On the eve of their graduation from Harvard College, 11 of the military’s newest officers received their commissions at a ceremony today (May 26) in crowded, sun-splashed Tercentenary Theatre.Honored from the Class of 2010 were David F. Boswell, Josue Guerra, Sarah A. Harvey, and Karl J. Kmiecik (U.S. Army second lieutenants); Talya Havice and Shawna L. Sinnott (U.S. Marine Corps second lieutenants); and Joshua D. Foote, Michael B. Kaehler, Christi E. Morrissey, Katherine E. O’Donnell, and Olivia Volkoff (U.S. Navy ensigns).A 10th student, Alex Prado, will receive his U.S. Army commission this summer. He graduates Thursday (May 27) with a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.Administering their oaths was Michael G. Vickers, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for special operations, low-intensity conflict, and interdependent capabilities. During the 1980s, he masterminded the Central Intelligence Agency’s arming of the Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan, a step that many say spelled doom for invading Soviet troops.Vickers thanked the parents of the new officers for instilling in them “honor, courage, respect, and selfless service.”He called the dozen students arrayed on stage “the very best our nation has to offer,” praising them for volunteering in a time of war. “You have elected to forgo a more comfortable life,” said Vickers, a Special Forces soldier from 1973 to 1986, “and with eyes wide open have courageously and selflessly offered to put yourselves in harm’s way on behalf of your fellow citizens.”He warned them too, saying that the hardest challenges are still ahead, and that to surmount those obstacles they would do well to listen to the combat-seasoned soldiers under their command.Former interim U.S. Sen. Paul G. Kirk Jr. ’60, J.D. ’64, a Boston lawyer and veteran — as well as a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) graduate at Harvard — offered more words of praise and advice.“You were the first in your class to answer a fundamental question,” he said of the new officers, not “What shall I do with my Harvard degree? No, your question was more profound. You asked yourselves … what shall I do with my citizenship?”Kirk added, “A Harvard College education also teaches us to remember always our responsibilities as American citizens.”He praised the students for volunteering. “In doing so, you bring honor to yourselves and to your families. You bring honor to your classmates and to this University, and — not least — you have honored your country.”Kirk was an aide to U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy during his presidential run in 1968, served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and most recently filled a Senate seat following the death of Sen. Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy of Massachusetts.Harvard President Drew Faust, herself the daughter of a decorated World War II veteran, was also on hand, as she always is during ceremonies honoring the University’s links to the military.“Take what Harvard has given you,” she told the new officers, praising them for their fitness, intellect, and courage. “Generate a new surge of ideas to use in the nation’s service. Help reinforce the long tradition of ties between Harvard and the military, as we share hopes that changing circumstances will soon enable us to further strengthen those bonds.”Student cadets and midshipmen drill and study with units at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This year, Harvard has 20 undergraduates enrolled in ROTC.A pioneering former ROTC member took a bow at the ceremony, Charles “Chuck” DePriest ’77. He cross-enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, opening a new route — after much University debate — to such training. A radiologist, DePriest spent 10 years on active duty with the U.S. Air Force and retired as a major. With him was Oscar “Butch” DePriest ’74, who took his ROTC commission while in dental school at Boston University. He is a brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserves.The brothers are great-grandsons of Chicago Republican Oscar Stanton De Priest (1871-1951), the son of former slaves who was the first African American elected to Congress in the 20th century.Just before the ceremony, David Boswell ’10 stood waiting, his uniformed shoulders bare of insignia. Behind him was a boyhood in the Solomon Islands, where he scoured the jungles for World War II artifacts. Ahead is a career as an officer in the Army Medical Service Corps, where he will train as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot.Is ROTC the end of a long adventure? “Yes,” said Boswell, “and the beginning of another long adventure.”
Di Canio said: “There was no training ground bust-up as some are reporting and many of the players have since sent me messages thanking me for my time as their manager and helping them improve as footballers. “We could see that results had not gone as well as any of us had hoped, but I felt as a team we could turn things around.” Di Canio was widely credited with keeping Sunderland in the Premier League last season after replacing Martin O’Neill at the end of March. He became an instant hero after inspiring a famous 3-0 win over north-east rivals Newcastle at St James’s Park in only his second game in charge. But despite bringing in 14 new players over the summer, his side took just a single point from their first five games of the new season. Di Canio said: “When you bring in 14 new players, many from overseas and very few with Premiership experience it is going to take time for them to adapt to the English game and to gel as a team. “As I have said many times, I love English football and I feel that my time at the club has been unfairly cut short as given the chance, I am certain that had I been allowed longer, I would have been able to develop the team to achieve the success Sunderland fans desire.” Di Canio was dismissed after just 13 games in charge following the 3-0 defeat at West Brom last month, amid suggestions some of the club’s senior players had been instrumental in his removal. But, in a statement, the Italian described the reports as “wholly untrue” – and repeated his belief that he was capable of turning the club’s poor start to the season around. Paolo Di Canio has broken his silence over his sacking by Sunderland to deny reports of a training ground bust-up and insist he should have been given more time at the Stadium of Light. Press Association
Denny Hamlin captured the checkered flag at the Daytona 500, but the focus of every NASCAR fan quickly shifted to Ryan Newman after he was involved in a scary crash at the end of Monday’s race.The driver known as “Rocket Man” appeared to escape the wreck without any serious injuries, as he walked out of a local hospital Wednesday afternoon under his own power. There is currently no timeline for Newman’s return, so Roush Fenway Racing will turn to Ross Chastain in the No. 6 Ford for Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kevin Harvick will inherit the pole position when Busch drops to the rear. Hamlin would have started fourth but for his infraction. Bell was slated to start 22nd.Here’s a look at the field for this year’s Pennzoil 400.Material from the NASCAR Wire Service was used in this report.NASCAR starting lineup at Las VegasPositionDriver1.Kyle Busch2.Martin Truex Jr.3.Kevin Harvick4.Denny Hamlin5.Joey Logano6.Kyle Larson7.Ryan Blaney8.Brad Keselowski9.Clint Bowyer10.Chase Elliott11.William Byron12.Alex Bowman13.Kurt Busch14.Aric Almirola15.Ross Chastain16.Erik Jones17.Cole Custer18.Jimmie Johnson19.Matt DiBenedetto20.Ryan Preece21.Austin Dillon22.Christopher Bell23.Chris Buescher24.Ty Dillon25.Tyler Reddick26.Ricky Stenhouse Jr.27.Bubba Wallace28.Michael McDowell29.John H. Nemechek30.Corey LaJoie31.Joey Gase32.Quin Houff33.Brennan Poole34.Garrett Smithley35.Daniel Suarez36.Reed Sorenson37.JJ Yeley38.Timmy Hill Martin Truex Jr. is in the media center. He says he’s continued to talk to Ryan Newman this week and adds: “I feel like he’ll be back before anyone thinks he could. He’s a tough son of a gun.”— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 22, 2020Truex says he and Newman have been planning fishing trips already again. On seeing him after the hospital, Truex said: “It was good to see how good a shape he was in, and it was a little surprising as well.”— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 22, 2020MORE: NASCAR schedule for all Cup Series racesUnfortunately for Chastain, he wasn’t able to hop on the track Saturday ahead of the Pennzoil 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, Fox). A steady stream of rain canceled qualifying, so the starting lineup will be set based on 2019 points, per the NASCAR rulebook. That puts Kyle Busch on the pole, with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. on the outside of the front row.Because of inspection issues, however, Busch will drop to the rear for the start of the race. Racing to the front could be a huge issue for the reigning series champion, given handling issues that plagued the No. 18 Toyota during Friday’s practice sessions.Joining Busch at the rear of the field will be Hamlin — another Gibbs teammate — as well as Christopher Bell of Leavine Family Racing. The Toyotas of those three drivers failed pre-qualifying inspection for attempting to manipulate the noses of the cars, which did not fit specifications.NASCAR levied L1 penalties on the three teams, resulting in the loss of 10 owner and driver points for each.
A section of the gathering at the AGM on FridayAs the executive members of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) met on Friday afternoon for its Annual General Meeting (AGM), US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch called on the Commission to play its role in the fight against corruption; as Guyana was recently ranked number 134 of 190 countries in the World Bank’s report on ease of doing business.The Ambassador pointed out that the World Bank’s 2018 report on ease of doing business reflected a drop in ranking from number 126 in 2017 to number 134 in 2018, out of 190 countries. Places like Iran, the West Bank, and Gaza ranked better than Guyana.She explained that this was linked to the fact that Guyana has high rates of taxation, energy, corruption and lack of transparency, coupled by a number of others.“In addition, the duties imposed on many imported items can be substantial, driving costs up beyond competitiveness. I don’t need to tell you that the cost of electricity is one of the highest in the region, at more than 35 cents per kilowatt hour. The power grid system is antiquated, resulting in regular power outage, forcing companies… to install their own power generation systems to cope with the blackouts,” the Ambassador said.On another note, she expressed concern over the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) legislation, which caters for artistes and others. According to her, this legislation ought to match the advancements in technology. In fact, she warned that some companies may even avoid investing in the country if it’s without a stronger IPR legislation.The IPR legislation allows creators to safeguard their work through patents, trademarks and copyrights, resulting in prevention of plagiarism.Ambassador Lynch cautioned during her remarks that they did not intend to frighten investors away from the country, but to let them know they play a pivotal role in resolving such issues.“These issues are raised not to scare away investment, but to show that each one can be resolved over time and with the proper resources,” she noted.On this note, the US Ambassador explained that the PSC can play a role in affecting a change by offering guidance to the Government in shaping legislation. Further, it can review policies by the administration and recommend changes.The PSC can also serve as an example of transparency and ethical behaviour to the rest of the business community. She added that internally, it can encourage all its member-companies to pay taxes in a timely manner and as prescribed by law. This, she added, will boost the Guyana Revenue Authority in its tax collecting ventures, hire more staff, and provide additional training to better handle the upcoming oil sector.In the past, the coalition Government had been blasted by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo for several acts of corruption.In fact, the US State Department had highlighted Guyana as corrupt, owing to a number of irregularities within various Government ministries.According to the State Department in its assessment of the situation, allegations of corruption continue to trouble Guyana. It cited the Transparency International (TI) 2017 Corruption Perception Index, which ranked Guyana at 91 out of 180 countries. To make matters worse, Guyana has since dropped to 93rd position in TI’s latest report.The index placed Guyana’s corruption perception score at 37 to tie with Gambia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Mongolia and Panama.Last year, Guyana scored 38 when it ranked 91 out of all the countries reviewed. The index came at a time when much was said about the Auditor General’s 2017 report and the sole sourcing of contracts.This included the Public Procurement Commission investigating and red flagging the sole sourcing of the Demerara river bridge feasibility study. The contract in question was awarded to Dutch company, LievenseCSO, for a feasibility study into the new Demerara river bridge crossing.US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch sharing remarks at PSC’s AGM