Airman from Long Island Killed in Afghanistan

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 31-year-old New York National Guard airman from Coram was among six US military service members killed by a suicide bomber near the Afghanistan capital of Kabul this week, defense officials said.Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa was assigned to the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base in upstate Newburgh, New York. He was with a group on patrol in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel when they were attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle in a village outside Bagram Air Base in Parwan province on Monday.“Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of these brave Americans who died in service to this vital mission,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement. “Our thoughts remain with all of our troops serving overseas during this holiday season so that we may have peace and security at home.”Another New Yorker among the soldiers killed in the bombing was Technical Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, 45, of the Bronx, who was assigned to the same Squadron was Bonacasa. Lemm, who previously served in the military from 1988 to 1996, was an NYPD detective.Bonacasa had enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 2002 and transitioned to the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Security Forces Squadron based out of Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach in 2008 before joining the 105th Base Defense Squadron five years ago.Both men previously had served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.“Leading a team of passionate defenders, they took on the most challenging mission for themselves and epitomized the concept of leading from the front, a concept that has distinct risks that they both acknowledged and embraced,” said Col. Timothy LaBarge, the commander of the 105th Airlift Wing, who called them “true American heroes.”The other four soldiers killed in the attack—all U.S. Air Force members—included 36-year-old Air Force Maj. Adrianna M. Vorderbruggen of Minn., 28-year-old Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael A. Cinco of Texas, Staff Sgt. Peter W. Taub of Penn. and Staff Sgt. Chester J. McBride of Ga., both 30.On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of Bonacasa and Lemm.“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and fellow servicemen of Staff Sgt. Bonacasa,” Cuomo said. “We will join his loved ones in honoring his valor, leadership and service to this great nation. His sacrifice will be remembered with gratitude.”last_img read more

Trump’s national security strategy has real promise

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionIt seems odd that Dean Acheson, one of history’s great diplomats, felt a need to explain why he wrote a memoir of his years at the State Department — the masterpiece “Present at the Creation,” published in 1969. In those pages, Acheson chronicled a dozen of the most consequential years in world history: the wrecking of civilization in World War II and the building, atop the rubble, of an alliance for liberty that has given humanity its longest period of great-power peace since the Roman Empire. A fascinating, chilling report in the new issue of Wired magazine shows how rapidly the Chinese economy has moved to mobile-phone payments — and how easily that change is being leveraged into a network to track every movement and activity of the Chinese people.Vast databases are being compiled, containing everything from DNA to college aptitude tests, shopping histories to social circles.Those Chinese who pursue party-approved lives will be rewarded, while free-thinking dissent meets stern punishment.The BBC reports that China will have more than half a billion surveillance cameras installed by 2020, using artificial intelligence to recognize faces. “We can match every face with an ID card and trace all of your movements back one week in time. We can match your face with your car, match you with your relatives and the people you’re in touch with,” Yin Jun of Dahua Technology told a BBC reporter. “With enough cameras we can know who you frequently meet.”Without doubt, this all-seeing state will use its data to deepen the repression of its people.Among Xi’s first acts upon gaining power in 2013 was a crackdown on non-party civil society. Acheson wrote, he explained, because the 1960s “have brought the country, and particularly its young people, to a mood of depression, disillusion, and withdrawal.”In such a moment, he felt it important to “tell a tale of large conceptions, great achievements, and some failures, the product of enormous will and effort.”We find ourselves in a similar moment, profoundly disillusioned, anxious as well as depressed, apparently eager to withdraw from world leadership into heated discussions of trysting FBI agents and the president’s consumption of diet soda. Yet the world presses in.Even with an economy in tatters (the GDP of Russia is barely half that of France, despite having twice the population), Vladimir Putin rules like a czar while waging a cyberwar on the West, seeding chaos and fomenting division.Worse, Chinese dictator Xi Jinping in October announced plans to tighten his grip on a nation once again leaning toward totalitarianism, and to directly challenge the United States and its allies for global influence. If you like Big Brother, you’re going to love what Xi has planned for China. Arrests and denunciations have followed; in July, writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo died in custody, becoming the first Nobel Peace Prize recipient since the Nazi era to die a prisoner. Today, as in the days when Acheson executed the bold decisions of President Harry S. Truman, the world has no good alternative to American leadership.That’s why President Trump’s inaugural address was so disheartening to many of us.Trump seemed to reject the idea of mutually beneficial alliances and partnerships in support of free people and free markets, and against collectivist tyrannies.But glimmers of hope showed from the National Security Strategy published by the White House on Monday.Though it’s not a perfect document, the strategy takes several strides in the right direction, acknowledging Russia’s hostile schemes, identifying the long-term China challenge and beginning to reconcile Trump’s “America first” rhetoric with the imperative to rebuild, renew and expand Team Liberty around the world.“Some of the greatest triumphs of American statecraft resulted from helping fragile and developing countries become successful societies,” the paper declares in a welcome rejection of the zero-sum Bannonism of the early Trump administration. “These successes, in turn, created profitable markets for American businesses, allies to help achieve favorable regional balances of power, and coalition partners to share burdens and address a variety of problems around the world.”The task of bracing ourselves and our allies for the work ahead is more difficult than it might have been without Trump’s impulsiveness and base pandering over the past year.But on the bright side, the president has arrived at a national security team capable of producing a tempered, resolute and wide-ranging strategy on a tight time frame.If Trump will rely on it for information and advice — rather than on the whims and cranks that periodically distract his attention like jangling keys — there is time yet to repair the foreign policy damage of the recent past and start in the right direction.The next volume of our history need not be “Present at the Destruction.”David Von Drehle writes a twice-weekly column for The Washington Post. He was previously an editor-at-large for Time Magazine.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Florida Authorities Warn of Road Rage Among Mating Alligators

first_imgOfficials in one part of Florida are telling residents to be on the lookout not only for aggressive drivers on the road, but for alligators with that attitude.The message came after a nine-foot gator had to be removed from a road in Manatee County on Friday.The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office warned motorists that we are in that time of year when alligators are mating and may therefore be more mobile and aggressive.They posted:Courtesy: Manatee County Sheriff’s Office/FacebookA male gator measuring 9 feet, 2 inches was removed from a roadway after it was spotted “being aggressive with traffic.”Sheriff’s deputies relocated him to an alligator farm.Wildlife officials add that the Florida mating season begins in early April and could continue into June.last_img read more

Yorkshire women to defend county title

first_img5 Jul 2014 Yorkshire women to defend county title Yorkshire will defend their title as the women’s English County Champions after they won a thrilling climax to North Region county match week at Northumberland Golf Club. The champions – who have won the national title 12 times – will be challenged at County Finals at Belton Park, Lincolnshire, from September 15-19, by the winning teams from the other five regions. They are: Lincolnshire from Midlands North; Buckinghamshire from Midlands South; Hertfordshire from the East; Gloucestershire from the South West; and Hampshire from the South. Yorkshire squeezed through to County Finals after a countback of games won at their regional match week, after they tied with Lancashire and Cheshire with four match wins apiece. Yorkshire’s 34 points beat Lancashire (30.5) into second place, just ahead of third placed Cheshire (30).  The other North region counties are Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria. Yorkshire are pictured after winning the 2013 national title (image © Leaderboard Photography). Lincolnshire, who won this title in 2011, will be making their sixth consecutive appearance at County Finals and will be playing on home ground at Belton Park. They won the Midlands North regional final at The Leicestershire, winning all five of their matches. The runners-up were Nottinghamshire. The other counties in the region are: Leicestershire & Rutland, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Derbyshire. Buckinghamshire last represented Midlands South at County Finals in 2012. They clinched their place at their county match week at Northampton Golf Club, where they won four out of a possible five points. Northamptonshire and Worcestershire & Herefordshire both won three matches, while the other competing counties were Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Warwickshire. Hertfordshire, who won the national title four years ago, had a perfect five wins from five matches at the East region week at Gog Magog in Cambs & Hunts. The runners-up were Essex and the other competing counties were Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire and Cambs & Hunts. Hampshire won all four of their matches at the South Region week at Muswell Hill in Middlesex. The runners-up were Surrey and the other competing counties were Kent, Middlesex and Sussex. Hampshire have won the national title three times, all in the 1990s and most recently in 1995. Gloucestershire emerged as South West champions at Yeovil in Somerset with 3½ points from five matches. They pipped both the hosts, Somerset, and Cornwall, who both had three points. The other competing counties were Wiltshire, Devon and Dorset. The draw for County Finals is: Monday 15 September Gloucestershire v Hertfordshire Hampshire v Lincolnshire Yorkshire v Buckinghamshire Tuesday 16 September Hampshire v Yorkshire Hertfordshire v Lincolnshire Buckinghamshire v Gloucestershire Wednesday 17 September Lincolnshire v Buckinghamshire Gloucestershire v Yorkshire Hampshire v Hertfordshire Thursday 18 September Gloucestershire v Hampshire Hertfordshire v Buckinghamshire Yorkshire v Lincolnshire Friday 19 September Yorkshire v Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire v Hampshire Lincolnshire v Gloucestershire Each match consists of three foursomes in the morning followed by six afternoon singles.last_img read more

Prisoners of the past

first_imgThey not only lost a game, they lost credibility. They lost the link to greatness; well maybe not entirely but they better have two forms of I.D. when they proceed to the lost and found to reclaim their “mojo” and “swag.” When your back is against the wall you are supposed to play to “live for another day.”You are supposed to step up to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a single if nothing else. You may not clear the bases but at least one run should score. There is no excuse for the Steelers losing to the Cowboys, none.There was one particular play when the Ben Roethlisberger was hit hard. When he came up off of the turf he winced and it appeared maybe one of his previous injuries had been aggravated. This is no freakin’ time for drama from any of the Steelers performers. The curtain is about to close on their 2012 season and if it does they will have no one to blame but themselves. Hey listen, ex-Indy Colts and present Denver Broncos QB, future NFL Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning had neck surgery, spent a year out of football, signed a contract with a new team and led his team to a division championship. Recently the Baltimore Ravens beat the Steelers at Heinz Field and when Steelers third string QB Charlie Batch returned the favor in B-more, well let’s just say this; the attention and adulation heaped onto Batch seemed to be just a bit too much for “Big” Ben to take. So he immediately rushed back against the Chargers and got “smizz-oked,” you diggg….There is a pattern of narcissism going on here. Before any of us can save anyone else, we have to be able to rescue ourselves. Before you or I can stand up in the pulpit preaching morality, we have to refrain from taking bills from our wallets leaving them on a dresser at a Nevada brothel.“There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison.” Whoever you “think” you are does not alter the reality of who you really are.The Immaculate Reception by Franco Harris decades ago meant nothing to the Cowboys Sunday evening. The record setting run by “fast” Willie Parker to basically seal the win for the Steelers against Seahawks in Super Bowl XLV is not even on the radar screen of Dallas QB Tony Romo. The game winning catch by ex-Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes to defeat the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLVIII did not cause Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to lose any sleep Saturday night.To the current crop of NFL performers and coaches, those deeds are buried deep in the vaults of legend and lore. The jewels of the Steelers past no longer sparkle and Roethlisberger’s throne room has now become a prison. The interception that he threw in Dallas will henceforth be known as; “The Immaculate Interception.” Past deeds of greatness only serve to capture and maintain the psyche of the fan base because yesterday’s performances, as in decades ago; don’t have any bearing on the paychecks of today’s NFL players. Now hear this; Colin Kaepernick the 2nd year QB with the 49ers strolled up to Foxborough and dismantled the Patriots post haste by the score of 41-34. Kaepernick threw for three more touchdowns and one less pick than Patriots future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady. This unlikely feat happened just hours after Roethlisberger threw for two yards less (339) than Romo (341) and threw his season murdering pick in overtime at Dallas. This was not the Roger Staubach, “Too Tall” Jones, Troy Aikman or Emmett Smith Cowboys, this was the 2012 run of the mill version.It seems as if the majority of NFL franchises are not afraid to place a bet on the future. This next list of NFL rookie starting QBs is startling: Russell Wilson, Seahawks, Robert Griffin III, Redskins, Andrew Luck, Colts, Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins. Two second year QBs also stand out; Cam Newton, Panthers, and Andy Dalton, Bengals. I firmly believe that none of the “inexperienced” QB’s would have thrown that same pass that gave the Cowboys their second wind in regards to advancing to the NFL postseason and may have sucked the air out of the Steelers chances. When will Ben Roethlisberger discontinue to scramble in and out of the pocket to keep a drive alive just to ultimately “kill” it?Fans and friends of the Steelers nation, do not allow the grandiosity and victories of the past to hold the present and future hostage in the prison of mediocrity.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.­­­com or 412-583-6741. Bruce can also be heard on the “Odd Couple Sports Show” where he is the AFC North and NFL analyst. The show is hosted by Adam Ragle streaming live on the WCWA Fox Sports Toledo 1230AM. Bruce is featured on Tuesdays from 10-11 a.m. during the NFL season. Listen to Aubrey’s archived “Odd Couple” segments on: www.worldspeak­connnection.com click on ‘Fair Catch.”) “There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison.” (Spoken by ‘King Osric’ from the movie ‘Conan the Barbarian’.) The Pittsburgh Steelers departed the Steel City last weekend not only on a journey to play the Dallas Cowboys in the Lone Star State of Texas; they were by all accounts supposed to be on the road to the 2012 NFL post season. But ya know what? Somewhere along the road to prosperity their GPS failed and they detoured from the “road to prosperity” to the “back alley of incompetence and defeat.”last_img read more