Jets ‘cornering’ the market on mediocrity

August 31 2014 09:04PM

The Jets addressed their depleted cornerback position Sunday, although it could hardly be considered an upgrade. Gang Green claimed former Browns corner Leon McFadden off waivers, making room for him...

Babin digs the ‘rush’ he gets from Rex’s defense

August 31 2014 08:59PM

Jason Babin figures this is where he was supposed to end up. The Jets outside linebacker took a twisting path to get here, but Rex Ryan’s defense feels as if...

Joe Girardi criticizes facilities at Rogers Centre

August 31 2014 04:51PM

Yankees manager Joe Girardi is not impressed with the facilities at Rogers Centre.

Girardi criticized the visiting clubhouse’s weight room on Sunday when asked about the physical rehabilitation program of starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka made the trip to Toronto for New York’s three-game series with the Blue Jays. However, he was sent back to New York to continue physiotherapy for general arm soreness. Girardi was clearly frustrated when asked by media about the move before Sunday’s game.

“The facilities are better there and that’s why we sent him back,” said Girardi. “I know you get upset but, I mean, I told you why we did it. We’re not hiding anything.”

When a reporter insisted that they weren’t upset, but that they thought it was an unusual move, Girardi became more animated.

“Has anyone seen the weight room? It’s about as big as this area we’re in right now, this little room,” said Girardi, gesturing to the crowded visitors’ dugout. “It doesn’t have a SwimEx. It doesn’t have all the modalities. I mean, I told you, I’m concerned about him. I am concerned about him.

“We just felt it was more productive for him to be there.”

A SwimEx is a small pool that uses jets to create a constant current, allowing users to swim in place. Modalities refers to a variety of treatments including hot packs, cold packs and ultrasound.

Jets claim CB McFadden off waivers from Browns

August 31 2014 04:20PM

The New York Jets claimed cornerback Leon McFadden off waivers from the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and released cornerback LeQuan Lewis to make room on the 53-man roster.

Meet the new Jets chant leader — Derek Tabacco

August 30 2014 10:08PM

Move over Fireman Ed — this new chant leader is smokin’! Online voters have chosen Jets superfan Derek Tabacco to orchestrate the J-E-T-S cheer when Gang Green tackles the Raiders...

Dimitri gets his walking papers

August 30 2014 04:00PM

The bizarre Dimitri Patterson saga with the Jets came to an end Saturday when the team released the veteran cornerback who went AWOL last week. Patterson was among the 21...

Jets cut Patterson, Hill

August 30 2014 03:31PM

Dimitri Patterson went from AWOL to cut from the New York Jets.

Jets release suspended CB Patterson

August 30 2014 02:37PM

The New York Jets have released suspended cornerback Dimitri Patterson, ending a bizarre week that began when he left the team before its preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 22.

WR Stephen Hill among Jets' final cuts

August 30 2014 11:33AM

The New York Jets have waived wide receiver Stephen Hill, parting ways with the 2012 second-round draft pick after two seasons marked by injuries and inconsistent play.

EU to slap new sanctions on Russia after incursion into Ukraine

August 30 2014 10:59AM

BRUSSELS—The European Union on Saturday warned that the apparent incursion of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil pushes the conflict closer to a point of no return, with new economic sanctions being drawn up to make Moscow reconsider its position.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who briefed a summit of the 28-nation EU’s leaders in Brussels, said a strong response was needed to the “military aggression and terror” facing his country.

“Thousands of the foreign troops and hundreds of the foreign tanks are now on the territory of Ukraine,” Poroshenko told reporters in English. “There is a very high risk not only for peace and stability for Ukraine, but for the whole peace and stability of Europe.”

French President Francois Hollande and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said upon their arrival for the summit in Brussels the leaders will make a political decision and then ask the EU’s executive arm to finalize the fine print of new sanctions.

Lithuanian leader Dalia Grybauskaite added Russia’s meddling in Ukraine, which seeks closer ties with the EU, amounts to a direct confrontation that requires stronger sanctions.

“Russia is practically in the war against Europe,” she said in English.

NATO estimates that at least 1,000 Russian soldiers are in Ukraine even though Russia denies any military involvement in the fighting that has so far claimed 2,600 lives, according to U.N. figures.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also warned that Europe can’t be complacent about Russian troops on Ukrainian soil.

“Countries in Europe shouldn’t have to think long before realizing just how unacceptable that is,” he said. “We know that from our history. So consequences must follow.”

Conceding ground in the face of a reinvigorated rebel offensive, Ukraine said Saturday that it was abandoning a city where its forces have been surrounded by rebels for days. Government forces were also pulling back from another it had claimed to have taken control of two weeks earlier.

The statements by Col. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the national security council, indicate that Ukrainian forces face increasingly strong resistance from Russian-backed separatist rebels just weeks after racking up significant gains and forcing rebels out of much of the territory they had held.

Poroshenko, meanwhile, said Ukraine would welcome an EU decision to help with military equipment and further intelligence-sharing.

The office of the Donetsk mayor reported in a statement that at least two people died in an artillery attack on one of Donetsk’s neighbourhoods. Shelling was reported elsewhere in the city, but there was no immediate word on casualties.

In Brussels, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said “sanctions are not an end in themselves,” but a means to dissuade Russia from further destabilizing Ukraine.

“We may see a situation where we reach the point of no return,” Barroso warned. “If the escalation of the conflict continues, this point of no return can come.”

He provided no specifics about which sanctions the heads of state and government might adopt to inflict more economic pain to nudge Russia toward a political solution.

The U.S. and the EU have so far imposed sanctions against dozens of Russian officials, several companies and the country’s financial industry. Moscow has retaliated by banning food imports.

Grybauskaite said the EU should impose a full arms embargo, including the cancelling of already agreed contracts. France has so far staunchly opposed that proposal because it has a $1.6 billion contract to build Mistral helicopter carriers for Russia.

New EU sanctions have to be agreed unanimously — a requirement that has in the past blocked or softened decisions since some nations fear the economic fallout. Russia is the EU’s No. 3 trading partner and one of its biggest oil and gas suppliers.

Barroso said that the EU — a bloc encompassing 500 million people and stretching from Lisbon to the border with Ukraine — stands ready to grant Kyiv further financial assistance if needed. The bloc will also organize a donors’ conference to help rebuild the country’s east at the end of the year, he added.

Ukrainian forces had been surrounded by rebels in the town of Ilovaysk, about 20 kilometres (15 miles) east of the largest rebel-held city of Donetsk for days.

“We are surrendering this city,” Ukraine’s Lysenko told reporters. “Our task now is to evacuate our military with the least possible losses in order to regroup.”

Lysenko said that regular units of the military had been ordered to retreat from Novosvitlivka and Khryashchuvate, two towns on the main road between the Russian border and Luhansk, the second-largest rebel-held city. Ukraine had claimed control of Novosvitlivka earlier in August.

Separately, Ukrainian forces said one of their Su-25 fighter jets was shot down Friday over eastern Ukraine by a missile from a Russian missile launcher. The pilot ejected and was uninjured, the military said in a brief statement.

Jets deliver, but questions remain as regular season approaches

August 29 2014 06:30PM

The preseason is mercifully over and now the Jets can shift into preparation mode for the regular season, which opens Sept. 7 against the Raiders at MetLife Stadium. The Jets...

‘Too early to tell’ if Dee Milliner will play Jets opener

August 29 2014 03:09PM

The mystery of who will start at cornerback for the Jets in their regular-season opener did not gain any clarity Friday. Jets coach Rex Ryan said it is “still too...

Second woman charged with threatening Sunwing flight released on bail

August 29 2014 02:59PM

Milana Muzikante, the second passenger charged with threatening a Sunwing flight bound to Cuba that was escorted back to Pearson by two CF-18 fighter jets on Wednesday, has been released from a correctional facility in Milton.

She was being held at the Vanier Centre for Women temporarily until someone could sign for her $2,500 bail.

Her lawyer, Donald Bitter, said that her grandfather signed for her release Friday afternoon.

“It is her grandfather that’s her surety. There was a bit of confusion in the J.P’s office and they took her back to the Vanier, so that was the reason for the delay,” he told the Star.

Muzikante, 26, and her friend Lilia Ratmanski, 25, were both granted bail at $2,500 Thursday at the Brampton courthouse, where they appeared in handcuffs. Ratmanski was released but Muzikante was kept in custody because she did not have someone to sign for her bail at that time.

The two women allegedly drank a “significant quantity” of alcohol in the airplane bathroom and lit a cigarette, which triggered the on-board smoke detector, according to Sunwing spokeswoman Janine Chapman.

They then allegedly got into a physical fight with each other and threatened the aircraft.

Both women are charged with smoking on an aircraft, endangering the safety of an aircraft, mischief over $5,000, mischief endangering life, and uttering threats. Endangering the safety of an aircraft, the most severe of the charges, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

As part of the terms of their bail, both women are forbidden from consuming, purchasing or possessing alcohol, being on an airplane or at an airport, and communicating with the other.

Evidence presented during the case is subject to a publication ban.

Bitter declined to comment further on the details.

“I don’t want this case to be tried in the press,” he said.

The Star has not been able to contact Muzikante or Ratmanski, who studied nursing at York University, for comment.

Reached at her home on Friday morning, Ratmanski’s mother did not want to answer questions and said her daughter was sleeping.

“This family has trouble. It’s not a joke. We don't want to speak about this. Forget about this forever,” she said.

With files from Katelyn Verstraten, Sean Wetselaar, Laura Armstrong and Eric Andrew-Gee

What will Jets’ 53-man roster look like?

August 29 2014 10:42AM

The Jets will trim their roster to 53 players by 4 p.m. on Saturday. The initial cuts are just the beginning as the team will add players off waivers on...

What you need to know for Friday in Toronto: News, weather, events

August 29 2014 06:03AM

Weather and traffic:

Better grab your sunglasses as you head out the door: Torontonians can expect a mainly sunny Friday with a high of 24 C and a low of 18 C.

The UV Index will be 7, considered high by Environment Canada. Increased clouds are expected in the evening.

GO Transit and TTC are running smoothly. Flights out of Billy Bishop and Toronto Pearson are running on time.

Events in the city:

The last free Play the Parks lunch time concert is this Friday. Christian Bridges will play reggae and rock music at Trinity Square Park in downtown Toronto, beginning at noon.

The summer art festival Artfest at the Distillery runs Aug. 29-Sept. 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Distillery District downtown. Festivities include painting, photography, sculpture, live music and more. Admission is free.

For additional Toronto events, check out the City of Toronto website.

Top headlines:

Canadian tennis stars Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic have advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open in New York.

Two women accused of a drunken incident on a Sunwing flight that forced the Cuba-bound airplane to return to Toronto Wednesday evening are facing numerous charges, including endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Canadian fighter jets have started their mission to patrol the airspace over Lithuania as tensions brew over Russian aggression.

Six hospitals in the GTA gave patient information to baby photographers who paid for access to maternity wards.

A broken voting system, lights going out prematurely, and Mayor Rob Ford’s lone voting: The last meeting of Ford’s council term was not without incident Thursday evening.

Did you know:

The High Park Zoo was originally established in 1893 for deer. Today, it houses a wide range of animals, including bison, reindeer, yaks, llamas, sheep, wallabies and emus.

A look back:

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit land near Buras, La., southeast of New Orleans, after passing over the Gulf of Mexico. More than 1,800 people were killed, and an estimated $125 million of damage resulted.