Senate OKs Leahy’s Amendment To Delay Border-Crossing Requirements

first_imgSenate OKs Leahys AmendmentTo Delay Border-Crossing Requirements,As Leahy Also Beats Back BidTo Curb 1st Responder Grants To Smaller States Leahy says the lack of sufficientcoordination on the Pass Card (or Passport Card) system betweenDHS and State, and between the Bush Administration and the Government ofCanada, spells trouble for the system.  This has been shaping up asa bureaucratic nightmare that could clog our borders while making us even lesssecure, said Leahy.  We need to prod these agencies to cometo grips with these problems and fix them beforehand, not afterward. In the home stretch to the bills Senate passage Thursday evening,Leahy successfully led the effort to beat back an attempt to weaken the fundingformula he authored for first-responder grants his all-state minimumformula that has brought more than $65 million to Vermont in the last fouryears.  The Leahy grant formula, which he included in the USA PATRIOT Act of2001, assures that Vermont and other states receive basic grants for their firstresponder agencies the police, fire and rescue departments that areresponsible for homeland security and emergency preparedness.  The bid toweaken the Leahy formula lost in a vote of 34 to 66. The certification requirements in LeahysWHTI amendment require the two departments to:1.     Ensure that thetechnology for any Passport Card meets certain security standards andthat DHS and State agree on that technology.2.     Share the technologywith the governments of Canada and Mexico.3.     Justify the fee setfor the Passport Card.  4.     Develop analternative procedure for groups of children traveling across the border underadult supervision with parental consent. WASHINGTON (Thursday, July 13) Vermont Thursday scored twosignificant policy wins engineered by Sen. Patrick Leahy as the U.S. Senate passedthe annual homeland security budget bill. Install all necessary technological infrastructure at the ports of entry to process the cards and train U.S. agents at the border crossings in all aspects of the new technology. 6.     Make the PassportCard available for international land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean and Bermuda.7.     Establish a unified implementationdate for all sea and land borders.  The bill also includes Leahys legislation to postpone andimprove implementation of the controversial Pass Card system for bordercrossings, which will require new identity cards and methods for crossing U.S. borders, including the Northern Border with Canada.  Leahy and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) earlier had added tothe bill their amendment to delay implementation of the Pass Card system part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) — for 17 months, untilJune 1, 2009, and to require the Secretary of Homeland Security and theSecretary of State to certify to Congress that several standards are met beforethe program moves forward.  Leahy is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and of itsHomeland Security Subcommittee, which handled the Senates work indrafting the annual appropriations bill for the Department of HomelandSecurity.  The bill now goes to conference with the House version of thebill, which does not include Leahys WHTI amendment but which does alsomaintain the Leahy formula for first-responder grants. # # # # #last_img read more

Nations League shows VARreaching beyond its original scope

first_imgBy Brian HomewoodPORTO (Reuters) – Former UEFA president Michel Platini always opposed the introduction of technology in football because he felt that, once it gained a foothold, it would quickly expand and change the character of the sport altogether.Football, he warned, was about to open Pandora’s Box.Several years later, the Frenchman may feel he has been proved right by the pervasive use of video assistant referees (VAR).When it initially presented VAR in 2016, soccer’s rule-making body IFAB said the purpose was to stamp out glaring refereeing mistakes such as Diego Maradona’s Hand of God goal in the 1986 World Cup. But, less than 18 months after its introduction, it has turned into what seems a search for refereeing perfection.Matches are now stopped for two to three minutes and goal celebrations put on hold while VAR officials in a room full of television monitors conduct a forensic examination for the slightest hint of contact or offside in the build up. England had two goals disallowed after VAR reviews at the Nations League in Portugal when not even their opponents complained of an infraction.Callum Wilson’s late goal against Switzerland on Sunday was chalked off after VAR spotted that he pushed Manuel Akanji in the buildup while Jesse Lingard’s effort against the Netherlands was ruled out because part of his body was a fraction offside. Similarly, in the women’s World Cup, Griedge Mbock Bathy had a wonderful strike for France disallowed against South Korea because the tip of her foot was ahead of the last defender even though the rest of her body was line.All three decisions were technically correct but was that what VAR was intended for? And were they in the spirit of the offside rule which is designed primarily to stop forwards goal-hanging?When preliminary testing began, IFAB’s technical director David Elleray said that “VAR isn’t designed to end referee mistakes but it’s to deal with those very clear match-changing ones.”As an example, he cited Thierry Henry’s goal, scored after he controlled the ball with his arm, which took France to the 2010 World Cup at Ireland’s expense — hardly the same as a player having their finger three centimetres offside.OBVIOUS ERRORSIn a briefing to reporters earlier this year, UEFA’s refereeing chief Roberto Rosetti said that the incidents were reviewed if they obvious to VAR officials — not simply players, coaches or spectators.Linesmen are now told to keep their flags down when they suspect an offside so the incident can be reviewed in the studio once the move finishes, effectively reducing their role. Sometimes, VAR can be as controversial as a decision taken with the naked eye, such as the penalty awarded to England against Scotland in Sunday’s women’s World Cup match for handball by Nicola Docherty when there seemed no way she could get her arm out of the way. Equally contentious was a penalty given to Switzerland against Portugal in the Nations League for the slightest of tugs on Steven Zuber.Former World Cup final referee Arnaldo Cesar Coelho warned last year that slow motion could make fouls and handballs appear deliberate when they really were not. “Slow motion distorts the incident because it does not always the reflect the intensity of the movement,” he said.The Zuber incident raised another awkward question — when to stop play for a review — after Portugal immediately broke down the other end and were awarded a penalty of their own. Amid huge confusion, Portugal’s penalty was revoked and a spot kick awarded to Switzerland.Portugal coach Fernando Santos suggested that VAR was a good idea — but only if properly used. “I think VAR is important, I think it can help but those who are in charge have to pay attention to this,” he said. “Otherwise we will all start saying that VAR is no good when it could be a really useful tool.”last_img read more

Ennis’ average performance doesn’t hurt balanced Syracuse attack

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 10, 2014 at 12:30 am Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2 On Monday against Notre Dame, it was C.J. Fair who was human. When Syracuse hosted Clemson on Sunday, it was Tyler Ennis.“Once in a while,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said, “he needs to show that he’s human and have a bad game.”The Tigers managed to hold the star freshman to just six points on 3-of-11 shooting. He still led the No. 1 Orange with five assists in its 57-44 win on Sunday in the Carrier Dome, but he wasn’t the dominant point guard that teammates and coaches have grown used to — not that he needed to be.Ennis scored a bucket early in the game, but vanished for most of the first half. He limited his shots — essentially only forcing up shots when the shot clock was winding down — but he wasn’t threading his pinpoint passes through the defense like he usually does, either.Sunday marked the second straight game that he was held to single digits, but neither time mattered. Syracuse has enough other playmakers that can step up and run the offense.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When we can run our offense through C.J. (Fair) when he’s hitting and then have Jerami (Grant), Rak (Christmas), Trevor (Cooney) and whoever else is able to score out there, it makes it so much easier,” Ennis said.But once again, Ennis emerged at the end of the game — although this time that outcome was essentially decided.He made a layup with less than seven minutes remaining to cap a 6-0 run and extend the Orange’s lead to 48-37.Four minutes later, he hit another layup. And two minutes after that, SU emptied its bench.“We didn’t play great offensively in the second half, but we made big plays when we had to,” Boeheim said. “That’s what this team is all about. We are aware that these next coming games are hard and will keep working and getting better toward the end of the year.” Commentslast_img read more

Los Angeles Clippers re-sign free-agent forward Glen Davis

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Big Baby is staying with the Los Angeles Clippers.The team said Saturday that it has re-signed Glen Davis, who averaged 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 23 games last season, when he joined the Clippers at the end of February.The 28-year-old free-agent forward has also played for Orlando and Boston, where he and current Clippers coach Doc Rivers won the NBA championship in 2008. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img