Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday asked U.S. Capitol officials to remove a statue of a Confederate general that has been part of the state’s display for nearly 100 years.DeSantis’ letter to the Capitol’s architect seeks to replace Edmund Kirby Smith’s statue with another honoring educator and civil rights pioneer Mary McLeod Bethune. It reads, “Dr. McLeod Bethune’s statue will represent the best of who we are as Floridians to visitors from around the world in our nation’s Capitol. Her legacy endures and will continue to inspire future generations.”The McLeod Bethune statue is expected to be on display in 2020.The Florida Legislature approved the statue switch last year. Soon after, the Lake County Historical Society agreed to take the Smith statue upon its removal from the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall Collection.McLeod Bethune will be the first black American to be honored in the Statuary Hall Collection, which includes two representatives from each of the 50 states.Smith was among 12 statues of former Confederate soldiers or politicians in the hall. His statue has been there since 1922.Efforts to replace it started following the shootings of nine people in 2015 at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white supremacist. A reevaluation of Confederate memorials around the country has taken place since then.In 2016, lawmakers approved replacing the Smith statue and organized a panel to recommend a replacement.Bethune was one of three famous Floridians, with the others being environmental author Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Publix founder George Jenkins, that were recommended to the 2017 Legislature.Bethune emerged as the panel’s choice last year.
Mumbai: Indian top women’s tennis star Sania Mirza today said that while confining herself to playing in doubles was good for her body physically it was, at the same time, a mentally draining affair.”I am playing in one format which is a lot easy on my body, but mentally it’s tough. Peaking for 25 weeks a year is not easy,” world No 1 in doubles, she was conferred with the honorary life membership of the Cricket Club of India.Sania, who had won the US Open doubles crown with Swiss partner Martina Hingis after grabbing the Wimbledon title for back-to-back Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, explained how difficult it was to keep playing non-stop on the pro circuit.”The main thing is to peak for the (Grand) Slams, but it’s very tough and one of the hardest things to do mentally. But tennis players are used to it. I have already played 60 matches this year, close to 50 of those with Martina – which are a lot of matches.”Also read: Sania to decide mixed doubles partner for Olympics: Bopanna The Hyderabad-based player said while chemistry between partners off the field was not essential, it helps during a difficult period in matches on court.”We don’t have to be best of friends. But at Wimbledon when we were 5-2 down in the third set, during the break (between games) it was chemistry that helped us pull through. We have to trust each other’s ability on court,” she added.She was referring to the 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 win she and Martina achieved over Russian rivals Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the women’s doubles summit clash.advertisement”Martina loves India. India has been good for her,” she added referring to the Swiss player’s partnership in women’s doubles as well as mixed doubles with another Indian ace – Leander Paes.Asked about the remainder of the season, Sania said on paper it would be considered a failure if she and Martina do not clinch the two tournaments they are taking part in – the Guangzhou International Women’s Open, starting tomorrow inChina, and the WTA year-end finals at Singapore from October 25 in which Sania Mirza will start as the defending champion having won the title with Zimbabwean Cara Black in 2014.”I leave for China in five hours. Two weeks there, two weeks off, then Singapore and then I am done with it (this season). We have been playing well but that does not mean we will win everything,” Sania said.”We are the no. 1 team, I am (ranked) no. 1 and she is No 2 individually, so anything less than a title is a failure for us on paper. But it’s impossible for anyone to win every tournament they play.””No matter who you are, you are always going to lose one or two matches. But yeah, we try and enter every tournament to win and that’s what we are going to do,” she added.Asked whether she expected to be the world No 1 when she started her career, Sania said, “Who would not want to be no. 1? You keep changing your goals in life. You chase dreams. Some dreams you achieve, some dreams you don’t.””I played singles for eight years. I had some injuries and underwent three surgeries. My body gave up, but larger things (like doubles play) opened up,” she added.The Hyderabadi also said that while it was disappointing to see India losing to Czech Republic in the Davis Cup World Group play off tie in Delhi, the opposition was formidable.It was always going to be tough against the Czech team. Yes, it was disappointing to see Rohan (Bopaanna) and Lee (Leander Paes) lose in the doubles yesterday but anyone can have an off day in office. It’s time to move on,” she said.Thanking CCI for conferring honorary lifetime membership, Saina pointed out her connection to the game of cricket.”My husband (Shoaib Malik of Pakistan) is a cricketer. Everyone in my family has played cricket. Cricket is in my blood. My dad used to play cricket and one of my uncles had played Ranji Trophy. I have played some tournaments here at the CCI before,” said Mirza, who is also the grand-niece of former India captain and off spinner, the late Ghulam Ahmed.