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Alberta

Judge grants bail to Calgary man facing terrorism charges

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CALGARY — A judge has granted bail to an Alberta man facing four terrorism charges.

The charges against Hussein Sobhe Borhot, 34, of Calgary include participation in activity of a terrorism group and commission of an offence for a terrorist group.

Provincial court Judge Anne Brown released Borhot on a number of strict conditions, including that he wear an ankle tracking device that his family must pay for.

The RCMP will supervise his release. He must notify the police force of any changes to his name, address, phone number or work and must remain in Alberta.

He cannot apply for a passport or travel documents and is banned from having any firearms, ammunition or explosives.

Police allege the accused travelled to Syria between May 2013 and June 2014 to join Islamic State militants.

They believe the group trained him for the purpose of enhancing its ability and that Borhot knowingly committed the offence of kidnapping while working with the militants.

All the evidence presented during the bail hearing is covered by a publication ban.

Borhot was not in court Thursday, but was on the telephone from the Calgary Remand Centre. His next court date is Sept. 14.

Alberta RCMP’s Integrated National Enforcement Team laid the charges against the 34-year-old last week.

The Mounties have indicated an investigation continues and further charges and arrests are a possibility.

A federal report on extremism last year said some 190 people with connections to Canada were suspected of terrorist activity abroad and about 60 had returned.

The Islamic State group took over territory in Iraq and Syria and implemented a harsh form of Islamic law. The United Nations has accused the group of crimes against humanity, including mass executions, abducting women and girls to use as sex slaves and using child soldiers. (CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2020

The Canadian Press


Alberta

Was the quick evolution of Draisaitl from prospect to standout THE biggest on-ice element in this positive building project?

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It was a little more than three years ago when Wayne Gretzky predicted the Edmonton Oilers were on their way to big improvement in the National Hockey League.

And he did it in one simple sentence: “We’ll be a really good team when the big guy decides he wants to run his own line.”

Now it’s obvious that “the big guy” was, and is, Leon Draisaitl. Gretzky’s words came as a team-wide selection of alleged experts insisted the Oilers would reach their peak if then-coach Todd McLellan would leave Draisaitl and the remarkable Connor McDavid as allies on the same forward line long enough to allow some solid second- and third-line players to become consistently valuable.

The operative words in Gretzky’s sentence — “decides to” — became memorable only after Draisaitl matured enough to recognize his own potential. The specific turning point from bright prospect to budding superstar Is impossible to define precisely, but it certainly happened last season.

Until then, the German youngster remained only an intriguing prospect. He operated comfortably, and often effectively, with McDavid doing most of the work, getting almost all the attention and still scoring points at a ridiculous level

To state the obvious once again, Draisaitl’s status as scoring champion and likely winner of the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player has erased any fear that he might fall short of the potential that showed in his junior career.

Now, he faces another step: showing his dominance — on his own line much of the time and in partnership with McDavid on Edmonton’s ominous power play. The Chicago Blackhawks are certain to see brilliance from their offensive co-leaders through at least three first-round playoff games, and perhaps as many as five games.

Since almost the moment, months ago,when commissioner Gary Bettman’s dream of completing a Stanley Cup playoff was first circulated, respect has grown for the Oilers as potential champions — this year, not next year.

Coach Dave Tippett and general manager Ken Holland have been extremely strategic in their public utterances: “sure we’re good, but we’re still growing,” is a shared outlook. Holland, in particular, has been cautious. His years of success as the operational head of the Detroit Red Wings showed him that depth and experience are essential to reach the top of any competitive ladder.

The season-long improvement of defender Ethan Bear and winger Kailer Yamamoto has done much to improve team depth, back and front. Evan Bouchard, Phil Broberg and Caleb Jones are all nearing regular play on a big-league blueline crew. Tyler Benson, Ryan McLeod, Ostap Safin show similar signs up front.

These future additions make it obvious the Oilers have potential as serious candidates, both short- and long-term.

Was the quick evolution of Draisaitl from prospect to standout THE biggest on-ice element in this positive building project? It’s hard to argue otherwise.

Coronavirus invasion of major league baseball was bound to happen sooner or later

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Alberta

Edmonton hopes for NHL hub-city benefits, welcomes Western Conference playoffs

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EDMONTON — Across the street from Rogers Place, a pub patio was prepped with picnic tables and television screens slung above them Friday.

On the eve of the 2020 NHL playoffs, numerous downtown Edmonton eateries had outdoor spaces ready for whatever being an NHL hub city could bring them.

What kind of buzz and business a dozen Western Conference teams cloistered in town could generate was yet to be known, but they wanted to be ready.

“It has to stimulate the economy somehow,” said Edmontonian Khaleed Valani. “Honestly, I’m just glad to have hockey back.”

A corridor of blue netting slashed through the downtown core and closed off a street south of the arena.

Six of the teams staying at one of the two designated hotels use it for shielded passage to Rogers Place.

The players’ recreation area in the lee of the other hotel and Rogers Place is also walled off by blue netting.

You can hear music, see basketballs hitting backboards and silhouettes of players sitting at tables, but you wouldn’t be able to point out Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid eating ice cream.

Edmonton has been a notoriously tough sell to the NHL’s free agents in the past, but Valani believes players from other teams will get a more favourable impression of the city this summer that could pay off for the Oilers down the road.

“All the teams here, they’re going to see the great city, they’re going to see the great weather,” he said.

“Playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl I think a lot of players are going to come and they’re going to want to be a part of Edmonton.”

There’s certainly pride in Alberta’s capital city that it, along with Toronto, was chosen from 10 candidate cities to host the NHL playoffs.

Edmonton’s low rates of COVID-19 infection relative to other NHL cities and a barely four-year-old arena with expansive back-of-house space ultimately earned the city an unprecedented hockey tournament.

“Edmonton was picked due to us being a lot safer than other cities and all the stuff that Albertans and Edmontonians have done to make this all happen,” Basil Hendsbee said.

He sees the tournament as one big TV tourism ad for his town.

“The more things they show the viewers at home what Edmonton has to offer, who knows?” Hendsbee said. “Maybe people will come after COVID is done and visit Edmonton and Alberta.”

How much can and will Edmontonians publicly celebrate their hub-city crown, given the constant messaging of social distancing and encouragement to stay home?

Games played in an empty arena and the teams walled off from the public, the citizenry won’t be a lot closer to the action than other Canadians watching at home on television.

Arriving from the south on the Queen Elizabeth II — known as the ‘QE2’ — the first indication of a major hockey event in the city is a four-metre-high, 340-kilogram Stanley Cup replica at the edge of a sports store parking lot.

Staff at United Sport and Cycle were unpacking not only Oilers gear, but jerseys, T-shirts and flags for all the participating teams Friday.

The store is banking on Edmontonians feeling free, or emboldened, to support more teams than just the Oilers with so many of the teams in town.

“We’ve actually talked to a couple people who said ‘I need to plan because I need to wear my Oilers jersey at eleven o’clock and I need to wear my Avalanche jersey next,'” marketing manager Kelly Hodgson said.

“They’re preparing to be a hockey fan and not just an Oilers fan. We see Toronto fans coming in even though Toronto’s not playing here.”

Hodgson is confident the NHL’s plan to contain the virus and finish the 2019-20 season in Edmonton will work.

“We had to actually make a delivery into the bubble because they needed some sock tape from us for the players to wear,” he said.

“I’m the one that made the delivery and you could have got into Alcatraz easier than you could have got into that bubble.”

This report by the Canadian Press was first published July 31, 2020.

Follow @DLSpencer10

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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august, 2020

fri07augAll Daymon17WALK TO BREATHE from Calgary to Edmonton(All Day)

thu27aug(aug 27)12:00 amsun30(aug 30)11:59 pmHUGE Garage Sale for Crime Prevention12:00 am - 11:59 pm (30) PIDHERNEY CURLING CENTRE, RED DEER, AB, 4725 43 St, Red Deer, AB T4N 6Z3 Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre

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