Riflemen ready for the ranges again, following extensive rehab of the Timehri Range

first_imgFULLBORE captain of the Guyana National Rifle Association (GuyanaNRA) Mahendra Persaud has informed that the Caribbean’s leading marksmen are ready to return to active shooting ahead of the federation’s 150th anniversary in October this year.Active shooting would have been on hold for the past few months as a result of extensive and highly rewarding works and upgrade to the Timehri Rifle Ranges to bring it in line with international standards, ahead of what is anticipated to be a huge competition, come October.Persaud, who has captained Guyana to many a Caribbean title over the years – Guyana are the current defending Short and Long Range Caribbean Champions – has disclosed that competing on home turf for the 150th anniversary as hosts of the West Indies Fullbore Shooting Championships will be an honour.He informed that the likes of Lennox Braithwaite, Ransford Goodluck, Dylan Fields, Leo Romalho, Ryan Sampson, Terrance Stuart and others are getting ready to get back in the trigger groove as they get ready to welcome the top nations of the world including Australia, Great Britain and the Caribbean to Guyana.“We have been hard at work over the past few months adding a different touch to the ranges at Timehri in terms of upgrade which has been very successful. The works would have been carried out by the shooters themselves in conjunction with the Guyana Defence Force and we are very thankful for their continued support.”Noting that the shooters are now getting into second gear, Persaud said that the first practice shoot this Sunday will be held at the 300, 600 and 1000 yards ranges on the eastern half the ranges.“These are the banks that are almost ready for October. While the ranges are not 100% complete, the team must commence training now.The GuyanaNRA wishes to express thanks to COS Brigadier Patrick West and the high command of the GDF for their support and assistance during the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Timehri Rifle Ranges.last_img read more

Panel discusses the role of whistleblowers

first_imgOn Tuesday evening, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism hosted “Patriot or Traitor? Whistleblowing and Journalism in the Age of Government Surveillance,” an event featuring well-known government whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon administration.Patriot or traitor? · The panel consisted of three previous whistleblowers who spoke on the diminishment of the First Amendment and the need for proper governmental accountability. – Noel Berry | Daily TrojanRobert Scheer, a professor and founder of Truthdig,  moderated the panel, which, along with Ellsberg, also included two other prominent whistleblowers: Thomas Drake, former senior executive of the National Security Agency, and attorney Jesselyn Radack, who currently represents Edward Snowden.The event, a collaboration between the Annenberg School and the Government Accountability Project, is part of a two-day forum featuring the importance of government whistleblowing and the crucial duty of the press to release important truths to U.S. society.“You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a whistleblower,” Drake said. “I don’t remember going to my high school counselor and saying, ‘Hey, I want to be a whistleblower.’”Radack noted that a “leak” differs from whistleblowing in that it often serves no purpose for the greater good.“Whistleblowing, on the other hand, is done to serve the public interest and the public’s right to know,” she said.Moreover, when the pillars of the government begin to fail, the press becomes of the utmost importance to keep the government reliable. People who factually expose the government as incompetent, however, can suffer serious consequences.“God forbid you should disclose government illegality — because then the hammer will really fall on you, and you will face prison the rest of your life,” Radack said.Drake, who was the second American to be charged under the Espionage Act since Ellsberg, was publicly indicted and faced 35 years in prison for whistleblowing.“[The government] wanted to make me the example,” Drake said.Since 9/11, Drake said, the government has disengaged itself from the Constitution, granting itself authority to use emergency powers.“And we have been operating in that mode ever since,” he said.Nevertheless, all three panelists expressed the opinion that whistleblowing is important to defending the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.Ellsberg, who claimed that the government failed to carry out its oath as stated in the Constitution, said he and his colleagues were beyond the Constitution and instead worked for the president. Ellsberg believes that he, as well as dozens of other people, had access to the papers that could have sealed a lid on the Vietnam War.“Despite life or death situations, most of those people have stayed quiet,” Ellsberg said. “Practically everyone who had that documentation should have realized that the Constitution was being violated.”Ellsberg stressed the cost for the United States could be steep, and when those secrets are kept and whistleblowers do not question the government.“The price of a government keeping secrets is wars like Vietnam and wars like Iraq,” Ellsberg said.Scheer echoed Ellsberg’s sentiments.“Where [were] all of the people who knew that people were dying in wars that made no sense? Where are the several thousand that knew their neighbors and children who were being spied on?” Scheer asked.Those potential whistleblowers do not release information, because if they do, they are often labeled as traitors and lack the proper protection for whistleblowers that should be enacted, Radack said.Even so, despite now being considered a hero following the release of the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg was quickly labeled a traitor, Scheer said.Ellsberg, who said he identifies with Snowden’s current struggle, still remembers the first time he was called a traitor in 1971.“Chelsea Manning and now, Snowden, are no more of a traitor than I am,” he said. “And I’m not [a traitor].”Radack, the former ethics advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice, was accused of “leaking” information when she drew attention to the illegal treatment of John Walker Lindh, who was captured as an enemy combatant by Afghan Northern Alliance forces during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.After a photo of Lindh exposed the prisoner naked, blindfolded and gagged, the Attorney General publicly claimed that they did not know the prisoner had a legal counselor, Radack said. Emails between Radack and the FBI, exposing U.S. intelligence illegality, disappeared from Radack’s office and she was put on the no-fly list.“I didn’t realize by going to the press I was releasing the full force of the executive branch,” Radack said.Since this incident, Radack has defended Drake and many other     anti-government whistleblowers.“I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to recognizing whistleblowers,” she said.She added that the country is at a point where the First Amendment is currently “under attack.”Drake agreed, noting issues of the government keeping secrets have increased to illegal data recovery without the consent of American citizens. He mentioned that since 9/11, the NSA has been using its extraordinary power to spy on Americans.“The First Amendment, which I ultimately had to confront after 9/11, is the cornerstone of who we are as Americans,” he said. “If we don’t have the First Amendment, everything disappears.”Also discussed was the importance of the press in keeping the government reliable.“If you don’t have press, everything else becomes propaganda,” Drake said.Geoffrey Cowan, former dean of Annenberg, said that the United States is not going to be protected by our leaders alone.“[The leaders] have to feel the pressure from our citizens,” he said. “There couldn’t be journalism without sources. Whistleblowers, in a certain way, are sources with steroids.”And in the time of the Vietnam War, the journalists failed at searching and clawing for the truth, the panelists said.“Journalists were behaving as government lapdogs rather than government watchdogs,” Ellsberg said of journalism in the time of the Vietnam War. “To this day, we don’t have nearly as many whistleblowers as we could and should have.”Students in attendance noted the panel was extremely telling on issues that are often not covered heavily.Jamie Moskowitz, a senior majoring in communication, said she was inspired by the passion of the three speakers and how they took action to work toward justice.“It was an honor just to hear their story,” Moskowitz said.Sanam Ghaneeian, a sophomore majoring in communication, said the panel was helpful because she had no idea how much whistleblowers risked when presenting information to the U.S. public.“I can’t believe how dangerous [whistleblowing] is and how much courage these people had to disclose information,” Ghaneeian said.last_img read more

Sam Riddle manages parenthood while quarterbacking Linfield College

first_imgSam Riddle got into the car with his father and, as they drove away from Oregon, Riddle began to cry. He didn’t stop for an hour.Riddle’s son, Mason, turned 2 months old the day he left. Briahnna, his then-fiancée and current wife, urged him to try North Dakota. Riddle felt wracked with doubt.“Leaving that morning was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” he said. “I told my dad to turn the car around, that I couldn’t do it.”Fifteen hundred miles later, the 18-year-old stepped out of the car. The quarterback had arrived at the University of North Dakota, one of Division I-AA’s best football programs. As Dave Riddle dropped his son off, at a good school on scholarship, he felt like a proud father. Sam felt like anything but.The moment he left the practice field or meeting room, without fail, he was reminded of the distance between him and his family. The things people told him would make the transition easier — Skype, FaceTime and texting — made it harder, he said. Riddle was watching his son grow up through a glass screen.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAround 4 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 25 days after leaving Oregon, Riddle boarded a train back home. After the 31-hour ride, Riddle got a haircut and went to Briahnna’s house. He spent Saturday with his family. Sunday, he moved into a dorm at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, a Division III school near his hometown that had recruited him out of high school.Two years later, Riddle starts at quarterback, and is leading the 3-0 Wildcats offense, which averages 56.3 points per game, second in Division III. But the two years in between were anything but easy.“Things with my side of the family were rough,” Riddle said of his return. “I resented them a little bit. They tried patching things up with me and nothing really happened. (They didn’t want) me to come home.” Published on October 7, 2015 at 9:02 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR Dave, a schoolteacher for 32 years, saw his son’s coming home as forfeiting a scholarship for the $45,000 tuition of Linfield. The family had a strict budget growing up, Riddle said. His fiancée and son moved in with Briahnna’s grandparents and became so busy that they barely saw Riddle’s family.There were occasional Sunday night dinners and a few other times spent together, but mostly Riddle’s parents didn’t see Mason until Saturday at the football games, which helped to ease the tension.“We just realized that we needed to be supportive of him,” Dave said. “It’s going much further than our feelings. His happiness is much more important than money or scholarships … He stepped up big time.”Both Riddle and his father said they’ve never been closer than they are now.Riddle discusses parenting challenges with his father, but doesn’t normally seek advice, Dave said. He’s confident and responsible, similar qualities which caught the attention of Linfield quarterback coach Aaron Boehme.A sophomore at the time, Riddle was named the starter ahead of a junior and senior in 2014. Boehme noticed Riddle’s attention to detail in learning offensive schemes. The same attention to detail required to be a husband and a dad, he said.“For Sam, football…is kind of his getaway for a bit,” Boehme said.Riddle has a routine. He wakes up at 6 a.m. to get Mason ready and Briahnna heads to work at Wells Fargo. There’s a long day ahead with cleaning the new duplex they live in: daycare, laundry, homework, school, making dinner. And football.“I’m not going to lie, it’s hard,” Riddle said. “It’s been hard to face real life.”“We could’ve easily decided no more football,” Briahnna said. “It easily could’ve been, ‘You need to go to school and work part- to full-time to support us.’ But football has been such a big part of his life.”Mason enjoys it too. The 2-year-old throws a spiral, wears his father’s helmet and Briahnna has a hard time getting him to wear something other than Linfield gear.“Mommy! Football field! Football field!” Mason pleaded this summer, knowing dad was at practice.Briahnna drove to the field. When practice ended, the little boy ran out to his father.Riddle scooped him up. He smiled, standing on a field far from North Dakota, wearing his football pads and holding his son.“When he comes out, even today, he shows up all smiles and just to be with his buddies,” Boehme said. “He’s a 19-year-old kid. It’s good for him.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Wall, Wizards Outclass Knicks, 102-91

first_imgNEW YORK — John Wall had 24 points and 11 assists, eluding the Knicks all day until getting knocked to the floor by a flagrant foul that sparked an altercation, and the Washington Wizards beat New York 102-91 on Dec. 25.Wall toyed with the Knicks for 3 1/2 quarters, highlighted by a spinning, 360-degree layup, before Quincy Acy knocked him down with a forearm shove with 5:31 to play.Wall got up and pushed Acy, who responded with a punch that appeared to hit Wall behind the neck. Acy was ejected in the Christmas Day dust-up, and Wall received a technical foul.Bradley Beal added 17 points for the Wizards, who had their top five of Wall, Beal, Paul Pierce, Nene and Marcin Gortat in the starting lineup for the first time this season.Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points for the Knicks, who fell to 5-26 and have the most losses in the NBA. They have dropped six straight and 16 of 17.Wall was dazzling in what could be a warmup for a trip to Madison Square Garden for the February All-Star game. He was the leading vote-getter among Eastern Conference guards when the first returns of fan balloting were released earlier Dec. 25. Thursday.He might expand that lead after a national TV audience got to see him make 10-of-17 shots, the prettiest a layup where he spun completely around in the air before scooping it in.Washington had a comfortable lead most of the game, though the Knicks were on a bit of a run before Acy’s foul. The Wizards avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.They have won five in a row against the hapless Knicks, who had Amare Stoudemire back in the lineup after he missed two games. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert remained out.New York fell to 22-28 in a league-high 50 Christmas appearances.Knicks President Phil Jackson tried to tell Knicks fans better times were ahead with a couple of holiday Twitter postings, in which he wrote, “Please be assured your hopes and wishes are getting through to Santa. He will bring you a better 2015 than 14.” Maybe, but first Washington added to this year’s misery.The Wizards, many wearing green sneakers with their red road uniforms, were a Christmas blur, blowing by the Knicks to lead by as many as 22 points.After a pregame moment of silence for Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, the police officers who were shot to death Dec. 21, the Wizards made their first four attempts and raced to an 11-2 lead.(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more