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Syria Strikes Justified, Obama Says

first_img View post tag: Obama View post tag: Syria Syria Strikes Justified, Obama Says View post tag: Defense Authorities Share this article View post tag: Defence View post tag: says View post tag: Naval View post tag: Navycenter_img September 11, 2013 The credible threat of U.S. military force in Syria is critical to showing the world that chemical weapons use is unacceptable, President Barack Obama said in a speech to the nation tonight, but he added that he has asked Congress to postpone a vote authorizing such action. [mappress]Press Release, September 11, 2013  The commander in chief noted he has asked U.S. military forces to stay ready to conduct the limited strikes he has proposed, which would aim to reduce Assad’s chemical weapons stocks and means of delivering them without putting U.S. boots on the ground.U.S. officials and others in the international community are now pursuing a last-ditch effort to disarm Bashar Assad’s regime of the prohibited weapons, Obama said, including the sarin gas his forces used against Syrian civilians Aug. 21, killing 400 or more children among the more than 1,400 total dead.“We know the Assad regime was responsible,” the president said. “In the days leading up to Aug. 21, we know that Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack. … They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighborhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces. Shortly after those rockets landed, the gas spread, and hospitals filled with the dying and the wounded.”Over the past two years, Obama said, “what began as a series of peaceful protests … has turned into a brutal civil war. Over 100,000 people have been killed. Millions have fled the country.”He has thus far resisted calls for military action, the president said, “because we cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force, particularly after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.”The Aug. 21 attack changed that calculus, the president said.“The images from this massacre are sickening: men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas, others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath,” he said. “A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk.”The world saw proof “in gruesome detail” of the terrible nature of chemical weapons, Obama said, “and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits, a crime against humanity and a violation of the laws of war.”Chemical weapons were used in both world wars, the president said. “Because these weapons can kill on a mass scale, with no distinction between soldier and infant, the civilized world has spent a century working to ban them,” he added, noting that 189 governments, representing 98 percent of humanity, now prohibit the use of chemical weapons.Obama said he’s cautiously hopeful about current international efforts involving Syria’s closest ally, Russia, to remove and ultimately destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal. He said he is sending Secretary of State John F. Kerry to meet his Russian counterpart Sept. 12, and that he will continue his own discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.The president said he also has spoken to leaders of France and the United Kingdom, “and we will work together in consultation with Russia and China to put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons and to ultimately destroy them under international control.”The United States will give U.N. inspectors the opportunity to report their findings about what happened Aug. 21, “and we will continue to rally support from allies from Europe to the Americas, from Asia to the Middle East, who agree on the need for action,” the president said.If military strikes are ultimately required, Obama said, they will be decisive.“The United States military doesn’t do pinpricks,” he said. “Even a limited strike will send a message to Assad that no other nation can deliver.”The president also expressed his gratitude to U.S. service members and their families. “Tonight I give thanks, again, to our military and their families for their incredible strength and sacrifices,” he said.Obama said he doesn’t believe the United States should remove another dictator with force, as it did in Iraq. “But a targeted strike can makes Assad — or any other dictator — think twice before using chemical weapons,” he added.U.S. ideals and principles, as well as national security, are at stake in Syria, the president said.“Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong, but when with modest effort and risk we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act,” he said.“That’s what makes America different,” the president concluded. “That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.” Back to overview,Home naval-today Syria Strikes Justified, Obama Says View post tag: Strikes View post tag: Justified View post tag: News by topiclast_img read more

The one constant: Coffey uses basketball to stay on track through adoption, divorce

first_img Cliffjrs 7yr Published on March 18, 2014 at 2:38 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. I enjoyed the times at the YMCA watching her outperform her male peers on the courts. Great story and I’ve been to a few games to bring my little sister and they love Coffey and her skills on the court Rob Dassie had only heard the rumors.An 8-year old basketball prodigy had just moved to Kingston, N.Y. She could shoot with pinpoint accuracy and dribble two balls at once. And she practiced just down the block from Dassie’s gym.He had to see the girl that everyone was talking about. He had to see Rachel Coffey.So Dassie invited her to the Rondout Center, handed her a ball and though she was a short, skinny, hair-braided little girl surrounded by teenage boys, he challenged her.“Let’s see what you can do,” he said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt didn’t take long for Rachel to validate everything that Dassie had heard about her.She walked out onto the court where all of the older guys were playing and did what only she knew she could do.What started out as just Dassie watching from the sidelines turned into a spectacle for the entire gym.She made more shots than the older guys. The older guys were probably about 15, and she was making all their shots.Rob Dassie“That was my first impression and I was very impressed with her basketball skills, her feel for the game and how much she loved basketball at that young age.”In her hometown of Kingston, everyone viewed Rachel the way Dassie did — as a basketball star.In reality, basketball was simply her escape.“It was the thing that kept me on track,” Coffey said. “It was one thing that just motivated me and it was really important in my life.”Growing up, there were a lot of things that could have taken Coffey off track.When she was just 5 days old, she was adopted by Lorraine Coffey, only to be taken back three months later by her biological mother, Marie Bradford, who used drugs during her pregnancy. Then 5 months later, she was given back to Lorraine.Rachel survived a potentially life-threatening skin infection, moved homes three times, lost an influential former teacher, grew up in a household with nine siblings and went through school with a suspected learning disability.So while her surroundings were always changing, basketball was the one constant.Now a senior at Syracuse, basketball remains the anchor in her life. She’s the starting point guard on a team preparing for its second NCAA Tournament in as many seasons.Courtesy of the Coffey familyWhen Lorraine Coffey adopted Heather Bradford, the Coffey family changed her name to Rachel.But three months later, because it was a risk adoption, Marie Bradford, Rachel’s biological mother, was able to take her back.And when she was back in Bradford’s care, Rachel was neglected. She was put inside a crib for two straight weeks. Her clothes were never changed. She spent nearly every moment in her crib crying.“It’s frustrating that you could do that to a child,” Rachel said.Bradford eventually gave Rachel back to Lorraine, but she wasn’t the bubbly baby the family had been forced to give up just months earlier.Rachel would sit in her crib awake and never cry. She’d lost the capability to do so. She had scabies, a skin condition, and Rachel’s doctor said hers was the worst he had ever seen. She’d rub her wrists and ankles together to combat the itching sensation that covered her body.She’d wake up and we’d be right there at the crib, and then she would just make a whimper. Eventually she saw that were were coming for her when she’d make a sound, and then she was able to cry.Lorraine CoffeyBut as Rachel grew up, she took a circumstance that many might let get the best of them, and made the best of it. Though she didn’t live with her biological parents, she grew to view Lorraine and her husband Patrick as her true parents. Her nine siblings, three of which were also adopted, were brothers and sisters.And because she had a supporting family, she was able to find her true passion on the basketball court.As she grew older, her streetball skills turned heads and her crossovers left many victims on the ground as Rachel raced to the rim.,From Rachel’s perspective, little had changed in the family dynamic as she grew older. But at the age of 11, Rachel was alone in a divided household.Lorraine and Patrick were getting a divorce, and everyone was taking their mother’s side, except Rachel, the youngest. She didn’t see her father’s error like everyone else.Rachel just saw her daddy, the man that came to her basketball games and loved her more than anyone else in the world.“They were able to see that daddy wasn’t doing the right thing and daddy wasn’t coming home,” Lorraine said, “and daddy wasn’t being daddy like he usually was. Rachel, she was younger, and she was more like daddy’s little girl.”,Even after the two split up, Rachel would go over to her father’s house every day.At home, the scene was more chaotic. There were nine siblings and a mother that worked around the clock.“We were in the ‘hood, and then our dad moved out, it was difficult adapting, and it was difficult not having your dad around anymore,” Rachel’s older sister Esther Coffey said. “My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and for her to go to work and work overnights, it was a big adjustment.”Esther became the de facto mother when Lorraine wasn’t home.When Lorraine was at work and couldn’t bring Rachel to basketball practice, Esther did, and it allowed her younger sister to continue excelling on the court.,Near the start of Rachel’s senior season at Kingston High School, Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman presented her with a very serious problem.She needed to get her grades up or she wouldn’t be able to play for him.School had never been Rachel’s strong suit, nor her greatest interest. She suffered from a learning disability as a result of the drugs her birth mother used, Lorraine said.But her seventh grade teacher, Valerie Simmons, took it upon herself to make sure Rachel did well in school.Rachel would spend afternoons in Simmons’ office talking about life. Simmons helped Rachel with all of her schoolwork and went to all of her basketball games.After Rachel graduated, Simmons would come up and visit in Syracuse and knew the entire SU basketball team.“She never had children, and Rachel became the daughter she never had,” Lorraine said. “It was something that they fulfilled in each other. There was a need there that Rachel had and there was a need there that Valerie had, and they fulfilled it in one another.”An elderly Simmons died on Feb. 19, 2013. When Rachel heard the news, she didn’t know how to process it. She had a game that night against Rutgers, and scored a season-high 17 points in an eventual Syracuse win.Simmons meant everything to Rachel. She has a tattoo of Simmons on her arm, and remembers her teacher making time for her when nobody else would.“It helped a lot, because school was never my interest,” Rachel said. “It helped a lot to see somebody to put that much effort and want me to do good.”When Kingston head coach Steve Garner announced the honor roll at the end of Rachel’s senior season — a group that Rachel had poked fun at in previous years — this time, she was on it.“Once I found out I couldn’t play, it motivated me to go,” Rachel said. “Basketball is one of the only things that could motivate me. Because if you told me I couldn’t play, I’d go study for a test.”,It was the same calm and level-headed approach that Rachel took when she first saw the name Marie Bradford appear in her Facebook inbox.All then-18-year-old Rachel read was the first part of the sentence.“Hi. I’m your mother.”Once she saw the name, she knew who it was and ran downstairs to find Lorraine.Bradford, her biological mother, had just contacted Rachel for the first time. Bradford had lived in Kingston all of Rachel’s life and Rachel never knew. It came as a shock and surprise to her, but it gave them an opportunity to meet.Rachel went to the salon where Bradford worked and waited for her mother to come out from the back of the shop.A few minutes later, Bradford emerged. It was the first time Rachel had seen her biological mother since she was a baby. But for Bradford, the moment was too much.Without a word, she retreated into the back of the store once again.I wanted to tell her that I did forgive her, and that I was thankful for what she did. But it’s also kind of hard for her as a person, she still didn’t get over it. She’s going through a lot.Rachel CoffeySince then, the two have met a few times, but haven’t sustained a relationship. And Rachel’s OK with that.Under Rachel’s bed is a scrapbook. One section holds mementos from her childhood. Her birth certificate with a different name, her old benefit card. On the other are newspaper clippings and photos commemorating her basketball career.It shows where she’s been and what’s she’s become. It’s a story of her history, and how she overcame it.It’s not something that she looks at often. She doesn’t need the reminders.She could have folded every step of the way, but there were always people there for her.And there’s always been basketball.Banner photo by Emma Fierberg | Asst. Photo Editor Commentscenter_img Laura Harnden 7yr mimi 7yr I grew up with Rachel’s Dad’s family, they were a loving family with all the trials of big families! Her Aunt Teresa and Donna were my childhood friends. It’s nice to see you with your Dad in the old photos! Congrats on making a success of yourself! Never stop believing!last_img read more

Cross: Why Tony Romo deserves the respect of the masses

first_imgFormer Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Wisconsin native Tony Romo leaves behind a high school, college and professional legacy few can match, but few will remember.The four-time pro bowler and all-time Cowboys passing yards and touchdowns leader was one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL for almost a decade, but, despite his accomplishments, Romo should be remembered for his rise up the football ladder, not for his numbers.Despite being born in San Diego, Romo grew up a “Sconnie” in every sense of the word. The Burlington native played as a rare but dominant four-sport athlete in high school, throwing up impressive numbers in football, basketball, golf and tennis.Carlini brings home UW’s first Sullivan AwardIt’s official: University of Wisconsin volleyball’s graduating senior Lauren Carlini won the AAU James E. Sullivan Award Tuesday night in Read…The Wisconsin Coaches Association first-team selection proceeded to Eastern Illinois University after high school in 1999, taking only two years to climb to the top of not just DI-AA football, but all of college football. Romo finished second in passer efficiency in the Ohio Valley Conference as a sophomore and finished first as a junior. His senior season was no different, becoming the first OVC and EIU player to win the Walter Peyton Award, given to the best player in DI-AA.Romo set the school and conference records for touchdown passes (85) and finished as a consensus All-American and OVC Player of the Year for his last three seasons. He is the only EIU player to ever have their jersey retired and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2009.Despite his collegiate accomplishments and initial interest from the Broncos and Cowboys, Romo fell to become an undrafted rookie free-agent for the Cowboys in 2003. After three seasons of failed quarterbacks in Dallas and Romo serving as a glorified placekicker, he finally got a shot.What to watch for in Badger sports as summer approachesThe 2016-17 year of University of Wisconsin sports is only weeks away from a close, but that doesn’t mean there Read…Replacing Drew Bledsoe early in the 2006 season, Romo caught fire, leading the Cowboys to the wild-card round of the playoffs and a passer rating of more than 95. The inspired play was enough to earn him his first of four pro-bowl appearances and became the beginning of an incredible run for Romo and the Cowboys.Despite early postseason losses, the young gun won the NFC East Division twice in his first three seasons and became the first Cowboy to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a year during the 2007 campaign. Over the next few years, Romo would remain in the top 10 for QBR throughout the year but fall short of reaching the postseason success, which kept him out of the conversation of the league’s “elite” quarterbacks.From 2010 to 2016, Romo would miss a total of more than two and a half seasons, a brutal time that ultimately pushed him into retirement. Despite breaking constant regular season records and leapfrogging the stats of former Cowboy quarterbacks and Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, Romo’s doubters remained great in numbers.Football: Montee Ball set to finish degree at Wisconsin, turn over a new leafFormer University of Wisconsin football player Montee Ball is finally looking to a new life beyond football. The three-year Badger running Read…While the interceptions and playoff blunders certainly give outsiders enough of a reason to throw Romo under the bus in conversations of good quarterbacks, his overall stats put him in the conversation for one of the best quarterbacks in the modern era. All in all, Romo posted a 97.1 career passer rating, the fourth highest of all-time and the highest among retired players.The San Diego-born, Burlington-raised, Eastern Illinois graduate and Dallas Cowboy leader has been one of the best at every rung of the ladder he’s reached. People shouldn’t chastise Romo for not getting to the top of the ladder, but should celebrate him for how high he was able to climb.last_img read more