701 Kg of Cocaine Seized aboard Boxship in Algeria

first_imgAlgerian authorities seized 701 kilograms of cocaine on board a containership berthed at the Port of Oran on May 29.The cocaine was hidden in a container of frozen red meat on board the Liberian-flagged ship Vega Mercury.The vessel was coming from Brazil through the Port of Valencia, Algerian defense ministry said in a statement.Algerian coast guard received information of a suspicious shipment and ordered the vessel entering the country’s territorial waters to moor at the port. After a thorough search operation, the coast guard, in cooperation with police and customs units, discovered and seized the drugs.The inspection of all containers on board the boxship is still ongoing, the ministry added.Built in 2009, the 1,118 TEU Vega Mercury is operated by Germany-based Salamon AG, VesselsValue’s data shows.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

30,000 sign petition to stop New Zealand schools teaching ‘gender diversity’

first_imgNewsHub 27 February 2019Family First Comment: It’s over 32,000 now Sign the petition here https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/document/PET_83774/petition-of-helen-houghton-stop-transgender-teaching-inMore than 30,000 people have signed a Parliamentary petition urging the Ministry of Education to scrap references to gender diversity in the New Zealand teaching curriculum.‘Stop transgender teaching in New Zealand schools’ was published on January 29, and has garnered 31,190 signatures as of Wednesday evening.Its purpose is to persuade the House of Representatives to urge the Ministry of Education to “remove learning intentions for teaching gender diversity in the sexuality education guide”.The petition also demands the removal of gender diversity teaching resources on the Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) website, which provides schools with education materials.TKI currently provides multiple learning resources aimed at educating students about different gender identities, including ‘Making schools safer for trans and gender diverse youth’ and a video series about Rainbow Pasifika youth.In 2015, the Ministry of Education developed guidelines for how schools should teach sexual education, and in 2017 the ‘Inclusive Education Guide for supporting LGBTIQA+ students’ was released.Education Minister Chris Hipkins told Newshub while no changes have been made since 2015, “the Ministry of Education plans to work with the sector to update the guide this year to ensure it reflects further societal changes”.“I believe that teachers are already required to create a safe environment for all students regardless of race, religion, language, disability, and sexuality,” the petition reads.“They do not have a separate requirement to teach the content of minority groups in the curriculum… I believe that endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents.”READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/02/30-000-sign-petition-to-stop-new-zealand-schools-teaching-gender-diversity.htmlKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Man stabs co-worker in drinking binge

first_imgHis co-worker Michael Ybanez, 45, of SanEnrique, Iloilo was tagged as suspect, police said. Ybanez was detained in the lockup cellof the Jaro police station. Charges for frustrated homicide will be filedagainst him./PN ILOILO City – A 36-year-old man landedin a hospital after he got stabbed by his co-worker in Barangay Tacas, Jarodistrict. According to police investigation,Baroro and Ybanez were having a drinking binge around 9 p.m. on Oct 2.center_img Baroro was about to go to the comfortroom when Ybanez stabbed him without provocation. It was not immediately establishedwhat was the motive in the incident. Nilo Baroro of Barangay Calaparan,Arevalo district, a construction worker, sustained a stab wound on the body. Hereceived treatment at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriaodistrict. last_img read more

Shopko Foundation tops $1 million with charity golf outing

first_imgGreen Bay, WI.—  Shopko and the Shopko Foundation recently hosted their 39th annual Shopko Foundation Golf Classic on July 11 presented by American Greetings, Kimberly-Clark, and Newell Brands and raised $1,175,500 to support local schools and nonprofits focused on health and education in Shopko communities across the country.“The Shopko Foundation Golf Classic is our most successful fundraiser each year, and because we’ve been so fortunate to have the support of our vendors and business partners, we can continue to strengthen our communities,” said Michelle Hansen, Shopko Foundation manager. “The funds raised this year will support charitable groups and programs that matter to the people who live and work in every community we serve.”More than 300 national Shopko vendors and business partners, as well as former Green Bay Packers, LeRoy Butler, Dorsey Levens, and William Henderson, participated in the event. The Golf Classic teed off at courses throughout northeast Wisconsin: Thornberry Creek Golf Course in Green Bay, Brown County Golf Course in Oneida, and Royal St. Patrick’s Golf Links in Wrightstown. Tim Gorton, president of Families of Children with Cancer, and Cole Stoffel, founder of Cole’s Cancer Crusade and former Shopko Kick-off Kid, were featured speakers at the reception held in the Lambeau Field Atrium.“The generosity and enthusiasm surrounding the Golf Classic speaks volumes to the respect our vendors and business partners have for the Shopko Foundation and the numerous organizations we support,” said Hansen. “Year after year we have an incredible opportunity to make a difference in our Shopko communities.”Through the support of vendors and business partners, Shopko and the Shopko Foundation have raised more than $35 million to support worthy causes and organizations in Shopko communities through the Foundation’s Community Charitable Grant, Teammate Charitable Service Challenge, Green Bay Area Community Grant, and Teammate and Family Scholarship programs.last_img read more

Rodgers will not waste transfer kitty

first_img Press Association “That was the idea of bringing him in, because of his winning mentality and his personality. “Iago has settled in well and got a few goals in pre-season, which is great for his confidence. He’s a livewire in and around the box. “Luis Alberto is obviously still young but has shown the qualities, technically, and has got a strong mentality. “I think we can see early on that he can end up being a very good player for Liverpool.” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits he still has money to spend in the remainder of the transfer window but has no intention of wasting it on unnecessary impulse buys. Rodgers has already signed four players – at an estimated cost of £25million – and while his greatest challenge will be holding on to striker Luis Suarez there is still the scope for further strengthening in addition to reacting to anything that happens with the Uruguay international. But, as he has said before, he will not bring in players just to be seen to be active in the market. “They have to be of the right quality, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “We’ve got money to spend on getting that quality in but if it’s not available I won’t waste it for the sake of bringing a player in. “We’re really working hard to bring in the type of profile that can really help us push on. Rodgers is more than happy with the quartet he has already signed, having brought in Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Manchester City defender Kolo Toure, Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas and Sevilla’s Luis Alberto. “All of the new boys have settled in really well,” he told LFC TV. “Simon Mignolet has been first-class. He has shown that he is one of the top young goalkeepers in European football. “I think he will prove over the next coming years at Liverpool that he is a top goalkeeper. “Kolo Toure speaks for himself – his experience and his fitness has been first-class since he came in and he’s a really good man. last_img read more

Trump Concludes 2019 with Tweets, Golf, Iraq, and NYE Party

first_imgIran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019 President Putin of Russia called to thank me and the U.S. for informing them of a planned terrorist attack in the very beautiful city of Saint Petersburg. They were able to quickly apprehend the suspects, with many lives being saved. Great & important coordination!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019 Armed congregants quickly stopped a crazed church shooter in Texas. If it were not for the fact that there were people inside of the church that were both armed, and highly proficient in using their weapon, the end result would have been catastrophic. A big THANK YOU to them!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019 President Donald Trump ended 2019 with quite a busy day which included tweeting on a variety of issues, golfing, defusing an attack on a U.S. embassy that put the country on the brink of war, and hosting a party at Mar-a-Lago.The president began his New Year’s Eve with this tweet:The Democrats will do anything to avoid a trial in the Senate in order to protect Sleepy Joe Biden, and expose the millions and millions of dollars that “Where’s” Hunter, & possibly Joe, were paid by companies and countries for doing NOTHING. Joe wants no part of this mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019 The protesters reportedly chanted anti-American slogans as they smashed glass, spray painted and set the embassy walls on fire. The attack is believed to have been in retaliation for missile strikes the U.S. conducted last weekend against Kateb Hezbollah, which Trump has blamed for killing and wounding American servicemen in Iraq recently.The President also addressed reports that he was golfing while the embassy was under attack, saying:The Fake News said I played golf today, and I did NOT! I had meeting in various locations, while closely monitoring the U.S. Embassy situation in Iraq, which I am still doing. The Corrupt Lamestream Media knew this but, not surprisingly, failed to report or correct!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019center_img He then spent some time at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach after posting five more tweets on topics ranging from Iran’s involvement in the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, to armed church-goers who stopped a gunman in Texas, to a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a trade deal with China.I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15. The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019 After news broke that the American embassy in Baghdad had been breached by Iraqi Kateb Hezbollah protesters, Trump posted:….Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019 When a reporter later asked Trump about his goal for the new year, First Lady Melania responded: “Peace on the world.” Trump added that he did not want to discuss his resolution because he did not want to “jinx it.”Mr. Trump also told journalists covering the event, “You have to stay honorable. If you’re honorable, I’m going to win the election by a lot. If you’re not honorable, I’m just going to win the election by a little. So I’d rather have you be honorable, Ok?”The President then hosted a New Year’s Eve party attended by many administration and campaign officials and friends, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Palm Beach Gardens resident Ben Carson and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.The First Family is scheduled to return to Washington, D.C. on Sunday.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgUpdate on the latest sports Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies pulled Oliver over Saturday night after receiving reports of someone driving recklessly in a construction area. Oliver failed a sobriety test and deputies found a small caliber pistol in his truck, according to a statement from the Montgomery County Constables.The Houston Chronicle reports that he was released from jail after posting bond.Oliver was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2019 draft. The warrant said Baker and Dunbar were attending the cookout Wednesday night when a fight broke out and Baker pulled out a handgun. Witnesses told investigators that Baker, Dunbar and two other men began robbing people of thousands of dollars, watches and other valuables.The players’ lawyers say they have witnesses who will clear them.NFL-BILLS PLAYER ARRESTEDBuffalo Bills player charged with drunken driving in TexasHOUSTON (AP) — Authorities say Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Ed Oliver was arrested during a traffic stop in the Houston area and charged with drunken driving and illegally carrying a handgun. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNASCAR-DARLINGTONHarvick wins at Darlington as NASCAR returns to tracksDARLINGTON, S.C. — Kevin Harvick was the winner as NASCAR resumed its Cup schedule following a 10-week layoff. Harvick took the lead from Alex Bowman on a late restart and pulled away over the final 30 laps at Darlington Raceway. Bowman finished second, followed by Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin.Harvick is the only drive to finish in the top 10 in each of the Cup Series’ five races this season. He emerged from his car in victory lane wearing a black face mask — what could become NASCAR’s new normal.It was the first Cup race in 71 days since the schedule was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event was run without fans and with an emphasis on masks and social distancing. Roughly 900 people were approved to be inside the gates, all considered essential.Ricky Stenhouse crashed exiting the second turn on the first lap, calling the wreck embarrassing. His crumpled car was spitting flames as he drove to the garage, ending his race without completing a single lap.Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson wrecked while leading on the final lap of the first stage at Darlington Raceway. The mishap took Johnson out of the race and allowed William Byron to take the first stage. NASCAR chose Darlington, the oldest speedway on the Cup circuit, as the safest place to restart the season after eight events were postponed. Sunday marked the first of 20 races across seven Southern states between now and June 21.GOLF-SEMINOLEMcIlroy has key shot in exhibition at SeminoleJUNO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rory McIlroy delivered the money shot in the TaylorMade Driving Relief exhibition that raised over $5 million for COVID-19 relief funds. With the match down to a closest-to-the-pin contest after regulation, McIlroy barely stayed on the shelf left of the pin, measured at 13 feet to beat Matthew Wolff’s attempt by five feet. The final carryover gave McIlroy and Dustin Johnson $1.85 million for the American Nurses Foundation.Wolff and Fowler made $1.15 million for the CDC Foundation. Fowler had seven birdies. May 18, 2020 NFL-ROBBERYBaker, Dunbar released after posting bondFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — NFL cornerbacks DeAndre Baker and Quinton Dunbar were released from Broward County Jail on Sunday, a day after surrendering on felony charges stemming from a cookout at a Miramar home.Baker posted a $200,000 bond after a Zoom hearing with Broward Circuit Judge Michael Davis. The New York Giants defender is charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.Dunbar is charged with four felony counts of armed robbery. The Seattle Seahawks player posted a $100,000 bond. Two drown at property owned by ex-outfielder Carl CrawfordHOUSTON (AP) — A 5-year-old boy and a woman drowned in the backyard pool of former LA Dodger player Carl Crawford’s Houston home Saturday afternoon. That’s according to reports from The Houston Chronicle.The paper says Houston police were called for a reported drowning at a north Houston home that property and business records list as belonging to Crawford. A police spokeswoman told the Chronicle that the boy was swimming in the pool when he began to have trouble breathing, and the woman jumped in to save him. Both were unresponsive when police arrived and later declared dead at a hospital, according to the spokeswoman.No further details were immediately available.The police department did not immediately respond Sunday to a request for comment from The Associated Press. Contact information for Crawford could not be immediately found. Associated Press PGA Tour Charities allowed for online donations during the telecast, raising more than $1 million. The donations will continue until Tuesday.When the exhibition ended, more than $5.5 million had been pledged, starting with the $3 million guarantee from UnitedHeath Group.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSCal. State teams could play football as scheduledUNDATED (AP) — The California State University system’s plan for a mostly virtual fall semester due to the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t necessarily close the door on football at its three schools that play in the far-flung Mountain West Conference. San Diego State athletic director John David Wicker says the school is looking at having football players return to campus no earlier than July 7 and is making plans to play the season as scheduled. SDSU is proceeding because it envisions a fall schedule that includes a hybrid model of classes, in which some students will be on campus for in-person instruction such as labs while other classes will be held online.The Mountain West also includes Cal. State schools Fresno State and San Jose State. Fresno State AD Terry Tumey said it’s too early to determine when athletes could return to campus, adding that the safety of the community, the players and support staff is paramount. San Jose State said in a statement that it continues to work on timelines.NCAA President Mark Emmert said recently that campuses must be open “in one fashion or another” in order to have sports this fall.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Former major league manager and infielder Art Howe has been released from a Houston hospital after a stay in intensive care because of the pandemic. The 73-year-old Howe will be isolated at home for another week or two. — English Premier League clubs will try on Monday to agree on protocols to allow a return to training during the pandemic. Teams already have started checking players and coaches for COVID-19, with a total of 1,600 weekly tests anticipated across the 20 clubs in England’s top division. Monday’s meeting comes two days after the German league resumed its schedule.— All Spanish league clubs can begin group training sessions this week despite stricter lockdown restrictions remaining in place in parts of Spain because of the pandemic. Cities like Madrid and Barcelona have not been allowed to loosen confinement measures like most of the country, but teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona have been given the go-ahead to move into the second phase of training. The league has told clubs that on Monday all players can start small group sessions regardless of the lockdown phase in their regions. Players had only been allowed to train individually across Spain until now.— Park Hyun-kung shot a final-round 67 to win the Korean Ladies Professional Golf tournament by one stroke. Park had a four-round total of 17-under 271 on the Lakewood Country Club course. Lim Hee-jeong carried a three-stroke lead into the final round before falling into a second-place tie with Bae Seon-woo. The tournament was played without fans and with players using hand sanitizers and following social-distancing rules. Caddies wore masks but players were allowed to play without them.— Russia has relaxed border restrictions for athletes and coaches in a move that will help soccer to restart in the country next month. Russia has barred most foreign arrivals since March in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Now the government says athletes and coaches will be allowed in if they have a contract with a Russian sports team or organization. They will have to spend 14 days in isolation on arrival and will be observed by doctors.MLB-CRAWFORD-POOL DROWNINGlast_img read more

Panelists discuss role of whistleblowers in the US

first_imgThe event hosted by the Annenberg Center for Communication Leadership and Policy invited field experts to discuss current events. (Ashley Lyu | Daily Trojan)  “The individual becomes the traitor, the snitch, the rat even though we as a society, our founding documents celebrate truth and justice,” Mueller said. “When someone turns on you, it can be very personal. Fundamentally, truth and justice are against loyalty and obedience in every one of these categories.” However, upon meeting Gun in person, Hood said he understood the significance of the whistleblower and the bravery it takes to expose hidden truths. He said whistleblowers play an important role in democracy.  The panel featured Tom Mueller, author of “Crisis of Conscience;” Jack Poulson, a Google whistleblower and former Stanford University assistant professor; Mary Inman, a whistleblower attorney; and Gavin Hood, a South African filmmaker and director of “Official Secrets,” which details the true story of a British whistleblower. Geoffrey Cowan, director of the Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, moderated the discussion. “From 1986 to present, there are $60 billion in return to the U.S. Treasury as a result of cases by whistleblowers. Why is that?” Inman said. “It’s intuitive to everyone in this room who is a journalist, which is, whistleblowers, like your sources, know where the bodies are buried. There’s no substitute for a well-placed insider.” Panelists spoke about whistleblowing within American companies and political institutions at a  Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy event Tuesday. Hood said he was fascinated with Gun’s story after doing some initial research but was skeptical when it came to making the film.   As a seasoned attorney who specializes in representing whistleblowers and partner at Constantine Cannon LLP, Inman pointed to the relationship between lawyers, journalists and whistleblowers. Inman traced the origins of whistleblowers back to the False Claims Act, a law enacted in 1863 — and later amended in 1986 — that imposed liability on companies that attempted to defraud the government.  “I saw a blacklist that literally contained the term ‘human rights’ on it, which was more than a little upsetting,” Poulson said.  Inspired by the same reasons as mentioned by the others, Hood, who had not planned on speaking on the panel, shared his experience working on his film. He detailed the process he took researching whistleblowers and interviewing whistleblower Katharine Gun regarding her involvement in exposing illegal activities of the United States leading up to the Iraq War.  Poulson discussed his experience at Google, where he quit his job after learning the company would launch a censored version of its search engine in China. Poulson then wrote an editorial in The New York Times, which publicized the issue.   “My first reaction was, ‘Well, you know, she’s a spy, she must have been in a dirty world, what did she think she was getting into?’” he said.  “I didn’t know how tough it was for whistleblowers to actually come out,” An said. “I think on the outside it seems easy like, ‘Oh, just expose something that you see that’s bad,’ but in reality, there’s so much stacked up against them, and I think that was really surprising.” Josh An, a junior majoring in communication, said he gained a new perspective on whistleblowers and the challenges they face.   Mueller said those who expose company secrets are often perceived in a negative light and explained the reasoning behind their unfavorable image.last_img read more

USC edges Nebraska in high-scoring Holiday Bowl

first_imgThe Trojan faithful who trekked down the Interstate-5 saw an explosion of offense at the 2014 National University Holiday Bowl Saturday night, as USC topped Nebraska 45-42 despite a furious comeback by the Huskers.Though it was the last game for many Trojan seniors and juniors declaring for the draft, it was USC’s young crop of talent that impressed. Freshman cornerback-wide receiver Adoree’ Jackson accounted for two touchdowns in the win, while freshman tight end Bryce Dixon added another in the Trojans’ first-ever appearance in the Holiday Bowl.Jackson set a Holiday Bowl record with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown early in the first quarter to put the Trojans up 7-3, and hauled in an impressive 71-yard touchdown catch later on to put his team up 31-17.Redshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler capped off his efficient season by tying former Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley’s single-season record with 39 touchdown passes in a year. Kessler finished the night with 321 yards, three touchdowns and an interception to bring his season totals to 3,826 passing yards and five interceptions.Despite his accomplishments, Kessler remained humble.“That is completely irrelevant to me,” Kessler said of tying Barkley’s mark. “And I’m not just saying that. I really do mean that. The win and loss, that’s the most important thing for me, [and] winning games for these guys. And if that happens to be breaking a record, if that’s what it takes to win a game, then so be it.”Kessler announced after the game that he plans to return for his senior year and will try to convince a few of his teammates to do the same.One of the players who might need convincing is junior defensive end Leonard Williams, who solidified his place as a potential top-five pick in the 2015 NFL Draft — should he forgo his senior season — with a number of crucial plays.Williams racked up nine total tackles on the night as well as a sack of Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong, Jr., and was key in thwarting the Huskers’ comeback that looked all-too-familiar to Trojan fans.With a three-point lead and one second on the clock, USC lined up to defend a Hail Mary. This time — unlike against Arizona State earlier this season — the Trojans were successful in batting the pass down, clinching their ninth win of the season to finish USC head coach Steve Sarkisian’s first year 9-4.“We’ve been through a lot,” Sarkisian said. “We’ve had a couple just excruciating losses. And to come out tonight and win at the very end — we always try to make it exciting, we make it entertaining for everybody — I’m happy for these guys.”USC held a 45-27 lead before ceding two touchdowns to close out the game. Following Kessler’s touchdown pass to Dixon, Nebraska’s Jordan Westerkamp scored on a 65-yard catch-and-run. Armstrong, Jr. punched in a 15-yard keeper and hit Kenny Bell on the two-point conversion to cut down USC’s lead to just three points.Armstrong, Jr. set a career-high with 381 passing yards and threw three touchdown passes in addition to his touchdown run. The Trojan defense was unable to capitalize on a number of opportunities to intercept Armstrong, Jr., with sophomore linebacker Su’a Cravens hauling in the only pick of the game of the Huskers’ gunslinger.The Trojans did a better job stopping the run, holding Nebraska’s star running back Ameer Abdullah to just 88 rush yards and a touchdown. USC’s redshirt junior tailback Javorius “Buck” Allen, meanwhile, scored twice on 152 rushing yards.Allen, Williams and junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who caught seven passes for 90 yards and a touchdown and batted down the Hail Mary pass to clinch the win, are three underclassmen who might have played their final game for USC on Saturday night.Though the Trojans will lose a crop of talented seniors in linebackers Hayes Pullard and J.R. Tavai, tight end Randall Telfer, cornerback Josh Shaw and safety Gerald Bowman, Sarkisian is optimistic about the program going forward.“Our future — I’ll say it again — is ridiculously bright.” Click here to see the game in photos.last_img read more

The Point After: If USC’s devastating loss isn’t a wake up call, then nothing will be

first_imgJosh Dunst | Daily TrojanFor the second straight home game, the football team not only managed to lose, but also did so in truly embarrassing fashion. While the concept of what is “embarrassing” has been defined and redefined countless times this season, Saturday’s 15-14 loss to Cal was truly a new low for USC.A Week 2 loss to Stanford, in which the Trojans managed just 3 points against a Stanford defense that would go on to allow 40 points at home to Utah and Washington State, was embarrassing. Seeing a 14-3 lead turn into a 37-14 loss to the Texas Longhorns was embarrassing. Allowing Arizona to come back to nearly beat the Trojans after USC committed 18 penalties accounting for nearly 170 yards was embarrassing. Dropping back-to-back divisional games to Utah and Arizona State to not only eliminate the stranglehold on the Pac-12 South but also wipe out a 19-game home winning streak was embarrassing.This week, the Trojans lost to a Golden Bears squad that has been winless against USC in its last 14 attempts and hasn’t won in the Coliseum since 2000. The loss firmly eliminates USC from Pac-12 South contention, and also brings the team to a point where they will more than likely fail to qualify for bowl season if they cannot handle business in the Rose Bowl against UCLA. It would be the first time since 2011 and the third time this century that the Trojans would fail to make it to postseason play. Put lightly, this is extremely disappointing for a team that has made it to two consecutive New Years’ Six bowls, won the conference a year ago and has had recruiting classes ranked no lower than 10th over the past four years. Put harshly, yet realistically, this is completely unacceptable from any USC team — and heads need to roll.While head coach Clay Helton may not be the single cause for USC’s failures, Saturday’s defeat made it clear that the team’s problems may be much more deep-rooted than an ineffective offense. In the waning moments of the weekend’s contest, a season defining moment for the Trojans came when senior cornerback Iman Marshall took a 15-yard penalty for taunting the Golden Bears bench, allowing Cal to ice the win.On one hand, Marshall certainly has to be more concentrated on the game at hand. As a senior leader and the best player on the Trojan defense by most metrics, he must set a better example for the rest of the unit. At the same time, just as much of the blame falls on Helton and the tone of the program.At this point, it is clear that USC is not entirely focused on winning or even being a competitive team. This version of USC football is essentially a professional development program for players to make their name known, gain scouts’ attention and get drafted. In some ways, that is alright. If players will continue to be left without proper compensation for their work here in college, then what should prevent them from doing all they can to get paid as handsomely as professionals? The problem, however, lies in Helton’s desire to do both. When a leader like Marshall makes a selfish decision, it becomes clear that this team simply isn’t focused on winning. When Helton pleads to officials, “please don’t call that penalty” with a look of pure desperation and terror in his eyes, it becomes clear he hasn’t prepared himself or his players to compete.With every passing moment, the fanbase becomes more impatient, recruits become more indecisive and veteran players continue to wonder why they would stick around a program that will not help them win or get paid like they can in the NFL. Again, it is up to Athletic Director Lynn Swann to make the tough decisions. Again, USC looks like a team that is directionless, leaderless and simply waiting on the next miracle player (see: Sam Darnold) to come around and save it. This team must perform better than it has all season. This program must have higher expectations. If this isn’t enough of a catalyst for change, then it’s possible that nothing will be.Jimmy Goodman is a junior majoring in communication. His column, “The Point After,” runs every other Tuesday.last_img read more