Five Blue Jays who made a difference in Toronto’s epic ALDS win

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays have advanced to the American League Championship Series after taking the ALDS with a wild 6-3 Game 5 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

Here are five Blue Jays players who made an impact in the Division Series:

JOSE BAUTISTA

Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista acknowledges the crowd after hitting a three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during seventh inning game five American League Division Series playoff baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Toronto’s right-fielder, who’s been with the organization since 2008, is relishing his first post-season experience – and contributing in a big way. The 32-year-old Bautista hit the series-winning three-run homer in Game 5, giving Toronto a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh after a controversial run had pulled Texas ahead in the top half of the frame.

“I knew I did something great for the team at the moment of impact because I knew I hit that ball pretty good,” Bautista said of his series-clinching shot. “I gave us the lead in a crucial moment so I was happy to do that.”

Bautista also hit an RBI double in the third inning Wednesday to account for four of Toronto’s six runs. He’s batting .273 with two home runs through five post-season games.

KEVIN PILLAR

Pillar led the team with a .412 batting average through the first four games of the series and had a third-best OPS of 1.118. He had three hits in Game 4 – an 8-4 Toronto win that forced the deciding fifth game – becoming the first Blue Jay to record three or more hits in one post-season game since Paul Molitor and Roberto Alomar did it in 1993.

The Blue Jays centre-fielder made a name for himself this season as a formidable defender, and that continued into the post-season. Pillar made a spectacular snag in the fourth inning of Game 5, running from deep to shallow centre, diving forward and getting his glove under a ball before it hit the turf to rob Josh Hamilton of a base hit.

ROBERTO OSUNA

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The Blue Jays rookie closer has continued his impressive first season into the playoffs. In four appearances in the five-game ALDS, Osuna worked 5 2/3 innings, giving up zero runs on zero hits. He came into Game 5 with a three-run lead and five outs to get and struck out four batters en route to his first post-season save.

“For a 20-year-old kid to be able to do what he’s done, to get the last three outs of the game, those are the toughest three outs to get in Major League Baseball, and that’s incredible,” left-hander David Price said about Osuna following the Game 5 win. “For him to be able to step up the way he has, that’s special.”

With Toronto trailing the best-of-five series 2-0, Osuna came up big in Game 3, getting the final three outs – Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus – in the Blue Jays’ 5-1 win. The next day he again worked a perfect ninth to help Toronto even the series.

MARCUS STROMAN

Stroman’s season began in agony, tearing his ACL during a spring training fielding drill, but from that moment on he vowed to return to the mound in time for the 2015 post-season. Not only has Stroman lived up to his promise, he’s exceeding just about everyone’s expectations. Stroman started the decisive fifth game of the ALDS, giving up two runs on six hits, a walk and four strikeouts. He also pitched the second game of the series, a 6-4 extra-innings loss, where he went seven strong innings, fanning five and allowing four runs (three earned).

JOSH DONALDSON

Donaldson tied for third place on the franchise post-season home run leaderboard with two (Jose Bautista, Pat Border, Kelly Gruber, John Olerud, Devon White and Dave Winfield are the others), and he drove in three runs over the first four games of the ALDS. Donaldson’s first homer of the post-season came in the first inning of Game 2 in Toronto, and cut the Blue Jays’ deficit to 2-1 in an eventual 6-4 loss in extras. His second gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead in the first inning of Game 4 in Texas, which Toronto won 8-4. Donaldson had a game-tying RBI and a run scored in Game 5, too.

UPDATE: Mudslides northeast of Pemberton cause evacuation order, power outages

An evacuation order has been issued for several homes northeast of Pemberton because of mudslides, as high water flows caused havoc through the Squamish-Lilloet Regional District on Sunday.

Properties between 9270 to 9280 Portage Road are under the evacuation order, along with Lot 1, DL 1548 Portage Road.

The largest impact was felt just north of Birken, 30 kilometres northeast of Pemberton, where two large mudslides have isolated hundreds of people between the community and D’Arcy, another small community on the shore of Anderson Lake.

Global News was given a photo of one of the mudslides, which appears to show a home almost completely submerged.

WATCH: Mudslides and flooding force evacuations northeast of Pemberton

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Russell Mack, Director for Squamish-Lilloet Regional District Electoral Area C, says there is no one in the area unaccounted for.

“We’re still waiting for the slide to stabilize,” said Ryan Wainwright, SLRD Emergency Program Manager.

“We’re still hearing rocks rumbling down, so it’s going to be a wait and see as to when that slide is stable enough for people to start working on it.”

Several power lines have fallen down and all areas from Pemberton to D’Arcy were without power for several hours today. While power has since been restored to Pemberton, there are still 254 customers between Birken and D’Arcy without power.

It’s unknown when the road will be reopened, and power is not expected to be the area until Monday at 5 p.m.

“It’s something that is impacting our residents quite severely,” says Wainwright. He says emergency stations have been set up in D’Arcy and Pemberton to assist with people affected.

View this post on Instagram

So much for making it to the lake. Road and power lines washed out.

A post shared by John Thomas (@jhthomas70) on Sep 20, 2015 at 12:33pm PDT

The South Coast experienced rain and high winds this weekend, and the BC River Forecast Centre has issued a high streamflow advisory for the Sea to Sky Corridor, along with the North Shore and Howe Sound. That advisory has now been ended.

A flood warning has also been issued for the Sea to Sky Corridor, and there are unconfirmed reports that flooding has blocked the Lillooet River Forest Service Road.

In addition, five vehicles on the Squamish River Service Road were lost due to mudslides.

In the Squamish valley, several hikers became trapped by washed-out roads. Squamish search and rescue was called in to take one stranded group out after RCMP received a distress call on Sunday.

Residents in the region who have been affected are asked to contact Wainwright at 604-698-6442.

WATCH: Flooding in Squamish:

Several fundraisers have been launched for victims of the slides. You can make donations at the Pemberton hardware store and cash donations are being accepted at the Pemberton Scotiabank.

An online fundraiser has been set up for one of the victims. Those who are interested in donating can go here.

Global News has a crew near the town of Birken

NDP candidate Pat Martin apologizes for “intemperate language” during campaign

WARNING: The following story contains explicit language

WINNIPEG – Pat Martin says he regrets the language he has used on the campaign trail in recent days and has offered an ‘unreserved apology’ to his fellow candidates.

In a story on the Huffington Post Saturday, the NDP incumbent for Winnipeg Centre called Liberal candidate, Robert-Falcon Ouellette a “political slut” and accused his wife of being “afraid she’ll have her hubcaps stolen if she ventures too far into the riding.”

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The comments follow a debate earlier in the week where the NDP MP  could be heard muttering “son-of-a-bitch” following questions from the Green Party candidate Don Woodstock.

In a statement Sunday night, Martin wrote:

Over the last few days I have used some intemperate language that I regret. I would like to offer an unreserved apology to my fellow candidates and to anyone else who may have taken offense to the tone and content of these remarks.

I hope we can move past this and return to having a healthy discussion of the issues affecting Winnipeg Centre voters.

Ouellette finished third in the Winnipeg mayoral race in 2014. In the HuffPost article, Martin was also quoted as saying:

“He is full of shit, frankly. I mean, who do you think you are? You show up, and three years later you are going to be the mayor of Winnipeg. And that doesn’t work out, so, that’s okay, I’ll be the member of Parliament?”

Martin’s campaign adviser said the NDP candidate would not be speaking further to his comments, saying the apology and the statement made over the weekend “stand”.

The biggest threat to Canada’s fragile economic recovery isn’t oil – National

As recessions go, Canada just experienced about as mild of a downturn as it gets in the first half of the year, and is once again in growth mode, economists from TD Bank said in a new forecast on Monday.

“The weakness in the first half of the year is in the rear-view mirror and the Canadian economy stands ready to resume growth,” the new report said.

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The country’s economy will expand by 1.2 per cent for the whole year, according to TD, but “the annual figure masks a rebound in the second half of the year” as growth kicks back into gear at an annualized clip of 2.5 per cent.

Not great most economists would say, but not bad either.

MORE: ‘Best. Recession. Ever.’

A lower loonie and rising U.S. demand means exports are finally “back in the game,” as evidenced by strong trade numbers in June and July, the latest data available. A discounted Canadian dollar – which TD now sees dropping to as low at 73 cents US – is also fueling the second-half rebound through increased tourism, with foreigners taking advantage of the currency drop.

Low interest rates should keep households in the spending mood, too, buoyed by “modest” employment and income gains, TD said, “resulting in steady, if unremarkable, consumption growth.” All told, the economy will grow just over 2 per cent next year through 2017.

That’s if all goes to plan. But as always, there are risks.

MORE: 5 things to know about the economy ahead of federal leaders debate

“While we consider this the most likely outcome, we cannot ignore a number of prominent downside risks to the outlook,” TD chief economist Beata Caranci, deputy chief economist Derek Burleton and economist Brian DePratto, said.

‘Largest risk’

The biggest potential disruption to Canada’s growth plans is admittedly a broad one consisting of several components, the biggest being China and the slowdown now gripping the world’s second-biggest economy.

A slowdown abroad, led by China, poses a bigger threat than a housing bust or debt bubble among Canadian households, TD said.

What happens in China matters to Canada, which is a net exporter of commodities. China accounts for as much as 80 per cent of new metal demand at any given time, and a third of worldwide oil demand, according to TD’s economists.

“China is a major driver of global [commodity] prices,” they said.

MORE: 5 reasons why China’s ‘new normal’ is rattling world markets

While U.S.-bound exports are poised to rise, it remains uncertain what the slowdown in China will mean for exported goods and materials headed for it as well as other regions – a Chinese slowdown is symptomatic of a slowing global economy, experts say.

TD’s 2016 outlook “depends” on a Canadian export boom next year for more than a quarter of the bank’s estimated GDP growth. “Any disappointment in exports presents a key risk to our outlook,” the economists said.

Here’s how TD sees Canada’s economic growth quarter by quarter over the next couple of years:

WATCH: With Canada in a recession, the economy is going to be top of mind for voters. Here’s a quick explainer on how we got into a recession and what it means to Canadians.

Soap star blasts Viola Davis’ Emmy win on Twitter – National

Viola Davis’ history-making Emmy win and call for more diversity on TV thrilled most viewers of Sunday’s Emmycast.

But not soap star Nancy Lee Grahn. Instead, the long-time cast member of General Hospital had a 桑拿会所 fit.

“Emmys not venue 4 racial opportunity,” she declared in a tweet later deleted.

This was followed by a tweet hailing Davis, the star of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder who became the first African-American to win a best actress Emmy, as “the bees knees.” But Grahn said Davis has never been discriminated against.

WATCH: ‘It doesn’t end here,’ says Viola Davis after historic Emmy win

Before long, Grahn seemed to cool off, tweeting that Davis is “a goddess.”

Finally came a string of apologies.

“Color me heartbroken,” tweeted Grahn, observing, “桑拿会所 can bring out the best & sadly tonight the worst of us.”

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©2015The Canadian Press

Suncor increases stake in Fort Hills

CALGARY – Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) is tightening its grip on the Fort Hills oilsands project by paying $310 million to take an additional 10 per cent stake off one of its partners hands.

The seller is Total E&P Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Paris-based Total SA, which will retain a 29.2 per cent interest — remaining the second-largest partner after Suncor.

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Once the transaction closes, Suncor will own 50.8 per cent of the $15-billion project and 20 per cent will be owned by Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B), which has waived its right to increase its share proportionately.

The deal comes as U.S. crude prices hover at around US$46 a barrel — around half of where they were a year ago — with no end to the doldrums in sight.

In a release, Total said it had weighed how its global assets stack up in the context of low oil prices and decided to reduce exposure to Canada’s oilsands.

Despite the gloomy outlook, Suncor CEO Steve Williams said the purchase makes sense in the long term.

“This opportunity to acquire an additional interest at a discounted price underscores Suncor’s confidence in its position within the oilsands,” he said in a release.

“We consider this project to be one of the best opportunities for long-term sustainable growth in the industry today, thanks to the exceptional quality of the resource and our disciplined project execution.”

Suncor said the transaction can be undertaken within its current 2015 capital budget of between $5.8 billion and $6.4 billion. Engineering is over 90 per cent complete and construction is more than 40 per cent complete.

The mine, north of Fort McMurray, Alta., is expected to start producing oil in late 2017, eventually ramping up to 180,000 barrels a day.

Desjardins Capital Markets analyst Justin Bouchard said there’s a strategic element to the deal, as Suncor now has majority control of Fort Hills.

“We believe this reduces the operational risk of the project,” he wrote in a research note. “For items that require majority approval, Suncor now has the ability to move ahead without its partners (if needed).”

In all, Suncor’s capital spending increase at Fort Hills is estimated at just over $1 billion, when both the acquisition and $700 million in future spending is taken into account.

In a research note, CIBC analyst Arthur Grayfer said Suncor is getting a good deal for the price — the increased stake means an additional 18,000 barrels of day of production that won’t decline for 50 years.

Assuming prices improve, Grayfer said Fort Hills will be the “free cash flow engine for all growth initiatives for the next decade.”

Follow @LaurenKrugel on 桑拿会所.

The best looks from the Emmys red carpet – National

Taraji P. Henson wowed in a custom lace Alexander Wang gown in black with bike-chain straps, and Amy Schumer stepped up her fashion game in a strapless blue-grey Zac Posen as the Emmys parade of pretty kicked off Sunday in Los Angeles.

Henson paired her edgy look that had a tiny, triangular cutout below the breast with a bob and minimal jewelry. Of the designer, Henson said: “He was my first date to the Met ball so I thought he should shine tonight.”

READ MORE: Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls movement wins the Emmys 2015 red carpet

If two is a trend then count Claire Danes with Henson as she, too, went for chunky chain details, her look a purple sequin Prada with gold links at the shoulders and sides.

“It IS a little rock star-esque,” she said.

Schumer did a little dance as she walked with her sister in her busty full gown. “We feel like the evil stepsisters,” she said. “We’re pretty psyched.”

Joanna Newsom went way outside the box as she walked the red carpet with hubby and the evening’s host, Andy Samberg, in a strapless Delpozo creation that had a huge oval applique with seashells on it, choosing a back ‘do with a severe middle part that hid her ears. She appeared more kicky nun than wow.

Some adored Heidi Klum’s Atelier Versace silk chiffon confection with one long, flowing sleeve and a skinny strap on the other side. Sheer to the upper thigh and dotted with crystals, it was busily adorned with petals.

“I called Donatella (Versace) and I said, ‘I have to have this canary yellow dress,’ and here it is,” Klum explained.

One of the early ladies in red was youthful Sarah Hyland, in a fitted maroon Zac Posen with an elegant neckline and a dainty strap falling to the shoulders and encircling her back. She rocked a wavy bob and sexy side part.

“I’m so sweaty,” she said. Styled by Brad Goreski, she wore long drop earrings and a jewel-encrusted cuff of the same colour.

Mindy Kaling, Padma Lakshmi, Taylor Schilling and Dascha Polanco joined the yellow patrol. It wasn’t possible for Lakshmi to be any sexier in her bombshell Romona Keveza in chartreuse. The strapless gown featured a draped silk sweetheart bodice and showed off her curves.

“It fits me, which is impressive,” the beauty smiled.

Jaimie Alexander of NBC’s Blindspot glistened from neck to toe in a body-hugging, blue, purple and red Armani Prive she wore with a slicked-back ‘do and delicate purple crystal earrings from Baccarat.

“It covers all the leftover tattoo residual stuff I have on my body right now,” she said of her high neckline and long sleeves.

In the all-about-the-pattern department, Zoe Kazan was part peppermint, part test pattern in her swirly striped Miu Miu gown. And that’s just fine with her. She said she picked it because it looked like a candy cane. And it did.

Kazan said she’s a great admirer of designer Miuccia Prada.

Kiernan Shipka, quite the little fashion darling with her regular attendance at New York Fashion Week, earned raves from style maven Nina Garcia on 桑拿会所 for a yellow Dior Haute Couture cut-off ball gown that was embroidered yellow with a sheer panel on top, paired with black wool cigarette pants and simple black heeled pumps.

Garcia tweeted that it was “fun, fashion forward, different & chic.” Others also praised Shipka’s look, but designer Michael Costello, who appeared on Project Runway and now designs his own lines, wasn’t a fan.

“It’s the Emmys and I think you shouldn’t show up looking like you’re wearing two different outfits,” he said. “That was just a fashion disaster.”

Costello loved Schumer’s curvy gown. In fact, he loved all the curves on the red carpet.

“That colour on Amy was absolutely beautiful. She was old Hollywood glamour, but we’re used to seeing that in sizes 2, 4 and 6,” he said. “It’s nice we’re now seeing it in 8, 10 and 12.”

Ellie Kemper in a sleeveless, multicolored Naeem Kahn that had a sparkly, striped design earned accolades. She also wore a big smile, with her hair slicked back in a middle part.

Always the bombshell, Laverne Cox showed up at the Microsoft Theater in a custom Calvin Klein Collection silk crepe dress in teal. It had a cut-out back and was designed by Francisco Costa.

The evening’s bright pop of pink came courtesy of Christine Baranski, worn with golden pearl drop earrings with diamonds from Chopard. Gina Rodriguez dazzled in a strapless paler shade of pink. It was a beaded silk tulle gown by Lorena Sarbu.

Kerry Washington walked in a silver-encrusted Marc Jacobs fresh off the New York Fashion Week runway and falling to the mid-calf with a side slit.

January Jones went for a teal green but in a strapless jumpsuit with a sweetheart neck.

Julianne Hough attended Marchesa’s fashion week show in New York and grabbed Look No. 1 for herself, a strappy black sheer praised by some but criticized by others as a bit too Frederick’s of Hollywood.

And then there was Sofia Vergara, in her usual wow mode. This time, she picked Italian gold lame, a custom gown encrusted with Swarovski stones and designed by St. John with a softly flared train and a curved strapless neckline.

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©2015The Canadian Press

Rogers Centre flooded after urinal ripped from wall at Friday’s Blue Jays game

TORONTO – In the past, Toronto Blue Jays fans have been called wild and unruly — more than two decades without playoff ball can do that.

Running on the field scaling the outfield walls, vomiting in the stands, and fisticuffs all come to mind. (Yes, this all happened in one season in 2013.)

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But with this year’s team on the cusp of a post-season berth, the first since 1993, one might expect a more gracious or perhaps cordial crowd.

That wasn’t the case at Friday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox when a fan managed to rip a urinal from a bathroom wall around the sixth inning, causing water to flood the concourse level.

READ MORE: Stroman shines in 2015 home debut, holds Red Sox in check as Jays win 6-1

Blue Jays spokesperson Jay Stenhouse confirmed the Herculean feat did take place but could not elaborate on where exactly it happened.

VIDEO: (Tue, Apr 23, 2013): Some have said the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays fans were the most obnoxious ever. Carey Marsden reports.

It didn’t take long though for fans to chime in as several witnesses in attendance were shocked over the incident.

According to the Globe and Mail, water from the cracked pipe flooded the 500 Level concourse and made its way into the Jays’ 400 Level offices disabling an elevator car.

READ MORE: Blue Jays fans make hilarious parody of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’

Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrator was apparently “half-dressed” during the incident and some on social media suggested he was asleep when conducting his business.

There’s no word yet on the cost of the damages or if the alleged urinal destroyer will be allowed back at future Blue Jays games.

Elections Canada warns staff to look out for dirty ‘voter suppression’ tricks

OTTAWA – Elections Canada has quietly warned staff to be on the lookout for increasingly sophisticated tactics aimed at discouraging – or even stopping – voters from casting a ballot.

The advanced voter suppression techniques flourishing in the United States are likely to spill into other countries, employees were advised in a presentation aimed at raising awareness prior to the Oct. 19 federal election.

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The digital revolution has fuelled intensive data analysis south of the border that allows political parties to zero in on people who support rival candidates and then find ways to prevent them from voting.

The development prompted Elections Canada to comb through academic papers and media reports and talk to experts and lawyers about the phenomenon of electoral malpractice.

“It’s important for us to identify potential risks in order to be prepared to detect and respond to incidents that may occur, including incidents that could compromise the integrity of the election,” said Elections Canada spokesman John Enright.

A copy of the May 2014 presentation, “An Introduction to Emerging Trends and Threats in Electoral Operations,” was released to The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

READ MORE: Harper says Liberal plan to scrap F-35s shows only Tories can keep Canadians safe

It was prepared just months before Conservative campaign worker Michael Sona was convicted of taking part in a scheme to misdirect voters in Guelph, Ont., to phoney poll locations during the 2011 campaign.

The research revealed that rough-and-tumble American political campaigns are the seedbeds of such behaviour – identifying 17 cases in 15 states from 2004 through 2012.

“We need look no further than the United States to find a vast overview of contemporary voter suppression and surveillance practices,” the presentation notes say.

Elections Canada cites four stages of a successful voter suppression plan:

Identify non-supporters;Gather information on them;Prevent them from going to the polls through scare tactics, misinformation or systematic challenging of registrations;If electors get to the polls, prevent them from voting by contesting eligibility or identification, and through intimidation.

Eleven years ago, one party took the fairly broad-brush approach of assuming students at a historically black college in Florida would not be supporters, the presentation points out. The party then systematically challenged the eligibility of voters on that list, resulting in long poll lineups and delays.

But today the same computer software that allows parties to build massive databases with detailed information about likely supporters also enables them to more precisely identify – and target – non-supporters.

READ MORE: Greens file complaint to CRA in bid to get Elizabeth May into Munk debate

Parties use voter lists, digital maps, and information from public or commercial sources to build personal profiles – each containing up to 250 pieces of data, from basic demographic information to culinary or musical tastes.

“These databases allow campaigns to send micro-targeted messages to specific audiences,” the notes say.

For instance, Spanish-speaking voters in Arizona received robocalls and mailouts in 2012 advising them to vote after election day.

In Maryland, tens of thousands of Democratic voters were apparently targeted by robocalls in 2010 falsely saying their candidate had already won the election.

The U.S. has also seen the rise of “poll watchers” recruited by activist groups, the notes say. “They often harass voters in predominantly minority voting districts, create anxiety and agitate voters.”

Another tactic involves handing out flyers threatening jail time or other penalties for those who vote “illegally” – a means of dissuading those who are unsure of their registration status or whether they have the correct identification.

A multi-party parliamentary system like Canada’s may be especially affected by such micro-targeting, which tends to “consolidate power in the larger, more well financed political parties” at the expense of smaller ones, the Elections Canada notes say.

In addition, micro-targeting can have a “disproportionate impact” on parliamentary systems, where subtle shifts in voter behaviour of specific slivers of the electorate in key electoral districts “can indeed affect the distribution of seats in the legislature and even the composition of the government.”

©2015The Canadian Press

For 7 years, VW software thwarted pollution regulations – National

DETROIT  — Volkswagen became the world’s top-selling carmaker trumpeting the environmental friendliness, fuel efficiency and high performance of diesel-powered vehicles that met America’s tough Clean Air laws.

VW’s success story was so good that pollution-control advocates did their own tests, hoping to persuade other countries to enforce the same strict standards.

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Instead, they got a foul-smelling surprise: In actual driving, the VWs spewed as much as 40 times more pollution from tailpipes than allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We ran the program to show that U.S. diesels are clean,” said John German, senior fellow with the International Council on Clean Transportation, the group that blew the whistle on Volkswagen. “Turned out we found a violator.”

READ MORE: Volkswagen subject of U.S. criminal probe; class action filed in Canada

The EPA and the California Air Resources Board announced the violations on Friday, accusing VW of installing software that switches on pollution controls during smog tests, then switches them off again so that drivers can enjoy more engine power on the road.

VW got away with this scheme for seven years, and according to the EPA, didn’t come clean even when repeatedly confronted with evidence of excessive pollution.

Industry analysts say the company was likely trying to reduce costs and improve performance, to match its marketing.

Instead, VW’s stock plunged a stunning 17 percent on Monday, costing the company $15 billion in market value in a single day. It also outraged customers, turned up the heat on the CEO, and could bring up to $18 billion in penalties from the U.S. government alone.

The company stopped selling the vehicles and likely will have to recall nearly 500,000 Jetta, Golf, Beetle and Audi A3 cars dating to the 2009 model year.

CEO Martin Winterkorn promised a company investigation as he apologized on Sunday, saying VW had broken the trust of customers and the public. He also pledged to cooperate with government investigations.

READ MORE: VW Canada suspends sale of some models as emissions probe widens

U.S. diesel emissions limits, mainly for ozone-causing nitrogen oxide, are more strict than those in Europe. Removing the chemical requires additional hardware. Instead, VW used secret software — an algorithm that detects when cars are being tested on treadmill-like devices called dynamometers, and stealthily switches the engines to a cleaner mode.

Because smog tests are almost always done on dynamometers, VW got away with the scheme for seven years, until the “clean transportation” advocates went to West Virginia University, which tests emissions using equipment that fits in car trunks.

WVU tested three cars in real-world conditions — a 2012 VW Jetta, a 2013 VW Passat and a BMW X5 SUV. The BMW passed, but the university found significantly higher emissions from the Volkswagens, according to the EPA.

The university and the council reported their findings to the EPA and CARB in May 2014, but VW blamed the problem on technical issues and unexpected conditions. The automaker even did a recall late last year, without much improvement, the EPA said.

Only when the EPA and CARB refused to approve VW’s 2016 diesel models for sale did the company explain what it had done.

“We met with VW on several occasions, and they continued to dispute our data, so we’d return to the lab,” recalled CARB spokesman Dave Clegern. “Over time, VW had no other explanations left, and it was our lab staff who actually got VW to admit that there was, in fact, a defeat device.”

VW’s diesel cars represent just a fourth of its U.S. sales, so the company was probably trying to avoid the cost of more sophisticated pollution controls, since it sells far more diesels in Europe, said Alan Baum, a consultant in Detroit who advises automakers on fuel economy regulations.

READ MORE: GM reaches $900M deal to settle criminal probe; to pay $575M to settle civil suits

“That enabled them to offer the diesel without some of the additional hardware and software in the U.S.,” Baum said.

The scheme also gave VWs better mileage, German said.

The scandal is already damaging VW’s reputation as the people’s car. European regulators announced parallel investigations, and the EPA said it is expanding its probe to make sure other automakers aren’t using similar devices.

VW board members reportedly planned a crisis meeting Wednesday ahead of their regular board meeting. And at the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest said “we are quite concerned by some of the reports that we’ve seen about the conduct of this particular company.”

VW CEO Winterkorn will face difficult questions in the coming days.

“I’d be surprised if Winterkorn can ride this out, but in Germany there’s often a slightly slower process in these matters,” said Christian Stadler, a professor of strategic management at Warwick Business School.

For a company to engage in such blatant trickery, top executives must have been informed, said Guido Reinking, a German auto expert.

Winterkorn is an engineer by training who led research and development across the VW group beginning in 2007, and became chairman of the management board the same year.

The illegal software was made and installed in vehicles with 2.0-liter diesel engines during the model years 2009 through 2015, the EPA said.

Car owners do not need to take any immediate action. The cars threaten public health, but the violations pose no safety hazards, and the cars remain legal to drive and sell while Volkswagen comes up with a plan to repair them at company expense, the EPA said.

VW didn’t acknowledge its scheme until Sept. 3, EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia said Monday. On Sept. 9, without making any reference to VW, the Justice Department announced a renewed commitment to holding individual executives accountable for corporate wrongdoing. And when the EPA announced VW’s violations on Friday, it noted that in addition to the corporate fines of $37,500 per vehicle, individuals could be fined $3,750 per violation of the Clean Air Act.

On Capitol Hill, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said his subcommittee will determine whether auto buyers were deceived. “The American people deserve answers and assurances that this will not happen again. We intend to get those answers.”

Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka has strained hamstring, won’t face Blue Jays

NEW YORK — So much for that pitching plan the Yankees had for Toronto.

Masahiro Tanaka has a strained right hamstring and won’t make his scheduled start for New York this week during a crucial series at the Blue Jays.

The right-hander got hurt running to first base after bunting Friday in an interleague game against the Mets at Citi Field. He pitched another five innings — pretty well, too — but an MRI on Saturday revealed a Grade 1 strain, the least severe.

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“Our fear is that if he goes out there on Wednesday he could hurt it worse, and then you’re in a whole lot of trouble,” manager Joe Girardi said Sunday.

READ MORE: Blue Jays fall 4-3 to Red Sox, drop two of three games to Boston

It’s a considerable blow to the Yankees, who hope Tanaka will miss only one turn. They juggled their rotation specifically so he could face the Blue Jays, who held a three-game lead in the AL East over New York going into Sunday night’s Subway Series finale.

Struggling right-hander Ivan Nova, recently removed from the rotation, will pitch in Tanaka’s place Wednesday night.

“I’m not looking at it as something very serious,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I feel it’s getting better and better each day.”

Tanaka has been the team’s best starter lately. He is 12-7 with a 3.38 ERA, including 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in his last two outings against Toronto’s powerful lineup.

He acknowledged he tried to persuade the Yankees to let him start Wednesday but said he understands the decision.

WATCH: Blue Jays fans make hilarious parody of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’

“The season’s not over,” Tanaka said. “I’ll probably be able to pitch again.”

Tanaka will stay in New York to get three days of treatment rather than travel with the team to Toronto. The starting rotation already was missing 14-game winner Nathan Eovaldi, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the regular season with elbow inflammation.

Adam Warren and rookie Luis Severino, slated to start the first two games of the Blue Jays series, were sent ahead to get some rest instead of flying overnight following Sunday night’s game against the Mets.

Nova is 6-8 with a 5.11 ERA in 14 starts since returning this season from Tommy John surgery. He was moved to the bullpen after giving up six runs and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings of a 10-7 home loss to the Blue Jays on Sept. 12.

“It’s not what you want to hear. You want to pitch every five days,” said Nova, who did throw seven solid innings in a win at Toronto on Aug. 14.

READ MORE: All aboard! Baseball terms explained for Toronto Blue Jays bandwagon-jumpers

Nova has not appeared in a game since the demotion. He threw a side session Saturday and said he thinks the time off will be beneficial.

“He hasn’t been off starting that long, so that part shouldn’t be hard,” Girardi said. “He’s had some good starts and bad starts the last month. We’re just going to need a good start his next start.

“He’s been through it before,” the manager added. “He understands, and I think he’s looking forward to the challenge.”

It’s not the first time a front-line Yankees pitcher has been hurt after getting a rare opportunity to bat in a National League ballpark. Back in 2008, Chien-Ming Wang sustained a serious foot injury running the bases at Houston — before the Astros switched to the AL.

St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright went down with a season-ending Achilles injury while batting early this year, prompting another round of commentary about pitchers at the plate and the designated hitter.

“It’s frustrating,” Girardi said. “You get concerned whenever your pitchers have to hit. You try to do everything you can to keep them from getting hurt. You try to prepare them, and (one thing) that you can’t prepare is that sudden burst that they have to make, and I think it happened in (Tanaka) trying to beat the play to first on the bunt.”

Still, Girardi is glad the American League uses the DH and the NL doesn’t.

Tanaka said he enjoys hitting, too.

“I actually like the separation of leagues. My complaint as I mentioned yesterday is that they don’t hit in the minor leagues and that makes no sense to me,” Girardi said. “We tell our guys to take it easy in situations. But I’ve often said that one of the reasons they are successful is the competitive nature inside of them and they understand the importance of runs, and it’s just hard.”

©2015The Canadian Press

Bike lanes being extended on Richmond and Adelaide – Toronto

TORONTO – The City of Toronto is extending separated bicycle lanes along Richmond Street and Adelaide Street.

The extension is part of a pilot project which began last year to improve the city’s cycling infrastructure.

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The new work will result in the extension of cycle tracks on Richmond Street, which is one-way westbound, from Parliament Street to York Street, and on Adelaide Street, which is one-way eastbound, from Simcoe Street to Parliament Street.

Cycle tracks will then be in place on both Richmond and Adelaide between Parliament Street in the east and Bathurst Street in the west.

Bicycle lanes will also be installed on both sides of Peter Street, from King Street to Queen Street.

“When the extension is complete, dedicated cycle tracks will run right across the city’s downtown from Bathurst in the west to Parliament in the east,” said Councillor Jaye Robinson, Chair of the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, during a press conference Monday morning.

The installation of the tracks is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Robinson said ridership numbers have skyrocketed since the pilot project started last year.

On Richmond, the number of cyclists have more than doubled from 500 in June 2014 to 1,300 in May 2015.

The numbers are even higher on Adelaide where cyclists have more than tripled from 550 in June 2014 to over 1,500 in May 2015.

“We anticipate they are going to go up,” said Robinson. “There’s been no negative impact on travel times.”

Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls movement wins the Emmys 2015 red carpet – National

Amy Poehler may not have won an Emmy Sunday night, but she definitely won the Internet with her #SmartGirlsAsk campaign, a joint initiative between 桑拿会所, the Television Academy and Amy’s Smart Girls, an organization “dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves.”

The campaign asked people to submit intelligent questions for celebrities — a refreshing twist to the often mind-numbing “who are you wearing” questions that have become a red carpet staple. Hundreds of thought-provoking questions were tweeted out, at times from some pretty big names.

In another victory, Viola Davis became the first woman of colour to claim top drama series acting honours at Sunday’s Emmy Awards.

An emotional Davis, who won for her portrayal of a ruthless lawyer in How to Get Away With Murder, invoked the words and spirit of 19th-century African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

“I can’t seem to get over that line,” she quoted Tubman as saying.

“The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity,” Davis added. “You cannot win Emmys with roles that are simply not there.”

WATCH:  ‘It doesn’t end here,’ says Viola Davis after historic Emmy win

READ MORE: Natalie Portman sounds off on challenges facing women in Hollywood

Comments made by Matt Damon recently sparked a debate on diversity in the industry. And during a Toronto International Film Festival panel, female leaders agreed there’s still a long way to go to reach gender equality.

With files from The Associated Press

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