Tickets Now Available to See Sam Shepard’s A Particle of Dread Off-Broadway

first_imgTickets are now on sale for the U.S. premiere of Sam Shepard’s A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations), which has also extended two weeks off-Broadway and will now play through January 4, 2015. Directed by Nancy Meckler, the production will star Oscar nominee Stephen Rea and Tony winner Brid Brennan. Performances will begin on November 11 at Alice Griffin Jewel box Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center, with opening night set for November 23. A Particle of Dread is a dark, modern-day take on Oedipus Rex. The play premiered in Ireland and is presented as part of Signature’s Legacy program, which features works of past Signature Playwrights-in-Residence. Related Shows View Comments A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations) The cast will also include Lloyd Hutchinson, Jason Kolotouros, Matthew Rausch, Aidan Redmond and Judith Roddy. Scenic design will be by Frank Conway, with costumes by Lorna Marie Mugan, lighting design by Michael Chybowski, sound design Jill BC Du Boff and music by Neil Martin. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 4, 2015last_img read more

The Salvadoran Armed Force’s Strategic Reserve

first_imgBy Geraldine Cook/ Diálogo April 16, 2019 “When we were ambushed, my reaction was to protect them,” said Salvadoran Army Master Sergeant Fredy Adolfo Castro Urbina, member of the Special Counter-terrorism Command (CEAT, in Spanish), a unit of the Salvadoran Armed Force’s (FAES, in Spanish) Special Forces Command (CFE, in Spanish). “I got them out of the truck, pushed them into a ditch, and drove a vehicle across to protect them from bullets.” Iraqi insurgents were attacking them. Master Sgt. Castro shared with Diálogo his experience as part of a contingent of 360 service members of FAES’s Cuscatlán Battalion, which took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011.) On March 5, 2004, he led a three-vehicle convoy transporting members of the Multi-national Force – Iraq that came under attack. For his heroic deed, Master Sgt. Castro and five of his soldiers were awarded the U.S. Bronze Star Medal on November 12, 2004. The decoration is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces for heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone. Nowadays, Master Sgt. Castro is a CEAT instructor who teaches the new generations of soldiers about the courage, discipline, and responsibility that come with belonging to special forces. CEAT is one of three special forces units of FAES’s CFE. Interagency work “We are FAES’s strategic reserve, and our goal is to meet national defense objectives,” said Salvadoran Army Colonel Jorge Miranda Martínez, commander of CFE. “We must be ready to deploy at any time, under any conditions, and with maximum operating capacity.” CFE launched as a command in 1992, bringing together the already existing elite units: CEAT, the Parachute Battalion, and the Special Operations Group (GOE, in Spanish). Although the defense of national sovereignty is CFE’s main priority, its members also conduct operations to support public security, works to benefit the public, humanitarian assistance aid in case of natural disasters, and peacekeeping missions. CFE works jointly with the rest of the military, and conducts interagency operations with the National Civil Police and other government agencies. CFE members carry out a regular training program of 24 weeks. Upon completion, they can choose one of 10 specialties, such as combat parachute, free fall, assault teams, and snipers, among others. CEAT’s origins CEAT was established in 1985 to carry out counterterrorism tasks, hostage rescue, and dignitary protection. “We have highly qualified personnel to fulfill different missions, especially with our hostage rescue capabilities, or in case of a terrorist attack,” said Salvadoran Army Lieutenant Colonel José Carlos Estrada Villafuerte, commander of CEAT. According to the officer, the training, discipline, and spirit of camaraderie and partnership, added to the command’s experiences in El Salvador and Iraq, are a fundamental part of the unit’s prestige. “The U.S. Army Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) joins our training and helps us with logistics and know-how. We conduct combined training,” he added. ODA is the Green Berets’ primary combat force. It leverages its expertise and experience to train with partner nations and improve force interoperability. Parachute Battalion The Parachute Battalion was inaugurated in 1963, with three maneuver squadrons, a combat support squadron, and a command squadron. The unit specializes in combat parachute, rigging, and precision free fall. “We conduct airborne and air mobile operations at the orders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” said Salvadoran Army Lieutenant Colonel Óscar René Velásquez, commander of the Parachute Battalion. “We are a strategic unit, and we can fulfill infantry battalion missions.” With a 55-year history, the battalion is recognized for its integrated work among CFE elite units, humanitarian operations, and mission in Iraq. “We joined to work together as a team, as a command,” Lt. Col. Velásquez said. “Our personnel are highly qualified. Often times, they must work on the field on their own and know the rules of whatever they face.” Special Operations Group GOE was created in 1983 and is recognized for its Hacha and PRAL (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols, in Spanish) commands, both specialized in specific special operations. GOE also has combat swimmers and divers. The Hacha command prepares soldiers to carry out ambushes, swift attacks, interdiction and sniper operations, and night vision training. The PRAL command bases its training on underwater, land, and air missions. “We carry out direct action operations, interdictions, support missions for other units such as training, ambush missions, and swift attacks,” said Salvadoran Army Major Hugo Alexander Campos Bonilla, GOE commander. “These commands are important for their training and equipment. They can make an incursion in the enemy’s rearguard,” Maj. Campos said. “Our own training is very important, as well as what ODA offers, as it helps us improve our courses and interact with the doctrine,” Maj. Campos said. “It serves to help and support us; we get new equipment, techniques, and training exercises, all of which we include in our plans to make our preparation more professional,” he added. Contribution to peace FAES’s experience in Iraq defined its history, while also reinforcing ties of cooperation with the United States. The country is one of four in Central America and 12 worldwide that sent troops to the U.S.-led international coalition to fight the insurgency and terrorism that afflicted the Middle Eastern country. Alongside Spanish and Polish soldiers, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and El Salvador made up the Plus Ultra Brigade of the Multinational Division Center-South, one of four operational divisions of the multinational peacekeeping force deployed to Iraq. Out of 2,500 service members in the division, 360 belonged to the El Salvador’s Cuscatlán Battalion. With a wide range of operations, from the mission in Iraq to supporting the fight against gangs and narcotrafficking, GOE, the Parachute Battalion, and CEAT show their versatility, effectiveness, and high capacity to conduct combat missions involving direct and indirect action. For its members, the mission in Iraq left an unprecedented legacy. “Our personnel were able to train in real combat situations. We felt the heat of bullets and combat, as we contributed to the reconstruction of Iraq,” Col. Miranda said. “It helped us position ourselves and be recognized not only in Latin America, but also in the world, as a very professional army that contributes to strengthening democracies in other countries.”last_img read more

New Peer-Reviewed Study Affirms the Reality of Porn Addiction 21 July 2015Contrary to recent claims, pornography addiction is no illusion. A recent peer-reviewed study that appeared in the journal “Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity” affirms the reality of porn addiction, and supports the addiction model. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation contends that this information is of vital importance for both medical professionals and those affected by porn addiction in order to facilitate accurate treatment and healing.Years ago, those who struggled with alcohol and drug addictions were belittled as having a weak character instead of a disease that necessitated treatment and rehabilitation. Now those who face addictions to sex and pornography are being similarly maligned by recent studies that allege that their enslavement to sexual stimuli is not true addiction. The study “Sex Addiction as a Disease: Evidence for Assessment, Diagnosis, and Response to Critics” exposes the truth that sex addiction follows the same patterns as drug and alcohol addiction.This study states that, “the realities of addiction in our country and in the world must be faced. One of these realities includes accepting natural or process aspects of addiction, such as sex, food, and gambling as integral to the disease processes just as chemicals, such as alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.”Instead of isolating those who struggle with porn or sex addiction, it is time to begin focusing on offering them the resources they need. To learn more about the research related to the harms of pornography, visit read more

USC earns much-needed win in final home match

first_imgThe Trojans celebrated senior night at the Galen Center on Saturday as the USC men’s volleyball team prepared for its final home match of the season. While the team is characterized by its youth, seniors J.B. Green and Chris Trefzger were honored with a special ceremony before the game.Finishing strong · Sophomore Ben Lam (center) and the Trojans have just two regular season games left, against UCSB and UCLA. — Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanIt was an auspicious start to the night, as both players were in USC’s starting lineup and helped guide the team to an upset sweep over No. 10 Cal State Northridge.Saturday’s match followed a disappointing performance on Thursday against Long Beach State. Ranked No. 2 in the nation, Long Beach State (21-7) outplayed the Trojans (6-16) in nearly every way and swept the match 25-17, 25-17, 25-17.Sophomore outside hitter Joey Booth led the Trojans with 10 kills but the rest of the team was badly outserved. Though there was not much hope before, the loss officially knocked the Trojans out of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation playoff picture.“We kept our focus really narrow and understood that if we took care of our problems in the here-and-now each week then the playoffs were going to become realistic,” USC head coach Bill Ferguson said. “But that just wasn’t going to be the case for us, and we weren’t able to get the ship in the right direction early enough.”Still, it was the Trojans who found themselves playing the role of the spoiler on Saturday night. The Matadors entered the match with only a slim lead over Hawai’i for the last playoff spot.Though CSUN started off the season with a number of impressive wins, including an early victory over the Trojans, it has tapered off as of late, winning only one of its last seven matches. Motivated to win for the sake of the seniors, the Trojans were ready to take advantage of the Matadors’ recent woes.The first set of the match was well-fought by both sides. In fact, the two teams were tied at 17 different points and the lead changed hands seven times.Luckily, sophomore opposite hitter Cristian Rivera was there to take control of the match for USC. His 10 kills in the first set allowed the Trojans to pull away in the end and take the set 25-23.“Cristian [Rivera] did a good job watching video this week and understanding where the openings in the block were going to be,” Ferguson said. “We’ve been working with him on getting out of situations where he was being too conservative, and I think that boded well for his performance.”The next set was much more lopsided as the Trojans rode their momentum to an early 8-3 advantage. While CSUN was able to pull within two a few times, USC held the lead for good. This time, USC followed the lead of Booth, who put up seven of his 13 kills in the second set. With his help, the Trojans won 25-17 and took a 2-0 advantage going into the third set.Once again, USC jumped ahead at the start of the third set and CSUN failed to keep up. With Booth at the service line, the Trojans strung together four straight points, giving them a comfortable lead and putting their opponents just out of reach. With his match-high 18th kill, Rivera finished off the Matadors and clinched the senior-night sweep for USC 25-23, 25-22, 25-19.It might not have counted toward the playoffs, but it was still a meaningful victory for the Trojans.“You could see the guys in the locker room perk up a bit when we told them that Chris [Trefzger] and J.B. [Green] were going to start the match,” Ferguson said. “It was great to see their teammates respond and play hard for them and I think they both had phenomenal nights.”The sweep was USC’s first since it defeated Stanford at home on Jan. 18 and moves USC to 6-16 on the season. Though they were outblocked by Cal State, the Trojans had a great night statistically that was highlighted by their impressive .418 hitting percentage.USC will play its final two games of the season this week with a Wednesday night match at UC Santa Barbara followed by the rivalry matchup at UCLA on Friday.last_img read more