Philippine website editor held on defamation charge

first_img PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independenceInternational bodies WomenFreedom of expressionUnited NationsJudicial harassment Philippines: RSF and the #HoldTheLine Coalition welcome reprieve for Maria Ressa, demand all other charges and cases be dropped to go further Maria Ressa (on the left) was arrested in Rappler’s offices February 13, and is being kept in detention for the night. (photo : MARIA TAN / AFP) PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independenceInternational bodies WomenFreedom of expressionUnited NationsJudicial harassment ——————————————————————————–UpdateRSF is relieved to learn that Maria Ressa was released on bail this morning, deplores the fact that she had to spend a night in detention on a completely spurious charge, and calls for the immediate withdrawal of all judicial proceedings against her, Rappler and the website’s former court reporter, Reynaldo Santos Jr.——————————————————————————–Chosen as one of Time Magazine’s “persons of the year” in 2018, Ressa will spend tonight, February 13 in detention after being arrested at Rappler headquarters by agents from the National Bureau of Investigation armed with an arrest warrant issued on the basis of online defamation case filed last week.It seems that her arrest was left until the end of the afternoon with the deliberate aim of keeping her in detention overnight. According to her colleagues, the judge said there was no time to handle the bail request until tomorrow.The Philippine justice department filed the case against Ressa and Rappler on 6 February over an article published in 2012 about alleged ties between a Philippine businessmen and the then president of the country’s supreme court. The charges, which carry a possible 12-year jail sentence, were brought under a cyber-crime law that had not yet taken effect when the article was published.“Maria Ressa has no place in prison and the judicial persecution to which she is being subjected is becoming increasingly unacceptable,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Digging up an old case that was dismissed in February 2018 is absolutely absurd and confirms that this is not justice but an attempt to gag a media outlet and editor recognized internationally for their professionalism and independence.”Deloire added: “We are asking the UN secretary-general to intercede as quickly as possible to end this harassment. At the same time, we ask the court that handles this case to dismiss all the charges against Maria Ressa and Rappler.”This is the sixth charge to be brought against Ressa in more than a year of systematic judicial harassment.  Four charges of tax evasion and failing to file income tax returns were brought against Rappler and Ressa last November. A fifth, completely spurious, charge was brought in December.Ressa is one of the 25 members of an international panel created at RSF’s initiative last year that drafted an international Declaration on Information and Democracy. On the basis of the declaration, the leaders of 12 democratic countries launched a political process on 11 November aimed at providing democratic guarantees for news and information and freedom of opinion.As well as being one of Time Magazine’s “persons of the year,” Ressa also received the 2018 Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists and has become a symbol of the Philippine media’s fight against intimidation by President Rodrigo Duterte.The Philippines is ranked 133rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. February 13, 2019 – Updated on June 11, 2020 Philippine website editor held on defamation charge News Organisation Filipina journalist still held although court dismissed case eleven days ago News Receive email alertscenter_img News News Follow the news on Philippines May 3, 2021 Find out more Mass international solidarity campaign launched in support of Maria Ressa Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns today’s arrest of Maria Ressa, the editor of the independent Manila-based news website Rappler, on a defamation charge, and is referring the Philippine government’s repeated persecution of this journalist and her website to the United Nations secretary-general. February 16, 2021 Find out more RSF_en June 1, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information last_img read more

Q&A with new HGSE dean

first_imgJames E. Ryan, a leading scholar of education law and policy, will become the new dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) this fall. His work focuses on educational opportunity, and he has taught and written on such topics as school finance, school desegregation, school choice, school governance, a right to preschool, teacher compensation reform, and the No Child Left Behind Act. He is currently the Matheson and Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law and the Weber Research Professor of Civil Liberties and Human Rights at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served for five years as academic associate dean and is founding director of the public service program.Ryan talked with the Harvard Gazette about his passion for education and his new role at HGSE:GAZETTE: What drew you to education as the focus of your scholarly work?RYAN: My interest in education stems from personal experience. I grew up in a blue-collar suburb in northern New Jersey, and neither of my parents went to college. My dad barely made it through high school. My mom finished near the top of her class. But her family didn’t have any money, and her parents didn’t think at the time that women needed to go to college. But both my parents during the entirety of my childhood stressed the importance of education. I attended the public schools in my hometown and was lucky enough to go to a great university. That experience literally changed my life and got me thinking as early as college about how lucky I was that the system worked for me, and wondering why it has failed so many others. And that really was the impetus for the questions that I’ve been asking in almost all of my scholarly work since. I’ve been trying to figure out, basically, how law and policy might expand educational opportunities and also strengthen supports outside of school, so that more students have an honest chance to fulfill their potential.Education is really the driving force behind social mobility and living a fulfilling life. Schools can’t do everything on their own, obviously, but education remains the key mechanism by which the American dream of reaching your full potential can be realized. For many students, the education system isn’t working as well as it ought to, and figuring out ways to improve it is what I’m most passionate about, and why I’m so eager — and honored — to take on the role of dean at HGSE.(Ryan discusses his vision for HGSE here.)GAZETTE: Could you talk about the range of education topics that you’ve been exploring in your scholarship and teaching?RYAN: The question I have been asking is simple to state, mainly: “How can law and policy work to expand educational opportunities?” But the answer is complicated; there is no simple answer. Which means I’ve explored a number of different topics, including school finance, school desegregation, school choice, a right to preschool, educational governance, education and religion, special education, and neuroscience and education. The biggest project I took on was writing a book called “Five Miles Away, A World Apart,” which tried to examine how law and policy have shaped educational opportunity beginning with Brown v. Board of Education to the present. I looked at topics including desegregation, finance, school choice, and standards and testing, including the No Child Left Behind Act. To bring the story to life, I focused on two schools, one in the city of Richmond, Va., and one nearby, five miles away, in a suburb of Richmond. I tried to use the examples of those schools to paint a more vivid picture of how law and policy affect actual schools, students, teachers, principals, and families.GAZETTE: With your background in the law, what led you to be interested in being the dean of the HGSE?RYAN: I’ve been writing about law and education for 15 years with an eye toward trying to influence policy. And I’m drawn to HGSE because I’d like to be part of an institution that’s committed both to the very best scholarship and to having a more direct impact on practice and policy, more than I can have on my own by writing books and articles. In some ways it might seem like a big change, and in some ways it is. But it’s also a continuation and natural extension of what I’ve been doing and what I’m most deeply interested in. It’s all about how what we do in universities, including what we do together with others, can help change education for the better.GAZETTE: How do you see the role of education schools, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s role in particular, in addressing big challenges facing the education sector? Can you talk about the achievement gap?RYAN: Different education schools have different missions and take on different challenges. I think HGSE under Dean [Kathleen] McCartney’s excellent leadership has focused on preparing leaders in the field and producing research that both influences practice and is informed by practice. That dual mission, of preparing leaders and producing research and ideas that have a real impact, addresses two of the biggest challenges facing education: the need for bold, motivated, imaginative leaders, and the need for clear, unbiased research on what works and what doesn’t. I think that working on those two challenges together can help close the achievement gap, which is currently at an intolerably high level.GAZETTE: There seem to be a great many different, sometimes conflicting perspectives on how to reform education in the United States. How do you see the HGSE’s role in regard to education reform?RYAN: I view HGSE as playing the role of honest broker in a field that is too often beset by partisanship and ideology. It too often seems that people are talking past each other instead of talking to each other and figuring out together how to make education work the way it needs to work for students. HGSE has a great tradition of producing high-quality research about what works, and that’s needed now more than ever. I also think that HGSE can and should continue to exhibit what I’d call a spirit of fearless inquiry — to follow the research where it leads and to prepare students to pursue their own passions within a wide and diverse field. I think the status quo in the field is not acceptable, and I don’t think anyone would say that it is. At the same time, I think people within the School and other people knowledgeable about education recognize there’s no panacea. There’s no single reform that on its own will solve all the various challenges confronting schools and school districts, which means there’s still a great deal to learn. And I think education schools, and HGSE in particular, have a vital role to play in generating research and ideas that can and should inform, even transform, practice.GAZETTE: HGSE has made a concerted effort in recent years to focus on what it calls “the nexus of practice, policy, and research.” One example would be its new doctor of education leadership program (Ed.L.D). What’s your sense of the interplay of academic research with education policy and practice?RYAN: The Ed.L.D. program is absolutely terrific, and I am excited to help that program move forward. As for the interplay of research with policy and practice, I think the link is crucial and ought to keep getting stronger. Each should inform the other. Research should inform policy and practice. And policy and practice should inform the sort of research that goes on in schools like HGSE. The link doesn’t always happen the way it should, in part because education policy isn’t simply informed by research on best practices; it’s also shaped by politics. That said, I think the stronger the research about the wisdom and benefits of different policy choices, and the more the research draws on actual experience in the field, the more likely there will be a positive impact on practice. I think the research about the benefits of pre-K is a great example.GAZETTE: If you were talking with a group of incoming HGSE students, what would you most want them to know about you and your hopes for their experience at the School?RYAN: I guess I would want them to know that I am here for one reason, which is that I care deeply about education and I believe that it’s the most important and compelling issue facing society. That’s what draws me to the School, and I assume that’s what draws them to the School as well. As for my hopes for them, I was told by many people that students come to HGSE because they want to change the world, whether they’re here for a yearlong master’s degree or for a doctorate. My hope for them is that they leave feeling prepared and inspired to do just that.GAZETTE: What opportunities do you see for HGSE in its relationships with other parts of Harvard?RYAN: I think in addition to the Ed.L.D. program, which has strong ties to the Kennedy School and the Business School, the new Ph.D. program will forge closer ties between HGSE and other parts of the University, including the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. And I think forging those ties, across all the Schools, is crucial to the success of HGSE and is an incredible opportunity as we take on some of the challenges that are facing education. There’s remarkable insight and wisdom about different aspects of education across the whole University, and there’s enormous potential to make that insight work for the benefit of everyone. One of the things that excited me most during the search was hearing the level of interest and enthusiasm not only among faculty within HGSE but those outside HGSE who served on the faculty advisory committee. And I had great meetings with the dean of the Business School, Nitin Nohria, the dean of the Kennedy School, David Ellwood, and the dean of the Law School, Martha Minow. All of them expressed deep interest and enthusiasm in the mission of HGSE, and I think that’s an excellent development and represents a tremendous opportunity for the School.GAZETTE: Can you talk about your own approach to teaching and how it might inform your work as the dean at HGSE?RYAN: In every class I teach, I think it’s really important to develop a sense of trust among the students. And by that I mean not just getting the students to trust that I have at least some idea of what I’m talking about, but, just as importantly, getting them to trust that I have their best interests at heart. When that level of trust is established, I think students feel comfortable taking risks, I think they feel comfortable disagreeing with one another, and I think they feel comfortable in my disagreeing with them. Real exchanges begin to happen, and so do real advances in understanding. I tried to bring that same approach to being an associate dean at U.Va., and I’d expect to bring a similar approach to being dean here. And by that I mean I would hope to demonstrate not just competence but that I always have the best interests of the School at heart. From what I’ve seen and learned, the community at HGSE is strong and tight-knit, with a high level of trust and a real sense of mission among those who work there. I’m really delighted to be joining that kind of community, and I have to say my first priority is to earn the trust of the people who are already part of the community.GAZETTE: How do you envision the impact of technology on education?RYAN: I think that the impact is going to be enormous, along different dimensions. Technology enables the collection and strategic use of data for schools and by schools, work that many at HGSE are already conducting. It also offers the chance to bring excellent teachers to remote and understaffed schools and classrooms, and for college and university professors to reach a vastly broader audience. And, obviously, it has great potential to enhance aspects of on-campus learning. We’re just at the beginning of what could be a revolution in technology and education, and I think the full potential as well as some of the risks of how we use technology aren’t completely apparent yet. But technology, and how it’s used in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, is clearly among the most important questions facing education today at all levels.GAZETTE: How do you envision the advances in cognitive science influencing the work of HGSE?RYAN: The developments in neuroscience and cognitive science have enormous potential for helping us understand how students learn, and great work is already being done in that area at HGSE. The more we know about how the brain works and about how children learn, obviously, the better we can be at educating them and at targeting interventions toward those who are struggling. So I think that, together, technology and neuroscience are two of the most potentially transformative developments affecting the whole field of education.GAZETTE: What do you like to do for fun, when you’re not being a professor?RYAN: I have a lot of interests, maybe too many. I’d say the thing I love most is to spend time outside with my family and friends doing something active. It could be hiking, or mountain biking, or sea kayaking, or skiing, or fly fishing, or surfing. My kids are really active, and it’s both a treat and a challenge to try to keep up with them. I also love to read, both fiction and nonfiction, follow politics, play just about any sport under the sun, and train for marathons with my wife, Katie. And I like to cook, coach my kids in youth soccer, volunteer with Special Olympics, and garden with my daughter.GAZETTE: What are you currently reading?RYAN: I am actually reading [Daniel Kahneman’s] “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” which is like the big book of everything for adults. It’s one of those books that helps you see the world in a new way.last_img read more

Illinois co-op says closing 170MW unit at Marion coal plant will save $125 million over 10 years

first_imgIllinois co-op says closing 170MW unit at Marion coal plant will save $125 million over 10 years FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Southern Illinoisan:Southern Illinois Power Cooperative plans to retire its largest coal-fired generator as early as this fall, a move that is expected to save $125 million over a decade.President and CEO Don Gulley said the tentative decision is the result of analysis and negotiations that have been ongoing since late 2019. Gulley said SIPC utilized outside consultants to help it perform a comprehensive review of operations and determine the best path forward. The decision to close Unit 4, as it is known, was based on two primary factors, he said: sustained low energy prices in the wholesale power market, and increasingly costly environmental regulations for coal-fired generators.SIPC is a generation and transmission cooperative located on the shores of Lake of Egypt that provides wholesale electric power to seven member distribution cooperatives, and the city of McLeansboro. It is jointly owned and governed by the distribution cooperatives, which are: Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association; Clinton County Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Monroe County Electric Co-Operative, Inc.; SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative; Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc.; and Clay Electric Co-operative, Inc.“It was — and is — a difficult decision,” Gulley said. “But my responsibility is to ensure the long-term viability of SIPC to benefit our member-owners, which ultimately benefit those 80,000 members. And the savings of $125 million over the next 10 years is significant and important to those 80,000 members.”The tentatively approved plan is awaiting final regulatory approvals, expected by late July. A formal board decision is to follow.Unit 4 was constructed in the late 1970s. It would take an investment of about $20 million in order for it to meet federal and state environmental requirements for coal ash and wastewater disposal over the next three to five years, Gulley said. That financial requirement was a piece in the equation, though Gulley said the primary driving factors behind the decision are the more competitive energy prices on the open market and a need to diversify SIPC’s energy sources. Currently, coal-fired generation accounts for more than 90% of its portfolio.[Molly Parker]More: Southern Illinois Power Co-op plans to shutter its largest coal-fired unit this falllast_img read more

Two New Chick-fil-A Locations to Open on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Chick-fil-A, the famed Atlanta-based fast food restaurant that specializes in all things chicken, will celebrate the grand opening of two new long-awaited locations on Long Island next week, the company announced.The new locations in Hicksville and Commack will open their doors Thursday at 6:30 a.m. Fast food revelers will also have the opportunity to participate in Chick-fil-A’s “First 100” campaign, which culminates in a grand prize of one free Chick-fil-A meal every week for the entire year. (That’s 52 meals, folks.)Chick-fil-A, which already enjoys support from a rabid fan base, will have three Long Island locations in total, including its Port Jefferson restaurant, which opened last year.About 100 people camped outside of the Port Jefferson Chick-fil-A on its opening day last October, erecting tents and sharing stories with other fans about their obsession with the fast food giant.Those seeking to grab a chicken sandwich at one of the two new locations next Thursday should expect similar crowds.Chick-fil-A met resistance from LGBT groups when it first announced plans to spread its chicken empire to Long Island. The restaurant has been criticized for controversial donations its CEO has made to anti-gay groups and for the executive’s opposition to same-sex marriage. Despite the criticism, the Town of Brookhaven went ahead and approved the build and towns to their west have done the same.Campers waited for 24 hours to be the first on line at the first Long Island Chick-fil-A (Photo by Katie Chuber)The Hicksville Chick-fil-A has a prime spot outside of the Broadway Mall. The Commack spot is located along Commack Road, just north of the Long Island Expressway.Those brave souls interested in winning free meals for the year must have a valid state-issued ID and must be 18 years or older. For more official rules, check out Chick-fil-A’s contest page.Chick-fil-A is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. As is customary, the restaurants are closed on Sunday.last_img read more

DHT in Slavonia will be held from October 2 to 5 in Vukovar, Vinkovci and Osijek

first_imgAlthough we know this fact since the last DHT from Hvar and that we have already entered the month of July, there is still no official announcement of the date, nor the program and other important information, which leads to confusion among the profession who want to come to DHT in Slavonia, but they don’t know the details to get organized. RELATED NEWS: So, this year’s DHT in Slavonia will take place from October 02 to 05, 2019, in Vukovar, Vinkovci and Osijek. The grand opening of DHT will take place in Vukovar at Eltz Castle on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. The second day, (Thursday 03.10) DHT will move to Vinkovci, where the first evening of the annual Croatian tourist awards and a gala dinner on the estate will take place LD Kunjevci. Days of Croatian Tourism, the largest gathering of tourism workers in Croatia, which brings together between 1500 and 2000 participants this year will be held in Slavonia. DHT organization in Slavonia As I am contacted on a daily basis by various tourist employees and companies, and regarding the organization of DHT in Slavonia, we must also react publicly in this way. APPLICATIONS for the annual Croatian Tourism Awards are still partially opencenter_img Personally, I am not part of the organizing committee and in no way participate in the organization of DHT in Slavonia. For all questions regarding the organization of DHT in Slavonia, please contact the Ministry of Tourism, which will forward your inquiries to the appropriate person and address, in accordance with the protocol. Register your ambassadors of our tourism / OPEN APPLICATIONS FOR ANNUAL CROATIAN TOURIST AWARDS The last day of DHT (Friday, October 04.10), which includes a gala evening, the second evening of the awards ceremony and a live broadcast of the annual Croatian tourist awards will be held at the Fortress in Osijek. The host of the Croatian Tourism Day 2019 was taken over by Slavonia (coordination of counties, cities and the Tourist Board system), and the organizers are the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. UHPA AND DHT DAYS ARE NOT IN VINKOVCI AND OSIJEK, BUT IN SLAVONIA The deadline for submitting nominations for the categories Destination of the Year, Sustainable Tourism Award, Innovation of the Year, Attraction of the Year and “Man – the key to success, employee of the year” was July 1, 2019, while the deadline for submitting nominations for the Croatian Tourism Award , ie the Annual Award “Anton Štifanić” and the Lifetime Achievement Award, open until 31. August 2019. last_img read more

Driven out

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Inaugural Basketball Africa League postponed over coronavirus

first_imgThe start of the first season of the Basketball Africa League has been postponed because of coronavirus fears.The first BAL campaign was due to start in the Senegalese capital Dakar on 13 March, and no new date has been given.The new professional league, a partnership between the International Basketball Federation and the NBA, is set to feature 12 African club teams.“Following the recommendation of the Senegalese government regarding the escalating health concerns related to the coronavirus, the BAL’s inaugural season will be postponed,” said BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall.“I am disappointed we are not able to tip off this historic league as scheduled but look forward to the highly anticipated launch of the BAL at a later date.”Organisers say the safety of fans, players, teams and employees is their priority and that the situation will be monitored prior to announcing another start date in the future. As of 08:00 GMT on Wednesday, there were two confirmed cases of the disease in Senegal.Sporting events around the globe have been hit by the coronavirus but the BAL becomes the first major African event to be postponed because of the outbreak.Elsewhere, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has banned handshakes between football players before the start of matches.The TFF said it is following advice from the Ministry of Health against handshaking as part of measures to stop the spread of the virus in the country.On Tuesday, photos showed President John Magufuli exchanging a foot greeting with an opposition leader instead of a handshake. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Tanzania at present, with all suspected cases having tested negative so far.last_img read more

Steelers gamble on rookies with serious medical concerns

first_imgFIRST ROUND PICK–Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 first-round draft pick, Jarvis Jones, left, is presented with a team jersey by team president Arthur J. Rooney II, April 26, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) by Smokin’ Jim FrazierFootball often has been described a “collision” sport, rather than a contact sport, the implication being that the contact players engage in upon the football field is considerably more violent than what they might face in other sports.Former NFL star linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide last year because he suffered a debilitating brain disease, likely caused by two decades worth of hits to the head.  Surprisingly, during his 20-year career, he had never been diagnosed with a concussion.The Steelers drafted several rookies last week with serious medical concerns.They used their first round pick to select outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (6-2, 245) of Georgia. Jones began his collegiate career at USC in 2009. He decided to transfer to Georgia in 2010 after not receiving medical clearance to return to football from USC doctors due to spinal stenosis.Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal that may occur in any of the regions of the spine. Georgia is known as the “Peanut” state and any doctor who clears a player with spinal stenosis has a peanut brain.It was puzzling why General Manager Kevin Colbert would waste a first round pick on a player who will likely sit on the bench for the next two seasons. Pro Bowler LaMarr Woodley and Jason “All” Worilds are the starting outside backers.“I have never started a rookie linebacker since I have been here,” said linebacker coach Keith Butler. “Jason Worilds is the next man up. He has worked hard and knows our system and he will be our starter.”Running the football is an important part of the Steelers offense and their history.Offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s offense is a zone blocking scheme where stretch plays can create cut back lanes to be exploited by a back with some speed and power and they found their man in the second round.Le’Veon Bell (6-2, 245), of Michigan State, is a big back that draws comparison to Eddie George and Steven Jackson. Bell rushed for 1,793 and 12 touchdowns to lead the Big Ten in 2012.He can step out of tackles, drop his shoulder and plow through contact. Bell is light on his feet, displays an effective spin move and hurdling ability in the open field.Rashard Mendenhall now plays for Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals, so Bell will compete with Issac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer for the starting running back position.  Pittsburgh also signed former Pitt halfback LaRod Stephens-Howling. He was an unrestricted free agent who played for Todd Haley in 2009 with the Cardinals. He is also a good kick returner.The Steelers were looking for a player who has the speed to stretch the field the way that former receiver Mike Wallace could do.Wide-receivers are the engines that drive the high-flying, big-yardage offenses across the league and the Steelers found a replacement for Wallace in the third round.Markus Wheaton (5-11, 185) set the Oregon State school record for career receptions with 227. He led the team in receiving with 91 catches for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012.Wheaton is a speedster who also ran track for the Beavers. He joins Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders Plaxico Burress and Jerricho Cotchery to give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a dangerous group of receivers.The Steelers traded away their third round pick in 2014 to the Cleveland Browns to get an additional pick in the fourth round and then drafted a safety and a quarterback.Safety Shamarko Thomas (5-9, 215), of Syracuse, is a very mature young man. His father was killed in a motorcycle accident during his freshman year. His mother passed away in her sleep when he was a sophomore. He is taking care of his five brothers and sisters.Thomas is a physically tough player who has a history of concussions.Offensive coordinator Todd Haley appears to be buying into all the stereotypes attached to Black quarterbacks. Haley has replaced Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, Jerrod Johnson and Bryon Leftwich with John Parker Wilson, Bruce Gradkowski, Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones.Haley was the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and the offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals and never had a Black quarterback on his roster.Quarterback Jones (6-4, 225), of Oklahoma, is the Big 12’s all-time leader in passing yards with 16,646 yards and 123 touchdowns. Jones suffers from “big-game” disease.  Jones will panic under pressure and has played poorly in big games. He could not avoid the rush against Notre Dame, Kansas State and other powerhouse teams.“Getting to stand behind Roethlisberger is going to be a huge opportunity for me,” said Jones.  “Ben’s sister Carlee played basketball on the same team as my wife and she was in my wedding.”Fifth round draft choice cornerback Terry Hawthorne (6-0, 195), of Illinois, led the team in interceptions in 2011 and was named the Kraft Hunger Bowl Defensive Player of the Game.  Hawthorne averaged 21-yards on Punt returns and has kickoff return experience.Hawthorne, broke his right hand as a freshman and broke his right foot as a sophomore.  As a senior he was carried off the field on a stretcher against Wisconsin because of a concussion.With their first pick in the sixth round the Steelers took Oklahoma wide-receiver Justin Brown who transferred from Penn State after the Sandusky scandal. With their second pick in the sixth round they grabbed middle linebacker Vince Williams of Florida State.In the seventh round the Steelers selected defensive end Nick Williams of Samford and also signed 15 undrafted rookies.The off season began with the Steelers missing the playoffs. The consensus outside the Steelers organization was that their first round draft choice needed to be an offensive lineman. The offensive line allowed nearly 200 quarterback sacks over the last four seasons.After an 8-8 season there is plenty of blame to go around. So why isn’t General Manager Kevin Colbert receiving any?In 2008, Colbert drafted Mendenhall in the first round, Limas Sweed in the second round, Bruce Davis in the third round, Tony Hills and Dennis Dixon in the fourth, Ryan Mundy in the fifth and Mike Humpal in the sixth. None are still part of the team.By the way, Colbert’s 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 drafts were equally as bad.In spite of the construction of PNC Park, Heinz Field, the Rivers Casino and the Consol Energy Center, for now, it looks like the Steelers are bent on team destruction.I give the Steelers draft a failing grade. Colbert and his Mickey Mouse scouting department seem to be Gomer Pyle-ing there way through the draft!The 2013 draft class has a better chance of making the All-UPMC team than any Pro Bowl teams.An Afterthought: The Rooney Rule is failing. The rule requires that each team interview, but not hire, a minority candidate. Eight NFL teams fired their head coaches and all eight teams hired White coaches.last_img read more

Oilers decide to part ways with former KIJHL coach Tom Renney

first_img“Tom’s done some great things for our hockey club,” general manager Steve Tambellini said in a video statement posted on the Oilers website. “But we felt at this time it was the right decision to make a change.”We’re entering a new phase of our hockey club. We’ve got some great challenges, but ones that we’re looking forward to. I want to thank Tom for his work that he’s done with us.”Renney came to Edmonton having previously served as head coach with the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.The 57-year-old Cranbrook native was fired from the Rangers in February 2009 after 61 games, following three full seasons and 20 games in another when he took over from Glen Sather, who remained as general manager.Renney was also fired in Vancouver in 1997-98 after his first full season with the club.Renney got his start in hockey in the KIJHL. He won the league championship as skipper of the Columbia Valley Rockies before moving to coaching in the Western Hockey League and winning a Memorial Cup with Kamloops Blazers.In two season with the Blazers Renney compiled a 101-37-6 record for a .714 winning percentage, which ranks as the all-time highest winning mark in CHL history.Before coaching in the NHL, Renney guided Canada to a silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.Renney and wife Glenda own a summer home near Nelson on the North Shore overlooking Kootenay Lake. The Edmonton Oilers are parting ways with former Kootenay International Junior Hockey League coach Tom Renney after two seasons as skipper of the NHL franchise.The team made the announcement via Twitter on Thursday, saying Renney’s contract will not be renewed.Renney joined the team for the 2010-11 season and finished with an NHL-worst 25-45-12 record.This season the Oilers started strong but still finished at the basement of the league, improving slightly to a 32-40-10 record for second-last overall. Although Edmonton did win the NHL hockey lottery and will once again draft first overall.It’s the third consecutive year Edmonton has the first pick in the NHL draft.last_img read more

CALIFORNIAN STAKES QUOTES

first_imgJOCKEY QUOTES TRAINER QUOTES             GARY STEVENS, CATCH A FLIGHT, WINNER: “Moreno was pretty sluggish leaving the gate and I out-broke him by about half a length. On paper and knowing these two horses’ records, it looked like a match race between the two of them and that’s how I wanted to ride it. It worked out where Big Cazanova went up there and kept Moreno occupied down the backside but they were running slow enough fractions for these kinds of horses. It looked like a match race and it was a match race until inside the eighth pole.“Ever since his first win here he’s shown me a lot of tenacity and it was just a question of if he was fast enough to win. He’s just now starting to figure out American racing, I think he’s still improving and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.”CORNELIO VELASQUEZ, MORENO, SECOND: “My horse, I gave him every chance and he stopped today. The other horse, Catch a Flight, he ran good. My horse, he ran OK.” -30- ERIC GUILLOT, MORENO, SECOND: “It’s typical Moreno fashion. As soon as he got the lead, his ears pricked. What are you going to do with a horse like that? You try and separate yourself, but it’s hard to separate when you’ve got a longshot setting 46 and change fractions. When you’re by yourself and you’re not pressed, it’s a little bit different breathing pattern. He ran good, but that’s why I hate running for 200 grand, but he runs just as good for two million with $400,000 for second as he does for second for $40,000. The plan is to run back in the Gold Cup unless something comes along with a little bit more money, a little bit more prestige. A mile and a quarter, I’ll separate myself a little bit more next time. Hopefully, there’s no cheap speed in there.” RICHARD MANDELLA, CATCH A FLIGHT, WINNER: “We figured he’d be off of those two (Big Cazanova and Moreno). Then it was whether he could catch them or not. When he (Gary Stevens) goosed him at the quarter pole, he responded pretty quickly. Gary knows him well enough. I didn’t try to tell him how to ride him . . . This was a step forward. The time of the race was good and he beat Moreno. Every step he’s made has been forward. We’ll look at the Gold Cup here next ($500,000, Grade I, 1 1/4 miles on June 27).” NOTES: The winning owner is Julio Bozano of Ocala, Fl, who races as Haras Santa Maria de Araras, Inc.last_img read more