Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Facing stiff pressure from press freedom groups concerned that an American journalist could be jailed for essentially doing his job, the Justice Department has declined to force James Risen, a veteran New York Times reporter, to reveal the identity of a source who allegedly leaked him classified information.In court documents filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that Risen would never reveal the source’s identity. The Justice Department’s case stems from a section of Risen’s book State of War, in which he describes a failed CIA attempt at sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program.“Under no circumstances would he provide such testimony,” Holder said.Risen, a Pulitzer Prize winner, has repeatedly said he would go to jail instead of revealing the name of his source, even if compelled by a federal court to do so. Yet his legal battle with the government will continue, even despite Holder’s apparent concession. Included in the court filing was authorization from Holder to federal prosecutors to subpoena Risen in the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who court documents from Risen’s federal appeals hearing identify as a former CIA officer once assigned to a “highly classified program intended to impede Iran’s efforts to acquire or develop nuclear weapons.”Sterling was reassigned in May 2000, and three months later filed a complaint alleging that he was discriminated against by the agency. A year later he also filed a federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, which was dismissed in 2004. The day after Sterling filed the latter, the government alleges he met with two staff members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and expressed concerns about the CIA’s handling of the Iran program, as well as his discrimination complaint. The government alleges Sterling “threatened to go to the press,” according to court documents, and spoke with Risen over the phone and through email less than a month before the reporter contacted the CIA and the National Security Council about the classified program.Prosecutors will be allowed to seek testimony from Risen about the fact he has a confidentiality agreement with his source for Chapter 9 of his book, the section pertaining to an alleged US government plot to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, and “that he will not breach the agreement,” according to court documents.Risen can also be asked to confirm that he authored the chapter in question, as well as two articles published in the Times in 2001 and 2002, the latter relating to Sterling’s discrimination accusations against the CIA, and that all three “accurately reflect information provided to him by the source.” Prosecutors may also seek acknowledgment from Risen stating he had a prior non-confidential relationship with Sterling.It’s unclear if Holder’s decision not to force Risen to identify his source will improve an already tenuous relationship with press freedom groups, which have been critical of Holder’s pursuit of Risen’s testimony and its unprecedented prosecution of whistleblowers.Facing pressure from the US government, the Times agreed not to publish information about the classified program, so Risen included it in his book instead.Risen had exhausted all his legal avenues after the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear his appeal.Risen has had the backing of some of the most influential press freedom groups in the country. In August, the Committee to Protect Journalists delivered to the DOJ a petition containing 100,000 signatures in support of Risen.The reporter has not been silent on the matter. He has repeatedly called President Obama “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”Risen was also the subject of a 60 Minutes segment in October, called “War on Leaks.” When asked if he would divulge his source, Risen responded: “Never, no. Basically, the choice the government’s given me is: Give up everything I believe or go to jail. So I’m not going to talk.”
Joel Hewitson at his display home at North Shore. Picture: Evan MorganCUTTING edge “smart homes”, a tapas bar and a CrossFit facility are just some of the things bringing people through the North Shore Display Village.More than 10,000 people have come through the Stocklands display village since it opened to the public on March 17.The North Shore Display Village, which is the largest display village in North Queensland, lets prospective buyers get up close and personal with what the North Shore community has to offer according to North Shore project director Andrew Astorqui. “It is really hands on,” Mr Astorqui said.People can walk through 16 homes designed and built by builders from Townsville.“You can touch them, feel them and you can see yourself living in them,” he said.“Sometimes you cannot get that just from a picture or looking at a plan.”He described the homes as very different and varying in style in order to appeal to lots of different types of families.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“A lot of people come through and they really get very different ideas from different homes,” Mr Astorqui said.Although the majority of visitors were from Townsville, he said that many people had come from Charters Towers, Ingham and Ayr to have a look at the display village.Some of the modern additions include a smart solar-powered battery that anticipates electricity future demand based on the weather forecasts.“It is like an intelligent battery,” he said.Joel Hewitson from Hewitson Homes had more than 2000 people through his display home in the first weekend alone. “I reside in North Shore myself, so I obviously have faith in the community here,” Mr Hewitson said.As well as the display homes, visitors have gotten a closer look at the community infrastructure, which includes cafes, restaurants, a giant air trampoline and activities such as CrossFit classes. The North Shore Display Village is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm at Barramundi Circuit, North Shore.
The Herald Sun 26 July 2012Children whose parents regularly read to them when they are young are likely to perform better in NAPLAN, a landmark study says. The Australian Institute of Family Studies surveyed thousands of children and found that solid foundations for reading at the ages of four and five was linked to higher literacy scores. Mini-bookworms who were read to often, surrounded by books at home and visited the library, were the best off, researchers Killian Mullan and Galina Daraganova found. While the study dealt with children aged four and up, experts say parents can start on the path to developing literacy skills from birth. The research used data from a longitudinal study of nearly 5000 children, using time-diaries when they were aged 4-5 and then 10-11.http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/good-readers-make-better-students/story-fndo317g-1226433267615
In this Dec. 18, 2012, file photo, Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins calls to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C. If Johnny Dawkins and Craig Neal were still playing _ instead of coaching _ against each other, there’s no doubt which one you’d pick. The two will be back on opposing benches Friday night March 21, 2014, 28 years after they faced off as players. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)Welcome to BracketRacket.Think of it as one-stop shopping on game days for all your NCAA tournament needs. We’ll have interviews with celebrity alums drawn from sports, entertainment and politics, plus occasional “bracket-buster” picks, photos, news, gossip, stats, notes and quotes from around the tourney sites — all of it bundled into a quick read that gives diehard fans and office-poolers alike something to sound smart about.So without further ado:TAKE THIS JOB … AND DUNK ITThe business of America is business, and the NCAA tournament is bad for business; ergo, the NCAA tournament is bad for America.The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas proved it by wasting a few hours again this year calculating how much U.S. employers could lose while employees (like this one, via wordpress.com: http://bit.ly/1fYuFac ) obsess over the tournament. In an annual report, the company set the figure at $1.2 billion for every unproductive hour.“You have employees talking about which teams made or didn’t make the tournament. You have other workers setting up and managing office pools. Of course, there are the office pool participants,” Challenger’s statement cautioned, “some of whom might take five minutes to fill out a bracket, while others spend several hours researching teams, analyzing statistics and completing multiple brackets.”Never mind that the math behind the estimate is fuzzy, or that both academic researchers and corporate managers who looked at the problem concluded the real numbers were considerably lower, mostly because employees tend to make up for lost time by working outside traditional hours.So what should an employer do?“Despite all of the scary numbers, Challenger suggests that employers not try to clamp down on March Madness,” the statement added. “Initiatives to block access to sports sites and live streaming in order to boost productivity in the short term, could result in long-term damage to employee morale, loyalty and engagement.”Is this a great country or what?___CELEBRITY ALUMThink the folks in Congress have trouble making up their minds now? Just wait. Nothing gets politicians procrastinatin’ and prevaricatin’ like the NCAA tournament.Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia dispatched at least one representative into the 68-team field that began play Tuesday night. California topped the list with five, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas boasted four each, six others had three and Indiana — a.k.a, the “heartland of hoops” — had zero.Generally speaking, elected officials from states with more than one entrant fear voters so much they’d rather talk about raising taxes than which school they’re backing. They make picking between them sound like “Sophie’s Choice.”That made Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow thumbing her nose at the maize-and-blue recently seem refreshing.“Oh, Michigan State! Michigan State,” she gushed during a groundbreaking ceremony at the university Monday.“I have to tell you, after yesterday,” Stabenow added, referring to the Spartans’ win over state rival Michigan in the Big Ten championship game, “we are back. We’ve got the full team going, Coach (Tom) Izzo is primed and ready and I think we’ll take it all.”Just to rub it in, she unveiled the little rhinestone number — courtesy of MSU Today alumni magazine — pictured here: http://bit.ly/1eiqiFKStabenow received both her undergraduate and graduate (magna cum laude) degrees from Michigan State, so while she might need those Democratic votes over in Ann Arbor someday, it won’t be until 2018 at the earliest.Even then, Stabenow barely cracks the “how-to-alienate-alumni” list. Since-retired North Carolina Sen. (and UNC alum) Brad Miller locked up the top spot in 2012 when he told BracketRacket: “I have said very publicly that if Duke was playing against the Taliban, then I’d have to pull for the Taliban.”___DON’T I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE?Speaking of “Sophie’s Choice,” a Pennsylvania high school coaching legend named John Miller could be facing one come early April.That’s when Miller’s sons — Sean, who coaches No. 1 West seed Arizona; and younger brother Archie, who coaches No. 11th South seed Dayton — could meet in the Final Four. It’s a longshot, sure, especially since the Flyers only got off the bubble and into the bracket after winning nine of their last 10 games.Then again, what were the odds that brothers from a tiny town in western Pennsylvania would wind up coaching in the same tournament? (Short answer: Who knows? The Beaver County (Pa.) Times said it was believed to be the first time that’s happened, but added such record-keeping at the NCAA was “sketchy.”)“Sean, you kind of always figured he was going to be a coach. Archie always said he wasn’t going to coach,” John Miller, who won four state titles and more than 650 games before retiring from Blackhawk High in Beaver Falls, told the newspaper. “It was only three or four days after graduation, though, when we talked. He said, ‘All my contacts are in basketball, maybe I should try coaching.’”After a number of stints as an assistant elsewhere, Archie’s best contact (and brother) came through with a two-year deal at Arizona.“No question, being part of the tournament is going to be great for him,” Sean said.John will be on hand Thursday in Buffalo, when Archie makes his NCAA tournament debut against Ohio State and coach Thad Matta, whom both Millers served under as assistants. But he’ll have to settle for watching Arizona’s opener Friday against Weber State in San Diego on TV. And even if both boys somehow get their teams to Arlington, Texas, on the tourney’s final weekend, John, who still coaches a youth team now and then, isn’t making any promises.“This March Madness,” he fumed, “is getting in the way of basketball.”___DON’T I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE (Part 2)?If Johnny Dawkins and Craig Neal were still playing — instead of coaching — against each other, there’s no doubt which one you’d pick.The two will be back on opposing benches Friday night, 28 years after they faced off as players. But it looks like Neal has the upper hand now. His No. 7 New Mexico squad will be a slight favorite over Dawkins’ No. 10 Stanford when they meet in St. Louis.The last time they did — competitively speaking — was the 1986 ACC tournament title game. Neal, who kicked around basketball’s minor leagues for seven seasons, played for Georgia Tech in that one. Dawkins, who was in his senior year at for Duke, went on to win the game and become the NCAA tourney MVP in 1986, as well as Duke’s career scoring leader until 2006.Small wonder the Cardinal coach was happy to reminisce with AP’s Janie McCauley.“He was younger than I was, so it was a little different,” Dawkins recalled. “We played in a great game. … It was an amazing environment.”After a 13-year NBA career, the coaching racket hasn’t gone quite as smoothly. Stanford finally made the tourney in Dawkins’ sixth season there, amid talk that his job depended on it.___STAT OF THE DAYFrom 2005 through 2009, a No. 1 seed was like an invitation to the Sweet 16. During that stretch all 20 top seeds got there. More recently, though, the big dogs haven’t been quite as lucky, according to research by STATS. One No. 1 has been eliminated in the first weekend three of the last four years. The mighty who fell: Kansas in 2010 (to Northern Iowa), Pittsburgh in 2011 (to Butler) and Gonzaga in 2013 (to Wichita State).But if it’s any consolation, Butler and Wichita State wound up riding those upsets all the way to the Final Four.___QUOTE OF THE DAY“She’ll probably be in tears, so that will be good.” — Peter Hooley, one of four Australians who play for the University of Albany, about how his mother and 20 other family members who got up at 3 a.m. to watch the game back home would react to the Great Danes’ win over Mount St. Mary’s.___TUESDAY’S RESULTSAt Dayton, OhioFirst FourAlbany (N.Y.) 71, Mount St. Mary’s 64N.C. State 74, Xavier 59WEDNESDAY’S GAMESCal Poly (13-19) vs. Texas Southern (19-14), 6:40 p.m.Iowa (20-12) vs. Tennessee (21-12), 30 minutes following