Rocco Mediate's 64 retains Shaw Charity Classic lead

CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Rocco Mediate carded a 7-under-par 64 in the second round of the Shaw Charity Classic Saturday, retaining the lead of the Canadian event.

Mediate, the overnight leader following a course-record 63 Friday, finished with a two-shot advantage after 36 holes at 15-under-par 127.

Mediate is seeking his second Champions Tour victory of the season — he also won the season-opening Allianz Championship.

Seizing sole possession of second place at minus-13 was Bobby Clampett (65).

Knotted for third two shots farther back were Tom Pernice Jr. (64), David Frost (66) and Michael Allen (66).

Bart Bryant (68), Kirk Triplett (66), Jay Don Blake (66) and Jeff Sluman (68) shared sixth at 10-under 132 at Canyon Meadows Golf Country Club.

Yani Tseng grabs three-shot Safeway Classic lead

PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 31 (UPI) — Former world No. 1 Yani Tseng, who wasn’t won since March, carded a 9-under-par 63 Saturday for a three-shot lead after 54 holes of the Safeway Classic.

Tseng’s last victory came at the Kia Classic, but she was in prime position to end the drought after finishing the day at 18-under-par 198 — a tournament record for three rounds.

Sharing second at 15-under were Suzann Pettersen (70) and Pornanong Phatlum (71).

Second-ranked Stacy Lewis was among four players knotted for fourth at 14-under thanks to a round of 7-under 65.

Morgan Pressel (65), Anna Nordqvist (63) and Lizette Salas (68) joined Lewis in fourth at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.

COL FB: Alabama 35, Virginia Tech 10

ATLANTA, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Christion Jones returned a punt and a kickoff for scores and also grabbed a TD pass Saturday in No. 1 Alabama’s 35-10 victory over Virginia Tech.

AJ McCarron needed to go just 10-of-24 through the air for 110 yards for the Crimson Tide (1-0), which opened their quest for a third straight national championship with a win in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic.

Alabama also got a touchdown on an interception return by defensive back Vinnie Sunseri in its first game since downing Notre Dame in last year’s BCS national championship tilt.

Logan Thomas completed only 5-of-26 passes for 59 yards for the Hokies (0-1).

50 dogs abandoned outside two Canadian animal shelters

RICHMOND, British Columbia, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Animal protection officials in British Columbia say someone abandoned 50 dogs outside two shelters.

Thirty-eight dogs were found in cages at a shelter in Richmond and a dozen more were left outside one in Westminster, the Richmond News reported.

Carol Reichert, executive director of the Richmond Animal Protection Society shelter, said the dogs, mostly smaller dogs such as terriers, Yorkie and Chihuahua crossbreeds, appeared to be in relatively good health.

The dogs were left sometime overnight Thursday, the newspaper said. Reichert said a staff member discovered the dogs when she arrived Friday morning.

“She was shrieking so loud I couldn’t make out what she was saying,” Reichert said. “I feared the worst until I got here and discovered how healthy the dogs are and how well-behaved.

“They are so nice, very socialized. Whoever dropped them off cared for them.”

Caring for the new arrivals will put a financial burden on the shelters, with Reichert saying the cost could approach $15,000 for the Richmond facility.

Boehner: Congress will debate Syria response in September

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Speaker John Boehner said Saturday the U.S. House will consider President Barack Obama‘s request for authorization to carry out military action against Syria.

The president said Saturday he will ask Congress to vote on whether to strike Syria for killing civilians with chemical weapons. Speaking at the White House, Obama said he had met with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders and they had agreed to schedule votes on whether to carry out military actions against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in response to what Obama called “the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century.”

Obama conferred with French President Francois Hollande by phone Saturday.

“The two leaders agreed that the international community must deliver a resolute message to the Assad regime — and others who would consider using chemical weapons — that these crimes are unacceptable and those who violate this international norm will be held accountable by the world,” the White House said in a statement. “President Obama thanked President Hollande for France’s principled commitment to upholding the international norm against the use of chemical weapons and enforcing the consequences that give this norm meaning.”

Hollande said he supports “firm” punitive action and that France would act as it determines is necessary regardless of the British Parliament’s vote, the BBC reported.

The network said Hollande spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday and they agreed a reaction was required, but the nature the response would take was unclear.

Obama also noted he made the decision to take the matter to Congress rather than act unilaterally despite seeing the British Parliament vote down a similar proposal for action by Prime Minister David Cameron

But the president said he had no qualms about acting without the blessing of the U.N. Security Council, which he said “so far, has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable.”

Russia and China have effectively blocked Security Council action on Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin challenged the United States Saturday to present evidence Syria was responsible for the chemical weapons attack, the BBC reported.

He said it would be “utter nonsense” for Syria to conduct such an attack because it had superior forces. A chemical weapons attack would “give a trump card” to those calling for international intervention, Putin said.

Putin said the United States had failed to prove Syrian forces had used chemical weapons.

Russia has said any unilateral military action not approved by the U.N. Security Council would be a violation of international law.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia’s veto of any action by the Security Council had prevented the United Nations from acting “as it should,” The New York Times reported.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Saturday with his top disarmament official, Angela Kane, who had just returned from Damascus, along with the U.N. inspection team members.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Kane “reported that the mission was able to conduct a wide range of fact-finding activities” related to the alleged Syrian military use of chemical weapons.

The inspection team traveled from Syria to The Hague, Netherlands, to prepare their samples and other evidence for shipment to laboratories in Europe for testing, Nesirky said.

Ban, he said, “looks forward to receiving the findings as soon as possible” so they can be promptly presented to U.N. members.

In a statement issued jointly with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and other top House Republicans, Boehner, R-Ohio, said he expects the House to take up the matter the week of Sept. 9.

“We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised,” the statement said. “This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said after Obama’s announcement Saturday, “The president’s role as commander in chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress.”

“Our military has positioned assets in the region,” Obama said Saturday. “The chairman of the Joint Chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I’m prepared to give that order.”

Demonstrators protested outside the White House as Obama spoke Saturday.

Administration officials briefed members of Congress Saturday as the president tried to build support for military action against Syria. Delivering a message that U.S. credibility was at stake, cabinet secretaries and other officials met with both parties in the Senate about actions the White House is considering, The New York Times reported.

Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, were at the White House Saturday — with Biden standing next Obama as he announced his plans to take the matter before Congress.

The 20-member U.N. team left its hotel in Damascus early Saturday and crossed into Lebanon before heading to Europe, the Los Angeles Times reported. They carried with them blood and urine samples from victims of a chemical weapons attack. The samples were to be delivered to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which would have the samples tested at two labs in Europe. Results will be known in several days.

Inspectors had been in the capital city’s suburbs for the past four days to try to determine whether more than 1,400 men, women and children had died from exposure to poisonous gas, which the United States and others countries charge was used by Syrian forces against civilians.

Obama said Friday he is considering “limited, narrow” military options that do not include boots on the ground, but would not decide on a course of action until after the U.N. team left Syria.

Obama acknowledged Americans had a “certain weariness” of another Middle Eastern conflict after years of involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“A lot of people think something should be done, but nobody wants to do it,” the president said. Failure by the United States to take action would send the wrong message, he said.

MLB: Pittsburgh 7, St. Louis 1

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 31 (UPI) — A.J. Burnett pitched seven innings of one-run ball Saturday and the Pittsburgh Pirates grabbed first place with a 7-1 spanking of St. Louis.

Burnett (7-9) allowed four hits and a walk while striking out six. The right-hander also drove in a run in winning for the third time in four starts.

Russell Martin slammed a three-run homer while Neil Walker went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Pirates, who won a second straight over division rival St. Louis and climbed over the Cards for a one-game lead in the National League Central.

Lance Lynn (13-9) was tagged for seven runs on 10 hits in a four-inning effort for St. Louis, which dropped a third straight overall.

Carlos Beltran got the Cardinals’ only RBI.

COL FB: Eastern Washington 49, Oregon State 46

CORVALLIS, Ore., Aug. 31 (UPI) — Quarterback Vernon Adams rushed for the go-ahead TD with 18 seconds left Saturday, elevating Eastern Washington over No. 25 Oregon State 49-46.

Adam’s 2-yard scoring run came at the end of an 11-play, 75-yard drive and gave him 518 yards of total offense for EWU (1-0), the fourth-ranked team in the Division I-AA FCS.

The sophomore went 23-of-30 for 411 passing yards and two touchdowns while tacking on 107 rushing yards with two scores on 16 carries.

Ashton Clark led Eastern Washington’s receiving corps with two grabs for 155 yards and a TD, while Cooper Kupp made five receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

Sean Mannion compiled 422 passing yards with three scores on 37-of-43 efficiency for the Beavers (0-1).

Brandin Cooks hauled down 13 of his passes for 196 yards and two TDs for Oregon State.

Worldwide, marijuana the most used illegal drug

SEATTLE, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Marijuana is the top illegal drug used worldwide, but doctor-prescribed painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin are the deadliest, a U.S. researcher says.

Senior author Theo Voss of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues said marijuana beat cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and hallucinogens when it comes to prevalence of users.

The researchers said the United States, Britain, Russia and Australia had the highest burden of drug abuse.

The study, published online in the journal The Lancet, showed more than half of the estimated 78,000 deaths worldwide from drugs in 2010 were caused by pills for relieving pain.

Worldwide, more people were dependent on opioids and amphetamines than other drugs.

Children's communication skills may benefit from day care

NIJMEGEN, Netherlands, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Children who go to day care may benefit from a wider variety of social and communicative situations compared with those not in day care, Dutch researchers say.

Arjen Stolk and colleagues at the Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behavior at Radboud University Nijmegen devised a creative two-player computer game for 5-year-old children, in which a child has to learn how to communicate the location of a hidden object without words with a player in a separate room.

The study, published in the journal Plos One, found the style in which the 5-year-olds tried to communicate changed depending on who the children thought their co-player was.

When they thought they were playing with a 2-year-old, they spent a great deal of time trying to patiently indicate the location of the object. When they were told they were playing with a child their own age, their communication style was not as labored.

The researchers noticed a difference in performance level for which day-care attendance turned out to be the strongest explanation. The more days children spent in day care, the better they were able to adjust their communication style, the study found.

MLB: New York Mets 11, Washington 3

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Eric Young capped a big third inning with a two-run single Saturday, helping the New York Mets roll to an 11-3 pounding of Washington.

Young, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Matt den Dekker and Mets starter Zack Wheeler all provided RBI in the six-run uprising, which sent New York to a second straight win over the Nationals.

Young, Murphy and Juan Lagares each supplied three hits and two RBI, while Omar Quintanilla also drove in a pair for New York, which banged out 17 hits in all.

Wheeler (7-3) yielded two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out three.

Washington’s Dan Haren (8-13) was roughed up for seven runs on nine hits in a 2 2/3 inning effort.

Denard Span went 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Nationals.

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