From news services The San Diego Chargers acquired Chris Chambers from the Miami Dolphins just before Tuesday’s trade deadline, giving quarterback Philip Rivers a veteran wide receiver to work with. In return, the winless Dolphins will receive a 2008 second-round draft pick. The trade came as the Chargers put their No. 1 wide receiver, Eric Parker, on the injured reserved list with a broken right big toe. Parker has been out since June, and will miss the rest of the season. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Chambers has 31 receptions for 415 yards and no touchdowns this season for winless Miami. He was a second-round choice by Miami in 2001 and enjoyed his best season in 2005, when he made 82 catches for 1,118 yards and 11 scores, and was voted to the Pro Bowl. The durable Chambers, who has missed only two games in his career, is signed through 2009. The Chargers expect him to immediately bolster an otherwise young and undistinguished wide receiving corps. The Chargers felt the high price was worth it, especially because he’ll be around for two additional seasons. “It was a late development,” Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said. “One receiver down, one receiver in. We had an opportunity to add a quality, experienced, productive guy and felt we couldn’t pass it up. We like him a lot. We’ve held him in high regard throughout his career.” ETC.: Chargers Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick is expected to be out three to four weeks with a sprained right foot. The prognosis was the best Hardwick could hope for, and since the Chargers have their bye this Sunday, that means he’ll probably miss two or three games. Bucs add a running back Tampa Bay acquired running back Michael Bennett from the Kansas City Chiefs, hoping he helps them compensate for the loss of injured tailbacks Carnell “Cadillac” Williams and Michael Pittman. Bennett, a first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2001, has rushed for 3,426 yards and 12 touchdowns in seven NFL seasons. He also has 145 career receptions for 1,164 yards and five TDs. “We believe that the addition of Michael Bennett will strengthen our running back position,” Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said in a statement. Tampa Bay gives up undisclosed draft picks in 2008 and 2009 based on performance criteria. The 5-foot-9, 207-pound Bennett was a Pro Bowl selection in 2002 with the Vikings, but injuries have prevented him from realizing his potential as a pro. He played sparingly for the Chiefs as a backup to Larry Johnson after joining Kansas City in 2006. Everett improving Kevin Everett has developed enough strength to hold himself up briefly on a walker, and he can also use his feet to push himself around in a wheelchair, the latest signs of progress as the Buffalo Bills’ tight end recovers from a severe spinal cord injury. “He’s making very solid and noticeable progress,” Eric Armstead, an associate of the player’s agent, Brian Overstreet, told The Associated Press. “He’s very excited.” Armstead regularly visits Everett, who entered the second phase of his recovery process three weeks ago when he was transferred to Houston’s Memorial Hermann Hospital rehabilitation center. Around the league Broncos: The team signed free agent Jordan Beck and released D.D. Lewis in a swap of linebackers. Cardinals: The injury-depleted team signed free-agent quarterback Tim Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck’s signing came two days after starter Kurt Warner hurt his elbow in a 25-10 loss to Carolina. Warner had replaced Matt Leinart, who was lost for the season with a broken collarbone one week earlier. Hasselbeck will back up Tim Rattay, who will start on Sunday at Washington. The Cardinals have not said when they expect Warner to return. Chiefs: Running back Priest Holmes will practice today for the first time since a severe 2005 head and neck injury. Chiefs coach Herm Edwards repeated there’s a chance Holmes could play at Oakland. Jurisprudence: A federal judge on approved the neutering of dozens of fighting dogs seized from Michael Vick’s rural home and the appointment of an expert to decide the animals’ future. U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson acted on a government motion requesting animal law expert Rebecca J. Huss serve as the guardian-special master to oversee the possible placement of the 48 dogs, or their euthanasia. Hudson also granted a request by the U.S. attorney’s office that each of the pit bulls be spayed, neutered and have microchips implanted. … Wachovia Bank is seeking about $940,000 from Vick and a business partner. The bank claims that since Vick’s indictment on federal dogfighting charges, they defaulted on a 2006 loan to set up a wine shop and restaurant. … A son of Eagles coach Andy Reid was ordered back to jail after missing a drug test. Garrett Reid, 24, didn’t show up for a scheduled test on Monday, according to prosecutors and his attorney, Ross Weiss. He is required to submit to random tests while awaiting sentencing on drug charges.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
A national hotline to help victims and survivors of human trafficking is now taking calls, with the organization behind the service saying it hoped the new resource would also fill crucial gaps in public knowledge about the issue.The multilingual, accessible hotline, an initiative of the Canadian Center to End Human Trafficking, launched at 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday.The centre’s chief executive officer said the line is meant to serve as a one-stop shop for everyone from victims seeking help, to tipsters wanting to flag a potential case, to members of the public wanting to learn more about the subject.“There are still an awful lot of individuals in this country who believe that human trafficking is happening elsewhere,” Barbara Gosse said in an interview. “In actual fact … human trafficking is happening in communities right across this country. And that is a threat to every vulnerable girl, woman, man or boy.”Gosse said the toll-free hotline will be available 24 hours a day throughout the year. Call takers will be able to field queries in more than 200 languages, including a number of Indigenous languages.The line will also be accessible to the deaf, hard-of-hearing and non-verbal, Gosse said. An accompanying website has also been designed to be accessible to the blind and visually impaired, she added.Gosse said the line was developed with help from an international company that has helped set up similar services in other countries such as the United States. Some of those lines, she said, have been taking calls for as long as a decade.In addition to connecting victims and survivors with community resources and enlisting law enforcement on prospective cases, Gosse said the Canadian line will help close a critical knowledge gap by collecting data on the prevalence of human trafficking.“There is no national data collection mechanism,” she said, noting most statistics on trafficking come from local police forces tallying cases that fall within their jurisdiction.She said the hotline will allow her centre to gather information on when, where, and how often such cases come to light, which should in turn help focus efforts to eradicate the practice. Gosse noted that human trafficking, while it frequently relates to sexual exploitation of young girls, can also refer to labour trafficking as well.The hotline was funded by the federal government, which pledged $14.5 million over five years in its most recent budget to get the project off the ground.Statistics Canada, which has tracked instances of police-reported human trafficking, said the practice has been steadily on the rise since 2010. The agency also noted that the crime is widely underreported due in part to the vulnerability of the victims, distrust of authorities, or fear of prosecution for illegal acts victims were forced to perform by their traffickers.In a 2018 study, which looked at police-reported incidents up to 2016, StatCan found that 95 per cent of human trafficking victims were women. It further found that 72 per cent were under the age of 25, and 26 per cent were younger than 18.The same study found that two-thirds of reported incidents between 2009 and 2016 took place in Ontario.The RCMP’s human trafficking co-ordination centre has reported that between 2005 and 2018, the Mounties identified 531 cases where human trafficking charges were laid. Of those cases, 143 resulted in convictions and 316 remain before the courts.The new hotline can be reached 24 hours a day at: 1-833-900-1010.Deaf and non-verbal hotline users should dial 711 in any province or territory, then ask the relay service to connect them with the main hotline number.___On the web: www.canadianhumantraffickinghotline.caMichelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press