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first_imgThe task force report recommends some serious changes to the system of providing conservation services. In short, it says the current system of county soil and water districts is obsolete and inefficient. The report suggests districts be combined into regional organizations organized around individual watersheds. These multi-county districts would pool resources, staff, and funding to address conservation for an entire watershed system. Conservationists say this approach would be more effective and allow for a greater degree of actual conservation to be put on the land. Facebook Twitter SHARE Yet, this type of change will not be easy. The county level SWCD system has been in place for more than 70 years.  County committees are well-established; politically powerful; and, in some areas, enjoy a good deal of public support. SWCD employees are naturally skeptical, fearing that this level of reorganization would threaten their jobs. These are all legitimate concerns of which state leaders are aware.  The fact remains, however, that change must occur. Similar changes are being made in other states including Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Washington. Almost all the people involved in conservation that I have had the pleasure to know have had one thing in common: a passion for the land and for protecting and preserving it. While the changes that will need to be made will not be easy, in the end, I suspect most people who are truly committed to preserving the land will adapt and adopt a new system that meets the new realities.  Just as no one wants to go back to the days of the privy, no one wants to go back to the days of no funding or technical assistance for preserving our oil and keeping our water supply clean and safe.  The accomplishments of the conservation movement in this nation are truly outstanding, but without change this progress may be lost.  Conservation work has been accomplished by those on the local level, and it is here that a dialogue about the future must begin. The transition from privy to indoor plumbing took decades, but was accomplished with very little social upheaval.  There is little evidence that people organized to resist the new technology.  There was not a HPO formed, (Hoosiers for the Preservation of Outhouses). I hope the transition of the system that delivers conservation will go as smoothly and not take decades to accomplish. By Gary Truitt – Aug 26, 2012 SHARE Privies and Watersheds A special task force recently released a report on the future of conservation in Indiana. The picture it painted is a sobering one and clearly lays out some of the challenges that efforts to protect our soil, water, and environment face.  At the heart of the matter is money. Despite all the attention environmental issues get, funds to really put conservation on the land are declining at the local, state, and federal levels.  Faced with tighter budgets, local governments are finding it hard to continue to fund county SWCDs.  In Indiana, state funding for conservation comes from the cigarette tax; and, with fewer people smoking, tax revenues have been declining. In Washington, funding for conservation is being plundered by a variety of other programs. The current emergency drought aid legislation gets its funding by gutting several conservation programs. Facebook Twitter Home Commentary Privies and Watersheds By Gary Truitt Change in inevitable, but change is not always easy. Yet it is surprising how quickly and easily we can change when a truly better way of doing something comes along. Take, for example, the privy. Our Hoosier ancestors started building outhouses because it was safer and slightly more private than squatting in the woods. The first patent for the flushing toilet was issued to Alexander Cummings in 1775, but it took another 150 years before the flush toilet and indoor plumbing became common. In some rural areas, it took even longer for the privy to come a relic of a bygone era. Other changes have not come so easily. Take, for example, time and class basketball. In Indiana, we are still arguing about what time it should be; and just mention class basketball to a Hoosier and you will instantly start an argument.  There is change coming to the Indiana soil and water conservation community, and it remains to be seen if the change will go the way of the privy or daylight savings time. Previous articleDrought Impacts Seed Selection for 2013Next article2012 Economics Say Get Grain to the Elevator Gary Truittlast_img read more

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first_img Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Book Nook to reopen Tumbling down: Dorm demo begins By Jaine Treadwell Published 10:20 pm Tuesday, May 20, 2014 Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthGet Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel By The Penny Hoarder Skip Email the authorcenter_img Latest Stories Print Article Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are… You Might Like Special Olympians make the most of summer games For the eighth year in a row, Troy University held the state’s Special Olympics summer games. This year’s games included… read more Sponsored Content Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Demolition of Troy University’s Alumni Hall began this week. It will be replaced with a dormitory that will house 428 students.Messenger Photo/Jaine TreadwellThe end of an era.Audiences gathered at several locations on the Troy University campus Friday afternoon to watch as the demolition of the Alumni Hall began. However, the aging men’s dormitory didn’t give way easily and took punch after punch on the chin.Greg Price, Troy University’s chief technology officer, laughingly said taking down Alumni Hall is not a challenge he would want to face.“It’s not going without resistance,” he said.Price explained that the demolition process includes a constant spray of water to keep the dust down.The area surrounding Alumni Hall has been closed and is being closely monitored to prevent unauthorized entrance into the work area.The demolition of Alumni Hall, which was built in 1966, will make way for a new state-of-the-art facility that will house 428 students. The new facility will have 280 single-bed suites, 68 double occupancy suites and 12 handicapped suites. The entire project is estimated to cost $15.6 million, including $500 000 in technology.“Our new Alumni Hall will be equipped with the very latest in high-technology amenities that can be used for both academic study and recreation,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor. “We will never build another traditional-style dormitory at Troy University because we have learned that our students respond to residence halls that could be more accurately called ‘learning communities’.”In addition to the residential rooms, Alumni Hall includes 1,400 square feet of common areas, 2,600 square feet of safe space that doubles as class and meeting rooms, a convenience store, technology areas, laundry areas and study rooms.The new men’s residential facility is scheduled for completion by August 2015. Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kitslast_img read more

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first_imgiStock/Ahmed Zaggoudi(JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri) — BY: ELLA TORRES, ABC NewsMissouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a lawsuit against the Chinese government for allegedly running an “appalling campaign of deceit, concealment, misfeasance, and inaction” amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern State of Missouri, alleges that the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party of China and other governing bodies in the country misrepresented and concealed the seriousness of the outbreak from the rest of the world during the period of December 2019 through January 2020. “During the critical weeks of the initial outbreak, Chinese authorities deceived the public, suppressed crucial information, arrested whistleblowers, denied human-to-human transmission in the face of mounting evidence, destroyed critical medical research, permitted millions of people to be exposed to the virus, and even hoarded personal protective equipment — thus causing a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable,” according to a copy of the lawsuit.The Chinese government has not yet responded to the lawsuit. However, the government did deny a story from The Associated Press, which claimed that officials there did not warn the public of the pandemic for six key days, and said that the government immediately reported the outbreak to the World Health Organization.“Those accusing China of lacking transparency and openness are unfair,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told the Associated Press when asked about the AP story. The National Health Commission, which is named in the Missouri lawsuit as a defendant, also told the Associated Press that China published information on the outbreak in an “open, transparent, responsible and timely manner” and in accordance with “important instructions” issued by President Xi Jinping.The coronavirus epidemic started in Wuhan, China, though the exact date of when the first case was detected is not exactly clear. While some records indicate the first case occurred in December, ABC News learned that U.S. intelligence officials were warned of a contagion sweeping through the Wuhan region as far back as late November, according to four sources briefed on the secret reporting.Yet the virus has since spread to every continent in the world except Antarctica. There are at least 2.5 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, across the globe and at least 171,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.In Missouri, there are at least 5,807 confirmed cases and 177 deaths, according to the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services.Schmitt is seeking the recovery for “the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil experienced by all.”Under the pandemic, the majority of the states in the U.S., including Missouri, have adopted some form of a lockdown, meaning citizens are not meant to leave their homes except for essential needs.Unlike some other states, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has allowed nonessential businesses to stay open so long as they comply with the social distancing requirements, which mandates that no more than 10 individuals can occupy a single space.“The COVID-19 outbreak has caused hardship in Missouri and across the globe — death, isolation from sick and dying loved ones, massive unemployment, economic dislocation, uncertainty, and trillions of dollars of economic losses,” according to a statement from Schmitt’s office. “China should be held legally responsible.”Schmitt’s office also outlined what they described as key factual allegations. Those allegations include the Chinese government denying the risk of human-to-human transmission, silencing whistleblowers, failing to contain the outbreak, and hoarding personal protective equipment. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Self-help books often do more harm than good. Released by the thousand every year, they tend to bury useful information beneath reams of unlikely anecdotes or quasi-spiritual nonsense. They can be expensive too, in terms of both money and time. Most people seek help when they need it urgently. The last thing anyone needs is a pile of turgid reading matter clogging up their in-tray.Thankfully, a few books exist that can genuinely improve the personal skills, working relationships and general well-being of any reader. They are aimed not at specific disciplines, such as personnel management, but at the generic issues faced by most workers, regardless of rank or role. You may, therefore, find it helpful to keep a few copies of each in your office, to refresh your own skills and complement your advice to others. Better still, you could encourage your board to distribute them widely, to prevent problems across the organisation.The recommended reading list below is by no means exhaustive, but each book represents a good return on investment as they are all accessible, concise and practical. The list covers a range of skills and solutions that should boost the productivity of any workplace.Read faster, read betterHow To Be A Rapid Reader: Six steps to increased speed and concentration, by Kathryn Redway (National Textbook Company, ISBN: 0844229431, £4.99 from Amazon.co.uk).Imagine all the printed material that crosses your desk each day. Now imagine racing through it, twice as fast as usual. Impossible? Not at all. In fact, the skill of speed-reading can be learned and applied in just a few hours. And far from forcing you to skip information, it will actually help you to retain even more.Kathryn Redway’s brilliant tutorial is 119 pages long and can be read in an afternoon. Indeed, you will probably finish it much sooner, as your reading picks up speed. The book aims to rid you of childhood reading habits, such as subvocalisation (reading words aloud in your head), and to replace them with new ones, such as using your peripheral vision to read several words at a glance.It includes dedicated chapters on how to speed-read complex material such as business reports, legal texts and periodicals. So it should prove useful to workers in any sector. In organisations that depend on the ability of their staff to read and retain new information, it will boost productivity at a stroke.How to get things doneThe Now Habit: A strategic programme for overcoming procrastination and enjoying guilt-free play, by Neil A Fiore (Penguin Putnam, ISBN: 0874775043, £6.57 from Amazon.co.uk).You could be forgiven for thinking this book was the business equivalent of a rigorous diet plan. In fact, it is easy to read, quick to finish (at about 200 pages) and immediately useful. It aims to help the reader overcome procrastination – the tendency to put off tasks – which for many people creates poor work-life balance.“The typical procrastinator completes most assignments on time,” says author Neil Fiore, “but the pressure of doing work at the last minute causes unnecessary anxiety and diminishes the quality of the end result.” He points out that most of us motivate ourselves with sticks rather than carrots. In contrast, his programme encourages you to build your schedule around a rewarding social life.Fiore avoids self-help platitudes such as “set priorities” because, he says, you would do these things if you could. Instead, he offers practical advice on dealing with underlying issues such as fear of failure, perfectionism and indecisiveness. He also explains how to deal with procrastinating colleagues.Avoid information fatigueInformation Overload: Practical strategies for surviving in today’s workplace, by David Lewis (Penguin, ISBN: 0140274650, around £5 from Amazon.co.uk). It’s easy to get deluged by data. Some is essential, but most is superfluous, and by trying to absorb too much of it we can enter a state of “analysis paralysis” and, in extreme cases, make ourselves ill.This book is designed to help you sort the wheat from the chaff. It does so by going back to basics and examining the way people learn new concepts, memorise them and apply them to decisions or solutions. This may sound woolly, but it will make an immediate difference to your working life.Among other things it reveals: why the “step by step” approach to learning taken by schools can hinder development in adults; how to apply information quickly no matter how much you have to consider; and advanced techniques to improve your speed-reading and memory.Information Overload was published in 1999 and is now out of print, but it remains unrivalled for the breadth, brevity and practicality of its advice. Secondhand copies are available for about 5. Alternatively, you could hire its author David Lewis – the man who coined the term “information fatigue syndrome” – by checking out his profile at www.absolute-speakers.co.ukDeal with difficult managersHow To Manage Your Boss: Developing the perfect working relationship, by Ros Jay (Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0273659316, around £13 from most bookshops).Anyone who has to deal with a problematic boss will benefit from this book, provided, of course, that they read it at home rather than at the office (this is definitely one to recommend rather than distribute).Ros Jay explains how to deal effectively with characters ranging from bullies and control freaks to bosses who take credit for your ideas. She suggests ways to neutralise, or overcome, irritating and stress-inducing problems such as the boss who won’t listen, constant interruptions and having to answer to two bosses at the same time.One of the book’s most interesting recommendations is to get to know your boss’s boss. By doing so, you’ll have a better understanding of what motivates your boss, what puts them under pressure and where their worst habits originated. Overall, the aim is to get your boss to “look up with pleasure when you walk into the room” and to bear you in mind for pay rises and promotions.If a member of your staff comes to you with a minor, but intractable grievance about their boss, steer them in the direction of this book. Fluency in body languageBody Language At Work: Read the signs and make the right moves, by Peter Clayton (Hamlyn, ISBN: 0600608026, priced around 12 from most bookshops).Body language skills are essential if you want to avoid offence while travelling. In Islamic countries, you should use only your right hand while eating and presenting gifts; the left hand is used solely for hygiene purposes. Meanwhile, in Hungary, men should not offer to shake hands with women unless invited.However, as Peter Clayton demonstrates, body language can be just important between people of the same culture, especially if one gets it badly wrong. His comprehensive, well-illustrated guide covers foreign faux pas and the less obvious, but equally damaging, mistakes we make in everyday business situations in the UK.Clayton explains that you can ruin a deal by standing too close to someone and can blow your credibility as a manager by using the wrong body language with your staff. He includes sections on how individuals can pitch successfully to small groups and how seating plans can make a difference to sales. And everyone should be familiar with his advice in the section entitled “How to lie well”.Networking for nice peopleRapid Result Referrals: Powerful tips and ideas to boost your sales, by Roy Sheppard (Centre Publishing, ISBN: 1901534049, £9.99 from Royspeaks.com, with discounts for bulk orders). And/or: The Ultimate Guide To Successful Networking, by Carole Stone (Vermillion, ISBN: 091900255, £4.99 from most bookshops).Most companies win a high proportion of their new business through recommendation and referral. Yet very few have a formal system in place to generate such leads. This could be because “networking” became a dirty word in the 1980s, associated with self-serving social climbers. Roy Sheppard and Carole Stone turn this definition on its head by suggesting that good networkers seek to help others, thereby earning themselves a good reputation. If positive things happen as a result, whether personal or professional, they should be treated as a bonus. Equally, there are sure-fire ways to make such things happen more often.As the title suggests, Sheppard’s book is geared more towards sales people. It explains in detail how to put structures in place that will generate more recommendations and referrals for your company. It advises on how to boost your reputation via trade shows, conferences, speaking events and the press.Stone’s book focuses more on soft skills and is particularly suited to those who are unsure of themselves in social situations. It explains how to “work the room” to seize networking opportunities, and how to nurture business relationships in the same way as friendships.The painless way to flawless grammarTroublesome Words, by Bill Bryson (Penguin, ISBN: 0767910436, £6,99 from most bookshops).Very few books on grammar are designed to be read for enjoyment and those that are, tend to be structured like novels rather than reference books. Yet Bill Bryson manages to inject humour and clarity into this useful A-to-Z guide.Before he wrote Notes From A Small Island, Bryson was a sub-editor at various publications including the Times and the Independent newspapers. This experience put him in a good position to identify our most commonly misused words. Indeed, throughout Troublesome Words, he tends to cite errors committed by supposed custodians of the English language, “to show how easily such errors are made”.Start by browsing the entries for common words. You may recognise the distinction between ‘forgo’ and ‘forego’, but what about ‘that’ and ‘which’? And are you sure your staff understand how a ‘defective’ product is different from one that is ‘deficient’? Do they know the difference between ‘percentages’ and ‘percentage points’?You may wish to keep this book nearby to prevent you from using a word without being certain of its usage and meaning. Yet it wouldn’t look out of place on the bedside table. The style is so accessible, it will be received more gratefully by your staff than any formal effort to improve their grammar.Be your own IT geekTroubleshooting Your PC For Dummies, by Dan Gookin (Wiley Publishing, ISBN: 0764516698, £18.95 from most bookshops). Or: Sad Macs, Bombs And Other Disasters: and what to do about them, by Ted Landau (Peachpit Press, ISBN: 0201622076, £18.89 from Amazon.co.uk).Have you ever waited an eternity for someone from IT, only to watch them fix your computer in just a few seconds? Most office workers in the UK are unsure of how the software and hardware they use every day works. And they’re even more in the dark when it comes to solving problems – also known as troubleshooting in IT jargon.In part, this ignorance is the fault of IT professionals, who generally resist the idea of workers trying to repair their own equipment. Yet the average computer user could solve most minor problems, with negligible risk to their system or network, if they had just a little extra knowledge. Your organisation may prohibit staff from administering first aid to their computers. Even so, a good book on troubleshooting should ease communication between your IT support function and other departments. The best authors of these books unravel jargon and ensure you have a thorough grasp of basic concepts. They tend to have their own websites providing tips and support to users of a specific platform. For example, Dan Gookin runs www.wambooli.com for PC users while Ted Landau runs www.macfixit.com. Buy the latest edition of one of their books and you can be sure it will contain up-to-date, comprehensive information.Beat the world’s favourite ailment – stressSelf-Help For Your Nerves: Learn to relax and enjoy life again by overcoming stress and fear, by Dr Claire Weekes (Thorsons, ISBN: 0722531559, £7.99 from most bookshops).We all claim to suffer from stress on occasion, but what does the word mean? In the workplace, it is generally used to describe an unhealthy state of mind brought on by excessive demands. While pressure can bring out the best in us, stress implies we have taken on too much and made ourselves ill.Yet in physiological terms, stress is no different from fear. This does not mean stressed-out workers are cowards. On the contrary, as Dr Claire Weekes states early on in this book: “The sufferer from nervous breakdown is neither fool nor coward, but often a remarkably brave person… with commendable, although often misdirected, courage.”You don’t have to be in the midst of a nervous breakdown to benefit from this book. It will help someone with even the mildest stress problem. However, in just 172 pages it provides enough guidance to alleviate the most acute suffering. It is also an ideal beginner’s guide to the origins and symptoms of nervous illness. No wonder it has remained a best-seller in its class since it was first published in 1962.Smash through the glass ceilingNice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office: Unconscious mistakes women make that sabotage their careers, by Lois P Frankel (Warner Business Books, ISBN: 0446531324, £9.59 from Amazon.co.uk).This book is a best-seller in the US, and has been praised by female critics on both sides of the Atlantic for its brutally frank advice. Author Lois P Frankel acknowledges gender bias is still prevalent in the modern workplace, but makes no apologies for highlighting “the ways in which women hold themselves back from achieving their full potential”.A former psychotherapist and HR manager, Frankel is also co-founder and president of her own consultancy, Corporate Coaching International. Having worked with thousands of male and female executives, many at Fortune 500 companies, she has arrived at this conclusion: “From early childhood, girls are taught that their well-being and ultimate success is contingent upon acting in certain stereotypical ways.” In the workplace, she says, many women continue to behave subconsciously like girls, and thereby sabotage their own success.Her book details 101 mistakes and how to rectify or prevent them. The most useful sections deal with supposedly unfeminine traits such as competitiveness and self-assertiveness. For example, it suggests that consideration is emphasised more in the upbringing of girls than boys. As a result, women tend to be too patient, waiting too long for promotions, rises and bonuses. Other sections deal with neutralising chauvinistic behaviour and playing the game of business successfully, without having to act like a man. Previous Article Next Article Aim higherOn 15 Mar 2005 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

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first_imgBarbara B. Rosin, of Margate, wins first place for her “Pitchers and Petals” oil on glass artwork. (Photos courtesy of Ocean City Fine Arts League) The Ocean City Fine Arts League announced the winners in the “Flowers” Art Show & Exhibition in June.First place: Barbara B. Rosin, Margate, “Pitchers and Petals,” oil on glass.Second place: Jill Snyder, Margate, “Sunny Spring,” mosaic.Third place: Donna Mindish, Northfield, “Luminous,” pastel.Honorable mention: Kathleen Arleth, Somers Point, “Bouquet,” photograph.Honorable mention: Christine Thomas, “Flower Power,” mixed media.The Fine Arts League is celebrating the summer season July through August, so artists are encouraged to paint their favorite beach memories.The league is a co-op of artists and volunteers who maintain the Art on Asbury Gallery at 711 Asbury Ave. in Ocean City.For more information, call (609) 814-0308 or visit oceancityfineartsleague.org.Jill Snyder, of Margate, took second place with her “Sunny Spring” mosaic.last_img read more

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first_img Leeds Bradford Airport Birmingham Airport Manchester Airport Luton Airport Gatwick Airport On 24 April 2019 the Employment Tribunal made a protective award to former employees of Monarch Airlines Limited to recompense them for the failure to consult about the potential for the redundancies following the business being put into administration.The Insolvency Service has received a copy of the protective award and we are processing the payments that are due to eligible former employees of the airline.Am I covered by the protective award?The protective award covers employees who worked from, or were based at, one of these sites: What do I need to do?You don’t need to take any further action just now. If you’re eligible for a Protective Award payment we aim to pay this within 12 weeks. However, we may contact you before this time if we need further information.last_img read more

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first_imgPARIS (AP) — Six nongovernmental organizations have opened the first class-action lawsuit against France for alleged systemic discrimination by police carrying out identity checks. The organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, contend that French police use racial profiling in checks, targeting people who are Black or of Arab descent. The NGOs aren’t demanding monetary damages, and instead seek deep reforms to ensure that racial profiling does not determine who gets stopped by police.  They say ‘systemic’ changes are needed in response to a ‘systemic’ problem. Letters officially notifying France’s prime minister and interior and justice ministers were being delivered Wednesday.last_img read more

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first_img In that effort, they have increasingly moved into Central American countries such as Guatemala, where they have been accused of the massacre of twenty-seven peasants this month in a region on the border with Mexico. In that town, 183 corpses were discovered in April in common graves, the remains of individuals who – according to the government – are believed to have been executed by Los Zetas, some of them after having been kidnapped while travelling on buses that were passing through the area en route to the United States. “It’s an extremely powerful vehicle,” noted Nájera, who indicated that three people died in the operation, carried out over the weekend in a remote rural settlement in Jalisco. The vehicle, nicknamed ‘The Monster’ by the police, is mounted on a truck, the exterior of which has been covered with thick soldered plates and with an upper turret capable of rotating 360 degrees in order to shoot, Luis Carlos Nájera, Jalisco’s secretary of security, explained to reporters. Now in conflict with their former bosses, Los Zetas control several routes linking Texas (in the southern United States) to the Gulf coast (in eastern Mexico), but they are seeking access to the Pacific Ocean, the transit route for the majority of drugs coming from South America. By Dialogo May 25, 2011 According to Nájera, the seizure of the vehicle was part of a series of operations in Jalisco against groups belonging to Los Zetas, considered one of the bloodiest drug-trafficking groups, created by former military personnel who deserted from the Army’s special forces to work with the Gulf cartel. A homemade tank, with capacity for twenty men, the ability to shoot in all directions, and resistance to explosives, was found during an operation targeting the Los Zetas cartel in the state of Jalisco, in western Mexico, the state government announced. This is the second vehicle of this kind seized from Los Zetas in the last month. A few weeks ago, the discovery of another homemade mini-tank was reported in San Fernando, a town in Tamaulipas (in the country’s northeast), in the opposite corner of Mexico. last_img read more

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first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo September 16, 2016 The most important function of Colombia’s Armed Forces and Police, among the new duties being assumed by the military in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, is the fight against drug trafficking. But a little over a year ago, the country signed an agreement with the United Nations to expand Colombia’s participation in international peacekeeping missions.To speak about this and other topics, Diálogo spoke with Major General Juan Bautista Yepes Bedoya, deputy chief of the Joint Operational Staff of Colombia’s Military Forces, during the South American Defense Conference (SOUTHDEC) 2016, held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from August 16th to 19th.Diálogo: What progress has been made regarding the participation of the Colombian Military Forces in peacekeeping missions since the agreement was signed with the UN in 2015?Major General Juan Bautista Yepes Bedoya: The Government of Colombia and the Armed Forces are extremely interested in participating in peacekeeping operations. We already have a battalion in the Sinai Peninsula that has been participating in the Middle East for about 25-30 years, and is very interested in participating in other missions throughout the world. The Government said that it would initially contribute 5,000 of our men to assist in Africa. This is important because we are learning from other countries. We are learning from the United States, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay – countries that have participated before and have a vast experience in the area. We are also currently working at the political levels, preparing the troops for peacekeeping operations which should take place in a not-too-distant future. It is very important for the Armed Forces and for Colombia because of all the lessons we have learned during these 50 years of internal conflict. We want our troops and the National Police to begin to look at other places, to different experiences, so they can participate in this wave of tranquility and peace that is so needed in the communities.Diálogo: That would also help the reorganization of the Armed Forces of Colombia after the peace agreement is finalized, right?Maj. Gen. Yepes: Yes, it is also important to say that the Armed Forces and the Police will not decrease their numbers; they will remain at their present rate and will continue to carry out their mission. Although a peace agreement will be signed with the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia], there are other criminal groups that must still be pursued with the entire force of the nation. We continue fulfilling our mission to put an end to criminal organizations, get closer to the border – which is the mission of the Armed Forces, but has been left a little to the side due to the internal conflict–, and get ready for other tasks and other obligations, such as peacekeeping operations. This, of course, requires the Armed Forces, Army, Navy, and Air Force to restructure their commands and staff. For example, the Army has new units, because there are missions that have concluded, and now others are beginning. We are seeing a complete change in what is involved with organization and restructuring in the Armed Forces.Diálogo: After over 50 years of a domestic armed fight against the drug traffickers, what lessons has Colombia learned that it can teach other countries? Especially Central Americans, who are in a very strong battle against drug trafficking?Maj. Gen. Yepes: It’s important to clarify some terms and some concepts. The duties of the Military Forces in defending the nation, these goals, and these national interests cannot be lost. But at the same time, Colombia is willing to cooperate, to have dialogue with neighboring countries in the hemisphere and in other continents to discuss, to talk, and to help solve problems. Nevertheless, because of the internal conflict, we have been performing law enforcement activities for some time, such as military control operations in different areas, providing security for municipalities, and communities. Everything that has to do with that concept of security, which is more law enforcement, such as community living, and in this, we have been providing assistance to the police and coordinating operations with them without letting go of our roles, but working together in a joint and coordinated manner. So we have learned from each other. It is not uncommon to see our generals and force commanders planning operations with the director of the National Police. I believe this interoperability is what we can share most with other countries.Diálogo: Another area in which the Military Forces of Colombia have vast experience is in humanitarian aid for disaster relief, which can also be shared with other countries.Maj. Gen. Yepes: Yes, what you have just said is very important, we are also prepared for that. We have been preparing both military and police forces to assist in natural disasters, floods, earthquakes, and we have done it in a combined and coordinated manner with the four services. We have a large accumulation of experience that has been used in our country and that we have provided to other countries. All this knowledge is available to other countries that may need it.Diálogo: How will the relationship with the United States be from now on?Maj. Gen. Yepes: Another great question. We have maintained this alliance with the United States, but we have also opened up to other places, other continents, and other countries that also consider Colombia is able to offer assistance and cooperation. Among them, Brazil and the countries in South America. They have been very alert in providing us their support and willing to share their knowledge, teachings, and lessons learned from their own people. How will the relationship be with the country to the north? It will be a relationship that will not center so much on the military area anymore, but towards developing territories in Colombia. We will provide support and social and economic development to isolated and abandoned areas in the country where there was a marked influence, domination, and control by criminal organizations such as the FARC and the ELN [National Liberation Army]. The U.S. assistance will be channeled in a unified action to develop those territories, those communities, and help them develop their infrastructure, their legal crop substitution projects so they can develop socially and economically.Diálogo: The Fe en Colombia program has a lot to do with that, right?Maj. Gen. Yepes: Yes, the Fe en Colombia is the Army’s pilot program. It began in the Eastern Joint Command located in the Pacific coast of Colombia. More specifically, it was General [Mario Augusto] Valencia, the commander of the Army, who commanded a task force there and developed rapprochement strategies with the community to help develop rural Afro-Colombian communities. He also mediated to put an end to the social issues they were having. They would see the Armed Forces and the government as something that was untouchable, or that did not help them where they lived with their families. That is where the Fe en Colombia program has been very important. The Military Forces have worked with them from a support standpoint: helping them understand they are Colombians, that they need help, that we are the same, and that we have to move forward.last_img read more

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first_imgBraving Black Friday, with its long lines and competitive shoppers, is a badge of honor for some who relish hunting for great deals on holiday gifts.But if you want the deals without the hassle, consider using a credit card perk to your advantage this season.Price protection lets you get the difference between an item’s regular price and its sale price, all without camping out at the store or throwing elbows to get the last doorbuster. Here’s how it works:Price protection explainedYou don’t have to wait for the price to drop on your next wish-list item if your credit card includes price protection among its benefits. Simply make the purchase with your card and keep an eye on the price for the next two to three months. If the price drops, you can submit a claim to your card issuer to get a refund of the difference. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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