HHS releases videos of immigration detention facilities as Dems press for change

As a group of congressional Democrats visited shelters holding children separated from their parents suspected of illegal entry into the U.S., the Department of Health and Human Services defends its role, while releasing new videos of two facilities for unaccompanied kids.

“Congress gave HHS the responsibility to care for these children and teenagers, and we take this legal mandate very seriously,” Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan said in a statement. “It is our hope that as members tour the facilities they will see the facilities for what they are intended to provide: safe and healthy environments for children and teenagers to reside until such time as they can be released to an appropriate sponsor, while their immigration cases are adjudicated.”

Nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their parents since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy, which directs Homeland Security officials to refer all cases of illegal entry into the United States for prosecution.

Church groups and human rights advocates have criticized the policy sharply, calling it inhumane.

Noting the children were “vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation and abuse,” Hargan said, “The need for these facilities has grown over the last decade, in large part because of the flaws in our immigration system that draw many immigrants to try to cross our borders illegally.”

The videos of the two shelters, one in Texas and the other in California, showed the day-to-day lives of the unaccompanied kids: from their playtimes to their mealtimes.

After a tour of facilities in Texas, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., at a news conference, said although the Trump administration is calling their new strategy resulting in separation of families “zero tolerance,” he said that it is “zero humanity, and there is zero logic to this policy.”

He said Trump could change the policy now, calling it unacceptable and evil. “By inflicting this harm, this stress … (there isn’t) any moral code or religious tradition to inflict trauma on” these children for political leverage, teaching those who potentially would come illegally across the border a lesson.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, called the policy an ugly, vile program leading to child abuse.

Stories have spread of children being torn from their parents’ arms, and parents not being able to find where their kids have gone.

The separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border has drawn a good deal of criticism, targeting the policy instituted last month by Sessions. That policy says that any adult who enters the U.S. illegally is to be criminally prosecuted.

U.S. protocol does not allow children to be detained with their parents because they, unlike their moms and dads, aren’t charged with a crime.

Hargan added, “It is unfortunate that there are still some who fail to understand the role of HHS in caring for these children and teenagers. We need fewer media stunts and more real solutions. We welcome additional elected officials to visit these facilities, and it is my sincere hope that after their visit, Members of Congress heed the call of the Trump Administration to close dangerous loopholes in U.S. immigration laws that are the root cause of this issue. Until these laws are fixed, the American taxpayer is paying the bill for costly programs that can only temporarily try to address the consequences of our broken immigration system.”

President Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon about the bipartisan need to create solutions: “The Democrats should get together with their Republican counterparts and work something out on Border Security & Safety.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Brooks Koepka makes history in holding off Fleetwood to retain US Open title | Sport

The only problem with Tommy Fleetwood’s making of history was Brooks Koepka’s eagerness to do likewise. On a Long Island Sunday when Fleetwood joined the elite group who have shot 63 in the US Open, the Englishman’s bid for a maiden major title came up agonisingly short. Koepka is just the third man since the second world war and the seventh in history to defend the US Open title successfully.

Koepka’s triumph came by one shot, at one over par, from the inspired Fleetwood. Koepka was even afforded the luxury of a bogey at the last before signing for a 68. The Florida native will not be in the ever-growing queue for those looking to criticise the United States Golf Association. It has, after all, bestowed $4m worth of cheques on him over back-to-back Junes.

Koepka had not foreseen this scenario even two months ago. He had fallen victim to a long-term wrist injury so serious that the lifting of a coffee cup was problematic. After a doctor remedied the problem, he set his sights on defending the trophy claimed at Erin Hills 12 months earlier. It was, at that stage, a long shot.

Koepka’s versatility was demonstrated here. Whereas a year ago he indulged in a scoring blitz to win at 16 under par, Shinnecock Hills required a battle-hardened approach. Koepka had been unflappable when reaching the turn in 33 and notching a birdie at the 10th. Thereafter came the key moments; the 28-year-old rattled home a bogey putt at the 11th when a far higher score had looked probable. He also saved par from tricky situations at the 12th and 13th before a wonderful approach to the par-five 16th gave him the two-shot cushion that was to prove crucial.

For so long, this looked like being Fleetwood’s major. The Southport man was six shots adrift of the lead after 54 holes, meaning his final round was over by 4pm. What a final round it was, though; Fleetwood made eight birdies and one bogey, at the 9th. There was a bittersweet element, too, as he missed birdie chances at the 16th and 18th – the latter from nine feet – when seeking to become the first player to post 62 in the US Open.

“I knew I had chances for the record but it is something very special to shoot 63 in the final round of the US Open,” he said. “It feels strange to feel a little disappointed not to have shot 62 but it’s been a great day and to equal the record is very special. There’s not many people who have done it, so it’s very special and one of the best days I’ve ever had on a golf course.

“The crowds were amazing. They are always great with me and I am very grateful for the support I get over here. When I went on that run on the back nine I was just loving getting everybody going and roaring for me. It was very cool. That walk down 18 will live with me for a long time.”

Indeed, by the time he took to the 72nd green the American galleries were chanting the name of Fleetwood. Such a scenario is almost unheard of for a European player when the leaderboard is laden with stars and stripes.

Dustin Johnson, one of four co-leaders at the start of the day, delivered the kind of wasteful putting performance which also undermined his US Open dream at Chambers Bay in 2015. The world No 1 finished third at plus-three on account of a 70.

Patrick Reed’s charge had fuelled prospects of victory at the Masters and US Open in the same season. He played his first seven holes in five under par. The brakes were soon applied, however, Reed dropping shots at the 9th, 11th and 12th. His 68 meant fourth place, one ahead of Tony Finau.

The USGA, so wounded by fierce criticism of the course set-up on day three, loosened the shackles for the closing day. That, of course, suggests the tournament organisers are unclear as to what precisely they want from the US Open. The dramatic shift in scoring patterns between rounds three and four hardly pointed towards a planning masterclass.

Rickie Fowler’s 65 was 19 shots better than he had produced on Saturday. Fleetwood improved 16 strokes from day three. Hideki Matsuyama signed for a 13-shot swing to the good. Phil Mickelson, the man at the centre of epic controversy, turned an 81 into a 69 before beating a hasty retreat to avoid post-round interviews.

Justin Rose left himself with too much ground to make up having produced sixes at the 4th and 5th. A 73 and plus-seven total meant a share of 10th. His fellow Englishman, Tyrell Hatton, was a shot better off and tied sixth. Yet this was Koepka’s day, again. What a lucrative habit.

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‘Hate to see it’: Melania Trump speaks out against child separations at border | US news

Melania Trump’s spokeswoman has said the first lady “hates to see children separated from their families”, in a rare public statement at odds with her husband’s policy of separating children from their parents at the Mexico border.

Stephanie Grisham said the first lady believed “we need to be a country that follows all laws”, but also one “that governs with heart”. She added: “Mrs Trump … hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform.”

The intervention came as reports emerged of children being held in cages at a warehouse in Texas after being separated from their parents. One cage had 20 children inside.

Those conditions were reported by media briefly allowed into the facility by US Border Patrol. But Donald Trump’s secretary of homeland security, Kirstjen Neilsen, criticised what she called “misreporting” by politicians and the press.

Elaborating on her statement that “we do not have a policy of separating families at the border”, she tweeted: “DHS takes very seriously its duty to protect minors in our temporary custody from gangs, traffickers, criminals and abuse. We have continued the policy from previous administrations and will only separate if the child is in danger, there is no custodial relationship between ‘family’ members, or if the adult has broken a law.”

According to DHS figures, since the announcement of the “zero tolerance” policy by attorney general Jeff Sessions, almost 2,000 children have been separated from their families.

There is no law mandating separation of families. But White House policy is to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the US illegally. That means more adults are jailed, pending trial, so children are removed from them. Before the Trump policy, many without a criminal record were referred for civil deportation, which generally did not break up families.

Amidst outcry, Donald Trump has stuck to the untrue claim that Democrats are to blame. On Saturday, the president tweeted: “Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November … ”

Trump has repeatedly referred to a Democratic law. He appears to be referring to one enacted in 2008 that was signed by a Republican president, George W Bush. It was focused on freeing and helping children who come to the border without a parent or guardian and did not call for family separation.

Why are children being separated from their families?

In April 2018, the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced a “zero tolerance” policy under which anyone who crossed the border without legal status would be prosecuted by the justice department. This includes some, but not all, asylum seekers. Because children can’t be held in adult detention facilities, they are being separated from their parents.

Immigrant advocacy groups, however, say hundreds of families have been separated since at least July 2017

More than 200 child welfare groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the United Nations, said they opposed the practice. 

What happens to the children?

They are supposed to enter the system for processing “unaccompanied alien children”, which exists primarily to serve children who voluntarily arrive at the border on their own. Unaccompanied alien children are placed in health department custody within 72 hours of being apprehended by border agents. They then wait in shelters for weeks or months at a time as the government searches for parents, relatives or family friends to place them with in the US.

This already overstretched system has been thrown into chaos by the new influx of children.  

Can these children be reunited with their parents?

Immigration advocacy groups and attorneys have warned that there is not a clear system in place to reunite families. In one case, attorneys in Texas said they had been given a phone number to help parents locate their children, but it ended up being the number for an immigration enforcement tip line.

On the other side, advocates for children have said they do not know how to find parents, who are more likely to have important information about why the family is fleeing its home country. And if, for instance, a parent is deported, there is no clear way for them to ensure their child is deported with them.

What happened to families before?

When an influx of families and unaccompanied children fleeing Central America arrived at the border in 2014, Barack Obama’s administration detained families.

This was harshly criticized and a federal court in 2015 stopped the government from holding families for months without explanation. Instead, they were released while they waited for their immigration cases to be heard in court. Not everyone shows up for those court dates, leading the Trump administration to condemn what it calls a “catch and release” program.

Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP

The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics warned this week that forcibly separating children from their parents is a traumatic experience that will cause “irreparable harm”. On Sunday, senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told NBC’s Meet the Press: “As a mother, as a Catholic, as somebody who has a conscience … I will tell you that nobody likes this policy.”

Conway echoed Trump in saying Democrats must negotiate over immigration reform and border security. But when NBC host Chuck Todd said it “sounds like you’re holding the kids hostage to get the Democrats to the table”, Conway objected “very forcefully” and said: “I certainly don’t want anybody to use these kids as leverage.”

That was not what an unnamed White House official told the Washington Post this week, saying: “The thinking in the building is to force people to the table.”

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Stephen Miller, a hardliner who wrote the original travel ban on a list of Muslim-majority countries, is the chief driver of the separation policy.

A woman dressed as Lady Liberty marches against the separation of children of immigrants from their families, in Los Angeles.

A woman dressed as Lady Liberty marches against the separation of children of immigrants from their families, in Los Angeles. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

As the president headed to his golf club on Sunday, Democrats staged protests at detention facilities. One party rising star, from Texas, said events at the border were the responsibility of all Americans.

“I’d like to say it’s un-American but it’s happening right now in America,” Beto O’Rourke, a US representative who in November will challenge Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, told CNN’s State of the Union. “It is on all of us, not just the Trump administration. This is on all of us.”

O’Rourke organized a march to Tornillo, Texas, and what has been described as a “tent structure” for 16- and 17-year-olds. Some had crossed the border on their own, O’Rourke told CNN. Others made the journey with their parents and then were forcibly taken away.

Those minors were now in Tornillo, he said, “with no idea no idea when or if they will see their mothers or their fathers, on this father’s day, again. This is inhumane. We will we be judged for what we do or what we fail to do now.”

The Oregon senator Jeff Merkley led a group to the border near McAllen and Brownsville, Texas. On the other side of the country, seven members of Congress visited an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Beto O’Rourke, a Texas Democrat running for Senate.

Beto O’Rourke, a Texas Democrat running for Senate. Photograph: Courtesy of Beto for Senate

The group was denied entry for “over an hour”, they said, and police officers were called before they were allowed inside. At one point, New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell wrote, he and another member of Congress were “literally banging on the door to gain entry to the jail to see separated families”.

New York’s Jerry Nadler told press and protesters people inside were “like the majority of migrants traveling from Central America, who are fleeing violence that has been well documented. Parents fleeing such unspeakable violence will do almost anything they can to protect their children from that violence. Instead they are being welcomed by more terror.”

Earlier this week O’Rourke’s midterm opponent, Cruz, defended the Trump policy: “When you see reporters, when you see Democrats saying, ‘Don’t separate kids from their parents,’ what they’re really saying is don’t arrest illegal aliens.”

On Sunday, Cruz tweeted: “My dad has been my hero my whole life. Here’s to wishing a very happy #FathersDay to all the dads out there!”

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Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, big part of Colorado Rockies’ bullpen collapse

ARLINGTON, Texas — Raise your hand if you saw the Rockies’ bullpen collapse coming.

Be honest.

When general manager Jeff Bridich and his front office spent $106 million during the offseason to bring in closer Wade Davis (three years, $52 million) and bridgemen Bryan Shaw (three years, $27 million) and Jake McGee (three years, $27 million) to finish off games, many of you Rockies fans thought it was a good idea.

I know that I was all in when the moves were announced.

The blueprint was black and white: Get six or seven solid innings out of the relatively inexperienced starting rotation, and then hand the ball over to the relievers. But those best-laid plans have disintegrated because of a mass of first-batter walks, poor execution and lagging confidence. Only right-hander Adam Ottavino, who deserves all-star consideration, has matched expectations; he has exceeded them, actually.

Obviously, if the Rockies don’t fix this mess quickly, their postseason hopes will be toast by the all-star break. The offense, which banged out 15 hits Sunday, has come to life, but Colorado has lost 12 of its last 16 games and is three games under .500 for the first time this season.

“Having our team come back so many times and having (the bullpen) let us down has really gotten old. So something has to change,” said Davis, who walked four, gave up the game-losing hit and blew his fourth save in 24 chances. His ERA soared to 4.55.

Sunday’s eyesore, in which Rockies relievers gave up seven on runs on six walks and two hit batters — but just two hits — over four innings, ranks as one of the great meltdowns in recent memory. The last time the Rockies blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning and lost was on Aug. 31, 2016, in a 10-8 loss to the Dodgers.

Colorado’s bullpen ERA is 5.48, the worst in the National League and the club’s worst since 2004 (5.53). Shaw’s ERA? 7.08. McGee’s ERA? 5.26? Lefty Chris Rusin, so good last year? 7.45 ERA.

Those numbers are sure to go down as the season goes along — they have to, right? But the Rockies’ season depends on a turnaround, now, starting Monday when they begin a seven-game homestand vs. the Mets and Marlins.

Manager Bud Black certainly understands the urgency.

“We will address a number of things,” he said after Sunday’s debacle. “We have had a couple of discussions already, as a group and individually. We have to keep fighting through it.”

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China responds to Donald Trump moves by scrapping surplus trade agreement

Mere hours after the Trump administration announced new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, Beijing hit back, escalating the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies even as the U.S. continues to seek Chinese support in keeping pressure on North Korea.

The 25 percent tariff announced Friday hits 1,102 product categories, nearly the total on a list that was put on hold last month for trade talks. Mr. Trump had been expected to make significant trims to that list.

China retaliated in “equal scale” Saturday by both scrapping a recent agreement to reduce its trade surplus with the U.S. by buying more American goods and by raising duties on a $34 billion list of U.S. goods including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. Most are farm goods or farm-related products, which could hurt Mr. Trump politically in rural states while limiting the damage to China’s economy, as it’s easier to find substitute sources.

Beijing “doesn’t want a trade war” but must “fight back strongly,” a Commerce Ministry statement said Saturday, adding that Chinese regulators will consider a tariff increase on an additional 114 products including medical equipment and energy product.

Mr. Trump described the U.S. moves as more of a business deal, stressing his personal relationship with Chinese president Xi Jinping. “I have a wonderful relationship with President Xi. We’ll all work it out. He understands it’s unfair,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox & Friends.”

Mr. Xi made similar comments Thursday about his personal relationship with Mr. Trump and said he wants to grow the U.S.-China relations.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer said the administration was playing defense against what he called the “unprecedented threat” of China’s theft of intellectual property and cyber attacks.

He accused Beijing of “aggressively working to undermine America’s high-tech industries and our economic leadership through unfair trade practices and industrial policies like ‘Made in China 2025,’” referring to a 2015 policy to upgrade China’s industry broadly, with an emphasis on high-tech including pharmaceuticals, and to expend China’s influence globally.

Mr. Trump has made import taxes part of his “America First” policies to counter China’s barriers and unfair trade practices. He wants to reduce America’s $375 billion trade deficit with China.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican and a leading China hawk, heralded the tariffs as a “theft tax.”

China is systematically stealing the fruits of American innovation in an attempt to displace us as the most powerful economy and military in the world,” he said. “Hitting China with a ‘Theft Tax’ isn’t protectionism, it’s American leadership.”

The tariffs focus on products from China’s industrial sector including aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials and automobiles. The list does not include goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular phones or televisions, according to the administration.

The administration did reduce the original list of 1,333 product categories to 888 product categories worth about $34 billion. Another 284 products worth $16 billion were than added to the new list for the total of 1,102 pre-cuts worth about $50 billion.

Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, said bilateral trade deals are better than trade wars.

“There is no question that China cheats and that its unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft are hurting America’s manufacturing workers,” he said. “To put an end to these threats and redefine the U.S.-China economic relationship, manufacturers are calling for a new path forward: a fair, binding, enforceable bilateral trade agreement.”

Mr. Trump’s tough trade action was applauded by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, who typically opposes the president’s every move.

“The president’s actions on China are on the money. China is our real trade enemy, and their theft of intellectual property and their refusal to let our companies compete fairly threatens millions of future American jobs,” said the New York Democrat.

He added, “While we await further details on this trade action, President Trump is right on target.”

Other Democrats who generally support import taxes and cracking down on China still found fault with Mr. Trump.

“While we simply cannot let China’s unfair trade practices go unchecked, this president’s erratic approach to resolving this issue gives me pause,” said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.

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Event on verge of being shut down before gunfire

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the shooting at a New Jersey arts festival (all times local):

5 p.m.

Authorities say a number of fistfights broke out at an all-night New Jersey arts festival and the event was on the verge of being shut down when gunfire erupted, killing a suspect and injuring 22 other people, some critically.

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri says it appears that several Trenton-area gangs had a dispute at the venue, and multiple suspects began shooting at each other.

Onofri says the suspect who was killed, 33-year-old Tahaij Wells, was recently released from prison and was on parole since February 2018 on homicide-related charges.

He says another suspect, 23-year-old Amir Armstrong, is in stable condition and charged with a weapons offense. It was not immediately known if Armstrong had an attorney who could comment.

Onofri says three of the four critically injured people have been upgraded to stable condition; the one remaining critically injured man “is believed to be a suspect in this matter.”


10:55 a.m.

Authorities say it appears that “neighborhood beef” is behind a fatal shooting that erupted at an all-night New Jersey arts festival.

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said Sunday morning that two additional victims came forward, bringing the injured count up to 22.

Onofri said 17 of those were gunshot wounds. Four people remain in critical condition, including a 13-year-old boy.

Two suspects opened fire around 2:45 a.m. Sunday during the crowded Art All Night festival in Trenton that showcases local art, music and food. Onofri said one suspect is believed to have been shot and killed by police. A second suspect is in custody.

Witness Gennie Darisme said she heard gunshots as she was about to leave. She said she saw one person bleeding on the ground in handcuffs.


9:30 a.m.

The organizers behind the all-night New Jersey arts festival disrupted when gunfire broke out said they are deeply saddened but their dedication to building a better Trenton will never fade.

Two suspects opened fire around 2:45 a.m. during the crowded Art All Night Trenton festival that showcases local art, music and food.

Authorities say one suspect is dead and 20 people are injured. A second suspect is in custody.

Organizers said on Facebook Sunday the remainder of the festival has been cancelled and they are “still processing much of this.”

They said they are “shocked” and “deeply saddened” but their “resolve to building a better Trenton through community, creativity and inspiration will never fade.”

Art All Night volunteer Theresa Brown said she has never seen or heard violence like this.


7:40 a.m.

A local prosecutor says that one suspect is dead and 20 other people are injured, including four critically, after a shooting at an all-night arts festival in Trenton, New Jersey.

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri told a news conference early Sunday that 16 of the 20 injured were treated for gunshot wounds.

He says that two suspects opened fire during a crowded festival that showcases local art. One of the suspects, a 33-year-old man, was killed.

Authorities say that about 1,000 people were in the area when the shooting started and people stampeded. The nature of the injuries to the four people who did not suffer gunshot wounds was not immediately known.


6:30 a.m.

Shooting broke out at an all-night cultural festival in Trenton, New Jersey, early Sunday, sending people fleeing and leaving at least one person dead and more than a dozen injured, police said.

The shooting began at the Art All Night festival that showcases local art, music and food a little before 3 a.m. Sunday. The event began Saturday afternoon and was scheduled to continue until Sunday afternoon. It typically draws thousands of people.

Trenton police Lt. Darren Zappley told The Trentonian that multiple people were shot and were taken to the hospital. The person who was killed was not immediately identified.

Angelo Nicolo told Philadelphia 6ABC TV that he and his brother were at the event when they heard loud popping sounds. He said people started running down the street.

“I saw two police officers escort a guy that got shot in the leg. They bandaged him up and whisked him away,” Nicolo said.


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Paralyzed Humboldt player’s family preparing for next phase

AIRDRIE, Alberta (AP) — The parents of a paralyzed Humboldt Broncos hockey player are preparing for the next phase of his recovery — his return home.

Ryan Straschnitzki is undergoing physiotherapy at the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia after being paralyzed from the chest down in a crash between a semi-trailer and a bus carrying the junior hockey team at a rural Saskatchewan intersection in April.

The 19-year-old is expected to return home to Airdrie, just north of Calgary, in a matter of weeks.

His father, Tom Straschnitzki, says he’s already gone through six training programs on how to care for his son once he’s no longer under the constant watchful eye of medical personnel.

The programs include basics of day-to-day care, medication his son is taking and warning signs if something goes wrong.

“Because he can’t feel anything, if there’s a wrinkle, he’ll turn all red and his blood pressure will drop. We’ve got to figure out the signs and try and fix the problem,” Tom Straschnitzki said in an interview at his home with The Canadian Press.

“It’s scary. Hopefully we’ll know what to do and they’ve trained us pretty good.”

Tom Straschnitzki says the family home is about to be renovated to accommodate his son. An elevator is being installed, walls are being knocked down, doorways widened and bathrooms adapted. The reno could take up to six months and, during that time, they’ll need to find a new place to live.

“It’s daunting,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, like building a brand new house.”

The basement where his son will be living is crammed with souvenirs he collected growing up and a lot more that have come in since the accident.

“That’s Connor McDavid’s stick over there,” he said as he pointed to a corner in the basement. “There’s boxes and boxes of letters and we ran out of room here so we put the rest in his room.”

Two books on the floor included “99” by Wayne Gretzky and “Against All Odds”, the untold story of Canada’s university hockey heroes.

A fundraiser to help with the family’s costs was scheduled for Saturday night at the Genesis Centre in Airdrie.

Cody Thompson, Ryan Straschnitzki’s former trainer and the event’s organizer, said it’s important the young man have access to treatment and resources.

“Any time you talk to anyone with a spinal cord injury, the first thing they will tell you is the younger you are, the more expensive it becomes, because of the longer time you will live with that injury,” he said.

“If you have the financial wherewithal, the likelihood of you coming out of this with more meaningful movement, mobility and strength to lead a normal life is exponentially higher (than) if you don’t have that ability.”

This time last year, Thompson said, Ryan was focused on playing with a junior A hockey team.

“Now he’s focused on gaining his ability to walk again and gaining full control over his body.”

Sixteen people died, including 10 players, and 13 others were injured as a result of bus crash.


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Brooks Koepka wins a U.S. Open where the whiners go home early

SOUTHAMPTON — The whiners went home early, beaten down by Shinnecock Hills and the USGA’s clumsy efforts to turn the venerable golf course into something it was never meant to be.

Brooks Koepka stood tall, holding a U.S. Open trophy high for the second straight year because he knew what it took to win.

“You got to have some grit, some heart,” Koepka said the night before. “I mean, I’ve won one, so why not win another?”

Why not, indeed. Whining is for losers, and the man who emerged from the chaos to become the first player to win back-to-back Opens in nearly 30 years didn’t have time for it from the moment he set foot on Shinnecock Hills.

He went about his business while others fretted about green speeds and the wind. He kept his mouth shut as others complained the pins were too severe and the greens too bumpy.

And he sure didn’t think of trying to send a message to the USGA by making a mockery of the game like Phil Mickelson did on Saturday when the frustration got too much for him and he took a swing at a ball running away from him on a green.

The message Koepka sent Sunday was that winners are tough, and winners are resilient. Winners also understand how to adapt to changing conditions, even if they were mostly the fault of man, not nature.

Yes, USGA officials were at their incompetent worst when they set up Shinnecock Hills like a roller coaster, with scores peaking one day and plummeting the next. And, yes, they allowed the course to get away from them again despite promises that what happened the last time the Open was held here, in 2004, wouldn’t happen again.

But that’s pretty much to be expected when they believe — wrongly, perhaps — that their mission is not only to protect the game but to vigorously guard against low scores in the national championship.

The losers left muttering to themselves about the unfairness of it all. Koepka kissed the Open trophy and praised the people who put the tournament on.

“I just want to thank the USGA for holding an incredible tournament,” he said. “Year in and year out they do an incredible job.”

It wasn’t as if everyone in the field didn’t know this could be a brutal Open. It often is, and this year’s was more brutal than most, with scores in the 80s more common than scores in the 60s.

Unfair or not — and there surely was some ridiculousness about the whole thing — everyone plays the same golf course. A firefighter from Massachusetts played it well enough to win the low amateur medal, and the pro who bounced around mini tours finding his game played it well enough to edge out England’s Tommy Fleetwood by one shot.

The end result was a winning score over par for the first time in five years — but one in the range the USGA likes in the national Open. How it got there was the topic of hot debate, though, with conditions deteriorating so badly in the afternoon Saturday that the course seemed nearly unplayable and so soft on Sunday that Fleetwood — who missed a short birdie putt on the 18th hole — tied the Open record of 63.

“I guess we can call it the pendulum effect when it gets too much on one side and people get scared and it goes back to the other way,” Henrik Stenson said.

Koepka managed to play it both ways and play it well. He was 7 over at one point on Friday and could have just as easily missed the cut as make a run for the weekend.

But he sucked it up and played his final 14 holes that day in 6 under. He came back on Saturday afternoon to scratch together a 72 despite three bogeys on the final holes as the course dried up and everyone else was struggling even worse.

Unlike many of his fellow competitors, he didn’t complain once.

“I enjoy the test. I enjoy being pushed to the limit,” he said. “Sometimes you feel like you are about to break mentally, but that’s what I enjoy. I enjoy hard golf courses. I enjoy playing about the toughest in golf you are ever going to play.”

The complaints were hardly unexpected. Pro golfers by their nature tend to complain about things, whether it’s the speed of the greens or the make of their courtesy car.

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Donald Trump slams Peter Strzok and James Comey after IG report revelations

President Trump slammed FBI Director James B. Comey and Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok Friday morning, two prominent figures criticized in a scathing report by the Department of Justice inspector general.

The report revealed Mr. Strzok engaged in conversations that were anti-Trump with Lisa Page, a lawyer for the FBI.

It also concluded that while Mr. Comey did violate norms in his handling of the Clinton email investigation, but was not politically motivated in his actions.

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Hawkish Duque poised to become Colombia’s next president

Ivan Duque, the young conservative protege of a powerful former president, was elected Colombia’s next leader Sunday after promising to roll back a fragile peace accord that has divided the South American nation.

Duque captured almost 54 percent of the vote, putting him 12 points ahead of former leftist guerrilla Gustavo Petro in a tense runoff election that had appeared to be tightening in recent days.

In the end, the prematurely graying 41-year-old sailed to victory, promising to change parts of the accord with leftist rebels but not “shred it to pieces” as some of his hawkish allies had been urging.

When he takes office in August, he will be Colombia’s youngest president in more than a century.

“I’ve come here to fulfill a dream,” Duque said outside his polling center. “For Colombia to be governed by a new generation, one that wants to govern for all and with. One that unites the country and turns the page on corruption.”

The new president will inherit a country still scarred by five decades of bloody armed conflict and grappling with soaring cocaine production. Former guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are struggling to reinsert themselves in civilian life in a nation where many people remain hesitant to forgive. Vast swaths of remote territory remain under the control of violent drug mafias and residual rebel bands.

“Undoubtedly, for the peace process, this is an important test,” said Patricia Munoz, a professor of political science at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota.

It was the first presidential election since the signing of the peace agreement ending Latin America’s longest-running conflict and was as much about the accord as it was deeply entrenched issues such as corruption and inequality.

Petro galvanized young voters and drew millions to public plazas with his fiery speeches vowing to improve the lives of poor, disenfranchised Colombians.

And though he failed to catch Duque, his more than 8 million votes marked the biggest ballot box success for a leftist presidential contender in a country where leftist politicos were stigmatized over fears of potential ties to guerrilla causes.

He took his loss in stride, refusing to call it a defeat and saying that “for now” he and his supporters won’t form a government — echoing the words used by socialist revolutionary Hugo Chavez following his failed 1992 coup against Venezuela’s government. Six years later Chavez was elected president, setting the stage for a surge of the left throughout Latin America.

“I don’t think there is a single Colombian who thinks things are going well today,” Petro said after casting his ballot with his young daughter in hand.

Colombia’s peace process to end a conflict that left more than 250,000 people dead is considered largely irreversible. Most of the more than 7,000 rebels who’ve surrendered their weapons have started new lives as farmers, community leaders and journalists. Last year the rebels launched a new political party and will soon occupy 10 seats in congress.

But the 2016 accord remains contentious and Duque pledged throughout his campaign to make changes that would deliver “peace with justice.” Through constitutional reform or by decree, he could proceed with proposals such as not allowing ex-combatants behind grave human rights abuses to take political office until they have confessed their war crimes and compensated victims.

The current agreement allows most rebels to avoid jail, a sore point for many. But Duque’s detractors warn that his victory could throw an already delicate peace process into disarray.

Duque is the son of a former governor and energy minister who friends say has harbored presidential aspirations since he was a child. The father of three ago entered public service almost two decades as an adviser to then Finance Minister Juan Manuel Santos, who he will now replace as president.

Duque later moved to Washington, where he spent more than a decade at the Inter-American Development Bank, first as an adviser for three Andean countries and later as chief of the institution’s cultural division.

It was during that time that Duque forged a close relationship with former President Alvaro Uribe, the torchbearer of conservatives who is both adored and detested by legions of Colombians.

Duque’s low-profile life as a Washington suburbanite came to end in 2014, when with Uribe’s backing he was elected to Colombia’s Senate. Seated beside his mentor in the opulent Senate chamber, Duque earned a reputation as a like-minded security hawk who did his homework and earned the respect of colleagues across the political spectrum.

He quickly climbed the ranks of Uribe’s Democratic Center party, clenching the group’s presidential nomination just four years later.

Through his campaign, Duque was dogged with accusations that he would be little more than a puppet for Uribe, who is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

Though praised for boosting Colombia’s economy and weakening the FARC, Uribe presided over the government at a time when military officers killed thousands of civilians who were then dressed up as rebels to inflate body counts in exchange for vacations and bonus pay.

Critics fear Uribe will use his leverage over his star pupil to retaliate against political enemies and sideline investigations against him and his family for suspected ties to right-wing paramilitaries.

Duque’s supporters say that he will chart his own course and that Uribe won’t be a frequent guest at the presidential residence.

However he proceeds, Duque’s tough stance on the nation’s peace accord could be tested once he is draped in the presidential sash. Though he could implement changes by decree or constitutional reform, he would likely encounter pushback against any major changes that would imperil an agreement that took four years to negotiate and has widespread international support.

“The outlook today indicates the peace process is not reversible,” said Munoz, the political science professor. “We have a society that does not want the FARC to return to armed conflict.”

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