Press release: Trade Minister: there must be no end to our global trade ambitions

first_img YesHealth Group has proven that vertical farming is a profitable business that can create new jobs in a farming industry that is finding it increasingly challenging to attract young workers. The vertical farming industry in the United Kingdom is still developing; and this, together with attractive market conditions, makes the United Kingdom an obvious choice for YesHealth Group. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the British government for their support towards making this a reality. nearly 15,000 UK VAT-registered businesses now export goods to Australia, with UK goods exports at £8.6 billion in 2016 – up 3% on the previous year the UK is also one of Australia’s largest foreign investors, with the stock of UK FDI in Australia at £41 bilion, 45.3% higher than in 2015 In Taiwan, the minister will meet the President of YesHealth, which will over the next 2 years will see the company establish their first European base at York’s UK’s National Agri-Food Innovation Campus.Winston Tsai, President of YesHealth iFarm said: As UK athletes go for gold at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, our exporters are already on the medal table after landing contracts to get the games up and running. Global Britain has seen great success as our exports rise to £625 billion and our foreign direct investment is higher than ever before but there’s more that can be done to further strengthen our ties with both Australia and Taiwan. As an international economic department, we are supporting these efforts through tailored trade support in our Exporting and Invest in GREAT Britain campaigns. International Trade Minister Graham Stuart is encouraging British business to expand their reach as he attends the Commonwealth Games in Australia this week.The minister will meet with several UK companies that have already been using their cutting-edge capabilities to get the Games up and running, flying the flag for quality home grown products and challenge the idea that UK companies only benefit from trade with countries close to them in Europe.Companies which have won contracts to supply the games include Foamhand, an innovative crowd management company that uses giant foam hands to guide visitors in the right direction at major destinations, as well as Aggreko, a major Glaswegian power generation company providing electrical power at all 18 competition venues.The Commonwealth Games, (4 to 15 April) are set to be attended by more than 6,000 athletes representing 71 nations and territories in Gold Coast, and broadcast to a global audience of 1.5 billion people.The visit comes as more than 15,000 VAT-registered businesses now export goods to Australia, with UK-Australia trade at £13.1 billion in 2016 – a rise of more than 20% over the last 10 years, with the UK operating a trade surplus with the country.The minister will continue his trade tour in Taiwan where he will announce an £18 million Taiwanese investment into the UK from agritech company YesHealth Biotechnology. The business will set up its European base in York, providing local consumers with fresh and pesticide-free products.Minister for Investment, Graham Stuart said: total trade in goods and services (i.e. exports plus imports) between the UK and Germany was £124.2 billion in 2016, a 6.6% increase from 2015center_img Taiwan: the UK’s trading relationship with Taiwan also continues to flourish, now worth £5.4 billion – up 0.9% from 2015. The stock of UK FDI was at £3 billion in 2016, up 23.2% on 2015 A further £3.5 million investment will also be announced from Han Dian Foods to expand its UK manufacturing operation in London and meet increased demand. This will also see Han Dian launch a chain of takeaway restaurants across the UK.Mr Stuart’s visit comes ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the UK later this month. This will be the largest ever leaders’ summit in the UK, with 52 heads of state and thousands of businesses in attendance.The UK is committed to working with its allies at CHOGM, including Australia, to promote global free trade.Its trading relationship with both the Commonwealth and Australia continues to blossom – UK trade with the Commonwealth already stood at £94 billion in 2016.The minister will continue to Hamburg where he will meet UK businesses attending the Aircraft Interiors Expo.Further information:Australia: Germany:last_img read more

In painting others, Black artists discover a picture of self-care

first_imgThervil said it’s nice to see institutions like the Ed Portal experimenting with nontraditional digital platforms to help people to plug into the arts. She said her “Portraits in Pajamas” creates “an opportunity to hear directly from artists about how they are being impacted, as well as their practice, things they care a lot about, and things they are learning about.”Philana Brown, arts program coordinator at the Harvard Ed Portal, said it is important to think about how to connect its programs to the community they serve.“It’s wonderful being able to sit in a virtual living room with Chanel and Sabrina and see them coming together through art and creativity in response to COVID, isolation, and the racial justice movement with the premise of self-care,” she said. “It offers a different lens for the community to experience these really important issues.”This was the Ed Portal’s first foray into using a live social media platform. Eve Alpern, assistant director for arts programming, said the women’s messages are so of the moment that the Ed Portal wanted to ensure the community had a place to react, comment, question, and learn — viz., Instagram Live.“They both have such important voices, we’re delighted to have an event where we can join into their conversation in an authentic way, and connect their work into the Ed Portal platform,” she said. “I hope that we continue to dig deep, amplify, and double down on our commitment to supporting artists and our community.” Sometimes, in describing others, we instead show ourselves — and what it is we need. So it was with Chanel Thervil, a Boston-based Haitian American mixed-media artist and educator, who started “The Quarantine Self-Care Portrait Series” as a way to connect with other artists of color and encourage them to speak up for self-care, for themselves and for the Black community.Mental health maintenance is not a concept widely embraced in communities of color, and by artists in particular, Thervil said. For her, the textural portraits she developed for the series were not simply expressions of her artistic skills, but a coping mechanism as well.“As the world evolves, the way we care for ourselves needs to evolve too,” she said. “Every week feels different and you need different tools and support to make it through these difficult times, explicitly the management of everyday life.”“Fresh Breaths: A Portrait of Sabrina” captured Sabrina Dorsainvil, director of civic design for the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. It was unveiled online during “Portraits in Pajamas,” a playful yet poignant Instagram Live event put on by the Harvard Ed Portal on Sept. 25. In it, Thervil and Dorsainvil explore how artists of color in any media are navigating the new patterns of living the pandemic demands.The conversation between Thervil and Dorsainvil celebrated the place where community, art, and social justice meet. It was the first collaboration for the two artists, who during a Q&A with the online audience shared ways to process the day-to-day racial trauma that African Americans experience.,“So many Black and brown folks are being pressed with the question of our humanity being challenged, and it’s become really clear I haven’t done a good job prioritizing myself and trying to show up for myself,” Dorsainvil said. “I fell short of seeing myself as one of those people who needs to be cared for. This moment in time has created a sense of urgency around that.”Dorsainvil is an artist, designer, and illustrator whose work invites people to look inward and be tender with themselves. She said she believes that many people now feel disconnected socially, and can use this a moment to dig inside and express themselves through art.“One of the biggest fears I had early on in the pandemic, behind closed doors, was wondering how folks were really doing,” she said. “What is broken is often invisible, or different from reality, and folks may not have the words for it. Art creates the space to have critical conversations.”Chanel Thervil (top) speaks with Sabrina Dorsainvil on Instagram Live as part of her “Quarantine Self-Care Portrait Series.” Photo by Jeffrey Blackwell/Harvard UniversityOne of those conversations should address speaking up as a form of self-care, Thervil said. She said women of color are often too intimidated to ask for what they need or want, whether it be space for themselves or having their voices heard.“As a Black woman, it’s hard to feel confident enough to articulate what you need without a disclaimer, or an apology, or a justification about why it’s necessary,” she said. “I’ve been flexing more of that boundary muscle and creating space for things that I care about.”Unveiling her portrait of Dorsainvil — the fifth in her “Quarantine” series — was one of those things.“Let’s get close, let’s get intimate,” Thervil said as she zoomed in on the portrait. “Can we have a drumroll, please?”Dorsainvil said this was the first time she had been the subject of a portrait, and she was honored.“I love that she is able to visualize people and capture an interest that often doesn’t show up in day-to-day conversations,” she said. “There are always those other layers of identity we carry, and I’m floored by the women of color artists who are there having each other’s backs for each other.”“It feels good to be in community with another Black woman, to prioritize pleasure, and cheer each other on,” Thervil. “Sometimes you need reminders that there are still good things happening, people who are trying, and these conversations are a testament to that.” “I fell short of seeing myself as one of those people who needs to be cared for. This moment in time has created a sense of urgency around that.” — Sabrina Dorsainvil Creators hope academic and cultural artifacts lead to dialogue on racism and high COVID death rates Curating the experience of Black America in the age of pandemic The positive effects of optimism COVID-19 targets communities of color Study finds a host of health benefits accompany an optimistic attitude Related Harvard experts say pandemic exacerbates longstanding inequities in American society last_img read more

Future-Proof Storage Programs – Know the Facts!

first_imgWith our newly expanded Future-Proof Storage Loyalty Program (see blog) Dell EMC continues to raise the bar across the industry.  The Dell EMC Future-Proof Storage Loyalty Program gives customers additional peace of mind with guaranteed satisfaction and investment protection for future technology changes. This program not only provides longer coverage terms than other similar programs, it also has the fewest restrictions.  Quite simply, we believe it’s the best program in the industry and we aren’t done enhancing it yet!We encourage everyone reading this to fully examine similar competitive programs to ensure you really understand what you’re getting and how much you are paying for it.  Specifically, in recent years, Pure Storage has dramatically modified its “Evergreen Storage” program and many customers tell us they are not happy with what they’ve seen.To help you uncover the not-so-obvious details of some key elements of Pure Storage’s current Evergreen Storage program we’d like to provide some simple questions you can ask Pure Storage when reviewing their Evergreen Storage program.  Let’s focus on the three program benefits that require the higher priced Evergreen Gold subscription, and are not included in the Evergreen Silver subscription.Free Every ThreeUpgrade FlexCapacity ConsolidationFree Every Three – This is Pure’s Evergreen Gold offering that claims you get upgraded controllers for free every three years.Questions to ask:Do I really need to pay for six years of Evergreen Gold to receive the ‘free’ controllers? The first three years to be eligible and then I can get the new controllers when I renew for another three years?What will it really cost me (over six years of a Gold Subscription) to get the free controllers?How much am I really saving versus just buying new controllers at a negotiated discount?From what we’ve seen and heard from customers the six years of required Evergreen Gold more than pays for the two new controllers.  So, ‘Free Every Three’ is really just a ‘Pre-Pay’ program!  It’s a trade-in program you need to pre-pay for, even if you never use it.Upgrade Flex Controllers – This is Pure’s Evergreen Gold offering for upgrading your controllers before they are three years old.Questions to ask:Why am I forced to buy additional capacity (Upgrade Flex Bundles) in order to upgrade my controllers? What if I don’t need more capacity?How much would it cost to buy a whole new Flash Array system, with only the capacity I require, compared to using the Upgrade Flex program?Does an Upgrade Flex purchase reset my Free Every Three subscription? (e.g. – If I use Upgrade Flex after two years do I then need to pay for another three years of Evergreen Gold (five total) to get the Free Every Three controllers?)Upgrade Flex appears to force customers to buy additional capacity, at a significant price premium, if they want to upgrade their controllers within the three years of purchasing their FlashArray. Pure tries to make it sound attractive by highlighting that you get trade-in credits for your old controllers but look carefully at the price of the additional capacity you are forced to purchase in order to trade in your old controllers for new ones.  In total the customer ends up paying for all this to get the new controllers:An Evergreen Gold subscriptionHighly priced additional storage even if the customer doesn’t need itThe cost of the new controllers minus a trade-in credit for their current controllers (credit determined by Pure)Capacity Consolidation – This is Pure’s Evergreen Gold offering for trading in existing installed flash drives for newer higher capacity flash drives, or flash modules.Questions to ask:If 25% of the new capacity is the maximum trade-in credit I can get then what should I expect as the ‘normal’ trade in credit amount, and how is it calculated? How do I get the full 25% credit?How much of a premium am I going to pay for my new storage versus buying the extra capacity at time of original purchase?Due to the use of an Active-Passive (backend) controller architecture Pure’s FlashArray products have a limited amount of drives that can be installed without affecting overall performance, which limits their overall scalability.  To overcome this they need a program (Capacity Consolidation) that allows customers to swap in newer higher capacity drives for older smaller capacity drives.  Unfortunately for Pure’s customers, like all the Evergreen Gold specific features, this comes at a price premium.In contrast to Pure’s Evergreen Storage program, now a profit center for Pure, Dell EMC offers our recently expanded and enhanced Future-Proof Storage Loyalty Program to provide customers with the peace of mind and investment protection they need to make educated decisions today.  There are no hidden fees additional purchases required to take advantage of the benefits!Dell EMC’s Future-Proof Storage Loyalty Program is comprised of seven industry-leading benefits:3 Year Satisfaction Guarantee – All products in the program now carry a 3-Year Satisfaction Guarantee4:1 Storage Efficiency Guarantee – by following Dell EMC’s recommended and straightforward best practices you will get effective logical storage capacity of at least 4X your purchased physical capacity. And there are no complex pre-assessments requiredNever-Worry Data Migrations – leverage seamless upgrades and built-in data migration technology, so it’s always easy to upgrade and/or migrate your data without disruption to the businessHardware Investment Protection – you can trade-in Dell EMC or even competitive systems for credit towards next gen Dell EMC storage or HCI product offeringsAll-Inclusive Software – with Dell EMC Storage you will have everything you need to store and manage your data included with product purchaseBuilt-in Virtustream Storage Cloud – Dell EMC Unity All-Flash customers immediately get the benefit of a built-in hybrid cloud with one year free Virtustream capacity. You get 20% of your  purchased storage capacity free for a year, that’s like getting 20% more storage for freeNew! Clear Price – Consistent and predictable support pricing and services for all your Dell EMC storage and data protection appliancesNewly Expanded!Our Future-Proof program now also includes our Storage and Data Protection platforms!Click HERE for details on the Dell EMC Future-Proof Storage Loyalty ProgramSee what Analysts are already saying about the Future-Proof program here._______________________________________________________________________ Satisfaction Guarantee: Requires purchase of our standard 3-year ProSupport agreement. Compliance is based on product specifications. Any refund will be prorated.Hardware Investment Protection: Trade-In value determined based on market conditions at Dell EMC’s sole discretion.4:1 Storage Efficiency Guarantee: Requires customer signature and purchase of ProSupport with Mission Critical.Never-Worry Migrations: Does not include data transfer services. Customer responsible for ensuring data is backed-up.Built-in Virtustream Storage Cloud: Benefit available only with Dell EMC Unity purchase; Free capacity is limited to 20% of purchased storage capacity.All-Inclusive Software: Includes select software needed to store and manage data.TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY. Valid only on direct purchases or through participating Channel Partners who offer reciprocal program benefits to their customers. See your Dell EMC sales representative or Channel Partner for details.last_img read more

Governor Shumlin announces the Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group, Inc

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin today announced his support for the Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group (VLTDRG), a body that is central to long term recovery efforts relating to natural disasters in Vermont. The Group is responsible for providing financial and resource-based needs to individuals who need assistance beyond what Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or insurance companies can provide through in-kind donations, volunteer resources and the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.   ‘This is the only statewide non-profit exclusively dedicated to disaster relief,’ said Governor Shumlin. ‘The Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group will help to fill the gap for individuals who need the most help rebuilding their lives.’ The Group evolved from a coalition of Vermont public, private and non-profit sector organizations that first convened in the spring of 2011 for the purpose of establishing an ongoing framework for providing long term disaster relief for Vermonters. That coalition, known as Vermont Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) included, among others, the United Ways of Vermont, Inc, Vermont Emergency Management (VEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group consists of three appointees by the governor and three appointees by Vermont Organizations Active in Disaster.  The six appointees will elect three additional board members at-large. The Board includes an experienced economic advisor, a state representative, a nationally recognized journalist, a natural disaster recovery expert, a volunteer firefighter and pastor, and an advocate in case management. They are: Chairman David Coates of Colchester. Coates will chair the Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group and is a Governor’s appointee. Coates is a Director of National Life Group and was elected to the Board in 1993. He is a retired managing partner of KPMG’s Burlington, Vermont, office. Coates is a Director of Green Mountain Power Corp., A.N. Deringer, Inc., Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company Advisory Committee, Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO), and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC). He was elected as the Vermont Chamber’s Citizen of the Year in August of 2003. He is a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, the Vermont Debt Affordability Advisory Committee, the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank and the American Institute of CPAs. Vice-Chair Bill Elwell of Bristol. Elwell will vice-chair the Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group. Elwell is a United Methodist Pastor serving in Bristol/Monkton. He served as Chair of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Elwell has served as a volunteer firefighter, including as a Chief, for 26 years in North Bennington and Bristol. He currently serves as the Chaplain of the Vermont State Firefighters Association. Chris Graff of Montpelier. Graff is a vice president of National Life Group and was appointed to the VLTDRG by the Governor. He is a former journalist with The Associated Press and the author of Dateline Vermont, a memoir of his 30 years in journalism. For 15 years, Chris hosted Vermont This Week, a public affairs program on Vermont Public Television. He is a contributing editor of Vermont Business Magazine, a trustee of Vermont College of Fine Arts and a director of the Vermont Historical Society. He served on the Council on the Future of Vermont and the Commission on the Future of Vermont’s Justice System. He is a resident of Montpelier. Ann Manwaring of Wilmington. Manwaring is a Vermont State Representative in Windham County, District 2 and was appointed to the VLTDRG by the Governor. She is a retired small business owner who founded and ran a small business for 23 years which emphasized family friendly policies. She was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio (B.A. Economics, 1962); Marlboro college Tech Center, Brattleboro, VT (M.S. in Internet Strategy, 2001). Affiliations: Select person, Wilmington, 12 years, Chair, 3 years; Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Board member, 9 years, President, 1 year; Wilmington budget Committee; Wilmington Planning Commission, Windham Regional Commission, Wilmington Charter Committee, Chair; Facilities Committee, Twin Valley Schools, Chair (Merged middle and high schools of Wilmington and Whitingham); Brattleboro Area Community Land Trust, Board Member; Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, Board member. Member of the House: 2007-2012. Laurie Hurdle of Washington. Hurdle is member of the VOAD coalition, representing the Southern Baptist Convention.  Through Vermont’s spring and summer flooding disasters, she has focused on managing the logistics of housing and feeding volunteers. Mary Ellen Mendl of Colchester. Mendl is currently executive director of Vermont ‘ 211, a United Way project, and serves as vice-chair of the Vermont VOAD.  By virtue of her role in the United Way, she has substantial knowledge of Vermont’s non-profit service providers, and has served as a communications hub between and among agencies.  She was instrumental in the establishment of the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund, which is the fund to support the VLTRG’s work.  ‘With the knowledge that climate change has caused two natural disasters in the past nine months, we need to use this as an example and be prepared for Vermont’s future,’ said Governor Shumlin. ‘This collaboration brings together on-the-ground experience with an administrative and fundraising team that will address disaster survivors growing needs throughout the entire recovery process.’ The Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group has already begun to work on disaster recovery efforts.  Through the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund the VLTDRG has raised 1.3 million dollars.  Vermonters can donate to this effort through the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-VERMONT or by going to is external).last_img read more

Brazilian and U.S. Armies Reinforce Exchange

first_imgBy Taciana Moury/Diálogo September 13, 2017 Muito importante estes exercicios e a união das forças militares Brasil/Estados Unidos, principalmente neste momento que assistimos o crescimento do comunismo nas Américas. Temos que deter esse avanço dos comunistas e ser mais rígidos no controle de imigrantes nas 3 Américas. The Brazilian Army (EB, per its Portuguese acronym) signed a five-year exchange agreement with the United States Ground Force. The quinquennial plan, drafted through the Bilateral Staff Talks (CBEM, per its Portuguese acronym), established the activities between the two armies during this period. The agreement was established at the end of 2016 and will end with joint participation in Operation Culminating, expected to take place on U.S. soil in 2020, with a post-operation analysis in 2021. According to reports from the Brazilian Army’s Social Communication Center (CCOMSEx), CBEMs are military diplomacy tools for the alliance between partner nations. “International understandings and commitments support the geopolitical needs of both countries’ interests,” CCOMSEx explained to Diálogo. Major General Clarence K.K. Chinn, the commander of U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH), was in Brazil in March and expressed interest in expanding military cooperation between the Brazilian and U.S. armies, and emphasized the value of working together. “It’s an opportunity for us to learn about the Brazilian Army. However, the most important thing is the partnership. We have been partners since the Second World War, so it is an honor to hear the great things that Brazil has done regarding the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti and the important work it carried out during the World Cup and the Olympics,” Maj. Gen. Chinn stated, according to the EB website. During Maj. Gen. Chinn’s visit, Lieutenant General William Georges Felippe Abrahão, EB’s fifth deputy Chief of Staff, highlighted the importance of the visit, and said that “the presence of the ARSOUTH commander in Brazil is a great opportunity to increase integration and coordination among military land forces.” According to reports from CCOMSEx, exchanges are already taking place. “Some examples include the combined operations Culminating, PANAMAX, and AMAZONLOG, the last of which is a large logistical exercise that will be conducted by EB. AMAZONLOG will take place in November in Tabatinga, in the state of Amazonas, and at least 10 countries – including the United States – will participate,” the CCOMSEX report stated. EB also stated that the institution has achieved a level of capability recognized internationally as a modern military force capable of carrying out substantial responsibilities and of eliciting the interest of other countries. “The partnership between Brazil and the United States shows the U.S. Army’s confidence in, and respect for, EB and indicates a trend of expanding new agreements for multidisciplinary military cooperation with future participation in other combined exercises.” Multinational PANAMAX exercise initiated the exchange The partnership between the two armies began with the Multinational PANAMAX Exercise, held August 12th to 16th. According to information from CCOMSEx, 14 EB service personnel participated in the operation, which aimed to simulate a protection scheme for the Panama Canal. The operation was created 14 years ago by U.S. Southern Command, and the governments of Panama and Chile. The exercise includes 25 countries on the American and European continents and focuses on the security of the Panama Canal and its surrounding areas. “During the operation, joint, combined, and interagency operations are conducted, with the end goal of ensuring that an integrated response to a variety of transnational threats is in place. PANAMAX is recognized as the largest war simulation exercise in the South Atlantic and the Caribbean,” CCOMSEx said in a statement. In 2018, Brazilian participation in the operation will be expanded, CCOMSEx explained. “For the first time, maneuvers will be performed in Brazilian territory by the Ground Forces Coalition Component Command, and we intend to keep the participation of two generals but expand the 14-soldier force to 20,” it stated. Operation Culminating will involve 470 Brazilian service personnel Following the conclusion of PANAMAX, the preparation period for the combined exercise between the EB and the U.S. Army, called Operation Culminating, is set to begin. It will be conducted by a U.S. Army brigade at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Fort Polk, Louisiana, in the second half of 2020. The exercise will symbolize the end of the five-year exchange plan between the two armies. According to CCOMSEx, special preparations will be underway in the next few years ahead of Culminating, such as training of observer, controller, and assessor (OCA, per its Portuguese acronym) officers and sergeants and specific training for troops. In September, Brazilian soldiers will travel to Fort Polk for the Fourth Coordination Meeting at JRTC. The goal will be to spell out the assessment process and Operation Culminating’s logistical and preparatory challenges. The Brazilian troops that will participate in Operation Culminating will consist of personnel from the 12th Light Infantry Brigade and from the Paratrooper Infantry Brigade. In addition, an OCA team and liaison officer team from the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, will also participate. The third company will be a U.S. Army infantry subunit. The exercise will bring together approximately 470 Brazilian soldiers. According to information from CCOMSEx, it will be the most complex exercise with EB participation in U.S. territory. For EB, Culminating is an unparalleled opportunity to foster closer cooperation and to exchange theories. Furthermore, the institution emphasizes the operational importance of JRTC, a main training center for active and reserve U.S. military forces. “It’s the place where troops are trained, including the Marine Corps, the Army, special police and national security services, and even Special Forces,” CCOMSEx explained to Diálogo. Fort Polk has a large number of sensors and the capability of monitoring all stages of training, as well as specific equipment for actions and challenges that a military force could encounter during a real deployment. “The goal is to push and test the troops to the max, exposing them to continuous physical and mental pressure with constant changes in the operating environment,” according to the information. Benefits of the partnership For EB, combined operations are excellent vehicles for disseminating professional skills to the members of the ground force, in addition to being a transparent exercise in Brazilian military diplomacy. These activities also combine to strengthen hemispheric security, which is one of the primary objectives of the Brazilian Military Defense Policy. “Brazilian and U.S. service personnel can expand partnerships for exchanging defense products from both armies and for planning and executing maneuvers in the areas of logistics, intelligence, communications, cybernetics, and command and control,” said CCOMSEx. One of the benefits of the combined exercises is the ability to train the EB to send an expeditionary force during a joint operation, something which requires an extraordinary effort from ground forces that use practically all their combat functions. Another advantage is the exchange of knowledge, which contributes to the refinement of theory and thereby to EB’s capacity for interoperability while carrying out its missions. It is advantageous for the experiences lived by officials and soldiers while undertaking their operational, technical, and tactical activities to be captured, not only in the preparation but also in the use of these operations and that the rest of the members of the ground force acquire the knowledge,” CCOMSEx stated.last_img read more

Russia Attempts to Save Chavist Regime to Recover Investments

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo March 15, 2019 Russia risks losing its political and economic investments in Venezuela for supporting Nicolás Maduro’s regime. In the face of an imminent change of government in Venezuela, Moscow hedges its bets on different fronts to back up the Chavist leader, recover its decision-making influence in Caracas, and save whatever it can. “The Russian government is aware that Russian investments are at stake if its strategic partner is overthrown,” Yadira Gálvez, a defense and security specialist and professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told Diálogo. Within this context, a Boeing 777 belonging to Russia’s Nordwind Airlines landed for the second time at La Guaira Airport in Caracas on January 28, 2019. What it brought and what it left with three days later is unknown. “A plane arrived from Moscow with the intent to take at least 20 tons of gold,” Venezuelan National Assembly member José Guerra told the press. “We urge the Central Bank of Venezuela to provide details of the situation. That gold belongs to the Venezuelan people.” Russian authorities said through state press agencies that they had “no information” about the “presumed flight.” The same cargo aircraft landed next to the presidential hangar at the same airport on December 3, 2018, when Maduro traveled to Moscow to strengthen strategic relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The Russian flights are a provocation,” said Juan Belikow, a professor of International Relations at the University of Buenos Aires. “This confirms Russia’s support for Maduro,” he told Diálogo. “The Russian aircraft’s visit coincides with sanctions the U.S. government imposed on state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. [PDVSA, owner of Citgo gas stations],” Gálvez said. “So far, this is one of the strongest measures against Maduro’s regime, which is under increasing pressure. PDVSA is the largest source of revenue in Venezuela.” Putin and Maduro labeled these actions as illegal. Days later, on December 10, Russia sent two bombers from its Air Force to Venezuela to display its military power. “Maduro clings to Moscow to remain in power, and Putin clings to Caracas because it’s part of his political and personal plan for global projection in the new international scene,” Gálvez said. Country at risk In 1999, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez declared before Congress that lack of investment in public services was pushing the country into a state of emergency, and recommended obtaining loans for strategic infrastructure. In 2005, Venezuela owed $45 billion to China. Russia took advantage of the situation to offer money in exchange for oil. The loans were used for purposes other than those initially stipulated, including excessive militarization, while national infrastructure continued to deteriorate. For example, the power outages that started on March 7, 2019, and affected most of the country are a result of deteriorated and obsolete electric networks and equipment, as well as lack of maintenance as workers lost their jobs for protesting against Maduro. “These power outages caused the deaths of at least 17 people who received medical care in hospitals,” said Juan Guaidó, Venezuela’s interim president, on March 10. Conditional support According to Belikow and Gálvez, Russia earmarked billions of dollars to support the Chavist regime, from increasing oil and mining production to granting loans to buy weapons. In January 2019, Russian Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov told the press that Venezuela needed to pay at least $100 million by late March, so as not to default on its $3.15 billion debt with Russia. This debt was incurred in November 2017, backed by 51 percent of Citgo’s shares. Russian company Rosneft holds 49 percent of the shares, according to its website. The terms in the agreement said the loan should be paid in 10 years at most. Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told the press that so far no payments were delayed, but did not rule out a potential missed payment due to the political crisis in the country. “There may be problems. It all depends on the Army, the military, how obedient they will be,” he said without clarifying what sanctions Russia might impose or what type of allegiance would be required of the military. Weapons in exchange for oil In January 2018, Putin expressed interest in equipping the South American country with new weapons. According to a report on Weapons Systems and Military Equipment Acquisition from the Civil Association Citizens’ Control of Venezuela, the country is the top Russian weapons importer in Latin America. “Russia runs the risk of not getting paid for weapons it sold unnecessarily to support a questionable regime,” Belikow said. “As long as it continues to support an illegitimate, even criminal, regime, it runs the risk of losing all its investments.” Beyond the political claims in support of the Chavist regime, as well as its display of military power, Russia tries to secure its position for fear of losing its investments. “Putin will keep his promise of doing whatever it takes to defend Maduro’s regime, except militarily,” Gálvez said. “But Russia knows that its strategy is limited,” Belikow added.last_img read more

Medieval knights’ tournament in Papuk Nature Park

first_imgDuring the medieval fairy tale on Jankovac in Slatinski Drenovac, the PReKUL festival was held, ie the “Battle for the Klak Fortress”. Klak is located at 305 meters above sea level and dominantly rises above the place Slatinski Drenovac. The medieval battle took place at the foot of the Drenovac Klak. The Order of the Knights of the Rose City evoked the Middle Ages, the sound of swords and the spirit of chivalry. An archery tournament took place at the same place. The organizers of the event, the Papuk Nature Park, the Tourist Board of Čačinci, the Order of the Knights of Ružica and the Croatian Forests this year, the weather forecast was particularly favorable, so the knights’ tournament came as a crown at the end of the record tourist season. The traditional Medieval Knights’ Tournament gathered a record number of visitors from all over Croatia and the world. Thus, visitors from Hungary, Slovenia, Germany, the Netherlands and even the USA could meet by walking through this Slavonian pearl. last_img read more

It’s All About the “Drop” in Pennsylvania for New Year’s Eve

first_imgLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: By: Carrie Lepore, Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary of Marketing, Tourism, and Film Holidays,  The Blog Three! Two! One! Happy New Year! There’s no better place to Pursue Your Happiness in 2017 than Pennsylvania and we’re proud of the reputation our state holds for hosting more unique drops than any other state. From the iconic Marshmallow Peep® in Bethlehem to a pickle in Dillsburg, we encourage all Happy Travelers to celebrate December 31 at any one of the many memorable places that are only be available in Pennsylvania this New Year’s Eve.Recycled Ball, Pittsburgh, Allegheny CountyJoin the city of Pittsburgh for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2017 as it ushers in the New Year with a ball raise minutes before midnight, followed by a spectacular fireworks show. The “Future of Pittsburgh” ball is a 1,000-pound, illuminated orb made entirely of recycled materials, symbolizing Pittsburgh’s continuous efforts to be a “green” city. A kickoff celebration for the New Year’s festivities begins at 6 p.m., followed by the FedEx Ground Parade at 8 p.m., accompanied by ongoing comedic, musical, and theatre performances throughout the evening.Mushroom, Kennett Square, Chester CountyBring in the New Year at the “Mushroom Capital of the World,” Kennett Square. For the fourth time ever, a 700-pound stainless steel mushroom will be lowered to count down the New Year as a nod to the town’s acres of fungus fields. The Midnight in the Square event will feature music, food and entertainment and will culminate with the mushroom drop at midnight.Button, Carlisle, Cumberland CountyCarlisle celebrates New Year’s Eve by encouraging visitors and residents to design a button that will be dropped at the annual First Night Carlisle event. The final result is a 50-pound, aluminum-framed button that is accented with LED lights. Over 140 children entered the 2016 Button Contest, and the winning theme was “No Place Like Home.” Beginning at 5 p.m., the First Night Carlisle celebration will include live music performances and art exhibits, and it will close with a fantastic fireworks display.Wrench, Mechanicsburg, Cumberland CountyThe town of Mechanicsburg celebrates the New Year from 9:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with the annual dropping of a wrench on Main Street. The tradition commemorates the borough’s founders — mechanics who settled in the area to make and repair wagons in the early 19th century.Hershey’s Kiss, Hershey, Dauphin CountyBegin the New Year at the “Sweetest Place on Earth!®” The Hershey’s Kiss Raise is ranked second by USA Today Travel for great places for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve. This well-known chocolate town pulls out all the stops for its New Year’s Eve in Hershey event. At 11:59 p.m., a Hershey’s Kiss is raised amongst a sweet-toothed crowd, and a midnight fireworks display completes a family-friendly night in beautiful downtown Hershey.Strawberry, Harrisburg, Dauphin CountyThe New Year’s Eve celebration in Harrisburg hosts a crowd of thousands in the state’s capital. At 60 seconds before midnight, a giant, lit strawberry starts its descent from the top of the downtown Hilton Harrisburg to ring in the New Year. The evening includes live entertainment, dancing, children’s arts and crafts and fireworks.Red Rose, Lancaster, Lancaster CountyLancaster starts the New Year when its signature red rose ascends at Binns Park. Symbolic of the War of Roses between Lancaster and York, the red rose celebration starts early and lasts through the evening. With more than 20 indoor performances, Countdown Lancaster is a family-oriented event filled with visual and performing entertainment ending in a midnight fireworks display.Bologna, Lebanon, Lebanon CountyIt wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve in central Pennsylvania without a famous Pennsylvania Dutch treat descending from the sky. Join the excitement in Lebanon as crowds count down the seconds with the famous 16-foot Lebanon Bologna coming to a stop at the stroke of midnight. Start off the year by being amazed, amused, and maybe even hungry.Marshmallow Peep®, Bethlehem, Northampton CountyFor a truly one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve celebration, First Night® Bethlehem “peeps” with pride. Start the evening by experiencing the celebration spanning downtown and offering artistic and cultural entertainment for young and old, sponsored by the non-profit ArtsQuest. Enjoy a wide variety of music and art before watching the signature Marshmallow Peep® travel down toward the excited crowd, ringing in the New Year as only Bethlehem can.Sled, Duncannon, Perry CountyDuncannon Borough brings in the New Year with its annual Sled Drop at midnight, during a fireworks display. The 10-foot sled used is a model of the famous Lightning Guider sled manufactured at the Standard Sled Factory in Duncannon from 1904 until 1990. Festivities are held from 10 p.m. to midnight.Yuengling© Beer Bottle, Pottsville, Schuylkill CountyNew Year’s Eve in Pottsville is marked by the raising of the Yuengling© beer bottle to the top of the flagpole at Garfield Square. Ring in the New Year with a toast to the oldest brewery in America.Beaver, Beavertown, Snyder CountyWatch Bucky the Beaver descend from the sky this New Year in Beavertown in the Susquehanna River Valley. This life-size beaver got his name from a community contest that was held before the event’s second year. He is held in the air by a 75-foot ladder and slowly lowered to the ground, landing at midnight.Kettle, McClure, Snyder CountyThe fourth McClure Kettle Drop New Year’s Eve Celebration at the McClure Fire Hall is sure to be an entertaining community event for the whole family. Ring in the New Year with food, dancing and activities for the kids, and watch the lowering of the cast-iron kettle at midnight in honor of the historic McClure Bean Soup Festival and Fair Celebration.White Rose, York, York CountyAttendees of York’s New Year’s Eve celebration are sure to have a blast bringing in 2017. Enjoy a children’s countdown to the balloon drop from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., with complimentary hats and noisemakers, perfect for the youngsters. Join the crowd in smelling roses all the way until midnight as a white rose descends from the sky in Continental Square, symbolic of the War of Roses between Lancaster and York.Pickle, Dillsburg, York CountyAlthough Dillsburg has nothing to do with pickles, the town sure does know how to have fun with its name. Get into a real “pickle” as Dillsburg celebrates its annual Pickle Drop at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Once the delicious dill has descended into the barrel, the party continues with a fireworks display lasting until 12:30 a.m.For more information on New Year’s Eve drops and celebrations, check out and follow our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest). Or signup for our monthly newsletter for PA road trip ideas and events that are happening across our great state. December 19, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter It’s All About the “Drop” in Pennsylvania for New Year’s Eve HOLIDAYS SHARE TWEETlast_img read more

McDermott Takes Skandi Niteroi for Atlanta Field Campaign

first_imgSkandi Niteroi, a Brazilian-built pipelay support vessel (PLSV) owned by the joint venture between DOF Subsea (50%) and TechnipFMC (50%), has been awarded a contract by McDermott on the Atlanta Project for Queiroz Galvão.The vessel will start the contract in November, and the contract has a duration of approximately 2 months.Under the joint venture agreement, TechnipFMC is responsible for the engineering and management of the flexible pipelay, while Norskan, a DOF subsidiary, is responsible for the marine operations.CEO, Mons S. Aase, said: “I am very pleased with the contract award, securing utilisation in a challenging market and maintaining our strong position in the Brazilian market.”last_img

China donates P22M for Mindanao quake victims

first_imgMANILA – The Chinese government is donating P22 million for relief and rehabilitation efforts in quake-hit Mindanao. Several infrastructure – including schools, malls, and hospitals – were also damaged following the tremors./PN Quake-hit residents staying outside evacuation centers are seen begging for help along the main highway of Tulunan, Cotabato on Saturday, two days since a third major quake rattled Mindanao in 16 days. ABS-CBN NEWS At least 18 people died after the series of tremors that rattled several parts of southern Philippines this week. The most recent quakes – both of magnitude 5 – were recorded near Sarangani waters and Cotabato.center_img The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that hundreds of residents were injured due to the quakes in the last two weeks. Authorities are also still looking for six missing people. “The Chinese government expresses its deepest sympathy to those affected families and decided to donate 3 million RMB through the Embassy in the Philippines to aid the victims and support the disaster relief efforts by the Philippine government in Mindanao and help local residents return to normal life,” the Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a statement on Friday. last_img read more