Saudi King Salman, 84, admitted to hospital

first_imgSaudi Arabia’s 84-year-old ruler, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, has been admitted to hospital in the capital Riyadh, suffering from inflammation of the gall bladder, state news agency SPA said on Monday.The king, who has ruled the world’s largest oil exporter and close U.S. ally since 2015, was undergoing medical checks, the agency added, without giving details.King Salman, the custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, spent more than 2-1/2 years as the Saudi crown prince and deputy premier from June 2012 before becoming king. He also served as governor of the Riyadh region for more than 50 years. Topics : The defacto ruler and next in line to the throne is the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, widely known by his initials MBS, who has launched reforms to transform the kingdom’s economy and end its “addiction” to oil.The 34-year-old prince, who is popular among young Saudis, has won praise at home for easing social restrictions in the conservative Muslim kingdom, giving more rights to women and pledging to diversify the economy.To the king’s supporters, this boldness at home and abroad was a welcome change after decades of caution, stagnation and dithering.But state control of the media and a crackdown on dissent in the kingdom make it difficult to gauge the extent of domestic enthusiasm. last_img read more

IMCA Modified stars will shine at Hancock County specials Aug. 10-12

first_imgBRITT, Iowa – The stars of the IMCA Modified division will shine during a rich three nights of racing at Hancock County Speedway.The Thursday, Aug. 10 Night of 1,000 Stars at Britt pays a guaranteed $3,500 to win, plus a bonus of $1,000 to the leader at halfway and another $1,000 if they have perfect attendance this season at Britt.The Night of 10,000 Stars on Friday, Aug. 11 boasts a $7,000 top check, plus $1,000 bonuses to the halfway leader, for perfect attendance and for having won on Thursday as well.Winner of the Saturday, Aug. 12 Shryock Memorial All Stars event can more than double his or her guaranteed $4,000 payday: In addition to the $1,000 paid to the halfway leader, $1,000 bonuses will be paid if the Shryock winner as perfect season attendance and won on Friday.Another $1,500 bonus goes to the driver winning all three Stars features, making their earnings for three days an impressive $24,000.All three events are draw/redraw and qualifiers for the 2018 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. IMCA Speedway Motor Weekly Racing National, Side Biter Chassis North Central Region and Allstar Performance State points, but no track points will be awarded.Thirty cars will start three-wide in each of the 50-lappers. Minimum start money is $300 on Thursday and Saturday and $400 on Friday.Pit gates open at 4:30 p.m., the front gate opens at 5:30 p.m. and racing follows 6:30 p.m. hot laps each night. Grandstand admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students ages 13-17 and free for kids 12 and under. Pit passes are $30.Also running on the 23rd annual Landus Cooperative and Doug Studer Farms-sponsored Night of 1,000 Stars card are Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods for $750 to win, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars for $600 to win and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars for $500 to win.DuPont Pioneer and DuPont Crop Protection sponsor the fifth annual Night of 10,000 Stars. Stock Cars run for $750 to win, SportMods and Hobby Stocks both for $500 to win.The Shryock Memorial is sponsored by Lake Mills Motor Sports and Pritchard Family Auto Stores. Top checks are $750 for the Hobby Stocks, $600 for the Stock Cars and $500 for the SportMods.National and state points will be awarded to Stock Car, SportMod and Hobby Stock competitors; regional points will also be given to Stock and Hobby drivers. Transponder scoring will be used all three nights.More information is available at the www.hancockcountyspeedway.com website or by emailing [email protected] Hancock County Speedway events are all part of IMCA Modified Speedweek, which starts with the Arnold Motor Supply Hawkeye Dirt Tour show on Aug. 7 at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer.The Harris Clash is Aug. 8 at Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City and the Hawkeye Dirt Tour finale is Aug. 9 at Buena Vista Raceway in Alta.All six events will be broadcast by IMCATV.last_img read more

USC’s SCholars program facing a hazy future

first_imgSenior Stephanie Garcia is the first in her family to attend college. She began at Los Angeles Community College, and transferred to USC in her sophomore year with the help of the SCholars program — a program that helps first-generation and low-income students transfer to four-year universities.Since coming to USC, Garcia has been actively involved with the SCholars program, even bringing her younger sister to events with her. She hopes the events will eventually inspire her sister to attend a four-year school.SCholarly · Juana Escobar, a junior majoring in communication, transferred from Los Angeles City College through the SCholars program. – Dieuwertje Kast | Daily TrojanBut unless the program manages to quickly raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, Garcia’s sister might not have the same opportunity.“If I wouldn’t have known and been a part of the SCholars, I would’ve still been struggling,” Garcia said. “They helped with a lot of the challenges we face as transfer students, but also as a lot of first-generation college students. A lot of us did have a hard time transferring, academically and socially, and they’ve definitely been there to help bridge that gap.”The SCholars program was established at USC in 2006, spurred by a grant of almost $1 million. But the money, given by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, was a one-time grant. Now that the funds from the grant have run out, the program’s future is in jeopardy.The program takes about $200,000-$250,000 per year to run, according to Judi Garbuio, associate dean of the Academic Recognition and Scholars Program. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, in the midst of financial difficulty, has said it will not renew the grant, so the SCholars program is looking for an alternative source of funding.“We’re working on it, trying to seek funds from other foundations, and we’ve also been engaged in fundraising from private parties willing to support the cause,” said K.C. Mmeje, the SCholars program director. “We’re trying to get the university to see that what we’re doing is important enough for them to provide support to sustain the program, but we’re not seeing that right now.”Because the program has been funded entirely by sources outside of USC so far, it is looking to other external sources first. Garbuio said asking USC for funding would be a last resort, because they are aware of the many other programs aiming to get money from the university. She was not optimistic about other sources of funding, either.“It’s a very tough time to be fundraising,” Garbuio said. “Different individuals have suffered with the economy, so they’re not as likely to donate to foundations, which are in turn not as likely to give out grants.”Like Garcia, Roland Zapata, a junior majoring in psychology and a member of the SCholars program, said the program has been a defining part of his educational experience and hopes that it finds a way to stay afloat.“It’s a transition program, essentially, it’s a baby-step thing, perfect for someone like me,” Zapata said. “I was asking all these weird questions and I was getting answers.”The SCholars program offers students counseling resources and group events to help them succeed socially and academically.“Without it, who knows if I would’ve even ended up here,” Zapata said. “People say that as a joke, ‘Who knows where I’d be,’ but really. Even once I got here, it’s been a big jump from community college … Even if I had gotten here without it, without that support to fall back on, I would’ve been like, ‘OK, I’m dropping this, I’m out.’”Cheryl Armstrong, director of the University Transfer Center at Los Angeles City College, said the program is important to students and believes that it should be a priority for it to continue to function.“If I had a pot of money set aside, this would be a priority in terms of making sure this program continues,” she said. “Students who go through this specific program tend to apply to select universities, tend to enroll and complete the work and go on to graduate school. It provides the transition information that students need who might not have succeeded otherwise.”The grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation extends through August 2010, so students currently in community colleges entering USC next year will still go through the SCholar program’s summer immersion session.The immersion program, however, will put more emphasis on pointing out resources on campus they can turn to in case the SCholars office is available next fall.Still, Garbuio said she believes in the program.“I’m still hopeful,” she said. “I really believe it’s a fantastic program, and that we’ll figure out a way to keep it going.”last_img read more