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GOP voters in Tarrant County set record for first-day voter turnout

first_imgFacebook Previous articleSigma Nu to be officially chartered in AprilNext articleRecord Town celebrates 59 years with a reason to smile Jake Foote RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR UIL recognizing cheerleading as a sport, adhering to stricter concussion guidelines Jake Footehttps://www.tcu360.com/author/jake-foote/ Twitter Jake Foote Safety Net: Fort Worth nonprofit empowers people in poverty Linkedin Jake Footehttps://www.tcu360.com/author/jake-foote/ Grains to grocery: One bread maker brings together farmers and artisans at locally-sourced store Fit Worth Corporate Challenge encourages fitness in the community Twitter Kickball tournament raises money to kick out cancer Jake Footehttps://www.tcu360.com/author/jake-foote/ ReddIt ReddIt Abortion access threatened as restrictive bills make their way through Texas Legislature Fort Worth set to elect first new mayor in 10 years Saturday printRepublican voters in Tarrant County set a record for voter turnout on the first day of early voting Tuesday.According to the Tarrant County Elections Office, 4,617 Republicans and 2,922 Democrats traveled to polling stations and filled out ballots in person across the county. The number of Republicans voting this year far outpaced the 2012 first-day turnout number of 2,147.Democratic voter turnout is also up from 2012, but came nowhere near the 5,732 Tarrant County democrats that set the record in 2008. Just like in 2008, this year’s high voter turnout has been attributed to a compelling presidential race with an array of galvanizing candidates.Texas will be one of 13 states holding primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday March 1. This year’s Super Tuesday has been nicknamed the SEC primary because nearly half of the states participating are home to at least one university in the Southeastern Conference.Texas is the crown jewel of Super Tuesday as 155 Republican delegates and 152 Democratic delegates will be awarded on a proportional basis. Georgia, with 76 delegates available for both parties, is the state with the second largest delegate count amongst Super Tuesday participants.While the presidential primaries garner the most attention, they are not the only elections facing Fort Worth voters. Seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Texas State Legislature are up for reelection as well as local judicial seats and the position of Railroad Commissioner, which is a statewide office.In Tarrant County, the office of sheriff is up for reelection and voters across Texas will be asked to vote on referendums that are specific to party affiliation.Primary elections that appear towards the end of the ballot are among the most important for some members of the Fort Worth community.“As someone who works closely with a lot of child advocacy groups, I do pay attention to the judicial elections because it has a direct effect on business,” said Fort Worth resident Missy Gale. “I do think more people go to the polls in years with a presidential election and voters are more informed regarding local elections because they already have a reason to go vote.”With over one million voters registered in Tarrant County, this year’s presidential primaries will get people to the polls. Perhaps an all-time high in voter turnout will coincide with a record number of voters interested in local elections.Voters who wish to avoid large crowds at the polls or have a conflict on the day of the Texas primaries will have the opportunity to vote at early polling stations until Feb. 26.Here are some of the candidates that will appear on the ballot in 76109 and the issues they find to be most important:United States House of Representatives District 12 Both the Republican and Democratic sides of the ballot contain only one candidate, so both incumbent Kay Granger and Democratic challenger Bill Bradshaw will make it on to the November ballot.Granger has served as the District 12 representative since 1997. Since being in Congress, she has served as a House Deputy Whip and on a number of committees concerning issues such as defense, labor, health, human services and education.Bill Bradshaw, a machinist who has lived in Fort Worth for 22 years, hopes to fight wealth inequality.“I know what it’s like to make a starvation wage, to lose your job to China, to not be able to attend college without going into massive debt, to work hard and be rewarded with an economic recession and layoffs, and to watch friends and coworkers struggle to raise families in a rigged economy,” said Bradshaw. “I haven’t been corrupted by our political system and I refuse to be bought, refuse corporate donations, billionaires, and super PACs.”United States House of Representatives District 33Democrats:In this race, incumbent Marc Veasey will take on Carlos Quintanilla, an activist and business owner.Veasey has served as the representative of District 33 since 2013. He serves on the Congressional committees for armed services and science, space and technology. Also, Veasey is a part of Congressional caucuses for African-American and LGBT equality.Veasey’s main policy focus if he is reelected will be to improve the number of people insured in District 33.“We are fighting this problem by providing assistance to enroll and educate constituents on healthcare related issues wherever possible,” said Veasey. “Additionally, I often hear of concerns around jobs and the economy. I believe that some of these issues can be alleviated by increasing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education initiatives, which in turn will better prepare our workforce for the future.”Quintanilla ran against Veasey for the same seat in 2012. He returns this election season in an effort to be a catalyst for change in the Hispanic community by being on the forefront of issues effecting citizens every day.Quintanilla said: “I have been in the trenches fighting on issues that include Senior Citizen abuse, addressing the disappointing educational dropout rates and the dismal number of college graduates.”He is a cancer survivor who hopes to focus on issues adversely effecting children and senior citizens in District 33.Republicans:Former illusionist Bruce Chadwick has lived in Fort Worth since 1982 and states that his ties to the community are the main reason he is the best man for the job. His campaign specifically highlights three key areas for legislative improvement: creating jobs, fixing immigration and protecting family.The other Republican candidate is M. Mark Mitchell, a physician and attorney from Fort Worth. Mitchell has run multiple times unsuccessfully to be the Texas State Legislature District 91 representative.“My knowledge, skill, philosophy and integrity make me the best-qualified candidate,” said Mitchell. “The three most critical problems are healthcare, the economy and immigration.”Texas State House District 97 Republicans:Incumbent Craig Goldman will run unopposed on the Republican side of the ballot. Goldman is a 47 year native of Fort Worth who has served as the representative from District 97 since 2013. He hopes to pass legislation in the next session that will help secure the Mexican border and improve infrastructure across Texas.“Keeping up with new infrastructure needs and current infrastructure improvements with the continual growth in population of our State is a must,” said Goldman. “The 84th Legislature did a tremendous job of ending diversions in the budget to find more money to fund The Texas Department of Transportation. We must continue to be creative to find money without raising taxes or implementing any more toll roads in order to keep Texans moving on our highways.”Democrats:The two Democratic candidates in this race are young and inexperienced compared to Goldman.Elizabeth Tarrant, a 24-year-old financier for Texas Crude Energy, has volunteered in the community to help improve education and the treatment of women.Tarrant said, “The Texas Legislature has voted to limit the healthcare, reproduction rights, and equal pay, limiting personal liberty for women. I support the notion that birth control should be free to Texan women.”Andrew T. McKernon is a healthcare technology executive who has lived in Fort Worth for seven years. If elected, McKernon wishes to combat gerrymandering and reform Texas campaign contribution limits.“We must put in place a non-partisan, independent panel to draw district lines after a census and not allow the party in power to draw voting districts to keep existing politicians in power,” said McKernon.He also believes that implementing a system of exclusively electronic or mail-in voting would greatly improve political efficacy in Texas.Tarrant County Sheriff The race for Tarrant County Sheriff consists of three Republican candidates so the primary will serve as a de facto election as the winner will likely run unopposed in November.Dee Anderson is the incumbent with 15 years of experience serving as sheriff. He hopes to continue his 15-year streaks of passing all annual jail inspections and running the department under budget. Anderson fully intends to continue careful stewardship of taxpayer dollars.“We will continue our policy of maximum accountability assuring illegal immigrants are fully prosecuted and only then deported,” said Anderson. “Fiscal accountability and responsibility must also continue.”John M. Garris currently works as a confinement officer for Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department. His main focus if elected Sheriff will be to reform “Shift Bid” policies that result in the relocation of confinement officers. According to Garris, over 100 confinement officers have resigned because of these policies since Oct. 2015.The final candidate for Tarrant County Sheriff is Bill E. Waybourn, a retired Chief of Public Safety from Dalworthington Gardens. If elected, Waybourn will aim to reestablish strong relationships with other law enforcement officials.“The lack of leadership in the current administration has lead to broken relationships with departments such as the Fort Worth Police Department and county Constables, as well as created a high attrition rate in the Sheriff’s Department. I have a history of building relationships with agencies, which leads to successful outcomes for all,” said Waybourn.Here is a map of places to vote in Fort Worth. Residents should bring an approved form of photo ID listed here.The Texas Primary Elections will take place on March 1 and early voting is open until February 26. For sample ballots go to www.tarrantcounty.com/eVote/.[View the story “Texas Primary Candidates ” on Storify] Jake Footehttps://www.tcu360.com/author/jake-foote/ Linkedin + posts Facebooklast_img read more

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Coronavirus Deals One-Two Financial Punch To State Budgets

first_imgMGN Stock Image.ALBANY – The coronavirus is pounding state governments with a financial one-two punch, costing them millions to try to contain the disease just as businesses are shutting down and tax revenue is collapsing. The sharp drop in revenue could jeopardize some states’ ability to provide basic services.States ranging from tiny Rhode Island to California, with the world’s fifth-largest economy, have warned that many programs are likely to face cuts or even elimination.“I am gravely concerned about our ability to deliver basic services over the next six months to a year given the drop in revenues, and that’s why I am encouraging the Legislature to be extremely fiscally prudent,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, said about building the budget for the coming fiscal year.Many states are blowing through the multi-billion dollar rainy day funds they built up after the end of the Great Recession. Without that cushion, government finance experts say, states would have been in much worse shape. Virginia expects to take a hit of up to $2 billion. The result: Lawmakers may rescind the 2% annual raises just promised to teachers.Christine Melendez, a high school Spanish teacher in Chesterfield County, said losing the raises would be a “slap in the face” to teachers who have endured years of stagnant pay. Like teachers across the country, they are improvising online lesson plans after schools were shuttered.Melendez predicted there would be fierce pushback if teacher pay is not improved.“We can only take so much,” she said.States will get help from the $2.2 trillion stimulus passed by Congress this week and signed Friday by President Donald Trump. State, local and Native American tribal governments are in line for $150 billion in direct aid to combat the virus and could get more through other parts of the legislation.How far that will go is unclear as the outbreak grows more severe in many states and shutdown measures are all but certain to be extended.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, ripped the GOP-led Senate’s version of the coronavirus package as “terrible” for New York and said, based on preliminary reports, that it would send the state some $4 billion in direct aid. A Tax Foundation estimate shows the state government in line for nearly twice that much.New York, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus fight in the U.S., could see revenue drop by $15 billion, or about 8%, in the coming fiscal year, budget officials said. Another $12 billion that was expected to arrive soon will be delayed for months because the state, like others, is extending the tax filing deadline from April to July.“The response to this virus has probably already cost us $1 billion. It will probably cost several billion dollars when we’re done,” Cuomo said. “I’m telling you, these numbers don’t work.”The gloomy financial outlook is a sudden and stark turnaround after years in which a strong economy sent streams of cash into state coffers. Governors and lawmakers across the country had plans for that money: teacher raises, pre-K expansions, Medicaid for immigrants who are in the country illegally.Those wish lists are now looking more like pipe dreams.California has a $20 billion reserve but also relies heavily on capital gains, which swell the budget when the stock market is soaring. Gov. Gavin Newsom this week warned agency heads that a drop in economic activity would put their ambitions for new or expanded programs on hold.In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced freezes on state-government hiring and new contract services. He also told cabinet members to look for immediate budget cuts of up to 20%.Only a month ago, Minnesota officials said the surplus for the fiscal year that goes through June would be $1.5 billion — $200 million more than previously expected. Now Gov. Tim Walz says most of the surplus would be set aside to deal with uncertainties brought by the virus.New Jersey announced this week that it would keep $920 million it had planned to spend between now and June to ensure cash flow. That’s more than 2% of the state’s current spending plan, but officials are warning that the budget impact could be deeper than that.In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee is now basing his budget plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 on having an economy with no growth. Previously, he anticipated a growth rate of 3%.Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the outbreak is projected to cause a drop of $353 million in state revenue through June. That represents about 6% of the state’s general fund budget.The U.S. has at least 100,000 confirmed infections of the new coronavirus, the most of any country. Across the globe, the virus has claimed at least 26,000 lives. Health authorities have said most people experience mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can be fatal; younger adults also have succumbed to the disease.Governors across the country have warned that the number of cases in their states is expected to spike in the coming weeks. While their shelter-in-place or shutdown orders have varied, schools and a wide array of businesses remain closed, dramatically reducing consumer spending and, in turn, government tax revenue.Some states are being hit especially hard, including those that rely on tourism.The Nevada Resort Association says taxes on tourism have paid for about 38% of the state’s general fund budget in recent years. The governor there has frozen state hiring and limited government purchases.Rhode Island loses about $1 million in state revenue for each day its two casinos are closed. Gov. Gina Raimondo is warning that the virus’ widening economic fallout could lead to government layoffs in a state that already was facing a $200 million shortfall. Rhode Island lawmakers also approved borrowing up to $300 million to help the state cover its bills.“Furloughs and layoffs are things you want to avoid at all costs,” Raimondo said. “They were considered in the last recession, but it all depends on how quick we get the economy back on track and how robust the federal government response is.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Colombian Military Commander Dismisses Rebel Alliance Against Accord With United States

first_imgBy Dialogo December 21, 2009 The commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, Gen. Freddy Padilla, dismissed as “propaganda” the announcement of an alliance between the FARC and ELN guerrilla groups in opposition to the agreement that allows the United States to use military bases in the country. “Propaganda, propaganda. Colombians can’t let themselves be deceived or surprised,” the top Colombian military commander said in statements to Caracol radio station. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, a Marxist group) and the National Liberation Army (ELN, Guevarist) issued a statement announcing an alliance in opposition to the military accord between Colombia and the United States. “Comprehension of the exigencies of the moment and our revolutionary condition leads us to order all our units to cease confrontation between the two forces as of the publication of this document,” according to the statement, publicized on Wednesday by the Anncol news agency. For General Padilla, this alliance “is impossible (because) they are in dispute over the control of territory in order to try to profit from drug trafficking.” “They’ve killed one another in some places, like the southern region of (the department of) Bolívar (in the northern part of the country). In (the department of) Arauca (on the border with Venezuela) the ELN looks on the FARC with disdain, and the confrontations between them have been horrible,” he added. “What they are looking for are windows of opportunity, trying to put a good face on their crimes and, of course, deceive the unwary,” he specified. The FARC, with between 7,000 and 11,000 members, is the oldest guerrilla group in the country, with forty-five years of armed struggle, and is the one against which President Álvaro Uribe’s government has directed the greatest military efforts aimed at putting an end to the groups. The ELN is the second most important guerrilla group and is currently estimated to have no more than 3,000 members.last_img read more

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Chilean Air Force Deploys a Medical Operation to Easter Island

first_img“This type of operation creates great expectations, because they help and work together to improve the quality of life for the local population, as well as reducing the number of people on waiting lists during the year due to a lack of specialists,” said Juan Pakomio, Easter Island’s hospital director. A joyful reception The Military incorporated mammogram specialists into the medical operation in 2004, and that year doctors detected early-stage breast cancer in a patient who was quickly treated, “allowing her to survive for 10 years, so far,” said Dr. Cristián Pérez, a FACh radiologist specializing in mammograms. Additionally, medical personnel also conducted echocardiograms, endoscopies, colonoscopies, electroencephalograms, endometries, and echograms, all using instruments transported to the island by the FACh from the Clinical Hospital in Santiago. They also conducted an array of surgeries, including ones focusing on the gallbladder, colon, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids, as well as urological operations. That cooperation between FACh healthcare professionals and physicians from the Hanga Roa Hospital and the Ministry of Health through the Eastern Metropolitan Health Service led to 4,048 medical treatments, including 1,887 consultations, 2,086 examinations or procedures, and 75 surgeries. The medical consults focused on urology, gastroenterology, neurology, dermatology, nephrology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, cardiology, internal medicine, pediatrics, bronchopulmonary check-ups, and dentistry. Local residents joyfully greeted the flight’s arrival at the Mataveri airport and handed FACh service members – medical professionals who are known as “taotes” in the Rapa Nui language – leis made from native flowers as a token of their gratitude. By Dialogo September 17, 2015 The plane, carrying out the 20th Medical-Cultural Operation on Easter Island from August 22-29, delivered eight tons of cargo, including pharmaceuticals, raw materials, medical equipment, and food, in addition to 141 service members — among them physicians, dentists, and logistics and support personnel. Their mission, conducted annually since 1995, was to assist the island’s 5,761 Rapa Nui natives by providing dental care and medical treatments for all diseases that cannot be treated at the local Hanga Roa Hospital. Thanks to the experience service members obtain with each health care mission, the quality of dental and medical services provided to the people of Easter Island improves yearly, according to Air Force Colonel Néstor Ortega, the operation’s medical area chief. A variety of procedures and surgeries “The Chilean Air Force has given us a great opportunity, because this gives us access to modern medical equipment,” said patient Laura Ponte, who received a mammogram and a thyroid echogram. “There are no machines for these tests on the island.” Meanwhile, Military dentists performed treatments at the facilities of the island’s Marine garrison, in addition to lecturing young students on oral health and hygiene. On January 19, 1951, a PBY-5 amphibious plane from the Chilean Air Force (FACh, for its Spanish acronym) made the first flight connecting Chile to its island territory, Easter Island. The island’s natives, who call their home “Rapa Nui,” christened as “Manatura” or “Good-luck Bird” the famous plane – remembered today for one of the most important milestones in Chilean aeronautics. Dental patients were grateful for the checkups and treatments. The FACh improves every year “Every year, they wait for us to perform these tests.” Additionally, specialists from the FACh Financial Directorate contributed to Easter Island’s growth and development by advising and training a team responsible for the municipality’s finances. Echoing that feat, a Boeing 767-300ER from the FACh Second Air Brigade’s 10th Aviation Group recently delivered medical treatment and supplies to the island’s residents from the mainland 3,700 kilometers away. “[The operation] has taken on a permanent role in assisting the community, providing solutions and activities to effectively meet the needs of our society,” said General Jorge Robles Mella, FACh Commander in Chief. “People keep their appointments, and we were even able to treat people who showed up unexpectedly. It far exceeded our expectations, and we are very happy with the work we performed.” The operation also had a cultural component through which the FACh reinforced the ties that Chile has had with Rapa Nui for more than 50 years: FACh service members held a bullfight and a bicycle race, which included participation by the Armed Forces. They also held an art project for children and adolescents at the island’s schools that featured Chilean artist Mario Murua. Participants created an eight-meter long mural at the Anakena beach, based on the ancestral bird of the Rapa Nui, the “Manutara.” “This is a tremendous support for the Easter Island residents’ healthcare, because we do not always have the monetary resources to travel to the mainland, where most dental facilities are located,” said Paula Pakarati, a patient who received dental treatment from the FACh. “[This operation] not only fulfills a state policy to foster cooperation and national cohesion, but it also demonstrates our country’s commitment to all Chileans, especially those who live in remote areas,” said National Defense Minister José Antonio Gómez.last_img read more

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The Prosecution of the CIA Whistleblower Who Revealed Waterboarding to the World

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In March 2002, Pakistani police stormed a building in Faisalabad, a bustling city about 120 miles south of Lahore, and were immediately met by gunfire.The target was an al-Qaeda safe house, presumed to be harboring suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah, whom American intelligence officials had essentially been hunting since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.The CIA and FBI were the lead agencies, but Pakistani police were the first inside the safe house. They knew their suspicions were correct when, upon entering the building, a Pakistani officer was stabbed. The armed attacker was Zubaydah.The bloody altercation provided Zubaydah enough of a distraction for him to flee to the roof. Once there, he became involved in a firefight with police. Zubaydah, who the CIA suspected of having close ties to Osama bin Laden, was struck several times by an AK-47.Zubaydah was eventually transferred to a military hospital in Lahore, where the CIA and FBI kept him under 24/7 surveillance. This was a big moment for the American intelligence apparatus, and Zubaydah’s capture would become more than a footnote in CIA history. He was the first high-level al-Qaeda operative apprehended in America’s nascent war on terror—and the CIA had special plans for him.Keeping watch was CIA officer John Kiriakou, who according to previous statements he made to the media, was the first man to interview the alleged terrorist.This March will be the 13th anniversary of Zubaydah’s capture. Both men, if they take time to reflect on that day, will do so from behind bars: Zubaydah in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Kiriakou, in a federal correctional facility in Pennsylvania.In 2007, Kiriakou, after he had retired from the CIA, sat down with ABC News correspondent Brian Ross and described in great detail the operation that led to Zubaydah’s capture—two other safe houses were simultaneously hit that day, he said—the gunfight, and the alleged terrorist’s request that Kiriakou “smother him with a pillow.” In English, he told Kiriakou that “9/11 was necessary” and was supposed to serve a “wake-up call.”It was during that interview that Kiriakou became the first person with personal knowledge of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program to publicly reveal that the agency waterboarded its detainees. It was within 24 hours of that interview, Kiriakou told the independent news program Democracy Now, that the US government filed a criminal report against him—the first of a half-dozen.But now for the first time, the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program, cloaked from public view, is available for all to see: The recently released Senate Intelligence Committee’s report details the methods that were used and what if any information was divulged as a result. The committee’s five-year review of the CIA’s post-9/11 secretive detention and interrogation program under President George W. Bush concluded that it was ineffective, deeply flawed and “far more brutal” than government officials were led to believe. Zubaydah was the first to undergo the harsh interrogation methods. He was the government’s guinea pig. But even before the Senate Intelligence Committee started its review, it was Kiriakou who publicly confirmed that such tactics, including waterboarding, had been employed.“I suppose I can say…that my understanding is what’s been reported in the press has been correct in that these enhanced techniques included everything from what was called an attention shake where you grab the person by their lapels and [shake] them, all the way up to the other end, which was waterboarding,” Kiriakou told ABC.Five years later, Kiriakou became the subject of a five-count federal indictment, though none of the counts were related to his divulging that the CIA engaged in waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques in the ABC News interview. His supporters, however, believe Kiriakou became a target after he blew the whistle on the agency’s top-secret program that day. Prosecutors, in their 31-page response, denied that their motivation for prosecuting Kiriakou was because of past comments about torture.“The Department of Justice has never filed criminal charges against him in connection with any of these matters,” it said.“Now seeking to adopt the ill-fitting mantle of whistleblower,” prosecutors added, “defendant asserts that his statements about these and other subjects improperly motivate the prosecution against him.”The complaint, prosecutors insist, “has nothing to do with waterboarding, the national conversation about its wrongness or rightness, the defendant’s opinions, or other public statements he may or may not have made.”Kiriakou pleaded guilty to the single count on October 2012. He was sentenced on Jan. 25, 2013, and entered the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Penn., on February 28, 2013.Since the release of the Senate’s so-called torture report, a number of human rights groups have called for the architects of the program to be prosecuted. Recently the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch sent a letter to outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder calling on him to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate “the crimes” detailed in the Senate report.They weren’t alone. The New York Times published an editorial Monday headlined, “Prosecute Tortures and their Bosses.” And they named names:“But any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos,” the Times editorial board wrote on Dec. 22. “There are many more names that could be considered, including Jose Rodriguez Jr., the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the videotapes; the psychologists who devised the torture regimen; and the C.I.A. employees who carried out that regimen.”Additionally, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, a human rights group in Berlin, Germany, recently filed a criminal complaint against the US torture program’s architects, accusing several George W. Bush administration officials of war crimes. Yet, as of now, the only person with knowledge of the enhanced interrogation program to be prosecuted is Kiriakou—and that’s for crimes unrelated to the actual torture of the detainees.For those crimes, Kiriakou is sitting in a low-security prison along with 1,216 inmates in western Pennsylvania. On Aug. 9, the interrogation team told CIA headquarters that it was “unlikely” Zubaydah had “actionable new information about current threats against the United States,” according to the report. But officials at the CIA still believed that Zubaydah was withholding important information. The interrogations were to continue.The Senate report, which is highly critical of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program, notes that Zubaydah never divulged information about an impending terrorist attack, even as he was subjected to the harsh interrogation methods. The two psychologists, however, saw the methods used on Zubaydah as a success, not because they were able to acquire crucial information, but because interrogators were able to confirm he had none.“Our goal was to reach the stage where we have broken any will or ability of subject to resist or deny providing us information (intelligence) to which he had access,” states a cable, cited in the report. “We additionally sought to bring subject to the point that we confidently assess that he does not/not possess undisclosed threat information, or intelligence that could prevent a terrorist event.”Zubaydah was eventually handed over to the Department of Defense in September 2006. Ex-CIA Agent ProsecutedKiriakou was three years removed from the CIA when he sat down for his now infamous interview with ABC News. The interview focused on the operation to apprehend Zubaydah, but quickly pivoted to interrogation methods that were being reported in the news media, most notably, waterboarding.Kiriakou possessed vast knowledge about the CIA and the role it played following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. After serving as an analyst, he later became the chief of counterterrorism operations after 9/11. He resigned in 2004, later taking a position as a senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.Ross, the ABC News correspondent, asked Kiriakou if he felt comfortable with the techniques.“Frankly, no,” he responded. Kiriakou said he had declined to take part in the training after consulting a senior officer within the agency. Kiriakou, however, expressed the same feelings that many in the CIA did with regards to waterboarding: It was worth it, he told Ross. (Kiriakou’s position has changed since, and he’s become a critic of the technique.)Ross then asked if he’d define waterboarding as torture. “You know, at the time, no,” Kiriakou said, explaining that he thought it was something the US needed to do at the time. But not any more.“And at the time I felt that waterboarding was something that we needed to do,” he said. “And as time passed, and as Sept. 11 has…moved farther and farther back into history, I think I’ve changed my mind. And I think waterboarding is probably something that we shouldn’t be in the business of doing.”“Why do you say that now?” asked Ross.“Because we’re Americans,” Kiriakou responded, “and we’re better than that.”On April 5, 2012, a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., indicted Kiriakou under the Espionage Act, a World War I-era law originally meant to prosecute spies, for identifying a covert agent and disclosing information to a journalist. (The name of one of the covert agents wasn’t published but the identity of the agent ended up in a classified defense filing before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay.) The grand jury also indicted Kiriakou on a fifth count for “willfully” concealing and covering up a classified investigative technique used in the Zubaydah mission that he wanted to include in his 2010 book The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror.Facing 45 years in prison, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act for revealing the identity of a covert officer to a journalist. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.Before the plea deal, Kiriakou’s attorneys argued in its motion to dismiss counts one through four that the prosecution was engaging in “selective prosecution,” and that Kiriakou was being punished for embarrassing the government by publicly revealing that it had engaged in torture.“Because of Kiriakou’s earlier statements, which did not violate any laws, the government has seized upon the current allegations of improper disclosures to prosecute him, even though numerous other individuals that have communicated the same or similar information have not faced prosecution,” his lawyers wrote, according to court documents in the case.His attorneys cited several examples of what they deem to be government-approved leaks. The first was a New Yorker magazine article detailing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in which the author stated that he knew the identities of the Navy Seals that conducted the operation. Also cited in the motion is a New York Times article describing a US cyber attack to disrupt Iranian nuclear facility, which quotes sources inside the White House Situation Room.“The one common element among these unprosecuted leaks is that they portray the government in an excellent light,” his attorneys write in the motion. “Contrast this with the information offered by Kiriakou in his 2007 interview, which contradicted the narrative that the United States did not engage in the torture of prisoners, his even more embarrassing statement in 2009 that waterboarding was not even effective, and his work investigating the intelligence coverage of a volatile region of the world for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The only logical conclusion to be drawn from these facts is that the government has tolerated other disclosures because they resulted in press favorable to the government. But when Kiriakou allegedly made illegal disclosures of exactly the same nature, government officials found a reason to punish him for his past candor.” Guinea PigSix days after Sept. 11, President George W. Bush signed a covert action memorandum that granted the CIA “unprecedented counterterrorism authorities, including the authority to covertly capture and detain individuals” who pose a threat to the US, according to the Senate report.A CIA review concluded that US military bases were the best option to covertly hold detainees, but that would mean detainees would have to be declared to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The CIA’s position changed after Zubaydah’s capture. Instead, Bush approved a CIA proposal to hold Zubaydah at a black site based in another country that the report doesn’t identify.Before Zubaydah’s removal, he expressed a desire to cooperate with the FBI, according to the report. On April 10, 2002, inside the hospital’s intensive care unit, he provided FBI agents the name of a man named “Mukhtar,” who he said was the mastermind of 9/11. The FBI produced a copy of its Most Wanted List. Zubaydah identified “Mukhtar” as Khalid Shaykh Mohammad (KSM). Mohammad, Zubaydah told the FBI, trained 9/11 hijackers and was in charge of al Qaeda’s operations outside of Afghanistan. Those in the Senate who conducted the review said their findings refute claims by the CIA that Zubaydah gave up KSM only when he was forced to undergo enhanced interrogation.Two days later, George Tenet, the then-director of Central Intelligence, received this update on CIA’s interrogation plans for Zubaydah, according to the report:“Our [CIA] lead interrogator will require Abu Zubaydah to reveal the most sensitive secret he knows we are seeking; if he dissembles or diverts the conversation, the interview will stop and resume at a later time…. In accordance with the strategy, and with concurrence from FBI Headquarters, the two on-site FBI agents will no longer directly participate in the interview/debriefing sessions.”FBI special agents who had interviewed the suspect objected, according to the Senate report:“AZ’s health has improved over the last two days and Agency [CIA] is ready to move [Abu Zubaydah] out of the hospital and back to [redacted] on [redacted] in an elaborate plan to change AZ’s environment. Agency [CIA] advised this day that they will be immediately changing tactics in all future AZ interviews by having only there [sic] [CIA officer] interact with AZ (there will be no FBI presence in interview room). This change contradicts all conversations had to date…. They believe AZ is offering, ‘throw away information’ and holding back from providing threat information (It should be note [sic] that we have obtained critical information regarding AZ thus far and have now got him speaking about threat information, albeit from his hospital bed and not [an] appropriate interview environment for full follow-up (due to his health). Suddenly the psychiatric team here wants AZ to only interact with their [CIA officer, and the CIA sees this] as being the best way to get the threat information…. We offered several compromise solutions… all suggestions were immediately declined without further discussion…. This again is quite odd as all information obtained from AZ has come from FBI lead interviewers and questioning…. I have spent an un-calculable amount of hours at [Abu Zubaydah’s] bedside assisting with medical help, holding his hand and comforting hum through various medical procedures, even assisting him in going [to] the bathroom…. We have built tremendous report [sic] with AZ and now that we are on the eve of ‘regular” interviews to get threat information, we have been ‘written out’ of future interviews.”The CIA took over interviewing Zubaydah on April 13. During a meeting with Zubaydah inside the hospital room that lasted 11 minutes, a CIA officer told Zubaydah that he “had a most important secret [the interrogator] needed to know,” apparently related to future attacks on the US. He told Zubaydah to “signal” for him when he was ready to talk. He never did. FBI agents believed valuable time was being wasted.On April 15, Zubaydah was told “time is running out.” That same day he was sedated and transported to a secret detention site—a windowless white cell. His interrogators blasted loud music to disorient him. Zubaydah was often kept naked.Zubaydah had not fully recovered from his bullet wounds, so the CIA briefly reversed course. On April 17, an FBI agent was allowed to meet with Zubaydah for six hours, in which he denied knowledge of threats against the US. But he did continue to provide information about KSM and other terrorists in Pakistan, according to the report. On April 20, he told the FBI that he was approached by two men who desired to detonate a uranium-based explosive in the US, but “he did not believe the plan was viable.” He didn’t know the names of the pair, according to the report, but he was able to provide a description of the men he had encountered.The CIA, however, believed Zubaydah was still hiding something. Zubaydah was held in isolation for 47 days between June and August of that year. During this time, a department within the CIA (its name is redacted from the report) drafted a letter stating that “the use of more aggressive methods is required to persuade Abu Zubaydah to provide the critical information we need to safeguard lives of innumerable innocent men, women and children within the United States and abroad.” It’s unclear if the attorney general ever received the letter, according to the report.Officials continued to discuss potential interrogation methods and even went as far as to suggest what would become of Zubaydah’s body if he were to die during the interrogation. “He would be cremated,” according to a US government cable quoted in the report.Two psychologists for the US Air Force were brought in to help implement the interrogation methods. Waterboarding, they suggested, would be an appropriate technique to stop Zubaydah from resisting.On July 24, the attorney general verbally approved 10 interrogation techniques, including stress positions and sleep deprivation. Waterboarding was approved two days later. CIA records obtained by Senate staffers note that President Bush did not receive his first CIA briefing on the interrogation techniques until April 8, 2006—nearly four years later.The CIA now had the approval they sought in order to more aggressively interrogate Zubaydah. From Aug. 4, 2002 through Aug. 23, 2002, Zubaydah received harsher interrogation methods on a “near 24-hour-per-day basis,” according to the Senate report. The initial techniques ranged from slamming Zubaydah against a concrete wall, threatening him with a large confinement box that when placed on the floor resembled a coffin, and slapped him every time he denied having information. He was waterboarded for the first time at 6:20 p.m. on Aug. 4, according to the report. It went on for two and a half hours, sometimes resulting in involuntary spasms, coughing and vomiting.last_img read more

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Hong Kong police swoop on postponed poll protests

first_imgLive images showed three prominent pro-democracy politicians — Leung Kwok-hung, Figo Chan and Raphael Wong — were among those held. The protests came hours after the police’s newly formed national security unit arrested Tam Tak-chi, another democracy activist and radio DJ, for “uttering seditious words”.Tam is the latest in a long line of government critics to find themselves facing prosecution in recent months for their involvement in protests.When they announced the arrest on Sunday morning, police did not explain what Tam may have said that was considered seditious.  Beijing has initiated a widespread crackdown against its critics in Hong Kong after the financial hub was rocked by seven straight months of huge and often violent pro-democracy protests last year.Rallies have been all but outlawed this year with authorities citing both security concerns and wielding emergency anti-coronavirus laws to ban public gatherings.In late June, Beijing also imposed its new security law, which bans anything authorities perceive to be secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.At least 22 people have been arrested under the new law since it came into effect, sending a chill through the city.On Friday, UN rights experts warned the broadly worded provisions in the legislation posed a serious threat to political freedoms and the right to protest.Under a deal agreed with Britain ahead of the 1997 handover, authoritarian China agreed to let Hong Kong keep certain liberties and autonomy for 50 years.Critics say that deal has been demolished by the security law and the increasingly intense crackdown on the city’s democracy supporters.Beijing denies freedoms are being eroded and portrays the anti-government protests as a western backed plot to destabilize the mainland. Topics : More than 30 people were arrested by Hong Kong police on Sunday as riot officers swooped on democracy protesters opposed to the postponement of local elections.Sunday was meant to be voting day for the city’s partially elected legislature, one of the few instances where Hong Kongers get to cast ballots.But the city’s pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam suspended the polls for a year citing the coronavirus, angering the pro-democracy opposition who had been hoping to capitalize on seething anti-government sentiment.  Hundreds of riot police flooded the district of Kowloon in a bid to thwart online calls for flash mob protests to mark the suspended vote.Throughout the afternoon police were heckled by people shouting slogans such as “Give me back my vote!” and “Corrupt cops!” as officers conducted multiple stop and searches and ordered crowds to disperse.In a Facebook statement, police said at least 30 people were arrested, mostly for unlawful assembly.One woman was detained under a new security law Beijing imposed on the city for chanting independence slogans, the force added.last_img read more

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NBA players show support for Trail Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic following gruesome leg injury

first_imgThe Trail Blazers ultimately won a double-overtime thriller Monday night at the Moda Center, but they lost one of their most important players to a devastating injury.Portland center Jusuf Nurkic collapsed to the floor during the second overtime period against the Nets with what appeared to be a significant leg injury. Trail Blazers fans chanted Nurkic’s name as he was taken off the floor on a stretcher. (UPDATE: The Trail Blazers announced Nurkic suffered compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula. There is currently no timetable for his return.)Nurkic left the game with 32 points, 16 rebounds and five assists, and the Trail Blazers defeated the Nets by a final score of 148-144. The win secured a playoff berth for Portland, but the Blazers were understandably focused on Nurkic’s status after the game.Terry Stotts says Nurkic is at a local area hospital and doesn’t have much to say from there. Calls it “devastating” and described the locker room at “quiet.” Blazers clinched a playoff spot tonight by the way.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 26, 2019Players around the league quickly posted messages of support for Nurkic on Twitter, including fellow Blazers big man Enes Kanter.Prayers up for my brother @bosnianbeast27 🙏😔 pic.twitter.com/Xa6XtUIr0X— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) March 26, 2019Prayers to go out to @bosnianbeast27!!!! You hate to see injuries like that.. Health is bigger then basketball.. I know hell make a speedy recovery and come back better! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) March 26, 2019🙏🏾 https://t.co/0lwJ46GS9l— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) March 26, 2019get well soon big fella @bosnianbeast27— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin23) March 26, 2019Prayers up for @bosnianbeast27 🙏🏽— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) March 26, 2019Nurkic🙏🏿— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) March 26, 2019Damn… hate to see this. Get well soon big guy. #nurkic— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) March 26, 2019Prayers up for Nurkic!!! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) March 26, 2019Man!! Prayers to Nurkic…🙏🏾— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) March 26, 2019Nurkic 🙏🏽— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) March 26, 2019Hate this part of the game. Prayers up for Nurkic!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) March 26, 2019🙏🙏 nurkic!!— Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic) March 26, 2019Sending Prayers Nurkić…🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) March 26, 2019Damn man! Many Prayers up for Nurkic! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽— Danny Green (@DGreen_14) March 26, 2019Prayers for Nurkic 🙏🏾🙏🏾— Buddy Love !!!! (@buddyhield) March 26, 2019last_img read more

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Fans could return for 20-21 season: Premier League chief

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said on Friday that fans could be allowed to attend top-flight matches in the 2020-21 season on a “phased basis”.The Premier League plans to resume the 2019-20 campaign on June 17 following the coronavirus lockdown.But the remaining 92 fixtures will be played behind closed doors to minimise the health risks of football’s return in a country badly hit by the pandemic.The prospect of playing the next season with no fans is unappetising for the Premier League and Masters suggested it could be possible to being back supporters at some stage.“No one knows when matches will move away from the behind-closed-doors model and it is right to have contingency plans in place, but there is optimism at the Premier League and at clubs that we will see fans back in the stadiums next season and it may happen on a phased basis,” Masters told Sky Sports News.“Hopefully it will be a huge morale boost and that is what we’ve been working towards.“We’ve got some incredible fans in this country and we all know the Premier League as we know and love it won’t be fully back until we have fans back through the turnstiles.”The biggest concern for ‘Project Restart’ is another wave of the virus, which could lead to the competition being suspended again.With that in mind, Masters said it was crucial clubs agreed on a plan for what would happen if the season had to end early before games resume.But he would not be drawn on whether an unweighted points-per-game model would be used in decide the final table in the event of the season being abandoned.“We need to have plans in place so that we go into the start of the season knowing that if it can’t be completed, what then happens,” Masters said. “(But) I’m not going to give away any of the details of the private discussions we are having with our clubs.”– ‘Legitimate concerns’ –The video assistant referee (VAR) system is set to be used in the remaining matches, but Masters said it would be done remotely rather than from the officials’ usual base at Stockley Park.“VAR has its own social distancing issues but we think there is a way of completing the season with VAR, so absolutely our intention is to complete the season with VAR in place,” he said.“The hub itself could be a problem, so if you can’t do the hub you have to do it remotely, and that’s what we’re looking at.”Liverpool are two wins away from clinching their first English title for 30 years, but they could be forced to play at a neutral venue when the trophy is within reach on police advice.Police chiefs are concerned about the safety risks of Liverpool fans gathering outside Anfield or any other stadium their team are playing at.Masters said talks with the police about neutral venues for some games are on-going, but he hopes Liverpool can at least have a trophy presentation.“They (the police) have legitimate concerns but we think we can mitigate some of the issues they’re trying to deal with,” he said.“Ultimately, we want the season to be played out on the pitch and we’re discussing a number of options to make it as fair as possible.“We’ll do everything we possibly can to deliver a trophy presentation. It’s really important to mark that moment and to give the fans that memory to mark it.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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5 games in, here’s what we know about Alliance football

first_imgSo what do we know about the Alliance of American Football five weeks into its 10-week regular season?First off, there’s apparently an appetite for spring professional football. Although the quality of play, particularly on offense, doesn’t approach the NFL — nobody said it would, of course — this has not been an amateurish effort. Indeed, as Alliance co-founder Bill Polian stressed from the outset, “These guys are men playing professional football.”Every player on the eight teams is getting an opportunity to display his skills, and lack thereof, to the regular turnout of NFL scouts at AAF games. There’s a longstanding truism in football that whatever you do on a field is on film, and that’s the window into your abilities. “Film doesn’t lie” is how most scouts put it.Those talent evaluators should be most impressed by the performances of the front sevens pretty much throughout the league. If there are Alliance standouts who will quickly catch on with NFL clubs in May and thereafter, look for most of them to come from defenses.And they are allowed to head back to the big league.“There is an official policy, once the regular season begins and ostensibly once training camp begins, we expect the players to stay here for the completion of the Alliance season,” Polian says. “If their team doesn’t make the playoffs, we’d be happy to let him go, other than that they have got to make the commitment throughout the season.“One of the reasons we can do that is our season ends just before OTAs begin (in the NFL), so a player can go back to the NFL and not miss significant OTA time and he is in shape because he has been playing.”That defensive performances have so outshined the offenses shouldn’t be a stunner. Certainly, Polian isn’t surprised.“It is always easier to put together a defense because it’s reactionary,” he explains. “An offense requires choreography and difficult and complicated movements and requires synchronization.”The area the Alliance’s offensive woes have been most pronounced has been the red zone, which often has resembled a dead zone for teams trespassing there. There have been 65 field goals compared to 75 offensive TDs. Five teams aren’t averaging 20 points an outing.Most obvious is the level of performance at quarterback and receiver. To get a full appreciation of how good NFL passers are — even the mediocre ones — an examination of Alliance QBs is educational. For the most part, there are enough off-target throws, even if by a foot or less, to cause interceptions. Plus, the wideouts in general don’t have the hands or agility to make the adjustments we see from, say, Julio Jones or Larry Fitzgerald.Dropped passes have plagued virtually every AAF team, something that will prove worrisome for those receiving invitations to NFL workouts, minicamps and training camps. There will be a significant number of players getting those invites.Off the field, the Alliance has shown staying power — isn’t that what it’s all about? — with good TV ratings, digital participation and solid enough attendance.Weather has been a factor in some cities, including blizzard-like conditions for one game in Salt Lake City. Spring isn’t really sprung in several AAF locales, but the league reports that San Antonio is averaging about 28,000 fans and San Diego has had two crowds of more than 20,000. Generally, attendance has been 10,000 or above, though Birmingham (6,539), Salt Lake (9,302) and Arizona (9,531) have had fewer fans for a game.League co-founders Polian and Charlie Ebersol and chairman Tom Dundon — the major backer who is pouring $250 million into the Alliance — speak glowingly about how many eyeballs are watching. One of the broadcast partners, CBS, even is switching two games from its cable outlet to its main network, including a regular-season contest on April 7, NCAA Final Four weekend.CBS televised the league opener from San Antonio on Feb. 9 and got a 2.1 rating that beat the NBA on ABC.Turner Sports originally signed up for one in-season game and a playoff. It has added two Saturday afternoon matches.NFL Network, the other main AAF broadcaster, has averaged 502,000 viewers, the Alliance says, and saw a rise in audience on a night its game went up against the Academy Awards.“We experienced a 15 percent rise in viewership on NFL Network from Week2 to Week 3, even with our Sunday prime-time game taking place during the Oscars,” Ebersol says. “Our business plan from the beginning was to earn our viewers. We didn’t spend millions on marketing and promotion; we bet the farm that we would earn the attention of fans by putting top-flight football on the field each week and we are thrilled that it paid off. Millions of people have tuned in each week on TV and our platforms and engaged with our product 100 percent organically.”The league also has added sponsors as the schedule progressed, which Ebersol and Dundon point to as evidence the Alliance is addressing the thirst for football in the advertising community once the NFL’s season concludes. Those sponsors include MGM Resorts, New Era, STARTER and TurboTax, with sponsors from the automotive, food and beverage categories in the works.Most of all, the Alliance isn’t losing sight of what it was established to be: a developmental league.“When we started this journey, one thing we wanted it to be is complementary to the NFL and what they are doing,” says San Antonio’s general manager, former Cowboys star fullback Daryl Johnston. “Talking to coaches, one of the things they are frustrated by in this current CBA is the reduction in practice and meeting time. This is what the Alliance would be perfect for, and hopefully at some point in the future for us to bring in some of those (NFL) guys at the back end of the roster … and address some of the areas where the coaches feel there is a need for that development.” The Memphis Express made its home debut at the Liberty Bowl on Saturday, facing off against the Arizona Hotshots. And once again, the Express showed positive signs on defense while struggling offensively, sending the home team to a 20-18 loss and an 0-2 record in the team’s inaugural season in Memphis.last_img read more

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first_imgRACING MOURNS DEATH OF TRAINER LEONARD DORFMANBOOZER STEPS UP TO THE BAR IN SENSATIONAL STARFUTURE OF MILLIONAIRE CLUBHOUSE RIDE UP IN THE AIRBAYERN BREEZES THREE FURLONGS IN 36.60 FOR BAFFERT Mike Smith6915141022%$1,329,341 Joseph Talamo13915142311%$1,065,504 (Current Through Sunday, Feb. 15) SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Drayden Van Dyke12114151712%$784,816 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Jerry Hollendorfer9719131320%$1,968,030 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Tyler Baze15720151713%$1,244,034 Philip D’Amato4398721%$438,310 Bob Baffert621214819%$1,190,338 Peter Miller871618818%$975,450 Elvis Trujillo1261417911%$906,712 FOND MEMORIES OF LEONARD DORFMAN, DEAD AT 92            Highly respected longtime Southern California trainer Leonard Dorfman passed away peacefully early Sunday evening at his daughter’s home in Round Rock Texas. The affable Dorfman, a decorated World War II combat veteran who lied about his eyesight to enlist in the Army at age 19, would have been 93 on June 22.Best known as the conditioner of multiple stakes winners Biggs, Travel Orb, Minnesota Chief, Joni U. Bar and McCann’s Mojave, Dorfman gravitated to the track at an early age and one of his first jobs was grooming horses at movie mogul Louis B. Mayer’s farm in Hemet, Calif., circa, 1937 at age 15.A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Dorfman emigrated to Los Angeles with his mother at the age of 7 and soon thereafter cultivated a lifetime love affair with horses.“He was such a kind and gentle man,” said retired Hall of Fame jockey Donald Pierce, from his home in Encinitas. “He was without a doubt one of the finest horsemen I ever rode for. We had a lot of success together. A lot of guys, they’ll (expletive deleted) you about their horses and how they’re doing. Leonard was always straight up with me and when he told me he had something for me to ride, they were live, believe me.”Long active along with his late friend, trainer Noble Threewitt, on behalf of fellow horsemen in the H.B.P.A. and later the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT), Dorfman won 16 races and two stakes with Joni U. Bar, a rangy mare by Nordic Prince, who would go on to become the dam of multiple graded stakes winner McCann’s Mojave.“Leonard had a sixth sense with horses,” said Mike Willman, Santa Anita Director of Publicity and the co-breeder and owner of McCann’s Mojave. “The horse always came first with Leonard. He would often say, ‘There’s always another race.’ He was an amazing, honest man and a wonderful human being. I’ll never forget what Frank Cozza, who bred Joni U. Bar and a lot of other nice horses, told my best friend’s dad one time after they had won a race here at Santa Anita. Frank said the key to success with Leonard was, ‘To just leave that little Jewish fella alone.’”            Trainer Ray Bell had this memory: “He had horses being transported by train for L.B. Mayer through the San Bernardino desert, and it was so hot, they opened the doors on the box car. Suddenly one of the horses breaks loose and jumps over a stack of straw bales and into the desert.“Leonard couldn’t notify anyone or stop the train, because he was way in the back, and this was way before cell phones or anything. He decided the first time the train stopped he would get to a phone let them know there was a race horse running around in the desert.“Finally they stopped, probably somewhere in Arizona, and Leonard called L.B. Mayer’s secretary and told her so-and-so is running loose in the desert out in San Bernardino.“Anyway, they finally captured the horse and there wasn’t a scratch on him. So they loaded him up on the next train for Chicago, they met him out there, and he wound up being a useful sort of horse.”Services for Dorfman, who is survived by his wife, Marlene, and daughter, Lisa Crisks, are pending. John Sadler718121111%$561,356 Rafael Bejarano15337242024%$1,729,564 FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern,recovered from a hind footabscess that surfaced after that race, forcing him to miss the San Antonio Invitational on Feb. 7,breezedthree furlongs for Bob Baffert Monday in 36.60. A finalist for Horse of the Year, it was Bayern’s first recorded workout since early last month . . . Kudos to Matt Ascanio, 33-year-old son of former trainer and long-time Bobby Frankel assistant Humberto Ascanio, on winning his first race as an agent after a month in the business. Matt booked Christian Aragon on Fast Mast, who posted a half-length shocker at a $115.80 win payoff in Sunday’s seventh race for trainer Mike Harrington . . . Galicado, unbeaten in three starts in his native Argentina by a combined margin of 21 ½ lengths, worked six furlongs on the main track Monday morning in 1:12.60 for Ron McAnally, who plans to run the son of Asiatic Boy in the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai on March 28. “The horse was sent to me during the Del Mar summer meet,” said McAnally, whose proclivity with South American imports is a matter of record . . . When Lucky J Lane won yesterday’s fourth race, it marked back-to-back victories for the California-bred gelding, giving trainer Richard Baltas another double. Unusual Fleet also posted consecutive victories when he won Saturday’s fifth race . . . Bob Baedeker has resigned his position as consultant and racing manager for Live Your Dream Racing Stables, effective yesterday. Baedeker cited differences with LYD founder Don Palmer over the future of the partnership. “I wish Don and Live Your Dream well,” Baedeker said. “Don is focused on the breeding end of the business now while I am anxious to acquire horses ready to run. I will be using my energies to grow my racing management business, Mr. B., LLC.” . . . Apprentice jockey Brandon Boulanger has been suspended threeracing days (Feb. 28, March 1 and 5) for causing interference on Aguacita in Saturday’s sixthrace . . . Congrats to Zoe Metz, Santa Anita’s Interactive Media Coordinator and an accomplished photographer, who celebrates her 19th birthday today . . . Santa Anita will be dark this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but will be open for simulcast wagering Thursday when there will be free parking and free Grandstand admission. Live racing resumes Friday at 1 p.m. Victor Espinoza10219211419%$1,283,180 Peter Eurton49108720%$481,808 Martin Garcia8214131117%$1,145,820 Doug O’Neill899101010%$520,536 BOOZER GOES FROM LONG TO SHORT SATURDAY            Boozer, a versatile and consistent son of Unusual Heat, goes from third and long to first and goal when he runs in Saturday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes for older California-bred or sired horses at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.The 5-year-old gelding trained by Mark Glatt for Al and Sandee Kirkwood is coming off a sharp second to streaking stakes winner Alert Bay in the California Cup Turf Classic at 1 1/8 miles on Jan. 24. Two races earlier, the pace-favoring Boozer won the California Flag Handicap for state-breds on the downhill turf course.“He runs really well down the hill,” Glatt said. “Maybe it’s not ideal going from a mile and an eighth to 6 ½ down the hill, but I want to take advantage of the Cal-bred program. The horse is doing well, so we’ll give it a shot.”CLUBHOUSE RIDE’S FUTURE UNDECIDED            The future of Clubhouse Ride remained undecided Monday morning, more than a week after he finished ninth and last by more than 40 lengths behind Shared Belief in the San Antonio Invitational on Feb. 7.            “They’ve run a bunch of tests on him to make sure he’s got good sperm,” said Craig Lewis, who trains the 7-year-old Candy Ride horse for owners Murray Seidner (Six-S Racing Stable) and Nikolas Petralia.“There are several offers on the table, so we don’t know what’s going to happen at this point. Should there be any problem with the sperm count, or the money, or they decide not to do the stud deal themselves, then he’ll be back (racing), because he had a minor injury.            “The owners are considering a lot of offers but they don’t know if they want to keep him or sell him.”Clubhouse Ride, a two-time winner of the Grade II Californian Stakes, was second in the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita last June 28. The chestnut bred in Kentucky by Sidney and Jenny Craig has a 5-9-2 record from 43 starts, with earnings of $1,341,132. Kent Desormeaux10722191121%$1,229,322 Richard Mandella3786722%$402,286last_img read more