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BlackBerry to end internal hardware development

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Sep 28th, 2016

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BlackBerry says it plans to end all internal hardware development — signalling a strategic shift for a company that built its reputation on innovative smartphone technology created at its base in Waterloo.

The move was announced by BlackBerry chairman and CEO John Chen as the company issued its latest financial report this morning.

More to come

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres dead at 93

The Associated Press | posted Wednesday, Sep 28th, 2016

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A file photograph dated Feb, 17, 2014, of Israel’s former President Shimon Peres, flanked by saluting Israeli soldiers during a ceremony at the President’s residence in Jerusalem. EPA/JIM HOLLANDER

Shimon Peres, a former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state and who was celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace, has died, the Israeli news website YNet reported early Wednesday. He was 93.

Peres’ condition worsened following a major stroke two weeks ago.

In an unprecedented seven-decade political career, Peres filled nearly every position in Israeli public life and was credited with leading the country through some of its most defining moments, from creating its nuclear arsenal in the 1950s, to disentangling its troops from Lebanon and rescuing its economy from triple-digit inflation in the 1980s, to guiding a skeptical nation into peace talks with the Palestinians in the 1990s.

Former prime minister Stephen Harper posted a message on Twitter saying he and his wife, Laureen, “are saddened to learn of the passing of dear friend Shimon Peres.” Harper offered “sincere condolences to the Peres family and to the people of Israel.

Former foreign affairs minister John Baird also expressed his condolences on Twitter, calling Peres a “wonderful human being” and that the world has lost a great statesman and that both he and Canada “have lost a friend.”

“Few have accomplished more for the advancement of Israel and the Jewish people than Shimon Peres,” said Conservative interim Leader Rona Ambrose in a statement.

“He was a man who was the architect of Israel’s robust defence strategy, and someone who also won the Nobel Peace Prize in an attempt to find peace with the Palestinian people.”

A protege of Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion, he led the Defence Ministry in his 20s and spearheaded the development of Israel’s nuclear program. He was first elected to parliament in 1959 and later held every major Cabinet post — including defence, finance and foreign affairs — and served three brief stints as prime minister. His key role in the first Israeli-Palestinian peace accord earned him a Nobel Peace Prize and revered status as Israel’s then most recognizable figure abroad.

And yet, for much of his political career he could not parlay his international prestige into success in Israeli politics, where he was branded by many as both a utopian dreamer and political schemer. His well-tailored, necktied appearance and swept-back grey hair seemed to separate him from his more informal countrymen. He suffered a string of electoral defeats: competing in five general elections seeking the prime minister’s spot, he lost four and tied one.

He finally secured the public adoration that had long eluded him when he has chosen by parliament to a seven-year term as Israel’s ceremonial president in 2007, taking the role of elder statesman.

Peres was celebrated by doves and vilified by hawks for advocating far-reaching Israeli compromises for peace even before he negotiated the first interim accord with the Palestinians in 1993 that set into motion a partition plan that gave them limited self-rule. That was followed by a peace accord with neighbouring Jordan. But after a fateful six-month period in 1995-96 that included Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, a spate of Palestinian suicide bombings and Peres’ own election loss to the more conservative Benjamin Netanyahu, the prospects for peace began to evaporate.

Relegated to the political wilderness, he created his non-governmental Peres Center for Peace that raised funds for co-operation and development projects involving Israel, the Palestinians and Arab nations. He returned to it at age 91 when he completed his term as president.

Shimon Perski was born on Aug. 2, 1923, in Vishneva, then part of Poland. He moved to pre-state Palestine in 1934 with his immediate family. Her grandfather and other relatives stayed behind and perished in the Holocaust. Rising quickly through Labor Party ranks, he became a top aide to Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and a man Peres once called “the greatest Jew of our time.”

At 29, he was the youngest person to serve as director of Israel’s Defence Ministry, and is credited with arming Israel’s military almost from scratch. Yet throughout his political career, he suffered from the fact that he never wore an army uniform or fought in a war.

Of his 10 books, several amplified his vision of a “new Middle East” where there was peaceful economic and cultural co-operation among all the nations of the region.

Despite continued waves of violence that pushed the Israeli political map to the right, the concept of a Palestinian state next to Israel became mainstream Israeli policy many years after Peres advocated it.

Shunted aside during the 1999 election campaign, won by party colleague Ehud Barak, Peres rejected advice to retire, assuming the newly created and loosely defined Cabinet post of Minister for Regional Co-operation.

In 2000, Peres absorbed another resounding political slap, losing an election in the parliament for the largely ceremonial post of president to Likud Party backbencher Moshe Katsav, who was later convicted and imprisoned for rape.

Even so, Peres refused to quit. In 2001, at age 77, he took the post of foreign minister in the government of national unity set up by Ariel Sharon, serving for 20 months before Labor withdrew from the coalition.

Then he followed Sharon into a new party, Kadima, serving as vice-premier under Sharon and his successor, Ehud Olmert, before assuming the presidency.

— With files from The Canadian Press

GO passengers delayed for hours after major problems on two lines

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Sep 28th, 2016

GO train passengers were left stranded for hours after major problems on the Barrie and Lakeshore East lines during the Tuesday afternoon commute.

On the Lakeshore East line, passengers were delayed more than three hours after a train broke down and lost power around 4:30 p.m. near Ajax and triggered significant delays along the line.

Many riders were forced to sit or stand for hours without air conditioning as GO worked to get a tow train to push the disabled train to the nearest station. Spokeswoman Anne-Marie Aikins said congestion and the gas leak on the Barrie line made matters worse.

That led to lengthy delays for all subsequent trains during the rush hour. Metrolinx says all riders will be reimbursed for the cost of their trip.

CityNews viewer Chris Pang said the wait on the overcrowded train was unbearable.

“The conditions on the train during this … delay were atrocious,” he said.

“Since this train was crowded as usual, for over four hours many people stood, although we all tried to take turns sharing seats … The temperature aboard was gradually becoming unbearable. Many people seemed flush, and a pregnant lady started to feel faint.”

Pang said many passengers had to scramble to arrange child care.

Meanwhile, a gas leak at the Aurora GO station halted train service on the Barrie line during the evening rush, stranding as many as 1,800 passengers on four trains.

Metrolinx worked with police to get people safely out of the trains. There were no reported injuries.

Shortly before 11 p.m., York Regional Police said the leak had been capped. There’s no word on the cause, but there is construction in the area.

You can check Go Transit service updates here.

Buckling up major focus of OPP fall safety blitz

THE CANADIAN PRESS AND NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Sep 28th, 2016

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Car seatbelt. GETTY IMAGES/Andrew J. Shearer
Provincial police are calling on drivers and passengers to help make this fall’s seatbelt campaign a success.

The campaign began Wednesday.

The OPP say 347 people have been killed while not wearing seatbelts in collisions they investigated over the past five years.

So far this year, 40 people have died in collisions where they were not buckled up.

The force says not wearing a seat belt is a game-changer when it comes to the chances of surviving a crash and reducing the severity of injuries.

In a release, OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair adds every life is worth the five seconds it takes to buckle up.

“Every year, our officers tend to crash victims of all ages who are not buckled in at the time of the collision,” Blair said.

“More often than not, they die as a result of being ejected, partially ejected or from the physical trauma they sustained inside the vehicle.

Drivers are being reminded that they and every adult passenger in a vehicle has to wear their seatbelt. They also have to ensure all passengers under the age of 16 are properly buckled up.

The 10-day blitz runs until Oct. 7.

SpaceX chief envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying to Mars

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Sep 28th, 2016

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The Canadarm 2 reaches out to capture the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and prepare it to be pulled into its port on the International Space Station Friday April 17, 2015. The Harper government has finally made a commitment to extend Canada’s participation in the International Space Station mission for another four years until 2024. (AP Photo/NASA)

On a personal quest to settle Mars, SpaceX founder Elon Musk envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to the red planet well within the next century, “Battlestar Galactica” style.

Musk outlined his zealous plan Tuesday to establish a self-sustaining city on Mars, complete with iron foundries and even pizzerias. He wants to make humans a multiplanetary species, and says the best way to do that is to colonize the red planet.

“I think Earth will be a good place for a long time, but the probable lifespan of human civilization will be much greater if we’re a multiplanetary species,” he said.


Related stories:

Explosion rocks SpaceX launch site in Florida during test
Unmanned SpaceX rocket explodes shortly after liftoff
International conference to discuss future space travel


Musk, who also runs electric car maker Tesla Motors, received a wildly warm reception at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. Many in the crowd were avid space buffs.

For now, the aerospace company he founded in 2002 is focusing on satellite deliveries, as well as space station cargo runs for NASA and a future crew capsule for U.S. astronauts. Its Falcon rocket, though, is grounded for the second time in a year because of devastating accidents.

During his address, Musk did not mention the Sept. 1 launch pad explosion that destroyed a Falcon rocket and its satellite.

Instead, he noted that SpaceX already has begun work on the Mars Colonial fleet, recently test-firing a powerful new rocket engine named Raptor. The system ultimately could take people to the moons of Jupiter and beyond, he said.

Musk said it would be a “super-exciting” adventure to Mars but also dangerous, at least for the first few trips. His goal is to get the price down so anyone could afford to go, with a ticket costing no more than a house on Earth. He’s shooting for 1 million Martians.

Would he go, someone asked? Perhaps ultimately, but it would depend on whether he had a good succession plan in place. As for being the first Martian, the risk of fatalities will be high – “there’s just no way around it” – and he wants to see his five young sons grow up.

“It would be basically, are you prepared to die? If that’s OK, then you’re a candidate for going,” he told the audience.

In April, Musk announced plans to send an unmanned Dragon capsule to land on Mars as early as 2018. NASA is offering technical support, but no money. The space agency has its own program to get astronauts to Mars in the 2030s, using its own hardware.

Musk invited industry to join the Mars effort, which will represent a $10 billion investment. SpaceX currently is spending a few tens of millions of dollars on the enterprise, and the amount will soon grow, he said.

Musk described in detail his plans to launch a monster-size rocket – larger than even NASA’s Saturn V moon rocket – from the same launch pad at Kennedy Space Center from which the Apollo astronauts departed for the lunar surface in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The first-stage boosters would return to land vertically – just like his Falcon rocket boosters do now. Reusability, in fact, is essential to any plan for getting humans to Mars, as is refilling fuel tanks in Earth orbit and creating rocket fuel at Mars for return trips, he said.

The rocket would hoist a spaceship big enough to carry 100 to 200 people to Mars, a trip lasting several months, quicker with nuclear propulsion. Musk promised no one would be stuck there; spaceships would return regularly, and “you get a free return trip if you want.”

“Ultimately what I’m trying to achieve here is to make Mars seem possible, make it seem as though it’s something that we can do in our lifetimes,” he said.

EXCLUSIVE: Ambulance shortage leaves man in street for over an hour with broken leg

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 27th, 2016

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Imagine lying on the road in agony, your leg snapped in two, waiting for an ambulance to rush you to the hospital and it takes over an hour for that ambulance to arrive.

That’s what happened to William Thom three weeks ago when his scooter tipped over on top of him on Dufferin Street near Eglinton Avenue West.

The first ambulance responded in six minutes but Thom needed a special bariatric ambulance designed to transport patients who are over 350 pounds and there are only three in Toronto.

Thom says he was in excruciating pain as he waited for help to come.

“I’ve never had pain like that before. It was just massive pain. I mean, I have bad arthritis as it is on my knee, but that was just terrible pain.”

Thom says first responders did what they could to protect his dignity as he lay in the street waiting for the bariatric ambulance to show up.

“They moved the fire truck in front and put up posts and a tarp over me to keep the sun off me.”

The Toronto Paramedic Service says it transports 220,000 patients a year and only 35 require bariatric ambulances, which have specialized stretchers.

To complicate matters, in William’s case the first bariatric ambulance called had to be diverted for a life-threatening case which added to his wait, but paramedics admit the average response time for a bariatric call is about one hour.

“That’s unfortunate,” said Commander Jennifer Shield, “And I acknowledge that must have been a very long time for him sitting out there in the middle of the intersection.”

The service says this is the first time a concern has been raised about Toronto’s bariatric ambulance response times but say they will be conducting a review.

“I think that gives us an opportunity to go back and look at our resources and see how we could not maximize the resources that we have a little bit better,” Shield said. “And if that means taking a look at the number of bariatric vehicles we have available to service our community then we would take a look at that.”

Ontario’s Minister of Health is also promising to investigate Thom’s case.

“It is concerning,” Dr. Eric Hoskins said when asked about the incident Monday. “What’s important here is that Ontarians who do find themselves in need of an ambulance, particularly for urgent reasons, can have confidence that the response time is going to be reasonable so I will have my staff look into this particular situation to find out more about it.”

Video streaming service Shomi will shut down as of Nov. 30

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Sep 26th, 2016

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Video streaming service Shomi announced Monday it will shut down at the end of November, two years after it launched.

“The business climate and online video marketplace have changed markedly in the last few years,” David Asch, senior vice-president and general manager for Shomi, said in a statement.

“Combined with the fact that the business is more challenging to operate than we expected, we’ve decided to wind down our operations.”

Asch said the company remains proud of the service it launched and the role it play in evolving video landscape in Canada.

Shomi was launched by Rogers and Shaw in November 2014 in an effort to grab the attention of a growing number of people watching TV and movies online.

It was seen as a competitor to Netflix and other similar web streaming services.

“We tried something new, and customers who used Shomi loved it,” Melani Griffith, senior vice-president of content at Rogers, said in another statement.

“It’s like a great cult favourite with a fantastic core audience that unfortunately just isn’t big enough to be renewed for another season.”

Rogers, which is the parent company of this website, said it expects to incur a loss on investment of approximately $100 million to $140 million in its third quarter, which ends Friday.

Rogers said Shomi had a “great team” of employees and it would be looking to see what openings it had for them in related departments in the company.

Bomb threats force Mohawk College students out of their dorms

CityNews | posted Monday, Sep 26th, 2016

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A series of bomb threats forced students to evacuate their dorms at Mohawk College on Sunday night.

The phone calls came at about 9 p.m., Hamilton police said.

McMaster University and Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington were also targeted. However, all locations were checked and nothing was found.

Students have since been allowed back into their dorms.

The bomb threats come days after similar incidents in P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Nunavut.

Last week, every single school in Prince Edward Island was evacuated due to a bomb scare, sending parents scrambling. RCMP spokesman Sgt. Kevin Baillie said a fax was sent to Ottawa RCMP Wednesday morning from someone threatening to detonate bombs at several schools.

Three colleges in Nova Scotia were also evacuated after receiving threats. Hours later, a school board in Winnipeg received a similar bomb threat, but no schools were evacuated.

On Thursday, schools in three regions of Nunavut were closed due to a bomb threat, but reopened after lunch.

On Sunday morning, police in the Halifax area say they responded to five unfounded bomb threats within about an hour.

With files from The Canadian Press

Debate night: Clinton, Trump set for high-stakes showdown

Julie Pace, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Sep 26th, 2016

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After months of tangling from afar, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will confront each other face-to-face for the first time in Monday night’s presidential debate, laying out for voters their vastly different visions for the nation’s future.

The high-stakes showdown, the first of three presidential debates, comes as both candidates are viewed negatively by large numbers of Americans, with Democrat Clinton facing questions about her trustworthiness and Republican Trump struggling to convince many voters that he has the temperament and policy depth to be president.

Interest in the presidential race has been intense, and the campaigns are expecting a record-breaking audience to watch the 90-minute televised debate at suburban New York’s Hofstra University.

Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state, is banking on voters seeing her as a steady hand who can build on the record of President Barack Obama, whose popularity is rising as he winds down his second term in office. She’s called for expanding Obama’s executive orders if Congress won’t pass legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration system and for broader gun control measures. Overseas, she’s called for a no-fly zone in Syria but has vowed to keep the military out of a large-scale ground war to defeat the Islamic State group.

For Clinton, victory in November largely hinges on rallying the same young and diverse coalition that elected Obama but has yet to fully embrace her.

“Hillary has recognized that she has a lot of work to do to earn people’s trust,” said Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager. “We think this debate is a fantastic opportunity for her to present not just what she is going to do to make a difference in people’s lives, but she actually has a long history of getting this done.”

Trump has tapped into deep anxieties among some Americans, particularly white, working-class voters who feel left behind in a changing economy and diversifying nation. While the real estate mogul lacks the experience Americans have traditionally sought in a commander in chief, he’s banking on frustration with career politicians and disdain for Clinton to push him over the top on Election Day.

“He speaks a language that people out there can understand, and so I think that he’s going to have a good night,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said of Trump’s debate prospects.


Related stories:

Trump vs. Clinton debate Monday: Let the psychological games begin

Three political pros weigh in: How they’d debate Donald Trump

Poll: Majority of Americans fear Donald Trump presidency

Clinton’s doctor says she’s ‘fit to serve’; Trump goes on Dr. Oz show


The centerpiece of Trump’s campaign has been a push for restrictive immigration measures, including a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and an early proposal to temporarily bar foreign Muslims from coming to the U.S. But he’s been less detailed about other ideas, including his plan for stamping out the Islamic State group in the Middle East.

Clinton’s camp is worried that Trump will be held to a different standard in the debate and is particularly concerned that the notoriously hot-headed businessman will be rewarded for simply keeping his cool. Clinton backers have been publicly pushing moderator Lester Holt of NBC News to fact-check Trump if he tries to mislead voters about his record and past statements.

“All that we’re asking is that, if Donald Trump lies, that it’s pointed out,” Mook said.

Trump’s advisers have indeed been urging him to keep calm on stage, mindful of voters’ concerns about his temperament. On Saturday, Trump showed a glimpse of the traits his advisers want to keep in check, announcing on Twitter that he might extend a debate invitation to Gennifer Flowers, a woman who had an affair with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Trump’s campaign said the candidate was responding to Clinton’s decision to invite businessman and Trump critic Mark Cuban to the debate. And by Sunday morning, they said Flowers would not be attending.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, said the candidate floated the invitation to “remind people that he’s a great counterpuncher.”

Trump was often a commanding presence in the Republican primary debates, launching biting personal attacks on his rivals. But at times, he appeared to fade into the background, especially during more technical policy discussions – something he’ll be unable to do with just two candidates on stage.

Clinton has debated more than 30 times at the presidential level, including several one-on-one contests against Obama in 2008 and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016. But Monday’s contest will be her first presidential debate against a candidate from the opposing party.

Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer dies at age 87

The Associated Press | posted Monday, Sep 26th, 2016

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Arnold Palmer brought a country club sport to the masses with a hard-charging style, charisma and a commoner’s touch. At ease with both presidents and the golfing public, and on a first-name basis with both, “The King” died Sunday in Pittsburgh. He was 87.

Alastair Johnston, CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, confirmed that Palmer died Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems. Johnston said Palmer was admitted to the UPMC Hospital on Thursday for some cardiovascular work and weakened over the last few days.

“Today marks the passing of an era,” said Johnston, Palmer’s longtime agent at IMG. “Arnold Palmer’s influence, profile and achievements spread far beyond the game of golf. He was an iconic American who treated people with respect and warmth, and built a unique legacy through his ability to engage with fans.”

President Barack Obama tweeted about Palmer’s death, saying: “Here’s to The King who was as extraordinary on the links as he was generous to others. Thanks for the memories, Arnold.”

Palmer ranked among the most important figures in golf history , and it went well beyond his seven major championships and 62 PGA Tour wins. His good looks, devilish grin and go-for-broke manner made the elite sport appealing to one and all. And it helped that he arrived about the same time as television moved into most households, a perfect fit that sent golf to unprecedented popularity.

“If it wasn’t for Arnold, golf wouldn’t be as popular as it is now,” Tiger Woods said in 2004 when Palmer played in his last Masters. “He’s the one who basically brought it to the forefront on TV. If it wasn’t for him and his excitement, his flair, the way he played, golf probably would not have had that type of excitement.

“And that’s why he’s the king.”

Beyond his golf, Palmer was a pioneer in sports marketing, paving the way for scores of other athletes to reap in millions from endorsements. Some four decades after his last PGA Tour win, he ranked among the highest-earners in golf.

“It is not an exaggeration to say there would be no modern-day PGA Tour without Arnold Palmer. There would be no PGA Tour Champions without Arnold Palmer. There would be no Golf Channel without Arnold Palmer,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.

“No one has had a greater impact on those who play our great sport or who are touched by it. It has been said many times over in so many ways, but beyond his immense talent, Arnold transcended our sport with an extraordinarily appealing personality and genuineness that connected with millions, truly making him a champion of the people.”

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On the golf course, Palmer was an icon not for how often he won, but the way he did it.

He would hitch up his pants, drop a cigarette and attack the flags. With powerful hands wrapped around the golf club, Palmer would slash at the ball with all of his might, then twist that muscular neck and squint to see where it went.

“When he hits the ball, the earth shakes,” Gene Littler once said.

Palmer rallied from seven shots behind to win a U.S. Open. He blew a seven-shot lead on the back nine to lose a U.S. Open.

He was never dull.

“I’m pleased that I was able to do what I did from a golfing standpoint,” Palmer said in 2008, two years after he played in his last official tournament. “I would like to think that I left them more than just that.”

He left behind a gallery known as “Arnie’s Army,” which began at Augusta National with a small group of soldiers from nearby Fort Gordon, and grew to include a legion of fans from every corner of the globe.

Palmer stopped playing the Masters in 2004 and hit the ceremonial tee shot every year until 2016, when age began to take a toll and he struggled with his balance.

Canadian golfer Mike Weir, who captured the Masters in 2003, tweeted from his verified account “Everyone knows the great champion Mr Palmer is, but having spent time with, he’s an even better human being. RIPAP.”

Fellow Canadian golfer Graham DeLaet also reacted to the news on Twitter, saying “Arnie was one of the special people in our game. Treated everyone with so much respect. So glad I was able to meet the King. RIP.”

It was Palmer who gave golf the modern version of the Grand Slam — winning all four professional majors in one year. He came up with the idea after winning the Masters and U.S. Open in 1960. Palmer was runner-up at the British Open, later calling it one of the biggest disappointments of his career. But his appearance alone invigorated the British Open, which Americans had been ignoring for years.

Palmer never won the PGA Championship, one major short of capturing a career Grand Slam.

But then, standard he set went beyond trophies. It was the way he treated people, looking everyone in the eye with a smile and a wink. He signed every autograph, making sure it was legible. He made every fan feel like an old friend.

Palmer never like being referred to as “The King,” but the name stuck.

“It was back in the early ’60s. I was playing pretty good, winning a lot of tournaments, and someone gave a speech and referred to me as ‘The King,”‘ Palmer said in a November 2011 interview with The Associated Press.

“I don’t bask in it. I don’t relish it. I tried for a long time to stop that and,” he said, pausing to shrug, “there was no point.”

Palmer played at least one PGA Tour event every season for 52 consecutive years, ending with the 2004 Masters. He spearheaded the growth of the 50-and-older Champions Tour, winning 10 times and drawing some of the biggest crowds.

He was equally successful off with golf course design, a wine collection, and apparel that included his famous logo of an umbrella. He bought the Bay Hill Club & Lodge upon making his winter home in Orlando, Florida, and in 2007 the PGA Tour changed the name of the tournament to the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The combination of iced tea and lemonade is known as an “Arnold Palmer.” Padraig Harrington recalls eating in an Italian restaurant in Miami when he heard a customer order one.

“Think about it,” Harrington said. “You don’t go up there and order a ‘Tiger Woods’ at the bar. You can go up there and order an ‘Arnold Palmer’ in this country and the barman — he was a young man — knew what the drink was. That’s in a league of your own.”

Palmer was born Sept. 10, 1929, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the oldest of four children. His father, Deacon, became the greenskeeper at Latrobe Country Club in 1921 and the club pro in 1933.

He had two loves as a boy — strapping on his holster with toy guns to play “Cowboys and Indians,” and playing golf. It was on the golf course that Palmer grew to become so strong, with barrel arms and hands of iron.

“When I was 6 years old, my father put me on a steel-wheeled tractor,” he recalled in a 2011 interview with the AP. “I had to stand up to turn the wheel. That’s one thing made me strong. The other thing was I pushed mowers. In those days, there were no motors on anything except the tractor. The mowers to cut greens with, you pushed.

“And it was this,” he said, patting his arms, “that made it go.”

Palmer joined the PGA Tour in 1955 and won the Canadian Open for the first of his 62 titles. He went on to win four green jackets at Augusta National, along with the British Open in 1961 and 1962 and the U.S. Open in 1960, perhaps the most memorable of his seven majors.

Nothing defined Palmer like that 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills. He was seven shots behind going into the final round when he ran into Bob Drum, a Pittsburgh sports writer. Palmer asked if he could still win by shooting 65, which would give him a four-day total of 280. Drum told him that 280 “won’t do you a damn bit of good.”

Incensed, Palmer headed to the first tee and drove the green on the par-4 opening hole to make birdie. He birdied the next three holes, shot 65 and outlasted Ben Hogan and 20-year-old amateur Jack Nicklaus.

Palmer went head to head with Nicklaus two years later in a U.S. Open, the start of one of golf’s most famous rivalries. It was one-sided. Nicklaus went on to win 18 majors and was regarded as golf’s greatest champion. Palmer won two more majors after that loss, and his last PGA Tour win came in 1973 at the Bob Hope Classic.

Tom Callahan once described the difference between Nicklaus and Palmer this way: It’s as though God said to Nicklaus, “You will have skills like no other,” then whispered to Palmer, “But they will love you more.”

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“I think he brought a lot more to the game than his game,” Nicklaus said in 2009. “What I mean by that is, there’s no question about his record and his ability to play the game. He was very, very good at that. But he obviously brought a lot more. He brought the hitch of his pants, the flair that he brought to the game, the fans that he brought into the game.”

Palmer combined power with charm, reckless abandon with graceful elegance. Golf no longer was a country club game for old men who were out of shape. He was a man’s man, and he brought that spirit to the sport.

It made him a beloved figure, and brought riches long after he stopped competing.

That started with a handshake agreement with IMG founder Mark McCormack to represent Palmer in contract negotiations. Palmer’s image was everywhere, from motor oil to ketchup to financial services companies. Even as late as 2011, nearly 40 years after his last PGA Tour win, Palmer was No. 3 on Golf Digest’s list of top earners at $36 million a year. He trailed only Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Palmer’s other love was aviation. He piloted his first aircraft in 1956, and 10 years later had a license to fly jets that now are the standard mode of transportation for so many top players, even though the majority of them are merely passengers. Palmer flew planes the way he played golf. He set a record in 1976 when he circumnavigated the globe in 57 hours, 25 minutes and 42 seconds in a Lear 36. He continued flying his Cessna Citation 10 until he failed to renew his license at age 81, just short of 20,000 hours in the cockpit.

Through it all, he touched more people than he could possibly remember, though he sure tried. When asked about the fans he attracted at Augusta National, Palmer once said, “Hell, I know most of them by name.”

Only four other players won more PGA Tour events than Palmer — Sam Snead, Nicklaus, Woods and Hogan.

Palmer’s first wife, Winnie, died in 1999. They had two daughters, and grandson Sam Saunders plays on the PGA Tour. Palmer married Kathleen (Kit) Gawthrop in 2005.

Details on a memorial service and burial will be announced later.

Palmer was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, which was caught early. He returned to golf a few months later, winking at fans as he waded through the gallery, always a smile and a signature for them.

“I’m not interested in being a hero,” Palmer said, implying that too much was made about his return from cancer. “I just want to play some golf.”

That, perhaps, is his true epitaph. Palmer lived to play.

Clinton puts Trump on the defensive in combative debate

Julie Pace and Jill Colvin, The Associated Press | posted Tuesday, Sep 27th, 2016

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Donald Trump aggressively tried to pin the nation’s economic and national security problems on Hillary Clinton in the first presidential debate, belittling the former senator and secretary of state as a “typical politician” incapable of delivering the change many Americans crave.

But Trump found himself on the defensive for much of the 90-minute showdown Monday night. Clinton was thoroughly prepared, not only with detailed answers about her own policy proposals, but also sharp criticism of Trump’s business record, his past statements about women, and his false assertions that President Barack Obama may not have been born in the United States. She said his charges about Obama were part of his pattern of “racist behaviour.”

The Democrat also blasted Trump for his refusal to release his tax returns, breaking with decades of presidential campaign tradition. She declared, “There’s something he’s hiding.”

Trump has said he can’t release his tax returns because he is being audited, though tax experts have said an audit is no barrier to making the information public. When Clinton suggested Trump’s refusal may be because he paid nothing in federal taxes, he interrupted to say, “That makes me smart.”


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The televised face-off was the most anticipated moment in an election campaign that has been historic, convulsive and unpredictable. The candidates entered the debate locked in an exceedingly close race to become America’s 45th president, and while both had moments sure to enliven their core constituencies, it was unclear whether the event would dramatically change the trajectory of the race.

The debate was confrontational from the start, with Trump frequently trying to interrupt Clinton and speaking over her answers. Clinton was more measured and restrained, often smiling through his answers, well-aware of the television cameras capturing her reaction.

Trump’s criticism of Clinton turned personal in the debate’s closing moments. He said, “She doesn’t have the look, she doesn’t have the stamina” to be president. He’s made similar comments in previous events, sparking outrage from Clinton backers who accused him of levelling a sexist attack on the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. political party.

Clinton leapt at the opportunity to remind voters of Trump’s controversial comments about women, who will be crucial to the outcome of the November election.

“This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs,” she said.

The centerpiece of Trump’s case against Clinton was that the former senator and secretary of state is little more than a career politician who has squandered opportunities to address the domestic and international problems she’s now pledging to tackle as president.

“She’s got experience,” he said, “but it’s bad experience.”

Clinton, who hunkered down for days of intensive debate preparation, came armed with a wealth of detailed attack lines. She named an architect she said built a clubhouse for Trump who says he was not fully paid and a former Miss Universe winner who says Trump shamed her for gaining weight. She quoted comments Trump had made about women, about Iraq and about nuclear weapons.

When Trump made a crack about Clinton taking time off the campaign trail to prepare for the debate, she turned it into a validation of her readiness for the White House.

“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate,” Clinton said. “And, yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that’s a good thing.”

The candidates sparred over trade, taxes and how to bring good-paying jobs back to the United States.

Clinton said her Republican rival was promoting a “Trumped-up” version of trickle-down economics – a philosophy focused on tax cuts for the wealthy. She called for increasing the federal minimum wage, spending more on infrastructure projects and guaranteeing equal pay for women.

Trump panned policies that he said have led to American jobs being moved overseas, in part because of international trade agreements that Clinton has supported. He pushed her aggressively on her past support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact while she was serving in the Obama administration. She’s since said she opposes the sweeping deal in its final form.

Trump repeatedly insisted that he opposed the Iraq War before the 2003 U.S. invasion, despite evidence to the contrary. Trump was asked in September 2002 whether he supported a potential Iraq invasion in an interview with radio personality Howard Stern. He responded: “Yeah, I guess so.”

Presented with the comment during the debate, Trump responded: “I said very lightly, I don’t know, maybe, who knows.”

The Republican also appeared to contradict himself on how he might use nuclear weapons if he’s elected president. He first said he “would not do first strike” but then said he couldn’t “take anything off the table.”

Clinton said Trump was too easily provoked to serve as commander in chief and could be quickly drawn into a war involving nuclear weapons.

Some frequently hot-button issues were barely mentioned during the intense debate. Illegal immigration and Trump’s promises of a border wall were not part of the conversation. And while Clinton took some questions on her private email server, she was not grilled about her family’s foundation, Bill Clinton’s past infidelities or voter doubts about her trustworthiness.

Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

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