Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cream Of Australia Aims To Rise To The Top In Adelaide

Riders in the northern hemisphere may have packed up for their winter break, but it’s all go at the other side of the world as competitors prepare for their premier event, Australia’s International 3 Day Event in Adelaide, the second leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013.

The Australian event offers them a chance to get a foothold on the leaderboard for the valuable HSBC FEI Classics™, in which last year’s Adelaide winner, Stuart Tinney (AUS), secured fifth place in the overall standings for the 2011/2012 season.

This year, Tinney, an Olympic gold medallist in 2000, rides the 14-year-old grey Pluto Mio, recent winner of the Goulburn CIC3*.

Two members of Australia’s 2008 Olympic silver medal team are competing: Shane Rose, who rides APH Moritz, second behind Pluto Mio at Goulburn and a recent winner of Berrima CIC3*, and Megan Jones.

Jones rides the veteran Kirby Park Irish Jester, the horse on which she won her Olympic medal, and also a team bronze at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games™ and four FEI World Cup™ Eventing competitions. The diminutive grey gelding is now 19.

There are seven CCI4* first-timers, one of whom will take home the HSBC Training Bursary worth US$1,000 for the best CCI4* d├ębut. One of the group is Craig Barrett, husband of the Australian team coach Prue Barrett, riding Sandhills Brillaire and Wendela Jamie.

The all Australian field will come before a Ground Jury led by Christian Landolt (SUI) as president, who is joined by Marilyn Payne (USA) and Vicky Brydon (AUS). Alec Lochore (GBR), who directed the Eventing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will act as Technical Delegate.

The event, directed by double Olympic gold medallist Gill Rolton, literally stops the traffic, as the Cross Country takes place in the city centre, in Victoria Park, where Course Designer Wayne Copping is sure to have built another spectacular thriller.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Obama signals he's putting climate change on back burner

The fact that climate change got some attention at Wednesday’s presidential press conference could be viewed as progress by environmentalists, after they watched the issue go virtually ignored during the just-concluded campaign.

President Obama made many of the right sounds for activists on the issue. In response to a question from the New York Times’s Mark Landler, Obama said America must “make sure that this is not something we're passing on to future generations, that's going to be very expensive and very painful to deal with.”
But the president also signaled that reducing carbon emissions comes nowhere near the top of his agenda, at least as he looks forward to the start of his second term.

Obama repeatedly hammered away during the 50-minute session on the impending “fiscal cliff” and his support of tax increases for the wealthy. He said he saw “incredibly encouraging” signs for comprehensive immigration reform. But when Landler asked about reducing carbon emissions, Obama only talked about big challenges and the need for more dialogue.

“Understandably, I think the American people right now have been so focused and will continue to be focused on our economy and jobs and growth,” Obama said, “that if the message is somehow we're going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don't think anybody is going to go for that.  I won't go for that.”

This is the same president who, in his first term, talked expansively about how clean-energy “green” jobs could be the key to not only environmental progress but to job creation. On Tuesday, Obama talked only in the broadest terms about initiating a “conversation” with scientists, engineers and elected officials to try to find areas for progress.

He said he would look for “bipartisan support” to try to move the issue forward. It’s hard to imagine where that support would come from, since many Republicans in Congress refuse to even acknowledge that global temperature increases can be tied to human activity.

When reporter Landler said it sounded like there was no consensus to move forward, Obama did not disagree. Instead, he turned the question back to his theme of the day.

“Look, we're still trying to debate whether we can just make sure that middle-class families don't get a tax hike,” the president said. He said that is where his focus would remain for the foreseeable future. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election 2012: Obama Wins Pennsylvania and Its Latino Vote

Obama PA Win.jpg
President Barack Obama claimed victory in the Keystone state Tuesday night and its 20 electoral votes, thanks in part to Pennsylvania’s Latino voters.

According to Fox News exit polls conducted in the state, Obama claimed 82 percent of Pennsylvania’s Latin voters. The Hispanic population in the so-called battleground state is about 7 percent.

Fox News also reported that Obama claimed 54 percent of the vote in Pennsylvania, with Romney grabbing 45 percent after just under 70 percent of the votes were reported.

Pennsylvania had been considered to be in Obama's column for much of the campaign. But in recent days, as polls appeared to narrow, Mitt Romney's campaign saw an opportunity. There was a late advertising blitz for Romney, and the candidate added visits to Pennsylvania Sunday and again on Election Day.

Former President Bill Clinton also spent the last days of the campaign in Pennsylvania trying to get out the vote for Obama. 

Democrat, Sen. Bob Casey, has also won another term in Pennsylvania.

Democrat Bob Casey has won a second term in the United States Senate, defeating his well-financed Republican challenger, Tom Smith, according to a projection by the Associated Press.

Several TV networks have also called the race for Casey, 52, who is now the winner of five consecutive statewide elections, including two for auditor general and one for state treasurer.

Smith, a coal-mining millionaire from rural Armstrong County in Western Pennsylvania, spent at least $17 million of his own money on the race.

Early on, Casey had seemed a prohibitive favorite, but Smith's money - together with help from national conservative organizations - made Casey sweat coming down the stretch.

Voters in Indiana have rejected one of the two Republican Senate candidates whose campaigns ran into trouble because of comments about rape and abortion. Democrat Joe Donnelly defeated Republican Richard Mourdock, who slipped in the polls after saying during a debate that when a woman who is raped becomes pregnant, it's what "God intended."