Longing for days of a united America

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAmerica is a divided nation. We often seem desperate to find a way we can all unite in a common purpose, put aside our petty squabbles and work together to create the future we all want. If only those in Washington cared more about the country than about their party. Then we could find our way out of gridlock and back to the good old days when we were all on the same team. We all know that that’s not going to happen, so all we can do is hope for the best.If you try to think of a time when our country was truly unified, it was the time right after the attacks of 9-11. What brought us together was the moment of crisis and the external threat. That truly was a time that all Americans worked as a united team. We really showed all our support for our great country.Nowadays, the vast majority of the time in Washington, both parties sincerely believe in what is good for their party is what’s good for the country. When they disagree, it’s often because they have incompatible values. Because both parties have become more consistent about what they believe, it’s making it harder for our government to perform basic functions.The unfortunate answer is that all you can do is try to do the best for our country as possible, even if it won’t make for cross-party unity. Because we are living in a very challenging time, it looks like we all just have to deal with it.Walter “Neal” BrazellRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborlast_img read more

Local baker turns Palu ‘choker’ crocodile into 60 cm bread

first_imgA wild crocodile in the Palu River of Central Sulawesi, its neck trapped for several years in a motorcycle tire, has been in the media spotlight in recent weeks, particularly after an Australian wildlife expert joined a local rescue team in an attempt to free it of the “choker”.Despite failing, the mission received wide coverage across the nation’s media to become the talk of the country, and gave at least one entrepreneurial baker an idea.Read also: ‘See you soon, mate’: Australian presenter Matt Wright returns home despite failing to rescue Palu crocodileAbraham, the 58-year-old owner of Master Bakery in Palu, decided to take the local reptilian “icon” as an opportunity for testing his creativity and boosting his business – by making bread shaped like the crocodile, complete with a tire around its neck.“At first, I made two 60-centimeter breads that resembled the crocodile. I left one [on display] in the store and took the other to a warkop [coffee stall] where I usually hang out to share it with my friends,” Abraham told kompas.com on Thursday.He said he had not realized that the crocodile bread had gone viral until the orders started coming in – to the point that he was overwhelmed by the high demand.“I did not expect this to go viral. My staff and I have been working overtime to make these crocodile breads,” Abraham said, adding that the breads were offered in various sizes and ranged from Rp 7,000 (50 US cents) to Rp 80,000 per piece.Crocodile-shaped bread has long been popular fare among Jakarta’s indigenous Betawi culture. Two pieces of sweetened bread shaped like a crocodile (sans tire) are a must at every traditional Betawi wedding, as the reptile symbolizes loyalty and long life.Meanwhile, the “Palu crocodile” breads at Master Bakery have received good reviews from culinary enthusiasts.Abraham said that he had come up with the idea of making crocodile-shaped bread in October 2012, and that he had simply not acted on it until the recent rescue attempt brought widespread attention to the crocodile and its plight.He added that he planned to make one life-sized bread that accurately resembled the 4-meter crocodile – or at least as closely as he could make it, including the texture and color of its skin.Jemmy, a Master Bakery customer, applauded Abraham’s creative innovation and said he was excited about trying the bread.“I’m curious about the bread that looks like the crocodile with the tire necklace. It went viral, and I want to buy one for my child, who I think will absolutely love it,” said the 30-year-old. (syk)Topics :last_img read more

Hong Kong press club says journalists hitting ‘unusual’ visa issues

first_imgTopics : On the authoritarian Chinese mainland, where the press is heavily censored, foreign journalists must apply for specific visas and face routine harassment.Reporters only need a regular business visa to work in Hong Kong, however. China promised key liberties and autonomy to Hong Kong ahead of Britain’s handover, and the city has free press protections enshrined in law, something that has helped it become a regional media hub. The New York Times, AFP, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and the Financial Times are among multiple media organizations with regional headquarters there. But multiple news outlets are now reporting issues getting or renewing visas for staff — something they have not experienced before.Last month the New York Times was the first to go public with its difficulties, announcing it would relocate some of its Asia hub to South Korea after multiple delays and at least one outright rejection.The difficulties come as Washington and Beijing clash over reporter credentials.The Trump administration placed visa and headcount restrictions on some Chinese media in the US, all of whom are state-controlled. Beijing responded with tit-for-tat restrictions, including expelling a group of reporters from multiple US outlets who were also banned from working in Hong Kong, an unprecedented move.On Tuesday Beijing’s foreign ministry warned “necessary and timely countermeasures” would be taken if the US continued to limit Chinese reporters.Hu Xijin, editor of China’s state-owned tabloid Global Times, said Beijing would “retaliate, including targeting US journalists based in Hong Kong”.The FCCHK condemned the restrictions placed by both sides. “The FCC opposes using journalists’ visas as a weapon in international disputes and also opposes taking action against journalists for the decisions made by their home countries,” it said.”This downward spiral of retaliatory actions aimed at journalists helps no one, not least of all the public that needs accurate, professionally produced information now more than ever,” it added. In a statement released Thursday the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCCHK) said multiple media outlets had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists of multiple nationalities and in some cases have prevented journalists from working,” the FCCHK said. “The delays are highly unusual for Hong Kong, a city with historically robust press protections,” it added.Hong Kong’s government has not explained any change to its policy despite multiple enquiries from media.center_img Hong Kong’s foreign press club said Thursday that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on China and the United States to stop using the media as a political weapon.Journalists have been caught up in spiraling US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in recent months.Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous city and regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies.last_img read more

West Bengal checks tidal pulse

first_imgThe Indian state of West Bengal has reportedly engaged the team from the University of Edinburgh to conduct a survey on the feasibility of tidal energy projects in the Bay of Bengal.The meeting, held on January 18, 2018, facilitated the discussion between West Bengal’s Minister of Power Sovandeb Chattopadhyay and A.R. Wallace from the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Energy Systems on the possibilities of using tidal power for electricity generation in this eastern Indian state.It was arranged that the team from the University of Edinburgh will conduct a survey on the feasibility of tidal energy projects in West Bengal, after which the findings will be summarized in a report for West Bengal’s energy department, according to the Indian news publisher Millennium Post.“They will conduct the survey in the Sunderbans to find out whether tidal energy can be developed at a cheaper rate and can be implemented for commercial purposes. If it is found to be successful, small units with a capacity of 50kW may be set up to produce tidal energy,” Chattopadhyay was quoted as saying by Millennium Post.The Sundarbans are a network of marine streams, mud shores and mangrove forests located in the eastern India in the Bay of Bengal.last_img read more

Batesville I-74 overpass closed for further inspection

first_imgBatesville, In. — Officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation say the Lammer Pike Overpass at I-74 will be closed until a load test can be performed. Officials closed the bridge on Friday following a routine structural inspection.last_img

Austria snatch dramatic draw in Dublin

first_img Ireland were within a minute of securing a precious victory which would have propelled them into second place in Group C when the Bayern Munich man smashed an injury-time leveller past goalkeeper David Forde to snatch a point which left his side in pole position to claim the runners-up spot instead. It was a devastating conclusion to a tight encounter for Ireland, who dragged themselves back into the game after falling behind to Martin Harnik’s cool 11th-minute strike. Jon Walters levelled from the penalty spot and then headed Ireland in front at the end of the first half – and it was a lead they were to defend doggedly until the final throes. Press Association Austria midfielder David Alaba left Ireland’s World Cup qualifying hopes in tatters as he edged manager Giovanni Trapattoni closer to the exit with a dramatic late equaliser in a 2-2 draw.center_img A second draw in four days leaves Trapattoni’s men knowing they face an uphill task to reach the play-offs. They were ultimately made to pay for sitting back and defending a narrow lead rather than attempting to build upon it, a failing which will provide the manager’s critics with further ammunition. Alaba had whistled a second-minute free-kick just wide of Forde’s right post to serve warning of their intent and the keeper was left cruelly exposed nine minutes later as Austria took the lead. Zlatko Junuzovic caught central defender Ciaran Clark in possession and headed into the box before squaring for Harnik, whose first touch and deft finish gave Forde no chance. Ireland’s attempts to drag themselves back into the game were tame with James McClean, who had prospered early on, finding himself confronted by two men every time he received the ball. However, the Austrians having benefited from Ireland’s generosity, returned the favour when central defender Emanuel Pogatetz misread Shane Long’s intentions inside the box and brought him down. Referee Marijo Strahonja pointed straight to the spot and with no Robbie Keane in the side, Walters stepped forward to smash the penalty low to keeper Heinz Lindner’s right to level. Shane Long was desperately unfortunate not to give his team a 38th-minute lead when he cheekily back-heeled McClean’s cross towards goal, but saw his effort come back off the foot of the post with Lindner beaten. However, Trapattoni’s men did go ahead in first-half injury time when Walters got ahead of marker Christian Fuchs to head firmly home. The home side might have increased their lead twice within seconds after the break when Lindner managed to keep the ball out of his net after McClean’s 67th-minute cross was bundled towards his own goal by one of his defenders amid a melee in front of him, with Marc Wilson heading wide from the resulting corner. But Ireland dropped ever deeper as the game crept towards the final whistle and although they enjoyed a let-off when Harnik headed weakly at Forde with a minute of normal time remaining, the respite proved temporary. Alaba picked up possession 20 yards out and smashed an unstoppable shot high into the net to break Irish hearts. last_img read more

`Mice’ Cummings remembers playmate Gibbons as a very ‘smart defender’

first_img… Former national player to be laid to rest todayFORMER national forward and arguably Botofago’s best football player ever, Nigel ‘Mice’ Cummings, is saddened by the death of former national player Phillip ‘Scholar’ Gibbons, who will be laid to rest today after a funeral service at the Calvary Temple Church in Oronoque Drive, Retrieve Mackenzie, before his remains are interred in the Bamia cemetery on the Linden highway.Gibbons, 55, died after a brief illness at the Mackenzie Hospital on January 2.His buddy friend ‘Mice’ Cummings, now residing in the United States, sent his condolences to the Gibbons family on this sad occasion.From his base in the U.S. Cummings said: ‘Scholar’ and I grew up together and we started playing soccer at a tender age at the Silvertown battlefield where we played Under-16 and Under-19 first- and second-division football for Botofago FC and then Upper Demerara.”Cummings noted, “As team members he was our right-back and I loved to play with him because of the love and dedication he had for the game. He was a very smart defender.”According to `Mice’ Cummings, Gibbons would before taking a corner kick yell out his name as Gibbons was “right on point in finding my head”.Cummings said he recalled the time his very good friend “got married and moved from across the Demerara River at Wismar to Mackenzie, but ‘Scholar’ remained a Botofago die-hard and was very pleasant and free-handed.”Cummings said when he first had knowledge of Gibbons’ sickness they (Botofago FC) did contribute to his eye surgery and while he was at home last year he did visit Gibbons to see how he was doing.Gibbons, after his playing days were over remained committed to football and served the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) as a referee for many years. He was also up to the time of his passing, treasurer of the Mackenzie Sports Club.After his years of service to the bauxite industry ended, the former Mackenzie High School student was at one time Town Clerk (ag) with the Mayor and Town Council of Linden.Cummings remarked, “When I heard the news of his passing, it was a shock to me still. I am still in mourning and he said the former standout Botofago player would be greatly missed.”President of UDFA, Terrence Mitchell, also weighed in on the passing of Gibbons as he remembered the contributions of the former national player not just as a player, but also as a referee.He was always willing to give his best and always there to do what was necessary to let the game be played on the field.President of the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC), Avery Trim, also remembers Gibbons who was always willing to serve beyond the call of duty.Trim said, “He was one of those guys whom you can count on, to put the interest of the club first, even though he knew the challenges which were ahead of collective decision-making.He said he was one of a few persons who were always present to assist and get the job done and even through his illness he was still prepared to serve the club.last_img

Cameroon’s Minister Knocks CAF over AFCON Snub

first_imgThe government of Cameroon yesterday has officially reacted to the withdrawal of the country’s hosting rights for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.According to a publication in the country, Cameroun24.net, the CAF’s decision was in bad taste.The government reaction came from the Minister of Communication, Issac Tchiroma Bakary who reportedly declared that the government received CAF’s decision with disappointment. The spokesperson of the government made the statement during a press briefing some 24hours after the decision was taken by the Confederation of African Football, CAF.The full statement read thus: “The Government of the Republic of Cameroon has taken note with dismay of the decision taken by the CAF Executive Committee, which met in Accra last November 30, 2018, to withdraw the hosting of the 2019 AFCON from Cameroon.“This surprising decision for more than one reason, is certainly unfair with regard to the huge investments made by our country, which has led to outstanding modern infrastructures as witnessed by all.”According to the Minister the decision is not a reflection of Cameroon’s determination to organise a magnificent football jamboree.The Minister explained that, “this decision is unmerited considering the resolve of the Head of State and the people of Cameroon to make all-out effort to host a remarkable celebration of African football in 2019.”He holds that the CAF decision is unfair and undeserving, “It is clear from the outset of this matter, that, our country has been subjected to a treatment which can therefore give rise to questioning.”He used the occasion to call on Cameroonians to be upbeat. “In the face of this blatant injustice, the Government of the Republic urges the People of Cameroon to remain calm and not to indulge into futile arguments.”The Minister of Communication noted that despite the recent developments, Cameroon will continue construction of its sports infrastructure.“Cameroon has put in a creditable performance. It shall prove it to the entire world by completing with the same determination and on time the construction of these modern infrastructures belonging to the Cameroonian people, as pledged by the Head of State.”The Minister added that, “nevertheless, it is worth underscoring that African football would not match the exploits of other better performing continents in the absence of an ethical conduct.Our country, which has written the pages of African football in bold letters, will not relent her efforts in working with other African countries and international football bodies to develop football in our beloved Africa.”Cameroon is one of the leading football nations on the continent. The country has won five African Cup of Nations Championship five times and was the first African nation to reach the quarter finals of the World Cup.Meanwhile, Sierra Leone have been disqualified from the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying competition, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said yesterday.Football’s world governing body FIFA had suspended the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) in October due to “government interference”.CAF’s decision means Kenya and Ghana are assured of first and second place in Sierra Leone’s group F and have therefore booked their place in next year’s finals.“Sierra Leone is disqualified from the qualifiers and all its matches are annulled,” Caf said in a statement.The row stems from the decision of Sierra Leone’s anti-corruption commission to sack SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara during an ongoing probe into corruption and mismanagement.In October, CAF cancelled two matches pitting Sierra Leone against Ghana due to the dispute between Freetown and FIFA.The 2019 finals have been plunged into uncertainty and chaos after CAF last week stripped Cameroon of the right to host the tournament, citing delays caused by infrastructure work.The organisation has yet to determine the new host country but said it would reach a decision by the end of the year.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

DStv, GOtv Set to Showcase Laliga Big Games

first_imgRound 21 of the 2018/19 La Liga season will, again, offer Atletico Madrid the chance of putting pressure on leaders Barcelona, while Real Madrid will hope to bridge the gap between them and their table-topping rivals. The matches will be live on DStv and GOtv.Atletico play at home to sixth-placed Getafe on Saturday evening (4.15pm on SS7 & SelGo4), while Barca will be in action away to Girona on Sunday (4.15pm on SS7 & SelGo4). Diego Simeone’s side will, on the evidence of the 3-0 thumping of Huesca last week, fancy their chances of picking up all three points and move within two points of Barcelona, who will seek to restore their five-point advantage againstGirona.Real Madrid will hope to see their two rivals slip up, as they bid to revive their title hopes. They moved to third on the table with a 2-0 win over Sevilla last weekend and will be favourites to build further momentum when they play away to Espanyol on Sunday night (8.45pm on SS7 & SelGo4). Elsewhere, Karl Toko Ekambi and Samuel Chukwueze’s Villarreal will seek to halt their slide toward the foot of the table when they head to the Mestalla to face Valencia on Saturday night (6.30pm on SS7A & SelGo4). Villarreal are winless in their last seven matches across all competitions and have slipped into the red zone of La Liga.Sevilla will look to reinforce their place in the top four when they face Levante on Saturday (on SS7 & SelGo4), while Athletic Bilbao will look to maintain their promising recent form with a win at home to Real Betis (Saturday, 8.45pm on SS7/SS10 & SelGo2/SelGo4). Also on Saturday, Leganes will take on Eibar (6.30pmon SS7 & SelGo4).Sunday will see clashes between Real Valladolid and Celta de Vigo (12pm on SS7/SS10 & SelGo2/SelGo4) as well as Real Sociedad and Huesca (6.30pm on SS6).Mubarak Wakaso’s Deportivo Alaves will look to recover from the 4-0 loss to Getafe last weekend when they host relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano on Monday (on SS7 & SelGo4 at 9pm).Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

No easy answer for who to root for last week in Blazers-Lakers

first_img“YOU just called me and told me you were coming to the game Friday and that you were proud of me and ‘regardless of anything, stay true to myself and STAYME70,” Anthony wrote in an Instagram caption below a photo of him and Kobe in a tight embrace. On paper, Friday’s game was an important one for my team. Yes, one game in the midst of an 82-game season is not going to make or break a team, but the Blazers had recently emerged as potential playoff contenders despite an injury-plagued start to the season. The team was also coming in with momentum after back-to-back wins and an unprecedented scoring streak by star point guard Damian Lillard, who averaged 48.5 points in his prior four outings. Lillard expressed this sentiment as reporters asked him how he felt after his remarkable outing, in which he fell just one rebound short of his second career triple-double. These numbers would normally be a cause for celebration, but stats were the furthest thing from Lillard’s mind. Wins and losses are the accepted way of measuring success in sports games, and I had trouble reconciling that this one was different. The Blazers came away with a convincing win, but while I might have texted a couple of people that it was “Lillard Time” as he continued to drain shots from deep in the second half, I otherwise felt numb to the victory. Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony, for example, did not make the trip to L.A., and it wasn’t hard to figure out why. Let’s establish that I grew up in a family that has been rooted in Portland for over 40 years. As a Blazers fan, I was taught from a young age that the Lakers are to basketball as the New England Patriots are to football — you either love them or you hate that they dominate. Despite my strong allegiance to Rip City, I found myself texting my parents on Friday night: “Do the Blazers even want to win this game? Should we want them to win this game?” Experiencing the aftermath of Kobe’s death while living in Los Angeles was truly indescribable. I was covering a game at Galen Center at the time — the same place where I had stood five feet away from Kobe and Gianna only a year ago — and could feel a palpable dip in the crowd’s energy as they became aware of the devastating news. I drove through downtown Sunday night and took in the purple and gold lights that shined over the city as it grieved the loss of its star. Despite all of this, I believed the only way to bring hope to a grieving community was for the Lakers to come out on top. So I spent the first quarter of the game rooting against my team of 19 years. As the two teams exchanged 24- and 8-second violations to honor Kobe’s two retired jersey numbers, though, it was clear that this game was bigger than any player, team or league. Mascara ran down my cheeks as I took in the Lakers’ touching video tribute to Kobe ahead of Friday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. I fought to hold back tears as Lakers forward LeBron James read the names of all nine passengers who had died in the crash. It wasn’t about a tally in the win or loss column. It was about honor, fight and showcasing the “Mamba Mentality.” The two teams could not have put on a better show in Kobe’s honor. A high-scoring first half saw the Lakers with a 62-60 lead heading into halftime, and Lakers forward Anthony Davis put up 18 points in the first quarter alone. I have friends, professors and classmates who had personal connections to the victims, to the crash site and even to Kobe himself. Sure, I grew up rooting against the Lakers, but I was immersed enough in the Los Angeles community that I couldn’t imagine how it would respond to any outcome other than a Lakers win that night. The first game at Staples Center since the tragic helicopter accident that took the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant and seven others was the most complicated rooting experience I’ve had to date. I entered the week rooting for the Blazers and entered the game rooting for the Lakers, but in the end, this game was not about allegiance. The stellar efforts by Lillard, Davis and James — all of whom put up 20-plus points — demonstrated a commitment to honoring Kobe’s legacy that transcended the boundaries of any player or team. As I listened to Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa perform “See You Again” at halftime, I realized that Kobe would have wanted both teams to leave everything on the court. After Lillard ended the game with 48 points en route to a 127-119 Blazer win, I thought to myself, “Kobe probably would have congratulated Dame for that game, despite the outcome.” I realized that the tragic deaths of these nine basketball players, coaches and parents left its mark not only on the Lakers and L.A. but on the entire basketball community. “Nobody wins tonight,” Lillard said in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “You don’t walk away from this game with too much to be proud about because of the circumstances. We got the win, but I think the moment and what it was about tonight is the one thing I won’t forget.” Amanda Sturges is a sophomore writing about the impact of sports. She is also a features editor for the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Out of the Park,” runs every other Tuesday.last_img read more