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Sports cancellations and economy data: In The News for Aug. 28

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Aug. 28 …

What we are watching in Canada … 

The professional sports schedule is expected to start getting busier on Friday after a string of postponements the past two days, but it won’t be back to normal just yet.

While the NBA has said it hopes to resume its playoffs on Friday or Saturday in the aftermath of two gameless days at the league’s bubble in Florida, no firm schedule is on the table. The Eastern Conference semifinal opener between the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics needs to be rescheduled after being called off Thursday.

The Milwaukee Bucks triggered two days of cancellations by refusing to take the court Wednesday to protest social and racial injustice in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin last weekend.

The NHL, meanwhile, will have a second straight day of no games on Friday before it plans to resume its post-season Saturday in Toronto and Edmonton.

Major League Baseball returns for Jackie Robinson Day on Friday, honouring the man who broke the colour barrier in the sport after 10 postponements the past two days.

A Major League Soccer game in Montreal between the Impact and Toronto FC is scheduled for Friday, along with a semifinal involving Canadian Milos Raonic at the Western & Southern Open in New York after the tennis tournament postponed play Thursday.

Also this …

Statistics Canada will report this morning how the national economy fared in the second quarter of 2020, which is widely expected to show the steepest drop on record due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s central bank has forecast that April, May and June would be the worst three-month stretch for the economy this year, since those months span the height of prevention-related shutdowns.

Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate is for a 39.6-per-cent plunge compared to the same period in 2019.

Much of that drop will be driven by shutdowns beginning in April that have since been rolled back.

Last month, Statistics Canada released a preliminary estimate that economic output rose five per cent in June, following an increase in May.

Refinitiv says average economist expectations are for an increase in output of 5.6 per cent in June.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

The Republicans and Donald Trump rolled out their biggest political guns Thursday on the final night of their national convention, using the south facade of the White House as a backdrop — literally — for the president’s largest, highest-stakes Make America Great Again rally since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadly outbreak, which has claimed more than 183,000 American lives since it erupted on U.S. soil back in March, seemed the furthest thing from the minds of the estimated 2,000 guests on the south lawn, crammed in cheek-by-jowl — many without masks — for a first-hand look at Trump’s trademark political showmanship.

From atop a stage festooned with American flags and flanked by towering Trump-Pence billboards, Trump delivered a 70-minute speech that began with a formal acceptance of the Republican nomination for president and ended with a flourish of American rhetoric, an in-person aria from the White House balcony and a garish fireworks display that spelled “Trump 2020” in the Washington night sky.

“Despite all of our greatness as a nation, everything we ever achieved is now in danger,” Trump said at the outset.

“At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies or two agendas. This election will decide whether we save the American dream, or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny.”

His opening acts, which included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, pulled no punches in their depiction of Biden and his party as nothing short of the architects of American destruction.

And …

Remnants of Hurricane Laura unleashed heavy rain and twisters hundreds of miles inland from a path of death and mangled buildings along the Gulf Coast, and forecasters warned an eastern turn would again make the storm a looming threat, this time to the densely populated Eastern Seaboard.

Trees were down and power was out as far north as Arkansas, where remnants of the storm that killed at least six people in the United States were centred. The once fearsome Category 4 hurricane packing 150-mph winds weakened to a depression after dark.

New tornado warnings were issued after nightfall in Mississippi and Arkansas, hours after one of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the United States barrelled across Louisiana on Thursday.

A reported tornado tore part of the roof from a church in rural northeastern Arkansas as the remnants of Hurricane Laura crossed the state. No injuries were reported as the system still packed a punch after smashing into Louisiana’s Gulf Coast near the line with Texas.

A full assessment of the damage could take days. By then, the storm could re-energize and pose a threat to several Northeast states by Saturday, forecasters said.

On this day in 1996 …

The divorce of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, became final.

ICYMI …

Police in Manitoba say they aren’t looking for Walter White but they are seeking a man who robbed a bank dressed like the meth-cooking TV science teacher.

RCMP have shared security camera images of a man who robbed a bank in Landmark, a small community about 30 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg.

Police say the man entered the bank about 10 a.m. on Wednesday with a note on a whiteboard demanding cash.

The man was wearing a white suit, respirator-style mask, gloves and a dark baseball hat.

Walter White, played by actor Bryan Cranston, wore a similar getup when making drugs on the popular television show “Breaking Bad.” 

The man walked out of the bank two minutes later with an undisclosed amount of money.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2020

The Canadian Press

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