Biosecurity survey

first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia farmers can add their input on biosecurity issues to farmer opinions nationwide through a survey now being conducted.The 40-state Extension Disaster Education Network received U.S. Department of Agriculture funds to identify farmers’ educational needs on homeland security.”Georgia farmers need to respond to the EDEN survey,” Charles McPeake said, “to help present an accurate description of grassroots positioning and needs related to the homeland security issue.”McPeake is the agriculture and natural resources program leader with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”This accumulation of information allows concerned organizations like Extension to provide more timely information for specific situations,” he said.November surveyThe EDEN survey will be conducted through November. To take the survey, farmers may visit the EDEN Web site (www.agctr.lsu.edu/eden) and click on “Homeland Security Surveys,” then on “Survey of Ag and Horticulture Producers.”The survey is anonymous. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Farmers can complete it anywhere they have access to the Web, including libraries and Extension offices.”There are factors concerning agriculture that lead experts to disagree about whether farming and the food supply are at risk to bioterrorism,” said Steve Cain, EDEN delegate and a Purdue University Extension Service specialist. “Whether or not there is a real threat to the American food supply, even the risks bring up issues that society must deal with.”Biosecurity issuesThe EDEN project will help measure farmers’ perceptions about biosecurity issues on the farm.”Since September 11, the news media have done a credible job of providing information about homeland security,” Cain said. “But often that information raises questions and debate that can only be addressed with educational programs.”The survey will help Extension staffs, nationally and in each state, know how to direct educational programs. Experts will use the information to make educational materials available to farmers.”Georgia began focusing on biosecurity and agrosecurity when foot-and-mouth problems emerged in England,” McPeake said. “Then along came 9/11, which threw our nation into the unknown.”To create awareness of these issues, UGA put together a CAES task force and agrosecurity conference. Materials can also be found on various Web sites.last_img read more

Phantom bugs

first_imgBy April ReeseUniversity of GeorgiaIn the summer, mosquitos, biting flies and fleas can visit yourskin and leave behind itching bumps from their bites. Somepeople, though, are haunted year-round by biting bugs that aren’teven there.They suffer from something called delusory parasitosis, saidNancy Hinkle, an entomologist with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”We’re finding it in all segments of the population — all agegroups, all socioeconomic levels,” Hinkle said. “And theincidence seems to be very high.”Delusory parasitosis is a real condition first described inmedical literature more than a century ago. Hinkle said theillness isn’t uncommon at all.Many medical causesIt can be caused by many other medical ailments — heavy metalpoisoning, exposure to toxins and diseases like AIDS, anemia,carcinoma, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, lupus, lymphoma andmultiple sclerosis.Nutritional deficiencies, allergies, drug reactions, menopause,niacin overdose, rheumatoid arthritis, stress and even vitaminoverdoses are known to trigger it, she said.Symptoms include the sensation of biting, stinging or itching onthe skin. Hinkle said people will often feel something crawlinginside their skin and will dig into the skin trying to find anddislodge whatever’s causing it.”Unfortunately, this can produce a lot of damage to the skin,”she said.Feels like … Chigger bites are close to what sufferers might feel. People whohave been chigger-bitten can relate to the feeling thatsomething’s still in there. But delusory parasitosis sufferersfeel something different, she said, as if that something undertheir skin is moving or crawling around.People will treat the condition in a number of ways. “Some willspend inordinate amounts of time washing and cleaning theirbodies and their homes, assuming the infestation is coming fromoff the body as well,” Hinkle said.”They will then treat their bodies with … gasoline, kerosene,solvents, harsh cleaning compounds, even pesticides,” she said,”which, of course, is very dangerous.”See a doctorShe advises anyone who believes they’re suffering from thecondition to see a doctor.”Delusory parasitosis is a medical condition, and (sufferers)should seek medical attention,” she said. “Visit your physicianand explain the symptoms you’re experiencing. Allow the doctor todiagnosis the condition and prescribe medication. Don’tself-medicate.”To learn more about delusory parasitosis, visit www.ent.uga.edu/publications/delusory.pdfto read Hinkle’s article in American Entomologist.(April Reese is a student writer with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Seed Swap

first_imgIt may be too cold in parts of Georgia to put plants in the ground, but it’s just the right time to start seedlings. Those looking for new varieties or just a little gardening inspiration can join gardeners from across northeast and middle Georgia at the Rock Eagle Seed Swap on Saturday, March 18.The event is part of the Saturday at The Rock series held at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia. This event is open to garden newbies and those with an experienced green thumb. The swap is a great opportunity to bring seeds and trade them in for something new. Don’t let leftover seeds go bad; instead, give them an opportunity to grow by trading them for something new. Seed swapping is a great way to save money, test new varieties of plants and talk to other gardeners about what works well in the area.This session is free. Doors will open at 9 a.m. for guests to check in and drop off seeds. All seed types, seedlings and scionwood are welcome, with the exception of potentially invasive species.At 9:30 a.m., local experts will share information on seed starting, garden planning, medicinal herbs and more. Seed swapping will begin directly following the presentation. Participants without seeds to swap can still stop by, enjoy the guest speakers, learn something new and see what a seed swap is all about. Light refreshments will be served.While at the 4-H center, visitors are invited to drop by Rock Eagle’s Natural History Museum or take a hike to the teaching garden. Advanced registration is encouraged.For more information or to register, contact Jessica Torhan at (706) 484-4838 or by email at jtorhan1@uga.edu. Saturday at the Rock programs take place the third Saturday of each month, excluding December. A complete list of Saturday at the Rock sessions can be found at www.rockeagle4h.org/ee/community/SaturdayattheRock.html.last_img read more

Turfgrass Updates

first_imgThe University of Georgia Turfgrass Research Field Day, held Aug. 9 on the UGA Griffin campus, attracted 800 attendees from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.The field day provided research-based information about the production and management of turfgrass from UGA entomologists, plant pathologists, soil microbiologists, plant breeders, geneticists, genomics specialists and environmental turfgrass scientists.“The University of Georgia, the Griffin campus and the turf program try to do things that have never been done,” said Sam Pardue, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, during the field day welcome. “It is our commitment to you and the future to continue to provide the research, outreach and education that will benefit you, your organizations and your companies.”The field day began with guided tours and pest-identification presentations about insects, weeds and diseases and how to control them using herbicides, fungicides and management practices. There were also presentations on new technology and research, like the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) digital analysis and the use of automatic rain shelters for drought studies.Vendors were also on site to share information through displays and demonstrations of the latest turfgrass equipment. Participants received individualized tips and information specific to their needs through afternoon self-guided presentations.All attendees received Georgia pesticide credits: six credits for Category 24, two credits for Category 10, and six credits for Categories 21, 27 and 32. Pesticide recertification credits were also offered for Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.The Turfgrass Research Field Day is offered biennially and will occur again in 2020. For more information on upcoming turfgrass events, please visit www.GeorgiaTurf.com.last_img read more

Zoysia Shortage

first_imgAbout a week ago, I heard from a couple of sod producers that spring sales of turfgrass sod were strong and they were worried about potential shortages of popular species like Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. I wondered if these were isolated incidences or an industry-wide issue.As the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist, I am based on the UGA campus in Griffin and work closely with UGA turfgrass researchers and Georgia’s turfgrass producers. To determine whether only a few growers were looking at unexpected shortages of grass, I began calling sod producers across the state to conduct an informal survey. To date, I have talked with a representative sample of producers of various farm sizes and locations throughout Georgia. I found a few recurring themes. First, most producers said that they are experiencing the strongest winter and spring sales season they have ever had. As I have traveled around the state the last few months, I have seen many full trucks of sod on their way to a new lawn, ball field or landscape project. The second recurring comment was that producers are either “out” or “nearly out” of zoysia, especially fine-textured zoysia cultivars like ‘Zeon’ and ‘Emerald’. The 2019 Sod Producers Survey projected that there would be lower inventories of zoysia this year than in 2017 and 2018. As a species, zoysia is gaining in popularity throughout Georgia. Couple increased popularity with a wet and overcast 2018 growing season and the decline in inventory is not unexpected. However, the strong spring 2019 sales have placed additional pressure on inventories of a relatively slower-growing species. While fine-textured zoysia grasses are in the greatest demand and have the lowest inventory, the medium- and coarse-textured cultivars are also experiencing strong sales with declining inventories.The third thing I discovered is that, while Georgia sod growers are worried about the current inventory of grass, producers are optimistic. Sod fields are in a constant state of growth and recovery. Inventory is thin now, but fields that were harvested last summer and fall are maturing — the spring weather has been helpful — and producers foresee inventory improving in four to six weeks (approximately mid-June). Sod growers are “pushing” fields in an attempt to fulfill orders for this year. One producer stated that the push to increase growth will be passed along to the consumer because of increased fertilizer prices early in the year.Lastly, Bermudagrass inventory was less precarious than zoysia. Some producers are running low on Bermudagrass inventory while others reported normal inventory. Interestingly, it is not strictly a noncertified ‘Tifway’ issue. Some producers indicated they were low on certified and noncertified Bermuda grasses. Referring back to the 2019 Sod Producers Survey, Bermudagrass inventory was projected to be consistent with 2018 and it is the species grown in the greatest volume. Considering the initial inventory, volume and growth rate, it would be expected that the Bermudagrass supply would be more hit-and-miss than other species.Through my conversations, I heard producers indicate they are consciously managing inventory. They are employing various techniques including restricting sales to only longtime or regular customers, limiting the amount of grass they sell, not quoting larger jobs or orders, and increasing prices.This is a new problem for the turf industry and one I view as an indicator of a strong economy and growth and development throughout Georgia. While the landscape industry may be finding it difficult to find Georgia-grown sod, hopefully their spring business is prospering and will continue to do so throughout 2019.For the latest research-based information on turfgrass from UGA Extension, visit www.GeorgiaTurf.com.last_img read more

One Georgia

first_imgTwenty-four Georgia 4-H teenagers spent their summer in a unique agriculture-focused student exchange program without leaving the state.One Georgia 4-H, an urban-rural 4-H exchange program is designed to showcase the importance of agriculture in rural and urban areas of Georgia to students who are considering a career in agriculture, said Laurie Murrah-Hanson, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent who leads a Georgia 4-H club based at the Atlanta History Center. The first-year program was funded by the Thalia and Michael C. Carlos Foundation in Fulton County.“The program grew from the Atlanta History Center’s goal to reach new audiences in Atlanta and across the state and educate people about the similarities and differences between Georgians across the state,” said Murrah-Hanson. “We had a very diverse group of youth. Some of the students had an agriculture background and a few even live on working farms, while others live in towns and cities but are familiar with agriculture. The kids taught each other about what their lives are like where they live.”The group first met in Tifton in June and visited sites in south Georgia. In July, they met in Atlanta and toured sites in the metro area.In south Georgia, the students toured locations including UGA research facilities and commercial watermelon and cotton production fields. On the UGA Tifton campus, they learned about turfgrass, visited the cotton micro gin, learned hands-on laboratory skills, and toured the UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.Students were also able to explore the Future Farmstead, UGA’s energy-independent experimental site dedicated to developing and demonstrating advanced technologies to enhance farm efficiency with the goal of achieving future national energy, food and environmental requirements. The group also learned about the varied academic majors available in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.“They visited Super Sod, a sod farm near Perry, where they learned about sod production and saw sod harvested. That was something that none of us had seen,” Murrah-Hanson said. “We also went to Lane Southern Orchards and Dickey Farms to eat peaches and see the production line where the peaches are washed and packaged.”The July tour in Atlanta focused on policy and transportation. The students visited the Delta Flight Museum and experienced piloting a jet in Delta’s flight simulator. At the Georgia State Capitol, Rep. Matthew Wilson, a UGA alumnus who represents the 80th District, gave the students a tour. The group also visited the Georgia Department of Agriculture, including the Georgia Grown test kitchen, and met with Mario Cambardella, director of urban agriculture for the city of Atlanta, who told them about Georgia’s urban farms.“They learned that these farms are smaller and more diverse,” Murrah-Hanson said. “They also learned about food deserts and the new Urban Food Forest.”The trip concluded with a visit to the Atlanta location of iconic eatery The Varsity and attending 4-H Day at the Atlanta History Center.The One Georgia participants and their home counties include Mary Ann Bentley, Chattooga County; Jake Carver, Houston County; Madison Clemente, Paulding County; Kaylee Collins, Spalding County; Avery Cross, Catoosa County; Maddie Dean, Crisp County; Jada Faulks, Cobb County; Alyssa Goldman, Madison County; Gracie Grimes, Candler County; Megan Isdell, Worth County; Christopher Kuhbander, Ware County; Grace McBride, Emanuel County; Hannah McElrath, Gordon County; Michael Mercer, Cobb County; Brooke O’Berry, Ware County; Emily Recinos, Cobb County; Aromal Saji, Gwinnett County; Autumn Sims, Murray County; Kolbi Sims, Murray County; Bryson Smith, Gordon County; Cora Jane Tyre, Bacon County; Adriana Walton, Randolph County; Emma Rae Ward, Chattooga County; and Kate Vaughn, Bulloch County.“This was my favorite 4-H trip so far,” said Emma Rae Ward. “I’m from an ag community and I live on a farm, but it was very refreshing to see what agriculture looks like in Atlanta and to see some of the things that I see at home in north Georgia — we just have fewer gnats.”Gracie Grimes lives on a farm but says she never knew Atlanta “had so much to do with agriculture.” “This experience has truly been one of my best and I made a lot of new friends,” she said. “My favorite part was visiting the capitol and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The sod farm was new for me and the watermelon farm was cool, as we used to grow watermelons on our farm.”Following the exchange experience, students are required to share their experience with groups in their community such as county commissions, boards of education, school administrations and community or civic groups, as well as with their peers at Georgia 4-H’s Fall Forum.Georgia 4-H hopes to secure funding to offer the program again next summer, Murrah-Hanson said.To learn more about Georgia 4-H, visit www.Georgia4H.org.last_img read more

Unique Holiday Greeting Cards Now Available Online

first_imgVermont artist, Mike Biegel, announces his new website offering Vermont holiday greeting cards online at www.vermontholidaycards.com(link is external). The website features unique and distinctive seasonal cards illustrated by Mike Biegel from his Woodstock, Vermont studio.The entire original holiday card renderings seen on www.vermontholidaycards.com(link is external) are elaborately hand drawn using an old-fashioned crow-quill pen dipped in an ink-well. Every image is designed and illustrated at his Woodstock studio. Mike has been illustrating since 1984 after attending Syracuse University. Inevitably his journeys lead him to settle in Vermont where the lay of the land and the change of the seasons matched many of his favorite subjects to illustrate. His line of holiday cards reflect these themes and the fiction that accompanies them.The web site is young, but has already developed a legacy of loyal clients. Any of the holiday cards may be personalized with a special holiday greeting. Custom designs are available for corporate businesses looking for a unique card with their business logo printed inside. Preprinted seasonal greetings are also available and ready for mailing. This season’s holiday card selections include: Winter Gristmill, Riverside Snowman, Santa & His Elves, Covered Bridge at Tanglewood, Winter Snow Owl, Snow Covered Sleigh, Winter Lighthouse, The Swap, Partridge Wreath and Covered Bridge at Winterwood. Cards may be purchased online at www.vermontholidaycards.com(link is external) or by calling 1-888-267-2300.More extensive information regarding the artist may be found on his commercial illustration and design web site at www.mikebiegel.com(link is external).last_img read more

Council Authorizes Tax Incentives To Create Snowshoe Manufacturing Jobs In Vermont

first_imgCouncil Authorizes Tax Incentives To Create Snowshoe Manufacturing Jobs In VermontMONTPELIER — The Vermont Economic Progress Council recently approved almost a quarter-million dollars in tax credits to a Williston firm that plans to manufacture snowshoes in Vermont.The council approved an application from TSL USA, LLC at its meeting on October 27th, 2005, after the firm presented plans to manufacture aluminum and plastic snowshoes in Williston, Vermont and distribute their products worldwide. The company was authorized for $241,925 in payroll, research and development and workforce development tax credits to add new jobs and invest in research and development and employee training and education. The company was also considering sites in Clinton County, New York.TSL is very excited to bring the snowshoe industry back to Vermont, said Arnaud Claude, President of TSL USA. Thanks to the hard work of the Vermont Economic Progress Council, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, we are going to create new jobs in Vermont, developing and manufacturing high quality snowshoes that will be sold to consumers worldwide.Claude said he hopes to have the first prototype snowshoes completed in January and to have production underway in March. He anticipated starting with 4 or 5 workers with plans to ramp up to 25 in five years.I love it in Vermont, Claude said. Vermont is the image for the snowshoe industry.The tax incentives were authorized based on job creation and capital investments that must occur before the credits can be claimed. The Council approved the application after reviewing nine guidelines and applying a rigorous cost-benefit analysis that projects whether the activity encouraged by the tax incentives will have a positive or negative impact on the region and state. This analysis showed that if the company meets all its projections and utilizes all the tax credits, the State will realize a net increase in revenues of $431,200. The Council also determined that the project would not occur or would occur in a significantly different and less desirable manner if not for the incentives being authorized.These incentives generate good jobs that pay well and increase income levels here in Vermont, said Lawrence Miller, chair of the nine-member council of business people from around the state. “If the credits are claimed, it means that the applicant has performed as expected, created jobs and invested in Vermont. The net fiscal impact is outstanding for Vermont and we’re pleased to offer these incentives.”The Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) is an independent body appointed by the Governor, and is responsible for administering the Economic Advancement Tax Incentive program. It is housed within the Department of Economic Development at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.We are very pleased at the prospect of new jobs being created in Vermonts manufacturing sector, said Kevin Dorn, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.-30-last_img read more

$114,000 federal grant to make Winooski community center energy efficient

first_imgUS Rep. Peter Welch on Monday announced a $114,000 federal grant to improve the energy efficiency of the O Brien Community Center in Winooski. The funds will be used to fully insulate the community center s roof and implement other energy-saving measures. The O Brien Center spent $4,000 in heating bills last year. Once the new roof is installed, the center is expected to save 45 percent in heating costs. This grant will go a long way to improving a vital community center which provides great service to the people of Winooski, Welch said. By making the O Brien Center more energy efficient, we will help Winooski save money and do our small part to fight climate change.Welch made the announcement at the O Brien Center Monday morning alongside several Winooski residents, including Parks and Recreation Director Bob DiMasi, Mayor Mike O Brien, Acting City Manager George Cross, YMCA former board chairwoman Molly Lambert, chair of the project committee Penrose Jackson, YMCA Executive Director Mary Burns, Patricia McKitrich, Rep. Clem Bissonette, Director of Community Development J Ladd.last_img read more

Vermont Business Roundtable names new directors

first_imgToday, Vermont Business Roundtable President Lisa Ventriss announced that three new directors were elected to the Roundtable Board of Directors at its 24th Annual Membership Meeting on January 13th at Topnotch Resort & Spa in Stowe.New directors are: Rob Adams, President, Simon Pearce; Tim Donovan, Chancellor, Vermont State Colleges; and, Pam Mackenzie, Area Vice-President of VT/Western New England. Elected to a second three-year term is Howard Pierce, President and CEO of PKC.New officers of the Roundtable Board include: Chair – Steve Voigt, President and CEO, King Arthur Flour; Vice-Chair ‘ Mary Powell, CEO, Green Mountain Power Corporation; Secretary ‘ Rob Simpson, President and CEO, Brattleboro Retreat; Treasurer: Gregory Bourgea, Co-Managing Partner, Gallagher Flynn & Co.; and, Immediate Past Chair ‘ Bill Stritzler, Managing Director, Smugglers’ Notch Resort.Continuing members of the Roundtable Board are: Ted Adler, Union Street Media; Pennie Beach, President, Basin Harbor Club; Leon J. Berthiaume, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Inc.; Ellen Mercer Fallon, Partner, Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP; David F. Finney, Champlain College; Tommy Harmon, Sonnax Industries, Inc.; G. Kenneth Perine, National Bank of Middlebury; and, Mark R. Neagley, President, Neagley & Chase Construction Co.The Roundtable is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of 110 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy, with an aggregate economic impact of $135 billion and employing 15 percent of the state’s workforce. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on long-range, statewide public policy issues. For more information about the Roundtable and its projects visit: www.vtroundtable.org(link is external).last_img read more

Newly revised Residential Building Energy Code now in effect

first_imgCommissioner Elizabeth Miller has announced that the newly revised Residential Building Energy Code is in effect as of October 1, 2011. Miller states, ‘As new building construction and renovations in existing buildings take place in Vermont, the new Residential Building Energy Codes will help ensure we are continuing to move to more efficient and sustainable homes.  Building new homes to the 2011 Residential Energy Code will yield increased energy savings of 10-20% over the previous Energy Code.  This means less energy consumption, fewer emissions, and lower energy bills for Vermonters.’  Commissioner Miller expects a similar, if not greater, impact with the new Commercial Energy Code which is on track to take effect in early January 2012. The 2011 Vermont Residential Building Energy Code, officially called the ‘Residential Building Energy Standards’ (RBES), was initially adopted by the Vermont legislature in May 1997 and updated in 2006.   The legislation provides for regular review and updates to the provisions in the Code by the Department of Public Service.  The Code has applied to all new residential construction in Vermont since it first went into effect July 1, 1998. The 2011 Residential Building Energy Code is based on Vermont amendments to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code and is a minimum standard of energy efficiency that now applies to all alterations and renovations for existing homes as well as new construction.  The Department is also currently in the process of completing a statewide energy code compliance study that will outline a realistic approach for achieving 90 percent compliance with the Energy Codes by February 1, 2017.  The study will address how to best implement on-going training related to Energy Code updates, unified Energy Code enforcement measures, a process to evaluate and report annual rates of Energy Code compliance, and short and long term funding mechanisms for implementation.  Residential Energy Code handbooks, certificates and technical assistance are currently available at no cost. The handbook puts all the information you need to know about Vermont’s Energy Code for residential construction into one publication.  For additional information or a hard copy of the RBES handbook and certificate contact the Department of Public Service Planning and Energy Resources Division at 802-828-2811 or visit the website at http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy/ee_resbuildingstandards.html(link is external).  For free technical assistance and training opportunities contact the Energy Code Assistance Center toll free at 855-887-0673. PSD. 10.3.2011last_img read more

Filings Indicate Peabody May No Longer Be a Going Concern

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Taylor Kuykendall for SNL:New securities filings from Peabody Energy Corp. illustrate ongoing stress and the danger of a potential bankruptcy, a path that has become well-trodden by large coal producers in recent years.In one Feb. 29 filing, Peabody said it believes an independent registered public accounting firm may likely be required to issue an audit opinion with a paragraph expressing doubt as to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The inclusion of such an uncertainty paragraph would constitute an event of default under the company’s 2013 credit facility agreement.In a separate filing, Peabody disclosed it has engaged in discussions with one of the first lien lenders under its senior secured credit agreement. According to that filing, Peabody’s preference is to pursue liability management transactions, such as proposed debt exchanges, but the lender “expressed its concern that Peabody was not pursuing an in-court restructuring.”The basis of the potential going concern paragraph hinges on whether Peabody can complete a transaction with Bowie Resource Partners LLC. Peabody agreed to sell its El Segundo and Lee Ranch mines in New Mexico and its Twentymile mine in Colorado, but Bowie has had difficulty obtaining financing.Peabody’s struggle has caused “unexpected delays” in filing its annual report for 2015. The company had previously disclosed it accessed the full capacity of its $1.65 billion revolving credit facility.Full article ($): Peabody discloses going concern risk; lender pushing for restructuring in courtIEEFA FEBRUARY 2016 REPORT: PEABODY’S STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL IGNORE MARKET REALITIES AND RISK BACKFIRING Filings Indicate Peabody May No Longer Be a Going Concernlast_img read more

Salt Lake Tribune: ‘Utah’s Coal-Export Deal Still Faces High Hurdles’

first_imgSalt Lake Tribune: ‘Utah’s Coal-Export Deal Still Faces High Hurdles’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Utah Legislature last week approved a $53 million investment in an Oakland, Calif., export terminal, but the state’s coal-shipping aspirations may still be just a dream.So far, Utah is the only entity that may pledge money toward building a $275 million bulk-freight terminal at the deep-water port under construction at the site of the former Oakland Army Base.But Utah wouldn’t pay up until $200 million in private financing is secured — and the identity of those investors and the status of their contributions is unknown.Another hurdle: Utah’s money wouldn’t be released until the four rural Utah counties borrowing it for the investment have a plan to pay it back if the terminal can’t move coal profitably. No plan has been offered.The coal-producing Utah counties of Carbon, Sevier, Sanpete and Emery initially secured a loan from Utah’s Permanent Community Impact Fund to invest $50 million in the proposed terminal, in exchange for 49 percent of its 9.5-million-metric-ton loading capacity.However, the Utah Attorney General’s Office apparently declined to sign off on the loan, necessitating last week’s passage of SB246 as a legal workaround.Normally, money from the fund — derived from federal mineral royalties — is spent on civic projects in the counties where mining and drilling occur. But in recent years, county commissioners who run the Community Impact Board (CIB) have become interested in funding grander projects that would deliver commodities to market.SB246, which Gov. Gary Herbert is expected to sign, circumvented limits on how counties may spend revenues from the fund. It cycles community impact revenue — critics call it “laundering” — through the state Transportation Fund and back to the CIB in a new pool of money known as the “Throughput Infrastructure Fund,” which also can be tapped to build transmission lines, pipelines and rail.When the CIB first approved the loan in April 2015, it included an additional $3 million to cover administrative costs — such as paying consultants like Jeff Holt, a former Utah Transportation Commission chairman who brokered the deal between the counties and the CIB.The CIB’s approval was premised on Holt’s claim that the $200 million in private financing needed to build the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal would be secured by June 2015.“This benchmark has been missed. That means the only player in this transaction with an open checkbook and a deep pocket is the state of Utah,” said critic Tom Sanzillo, director of finance for the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.Full article: Utah’s coal-export deal still faces high hurdleslast_img read more

Influential U.K. Investors Say Renewable Energy Transition Is Well Under Way

first_imgInfluential U.K. Investors Say Renewable Energy Transition Is Well Under Way FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times, op ed by Anton Eser. chief investment officer, and Nick Stansbury, fund manager and commodity specialist,  Legal & General Investment Management:The global energy system is on the cusp of a revolution and investors in the sector risk sleepwalking into a period of momentous change. Most agree that future energy markets are going to look very different from how they look today but there is a real risk that the transition happens faster than many expect — with significant consequences for investors who fail to prepare now. Energy really matters to investors. The industry has nearly $10tn of invested capital and just two large energy companies providing approximately 20p in every £1 of dividend income from the FTSE 100. We are in the early phases of a transition to a low-carbon future. This marks the third “transition” that energy systems have gone through since the start of the industrial revolution. The first was the rise of coal and the second the rise of oil — this time, it is the rise of renewables. These transitions historically have had far-reaching and dramatic implications that were underestimated at the time. Some commentators are basing their expectations for the pace of this transition on that of previous energy transitions. However, prior transitions were driven primarily by economics: coal replaced biomass because new technology enabled it to become a fundamentally better energy source — the pace of change was driven by economic merit. This transition may well be different. Change is not being driven by technology (although it is enabled by it) but by social imperative and government policy. The public is no longer accepting ever-worsening pollution and the unrelenting rise of carbon emissions with the terrible consequences that would result. The pace of change may therefore be a lot faster than historic precedent would suggest. More ($): Investors Must Face History’s Third Energy Transitionlast_img read more

Low oil prices to test U.S. fracking companies

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Wall Street Journal ($):The rapid decline of U.S. oil prices will test the claim of fracking companies that they can now prosper at $50 a barrel or less, a price level they have found challenging in the past.For years, the companies behind the U.S. oil and gas boom, including Noble Energy Inc. and Whiting Petroleum Corp., have promised shareholders that they have thousands of prospective wells that they can drill profitably even at $40 a barrel. Some have even said they can generate returns on investment of 30%.But most shale drillers haven’t made much, if any, money at those prices. From 2012 to 2017, the 30 biggest shale producers lost more than $50 billion. Last year, when oil prices averaged about $50 a barrel, the group as a whole was barely in the black, with profits of about $1.7 billion, or roughly 1.3% of revenue, according to FactSet.The disconnect between the figures cited by companies and their corporate returns lies in the widespread use of a metric called a break-even, often defined as the selling price frackers say they need to generate a small profit on individual wells or projects. While the figure can be quite low for some companies in certain hot spots, it can be a misleading measure of their overall profitability in periods of lower prices.For one, break-evens generally exclude such key costs as land, overhead and even at times transportation. Companies also frequently tout the low break-even price point of a portion of their holdings, without citing the higher price for crude needed to profitably exploit the rest, or adjusting for the inflated cost for drilling contractors and other services that come with rising oil prices.Estimates by consulting firm R.S. Energy Group peg break-evens excluding land costs and overhead at about $37 for the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, $42 for the Eagle Ford in South Texas and $47 for the Bakken in North Dakota. But companies require much higher oil prices in order to come out ahead if more of those necessary expenses are taken into account, the consulting firm’s data show. All-inclusive break-evens are about $51 in the Permian, $57 in the Eagle Ford and $64 in the Bakken, according to R.S. Energy.More ($): Big fracking profits at $50 a barrel? Don’t bet on it Low oil prices to test U.S. fracking companieslast_img read more

Remembering a Friend

first_imgThe sun shone brightly on the rolling fields of Warren Wilson College, illuminating the pack of riders who pedaled their way to the ash garden where they watched our young friend Callum Robertson return to the ground in his final epic ride.Brave friends and family stepped up to the pulpit in the packed chapel Saturday afternoon, remembering Callum’s smile, his energy, his love, his creativity, the adoration for his family, and, like any good rider, his propensity to exaggerate for the sake of a good story.It was confusing almost, that it was a funeral, rather than a wedding, as his family was in the midst of rejoicing over his choice in Caitlin Thomas as his bride. She, dressed in the brightest colors of the sun, professed her love to him at his funeral instead.We all marveled at how closely he melded the circles of friends, leaving us all in merely two degrees of separation. More than 20 people gathered on Sunday in Brevard to ride Callum’s favorite trails, blessed by a warm and sunny day. Afterward we packed the Altamont Brewery and welcomed the parade of bikes that rode across West Asheville via Haywood Road.I hope that his family will soon find peace in this tragedy and know that they blessed us all by raising a boy filled with beauty, which he easily bestowed on those he loved.Swannanoa–Callum Miles Robertson, 27, passed away Friday January 6, 2012 at his home. He was born June 7, 1984 to Ian Charles and Victoria Elaine Muscott Robertson. He is also survived by his fiancée Caitlin Thomas; sister Hannah Robertson of Chesapeake, VA; Victoria Winters of Scotland, UK; brother-in-law Matthew Freel of Chesapeake, VA; grandparent, William Muscott of Carlisle, UK; uncle Keith Muscott, aunts Lyn and Elaine, and cousins, all of the UK; nephew Logan Miles Robertson Freel; and niece Corinna Rose Robertson Freel. Callum was a graduate of Asheville High School, and attended Sheldon Jackson College of Alaska, and Warren Wilson College.Ian, Victoria and Hannah Robertson are sad to share news of the death of their beloved son and brother, Callum (6/7/84 to 1/6/12). Callum lived life to the fullest, enjoyed adventure, and travels worldwide with friends and family. He was an avid and competitive mountain biker, loving and generous friend to many, and a joy to be around. He could create and make beautiful objects from clay, wood, or metal and bicycle parts. We had rejoiced in his recent engagement to Caitlin Thomas with whom we share our grief. We do not want flowers. If you wish to remember Callum, please donate to the Warren Wilson College Mountain Bike Team or the Montessori Learning Center of Asheville, a non-profit preschool Callum loved, and support both of these programs. We take only magnificent and wonderful memories of Callum with us into the future.Join us in a celebration of Callum’s life at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 14, 2012 at Warren Wilson Chapel, with a reception after at the Fellowship Hall. Officiating will be Steve Runholt and Jeanne Sommer. Following this, his ashes are to be placed at the Warren Wilson cemetery. We invite those who want to participate to join us on a mountain bike ride through the fields or by car to the cemetery. Time will be given to allow sharing of memories at the chapel and the cemetery. Visit our community site: Robertson and Thomas Family Support Powered by Lotsa Helping Hands.last_img read more

The Tough Get Going

first_imgNot only is the mild winter pouring cold rain down our backs as we wish our way through another “riding” weekend, but the bacteria running rampant without a good freeze are causing sniffles, sore throats and weeks of hacking coughs.I know some people like to believe that as they are coming down with something it’s best to ride hard to flush it out of the system, but I don’t believe that. I think that only causes the body to be worn down, allowing whatever virus or bacteria to take advantage of the weakened state.One good example is that whenever I go through periods of working my body really hard for several weeks, pushing every ride or run, I end up sick. I think that when all the nutrients are used up and the muscles are fatigued, slurping up every bubble of oxygen and spare B vitamin, that it takes only the smallest of germs to have its way.Those kind of riding weeks allow me to sleep better, that’s for sure, falling into bed exhausted. It’s nights like that when I don’t even move, and upon waking in the morning feel more like I’ve survived a coma and now have a numb limb from the way I’ve slept on it. Then again, it’s hard to remember that, because now I fall into bed exhausted over being beaten all day by the children. I’m lucky to get a quick ride in, and am too much of a weenie to pull the baby in the trailer any more. Or maybe it’s the argument I don’t want to have with him, because he now is adept at voicing his refusals to get in the contraption any more. Maybe I need to make it look more like a motorcycle and he’d want to. Although I find that when wearing an iPod up very loud he doesn’t complain near as much…So the bacteria in these warm winters are not getting killed off, and nearly every door handle seems to be coated in germs. I cringe every time I see my 3-year-old with his fingers in his mouth. Even my 8-year-old, who has only been sick twice in his life got the strep throat. We got it at the same time, as I cannot stop smooching my children, even through a veil of snot. I started my antibiotics before becoming miserable and was ecstatic at my planning since I was to leave on a much-needed week-long solo trip.Three days into my trip the soldiers began falling around me, fevered and groaning as I rushed to the store for Emergen C, green juice and antibacterial fluid for everything that had been touched. I’ve been working out every day, so I just know that these bugs are going to gang up on me and can almost hear them laughing out loud.Today I will not work out. I will jump on this motorcycle instead, heading up Pacific Coastal Highway 1 to Big Sur where I will soak my bones in the hot springs at Esalen Institute. A girl’s gotta’ do what a girl’s gotta do…last_img read more

Appalachian Trail Dispatch: A Cold Start

first_img Mile 0: Getting Started from Horizonline Pictures on Vimeo.Editor’s Note: Blue Ridge Outdoors contributor Chris Gallaway is currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. He will be periodically checking in with BRO and sharing the story of his hike. This is his first dispatch from the A.T.Hiking in winter presents as many challenges as rewards. Leading up to my thru-hike, the winter in the Southeast had be very mild and rainy. Within a few days of starting my hike I encountered ice storms on the mountaintops, nighttime temps in the teens and single digits, and one big snowstorm that revealed a fascinating network of animal tracks crossing the forest floor. This is a collection of raw images captured in the first two weeks on the trail.Click the image to see a larger version and play a slideshow. center_img last_img read more

Nominate Your Conservation Heroes with Wild South’s 8th Annual Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards

first_imgWild South Seeks Nominations for 8th Annual Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Environmental Conservation in the South.Wild South invites the public to submit nominations for the 8th Annual Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards. The awards recognize outstanding contributions to environmental conservation in the South during the past year. Awards will be given and top nominees recognized in each of the five categories:• Outstanding Small Business•  Outstanding Journalist•  Outstanding Educator•  Outstanding Youth•  Outstanding Conservationist.On May 7, 2016, top nominees and award winners will be honored at the 8th Annual Wild South Green Gala at The Millroom in Asheville, North Carolina.GreenGalaLogoFull2016Nominations are accepted from across the South and can be submitted online by April 1, 2016 at www.wildsouth.org/nominations. Top nominees and winners will be selected by the Roosevelt-Ashe Selection Committee. Members of this committee are conservation leaders in the region and include:•Katie Hicks, Associate Director of Clean Water for North Carolina (Asheville, NC)•Jake Wheeler, Creative Director of RootsRated (Chattanooga, TN)•Frank Peterman, Co-founder and Senior Business Manager for the Diverse Environmental Leaders National Speakers Bureau (Fort Lauderdale, FL)•Audrey Peterman, Member of the Board of Trustees of National Parks Conservation Association (Fort Lauderdale, FL)•Dusty Allison, Digital Publisher of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine (Asheville, NC)•Kathleen Williams, Founding Executive Director of Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation (Nashville, TN)•Pete Conroy, Director of Environmental Policy & Information Center of Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL)•Camille Bowman, Architectural Conservator (Gadsden, AL)•Mary Topa, Executive Director of Georgia Forest Watch (Dahlonega, GA)The nomination form can be accessed directly here. We look forward to reading your nomination and to recognizing your conservation heroes!last_img read more

How To: Eagle, Colorado

first_img About two hours west of Denver (126 miles to be exact) rests the town of Eagle, Colorado. If you’re like Roxy and me, then you’ve likely heard of, driven past, or even stopped in Eagle for a quick tank of gas on your way further west. We have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more about this town at the west end of the Eagle River Vally in the future. With a modest population of around 6,500, this beautiful small town has us wanting to come back for more.In Colorado, we are fortunate to have an endless amount of outdoor recreation at the tip of our Subaru’s tires. Eagle takes that mentality and goes above and beyond. It has the outdoor lifestyle ingrained in the fabric of their community.Eagle has integrated single track sidewalks for mountain bike commuters. They weave alongside sidewalks and allow riders to hop on and off the pavement as they choose. They have a bike rack on every corner, and bike stands for working on your bike on every other corner. There’s really no reason to drive because the town is so bike friendly. Eagle is home to Colorado’s longest pump track, and a giant BMX course that’s free to the public. There’s also a local pool and ice rink with showers for stinky riders (like us). The town is in the beginning stages of building a brand new whitewater park on the Eagle River, a stone throw from breweries and coffee shops. Eagle also has a little known secret… If you start at city hall you can bike to their incredible 100+ miles of world-class single track mountain bike trail system without having to pack your car and drive to a trailhead.EatWe started our day at Red Canyon Cafe. This cafe serves up tasty breakfast sandwiches and a great cup of coffee. Eagle has a surprising amount of highly rated coffee shops for a small town. Need to get some work done? Or do you prefer a quick post-lunch cold brew before you hit another round of trails? Yeti’s Grind is the perfect stop for a stellar cup of cold brew. Roxy snagged an iced coconut late and it was delicious. If you’re in need of lunch, why settle for smushed PB&Js when you can hop off the trail right next to the Dusty Boot. This family friendly American restaurant and bar donates $1 from every burger sold to help support Eagle County Biking Trails. Just finished a long day of crushing single track? Don’t feel like chewing? Bonfire Brewing is a must. We stopped in here to catch up on some work and try a few of the newest tap selections. Bonus! They’re completely dog friendly and will give you a free brew for 5,000 feet of climbing.Play (Our Favorite)Bike stuff… All of it. No joke, this is the most expansive trail system you can find this close to the front range. Need to be pointed in the right direction? Visit Eagle’s Website and get the lowdown on all of the trails. If you’d rather speak to a knowledgable human about the trails, or if your bike needs a little love before heading out, we highly recommend stopping in the best bike shop in town, Mountain Pedaler Bike Shop, to see Charlie Brown. Charlie is somewhat of a local legend in Eagle. His killer bike shop has received multiple awards, and he has a trail (and a beer!) named after him. As soon as you step foot in his shop, Charlie will great you with a smile and do everything he can to help you. I took a bit of a tumble on my bike the night before we stopped in Eagle. Charlie helped me get back on the trail as quick as he could.When we stopped by, we had the pleasure of riding the Haymaker trail. A short but oh-so-sweet section of single track less than a mile from town. This trail was professionally built to host the Colorado High School Cycling league State Championships. It’s the kind of trail that you can run laps on and ride it a little differently each time. It starts and finishes at the local rec-center, where you can find the longest pump track in the state. It’s a blast. You’ll also find a very well maintained, large, FREE BMX course. Let’s face it, Colorado is amazing in the summer time but unless you’re spending your afternoons at high elevation, it can get hot. Lucky for you right next to the trailhead is a pool and showers to help you cool off. One last note… The trails are open 6 months out of the year (and some year roud), which isn’t true for many of their mountain neighbors.Biking not your thing? The community of Eagle has also pledged a 0.5% tax increase to help fund a new 4.3 acre Whitewater park on the Eagle River. Anglers will find plenty of epic year-round fishing in the Eagle River, Brush Creek, and Sylvan Lake.StayEagle has several big name hotels with very reasonable rates. When we checked, a room at the Eagle River Lodge was $79.00, and a room at the Best Western Plus Eagle Lodge & Suits was $106.00. For the campers among us, there’s beautiful, free, BLM dispersed camping right up the hill off of Bellyache Road. It’s a great spot where you can bike to and from the trials. There’s also a state park campground right next to Sylvan Lake just outside of town. At Sylvan Lake, you’ll find cabins, yurts, and non-electric campsites. All of which can be reserved on Reserve America. Consider the “Fisherman’s Paradise” Loop for a spot right on the water.Next time your looking to skip the crowds in the front range and can’t justify driving 6 hours for a short weekend mountain bike trip, stop in Eagle. You won’t regret it. Sunset from Cowee Mountains Overlook, on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. If you like the gear we’re reppin’, or what we’re wearing, check out some of the sponsors that make this tour possible: La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.last_img read more

Ultimate Virginia Biking Giveaway

first_imgOR UP TO $359 credit towards a trek bike of your choice! Locally crafted eats and brews in the heart of Old Town Winchester at Roma and Alesatian Brewing Company WEAR(2) PAIRS OF KING TECHNICAL APPAREL SOCKS This contest is over. WIN THIS FULLY LOADED GETAWAY TO WINCHESTER, VA! A unique and immersive 2-night stay FOR TWO at the new Bird’s Nest Tiny House at Hedgebrook Farm EAT + DRINKcenter_img EXPLOREA custom winery and farm market biking tour by Element Sports from your tiny house through the gorgeous surrounding Shenandoah Valley countryside RIDETREK FX BIKE from BLUE RIDGE CYCLERY Enter to win below: STAY Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on October 31, 2018 – date subject to change. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mis-transcribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and their promotional partners reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before October 31, 2018 – date and time subject to change. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received. One entry per person or two entries per person if partnership opt-in box above is checked.last_img read more

June 2019: Urban Adventures

first_img @VisitMeckVA The Big Cut: Trump’s New Timber Rule Threatens the Future of Our National Forests Urban Paddling Small is Beautiful: National parks grab most of the headlines, but state parks are thriving, especially in Southern Appalachia.  Features 2019 Paddling Guide You are Being Poisoned The Long Creek Gangsters are the bad boys of Chattooga paddling • Paddler attempts record-breaking 100-mile circumnavigation of Lake Lanier • Wild workouts from the world’s fittest man   On the Cover Departments You don’t have to travel far to squeeze in a day on the water. These nine rivers offer closer-to-home paddling adventure. Hometown Heroes Knoxville’s first climber to summit Everest helps rescue a critically wounded Sherpa along the way. Bear collisions with vehicles are increasing, especially in places like Interstate 40 adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. What can be done to keep the roads safe for motorists and wildlife?  QUICK HITS Blood in the Snowcenter_img TRAIL MIX Dead Bears on the Highway LAST WORD Photo by Sam Dean @sdeanphotos Top athletes from across the region reveal their 25 favorite urban adventure hotspots.  FLASHPOINT Katie Arnold made a remarkable comeback from a potentially career-ending injury to win the Leadville 100 Mile Race last year. How did she do it? Her first-person essay takes us mile by mile in her footsteps.  Sunrise on Kerr Lake in central Virginia in Mecklenburg The Secret to Winning Leadville Paddling experts pick their personal favorites for whitewater and flatwater fun. Sounds of Summer: 5 big tours rolling through the South Virginia native Bucky Bailey is the central figure in a groundbreaking new Netflix documentary The Devil We Know. Bucky takes on a corporate titan to protect his family and the health of his hometown—and helps reveal a toxin lurking in all of our bodies and homes.  THE GOODS SamDeanPhotography.comlast_img read more

Brazil, an Aspiring Power Strengthening Its Defense Industry

first_img The Brazil that will be inherited by the winner of the election on 30 October is expanding its military power and strengthening its arms industry in giant steps, with commercial objectives but also in order to establish the basis for its access to the great-power club, analysts estimate. The new occupant of the Palacio de Planalto on 1 January will be the first president expected to apply in full the new National Defense Strategy, which has modernized the Brazilian vision of this sector and laid the foundations for a powerful defense industry in the South American giant. In the last eight years, the country has acquired an unprecedented international presence, thanks in part to the charisma of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, playing an active role in the most important international forums. And the area of defense is no exception. At the regional level, Brazil promoted the Defense Council of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), which the countries of the block joined. “Brazil’s transformation into a military power is a new discussion in the country, even for the military. The idea of Brazil as a developed country from the defense perspective and without its traditional alignments is new in the country,” Nelson During, an independent defense specialist, told AFP. For this expert, Brazil’s objective is to strengthen itself from the military perspective “as an independent power.” Brazil’s performance at the head of the military arm of the UN mission deployed in Haiti since 2004 allowed the country to take responsibility for this facet of an international mission in which dozens of countries are involved, achieving in addition an enormous training rotation for its soldiers in a crisis situation. “In January, Brazil lost several soldiers in Haiti (as a consequence of the earthquake), and the country accepted what had happened well. No one asked for the troops to return. Now there’s already talk of sending (Brazilian) blue helmets to Lebanon. This is to say that this active role is already following its own course,” During remarked. The international-relations specialist Sabrina Medeiros told AFP that “Brazil is already seen as a trustworthy associate, but it’s necessary to consolidate a deterrence capability as a support for this new role that the country is playing” in the international diplomatic arena. Brazil “does not suffer from classic or conventional threats, nor are there border disputes, and this demands the adoption of a modern strategy. The new National Strategy is the first step in the process,” in the summary of Carlos Alberto Teixeira, a professor at the Naval War College. Looking forward, the key to this strategy, adopted in 2008, is the decision to establish the basis for an arms industry, with the long-term expectation of turning Brazil into an exporter of military technology. For During, the development of a defense industry “will run into a natural brake, which is the market. It will be very difficult for Brazil to find space in the defense technology market, where there are very powerful actors.” Meanwhile, the country is trying to acquire packets of military technology. The modernization process includes as its most ambitious step the purchase of thirty-six latest-generation fighter planes. The competitors bidding for the project are the French firm Dassault with its Rafale model, the administration’s favorite; the U.S. giant Boeing with its F-18 Super Hornet model; and the Swedish Saab, with its Grippen airplanes. Brazil has already bought from France four Scorpene attack submarines and the shell of a fifth, which will be adapted for a nuclear motor being developed by the Brazilian Navy. The country has also bought from France 50 EC-725 transport helicopters, which will be assembled in Brazil with local workers, and this fleet of helicopters will be completed with 24 Russian Mi-35Ms. At the same time, Brazil signed an association agreement with Italy in June for an Italian firm to manufacture 2,044 armored personnel carriers on Brazilian soil over twenty years. Italy and the United Kingdom are competing with one another for the contracts for ocean-going patrol ships. The Italians want to place their FREMM frigates. Meanwhile, the Brazilian Air Force and the Brazilian civil aerospace firm Embraer are developing the powerful KC-390 airplane, designed to replace the American Hercules C-130. Embraer plans to sell seven hundred KC-390 logistical-transport and troop-transport planes, “one hundred of them in South America,” according to the firm, an emblem of the incipient local defense industry. By Dialogo October 27, 2010last_img read more

Costa Rica: Coast Guard invests in infrastructure, technology

first_imgBy Dialogo July 18, 2012 SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – The Costa Rican National Coast Guard Service (SNG) is on a building spree, aiming to open 12 bases along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts by the end of the year, said SNG Director Martín Arias. “We are going to have buildings that are modern and comfortable for our people and close to the communities they work with,” he added. “What the National Police Force does in security work, we are also going to have in our communities.” The SNG, which celebrated the 12th anniversary of its founding in May, has seized more than 30 tons of drugs since 2005 – an amount Arias said is roughly equivalent to US$500 million in profits taken away from international narco-trafficking organizations. The SNG seized more than five tons of narcotics between May 2011 and May 2012. “Thirty tons is an important achievement and I believe the country should feel very confident in a service like ours,” Arias said. The SNG’s growth, in terms of both new stations and new boats in the national fleet, has been funded in part by approximately US$5.5 million in aid from the United States, according to the Public Security Ministry. Of the US$5.5 million, US$3.5 million went toward building an SNG station in Puerto Caldera on the Pacific Coast that opened this past March. The United States also donated two high-tech interceptor boats worth about US$1.8 million. Arias said the SNG spent US$1.2 million to purchase seven interceptor boats from Colombia, with four having already arrived in the Central American nation. The agency is investing US$650,000 to rebuild an older patrol boat as part of a US$3.3 million investment to develop its fleet this year. “We’re looking hard at our coastal fleet,” Arias said. “We’re looking to improve our smaller boats and our interceptor boats, as well as restoring patrol boats that haven’t been used in years.” Arias said the SNG recently opened a new station on the Northern Caribbean Coast near the estuary of the Pacuare River, giving security forces access to the Tortuguero Canals, which have been used by narco-traffickers and poachers who snatch sea turtle eggs. The SNG is building a US$900,000 facility to be inaugurated near the end of August at the Caribbean shipping port in Moín. The SNG also is planning to build a station in the town of Sixaola, near the Panamanian border, Arias said. On the Pacific Coast, the SNG is expected to build a station near the town of Drake and another station, which is part of a joint project with the Environment Ministry, at Puerto Coyote. In November, the Environment Ministry and the Public Security Ministry (MSP) signed an accord to cooperate in the protection of Costa Rica’s marine resources with a focus on illegal fishing. “We are going to open a new Coast Guard station in Nandayure, which is an area where we’ve had little presence,” Arias said. “And in July, we’re going to lay the first stone of the Coast Guard station in Flamingo, in Santa Cruz, which represents an investment of US$1.25 million financed by the government of the United States.” Arias added the SNG would be investing in improvements in a station near Murciélago, close to the Nicaraguan border. Public Security Minister Mario Zamora said the SNG currently has about 44 boats stationed along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. “The Coast Guard also is in the process of incorporating new technologies, specifically the placement of radar stations, on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts,” Zamora said. Zamora said the SNG will also be adding GPS units to patrol boats, enabling command centers to monitor the status of boats on the high sea. The units will help conserve fuel and ensure captains are patrolling assigned areas. “Today, there are manual systems and the captain of the ships can do what they desire to do,” he added. “With these technological systems, we’re going to incorporate important levels of internal controls.”last_img read more

Attacks in Chile taking a dangerous turn to terrorism

first_img The 2014 attacks By Dialogo October 07, 2014 Anarchism in Chile has been used for decades to fight for the injustices of capitalism, but up until 2014, had never been used to attack innocent civilians. Instead, Chilean based anarchist groups are known for using political inroads to beget education, tax, and political reforms. Today, these groups continue to fight for reform but differing views on how to achieve end goals has resulted in splintering of groups; some of which now have international ties to European violent extremist groups. These same European groups are believed to guide and support extremist cells in Chile. Take for example the CCF. This group is native to Greece, but as evidenced by the Santiago Metro attacks, the CCF has at least one Chilean based cell comprised of Chilean nationals. It also appears that the Chilean cell may have followed guidance released by the CCF in Greece to use everyday items to create explosive devices. This idea is evidenced by the fact that fire extinguishers filled with gunpowder were utilized in both the July and September attacks. CCF affiliation in Chile is concerning, because according to Greek authorities and information released by the news website The Perfect Storm, the CCF’s loose, horizontal structure made of individual cells makes it hard to fight. Also of concern is the fact that some security experts have described this group as a mythological serpent in the sense that once one head is cut off, another pops back up. If this is the case and there are more CCF cells operating in Chile, wiping out the remaining members is imperative to stop future attacks. From anarchism to extreme anarchism Since 2005 anarchist groups have detonated explosive devices in non-populated areas within Chile during late night hours on at least 198 separate occasions, according to Spaniard newspaper El País. Because of the timing and absence of civilian populace during these attacks, no casualties were reported. But recent attacks conducted in July and September 2014 deviated from the original pattern as they were conducted at the Santiago Metro Station, a public transit system used by an estimated 2,500,000 individuals per day. And although the Metro attacks did not result in civilian deaths, they made it clear that extremist cells of anarchist groups are willing and capable of carrying out large-scale terrorist attacks aimed at inflicting multiple casualties at any hour of the day. On July 13, 2014, the last subway car of the night pulled into Los Dominicos stop at the Santiago Metro Station. Per protocol, a subway employee began checking the train cars one by one to ensure they were all empty during which time a backpack was found underneath a seat in the first car. The bag contained a fire extinguisher filled with gunpowder and a clock wired to the device with cables. This incident was immediately reported to subway security and police. In response to the threat, the subway platform was evacuated, and shortly after, the device detonated before authorities even had a chance to look at it. Information released by Chilean news agency Emol indicated that no injuries were reported in conjunction with this attack. However, it represented the first instance in which alleged anarchists dared to detonate an explosive device in a public forum with citizens still present. On September 08, 2014, crowds gathered to enjoy lunch at a fast food restaurant located next to the Escuela Militar metro station in Las Condes neighborhood of Santiago, Chile. At 14:05, a fire extinguisher filled with gunpowder was detonated leaving 14 injured. Following this attack, Peruvian newspaper El Comercio indicated that at least two of the victims suffered full limb amputations, but as in the first attack, no deaths were reported. Hours following the September incident, the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire (CCF) released an online statement claiming responsibility for both Metro attacks. They further blamed authorities for injuries sustained by civilians and claimed that their target was not the civilian populace, but the “structures, properties and enforcers of power.” In carrying out the two Metro attacks, the CCF not only undermined legitimate anarchist groups dedicated to creating lasting social change, it also highlighted its potential to conduct potential large scale terrorist attacks. But the question still remains, how did a small group coordinate a possible mass casualty terrorist attack and who could have helped them? El País has also reported information indicating that Chilean based extreme anarchists are believed to have ties with Spanish based terrorist groups. Just last year, two Chilean anarchists who were tried and acquitted in connection with the Santiago bombings were later arrested in Spain where they were charged with planting a bomb in a church in Zaragoza. Additionally, at least nine known Spanish terrorists have visited Chile to directly support small scale bombing attacks in recent years. For these reasons and so many more, Chilean ties to international violent extremist groups are concerning as they may serve as the influence for more high profile attacks. Extremist Chilean anarchists responsible for the Santiago metro terrorist attacks made it clear that they are willing and able to target densely populated venues during daytime hours. Possible future attacks are also of concern, but the Chilean government is determined to thwart any attempts and to prosecute offenders by enacting an anti-terrorism law first used during the Pinochet era. This law allows for anonymous witness testimony by the prosecution and greatly increased sentences. In applying it, the Chilean government likely hopes to dismantle small extremist cells with probable international ties while restoring peace and tranquility to the streets of Santiago. Thanks for the information. It was left out in Brazilian newspapers.last_img read more

U.S. Military Response to Hurricane Matthew Sets the Tone for Successful Planning and Coordination

first_imgBy CDR Ted Kim, LCDR Jeremy Greenwood, CDR Timothy Sommella* November 02, 2016 While Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm, was barreling toward Haiti, a small team of U.S. Coast Guard officers was hunkered down in a makeshift command center at a house in Port-au-Prince. Hurricane Matthew became the most destructive storm to hit Haiti in more than 50 years, and the planning and coordination that took place in that makeshift command center set the tone for the U.S. military response. Five Coast Guard cutter crews and more than six Coast Guard aircrews provided the first U.S. military response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, which was coordinated and shaped under the leadership of three Coast Guard officers – Cmdr. Ted Kim, Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Greenwood, and Cmdr. Timothy Sommella. Less than 12 hours after Hurricane Matthew passed, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Air Station Miami was the first U.S. military asset to arrive on scene. At the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the aircrew carried U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Peter F. Mulrean, provisional Haitian President Jocelerme Privert, and a team of USAID disaster-response experts on an initial overflight assessment of the devastation Hurricane Matthew left behind. The next day, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater provided a similar overflight for U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Cedric Pringle, commander of Joint Task Force Matthew (JTF-M). The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton crew also facilitated a logistically challenging transport to get the provisional president of Haiti and the U.S. ambassador on the ground in Jeremie – one of the worst hit cities in Haiti. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew transferred the two VIPs and the U.S. Coast Guard liaison officer to the cutter before being taken by small boat to a damaged pier in Jeremie. The U.S. military response from U.S. Southern Command grew to more than 20 aircraft, 450 Department of Defense personnel, and two amphibious naval ships carrying 2,600 additional personnel and supplies. JTF-M facilitated the delivery of more than 272 metric tons of food, shelter, and medical supplies and transported 150 relief personnel to cut-off communities in Haiti. The U.S. Coast Guard team proved integral to the formation and support of the operation, liaising with local Haitian government officials, providing critical logistics support, and serving as a conduit between the joint task force and the U.S. Embassy. *U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Jeremy Greenwood, Coast Guard Liaison Officer in Haiti; U.S. Coast Guard Commander Ted Kim, Senior Defense Officer/Defense Attaché in Haiti; and U.S. Coast Guard Commander Timothy Sommella, JTF-Matthew-U.S. Coast Guard Liaison Officer.last_img read more

Peruvian Army Promotes Moral Values in Society

first_imgBy Gonzalo Silva Infante/Diálogo August 23, 2018 The Peruvian Army School of Psychological Operations started an unprecedented pilot program to strengthen the troops’ moral values on July 1, 2018. The semester-long program precedes the Army’s national campaign, A Better Citizen. Meant for officers who will graduate in December, the program is carried out in several facilities of the Army in Lima, such as Chorrillos Military School and the Peruvian Army Technical School. Its goal: to adjust the campaign strategy and provide officers with the tools necessary to pass on the message to the troops, all while stimulating their own moral values. The army’s objective is to create a virtuous cycle to help improve Peruvian society. It is estimated that the campaign will reach 20,000 soldiers per year and that each will be able to influence at least 10 people around them. “In the last 40 years, society as a whole has undergone a crisis in values,” Colonel Jorge Reyes Gutiérrez, commandant of the Peruvian Army School of Psychological Operations, told Diálogo. “In our case, we had to deal with terrorism and the economic crisis. Due to a lack of good role models, some people opted for the wrong path. This gave rise to the image of drug traffickers and terrorists.” Author of the campaign From the beginning of his career, Major General Oscar de Jesús Reto Otero, chief of the General Staff of the Peruvian Army, enjoyed chatting with new soldiers to understand what they longed for—a good position, enduring relationships, and helping others. Throughout the years, the spontaneous talks turned into an increasingly concrete vision: Soldiers and their values could positively impact those around them and society. As such, Maj. Gen. Reto started to give informal, educational talks to officers and noncommissioned officers that led to the creation of the moral value campaign, A Better Citizen. Developed by the Peruvian Army School of Psychological Operations, the campaign kicks off in 2019. “In his eagerness to close the loop, [Maj. Gen. Reto] came in February [2018] to talk about his concern,” Col. Reyes said. “He saw that the School of Psychological Operations was the ideal entity to provide scientific support to the work we will carry out and the time it will take—what we can transmit and how we will transmit it.” A repetitive system The School of Psychological Operations opened in 1994 in the district of Santiago de Surco, Lima. The first basic psychological operations program, however, was taught in 1984 at the Army’s premises. With the support of the school’s experts—anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and journalists—Maj. Gen. Reto and Col. Reyes identified ways to reinforce good habits in the troops, so these could be passed on to relatives and friends. The model, in its adjustment phase, is based on repetition. According to a 2009 study of University College London, habits are forged in about 66 days. “We’ve come to a rigorous, deliberate model,” Col. Reyes said. “With that corroborated time frame and repetitive system, we looked for free time or psychological spaces we could use within soldiers’ training to get the message across.” The officers found seven daily moments in which to reinforce service members’ habits. They will work on self-esteem orally—through prayers, mottoes, and readings from officers in charge—and through actions when fulfilling their duties. “We will work on self-esteem, which is very low,” Col. Reyes said. “That explains family violence, femicides […] that’s normal in societies that have gone through periods of generalized violence.” Good soldiers, better citizens Officials in charge of the campaign estimate the results will be visible in three years. They stressed that the support of section commanders will be essential to attain the expected results. “They are the ones out there day by day, always with [soldiers], like I used to be when I was second lieutenant,” Maj. Gen. Reto said. As part of the project, officers enrolled at the School of Psychological Operations will take part in a communications course at San Martin de Porres University in Lima. The two-month course, ending in September, will allow officers to develop products around the theme of soldiers as agents of change in society. Each year, the School of Psychological Operations collaborates with the schools of Communication of local universities to train psychological operators in this field. Thanks to the partnership, service members gain the technical tools to be able to transmit information. During its 24 years, the school has come a long way, focusing its efforts on training service members and widening its reach to civil institutions and society. In 2018, the school had yet another first: an unprecedented course for the Peruvian National Police (PNP), which took place April 16th–May 26th. PNP officers who fight against narcoterrorism in the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM, in Spanish), took part in the Special Course for PNP Personnel deployed with the VRAEM Psychological Operations Team. With this training, PNP units will be better prepared to face the challenges of organized crime and protect the people. In the coming months, Maj. Gen. Reto and Col. Reyes will analyze the advances of the pilot program and set the final details. Officers of the School of Psychological Operations started talks with the Peruvian Navy, Air Force, and National Police to replicate the model in their institutions. The campaign, they said, will serve as a catalyst for social change. “My vision is to have good soldiers, better citizens,” Maj. Gen. Reto concluded. “They should not only practice values, but also demand them. If this continues to grow, we will be able to demand that our authorities, who we elect, do what they have offered to do.”last_img read more

Venezuelan Interim President Visits Trump at White House

first_imgBy Voice of America / Edited by Diálogo Staff February 19, 2020 On February 5, Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House. In a statement announcing Guaidó’s visit, the White House said, “We will continue to work with our partners in the region to confront the illegitimate dictatorship in Venezuela, and will stand alongside the Venezuelan people to ensure a future that is democratic and prosperous.”Guaidó’s visit to Washington followed visits with European and Canadian leaders, part of his campaign against Maduro.The United States and other countries blame Maduro’s socialist policies for the political and economic crisis that threatens regional stability, while recognizing Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate interim leader. Guaidó was a guest at Trump’s State of the Union speech in Washington on February 4 and received a standing ovation.National security issueAhead of the meeting between Trump and Guaidó, a senior Trump administration official told reporters Venezuela was a national security priority “in the sense of the destabilizing effect that it has on its neighbors.” The official said the country was responsible for “harboring narcotraffickers” and “narco-terrorists,” adding that Venezuela had become a primary point of narcotics trafficking to Central America, Mexico, and therefore the United States.The official also said the U.S. was using “all of the tools in our box available” to respond.last_img read more

Pro Bono Awards: Voluntary Bar Association Service Award

first_img THE VOLUNTARY BAR ASSOCIATION PRO BONO SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT Jacksonville Bar AssociationThe Jacksonville Bar Association is a voluntary bar which has served the greater Jacksonville Area (Duval County, Baker County, Clay County, St. Johns County, and Nassau County) since 1897. It has been a long-standing tenet of the Jacksonville Bar Association to not only serve the legal community, but the community in general. As a result, numerous programs and services have been provided throughout the years by members of the Jacksonville Bar including, but not limited to, the Special Olympics, Teen Court, Holiday Project for the Elderly, Holiday in January for children associated with the Department of Children and Families, the Mentor Program, Law School for the Public, and various seminars and forums held for both the legal community and the community at large. In keeping with their tradition of assistance and support, the Jacksonville Bar Association, in conjunction with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, established a legal in-take clinic at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless in 2001.In essence, since the homeless do not have access to the legal community in a convenient forum, the legal community has gone to the homeless. Specifically, the legal clinic is held on the third Tuesday of each month from 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the benefit of the guests at the center. Each session includes a minimum of four attorneys: two attorneys who specialize in general litigation, a family law attorney, and a public defender. The center provides a staff liaison, Freda Hodges, to assist Alan Pickert, a private attorney with the law firm of Brown, Terrell, Hogan, who coordinates the project for the Jacksonville Bar, and Sarah Jones Fowler, director of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s Public Service Projects, who oversees the in-take project for Legal Aid. Both Pickert and Fowler participate each month to provide continuity while the other volunteer attorneys who participate rotate through the program. Additionally, many presentations are also conducted during the course of the year at the center in conjunction with the legal clinic in-take, covering various substantive topics including employment, divorce, housing, and criminal concerns.The I.M. Sulzbacher Center averages 278 homeless guests on a daily basis, and a great number of these guests have legal problems which require an attorney’s attention. Those individuals who sign up to meet with an attorney for the legal in-take are then interviewed by the attorney and their case is either accepted by the attorney or referred to Legal Aid staff or pro bono attorneys for further follow-up. However, numerous times counsel’s advice during the in-take session resolves many of the problems.Since its inaugural debut in February, 2001, over 50 private attorneys have extended their already busy day to interview over 200 guests of the Center with issues ranging from child support to record sealings. Thus far, attorneys have donated almost 300 hours to this program, interviewing guests, administrating the project, and handling the cases pro bono for the guests.The Sulzbacher Center already views the clinic as a tremendous success. As Hodges, a life skills educator for the center, stated: “We are inundated with legal questions throughout the course of any given day by our guests. The questions can range from divorce/child custody issues to landlord/tenant disputes, to workers’ compensation or employment cases. The guests want real answers, and quite frankly we do not have the answers. The guests are always excited and look forward to being able to meet with attorneys to address their needs and to know that there are individuals out in the world who care about them.”One such example of the impact of the program was illustrated at the center’s annual fundraiser, “Transformations,” which was attended by Fowler and the past chairperson of the project from the Jacksonville Bar Association, Marianne Lloyd Aho. During the fund-raiser, the Center honors its partnership with organizations and recognizes the successful transformations of its guests. One such successful transformation concerned a guest who was wrongfully denied unemployment compensation benefits that she desperately needed to support her family until she found future employment. utilizing the program, the grateful guest was justly awarded the benefits that had been wrongly denied her, thereby moving her one step closer to achieving her goal of self-reliance for her and her children.Every month brings an entirely new flow of guests requiring legal assistance. Everyone involved in the project works diligently to refer guests to the clinic with the hope of helping them remove yet one more barrier toward their independence. As one individual stated, legal assistance was the “missing piece of the puzzle” for the Center. Now the picture is complete thanks to the Jacksonville Bar Association. Click here for more Pro Bono Awards Ceremony coverage. Pro Bono Awards: Voluntary Bar Association Service Award April 1, 2002 Regular Newslast_img read more

Stresslines – Thoughts on the holidays, balance & porfessionalism

first_img Stresslines – Thoughts on the holidays, balance & professionalism Stresslines – Thoughts on the holidays, balance & porfessionalism “ Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least,” — Goethe “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience,” — Teilhard de Chardin“ He that is good with a hammer tends to think everything is a nail,” — Abraham Maslow Robert FioreOnce again, we find ourselves at that time of year, which means many things to many people. Some of us are happy; some not so happy; and some are just indifferent.We all work in a profession that at times is associated with stress, discomfort, and lots of worrying. Indeed, our profession may at times consume us to the point where little else matters.However, let us stop and think for a moment and ask ourselves the following question — Is our job really what matters most in our lives? I feel fairly certain that the vast majority of us would answer that question with a resounding, “No.”If that is true, then the next question must be, “Why do many of us live day to day as if the answer to the first question — is our job really what matters most in our lives — is, “Yes?” I feel fairly certain that the vast majority of us would answer that question with a resounding, “I don’t have any idea.”That said, we may want to take this time of year to reflect on the following: Is now the time to invest the time and energy in finding balance in my life?Let’s not kid ourselves; finding balance in life is perhaps one of the single greatest challenges we as lawyers, judges, and staff face on a daily basis. There is simply no “quick-fix” solution to this dilemma.What matters most in our lives? Is it our parents, children, brothers, and sisters? Is it our friends? Is it our spirituality? Or, is it something else?The point is simply this: many of us who have achieved success in our profession and are well intentioned have not invested the time and energy necessary to begin answering these basic questions. And, without those answers, we have not even begun the process of solving the “balance dilemma.”As the quote above from Goethe teaches, once we figure out the things that matter most in life, the journey begins to ensure that these same things are never at the mercy of the things that matter least.What does finding balance in life have to do with professionalism? Perhaps nothing, depending on our perspective. But, I suggest that “balance” and “professionalism” have a deep-rooted, synergistic relationship. In other words, those of us who have found balance in life — or at the very least have begun searching for it — are more likely to value professionalism that has at its core living by a higher set of principles, and not just the minimum requirements set forth in the ethical rules.There are few times during the year that provide a better opportunity to reflect on life than during the holidays. Maybe now is the time to start the journey. Robert J. Fiore of Miami serves as the president of the Dade County Bar Association and chair of The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism. This column is published under the sponsorship of the Quality of Life and Career Committee. The committee’s Web site is at www.fla-lap.org/qlsm.center_img January 1, 2005 Regular Newslast_img read more

In Memoriam

first_img In Memoriam Joseph Henry Chambers, St. Petersburg Admitted 1964; Died January 6, 2005 Robert Stephen Geiger, Boca Raton Admitted 1975; Died February 6, 2004 Julius Benjamin Griffin, Ocoee Admitted 1955; Died January 25, 2003 James H. Hartl, San Francisco, CA Admitted 1973; Died August 15, 2000 William O.E. Henry, Maitland Admitted 1952; Died March 11, 2005 Michael Francis Hofer, Indianapolis, IN Admitted 1980; Died March 14, 2004 J. Francis Hunt, Humble, TX Admitted 1973; Died June 11, 2000 Harry L. Irvine, Jr., Coral Springs Admitted 1987; Died August 23, 2004 Reginald S. Johnson, Royal Oak, MI Admitted 1972; Died March 4, 2003 Clifton M. Kelly, Lakeland Admitted 1947; Died April 12, 2005 Kenneth Gordon King, Naples Admitted 1992; Died April 18, 2005 O. Gwen Lamar King, Pensacola Admitted 1969; Died December 22, 2004 Edwin W. Lammi, Boca Raton Admitted 1954; Died February 19, 2005 John Ryle Lawson, Jr., Tampa Admitted 1955; Died January 31, 2005 Richard T. Leavengood, St. Petersburg Admitted 1979; Died March 8, 2005 Stuart Alan Levine, Winter Park Admitted 1981; Died August 20, 2004 Madison McNeil Mosley, Jr., St. Petersburg Admitted 1993; Died March 29, 2005 John Gerard O’Brien, Pensacola Admitted 1967; Died April 1, 2005 Quillian S. Yancey, Lakeland Admitted 1959; Died January 3, 2005 Glen C. Rafkin, Ft. Lauderdale Admitted 1979; Died January 25, 2005 Dale E. Rice, Crestview Admitted 1962; Died March 21, 2005 Lori R. Rosen, Minnetonka, MN Admitted 1989; Died February 15, 2005 Joel Steven Rossignolo, Orlando Admitted 1971; Died March 7, 2005 David Herrick Runyan, Madeira Beach Admitted 1977; Died April 6, 2005 June 15, 2005 In Memoriam In Memoriamlast_img read more

D’Alemberte to chair AJS

first_img September 1, 2005 Regular News D’Alemberte to chair AJS Sandy D’Alemberte was recently elected to serve as chair of the board for the American Judicature Society. D’Alemberte, president emeritus of Florida State University, previously served as the AJS president from 1982 to 1984 and received its highest honor, the Justice Award in 1996. “Sandy’s passion for an accessible, high-quality, and fair justice system; understanding of issues facing our courts; and leadership qualities are well known,” said Allan Sobel, AJS president. Two other Floridians were also elected to the AJS Board of Directors. Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno returned to the board and Neal Sonnett, a Miami criminal law attorney, was re-elected to the board. As chair, D’Alemberte plans to work to implement the new governance system, which places the executive director into the office of president. He will also continue to work on a new initiative, which will draw lessons from the wrongful convictions now firmly established by DNA testing. This work is to be further developed in discussions with the National Academy of Sciences and foundations interested in supporting improvements in the truth-finding function of the justice system. D’Alemberte to chair AJSlast_img read more

Suffolk Police Save Heroin Overdose Victim, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Fort Salonga man who overdosed on heroin early Saturday morning was saved by four Suffolk County police officers using a prescription drug that reverses opiate overdoses, police said.The four officers—Joseph Mango, Barbara Hernandez, Shane Wild and Michael Guido—all responded to a call of an unresponsive man at 6:04 a.m., police said. The 20-year-old man was found passed out in his bedroom from an apparent heroin overdose, police said. Officer Mango administered the prescription drug, Narcan, on the victim, who was then taken to Huntington Hospital.The unidentified man regained consciousness in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, police said.The prescription drug is being used in all Suffolk County police precincts as part of a New York State Department of Health pilot program.last_img read more

Freeport Middle School Principal Accused of Sex with Teen

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York John Omard (Nassau County Police Department)The principal of Freeport’s J.W. Dodd Middle School was accused Wednesday of having sex with a teenage boy who was once enrolled at the school.Nassau County police arrested John O’Mard at his Freeport home and charged him with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual act. Bail was set at $10,000 bond and $5,000 cash at his arraignment.Investigators said the principal engaged in “sexual acts” with the then-16-year-old victim after they met through Grindr, a smartphone dating application for men. The two used the app to chat and discuss where they would meet, Det. Sgt. Carlo Maltempi of the Special Victims Squad, said at a press conference.O’Mard picked up the teenager at the meeting spot and then allegedly drove him to his Freeport house where the sexual act occurred, police said.There was “no force,” Maltempi said, adding that “there were other factors” that led to the sexual encounter. He didn’t elaborate.Though the alleged incident occurred in September 2012, it wasn’t until Friday that police began their investigation. One of the teenager’s friends heard of the encounter and alerted Freeport school officials last week, Maltempi said.Investigators said O’Mard served as the middle school’s principal for approximately 10 years and an educator for 15. The victim, now 17, was enrolled in the school while O’Mard was principal but it wasn’t until “shortly after they met that he realized that it was his ex-principal,” Maltempi said.Freeport School District Superintendent Dr. Kishore Kunchman released a statement on the district’s website notifying parents that school officials are aware of the investigation. Without identifying Omard by name, Kunchman said the “individual has been administratively reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation currently being conducted by law enforcement authorities.”“The district will continue to cooperate with law enforcement during their investigation,” Kunchman added. “As this is a personnel matter, the district is legally prohibited from discussing any specifics regarding this individual and the police investigation.”Former Assistant Principal Robert Micucci, who had been with the district for 36 years before retiring in 2011, will take over in the interim, the district said.O’Mard’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment. He is due back in court March 25.Nassau police asked that anyone who feels they may have been a victim call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.last_img read more

Mastic Man DWI in Crash That Killed Grandfather, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A man was arrested for drunken driving in a crash that killed his grandfather, who was a passenger in the suspect’s truck in East Patchogue on Monday evening, Suffolk County police said.Gary Hendricks, 45, of Mastic, was driving a Chevrolet Suburban westbound on Sunrise Highway when he rear-ended a GMC pickup truck and veered up an embankment, causing the truck to roll over near the corner of Route 112 at 5:15 p.m., police said.Hendricks’ grandfather, 77-year-old Isaac Beal, was ejected from the backseat of the Suburban. He pronounced dead at the scene.The other backseat passenger, 62-year-old Donald Fowler of West Babylon, was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.Hendricks and frontseat passenger, 47-year-old Tina Downes of Medford, were taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.The other driver, 21-year-old Jonnathan Penaranda of Patchogue, and his passenger were not injured.Hendricks was charged with driving while intoxicated and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip.Vehicular Crime Unit detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information about this crash to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.last_img read more

Do This: Long Island Events November 20-26

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Holiday Lights SpectacularIt’s back! After being nixed seven years ago, this 2.5-mile drive-thru seaside holiday tradition triumphantly returns with more than 150 lighted-displays, many of which are animated, synced to holiday music. It all culminates in a holiday village, where kids can have pictures taken with Santa Clause, visitors can make s’mores and revelers can hear carolers sing on select nights. Wednesday night is pet night for discounts and a chance to have a photo of Fido seated on Santa’s lap. There is also a Twofer Tuesday special—two trips for the price of one. Jones Beach State Park, West End, Ocean Pkwy. seetheholidaylights.com $20 per car weekdays, $25 weekends. Nov. 20-Jan. 4. dusk-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., open til 11 p.m. Fri.-Sun.David Amram’s 84th Birthday Concert: Remembering Pete Seeger Billed as “the greatest folk concert Long Island has seen in decades,” this show is not only a birthday bash for a world-renowned artist and a musical celebration of perhaps one of the world’s most influential folk artists, it’s also a benefit for the nonprofit Gold Coast Arts Center, an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach—something that David Amram has done throughout his own long career. Topping the bill is the octogenarian birthday boy himself, David Amram, and his quintet, and Amram’s close compatriots, including Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame), Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Guy Davis, Garland Jeffreys, Kim & Reggie Harris, Joel Rafael, The Amigos, The Chapin Sisters, Bethany & Rufus and the Connecticut State Troubadour Kristen Graves. The Hillwood Recital Hall At Tilles Center, LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville. tillescenter.org $55. 7 p.m. Nov. 20.Ace FrehleyHere’s an interesting tidbit for Ace Frehley fans: on his newest album, Space Invaders,  his fiance, Rachael Gordon, wrote the lyrics to two songs: “Change” and “Immortal Pleasures.” The Kiss guitarist is sure to  bust out both songs when this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer storms into town to promote the album. Prepare to “rock and roll all night” as one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time brings his brand of far-out music to our little corner of the planet. With opening act Charm City Devils. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$59.50. 8 p.m. Nov. 20.Deck the Halls: Original Art for Holiday Giving An opening reception for an exhibit that features the work of about two dozen local artists and artisans with all the charm of the holiday season. As in previous years, the event will come alive with a unique array of handcrafted jewelry, giftware and clothing by local and nationally recognized artisans, as well as a selection of sustainable and fair-trade items. Exhibit runs through Dec. 23. Gallery North, 90 North Country Rd., Setauket-East Setauket. gallerynorth.org Free. 5 p.m. Nov. 21.Freddie Hudson, Victoria M. Howard, Billy Haughton This trifecta of authors and horse racing experts will discuss and sign copies of a new book they co-wrote, Roosevelt Raceway: Where It All Began, which recounts the rise and fall of the then-world capital of harness racing. A must read for fans of Long Island history—or anyone who wonders why there are references to a racetrack on Corporate Drive in Westbury. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. Bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. Nov. 21.Dave AttellFrom Rodney Dangerfield to Jerry Seinfeld, LI is home to a laundry list of comics who made it into the big leagues. Add to that list this dark lord of the comedic arts, the not-so-family friendly former host of Insomniac With Dave Attell. When he’s not working the circuit, the always risqué joke slinger can be found on his late night stand-up show, Comedy Underground, on Comedy Central. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $45-$65. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21.Pat Metheny Unity Group Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, saxophonist Chris Potter, bass clarinetist Ben Williams and madman drummer Antonio Sánchez continue their mind-blowing ascension to virtuosic nirvana. Expect to be absolutely floored, no matter what your musical tastes. Not to miss! The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $45-$95. 8 p.m. Nov. 21.Sultans of StringSultans of StringThis jazzy folk/worldbeat trio known for poly-rhythms and revved up riffs melds fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar while a funky bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound. They’ll be celebrating the release of their new album, Symphony! Our Times Coffeehouse, 38 Old Country Rd, Garden City. ourtimescoffeehouse.org $15, $6 for kids under 12. 8 p.m. Nov. 21.Mitch Ryder and the Detroit WheelsGood golly, Miss Molly, what a high-octane, super-charged pop music career has Mitch Ryder had with The Detroit Wheels. Once William S. Levise, Jr. adopted his stage name he truly took off. He and his band were the first to hit the AM airwaves with their distinctive hard-hitting sound that combined the best of Motown and the Motor City in one explosive rock ’n’ roll ride. Take a listen to “Devil With a Blue Dress On” or “Sock It To Me, Baby!” and you’ll know where he’s coming from. With Mitch Ryder in the driver’s seat, these Wheels have covered a lot of mileage over the years—and there’s many more miles still to come. Suffolk Theater, 118 Main St., Riverhead. Suffolktheater.com $49. 8 p.m. Nov. 21.Bill Nye the Science GuyUniverses will collide for this delightfully nerdy event that comes in the wake of Nye’s heated Creationist debate and his pop culture debut on Dancing With The Stars. Previously only appearing at academic institutions, he’s taking the show on the road for those who want to relive their childhood or hear his hotly debated theories in person. This performance is guaranteed to inform, inspire and stir up some nostalgia! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $40-$85. 8 p.m. Nov. 21.Straight to Hell Giving homage to the late, great “punk rock warlord” Joe Strummer is this tribute to The Clash, the English punk rockers dubbed by music critics to be “The Only Band That Matters” (several Press staffers would have to agree). Opening the show will be Rockaway Bitch, an all-girl tribute to The Ramones (!!), Basket Case, a Green Day cover band and local hellraisers Black Mary. Do not miss this gig! 89 North Music Venue, 89 North Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $10. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22.Mario Cantone He’s a funny guy, this Mario Cantone—handsome and talented, too. Cantone, a celebrated stage actor and comedian, gained well-deserved critical acclaim with his Tony-nominated one-man show, “Laugh Whore,” which also became a Showtime special. He previously starred in the Tony-winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” and in Terrence McNally’s dramatic comedy, “Love! Valor! Compassion!” Of course, some fans might have a soft spot for his role on HBO’s Sex and the City as Anthony, Charlotte’s wedding-planner-with-attitude. Who else could do a musical parody of both Judy Garland and Jim Morrison? Who else would dare! The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $32.50-$60. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Roger Street FriedmanThis New York-based musician’s genre-bending sound is a fusion of Americana, folk, rock, country and R&B reminiscent of artists like Van Morrison, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell. He recently released his debut full-length album, The Waiting Sky. The Landmark Theatre, 232 Main St., Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org $47. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Johnette NapolitanoThis uncompromisingly talented singer-songwriter from Hollywood is perhaps best known as the lead vocalist and bassist for the alternative rock band Concrete Blonde, of “Joey” fame. Napolitano’s also created a body of work as a solo artist, a sculptor and a poet. She’s composed soundtracks for movies and TV shows, as well as collaborated with Nine Inch Nails, Danny Lohner, John Trudel and Paul Westerberg, to name a few. Not too long ago she even sang lead with The Heads, a revamped Talking Heads project that went headless without founder David Byrne. Now, she’s on the road with “Rough Mix,” her memoir-cum-musical recollection of three decades spent doing what she does best. Boulton Cener for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. Boultoncenter.org $30-$35. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Hot Autumn NightsThis hot lineup of 1960s throwbacks includes Tommy James & The Shondells, who topped music charts with “Hanky Panky,” “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Mony, Mony,” among others. Also rocking out will be English pop sensations Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, who will play their hits, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” and “I’m Henry VIII, I Am.” Rounding out the lineup are The Grass Roots, best known for hits such as “Midnight Confessions” and The Buckinghams, who will perform “Kind of a Drag” and other hits. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $30-$75. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber and Everette HarpThe sheer power, diversity and virtuosity, really, of this Smooth Jazz super group is encapsulated in the simple-yet-telling title of their latest, Jazz Funk Soul (also the name of their recent tour). Expect to be wowed, mesmerized, converted. Not to be missed. Molloy College, The Madison Theater, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre. molloy.edu $50-$95. 8 p.m. Nov. 22. Steve Miller BandTake our word for it: You know every single lyric to every single Steve Miller Band song ever, which makes seeing them at a live show such a fun experience. Definitely “Fly Like an Eagle” down to see him this weekend because “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future” and you might miss your chance to see the guy some call the Gangster of Love (but whom others simply refer to as “Maurice.”) One thing’s for sure: Before they take your money and run, you will have the time of your life. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $55-$155. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Trio SolistiTrio SolistiMarking its 10th year as ensemble-in-residence at Adelphi University, this group has forged its reputation as “the most exciting piano trio in America,” according to The New Yorker, with a performance style that combines exceptional virtuosity and penetrating musical insight. The acclaimed ensemble possesses a broad repertoire that encompasses most of the standard trio selections, as well as many new works by contemporary composers. Adelphi University, Performing Arts Center, Concert Hall, 1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu $30-$35. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Carol MarajNicki Minaj’s mother will sing songs from her soon-to-be-released gospel album at a Thanksgiving outreach event hosted by the nonprofit Bridges Outreach and Sisters Divinely Connected Inc. The group aims to reach out to the surrounding communities and provide encouragement, assistance, food and inspiration for Thanksgiving. Dinner is being served and there will Thanksgiving giveaways. VFW Hall, 19 Colonial Springs Rd., Wheatley Heights. Free. 1:30 p.m. Nov. 23.Lights, Sound MovementAn opening reception with be held with this exhibit showcasing untraditional elements in contemporary art from works that are concerned entirely with motion and unpredictability to work that brings ancient myth into contemporary life. Artists whose work will be featured include: Annalisa Iadicicco, who emphasizes subjects of a politically charged nature; Karen Kettering Dimit and Kenny Greenberg, who both use neon to draw in the eye; and sculptors Jack Rohe Howard-Potter and Mara Sfara. Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck. goldcoastarts.org 4 p.m. Nov. 23 Exhibit runs through Jan. 15.Songbirds: Women In FolkNational award-winning singer-songwriter and Huntingtonian Patricia Shih brings a multi-media tribute to five extraordinary female musicians for a lively and spirited night of music co-presented by Folk Music Society of Huntington. In this show Patricia highlights five women—Ronnie Gilbert of The Weavers, Joan Baez, Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary, Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell—who have influenced generations of contemporary artists. Patricia sings full versions of these artists’ most beloved songs live, along with her husband/accompanist Stephen Fricker. After the concert there will be a CD release party for Patricia’s newest album, Gold Covered. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $15 members, $20 public. 6 p.m. Nov. 23. Davi Sings SinatraThere’s a reason Robert Davi pulls out all the stops in his heart-felt tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes. The Chairman of the Board was on hand when the young Davi made his screen debut with his boyhood idol in the 1977 TV movie Contract on Cherry Street. While they were filming at a New York social club at 2 a.m. Sinatra invited Davi to join him for a drink. When the young actor said he didn’t imbibe, Sinatra told him, “You don’t drink, you’re fired!” Then Davi said, “I’ll have what you’re having!” And he sat at the bar and Sinatra poured him some Jack Daniel’s. “It was my first one—and I’ve been drinking it ever since!” says Davi, who grew up in Dix Hills and went to Hofstra. He’s played cops, thugs, drug lords and tough guys in roles that have taken him from The Goonies to Die Hard. But on his debut album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance, he shows his softer side. And that’s what he’ll present on tour. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $45-$75. 8 p.m. Nov. 23.Fight Club With David Fincher’s Gone Girl dominating American movie theaters, CAC staffer Ryan Perry presents a BIG SCREEN celebration of the 15th Anniversary of Fincher’s iconic turn-of-the-millennium masterpiece about consumerism and masculinity run amok, starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25. Sleeping with Sirens & Pierce the Veil Wounded and tattooed emo at its gushiest and perhaps most hypnotizing. With special guests: This Wild Life & Beartooth. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $32.50-$65. 8 p.m. Nov. 24, 25.The Brian Setzer OrchestraThe former Stray Cats front man and hometown rockabilly hero returns to Long Island with his 18-piece orchestra on their Christmas Rocks Extravaganza! tour. The concert will include Setzer’s legendary guitar magic on hits such as “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut” and much more, as well as his re-imagined and acclaimed Holiday classics. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $50-$85. 8 p.m. Nov. 25.Halestorm The Grammy-winning rockers—metal goddess Lizzy Hale, along with drummer/brother Arejay, shredder Joe Hottinger and madman bassist Josh Smith—unleash unbridled sonic ferocity in a gig bound to cause legions of audience members to shout, raise their fists into the air, and head-bang in almost synchronized unison. With New Medicine. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $22.50-$25. 8:30 p.m. Nov. 25.Amy Schumer This Rockville Centre native is the hilarious actress/comedian of the acclaimed Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. Fans will recall seeing her in one of her guest starring roles on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Girls and in the major motion picture Seeking a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley. But onstage, alone with a microphone, is where Schumer shines. With her colorful, often-raunchy commentary, Schumer promises side-splitting humor about life, love and sex that you won’t soon forget. The Press promises you this: she’s waaaaaay funnier then her first cousin once removed, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Seriously. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $50-$85. 8 p.m. Nov. 26.The Warden and FAME Blending hip-hop, reggae and rock is this Bay Shore-based quintet that have been churning out musical good vibes for the past four years with upbeat., groovy jams such as “Summertime,” “Get My Roll On” and “The Weekends Here.” Warming up the crowd will be Dune Local, Aqua Cherry, Jungle Gypsy and The Offshore Regulars. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. Revolutionli.com $12. 8 p.m. Nov. 26.—Compiled by Spencer Rumsey, Jamie Franchi, Timothy Bolger and Zack Tiranalast_img read more

Eric Paslay Plays ‘Heroic’ Show on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Country music star Eric Paslay honored the nation’s veterans Saturday during a special “Salute to Heroes” concert at the Pennysaver Amphitheater in Farmingville.Before the Texas native took the stage, Chris Lane, Brothers Osborne and Parmalee opened up the show to give the audience a real down-home feeling. Paslay began his set with his hit single, “Song About A Girl.” Throughout the night, he played fan favorites such as “She Don’t Love You,” “Never Really Wanted,” and his new single, “High Class.”He paid the audience special attention.“I moved up to Nashville, started writing songs and pursuing this crazy dream,” Paslay said before he launched into “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.”“Thank y’all for letting us live our dreams every night up here,” he continued earnestly. “And I hope every morning you wake up and you have something to reach for, you know. Maybe you’ve got your dream and she’s lying there with you. But it’s good to have a dream that’s worth reaching for, and thank you for letting us have our music and the road to do that on. I hope you never forget how to dream. This is for all the dreamers!”Aside from creating his own hits, Paslay has also collaborated on songs with other country stars, including Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” Love and Theft’s “Angel Eyes” plus others for Lady Antebellum and the Eli Young Band.Paslay also thanked those fans who turned out to see Rascal Flatts at the same venue the previous week despite the pouring rain. Then he sang an acoustic version of a tune that he co-wrote with Rascal Flatts called “Rewind.” Everyone in the audience sang along.The country crooner dutifully left the crowd wanting more–perhaps hoping he’d rewind the concert so they could enjoy it all from the beginning–but he concluded with his most well-known song: his breakout hit, “Friday Night.”Paslay will be playing a few more venues in New England before he heads back down south, with tour dates lasting through December.For those on hand in Suffolk, it was a Saturday night to savor one of country’s best, Eric Paslay.last_img read more

Long Island Valentine’s Day Events 2018

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island Got no plans for Valentine’s Day? Good news: the romantic folks from these Long Island venues have got you covered.Sinatra Love SongsTell your special someone you love them “in other words” by bringing them to this romantic evening of dancing, dinner, and fine wine, all set to the tunes of Frank Sinatra’s best love songs performed by a live orchestra. The Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. 631-727-4343. suffolktheater.com $36-$45. 8 p.m. Feb. 9.Valentine’s Night CabaretCelebrate with your beloved at this romantic Valentine’s show featuring two of Broadway’s most famed performers, Rebecca Luker and Howard Mcgillin, as they whisk you away for an evening of cocktails, dinner, cabaret, and an exclusive dessert with the artists. Hempstead House, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point. 516-304-5076. sandspointpreserveconservancy.org $110-$250. VIP 6-10 p.m. General 7-10 p.m. Feb. 10.Barry White Valentine TributePlaying hits such as “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” and “Never Gonna Give You Up,” Jourdan Carroll will have the whole crowd jiving across the open dance floor! The Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St, Riverhead. 631-727-4343. suffolktheater.com $45. 8 p.m. Feb. 10.Couples MassageEnjoy the company of your loved one as you treat yourselves to a massage, relaxing side by side in a special couple’s room. Hand and Stone, multiple locations. handandstone.com Prices vary.ChocoVino: A Valentine Wine & Chocolate pairing dinnerIndulge your tastebuds in an extravagant five-course meal as you sip on fine wines and bite into an assortment of decadent chocolates, all while enjoying a candle lit dinner with your special someone! Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center, 431 East Main St., Riverhead. longislandaquarium.com $195 per couple 8 p.m. Feb. 14.Mortified: Doomed Valentine’s Day ShowMortified is a live storytelling extravaganza—a show-and-tell, if you will, of people’s most embarrassing, awkward, and often seminal moments. At this Mortified event, celebrate and commiserate February 14th with stories of past V-Days gone wrong. The event is all ages at Wanderlust, but you can still expect beer, wine, and inappropriate tales all around. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 W. Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $15-$20. 8 p.m. Feb. 16.Be Mine Valentine’s Day Beer and Wine Couples Bus TourDid he say “Be mine?” or “Beer wine?” Have both and bring your love along for a boozy adventure which will be making stops at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard and Jamesport Farm Brewery. A selection of gourmet chocolates and cheeses will be included along with a couples photograph to commemorate your special day! Four different pick up locations libeerbus.com $160 per couple 11:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12 p.m. and 12:15 p.m. Feb. 18.last_img read more

U.S. Open a Hole in One for Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This month, the coveted and historic 2018 U.S. Open Golf Championship makes its retur tothe prestigious Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton. For the fifth time, June 11 to 17, the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) will kick off this annual rite of passage. Long Island has a rich history of hosting major golf events, and this year we will continue that tradition.This game is fortuitous for our county. It develops the region, cultivates tourism, delivers employment, and ultimately allows residents and audience to meet some of the most prestigious and big-name golfers in the world, including Tiger Woods.World-class events such as this offer considerable job opportunities. This year, there will be more than 2,000 temporary food service and hospitality jobs, event security and staff positions, parking attendants and shuttle/bus depot attendants jobs, and many more positions.Our partnership with companies such as Ridgewells/Purple Tie, MTK Resources, Country Club Services, and Andy Frain Services is a testament to our Suffolk County Department of Labor and local businesses helping our residents secure gainful employment.Amazingly, event security leader Andy Frain Services will also help unlicensed applicants become licensed for free. This means that even after the U.S. Open, individuals that are now licensed can go on to find other permanent positions.There is also a regional economic benefit as well. The golf championship is anticipated to generate between up to $130 million, and there is no doubt that it will attract extensive tourism. With millions of people in more than 150 countries tuning in to watch the championship, Suffolk will experience tremendous economicdevelopment through the region.Approximately 8,000 hotel rooms are expected to be booked with the anticipation of an expected attendance of more than 200,000 people, including players, fans, volunteers, vendors and media. There are also additional options for hotels. Suffolk will make available our county parks for those seeking to leisure and stay in our picturesque campgrounds.With more than 46,000 acres of parkland, 200 historical sites and 100 public beaches within its boundaries, Suffolk is a natural playground, and camping is an immersive alternative to lodging during the U.S. Open. Those looking for a convenient, low-priced  substitute for hotels can easily visit, reserve, and enjoy a scenic stay at Cedar Point, Sears Bellows, or Indian Island county campgrounds.We look forward to working together to make this, and many other future USGA events, a resounding success for both our region and the sport of golf. We are truly excited about this opportunity to allow the world to experience the hidden gems our residents enjoy daily.Steve Bellone is the Suffolk County Executive.last_img read more

The CFPB’s new cure: Final revisions to certain mortgage rules

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Shelbey NeilJust as the world of popular medicine seems to evolve (and even contradict itself), so too is the world of regulatory compliance in a constant state of flux. Nowhere is that more evident than with mortgage rules, and the CFPB has released a new mechanism for curing point and fees errors (this statement has not been evaluated by the FDA).OverviewThe CFPB has made some specific amendments to the mortgage rules under Regulation Z. Of interest to financial institutions are the final rule changes that provide a cure mechanism for overages to the points and fees limit for qualified mortgages, with the exception of FHA-insured mortgage loans. HUD is not adopting the changes to the points and fees limits for FHA-insured mortgages, but is providing guidance on curing errors to points and fees made prior to insurance endorsement.Curing Errors Related to the Limits on Points and Fees for Qualified MortgagesSection 1026.43(e)(3) of Regulation Z limits the up-front points and fees for qualified mortgages to no more than 3% of the total loan amount, with higher thresholds for various categories of loans below $100,000. Points and fees are defined as the fees and charges that are known at or before consummation.In some cases, unintended overages may occur that are not discovered until after consummation. Now Regulation Z allows lenders (or an assignee) to cure these overages so that the loan does not lose its status as a qualified mortgage and the lender is not subject to a regulatory violation and/or potential liability. continue reading »last_img read more

Credit unions thwart Wisconsin payday loan provision

first_imgby: David MorrisonCredit unions and banks in Wisconsin together urged Governor Scott Walker to veto a part of the state’s budget that could have, they said, sharply increased the numbers of services the state’s payday lenders could provide.Walker, who announced a bid to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination this morning, signed the budget bill yesterday and vetoed the provision. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Two-way transparency: The gold standard for high performance

first_img 90SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joel Trammell Joel Trammell is a successful CEO and entrepreneur with a 20-year career in IT-related software companies. He is currently CEO of Khorus, which provides a business management system for CEOs … Web: www.khorus.com Details Slowly but surely, US business leaders are realizing that transparency within their companies is no longer an option. Enterprise technology, the expectations of Millennials, and the need for faster, better collaboration have pushed the concept of institutional openness into the mainstream. Our best CEOs are now embracing it as a significant competitive advantage.These leaders know that transparency isn’t just flashing a revenue slide at staff meetings, or about seeming trendy. They know it’s about a culture change, intended to engage the team and equip them with the information they need to do their best work.The two sides of transparencyHowever, the common understanding of organizational transparency—that the CEO and top leadership team will hand down relevant information to employees—leaves out a critical piece of the equation.For transparency to work at full capacity, relevant information has to flow both ways, from the CEO and to the CEO. When this happens, a feedback loop emerges:traditional top-down transparency helps employees see into the core of the business, even asbottom-up transparency gives the CEO a clear view of day-to-day operations and the insight of his team.These two brands of transparency reinforce and supplement each other. By keeping both sides in touch with the reality of the other, they result in a more cohesive, aligned company.It’s not unlike this recent study from Harvard Business School, which tested food quality in a restaurant based on whether the cooks and patrons could see each other. When transparency was one-way, food-quality ratings increased 10 percent. But when transparency was two-way—when customers and cooks could both see each other—quality ratings went up 17.3 percent and service was 13.2 percent faster.Who’s responsible for setting up two-way transparency in your credit union? Ultimately, it’s the chief executive. As I wrote in The CEO Tightrope, the best CEOs “set up a communication infrastructure that promotes transparent information flow both from the CEO and to the CEO, and this transparency helps keep the company on course toward its vision.”Let’s look at four modes CEOs may operate in depending on how well they carry out this responsibility.The walled-off CEO: No transparency either way This CEO guards information about finances, strategy, and key decisions like they’re the queen’s jewels, even as he fails to see into the daily operations of his team. There’s a brick wall between the inner sanctum of the CEO and the on-the-ground operations of his team.This lack of transparency either way cuts a deep divide in the organization. There’s chaos in the rank-and-file, and the CEO tries to lead without the critical insights his people hold.The giver CEO: Top-down transparency aloneThis CEO understands that the modern workforce wants and needs transparency, so she regularly hands out information to the team: company strategy and goals, financial performance, key decisions, etc.What she’s not so good at is ensuring that she has transparency into how things are proceeding on the ground. She’s basically set up a one-way mirror: the company can analyze her and all her plans and thought processes, but when she looks down into the organization, she sees her own reflection. She’s achieved half-transparency, but she still fits the old cliché about CEOs: she’s the last to know when something goes wrong. Good intentions aside, she won’t be an effective leader. The surveillance CEO: Bottom-up transparency aloneThis CEO demands transparency from his people, but he’s not so good at giving it them. He may set up complex data-collection systems, and want to know what’s on everyone’s plate at all times. And so help him God if he’s not the first to know when a project goes off the rails.Despite his goal of omniscience, this CEO leaves his team in the dark, reverting to an outmoded understanding of employees as mere ditch-diggers. His team is likely disengaged by lack of clarity on the state or direction of the company, and their efforts are probably diffuse and not well aligned with the CEO’s strategy.The truly transparent CEO: Two-way transparencyThis CEO strikes the right balance. She’s set up systems for sharing the company’s strategy, goals, and performance. She doesn’t just share data; she gives her informed take on what the company is doing right and where it needs to improve. She’s publicizes big wins internally, but is honest when the company faces a material challenge.At the same time, she’s set up systems that allow her people and teams to share information with her. She regularly gathers their feedback on how they think things are going—and what they expect for the future. She’s trained her employees to not just share data; they give her their honest, informed take on what’s going well and where potential problems are developing.Knowledge is power. Nowhere is that more true than in a company operating in a competitive, dynamic environment (and how many aren’t?). The most successful CEOs treat transparency like more than just another buzzword; they proactively set up processes that help everyone share honest information about the business.I founded Khorus precisely to help leaders scale this two-way transparency across the business. Get in touch today to learn how credit unions across the country are using enterprise software to bring more transparency, openness, and achievement to their organizations.last_img read more

Holiday celebrations continue…so do scams

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr If the last few years have taught consumers anything, they’ve probably been schooled that scams can lurk at every turn and the security of their data can sometimes be breached–at times quite spectacularly with massive thefts of information.Although these sorts of vulnerabilities exist all the time, the holidays represent a time of increased opportunity for criminals for a number of reasons: Among them, increased shopping, decreased attention to detail, as well as a feeling of generosity and community making some feel less guarded.As holiday joviality…and shopping… continue credit unions can help their members be aware of an extensive set of resources and information for the latest scams now available via a newly launched Fraud Prevention Center from the National Credit Union Administration.The center contains information on how to recognize common scans, protect finances and take action if one becomes a victim of fraud (News Now Dec. 15). continue reading »last_img read more

CFO Focus: Best practices in benefits pre-funding

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr More than 10 years ago, National Credit Union Administration Rule 701.19 went into effect. It gave federally chartered credit unions the ability to purchase investments that would otherwise be impermissible under parts 703 and 704 of NCUA’s rules and regulations, as long as these investments directly relate to the credit unions’ obligation or future obligation to support employee benefit plans, including such things as health insurance and 401(k) plans.Over the years, there hasn’t been much discussion about the regulatory expectations, which include board oversight and approval of a credit union’s associated investment policy used to fund the pre-funding plan. This is due in large part to the Great Recession, which occurred shortly after 701.19’s implementation. At the time, the financial crisis dampened credit unions’ interest in new types of investments.Now, with the improving economic environment and the increasing need to retain and attract top talent, credit union interest in investments with higher yields to help improve employee benefits has grown. So has regulator interest. Examiner directives related to lack of due diligence and/or board and management oversight on pre-funding arrangements are now much more prevalent.In the current environment, we suggest credit unions take three steps: continue reading »last_img read more

13 things to accomplish with your money before 40

first_img 56SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Everyone’s allowed a few life mulligans, but by the time you’ve hit the big 3-0, you should have sorted out most of the reckless habits we tend to fall into as young 20-somethings.This is especially true for money matters, considering you’re close to entering your peak earning years. According to Payscale, college-educated men’s earnings peak at an average age of 48 and women’s earnings peak at 39.To prepare for your peak earning years, here are 13 milestones to aim to achieve before hitting 40:Contribute at least 10% of your income to a retirement accountYou should already be contributing towards your employer’s 401(k) retirement account, and your 30s are a time to increase that contribution. continue reading »last_img read more

4 ways decluttering your home can save you money

first_img 191SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details The turn of the season is the perfect time to take a look around your home for ways to reduce clutter. For some of us it’s natural to hold on to things, whether it’s an item that’s sentimental in nature, or an article of clothing you’re hoping to one day fit back into. If you take the time to declutter your living space, though, you may actually be putting money back into your wallet. Below are four ways condensing clutter can pay off in the end.Fewer healthcare expenses. More often than not, a cluttered home equals a dirty or dusty home. Unless you are cleaning your crowded space on a daily basis, it’s very difficult to avoid the unsanitary conditions and poor air quality associated with an unclean home. This can lead to health issues resulting in higher medical expenses.Lower living expenses. Common sense tells you that the less clutter you have, the less space you need. When you downsize you save on monthly rent or mortgage payments, which are often the largest expenditures per month. Additionally, if you own or rent a smaller home, you will inevitably have less expensive utility bills; the cost to maintain the home (yard care, for instance) will also be lessened after downsizing.More household organization. Decluttering allows you to really separate between your wants and needs. After you eliminate what is unnecessary in your home, you can organize what you are left with and go from there. Thus, on your next shopping excursion, you will know exactly what it is you already have, preventing you from making redundant purchases.Additional charitable contributions. Not only does decluttering clear space in your home, it also allows you the opportunity to donate these discarded items to local charities. Locate a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other community organization accepting contributions. Depending on the amount you give, you may be able to write your donations off on your next tax return.last_img read more

Professional advice from my parents

first_img 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details As the saying goes, “you can’t pick your parents,” but I am certainly glad I got the ones I did. I can never repay them for the values they have instilled in me and I strive every day to follow their wisdom in both my personal life as a mother and my professional life in the workplace. Below are some of these tips from my parents that have been invaluable to me.Don’t choose your career solely on salary. Of course your pay is an important factor when choosing your professional field. Remember to keep in mind though, on average you will spend more time at work than you will at home. Therefore, it is essential that you enjoy where you work. Yes, it is still work, but not dreading your eight-hour day makes all the difference in the world.Never forget basic professional courtesy. My dad has always told me to be respectful and considerate, even if you don’t always want to be. When receiving a message at work, always respond within one business day; your response should always be polished and courteous no matter if you’re communicating with a CEO or low-level employee.Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. There is a difference between being overly opinionated and asserting yourself when necessary. This is something I work to continuously improve upon. It is okay to say how you feel and take part in constructive discussions. It is not inappropriate to give your opinion when it is asked for, especially when it can help others reflect and grow.Follow the golden rule. This seems like an obvious one, but it never hurts to remember it. No matter if you are having a bad day, put personal issues aside and treat coworkers how you would want them to treat you. You never know the personal struggles someone may be going through, so even the smallest kindness can brighten their day. When you are nice to someone, it will make you feel good too.last_img read more

2017 CUNA Volunteer Conference includes key partners

first_imgCUNA will partner with the World Council of Credit Unions and the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) for the CUNA Volunteer Conference, Jan. 15-17, in Montego Bay, Jamaica.Through the arrangement, CUNA, World Council and CCCU will work to get Caribbean credit union volunteers involved in the conference.“What’s exciting about this cooperation is that it allows us to expand the traditional audience for CUNA Volunteer Conference,” said Michelle Johnson, Instructional Design Manager at CUNA.“We can’t wait to see the unique perspectives that Caribbean volunteers will bring to the conference and look forward to providing them with meaningful professional value through its expert-led sessions, discussions and networking.”The cooperative relationship between the three organizations will focus on using CUNA Volunteer Conference to provide quality education to volunteers in the Caribbean region. For their part, WOCCU and CCCU will promote the conference to Caribbean credit unions and actively recruit board representatives from the region to attend. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

True or false: Your credit union website should use testimonials

first_imgYou see testimonials all over the internet. Maybe one testimonial has an eagerly smiling picture next to it. Maybe another declares a product to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Many of the newest and sleekest credit union website designs employ testimonials (example: HFSFCU.org has testimonials all over the place). And there’s a reason for it: studies show testimonials persuade people to act.Why you should use testimonialsWhen it comes to making decisions, “Social Proof” is one of the most motivating factors out there. If humans know that other humans are doing something, they will also want to do that thing. We are naturally drawn to what others like and do, and model our behavior after them. (This is why television sitcoms use canned laugh tracks to encourage you to chuckle.)In 1968, several psychologists conducted an experiment where they had a single man stand at the corner of a busy street and stare up at the sky. Only a couple people stopped to see what he might be looking at. But when they had five people stare at the sky, the number of others who stopped to look increased exponentially. Soon, a whole crowd was assembled. The psychologists found that people simply assumed if several people were looking, there must be something interesting to look at. continue reading » 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Colorado credit union sues Federal Reserve Bank

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The Fourth Corner Credit Union asked a Colorado federal judge last month to force the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to issue a master account that would enable the Denver-based state chartered credit union to serve social groups that support legalizing marijuana.The credit union’s civil complaint filed Sept. 29 in U.S. District Court in Denver argues federal law “unambiguously creates a non-discretionary statutory obligation” that requires FRB-KC issue a master account to all depository institutions. The lawsuit alleged that FRB-KC has “invoked an illegal discriminatory procedure” by requesting information from the credit union that the FRB-KC is not entitled to receive from any depository institution that applies for a master account. The credit union is asking a federal judge in Denver to render a declaratory judgment and grant a mandatory injunction that would order the federal reserve bank to immediately issue the master account.TFCCU initially applied for a master account with FRB-KC in November 2014 after it received a state charter to serve the legalized recreational marijuana industry in Colorado. However, the credit union has since changed its business plan to serve social groups supporting the legalization of marijuana. The credit union also said it would not serve marijuana-related businesses in the state until there is a change in federal law that would authorize financial institutions to serve the pot industry.last_img read more

400 credit unions take part in Miracle Jeans Day

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » More than 400 credit unions went casual Sept. 13 as a part of the annual Credit Unions for Kids Miracle Jeans Day event in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.Credit union employees donated $5 each for the opportunity to wear jeans to work on a Wednesday. Proceeds will be donated to the credit union’s local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.“This has been a record year for the program,” says Joe Dearborn, senior director of Credit Unions for Kids, “We are still receiving donations, but with more credit unions participating than ever before, we’re expecting to be able to help even more kids than we’ve been able to in previous years.”With more than 400 credit unions joining the cause, Miracle Jeans Day drew more credit union participants than 2016, when over 300 credit unions took part.last_img read more

3 ways direct deposit helps you save

first_img 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Myriam DiGiovanni After writing for Credit Union Times and The Financial Brand, Myriam DiGiovanni covers financial literacy for FinancialFeed. She is also a storytelling expert and works with credit unions to help … Web: www.financialfeed.com Details What’s more annoying: waiting in line at the DMV or paying $20 in banking fees?Believe it or not, according to a NerdWallet survey, consumers say paying banking fees is more annoying.Some 84% of consumers surveyed said would do something to avoid money management fees. Fifty-one percent say they would take one simple step to save: setting up direct deposit.Direct deposits are funds that are electronically deposited to your accounts. Rather than dealing with paper paychecks, income tax returns or Social Security payments, which can be lost or stolen, direct deposit is fast and worry-free.It’s easy to set up. Just provide your employer with the name of your financial institution, the type of account, your account number, the routing number and a voided check. Be sure to read the direct deposit form completely. When you initially set it up, it could take a few payroll cycles for the changes to take effect, so don’t assume the funds will be available via direct deposit immediately. Make sure you follow up to check on the progress of your request.In addition to it being secure, convenient and fast, setting up a direct deposit can also help you save money. Here are three ways.Goodbye monthly maintenance fees: Many financial institutions will waive monthly checking account fees when you use direct deposit for your paycheck. According to GoBankingRates.com average monthly maintenance fees can run as high as $12.Hello perks: Some financial institutions offer additional perks to make direct deposit more appealing. It can be in the form of lower interest rates on a loan or waiving other types of fees.Free your mind: It’s hard to follow the sound advice of paying yourself first to build up savings. Let’s face it, either an unexpected expense pops up or you forget to transfer the funds. Direct deposit can solve this problem; you can set it up to automatically put a set amount into your savings account from each paycheck and the rest into your checking account. The next time you get a raise, adjust your direct deposit so your extra pay goes into a savings or retirement account. You can also arrange to have your tax refund direct deposited directly to your retirement or emergency fund account. It’s painless and you won’t be as tempted spend the money if you remove the option.last_img read more

Senate likely to consider Kraninger nomination to CFPB after Thanksgiving

first_imgThe Senate intends to vote after Thanksgiving on the nomination of Kathy Kraninger to become the director of the CFPB.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed a cloture petition Thursday—a move that indicates he intends to bring the nomination to the floor. That petition limits debate on Kraninger’s nomination and prevents a filibuster.The move comes as speculation grows that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who also serves as acting CFPB director, is angling for a nomination as Secretary of Commerce.There is widespread speculation that the current secretary, Wilbur Ross, may be leaving the administration. President Trump has expressed his unhappiness with Ross several times. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

3 steps to help you prepare for CECL

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a new accounting standard called Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) that will go into effect December 15, 2021. Here are three steps you can take to ensure your credit union is on track to stay compliant with this new standard. Assess your data collection and infrastructureSet aside at least several months – even up to a year – to ensure you have time to analyze your data and infrastructure and start collecting the data you need to determine the credit profile of your credit union. Not only is this step the hardest and costliest to adjust, but many of the CECL models require data that credit unions have not been collecting nor saving.Choose the CECL model that fits your needsCarefully evaluate which CECL model is best for your credit union – there is no one size fits all solution. There are a range of CECL models with differing complexities, data limitations and assumptions that you’ll need to consider while taking in account the loan portfolio of your credit union.Test your CECL model and make necessary adjustmentsOnce you select your CECL model, don’t stop there. Test your model by running data to determine if the results match your expectations and risk profile. If the data generated does not meet your expectations, then you will need to reassess and adjust how loans are marked. You’ll also want have procedures in place for handling these new reports to streamline work processes. While these steps will help you on your way to confidently implementing CECL at your credit union, they are complex. Gain confidence by attending CUNA Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) School or eSchool, you can learn everything that goes into each of these steps to help make your transition smoother and create an action plan to take back to your credit union. last_img read more

NCUA bans former CEO

first_imgThe NCUA banned last week Linda D. Landry from participating in the affairs of a federally insured financial institution.Landry, a former president/CEO of the $6.9 million Southeast Texas Employees Federal Credit Union in Orange, allegedly stole more than $20,000 from the credit union’s bank account, according to the NCUA’s prohibition order.Through its investigation, the independent federal agency determined Landry converted these funds for her own personal use.She did not admit nor deny this allegation, however, the prohibition order shows. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The perks of partnership marketing and how to do it well

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jennifer Laud Jennifer is a credit union marketing consultant and the owner of Jennifer Laud Consulting. She has a background in strategy and a passion for positioning credit unions to find their … Web: www.jlaud.com Details Just like chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of milk, some partnerships are really a perfect match. Each side brings out the best in the other and the combination shines, elevating the whole to a new level. Co-marketing with a partner can be just as satisfying as watching a movie with popcorn or throwing around a baseball when you have a mitt. Strategically pairing up with someone to do long-term marketing initiatives or short-term campaigns can offer your credit union a number of benefits. First, co-marketing can be incredibly cost-effective. When you find a partner that complements your capabilities, you find efficiencies that you normally don’t get on your own. Some of the best partners have expertise and resources that you do not – like a larger social media following, an in-house creative designer, or fun and popular products that are great for giveaways. Ideally, you’ll be able to offer unique strengths and resources that fill in their gaps – like your physical branch space, an active membership, or specialty accounts. An extension of this benefit is the opportunity to learn new skills or techniques from your partner as you work together.Not only can you gain efficiency with a partner, you can also make your overall budget bigger when you’re able to split costs between the two organizations. So now you’re making your dollars work harder and you have more of them. This makes partnerships particularly great when you’re trying to make a big impact.Another benefit is the potential to get a brand boost when you partner with someone that your target market already likes. A good example of this association effect is in sports marketing. It’s commonplace for a team or athlete to have brands that they work with: Misty Copeland and Under Armour, Peyton Manning and Nationwide, the US Women’s Soccer Team and Nike. If you were watching the Women’s Soccer Team win the World Cup this summer, you constantly saw Nike logos. If you follow Nike, you almost certainly saw inspirational soccer ads and messages floating through your feeds. This marketing boosts visibility for both sides and if good feelings are being generated for one, it easily spills over to the other. How to do Partnership Marketing Well1. Find a Partner With a Similar Target MarketYou don’t just want a partner, you want a partner that your members will like and one that does business with people who will like you. Take a second to consider your best-fit member and what their life looks like. What are all of their different wants and needs, where do they spend their time and money, and what types of businesses would they work with throughout the day, week, or year?  A good practice when considering businesses is to make a list of organizations that your members already patronize and really like to work with. Take a look at card transactions, survey your members, ask your staff, and look for local reviews to get your brain working. The sweet spot is a business that has the same target market, but offers room for growth: not every member is already giving them their business and not every customer or client of theirs is already a credit union member. 2. Identify Your Campaign’s NeedsThere are a lot of different ways you can do a joint campaign. Narrowing down your ideas can help you identify some partners that would work best for your vision. You don’t have to have all the details nailed down – you’ll want to actively work with your partner for that – but you can identify if you’d like to do a campaign based on a contest, a game, something cause-oriented, a particular social platform, an event, etc. A contest or giveaway may get a big boost from partnering with someone who has a strong e-mail list of their own and something to add to a package of prizes. Just think about the popularity of McDonald’s and Hasbro’s annual Monopoly game, started in 1987, to get excited about making a game out of a giveaway promotion. Or, if you want to do something cause-oriented, you may need to look no further than a foundation or not-for-profit associated with a hospital or school you already work with. Maybe you’re just looking for an awareness boost. Consider how Uber partnered with Spotfiy and Pandora to make the ride even more enjoyable. By synching up their music accounts in the Uber app, passengers can listen to their own tunes while getting a ride.Your campaign possibilities are greatly expanded when you bring in a partner, so have fun with it! Consider the types of campaign you’re interested in and that can help you narrow down the list of potential businesses that would be a good fit. 3. Find Someone who Complements YouAs mentioned earlier, great partners have something to bring to the table that you do not, and vice versa. Your marketing campaign will be an easier sell to another business if the partnership has a lot of value for both sides. Look for organizations that have different strengths and weaknesses from yours. Then, consider how you can combine your pooled resources in a way that makes a marketing campaign even stronger. 4. Set the Partnership Terms EarlyA good partnership is one where expectations are clear and there’s a fair breakdown of responsibilities relative to potential gains. Early in your conversations with your partner, you want to lay down the parameters for the relationship so everyone is on the same page. You’re only going to realize all the great benefits of co-marketing if it’s a healthy working relationship.Unfortunately, even well-thought-out plans can take a turn. Maybe you have a partner that isn’t living up to their promises or something happens that drastically impacts one of your businesses. Be open with your communication and, if necessary, dissolve the partnership if things are not going according to the plan. When you’re drafting any kind of agreement, don’t forget to identify what happens in the event things don’t work out – like who owns anything already created and how the parties will handle costs already incurred that cannot be refunded. Partnership marketing can be very fun and very rewarding for your credit union. If you’re looking to try something new or want a way to expand your impact, think about finding another business to work with that can help you make a big splash with your next campaign. When it’s a good fit, these partnerships can easily evolve to produce new opportunities for future collaborations and help both businesses thrive. last_img read more

State Farm breach highlights threat of credential stuffing attacks

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Bloomington, Ill.-based insurance and financial services firm State Farm said it suffered a credential stuffing attack in which “a bad actor” confirmed valid usernames and passwords for State Farm online accounts.A State Farm spokesperson told ZDNet the company discovered the credential stuffing attack on July 6, 2019. The company, which filed a data breach notification with the California Attorney General, and on August 7 sent out “Notice of Data Breach” emails to affected online account users, did not reveal the number of impacted accounts.In addition to notifying impacted users, State Farm said it reset all passwords for breached accounts.Deepak Patel, security evangelist at PerimeterX, commented: “Credential stuffing is accomplished by hackers who take advantage of users who often reuse the same passwords across multiple online accounts.” Patel explained stolen credentials combined with personal information from previous breaches, can result in an account takeover. “The vast number of past data breaches means that the amount of credentials available on the dark web is massive.” Patel acknowledged this makes it more difficult than ever for website owners to protect against such attacks, even if their businesses were never involved in a breach. “In this case, hackers likely used automation – bots – to test permutations and combinations of credentials from the dark web until they found those that worked.” Patel added website owners must consider bot mitigation as part of their web application protection strategy to protect against the ongoing threat of ATO. continue reading »last_img read more

Engage employees through targeted retirement plan communications

first_imgYour work force may include a number of employees who are not taking full advantage of your retirement plan and are at risk of not having enough savings to retire comfortably. How can plan sponsors engage employees and encourage them to use their retirement plan effectively? Tailoring employee communications and education can help. Below, we answer questions you may have about targeted communications.Why do targeted communications encourage greater engagement? Different groups of employees often have different retirement planning needs. When a retirement plan communication is tailored toward a specific group, that message becomes more relevant. For example, younger employees may be more interested in a message about the importance of getting an early start on saving and the power of compounding than older employees who are getting close to retirement age.How should employees be segmented? It really depends on the demographics of your work force. Grouping employees by life stages is a relatively common approach. But other criteria, such as income or educational level, also may be useful.In addition to demographics, you may want to look at retirement plan behaviors of your employees. For example, messages can be targeted toward employees who do not participate in the plan, employees who do not contribute enough to receive the full employer matching contribution, employees who do not increase their contributions over time, and employees who take frequent loans from the plan. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

The real lesson your credit union should learn from Peloton’s ad flop (it’s not what you think)

first_img 48SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Melina Palmer Why do people say one thing and do another? What really drives behavior? How does the brain actually work – and how can we best communicate with it? What does that … Web: www.thebrainybusiness.com Details By now you’ve probably seen the Peloton ad…or at least heard it mentioned at a holiday party. The big lesson for your credit union no one is talking about is the root of why it caused such an uproar–and it’s more than “make a better ad.”Unfortunately, most businesses (credit unions included) are at risk of being the next Peloton without even realizing it. At its core, the problem is with brand inconsistency and not having a well-defined niche.A tale of two PelotonsPeloton is living a double life. It is walking the line between being designed “to connect the world through fitness” (which promotes inclusivity and being for everyone, anywhere) and ads that focus on a very specific demographic (wealthy, already reasonably fit–or at least thin–people).Peloton’s problem (and one many businesses suffer from) is the ads are speaking to one person and the mission is speaking to another. This stems from not committing to a persona, a “well, it’s designed for our persona, but anyone could benefit so we are for everyone” mentality.The problem is, people evaluate brands just like they evaluate people. How long would you want to be around someone who was constantly contradicting themselves?The good news is, this can be fixed relatively simply, but it takes dedication to one singular path. It’s time to choose what matters most and put all the eggs in that basket. Here is what each scenario could look like for Peloton (and either way is perfectly fine):Go with the ads: exclusive with a high-income target marketThink about a brand like Maserati–no one is complaining about their ads not being targeted for everyone. It has clearly defined itself as being for a certain group and income level so there is no reason to get upset at a commercial targeted to those who can afford it.In this scenario, Peloton would need to come out and say, “we are a high-end product made for people who want to invest in themselves and help already fit people shed those last few pounds with the motivation of a group in the comfort of their own homes.”Now all their ads make sense and perfectly fit that brand after this slight reframe.There is no body fat percentage calculator keeping less-than-fit people from buying or using their bikes. And, because we humans are inherently aspirational and strive to be part of the group, it would likely encourage those just below this tier to buy as well.Think about it, when you read that did you have a little spot in the back of your brain think, “well, if it can help already fit people get over their plateaus, I wonder what it would do for me!” You can picture yourself getting fitter with Peloton, and you also are less likely to get offended when the people in the ad don’t look like everyone in the world. You aren’t their ideal customer…yet. (But you might get there faster if you invest in yourself today.)Go with the mission: inclusive and for everyoneHumans relate better to people like us–the ingroup–and without enough context our brains will write a story that fits our own personal narrative. Far too many people struggle with their weight and are sensitive to anything remotely resembling telling us we need to exercise more. It’s a raw nerve.A slight lack of context allowed the internet to assume the husband in the commercial was telling the woman she was fat and needed to exercise more.What if the ad started with her leaving little notes for her husband to find? Perhaps sticky note on the fridge saying, “Reminder: Order Suzie’s Peloton ;)”Or maybe missing a spin class because she got stuck at work and couldn’t make it in time–perhaps a quick text of “sorry babe, won’t make spin again today…meeting ran long :(”Now we know she wants a Peloton. It will let her fulfill her dreams and potentially convey everything the company assumed would be the accepted baseline of their ad.Unfortunately, you can’t assume everyone will have the same understanding of your protagonist as you do. These context points are critical to help everyone understand the story–especially when tapping into a touchy subject like weight.This ad would include a few shots focused on the interaction with others so it feels as though you’re in the same place, like Amazon Echo has done in their commercials. Then, you close with a grid of diverse faces, sweating and smiling with a line like, “The many faces of Peloton. Are you ready to start your journey?”Either ad works fine–but they only work if you pick a lane. Is your credit union fully in alignment throughout the entire organization…or are you set to be the next Twitter victim?last_img read more

6 college students shared their biggest financial worries during COVID-19

first_img 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Hannah Lang Hannah Lang is a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and a marketing coordinator at Zogo, where she writes about credit unions, personal finance and Gen Z. Web: zogofinance.com Details I don’t have much in my savings account. I’m 21 years old, freshly graduated and a string of service jobs and editing gigs at the student newspaper didn’t leave me with much cash to my name.Sometimes, especially with the uncertain times we’re living in, I find myself swimming in what feels like a whirlpool of anxiety: Am I saving enough? Am I spending too much money on groceries? Will I be able to support myself in the future? Will my accounts be cleared out after I pay rent this month?The other day, I wanted to know if I was the only one my age that stressed this much about money. So, in the name of research (and maybe just to help myself feel better), I asked a few college students about their biggest financial concerns. Here’s what they said:Chapel, 22: “I’m probably just worried about being taken advantage of, somehow or some way. I feel pretty good about managing my spending habits, but when it comes to other stuff — credit cards, loans, where I’m working with someone else — I’m worried my lack of experience could lead to me getting screwed over.”Hannah, 20: “My biggest financial concern at this current time is having to pay rent. With no steady income coming in due to the coronavirus, $650 per month is a lot along with groceries and utilities.”Carly, 22: “I’m worried about not having enough in savings to cover emergencies, like car trouble or medical bills.”Brian, 21: “I’ve only been able to support myself in college through a very large but also very finite amount of money given to me by family members. I’m worried that I will be screwed once that runs out, and I’m not being paid much by wherever I’m currently working.”Mac, 18: ”I’m scared of doing or acting in something, and not knowing the terms of it. Like getting a mortgage, but not knowing what I got into.”Kathryn, 21: “I worry about my family’s business being at risk of going under.”I was somehow both surprised and not surprised to learn that I wasn’t the only one with serious financial worries. Though we’re often trivialized or patronized by older generations, I think young people today are smart, observant and fiscally conscious — maybe because we grew up amidst the effects of the 2008 Recession, or watched older generations struggle to pay debt or retire.At Zogo, we’ve talked to hundreds of young people about personal finance, listening to the stories of all the mistakes they’ve made: accumulating heaps of credit card debt, failing to invest an inheritance, buying a car with a 22 percent interest rate. It’s a long list of financial lessons learned the hard way.I don’t want that for myself or for any of the students I talked to, and I can’t think of a credit union that would want that for its members.Even though they’re just kicking off their adult lives, Gen Zers already have their fair share of financial worries. What is your credit union doing to earn their trust?Visit www.zogofinance.com to see how 25 credit unions are using Zogo to connect with the new generation of members.last_img read more

NAFCU talks CU priorities with Biden-Harris transition team

first_imgAs President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to take office in January, leaders of NAFCU’s award-winning advocacy team discussed credit union priorities with members of the Biden-Harris transition team.NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt, Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler, Vice President of Research and Chief Economist Curt Long, and Director of Regulatory Affairs Ann Kossachev participated in Tuesday’s call with the transition team’s financial agencies group.During the meeting, NAFCU shared its vision for the NCUA as credit unions’ independent regulator and the regulatory and legislative issues credit unions would like addressed. The association recently outlined for Congress several areas – related to easing compliance burdens, supporting more small businesses, allowing credit unions to serve consumers in need, and more – it can address during the lame duck session to support credit unions, their members, and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. This post is currently collecting data… This is placeholder text continue reading »center_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

‘Mr. Robot’: The Show That Will Save Our Summer

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York America, we have found the cure to our summer television doldrums.USA Network on Wednesday debuted its out-of-the-mainstream hacktivist thriller Mr. Robot, which dares to create its own genre of TV activism, whether intentionally or not, by eschewing conventional political norms and aggressively challenging the status quo.Mr. Robot follows a skilled and troubled hacker named Elliot (Rami Malek), who is saturated with Robin Hood-esque ideology. Elliot saunters through city streets in a dark hoodie, only revealing himself when he’s personally confronting targets or poking through their digital lives in the comfort of his dreary apartment.We quickly learn that Elliot repeatedly questions his own mental state and enjoys morphine in moderate dosages, so far as we know. But he is definitely not a fan of America’s corporate overlords. In fact, he’s convinced that the “top 1 percent of the top 1 percent” controls the world. These issues seem to inspire his illegal, yet exhilarating, intrusions into the lives of those he seeks to expose.It’s hard not to compare Elliot to serial killer Dexter Morgan (Dexter), who followed his own moral “code” that allowed him to chop up people who themselves had committed evil acts. Instead of collecting blood samples as a trophy, Elliot keeps a binder filled with CD’s of those he deems morally reprehensible. While Dexter killed to satisfy a natural urge he couldn’t suppress, Elliot seems to act for the greater good, though he does get a measure of joy by upending people’s lives.Mr. Robot pulls no punches, even taking jabs at the world’s most revered icons. Instead of genuflecting on the life of brilliant Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Elliot can’t help but think of the deplorable conditions that Chinese workers manufacturing Apple products are forced to endure, while the company rakes in billions. The issues of economic inequality and exorbitant student loan debt are also central themes in the premiere episode. And what does he think about the world’s leading social media organization? “I hate Facebook,” Elliot says. Point taken.The pilot episode begins with Elliot uncharacteristically meeting face-to-face with one of his targets. The scene is tense, invoking visceral reactions from both characters as they stare each other down from across a small table.While the interaction is meant to shed insight into Elliot’s brilliant hacks, it also provides a glimpse into the protagonist’s life: he lost his father to Leukemia; he admits to perhaps being a little crazy; he won’t be silenced by money.Despite political views reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street, Elliot works for a computer security company that protects the very institutions he can’t stand, including E Corp., a mega-corporation which Elliot dubbed, “Evil Corp.” His best friend Angela (Carly Chaikin), an account executive at the firm, got him the job.Elliot doesn’t enjoy going to work, but he does feel an allegiance to Angela. So when an unknown hacker conducts a sophisticated Denial of Service (DoS) attack into E Corp.’s systems, Elliott is forced to play hero, despite the company’s representing everything he hates about the power that money breeds.This hack leads him to a shady character played by Christian Slater, who goes on to preach to him about an upcoming revolution, one that would bring about the largest redistribution of wealth in history. On the surface it would seem that such a cause would immediately appeal to Elliot’s own propensity for digital vigilantism, but he comes away conflicted.After several unsuccessful attempts to discover a summer series worth devoting time to, we may finally have found a winner.But the question is will Mr. Robot’s unapologetic take on America’s widening income gap amid Wall Street’s record profits be too much for some viewers to handle?The USA Network doesn’t seem to think so. After one episode it has already been renewed for a second season.last_img read more

Heat Wave to Cook Long Island & Region

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Hope you’re ready for another burst of extreme heat, Long Island.Sweltering mid-90s temperatures are in this weekend’s forecast as a heat wave surges toward the region, according to forecasters. Long Island heat wave temperaturesThe National Weather Service in Upton is predicting a blazing hot start to the weekend on Saturday with a high near 95. Luckily, the mercury should fall about 20 degrees during the evening, providing Long Islanders with a brief respite.Sunday’s expected high temperature is 91, the weather service said.As the forecast currently stands, Long Island will only have the heat to contend with this weekend as no summertime storms are expected. That’s not the case for Friday, however. Potential Friday stormsForecasters are warning of isolated showers and thunderstorms Friday afternoon that could produce small hail, gusty winds, and heavy rain.Another round of heavy rain could drench the Island later in the evening, meteorologists said.The Island is under an air quality alert until 11 p.m. Friday. The alert is triggered when forecasters believe air quality levels spark health concerns. The South Shore is also under a high rip current risk throughout the day and evening.Health officials are advising people prone to elevated levels of pollutants—traditionally the very young and people with pre-existing health problems like asthma or heart disease—refrain from strenuous outdoor activity.PSEG Long Island said it’s monitoring the heat and potential storms and encouraged ratepayers to be mindful of energy usage.The utility recommends that customers:Seal holes and cracks around window air conditionersClose blinds to keep the sun outCool the house only when it’s occupiedReplace air filters, if necessaryUse other household appliance other than ovens to heat foodExcuse us while we find a pool to take a dip in.last_img read more

Taking a look back at the Bandera Family Christmas Dinner, 30 years in the making

first_img(WBNG) — As the Bandera Family Christmas Dinner prepares to celebrate 30 years serving the community next week, 12 News is taking a look back at the event’s history. Organizer Bill Bandera explained Friday, his parents, Carolyn and Bill Bandera, started the dinner back in 1989. Then, the dinner served about 70 people. Shortly after this milestone, however, Bandera’s father passed away. Bandera said he’s working on a new dinner location in Oneonta for next year. Bandera said he never imagined the event would become what it is today, but before he knew it, the team was celebrating 20 years. After spending some time with his mom, however, and seeing just how impactful the event was on the community, Bandera had a change of heart.center_img The next ten years flew by, and the event now serves meals in Binghamton, Endicott and Norwich. “I honestly believed it was over,” he said. “My parents just were like ‘hey you know let’s give back to the community,’ I remember that conversation, ‘let’s do something for the people in this city because we can,'” he described. If you’d like to volunteer for this year’s dinner or sign up for a home delivered meal, visit the event’s website here.last_img read more

Discovery Center promotes tolerance on New Year’s Eve

first_imgThey learned about the celebrations in Japan, Sweden and Canada. Staff at the Discovery Center said learning about other cultures helps promote tolerance. “If we teach children when they’re young that children are children all over the world and they play games and they eat food and they have fun activities to do and just sharing of cultures is really important,” said Director of Special Events Director Cheryl Dutko. The Discovery Center had many New Year celebrations highlighted by a balloon drop every hour.center_img BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Children at the Discovery Center learned about New Year Celebrations across the world Tuesday.last_img read more

‘Smoke visible from all angles’: Crews respond to Park Avenue fire

first_imgHe could not comment if any animals were inside the house when the fire broke out. Chief Gunn says smoke was visible from all angles of the house when crews arrived. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 12:43 UPDATE: Dispatchers tells 12 News departments from the city and town of Binghamton, Endicott, Endwell, Vestal and more have been called to the scene. This is a developing story. Stay with 12 News for further updates. TOWN OF BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Multiple fire departments have been called to a 2nd alarm house fire at 658 Park Ave. in the town of Binghamton.center_img TOWN OF BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Town of Binghamton Assistant Fire Chief Gary Gunn says no one was home at 658 Park Ave. when the fire broke out Wednesday. A 12 News crew at the scene reports Park Avenue is closed as crews work. Crews were dispatched to the scene between 9 and 9:30 a.m. The fire took about 20 minutes to put out, Chief Gunn says. State Police are also at the fire. —–last_img read more

Family reminds couple of love on 50th wedding anniversary through song

first_imgIn the Greenberg family, they say music has been a strong part of their lives. That’s why when Stacey and Mickey couldn’t celebrate, their daughter, Bess, says she and her brothers decided to make a music video with the grandchildren. “They were very surprised and very moved by it all,” said Bess when talking about the moment she video taped her parents watching the video. “Even just thinking about it now, despite the circumstances, it was a really special moment.” The video consisted of the five children singing with pictures and videos throughout the couple’s marriage. Bess says her mother was sad the morning of the anniversary, saying she just wanted to be with her family. She says while it was tough to not be able to celebrate, she says it’s so important to make family feel extra loved during this pandemic. “When we have the ability to let people know that we care, it can change a person’s day. It can change how we feel,” said Bess. VESTAL (WBNG) — When Stacey and Mickey Greenberg couldn’t celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with their loved ones, their family went to the extra mile to recognize the special day. Stacey and Mickey Greenberg got married on April 13, 1970.last_img read more

When Broome County will be back open for business

first_imgGarnar said he is hopeful most businesses will reopen on May 15. That’s the day governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York on Pause initiative will end. The governor has said construction and manufacturing are some of the industries that will return first. The county executive said by preparing as much as possible, he wants to bring business back to normal. “Most of our businesses, in fact if not all of them, could start May 15th if we are all able to adhere to these guidelines that the state has put out for us,” Garnar told 12 News Thursday. “I think all businesses could open.” While the final decision is up to New York State, there are preparations to be made before so counties across the state can be ready.center_img (WBNG) — On Thursday, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar gave 12 News the first look at when the county will reopen. Garnar said those guidelines are part of a twelve point plan the state has developed to prepare counties to reopen. He says there will be limits in place to start, such as restaurants only opening at fifty percent capacity to begin.last_img read more

Rain doesn’t stop 2nd annual Pastor Lyle Ward Memorial Fundraiser

first_imgChapter president Curtis Hammond said the money raised will go toward putting the kids in camps and giving them real life experiences. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – On Saturday, The Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club put on the 2nd Annual Pastor Lyle Ward Memorial Fundraiser. The club hopes the fundraiser can return to normal next summer. “My family adopted four foster care kids out of the system, so foster care is huge in my family,” Hammond said. “The foster care system around here needs as much help as we can give them so that’s why we do this event.” Hammond, who is also the grandson of Pastor Ward, told 12 News the foster care system has always been very important to his family. Due to COVID-19, this year’s fundraiser was a drive through barbecue. From late morning to early afternoon cars flooded the parking lot of the Lowe’s in Binghamton to get a barbecue dinner. The fundraiser raises money for kids in the foster care system in Broome County. last_img read more

Stray Haven holds free dog and cat rabies clinic

first_imgExecutive director Jen Woodward-Renyolds says the organization wanted to give back to those in need with pets.  Stray Haven will be conducting more free rabies clinics throughout 2021. “This gives a service that they need,” Woodward-Renyolds said. “They have pets. They need to get shots. They can’t afford or get into local veterinarians, so we are just providing this service to help pet owners.”  WAVERLY (WBNG) — Stray Haven held a free dog and cat rabies clinic for members of the community. Pet owners also could get a distemper shot and a microchip for fifteen dollars each.  In partnership with the Tioga County Health Department, the organization had veterinarians on site providing free rabies shots.  The clinic was drive thru style. The clinic expected to administer 300 rabies shots. last_img read more

Deontay Wilder’s team hope for positive outcome after entering mediation over disputed fight with Tyson Fury | Boxing News

first_imgDeontay Wilder still hopes to receive third fight with Tyson Fury; triple-header of women’s world title fights on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, to be streamed free on YouTube, Facebook and skysports.com By Richard DamerellLast Updated: 11/11/20 3:09pm Deontay Wilder has called for Tyson Fury to face him in a third fight Anthony Joshua has declared his desire to claim the WBC belt “When that fight was a draw, I told you that I would give you a rematch. You know I was offered more money to fight Joshua than I was getting to fight you. Again being a man of my word, I fought you like I said I would.“In the rematch agreement, there was a rematch clause. Now it is time for you to be a man and honour your word, instead of trying to weasel out of our agreement. Scared people run but a scary man will break his contract.”Watch Katie Taylor, Terri Harper and Rachel Ball in world title action this Saturday, from 7pm on Sky Sports. 4:03 Anthony Joshua has declared his desire to claim the WBC belt Fury stopped Wilder in the seventh round of their Las Vegas fight Finkel told Sky Sports: “I wouldn’t go into it, if I didn’t [hope for a positive outcome] but am sure they think so too.”Asked if he expected a ruling this year, Finkel said: “I would hope so, yes.”- Advertisement –center_img Deontay Wilder’s team hope to receive a positive outcome after entering into a mediation process about a disputed third fight with Tyson Fury.WBC champion Fury declared last month he had ended interest in a trilogy fight against Wilder after being unable to confirm a date, with the British star expected to instead announce a homecoming clash with Agit Kabayel in December.Following a stoppage loss to Fury in February, Wilder had activated a rematch clause and co-manager Shelly Finkel is optimistic about receiving a favourable ruling after taking the ongoing dispute to a mediator. Wilder has previously called for Fury to “honour your agreement” after breaking his silence on social media.He wrote: “When you were going through your darkest time, I told you that if you got yourself together I would give you a title shot. Being a man of my word, I gave you the title shot. Deontay Wilder has called for Tyson Fury to face him in a third fight
Deontay Wilder has called for Tyson Fury to face him in a third fight

Back to Basics! Tim Allen Channels ‘Santa Clause’ Character With New Beard

first_imgMacklemore Is Unrecognizable With Mustache, More A-List Men Indulging in Beauty Amid COVID-19 Read article “Woke up this morning and noticed a bit more stubble,” the Home Improvement alum, 67, tweeted a selfie of his look on Tuesday, November 10. “This always happens to me as I transition to you no [sic] who this Christmas.”Tim Allen Channels His Iconic Santa Clause Character With Impressive New BeardTim Allen in ‘The Santa Clause 2’ and in 2020. Disney/Kobal/Shutterstock; Courtesy Tim Allen/TwitterAllen starred as Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause in 1994. In the Christmas classic, his divorced dad character accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall off his roof. From there, Scott is recruited to become Saint Nick’s replacement.The Santa Clause received largely positive reviews from critics, and it also drummed up more than $189 million worldwide. Additionally, the film’s success led to the creation of two sequels: The Santa Clause 2 in 2002 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause in 2006. – Advertisement – Even though the lasting power of the Santa Clause franchise can be seen to this day, a fourth installment or potential reboot has not been greenlit. However, Elizabeth Mitchell — who played Carol, Scott’s wife and the eventual Mrs. Clause, in the last two films — said she is on board to revisit the film series.“Of course, those movies were a joy to make,” Mitchell, 50, told Entertainment Tonight in November 2019. “Making people happy? What a gift.”The Lost alum added, “Honestly, we all need to believe in a little bit of magic. I really do think that’s what it is. I think that it brings that childlike sense of play to you as an adult that we’re hungry for. That’s my own personal finding.” Read article Best Holiday Movies to Binge-Watch Read article A Guide to Every Holiday Movie Airing on TV This Year- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Returning to his roots! Tim Allen debuted his impressive new beard — and it makes him bear a striking resemblance to his former Santa Clause character. The Last Man Standing star previously revealed that the family-friendly film originally had a much darker premise. “I actually shot and killed Santa in the original movie. He fell off the roof because I thought he was a burglar [in the actual film],” he explained on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2018. “He gives me the card, the whole movie starts.”Tim Allen attends the Toy Story 4 premiere in 2019 Tim Allen Channels His Iconic Santa Clause Character With Impressive New BeardTim Allen attends the ‘Toy Story 4’ premiere at El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on June 11, 2019. Matt Baron/ShutterstockAllen continued, “[In the original script,] the kid actually starts with, ‘You just killed Santa.’ And I said, ‘He shouldn’t have been on the roof when he wasn’t invited.’”- Advertisement – The Toy Story actor said that former Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg shut down the grim concept. “I’m laughing so hard, but the head of Disney at the time, Katzenberg said, ‘Well, you can’t start a movie like that.’ And I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘We can’t start a Disney movie with you murdering Santa,’” he added.last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7| S7+ Come With All the Features Millenials Need

first_imgMillennials in India rely on their mobile devices to get most of their things done. While laptops and mobile phones are great, there’s a growing need for a device that offers the best of both worlds. In such a situation, a tablet is a great device. It brings a comfortable form factor while still packing enough fuel to power all the features millennials need.Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+ are some of the most advanced tablets from the company. These tablets are ideal for both work and play. They feature an impressive set of features – from a 120Hz smooth display to a powerful chipset – the new Galaxy Tab S7 series models can handle just about everything.Display that’s just gorgeous- Advertisement – Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+ feature a bigger, brighter, and a more responsive display. It’s a result of advanced research and development that’s lead to this impressive display on the Galaxy Tab S7 series models. You’ll be amazed by the quality of the display no matter what you’re doing.galaxy tab s7plus fron clip studio paint ui screen pc The Galaxy Tab S7 comes with an 11-inch LTPS LCD while the Galaxy Tab S7+ comes with a larger 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display with HDR10+ support. Both the tablets come with a feature that ensures you don’t strain your eyes while working or playing for long hours. The 120Hz refresh rate brings a responsive experience that automatically adjusts based on what content you’re viewing. Watching videos, scrolling web pages will never be the same again.Play movies and games- Advertisement – Everyone is spending a lot of time indoors. Needless to say, we’re all going to get bored at some point or the other. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+ are perfect entertainment machines for watching movies at the comfort of your home, or playing your favourite mobile games for hours. The quad-speaker arrangement brings Dolby Atmos experience right in your hands. You can watch movies and TV shows for up to 14 hours, thanks to the large battery inside these tablets.galaxy tab s7plus network gaming snapdragon chip pc To power all your mobile gaming and work needs, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 series models are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset. The intelligent chipset can take care of all your gaming and multitasking needs quite easily.- Advertisement – That’s not all, the large 10,090mAh battery inside the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+ tablets ensures you’re able to get through your day or work and play without anything slowing you down. The battery also supports fast charging so that you can quickly get it charged, and get back to what you’re doing, thanks to the 45W super-fast charging support.Work in styleSamsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+ support the company’s amazing and highly responsive S Pen accessory. You can use it across a wide range of popular apps to get things done. You can easily mark up PDF documents, add annotations, or sign them with the Samsung Notes app on the Galaxy Tab S7 models using the S Pen. The app can automatically synchronise your notes across all your Samsung devices, and comes with support for a dark mode.sam1 For those who need to get a lot of writing done, Samsung’s Book Cover can be a perfect accessory with the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+. You can push the display further by up to 165 degrees, and type for hours without tiring your fingers. The accessory is perfect for writing, studying, or just about anything.CameraSamsung Galaxy Tab S7+ comes with a dual rear camera setup. There’s a 5-megapixel ultra-wide camera along with a 13-megapixel camera. The cameras support Samsung’s popular Single Take feature, night mode, night hyper-lapse, and the ability to record using both front and back cameras, making it ideal for video blogging and live videos.Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+ feature a slim, attractive design. The tablets are available in Mystic Black, Music Silver, and Mystic Bronze colour options. With prices starting at Rs. 50,399, there’s no other Android tablet that’s comparable to these models right now. Samsung is also offering an array of festive season special offers with the Galaxy Tab S7 models in India.Buy today! Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Hollywood’s Ex-Lovers Who Have Stayed Close

first_imgTwo decades after their split, the pair spent part of the coronavirus pandemic together in early 2020 while quarantining alongside their daughters in Idaho. (Willis’ wife, Emma Heming, later joined the exes and brought daughters Mabel and Evelyn.)“We have three children whom we will continue to raise together, and we’re probably as close now as we ever were,” the Die Hard star told Rolling Stone in 2000. “We realize we have a lifelong commitment to our kids. Our friendship continues. The institution has been set aside.”- Advertisement – Love lost doesn’t mean friendship lost for all famous exes! Several former celebrity couples have proven that pumping the brakes on their romance doesn’t mean that they can’t become friends afterward.Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s post-breakup bond has become the golden standard for cordial former lovers. The A-listers got married in 1987 and finalized their divorce in 2000 after having three children: Rumer, Scout and Tallulah.- Advertisement – Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake, meanwhile, began dating in 2003 but split in 2007. After calling it quits, the former flames costarred in 2011’s raunchy comedy Bad Teacher — a film that saw the pair’s characters hook up on screen.At the time of Bad Teacher’s release, the “Can’t Stop the Feeling” crooner said that he didn’t feel awkward filming the intimate scene with Diaz. “I didn’t look at it like that,” he previously told Access Hollywood. “We obviously know each other, but I looked at it as a really funny, funny scene that I’ve never seen done before.”Timberlake continued, “What I actually remember was, you know, they got to my closeup for that scene, so I was just kind of by myself — which is hard to imitate in real life. Jake [Kasdan], the director, kept yelling out, ‘OK, more contorted! Uglier face! Flare your nostrils! Curl your lip up … more!’ And I’m trying not to laugh.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick were also able to come out on the other side after their rocky romantic relationship, which lasted from 2006 and 2015. The exes have established a good friendship and strong coparenting dynamic for their three children, Mason, Penelope and Reign.After splitting from Sofia Richie in late 2020, Disick has spent more time with the Poosh founder, including at her sister Kim Kardashian’s 40th birthday bash that October 2029. A source told Us in November 2020 that Kardashian and Disick’s dynamic has changed.“Kourtney and Scott’s relationship has taken a bit of shift recently — spending more time together and being more kind with each other,” the insider revealed. “Scott has always loved Kourtney, and the door is open on his side in case she ever wants to take their relationship back to a romantic place.”Take a look at more famous ex-lovers, such as Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie, have maintained close relationships after splitting up.last_img read more

China aims to vaccinate all poultry

first_imgNov 15, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – China’s announcement today that it plans to vaccinate all of its poultry against H5N1 avian influenza would launch the country on the largest single immunization effort in history for any species, according to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official.News of the vaccination plan came even as China reported two more poultry outbreaks, these in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.”China is trying to vaccinate all poultry nationwide,” said China’s chief veterinarian, Jia Youling, as quoted by Agence France-Presse (AFP). “The fees will be covered by the government.”In a live Web forum, Jia said China raises about 14 billion birds a year and currently has 5.2 billion, according to AFP. The Ministry of Agriculture said the country is producing more than 100 million doses of avian flu vaccine daily, but some areas are reporting shortages, the story said.China’s vaccination plan is at odds with the FAO’s typical recommendations.”At this point we cannot say if such a massive program is either possible or advisable,” said Joseph Domenech, FAO’s chief of veterinary services, as quoted today in the New York Times. Such large-scale vaccination campaigns are usually recommended only for places where the H5N1 virus is endemic, such as parts of Vietnam and Indonesia.Domenech told the Times he had seen no evidence that H5N1 is endemic throughout China.In addition, the demands of such a project are immense because birds must be individually vaccinated and because most of China’s poultry are in small flocks that roam free in individual households.However, Domenech also said that if any country can accomplish such an ambitious campaign, “China can do it.”The two latest avian flu outbreaks are in the counties of Zepu and Urumqi in Xinjiang, AFP reported. They were said to be China’s 10th and 11th outbreaks in the past month. None of the other recent cases have been in Xinjiang.The flu cases were discovered Nov 9 and confirmed yesterday, according to AFP. The story said 6,547 chickens were infected, of which 2,747 died, and 320,000 more were killed to contain the disease.last_img read more

Sprouts blamed in big Ontario Salmonella outbreak

first_img Oct 2, 2002, CIDRAP News story “FDA cites mung bean sprouts in renewing warning against eating raw sprouts”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/beansprout.html Toronto’s health department ordered Toronto Sun Wah Trading on Nov 25 to stop distributing mung bean sprouts because of possible contamination with Salmonella, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced the same day. Dr. Sheela Basrur, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said 379 cases of salmonellosis have been confirmed in the province, according to a CBC news report published today. The report said 26 of 36 regional health agencies in Ontario had reported cases linked with eating sprouts. Salmonella bacteria are found in the intestines of animals and can contaminate sprouts (and other raw fruits and vegetables) that have been in contact with impure water, animal manure, or an infected food handler, the ministry noted. Symptoms of infection usually begin from 12 to 36 hours after a person consumes a contaminated food. The outbreak began early in November, according to the provincial health ministry’s Nov 25 news release. Normally about 20 to 25 cases of salmonellosis per month are reported at this time of year, the ministry said. Referring to Sun Wah Trading, Basrur said in the news release, “We have linked this food processing plant to a number of illness[es] in this outbreak. While the investigation continues, as a precaution, we are advising the public to avoid eating bean sprouts.” The ministry statement did not spell out the evidence linking the cases with sprouts from Sun Wah Trading. In a Nov 24 statement, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said Sun Wah mung bean sprouts have been sold in packages of various weights and under various store names or without the Sun Wah name. Officials did not mention any distribution of the products outside Ontario.center_img The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in January 2002 that 15 salmonellosis outbreaks associated with consumption of raw sprouts had been reported in the United States since 1995. The recommended safety step of soaking seeds in a calcium hypochlorite solution is not completely effective, the agency said. Dec 1, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Close to 400 people in Ontario have gotten sick in a Salmonella outbreak blamed on contaminated mung bean sprouts, according to Canadian news reports. See also: “We expect that there are many hundred more people who have Salmonella poisoning that have not yet come to our attention,” Basrur was quoted as saying. To reduce the risk of illness, the US Food and Drug Administration advises consumers to cook all sprouts thoroughly before eating them and to ask that raw sprouts not be added to restaurant sandwiches and salads. Most cases of Salmonella infection resolve without medical treatment, but the pathogen can cause serious and sometimes fatal illness in children, elderly people, and those with weak immune systems.last_img read more

Indonesia’s H5N1 death toll rises to 102

first_imgFeb 1, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Two more patients in Indonesia have died of H5N1 avian influenza this week, raising the country’s death toll from the virus to 102 out of 124 cases.The patients, whose illnesses were reported previously, were a 31-year-old woman from East Jakarta, who died yesterday, and a 32-year-old man from Tangerang, who died Jan 29, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).The woman became ill Jan 18 and was hospitalized 4 days later, according to a Jan 29 WHO statement. The agency reported her death in a statement today.A Reuters report today said it was unclear how the woman contracted the virus. But Mohammad Nadirin of Indonesia’s avian flu information center told Reuters, “The woman lived in a neighborhood full of fowl. A slaughterhouse is not so far from her house.” The story listed her as being from Tangerang, a western suburb of Jakarta, rather than East Jakarta.The 32-year-old man from Tangerang fell ill Jan 17 but was not hospitalized until Jan 24, according to the WHO’s Jan 29 statement.Indonesia’s avian flu information center said it was not known whether the man had had contact with infected birds, but several of his neighbors kept pigeons, according to a Jan 30 Agence France-Presse report.With the two latest deaths, all four H5N1 cases reported by Indonesian officials earlier this week have proved fatal. The other two patients were a 9-year-old boy from Depok municipality in West Java and a 23-year-old woman from East Jakarta. Both died Jan 27, according to the WHO.Indonesia has had seven H5N1 cases so far this year, all of them fatal. With 102 deaths in 124 cases, the fatality rate is 82%. The WHO’s global H5N1 count is 357 cases with 225 deaths, for a fatality rate of 63%.In India, meanwhile, 26 people have been put in isolation because of possible avian flu symptoms, according to a Reuters report today. India has been battling to control poultry outbreaks of H5N1 in West Bengal state.Veterinary workers have destroyed 2.6 million birds in West Bengal in what officials called a successful effort to stop the outbreaks, Reuters reported. Officials said workers returning home after the culling operation were asked to have themselves checked, according to the story.A senior health official named R. S. Shukla told Reuters that preliminary tests were negative for the 26 people in isolation, but more tests were under way.See also: Feb 1 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_02_01/en/index.htmlJan 30 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_01_30/en/index.htmlJan 29 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_01_29/en/index.htmllast_img read more

CDC reports increase in flu activity, plus one swine H3N2 flu case

first_imgSep 4, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported an increase in pandemic H1N1 flu activity in the nation, focused primarily in five southeastern states, along with an isolated case of swine H3N2 influenza in a patient from Kansas.Officials from the CDC have said they expect flu activity to pick up again when students return to school, and many districts in the southeast resumed classes on Aug 10.Seasonal H1N1, H3N2, and B influenza viruses are circulating at low levels, but the pandemic H1N1 virus accounted for 97% of all flu viruses that were subtyped.As of today, 9,079 hospitalizations and 593 deaths have been linked to the pandemic H1N1 virus. Nine cases of oseltamivir-resistant novel H1N1 influenza have been detected in the United States, which is two more than the previous week.Alaska also reported widespread flu activity for the week ending Aug 29. Thirteen states, including six in the southeast, reported regional activity. The CDC said the number of outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses rose but was still below the national baseline. Much of the rise was attributed to clinic visits for flu in southeastern states.The CDC also reported a human infection with a swine influenza A/H3N2 virus, a patient from Kansas who had contact with pigs before getting sick on Jul 28.The patient is a child who was likely exposed to the virus through direct contact with pigs during a county fair, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) said in an Aug 6 news release. The illness was mild, the child has fully recovered, and no other family members reported symptoms.H1N1 and H3N2 swine flu viruses are endemic in US pig populations; when the rare infections do occur in humans, they are typically in people with direct exposure to pigs. The number has risen slightly in past years, and so far this year the CDC has received reports of 14 such cases. The KDHE said the increased number of cases this year is probably the result of increased influenza testing related to the H1N1 pandemic.Jason Eberhart-Phillips, MD, MPH, director of the KDHE, said it’s critical for people to understand that the H3N2 virus is not related to the pandemic H1N1 virus. “This is not a mutation or a recombination of the pandemic strain, and it does not appear at this time to be a threat to human health,” he said in the press release.Though most cases of human infection with animal influenza viruses, such as swine H3N2, don’t lead to human-to-human transmission, health officials always investigate the cases carefully to assess if they are spreading among humans, Eberhart-Phillips said.See also:CDC weekly flu surveillance reporthttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/Aug 6 Kansas Department of Health and Environment press releaselast_img read more

S7 Airlines introduces a direct route from Pula to St. Petersburg

first_imgS7 Airlines, a member of the global aviation alliance oneworld®, has announced the opening of new direct flights from Pula to St. Petersburg from May 27, 2018.From Pula to St. Petersburg will be possible to fly once a week – on Sundays. Flights depart from Pula at 10:10 and arrive at Pulkovo Airport at 14:20 local time, while return flights will depart at 07:05 and arrive at Pula Airport at 09:15. Otherwise, flights to Moscow will be operated by modern and comfortable Airbus A319 aircraft.”S7 Airlines always offers its passengers new opportunities for comfortable travel. Passengers from Pula can now book a flight to St. Petersburg, from where they will be able to travel to other cities within the S7 Airlines route offer. Passengers from St. Petersburg will enjoy direct flights to Pula, suitable for both beach holidays and those who prefer travel for special excursions and active entertainment. “, Said Igor Veretennikov, Chief Commercial Officer of S7 Group.S7 Airlines is among the world’s top 100 airlines and third in Eastern Europe, as indicated by the relevant international Skytrax rating, and in 2017, Group members carried more than 14,2 million passengers.last_img read more

Gillian Tans, CEO, Booking.com: Companies need to be motivated for new innovations instead of being taxed even more

first_imgBloomberg reported that these companies are just some of a number of companies that have signed a letter to European finance ministers expressing concern over the proposed 3% tax because it would “create a harmful legal precedent in income taxation, even when the taxpayer has not yet profitable ”. In an interview, Tans emphasized that she does not oppose tax reform, but that it should be implemented on a global level, which is not very realistic. “Europe should strive to become more attractive to companies to grow their business and market their products and services in the EU.” The EU has proposed new taxation measures for services such as Booking.com The proposed new European Union measure to tax the income of technology companies within Europe has attracted a lot of negative reactions, especially from companies like Booking.com and Spotify. “Overall, this will be a major blow to technological innovation because companies should be motivated to innovate instead of taxing it even more,” said Gillian Tans, executive director of Booking, which is based in Amsterdam. “And especially for European companies. We are a European company that already pays taxes in Europe. ” Gillian Tans / Facebookcenter_img European regulatory legislation is already quite complex anyway, and taxing the income of technology companies would certainly be a major threat to Booking.com. Also, the question arises whether the said tax will have an impact on the amount of commissions of Booking.com users and what kind of complications around renting accommodation it may entail. Ultimately, it will certainly not have a positive impact on the atmosphere of tourist renters of private accommodation. It is uncertain whether income taxation will also apply to startup companies, which would greatly complicate their business growth prospects. The tax proposal “would impose a financial burden on European developing companies and weaken their ability to compete globally” and would result in double taxation, especially when it comes to taxing EU resident companies that are already subject to corporate income tax and VAT. in the above letter.last_img read more

For the weekend begins Ultra: Special traffic regulation around the stadium

first_imgThis weekend, the festival of electronic music – Ultra Europe 2019 is being held in Split. By the way, this year the festival changed its location and will no longer be held at the Poljud stadium, but will be held at the Park mladeži stadium for the next four years. RELATED NEWS: Photo: Ultra Europe ULTRA LEAVES CRAZY: NEXT FOUR YEARS WILL BE HELD AT YOUTH PARK The Police Administration of Split-Dalmatia points out that depending on the intensity of pedestrian traffic in the public gathering zone in Split, police officers will temporarily restrict the movement of vehicles, if necessary, in: During the temporary closure of roads, traffic will be provided by public transport buses, tenants’ vehicles, emergency vehicles and taxis, and we will inform the public about the need for temporary closure of roads, the Split-Dalmatia Police Department points out. “We advise citizens to avoid traffic on the roads in the narrow zone of the stadium during the public gathering, from Friday to Sunday, especially at the time of the highest traffic intensity. Also, given the expected increased traffic intensity, we ask citizens for additional patience and to follow in the field the instructions and orders of police officers regarding alternative directions in case of traffic blockage. traffic flow, we additionally point out to the citizens the obligation to comply with the regulations related to the parking of personal vehicles, and to leave and park them exclusively in the places provided for that, because otherwise it will be removed in accordance with the law. ” pointed out from the Split-Dalmatia Police Department and announced that before, during and after the Ultra Festival, filming will take place at public gatherings and access routes. part of Hrvatske mornarice Street (from Domovinskog rata Street to Ante Starčevića Street)Put Brodarice StreetMike Tripala Streetat the intersection of Mike Tripala Street and Velimir Terzića Street. HABITS OF FESTIVAL VISITORS IN CROATIA: AN INTERESTING AND USEFUL ANALYSIS OF MASTERINDEX ON INTEREST IN FESTIVALS IN CROATIAlast_img read more

When 7 tickets are sold in pre-sale in just 5.000 hours, then you know it’s a great festival

first_imgThe Sea Star Festival in Umag has brought 164 million kuna in direct profits to the Croatian economy in the past three years, according to a study by the consulting company Hotelis, specializing in tourism and hospitality, made for the Tourist Board of Umag.  Thus, the audience from the entire region, but also from other countries such as Great Britain, Italy, Austria or France, bought tickets at a price of 199 kuna, and the organizers decided to immediately release a new contingent at the next, also promotional price of only 229 kn. Otherwise, the full, ie regular ticket price for the festival is around 500 kuna. SEA STAR FESTIVAL GENERATED 164 MILLION HRK IN TOURIST CONSUMPTION In the same period, the total value of the festival promotion, organized by the multi-award winning EXIT team, is almost 100 million kuna, focused largely on branding the destination of Umag, Istria and the Croatian coast. In the past three years, the Sea Star Festival has attracted more than 120.000 visitors, while the fourth edition of the Sea Star Festival in Umag, as the primary motive for coming, will bring an additional 40.000 visitors. And the main “actor” of this story as well as the motive for coming to Umag in May is the Sea Star Festival. Cover photo: Sea Star Festival Find out more about the whole research in the attachment. When 7 tickets are sold in pre-sale in just 5.000 hours, then you know that this is a great festival, as well as the motive for coming, and it is even more important that it is about arrivals in the pre-season. In just 7 hours, an impressive 60 tickets for one festival on our coast, which will take place in May 5.000, were sold in advance in the pre-sale (promo series – 2020% discount). Investing in events is not a cost, but an investment. last_img read more

The Ministry of Tourism co-finances scholarships for 221 pupils and students

first_imgCover photo: Rene Asmussen, Pexels.com Funds for this year’s public call were awarded to scholarship holders from 21 companies and one county chamber of crafts. Read more in the attachment. This is a scholarship program implemented by the Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with companies, ie hotels, camps, travel agencies and county chambers of crafts in such a way that each stakeholder participates in co-financing the scholarship with 50 percent.  In the school and academic year 2019/2020, the Ministry of Tourism, based on the Program for Encouraging Personnel Education in Hospitality and Tourism – Scholarships 2019, will co-finance scholarships for 221 new students who are studying for hospitality and tourism occupations and occupations related to the development of special form of tourism.center_img Side dish: Decision on the selection of partners and the number of scholarship holders Based on this program, pupils and students are entitled to a maximum of 1.200 kuna monthly scholarship, from September 1 this year to June 30 next year. Immediately after the completion of regular schooling, ie studying, the partner has the obligation to conclude a fixed-term employment contract or a trainee employment contract with the scholarship holder. During the receipt of the scholarship, the scholarship holder has the obligation to regularly perform a professional internship, enroll in classes / year in the regular term and remain employed in the company for at least as long as the scholarship lasted.last_img read more

Follow live CIHT: Find out all the new trends in health tourism

first_imgParticipation in the conference is completely free, and brings you the opportunity to learn all about the current situation in the health tourism market and the impact of the pandemic on it, learn some new practices in the field of health travel, as well as in the field of promotion and communication. “This year we are all conditioned by the COVID-19 epidemic and although the need for health services and health tourism in this environment does not cease, the conditions of business and promotion are taking on a completely new dimension. The conference itself will offer some new digital solutions, and distinguished speakers will share their knowledge and experiences”- said doc. dr. sc. Vladimir Mozetič, MD, President of the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster, which will be attended by, among others, the Executive Director and co-founder of Health Tourism Worldwide, Laszlo Puczko, Secretary General of the European Spas Association, Csilla Mezösi, and eminent Croatian scientist Ivan Đikić . As this year, for the first time, CIHT is being held virtually, we invite you to follow the conference live from 10.00 am and find out all the new trends in health tourism. Find out the entire program through the two days of the event HERE The eighth Crikvenica International Health Tourism (CIHT) conference is being held on November 12 and 13, for the first time virtually with speakers in English.last_img read more

Casino competition was basic business

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThe Jan. 25 Gazette article, “Report: Too many casinos,” made me think it must have been a pretty slow news day. It’s insulting to anyone’s intelligence that the casino gambling pie would not shrink when more casinos open within the state.It brought back vivid memories to me when I opened my first video store in 1981. Although the venues are different, the end result is the same. Within a few years, there were video rental stores seemingly on every corner. Competition made us sharpen our skills to be better than the rest. Then as time passed, the bug guns like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video came into the market and basically spent us out of existence. Although it wasn’t overnight, systematically there was slight revenue loss on a weekly basis until it became too much to bear. At our peak, we had about 40 employees. Were able to offer health insurance and profit sharing. Multiply that across the nation when there were 25,000 independent video stores (NY Times May 1, 1988). It’s the same situation in the casino business, only on a different scale.Regarding the June 18, 2017, article, “Harness track racinos look to state for relief”: “This legislation is all about fairness … and ensuring a level playing field,”  said state Sen. Kathy Marchione. What world does she live in? There is no such thing as a level playing field in business, especially gambling. Each venue wants the same gambling dollar, except now there are more places to spend it than ever before. Relief from the state means it inevitably costs the taxpayer more somewhere down the line. Great solution. As I stated in an article I wrote that was picked up by The New York Times (Dec. 1, 2000) “Choice stores fading away,” people will go where it is most  convenient. A new casino opening has about as much lasting power as a restaurant boasting the best burger. Bob BeliveGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Welcome realistic Holocaust memorial

first_imgThis letter is in response to those opposed to the Niskayuna Holocaust memorial. I’m sickened and downright appalled that members of the community would be so against something that would honor the millions of lives lost. The Holocaust is a part of history that all need to understand. I believe the proposed plans for the memorial will provide a realistic view of how it was for the poor people whose lives were lost.The realistic train and gate will invoke a feeling of empathy, while providing real-life references to aid in understanding. The idea of having to find the memorial behind vegetative screening is ridiculous.  I urge those opposed to take the time to educate yourselves on the Holocaust; read books, watch documentaries, look at pictures. I would be honored to live near this memorial, and I am looking forward to being able to visit and volunteer. Lastly, to the woman who said, and I quote, “I did not move in [to Niskayuna] to be next to a Holocaust concentration camp,” you don’t and won’t live next to a Holocaust concentration camp.You will live next to a place that remembers those who were lost there; a place to reflect and teach so that no person ever lives next to concentration camp again. Your words reflect a lack of understand and concern. I urge you to especially read and learn. Then maybe insensitive comments like yours won’t be quoted in the paper. To those who brought this project forward, I commend you. You are truly visionaries. You help us remember that compassion and empathy are still needed in our world today.Ashley BakerSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Reinforce school doors to stop shooters

first_imgIt is so sad and heartbreaking to read of the school shootings. Our young students should be protected at all costs. I read of police presence and guns for the various faculty members, but I thought of another idea that may offer protections.Would it be possible to install security doors at the entrance of the schools? These would be equipped with a loud siren to forewarn those inside of the possible entrance of a maniac with weapons. All precautions must be taken to avoid the killing of the innocent.Carm St. GeorgeSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departments Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, June 16

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWhere is justice in bank embezzlement?As I read the June 6 article about the 33-year-old woman from Clifton Park who embezzled almost a half a million dollars from Key Bank branches, I had these thoughts.She only got 21 months in prison. With most prison sentences, they could be released after serving a much shorter time based on their behavior while incarcerated.Two years of supervised release? Really? For stealing almost a half million dollars?And repayment. How is she going to pay all of that back? If she had that kind of money, she wouldn’t have stolen the half million in the first place.If this happened to an underprivileged person, they would be in jail for years. It isn’t justice for all, unfortunately.Linda CorteseNiskayuna Hard to trust in an Obama investigationWho in their right mind could believe that an administration that sold over 1,400 firearms to a Mexican drug cartel (and refused to provide documents or cooperation with a congressional investigation), weaponized the IRS against its political opponents (pleaded the Fifth to avoid confirmation to a congressional investigation), and had a secretary of state who believed that a proper way to conduct U.S. government business was on an unsecured server located in her home bathroom (deleting over 30,000 emails under a congressional subpoena), would ever conduct improper investigations into a presidential opponent?Michael SheedySchenectadyPay attention to the wisdom of the youthAs I consider the problems facing our nation and the world, I have become convinced that it’s time to reappraise the advice of older generations about social, economic, environmental or political issues, which includes my 70-plus-year-old self.Rather, let my generation seek the wisdom of the generations who follow us.We must not forget the past; however, neither can we unthoughtfully expect that solutions to past problems or returning to any so-called “golden age” will remedy tomorrow’s challenges.No longer can we, nor should we, reject what we perceive to be the discernment our years have provided us.However, in the face of an enormous collection of serious issues that threaten freedom, liberty and simple survival, I plan to more carefully listen to the voices and wishes of my children and grandchildren. My peers and I have no dominion over wisdom; confronting politics, economy, equality, equity and perhaps, especially, climate requires paying attention to the children who follow us, not the memories of a childhood that has passed and that is too often burnished by the mists of memory.   Denis BrennanNiskayunaKaren Johnson was modest and kindHaving known Karen Johnson for approximately 40 years, I was well aware of her absolute love for Schenectady and its residents. In her many areas of service to Schenectady, Karen worked tirelessly in making positive changes to the community for the betterment of everyone, without fanfare or looking for applause. She was never a self-promoter and was only interested in using her abilities to do good for others with a calm, balanced demeanor.There was the humane side to Karen of which many people may not have been aware. These humane qualities she shared with so many, and in particular those who were vulnerable with disabilities.  Over the years, Karen got to know my son, Robert. And whenever/wherever she met Robert, Karen stopped to engage my son in long conversations.She always asked him how and what he was doing in his life. Karen had the keen and loving ability in seeing beyond a person’s disability in order to recognize that person’s many abilities.Every single year, Karen attended the Schenectady NAMI picnics. Whenever I would offer Karen the microphone to speak to those in attendance, she would decline, choosing to sit and talk with each and every one in attendance.She stayed the full time at the picnic, joining in the water balloon toss (once getting wet), watermelon toss, egg throw and other games. She often sat and observed the people, just enjoying watching the attendees in a happy atmosphere.Though Schenectady has lost such an important figure, Karen Johnson’s positive impact on Schenectady and its residents will be felt for a long time.Flora L RamonowskiSchenectady More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Freeport mall threatens Potteries towns’ trade

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Apologies for any e-conveyance

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

DTZ chief gains non-exec role

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East Nusa Tenggara strengthens public health outreach to curb COVID-19

first_imgRead also: COVID-19: East Nusa Tenggara suspends schools and exams for two weeksHe said that in addition to putting the posters on the church entrance, the health center had made an appeal to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 after a Mass. Medical staff from Waepitak Community Health Center also went to villages to spread the information.Santo Josef Freinademetz Wajur Church Pastoral Council chair Fransiskus Guntur confirmed that the church had teamed up with the community health center to distribute COVID-19 information to rural areas of East Manggarai.“Yesterday, two medical staff members of Waepitak Community Health Center printed and posted several pamphlets made by the Health Agency. This is to ensure that the people get the correct information rather than hoaxes on social media,” he said. (aly)Topics : A community health center in West Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), has been actively disseminating information about COVID-19 to several villages in the Kuwus Barat district.Waepitak Community Health Center chief Bernadus Jemahu said the health center was trying to help spread information about the coronavirus and how to prevent it.“We’ve been posting pamphlets and brochures about the transmission and prevention of COVID-19 in churches and village offices,” Bernadus told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.last_img read more

Foreign missions urge citizens to leave Indonesia amid COVID-19 crisis

first_imgWashington has already urged its citizens not to travel to the archipelago “due to the Global Health Advisory and Embassy Jakarta’s limited capacity to provide support to US citizens,” it said in an online travel advisory for Indonesia.It follows a March 14 decision to authorize the departure of US personnel and family members “from any diplomatic […] post in the world who have determined they are at higher risk if exposed to COVID-19 or who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification”.The US mission has a track record of taking early precautionary measures for its citizens, sometimes well before a serious incident occurs.In 2016, the US Embassy reportedly sent out warnings to its citizens to avoid the area around Sarinah Plaza and the Sari Pan Pacific Hotel in Central Jakarta, just hours before terrorists launched a shooting spree there. Foreign missions in Indonesia are racing against time to get their citizens home before transport restrictions come into full effect, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise and concerns over the country’s healthcare capabilities deepen.The United States Embassy became the first foreign mission to announce that family members of its staff who are under 21 years of age must immediately leave the country.“The Department of State made this decision due to evidence of COVID-19 in Indonesia, current Indonesian medical capacity, and current availability of flights out of Indonesia,” the embassy said in a statement published on Thursday. In 1998, the embassy moved to evacuate all staffers to Singapore before airlifting them home, days before massive riots broke out all across Jakarta.Meanwhile, Indonesia’s closest neighbor Australia also updated its travel advisory with strong wording and advised its citizens to leave the country.“If you’re an Australian tourist in Bali [or Indonesia more broadly] leave now – don’t delay your departure. If you’re a long-term Australian resident of Indonesia, consider whether you have the support and access to effective health services you and your family will need in what will be a hugely challenging period for local authorities and service providers. Many services will not be available,” Canberra said in its latest travel advisory updated on Thursday.The update follows measures last week to offer non-essential staff and family members from Australian diplomatic posts across the country the opportunity to return to Australia before air travel is completely restricted.Other countries have meanwhile been more reserved in their actions, at a time when COVID-19 has infected more than 1,000 people in Indonesia and killed 87 people as of Friday.European Union Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Piket said his approach was to “strike a balance between business continuity and the safety of our staff and their dependents”.He said the EU delegation was in full teleworking mode and all staff were asked to work from home. Meanwhile, all nonessential staff were authorized to return to Europe with their families.“The EU delegation and the embassies of all EU member states work together for the repatriation of EU travelers stranded in Indonesia due to the lack of flights. Our first priority is to bring home the elderly, other vulnerable persons and families with children,” Piket said in a statement to The Jakarta Post on Friday.British Ambassador to Indonesia Owen Jenkins said that British nationals staying in Indonesia in the short term should immediately weigh their options as more airports had closed and more airlines had suspended flights.“If you can think of any circumstances at all where you would wish to be in the UK over the next few months, we strongly advise you to leave,” Jenkins said in a video posted on the embassy’s Twitter account on Wednesday.The COVID-19 outbreak has put a massive strain on Indonesia’s healthcare system, with reports of inadequate medical supplies and the deaths of hospital workers amid a surge of new cases.A hospital crisis looms as reports indicate inadequate facilities to treat COVID-19 patients, while protective gear is in short supply in both referral and regular hospitals across the country.Foreign missions have identified these shortcomings and communicated them to their citizens. The Australian Embassy, for instance, said that critical care facilities are “significantly below the standards available” at home.While such policies might indicate distrust in the Indonesian healthcare system, it also poses even greater risks for these foreign citizens, said Dewi Fortuna Anwar, an international relations research professor at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences’ (LIPI) Center for Political Studies.“Sending children back to the US is even riskier – they’d be flying extensively and transiting in hubs that bring together many people from around the world, so the risk of contracting the coronavirus might be even higher,” Dewi told the Post, in reference to the US policy.Furthermore, she added, the healthcare systems in the US and in Europe also already faced huge pressures and had not shown any great successes either.“Frankly, there is not one country that can give such assurances. What is certain is that long-haul travel – and especially cross-country travel – is reckless. People are asked to stay at home, not to engage in international travel and spread the virus further,” she said on Friday.Globally, more than half a million people have been infected and some 24,000 people have died, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. The US currently has the most cases.Topics :last_img read more

Chinese students fleeing virus face uneasy reception back home

first_img‘China-hating wretches’ A similar angry reaction met clips showing another returnee angrily demanding bottled mineral water from quarantine facility workers in Shanghai.”They eat food from our bowl, yet turn on the motherland as soon as they stop eating. We don’t need to take them back,” wrote one user, garnering thousands of likes.There is a widely held belief that international students see themselves as superior to their fellow citizens, said Yik-Chan Chin, a professor of media and communications at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.This is often compounded by perceptions of the students’ extreme wealth and multiple nationalities, she said.The vast majority of China’s 1.6 million outbound students are still overseas, according to the education ministry.Many want to come back but face astronomical ticket prices and grueling multiple-transit flights, plus the increased risk of infection en route.Beijing chartered a flight Monday to rescue some 200 overseas students left stranded in Ethiopia after their transfer flights to China were cancelled last-minute, and another took off on Thursday to bring students back from the UK.”I hope those you’re taking back are conscientious and patriotic, and not a group of ungrateful, China-hating wretches who are only concerned with living a life of luxury,” one user fumed.However there has been some sympathy, especially as many overseas students donated medical supplies in the initial stages of the outbreak.”Who emptied global supermarket shelves of protective supplies and sent them back to China? International students!” wrote the film director Lu Chuan in a Weibo post. Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the coronavirus pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated.The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad.With most international flights cancelled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. Topics : Meanwhile Cathy, who landed in China on Tuesday morning, is resigned to the fact that she may encounter prejudice. Using her English name to conceal her identity, she said she had “no choice but to bear it”.Nearly half of China’s 800 imported virus cases are overseas students.Most returnees need to spend two weeks in isolation, and a widely shared video of a returned student who tried to escape her quarantine accommodation in the city of Qingdao has prompted outrage online. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society, fuelled by online posts stereotyping returning students as ungrateful and even dangerous — using the irresponsible behavior of a few individuals as proof.”Right now, public opinion in China is very unfriendly towards Chinese overseas students, and quarantine facilities there are mixed,” said Hestia Zhang, a master’s student at Yale University.She has decided to stay in self-isolation on campus rather than go back, despite the United States now accounting for almost a quarter of reported global infections.”There are also a lot of risks on the journey home, so I might as well stay here and wait it out,” she told AFP.last_img read more

Australia to ramp up coronavirus testing with millions of new kits

first_imgAustralia has secured 10 million COVID-19 test kits, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Wednesday, as Canberra begins widespread testing that it hopes will sustain a decline in new coronavirus cases and allow social restrictions to be lifted.Australia – home to 25.7 million people – has confirmed about 6,700 cases of the novel coronavirus and just 88 deaths, way below figures reported in the United States and other hotspots, a result the government attributes to social distancing restrictions and testing.Authorities plan to expand testing this week to include people who do not show symptoms, a move the government says is vital to allow the easing of restrictions and the reopening of parts of the economy shut down by the outbreak. Topics : “Testing is necessary to detect and control outbreaks, if physical distancing measures are to be relaxed,” Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said in an emailed statement.The kits were secured from China by Fortescue Metals Group founder Andrew Forrest.Victoria state said it would open mobile units that can test people in their homes, offices and while out shopping. New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged care workers and anyone with the “slightest sniffle” to get tested.With new infections growing at barely 1% a day, compared to 25% a month ago, several states are already beginning to ease restrictions including at Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach. last_img read more

Virus, climate change cause food shortages in parts of Indonesia

first_imgShortages in key commodities have been reported in most of Indonesia’s 34 provinces as the nation copes with the double whammy of the coronavirus outbreak causing supply chain disruption and a dry spell hurting harvests.Garlic, sugar, chili and chicken eggs are in short supply in more than 20 provinces, while rice, a staple food for Indonesians, is in deficit in seven provinces across the archipelago, according to government data presented by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. Making matters worse, a dry season is looming on the horizon and may impact the overall output of the agriculture sector, which employs more than a quarter of the national workforce.Read also: Govt to secure staple food stocks as dry season approachesThe Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has projected that more than 30 percent of the country’s regions, including parts of Bali, Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi, might face an unusually harsh dry season this month.“So there are two challenges right now: climate change and supply chain disruption due to the outbreak,” Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) researcher Dhenny Yuartha told The Jakarta Post.Of the 11 commodities, sugar, garlic and beef are the most at risk of short supply. The Food Security Agency has suggested speeding up the import of 207,743 tons of garlic, 85,474 tons of beef and 622,123 tons of sugar to ensure enough supplies for the April–June period.For sugar, for instance, shortages have been recorded in 30 provinces, causing prices to soar to Rp 18,250 (US$1.21) per kilogram, 46 percent higher than the government’s price ceiling of Rp 12,500 per kg.Dhenny said the shortages and soaring prices were mainly caused by late imports and disrupted supply chains. East Java, the country’s largest sugar cane producer, is a COVID-19 red zone.Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) researcher Galuh Octania said the government should pay utmost attention to food stocks beyond November, because some of the regions hit by the worse-than-normal dry season were staple food production centers.President Jokowi has ordered his administration to store rainwater and start filling reservoirs, retention ponds and other artificial water storages to mitigate the impact. The government is also easing import processes to ensure sufficient food stocks, although the logistics of this are challenging as some producing countries have imposed lockdowns.Read also: Staple food imports arriving in May to safeguard stocks, prices: AirlanggaCoordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto reported Tuesday that 94,000 tons of garlic had arrived from China in April and estimated that 78,000 tons more would be shipped this month. As a result, the average price of garlic declined by 5 percent to Rp 42,650 per kg between March and April. However, it is still far higher than the government’s target of below Rp 30,000 per kg.Soaring food prices also hurt farmers, since two out of three farmers in the country are classified as “net consumers” and some of them are poor, according to Galuh. Food accounts for more than 60 percent of the monthly expenses among poor citizens, those who spend around Rp 500,000 a month, according to a 2019 survey by Statistics Indonesia (BPS).The government plans to provide Rp 300,000 in cash and production inputs like seeds and fertilizer valued at another Rp 300,000 per month to 2.7 million poor farmers. Eligible households can also get the Rp 200,000 monthly assistance to purchase food with the Staple Food Card program.“Rising prices may lower farmers’ purchasing power,” Galuh told the Post via text message. “Amid the coronavirus outbreak, farmers must fear that either they cannot sell their produce due to logistical disruption or their products may spoil.”Read also: Bulog struggles to import staple food as producing countries cap exportsThe Agriculture Ministry is considering making available 600,000 hectares of peatland in Central Kalimantan to produce buffer stocks. The government has yet to work out the details, but a similar measure under former president Soeharto on 1 million ha of peatland in the province resulted in crop failure.“If done in a hurry, the costly project to open a new field will lead to crop failure that hurt farmers and a greater risk of environmental damage,” CIPS researcher Felipa Ann Amanta was quoted as saying in a statement released on Tuesday.Topics : The data clash with the Agriculture Ministry’s claims that stockpiles, especially of Indonesia’s 11 key commodities, are “safe” and sufficient to meet nationwide demand during the annual peak consumption season of Ramadan, which began on April 24.The Food Security Agency’s head of food availability and security, Andriko Noto Susanto, said Indonesia had recorded surpluses in the 11 key food commodities at the national level, and any shortages at the regional level were “a normal situation”.“That is because there are provinces that serve as production centers, and there are those that do not,” Andriko told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview on Wednesday. “Provinces not producing rice may record a short supply of rice.”The Home Ministry went as far as encouraging district heads to empower local communities across Indonesia’s regions to plant their own staple foods, especially those in territories facing shortage. The COVID-19 pandemic will disrupt food supply within the country and around the world, exacerbating the situation.last_img read more

Joe Biden makes first public appearance since March 15

first_imgJoe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, emerged from more than two months of seclusion Monday, wearing a black face mask during a visit to lay a wreath on the day the United States honors its war dead.Biden’s last public appearance was March 15 when he faced off against his former Democratic rival Bernie Sanders for a debate in a television studio held with no live audience.”It feels good to be out of my house,” said the 77-year-old, who has remained in isolation at his home in Wilmington, Delaware in keeping with recommended measures to protect the elderly and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Asked by a reporter if he had a message for the country, Biden’s reply was difficult to hear.”Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made. Never, ever, forget,” he said through his face mask.Trump and his wife Melania took part in a wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery, before travelling to Fort McHenry in Baltimore where the president delivered a speech in honor of America’s war dead — and paid tribute to the military men and women who “raced into danger” in battling the coronavirus pandemic.COVID-19 restrictions created big obstacles for Biden’s campaign, at a time when Trump enjoyed high visibility through near-daily White House pandemic briefings.Biden abruptly cancelled a rally in Ohio March 10, replacing it with a speech to a half empty hall in Philadelphia that evening, followed by a news conference at a Wilmington hotel March 12.Although he has celebrated primary victories while in confinement, he has been forced to conduct his campaign online for more than two months from a television studio installed in his basement. According to the candidate, he and his wife have left their home only for occasional walks or bike rides since mid-March.”Thank you for your service,” the former vice president said to a well-wisher after paying his respects at the Veterans Memorial Park in New Castle, Delaware.Biden wore a mask covering his mouth and nose for the brief ceremony, in contrast with his rival for the US presidency, Donald Trump, who has yet to wear a mask in public.Biden and his wife Jill placed a wreath of white flowers at the Delaware memorial park and observed a moment of silence during the brief ceremony before returning to their motorcade.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Husband of daycare owner named suspect in sexual assault of 5-year-old girl

first_img The case came to light after the 5-year-old girl’s recent behavior made her mother suspicious.”She cried a lot and refused to be taken to the daycare,” the mother, who refused to be identified, said on Sunday. “She often wakes up at night and screams.”The mother became more suspicious after finding wounds on the toddler’s stomach and genitals when giving her a bath.After her mother had persuaded her to tell her what had happened, the girl reportedly revealed that she had been sexually abused. “My daughter finally told me that she was abused four times by E. He gagged her and threatened her not to tell anyone,” she said.She then reported E to the police on Tuesday and had her daughter physically examined. “A physical examination found signs of sexual assault on my daughter,” she said.She claimed that, after the report, she had been contacted numerous times by E’s family wanting to give her money to settle the case out of court.”I don’t want to [settle the case out of court]. They said they wanted to meet me to give me money for my daughter’s treatment and as compensation, but I refused,” she said. “I want this case to be investigated thoroughly and the perpetrator brought to justice.”Apdilla said E was currently charged under Article 82 of Law No. 35/2014 on child protection, which carried a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of Rp 5 billion (US$355,899). (nal) Topics : A 45-year-old man from Samarinda, East Kalimantan, was arrested for alleged sexual assault against a 5-year-old girl at a daycare operated by his wife.Samarinda Police crime investigation head First Insp. Apdilla Dalimunthe said the police had conducted an initial investigation and named E as a suspect.”An initial investigation and [current] evidence have led to the suspect,” Apdilla said as reported by kompas.com.last_img read more

Netflix shares dive on profit miss despite user growth

first_imgRanks of paid memberships grew by 10.1 million to about 193 million total, but Netflix warned growth could cool since sheltering-in-place likely meant people rushed to join in the early months of the pandemic, as lockdowns began, instead of spreading out over the year. Shares quickly dove more than 10 percent in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures but regained a bit of the loss.Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives described the share stumble as a “near-term speed bump” due to overly exuberant expectations.”Streaming growth is seeing a bonanza in this COVID environment,” Ives said. Netflix shares dived on Thursday after the leading streaming entertainment service reported relatively flat quarterly profits despite rising subscriber numbers.Netflix reported a profit of US$720 million on revenue of $6.1 billion in the recently ended quarter, compared with $709 million profit on $5.8 billion in revenue during the first three months of the year.Wall Street analysts had expected stronger profit, especially as people who are hunkered down at home due to the coronavirus pandemic turn to the service for entertainment. Pandemic-related restrictions on moving about have speeded up a lifestyle shift from traditional television to streaming shows online, according to eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom.”Looking forward, even as lockdowns are relaxed and new competitors begin to scale their services, Netflix will extend its lead as the first stop for entertainment,” Haggstrom predicted.Netflix said in a letter to shareholders that while its slate of original shows for this year is on track, it is focused on safely getting production back up and running.”As the world slowly re-opens, our main business priority is to restart our productions safely and in a manner consistent with local health and safety standards to ensure that our members can enjoy a diverse range of high quality new content,” executives said in the letter.”There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and we’re adapting to local circumstances. Today, we’re slowly resuming productions in many parts of the world.”Two chiefsNetflix is facing increased competition from tech giants such as Apple and Amazon, along with entertainment titans including Disney, NBCUniversal, and WarnerMedia.Social media was also a threat.”In addition, TikTok’s growth is astounding, showing the fluidity of internet entertainment,” Netflix said in the letter.”Instead of worrying about all these competitors, we continue to stick to our strategy of trying to improve our service and content every quarter faster than our peers.”Netflix also announced some executive changes as part of a long-term succession plan.Chief content officer Ted Sarandos was appointed a co-chief executive and elected to a seat on the Netflix board, while Greg Peters will be chief operating officer as well as chief product officer.”In terms of the day-to-day running of Netflix, I do not expect much to change,” chief executive Reed Hastings said in a release detailing the executive changes.”So think of Ted’s well deserved promotion formalizing how we already run the business today.”Hastings added that while the moves were part of a “long process of succession planning,” he is committed to Netflix for the long term.”It will be great to have some help as we span the globe,” Hastings said during an earnings presentation.”To be totally clear, I’m in for a decade. As co-CEOs it is two of us full time; it is not a part time deal.”Netflix has invested billions of dollars in original content, as has streaming television rival Amazon, to win and keep subscribers in the increasingly competitive online entertainment market.The service has found success with series such as “Umbrella Academy” as well as game shows such as “Too Hot To Handle” along with its own films and reality television.”We want to have so many hits that you just come to Netflix and go hit-to-hit and never have to think of those other services,” Hastings said.Topics :last_img read more

US cabinet member meets Taiwan’s leader

first_imgA US cabinet member met Taiwan’s leader Monday during the highest level visit from the United States since it switched diplomatic recognition from the island to China in 1979, a trip that Beijing has condemned.Health Secretary Alex Azar is in Taipei for a three-day visit to promote shared democratic values and the island’s success in taming the coronavirus.His trip comes as relations between the United States and China are in tumult, with the two sides clashing over a wide range of trade, military and security issues, as well as the pandemic. China, which insists Taiwan is its own territory and vows to one day reclaim it, has described Azar’s visit as a threat to “peace and stability”.On Monday morning, Azar met President Tsai Ing-wen, who advocates the island being recognized as a sovereign nation and is loathed by China’s leaders.”Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent, democratic nature of Taiwan’s society and culture,” Azar told Tsai.Tsai thanked the US for supporting its bid to be part of the World Health Organization (WHO), a body Beijing keeps the island frozen out of.  “Political considerations should never take precedence over the rights to health,” Tsai said, calling Beijing’s refusal to let Taiwan join “highly regrettable”. Azar brushed off China’s criticism when asked about Beijing’s anger over his visit. “The message that I bring from the US government is one of reaffirming the deep partnership the United States has with Taiwan in terms of security, commerce, health care and shared common values of democracy, economic freedom and liberty,” he told reporters before his meeting with Tsai.Azar has previously been critical of Beijing’s response to the coronavirus, which began in central China, as well as the WHO.It was a theme he repeated on Monday.”[Taiwan] knew very early on… to not trust some of the assertions coming out of there (Beijing) or validation from the World Health Organization,” he said.As well as meeting Tsai, Azar will hold talks with his counterpart Chen Shih-chung and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. Testing China Taiwan has become a poster child for defeating the coronavirus thanks to a well-honed track and tracing program as well as firm border controls. Despite its proximity and economic links to China it has recorded fewer than 500 infections and seven deaths.In contrast the US has recorded the most deaths in the world with more than 160,000 fatalities.Critics have accused US President Donald Trump of ramping up criticism of China as a way to divert from growing public anger over his administration’s coronavirus response, especially as he fights for re-election in November. Washington remains the leading arms supplier to Taiwan but has historically been cautious in holding official contacts with it.Throughout the 1990s the United States sent trade officials to Taiwan with regularity. Douglas Paal, a former head of the American Institute in Taiwan, Washington’s de facto embassy, said the Trump administration was still paying heed to China’s red line — that no US official handling national security visit Taiwan.The difference this time, he said, is the context, with Azar travelling at a time when relations between Washington and Beijing have hit a new low.”Sending him to Taiwan shows respect for the old framework while putting a finger in China’s eye at the same time,” Paal said.”The fact that they didn’t choose to send a national security advisor or someone else suggests they are trying to come as close as possible to China’s red line but don’t want to cross it.”The last cabinet minister to visit Taiwan was in 2014 when the then head of the Environmental Protection Agency led a delegation.But Washington has billed Azar’s visit as the highest level trip made by a senior administration official since the diplomatic switch. Topics :last_img read more

Belarusian opposition leader flees abroad after bloody clashes

first_imgBelarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanouskaya said on Tuesday she had fled abroad for the sake of her children, after two nights of clashes following the contested re-election of strongman President Alexander Lukashenko.Tikhanouskaya, a 37-year-old former English teacher, emerged from obscurity to mount the biggest challenge in years to Lukashenko, taking her husband’s place in the campaign after he was jailed.”You know, I thought that this whole campaign really had hardened me and given me so much strength that I could handle anything,” she said, explaining her decision in a sombre video released on her husband’s YouTube channel. “And I know that many people will understand me, many will judge me and many will hate me. But, you know, God forbid being faced with such a choice the I was faced with,” she said.”So, people, take care please – no life is worth what is happening now. Children are the most important thing in our lives.”At least one person died as police clashed with protesters on Monday after the opposition accused Lukashenko of rigging the vote amid widespread criticism from Western leaders.Helmeted police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades and used batons to disperse thousands of people in Minsk in a second night of violence. Protesters set up barricades in several areas and threw petrol bombs.Local media reported clashes in other towns.In power for more than a quarter of a century, Lukashenko has compared the protesters to criminal gangs and dangerous revolutionaries with shadowy foreign backers.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the election was “not free and fair” and condemned “ongoing violence against protesters and the detention of opposition supporters”.Foreign observers have not judged an election to be free and fair in Belarus since 1995, and the run-up to this month’s vote saw authorities jail Lukashenko’s rivals and open criminal investigations of others who voiced opposition.Tikhanouskaya’s campaign rallies drew some of the biggest crowds since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. She was initially reluctant to stand, saying she had received an anonymous threat of having her children taken away.She had moved them abroad during the campaign.Her husband, Syarhei, had popularized a protest movement that compared Lukashenko to a cockroach character from a children’s fairytale. He was arrested in May.  Topics :center_img “But, probably, I’m still the weak woman I was in the first place. I have made a very difficult decision for myself.”Both she and the Belarusian authorities said she had not been forced to leave.There had been concern about Tikhanouskaya’s whereabouts after her campaign team said on Monday they had been unable to reach her by phone hours after she was known to have left a meeting with central election commission officials.By Tuesday morning she had joined her children in Lithuania. The state border committee later confirmed her departure.last_img read more

‘That’s for you, dad’: Alaphilippe takes Tour de France yellow

first_img‘It hurt’ No Frenchman has won the Tour de France since 1985.”I really wanted to try something and I had nothing to lose,” said Deceuninck-Quick Step’s leader.”It really hurt me, I was digging deep at the end there,” said Alaphilippe.”It’s a great pride and responsibility and I will defend this honor day by day, I won’t be giving it up tomorrow that’s for sure,” he promised.Jumbo-Visma may, however, be furious at the circumstances accompanying the win.Shortly after Alaphilippe’s attack, Team Ineos’ Michal Kwiatkowski somehow backed into Jumbo co-captain Tom Dumoulin and knocked him to the floor.The former Giro winner dusted himself off as Kwiatkowski apologized profusely, but the team was slow to react.The Dutch outfit had been leading the head of the peloton all day, but suddenly they slowed down and abandoned their pursuit of Alaphilippe, who had thSwiss Marc Hirschi and Yates for company on their tense 15-minute dash to the line where they never led by more than 30 seconds.Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates has recently signed for British team Ineos.He has a track record at the Tour after a fourth-place finish in 2016 when he won the best young rider white jersey.”In the end I was never going to win the sprint, but to come third on stage two, I’m pretty happy with that,” said Yates.Defending champion Egan Bernal of Colombia said he felt like the Tour was in full swing.”I’m happy to be racing like this, that was a real Tour stage and I really enjoyed it,” said the 23-year-old Ineos leader who had a slightly rusty build-up to the race.The man who started the day in yellow, Norway’s Alexander Kristoff, who won Saturday’s crash-marred opening stage, finished way off the pace as one of the heaviest set men in the peloton had to go over two category one mountains.He will, however, embark on Monday’s stage three in the green sprint jersey.”I didn’t want to hurt my chances of winning a sprint later in the tour by pushing too hard in the hills,” he explained.The climb was doubly difficult for several of the peloton, nursing nasty knocks from stage one.It looked like French contender Thibaut Pinot would withdraw at one stage before he rallied “hurting all over” to finish with the main pack.Monday’s stage three heads to Sisteron, a town of 8,000 that British sprinter Mark Cavendish will have fond memories of after a stage win in 2010.The 198km run into the Haute-Provence region via the Riviera backcountry and the wonderfully named ‘Valley de la Durance’ is tailor-made for a successful escape. A year after thrilling his home nation for a fortnight on last year’s Tour de France, a tearful Julian Alaphilippe produced an almost carbon-copy capture of a stage win Sunday to claim the overall leader’s yellow jersey once again.On the day’s final climb, Alaphilippe launched a blistering attack to clinch bonus seconds at the summit before a white-knuckle descent to the finish line in Nice also gave him bonus time.Alaphilippe, described by former winner Geraint Thomas during last year’s rampage as the “darling of France”, leads Britain’s Adam Yates, who accompanied him in his wild dash from distance, by just four seconds. Topics :center_img The main overall contenders are 17 seconds adrift.”I just wanted to dedicate this victory to my dad. It was important to me,” said a tearful Alaphilippe whose father Jo passed away in June.Former soldier Alaphilippe began punching towards the sky as he turned to see just how close behind him the onrushing peloton was to overtaking his escaping trio on the Promenade des Anglais finish line.The set-up of the second stage was eerily close to how Alaphilippe stole away from the peloton last year on day three to Epernay and eventually led the Tour for 14 days before wilting on the penultimate stage to finish fifth overall.last_img read more

Mask after mask, Osaka brings protest to international audience

first_imgShe had previously worn a mask honoring Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed by police officers who burst into her apartment in March, at her first-round match on Monday, and said she had seven different masks with her at the tournament.”When I heard about his story it was very hurtful,” Osaka later told reporters, when asked about McClain. In a lawsuit filed last month against the city of Aurora and its police, McClain’s family alleged he was tackled by police officers during an encounter despite presenting no physical threat.”I still don’t think his name is very put out there compared to, like, George Floyd or Breonna Taylor. For me, today was very special in the way that I wanted to represent him very well,” she said.The fourth-seeded Osaka, who has seen her platform grow with her success on the court, sent shockwaves through her sport when she announced last week that she would forego her Western & Southern Open semifinal in protest of police brutality and racial injustice in the United States.”I feel like the platform I have right now is something I used to take for granted,” she said. Topics : Naomi Osaka stepped into the Arthur Ashe Stadium wearing a mask that read “Elijah McClain” ahead of her second-round US Open victory on Wednesday, harnessing tennis’s global appeal in her fight for racial justice.The 22-year-old’s mask honored McClain, the 23-year-old Black man who died after a violent encounter with Aurora, Colorado, police officers in 2019.”I think tennis – people watch it all around the world,” she said in a televised interview after her match. “Things that we think [are] common names [are] probably not common overseas.”last_img read more

US has canceled more than 1,000 visas for Chinese nationals deemed security risks

first_imgWolf said the United States was also “preventing goods produced from slave labor from entering our markets, demanding that China respect the inherent dignity of each human being,” an apparent reference to alleged abuses of Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.A State Department spokeswoman said the visa action was being taken under a proclamation President Donald Trump announced on May 29 as part of the US response to China’s curbs on democracy in Hong Kong.”As of September 8, 2020, the Department has revoked more than 1,000 visas of PRC nationals who were found to be subject to Presidential Proclamation 10043 and therefore ineligible for a visa,” she said.She said the ineligible “high-risk graduate students and research scholars” represented “a small subset” of the Chinese coming to the United States to study and research and that legitimate students and scholars would continue to be welcomed. Topics : The United States has revoked visas for more than 1,000 Chinese nationals under a May 29 presidential proclamation to suspend entry from China of students and researchers deemed security risks, a State Department spokeswoman said on Wednesday.The acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, said earlier that Washington was blocking visas “for certain Chinese graduate students and researchers with ties to China’s military fusion strategy to prevent them from stealing and otherwise appropriating sensitive research.”In a speech, Wolf repeated US charges of unjust business practices and industrial espionage by China, including attempts to steal coronavirus research, and accused it of abusing student visas to exploit American academia.center_img China said in June it resolutely opposed any US move to restrict Chinese students from studying in the United States and urged Washington to do more to enhance mutual exchanges and understanding.Some 360,000 Chinese nationals study in the United States, bringing in significant revenue to US colleges, although the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the return to campus this autumn semester.Deteriorating relationsChina-US relations have sunk to historic lows with the world’s two biggest economies clashing over issues ranging from trade and human rights to Hong Kong and the coronavirus.Trump, who had touted friendly ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping as he sought to make good on promises to rebalance a massive trade deficit, has made getting tough on China a key part of his campaign for re-election on Nov. 3. He has accused his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, who leads in national opinion polls, of being soft toward Beijing.Earlier, some Chinese students enrolled in US universities said they received emailed notices on Wednesday from the US Embassy in Beijing or US consulates in China informing them their visas had been canceled.Over 60 students holding F-1 visas including postgraduates and undergraduates said in a WeChat chatroom that the notices stated they would have to apply for new visas if they wanted to travel to the United States.Many in the chatroom said they were majoring in subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Some said they were postgraduates who obtained bachelor’s degrees at Chinese universities with links to the People’s Liberation Army.A final year undergraduate student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was shocked to have received the notice.The only reason he could think of would be his previous experience at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), a Chinese university known for its defense and security technology research.”I studied at BUPT before year two, but I have no connections with that university since,” he told Reuters, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.In May, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that Washington was planning to cancel the visas of thousands of Chinese graduate students believed to have links to China’s military.last_img read more

‘The Jakarta Post’, ‘Kompas’ to participate in Google’s Subscription Lab

first_imgThe program – developed in collaboration with FTI Consulting and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) – is set to be held in October, starting with “virtual onsite sessions” in which the selected media companies will receive a business review, a subscription diagnostic and a capability assessment.In addition, the program will include a “publisher bootcamp”, scheduled for later this year, where the selected media companies will share their knowledge about the broader news ecosystem.Joon-Nie Lau, the director of WAN-IFRA in the Asia-Pacific region, said the first-ever GNI APAC Subscription Lab was “timely” considering that advertising revenue had plunged by as much as 70 percent for news publishers amid record online readership.“We hope that The Jakarta Post and the seven other selected publishers from five countries will be able to greatly benefit from this opportunity to refine and optimize their subscription plans for their readers and strengthen their business models for the sustainable, quality journalism that their readers expect from them,” Lau said in a statement. Rohan Tiwary, head of news and entertainment partnerships at Google APAC, said he expected the program to support more media companies during their transition to a subscription-based business model.The subscription-based model, he said, would help media organizations become more financially resilient as they weathered the decline in advertising resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.“We believe that news publishers, both large and small, need to find ways to gain revenue from their readers for a more sustainable business,” Rohan said in a statement.M. Taufiqurrahman, the deputy chief editor of the Post, conveyed his enthusiasm for the paper’s participation in the program, especially amid the wide-ranging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on many industries, including the media.“Our participation in the GNI APAC Subscription Lab will be crucial for the Post, especially in our effort to build a subscription-based media enterprise,” Taufiqurrahman said on Thursday.He added that although COVID-19 reporting had contributed to a significant spike in the Post’s user traffic, it had failed to contribute to the company’s revenue, given that advertisers refused to buy ad space on coronavirus-related news pages.“Many in the industry are waking up to the reality that subscription, just like in the old days of the media, is the most plausible way forward,” he said, adding that the Post was looking forward to learning from its regional peers about subscription-based models.Since its founding in 1983, the Post has been regarded as Indonesia’s leading English-language newspaper and online media outlet. Its award-winning reportage, which rarely shies away from sensitive issues such as human rights abuses, has informed the international community about social, cultural and political developments in the country for nearly four decades.In August, the Post won the 2020 Public Service Journalism Award from the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) for the #NamaBaikKampus (#CampusReputation) collaboration.The project, initiated in 2019 by the Post, Tirto.id, VICE Indonesia and BBC Indonesia, revealed sexual abuse allegations in higher educational institutions throughout Indonesia, based on the testimonies of 174 survivors from 79 state, private and religious universities.The Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI) also gave the 2020 Tasrif Award to the Post, Tirto and Jayapura-based publication Jubi for a joint investigation of an episode of deadly unrest in Wamena, Papua, that broke out on Sept. 23, 2019.The Post also won bronze at the 2020 IPMA in the “Best of National Newspapers” category for its April 18, 2019, edition, in which the story “Five More Years” was featured. The story chronicled incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s struggle for reelection in the 2019 presidential election.Kompas was established in 1965 by the late Jakob Oetama and Petrus Kanisius Ojong. A leading national newspaper, Kompas has since become synonymous with journalism in Indonesia.In 2017, Kompas launched Kompas.id – the online version of the daily newspaper – paving the way for the future of subscription-based digital media in Indonesia.Topics : Indonesian media outlets The Jakarta Post and Kompas have been selected to participate in the first Google News Initiative Asia-Pacific (GNI APAC) Subscription Lab alongside six other media companies in the region.Google Indonesia announced in a blog post on Thursday that the Post and Kompas would represent Indonesia in a four-month program that would seek to bolster media companies’ digital infrastructure to attract more subscriptions and reader engagement.The six other participating media organizations are BloombergQuint and The Hindu from India, the Southeast Asia Globe from Cambodia, Business Insider Japan, Malaysiakini from Malaysia, and Commonwealth Magazine from Taiwan.last_img read more

Billie Jean King honored in Fed Cup rebrand

first_img“The values she represents epitomize the ethos of a tournament that has evolved to become the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 116 nations entered in 2020. “The name change comes ahead of the first edition of the new finals week – delayed from 2020 – which will take place next year in Budapest, with 12 teams battling it out for the trophy.A prize money fund of $18 million will be paid out, the biggest for an annual women’s team competition and equivalent to the Davis Cup.”It’s really an honor and I’m very grateful,” said King, who won 10 Fed Cup titles as a player and captain. Billie Jean King’s trailblazing role in tennis is being recognized with the rebranding of the Fed Cup in her name, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Thursday.The announcement ties in with the 50th anniversary of King and eight other players, known as the “original nine”, breaking away from the tennis establishment to form their own circuit and leading to the foundation of the WTA.”A champion on the court and a pioneer off it, Billie Jean King is a global campaigner for equality who has dedicated her life to fighting discrimination in all its forms,” the ITF said in a statement. “It’s very exciting. I’m still not sure it’s true. Then my mind always turns to what I want to accomplish – let’s get going.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

Drug convicts transferred from Tangerang prison following escape

first_imgThe Law and Human Rights Ministry transferred dozens of drug convicts from the Tangerang penitentiary in Banten to other super maximum security prisons on Tuesday, following the escape of Chinese drug convict Cai Changpan last week.The spokesperson for the ministry’s Corrections Directorate General, Rika Aprianti, said in a statement that the transferred inmates were those serving long prison terms and life imprisonment as well as prisoners on death row.Thirty drug convicts were moved to the Batu penitentiary on Nusa Kambangan Island in Cilacap regency, Central Java. Meanwhile, some 30 other inmates, two of whom were convicted for violating general crimes, were transferred to Cilegon penitentiary in Banten. “This is the manifestation of our firm commitment to fighting drugs,” said Rika.Read also: Prison escapee dug tunnel for six months using stolen tools, police sayShe added the ministry had previously transferred around 300 drug convicts to Nusakambangan prison island.Cai, a Chinese national who also goes by the name of Cai Ji Fan, escaped from the Tangerang penitentiary on Sept. 14 at around 2:30 a.m. through a self-dug tunnel that was connected to a sewer outside the prison walls.The police suspected that the inmate dug the tunnel using stolen construction tools from the prison kitchen.Authorities formed a team to investigate the case and recapture the escaped convict, who was found guilty of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in 2017.Topics :last_img read more

Medan man sentenced to 18 months in prison for throwing Quran inside mosque

first_imgUdin was reading the Quran inside Al-Mashun Mosque in Medan while lying down on the floor on March 25. A woman passed by him and asked Udin to sit properly while reading the Quran. Read also: Indonesia condemns series of ‘provocative’ actions against Muslims in foreign countriesUdin reportedly asked the woman to pay him some money in exchange for complying with her request, to which the woman agreed. However, shortly after he sat up straight, Udin closed the Quran and threw the book before him and left the mosque afterward.The punishment handed down by the court on Monday was lighter than the prosecutor’s demand of two years’ imprisonment.Both the defendant and the prosecutor accepted the verdict. Earlier last month, the district court had also sentenced a Medan man identified as Doni Irawan Malay to three years in prison for having desecrated the Quran at a mosque earlier this year. The court also found him guilty of blasphemy. (dpk) A panel of judges at the Medan District Court in North Sumatra has sentenced a 44-year-old man to 18 months’ imprisonment after declaring him guilty of blasphemy for having thrown the Quran inside a mosque in the city.Presiding judge M. Ali Tarigan said the man, identified as M. Qadafi aka Udin, had violated Article 156 of the Criminal Code on religious defamation.”[We] sentence the defendant M. Qadafi to one year and six months’ imprisonment,” Ali read out the court’s verdict on Monday afternoon. Topics :last_img read more

Papaya, anyone? Govt urges SMEs to export food, beverages

first_imgThe government is urging small and medium enterprises (SME) to export food and beverage products that have gained popularity in overseas markets amid the slowdown in global trade due to the COVID-19 crisis.Victoria Simulangkit, the deputy of production and marketing at the Cooperatives and SME Ministry, said on Monday that products like carica (mountain papaya), tempeh chips, crabs and palm sugar appeared to catch buyers’ interest abroad.Producers of the products, most of which are based outside of Jakarta, have managed to penetrate foreign markets, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and China, according to Victoria. “Food and beverages is one of the sectors that see high demand both at home and abroad, because people need nutritional intake to maintain their immunity and thus stay healthy,” Victoria said in a virtual discussion on Monday.“SMEs’ products can become more than just raw materials for industries. SMEs can make products that catch market interest,” she added.Indonesia’s exports fell by 8.36 percent annually to US$13.07 billion in August, as the pandemic upended global demand, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data.The World Trade Organization (WTO) projects that the global trade volume will contract by anywhere between 13 percent and 32 percent this year.Meanwhile, despite accounting for roughly 60 percent of Indonesia’s economy, small businesses’ contribution to national exports is only around 14 percent, according to the ministry.To boost their exports, Indonesian small businesses should monitor recent trends among consumers in export destination countries, said Victoria.“We encourage SMEs to [learn] to read the food trends in the destination countries, like organic food. This provides an opportunity for Indonesian SMEs,” she said, adding that vegetarian and healthy instant food were also trending lately.Adhi Lukman, the chairman of Indonesian Food and Beverage Producers Association (Gapmmi), said small businesses still faced challenges in managing sanitation and food safety and were finding it difficult to adapt to customers’ needs during the pandemic.Some SMEs may not have the necessary facilities like equipment, tools and clean water resources, and may lack knowledge on the proper implementation of health protocol and social distancing, said Adhi.Read also: Concerns raised over safety, quality of food sold onlineFurthermore, to export their products, small businesses also needed assistance in the form of market intelligence related to regulations in the destination countries and information on trade exhibitions and competitors’ activities, Adhi added.“Many of our SMEs still lack knowledge, either on regulations, products or standards. Hence, sometimes their compliance with the regulation in the destination country is still far from what the destination country demands,” said Adhi.Indonesia’s overall exports of semi-processed and processed food reached $4.33 billion in the January–July period, marking an annual increase of 5.6 percent, according to Adhi, quoting data from BPS and the Trade Ministry.Topics :last_img read more