5 Things You Need to Know About What Went Down This Week - September 1

We know you’re busy out there crushing your goals, so we’re keeping you in the loop on what’s going on in the headlines. Powered by Pressed News, here are five things you need to know from this past week—from Bianca Andreescu’s big win to The B.C. Parks Foundation raising $3 million.

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1. #SHETHENORTH

It took a tiebreaker and a comeback, but Bianca Andreescu pulled it off. The Canadian tennis star beat Swiss player Belinda Bencic in the Semi-Final of the U.S. Open on Thursday night to punch her ticket to her first-ever Grand Slam Final. She will go head-to-head in a rematch against Serena Williams.

How did it happen?

After Andreescu won the first set with a tiebreaker, Bencic started the second set strong and went up 5-2. It looked like Bencic was going to send the match to a third set, but Andreescu won four consecutive games to rally past her. FYI, to win a match, players in the women’s tournament have to win two out of three sets. Within those sets, players have to win by at least two games. If neither player can win by at least two games by the time one player reaches seven, there’s a tiebreaker. Andreescu won the match 7-6, 7-5. Watch the highlights.

What else do I need to know?

The 19-year-old is the first teenager to reach the Finals since 2009 and the first woman to reach the Finals in a U.S. Open debut since Venus Williams in 1997. On Saturday (4 p.m. ET), Andreescu will try to become the first Canadian to ever win a Grand Slam Singles Final. Only two other Canadians – Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard – have reached the championship match. Both lost. Andreescu’s opponent, No. 8 in the world, Serena Williams, is looking for her 24th major title. Reminder: Andreescu beat Williams in the Rogers Cup Final last month after Williams bowed out with a back injury. The teenager has already won $1.9 million in prize money from this tournament. If she wins tomorrow, she’ll take home a cool $3.8 million.

2. MONSTER STORM

Hurricane Dorian has claimed the lives of at least 30 people. Reminder: the storm hit the Bahamas last weekend as a Category 5 hurricane (the highest level) and reached wind speeds of 297 km/h. It’s the most powerful storm to ever hit the country directly. Dorian then hovered over the islands for 36 hrs straight, flattening homes and wiping out entire neighbourhoods. The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama were hit the hardest – about 45% of homes are destroyed or badly damaged and at least 60,000 people are in immediate need of clean water and food. The storm is now heading northeast toward Canada.

Is climate change to blame?

It’s hard to say. But it’s also hard to ignore the facts: as waters get warmer, hurricanes will escalate faster and develop stronger winds. 2019 is the fourth year in a row that resulted in at least one Category 5 hurricane; that’s the longest streak ever. Dorian is also one of several storms in the last few years that rapidly jumped in wind speed. And its stall over the Bahamas is similar to the movements of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Florence.

3. TEXAS

Seven people were killed and 25 injured in a deadly mass shooting in Odessa, Texas last weekend.

What happened?

On Saturday afternoon, police pulled over a gold Honda for failing to signal. The driver of the Honda took out a rifle, shot at police, then sped off and fired randomly at passengers and pedestrians. He later abandoned his car and hijacked a postal services truck, killing the driver, 29-year-old Mary Granados. Eventually, police caught up with the truck in a parking lot and shot and killed the attacker.

What else do we know?

The 36-year-old gunman, Seth Ator, was fired from his job just hours before the shooting. But police said the firing likely wasn’t the reason for the attack. Ator apparently showed up to work “enraged” and in a “distressed mental state.” His boss at Journey Oilfield Services called 911 to report him right after his firing. Ator himself also called the police before and during the shooting to tell them he was the guy “doing it.” Police are looking into how Ator got his gun in the first place since he failed his background check when he applied to get one legally. Since July, more than 40 people have died in four shootings in Texas, Ohio, and California.

4. IT'S COMPLICATED

The relationship between Canada and China doesn’t seem to be getting any better anytime soon. On Thursday, during a meeting with the Toronto Star editorial board, PM Trudeau accused China of “using arbitrary detention as a tool to achieve political goals.

What’s he talking about?

Last December, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver at the request of the U.S. for doing business with Iran and skirting American sanctions. Nine days after her arrest, two Canadians - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – were arrested in China and accused of spying, though many people see the arrests as retaliation.

Why is this coming up again?

Earlier this week, Trudeau picked Dominic Barton as the new ambassador to China, and China quickly approved. But during a speech on Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he hoped Barton’s appointment would “play a positive role in getting China-Canada relations back on track,” then urged Canada to release Wanzhou. When asked about it at his Toronto Star meeting, Trudeau said China’s pressure tactics are “not acceptable behaviour in the international community.”

5. GOOD NEWS

A crowdfunding campaign in Canada just raised enough money to buy a piece of land in B.C. The B.C. Parks Foundation was able to raise $3 million to buy 800 hectares (a lot) of land in Princess Louisa Inlet, which is about 100 km northeast of Vancouver. Foundation President Andrew Day said the charity decided to get involved when it found out the land got a couple offers from forestry companies. The sale, which will be finalized this week, will make the area one of the first crowdfunded protected parks in Canada.

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