Tag Archives: ‘pulls

Amazon’s Satellite Internet Antenna Pulls 400Mbps During Testing

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For years, satellite internet has been a last resort for people living in remote areas. SpaceX has made waves offering its new Starlink service to select regions with much higher speeds than traditional satellite connections — testers are reporting as much as 150Mbps down. Amazon thinks it can do better with its new antenna technology. The company says its prototype for satellite internet is managing 400 Mbps right now, but we don’t know when consumers will be able to put it to the test. 

You’ve probably heard from people stuck with satellite internet from companies like HughesNet and Viasat. Most likely, they were not happy with the multi-second latency and anemic speeds, but it’s better than nothing. That’s actually what SpaceX called its Starlink beta this year: Better Than Nothing. Starlink is currently limited to the northern US and southern Canada, and it requires a hefty $ 500 setup fee. That includes the company’s satellite dish, which connects to the network over the Ka wireless band.

Amazon’s upcoming Project Kuiper service will be similar to Starlink, but the company claims its prototype Ka phased-array antenna will give it the edge. Amazon’s goal is to reduce the size and cost of the hardware — after all, every customer will need one to access the Kuiper network. However, that’s difficult with Ka-band equipment, which needs more physical separation between transmission (27-30GHz) and reception (17-20GHz) hardware due to the wide range frequencies.

Amazon’s new prototype antenna uses wireless elements overlaid on each other, something that has never been possible with Ka-band hardware before. The entire apparatus is just 12 inches in diameter, a third the size of legacy Ka dish designs. It makes up for the diminutive size by electronically steering Ka beams toward satellites passing overhead. That’s how Amazon is managing such high speeds in its tests. If it can keep real-life speeds anywhere close to the 400 Mbps seen in this test, Kuiper could be a viable alternative even for users in urban areas who have access to wired internet.  

Moving beyond the prototype phase will be no easy feat. Last summer, Amazon got FCC approval to launch 3,236 low-Earth orbit satellites for Project Kuiper. SpaceX, meanwhile, is already closing in on 1,000 thanks to its easy access to Falcon 9 rockets. Amazon hasn’t announced a timeline for launching its satellite constellation, but its regulatory approval calls for the full network to be operational by 2029. Amazon would need just 578 satellites to begin offering service, it claims. Perhaps Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space firm can help with that. 

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Sony Pulls Cyberpunk 2077 and Offers Refunds; CDPR Misled Investors in October

The rapidly evolving Cyberpunk 2077 situation took another two twists this week. First, Sony — aka “The Company That Gives No Refunds” — has announced it will be handing out refunds where Cyberpunk 2077 is concerned. Furthermore, the game is being stripped from the PlayStation store:

This is a huge shift from Sony’s typical policies, but evidence has surfaced showing just how far off the reservation CD Projekt Red went, possibly shedding some light on why Sony is willing to take this step. The company didn’t just pull the game for PlayStation 4 owners — it pulled the game, period, for everyone.

Earlier this week, the president and co-founder of CD Projekt Red, Adam Kiciński, admitted that his company “ignored the signals” that more time was needed for Xbox / PS4 development. Michal Nowakowski also stated that the company “didn’t spend enough time looking” at PS4 and Xbox One performance. This sounds bad enough, but when you start digging into the specifics of the claims the company made over the past year, the situation gets much worse. First, we’ll discuss some remarks from two different developers in two different interviews in 2019.

2019 Developer Statements

In 2019, Eurogamer spoke to lead quest designer Pawel Sasko, who said:

One of the things we learned with The Witcher 3 was, you should not delay working on the console versions, ever. So at all times we have a version running for everything. And of course, the high-end version we’re showing running it is completely different to the consoles, the current-gen is starting to get old. So there’s some things which won’t look as crisp. But the important thing to us is it will be fluid, it will play on your machine. There are limitations for any given hardware, that’s a natural thing. But we’ll do everything we can to squeeze as much as we can.

He clearly wasn’t just speaking about quest design here, but about the entire game. In 2019, UI coordinator Alvin Liu also told WCCFTech:

We’re targeting consoles as first-class platforms and it looks amazing there. So obviously, if you spent, you know, $ 2,000 building your PC rig, it’s going to look better on that. But the graphics are quite amazing for what you’re going to get from Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles and low-end PCs.

Let’s compare these statements to what was said at the October 2020 meeting where CD Projekt Red announced it would launch the game three weeks later than anticipated, on December 10, 2020. We’ll also check whether the claims CDPR executives made in October proved true based on what we know in December.

The October 2020 Meeting

Here’s a member of CD Projekt Red’s board, Michal Nowakowski, speaking to investors in October 2020. This was a scheduled call to explain why CDPR was going to going to delay the game three weeks. According to him, CDPR is “finalizing the process” on Xbox One and PS4. He specifically states that the only things left to be fixed on the consoles are “technical things at the very final stage.”

When pushed to explain what constituted a technical issue, CDPR’s co-CEO Adam Kiciński elaborated:

I think we should have had the game playable at earlier stages. With such a big game, too many things may have been put together at a late stage. We should have had more playable builds earlier…we can organize the technical side by putting together playable versions earlier than before.

Kiciński’s comment about how they should have had the game playable much earlier indicates CD Projekt Red left this until far too late, despite the statements of multiple development team members in 2019. This would also explain why the base console versions of the game are so stuffed with bugs — the developers were literally working on the game up until the very last second. It takes further testing after each round of changes to make certain the developer didn’t introduce more problems than they fixed.

The reason games have to be play-tested as a cohesive whole is that there’s no way to predict how various game systems will interact and function until you test them. Cutscenes can typically sustain higher detail levels than in-game play because the developer has complete control of what the CPU and GPU are doing in any given moment. Walking around in the regular game, the engine has to handle AI, physics, storage I/O, and rendering calculations simultaneously, while also keeping the game responsive no matter what the player does.

The large quality gap between the PC and console versions is exactly what you’d expect if the developers of a game found out at the last minute that they had a critical problem and no time to actually fix it. There are reports that the last-gen consoles can dip as low as 540p in Cyberpunk 2077, and that kind of resolution drop is a last-ditch, brute-force attempt to keep frame rates up by slashing the amount of information drawn on-screen.

Lies My Witcher Told Me

The executives on that October call did everything they could to tamp down on the idea that anything other than normal optimization was happening. Asked if the game would be unduly buggy for any platform upon release, Michal said: “[I]t’s basically optimization and all the challenges related to that. There’s no other ‘hidden story’ here.”

Later, he reiterated: “I wouldn’t say there is a ‘problem’ because there’s nothing wrong with Xbox or PS4 versions – there is optimization to be handled, also because of how we were approaching things from the get-go in terms of development; so – there is no problem with Xbox or PlayStation 4, to be honest.” (Emphases added).

When the questioner pointed out that they were specifically asking for information about a rumor that there had been problems optimizing the game for Xbox One, Nowakowski again stepped in to squish it, saying: “This was a total hoax; a fake rumor… there’s just regular work to be done on both platforms.”

Three times, the man was asked to elaborate or explain rumors of a poor product. Each time, he denied there was any truth to them. We now know better, and his October comments about how they have to optimize the consoles now because they failed to do it properly from the get-go contradicts what the developers of Cyberpunk 2077 were telling the press  in 2019.

For the record, Michal Nowakowski is the same person who published an apology with instructions on how to get a refund for Cyberpunk 2077 on Monday, only to turn around and say that there were ‘certain misconceptions‘ about CD Projekt Red’s willingness to assist with the refund process hours later.

He has also admitted that CD Projekt Red is responsible for the condition of the game at launch, and that Microsoft and Sony were told various issues would be fixed before release:

In terms of the certification process and the third parties — this is definitely on our side. I can only assume that they trusted that we’re going to fix things up on release, and that obviously did not come together exactly as we had planned.

Why Did CDPR Withhold Information About CP2077 on Consoles?

The October 2020 call also appears to hold clues as to why CDPR didn’t want anyone to know about the last-gen console versions. When asked about preorder numbers, Kiciński noted: “We’re happy with preorders and we’re looking forward to the final stage. The majority of preorders always occurs at the very final stage.” (Emphasis added).

Forty-one percent of the company’s preorders were on console. That breaks down to 3.2M players, and while some gamers have the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, the XBO and PS4 both decisively outsold their higher-powered cousins. Most of the console gamers playing this title are going to be playing it on 2013-era hardware.

Had footage of the console version leaked during that critical final stage, preorder numbers might not have hit CDPR’s targets, and the coverage would have badly tarnished the launch. And if CD Projekt Red had sampled the PS4 / Xbox version, you can bet that footage would have leaked. The game was too abysmal for it not to.

Welcome to Knight City*

We can’t say for certain that the devs who gave 2019 interviews were lying, but three things are clear: First, the company’s leadership lied about the state of the game to investors, repeatedly claiming that there were no unusual bugs, no particular problems, and that only a final coat of finish was needed on the base console version of the title before it debuted. None of this was true, and CDPR knew it in October. There was no chance a game that looks and runs as poorly as Cyberpunk 2077 does on PS4/Xbox could ever have been finished in the six weeks from October to early December.

Second, by CD Projekt Red’s own admission, it did not begin testing or optimizing the console versions until far too late in the cycle to fix them. Nowakowski claims the company didn’t properly handle their development “from the get-go.” This cuts directly against the statements of developers in 2019 and throws the veracity of their comments into question. Maybe the company chose to emphasize high-end PC ray tracing instead of console support, late in development. There’d be nothing wrong with that, provided the company had canceled the game for PS4 and Xbox One. It didn’t.

Third, the idea that PS4 and Xbox players shouldn’t have expected a viable game experience is repeatedly undercut by Kiciński and Nowakowski, especially Nowakowski. When investors repeatedly ask if the last-gen version of the game is viable, CDPR says yes. When they ask if the last-gen versions are particularly buggy, Nowakowski both denies it and states there is no “hidden story.” When further pressed on whether or not the Xbox One version has been difficult to optimize, Nowakowski calls the idea fake news.

It obviously wasn’t.

If you would like a refund from Sony, you should request one. Any Xbox customer who was denied a refund may wish to recontact the company and request one again, using this announcement as additional leverage, assuming Microsoft hasn’t announced their own refund program by the time you read this.

ExtremeTech recommends that all Xbox One, One X, PlayStation 4, and PS4 Pro customers request refunds and revisit the question of whether to buy Cyberpunk 2077 several months from now, when it goes on sale and after various bugs have been fixed. There have never been more amazing games to choose from than there are today, and many of them are made by companies who won’t lie about the state of their game to trick you into buying it.

* Warner Bros published — and then was forced to recall — Arkham Knight over the abysmal quality of the game’s PC release. Amusingly, Warner Bros is also handling distribution for Cyberpunk 2077. 

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ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech

American Hockey League pulls plug on rest of season due to COVID-19 pandemic

The American Hockey League did the expected Monday, cancelling the remainder of its season and playoffs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AHL made the announcement following a vote by its board of governors.

Outgoing league president and CEO David Andrews said in a statement the NHL’s top minor league simply ran out of time.

“After a lengthy review process, the American Hockey League has determined that the resumption and completion of the 2019-20 season is not feasible in light of current conditions,” Andrews said in a statement.

The AHL paused its schedule March 12, following the NHL’s lead in the aftermath of an NBA player testing positive for COVID-19.

Andrews said last month the league was “pivoting” to the 2020-21 campaign, while adding nothing was official regarding the status of 2019-20.

That changed Monday.

4 Canadian-based teams

The NHL still hopes to salvage its season in some form this summer, but the AHL saw no path forward.

“We are very grateful to the National Hockey League and its teams for their support and leadership in navigating through the challenges faced over the last two months,” Andrews said.

The AHL is made up of 31 franchises either owned by or affiliated with NHL clubs.

There are four teams based in Canada — the Laval Rocket, Belleville Senators, Toronto Marlies and Manitoba Moose.

In operation since 1936, the AHL’s website states that 90 per cent of current NHLers are graduates, and that more than 100 members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time on the circuit.

Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said last month the prospect of the AHL cancelling its season and playoffs – denying some of the franchise’s young talent valuable experience — would be a blow to his club’s rebuild efforts at the NHL level.

Admirals top league with 41 victories

“It’s probably the thing that hurts us the most as an organization [during the pandemic],” Dorion said.

The AHL current standings — sorted by points percentage — and statistics as of March 12, are considered final and official, and will serve as the basis for determining league awards for the 2019-20 season.

The Milwaukee Admirals topped the league at 41-14-5-3.

The Canadian Hockey League previously cancelled the rest of the junior season, playoffs and the Memorial Cup amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Most leagues in Europe nixed the remainder of their regular schedules and playoffs earlier this spring, while a number of international tournaments, including the men’s and women’s world championships, were also cancelled.

Andrews, meanwhile, is set to retire after 26 seasons leading the AHL on July 1, with former NHL executive Scott Howson taking over as both president and CEO.

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CBC | Sports News

Canada pulls military trainers out of Iraq as pandemic spreads

A significant number of Canadian military trainers have been redeployed out of Iraq to Kuwait as the federal government temporarily “contracts” the size of its overseas missions in response to the pandemic, a senior defence source told CBC News.

The military is calling it a “repositioning of forces” because, at the moment, the COVID-19 outbreak has left fewer Iraqi troops available for training in the war-torn country, said the official who spoke on background because of the sensitivity of the file.

The general instability in Iraq, which followed the United States’ targeted killing of Iranian special forces commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani, is also a factor, the source added. Iran’s proxy militias have launched 15 attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces in recent weeks.

The reordering of forces in Iraq is only temporary and those troops will not be brought home, the defence official said.

Canada has had about 500 troops in Iraq, operating under both NATO and the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition. NATO announced Thursday it had agreed to take over some of the military training of Iraqi non-commissioned officers and police from the coalition.

Canada scales back

Canada leads the NATO training mission in Iraq. It’s not clear how many troops were moved to Kuwait over the last few weeks.

The decision to send them out of the country follows on a move last week to scale back Canadian forces in Ukraine, where 200 Canadian soldiers have been conducting a military training mission.

A fresh rotation of troops had been set to deploy to the training centre near Lviv, in the western part of Ukraine, but that deployment has been scrubbed and the existing contingent will come home. Only a token force of 60 soldiers will remain behind to “keep the lights on” until there is a full resumption, the defence official said.

The coronavirus crisis will not lead to any changes for the roughly 450 Canadian troops leading a NATO battle group in Latvia, which is intended to deter Russian aggression in the Baltic states.

Since the pandemic was declared, several defence experts have predicted that the Canadian military’s overseas footprint would shrink as more and more troops are called home to respond to anticipated calls for pandemic assistance from provinces and northern communities.

NATO boosts airlift capacity

COVID-19 was top of the agenda for NATO foreign ministers when they met Thursday in an extraordinary, secure-link video conference.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the conclusion of the meeting that ministers had agreed to step up airlift capacity among the 30 nations to ensure that urgent medical supplies are delivered to countries in need. The alliance also is going to help coordinate offers of support among members and partner nations.

“NATO was created to deal with crises,” Stoltenberg told a video news conference. “So we can help.”

The alliance’s top commander stressed recently that the pandemic has not affected military operations or deterrence measures in Eastern Europe.

Multiple defence observers and analysts in the U.S. and Europe have suggested that the extraordinary distraction of the COVID-19 crisis would present an opportunity for Russia to interfere in the Baltic states.

NATO took note of a snap military exercise in Western Russia recently and an increased Russian naval presence in the North Sea. Stoltenberg said the alliance remains vigilant.

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In Justin Bieber’s hometown, a shinny game pulls Maple Leaf pros: Mansbridge

It’s not always easy being a musical icon or a hockey star. Sure, you make lots of money, you can live in a fancy place and drive fast cars… but what if you just want to be kid again?

Think Justin Bieber. He still calls Stratford, Ont., home (full disclosure — so do I), and he comes here often to visit his Dad and grandparents. He slips quietly in and out of town on his private jet and most people don’t even know he’s here.

That is, unless he wants to do something he’s loved since he was in single digits — play hockey.

He’ll rent the ice at the historic, century-old Allman Arena and play pickup hockey with his pals from his school days. I remember once being at the arena for some other event, but ended up watching them play. 

Justin had bought them all white jerseys — his was yellow. Why? “Don’t hit the guy in the yellow!”

Not that hitting or, especially, lipping at the referee was ever a problem for young Justin. Once, when my son was playing midget, he got suspended for a game for mouthing off at the ref.

He was called before the “commissioner” of the league for a quite proper dressing down. But it ended with a smile.

“Will”, the commissioner said, “you did wrong, but it won’t ruin your future. Just remember, the kid who holds the record for the most suspensions here in Stratford is Justin Bieber.” Willie took some pride in that.

I’ve never met Justin, but I used to see him sitting on the steps of the Stratford Festival’s Avon Theatre when he was approaching teenager status and my wife, Cynthia Dale, was performing in musicals on stage.

He was strumming a guitar and singing for loonies. Within a couple of years, he was crooning Baby and making millions. 

He has led a complicated life, to say the least. Not one without mistakes, but one thing that’s never changed has been his love for hockey and his desire to be a kid forever, dreaming of playing with the big guys.

Justin Bieber made arrangements with the city of Stratford, Ont., to play a private game of four-on-four hockey with old friends and some current Toronto Maple Leafs in the local William Allman Memorial Arena on Thursday. (@justinbieber/Instagram)

A couple of days before Christmas, Justin called the city with a request. He knew the Allman was normally closed on Boxing Day, but like any other Stratford citizen, if the overtime rate for rink staff was paid, and if they were willing to come in to work, he could bring along some of his old school pals for shinny.

All he wanted in return was that the moment be kept as quiet as possible so they could enjoy some privacy.  A reasonable request and quickly it was game on.

The pals it turned out, included some other “kids” who probably have the same dream on occasion — just play for fun with your friends.

No coaches. No analytics. No pylons on the ice to run drills around.

Those “pals” had their own star status: Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, Tyson Barrie — all of them players on the Toronto Maple Leafs. I guess Justin couldn’t find my number. Call me. Maybe. Next time. (I know, not his song, but I like the thought.)

They played four-on-four, uninterrupted, for a couple of hours and then packed their gear and headed out the door.

Unifying a community

Plumbers, electricians, insurance salesman and a No. 1 draft pick alongside a worldwide pop star. Your typical hockey crowd.

Word had travelled a bit and as a result there were kids outside. But the stars stopped, and signed, and had pictures taken with fans and rink staff too. No one complained.

Now, before you get all huffy and dump on Justin and his pro pals for spending his Stratford time and money on himself, he’s actually not that kind of guy.

Bieber’s been a generous contributor, silently usually, to all kinds of local charitable causes including the museum and the soup kitchen.

He comes home, and he brings friends and his new family with him, because he keeps his connection to his Stratford family no matter how far away from the California lights it may be.

And in that, at least for this week, he’s not that different than the rest of us. Surround yourself with friends and family, remember how lucky we are and enjoy a few hours just having fun.

Editor’s Note: An auditory edition of this story is available on Peter Mansbridge’s podcast “the bridge.”

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CBC | Sports News

Chinese TV pulls Arsenal game coverage after Mesut Ozil criticizes Beijing’s ethnic Muslim crackdown

Chinese television pulled coverage of Arsenal’s Premier League match against Manchester City after Mesut Ozil, a forward for the London club, criticized Beijing’s brutal mass crackdown on ethnic Muslims in the country.

Ozil added to condemnation of the detention of more than one million Uighurs and other minorities in so-called re-education camps in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, where they are subjected to political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and food deprivation, as well as denial of religious and linguistic freedom.

A social media post from Ozil on Friday denounced China for burning Qur’ans, closing mosques and the killing of religious scholars. The Arsenal player complained that “Muslims stay quiet.”

The Chinese Football Association expressed “great indignation and disappointment” at Ozil’s comments, according to the Global Times newspaper published by the ruling Communist Party.

China’s government increasingly uses the threat of loss of access to the country’s growing market as leverage to try to control what companies, universities and others say or do abroad about political issues.

China is the Premier League’s most lucrative overseas broadcast market, with the rights sold for $ 700 million US in the 2019-2022 cycle.

Sunday’s game was due to be broadcast live by the sports channel of Chinese state television before being cancelled, according to the channel’s schedule app and social media account. It was to be replaced with a recording of Tottenham’s 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton from earlier Sunday. A feed of Arsenal’s match also was cancelled by streaming service PPTV.com.

Arsenal distanced itself from Ozil’s comments in a post on Chinese social media network Weibo.

“The content he expressed is entirely Ozil’s personal opinion,” the north London club said. “As a football club, Arsenal always adheres to the principle of not being involved in politics.”

Arsenal will be hoping to avoid the backlash faced by the Houston Rockets earlier this year after the NBA team’s general manager, Daryl Morey, tweeted support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, angering fans and officials in China.

The tweet was deleted soon after it was posted, and Rockets owner and billionaire casino and restaurant owner Tilman Fertitta quickly rebuked his GM with a tweet saying that Morey does not speak for the team.

The tweet caused some Chinese corporations to suspend relationships with the NBA.

There is a growing a backlash in China against Ozil, who is Muslim of Turkish descent.

“I think he is very wrong,” lawyer Chen Wangshu said in Beijing. “As a sportsman, his most important responsibility is to do his job well, or to play good football.”

In 2018, Ozil quit Germany’s national team following criticism over his decision to pose for a picture with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“He should be responsible for his career and refrain from making any comment raising and inciting anger in other nations,” Chen said.

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CBC | World News

TFC pulls in front of Impact for final playoff spot in East

Gustavo Bou scored a late goal, Matt Turner had five saves, and the New England Revolution played Toronto FC to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.

Bou took a pass from Diego Fagundez at the corner of the area, beat a defender 1-on-1 and fired a rolling right-footer into the net to make it 1-1 in the 86th minute. Bou, a 29-year old who signed with the Revolution on July 10, has six goals in eight MLS appearances.

New England (10-9-9) is unbeaten in its last four games and has just one loss — 2-0 at LAFC on Aug. 3 — since May 8.

Nicolas Benezet, making his fourth MLS appearance, scored from point-blank range to give Toronto (10-10-8) a 1-0 lead in the 74th minute. Nick DeLeon, who came on in the 63rd, played a low cross to the back post where Marco Delgado’s first-timer was deflected by goalkeeper Matt Turner but Benezet headed the rebound into an empty net. 

WATCH | Toronto, New England play to draw:

Toronto FC and the New England Revolutions each picked up a vital point in a tight Eastern Conference playoff race as they played to a 1-1 draw. 1:10

Meanwhile, Ola Kamara scored twice in the first half as D.C. United blanked the Impact 3-0 to put a massive dent in Montreal’s playoff chances.

Paul Arriola also scored for D.C. United (11-10-9), who snapped a three-game losing skid without suspended captain and leading scorer Wayne Rooney. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid made four saves for his 10th clean sheet of the season.

Evan Bush conceded three goals on four shots for the slumping Impact (11-15-4), who have lost eight of their last 11 MLS matches.

The win propelled D.C. into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points. Montreal fell below the playoff line into eighth with 37 points and four games left to play this season — three of those are at home.

Seventh-place Toronto FC lead the Impact by one point and have two games in hand.

Rough start for Montreal

It was a disastrous first half for the Impact, who conceded three goals in a 12-minute span that ended with a chorus of boos and jeers from the 18,285 fans in attendance at Saputo Stadium.

Replacing the suspended Rooney up top, Kamara got the visitors on the board in the 20th minute. After a Junior Moreno free kick ricocheted off Orji Okwonkwo, the ball fell right to an unmarked Kamara in the box for the opener.

WATCH | Impact lose ground with loss to United:

D.C. United scored three goals just over 12 minutes apart as the blanked the Montreal Impact 3-0. 1:00

The visitors made it 2-0 three minutes later when Montreal’s Samuel Piette headed Hamid’s towering goal kick right into Arriola’s path. The winger took the ball in his stride and beat Bush with a left-footed shot into the bottom corner for his sixth of the season.

Another poorly defended set piece sunk the Impact when D.C. United scored off a Felipe corner kick in the 32nd minute. Defender Frederic Brillant headed the ball across the box to Kamara, who headed it past Bush for his fourth career goal against Montreal.

The match was reminiscent of last year’s crucial meeting between Montreal and D.C. at the end of September. United won that match 5-0, which ultimately led to the Impact missing the playoffs.

Following a 0-0 draw at Audi Field earlier this season, Montreal has now gone 355 minutes without scoring against D.C. United.

Slide continues for Whitecaps

The Vancouver Whitecaps gave up goals about 16 minutes apart in the first half to drop a 3-1 decision to New York City FC Saturday night, losing their third Major League Soccer game in eight days.

Alexandru Mitrita scored one goal and set up another for New York City (14-5-8), which won its fourth consecutive game. Heber and Gary Mackay-Steven, an early first half substitution, also scored.

Forward Yordy Reyna scored in the 64th minute for Vancouver.

The game had an eventful first half. A crowd of 17,512 at BC Place Stadium watched New York City score twice and two Whitecaps assistant coaches get ejected for arguing a disputed call.

Mitrita made it 3-1 in the 77th minute when his free kick from about 25 yards out squeezed in between the post and Whitecaps goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. It was his eighth goal of the year.

New York City used a turnover in the 10th minute to go ahead 1-0 on Heber’s 14th goal of the season. Midfielder Tony Rocha took the ball off the foot of Vancouver midfielder Jon Erice, then passed it to Mitrita. He sent it to Heber who scored on a low, hard shot. It was Mitrita’s league-leading 19th assist.

Heber limped off the field in the 21st minute after going down in a heap and was replaced by Mackay-Steven.

WATCH | Whitecaps fall to NYCFC:

New York City FC beat the Whitecaps 3-1, officially eliminating Vancouver from playoff contention 1:10

A pretty play by captain Maximiliano Moralez set up Mackay-Steven’s goal in the 26th minute. Moralez threaded a perfect pass through the Vancouver defence to a charging Mackay-Steven who chipped the ball over the Whitecap goalkeeper.

Tempers flared in the 31st minute when referee Marcos de Oliveira initially signalled a penalty kick should be awarded to Vancouver after New York City goalkeeper Sean Johnson appeared to foul Whitecaps forward Tosaint Ricketts. The call was reversed on a video replay, resulting in both goalkeeper coach Youssef Dahha and assistant coach Vanni Sartini being ejected for arguing the decision.

Dahha didn’t go quietly. He rallied the booing crowd to their feet while being escorted off the pitch.

Reyna got the Whitecaps fans back into the game when he took a pass from Ricketts and took a shot from the right side of the box that curled just inside the left post.

The Whitecaps (6-15-9) were coming off a 2-1 loss to Montreal Wednesday and are (1-4-0) in their last five games. They have been outscored 11-5 in this stretch and sit last in the MLS Western Conference.

The win moved New York City into second place on the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Philadelphia Union.

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CBC | Soccer News

De Grasse loses top 100m competitor as Coleman pulls out of Birmingham event

The much-awaited 100-metre showdown between Canadian Andre De Grasse and American Christian Coleman is once again on hold.

Coleman pulled out of the Diamond League event in Birmingham, England, scheduled for Sunday “as a result of complications occurring after practice this week.”

In June, Coleman posted a 2019 world-leading time of 9.81 seconds in the 100. He was set to face De Grasse, the reigning Olympic bronze medallist in that distance, for the first time since the 2015 NCAA championships.

“I must limit my competition schedule going forward,” said Coleman. “Being totally prepared to compete in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay at world championships has to be my primary goal.”

De Grasse’s primary competition will now come from Jamaica’s Yohan Blake and American Mike Rodgers. 

But the matchup with Coleman was easily the most riveting, as Coleman’s start times versus De Grasse’s finishing speed seemed to line up a fascinating race in England. 

Watch Diamond League live on CBCSports.ca on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.

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CBC | Sports News

Another loss for Canada as Olynyk pulls out of upcoming FIBA World Cup

Forward Kelly Olynyk will reportedly be unable to compete for Canada at the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

Several media reports say that Olynyk will be sidelined by a knee injury he sustained last week.

The 28-year-old Olynyk was originally expected to miss just one week after slipping on a wet spot in the third quarter of Canada’s 96-87 exhibition win over Nigeria on Aug. 7.

It was Canada’s first game in its final push to next month’s FIBA World Cup.

Olynyk is expected to be ready to play for the Miami Heat by the start of the NBA season.

He averaged 10 points, 1.8 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game last season for Miami.

When Canada opened camp last week, several big names were missing including Jamal Murray and RJ Barrett, who both cited recent injuries, plus Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson and Dwight Powell.

Raptors forward Chris Boucher also withdrew from Canada’s pre-World Cup camp citing personal reasons. 

Canada will play host Australia in two exhibitions on Friday and Saturday (streaming live at 5:25 a.m. ET on CBCSports.ca and on the CBC Sports app) and New Zealand twice (Aug. 20-21). They wrap up their exhibition schedule Aug. 26 versus the United States before flying to China for the World Cup.

The Canadians tip off the World Cup on Sept. 1 versus Australia in Dongguan, China, and with a top-eight showing would play right up until Sept. 14 or 15 — a couple of weeks before NBA teams open training camps.

The World Cup has huge ramifications for the national program, as the top seven finishers qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Teams who don’t qualify are relegated to last-chance qualifying tournaments next summer.

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Health Canada pulls 2 sunscreen products from Goop’s 1st Canadian store

When American actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop lifestyle and wellness business opened its first bricks-and-mortar store in Canada on Friday, federal health inspectors were among the first to file in through the door. As a result, two of its beauty products were pulled from shelves.

Inspectors visited the Toronto store and identified two Beautycounter brand sunscreen products — which the company says use “natural ingredients” and no “questionable chemicals” — that were not approved for sale in Canada, Health Canada said in a statement to CBC News.  

Goop, which voluntarily removed the products from the shelf, said in a statement Saturday afternoon that the problem was not with the product, but with the packaging. 

Goop started in 2008 as a lifestyle advice newsletter written by Paltrow, who has starred in Hollywood hits such as Shakespeare in Love, Iron Man, the Avengers series and The Talented Mr. Ripley. It has since grown into a multimillion-dollar business selling products and advice related to beauty, wellness, food, travel and even fashion.

Under Health Canada regulations, in order to be legally sold in Canada, all natural health products must undergo testing to make sure they don’t contain any harmful ingredients or anything that’s not on the label. Once approved, those products are assigned a Natural Health Number, which appears on the label.

Health Canada’s rules on sunscreen say products cannot be called “sunblock” because nothing completely blocks the sun.

“We learned that two sunscreens with U.S. packaging from a third-party brand were inadvertently sent to Canada,” Goop said in the statement. “Canadian regulations require different packaging. The product itself is compliant with Canadian regulations and is the same formula as sold in the U.S. The packaging issue has been fixed, and we have reached out to Health Canada to ensure our entire assortment exceeds their standards.”

Online rules more lax

While the rules for selling natural health products are very strict for storefronts, they are significantly more lax when it comes to online sales.

Thanks to a loophole in Health Canada regulations, Goop can sell the same natural health products that aren’t permitted for sale in its shop on its website.

CBC News successfully ordered two product lines from Goop.com that are not licensed for sale in Canada. According to Health Canada, consumers can purchase unapproved natural health products online and ship to Canada as long as they are for personal use.

Consumers can purchase unapproved natural health products online and ship to Canada so long as they are for personal use. And that worries Dr. Jen Gunter, an outspoken critic of Goop and natural health products that make unsubstantiated health claims. (Aizick Grimman/CBC)

Health Canada needs to do more, doctor says

That worries Dr. Jen Gunter, a Winnipeg-born, U.S.-based obstetrician-gynecologist who has been an outspoken critic of Goop’s unsubstantiated claims about its natural health products.

“Many studies also tell us that these products don’t always contain what they say. Sometimes, they are adulterated,” Gunter said.

Gunter warns Canadians who buy unapproved natural health products may be taking an unnecessary risk.

“Maybe they contain an antidepressant or they contain something that could interact with a medication that you’re on, and you could have a drug reaction,” Gunter said.

“Some of these things also could interfere with your medication, and maybe you’re on a drug for epilepsy, and maybe it’s gonna make that less effective. Maybe you could have a seizure.”

Gunter says Health Canada needs to do more when it comes to monitoring online sales of natural health products.

“I think Health Canada should be stepping up. If protecting Canadians matters, then it should matter for all the potential sources that people could be exposed to these products.”

Health Canada did not respond to CBC News’s questions about the loophole.

Thanks to a loophole in Health Canada regulations, Goop can sell the same natural health products that aren’t permitted for sale in its Toronto shop on its ecommerce website. (Katie Nicholson/CBC)

‘A little alarming’

At Goop’s Toronto store, some shoppers were surprised to learn of the loophole.

“I assumed everything had an approval process,” said Rita Leifhebber. “That’s a little alarming. But I guess it’s up to the consumer to protect themselves.”

Candace Zwicker said she shops a lot online and didn’t know products were subject to different rules in store.

“So knowing that now, I would not shop it online,” Zwicker said. “There should definitely be regulations on that.” 

Her mother, Gloria Zwicker, agreed. 

“I would not want to buy anything online and feel safer buying if I am buying it here in the store, and it did go through Canadian eyes.”

Since January 2015, Health Canada has approved 34,443 natural health products for sale in Canada. Even after a health product is approved for sale, the agency follows up with product testing to make sure it is safe. But not every health product meets the grade. 

Since 2004, Health Canada says roughly 1,900 natural health products are rejected for sale in Canada every year.
The agency doesn’t just regulate natural health products; it has also fielded more than 300 complaints about how those products are marketed since 2014.

Candace Zwicker, left and her mother Gloria are big fans of Goop, and they were surprised to learn of this online loophole. (Aizick Grimman/CBC)

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