‘It was very quiet’: Team members recall Wuhan evacuation mission

first_imgIt was on Friday evening, Jan 31, when the Health Ministry’s crisis center head Budi Sylvana received the order to join a rescue team to be dispatched to China’s coronavirus-hit Hubei province, just as he was leaving office that day.He said that, before he got the order, he had heard the announcement by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi about the evacuation of some 245 Indonesian nationals from Wuhan to be conducted within 24 hours but had not expected to be directly involved. Unlike Budi, Tony Wibawa from the Foreign Ministry’s directorate of citizen protection said he had worked on a plan for the evacuation since Jan. 23, when the Chinese government announced a lockdown in Wuhan.Since then, he said, the directorate had worked with the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing to collect data on citizens in Wuhan.“So, to a certain extent, we already had a plan once we received the order for the evacuation,” he said.On Jan 30, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered the immediate evacuation of all Indonesian citizens.On the ground, a so-called “team of five” consisting of embassy officials in Beijing was tasked with going to Wuhan to prepare the evacuation.One of the team members, Arianto Surojo, said the team went to Changsha on the morning of Jan. 31 and traveled to Wuhan by car.“After arriving in Wuhan, we immediately coordinated with the students, and that night we got the landing permit for the plane the next day,” he said.The biggest challenge was the fact that the students were widely dispersed, with some located as far as 500 kilometers from Wuhan.“We had to gather them all at the airport in the evening before leaving at night,” he said.He said the whole process was very fast because of the negotiations conducted at all levels, from the Foreign Minister to the director level as well as from the ambassador’s office in Beijing and with the foreign affairs office at the provincial level.“We were facing an abnormal situation and all of us needed to get permits, including a landing permit and flight clearance, while facing the lockdown situation on the ground,” he said.Retno said she had barely got any sleep for at least two nights before and during the evacuation, starting on Jan. 31 when the advance team went to Wuhan.“I get goose bumps just thinking about it now. When the team reached the border, I asked Ari how much further [before reaching Wuhan], and also when they finally met with the citizens in Wuhan. I called them to give them some encouragement, because they had to be fit for the evacuation,” she said.Meanwhile, two days before the evacuation, Batik Air captain Destyo Usodo was notified about the assignment, and he said he was very hesitant.“But I was reassured that all the mitigation and hazard identification had been assessed and that we already had a mitigation plan. I was also told that we would only bring the healthy citizens home, and that made me more confident,” he said.The plane took off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on Feb. 1 at approximately 1:10 p.m. Destyo said he had been in close communication with the mission controls of Batik Air and the Indonesian Air Force.“When I landed at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, it was very quiet, even though the lights were all on, there was no activity in sight,” he said, adding that the only other aircraft was one from Air India, which landed 10 minutes after Batik Air for the Indian evacuation mission.In the end, the plane only carried 238 Indonesians and one foreign national home, as four people refused to be evacuated, while three others had high fever at the time of departure.“When we [finally] entered [Indonesian airspace], I welcomed all Indonesian citizens back to Indonesia, our beloved country,” the captain said.Topics : “I knew the whole system was already in place, so I was relaxed. I did not think I was going to be assigned to go to Wuhan, because we were only responsible for preparing the evacuation needs. At the last minute before I was going home, the Health Minister ordered us to go. As a human being and someone who understood the nature of the virus, I was really shocked,” he said at a welcoming event in Jakarta on Tuesday.Budi was among several officials on the team tasked with repatriating Indonesian nationals and one foreign spouse of an Indonesian citizen from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as other cities in Hubei province, in early February.They all had to undergo a 14-day quarantine in Natuna from Feb. 2 to Feb. 15, and all have been declared free of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).The evacuation team consisted of 42 people, including nine cabin crew members, a pilot, a copilot and representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Health Ministry and the Indonesian Military (TNI).last_img read more

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Norwegian oil fund ups real estate exposure via US spending spree

first_imgNorges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) has increased its exposure to real estate as it targets office and retail properties in established markets.In its 2013 results presentation today, the bank said investments for its real estate portfolio accounted for 1% of its fund at the end of 2013, up from 0.7% a year earlier.The mandate to invest in real estate was broadened from 1 January 2013 to include countries outside Europe – with the US first stop.A first property investment in the US was made at the start of last year via the $600m (€438m) acquisition of a 49.9% stake in a five-asset portfolio in Boston, New York and Washington. A further $684m was spent on a 45% stake in a New York office building in the fourth quarter, coinciding with the $238m purchase of a 47.5% stake in a Boston office building.The US now accounts for 18.7% of the bank’s real estate portfolio.The UK and France account for 27% and 22.5%,, respectively of investments made by NBIM.The investor has typically taken half stakes in the real estate it has acquired in both Europe and more recently the US.Last year, it paid €388m for 50% of two buildings in Germany.A 50% stake in a portfolio of 195 European logistics properties was bought for €1bn at the start of 2013.NBIM’s real estate investments returned 11.8% last year.Measured in local currency, rental income contributed 4.6% of the return, while changes to the value of properties and debt and currency fluctuations both contributed 3.8%.However, transaction costs for real estate purchases resulted in a 0.4% hit.Investment in property is, it added, being gradually increased to as much as 5% of the value of the overall fund.last_img read more

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Pork Chops with Apple Rice Pilaf

first_img Sharing is caring! Share 36 Views   no discussions Share Pork Chops with Apple Rice PilafRice pilaf refers to rice that is seasoned by cooking it in broth with various spices, meats, and vegetables. In this recipe, pre-packaged wild rice with seasoning is baked along with sliced apples, vinegar, and browned pork chops. If pressed for time, skip browning the pork chops, and sprinkle the raw chops with lemon-pepper seasoning and paprika, and bake as instructed.Ingredients:6 pork loin chops, rib chops, or shoulder chops, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 1-3/4 pounds)1 tablespoon cooking oil or olive oilLemon-pepper seasoning1 6-ounce package long grain and wild rice mix1 20-ounce can sliced apples2 tablespoons vinegar1 cup waterDirections:1.Trim any separable fat from chops. In a 12-inch skillet brown chops on both sides in hot oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chops lightly with lemon-pepper seasoning.2.In a 3-quart rectangular baking dish stir together the rice mix and seasoning packet. Combine undrained apples, vinegar, and water; pour evenly over rice. Top with chops. Cover dish tightly with foil.3.Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until rice and chops are tender and juices run clear. Makes 6 servings.Recipe source: Better Homes and Gardenscenter_img Share Food & DiningLifestyle Pork Chops with Apple Rice Pilaf by: – November 15, 2011 Tweetlast_img read more

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Rudolf reigns in Friday SportMod qualifier at Las Vegas

first_imgLAS VEGAS, Nev. ­(Nov. 13) – He hasn’t seen his name in lights yet but Chase Rudolf stole the headlines Friday night at the Duel In the Desert.The 17-year-old from Norwalk, Iowa, led every lap of the $500 to win qualifying feature for Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.He’ll advance to Saturday’s $1,777 to win show along with fellow top six finishers Rick Diaz, Clay Money, Ryan Wolla, Nick Spainhoward and Adam Armstrong.The race ran caution-free and Rudolf stayed flawless up front, leading by a straightaway when lap 12 was scored. A flat tire took Michael Johnson out of a transfer spot with three laps left.Diaz took second well ahead of Money and Wolla.Qualifying feature results – 1. Chase Rudolf, Norwalk, Iowa; 2. Rick Diaz, Los Banos, Calif.; 3. Clay Money, Penokee, Kan.; 4. Ryan Wolla, Williston, N.D.; 5. Nick Spainhoward, Bakersfield, Calif.; 6. Adam Armstrong, Beatrice, Neb.; 7. Jerry Hoffman, Oronogo, Mo.; 8. Kyle Smith, Yuma, Ariz.; 9. Wayne Dotson, Bakersfield, Calif.; 10. Brian Cooper, Yuba City, Calif.; 11. Nick Sylvester, Bakersfield, Calif.; 12. Chris Toth, Holtville, Calif.; 13. Jordan Hagar, Bakersfield, Calif.; 14. Fred Ryland, Brentwood, Calif.; 15. Brendon Frye, Taft, Calif.; 16. Luke Krogh, Dickinson, N.D.; 17. Todd Cooper, Yuba City, Calif.; 18. Brian Roode, Brooks, Alb.; 19. Tony Konold, Clear Lake, S.D.; 20. Anthony Fierro, Cheyenne, Wyo.; 21. Michael Johnson, Bakersfield, Calif.; 22. Shane Helton, Artesia, N.M.; 23. Jerry Hinton, Adel, Iowa; 24. Varion Hetle, Underwood, N.D.1st heat – 1. Rick Diaz, Los Banos, Calif.; 2. Kyle Smith, Yuma, Ariz.; 3. Jerry Hoffman, Oronogo, Mo.; 4. Arie Schouten, Blair, Neb.; 5. Adam Armstrong, Beatrice, Neb.; 6. Joey Yantis, Bakersfield, Calif.; 7. Scott Saunders, Colorado Springs, Colo.; 8. Ricky Saunders, Colorado Springs, Colo.; 9. Mark Odgers, Mariposa, Calif.; 10. Ricky Childress Jr., Bakersfield, Calif.2nd heat – 1. Anthony Fierro, Cheyenne, Wyo.; 2. Brendon Frye, Taft, Calif.; 3. Shane Helton, Artesia, N.M.; 4. Nick Spainhoward, Bakersfield, Calif.; 5. Brenda Kirby, Lomita, Calif.; 6. Ryan Gilland, Beatrice, Neb.; 7. Marisa Odgers, Mariposa, Calif.; 8. Chuck Black, Phoenix, Ariz.; 9. Jason Wilkey, Batesville, Ark.; 10. Gary Dutton, Bakersfield, Calif.3rd heat – 1. Tony Konold, Clear Lake, S.D.; 2. Jerry Hinton, Adel, Iowa; 3. Todd Cooper, Yuba City, Calif.; 4. Nick Sylvester, Bakersfield, Calif.; 5. Garrett Jernagan, Bakersfield, Calif.; 6. Rick Kreitschmann, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.; 7. Merl Fitzpatrick, Brooks, Alb.; 8. Anthony Giuliani, Morgan Hill, Calif.; 9. Rex Higgins, Bloomfield, N.M.; 10. Jesse Hoskins, Longdale, Okla.4th heat – 1. Chase Rudolf, Norwalk, Iowa; 2. Michael Johnson, Bakersfield, Calif.; 3. Fred Ryland, Brentwood, Calif.; 4. Brian Cooper, Yuba City, Calif.; 5. Danny Concelman, Colorado Springs, Colo.; 6. Brenden Damon, Great Bend, Kan.; 7. Jason Nation, Bakersfield, Calif.; 8. Bill Ferguson, Norwood, Colo.; 9. James Cecil, Bakersfield, Calif.; 10. Jason George, Laveen, Ariz.5th heat – 1. Ryan Wolla, Williston, N.D.; 2. Clay Money, Penokee, Kan.; 3. Jordan Hagar, Bakersfield, Calif.; 4. Jeremy Hoff, Copperopolis, Calif.; 5. Sean Tyson, Council Bluffs, Iowa; 6. Brian Roode, Brooks, Alb.; 7. Ron Tex Jr., Papillion, Neb.; 8. Chuck Delp, Rock Springs, Wyo.; 9. Billy Simkins, Bakersfield, Calif.; 10. Greg Larson, Kindred, N.D.6th heat – 1. Wayne Dotson, Bakersfield, Calif.; 2. Varion Hetle, Underwood, N.D.; 3. Luke Krogh, Dickinson, N.D.; 4. Chris Toth, Holtville, Calif.; 5. Jared Schweitzer, Bakersfield, Calif.; 6. Austin Frye, Taft, Calif.; 7. Travis Poll, Green River, Wyo.; 8. Buddy Ray Jones, Council Bluffs, Iowa; 9. Shawn Harker, Nebraska City, Neb.1st “B” feature – 1. Adam Armstrong; 2. Nick Spainhoward; 3. Joey Yantis; 4. Arie Schouten; 5. Scott Saunders; 6. Ryan Gilland; 7. Mark Odgers; 8. Chuck Black; 9. Marisa Odgers; 10. Ricky Saunders; 11. Brenda Kirby; 12. Jason Wiley; 13. Ricky Childress Jr.; 14. Gary Dutton.2nd “B” feature – 1. Nick Sylvester; 2. Brian Cooper; 3. Garrett Jernagan; 4. Danny Concelman; 5. Jason George; 6. Brenden Damon; 7. James Cecil; 8. Merl Fitzpatrick; 9. Rex Higgins; 10. Anthony Giuliani; 11. Jason Nation; 12. Rick Kretschmann; 13. Bill Ferguson; 14. Jesse Hoskins.3rd “B” feature – 1. Chris Toth; 2. Brian Roode; 3. Billy Simkins; 4. Jeremy Hoff; 5. Chuck Delp; 6. Travis Poll; 7. Shawn Harker; 8. Austin Frye; 9. Jared Schweitzer; 10. Ron Tex Jr.; 11. Sean Tyson; 12. Buddy Ray Jones; 13. Greg Larson.last_img read more

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E. Mitchell Evans, 83

first_imgE. Mitchell Evans, 83, of Greensburg passed away on February 1, 2020. He was born on October 24, 1936 in Greensburg, the son of Earl and Emma (Hacker) Evans. Mitchell was a 1954 graduate of Greensburg High School. He served in the United States Army from 1956-1958. On April 1, 1960 he married Edith June Collins, and she preceded him in death on August 8, 2005. Mitch was a member of: Union Baptist Church and served as a Deacon, Decatur County Farmers Mutual and served as Past President, Decatur County Realtor’s Association, and the Gideon’s Auxiliary.Survivors include: Daughter, Barbara (Lloyd) Roberts; Son, Bill Evans; Brother, Randy (Rosalie) Evans; Grandchildren, Elijah Stone, Luke Stone, Jacob (Mallory) Stone, Caleb Stone, Morgan Evans, and Sydney (Rashawn) Dawkins; Great Grandchildren, Bella-Dawn, Ambrosia, Willow, Keley, and two on the way. Mitch was preceded in death by his parents and wife.A visitation for family and friends will be held at the Gilliland-Howe Funeral Home on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm. Funeral Services will be Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 10:00 am also at the funeral home. Rev. Steve Bell will be officiating. Burial will follow at the South Park Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Gideon’s. Online Condolences can be made to the family at www.gilliland-howe.comlast_img read more

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Pacers keep India in check on rain-hit opening day

first_imgNORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC) – Veteran seamer Kemar Roach inspired an incisive West Indies display to leave India rattled and searching for stability on a rain-hit opening day of the first Test here, yesterday.Opting to bowl first, West Indies grabbed early wickets through Roach, to reduce the visitors to 25 for three before Ajinkya Rahane top-scored with 81 and opener KL Rahul chipped in with 44, to help lift their side to 203 for six at the close.Hanuma Vihari scored 32 and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was unbeaten on 20 when rain at 16:38hrs forced a premature end to play with 20 overs still remaining.The 31-year-old Roach was easily the best bowler on show, ending with three for 34 while new-ball partner Shannon Gabriel picked up two for 49.Exploiting the early movement in the surface at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Roach bossed the first hour as he went past the outside edge on several occasions before finally being rewarded when he removed right-handers Mayank Agarwal (5) and Cheteshwar Pujara (2) in the fifth over.Agarwal nicked the second ball of the over behind to give wicketkeeper Shai Hope the first of his four catches. The decision was only given, however, after West Indies resorted to DRS.Shimron Hetmyer (right) embraces Shamarh Brooks who took the catch to dismiss India captain Virat Kohli cheaply, on the opening day of the first Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.Four balls later, Roach also found Pujara’s outside edge for Hope to take the catch moving to his right.It was Gabriel, however, who got the prized wicket of Virat Kohli for nine, roughing up the Indian captain with a couple of short-pitched deliveries before getting him to steer a short ball to debutant Shamarh Brooks at gully, after three-quarters of an hour’s play.Rahane then came to his side’s rescue in a composed innings that lasted 163 balls, just short of four hours and which included 10 fours.More importantly, he anchored two critical half-century stands, putting on 68 for the fourth wicket with Rahul and a further 82 for the fifth with Vihari.The stand with Rahul saw India safely to lunch at 68 for three and they flourished afterwards without dominating as West Indies persisted.Unbeaten on 37 at the interval, Rahul perished nearly an hour after the resumption when he feathered a leg-side catch to Hope off part-time off-spinner Roston Chase, after facing 97 balls in a shade over 2-½ hours at the crease and striking five fours.Vihari, who faced 56 deliveries and struck five fours, then combined with Rahane to stabilise the innings and they were together when rain forced an early tea at 134 for four.The right-handed Rahane reached his 18th half-century in Tests in the third over before the break when he punched ineffective pacer Miguel Cummins to cover for a couple, and pressed on following the resumption with boundaries on either side of the wicket off Chase.Vihari, on 18 at tea, lasted half-hour after the interval before Roach returned to have him caught at the wicket, squared up trying to defend one that swung at 175 for five.And five overs later, Gabriel removed Rahane with the batsman seemingly set for three figures, bowled after chopping on an attempted cut.West Indies are without first-choice wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich who was ruled out with an ankle injury.last_img read more

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Gridiron Nation: Meyer brings renewed optimism to Columbus

first_imgFew coaches in the history of the college football, even the legendary ones, have had the kind of success that Urban Meyer has had in his first year as head coach at all three of his previous coaching stops. Meyer’s early triumphs surprised media and fans alike as he was able to completely turn around Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.In Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first season coaching Alabama, he had a 5-4-1 record and finished sixth in the Southeastern Conference. Joe Paterno was 5-5 his first year at Penn State, and Bobby Bowden was 5-6 in his inaugural campaign with the Seminoles. These three legends all rank in the top five in wins of all college football coaches, but none were able to see the fruits of their labor in their first season at the university where they gained fame.Can Meyer step up at Ohio State, just a year after taking a sabbatical to focus on his health and family, and do what he has done at every stop along the way? Meyer’s body of work suggests he will.In Meyer’s first head coaching position from 2001-2002, he led Bowling Green to a combined 17-6 (.739) record, eight wins his first year and nine his second. The Falcons hadn’t won 17 games combined in the four seasons prior to Meyer’s arrival.After two years, Meyer left for the University of Utah. This time, Meyer inherited a marginally better Utes team that had won five games in 2002. He proceeded to lead them to a 10-2 record his first season and a perfect 12-0 in 2004, capped off with the destruction of Pittsburgh in the 2005 BCS Fiesta Bowl 35-7.Finally, after earning multiple coach of the year awards, Meyer landed a high-profile dream job at the University of Florida. Taking over for Ron Zook (recently fired by Illinois), Meyer again improved the Gators’ record in his first season. Under Zook, the Gators were 7-5 in 2004, and Meyer led them to a 9-3 mark in 2005 before winning his first of two BCS National Championships in 2006 season.The dramatic turnarounds and emphatic results speak for themselves, and with Ohio State’s hiring of Meyer, it is hard to imagine a scenario in which Meyer would fail at restoring Ohio State to the success it had under Jim Tressel prior to the improper benefits scandal.The only gray spot in Ohio State’s outlook is if Meyer can’t find the work/life balance that forced him to retire from Florida. Expectations will be extremely high, and an inability to properly handle the pressures of coaching a premier program could force Meyer to once again collapse under the pressure.Potential concerns aside, Meyer has shown an uncanny ability to motivate his players to new heights everywhere he has been, but there are several other key attributes Meyer brings to Ohio State that could catapult the Buckeyes from the mediocre season they just experienced to the national title contenders they were under Tressel.RecruitingApart from Michigan, Ohio State easily has the best recruiting class year after year in the Big Ten. According to ESPN.com, the Buckeyes had the seventh-best class in 2011, one that included 14 four-star recruits. Nebraska was the only other Big Ten school in the top 25 at No. 17, and in the past five years, Ohio State has never been ranked outside the top 20 recruiting classes.Michigan and Penn State currently sit higher in the 2012 rankings, with OSU not included at this point, but that may not remain static with Meyer’s introduction as the new “Vest.” Not only does Meyer’s hiring bring instant credibility back to the sidelines at the Horseshoe, especially in the Midwest, but don’t think for a second that Meyer has lost his touch with the Southeast.Meyer’s presence will certainly retain more homegrown Ohioans for the Buckeyes, but should also gather a very talented group of recruits from states like Florida, because after all, Meyer was a Gator and can sweet talk with the best of them. In his time at Florida, Meyer had four recruiting classes ranked in the top three.National Championship experienceSure, bringing up the fact that he won two national championships at Florida will help the recruiting process, but it also helps the program as a whole. Meyer has proven he knows exactly what it takes to put together a squad and a staff top-to-bottom that can produce one of the best teams in the country.Meyer’s decision to keep Luke Fickell (the current OSU head coach), presumably as the defensive coordinator, solidifies an already strong defense that ranks in the top 25 in total defense this year, but his championship rings will also attract eager, talented and up-and-coming coaches to fill the other open coaching spots as well.Give Ohio State a clean slateThe Ohio State fan base will be able to breathe again after what must have felt like a season in hell. Ohio State not only lost to hated rival Michigan, snapping a seven-game winning streak against the Wolverines, but for the first time since 1999, the Buckeyes finished the regular season below .500 in the Big Ten conference standings.All the failures were obviously predicated by the failure of Tressel to report (there seems to be a lot of that going around) the improper benefits that his players were receiving. In reality the loss of Tressel, star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and other starting players should have spelled doom from the start for the 2011 season, but much optimism remained.Now, Meyer can be the man to go into Columbus and wipe away the tears of fans and the stain left by the former regime and become the hero that Ohio State has been coveting.Will the Buckeyes threaten for a spot in the 2012 Big Ten Championship game or even a national championship? No one will know for sure until the end of next season rolls around, but no one should be surprised if they do.Brett is a senior majoring in journalism. How fast do you think the Buckeyes will recover from this season with Urban Meyer at the helm? Let Brett know at bsommers@badgerherald.com or let him know on Twitter @BAsportswriter.last_img read more

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Grinding Gears: Discouraging loss is yet another nail in the coffin

first_imgAll it took for the bubble to burst was one bad snap. On USC’s fourth play from scrimmage out of halftime, nursing a 14-0 lead, redshirt senior center Toa Lobendahn uncorked a snap over the head of freshman quarterback JT Daniels so far that it traveled 22 yards, rolling into the end zone for a safety. And then the floodgates opened. Following the bad snap, senior cornerback Isaiah Langley yelled at teammates on the sideline. On the ensuing Cal drive, freshman cornerback Olaijah Griffin mouthed off to the Cal offense before being beaten badly on a touchdown reception. An interception of Daniels and another Cal touchdown sealed a 15-14 win for the visitors on Saturday, but not before senior cornerback Iman Marshall committed an asinine unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late in the fourth quarter that served as the nail in the coffin.It was a comedy of errors, a procession of blunders that so aptly serves as a microcosm for this lost season — a season that lacks proper coaching, discipline and composure. And on Saturday for USC, the disappointment of no longer controlling its own destiny in the Pac-12 South deteriorated slowly into the realization that the best result the Trojans can garner out of the season is to make a bowl game. For comparison: Georgia State made a bowl game last season. So did Marshall, Colorado State and Western Kentucky. Also: Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee, Akron. USC is going to have to fight to reach the same goal that Middle Tennessee achieved last season. Nothing against Middle Tennessee, but the sheer number of things that have to go wrong for that statement to be true is large — extremely large.That’s where we’re at: USC, sitting at 5-5, needing to beat either UCLA or Notre Dame just to save face and make a bowl. There are plenty of explanations for this. Blame it on starting a true freshman at quarterback or on the numerous injuries to pivotal players or even give credit to the opposition. As Helton said after the loss, sometimes a season just doesn’t go your way.“Better days are to come,” he said. “Programs I’ve seen across the country, win a Rose Bowl, win a Pac-12 Championship and then have an off-season and then come right back.” That is true. But the one caveat is a big one: USC, even during a down season, still possesses as much talent as any of the top-tier teams in the country, and this team is definitely no exception. It keeps coming back to this point, the fact that — with this many four and five-star recruits on the roster — there is no way a .500 record is even close to acceptable.All signs point to Helton surviving until at least the end of the season; Athletic Director Lynn Swann’s comments two weeks ago during Trojans Live seemed to make it apparent that he had confidence in the head coach. But to any observer, let alone Helton’s boss, Saturday’s letdown was pitiful. It is one thing to blow a comfortable lead, as USC has done several times this season. It is another to do so because of sheer incompetence — namely, attempting unnecessary trick plays, committing turnovers at inopportune times, not snapping the ball properly, burning timeouts and being flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct during crucial moments. It doesn’t help when the head coach defends the unsportsmanlike conduct calls by calling his players “sportsmen” and “first-class” players, or when he calls Lobendahn a “man of honor and great football player” in response to the center’s botched snap, or when Helton talks about how the next two games are great opportunities to win the Victory Bell and the Jeweled Shillelagh — two meaningless trophies to wrap up a meaningless season.If the second half of this game — which saw USC produce 41 yards of offense for zero points on 31 plays — doesn’t convince Swann to make a coaching change, then nothing will. Last week, Helton’s first game since taking over playcalling duties was a success. But the Trojans faced Oregon State. Saturday, against actual competition, Helton’s offense looked like the status quo — that is, predictable, unimpressive and ineffective.The fans think so, too. Boos rained down when Helton called a timeout before a fourth down play in the second half. They booed again when Helton walked through the tunnel after the loss, and “fire Helton” chants were audible from the crowd.“It sucks,” senior linebacker Cam Smith said of the crowd’s reaction. “Can’t lose fans of our team, man.”But that’s what has happened. USC has lost its fans. It is spiraling out of control in the wrong direction, and knowing the expectations, the hype that surrounds this team daily, the pressure to make a change sooner rather than later may be too much to ignore. Eric He is a senior majoring in journalism. He is also the managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs Mondays.last_img read more

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Bo Daly – Super Evil Megacorp – Building Vainglory and being Super Evil

first_imgBo Daly is the Co-Founder and President at Super Evil Megacorp. It has been some year for Vainglory and, in turn, its California based developer. Ahead of the Vainglory Spring Championship on our turf in London, we caught up with Bo to gather some insight. Bo Daly, Super Evil MegacorpThis will be the first of a Vainglory series ahead of the Championship. Keep an eye on ESI’s social channels as there’ll be chances to win three pairs of VIP tickets to the event (May 19-21).Esports Insider: As a developer which is loved by the community of the players of its games, what advice would you give to a studio looking to create an esports title? Particularly a mobile esports title…Bo: That’s a great question, to which the answer is quite simple, and also hard to achieve: build a great game. I don’t think you can build an esports title by setting out to ‘make an esport’.  As a developer, your focus needs to be on building a great game that the player community will hopefully love, and eventually want to both play competitively.“Our Chief Creative, Stephan “CaptainNeato” Sherman, has begun working on the design for 5v5 but we’re a while out from being able to say more”Now, there are a few features that esports titles have in common – most importantly, they require skill and are hard to master.  Players at any level need to enjoy the game, but to making it to the top requires dedication, which makes it interesting to watch the pros play. Esports titles are also fun to watch; developers shouldn’t forget about the spectator experience for their title.Esports Insider: Why did you decide to bring the Spring Championships to London?Bo: The main reason is that we have a great community here. “I don’t think you can build an esports title by setting out to ‘make an esport’”We held our Winter Championships here in 2016 and had a great turnout! Also, Fnatic is one of the more recent esports organisations to join the competitive Vainglory scene, and we’re excited that they are co-hosting the event with us, as the home team. If you’re around, come join the fun in building six at the O2 May 19-21!Esports Insider: How impressed (and or surprised) have you been with the calibre of teams entering rosters in Vainglory in the past six months?Bo: We kicked off the Vainglory 8 structure in Spring last year (it was called Evil8 back then) and we’ve witnessed the level of play become significantly higher – the skill of the competitive players is incredible. What Vainglory 8 allows is regular matches (every weekend) between the top teams. This means the teams are dedicating more and more time into playing Vainglory, and the level that these players have reached is quite amazing. “Fnatic is one of the more recent esports organisations to join the competitive Vainglory scene, and we’re excited that they are co-hosting the event with us, as the home team”We’re thrilled that established esports organisations, like Cloud9, Fnatic, TSM, and SK-Gaming have come in to bring the teams more stability and resources to be able to play full-time.Esports Insider: Can you tell us any more information about the forthcoming 5v5 format?Bo: Ha! One of the most frequently asked questions by our community right now! Honestly, we don’t have much to share yet, and will gladly spill the beans once we can. I can say that our Chief Creative, Stephan “CaptainNeato” Sherman, has begun working on the design for 5v5 but we’re a while out from being able to say more.Esports Insider: What was the thinking behind the Home City Program? So far Fnatic have been confirmed as the London squad (hence our support)..has there been much interest in other locations?Bo: First of all, I think regional affiliation is a big part of why traditional “stick and ball” sports have achieved such pervasive, mainstream popularity. It’s probably a necessary component of the success. And, while we’re certainly not there today, I think esports (especially on mobile) can and will surpass many traditional sports in terms of global popularity. So, in a sense, this is a very early, tentative step toward that future.“I think regional affiliation is a big part of why traditional “stick and ball” sports have achieved such pervasive, mainstream popularity”That said, the real near-term value of the Home City Program lies in the strength of community. Vainglory, as a game, is all about bringing people together to hang out and compete as a team, and Vainglory is at its best when a lot of players have an excuse to gather and play together. So, we think it’s really more about cities (and local fans) really adopting teams than it is about teams adopting home cities. We’ll see how that plays out, but I expect that we’ll see more of this in the future.Esports Insider: Finally – predictions for this year’s Spring Championship finals?Bo: This is always the hardest question! The level of play is so high that it’s becoming harder and harder to predict! I’m curious to see how EU does against NA, as our community tends to think NA is more OP. I’d be excited to see an NA vs EU team final match. Let’s see!Thinking about attending the Vainglory Unified Spring Championship in London on the 19th May weekend? Use the code ESPORTSINSIDER for a 20% discountlast_img read more

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Kansas State’s Christianna Carr was sent image of her in a noose following tweet about racism

first_imgKansas State guard Christianna Carr was one of many upset student athletes at the university who voiced their opinion following a student’s tweet about George Floyd.The student, Jaden McNeil, tweeted, “Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!” Following McNeil’s tweet, several student athletes at Kansas State said they were not going to play unless the student was kicked out. Many of those athletes are on Kansas State’s football team. If you ever think that racism isn’t real & that all of this is just hate comments and I’m just on twitter crying about basic human rights…Just remember that me ( A 20 year old African American female) got this sent to my DM’s last night. pic.twitter.com/C6DrAqal4W— christianna mae (@chrissycarr4) June 27, 2020Kansas State’s Dean of Students Thomas Lane released a statement on McNeil’s tweet through his Twitter account.”I’m aware of the Twitter posting by a K-State student,” Lane said. “The lack of basic decency and care for how this post would impact others, especially our Black students, faculty, & staff already emotionally hurting from recent incidents of anti-Black violence is shameful and appalling. It is in blatant opposition to the values we hold close and aspire to as a university, such as diversity, inclusion, civility and respect. K-State condemns the post in the strongest of terms. It does not reflect who we are as confirmed by the outrage expressed by so many campus community members. Bigotry, prejudice & racism have no place here.”Punishment has yet to be handed to McNeil. Carr was one of the many who demanded action.”We also need to see student Jaden McNeil receive strong consequences of his insensitive actions,” Carr writes. “If these actions are not taken, it is a promise that we will not play.”Please respect my decision. pic.twitter.com/S74a0hwPYe— christianna mae (@chrissycarr4) June 26, 2020Carr mostly received support from others, including fellow student athletes. But she also started to receive some racist comments from others.On Saturday, she shared an image she received the night before in her direct messages. The image shows a cutout of Carr’s head Photoshopped onto a body that is hanging from a tree.last_img read more

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