Canada’s NHL teams in danger of missing playoffs for the first time since 1969

Written by admin on 14/05/2019 Categories: 长沙夜网

Just one year ago, fans across the country were celebrating as five of seven Canadian teams (sorry Toronto and Edmonton), headed into playoffs, with the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames advancing to the second.

Now heading into NHL all-star break, Canada’s seven teams are looking at a bleak second half of the season as they all sit outside a post-season spot.

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WATCH: Flames Dennis Wideman sends linesman to ice with hit from behind

Famed hockey analyst Don Cherry doesn’t see April getting much better with only the Vancouver Canucks or Montreal Canadiens having a shot at reaching the playoffs.

“I think Vancouver will make it and the Canadiens will be knocking on the door,” Cherry said Wednesday. “At one time we had six (Canadian teams) in. I’d love to see six in, but I don’t think it will happen.”

Canada hasn’t seen the Stanley Cup come home in 21 years. If a Canadian team doesn’t make the playoffs this spring it will be the first time that has happened since 1969-70.

As the 2016 NHL All-Star weekend is set to take place in Nashville this weekend and here’s where Canada’s teams sit before the break.

Vancouver Canucks

Teammates celebrate with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (27) after he scored a goal in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders in New York, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Record: 20-19-11 (51 points)

Western Conference standing: 11th

Daniel Sedin has led the way for the Canucks with 21 goals, 44 points. The Vancouver Canucks are the closest Canadian team to making the playoffs at just two points back.

READ MORE: NHL player pleads guilty to killing grizzly bear in B.C. without a proper licence

The Nashville Predators beat the Canucks 2-1 on Tuesday. A bad line change allowed James Neal to score the winner and the mental  mistakes have piled up for Vancouver costing them several precious points in the past few games.

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames goalie Jonas Hiller, center, of Switzerland, reacts after allowing New Jersey Devils right wing Lee Stempniak (20) to score a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Record: 21-24-3 (45 points)

Western Conference standing: 13th

The Nashville Predators topped the Flames 2-1 Wednesday, leaving them eight points out of the playoffs. Calgary has struggled on the road this season going 7-14-3 overall. They currently sit second-last in the Western Conference.

The goaltending for the Flames has been questionable, allowing 3.00 goals against per game, good for second-worst in the league. They have struggled on special teams as well, with a power play  of 13.9 per cent and penalty kill  of 4.3 per cent, both the worst in the league.

Edmonton Oilers

Nashville Predators’ Petter Granberg (8) and Edmonton Oilers’ Justin Schultz (19) collide during second period NHL hockey action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday January 23, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken

Amber Bracken,

Record: 19-26-5 (43 points)

Western Conference standing: 14th

The media hype surrounding Connor McDavid couldn’t have been higher for the 19-year-old centre, who scored five goals and seven assists in his first 13 games. On Nov. 3 McDavid broke his left collarbone in a game against Philadelphia and isn’t expected back in the lineup until Feb. 2.

The Oilers have also struggled on the road this season with a record of 6-16-4 and have decreased production from star forwards Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck turns away as the New Jersey Devils celebrate a first period goal.

Jonathan Kozub / Getty Images

Record: 22-24-3 (47 points)

Western Conference standing: 12th

The Winnipeg Jets downed the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday but still sit eight points out of a playoff spot. The Jets’ two best players — Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien — are both unrestricted free agents and seem to have been a distraction for the team this year.

With three teams between Winnipeg and the wild-card spot they will have make a serious run down the stretch to be in the playoff hunt.

Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens’ David Desharnais, left to right, Brendan Gallagher and Andrei Markov leave the bench following their 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets after NHL hockey action, in Montreal on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Record: 24-22-4 (52 points)

Eastern Conference standing: 11th

The Habs continued their downward slide losing 5-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday and have lost two straight games. Goaltender Carey Price, the reigning NHL MVP, is still injured and if he can’t get back on the ice soon, the playoffs may be out of reach for the Canadiens.

Ottawa Senators

San Jose Sharks goalie Alex Stalock, right, is beaten for a goal on a shot from Ottawa Senators\’ Bobby Ryan, not seen, as Mark Stone (61) watches during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in San Jose, Calif.

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Record: 23-21-6 (52 points)

Eastern Conference standing: 12th

The Sens are three points out of a wild card spot in the East. Ottawa lost to the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday and have now fallen to 23-21-6.

Andrew “Hamburglar” Hammond was a standout as a rookie for the Senators going 20-1-2 late in the 2015 season, but has struggled in the 2015-2016 season. He is just 3-5-2 with a 2.96 goals-against average and has faced nagging injuries.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs\’ defenceman Roman Polak reacts as his team trails 6-2 to the New York Islanders during third period NHL hockey action, in Toronto, on Tuesday, December 29, 2015.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Record: 17-22-9 (43 points)

Eastern Conference standing: 15th

The Leafs are now 17-22-9 and tied for last in the NHL. They have been dreadful losing nine of their last 10 games (1-7-2), and have been outscored 31-11 during the stretch. One bright spot is James Reimer, who is having a solid season in net maintaining a 2.10 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.

Perhaps Steven Stamkos who becomes a free agent July 1 could turn the Leafs fortunes around if he lands in Toronto next year.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article stated that six Canadian NHL teams reached the playoffs last year when only five reached the post. Global News apologizes for the error.

*With files from the Canadian Press

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Alberta asks federal health minister for permission to dive into poppy industry

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LETHBRIDGE- With the oil industry in a major slump, the prospect of a multi-billion dollar industry in Alberta seems too good to be true.

However, thanks to renewed efforts, it is a reality that could soon be within reach.

“Canada has the potential here to be a major world player in regards to the pharmaceutical industry,” said Melody Garner, president of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.

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Poppies are used for the production of pain-killing prescription drugs. Countries like Australia and France have taken advantage of the crop and now enjoy thriving pharmaceutical industries.

READ MORE: Growing poppies for medicine

Canada is the only G7 country that does not cultivate poppies on a large scale, it requires approval from the Federal minister of health.

Garner said a pharmaceutical industry on Alberta soil will do wonders for the economy.

“The 300 jobs we see out of the gate just with the processing plant is only the start, and that’s why this is so important,” she said. “This is going to provide value added services and resources to our region for years and generations to come.”

API Labs in Lethbridge has been researching and testing the crop for years now and says southern Alberta is an ideal place to set up shop.

“The wind that we have and the drier climate that we have – the hot days and the cold nights – actually produce very good conditions for poppy cultivation,” said Glen Metzler, president of API Labs.

Just last week, the office of Premier Rachel Notley wrote a letter to Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott, which read in part:

“I am writing to you in support of a research and development opportunity by API Labs….that is looking to grow and process thebaine poppies for pharmaceutical uses…in order for API’s project to move forward, the company requires regulatory exemptions from Health Canada.”

Right now Metzler said it is a waiting game to see if the federal government is sold on the idea.

“I think everyone is just waiting to see if this government is supportive of what we’re proposing,” he added. “If it comes back a resounding, ‘yes’, then I think things could move ahead quite fast.”

API Labs Inc. in Lethbridge have been growing thebaine poppies for research purposes.

API Labs Inc.

API Labs Inc. in Lethbridge have been growing thebaine poppies for research purposes.

API Labs Inc.

API Labs Inc in Lethbridge have been growing thebaine poppies for research purposes.

API Labs Inc.

API Labs Inc. in Lethbridge have been growing thebaine poppies for research purposes.

API Labs Inc.

API Labs Inc. in Lethbridge have been growing thebaine poppies for research purposes.

API Labs Inc.

API Labs Inc. in Lethbridge have been growing thebaine poppies for research purposes.

API Labs Inc.

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Canada left out of international anti-ISIS coalition meeting in Paris

Written by admin on 15/04/2019 Categories: 长沙夜网

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan downplayed the news that Canada has been has been left out of meeting of U.S.-coalition defence ministers in Paris this week to review the battle against the so-called Islamic State.

Speaking to reporters in New Brunswick, Sajjan said he wasn’t disappointed at not being invited adding that he has been in regular contact with his coalition counterparts

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“I was very fortunate on actually two occasions, most recently, I’ve been back into the region to get a first-hand look at what is going and talk to the commanders,” said Sajjan. The meeting, set for Wednesday, will include defence ministers from the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and the Netherlands.

“Meetings happen all the time,” Sajjan said. “We are actively participating on a meaningful basis… We’re not just looking at the current situation in Syria and Iraq, we’re actually looking at the overall threats around the world as well.”

READ MORE: Syria says ISIS group killed 300 in attacks in country’s east

A spokesperson for Minister Sajjan confirmed to Global News that Canada had not been invited to the high-level meeting, and the minister is instead focused on a Feb. 11 NATO meeting requested by U.S. Secretary of Defence Ash Carter.

“He’s also been regularly in contact with coalition partners,” said Renée Filiatrault, Sajjan’s director of communications, noting discussions with Brett McGurk, the U.S. Special Presidential envoy for the coalition to counter ISIS and a recent trip to the UK where he met British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.

While Sajjan is downplaying the issue, the Liberal government’s decision to withdraw fighter jets from the anti-ISIS coalition may have been a reason for the snub.

Canadian CF-18 fighter jets are still participating in bombing missions in Iraq and Syria, as the new Liberal government examines how to keep Trudeau’s election pledge to end the combat mission.

READ MORE: Mother of Burkina Faso victim urges Trudeau to step up terror fight

Dave Perry, a senior analyst with the Global Affairs Institute, said while it’s unclear why Canada was left off the guest-list he pointed to a speech by U.S. Defence Secretary Carter last week during which he said it was a meeting of the most significant contributors to the mission.

“Each of these nations has a significant stake in completing the destruction of this evil organization, and we must include all of the capabilities they can bring to the field. And I will not hesitate to engage and challenge current and prospective members of the coalition to do more as we go forward,” Carter said at the 101st Airborne Division’s headquarters in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Conservative defence critic James Bezan criticized the Liberal government for their “incoherent” message on Canada’s future with the coalition.

READ MORE: Deaths of seven Quebecers strengthen resolve in terrorism fight: Couillard

“This development demonstrates that the Liberal Party’s policy on fighting ISIS is incoherent, and the decision to withdraw Canada’s CF-18s is seen by our allies as stepping back, rather than standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them,” Bezan said in a statement.

Perry added that Canada’s absence will limit its ability to be a major player in helping to shape the fight to against Islamic State militants.

“Whatever decisions are taken there we are not going to be a part of it, which is a real shame,” said Perry. “If we’re not present than we can’t be a contributing [nation] to shaping any of those discussions and we are only going to be on the receiving end of whatever those discussions are.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has opposed Canada’s involvement with coalition airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria. As part of an election promise he said Canada will withdraw fighter jets and instead increase training operations, adding to the 69 trainers now already in Iraq.  As of Jan. 19, however, the airstrikes by Canadian fighter jets continue.

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WATCH: Winnipeg Jets left frustrated after one goal loss to Avalanche

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WINNIPEG – The third time was not the charm for the Winnipeg Jets once again. The Jets still haven’t won three games in a row this season as a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday halted the Jets short two game win streak.

Despite registering 37 shots, the injury ravaged Jets struggled to get pucks through to the Avalanche net. The Avs recorded 21 blocked shots as Joel Armia scored the Jets only goal in the games final minute.

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“Sometimes the puck bounces your way, sometimes it doesn’t.” Blake Wheeler said. “When it rains it pours. Seems like the games we dominate we lose. It’s kinda of a weird thing.”

Carl Soderberg and Jarome Iginla scored goals for Colorado. Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves in the win.

Making his seventh straight start in the Jets crease Connor Hellebuyck made 32 stops in a losing cause.

“It’s hard to put my tongue right on what is the difference.” said Hellebuyck. “I thought we played pretty good. I thought we were blocking a lot of shots and we were paying the price. I guess that’s just how hockey goes.”

“We don’t feel like they’re outplaying us at all.” Mathieu Perreault said. “If you watch that game we had a lot of good chances straight down the slot. A lot of good looks. It’s just for us to bare down and put them in and at the end of the day that’s all it takes.”

The two teams traded chances in the first period. The Jets had the bulk of the chances early while the Avs finished the period strong. There were no goals in the first as Winnipeg outshot Colorado 12-10.

Just 1:16 into the second period the Avs opened the scoring. On a delayed penalty call Blake Comeau let off a slap shot from the point. Hellebuyck stopped the original shot and the rebound as well but the Avs were a third time lucky. Soderberg shoveled in the loose puck for his ninth goal of the season and a 1-0 Colorado lead.

The Avs tacked on another goal with just 17.3 seconds remaining in the middle period. Soderberg spotted Iginla and he rattled it off the crossbar and in. Iginla’s 13th goal of the season gave Colorado a two goal lead headed to the third period. The shots were 16-9 in favour of the visitors in the second.

The Avs came close to going ahead by three in the early stages of the final frame. On a 2-on-1 Hellebuyck robbed Binscarth’s Cody McLeod to keep the Jets within striking distance.

At the midway point of the period Wheeler found himself all alone in front but he couldn’t solve Varlamov either.

With five minutes to go Wheeler saw another glorious chance disappear as he rung the wrist shot off the goal post behind Varlamov.

Then with just 41.6 seconds remaining Perreault fed Armia and he roofed it to get Winnipeg within a single goal. Nikolaj Ehlers had the other assist but the Jets just ran out of time in suffering a 2-1 loss.

“We had enough offence to have a better result in a tight game,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “And both teams battled hard, competed hard on pucks, blocked a lot of shots. There wasn’t a whole lot of easy offence to be had.”

Fresh after getting called up from the Manitoba Moose JC Lipon made his NHL debut playing on a line with Anthony Peluso and Andrew Copp. Lipon provided some energy on the fourth line logging 7:11 of ice time while registering one hit.

Adam Pardy and Patrice Cormier were both scratched.

The Jets homestand continues on Thursday as they welcome back the Nashville Predators for the second time in a week.

WATCH: Paul Maurice and Jets players discuss the 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

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Oilers add to Florida’s sudden woes, top Panthers 4-2

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SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida won a fight that everyone knew was coming.

What the Panthers needed more, however, was a win on the scoreboard — which they didn’t get. So a team that was unbeatable for about a month now suddenly can’t beat anyone.

Taylor Hall scored twice and added an assist, Cam Talbot stopped 30 shots and the Edmonton Oilers added to Florida’s slide by beating the Panthers 4-2 on Monday night.

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    Teddy Purcell assisted on both of Hall’s goals and added the clincher with 1:28 left for the Oilers, who built a 3-0 lead and withstood a Florida rally in the final 20 minutes.

    “Pretty good hockey game,” Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said.

    “It went back and forth. We owned parts of the game. They owned chunks of the game. It was good for us to experience that on the road.”

    Jordan Eberle also scored for the Oilers.

    Reilly Smith and Quinton Howden scored early in the third period for Florida, which has dropped four straight since winning 12 in a row. Al Montoya gave up three goals on the first seven shots he faced, and the Panthers had their club-record home winning streak snapped at seven games.

    Since their winning streak, the Panthers have been outscored 16-5 — yet remain in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

    “Half a game again,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “It’s not good enough. We give them a couple of goals, we give them, I don’t know, four or five breakaways tonight. We gave them odd-man rushes. It wasn’t a fun game to coach.”

    Purcell’s goal came when Montoya was heading toward the bench for an extra attacker, then turned back but not in time to make what would have been a spectacular save. Montoya stopped 19 shots.

    “We’ve got to settle it down and kind of re-evaluate how we’ve been playing and what’s going wrong,” Florida’s Nick Bjugstad said. “We can’t overthink it, but we do have to address some things.”

    Florida was again without All-Star defenceman Aaron Ekblad, who hasn’t played since taking a huge hit from Edmonton’s Matt Hendricks on Jan. 11. Hendricks was penalized for boarding and subsequently suspended three games for the play, coincidentally returning to the Oilers’ lineup Monday.

    And Florida was waiting for him.

    Fans booed him when he got on the ice, and raised their volume when Hendricks was shown on the scoreboard video screens early in the game. Moments after that, Panthers defenceman Erik Gudbranson squared off with Hendricks — getting at least 11 right-handed punches in, while the Oilers’ forward did all he could just to stay on his feet.

    “That’s what fighting does,” Hall said. “People that want fighting out of the game, sometimes you just need some fisticuffs to settle things down and square off as a team and then we go play hockey. I thought it was a great response by Hendo. He’s the type of guy that thrives on that stuff.”

    READ MORE: Oilers Hendricks suspended 3 games for hit on Ekblad

    Hall opened the scoring not even 2 minutes after the fight ended, taking a pass from Purcell near centre ice after a Florida turnover and coming in on a breakaway. He beat Montoya to the stick side, and Eberle’s goal with 2:08 left in the first gave Edmonton a 2-0 lead.

    Hall struck again early in the second, again getting set up by Purcell.

    Talbot gave up the two quick ones to Smith and Howden early in the third, but settled back into a groove from there and denied two big Florida flurries in the final minutes.

    Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left in the second period with a hand injury that apparently occurred while he was blocking a shot.

    “And it’s going to be a long-term injury,” McLellan said.

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Saskatoon a ‘leader’ with AEDs: MD Ambulance

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SASKATOON – First responders know when it comes to cardiac arrest, every second counts. But according to a new study, if you’re living in a highrise, it could affect your chances of survival.

A study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests high-rise homes are more challenging to get to and the floor you live on matters.

“The increasing number of people living in highrise buildings presents unique challenges to care and may cause delays for 911-initiated first responders,” the study notes.

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    READ MORE: What floor you live on may determine cardiac arrest survival: Canadian study

    Out of the 7,842 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases, survival was greater on lower floors.

    “As more highrise buildings are constructed in urban centres across Canada, the number of 911 calls for emergency medical services in highrise buildings will also continue to increase. Furthermore, over 40 per cent of homeowners over the age of 65 years reside in high-rise buildings,” the report says.

    Building access issues, elevator delays and extended distance from the location of the responding vehicle to the patient can all contribute to delays in response times.

    Troy Davies, director of public affairs and media relations with MD Ambulance Care says Saskatoon’s Heart Safe program tries to prevent that from happening through pushing for more automated external defibrillators throughout the city.

    “We have over 800 businesses in our city that are heart safe and for that particular reason. You can’t get everywhere in that 10 minute window that we usually use. Four to six minutes and you’re talking brain damage,” he said.

    AEDs can be found in businesses, churches and condos in Saskatoon. Davies says the technology is life-changing.

    “Saskatoon is a leader. Twenty lives saved. The last most recent one we had was in August at the airport. TCU Place had a save last year. It’s the way of the future,” he said.

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Residents unhappy with proposed building, now two storeys taller – Halifax

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A proposed residential building that was not recommended by Halifax Regional Municipality staff partially because it was too tall for the area has returned for approval two storeys taller.

“We are not asking to change the neighbourhood,” said Greg Johnston, an architect for Paul Skerry Associates, which submitted the plan for Mythos Developments Ltd.

He spoke at a public meeting hosted by Districts 7 & 8 Planning Advisory Committee Monday evening about the design.

The nine-storey building, which would be erected at 6389 and 6395 North Street, would have 106 units.

Halifax Regional Municipality

The Halifax Forum’s Maritime Hall was where the meeting was held; about 150 people attended.

The 75-unit building was previously pitched to be erected at 6395 North Street and reach seven storeys in height.

It was not recommended because it was too tall, among other reasons detailed in a staff report (PDF).

Fast forward to 2016: the developer is now pitching a nine-storey, 106-unit version (PDF), which would be located at both 6389 and 6395 North Street.

“It grew, and it’s far, far, too dense and immense for the lot,” said Joan Fraser, who spoke at the meeting.

She added that, with a school nearby, the potential increased traffic could be dangerous.

The main issue was the size of the building, especially now that it’s even taller.

“We’re not saying ‘no’ to development. We’re just saying: ‘Why are you doing it like this?’” said Pat White. “I feel distrust.”

Johnston said the developer asked the community for feedback and made adjustments to the design accordingly.

Jennifer Watts, councillor for Halifax Peninsula North, said she’s keeping an “open mind” about the project.

The next step for the proposal is for it to be seen by the Planning Advisory Committee, which will make some recommendations; a staff report could be in councillors’ hands in about four to six months, she said.

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Search off Hawaii finds life rafts but no sign of 12 Marines

Written by admin on 15/03/2019 Categories: 长沙夜网

HONOLULU – Authorities searching the area where two Marine helicopters crashed off Hawaii have found some life rafts that were carried aboard the aircraft, but still no sign of the 12 crew members who were on board.

The Coast Guard said Monday that three of the four life rafts confirmed to have been aboard the helicopters have been recovered and efforts were being made to recover the fourth. Some of the rafts were inflated, but it was unclear how they came to be inflated, Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers said.

There is no indication that anyone was aboard the rafts, based on their condition and the lack of any personal effects, she said.

The search for the Marines entered its fourth day Monday, with plans to search into the night. Conditions have improved since the start of the search, with much smaller swells expected Monday.

Various agencies have been searching above water, below water and along the shoreline since the Coast Guard was notified late Thursday by a civilian who saw the aircraft flying and then saw a fireball.

WATCH: 12 Marines are identified as missing after two helicopters crash

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The Marines were alerted when the CH-53E helicopters carrying six crew members each failed to return to their base at Kaneohe Bay following a nighttime training mission. Hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter and C-130 airplane spotted debris 2 1/2 miles off of Oahu.

The crash was near the north shore, but the search area spans from the western coast of Oahu to the northeast corner of the island. At this point, it’s still a search for survivors, Mooers said.

The Coast Guard assumes the best-case scenario when considering how long someone in the right equipment and right conditions could survive, she said.

READ MORE: 12 feared dead after US military helicopter crash in Hawaii

“We err on the side of caution because the last thing that anybody wants is to suspend the search when there’s still a possibility of finding somebody,” she said.

Marine Capt. Timothy Irish said Monday that aircrews wear personal flotation devices with their flight suits and get additional training on top of survival swimming training. There are various ways that life rafts could be inflated, including a cord being pulled by debris, he said.

Mooers said people have been founds days or even weeks after they’ve been at sea.

Survival would entail overcoming many factors, including surviving the crash, being conscious for impact, being overwhelmed by water, and then facing dehydration, exposure and fatigue, said Mario Vittone, a retired Coast Guardsman who is an expert on sea survival. Vittone said survival seems unlikely, but he noted that he doesn’t know all the circumstances and there’s nothing unusual in the length of the search so far.

The transport helicopters were part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Known as Super Stallions, they are the U.S. military’s largest helicopter, capable of carrying a light armoured vehicle, 16 tons of cargo or a team of combat-equipped Marines, according to a Marine Corps website.

The wing’s commanding general, Brig. Gen. Russell Sanborn, told reporters Sunday he has personal experience with the “emotional roller coaster” families of the 12 Marines are experiencing.

His wife went through similar emotions when he was shot down 25 years ago during Operation Desert Storm and was listed as missing in action, he said.

Some family members were holding out hope that survivors could be found, while asking for privacy as they waited for updates.

“My husband and I want everyone to know that this is not about us,” Donna McGrew, mother of Maj. Shawn Campbell of College Station, Texas, said in a statement. “This is about the families that are suffering, and about all the sacrifices that our military members and their families make on a daily basis.”

The Coast Guard initially reported that the choppers had collided, but Irish said Friday that he did not know if the accident was a collision. The cause remained under investigation.

Mooers said the helicopters carry flight data recorders known as black boxes, but they have not been recovered.

A salvage ship from the Military Sealift Command arrived late Sunday from Pearl Harbor. It is supporting a Navy unit’s efforts to perform an underwater search of the aircrafts’ last known position with sonar and a remotely operated vehicle, the Coast Guard said in a news release. Searches by the unit on Sunday did not find any debris, the release said.

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DeRozan, Lowry combine for 61 points to lead Raptors past Nets

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TORONTO – Kyle Lowry poured in 31 points while DeMar DeRozan added 30 to lift the Toronto Raptors to their fifth straight win Monday, a 112-100 victory over the beleaguered Brooklyn Nets.

It was a fitting performance by the duo on a night announcers reminded fans to vote the Raptors into next month’s NBA all-star game in Toronto.

DeRozan’s big game came hours after he was named one of 30 finalists for the U.S. Olympic team.

Terrence Ross added 12 for Toronto (26-15), while Patrick Patterson finished with 12.

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Brook Lopez topped the Nets (11-31) with 29 points, while Joe Johnson added 22.

READ MORE: Raptors’ DeRozan named finalist to U.S. Olympic team

The Raptors were playing their first of seven games at home, finally back after an 11-day road trip that culminated with a 106-103 overtime win versus Orlando at London last Thursday.

Toronto’s win streak started with a 91-74 win at Brooklyn on June 6. Since then, the struggling Nets fired coach Lionel Hollins and reassigned general manager Billy King. Assistant Tony Brown is serving as the interim head coach, and the team remains without a GM.

But the Raptors never led by more than nine points, and trailed 84-81 heading into the fourth quarter. A thrilling 10-0 Raptors run that Lowry capped by draining a three-pointer with 3:34 to play finally gave Toronto some breathing room, and a 108-98 lead.

The Raptors would stretch their advantage to 14 points, and in the final minute coach Dwane Casey subbed his starters out of the game to a loud ovation.

Monday was Martin Luther King Day in the U.S., and both teams wore “MLK” in honour of the civil rights activist.

“As a young boy growing up in small-town rural Kentucky, I’ve seen far more than I needed to see and experience as far as segregation and discrimination,” Casey said. “I think the NBA has done a great job of recognizing (what King’s work meant for the league), and making sure that stays in the forefront, because I wouldn’t be standing right here right now if it wasn’t for him.”

The Raptors got off to a slow start, allowing the Nets to shoot 58 per cent in the first quarter. Joe Johnson scored 13 points in the frame, and the Nets took a 29-19 lead into the second.

Toronto roared back in the second and went ahead by a point when Lowry drilled a three with six minutes remaining. But Lopez had three baskets and a pair of big rebounds over the final 2:21 and the Raptors went into the halftime dressing room with a narrow 52-49 lead.

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China economic growth edged down to 6.8 per cent last quarter

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BEIJING – China’s economic growth edged down to 6.8 per cent in the final quarter of 2015 as trade and consumer spending weakened, dragging full-year growth to its lowest in 25 years.

Growth has fallen steadily over the past five years as the ruling Communist Party tries to steer away from a worn-out model based on investment and trade toward self-sustaining growth driven by domestic consumption and services. But the unexpectedly sharp decline over the past two years prompted fears of a politically dangerous spike in job losses.

Full-year growth declined to 6.9 per cent, government data showed Tuesday. That was the lowest since sanctions imposed on Beijing following its crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement caused growth to plummet to 3.8 per cent in 1990.

The October-December growth figure was the lowest quarterly expansion since the aftermath of the global financial crisis, when growth slumped to 6.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2009. Growth in the July-September quarter of 2009 was 6.9 per cent.

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Growth in investment in factories, housing and other fixed assets, a key economic driver, weakened to 12 per cent in 2015, down 2.9 percentage points from the previous year. Retail sales growth cooled to 10.6 per cent from 2014’s 12 per cent.

“The international situation remains complex,” said Wang Bao’an, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, as a news conference. “Restructuring and upgrading is in an uphill stage. Comprehensively deepening reform is a daunting task.”

Growth was in line with private sector forecasts and the ruling Communist Party’s official target of about 7 per cent for the year.

Beijing responded to ebbing growth by cutting interest rates six times since November, 2014, and launched measures to help exporters and other industries. But economists note China still relies on state-led construction spending and other investment.

December exports shrank 1.4 per cent from a year earlier, well below the ruling party’s target of 6 per cent growth in total trade. For the full year, exports were down 7.6 per cent, a blow to industries that employ millions of Chinese workers.

READ MORE: Wall Street sees worst-ever start to a year

Forecasters see indications retail sales and other activity accelerated toward the end of 2015, suggesting Beijing’s efforts to put a floor under the downturn are gaining traction.

“The growth picture remains two-sided. The real estate construction slump and weak exports continued to weigh on activity,” said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics in a report.

“Meanwhile, though, consumption continued to expand robustly, supported by solid wage growth,” said Kuijs. “The robust growth in the consumption and services nexus is key for policymakers. They need it to avoid labour market stress.”

Spending on online commerce grew by 33.3 per cent over 2014. Wang said the share of total economic activity accounted for by consumption rose to 56.4 per cent, up 15 percentage points from 2014.

Forecasters expect economic growth to decline further this year, with the International Monetary Fund targeting a 6.3 per cent expansion.

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