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About 75 people packed a conference room Wednesday evening, looking for answers after two shooting incidents near the National Zoo in a week. Some at the Woodley Park community meeting suggested ending the century-long tradition of the Easter Monday Family Day at the National Zoo. Others asked for more stringent security.


Charles Djou is a citizen soldier, elected to Congress in spring 2010. He voted to reauthorize the war in Afghanistan, then lost his seat in Congress in the fall of 2010. He then was deployed to the war in Afghanistan and then lost a bid to retake his old seat. Djou, now 43, is outraged that fellow soldiers killed in Afghanistan received no death benefits because they were killed during the government shutdown of October 2013.

This past October there were four service members who were killed in Afghanistan. They died serving in Kandahar Province. They died serving outside Forward Operating Base Pasab. Now, I know service members unfortunately die all the time, but this was significant to me because I served at Forward Operating Base Pasab. ... They died when an IED hit their vehicle, a land mine hit their vehicle. I rode over the very same road that those service members died upon, so it was very personal as well. But what was even more tragic to me was the fact that these service members didn't get any death benefits, or their families, they didn't get the benefits. They weren't returned home. They didn't receive a military funeral. And the reason they didn't was because they just happened to die during the government shutdown. And I think for me, it hit me very personal that is what is the result of dysfunctional government.

He denounced the partisan politics that have led to this kind of government failure. "That could have been me," he said as he embraced his wife tighter. "The people of Hawaii and our nation deserve better." Djou is a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve and served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan during the surge of coalition forces in 2011-12, according to his website. He was deployed with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team/10th Mountain Infantry Division at Forward Operating Base Pasab in Kandahar Province. That year he quickly launched his campaign right before being deployed. A Republican, Djou is running in the most liberal state in the nation, hoping to represent Hawaii's first congressional district, which encompasses most of the Honolulu metro area on the island of Oahu, where President Obama grew up. Democrat Colleen Hanabusa, who defeated Republican incumbent Djou in 2010, is giving up the seat to run in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz. Hawaii's other seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is held by Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, who serves as a Military Police Company Commander in the Hawaii Army National Guard. Djou has made supporting the military a key platform plank in his previous campaigns but says the death of his fellow soldiers during the government shutdown was the final straw that led him to seek public office again. "It's not about winning," he said. "Our government today is failing us. We need leaders who will fight for our country, our children and our future." In his kickoff press release, Djou announced:

Government should work to make the lives of local people better, but I am disappointed that government at all levels today isn't listening and isn't working. Things have gone from bad to worse and we need to change the leadership in Hawaii and Washington.

When I spoke with him, he identified what he thinks is wrong with Washington, D.C.:

[W]e have a government that places higher concern on making political points instead of looking out for what's in the best interests of the people. My candidacy will be all about placing service before self, about putting principles ahead of parties. I think that's missing in our government today, at all levels, and that's what this campaign is going to be focusing on. That's why I'm running for office.
31 min 12 sec

Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force OT and Nick Foligno's wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

31 min 51 sec
NDTV Arvind Kejriwal pips Narendra Modi in TIME 100 readers' pollNDTVAam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal (C) addresses supporters as he heads to the district collector's office to file his nomination papers for ongoing parliamentary elections in Varanasi on April 23, 2014. New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder ...TIME rejects 93% of Modi votes as fake, declares Kejriwal winnerReal Time News, IndiaKejriwal pips Modi in Time magazine's pollHindustan TimesKejriwal, Modi get most votes in TIME's 'influential 100' pollThe HinduFinancial Express -Zee News -Daily Bhaskarall 61 news articles »
33 min 42 sec

A potential free trade deal called the Trans Pacific Partnership is being seen as key to boosting growth in the Asia-Pacific region. But it has raised some questions about the impact on US jobs.

Brett Lawrie continues to show signs of all the "positivity" he keeps talking about -- but in reality, there's a lot of patience and coaching behind his two-homer-in-two-nights performance.

Lawrie struck for a monster homer for the second time in as many nights on Wednesday, crushing a three-run blast against Baltimore. In fact, Lawrie and Jose Reyes (two-run homer) left the park in the second inning, staking Toronto to a 6-1 lead.

But that lead would ultimately evaporate, as the O's came back for a 10-8 win before 15,202 at the Rogers Centre.

The Jays will be disturbed by this one, blowing that five-run lead. Equally disturbing will be the fact that they banged six runs off Orioles starter Chris Tillman, then let him hang around into the sixth inning. Tillman retired 11 of 12 batters in order after that six spot, and his team rewarded him for it with six runs of their own in their half of the fifth.

Nelson Cruz smashed a pair of homers, including a grand slam off reliever Todd Redmond in that comeback fifth. Matt Weiters had a solo blast in the seventh to help maintain the Orioles' cushion.

Dustin McGowan started for the Jays and was economical and efficient until the fifth, when he lost the strike zone in a hurry, tossing five straight balls to open the inning. Redmond came on, gave up four hits in two-thirds of an inning, and the game changed very dramatically for the Jays.

With April not yet over, the Jays have established themselves as a team with solid defence and an offence that has the likes of Lawrie and Edwin Encarnacion warming up to the long ball. Lawrie is now second on the team with five homers and leads the way with 18 RBI.

But starting pitching is the hot-button issue as the Jays finish off the month with key series against divisional rivals Baltimore and Boston.

McGowan, as good a story as he's been, can't set the table for a huge Orioles comeback. Performances like that will eventually raise questions about where McGowan is best suited -- rotation or bullpen -- and whether it's time to give a shot to prospects such as Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman.

For now, though, it's one step at a time for Toronto -- and Lawrie is one player making steps in the right direction.

Lawrie has been repeating the word "positivity" with the frequency of a motivational speaker since he had a solid spring training. The knock on him, though, was the tightness in his hands, that overactive tweak with his bat as he waits for a pitch. It appeared to be throwing off his timing and causing him to chase bad pitches.

"When he's late, he is tight, and when he's doing that, he's also trying to do too much," said batting coach Kevin Seitzer. "The best way to summarize is he was loose and easy in spring training; he was focused, and he was getting results."

Lawrie's results have been way off expectations in the regular season so far. He did raise his batting average by 30 points with a 3-for-5 night on Wednesday -- but that still only brought him up to .165.

"He's about two good days in a row from where he wants to be," said Seitzer. "He's getting closer in my mind, he's hitting the ball hard and doing the things you want to see him do."

Seitzer took over a hitting coach position this season that had been shared last year between Chad Mottola and Dwayne Murphy. Seitzer inherited some troubles, with several Jays hitters off-track and straying from the proper hitting agendas.

Lawrie could have been a poster boy for that -- he was over-anxious and over-amped at the plate, with his well-publicized emotions bubbling to the surface.

Seitzer, a 12-year major league veteran, realized right away he wasn't going to tame Lawrie's emotions all the way down. Still, managers and coaches often say they welcome high-strung players like Lawrie and Yasiel Puig, since it's easier to turn down the emotions on those players than it is to build them up on others who lack it.

"I had a set game plan with him, and really, it was a continuation of what he was doing when he got hot at the end of last season," Seitzer said.

"His timing mechanism can cause the bat head to do some crazy stuff, but it is part of his timing and his hand speed (triggers off that). Some hitters get that taken away, but some hitters, it's part of where their success comes from. Gary Sheffield had that bat tweak and most guys would say you can't do that, you can't be consistent and do that, but he was.

"So you're not trying to change too many things and do this and that, you don't know what someone is capable of right away, so you try and look at what they do and refine it to the point where they are comfortable and have success."

Lawrie's walk percentage rose 34 per cent in the second half of 2013, while his strikeout percentage has remained at an acceptable 16 per cent for the past two seasons -- so Seitzer had a solid base to work with from the start.

Lawrie is now on pace for around 30 homers and over 100 RBI this year, unrealistic numbers for him. But he could realize well in excess of the 15-homer, 75-RBI projections he'd been saddled with prior to the season.

Trade Talk: Dot-com crash raised city's Collective consciousness

MAIN CHANCE: If the dot-com boom hadn't died, there'd have been no fashion show at Main-off-28th recently. That's when Trevor Fleming and Reid Stewart displayed 12 outfits produced by their $3.5-million-a-year Lifetime Collective firm that is headquartered there. Fleming's wife Michelle Rizzardo brought another 12 from her One of a Few womenswear boutique in Gastown. Fleming is a Winnipeg-born, Calgary-raised graphics designer and Flash developer, who was headhunted to Silicon Valley firm Macromedia in its pre-Adobe Systems era. With Californian backing, he returned to Calgary, "hired a bunch of friends from school," and with business student Stewart, also "designed T-shirts, record labels and snowboard clothes for ourselves and friends."

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she believes that the outcome in Ukraine will be a bad one for Russia. Clinton, who is considering another run for president, says the United States and Europe need to do more to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) and make the cost to invade Ukraine unaffordable. Clinton spoke Wednesday at an issues forum to a group of about 2,300 students, faculty and staff at the University of Connecticut. The talk was not open to the general public. She used her prepared remarks to praise young people's activism and community service, and called on them to be the "participation generation." She was then asked questions submitted in advance and spoke on issues ranging from Ukraine to immigration reform.

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41 min 26 sec
B.C. artists' chairs to be auctioned for African charity

B.C. artists have donated their talent to create more than 100 one-of-a-kind chairs to be auctioned off to help African AIDS orphans. Judson Beaumont, Pierre Coupey, Anni Hunt, Sheree Jones, Peter Kiss, Michael Tickner and Xwalacktun are among those helping out the West Vancouver Gogos, a group that through the Stephen Lewis Foundation cares for some of Africa's most needy kids.

Wine tycoon laments Vancouver's brain drain

Anthony von Mandl wants Vancouver to become more like Seattle -- a city flourishing with corporate head offices that attract and retain the best young talent. "Our best and brightest leave for MIT, Stanford and Harvard, never to return," the successful Mission Hill Family Estate winery proprietor told a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon Wednesday. "They seek opportunities to support their goals -- environments that barely exist here any more."