 2020 Saturday night coverage showed gains across all platforms, the network claimed.

The preliminaries to the actual All-Star game today saw the Skills Challenge, a unique obstacle course that tests the participants’ ball-handling, passing and dribbling abilities while under pressure; the 3-Point Contest, a competition of shooting ability; and the Slam Dunk Contest, which allows some of the world’s best athletes to show off their form.

This year’s Slam Dunk edition featured some of the league’s most notable high-flyers, including a pair of Dunk Contest veterans in Dwight Howard (’08 champion, ’09 runner-up and ’07 participant) and Aaron Gordon (‘16 runner-up, ‘17 participant).

This year’s all-star game is being played under new rules designed to increase interest in a competition that largely devolved into a run-and-shoot affair over the last few years, with defense forgotten and excessive showboating the rule.  The NBA claims the new format aims to increase the level of competition throughout the game, provide additional excitement at the finish, and make the outcome of every quarter count for charity.

 

Rick Zamperin: Remembering Toronto Blue Jays fan favourite Tony Fernandez

Millions of baseball fans who grew up during the 1980s, especially those who cheered for the Toronto Blue Jays, wanted to be Tony Fernandez.

And why wouldn’t they?

His impeccable defensive abilities at shortstop. Those long, looping, accurate throws to first base. Elegant speed on the basepaths. And a knack for a big hit in crunch time.

That was Tony Fernandez in a nutshell.

Iran’s president says no talks with U.S. until ‘maximum pressure’ campaign ends

Iran will refuse to negotiate with the U.S. as long as Washington maintains its campaign of “maximum pressure” — even if President Donald Trump is re-elected, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday.

Rouhani’s defiant remarks solidify Iran’s hard line in a face-off with the Trump administration that only weeks ago brought Washington and Tehran to the brink of war.

“It makes no difference who will be the next [American] administration,” Rouhani said, speaking at a news conference in the Iranian capital. “Iran will never negotiate under pressure.” He demanded that the U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal, which Trump quit in 2018, citing Iran’s military activity in the Middle East.

The Iranian president, who has been isolated domestically amid the nuclear deal’s near-collapse and the economic damage of U.S. sanctions, said he still had the support of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Rouhani said he has twice asked Khamenei if he had a better candidate for the job of Iran’s president but was asked to stay.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials call on Barr to resign

More than 1,100 former Justice Department employees are calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign, signing an open letter that criticizes Barr’s decision to reduce prosecutors’ initial sentencing recommendation for a confidant of President Donald Trump.

The letter, organized by former Justice Department employees and the advocacy group Protect Democracy, which was formed in 2017 and has been critical of the Trump administration, describes Barr’s intervention in the case as outrageous and says it raises questions about the department’s independence and the fair administration of justice.

“A person should not be given special treatment in a criminal prosecution because they are a close political ally of the president,” reads the letter, which also says former officials in both Republican and Democratic administrations signed on to the text.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment. An administration official, Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said on Sunday on CNN: “Barr is being independent. He did come into this decision on his own. It was not something he was influenced by, by the president.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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