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State Department to order workers to serve in Iraq

first_imgWASHINGTON – The State Department said Friday that it will begin ordering diplomats to serve in Iraq because of a lack of volunteers to work at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the first such large-scale call-up since the Vietnam War. Beginning Monday, 200 to 300 diplomats will be notified that they have been identified as “prime candidates” to fill 40 to 50 vacancies that will open next year at the embassy, said Harry Thomas, director general of the Foreign Service. Those notified that they have been selected for a one-year posting will have 10 days to accept or reject the position. If not enough say yes, some will be ordered to go to Iraq and face dismissal if they refuse, Thomas said. “Starting Nov. 12, our assignments panel will assign people to Iraq,” he told reporters in a conference call. “Under our system, we have all taken an oath to serve our country, we have all signed (up for) worldwide availability. It is certain to be unpopular due to serious security concerns in Iraq and uncertainty over the status of the private contractors who protect U.S. diplomats there, particularly after a deadly Sept. 16 shooting in which guards from Blackwater USA protecting an embassy convoy were accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians. The union that represents U.S. diplomats, the American Foreign Service Association, has expressed deep concerns in the past about a possible move to what are known as “directed assignments.” But officials with the union could not be reached for comment late Friday. The move to directed assignments is rare but not unprecedented. In 1969, an entire class of entry-level diplomats was sent to Vietnam, and on a smaller scale, diplomats were required to work at various embassies in West Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. More than 1,200 of the department’s 11,500 Foreign Service officers have served in Iraq since 2003, but the generous incentives have not persuaded enough diplomats to volunteer for duty in Baghdad or with the State Department’s provincial reconstruction teams. When she ordered that Baghdad be given staffing priority, Rice had warned that unless more volunteers could be found, the department would have to implement directed assignments. “It is my fervent hope that we will continue to see sufficient numbers … volunteering for Iraq service, but we must be prepared to meet our requirements in any eventuality,” she said in an unclassified cable sent to all diplomatic missions abroad June 19.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“If someone decides … they do not want to go, we will then consider appropriate action,” Thomas said. “We have many options, including dismissal from the Foreign Service.” Only those with compelling reasons, such as a medical condition or extreme personal hardship, will be exempt from disciplinary action, Thomas said. Diplomats who are forced into service in Iraq will receive the same extra hardship pay, vacation time and choice of future assignments as those who have volunteered since Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this past summer ordered Baghdad positions to be filled before all others around the world. There are currently about 200 Foreign Service officers working in Iraq, enough to meet the current staffing requirements, but about 50 more will be needed by next summer. The decision was announced to the entire U.S. diplomatic corps in a cable sent by Thomas on Friday. last_img read more

Two new names emerge as Giants’ list of manager candidates continues to take shape

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — As the Giants continue their search to find Bruce Bochy’s replacement, it’s increasingly clear what kind of qualities the franchise is looking for in a prospective hire.Most of the candidates Farhan Zaidi is interviewing are young, currently employed by successful organizations and lacking previous MLB managerial experience.Two people who were connected to the Giants’ search on Thursday fit that criteria.Joe Espada, the Houston Astros bench coach, and Matt Quatraro, the Tampa …last_img read more

What You Control, and What You Do Not

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Most things are outside of your control. Many of these things are also outside of your sphere of influence.You have no control over your government and, unless you have a lot of money and political clout, you have very little influence. This is also true of world affairs.The overall economy, despite the way things are reported in the news, is far beyond anyone’s control. Presidents and Federal Reserve Bankers take credit for a good economy and take the blame for a poor economy, but they have limited influence.You have no control over your clients. If you do exceptionally good work and build your influence, you may have some sway, some share of mind that allows you to nudge them in a particular direction. But you have no real control.Your competitors do things that you don’t believe are possible. They agree to things that you can’t agree to. They price their offerings so low that it would be impossible for you to follow them and make any money. They are way outside of your control and your influence.You don’t control your employees, peers, or the people you lead. At best, you have influence.There are, however, a lot of things that you do control.You control whether you are a positive, optimistic person who inspires others, helping them to grow and making a contribution beyond yourself.You control whether or not you believe producing results requires force or persuasion.You control whether you believe that the world is a dangerous place where people have mostly bad intentions or whether it is a place of abundance and opportunity.You control the values you choose to adopt, and how you live those values.You choose the people with whom you decide to surround yourself. You also control how you treat other people.You choose whether to view problems as opportunities or as obstacles. You control whether you believe that failure defines a person or that it is simply an event from which to learn.You control your life’s work and the contribution you decide to make or withhold.The time and energy you devote to things that are outside of your control is better spent in areas where you have control. We don’t get to choose what happens in the areas where we have no control; we only get to choose our response. The quality of your results is determined by how well you do in the areas you do control, not the areas you don’t.How much of your focus goes to things you cannot control and things over which you have very limited influence?How much control do you exercise over the things that are—or should be—completely in your control?What do you need to do to shift your focus to areas where you should be exercising control? How do you give up focusing in areas that don’t serve you and your goals?last_img read more

10 months ago​Fiorentina keeping tabs on Southampton striker Gabbiadini

first_img​Fiorentina keeping tabs on Southampton striker Gabbiadiniby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFiorentina have an interest in Southampton attacker Manolo Gabbiadini.The striker is being linked with a move to Italy in the January transfer window.Gabbiadini has scored 10 goals in 47 games for the Saints since arriving in 2017.And he is not seen as part of new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans, per the Daily Echo.The new boss even admitted some January transfers may happen.Saints’ boss said in a press conference last week: “We have to keep our eyes open in January.”There can be a few changes in the squad and a few possibilities but first I want a good overview of all the quality I have in my squad.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Release “Duke In The NBA” Alumni Highlight Video From 2014-15 Season

first_imgNBA players in the league based on colleges they attended.Duke NBA PlayersTwenty former Duke players appeared in NBA games during the 2014-15 season. That’s a hefty number, and the most of any college program. Naturally, the Duke program wants to promote that next-level success, which it did via highlight video yesterday. The “Duke in the NBA” video features highlights from nearly all Blue Devil alumni, though some (Kyrie Irving, J.J.Redick, Mason Plumlee etc) are featured more prominently than others.Here’s the full clip:last_img

Ohio State footballs Dominic Clarke DerJaun Gambrell released from scholarships

Ohio State football defensive backs Dominic Clarke and DerJuan Gambrell were released from their scholarships Sunday for violations of team rules, OSU athletics spokesman Jerry Emig confirmed to The Lantern Sunday night. Clarke, a redshirt sophomore, had two run-ins with law enforcement, and was most recently charged with drunk driving on Jan. 7, when he ran a stop sign near the intersection of W. 12th Avenue and Neil Avenue, according to multiple reports. Franklin County court records indicate that Clarke pleaded not guilty Friday to the charge. Clarke was also arrested for an Oct. 9 incident involving a “compressed-air gun,” which he fired from the roof of Marketplace, a campus eatery, located at 1578 Neil Ave. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer addressed Clarke’s most recent arrest during a Thursday press conference. “What we’ll never do is say we’re going to make an example out of a kid. That’s not going to happen,” Meyer said. “However, (Clarke) broke a team rule. I’m still getting the information. I’m very, very disappointed because some things were covered in the team meeting. They’ll be dealt with very swiftly and sternly at the appropriate time.” Emig did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s inquiry regarding the nature of the rule violation committed by Gambrell, a freshman. read more

Barcelona president doesnt care about politics on sports

first_imgThe Blaugrana executive Josep Maria Bartomeu also believes the United States La Liga game against Girona is “a great idea”Barcelona and Girona are waiting for the approval to play an official Spanish La Liga match in the United States.And for the Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu, this game is good for football.“To us, it seems a great idea. The game with Girona, for me, is only a football match, a match in La Liga,” he told La Gazzetta Dello Sport.For him, politics should stay out of football.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.“There should be no political concern. The match behind closed doors with Las Palmas? The most difficult decision. Things happened in Catalonia which we didn’t agree with. People have the right to vote, the repression was very hard.”“And for us as Barca, it was difficult to choose. The members today support our political line,” he added.“We are in favor of democracy, freedom of expression, the ideas shared by the majority of the Catalans. We are against the imprisonment of the politicians.”“No matter what happens Barca will play in La Liga. Tebas knows and all our members know, I have always said. We will continue to play in La Liga,” he concluded.last_img read more

Solskjaer pleased with Uniteds narrow win

first_imgOle Gunnar Solskjaer praised Manchester United players for their hard-fought victory over Leicester City but admitted the performance was below par.United secured a vital victory in their chase for a top-four spot thanks to a solitary strike from Marcus Rashford, but they were far from convincing.Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “We didn’t play particularly well, we could have slowed it down in the second half but we defended well. Eric [Bailly] and Victor [Lindelof] were fantastic, and David de Gea.“We put our bodies on the line, there were a couple of bruised noses, knees, and dead legs but we fought for the three points.“A clean sheet is always a foundation to build on and will give the lads confidence. They’re not 100 per cent happy with the performance, because we know we can do better.Tough Graft But We Got The Job Done 👊🏾 Thats Bro 👇🏾 #TeamSpirit #MUFC pic.twitter.com/aat7ARF2p5Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) February 3, 2019“It’s a hard place to come, the first goal is vital against a team like this and I thought we started brilliantly. Marcus had a great chance from Luke Shaw’s cross and finished the ball fantastically well when Paul [Pogba] played him through. The start laid the foundations.”Alexis Sanchez got the nod in United’s starting XI but made little impact on the game before he was replaced by Anthony Martial after half-time.But Solskjaer defended the Chilean’s performance, saying: “He did well, we had to change the game. He’s sharp, he worked well defensively – we never created chances for him but he’s improving all the time.”last_img read more

FEMA Help Remains After Soldotna Disaster Recovery Center Closes

first_imgAfter a disaster recovery center closes, residents who applied for disaster assistance are encouraged to stay in touch with FEMA. If applicants change addresses or phone numbers they should update FEMA with the information. Missing or incorrect information could result in delays in receiving assistance. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough disaster recovery center in Soldotna closed its doors on Saturday but help is still a phone call away. Alaska residents who have not yet applied for assistance have until April 1 to do so. The Soldotna center closed but residents can still file an application, get updates about their application, or learn about the appeals process by calling the helpline or visiting the disaster assistance website. Here’s how:Call the helpline: 800-621-3362 (FEMA), voice/VP/711. Help is available in most languages. TTY users may call 800-462-7585. Hours are daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.Visit DisasterAssistance.govlast_img read more

Mystery of life after death Man claims to have seen Good Fairy