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U.S. Army South Welcomes New Commander

first_img Major General Frederick S. Rudesheim assumed command of U.S. Army South from Major General Simeon G. Trombitas during a change of command ceremony on September 14, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Rudesheim took over command of Army South following an assignment as the deputy director for joint and coalition warfighting, joint civil-military operations, Joint Staff in Suffolk, Virginia. Air Force General Douglas Fraser, commander of U.S. Southern Command, hosted the ceremony. “Gen. Rudesheim brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the region and is ready to build the strong relationships that Simeon has built during his time here,” Fraser said. “Fred is ready to lead this command to new heights. He brings the right mix of experience leadership regional insight and vision to this important job.” Rudesheim was born and raised in Panama, where he lived for 18 years before leaving for college. He is a 1981 Army Reserve Officer Training Corps graduate of the University of Texas. U.S. Army South is the Army Service Component Command of U.S. Southern Command. SOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility encompasses 31 countries and 15 areas of special sovereignty in Central and South America, and the Caribbean Coast. By Dialogo September 19, 2012last_img read more

Ramadan on collision course with virus for Asia’s Muslims

first_img‘Trapped’ Some signs suggest the order may not be respected — authorities in the northern state of Perlis have said they will allow food traders to operate from home and on the roadside, potentially increasing the chance of crowds gathering.Hadi Azmi, a 31-year-old video editor, said he understood the need for restrictions but he also felt “trapped”.”I feel weird as the fasting month approaches because we have to remain indoors and we cannot meet our parents and siblings to break fast and pray together,” he told AFP.And in Indonesia, a possible explosion in coronavirus cases when millions travel to hometowns and ancestral villages after Ramadan has forced the country’s president to issue a ban on the annual exodus.Like Christmas or the Chinese Lunar New Year, the movement kicks off an extended holiday when many Indonesians celebrate Eid al-Fitr with their families to mark the end of Ramadan.The government has called on residents of major cities, including the capital Jakarta, to stay put, and on Tuesday President Joko Widodo said he would ban any mass migration.Researchers at the University of Indonesia have warned the travel rush could lead to one million infections in the densely populated Java island alone and an eye-watering 200,000 deaths.”If you care about your loved ones, stay where you are until all this ends,” Ridwan Kamil, governor of 50-million strong West Java province, said recently.Jakarta resident Romy Gustiansyah said he wouldn’t visit family on Sumatra island this year over coronavirus fears.”I’m sad that I won’t see my family for Eid, but I’m trying to stay optimistic,” Gustiansyah told AFP. “This is just a delay. That’s what I’m telling myself.” Across Asia, home to about half of the world’s Muslims, the coming Islamic holy month of Ramadan is on a collision course with the coronavirus pandemic as clerics call on the faithful to cram into mosques.Authorities have tried to limit the fallout during the sacred period of fasting, which starts Thursday, but in many cases religious leaders have brushed aside concerns about activities that could spread COVID-19.In Bangladesh, clerics lashed out at attempts to reduce the number of people going to mosques, and demanded the country’s secular government allow millions of Muslims to join daily and weekly prayers. In the run-up to Ramadan, mosques have been filling up across Pakistan with hundreds attending Friday prayers, sitting shoulder to shoulder and paying little heed to social distancing.”I will take all the preventive measures, washing my hands and using my mask but it doesn’t mean I will stop attending prayers, especially during Ramadan,” taxi driver Zubair Khan told AFP in the northwestern city of Peshawar.The virus threat at large religious congregations has been highlighted in recent weeks by three waves of infections in Asia, linked to separate, massive Islamic congregations in Malaysia, Pakistan and India. “The quota on the number of worshippers imposed by the government is not acceptable to us. Islam does not support imposition of any quota on worshippers,” said Mojibur Rahman Hamidi, a senior member of the hardline Hefazat-e-Islam group.Islamic leaders in Bangladesh, where tens of thousands of people defied a nationwide lockdown Saturday to attend the funeral of a top preacher, reminded people it is “mandatory” for a healthy Muslim to attend prayers in a mosque.In Pakistan, devotees said worship is more important than coronavirus concerns.Authorities have buckled under religious pressure, allowing daily prayers and evening congregations at mosques after clerics promised to instruct religious leaders to clean their facilities regularly.center_img Rising death tolls Asia is home to some of the world’s largest Muslim populations stretching from the Indonesian archipelago to the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, and close to a billion Muslims live in the region.Regional death tolls from COVID-19 have been much smaller compared with Europe and the United States but are rising steadily, sparking fears the virus may overwhelm often underfunded healthcare sectors.The coronavirus pandemic has triggered lockdowns throughout Asia, with schools shut and businesses closed, but mosques have largely stayed open.During Ramadan, mosques hold regular prayers and large “iftar” meals to break the fast at dusk, while families host feasts at home with relatives and friends in Southeast Asia, there has been fierce debate in food-mad Malaysia about whether to allow popular Ramadan bazaars, where Muslims buy local delicacies before breaking their fasts.Malaysia has imposed a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, and the government last week said that to ensure social distancing, they would only allow so-called “e-bazaars”, where people order goods online from local vendors which are then delivered to their homes. Topics :last_img read more

McGeady may be on the move

first_imgAiden McGeady has admitted Spartak Moscow may look to cash in on him this summer as he enters the final year of his contract in Russia. He added: “But I am happy there just now. When I came back into the team in March when I got fit again, I was probably playing some of the best stuff I have played since I went there and I was happy with everything. I am easy. I have enjoyed it and we will see what happens.” McGeady met up with the Ireland squad after playing what could prove to be his last game for Spartak last weekend in a 2-0 final-day victory over Alania Vladikavkaz. However, his season looked to have ended significantly earlier after he was handed a six-match ban following his dismissal in a 2-1 defeat at Mordovia Saransk. McGeady later admitted kicking a TV microphone as he headed for the dressing room, but denied making a gesture towards fans and was also accused of damaging a dressing room door. However, his suspension, which would have seen him miss the start of the new campaign, was eventually reduced to two games. He said: “It was blown out of proportion a little bit. It’s funny how the media always concentrate on the negative things. You don’t see that many positive things coming out of Moscow. “All of a sudden, it was a six-game ban and I trashed the dressing room, that sort of stuff. I got a six-game ban for basically doing nothing. Obviously Spartak felt the same as me and it was reduced to two. When do you see a six-game ban reduced to two? “I played the last game – obviously the authorities knew they had got it wrong. I am just glad it was quashed. I was hanging about for a few weeks just waiting to see when the appeal was going to be heard. Spartak seemed to rush it through and after two games, I was able to play in the last game of the season, which was great.” McGeady, who played for Ireland in their 1-1 draw with England on Wednesday night, has been repeatedly linked with a move back from eastern Europe since sealing his £9.5million switch from Celtic in August 2010, with several Barclays Premier League clubs having been credited with an interest in him. He said: “I have only got a year left on my contract, so it’s bound to happen. Maybe Spartak want to cash in on me now because if they don’t, there’s a possibility I could leave for nothing.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Aguero: We’ll keep pressing Chelsea

first_img The win over United came after back-to-back defeats for City, in the Premier League to West Ham and then the Capital One Cup to Newcastle. And Aguero told City TV: “It is important to win. “Chelsea are doing very well and they keep winning but we have to go on and I’m sure they will drop some points. “They play at Liverpool next weekend and we will see if they drop points but the important thing is that we have to win games.” Aguero’s clinical finish from Gael Clichy’s cut-back took the 26-year-old Argentina international to 10 Premier League goals for the campaign. He is currently the division’s top scorer, but Aguero’s focus is on the points he can help the team gain rather than individual accolades. “There is a long way to go,” he said when asked about leading the scoring charts. “It’s important to continue like that and it is important that all the goals mean that we win games. “I always say that goals are great when they mean victories.” City striker Aguero’s 63rd-minute goal steered his side to a 1-0 victory over their local rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. And it leaves Manuel Pellegrini’s third-placed men six points behind unbeaten leaders Chelsea, who have taken 26 points from a possible 30 this term. Press Associationcenter_img Sergio Aguero has stressed the importance of Manchester City keeping up the winning habit as they pursue Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League title race.last_img read more

Kohlbeck: Andersen proves his worth in second season at UW

first_imgWhen the Wisconsin football team blew a 24-7 lead way back against LSU Aug. 30, the Badgers and second year head coach Gary Andersen suddenly found themselves in the midst of a three-game losing streak.Not only did the Badgers miss out on a statement victory against a well-known SEC team in LSU, but combined with two losses from the previous season — against Penn State on Senior Day at Camp Randall and to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl — questions started to circulate about whether or not Andersen was the right successor for former UW head coach Bret Bielema.And things did not get better for Andersen in the ensuing weeks of his second season at the helm of the Badgers.Following the LSU loss the Badgers did win three straight games, but they were against teams that can be considered as textbook “cupcakes.” And then the Big Ten season started and Andersen and the Badgers had a chance to start conference play on the right foot and start the journey to the Big Ten Championship game. But once again Wisconsin lost a close game, falling to the Wildcats 20-14, and had now lost their last four games against Power Five conference opponents.After the Northwestern loss the Badgers were 4-2 on the season, 0-1 in the Big Ten and had a messy situation at quarterback with both Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy. A Big Ten West Division championship seemed like a far-off possibility. The play calling of offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig was questioned, while unrest with the performance of Andersen filled Madison and the state of Wisconsin.But fast forward seven weeks, and the Badgers — under the direction of Andersen, Ludwig and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda — are going to the Big Ten Championship game for the third time in four years.After the debacle at Northwestern, Andersen and Ludwig decided to go with a two-quarterback system. It’s a strategy that makes most football fans cringe simply when they hear the term and one that has prompted the well-known phrase: “if you have two quarterbacks, you have none.”But Andersen and company turned things around. The two-quarterback strategy became effective and the Badgers rattled off seven straight wins — including a blowout of Nebraska, a two-point win at Iowa and Saturday’s win over Minnesota to close out the regular season — to claim the Big Ten West division title.While the offense was and still is largely fueled by the efforts of Heisman contender Melvin Gordon, it’s been the play of both Stave and McEvoy that has kept things open for Gordon. Andersen and Ludwig saw the talents in both quarterbacks and decided it would be best to utilize each one’s individual strengths to help the offense overall by putting them both on the field.Since the implementation of the two-quarterback system after Northwestern, Stave has been effective over those seven games going 71-for-117 (61 percent) for 928 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception. McEvoy on the other hand has used his feet and the run option to run for 288 yards on 31 carries (9.3 average) and four touchdowns.Defensively, the Badgers under both Andersen and Aranda have found the right players to fill in for a defense that lost seven of its starters from last season. A quicker, more athletic UW defense now leads the Big Ten in most major defensive categories and ranks second in total defense and fourth in scoring defense in the nation.But it’s also been the ability to win close games that has Andersen in the Big Ten Championship game in just his second season at Wisconsin. The Badgers pulled out another close game that came down to the fourth quarter Saturday against the Gophers after winning a decisive battle in Iowa City two weeks ago against the Hawkeyes.The changes Andersen has made in his second season at UW have shown he has what it takes to be successful in the Big Ten as a head coach. After the loss to Northwestern, the Badgers were considered to be a far cry from being legitimate contenders to win the Big Ten West. Now, they are the 11th-ranked team in the AP and Coaches poll and have a date with the Ohio State Buckeyes next weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the right to be called Big Ten champions.So while this season can certainly finish even better with a victory over the Buckeyes, regardless of what happens Saturday, Andersen has a Big Ten West Division title under his belt and has proved his worth as the head coach for the Badgers in just his second season.last_img read more