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24 May
Comments Off on Chicago Cubs win first World Series in 108 years in dramatic fashion in Game 7 thriller

Chicago Cubs win first World Series in 108 years in dramatic fashion in Game 7 thriller

CLEVELAND – Kris Bryant started to smile even before he fielded the ball. And with his throw to first for the final out, the agonizing wait ’til next year was over at last.

No more Billy Goat, no more Bartman, no more black-cat curses.

For a legion of fans who waited a lifetime, fly that W: Your Chicago Cubs are World Series champions.

WATCH: Cubs players return to Wrigley Field as World Series champs

Ending more than a century of flops, futility and frustration, the Cubs won their first title since 1908, outlasting the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings of a Game 7 thriller early Thursday.

READ MORE: What has happened in the world since the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series?

Watch below: How long has it been since Chicago Cubs fans saw their team win the World Series? This list of important historical events since 1908 will help explain.

ChangSha Night Net

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  • Chicago Cubs force Game 6 of World Series, beat Cleveland 3-2

  • What has happened in the world since the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series?

    They even had to endure an extra-inning rain delay to end the drought.

    “It happened. It happened. Chicago, it happened,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said after gloving the ball for the final out. “We did it. We’re world champions. I tell ya, we’re world champions. I can’t believe it.”

    Rizzo put that final ball in his pocket as the Cubs piled up in the middle of the diamond, David Ross got carried off the field by his teammates and Bill Murray partied in the clubhouse.

    And the whole time, blue-clad fans who travelled from Wrigley Field filled nearly the entire lower deck behind the Chicago dugout at Progressive Field, singing “Go, Cubs, Go!” in rain. They held up those white flags with the large blue “W” on a night many of their forebears had waited for in vain.

    View the photo gallery below:

    Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo reacts after scoring on a hit by Miguel Montero during the 10th inning of Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Cleveland.

    (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Cleveland Indians’ Rajai Davis celebrates after his two run home run against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning of Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Cleveland.

    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Workers cover the infield at Progressive Field during the 10th inning of Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Cleveland.

    (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    Chicago Cubs fans begin to gather outside Wrigley Field in Chicago as the marquee displays the current score of Game 7 of the baseball World Series between the Cubs and the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.

    AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

    Lovable losers for generations, the Cubs nearly let this one get away, too. All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman blew a 6-3 lead with two outs in the eighth when Rajai Davis hit a tying, two-run homer.

    But the Cubs, after tormenting their fans one more time, came right back after a 17-minute rain delay before the top of the 10th.

    Series MVP Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double and Miguel Montero singled home a run to make it 8-6. Davis delivered an RBI single with two outs in the bottom half, but Mike Montgomery closed it out at 12:47 a.m., and the celebration was on.

    “I think about so many millions of people giving so much love and support to this team for so many years,” said owner Tom Ricketts, who family bought the team in 2009.

    READ MORE: Chicago is jubilant after Cubs win first World Series in 108 years

    Watch below: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred presents the World Series trophy to the Chicago Cubs after they defeated the Cleveland Indians in 7 games.

    Manager Joe Maddon’s team halted the longest stretch without a title in baseball, becoming the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.

    “This is an epic game. It’s epic. I can’t believe we were able to do it – 108 years in the making,” Zobrist said. “We did it.”

    “They never quit, either,” Zobrist said. “They kept coming at us.”

    Cleveland was trying to win its first crown since 1948, but manager Terry Francona’s club lost the last two games at home.

    World Series favourites since spring training, Chicago led the majors with 103 wins this season.

    The Cubs then ended more than a century of misery for their loyal fans – barely. Bryant, one of Chicago’s young stars, began to celebrate even before fielding a grounder by Michael Martinez to third base and throwing it across to Rizzo for the last out.

    “It’s the best rain delay of all-time,” Rizzo said.

    Zobrist got a Series-high 10 hits, a year after he helped the Royals win the championship. Zobrist was among the players brought to the Cubs by Theo Epstein, the baseball guru who added another crown to his collection. He also assembled the Red Sox team that broke Boston’s 86-year drought by winning in 2004.

    From Curse of the Bambino to the Billy Goat Curse, he ended another jinx.

    “We don’t need a plane to fly home,” Epstein said. “It’s fitting it’s got to be done with one of the best games of all time.”

    Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward had called a meeting during the rain delay, talking to his teammates in the weight room.

    “I just had to remind everybody who we are, what we’ve overcome to get here,” he said.

    While Cubs fans hugged with delight, there was only despair for the Indians, who now have gone longer than anyone without a crown. In the Indians’ previous World Series appearance, they were a double-play grounder from winning the 1997 title before losing Game 7 in 11 innings to the Marlins.

    “It’s going to hurt. It hurts because we care, but they need to walk with their head held high because they left nothing on the field,” Francona said.

    Earlier this year, LeBron James and the Cavaliers ended Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to beat Golden State for the NBA title. James and teammates were in a suite, rooting hard, as the Indians absorbed the same blow as the Warriors.

    After defeating San Francisco and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs, Chicago became the first team to earn a title by winning Games 6 and 7 on the road since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Dexter Fowler homered on Corey Kluber’s fourth pitch of the game, 23-year-old Javier Baez and the 39-year-old Ross – set to now retire – also went deep for the Cubs, who led 5-1 in the fifth inning and 6-3 in the eighth.

    Chapman wound up with the win, and Montgomery got one out for his first save in the majors.

    Bryan Shaw, who gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Schwarber in the 10th, took the loss in just the fourth Game 7 that went to extra innings.

    Albert Almora Jr., pinch-running for Schwarber, alertly took second on Bryant’s long fly to centre. Rizzo was intentionally walked, and Zobrist slapped an opposite-field double past a diving third baseman Jose Ramirez. Montero singled to make it a two-run lead.

    Then in the bottom half, Carl Edwards Jr. struck out Mike Napoli, Ramirez grounded out, Brandon Guyer walked and Davis hit an RBI single. Montgomery took over, and helped set off a wild celebration on Chicago’s North Side.

    Even a dedicated White Sox fan could appreciate the victory.

    “It happened: Cubs win World Series. That’s change even this South Sider can believe in. Want to come to the White House before I leave?” President Barack Obama tweeted.

    Twenty-one other teams had won the World Series since Cubs last were champions. They reached the top again on the 39,466th day after Orval Overall’s three-hit shutout won the 1908 finale at Detroit in a game that took 1 hour, 24 minutes – this latest Game 7 lasted 4:24, not including the rain delay.

    Back then, Theodore Roosevelt was president, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii were not yet states, and the first Ford Model T car was two weeks old.

    The Cubs were last champions when Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance won consecutive titles in 1907-08, until now the only ones in team history. The Cubbies had not even reached the Series since 1945.

    This one was for Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo and Billy Williams, who never reached the post-season.

    For Gabby Hartnett, Ryne Sandberg and Greg Maddux, whose October runs fell short.

    For Lee Elia and the “nickle-dime people” who spent so many wind-swept afternoons in the Friendly Confines watching loss after loss.

    For Bill Veeck, who planted ivy vines against Wrigley Field’s outfield walls.

    For William Sianis, the Billy Goat Tavern owner said to have proclaimed when he was asked to leave Wrigley with his pet during the ’45 Series: “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.”

    For Steve Bartman, whose life was upended when he tried to catch a foul ball as the Cubs came apart in the 2003 playoffs.

    And for Harry Caray, who promised viewers after the 1991 finale that “sure as God made green apples, someday the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series.”

    Maddon, hired before the 2015 season, won his first Series title after establishing a loose clubhouse that featured at times Warren the pink flamingo, Simon the magician and the motto: “Try not to suck.”

    “It was just an epic battle,” Zobrist said. “Just blow for blow, everybody playing their heart out. The Indians never gave up, either, and I can’t believe we’re finally standing, after 108 years, finally able to hoist the trophy.”

    PEN PALS

    This was the first World Series in which no starting pitcher got at least one out in the seventh inning, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The only other in which no starter finished at least seven innings was in 2002, when San Francisco’s Russ Ortiz threw 6 1/3 innings in Game 6.

    UP NEXT

    Cleveland’s spring training opener is scheduled for Feb. 26 against the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona.

24 May
Comments Off on Alberta health minister meets with family of girl who fell into coma after dental visit

Alberta health minister meets with family of girl who fell into coma after dental visit

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman met with the family of a young Edmonton girl who slipped into a coma following a dental procedure nearly two months ago.

The meeting took place at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, where four-year-old Amber Athwal has been since Oct. 10.

ChangSha Night Net

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    “I mostly listened, listened to their journey, how it started,” Hoffman said after. “They showed me some videos of Amber at their housewarming party which was very recently and we also talked about how they are hopeful for the future but they are nervous about how they are going to get there.”

    “We talked specifically about the service she’s had – the Glenrose is a world-class facility and the Stollery as well- and they want to make sure she continues to have support,” she added.

    Hoffman said the family wanted to find out about what programs they had available to them as they hope to help their daughter through the transition of coming home and admitted “they have a long road ahead of them.”

    The family did not speak to media after their talk with Hoffman, but earlier this week, the girl’s father – Raman Athwal – said he had requested to speak with the health minister directly to find out why a dental procedure left his Amber in a coma and what is being done to prevent a recurrence.

    “Until we hear anything from the government or from Alberta Health Services – why this happened or what happened to Amber – we are not allowing the doctors to sedate her again,” he said Monday.

    READ MORE: Father of 4-year-old Edmonton girl says dental association’s decision ‘is too late’

    Watch below: Watch below: The Alberta Dental Association and College is looking at its sedation policy but an Edmonton father says it’s too late for his daughter. Vinesh Pratap filed this report on Oct. 31, 2016.

    On Sept. 7, Amber was rushed to the Stollery Children’s Hospital after a dental visit. Her family said that after an exam, they were told by a specialist Amber needed a dental procedure done that day. The family said the specialist asked if Amber ate breakfast and when told yes, they allege he said it was OK and put her under with a general anaesthetic. They allege Amber suffered from a lack of oxygen during the operation and was rushed to hospital.

    READ MORE: Edmonton family says little girl left in coma after dental visit

    According to Amber’s family, doctors said an MRI showed the girl has a brain injury, although the severity of the injury has not yet been established. She remains unconscious at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

    Four-year-old Amber Athwal is shown in this photo taken in July 2016. Athwal went into a coma following a dental visit in September 2016.

    Supplied by family

    On Oct. 28, the Alberta Dental Association and College decided to “immediately suspend” the practice of allowing one dentist to provide deep sedation or general anesthesia while also providing dental treatment.

    READ MORE: Alberta dental association suspends single operator model for deep sedation, anesthesia

    “The system has evolved a lot over the last five years, let alone the last 100 years, and I’m sure it will continue to evolve as we move forward,” Hoffman said.

    The dental association confirmed it had “received notice of a reportable incident involving a dental patient from the administration of general anesthesia at an Edmonton dental clinic in early September.”

    It also said Dr. William Mather “has a restriction from administering sedation and/or general anesthetic on any person, until further notice,” although it declined to provide further details pending the completion of its own review.

    A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the family as both of Amber’s parents are not working as they care for their daughter during her recovery.

    -With files from Emily Mertz.

24 May
Comments Off on Urn with baby’s ashes stolen in Parkland County break-in

Urn with baby’s ashes stolen in Parkland County break-in

Even in death, baby Hannah always had a special place in her parents’ bedroom until thieves stole her little urn Friday afternoon.

“My daughter and I ran into the city to grab a few things,” explained Hannah’s mother, Leisa Miller. “My husband got in just before we did – around 4:50 p.m. – and discovered the back door had been kicked in.”

Dwayne Miller saw two bedrooms in the family’s Parkland County home had been ransacked as well as the family’s office. But then, the couple noticed something else.

“On my night side table, we had my daughter’s urn sitting there. And it was gone,” Leisa said.

ChangSha Night Net

Dwayne said the realization left him feeling gutted. Stolen jewellery and guns meant little by comparison.

“I don’t care about that stuff,” he said.

“Just before she was due, she became stillborn,” Leisa said, explaining how Hannah became wrapped in umbilical cord in the womb 18 years ago.

“With a stillborn, you don’t have very many items or many memories of them because you have them such a small time. It was just something. We had her picture, a little blanket and her urn and that’s really all we had.”

The tiny brass urn had a crisscross pattern around the centre with a small rose protruding from the side. It was less than four inches in diameter and of similar height. It has a rounded top and a plug in the bottom.

WATCH: Urn, 2 cats stolen in central Alberta break-in

The family doesn’t have a picture of the lost urn and the funeral home doesn’t make them anymore – so Leisa drew a picture of it from memory.

The RCMP has seen a large spike in this type of crime in the last two weeks.

“Just northwest of Edmonton in Parkland County, we’ve seen eight break and enters or major thefts from rural homes,” explained Cpl. Kim Mueller with Spruce Grove RCMP.

This is the second time this year an urn has been reported stolen to her detachment.

She’s hopeful the thief will have a change of heart.

“A lot of times, these things tend to get back to their owners – when it’s this type of item.”

Until then, the Millers are left grieving the loss of their daughter once more.

“Right now, it’s like it just happened yesterday, again,” Dwayne said while fighting back tears.

“It just kind of reopens that wound and you remember that big hole in your heart,” Leisa explained.

“It’s our child. It’s that fifth member of our family that we didn’t get to raise.”

If you find the urn, you’re asked to bring it to a police station. If you’d rather remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

24 May
Comments Off on Chicago Cubs fans celebrate first World Series win in 108 years

Chicago Cubs fans celebrate first World Series win in 108 years

CHICAGO – Next year is here.

At exactly 11:47 p.m. local time, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series title that had eluded them for 108 years. Fans who packed bars to watch the games on television near Wrigley Field – neither of which existed back in 1908 – erupted in cheers before swarming onto the streets just before midnight Wednesday to celebrate in the shadows of the statues of Cubs greats Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo and legendary announcer Harry Caray.

ChangSha Night Net

As the game ended, the roar from inside the bars and the throng of fans on the streets was deafening. The crowds inside and out sang “go Cubs go” at the top of their lungs.

As the celebration progressed, thousands of fans poured into the streets leading away from Wrigley, many of them singing “We Are The Champions.”

READ MORE: Chicago Cubs win first World Series in 108 years in dramatic fashion in Game 7 thriller

Fans hugged each other, many of them crying. They took each other’s picture and pictures of themselves, and took turns writing their names and words of congratulations in chalk on Wrigley’s brick walls. Some got on friends’ shoulders to find spots high up on the walls that were not yet covered with names.

An hour after the game ended there were still thousands of people in the ballpark neighbourhood, known as Wrigleyville, and there were still fireworks exploding every few minutes.

“This was torture,” said Mike Delmanowski, a lifelong Cubs fan who flew to Chicago from California just to be surrounded by other Cubs fans. “I would not have missed it for anything.”

“I am so proud to be a part of it,” said his wife, Sue, who was crying off and on from the fifth inning.

Mike Dillon said all he could think about was his father, who died without ever seeing what Dillon witnessed.

“I came here by myself, but I’m not alone at all,” said Mike Dillon, 57.

Watch below: Fans in Chicago outside Wrigley Field celebrate the moment they find out the Cubs are World Series champions.

Craig and April Likhite drove to Chicago with their 10-year-old son, Cade, because they wanted to see history made with other fans as close to Wrigley as possible.

“To finally see this in my lifetime with my son here with us, it means everything,” Craig Likhite said. “This game with all the ups and downs showed him exactly what it is to be a Cubs fan.”

“My dad passed away this year. He would have loved this,” said Likhite, 50.

Judy Pareti flew in from New York City to watch the game at Murphy’s Bleachers, a neighbourhood sports bar in a building where her grandfather lived and where his hot dog stand was located. “My dad and grandfather owned it, and I was born here,” she said. “I would never want to be anywhere but here for this.”

Liz Wolfe, a 36-year-old physical therapist, said, “People always said if the Cubs win the World Series it would be like hell freezing over. I’m still in shock. This is the most exciting thing in my life.”

Watch below: The owner of Sluggers in Chicago recounts a story of how Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo promised him a Cubs World Series win.

Long-time Cubs fan Bob Newhart, who grew up in the Chicago area, tweeted “The billy goat is dead!! As I’ve said, from the beginning, I’m getting too old for this!” The 87-year-old comedian was alluding to the curse allegedly placed on the team during the 1945 World Series by the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern after he was told his pet goat wasn’t welcome at Wrigley.

The 8-7 extra-inning victory over the Indians in Cleveland came after the emptiness and bitterness of years past when the Cubs found spectacular and sometimes downright strange ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The setbacks prompted the annual refrain of “Wait until next year.”

Every Cubs fan knows those stories, starting with the 1969 team loaded with Hall of Famers that amassed a 9 1/2-game lead in mid-August before they started losing game after game in such numbers that the Miracle Mets not only caught them but ended up winning the National League East by 8 games.

Then came 1984. After taking the first two games of the National League Divisional Series against the Padres at Wrigley, the Cubs needed just one win in San Diego to advance to the NLCS. They were swept in three games on the West Coast.

There were other playoff losses but none as painful as in 2003 when in a where-were-you-when-it-happened moment that Cubs fans still have trouble comprehending, Steve Bartman deflected a ball that seemed destined for Moises Alou’s glove with the Cubs just five outs from reaching the World Series.

Fans watched in horror as the Cubs fell apart, and few who left the park that night believed the team would win game seven the next night. They didn’t.

But that was all in the past as Cubs fans throughout Chicago celebrated into the early hours of Thursday.

24 May
Comments Off on ‘These American fools’: Rodrigo Duterte sounds off on US ‘monkeys’ for halting gun sale

‘These American fools’: Rodrigo Duterte sounds off on US ‘monkeys’ for halting gun sale

MANILA – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte chided the United States on Wednesday for halting the planned sale of 26,000 rifles to his country, calling those behind the decision “fools” and “monkeys” and indicating he might turn to Russia and China instead.

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Duterte‘s tirades against the former colonial power are routine during his speeches and he said on Wednesday he once believed in Washington, but had since lost respect for the Philippines’ biggest ally.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said he regarded Duterte‘s latest salvo as “inexplicably at odds with the close relationship that we continue to have with not just the Filipino people, but the Filipino government.”

READ MORE: Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine president, says he will stop cursing because of a promise to God

The State Department halted the sale of the assault rifles to the Philippine police after staff from U.S. Senator Ben Cardin’s office said he would oppose it, Senate aides told Reuters on Monday.

Aides said Cardin, the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was reluctant for the United States to provide the weapons given concern about human rights violations in the Philippines during Duterte‘s bloody, four-month-old war on drugs.

“Look at these monkeys, the 26,000 firearms we wanted to buy, they don’t want to sell,” Duterte said during a televised speech.

“Son of a bitch, we have many homemade guns here. These American fools.”

More than 2,300 people have been killed in police operations or by suspected vigilantes as part of Duterte‘s anti-narcotics effort, which was the linchpin of his election campaign.

Duterte has vented his anger at the United States for raising concerns about the extrajudicial killings.

“That’s why I was rude at them, because they were rude at me,” he said.

According to procedures in Washington, the State Department informs Congress when international weapons sales are in the works. Aides said the State Department had been informed Cardin would oppose the deal during the prenotification process, thus effectively halting the sale.

“Committee staff told State that Cardin would block it if it was sent forward. They haven’t sent it. Does that mean it has been stopped? I guess that depends on your definition. It would be highly unusual for State to move it forward with explicit opposition,” a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

COMMITTED TO PHILIPPINES ALLIANCE

Kirby, the State Department spokesman, said he was barred from commenting on the status of the sale, while stressing the U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Philippines alliance.

Asked how the United States could have a close relationship with the Phiippines’ government without also having such ties with its president, Kirby said in a democracy, the government “doesn’t rest on the shoulders of just one individual.”

Kirby denied Washington had any plan to circumvent Duterte but rather to stress that it has long and robust relationships with other parts of the government.

READ MORE: Philippines’ Duterte aligns with China, says ‘America has lost’

“Those are solid, they remain. But obviously, you also need to develop a good working relationship with the head of state,” Kirby said. “We’re committed to doing that.”

Speaking with troops at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the long-standing military alliance had benefited both nations.

WATCH: Philippines’ President Duterte clarifies ‘separation’ from U.S. comment

“We continue to regard them as an ally. Obviously we’re having conversations with the government of the Philippines about the future of that. That has been good for the Philippines, it is good for the United States,” Carter said in response to a serviceman’s question.

The Philippine police chief, Ronald dela Rosa, who has expressed disappointment that police might not get the M4 rifles, held a news conference where he showed a letter from the supplier, SIG Sauer, saying it had been advised by State that the application for the export license was proceeding normally.

READ MORE: Philippines prepares to implement tough no-smoking law

If it does not go ahead, dela Rosa said, “We have many options and it’s their loss, not ours, if the report is true.”

Duterte reiterated that Russia and China had shown willingness to sell arms to the Philippines, but he would wait to see if his military wanted to continue using U.S. weapons.

“Russia, they are inviting us. China also. China is open, anything you want, they sent me brochure saying we select there, we’ll give you.

“But I am holding off because I was asking the military if they have any problem. Because if you have, if you want to stick to America, fine.

“But, look closely and balance the situation, they are rude to us.”