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Roger Clemens: ‘No interest’ in running for Congress despite GOP recruitment effort

first_imgAugust 21, 2019 /Sports News – National Roger Clemens: ‘No interest’ in running for Congress despite GOP recruitment effort Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailAllen Kee / ESPN Images(WASHINGTON) — Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens is “honored” by the encouragement to run for Congress, but he has ruled it out — blaming the “climate in politics.”In a message written to current incumbent Texas Republican Rep. Pete Olson — and obtained by ABC News — Clemens noted that he was “honored” Olson, who unexpectedly announced his retirement last month, “would consider me as a candidate to represent our great State of Texas in the 22 District, I have no interest in doing so.” “The climate in politics at this time is much more than I would want to undertake along with my family considerations,” Clemens wrote in a message sent to Olson last week.Clemens, known by baseball fans as “The Rocket,” had been generating buzz as a potential Republican candidate for the open seat over the past two weeks, according to sources in Washington and Texas.A spokesperson for Olson declined to comment on the race or share a copy of the congressman’s initial correspondence to Clemens.Multiple sources predicted that Clemens, 57, would ultimately opt against entering the race in what could be a tough election cycle for the GOP in the Lone Star State. A candidacy filing period opens in Texas on Nov. 9 and closes on Dec. 9.“People are talking him up, but from what we’re hearing he’s not going to do it,” a GOP campaign source told ABC News last week.Another source added, Clemens had “not confirmed that he’s in, but his name is being tossed around.”An aide at the National Republican Congressional Committee said that the House GOP’s campaign arm “hasn’t spoken directly to him.”“Roger Clemens would be a good candidate, but we don’t need a celebrity baseball player to win it,” the aide said. “It’s Texas. We have a huge bench down there.”So far, only one Republican candidate, Brazoria County Judge Greg Hill, has announced his intention to run for Olson’s seat, though additional candidates are expected to emerge in the coming months, sources said.“No one was planning on Olson retiring,” the aide said. “There’s plenty of time for people to get ready to go and get in the race.”“People around [Clemens] want him to run,” a national GOP campaign source said, adding that Clemens reemerged on the NRCC’s radar last week and was “fueled by Olson’s retirement announcement.”“I can’t speak to motivations of people putting his name out there, whether they’re doing it on their own or at Clemens’ request,” the source added.A Clemens spokesperson also told ABC News that he’s had an extensive travel schedule this summer, filled with charity and celebrity appearances.Texas’ 22nd Congressional District has traditionally has been a solid Republican district, where President Donald Trump won by eight points in 2016.Clemens has never run for political office, but has donated to other Republicans, including former Texas Rep. Ted Poe, according to a Congressional Quarterly report from 2007.A source “familiar with the situation” who requested anonymity had “heard the same rumblings as well that he’s considering,” but added that Clemens had not taken any formal steps toward a campaign, such as filing, choosing a general consultant, naming a treasurer or building a team.In 1992, Clemens and his wife Debra established The Roger Clemens Foundation, which is dedicated to helping children, especially at-risk children, through educational, charitable, literary, scientific and religious activities.Despite a career that placed Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young award winner, in the mix as the greatest pitcher of all-time, the two-time World Series Champion has not been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame due to allegations that he used anabolic steroids late in his career, though he never failed a drug test.Clemens testified before Congress on Feb. 13, 2008 to deny the allegations and was later indicted by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on six felony counts, including perjury, false statements and contempt of Congress. After his case initially led to a mistrial, Clemens was later found not guilty on six counts of lying to Congress in 2012.He currently serves as a special assistant to the general manager of the Astros, where he works with the team’s pitchers providing instruction and player evaluation.Another former major league pitcher, Curt Schilling, has said he is exploring a congressional bid in Arizona. In 2016, he told ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast that he was considering a run in 2018 against Sen. Elizabeth Warren.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.center_img Beau Lundlast_img read more

What Native American activists think about the Washington Football Team name change

first_imgAugust 8, 2020 /Sports News – National What Native American activists think about the Washington Football Team name change Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailABCNews.comBY: ABBY CRUZ, ABC NEWS(WASHINGTON) — Deep in the woods on the outskirts of Accokeek, Maryland, lives Billy “Redwing” Tayac, 80, the chief of the Piscataway Indian Tribe.His family, as he likes to say, is not from Maryland, Virginia or Washington D.C., they are from the Chesapeake Bay region.Issues like calling their home by the native Indigenous terms, is just one of the several issues that Chief Tayac has fought for what he says has been his entire life.Hailing from five generations of activists, if you live in the area, Chief Tayac may look familiar. Since the mid-1980s, Chief Tayac has been at the forefront of protests on getting Washingon’s NFL team to change their name. On July 13, the team announced it was changing its name to the Washington Football Team during the 2020-2021 season.“The name is racist that’s what you’ve got to understand,” said Chief Tayac. “Don’t believe what I tell you, look it up in Webster’s Dictionary for the Washington Football Team. I don’t like to say the word, but it’s Redskin. See what it means. It’s a racial slur for Native Americans. It’s derogatory.”For Chief Tayac, it’s hard being a football fan, especially when his hometown team’s name and mascot “hurts” him. He has no merchandise of the D.C. football team except one thing, a magnet on his refrigerator that reads “Love the team, hate the name,” and that’s exactly how Chief Tayac says he feels.And growing up in the area, he says it was hard for him to celebrate victories like the Super Bowl or attending parades when all you see is the term written on hats, jackets and other accessories.“Like I said, I led the demonstrations in the 80s and I was one of the original plaintiffs for this name here and it hurts,” Chief Tayac said. “It’s a racist term. Let’s bury all these racist terms once and for all. We are all God’s children, let’s treat everybody as equal.”And although Chief Tayac may not be protesting in the field as he would in his younger days, the next generation of activists like Mary Phillips from the Laguna Pueblo/Omaha Tribe has carried the torch and continues to fight for the name change. Phillips refers to the name as the “R” word and wishes that no one says it or uses it even if it said regarding the football team.“Because it’s a word that conjures up so many horrible thoughts,” said Phillips. “And it is a slur towards Native Americans for those who still haven’t heard that but it’s a slur.”Phillips adds it is very difficult to educate fans or people who celebrate Washington football because oftentimes fans do not understand or know the history of the word.“And so it’s always been, you know [difficult], trying to educate people to understand that this word, this team celebrates actually celebrates the color of my skin by saying that it is red,” Phillips said.“And therefore we can call you this name from history that proves that you are worth $200,” Phillips said. “Your head, your scalp is worth $200 and people would hunt you down for that. And fast forward to today, why is that term even being used at all?”Regarding the D.C. football team, some slight progress has been made, some say. The statue of former team owner George Marshall, who opposed desegregation and whose team was the last to integrate Black players, has been removed and the team has decided to refer to the team as the Washington Football Team for now. A battle that longtime owner Daniel Snyder has fought for years. Snyder wanted to keep the team’s original name despite how some fans and indigenous locals like Chief Billy, felt. According to Chief Billy, it was not about “political pressure” or how people felt, for Snyder, it was about losing advertisements. Companies like Nike, FedEx, and Pepsi Cola threatened to pull advertising, and Snyder and the team dropped the nickname days later.“With Mr. Snyder, what put the pressure on him to change the name? Money talks and that’s what he realizes. And he realizes that he’s fighting a losing battle. And that’s the bottom line,” said Chief Tayac.In July, the team released a statement regarding its decision to stop the use of the name and logo until a new name is selected.“On July 3rd, we announced the commencement of a thorough review of the team’s name. That review has begun in earnest. As part of this process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward,” the team said in a statement last month. “… we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review.”But for Phillips, she says there is still much change that needs to happen in order to truly put an end to the term.“It’s not debatable,” said Phillips. “And so it should never have been used as a casual word, much less for a team name and then celebrated and then plastered everywhere on this building, on the FedEx building, on every aisle you go down in a grocery store, you see the face, the logo, the word.”“In the grander sense of things, it’s so evaporating from people’s minds that they don’t even realize how racist it really is,” she said.Chief Tayac said he wants people to know that even after the name change, the fight is not over. For Native Americans, their fight will always continue, he says.“We didn’t die in 1890 as a race of people. We’re still here. That’s God’s will. Whether anybody likes it or not, I’d like to say this is our country. This is where God put us there. And nobody is gonna shove off of it,” said Chief Tayac.“We survived the genocidal practices of the United States government, the cultural genocide practice of people. And you know what, we’re still here? That’s what I can say. And I’m proud to be an Indian.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.center_img Beau Lundlast_img read more

Disease could force up wheat prices

first_imgWheat costs could soar this season following outbreak of disease among crops.Yellow rust and septoria in wheat with blackgrass-infested crops are common, with pesticide use increased in arable farming. The south west is reported to have been badly affected by wheat disease, with a decline in the effectiveness of the two main fungicides for its control.This has prompted a look at delaying drilling, more careful variety choice and assessment of autumn fungicides.Increased planted areaIn November British Baker reported that a survey by AHDB/HGCA suggested the 2014 planted area for wheat could increase by as much as 22% following the previous drop. At the time, a team of agronomists estimated that the total wheat area would rise to approximately 1.98m hectares.Jack Watts, lead analyst, AHDB/HGCA, said: “This autumn we’ve had good drilling conditions across the UK and, as a consequence, we are looking at a return to a more normal cropping mix for harvest 2014 following a large shift to spring cropping in 2013.“The return of a more normal UK wheat area is the first step to the UK returning to the export market, although yields and quality remain weather-dependent.”last_img read more

Colombia’s FARC Determined to Buy Surface-to-Air Missiles

first_imgBy Dialogo June 18, 2012 BOGOTÁ —In 2008, Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, the so-called “Merchant of Death,” was arrested in Thailand in a sting operation in which U.S. federal drug agents posed as Colombian rebels seeking hundreds of surface-to-air missiles. It was an excellent cover story, because the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has long coveted these portable, shoulder-fired missiles, known as SAMs, to counter the Bogotá government’s highly effective air war against the guerrillas. But as the Thailand sting illustrates, it’s not always easy for illegal armed groups to acquire them. In this case, stricter international controls, the lack of cooperation from sympathetic governments that have SAM, and the hardships of maintaining sophisticated weapons while on the run in the jungle appear to have prevented the FARC from building up a potent anti-aircraft capability. But that hasn’t kept the rebels from trying. Jeremy McDermott is co-director of InsightCrime, a think tank that tracks organized crime in Latin America. He points out that air power has provided a major strategic advantage for the Colombian military, with bombing raids responsible for some of the greatest blows against the FARC — such as operations that killed rebel commanders Raul Reyes and Jorge “Mono Jojoy,” Briceño, and former maximum leader Alfonso Cano. Continuing air war erodes FARC leadership The air war has also hurt FARC morale, leading to massive desertions. Many demobilized rebels said jungle life had become intolerable because they never feel safe, even at night, due to the possibility of being bombed. “For simple payback, the FARC would want these weapons,” McDermott said. “A Stinger missile would bring down anything the Colombian Air Force has at the moment.” In emails recovered from rebel computers following raids on their jungle camps, FARC commanders constantly refer to the need for SAMs. Such missiles would allow the rebels to deal “forceful blows to the enemy’s air power,” Cano wrote in an Aug. 16, 2009, email intercepted by Colombian military intelligence. The FARC does appear to have some anti-aircraft capability, ranging from artisanal to the sophisticated. The rebels are known to string wires between mountaintop trees in an effort to snag the wings of crop dusters fumigating their coca and opium crops, the raw materials for cocaine and heroin. They often fire their heavy .50-caliber machine guns at choppers and planes, but these weapons are highly inaccurate when aiming at fast-moving military aircraft. Raids uncover FARC’s sophisticated weaponry Following a July 2008 raid on a FARC camp, soldiers recovered three Swedish-made AT-4 anti-tank rocket launchers that had been sold by Sweden to the Venezuelan military. That sparked fears that President Hugo Chávez’s populist government was helping to arm the FARC. Two years later, police in the southern department of Cauca stopped a taxi carrying two U.S.-made Ultramag .50 caliber long-range sniper rifles, which can pierce armor and take down aircraft. Police said the rifles were destined for the FARC. But given the FARC’s strategic need for missiles, its access to millions of dollars in profits from drug trafficking and extortion, and its links to the international weapons black market, the guerrillas would seem to have myriad possibilities to acquire SAMs — as did El Salvador’s Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front rebels and Afghanistan’s Mujahadeen resistance in the 1980s. Douglas Farah, a senior fellow at the Washington-based International Assessment and Strategy Center, said SAMs can be bought on the black market in Central and South America for about $15,000. But in both El Salvador and Afghanistan, the missiles arrived via friendly governments during the Cold War. The Salvadoran rebels acquired SAMs through the Sandinista government in neighboring Nicaragua, while at the prodding of legendary Texas lawmaker Charlie Wilson, the CIA supplied shoulder-fired missiles to Afghan rebels fighting Soviet occupation forces. SAMs harder to come by post-9/11 These days, however, international arms controls are tighter. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. government has been rounding up and buying back old SAMs from Nicaragua and other countries because it fears the missiles could be used by terrorists to take down military and domestic aircraft, according to Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America. Alfredo Rangel, director of the Security and Democracy Foundation — a Bogotá think tank — said that although the Venezuelan military has purchased numerous SAMs from Russia, the Chávez government has apparently decided that it would be too risky to pass some of them on to the FARC, even though rebel emails indicate that the guerrillas were pressuring Venezuela for the weapons. The FARC always has prided itself on autonomy. Before the Colombian military’s air war began in earnest, FARC leaders had less need for SAMs and were determined to develop their own arms technologies, according to Bogotá political analyst Álvaro Jiménez. During the FARC’s major military buildup in the 1990s, for example, the rebels learned how to build powerful homemade mortars and rockets using propane gas cylinders that wreaked havoc on police stations, army bases and poorly defended towns. But after 2000, a major ground offensive by the army coupled with constant air raids reduced the FARC from 16,000 to about 8,000 fighters. By then, the FARC’s financial network had been squeezed while its cadre of highly trained mid-level commanders — who could be trusted to handle sophisticated weapons — had been vastly reduced. SAMs could influence war’s outcome In addition, it’s difficult to keep SAM components such as batteries in good working order in Colombia’s hot, humid jungle weather — especially when FARC units are being chased by government troops. “FARC units are not in fixed positions, so climate control storage of SAMs would not be easy to maintain,” Farah said. Even so, analysts say they won’t be surprised if the FARC eventually acquires SAMs. “It’s only a matter of time,” Jiménez said. Should that happen, Farah said, their impact on the Colombian war might prove similar to the effect SAMs had during the final years of the civil war in El Salvador. The missiles gave FMLN rebels a military and psychological boost and forced Salvadoran air force pilots to change their flying patterns from relatively quick, straight sorties to ‘map of the earth’ flying in which they would skim close to the ground to avoid being seen by SAM-wielding rebels from long distances. In Colombia, SAMs in rebel hands would likely limit the ability of the Colombian military to pursue the FARC, drop off and pick up soldiers, and maintain its supply lines and troop presence across broad swaths of roadless national territory. “The military would adjust and recalibrate over time,” Farah said, “but it would certainly give the FARC some breathing room and open operational spaces.”last_img read more

Biometrics to take lead in banking authentication

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Roy UrricoLondon-based consultants Goode Intelligence predicted by the end of this year some 450 million bank customers globally will be using biometrics, which will be the principal banking authentication method by 2020.In a new report, “Biometrics for Banking; Market and Technology Analysis, Adoption Strategies and Forecasts 2015-2020,” Goode Intelligence revealed that biometrics in banking is already a maturing industry with many successful implementations around the world. continue reading »last_img read more

5 steps to more productive employees

first_imgYou’ve spent time interviewing and cultivating the best team possible, but are they living up to their potential? If you know you have the right team in place, here are five steps you can take to maximize their productivity and lead them to success.Know who they are: It’s important that you get to know your employees. Your team members are more than an employee ID number. They are people with personal lives. They have dreams and desires that they want to be able to fulfill while working for your company. By getting to know about them, you’ll gain their respect. Caring about your staff is a great way to get them to care about your company.Train them well: Nothing kills productivity like a poorly trained employee. Training should result in an employee knowing the ends and outs of their position, as well as a working knowledge of them company overall. You’ll find productivity is higher when an employee fully understands what they’re doing and how it fits in to the bigger picture.Sort by strengths: It’s a great feeling when you know you’ve hired the right person for the right job. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, you have to let an employee go if they’re not the right fit, but it’s always possible that they’re not succeeding because they’re in the wrong position. As you get to know employees better and get to know where they strengths lie, you’ll be able to put all your employees in the right places. Employees aren’t great at everything, so don’t be afraid to move them around before you decide to let them go.Inspire their minds: Communication is the key to inspiration. Clearly stating goals and objectives, letting everyone know how they fit in, and encouraging open conversation should lead to an inspired team. Also, let your team take risks. When they have freedom to create and experiment, they’ll be able to innovate and succeed.Move out of the way: When your team is ready, the last thing you want to do is get in the way. It’s kind of like a car trying to move with the parking brake on (or a star ship trying to warp without disengaging the external initial dampener). Your team is strong, they’re inspired, and they’re trained to do their job. Now it’s time to let them do it. 36SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more

Video, AI helps CUs step up digital banking offerings

first_img continue reading » How important is digital banking to credit unions? Three announcements, which focus on enhancing member experience and knowledge, include chronicling a digital transformation journey, chatbot integration and interactive mobile video banking.The $1.65 billion Burbank, Calif.-based Partners Federal Credit Union, which serves Walt Disney Company cast members, employees and their families, embarked on a new digital transformation journey. Partners FCU is opening up about their digital transformation journey and chronicling the good, the bad and the ugly via documentary-style videos.Faced with the challenge of coordinating its community branches with services of a digital credit union to compete with big banks like Bank of America and Chase, Partners FCU partnered with Austin, Texas-based digital apps company Kony and Boston Consulting Group, to completely overhaul its technologies, processes, systems and services to better address the needs of its employees and customers including: 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Can CUs capitalize on smart device money movement?

first_imgOver 1 million internal transfers occurred in July 2019, making up 67% of all money movement; 77% transfers came via smartphone devices; and since 2014 mobile usage increased 270%.The Austin, Texas-based Malauzai Software, a Finastra company and digital banking provider for community financial institutions, released its July 2019 Monkey Insights “little-data” report, the report where an overwhelming amount of big data surrounding digital banking is broken up into digestible analytic factoids called “little data.” This report focused on money movement, such as person to person (P2P) payments, account to account (A2A) payments, and internal transfers, with a specific focus on how consumers choose to send money to their friends and family.The research, which highlighted key trends in internet and mobile banking usage based on July 2019 information for 400-plus credit unions and banks, covered 16.5 million logins from over one million active Internet and mobile banking users. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Afton senior plants the seeds to help out food bank

first_imgJames says after graduation he plans on going into the military. His teachers say they’re not surprised by his actions. “My community is very important to me. With the pandemic and people not being able to work, the amount of food going out of the food bank has increased so I felt like everybody needed fresh produce,” he said. James has already grown and harvested his own food, donating it to help feed families in his district. “He’s very motivated to do agriculture and help others. I can always count on him to help others. And he’s a great role model for my younger students,” said Gregory. “It’s kind of like reinforcing rod for concrete. What I did was kind of make a wind tunnel and then wired it together,” he said. “He’s reusing all of these hard rubber types of things to grow in, using things that are around, so he’s very innovative,” said Afton agriculture technology teacher and FFA advisor Victoria L. Gregory. “I was concerned with there not being enough fresh produce at the food bank,” said Timmy James. The greenhouse skeleton only took three days to build and the whole project cost him less than $80. So from home, Timmy went to work, expanding his garden and building a greenhouse from the ground up. When schools across the state closed, he was worried nobody would be able to tend to the Afton Schools’ garden and greenhouse, which provides produce to the district’s food pantry. AFTON (WBNG) — Timmy James is a senior at Afton High School involved in the agriculture program and FFA, a youth organization for agricultural leaders. He did it all on a budget of time and money. last_img read more

USDA may name retailers in meat recalls

first_img Consumer groups and some state officials have urged the publication of information on where recalled meat and poultry products have been shipped or distributed, arguing that this would make recalls more effective, the FSIS said in a Federal Register notice about the proposal. See also: Mar 7 FSIS news releasehttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_030606_01/index.asp Further, the agency now buys the argument that naming the stores will make recalls more effective. “While FSIS [now] includes in its press release the production code of the product recalled, and will in many cases post a picture of the recalled product’s label, it is often the case that more product and often different product is returned than is actually recalled,” the Federal Register notice says. “Therefore, FSIS believes that this proposal, if adopted, would improve the efficiency of the recall process and address consumer groups and State officials’ concerns.” In the past the FSIS considered the names of businesses that handled recalled products to be confidential, officials said. Now, however, the agency has decided it has the authority to release the names of retail stores that have sold recalled products. “We believe that publishing a list of retail establishments that have received products subject to recall will help consumers more easily determine if they purchased recalled product,” USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond said in a USDA news release.center_img The agency said it plans to hold a public meeting on the proposal at a time and place to be announced later. In addition, it will accept comments on the proposal until May 5. (See the news release below for details on where to submit comments.) Federal Register notice on the proposed rule The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has long published detailed information about recalled meat and poultry products, often including pictures, but it has not listed retail stores that sold the items. Mar 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – To help consumers identify meat and poultry products that are being recalled because of contamination or some other hazard, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to publish the names of retail stores that have carried the products.last_img read more