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first_imgThe dictator meets his match in the shape of Thomas CorcoranAs time draws the twilight of his days into the realms of dusk, Fidel Castro occupies first place in the hall of the twentieth century’s great survivors. Since he took power on the island of Cuba, he has seen ten of the forty-three US presidents pass by: Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II. In those heady days of 1959, Buddy Holly was hogging primetime radio and The Beatles were struggling to get a gig at the Cavern Club. The changes in the geopolitical environment since then have been immense, but rather than being left behind, Castro seems to have moved along with those changes and indeed acted as a symbol of them. From national guerilla leader to South American legend, from enemy of Amereican imperialism to Soviet client, from post-war leftover to grandfather of the anti-Bush New Left “Pink Tide”: Castro seems to embody the history of the Radical Left, past and present. The days of this frail, bed-ridden figure are drawing to a close, and he has finally decided to tell his story, if in a somewhat unconventional manner: Ignacio Ramonet, who is editor of Le Monde Diplomatique and on the faculty at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, has interviewed him for over a hundred hours and put down the results in a tome of over seven hundred pages. Yet, rather than moulding these interviews into a coherent, structured whole, Ramonet has simply regurgitated them in the form of an enormous series of question and answers, and we are denied even a dialogue of limited sophistication. Such a format is wholly appropriate for a Communist dictator, but completely unsuited to a biography of any form. For biography seeks to present to us aspects of an individual’s personality with which we have been unacqauinted, yet in this instance even the most intimately personal details of Fidel’s extra-political life are somehow bound up as part of a broad political doctrine. Even his beatings by his father are presented as important steps in the early life of a strong leader. In fact, Castro comes across not only as a soulless dictator, but as an incredibly boring man. The events he describes – his early life in a Jesuit college, his student radicalism, his guerilla war, his battles with American assassins and relationships with Soviet leaders – should be interesting. But when they are recounted by a man who has descended to such levels of sadness that he prides himself on the fact that his abstinence from shaving saves him about ten working days per year, they induce sleep. Thus Ramonet has produced an horrendous document here. Not only has he created something gargatuanly tedious, he has done something despicable. He has become an apologist for a dictator; a barely-reluctant instrument of political propaganda in the guise of a biographer. His introduction to the novel reads like it has been written by a bureaeucrat in the Cuban Ministry of Public Information, as he descends from the level of political intellectual to that of idiotic apologist. He calls anybody who opposes Castro (and that includes the entire Cuban pro-democracy movement) an instrument of American imperialism, to be lumped together in the same camp as General Pinochet. The repression of homosexuals and imprisonment of political opponents are swept under the carpet after the briefest of mentions: Fidel’s strange explanations are accepted as gospel truth. We can see why Castro ceremoniously presented this book to Hugo Chavez, the suspiciously dictatorial Socialist “Bolivarian” president of Venezuela who has allied himself with Iran – a nation where to display a Communist symbol is an imprisonable offence. It forms the basis of the propaganda upon which he has thrived since 1959: by appealing to left-of-centre sympathisers across the Western World, Castro has managed to prolong the existence of one of the most idiosyncratic dictatorships the world has ever known. We can only hope that Ramonet does not seek to make similar “biographies” in the future. Though I’m sure Kim Jong-il and Muammar al-Gaddafi would pay good money.last_img read more


first_imgDamon Bungard is why they invented the term “outdoorsman.” Bungard, who lives in Tennessee and works as the brand manager for Jackson Kayaks, is one of the few people in the world who’s been a professional kayaker, professional angler and professional hunter at different points in his life. These days, the well-rounded athlete spends most of his free time finding ways to combine all of his passions into seamless, self-supported adventures. Sometimes that means embarking on multi-day backpacks in search of white tail deer. Or paddling class V whitewater deep into a Wilderness area to fish holes that have rarely seen a fly line. This April, he’ll star in a show on the Sportsman Channel called “The Orion Chronicles,” that details how Bungard is able to blend adventure with traditional outdoor sports.“I remember teaching whitewater clinics in these pools and watching the trout rise. And nobody was fishing,” Bungard says. “I thought it was ridiculous. I would be on various, multi-day kayaking trips and get into a totally clear eddy and see all these fish. So I started packing a seven-piece rod in my stern. Sometimes I’d just strap it to the outside.”We talked with Bungard about the gear he relies on when he’s seeking elusive brook trout deep in the Southern Appalachians.EXO Mountain Gear K2 2000 ($499)Using gear that’s made in the US is important to me, and it’s hard to find a good pack that’s made here. But EXO makes a great one in Boise, Idaho. The 2000 is an innovative pack system loaded with technical features. I use this for week-long fishing and hunting trips. It’s light and moves well.Simms VaporTread ($179)I like hiking in boots I can fish in. I don’t like carrying different footwear. I wear this boot with a good, wool sock (see below) and a neoprene sock too. It’s a hybrid hiking/wading boot. I want one boot on the trail and river. That’s the key to successful backcountry fishing. Keep your gear versatile and simple.Simms Acklins Jacket ($209)It’s the Southern Appalachians, so there’s a good chance it’s gonna rain when you’re in the backcountry. I like this GORE-TEX jacket from Simms. It’s super packable, but it’s also really comfortable. I can spend all day in this jacket, hiking and fishing, and never get soaked or sweaty.Farm to Feet Slate Mountain ($24)Having good socks is important. These wool socks are really comfortable and they dry superfast. I’ll fish in these all day, moving in and out of the water, then dry them fast by the fire and put them right back on.Bungard’s advice for fishing the backcountry: Keep your gear versatile and simple. And seek out native brook trout, even if you don’t plan on catching them. Brook trout only live in beautiful places. To get where the Brook are, you’re going to get solitude and you’ll be in the cleanest water in the planet.Orvis Superfine ($425)If I’m going after trout, I like a 7’ four-weight Superfine. Orvis has been making quality rods for decades. This one is an ultralight, nimble rod built for tight Appalachian streams. The four-weight is good for getting into bigger, deeper holes, but it’s still flexible and small.last_img read more


first_imgLPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement he’s “fully committed to rescheduling these important events on our 2020 schedule,” especially the ANA Inspiration.Earlier, the tour called off events in Thailand, Singapore and China.Two California events on the developmental Symetra Tour also were postponed, the IOA Championship in Beaumont from March 27-29 and the Windsor Golf Classic in Windsor from April 2-4.___5:40 p.m. The league says the official did not exhibit symptoms of the virus until 72 hours after the game he worked. The conference says it has made the institution involved and tournament personnel aware of the situation so they can take proper precautionary measures.___5:55 p.m.The LPGA Tour has postponed golf’s first major championship of the season and two other events because of the coronavirus.The tour called off the Volvik Founders Cup in Phoenix on March 19-22, the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California, on March 26-29 and the major ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California, on April 2-5. Associated Press ___7:35 p.m.US Sailing has advised all American Olympic-class sailors who are training in Europe to return home and resume training domestically. The move came after the 470 World Championships in Spain were postponed until officials can re-evaluate the situation in April.“We strategically kept training boats stateside, so we will go home to train efficiently on our own,” Olympic head coach Luther Carpenter said.The postponement of the 470 World Championships and possible changes to the 2020 Finn Gold Cup in May will impact the U.S. Olympic Trials. US Sailing said it will re-evaluate the selection procedures for the Olympic team. The NASCAR Cup Series race winning team and second- and third-place finishers will be available via teleconference. In short, there will be no in-person competitor availability this weekend outside of live broadcast partners and NASCAR Productions.___6:09 p.m.The Colonial Athletic Association says an official who worked a game during its men’s basketball tournament has tested positive for the coronavirus. 6:27 p.m.Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the club to close its training complex and put the entire first-team in self isolation.Arsenal was due to play at Brighton on Saturday, with the Premier League pushing ahead with a full fixture list and stadiums with fans — unlike most other major sports.However, Arsenal said “it is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates.” The club issued a statement quoting Arteta as saying: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.” The statement says discussions between F1 and the other nine team principals “concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead.”There had been two practice sessions scheduled Friday, with qualifying Saturday for Sunday’s GP. No fans had been allowed into the Albert Park circuit on Friday morning.___7 p.m.Cavaliers star forward Kevin Love is committing $100,000 toward helping arena workers in Cleveland who were impacted by the shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. March 12, 2020 The three-day event typically draws more than 130,000 fans. Local officials said earlier Thursday that no general admission would be permitted. Only essential personnel will be permitted inside the fencing that surrounds the course.The event will also be shortened to two days, with Friday used for driver health screenings and determining who is considered essential.___3 p.m.The NFL has canceled its main owners meeting scheduled for later this month in Palm Beach, Florida. The No. 3 Lady Bears went into a holding pattern for about a half-hour and never got off the ground after the Big 12 men’s and women’s tournaments were canceled. The No. 5 Baylor men, who spent five weeks at No. 1 this season and set a Big 12 record with 23 consecutive wins, were already in Kansas City, where they had been scheduled to play Thursday. The NCAA later canceled its men’s and women’s tournaments, where both Baylor teams were likely going to be No. 1 seeds. The Lady Bears were set to host first- and second-round games.“These are unprecedented circumstances, and it’s just much bigger than athletics,” Rhoades said. “I think the right decisions have been made.”Rhoades said he felt for all of the players whose seasons suddenly ended, and had spoken to both coach Scott Drew and Mulkey. Horse racing is continuing to operate in North America and abroad without fans in the stands.Races at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields in California, Aqueduct in New York, Gulfstream Park in Florida, Laurel Park in Maryland and Turfway Park in Kentucky will go on without spectators. The upcoming Dubai World Cup will be held at an empty Meydan Racecourse on March 28. Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, says when it opens for racing again in April there will not be fans allowed in.Churchill Downs said preparations to hold the Kentucky Derby on May 2 are up in the air. According to a statement from track officials: “With the event still seven weeks away, a decision will be made closer to that date with respect to postponing the event until later in the year, using the most recent information while working with and seeking guidance from public health experts and authorities.”___5:30 p.m. That plan was scrapped as every major American sports league, beginning with the NBA, put the brakes on their seasons due to concerns about the pandemic.The NCAA also canceled all of its championships in every winter and spring sport, including hockey, baseball, lacrosse and several others.___3:30 p.m.The Atlantic Coast Conference has suspended all athletic-related activities. That includes all games, practices, recruiting — and participation in NCAA championships until further notice. 11:40 a.m.Major League Soccer is shutting down because of the coronavirus, according to Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas.Mas says the target period for the hiatus is 30 days.He told players and coaches, then held a news conference and says, “We’ve made a decision as a league this morning, as owners, that play will be suspended temporarily.”The expansion team owned by Mas and former England captain David Beckham had been scheduled to play its home opener Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Love announced his intentions to make the donation through the Kevin Love Fund on Instagram.Love, who has been very open about his struggles with anxiety, said he appreciates how the outbreak can be “extremely overwhelming” to people and that the suspension of the NBA season has caused a “sudden life shift” for workers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse — home of the Cavs.The team announced plans to financially help staff during the interruption.Earlier, arena CEO Len Komorwski said despite the cancellation of the Mid-American Conference tournament that employees will be paid as if the event was held.___ 1:05 p.m.The Big East Conference basketball tournament has been canceled at halftime of Thursday’s first game because of the coronavirus outbreak.As several other big conferences around the country canceled their postseason tournaments, the Big East resumed on schedule at New York’s Madison Square Garden. It started its second-round game between top-seeded Creighton and St. John’s at Madison Square Garden and not until halftime was the tournament called off with St. John’s leading 38-35.As the Bluejays and Red Storm were playing, a few subway stops away at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Atlantic 10 Conference was holding a news conference to called off its tournament.___center_img The Latest: Baylor misses chances for title runs Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s affect on sports around the globe (all times EDT):8:10 p.m.Defending women’s national champion Baylor was on a plane on the tarmac in Waco, Texas, preparing to leave Thursday for the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, when coach Kim Mulkey got a call from athletic director Mack Rhoades. The NCAA has not — at this point — postponed the men’s basketball tournament that’s scheduled for next week, but several individual schools have announced they’re taking a break from sports due to the coronavirus pandemic.ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement that “this is uncharted territory and the health and safety of our student-athletes and institutions remains our top priority.”___3:15 p.m.IndyCar will open its season on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, without spectators. The biggest events on the upcoming schedule are the road, time trial and criterium national championships scheduled for June 18-21 in Knoxville, Tennessee, and mountain bike nationals July 7-12 in Winter Park, Colorado. Both are crucial races for determining the U.S. team for the Tokyo Olympics.___7:10 p.m.Formula One organizers canceled the season-opening Australian Grand Prix hours ahead of the first official practice sessions because of concern over the spreading coronavirus.The sport’s governing body, FIA, issued a joint statement with F1 and the Australian Grand Prix to confirm the cancellation of the race. It followed McLaren’s decision to withdraw after one of its team members tested positive for the virus. ___7:25 p.m.USA Cycling is recalling its athletes, coaches and support staff from locations abroad and curtailing all international travel for teams and staff members as the national governing body responds to the coronavirus pandemic.Many of the country’s elite cyclists train in Europe, where the track cycling world championships were recently conducted.The organization also said that the collegiate BMX national championships April 4-5 have been postponed, but that the remainder of its national championship schedule will continue as planned. “I think the first (thing) was I’m sorry. I’m sorry because both both had such great seasons,” Rhoades said, when asked what he told them. “The decision is much bigger than me, or certainly any one person, but you just feel bad.”___7:58 p.m.Little League International has recommended that its leagues “exercise an abundance of caution and implement a temporary suspension of all league activities until no earlier than April 6.”Little League International operates more than 6,500 programs in more than 84 countries. 6:58 p.m.The Grand Prix of Long Beach scheduled for April 19 has been canceled because of a ban on large scale gatherings in the California city.Race organizers said they are in conversation with the city of Long Beach and the Convention Center about potentially rescheduling the street race. Long Beach is the second most popular event on the IndyCar schedule behind the Indianapolis 500.Organizers said if a later date this year is not possible, the race will return on April 18, 2021. ___ Commissioner Roger Goodell notified the 32 teams “after careful consideration and consultation with medical experts,” according to a league statement. Goodell said the decision was made out of “concern to protect the health of club and league employees and the public while enabling the league to continue with its essential business operations.”Further changes could be coming for the draft, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from April 23-25.Major football issues, including playing rules, bylaws and resolutions, as well as other business matters on the agenda for the March meetings will instead be handled at the May 19-20 spring meeting in Marina del Rey, California.___2:30 p.m. Football season is months away, but spring practice for college teams was in full swing around the country. That is being put on hold in many places, too. USC and Notre Dame both announced they would suspended practice as their campuses shut down. The SEC’s suspension of sport through March will also take football teams off the practice fields.___1:45 p.m.The NHL is following the NBA’s lead and suspending its season. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the pause of the season amid concerns about the new coronavirus. The NBA announced Wednesday night it was suspending play, after a player tested positive for COVID-19.Several NBA and NHL teams share arenas. The NHL has not said any player has tested positive for COVID-19. The league is halting play with 189 games left in the regular season, sparking uncertainty about how many more, if any, could be played before the playoffs.Bettman said the NHL has tried to follow mandates of health experts and local authorities without taking premature or unnecessary measures.” Bettman’s statement said the NBA’s news made it “no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.”___ USA Gymnastics has canceled all sanctioned events through the end of March, which includes local meets scheduled at hundreds of USA Gymnastics-sanctioned clubs throughout the United States. The cancellations also extend to USA Gymnastics-sponsored workshops and clinics as well as any national team camps. The organization had already limited travel for USA Gymnastics staff and national team athletes.___4:30 p.m.The NCAA has canceled the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments because of the spread of coronavirus. The decision came one day after the NCAA announced games that were scheduled to start next week would be played in mostly empty arenas. Arsenal’s game at Manchester City was called off on Wednesday after players came into contact with a rival team owner who announced Tuesday that he had contracted COVID-19. They met Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis after the Greek team won at Arsenal in the Europa League on Feb. 27.___6:17 p.m.NASCAR has put strict regulations in place for this weekend’s race at Atlanta, which will be held without spectators. Photographers will not be permitted at the event beyond a pool photographer, and media will not have access to the garage area or pit road. All driver availability will take place via teleconference, fed into the media center. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more


first_img Published on September 19, 2014 at 12:30 am Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ Facebook Twitter Google+ Maryland fits in with Florida State and Clemson in Chuck Bullough’s mind — in team speed.“Those are legitimate NFL-talent kind of guys,” the Syracuse defensive coordinator said.The athletic advantages SU’s defense used to win its first game, and dominated its second with, are gone. A week after the Orange (2-0) held an opponent to three points, parts of the SU defense see themselves as underdogs against the unranked Terrapins they’ll host at 12:30 p.m. in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Syracuse has watched a Maryland (2-1) team that both makes and extends plays, scrambles assignments and runs past less gifted opponents.SU is out to prove it’s not one of those teams; or that if it is, it doesn’t matter.“We have the speed, we have the ability, we have the talent to match up with anybody,” junior cornerback Julian Whigham said. “And we’ll prove that this Saturday.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEven if Syracuse covers Maryland’s receivers, most notably Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, through the end of their routes, the play is far from over. The running ability of Terrapins quarterback C.J. Brown gives his receivers the chance to break off plays and find their own space.Villanova quarterback John Robertson’s scrambling brought SU within a 25-yard field goal of losing its season opener. Robertson didn’t have Brown’s options, though.“We know that they’re great players, we know that they can run, we know that they can run routes but we’re on scholarship too,” Whigham said. “And we can play and we expect to play with these guys.”The 5-foot-7 Poppy Livers was Villanova’s top receiving threat. Brown has the second-best receiver in the Class of 2012 in Diggs in the slot and Deon Long — who Whigham said he will cover — out wide, with Whigham and Long both standing 6 feet tall. Who covers Diggs will shift based on the Orange’s coverages, but the SU pass rush that wreaked havoc against an immobile Central Michigan team will look to make any matchup irrelevant.A defensive line that’s growing to include Wayne Williams and Ryan Sloan allows Ron Thompson, who made five sacks against the Chippewas last Saturday, to play outside more. The Orange can pressure Brown, but catching him requires setting an edge to his pocket.Senior linebacker Cameron Lynch points to the approximately 10 40-yard sprints Syracuse runs at the end of each practice as the base for SU’s ability to hurry Brown and Maryland out of Saturday’s game.“We’ve played fast,” Lynch said. “We’ve played athletes from West Virginia, we’ve played athletes from Florida State. We’ve seen the fastest of the fastest.”Whigham said the secondary carries an underdog outlook into Saturday’s game, partly from hype surrounding Maryland, but also from watching the Terrapins’ stars on game film.It leaves him and the rest of the Orange defense with a point to prove in their first full-field athletic test of the season. He and the other defensive backs do have to worry about the deep ball, and the SU pass rush will pursue a quarterback that can evade it and find an open receiver.The Syracuse defenders said they think they have enough speed to shut down Maryland’s high-speed weapons. But safety Durell Eskridge said that Syracuse also saw the best way forward as hitting the Terrapins before they can run by them.Said Eskridge: “Put our hands on them. Just watching them, I think they don’t like to really be touched.” Commentslast_img read more

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