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Aguero, Man City’s record goal scorer, to leave club at end of season after 10 years

Sergio Aguero, Manchester City’s record scorer, will leave the English club after 10 years when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The 32-year-old Argentina striker has 257 goals for City, the most famous being his stoppage-time winner against Queens Parks Rangers on the final day of the 2011-12 season that clinched the team its first league title in 44 years.

A key player in the growth of the Abu Dhabi-owned club as a major force in England and Europe, Aguero has struggled with injuries over the past year and been restricted to just 14 appearances in all competitions this season. The penalty he converted against Fulham on March 13 was his 181st goal in the Premier League but his first in the division since January 2020.

In a Twitter post on Monday to his 14 million followers, Aguero said he had a “huge sense of satisfaction and pride” about playing for City for a decade and is ready to “continue competing at the highest level.”

“Sergio’s contribution to Manchester City over the last 10 years cannot be overstated,” club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said. “His legend will be indelibly etched into the memories of everyone who loves the club and maybe even in those who simply love football.”


Al Mubarak said a statue of Aguero has been commissioned to stand alongside those currently being made to honour the player’s former teammates, David Silva and Vincent Kompany.

That trio, along with midfielder Yaya Toure, were central to City’s success over the past decade.

Aguero, who joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011, scored at least 28 goals in all competitions in six straight seasons for City and will go down as one of the greatest strikers to have played in the Premier League.

He is the league’s highest-scoring overseas player. His haul of 181 puts him fourth on the all-time scoring list, behind Alan Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Andy Cole (187).

Aguero also has a Premier League-high 12 hat tricks.

Aguero said he forged “an indestructible bond with all those who love this club — people who will always be in my heart.”

“I will continue to give it my utmost for the rest of the season to win more titles and bring more joy to the fans,” Aguero said in his Twitter post. “Then, a new stage with new challenges will begin.”


City is on course for the “quadruple” this season, as it leads the Premier League by 14 points, has reached the final of the English League Cup, the semifinals of the FA Cup, and the quarterfinals of the Champions League — a trophy Aguero has yet to win at the club.

He has, though, won the Premier League four times, the League Cup five times, and the FA Cup once.

Aguero was able to change his game to fit in with the style of play demanded by Pep Guardiola after the Spanish coach took charge of City in 2016. He transformed himself into more of an all-round player, with the ability to drop deeper and link up play, but never lost his fearsome ball-striking and poacher qualities inside the area.

Aguero has previously spoken about returning to Argentina to finish his career with former club Independiente.

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CBC | Soccer News

Earth’s ‘Minimoon’ Is About to Leave Us Forever

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Late last summer, Earth picked up a new moon. No, you didn’t just miss seeing it in the night sky — this was a so-called “minimoon.” Earth’s gravity occasionally snags passing space rocks, holding them in irregular orbits before they fly off. With the object known as 2020 SO, it was more of a homecoming. Scientists confirmed 2020 SO was actually a discarded rocket booster from the 1960s, but it’s not here to stay. According to astronomers, Earth’s latest artificial satellite is about to become a former satellite as it prepares to zip off into the inky blackness of space. 

Calling it a minimoon might seem a bit misleading, but the accepted definition doesn’t require the object to be naturally occurring. 2020 SO made its first close pass of Earth in December, just a day before NASA confirmed it was indeed the long-lost Centaur rocket. After whipping around Earth, 2020 SO took a long elliptical track out past the moon’s orbit, and it’s now on its way back for one final look at home before it’s gone for good. 

Scientists knew something was up with 2020 SO as soon as it appeared in telescopes last September. The object’s orbital inclination was almost identical to Earth’s, and it was moving much more slowly than the average near-Earth asteroid. Early on, observers were speculating that 2020 SO was actually a Centaur rocket booster from the 1966 launch of Surveyor 2, a robotic moon lander that sadly crashed into the lunar surface due to a faulty engine. The estimated size of 2020 SO was also a match for the Centaur booster at 21 to 46 feet long (6.4 and 14 meters). The Centaur-D booster was 41.6 feet tall (12.68 meters). 

The Centaur rocket during the 1966 Surveyor 1 launch. The Surveyor 2 used the same model rocket, which eventually became 2020 SO.

While studying 2020 SO, NASA found that it made several previous approaches to Earth. It came close in 1966 (shortly after it was launched) and again in 1971. This helped the agency nail down the object’s identity. 

Astronomers say 2020 SO should pass within 140,000 miles (220,000 kilometers) on February 2nd. This will be much farther away than the last orbit, about half-way between Earth and the moon. After this pass, 2020 SO will pick up enough energy from the gravitational slingshot to escape Earth’s gravity. It will then be bound only to the sun’s gravity, and is, therefore, very unlikely to ever grace us with its presence again. So long, 2020 SO.

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Goalie Corey Crawford retires from NHL day after taking leave from Devils

Goaltender Corey Crawford has announced his retirement from the NHL after 10 seasons and two Stanley Cup championships.

Crawford, from Chateauguay, Que., posted a franchise-record 52 playoff wins and led Chicago to Stanley Cup titles in 2013 and 2015.

In those championship years, he was the co-recipient of the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goaltender or goaltenders having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it.

The six-foot-two, 216-pound netminder posted a 260-162-53 record, a 2.45 goals-against average and .918 save percentage over 488 NHL appearances, all with Chicago.

The 36-year-old Crawford signed a two-year, US$ 7.8 million contract as a free agent with New Jersey in October, but announced Friday he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from the Devils for personal reasons.

Internationally, Crawford was part of Canada’s championship team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

‘I’ve given all I can’

“I have been fortunate to have had a long career playing professional hockey for a living,” Crawford said in a statement. “I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey, and I have decided that it is time to retire.

“I would like to thank the New Jersey Devils organization for understanding and supporting my decision. I would like to thank the Chicago organization for giving me the chance to live my childhood dream. I am proud to have been part of winning two Stanley Cups in Chicago.”

Chicago forward Patrick Kane called Crawford an exceptional player who always seemed in a good mood.

“Still feel that he’s playing at a really high level, going back to last year in the playoffs,” Kane said. “I guess just wish him all the best. Obviously, we’ll have conversations and talk to him, but sometimes there are bigger things than hockey.”

Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith could not say about good things about the goalie known as “Crow.”

“Everybody knows what he was able to do for us in net, especially during those playoff runs and the last several years here being the backbone of our team,” Keith said. “But he was always a great teammate and just one of those guys you never had to worry about. He was always ready to play in those big games.”

Crawford was selected in the second round, 52nd overall, by Chicago at the 2003 NHL draft. He played primarily in the American Hockey League in his first five pro seasons, making eight total NHL appearances before taking over full-time in 2010-11, when he also finished fourth in Calder Trophy voting.

He won 33 games and posting four shutouts with a .917 save percentage. in his rookie season.

He earned his first Jennings Trophy in 2012-13, together with teammate Ray Emery, for Chicago allowing the fewest goals thanks in part to his 1.94 goals-against average. That playoffs, he went 16-7 with a shutout and a 1.87 GAA and .932 save percentage as Chicago went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Crawford led Chicago to a tie with Montreal for the fewest goals allowed in 2014-15, earning his second Jennings Trophy along with Canadiens star Carey Price.

In the 2014-15 playoffs, Crawford helped lead Chicago to another Stanley Cup victory thanks to his 13 wins and two shutouts. He set career-best marks in 2015-16 in wins (35) and shutouts (7) while finishing fifth in Vezina Trophy voting.

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CBC | Sports News

Truckers hope to leave U.K. after European commission says ‘cargo flows need to continue’

Stranded Europe-bound truckers hoped Tuesday to receive the green light to get out of Britain soon, after some of the most dramatic travel restrictions of the pandemic were imposed on the country following the discovery of a potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus.

More than 1,500 trucks snaked along a major highway in southeast England near the country’s vital Channel ports or crowded into a disused airport, illustrating the scale of Britain’s isolation after countries from Canada to India banned flights from the U.K. and France barred the entry of its trucks for 48 hours beginning Sunday night.

For a country of islands that relies heavily on its commercial links with France, that’s potentially very serious — and raised concerns of food shortages if the restrictions weren’t lifted by Wednesday.

Hopes increased over Tuesday that the stranded drivers may soon be able to get on the road again as the European Union’s executive arm pushed for a co-ordinated response to the travel restrictions on the U.K.

The European Commission said people returning to their home countries or main places of residence should be able to do so provided they test negative for the virus or quarantine.


Although Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said EU countries should work together to “discourage non-essential travel” between the bloc and Britain, he said “blanket travel bans should not prevent thousands of EU and U.K. citizens from returning to their homes.”

The commission added that “cargo flows need to continue uninterrupted.”

‘Speaking constantly’ with France

Home Secretary Priti Patel told BBC radio that the British government is “speaking constantly” with France to get freight moving again. France has said it wants to lift the ban as soon as possible and is looking at ways of testing drivers on their arrival.

While the French ban does not prevent trucks from entering Britain, many vehicles that carry cargo from the country to the continent return laden with goods. The fear is that will fall off — reducing deliveries to Britain at a time of year when the U.K. produces very little of its food and relies heavily on produce brought from Europe by truck.

Also, some drivers or their employers might decide against entering Britain for fear they won’t be able to get back home.

The restrictions were creating a feeling of isolation in Britain akin to what the residents of Hubei province in China at the start of the year or those in northern Italy must have experienced a few months later.

Given that around 10,000 trucks pass through Dover every day, accounting for about 20 per cent of the country’s trade in goods, retailers are getting increasingly concerned if there is no resolution soon.


Turkish long-haul truck drivers sit down to breakfast at a truck stop off the M20 motorway, which leads to the Port of Dover, on Tuesday. (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, warned of potential shortages of food like lettuce, vegetables and fresh fruit after Christmas if the borders are not “running pretty much freely” from Wednesday.

The problem, he said, is the empty trucks sitting in England can’t pick up new deliveries for Britain.

“They need to get back to places like Spain to pick up the next consignment of raspberries and strawberries, and they need to get back within the next day or so, otherwise we will see disruption,” he said.

Strict lockdown around London

Over the weekend, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed strict lockdown measures in London and neighbouring areas amid mounting concerns over the new variant to the virus, which early indications show might be significantly more transmissible.

As a result, Johnson scrapped a planned relaxation of rules over Christmastime for millions of people and banned indoor mixing of households. Only essential travel will be permitted.

Amid questions about whether vaccines being rolled out now would work against the new strain, the chief executive of BioNTech — the German pharmaceutical company behind one of those shots — said he was confident it would be effective, but further studies are needed to be completely sure.

Ugur Sahin said Tuesday that “we don’t know at the moment if our vaccine is also able to provide protection against this new variant” but because the proteins on the variant are 99 per cent the same as the prevailing strains, BioNTech has “scientific confidence” in the vaccine.

There are mounting concerns that the whole of the U.K. will be put into a national lockdown after Christmas as new infections soar, including in Wales where 90 soldiers from the British Army will be reenlisted to drive vehicles from Wednesday to support health teams responding to emergency calls.

The British government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, warned Monday that measures “may need to be increased in some places, in due course, not reduced.” For many, that was code for another national lockdown.

While the new variant is being assessed, countries were trying to limit contact with Britain, even though there is evidence of the strain elsewhere already.

In Switzerland, for example, authorities are trying to track an estimated 10,000 people who have arrived by plane from Britain since Dec. 14 — and has ordered them to quarantine for 10 days.


Lorry driver Miroslav Gabris from Slovakia adjusts a satellite dish for viewing television on the front of his lorry while he waits at Ashford International Truck Stop in Britain on Tuesday. (Simon Dawson/Reuters)

Switzerland was one of the 40-odd countries to ban flights from the U.K. over concerns about the new variant.

The quarantine order is likely to affect thousands of Britons who may have already headed to Swiss ski resorts. Unlike many of its neighbors, Switzerland has left most of its slopes open, attracting enthusiasts from around Europe.

The virus is blamed for 1.7 million deaths worldwide, including about 68,000 in Britain, the second-highest death toll in Europe, behind Italy’s 69,000.

The chaos at the border comes at a time of huge uncertainty for Britain, less than two weeks before it completes its exit from the EU and frees itself from the bloc’s rules. Talks on a post-Brexit trade relationship between the two sides are deadlocked.

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Trump says he’ll leave White House if electoral college votes for Biden, but he may never concede

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will leave the White House if the electoral college votes for president-elect Joe Biden, the closest he has come to conceding the Nov. 3 election, even as he repeated his unfounded claims of massive voter fraud.

Speaking to reporters on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, Trump, a Republican, said if Democrat Biden — who is due to be sworn in on Jan. 20 — is certified the election winner by the electoral college, he will depart the White House.

But he also said it would be hard for him to concede under the current circumstances and declined to say whether he would attend Biden’s inauguration.

“This election was a fraud,” Trump insisted in a sometimes rambling discourse at the White House, while continuing to offer no concrete evidence of widespread voting irregularities.

Biden won the election with 306 electoral college votes — many more than the 270 required — to Trump’s 232, and the electors are scheduled to meet on Dec. 14 to formalize the outcome. Biden also leads Trump by more than six million in the popular vote tally.

WATCH | Trump says he will leave the White House if the electoral college votes for Biden:   

U.S. President Donald Trump, in a testy exchange with reporters, finally says he will leave the White House if Joe Biden is declared the winner of the electoral college vote. 1:06

Efforts to overturn results have failed

Trump has so far refused to fully acknowledge his defeat, though last week — with mounting pressure from his own Republican ranks — he agreed to let Biden’s transition process officially proceed.

Asked if he would leave the White House if the electoral college votes for Biden, Trump said: “Certainly I will. Certainly I will. And you know that.

“But I think that there will be a lot of things happening between now and the 20th of January. A lot of things,” he continued. “Massive fraud has been found. We’re like a third world country.”

Desperate efforts by Trump and his aides to overturn results in key states, either by lawsuits or by pressuring state legislators, have failed, and he is running out of options.

In the United States, a candidate becomes president by securing the most electoral votes rather than by winning a majority of the national popular vote. Electors, allotted to the 50 states and the District of Columbia largely based on their population, are party loyalists who pledge to support the candidate who won the popular vote in their state.

Several election law experts have pointed out that Trump does not have to concede

Trump says he’ll go to Georgia

During the news conference, Trump went on to denounce officials in battleground states he’d lost, including Pennsylvania and Georgia, as “communists” and “enemies of the state.”

State officials and international observers have repeatedly said no evidence of mass fraud exists, and Trump’s campaign has repeatedly failed in court.

Trump announced he’d be travelling to Georgia to meet with what he said would be tens of thousands of supporters on Dec. 5, ahead of two runoffs there that will likely determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate.

Emily Murphy, the top official at the General Services Administration, declared Biden the “apparent winner” Monday, a procedural yet critical step that allowed for the transition to begin in earnest. She cited “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.”


General Services Administration administrator Emily Murphy, pictured in 2019, declared Biden the ‘apparent winner’ of the election Monday, a procedural yet critical step that allowed for the transition to begin in earnest. (Susan Walsh/The Associated Press)

More lawsuits filed

But one day after Trump said his administration should begin working with Biden’s team, three more lawsuits were filed by allies attempting to stop the certification in two more battleground states.

In Minnesota, a judge did not rule on the suit and the state certified the results for Biden. Another was filed in Wisconsin, which doesn’t certify until Tuesday. Arizona Republicans filed a complaint over ballot inspection; the state certification is due Monday.

And the campaign legal team said state lawmakers in Arizona and Michigan would hold meetings on the election “to provide confidence that all of the legal votes have been counted and the illegal votes have not been counted in the November 3rd election.”

In Pennsylvania, where state Republican lawmakers met at Gettysburg on Wednesday to air grievances about the election, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani attended in person and Trump dialled in from the Oval Office.

“We have all the evidence,” Trump asserted. “All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly without having a political opinion.”

But the strongest legal rebuke yet came from a conservative Republican judge in federal court in Pennsylvania, who on Saturday dismissed the Trump team’s lawsuit seeking to throw out the results of the election. The judge admonished the Trump campaign in a scathing ruling about its lack of evidence. The campaign has appealed.

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Canucks captain Horvat forced to leave wife, newborn at home ahead of Cup chase

He knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat had no idea how hard it was going to be.

Horvat returned to Vancouver Sunday, a week after his wife Holly gave birth to the couple’s first child, Gunnar John Horvat. Horvat is preparing for the Canucks training camp to open Monday while his wife and son remain in Ontario.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s not easy to leave your newborn,” Horvat said during a video conference Thursday. “I only got to be part of it for a week, but it was the best week of my life. We’re really happy to have the little man in our life.

“I knew it was going to be tough, but you don’t know until it actually happens. Leaving Sunday was probably one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to go through, leaving your family behind.”

Adding to Horvat’s angst is the uncertainty of when he might see his family again.

WATCH | CBC Sports’ Rob Pizzo breaks down NHL-NHLPA agreement:

The league took one step closer to returning with a tentative agreement on its return to play plan and CBA extension. Rob Pizzo breaks down the deal.  2:01

The Canucks are one of 24 teams playing in the NHL’s Stanley Cup tournament, with the opening rounds expected to be split between Edmonton and Toronto.

The Canucks will travel to one of the hub cities July 26 and the first round of the playoffs begin Aug. 1.


Vancouver will face the Minnesota Wild in a best-of-five opening round series.

Like any player, Horvat is focused on winning a Stanley Cup – but that is a double-edged sword. The deeper the Canucks go in the playoffs, the longer he will be separated from his wife and new child.

WATCH | Multiple NHL players test positive after wave of testing:

League says more than 1,450 tests have been given to 250 players since Phase 2 of its return-to-play protocol started June 8. 4:20

The Stanley Cup winner isn’t expected to be decided until October.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it, it’s not going to be easy,” said Horvat, who had 22 goals and 31 assists in 69 games with Vancouver before the league paused the season March 12 due to concerns over COVID-19. “At the same time, at the beginning of the year we set out a goal to make the playoffs and have a chance at the Stanley Cup, and we have that.

“If I’m going to be away from my family … I want to go all the way. I want to try to win this thing so it’s not just a waste of time and being away form my family for no reason. Hopefully by the end of this I will be putting him in the Stanley Cup.

Refusal to opt out

Some players in the NBA, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer have decided not to return to their teams for health or personal reasons. It’s something Horvat never considered.

“Not one time have I ever thought about opting out,” he said. “I want to be there for my teammates, I want to be there when the season gets going, be part of winning here.”

For the time being, Horvat has to be content communicating with his family on Facetime.

“They are probably getting sick of me by now,” he joked. “Hopefully they won’t forget me.”

Unlike most new fathers, Horvat is also enjoying a full night’s sleep.

“My wife curses me out pretty much every day for that,” he said.

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CBC | Sports News

TikTok to leave Hong Kong as security law raises worries

TikTok said Tuesday it will stop operations in Hong Kong, joining other social media companies in warily eyeing ramifications of a sweeping national security law that took effect last week.

The short-form video app’s planned departure from Hong Kong comes as various social media platforms and messaging apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Google and Twitter balk at the possibility of providing user data to Hong Kong authorities.

The social media companies say they are assessing implications of the security law, which prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities or as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs. In the communist-ruled mainland, the foreign social media platforms are blocked by China’s “Great Firewall.”

Critics see the law as Beijing’s boldest step yet to erase the legal divide between the former British colony and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Party system.

TikTok said in a statement that it had decided to halt operations “in light of recent events.”


Protesters carry the flag which reads “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” in Hong Kong last month. A new security law criminalizes some of these pro-democracy slogans. (Kin Cheung/The Associated Press)

Facebook and its messaging app WhatsApp said in separate statements Monday that they would freeze the review of government requests for user data in Hong Kong, “pending further assessment of the National Security Law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with international human rights experts.”

Hong Kong was convulsed with massive, sometimes violent anti-government protests for much of last year as the former British colony’s residents reacted to proposed extradition legislation, since withdrawn, that might have led to some suspects facing trial in mainland Chinese courts.

The new law criminalizes some pro-democracy slogans like the widely used “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” which the Hong Kong government says has separatist connotations.

The fear is that it erodes the special freedoms of the semi-autonomous city, which has operated under a “one country, two systems” framework since China took control in 1997. That arrangement has allowed Hong Kong’s people freedoms not permitted in mainland China, such as unrestricted internet access and public dissent.

Telegram, whose platform has been used widely to spread pro-democracy messages and information about the protests, understands “the importance of protecting the right to privacy of our Hong Kong users,” said Mike Ravdonikas, a spokesperson for the company.

Twitter pauses data requests from Hong Kong

“Telegram has never shared any data with the Hong Kong authorities in the past and does not intend to process any data requests related to its Hong Kong users until an international consensus is reached in relation to the ongoing political changes in the city,” he said.

Twitter also paused all data and information requests from Hong Kong authorities after the law went into effect last week, the company said, emphasizing that it was “committed to protecting the people using our service and their freedom of expression.”

“Like many public interest organisations, civil society leaders and entities, and industry peers, we have grave concerns regarding both the developing process and the full intention of this law,” the company said in a statement.

Google likewise said it had “paused production on any new data requests from Hong Kong authorities.”

Though social platforms have yet to be blocked in Hong Kong, users have begun scrubbing their accounts and deleting pro-democracy posts out of fear of retribution. That retreat has extended to the streets: Many shops and stores that publicly stood in solidarity with protesters have removed the pro-democracy sticky notes and artwork that had adorned their walls.


Chinese President Xi Jinping casts his vote on the Hong Kong national security law at the closing session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing on May 28. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Under implementation rules of Article 43 of the national security law, which give the city’s police force sweeping powers in enforcing the legislation, platforms, publishers and internet service providers may be ordered to take down any electronic message published that is “likely to constitute an offence endangering national security or is likely to cause the occurrence of an offence endangering national security.”

Hong Kong police arrest 370

Service providers who do not comply with such requests could face fines of up to 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($ 17,506 Cdn) and receive jail terms of up to six months.

Individuals who post such messages may also be asked to remove the message, or face similar fines and a jail term of one year.

Hong Kong authorities moved quickly to implement the law after it took effect on June 30, with police arresting about 370 people.

The rules allow Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam to authorize police to intercept communications and conduct surveillance to “prevent and detect offences endangering national security.”

Police can conduct searches for evidence without a warrant in “exceptional circumstances” and seek warrants requiring people suspected of violating the national security law to surrender their travel documents, preventing them from leaving Hong Kong.

Written notices or restraining orders also may be issued to freeze or confiscate property if there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect that the property is related to an offence endangering national security.

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CBC | World News

‘Tiger King’ Star Jeff Lowe Says He Will Leave Zoo a ‘Complete Hell’ for Carole Baskin (Exclusive)

‘Tiger King’ Star Jeff Lowe Says He Will Leave Zoo a ‘Complete Hell’ for Carole Baskin (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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Tornadoes in Tennessee leave at least 22 dead

Tornadoes ripped across Tennessee early Tuesday, shredding at least 40 buildings and killing at least 22 people. Authorities described painstaking efforts to find survivors in piles of rubble and wrecked basements as the death toll climbed.

One twister caused severe damage across a 16-kilometre stretch of downtown Nashville, wrecking businesses and homes and destroying the tower and stained glass of a historic church. Another erased homes from their foundations along a three-kilometre path in Putnam County.

Daybreak revealed a landscape littered with blown-down walls and roofs, snapped power lines and huge broken trees, leaving city streets in gridlock. Schools, courts, transit lines, an airport and the state capitol were closed. More than a dozen polling stations were damaged, forcing Super Tuesday voters to wait in long lines at alternative sites.

The death toll jumped to 22 Tuesday as first responders gingerly pulled apart wreckage, hoping to find people alive in the rubble of their homes. Putnam Sheriff Eddie Farris said only 30 per cent of the disaster area had a “hard check” by midday.

“A lot of these homes had basements and we’re hopeful there are still people down in there,” he said.

Nashville residents walked around in dismay as emergency crews closed off roads. Roofs had been torn off apartment buildings, large trees uprooted and debris littered many sidewalks. Walls were peeled away, exposing living rooms and kitchens in damaged homes. Mangled power lines and broken trees came to rest on cars, streets and piles of rubble.

“It is heartbreaking. We have had loss of life all across the state,” said Gov. Bill Lee. The governor ordered all non-essential state workers to stay home Tuesday before going up in a helicopter to survey the damage.


People are reflected in a mirror still standing in a building destroyed by storms Tuesday, in Nashville. (Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)

U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to visit the disaster area on Friday. “We send our love and our prayers of the nation to every family that was affected,” he said. “We will get there, and we will recover, and we will rebuild, and we will help them.”

The tornadoes were spawned by a line of severe storms that stretched from Alabama into western Pennsylvania.

In Nashville, the twister’s path was mostly north and east of the heart of downtown, sparing many of its biggest tourism draws — the honky tonks of Broadway, the Grand Ole Opry, the storied Ryman Auditorium and the convention centre.

Instead the storm tore through areas transformed by a recent building boom. Germantown and East Nashville are two of the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods, with restaurants, music venues, high-end apartment complexes and rising home prices threatening to drive out longtime residents.

“The dogs started barking before the sirens went off, they knew what was coming,” said Paula Wade of East Nashville. “Then we heard the roar … Something made me just sit straight up in bed, and something came through the window right above my head. If I hadn’t moved, I would’ve gotten a face full of glass.”


Damaged trucks sit on a sidewalk as well as the street following the deadly tornado. (Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)

Metro Nashville police said crews were responding to about 40 building collapses in their area. Putnam authorities said an aerial tour revealed more than 100 structures destroyed or damaged.

With more than a dozen Super Tuesday locations in Nashville’s Davidson County damaged, voters were sent to other locations, some of them with long lines. Tennessee’s Secretary of State delayed opening polls in the disaster area for an hour, but said they would close as scheduled Tuesday night.

“Anyone that wants to vote, we want to create an opportunity for you,” Davidson County elections administrator Jeff Roberts said. Because poll workers will be navigating through a damaged city to deliver results Tuesday night, he said the tallying may take longer than anticipated.

A reported gas leak forced an evacuation of the IMT building in the Germantown community, according to WSMV-TV. Photos showed dozens of people in the street carrying their belongings not long after the tornado moved through the city.

The American Red Cross of Tennessee said on its Twitter account that a shelter had been opened for displaced residents downtown at the Nashville Farmers Market, just north of the state capitol.

The outage also extended to the capitol building, forcing the cancellation of legislative meetings.


(CBC News)

Metro Nashville Public Schools said its schools would be closed Tuesday because of the tornado damage. Wilson County, just east of metro Nashville, will close schools for the rest of the week.

The storm system left just scattered rain in its wake as it moved eastward, with a line of storms stretching from near Montgomery, Ala., into western Pennsylvania. Strong cells capable of causing damage were spotted in central Alabama, eastern Tennessee and the western Carolinas.

In rural Bibb County southwest of Birmingham, Ala., seven poll workers were getting ready to open the doors to Super Tuesday voters at the Lawley Senior Activity Center when cellphone alerts began going off with a tornado warning about 6:45 a.m. ET, said volunteer Gwen Thompson.

The storm knocked out electricity, Thompson said, but the precinct’s two electronic voting machines had battery backups and a few people had cast ballots less than an hour later.

“We’ve been voting by flashlight,” Thompson said.


A resident makes her way along a street amid downed trees and heavy debris on Tuesday. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

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Passengers leave Hong Kong cruise ship after coronavirus quarantine lifted

Passengers began disembarking from the World Dream cruise ship on Sunday after Hong Kong authorities lifted a quarantine, saying all crew members had been cleared in tests for the novel coronavirus.

The ship and 1,800 passengers had been placed under quarantine since it docked Wednesday after eight mainland Chinese passengers on a voyage last month were diagnosed with the new strain of the virus.

Port officials on Sunday said that tests on all 1,800 crew members were completed ahead of schedule and were negative.

They said some passengers with symptoms tested negative but there was no need to test all of them because they had no contact with the infected Chinese passengers.

There are 26 virus cases in Hong Kong, which has sealed almost all its border checkpoints with mainland China and imposed a quarantine on all arrivals from the mainland in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

China raised the death toll from the coronavirus epidemic to 811 on Sunday, passing the number killed globally by the SARS epidemic in 2002/2003, as millions prepare to return to work after an extended Lunar New Year break. The total of 37,198 confirmed cases vastly exceeds the 8,098 sickened by SARS.


Authorities have told businesses to tack up to 10 extra days onto holidays that had been due to finish at the end of January as the rising numbers of dead and infected cast a pall over the country.

Many of China’s usually teeming cities have almost become ghost towns during the past two weeks as Communist Party rulers ordered virtual lockdowns, cancelled flights, closed factories and shut schools.

The sight of an economy regarded as a workshop to the world laid so low has taken a toll on international financial markets, as shares slumped and investors switched into safe havens like gold, bonds and the Japanese yen.


A passenger from the cruise ship World Dream docked at Kai Tak cruise terminal shakes hands with staff as she disembarks the ship on Sunday after being quarantined for the coronavirus in Hong Kong. Several passengers from mainland China on a previous World Dream cruise were found to have the new coronavirus on returning home. (Vincent Yu/The Associated Press)

Even on Monday local time, a large number of workplaces and schools will remain closed and many white-collar employees will work from home.

Among the latest deaths, 81 were in Hubei province, where the virus has infected most people by far. New deaths in Wuhan, Hubei’s capital, saw a rare decline on Saturday, and the number of new cases reported within China’s Hubei province has stabilized in recent days, according to Michael Ryan, director of the World Health Organization Health Emergencies Program.

The virus has spread to 27 countries and regions, infecting more than 330 people. Two deaths have been reported outside mainland China — in Hong Kong and the Philippines. Both victims were Chinese nationals.

Canada has airlifted more than 200 Canadians from Wuhan and they are quarantined at an air force base in Trenton, Ont.  More are expected to arrive from Hubei next week to begin the 14-day quarantine. 

Of the 213 returning Canadians and their family members, none have exhibited symptoms of the virus, the Canadian government said on Saturday, a day after their arrival.

More than 360 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China. 

There have been seven cases confirmed in Canada — three in Ontario and four in British Columbia, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

More cases aboard 2nd ship

Six more cases were reported in Japan among 3,700 passengers and crew aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess, quarantined since last Tuesday in Yokohama, after many people on board, including seven Canadians, tested positive for the virus. That quarantine is scheduled to end Feb. 19. As of Sunday, 69 cases had been identified.

WATCH | A passenger aboard the Diamond Princess describes the quarantine: 

Rosemarie Yerex of Port Dover, Ont., is aboard a cruise ship where the coronavirus has been found in Yokohama, Japan. 4:38

A third cruise ship, Holland America’s Westerdam, is trying to find a port where it can dock, after leaving Hong Kong on Feb. 1, for a trip that was to end in Okinawa, Japan.

Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and the U.S. territory of Guam have all prohibited the ship from docking, due to the fact that it picked up passengers in Hong Kong.

Holland America says the ship, now in the East China Sea, is not in quarantine and there are no known cases of coronavirus on board.

Vietnam reported its 14th case. The country’s health ministry said she is a 55-year-old woman in Vinh Phuc province, northwest of Hanoi, where six earlier patients were found to be infected. Malaysia reported its 17th case.

A fourth person in England has tested positive for the virus, having contracted the illness from a previously confirmed British patient in France, England’s Chief Medical Officer said on Sunday.

China’s finance ministry said on Sunday all levels of government had allocated a total of 71.85 billion yuan ($ 10.26 billion US) as of Saturday afternoon to fight coronavirus.

The ministry will deploy the funds to ensure that members of public can afford diagnosis and treatment, it said in a statement on its website. The funds will also be used to ensure that efforts of every region to fight the virus are not hampered by financial constraints, it added.

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