Category: zkkfqvlj

French sandwich firm targets London

first_imgFrench sandwich chain Pomme De Pain is set to expand into the UK in London later this month.British Baker’s sister publication M&C Report, published the news that the café could have secured a site in London’s West End.The company is owned by Neuhauser Group, and operates in 120 sites in France.Pomme De Pain claims to be a high-quality French fast food chain, whose strategy is to freshly prepare sandwiches to order and combine it with a unique ‘Parisien’ taste. The company is advertising in online job sites for an assistant manager at a London branch.The Soufflet Group acquired a majority stake in the Neuhauser Group earlier this year.Meanwhile, Pomme de Pain was previously owned by Elior, which developed its presence across a number of transport hubs, before it was acquired by the Neuhauser Group in 2012.last_img read more

Mike Gordon Curates Playlist Of Favorite Phish Jams From 2018 Summer Tour

first_imgPhish fans are known for debating the merits of certain jams over others ad nauseum, and aside from some uncommon exceptions, there is rarely a consensus about which songs were the best of a given run or tour. The closest one can usually get is to rank performances by preference, rather than objective greatness. Music—especially live, improvised music—is inherently subjective.While fans’ opinions about specific jams are like assholes (you know how the saying goes), the opinions that are of the most interest are the opinions of the band members themselves. Often times, fans don’t get to hear the band’s thoughts about their specific performances—particularly in 3.0, when Phish has adopted a hard-and-fast “No Analyze” rule, agreeing not to pick apart each others’ playing for the sake of their health and happiness as a group.Today, however, bassist Mike Gordon has shared a curated list of his six favorite numbers from the 2018 Summer Tour, giving fans a rare glimpse at Phish’s thoughts about Phish’s shows. As Gordon explains in a tweet, “I had journaled about some favorite Phish jams this summer and after re-listening I ended up with these six songs as faves… A feeling of effortless musical adventuring.”You can listen to Mike Gordon’s ‘Summer 2018 Faves’ playlist via the LivePhish app here. Spoiler alert: Mike liked the Alpharetta run just as much as you did. Check out the list of Mike’s selections below.Mike Gordon’s Summer 2018 Faves Playlist Tracklisting1. “Split Open And Melt” – 7/22/18 – The Gorge – George, WA2. “Carini” – 7/24/18 – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA3. “Ghost” – 8/3/18 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park – Alpharetta, GA4. “Blaze On” – 8/3/18 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park – Alpharetta, GA5. “Wolfman’s Brother” – 8/4/18 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park – Alpharetta, GA6. “Golden Age” – 8/5/18 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park – Alpharetta, GAView TracklistingPhish begins their 2018 Fall Tour on Tuesday, October 16th with their first of two nights at Albany, NY’s Times Union Center. For a full list of Phish’s upcoming tour dates, head over to the band’s website.last_img read more

Mike Smith recalls his road traveled, and outlines path ahead

first_imgA childhood forged in the Northeast’s Kittatinny Mountains put Michael D. Smith on the path to becoming the Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at Harvard. Deep in Stokes State Forest in New Jersey, Smith discovered a sense of independence and self-reliance that served him well in 11 years of navigating Harvard’s largest School.A member of the computer science faculty since 1992, Smith became dean of FAS at the invitation of President Drew Faust in 2007. He stepped down this month, succeeded by Claudine Gay. Smith, who is also the John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will return to teaching. As he prepared to depart the deanship, he sat down for an interview with the Gazette to discuss his life and tenure.Q&AMichael D. SmithGAZETTE: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?SMITH: A used-car salesman. I loved cars. I was a big Matchbox fan. Everything about cars was important to me. My parents had a good relationship with a car dealer where we lived, so I would go and hang out there and check out the cars. It looked like a cool job, you know, sitting around and playing with cars all day long. But it would have been a horrible professional choice for me. Selling people on stuff is not my idea of a good time. All the things that you really need to do well to succeed selling used cars, like being really talkative, I wasn’t very good at them. I was 7 or 8 when I figured out it wasn’t a good idea for me.GAZETTE: What do you remember most about growing up?SMITH: Both my parents were teachers, my father at Trenton State College, my mother in grade schools. We always had college kids in our house. And not just visiting, but living there. I’m pretty sure my parents made ends meet by renting out rooms in our house. We were always moving bedrooms around the house with whatever number of college kids there were living with us. I have memories of all of us being jammed into one side of the house on one floor, and then my brother and I eventually moved upstairs. It felt like being in a dorm before I ever went to college.GAZETTE: How big was the house?SMITH: We lived in a bunch of different houses, even built one of them. The first house we didn’t build. Then we bought the house next door, which was small, and my dad was constantly rebuilding it. Most of my life, I was living in houses that were never finished. Then we built one from scratch. A lot of weekends when my friends were out playing, I was building with my dad. He had me doing pretty much everything. It was a solar house. My dad was always ahead of his time. So maybe that’s what prepared me for renewing Harvard’s residential House system.GAZETTE: Anything else to share about growing up?SMITH: The other strong memory I have is of the programs my father used to run in the woods on weekends for inner-city kids. We’d go up to Stokes State Forest in northwest New Jersey. The kids were probably late high school, early college, but they looked extremely old and big to me. I was probably around 8 or 9. That’s where I learned to orienteer through the woods. Once my father knew I could get from point A to point B, and I wasn’t going to hurt myself too badly, I wandered all over the place. The college kids would all follow me through the woods because they could see “That little kid knows what he’s doing, let’s just follow him.” My wife and I have this joke that I get lost in Penn. Station because there are no trees. If I can see a tree, I’m fine.GAZETTE: What do you think was the most important lesson of your childhood?SMITH: It taught me a lot of independence, self-reliance. That you learn as you do. It doesn’t matter how big you are. I could do things those college kids couldn’t do. My parents never knew where I was. My mother would kick me out in the morning and say, “When I call you for dinner, you better be here.” Later, I’d hear her holler when it was time for dinner.GAZETTE: What’s the worst trouble you got into as a kid?SMITH: I wasn’t that bad. My brother, Andrew, was the troublemaker in the house. He was 19 months younger than me, but he was the first of us to swim competitively. We swam in a club in town and then at the YMCA. He was why I started swimming. When I first started, he was better than me, but then I began to catch up. We were very competitive. When I was at Stanford [getting my Ph.D.], he was at Syracuse.GAZETTE: Your brother died from cancer at a young age. Did you see the world differently after that?SMITH: I ended up going to a boarding school my senior year of high school, so I left home at 16 and didn’t see him much. I remember getting the phone call about his cancer. He came to live with us in California so he could get treatment out there, and he’d go back and forth to the East Coast. He died in 1991. I was 29. Now I ask myself why I didn’t spend more time with him. He was the better person. He made friends far easier than I did. He took more risks, had more fun. I named my son Andrew after him, but my kids never met him, and that’s such a loss for them and me. My son is a lot like my brother. There’s not a person my son couldn’t befriend and get to do something for him. Every time I turned around, he’d be wandering down the street, sitting on a bench talking to some complete stranger. He doesn’t follow the path, but he always finds a way to get where he wants to be. My daughter is very much like me, passionate about learning lots of different things. And now I have an 11-year-old stepson, and I’m really enjoying that. I have more time now to sit down and relax and enjoy the wonder of how kids can pick stuff up, and what interests him and what excites him.GAZETTE: What’s important to you?SMITH: Honesty. Straightforwardness with people. Empathy. I try to be understanding. I try to be forward-looking. Family is a big thing. And any job that I do, I want to leave it better than I found it. I also love working with students and with young people.GAZETTE: How did you get to computer science and engineering?SMITH: I went college thinking I was going to be a physicist. I liked science and math. Most kids who like science and math usually end up in something physical-sciences-related. But once I took my first college physics class, I realized I wasn’t a physicist. Then I took some engineering classes, and I realized I was a lot happier there. I could use math. I could use science. I could actually build things like a grown-up, and it just felt natural and easy. Today, I can go back and look at it and say, “And it has an impact on the world. As much as I like reading basic science, it’s important to me to be able to bring what I know, to learn something new, to make a difference, to solve a problem. It’s got to have a purpose.”GAZETTE: You started a business. Why?SMITH: There were two of us who really wanted to start it, two techies doing the usual thing, having some technology in search of a problem. We brought in a businessperson, but she was on the West Coast, so it really didn’t work. The whole thing crashed, of course, because funding completely dried up. When the dot-com bubble burst, nobody was funding anything. The other techie I started the company with left. I went out and found a real CEO, and it was just the two of us for a while. I self-funded the company for its first 15 to 16 months of existence. So it wasn’t very big because I couldn’t afford a lot. The funny part of it was that we were a technologist from Harvard and a CEO businessperson from MIT. Everybody told us we had it backward. I didn’t ever want to run it, so I was just hiring people to do so. And I was working there because I enjoyed what we were doing and I always told people that I had to hire good people because if the people weren’t fun to go and see, then I wouldn’t do it. We eventually sold the business.GAZETTE: What did you learn in the private sector?SMITH: I learned a lot about running organizations and how to make them operate better. That helped me when I became dean of the FAS.GAZETTE: You became dean as the 2008 economic crash put severe financial pressures on the entire University. Financial challenges have continued to be difficult. Are these the toughest challenges you’ve faced?SMITH: The financial stuff is all solvable. Sure, there were challenges in it — we had to fix all our budgets — but the bigger problem around money was the disconnect between our academic planning and the way we used our resources. I think we’ve fixed that.GAZETTE: What do you consider your most important accomplishments as dean?SMITH: I think we’ve done a lot with the tenure track, which is extremely important for us because we couldn’t compete the way we were doing it. The world’s vastly different. And if you look at the departments that have embraced these changes, they have fantastic people. We sent over so many cases this year for internal promotions where the person is clearly the leader in the area, doing wonderful work. And they love the teaching part of it as much as they love the research part of it. That had never been true before.GAZETTE: It’s now many years after you were captain of the Princeton varsity swim team as an undergraduate, but you still swim. Why?SMITH: I love the community. It’s a good group of people. And they don’t care who you are when you’re at the pool. They’ll give you the same amount of grief. They all know — well, not all of them, some of them are still not sure of the fact that I can get into any room and building down there. But they think I’m the one responsible for changing the soap dispensers and such. That’s the grief I get all the time. Why can’t I fix the parking problem? And so on. They still give me grief like they give anybody else.GAZETTE: What are you going to miss about being dean of the FAS?SMITH: You get to do amazing things. Where else could I go do a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier? Or travel to Chile and climb to the top of a mountain and look at the stars? Or visit an old missile silo and find in the bottom of the bunkers a whole vat of flesh-eating beetles because apparently those beetles are still the best way to get flesh off the skeletons our biologists want to study? I got to walk in a robotic exoskeleton suit and go up the towers at Harvard Forest. I went behind the scenes in China’s Forbidden City. You can do some of those things as an individual in a particular area, but you can’t do all of those things unless you’re in a chair like this. Every year I tried to do something different in some part of the FAS that I didn’t normally think about, just to experience it. I’m going to miss the alumni, too. I so much enjoyed getting to know so many and hopefully will continue to have contact with many of them. They’re just incredible people. They care so deeply about this place.GAZETTE: What are you looking forward to the most after closing the door here?SMITH: I’ve missed the teaching. So I’m looking forward to getting back into the classroom, and I’m looking forward to learning all this stuff I was able to see from a distance and say, “That’s really cool. I’d like to know more about that.” But then the next briefing memo came across my desk. So there are a lot of things I want to learn about. There’s a lot of interesting stuff happening in artificial intelligence. All my friends in computer architecture know about building architecture for all this AI processing. So I want to know a little bit more about that. But I’m more interested in connecting some of the stuff I knew and bringing a different view. There are so many more fields, like biology, that need computation. I’m not going to go back to doing the kind of research that I was doing before becoming dean. So I have more freedom. I’ve been away long enough that no one expects me to try to catch up. Those are the things I’m looking forward to when I close the door, I get to be an academic again. I probably won’t show up to too many faculty meetings.This interview was edited for length and clarity. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

East Africa facing massive swarms of locusts

first_img Researchers create natural insecticidal proteins to target resistant bugs Following the swarm Locust research leads to insights on human nutrition Debunking old hypotheses A plague of locusts has descended on East Africa, devouring crops, trees, and pasture as they move. The first generation, which emerged at the end of last year, numbered in the hundreds of billions. Left unchecked, locusts multiply by a factor of 20 per generation, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), meaning that the second generation that took flight in March and April numbered in the trillions. Now in July, a third generation is set to take off, paving the way for potentially calamitous food shortages in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Swarms can cover many square miles (sometimes areas as big as cities), move up to 100 miles a day, and eat their weight daily. Recently swarms have also emerged in India and Pakistan. Dino Martins is an entomologist, evolutionary biologist, and executive director of the Mpala Research Centre in northern Kenya, which is working to sequence the locust genome. Martins ’11 is a former doctoral researcher in the Naomi Pierce Lab in Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. The Gazette spoke to him about the current situation in East Africa, focusing on his native Kenya, where he currently lives.Q&ADino MartinsGAZETTE: Are swarms like this a regular occurrence in the region?MARTINS: The locusts are a really interesting phenomenon. We haven’t seen swarms of desert locusts in this part of the world for a long period of time. In fact, the last big swarms that we know of were in Kenya about 70 years ago, so it has come as a surprise to many people. It’s extremely alarming because of the devastation they can bring if left unchecked, especially to agricultural production.The first swarm appeared in Kenya on Dec. 30 and then they very, very quickly spread through the country. The reason for that is the wind patterns were helping them. What’s happening now is the winds have turned again. The southeast monsoons are blowing from the Indian Ocean onto Kenya and so the winds are blowing from the south and they’re carrying the locust swarms. Even though locusts can move large distances, they make use of the wind. They can’t fly against it very well, so the locusts are moving with the wind from where they were in the more central parts of Kenya further north into the border regions, with Somalia, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. We expect that to continue for a few months, but they have laid eggs, and the eggs are hatching, and they are breeding, leading to what’s believed to be potential third generation of locusts.Right now, there are bands of hoppers or nymphs — these are locusts in their immature stages — that are being observed in parts of northern Kenya and because the conditions are good, and there are rains going into the Horn of Africa, they will breed in other areas. Now, the question is: Will they be able to breed up enough to form even larger swarms? They might do that, and they might not. Right now, the prediction is that they will continue breeding and continue potentially increase in number.That’s really worrying because large parts of Kenya have very lush, fertile agricultural areas. We have in Kenya this amazing geography of hot-dry areas and then these highlands, which is where most of the population lives and most of our food is produced. Not just for Kenya either. We export food to lots of other parts of the world. Most of the places the locusts have bred right now are not agricultural. They’re either pastoral or have just been natural, wild areas that don’t have a lot of activity other than grazing by livestock and whatnot. The real concern is if they move south when the wind changes again and the locusts do move in large numbers into much higher agriculturally productive areas.GAZETTE: What happens then?MARTINS: It could be devastating if the swarms move into those areas. We will see bigger swarms affecting food security and moving through the landscape.,Overall the impact, so far at least, in Kenya has been fairly modest for now, but that doesn’t mean locally it hasn’t been dramatic. Locusts can eat their own weight each day. Grasshoppers and locusts, that’s really what they do, is they sit around and they eat. They can be voracious feeders. As an example, imagine a swarm of a million locusts. Say the weight of these locusts amounts to five million grams, which is like five tons of locusts. If they’re eating their weight every day that’s five tons of vegetation a day.Luckily, there is so much vegetation built across most of these areas that they’ve been in, that the feeding on vegetation hasn’t been as harmful or as damaging as it could have been. But when they land on some of these farms then the impact is very big because, obviously, if you’re growing a crop and it gets eaten up, that’s a big deal. That’s a livelihood possibly ruined.GAZETTE: How big are these swarms?MARTINS: Swarms can vary a lot in size. They could be anywhere from the size of a football field to covering many, many square miles. It is really a remarkable phenomenon when you get to swarms of that size. Historically, one of the largest swarms ever recorded was in Kenya, which covered 10,000 square kilometers. People who were alive back then tell these amazing stories of the sky going dark. At the beginning of this a few months ago, we were seeing some big swarms that were covering a few square miles.GAZETTE: About how many locusts are in those swarms?MARTINS: Trillions. In fact, trillions may even be a conservative figure because there’s no real way of measuring them across some of these landscapes. The air is just filled with them. They land on all the vegetation. When you’re in a swarm, especially if it’s just as they’re getting moving, it’s actually quite an incredible experience. You see, they change color when they’re young — they’re more pinkish and then as they mature they become yellow — so when they are flying around you at that stage, you have all these pink and yellow wings whirring around and a slightly nutty smell of the locusts surrounding you and lots of birds feeding on them.,GAZETTE: It sounds like you’re speaking from experience?MARTINS: I saw them when they came through Mpala a couple of months ago, and I went out and looked at some of the other swarms that passed nearby because this has not happened for so long. From a biologist perspective, this has been an amazing experience to go and see the power of an insect. We normally think of insects as things that we can step on. In this case, these insects are so many that you can really see where their power comes from. We talk about insects running the world. That’s totally true when you see a swarm of locusts.GAZETTE: How do swarms get to this size? Tell us a bit about them.MARTINS: Locusts are a creature that have been around for a long time, and they’re very much associated with the deserts of Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Horn of Africa region. Most of the time, these locusts just hang out in these areas, and they live normal lives. Occasionally, the conditions align that allow them to undergo this remarkable transformation from a solitary, nondescript creature into this amazing swarm with totally different sorts of behaviors, abilities to move over large distances, feed in in large numbers, and breed in large numbers.Basically, what happens is when the breeding conditions improve, they start laying more and more eggs in the sand. They like wet, sandy soil. What happened over the last few months leading up to the first swarms in December and at the beginning of this year was that we had an extraordinary amount of rainfall. Even in what was supposed to be our dry season, we were getting a lot of rain. So, all of these dry, arid areas, desert areas, and semi-desert areas were switched from totally dusty to being full of vegetation and grass so the locusts had a lot of places to lay eggs.Those eggs hatch and as the numbers increase, the density of them together, and the physical contact of them all together triggers an epigenetic switch that actually changes them from solitary animals to this gregarious creature. There’re all sorts of other cues that are involved, as well, but now the numbers start building up. Let’s say, for instance, you have 2,000 locusts. One thousand are males and 1,000 are females. If 1,000 females lay eggs and each female lays 100 eggs then that continues, then very quickly you end up with millions and billions and trillions.GAZETTE: What have been some of the responses to control these swarms?MARTINS: There are really only two forms of control. One is aerial spraying using planes or helicopters, but it’s very challenging logistically. These areas are huge, and the locusts could be breeding in places that people haven’t noticed because they aren’t as inhabited. The locusts are also moving into South Sudan and other parts of the Horn of Africa, which are politically unstable, so it’s very hard to go in there and do any control measures or even monitor. Another other option is to spray the hoppers. They can’t fly yet and they get sprayed either by hand or from vehicles or some other form. But as the number goes up, the more unfeasible it is. “We normally think of insects as things that we can step on. In this case, these insects are so many that you can really see where their power comes from.” New weapons against agricultural pests There’s also the natural response. My sense is that there are also a lot of natural things that are catching up with the locusts, whether that be predators, parasites, and things like that. It’s not like they just have a free-for-all; they do get eaten by birds and many other creatures as well. When they came through Mpala, for instance, I saw migrating European storks — the white storks — feeding on the locusts as they came through. That’d been one of the reasons I’ve been saying let’s spray more sensibly. If we do it badly, we could end up killing all this other biodiversity.GAZETTE: Tell us a bit about your own work with locusts?MARTINS: We’re working with a team of scientists from the Smithsonian, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and many others to see if we can sequence the locust genome. It’s never been fully sequenced. One remarkable thing about the locusts is they appear to have a very large genome. It’s more than double the size of the human genome, which is pretty amazing for an insect. There are many different aspects of locusts the genome could help us understand. We could get a better understanding of some of the physiology and biology. For example, it could help us understand the switch that occurs in them from being solitary to gregarious. There’s lots and lots of questions like that.My real interest in looking at the locusts is how are they part of the wider ecology and landscape and that question of how we respond to them. Right now, we use pesticides and chemicals to respond, as I said. We have to do that because there aren’t many other options, but I do have concerns about the chemicals being used. We want to come up with better ways of containing them using a bio-pesticide of pheromones or other substances, which has been very successful in a number of insect pests. That would all be informed by having a good genome available.GAZETTE: Has the pandemic hampered the response?MARTINS: It really is a double-edged, in fact, a triple-edged sword right now for many communities that don’t have a lot of resources, governments that are very stressed, and with the lack of ability to move around. The locusts control groups have been given some exemptions, so they are continuing with their responses despite the restrictions on movement. The government is aware that needs to continue.GAZETTE: Is there any long-term solution for these swarms?MARTINS:  I see the locust swarms as a message from nature. As terrifying and as dramatic as they are, there is a deeper message, and the message is that we are changing the environment. There’s no question about this, whether it’s through local environmental degradation, overgrazing, deforestation, or the expansion of deserts. You see, deserts are growing, and degraded land is growing across Africa. It’s huge for many different reasons, but the reasons I listed can combine to create ideal conditions for more and more locusts to breed. Climate change is a big factor because weather patterns change can bring much more rain, for instance. And who gets to win at that game? Well, the locusts. If we don’t address the deeper bigger issues, we are going to face even bigger problems.This interview was edited for clarity and length. Related Creation of big data tool leads to new ideas on form and function of insect eggslast_img read more

NY data show nursing home deaths undercounted by thousands

first_imgALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration confirmed Thursday that thousands more nursing home residents died of COVID-19 than the state’s official tallies had previously acknowledged. The surprise development, after months of the state refusing to divulge the true numbers, showed at least 12,743 long-term care residents died of the virus, far greater than the official tally of 8,505. The release came after a report by state Attorney General Letitia James found the death count could be off by 50% because New York is one of the only states to count just those who died on nursing home grounds.last_img read more

General Alvani Discusses Brazilian Air Force’s Actions in Brazil and Abroad

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo October 05, 2016 The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) actively participates in overseas peacekeeping missions, assisting victims and conducting search and rescue missions whenever disaster befalls the nation. It also often assists in related activities in neighboring countries.General Alvani Adao da Silva assumed the position of head of Strategic Affairs of the Joint Staff of the Brazilian Armed Forces on March 10th, 2015, and has received more than 18 awards in Brazil and abroad. He represented Brazil at the 2016 South American Defense Conference (SOUTHDEC), which dealt with the new roles of the military in South America.During the conference, which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay, from August 16th-19th, General Alvani spoke with Diálogo about the FAB’s activities in South America.Diálogo: The Brazilian Air Force actively participated in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) with an infantry battalion. Can you comment on FAB’s participation in this and other peacekeeping missions abroad?General Alvani Adao da Silva: The Brazilian Air Force has a constant presence of two flag officers in MINUSTAH’s General Staff. In 2010, five days after the earthquake, the FAB Field Hospital was set up in Port-au-Prince. After four months, the hospital, with the participation of 114 military personnel, had served 24,184 patients; performed 36,028 medical procedures (dental care, removal of stitches, dressings, etc.); had assisted in 200 deliveries and in 1,145 surgeries, and delivered about 460,000 medicines to patients. The following year, the Brazilian Air Force began deploying platoons to reinforce the security forces. In 2015, a total of 250 soldiers from eight platoons rotated between activities on the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince. FAB also provides MINUSTAH support with its aircraft. In 2014 alone, a total of 189 tons of cargo and 1,058 passengers were transported between Brazil and Haiti in FAB planes. At the time of the earthquake, in addition to the military personnel, support material, and the field hospital structure, FAB transported food, medicine, and water. Besides the presence in Haiti, FAB has a seat on the staff of the peace mission in the Ivory Coast and another in the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. There are also two observers in Western Sahara, one in Sudan and one in South Sudan. Between 1960 and 1964, the Air Force participated in the UN Emergency Force in Congo with planes and helicopters with a contingent of 179 military personnel.Diálogo: Another non-traditional role of the Brazilian Armed Forces, which is increasingly becoming more common, is assisting the Federal Police and other forces in the fight against drug trafficking. How does the Air Force participate in operations of this kind?Gen. Alvani: One way is through Operation Ágata, which has been going on since 2011 to curb crime in the border regions with the massive presence of the military and other Brazilian state agencies, not just the Federal Police. It is an interagency operation focused on curbing illegal activities such as the trafficking of arms, ammunition and explosives, environmental crimes, etc. The cooperation of the Brazilian Air Force with public security agencies also takes place in many other activities, such as the Guarantee of Law and Order missions, search and rescue situations, and also in coordinating intelligence.Diálogo: In addition to controlling airspace, could you give us other examples of FAB’s participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games?Gen. Alvani: FAB had a broad participation in the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. There were more than 11,000 servicemen responsible for managing air traffic control. The number includes servicemen working in the city of Rio de Janeiro and those who managed incoming flights from other parts of the country or abroad. The Air Traffic Management Center’s Master Command and Control Room, located in Rio de Janeiro, brought together representatives from several government agencies, such as the Department of Civil Aviation, the National Civil Aviation Agency, the Federal Police, Anvisa [Brazil’s Health Regulatory Agency], and airport concessionaires, among others. They worked 24 hours a day, sharing information about arrivals, movements and departure of officials, delegations and the viewing public. During the Olympics, the air traffic flow was smooth despite the enormous amount of traffic. The day after the closing ceremony recorded the largest number of air operations. Rio International Airport had 524 takeoffs and landings – 367 domestic and 157 international flights. The peak in air traffic took place between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 9 to 10 at night, with 33 air operations per hour. This increase was due to the heads of state, athletic delegations, Olympic families, and tourists returning to their countries. The airport also broke a record in passenger movement, with 85 million passengers, more than double the normal daily rate. During the 17 days of the Olympic Games, the host city airports recorded a close to 95 percent on-time flights. To execute these actions, the Brazilian Air Force received the support of fighter planes, helicopters, and radar aircraft. This concept and the military structure required to manage air traffic flow has already been adopted in major events hosted by Brazil. Finally, the Air Force had 39 athletes that made the Olympic team representing Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Four won medals: Sergeant Thiago Braz (gold medal in pole vault jumping), Sergeant Arthur Zanetti (silver medal in artistic gymnastics), Sergeant Arthur Nory (bronze medal in artistic gymnastics) and Sergeant Maicon Siqueira (bronze medal in taekwondo).Diálogo: At its core, FAB has a long tradition of participation in assistance activities for disaster relief/humanitarian assistance. Could you give us some recent examples of these activities? What kind of engagement does FAB have with the region and with the United States in terms of exchange of information, combined exercises, etc.?Gen. Alvani: The Brazilian Air Force conducts numerous humanitarian aid missions. The most frequent are the civic and social activities, that is, when the military provides services to the population. In 2015 alone, FAB health professionals served about 15,000 people in several regions of the country. Doctors and dentists have served in clinics in the areas of dermatology, gynecology, ENT, orthopedics, pediatrics, and dental care. These civic and social actions benefited residents of various localities. In Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais alone, the Brazilian Air Force Field Hospital assembled in partnership with the city government in April of this year, has treated 6,739 patients from the local population. They also distributed almost 24,000 medications. Seventy-four FAB health workers participated in this mission, including 43 doctors, 23  dentists, and eight pharmacists. Another highlight is the transportation of organs and tissues. Organ transportation missions have been taking place for years. Between 2013 and 2015, 68 organs were transported by FAB. In 2016, the number is closer to 46. It is also important to highlight other missions dedicated to transporting vaccines, sick and injured people, combating fire, and search and rescue after a disaster. FAB is also present at times of great disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, and droughts, both in Brazil and abroad. Since 2002, FAB has organized the CRUZEX exercise, which in its seven editions has included the participation of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, United States, France, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Also, there are air defense exercises to combat illegal activities in the border areas with Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. In conjunction with the United States, two important operations took place in 2015. A FAB medical officer embarked on the Norfolk-based Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort to assist in the humanitarian aid mission to Central America. In November, the UNITAS exercise included FAB exercises against the air wing embarked on the USS George Washington, in addition to the fleet of vessels from the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. Other activities included the humanitarian missions in other countries and combined exercises like PANAMAX, SALITRE, and FELINO.last_img read more

Flash Flood Watch in Effect as Downpours Soak LI

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Predictions of heavy downpours Tuesday have forecasters warning residents of possible flash flooding across Long Island, according to the National Weather Service.A flash flood watch is in effect through the afternoon, the Upton-based NWS said, adding that up to 2 inches of rain is likely to fall on LI as a system moves toward the region.And it may be a quick-hitting rain storm.Meteorologists said rainfall could occur over a short period of time at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour.The storm could produce flash flooding of small streams and in urban, low-lying and poor drainage areas, the NWS said.The system could also produce thunderstorms after 5 p.m. Tuesday, forecasters said.The forecast for the remainder of the week calls for sunny skies through Saturday.last_img read more

More Spring Snow on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Yep, we’re talking about snow.Long Islanders—bruised and battered from a hellish winter—woke up Saturday morning to snow flurries and unseasonably cool temperatures.The Island won’t see significant accumulation but there is potential for up to 3 inches in eastern Suffolk County; Nassau County could get an inch. “We do think the heaviest of the snow will be across eastern Long Island,” said Michael Silva, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Upton office. There’s likely to be very little accumulation on roadways, Silva said. The snow will continue through the afternoon. Perhaps more frustrating than the precipitation is the blast of cold air making its way to Long Island. The evening forecast calls for lows in the 20s, with wind chill values between 10 and 15 degrees. Forecasters are predicting sunny skies on Sunday with a high of 39. Warmer weather will rush in next week, with temperatures in the low 50s Monday through Wednesday.last_img read more

Flexibility in leadership

first_imgAs we approach fall 2020, the chance that you are still on track with your master plan that you started the year with is probably 0%. Heck for all of us, the plan we started the year with went out the window in March! This year reminds me of a quote from Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth!”If there is any trait of leadership that 2020 shows we need, it is flexibility. Quite often, things don’t go quite as planned. It is then that we need to see if we need to keep pushing forward on the same plan, modify the plan a bit, or scrap it totally.  John Boyd was a young airman flying F-86 Sabre fighters during the Korean War. He noticed that American pilots were downing Soviet MIG-18s with greater frequency than the Soviets were destroying U.S. fighters. Sometimes this differential was as much as 10 MIGs to every single F-86. This differential intrigued John as the MIGs were known to be technically superior to the F-86s in most categories and the fighter pilot training on both sides was similar.After the war, John continued to serve his country in the Pentagon. He studied this phenomenon and discovered there were two slight advantages the F-86 had. First, F-86s had a bubble canopy for the cockpit that allowed a larger field of vision than the MIG planes. Second, the F-86 had easier hydraulic controls; this allowed our pilots to not exert themselves physically when aiming guns at the enemy. These two combinations gave the Americans an incredible advantage.John continued to expand on these insights by crafting the OODA loop. OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. This is a program for leadership which after the last step is repeated. The first step is to Observe. This is taking account of circumstances, outside information, implicit guidance and control, and unfolding interaction with the environment. If the loop was completed in the past, then the results of those actions are reviewed. The pilot who is searching the skies, a quarterback viewing the defense at the line of scrimmage, or a leader assessing the market are all examples of this first step.The initial Observation leads to the next step which is Orient. This step mixes cultural traditions, heritage, past experiences, and new information together to analyze and synthesize the observation through these filters. Here think of the pilot moving into position behind the enemy, a quarterback dropping back for a pass, or the business leader getting ready to respond to various market segments.  After Orientation, the next step is to Decide. Decision uses what was learned in Observation and Orientation, under the governance of implicit and control, a decision is made. This decision is fed back to the original observation. At this point the pilot has the bogey in the crosshairs, the quarterback has spotted the receiver about to break open in the slot, or the business leader sees the unique ability to advertise to a particular market.The last step is to Act. After OOD, Action has feedback immediately with the observation when the action is executed and after the action occurs once unfolding interaction with the environment from which the action occurs. In this step the pilot has fired on the enemy, the pass is released from the quarterback’s hand or the advertising campaign has started.  The cycle repeats after Action. What impact has the Action had on the environment? What changed from the initial Observation? Was the information in your input correct? What are the next steps to re-orient your organization after the present action? Leaders who march at breakneck speed are able to process the loop quickly and turn it again and again throughout the OODA process. There is danger in stopping at various points in the loop and not moving forward. Too much observation can lead to analysis paralysis. Deciding, before orienting yourself to execute on the plan, can create a misfire. Failure to decide and act will never lead you to grow. Failure to observe the environment can cause you to think you are accomplishing great things, yet no one is following your lead.  What do you observe now in the economy in 2020? Some areas of the country, like my beloved South Dakota, are open with no restrictions from the state. Other areas remain shut down or in some stage of impaired liberty with rules imposed by governmental leaders. Prolonged shutdowns will have a devastating impact on commercial real estate and business.  You probably have moved some loans temporarily to interest only or skipped payments completely for a while. The nature of work is also changing as many jobs have moved to remote or distance work and may not move back to the office. Financial institutions have closed lobbies, and some have moved staff to remote working. Some of us have worked incredibly long hours to help supply business with the SBA’s PPP loans.Most CUs are flush with deposits. Investment options provide little yield. Lenders are hesitant to extend credit. They are under pressure to lower interest rates on existing credits, even those which would normally not qualify based upon the performance of the business. How we judged risk at the beginning of the year does not seem to apply to our current situation. Management and leadership skills of the borrower are of more importance today.  As we emerge from the pandemic, there are several ways we can position our CU better for success and as a valuable resource for your communities.How do we judge risk going forward? Have you placed extra funds into loan loss reserve for expected losses?Do you have the staff to adequately handle the complexities of problem loan workouts? Do you need to hire more people or seek contracted outside help?How will you find new, good relationships during this time? Good credits are available as other institutions are shut down for lending or are distracted with their own problems.How do you handle the pricing pressure from your borrowers and match this with their business performance?What can you do to gain better value from your outside credit risk review and asset-liability management? These are pushed by the examiners and most of them do not identify systemic strengths and weaknesses of the institution.  The five above do not make an exhaustive list, but are very key in a start for the decisions you need to act on. Then moving to the beginning of the OODA loop, continue to reassess the next plays necessary for continued success. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Phil Love Phil leads Pactola, a CUSO devoted to commercial and agricultural lending, participation management, credit administration support, lender education, and third-party loan review services.  He has over 35 years in the … Web: https://pactola.com Detailslast_img read more

Bahrain’s Prince Khalifa, world’s longest serving prime minister, dies

first_imgPrince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa had led Bahrain’s government since independence in 1971.- Advertisement –last_img