Sidney Verba dies at 86

first_imgIn the 1970s, Verba published books with several co-authors that were trailblazing in both analysis and methodology, and also set the agenda for different subfields in the discipline. Those were “Participation in America” with Norman Nie, “The Changing American Voter” with Nie and John Petrocik, and “Participation and Political Equality” with Nie and Jae-on Kim. His 1993 book “Designing Social Inquiry,” written with Gary King and Robert Keohane, is still used by every graduate student in political science.In 1995, he published “Voice and Equality,” co-written with Schlozman and Brady. The book examined patterns of political participation in the U.S. and brought the issue of inequality in political participation to the forefront. “Participation is unequal in politics and is structured, among other things, by socio-economic resources, especially education,” said Schlozman, the J. Joseph Moakley Professor at Boston College.Schlozman said that Verba, despite his prominence, treated junior faculty, graduate students, and even undergraduates as collaborators.“In a certain way, Sid lived the lessons of his research,” she said. “He allowed people to have a voice in an equal way. He had a way of … letting people have their say, and he knew how to get people on board to come to some kind of consensus [so that no one felt] left out.”Verba’s legacy was also felt beyond the classroom. He was widely beloved across the University not only because he was amiable and down-to-earth, charming everybody with his wit, self-deprecating humor, and fondness for telling jokes and stories, but also because he made time to mentor graduate students and junior faculty and possessed a special talent for bringing people together. “He was a mensch,” said Hochschild, who was a close friend of Verba’s. “He was wise, generous, and a moral leader, but one who didn’t take himself or things too seriously.”King said that when Verba entered a room, “everybody became nicer.” On many occasions, the University tapped Verba to chair committees in charge of solving problems that seemed impossible to fix. “The way I always describe it is that whenever Sid was there, nobody would act up,” said King. “He was the adult in the room, and because the adult was in the room, no one was on bad behavior. You just couldn’t act out with Sid there.”One of Verba’s greatest administrative feats was to unify the University’s academic calendar across all Schools and align it with those of most universities in the country. But his proudest achievement was his work at the library, said his wife.Verba was the longest-serving director of the University Library in Harvard’s history. He held the post between 1984 and 2007, during the dawn of the digital age, and led the Library Digital Initiative, the massive digitization of its books and materials that opened the University’s collections to a global audience.“A woman from Australia who wanted a book from Widener found out she could get it online in 24 hours and she wrote to him to say, ‘Thank you, Harvard,’” said Cynthia Verba. “That was his proudest moment, that the treasures of Harvard were opened to the world. Of all his accomplishments, that’s what he cherished the most.”Sarah Thomas, vice president of the Harvard Library, University librarian, and the Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, praised Verba’s commitment to preserve and protect the University’s materials and his vision to allow people around the world access to its valuable collections. “He comes from a tradition of scholar librarians who value the tradition of preserving our cultural knowledge and the way in which it is used,” she said.Born in New York City on May 26, 1932, a son of Jewish immigrants who owned what he described as “a mom-and-pop curtain store” in Brooklyn, Verba graduated from Harvard in 1953 and received a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1959. Before coming to Harvard, he taught at Princeton, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago.In a 2010 interview with Nancy Rosenblum, the associate editor of the Annual Review of Political Science, Verba credited his interest in politics to the fact that “there was always politics” in his family as he was growing up during the Depression. He had a positive outlook and saw himself as a fortunate man, said his wife. “He attributed everything to good luck,” she said. “He never believed he was better than anybody else and treated everybody as equal. He considered himself the luckiest man.” Sidney Verba, one of the world’s most prominent political scientists, taught at Harvard for 35 years, holding several key administrative posts and leaving a lasting influence beyond the classroom. He died Monday at his home in Cambridge at the age of 86.Verba, who was the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor Emeritus and research professor of government, undertook pioneering research on democratic participation, civic life, and political inequality. He wrote more than 20 books that examined citizen engagement and activism in democratic political life in the U.S. and around the world.His work, done in collaboration with many scholars over five decades, showed that people with higher income and education levels tended to be more active in civic and political life, revealing, in groundbreaking studies, that political inequality is deeply embedded in American society.“He was one of the greatest political scientists of the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st,” said Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. “Sid had a passion for American democracy. He, along with his chief collaborators Kay Schlozman and Henry Brady, developed over the years the definitive theory and empirical research to understanding civic and political participation in the United States.”Verba’s work was driven by his concern for bringing equality to the American political system to allow all citizens to participate in civic and political life, said Gary King, the Weatherhead University Professor and director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science.“If you had to say one word that Sid was about,” said King, “it was equality. … It’s not only a good thing that we have a democracy, but what really matters is the roles of people in it. He showed very often that the poor, even though they officially have the same number of votes as the rich, they have much less say in what goes on in government.”Verba retired from teaching in 2007 but continued to work as chair of the Committee on Human Rights at the National Academy of Sciences until just a few years ago as a way to keep pursuing his intellectual interests in equality and justice.“It was a continuum,” said Cynthia Verba, his wife of 65 years. “He was very proud of the work [the committee was] doing.”Verba received many awards and honors for his contributions to political science. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2002, he won the Johan Skytte Prize, which has been described as the Nobel Prize for political science.As a scholar, Verba pioneered the use of survey research as central to the discipline in the 1963 book “The Civic Culture,” which he co-authored with Gabriel Almond. The groundbreaking work, which compared political attitudes in the U.S. to those in the U.K., Germany, Mexico, and Italy, revolutionized political science.“The idea of American exceptionalism, that the United States was somehow different from everywhere else and couldn’t be compared, he just kind of blew that out of the water,” said Jennifer Hochschild, the H.L. Jayne Professor of Government, professor of African and African American Studies, and Harvard College professor. “A lot of people were influenced by the idea that you could systematically compare the United States to Mexico, to England, China, or Argentina. What he did shaped the field of comparative politics.” “If you had to say one word that Sid was about, it was equality. … It’s not only a good thing that we have a democracy, but what really matters is the roles of people in it.” — Gary Kinglast_img read more

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Awoniyi regains consciousness in hospital

first_imgRelatedPosts Awoniyi joins Union Berlin on loan Mainz stun Borussia Dortmund to all but secure Bundesliga survival Taiwo Awoniyi hospitalised over head injury On-loan Mainz 05 of Germany striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, has regained consciousness after suffering concussion in their 1-0 loss to Augsburg on Sunday.The Nigeria youth international was forced off in the 23rd minute and was replaced by Karim Onisiwo in the Bundesliga game at Opel Arena. Awoniyi was stretchered off with his neck in a brace and was motionless before he was rushed to the hospital for further observation.But the German side via her official Twitter handle: @Mainz05en, disclosed that the player regained consciousness in hospital after a nasty head collision with Felix Uduokhai.Mainz 05 tweeted: “Already on the road to recovery! Flexed biceps.“Taiwo Awoniyi sends his thanks to the Mainz medical staff and those at @UnimedizinM as well as to his teammates.”Awoniyi has featured in 11 league games, scoring one goal since his arrival at Opel Arena on loan last summer from Liverpool. The forward has been with the Reds since 2015 but he is yet to feature for the Premier League club, having spent most of his time on loan playing for Frankfurt, NEC, Royal Excel Mouscron and Gent.With the defeat against Augsburg, Mainz are now three places above the relegation zone after gathering 31 points from 31 games.They have won nine matches, drawn four and lost 18 games in this campaign and have only won one game in their previous seven outings.It is yet to be seen if Awoniyi will be fit enough to play a part when Mainz take on Borussia Dortmund in their next league game at Signal-Iduna-Park on Wednesday.The forward burst into the limelight at the 2013 U17 World Cup, where he scored four goals in the competition to help the Golden Eaglets win the title. Awoniyi has played for Nigeria’s U20 and U23 teams and will hope to make more impactful showings for Mainz for a chance to feature for the Super Eagles.Tags: Augsburg FCConcussionMainz 05Taiwo Awoniyilast_img read more

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The City of Wellington starts advertising for council vacancy this morning

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (6) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +11 Vote up Vote down Guest · 207 weeks ago I see Ms. Hawley-Green has now posted a list of “Kelly’s Rules for Applying for the Council Vacancy.” Huh? This has turned into a comic strip, and going downhill quickly. Report Reply 1 reply · active 207 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Democracy · 207 weeks ago Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. Report Reply -1 Vote up Vote down southside resident · 207 weeks ago Tracy, It looks like your open letter and it’s very excellent observations and suggestions were not communicated to those that can make the moves. Report Reply 0 replies · active 207 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Mic Jones · 207 weeks ago Shouldn’t there be two more vacancy, Ms Hansel and Mr Wetta? Seems both overstepped their authority. Mr Wetta going behind the rest of the city councils back and appointing Mr Shield City Manager. I’m not saying Mr Shields would or wouldn’t be fit for the job, but Mr Wetta did was wrong. Not having the rest of the council in for a debate was totally over Mr Wetta’s authority. Seems Mr Wetta likes to go on his own quite a bit, now and in the past. Ms Hansel, just trying to rule the roost and over stepping her powers. With this bunch it’s starting to like a Trump run city. If Mr Etter had any guts he’d get a lawyer. Play this out in a court of law not on here. I think he just might have a winning hand. Report Reply 1 reply · active 207 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Just me · 207 weeks ago Oh, yes! Let’s spend more of Wellington’s money that it doesn’t have so that Mr. Etter can have his day in court explaining how he threw a fit, verbally resigned and walked out. But I know from Mr. McCue’s editorial that this should all be swept under the rug because “he was having a bad day and didn’t mean it”. I bet if I got stopped by the police because I had car trouble, late for a meeting, etc. and in the heat of the moment called him an a$$hole because he just made my day worse that my defense of “I was having a bad day and didn’t mean it” wouldn’t get me out of the very hot water I put myself in. 1. Restraint is a good thing and when that doesn’t happen then 2. Accountability. Report Reply +7 Vote up Vote down Shawnna · 207 weeks ago Under the Kansas Open Meeting Act, which city councils fall under they are not required to have an agenda. Here is a link directly from the states website https://www.ag.ks.gov/open-government/koma-faq. And as far as Mr. Wetta overstepping his authority, he simply made a motion and another council member decided to second that motion. It is pretty clear that it was all legal. I for one am glad that more money was not wasted and a great person was promoted for the job. So what’s the worst that will happen? So if Mr. Shields does not work out, then we find someone else for the job. I really hope that he exceeds everyone’s expectations and gets this town back on track. Report Reply 0 replies · active 207 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Sumner Newscow report — The following was a press release issued by the City of Wellington this morning: A vacancy exists in a Council Member position for the City of Wellington.As per Resolution No. 5471, adopted November 1, 2011, establishing a procedure for filling a vacancy in a Council Member position, this is public notice of a fifteen (15) day application period for the position.  The governing body asks that anyone interested in serving in the position submit an application for consideration.  Applications will be accepted through the close of business on September 6, 2016.  To be eligible you must be a qualified elector of the City.  The council member position is At-Large.  The appointment to fill the vacancy will be for the remainder of the term.  The term expires January 13, 2020.An application form is available in the City Clerk’s Office or is available on the City’s website www.cityofwellington.net on the City Council page.  The deadline to submit an application to the City Clerk’s Office is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 6, 2016.For questions or additional information, please contact City Manager Shane Shields, ph. 620-326-3631 or City Clerk Carol Mericle, ph 620-326-2811.Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

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Premier league restart, 4 lessons!

first_imgEPL returned today with #BlackLivesMatterFour things from the Premier League restartLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |  The Premier League was immediately embroiled in a technology row as it made its comeback on Wednesday, while players showed their solidarity with Black Lives Matter and Manchester City breezed past Arsenal.AFP Sport looks at some of the key things from top-flight football’s return after a three-month coronavirus hiatus.Tech misses Nyland blooperA technology black hole spared Orjan Nyland’s blushes when the Aston Villa goalkeeper somehow got away with stumbling back into his own goal with the ball, allowing the struggling outfit to escape with a goalless draw against Champions League-chasing Sheffield United.United players appealed wildly after Nyland clearly took Oliver Norwood’s first half free-kick over the line, only for neither goalline technology nor VAR to tell referee Michael Oliver that a goal should have been awarded.Oliver had no choice but to let play continue to the astonishment of the United players, and Hawk-Eye, whose technology is supposed to alert match officials when the ball crosses the line, admitted its seven cameras had all missed a goal which could seriously damage United’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.Players take a knee for BLMAll four teams in Wednesday night’s fixtures took a knee in honour of the Black Lives Matter movement, with the players wearing shirts bearing the slogan throughout the match.The gesture comes following the death of black American George Floyd at the hands of police last month, which sparked protests around the world and led to sports people showing solidarity with those demonstrations. Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang raised his fist as he took the knee ahead of his side’s clash with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.Sterling back in the goalsRaheem Sterling scored his first Manchester City goal of the calendar year against Arsenal as Pep Guardiola’s side recommenced their season in the simplest possible fashion.England forward Sterling had not scored for City since hitting a double at Wolverhampton Wanderers in December, but slotted home the opener in City’s 3-0 win just before half time at the Etihad to end his drought on his first match of the restart.Sterling has been one of Britain’s most vocal footballers on the subject of racism and said on Tuesday that “now is the time to act” on inequalities as protests have spread worldwide.Hygiene rules the roostAS with the Bundesliga, La Liga and soon to be Serie A, the Premier League is only taking place thanks to a raft of health regulations that aim to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more people in the United Kingdom than any other country in Europe.Widespread disinfection took place on Wednesday including of changing facilities, dugouts, match balls, goalposts, corner flags and substitution boards, while everyone other than players and coaching staff on team benches must wear face coverings.Players did not shake hands before either game and they were told that they should not spit or clear their noses. However City players did celebrate with Phil Foden after he scored their third late on.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Cartoon: Annotating the World

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App rob cottingham This past week’s buzz phrase (so much so that it was a trending topic on Twitter) was “augmented reality” (or AR), which is what you get when you mix your perception of the world around you with computer-generated information. While still in its infancy, the technology holds the promise that you might one day be able to point your iPhone’s camera at a Starbucks and see a little notice pop up that says, “There’s a Starbucks here.”Okay, there’s more to it than that. The “power of the crowd” (cue thunderbolts) could turn AR into something genuinely transformative. Already, apps promise to show us Flickr photos and other social media related to places we’re looking at. It shouldn’t be long before nearly every square inch of our cities is thoroughly annotated: “Great scones, Wi-Fi only so-so.” “Threw up here after a bar crawl.” “Lost my virginity on the 14th floor.”There will be an awkward interim phase when we’ll have to get used to the word “First!” popping up every time we look at something. But that should pass, and soon we’ll reach the new exciting future long dreamed of by our ancestors, when we’ll finally be able to discover the name of any piece of Ikea furniture just by staring at it. (“Spugnubb! I should have known.”)Then again, we live in a world of climate change, poverty, the pandemic flu, peak oil, collapsing ocean eco-systems, Glenn Beck, and an impending sequel to Twilight. Maybe the next killer app will be diminished reality. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts More Noise to Signal. 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#Cartoons#web 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

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NRL Touch Premiership team lists

first_imgEels – Women’sZara NicholasLucy McDonaldChloe CheneyStephanie MaioloLaura PeattieDanielle DavisTayla CliffordRachelle (Shellie) DavisHannah DyballSamantha RodgersYasmin MeakesBrittney CliffordAaliyah PakiElesha DougalRebecca BeathFaith NathanCoach: Barry GibsonAssistant coach: Anthony DudeckManager: Christian BrowneSelector: Annette Thomas SchumacherEels – Men’sGeorgie PalauJordan HoroCiaran TonerDaniel BartonJed IbbotsonDylan HennesseyJordan Marshall-KingSimon LangKyle JermynJacob HarringtonAlex NichollsKai SimbolonMarley SimbolonLuke MansourMark RobertsCaidyn WynyardCoach: Mark BolandAssistant coach: Jason MartinManager: Ricky HetheringtonSelector: Tim KitchinghamKnights – Women’sAinsley HughesJessica PottsEmily HennesseyRhiannon PodmoreMadison CroweMilly HughesLaura ColemanSian FilipoBobbi LawJessica McCallElise WilsonLily GoodchildAmy DufourSophie BroadheadRachel JeffsTaryn LoveCoach: Michael MoussaAssistant coach: Brooke PlayfordManager: Sheralee LangbridgeSelector: Anette ColemanKnight’s – Men’sLuke TonegatoMatthew TopeTerry DeeganLincoln LittleDaniel LangbridgeJack EdwardsDylan ThompsonAlex LangbridgeScott BundyMatthew ProwseJake FitzpatrickMitch BourkeBart HillRob McCarthyTom DafterMitchell WiltonCoach: Joel WilloughbyAssistant coach: Karley BanksManager: Andrew WiseSelector: John DaltonTigers – Women’sAshleigh QuinlanToni BreezeKirstie JenkinsIsabella SlatteryPaige MarkeyPatricia MichaelopoulosMaddie StuddonAbbey PapenhuyzenClaire TandekElin MortimerLogan FlanaganHinerangi AndreassendChelsea HindmarshAmy WebbTyla GambellCourtney YoungCoach: Paul SfeirAssistant coach: Matt ScranageManager: Kim SolmanSelector: Michael ClarkTigers – Men’sNicholas GoodMadalitso MasacheJames BlackwoodEdward BurrellJames ShuteDean SpringfieldScott BuckleyCameron NichollsDaniel StoneJustin CostelloRyan GossStuart BriertyTjadyn AshbyRobert NakhlaJake GrechSteve RobertsCoach: Tony TradAssistant coach: Dave NolanManager: Robert BarakatSelector: Kevin JurdBroncos – Women’sElizabeth CampbellSamantha HopkinMia JohnstoneRebecca LapraikHayley MaddickKatee MallerPaige ParkerSavannah PrattenTahlia RolphCatherine SargentKatherine StevensKimberley Sue SeeMary McLeanLaura WaldieRachel WalshMelanie WilksCoach: Lucas FeldmanAssistant coach: Craig MorrowAssistant coach: Michael BaartzBroncos – Men’sTimothy BaartzLiam BauerSam CarmodyJames CourtneyCody GreenSean HooperHayden MoffatJake NotleyJustin OttoTom QuinlivanAdam RussellDavid SenMitchell De RossiRyan EndehipaConnor HarveyJames SharpCoach: Jason BoydAssistant coach: John BeesleyManager: Tyrone BruceTitans – Women’sTarryn AikenTaylah ConnellSammy-Jo CurtisBrittany DonovanLucia FildesBelinda HammettPaije HockingsAshleigh KearneyRebecca Mi MiGeorgina RackemannMarama ThomasMarikki WategoTiarni BryceLeesa Mi MiSharni VililaEmily WardCoach: Renee MurphyAssistant coach: Leasha ThouardManager: Brenda RackemannTitans – Men’s Graeme ClancyJames De VeerJayden Fielding-SmithJakob HallKingston LambergPeter NormanAdam PrydeBrad RussellCorey RussellMichael SinghWayne UnuwaiTristan WaggTom MaherDave MaherLewis McAlisterTyler WardCoach: Chris LothAssistant coach: Tristan ManaManager: Brendan JonesCowboys – Women’sRae BarkerJessica BourkeBrittney BrownLydia DurkinRebecca GouldingAnna HicksAbby KingHagiga MosbyNaomi ParslowRylie SeamarkIndianna TillettTamika UptonTori CarterGeorgia HarrisTamara HusseyMikayla NewmanCoach: Swain RovelliAssistant coach: Mitch SmithCowboys – Men’sJayden BenbowKristian CongooJustin CridlandShaun FrancisJack HughesMalcolm KennyMichael LawDamon MooreLachlan PierceSamuel PierceJared TownsonDave ZanetteCormac HochLachlan HochTrevor MoranDaniel WithersCoach: Phil GyemoreAssistant coach: Tim VillalbaManager: Justin Mitchelllast_img read more

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US trade gap rises 6th straight month to 9 12year high

first_imgWASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit rose for the sixth straight month in February, reaching the highest level since October 2008 and defying President Donald Trump’s efforts to rebalance America’s lopsided trade with the rest of the world.The Commerce Department said Thursday that the trade gap — the difference between what America sells and what it buys in foreign markets — widened to $57.6 billion in February from $56.7 billion in January. Exports of goods and services hit a record $204.4 billion; imports set a record $262 billion.The news comes amid a U.S. trade dispute with China that has rattled global financial markets and raised fears among U.S. farmers and businesses that depend on access to the Chinese market. The trade deficit in goods with China narrowed in February to $29.3 billion from $36 billion in January.The United States ran a $77 billion deficit in the trade of goods in February, the highest level since July 2008. That was partially offset by a $19.4 billion surplus in services such as education and banking, lowest since December 2012. The services surplus was dragged down $1 billion in payments for broadcast rights for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which count as a services import.Exports of cars and auto parts posted big increases in February as did imports of pharmaceuticals, crude oil and civilian aircraft.Trump campaigned on a pledge to take aggressive action to reduce America’s massive trade deficits. In March, he slapped tariffs on imported steel and aluminum but exempted most major countries except China and Japan. China counterpunched this week with tariffs on $3 billion in U.S. products.On Tuesday, the U.S. proposed slapping tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports, and Beijing responded within hours with plans to tax $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft. The two countries have signalled that they will seek to settle their differences before the tariffs take effect.The president views trade deficits as a sign of economic weakness and as the result of bad trade agreements and unfair practices by America’s trading partners. Most economists say they are caused by bigger economic forces, mainly the fact that the United States consistently spends more than it produces.The trade gap has continued to rise since Trump entered the White House partly because the U.S. economy is strong and American consumers have an appetite for imported products and the confidence and financial wherewithal to buy them.____Follow Paul Wiseman on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PaulWisemanAPlast_img read more

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Five Egyptian diplomats seized in Libya in 24 hours

first_imgTRIPOLI- Kidnappers seized Egypt’s cultural attache and three other embassy staff in the Libyan capital on Saturday a day after a group snatched another Egyptian official in the city. In the south, meanwhile, the toll from ethnic clashes rose to 88 dead and more than 130 wounded, a further sign of the chronic instability that has plagued Libya since the 2011 uprising ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi.The four diplomats were kidnapped early on Saturday morning, a Libyan foreign ministry spokesman said, “The cultural attache and three other staff were kidnapped in Tripoli,” Said Lassoued told AFP.The abductions came a day after an unknown group seized an administrative adviser at Egypt’s embassy, and despite Libya’s announcement of “reinforced security measures” there.Foreigners have been targeted several times in recent weeks: two Italians were seized last week in east Libya and a South Korean trade representative was released by security forces on Wednesday, three days after he was abducted in Tripoli.Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was himself briefly abducted by a former rebel militia last October.A Libyan security official would not rule out that the kidnapping of the Egyptian administrative official was a response to the arrest in Egypt on Friday of a prominent former rebel commander who fought in the uprising.Shaaban Hadeia, head of the Operations Centre of Libya’s Thuwar (revolutionaries), was arrested in Alexandria, the source added.The Operations Centre had posted on Facebook that there could be a “possible reaction from the thuwars”.But one of the group’s leaders, Adel al-Ghariani, told AFP the group was not involved in the kidnappings and called for Hadeia’s release.The presidency of the General National Congress, Libya’s highest political authority, also ordered its mission in Cairo to demand an explanation for the ex-rebel leader’s arrest and to seek his release.Cairo has yet to confirm his detention.Libya has struggled to integrate rebel groups that helped topple Kadhafi into the security forces. Some militias have carved out their own fiefdoms, each with its own ideology and regional allegiances.The situation is also dire in eastern Libya, where radical Islamists have been accused of carrying out dozens of attacks on security forces and Western interests, mostly in second city Benghazi.Two blasts hit Benghazi on Saturday without causing any casualties, one targeting a military intelligence base and the other a Koranic school.Security forces said on Friday they had arrested four people who had a “list of officers who had already been assassinated and to assassinate” in an operation that left one soldier dead.Authorities are also faced with sporadic unrest in the south, where the death toll from two weeks of ethnic clashes near the region’s main city of Sebha rose to 88 dead on Saturday.“Between the outbreak of the fighting on January 11 and Friday evening, the number of dead totalled 88,” Abdallah Ouheida, director of Sebha hospital, told AFP.He said the full death toll was almost certainly higher as casualties had also been taken to other hospitals.He said there had been sporadic clashes on Saturday but no new reports of casualties.The fighting erupted between members of the Toubou minority, a non-Arab ethnic group, and armed Arab tribesmen of the Awled Sleiman.There has since between fighting between the Awled Sleiman and other Arab tribes that is reported to have involved Kadhafi supporters.Libya’s General National Congress declared a state of emergency in the south on January 18 at an extraordinary session to discuss the violence in Sebha.last_img read more

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Mens basketball Ohio State season preview

The Ohio State men’s basketball team gathers together after a foul during its exhibition match-up against Walsh on Nov. 6. The Buckeyes won 85-67. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorIn the eyes of many, last season’s 21-14 (11-7 Big Ten) record was a humbling moment for an Ohio State program that had underachieved for three straight seasons. Almost eight months removed from OSU’s second-round loss to Florida in the National Invitational Tournament, the 2016-17 Buckeyes serve as the final string of tolerance for a fanbase eager to return to the glory days of OSU basketball under 13th-year coach Thad Matta.OSU opens its season on Friday against Navy in the Veterans Classic in Annapolis, Maryland. Coming off of its 85-67 exhibition win versus Walsh, Matta and his team are ready to begin a new chapter in OSU basketball.“Honestly, I’m ready to go. I’m excited to play,” Matta said. “I’m excited for the event that we’re in. From my standpoint, I’m jacked up ready to go.”It’s been nearly six weeks since practice began for the team and Matta said that the play of the four newcomers has given them the opportunity to see the floor.Freshman center Micah Potter started in the exhibition game over incumbent redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson, who most expected to remain in the starting role. Potter showed off his ability to stretch the defense with his outside shooting and displayed a knack for rebounding the basketball in traffic. Freshmen Derek Funderburk and Andre Wesson, and junior-college transfer sophomore C.J. Jackson all saw the court against Walsh and were a factor at times in the game.Matta is known for giving his younger players action in the exhibition game before the real games begin, and Sunday was just that. However, Matta has seen enough from the class of 2016 in practice that has earned them playing time. Just how much, that is still to be determined, but Potter is expected to start on Friday with the rest of the class coming off the bench.“The more experience we can get those guys, the better they’re going to be in terms of making the adjustment from high school basketball into college basketball,” he said. “Obviously how they’re playing dictates a lot of that but I thought most of the new guys did a pretty good job the other night.”The newcomers could play a key role in getting OSU back into the NCAA tournament after missing it last year for the first time since 2008, but Matta will ride his top six returning scorers, specifically junior forward Jae’Sean Tate and sophomore point guard JaQuan Lyle.Since Tate was a surprise contributor his freshman season, he has been nothing but consistent. When OSU has needed a bucket in the past, Tate is the guy to get into the paint and either create his own shot through contact or be patient enough for the right shot. For Lyle, he was a bit more of a wild card.Lyle averaged 11.2 points and 4.2 assists per game in 2015-16, a solid mark for a true freshman. However, there was a discrepancy between several games for the Evansville, Indiana, native. He looked like a promising point guard in games like Rutgers, at Indiana and at Nebraska in overtime — triple-double, 29 points, and 19 points and seven rebounds, respectively — but then would disappear in many other games including a five-point loss at home to No. 6 Maryland where he scored just one point in 18 minutes.For 2016-17, the question for Lyle is if he can take that next step, which could put OSU into one of the top teams in the conference. Lyle has gotten slimmer and a bit stronger from last season, which bodes well for a point guard who uses his body to absorb contact when attacking the basket. He also has taken on a leadership role on the team.In the second half against Walsh, Funderburk went to the free-throw line when Lyle looked the freshman in the eyes and told him to “knock these down, and then we’re going to get a stop.”“He’s our starting point guard so he has to be the leader on the court,” Funderburk said. “If it’s not JT or Marc, it’s likely JaQuan Lyle.”For Tate, Friday’s game will be the first real game since he went down with a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season last year. As a second-year captain, Tate is anxious to get back on the court. Being a local product from Pickerington, Ohio, he said the fact OSU hasn’t won a Big Ten championship since he’s been in the program is something he takes to heart.“I feel like we’re going to Navy, we’re going in with the right mindset,” he said. “We’ve been working hard this week in practice and I think we’re hungry to start the season.”As far as the Midshipmen go, Matta knows a little bit about the team due to his familiarity with Navy coach Ed DeChellis, who was formerly at Penn State.DeChellis led a Navy squad to a record of 19-14 in 2015-16, and 9-9 in the Patriot League. The Midshipmen return two starters from the year before, including their leading scorer, junior guard Shawn Anderson. Senior guard Tim Abruzzo attempted 130 three-pointers a season ago and could be asked to do more of the same.Matta said just knowing DeChellis from his Penn State days, Navy is a tough and disciplined basketball team that likes to be physical against cutters on defense and executes well in the halfcourt.Since Walsh, the mantra from Matta to his team has been “think the game of basketball.” There were points in the exhibition where OSU had a slow pace on offense and struggled with keeping possession of the basketball. In the second half, though, it was much different.OSU controlled the pace of play and caused several turnovers in the second half on way to an 18-point victory. Tate said each time out, the goal is to play that way from the tip, not after halftime.“There was times where we didn’t cut as fast as we needed to or run the floor as fast as we needed to, focusing on the little things, and I felt like we could’ve guarded the ball better,” he said. “Going into Navy … the little things are going to be important to beat that team.”Season prediction:At the top of the Big Ten conference, Wisconsin and Michigan State are the overwhelming favorites. After that, it’s anyone’s game.Michigan, Indiana and Maryland are other conference teams who figure to consistently be at the top of the league, but OSU is a serious challenger for a top four spot in the Big Ten tournament come March.Forward Marc Loving is entering his final season as a Buckeye, still trying to live up to the hype he came to Columbus with. However, with player like Tate, Lyle, junior forward Keita Bates-Diop and sparkplug redshirt junior guard Kam Williams off the bench, there is plenty of scoring to go around for Matta’s crew.OSU has four major nonconference opponents in Providence, No. 8 Virginia, No. 18 Connecticut and No. 17 UCLA. Winning two of those, and earning victories in all of the games it should win, will go a long way toward OSU’s chances at returning to the NCAA tournament.The Big Ten has five teams in the Associated Press Top 25 Preseason Poll — four in the top 15 — so OSU has plenty of opportunities on its schedule for signature wins.Overall record: 23-8 (12-6, 4th Big Ten)NCAA tournament: Yes, second-round knockoutSurprise of the season: JaQuan Lyle contends for Big Ten Player of the Year read more

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