SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The FBI has arrested a radio producer in Puerto Rico for allegedly trying to extort money from a government official to prevent the release of private messages that would “burn down Puerto Rico.” The indictment announced Wednesday is related to leaked communications sent via an encrypted messaging app that later brought down Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. Sixto Jorge Díaz Colón faces federal charges including attempted extortion and the destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation. An attorney for Díaz could not be immediately reached for comment. The FBI says he was arrested at his home early Wednesday.
Drawing on the results of 80 interviews from members of the private sector of the workforce in Cuba, Carmelo Mesa-Lago, distinguished service professor emeritus of economics and Latin American studies at the University of Pittsburgh, delivered a lecture Tuesday called “Voices of Change from the Non-State Sector in Cuba” at the Hesburgh Center. The lecture focused on economic changes in Cuba over the past several years. The results of the interviews have already been published in the book “Voces de Cambio en el Sector no Estatal en Cuba,” which Mesa-Lago co-authored. An English version of the book will be available in the fall of 2017.According to Mesa-Lago, the rise of the private sector in Cuba can be attributed to economic reforms made under Raul Castro. While there is some information available on the impact of these reforms, Mesa-Lago and his co-authors wanted to look at the reforms from a new angle.“Although we have substantial information in terms of this non-state sector, we didn’t know what the feelings of the people involved in that sector were,” he said. “We wanted to find out, ‘What do they think about so many important issues that they are dealing with?’”As a result of the research and interviews, Mesa-Lago said this project has been a unique one for him.“I have written a lot of books, and I have never been more involved in a book like this because for the first time I was hearing the Cuban people talking, and that was fascinating for me,” he said.The project is also relevant due to the growing private sector in Cuba, Mesa-Lago said. In 2015, 71 percent of those employed worked in the state sector, which was a decrease from previous years, he said.Mesa-Lago said the interviews were primarily conducted with people who work in non-agricultural production and service cooperatives, usufruct farmers and those who buy and sell private dwellings.The group of people who work in cooperative farms is especially important, according to Mesa-Lago.“It’s a tiny group, but they play an important role because Cuba gives preference to the cooperatives over self-employment because it’s a more advanced socialist form of organization and therefore they have an advantage over self-employment,” he said.Mesa-Lago described the private workforce as “young, male, white, with very high education.”While he said this is not typical of the Cuban population, he was more surprised by the satisfaction of the workers than the lack of a representative population. From the interviews, 80 percent of the workers were satisfied in the non-state sector, and only five percent identified themselves as unsatisfied.“This is very interesting and surprising because they face a lot of problems – regulation, inspections, taxes, etc.,” Mesa-Lago said.The main problems these workers face involves their inputs and state interference, Mesa-Lago said. Since 25 percent of the inputs can only be obtained from a state shop, according to Mesa-Lago, the workers have a lack of options in obtaining their resources.The interviews also revealed that state interference and bureaucracy was a common problem with the private sector, with 27 percent of the interviewees mentioning it as a problem they faced in their business.Aggregating the results of the interviews, Mesa-Lago said people working in the non-state sector want three primary changes — more liberty, less state regulation and interference and more estate incentives and guarantees. These requests signal to Mesa-Lago the desires of the voices in change in the country moving forward.Tags: Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Cuba, Private Sector Employment
Staples, in 6.72 seconds, beat out Duby (6.87) for second place in the 55-meter dash and also was sixth in the long jump, with Duby second (37.43 seconds) to Oswego’s Ben Lewis (37.36) in the 300-meter dash and Conlon third in 38.37 seconds.Conlon also helped J-D to second place in the 4×400 relay in 3:46.55 Nate Rindfuss got second in the 3,200-meter run in 11:11.54 and Smith topped 9’6” in the pole vault for third place.ESM’s Kevin Hasty gave his team a highlight with his winning weight throw of 47’4’” beating out Richer’s 45’9” as Logan Cowell was third with 41’9′ 1/2” and the Rams’ Jason Pritts was fourth with 41’3”.Nick Berg was victorious in the 1,000-meter run in 2:39.59 over J-D teammates Kaleel Boykins (2:43.51) and Sam Smith (2:47.73), with Berg also sixth in the 1,600. El again won the triple jump, flying 41’3 1/2” as Caleb Smith was third (40’5 1/4”) and Aniket Maini fourth (37’10 3/4”) for J-D.Hasty was third in the shot put with 37’11” as Cowell (37’3 1/4”) was fourth, with Aiden Hirt fourth in the long jump with 17’11 1/2” and Parks fifth. ESM went 3:48.81 for third place in the 4×400 as Bennett Ferrari was fourth in the pole vault, also clearing 9’6”.In the girls sectional Class A meet, J-D, just like it did in the SCAC Empire meet a week earlier, finished second with 81 points as Central Square (121 points) again won and ESM was sixth with 43 points.The girls Red Rams’ lone win on the track came in the 4×200 as Monica Hernandez, Laetticia Bazile, Janna VanVraken and Rainer Yaeger went 1:54.28 to runner-up Whitesboro’s 1:56.70, with ESM fourth in 1:58.20.Bazile gave J-D a victory in the high jump, clearing 5’2” as Hernandez tied for fifth, with Yaeger beating the field in the triple jump by going 33’10 1/4” and second in the long jump with 16’3 1/4”.Grace Bridge took second place in the 600 in 1:46.40, while Madeline Foss was fourth in the 3,000-meter run as J-D took third in the 4×400 in 4:32.43 and fourth in the 4×800.Eva Wisniewski, clearing 8’6”, was third in the pole vault, while Lucy Heflin (7 feet) was fifth. Bazile was fourth (9.67 seconds) and Monica Hernandez fifth (9.69) in the 55 hurdles, plus Jenna VanVraken fifth in the 300.ESM got a win from Rylie King, who went 7.77 seconds in the 55 sprint to beat out the 7.85 from Whitesboro’s McKenna Knapp.Kayleigh Maloof, fifth in the 55 sprint, did far better in the triple jump, her 32’4 1/4” second only to Yaeger..Rhiannon Butchko, clearing 5 feet, got to third place in the high jump as the Spartans were fifth in the 4×400 and sixth in the 4×800.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Getting 20 points in the 1,600-meter run, J-D had Kaleel Boykins win in 4:42.94, with Ahviere Reese third in 4:47.58 and Jacob Cottet (4:50.34) in fourth place.Nick Dekaney had to go 8.05 seconds to edge ESM’s Michael Parks (8.06) by one-hundredth of a second and Rocky El (8.07) by two-hundredths of a second in a tight 55-meter hurdles battle. Parks added a third-place high jump of 5’6”.Later, in the 4×200, the Rams had Dekaney, Joe Staples, Josh Duby and Haberle Conlon pull away for a win in 1:35.40, nearly nine second ahead of the 1:45.34 from second-place Central Square. Now the Jamesville-DeWitt boys indoor track and field team has a Section III Class A championship to add to this season’s lengthy resume.The Red Rams powered to the top of the standings Saturday at SRC Arena and piled up 185 points, well clear of East SyracuseMinoa, who managed to get second place with 83 points.A 1-2 finish in the high jump had Caleb Smith clearing 5 feet 10 inches to beat out Nick Dekaney, who topped 5’8”, Smith adding another title in the long jump when he went 20’3” as James Richer’s shot put toss of 42’5 1/2” beat out teammate Ben Staples’ 39’4 3/4”. Tags: ESMindoor trackJ-D
“The 19th Hole” runs on Tuesdays. To comment on this story, email Joey at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dailytrojan.com. In the minutes prior to tipoff between the USC men’s basketball team and UCLA on Sunday afternoon, the Galen Center video board flashed a montage of highlights from the Trojans’ upset win over the Bruins on Jan. 30. It showed flashy dunks and some last-minute free throws, preserving the victory in the minds of fans.USC players and fans smiled, reminiscing. Meanwhile, UCLA players and fans grimaced, re-living the game.“That definitely pissed them off,” senior forward Renaldo Woolridge said, when asked about the Bruins’ reaction to the video clips. “It would’ve pissed me off.”Pissed-off UCLA opened the game by racing out to 7-0 lead in less than three minutes. Its lead grew would only grow from there to 17-4 and then to 21-8. Little changed when the final buzzer rang. UCLA won and did so handily by a final score of 75-59.For USC, which had been riding a modest four-game winning streak as recently as nine days ago, Sunday’s loss, combined with a similarly disappointing defeat at Cal on Feb. 17 in which it relinquished a 15-point second half lead, functioned as a slap back to reality. This, by all accounts, isn’t playing to rise — contrary to the team’s frequently mentioned slogan.“We didn’t come ready,” said junior center Omar Oraby, who finished with 11 points. “It comes down to who plays harder, and they played harder.”The Trojans were simply out of it from the get-go versus the Bruins.“It was too much of a hole to get out of,” added USC interim coach Bob Cantu, speaking on UCLA’s first-half onslaught.No doubt, double-digit deficits remain difficult to overcome.“Obviously it’s a loss, but with the rivalry it’s bigger than a loss,” junior guard J.T. Terrell said.And so Sunday served as the Trojans’ second-straight loss. Not to mention they’re now 12-15 overall and 7-7 in the Pac-12. The NCAA tournament? That remains every bit of an afterthought barring an unexpected run in the conference tournament to secure an automatic bid. The NIT? That stands increasingly less likely as the Trojans inch further away from the .500 benchmark.This season — whatever was left of it, anyway — appears to be slipping from their grasp. It isn’t unexpected: Moving on from Kevin O’Neill and a nightmarish final 12 months of his tenure isn’t exactly a quick, overnight fix. Evidently, undoing the damage is going to take a bit of time, perhaps much more than it looked like a couple weeks ago.No matter how well Cantu, who is now 5-5 since taking over for O’Neill in January, has done at changing the culture around the program and inspiring confidence among players midseason, everything about his scheme looks off. The Trojans still take terrible shots and have little flow offensively; by and large, they live and die by 3-pointers and 17-foot jumpers, which can lead to some nice wins but hardly serves as a recipe for any long-term offensive success.As for defense, Sunday’s effort couldn’t have been much worse. To open the game, the Bruins made 8 of their first ten shots, a rate that would eventually culminate in a 47.2 percent clip for the game.The problem currently appears to be that USC can’t find any sort of middle ground for its team. With O’Neill at the helm, they looked like an over-disciplined bunch, robots timid and hesitant to assert themselves on the court, especially on the offensive end. Now, by contrast, they seemingly lack any discipline, are out of position on defense and hoist ill-advised shots on offense.Cantu mentioned during his post-game media session that this is a “low” point. There’s nothing new about that: In basketball, as he mentioned, there are plenty of highs and lows. But this group’s problems run deeper than simply a low point. Really, UCLA and Cal have exposed ’SC after a two-week span in which good shooting masked a number of glaring problems: regression on defense and a lack of anything that resembles offensive structure.This program needs an overhaul. That much is apparent in the wake of a 16-point home loss to a crosstown rival. Does that overhaul still leave Cantu in the big chair on the Galen Center sidelines? Perhaps, sure. But with every loss, it becomes an increasingly unlikely possibility.Whoever takes over on a full-time basis, whether that’s Cantu or the wide range of candidates who have been publicly linked to the opening in recent weeks, has quite a bit of work cut out for them. What transpired Sunday sure indicates this team is one that’s far, far away from one dancing in March. Despite O’Neill’s departure, USC is still chasing not only UCLA, but most everyone out west.