Frank Zappa’s ‘Roxy – The Movie’ Announces First Screenings

first_imgLast September, the Zappa Family Trust announced the release of the film “Roxy – The Movie”, which documents the legendary composer’s epic 3-night stand at Hollywood’s The Roxy. These Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention concerts, which took place from December 8th – 10th, 1973, were filmed, but had been locked in the vault for over 40 years. Finally, fans will have the opportunity to relive shows that featured Zappa backed by an incredible cast of musicians that included George Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Ruth Underwood and Chester Thompson.  The screenings are as follows:– Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado on March 23rd which will be followed by a live Skype Q&A with Alex Winter, who is currently working on a fully authorized documentary about Zappa, with proceeds going towards the documentary and preservation of the private archives in the vault. Check his Kickstarter campaign out HERE.– Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin, Texas on March 24 – Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester, Virginia on April 2 – Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Yonkers, New York on April 5 – The Prince Charles Cinema in London on April 5 – Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Ashburn, Virginia on April 6.  Details with regards all of the screenings can be found HERE. Catch the trailer below:[via Jambase]last_img read more

Harvard’s Indian College poet

first_imgFor nearly 300 years, Harvard student Benjamin Larnell (c. 1694–1714) was simply a footnote to scholars of Native American history. They knew that he was the last student of the colonial era associated with Harvard’s Indian College, that he died from fever before graduating with the Class of 1716, that he liked to socialize and fight, and that he was an accomplished student poet.“He gets a footnote in every book,” said Stuart M. McManus, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in history at Harvard. “He was known to be very good (at poetry), but we didn’t have any evidence of this.”Until now, that is. Last year, McManus found a Latin poem by Larnell, a single page that not only shows competence and creative promise, but also gives scholars a rare window into the classrooms of pre-Revolutionary America. A study of the poem, co-authored with fifth-year Classics graduate student Tom Keeline, will appear next spring in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology.McManus is writing his dissertation on how Ciceronian Latin rhetoric was the pedagogical lodestar of humanistic learning from the Middle Ages onward, how it was exported to the disparate cultures of the European colonies, and how it changed in those new contexts. His research in colonial-era archives throughout the world involves “looking for anything written in Latin, basically,” he said.Last year, McManus was scouring catalog entries at the Massachusetts Historical Society when he discovered the poem by a student who soon went on to Harvard’s Indian College. “I had no idea who Benjamin Larnell was,” he said.Larnell, he soon found out, was the fifth and last Native American student at Harvard in the colonial era. Only one graduated, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, in 1665. (His classmate Joel Iacoomes, who died just before graduating, received his A.B. in a special Commencement ceremony in 2011. Another Indian student of that era died of smallpox; one left Harvard to become a mariner.)Most of the Larnell footnotes, said McManus, include oft-quoted praise from Harvard President John Leverett, who called the teenager “an acute grammarian, an extraordinary Latin poet, and a good Greek one.”The poem itselfLarnell’s poem, “Fable of the Fox and the Weasel,” now joins just two other examples of Native American writing in classical languages from the days of the Harvard Indian College: elegiac couplets in Latin and Greek by undergraduate Eleazar, who died in 1678, and a Latin address that Cheeshahteaumuck wrote to English benefactors of Harvard.Larnell was likely 15 or 16 when he wrote this newly discovered (but undated) poem. He was a student at Boston Latin School, where he was precocious enough to skip two of seven grades, and where he preceded Benjamin Franklin by a few years.“It’s a school assignment, not a romantic outpouring of feelings,” said Keeline, who finely parsed the Larnell poem’s metrics, grammar, and classical influences, which included Horace and Virgil. “It’s competent, it shows occasional flair, and in comparison to his contemporaries, he is at or above their level.”By the time Larnell attended Harvard, he appears to have been well ahead of most of his contemporaries in writing verse in classical languages. At the time, versification was required to get into Harvard, but not required in College studies. Yet this young student from a native village near Taunton, Mass., spent time writing verse not only in Latin, but in Greek and Hebrew as well.Larnell’s poem is a Latin versification of the “Fable of the Fox and the Weasel,” a familiar prose parable from Aesop, the ancient Greek fabulist. Aesop’s tales, simply written but rich in complex moral lessons, were a mainstay for centuries of students learning classical languages. In this story, a fox, thin with hunger, creeps through a crack into a bin filled with grain. But after eating until his belly is full, he no longer can get out. The tale is a testament to how hard it is for the rich to be free of fear and anxiety. “You must return through the narrow hole as skinny as when you entered it,” advises a weasel, since “many people (are) happy in their poverty, and well-supplied.”Judge Samuel Sewell, a Larnell benefactor better known for his role at the Salem Witch Trials two decades earlier, wrote a letter to a friend in London, enclosing a poem that Larnell had written in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew — proof, Sewell said, that educating Native Americans was working. The letter survives, but the tri-lingual poem — “sadly,” said McManus — does not.Larnell’s newly discovered poem is most interesting for what it signifies, said Keeline, a scholar of Latin pedagogy: “that American Indians were trained in exactly the same way as colonial Puritans.”The training in Latin and Greek that Larnell got was the same as that of other colonial schoolboys — and it in turn was the same as that of English schoolboys preparing for Oxford and Cambridge. “People (were) trying to create scholars,” said McManus, “who could do what the ancients did. It’s the long shadow of the Renaissance.”Larnell’s poem comes with a discovery that “humanistic culture survived so late,” he said — right to the eve of the Enlightenment — and that it was foundational to Franklin and his Revolutionary American contemporaries. “These things which seem obscure (today) are really the foundation of their intellectual world.”Around the time of the American Revolution, speeches were still being delivered in the style of Cicero, though no longer in Latin itself, said McManus, a student of what he called “the long shadow of Cicero across the whole world.” That shadow includes the annual speeches delivered in memory of the 1770 Boston Massacre, a tradition that became the rhetorical template of Fourth of July orations. “This (classical) education was basically the education of the Founding Fathers,” he said.Profit in this worldToday, arguments for teaching the classics and the humanities in general seem “phrased in idealistic terms,” said Keeline; arguments against, meanwhile, seem to hinge on their alleged impracticality. But in Larnell’s day, “There was very much a sense these were practical things. You would give a better sermon on Sunday. There really was a sense this would bring you profit in this world.”Latin was also the outward sign of an educated man, said McManus. In Larnell’s era, original Latin verses were given as gifts. At funerals and elsewhere, Latin “was a suitable, prestigious way to honor someone in the Roman style,” he said.Classical languages gave ministers-in-training at places like Harvard “direct access to the Bible,” McManus added, schooled them in rhetoric, and gave them “tools to be a better person, to be a better scholar, and to be a better Christian.” In the New England of 300 years ago, these were not lighthearted considerations, said Keeline. “This was about saving souls. This was eternal life.”Sewell believed in his protégé’s potential for converting Native Americans to Christianity. But when Larnell died, there came “a great frown upon the work of gospelling [cq] the Indians,” the judge noted in his diary, “that all attempts to educate one of their own Nation have prov’d abhortive.”In his day, Larnell commanded respect and attention. Walking beside his casket at Boston’s Granary Burial Ground were the president of Harvard, two fellows of the College, Sewell, and commissioners of the Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England. At the funeral too was Joshua Gee, Class of 1717, a Harvard schoolmate whom Larnell had once kicked in a fight (which once got him dismissed from the School for eight months). Today, there is no record of Larnell’s grave, or of a headstone, if there ever had been one.An idea fades It is fair to say that the death of Larnell was likely the death knell for Harvard’s six-decade attempt to educate the native sons of New England. “The original impetus was beginning to fade,” said McManus.It didn’t help that King Philip’s War of several decades before had made Indians more suspect, he said, nor that the Indian College itself — a building near present-day Matthews Hall — had been torn down, nor that benefactors were hard to come by. (Larnell paid no tuition thanks to the Boyle fund, a legacy of Robert Boyle, the founder of modern chemistry.)With the discovery of the Larnell poem, scholars will be “happy another piece of the jigsaw has been put together,” said McManus, and that a perennial footnote is now a full poem and the grist of long essays to come. They will also be happy to see an example of early colonial schoolwork, “a window into the colonial classroom,” said Keeline, “that allows us to marry up the practice with the theory of colonial education.”Meanwhile, readers outside academe will be stunned to be reminded that native students were trained to this level, were taught the same way as their English schoolmates, and that — in the case of Larnell — such erudition could come at such an early age to a person whose first language was neither English nor even an Indo-European language.The teenager from another culture who succeeded as he did at Harvard was to some extent just a measure of that vanished era’s rigorous schoolboy culture. The “grammar grind” — a refinement of training over centuries — was in the end “just practice,” said Keeline. McManus added, “If you wanted to go to college and become a minister, you had to do this.”But both young scholars acknowledged there was something exceptional about Larnell. Barely past his mid-teens, he read, wrote, and spoke Latin and Greek. He read and wrote Hebrew. And he wrote verse in all three. At some level, admitted Keeline, “You should be shocked, a little bit.”last_img read more

Saint Mary’s students reflect on the impact of having family legacy in tri-campus community

first_imgIn light of Saint Mary’s 175th anniversary, legacy students are bringing forward the stories of the women who have inspired them and led to the start of their own Saint Mary’s career. In many cases, students have not just a Saint Mary’s legacy, but a Notre Dame legacy as well. These legacies can stretch back as far as four or five generations. Photo courtesy of Kerry Rose McDonald Lindsay McDonald, ’13, Ellen McDonald, ’00, and Kerry Rose McDonald, ’19, respectively, spent time together during Kerry Rose’s semester abroad at Maynooth University in Ireland.First-year Gabby Acampora’s legacy is Notre Dame-based. Acampora’s mom, Debbie, graduated from the University in 1986 and her dad, Paul, graduated in 1985. Acampora’s brother, Nicholas, was a member of the Notre Dame class of 2016, and both he and Gabby grew up in a Notre Dame household.Acampora said growing up the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s communities played a large role in her life. “The overall Holy Cross community has made a huge impact on my life. Both my godfather and godmother are also Notre Dame graduates.” Acampora said in an email. “All these people have helped me to grow spiritually, taught me to serve others and created a community with the people around me.”The traditions from Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame have also been passed through generations of legacy students, Acampora said.“I definitely just felt right at home when I got here. I always imagined as a child that this would be my college town and place, because of my parents and the numerous visits,” Acampora said. “I wanted to join the best band in the land and I’ve always rooted for the Fighting Irish. I think I might just bleed blue and gold, so I’ve been so happy getting to experience all the things that I’ve heard about in my parent’s stories.”For some students, their siblings are what drew them to Saint Mary‘s.Senior Kerry Rose McDonald is the third in her family to attend Saint Mary‘s. Her sister, Ellen, graduated from the College in 2000, while another sister, Lindsay, graduated from the College in 2013. She said that while her sisters did not pressure her to apply to attend Saint Mary‘s, her campus visit demonstrated the aspects of the school that they valued most.“My sisters always made it clear how much they love Saint Mary’s and the incredible impact their experience there has had on them,” McDonald said. “But when it was time for me to start applying at colleges, they did not put pressure on me to apply to Saint Mary’s just because they went there. In fact, I didn’t want to copy them, so I purposely didn’t rank Saint Mary’s at the top of my list. I applied anyway though, and my mom insisted that I take a campus tour. … On the tour, all the things my sisters talked about with such enthusiasm and pride became apparent to me: the tight-knit community, the professors who challenge you to reach your full potential, the resources there to help you succeed during and after your time at Saint Mary’s and the lifelong sisterhood.”McDonald said her tour was filled with signs that the College was right, including her tour guide and admissions counselors having the same name as each of her sisters.“I love being able to bond with my sisters over Saint Mary’s, especially now that all three of us have our class rings,” McDonald said. “A very special time was when they visited me during my semester abroad in Ireland. Right now, they’re currently trying to persuade me to get matching french cross tattoos after I graduate in May — we’ll see.”Saint Mary’s continues to have a legacy presence due to the education and empowerment that the school provides students, McDonald said.“Saint Mary’s has such a strong legacy because of the unwavering high-quality education that each woman receives,” she said. “They leave here fully prepared to thrive in the real world with a confident mentality that was ingrained in them for four years. Grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts want her to go here because they know that Saint Mary’s will help shape her into a determined, strong, intelligent woman.”Tags: 175 years of SMC, 175th anniversary, legacy, saint mary’slast_img read more

Hall of Famers

first_imgBillRoquemore and AlvinNewton, two pioneers in Georgia agriculture, were inducted into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Athens Sept. 16.The Hall of Fame is a program of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Known as the “Father of Center-Pivot Irrigation” in Georgia, Newton installed Georgia’s first center-pivot system in 1967. And many people view Roquemore as the leading pioneer in commercializing Georgia forage and turf grasses.During the banquet, the CAES also recognized RandyNuckolls with the Alumni Association’s Award of Excellence.The award is given to CAES alumni who have achieved excellence intheir chosen field and in their community.Newton led the way for the adoption of center-pivot irrigation throughout Georgia as part of his tractor and farm equipment business, Newton-Hamrick Company.A native of Colquitt, Ga., he became interested in center-pivot irrigation in 1965. When he installed his first system, he photographed the effects of irrigated versus nonirrigated cropland. He used a slide presentation to show farmers the advantages of irrigation, which many had thought wasn’t feasible.He installed 12 systems in 1969 and doubled the number annually for many years. Georgia now has more than 11,000 center-pivot systems.Roquemore’s leadership and vision helped boost Georgia’s turfgrass production to a $1.56 billion industry.He began working at Patten Seed in 1947 and led the company until his death in ’97. During his 50 years there, he advanced a small seed cleaning plant into an industry giant.”The fact that Patten Seed grew under Mr. Roquemore’s leadership into one of the leading warm-season grass seed, sod and sprig producers in the world is a strong statement to his business and personal leadership ability,” said Ronnie Stapp, executive vice-president of seed operations for Pennington Seed, Inc.Nuckolls, a 1974 summa cum laude graduate of CAES, has distinguished himself as a leader and a public servant through both his prominent professional career and his dedicated work with many Georgia organizations.He is a partner in the law firm McKenna, Long & Aldridge in Washington, D.C. With his 28 years of experience in Washington, he developed a keen understanding of federal issues in public policy. By Faith PeppersUniversity of Georgialast_img read more

New report finds wind and solar will soon be cheaper than coal worldwide

first_imgNew report finds wind and solar will soon be cheaper than coal worldwide FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Building new wind and solar plants will soon be cheaper in every major market across the globe than running existing coal-fired power stations, according to a new report that raises fresh doubt about the medium-term viability of Australia’s $26bn thermal coal export industry.While some countries are moving faster than others, the analysis by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a climate finance think tank, found renewable power was a cheaper option than building new coal plants in all large markets including Australia, and was expected to cost less than electricity from existing coal plants by 2030 at the latest.Solar photovoltaics and wind energy were already cheaper than electricity from about 60% of coal stations, including about 70% of China’s coal fleet and half of Australia’s plants, it said. In Japan, where Australia sells nearly half its exported thermal coal, wind power was found to cost less than new coal plants and was expected to be cheaper than existing coal by 2028. Solar power in Japan was forecast to be a better option than new coal by 2023 and existing coal by 2026.The story was similar in China and South Korea, which each take about 15% of Australia’s exported thermal coal. In China, wind was already cheaper than any coal power, and solar electricity was forecast to cost less on average than existing coal later this year. Renewable energy in South Korea was expected to be cheaper than existing coal within two years.The report acknowledged this trend did not necessarily mean coal power would be pushed from the market within a decade. It said some governments were effectively incentivising or underwriting new coal power through regulatory programs that either directly subsidised coal operators or passed the higher cost on to consumers.But the group found that coal power would struggle if markets were priced fairly. It called on governments to block new coal projects and phase our existing coal plants, in part by changing regulations to allow renewable energy to compete on a level playing field. Carbon Tracker’s Matt Gray, a co-author of the report, said proposed coal investments risked becoming stranded assets that locked in increasingly expensive power for decades. The analysis found that developers risked wasting more than $600bn if all mooted coal-fired plants were built.[Adam Morton]More: Wind and solar plants will soon be cheaper than coal in all big markets around world, analysis findslast_img read more

Colombian National Police Lead Fight Against Organized Crime, Drug Trade

first_img “This fall in numbers happened through a series of internal wars, but didn’t coincide with a reduction in territorial control,” Avila told Diálogo. Urabeños on the rise across Colombia Over the past two years, he said, these organized crime groups have increased their presence from 284 to 316 municipalities, with the Urabeños expanding east from Uraba towards Norte de Santander on Colombia’s border with Venezuela. This expansion has led Colombian organized crime groups to diversify their income-generating activities. “Drug trafficking is still the number one source of income for the Bacrim, followed by gold mining in the Urabeños heartland in Antioquía, Cordoba and Chocó. So while people use the Urabeños name in Valle de Cauca and Cauca, they are not part of the Urabeños core,” McDermott said. “The command nodule of the Urabeños criminal network is in Urabá and Córdoba.” Melo said his agency’s main targets at the moment are Urabeños leaders Otoniel and Gavilan, the new Rastrojos leader Alias César, and Martin Farfan Diaz (alias “Pijarvey”), former leader of the right-wing Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia [Ejército Revolucionario Popular Antiterrorista Colombiano, or ERPAC]. He added that the territorial focus is on Nariño, Cauca, Norte de Santander and Antioquia, where there’s a strategic overlap between the FARC and the Bacrim. Internal three-tier Bacrim structure Avila said the Urabeños still derive most of their income from drug trafficking, but increasingly depend on revenue from illegal mining, arms trafficking and micro-extortion in the cities. “They also pull in big money buying and selling high-caliber weaponry such as AK-47s through the Pacific coast, as well as pulling in explosives from Peru on the Atlantic coast,” he added. “The police are beginning to look at post-conflict now, and the concentration seems to be more on the community policing side,” McDermott explained. “There’s a three-tier structure with the big capos like Otoniel [at the top], then the regional lieutenants or Oficinas de Cobro. In the third tier are common criminals who get subcontracted work thrown at them every now and again.” Organized crime groups operating in Colombia now encompass nearly 3,800 members, Melo said, noting that in 2012, his men captured 2,422 members and this year they’ve captured 1,744. During the same period, 17 top military commanders were also nabbed, as well as 37 second- and third-tier local leaders. “One of the challenges with the Bacrim today is that they’re not an easy identifiable structure,” McDermott said. “If you knock out elements of the franchise, other local elements come up. That is the versatility of a criminal network as opposed to a hierarchical structure. This has been the result of a evolution and learning process since the time when Pablo Escobar was killed on a Medellín rooftop in 1993.” Changing drug routes across South, Central America At this stage, said Avila, “the police need to prop up both their counter-intelligence operations as well as deal with the Bacrim’s incursions into money laundering.” Melo said that in 2013, as part of the annulment of ownership and administrative expropriation of illicitly acquired land, Colombia’s Judicial Police (DIJIN) already had opened investigations into nearly 500 properties illegally owned by organized crime groups. The state expropriated close to 200 of these properties. Melo added that the money-making strategies of the Urabeños as well as the Rastrojos have pushed both rivals to change drug routes. This includes pushing into Venezuela to gain more access to the lucrative markets of South and Central America. According to Insight Crime research, the Rastrojos were the major suppliers of cocaine to Mexico’s most powerful transnational criminal organization, the Sinaloa cartel. With the group’s implosion, Mexican buyers have been seeking new suppliers in Colombia — with indications that they have established direct ties with the FARC. “The principle transnational operations of the Rastrojos were in Venezuela and Ecuador, and the Urabeños have links in Panama on their back door,” McDermott said. “The Urabeños have been muscling in on Venezuelan action and there were suggestions that a recent four-ton [cocaine] seizure in Guayaquil [Ecuador] was an Urabeños load.” By Dialogo September 13, 2013center_img BOGOTÁ — As peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia remain on hold in Havana, Colombia’s National Police are already strategizing for a post-conflict era — with the task of combating new and streamlined organized criminal groups throughout Colombia’s cities. Col. Esteban Arias Melo, deputy director of the Colombian National Police’s anti-narcotics force, said his 7,600 officers “focus on both drug trafficking as well as fighting the restructured Bacrim [organized crime groups], as it’s now impossible to separate these two factors.” The National Police broke the back of one of these groups, the Rastrojos, capturing two of its main leaders last year. Since then, analysts say this Pacific-based crime group has been weakened through internal fighting — opening the door for its main rival, the Urabeños, to expand its territory in the southwestern province of Valle del Cauca. “Up until 2012, the Rastrojos were the strongest Bacrim in the country, and their stronghold was along the Pacific coast in the departments of Valle del Cauca, Cauca and Nariño,” Melo said. One of the Rastrojo’s leaders, Javier Antonio Calle Serna (alias “Comba”) turned himself in to U.S. authorities in Aruba in May 2012. The next month, Diego Pérez Henano (alias “Diego Rastrojo”) was captured in western Venezuela, and on Oct. 4, Comba’s brother, Luís Calle Serna (alias “El Combatiente”) surrendered to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Jeremy McDermott, director of Insight Crime — an independent research outfit based in Medellín, Colombia — told Diálogo that the fall of the Rastrojos “was due to the surrender of Javier Calle Serna and all the intelligence he gave to the DEA, which led to a wave of arrests of Rastrojo commanders across the country.” Rise of the Urabeños franchise “With the implosion of the Rastrojos, the Urabeños were able to capitalize on their contacts in Valle de Cauca and invade the extraordinarily important strategic real estate that is Buenaventura on the Pacific coast,” McDermott said. “Together with [Greylin Fernando Varón Cadena Alias] Martin Bala [Urabeños leader captured by pólice in May 2013] they even set up “oficinas de cobro” [mafia enforcers] in the Rastrojos capital of Cali.” McDermott said the Urabeños also managed to bribe several senior Rastrojos commanders to come over to their side, adding: “This is not a hierarchical structure [like the] Medellin cartel. This is a franchise.” Estimating the strength of this franchise — as well as the size of Colombia’s organized crime business in general — is quite difficult. “If you lump together all the different organizations the Urabeños have absorbed, allied themselves with or forged agreements with, then you can inflate the numbers significantly,” Melo said. Ariel Avila, senior investigator for the Bogota-based online media outlet Las2orillas, explained that the paramilitary demobilization process in 2006 left 101 organized crime groups operating throughout Colombia. By 2008, there were seven — which eventually morphed into four groups: Los Urabeños, Los Rastrojos, the Bloque Libertador de Vichada and the Bloque Meta. last_img read more

CANSEC 2015: A Joint Effort to Combat a Common Threat

first_imgAl Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility on 15 January 2015 for the rampage that killed 12 people at France’s Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine a week earlier. The attack was years in the making, an AQAP leader said in a video, claiming that U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was the mastermind behind it. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility on 15 January 2015 for the rampage that killed 12 people at France’s Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine a week earlier. The attack was years in the making, an AQAP leader said in a video, claiming that U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was the mastermind behind it. Gen. Kelly also noted the five-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti (12 January 2015), saying that the incredible resilience and strength of the Haitian people serves as an inspiration to us all. “And while it’s impossible to say ‘never again’ when it comes to preventing natural disasters, I have no doubt that our nations will be ready. We’re ready to respond, ready to help out, ready to come to the aid of one another—to confront whatever challenge we face.” The SOUTHCOM commander also leveraged his opening remarks to ask the participating nations’ representatives in the room to sign onto the Cooperative Situational Sensor Integration (CSSI) Memorandum of Understanding, the Aerial Intercept Assistance Agreement (AIAA), and the Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT) agreement. “Your signatories’ commitment will go a long way toward achieving the goals of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI): to build a more peaceful and prosperous region in a safer and more secure Western Hemisphere.” Dr. Nottage noted that, like other countries in the area, Bahamians are facing the challenge of dealing with drugs passing through the island—in most cases en route to the United States—but weapons are being left behind and gangs are being established. As with other Caribbean islands, Nassau’s warm waters and stunning vistas create a tropical paradise that nonetheless is not immune to the dangers of transnational organized crime. “When it comes to the security of the Western Hemisphere, it doesn’t matter where you’re located on the map—if it’s a challenge faced by one of us, it’s a challenge faced by all of us,” stated Gen. Kelly. “Your participation in CANSEC demonstrates your country’s commitment to Caribbean security—a commitment shared by each and every one of us in this room,” said Gen. Kelly. “To our Canadian, French, British, and Dutch partners: your participation is a testament to the nature of the threat posed by transnational organized crime.” As with other Caribbean islands, Nassau’s warm waters and stunning vistas create a tropical paradise that nonetheless is not immune to the dangers of transnational organized crime. “When it comes to the security of the Western Hemisphere, it doesn’t matter where you’re located on the map—if it’s a challenge faced by one of us, it’s a challenge faced by all of us,” stated Gen. Kelly. At last year’s CANSEC, participants identified ways to support the new regional illicit-trafficking response strategy of the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS). According to Gen. Kelly, “We’ve done a lot in the past year, and I think we can build on that momentum. This doesn’t just apply to counterdrug operations; I see opportunities for partnering in many different areas, especially when it comes to humanitarian relief, responding to pandemic diseases like Ebola, and energy security.” Dr. Nottage noted that, like other countries in the area, Bahamians are facing the challenge of dealing with drugs passing through the island—in most cases en route to the United States—but weapons are being left behind and gangs are being established. The conference included informative sessions, debates, and meetings centered on maintaining the maritime capacity for operations to counter transnational organized crime in an environment of limited resources. The next main regional conference sponsored by SOUTHCOM will be for the Central American countries (CENTSEC), and will take place 22-25 March 2015 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. “It’s more important to keep building bridges rather than walls,” concluded Dr. Nottage. In the words of Admiral Kelly, “when it comes to security (…), it doesn’t matter where you are on the map, if it’s a challenge faced by one of us, it’s a challenge faced by us all,” this gives a sense of security, protection. A union of force and the forces that bring back the idea of a soldier as a national hero. The guarantee of sovereignty. The lid to the tightly closed. Great article. Great news. Great event! Gen. Kelly also noted the five-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti (12 January 2015), saying that the incredible resilience and strength of the Haitian people serves as an inspiration to us all. “And while it’s impossible to say ‘never again’ when it comes to preventing natural disasters, I have no doubt that our nations will be ready. We’re ready to respond, ready to help out, ready to come to the aid of one another—to confront whatever challenge we face.” By Dialogo January 21, 2015 The conference included informative sessions, debates, and meetings centered on maintaining the maritime capacity for operations to counter transnational organized crime in an environment of limited resources. The next main regional conference sponsored by SOUTHCOM will be for the Central American countries (CENTSEC), and will take place 22-25 March 2015 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. “It’s more important to keep building bridges rather than walls,” concluded Dr. Nottage. Representatives included military personnel and civilians from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, the United States, regional organizations such as CARICOM, as well as observers from the Inter-American Defense Board, the Netherlands, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They gathered in Nassau, Bahamas, from 20-23 January, seeking to work together to address challenges to Caribbean security and sovereignty. This horrific act in France was also a reminder to us all that our shared democratic values—the principles that unite the Western Hemisphere with our European partners—are also vulnerable to attack, said U.S. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, commander of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) during his opening remarks at the XIII Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC). “And we must always be ready to defend our nations from terrorists seeking to harm our citizens or criminals seeking to undermine our institutions. Now, more than ever, we must be vigilant. We must stand together. And we must work together to confront whatever challenge we face,” he added. The SOUTHCOM commander also leveraged his opening remarks to ask the participating nations’ representatives in the room to sign onto the Cooperative Situational Sensor Integration (CSSI) Memorandum of Understanding, the Aerial Intercept Assistance Agreement (AIAA), and the Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT) agreement. “Your signatories’ commitment will go a long way toward achieving the goals of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI): to build a more peaceful and prosperous region in a safer and more secure Western Hemisphere.” Representatives included military personnel and civilians from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, the United States, regional organizations such as CARICOM, as well as observers from the Inter-American Defense Board, the Netherlands, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They gathered in Nassau, Bahamas, from 20-23 January, seeking to work together to address challenges to Caribbean security and sovereignty. Gen. Kelly was preceded by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commander, Commodore Roderick Bowe, who briefly stated that, “it was important to rekindle friendships and form new ones,” referring to all countries present at the Conference. Cdre. Bowe then introduced the Bahamian Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard J. Nottage, who said that one of the major threats in the maritime domain of The Bahamas is human smuggling and illegal immigration, “where thousands seek to leave their homeland in search for a better life.” And he is right. According to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force statistics for the period of 2000 to 2015, over 26,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended at sea. Gen. Kelly was preceded by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commander, Commodore Roderick Bowe, who briefly stated that, “it was important to rekindle friendships and form new ones,” referring to all countries present at the Conference. Cdre. Bowe then introduced the Bahamian Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard J. Nottage, who said that one of the major threats in the maritime domain of The Bahamas is human smuggling and illegal immigration, “where thousands seek to leave their homeland in search for a better life.” And he is right. According to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force statistics for the period of 2000 to 2015, over 26,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended at sea. This horrific act in France was also a reminder to us all that our shared democratic values—the principles that unite the Western Hemisphere with our European partners—are also vulnerable to attack, said U.S. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, commander of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) during his opening remarks at the XIII Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC). “And we must always be ready to defend our nations from terrorists seeking to harm our citizens or criminals seeking to undermine our institutions. Now, more than ever, we must be vigilant. We must stand together. And we must work together to confront whatever challenge we face,” he added. During their opening remarks, both Dr. Nottage and Gen. Kelly mentioned that while great progress has been made, the countries in the region still face challenges, such as doing a better job of gathering and sharing information. Their maritime and air-domain capabilities, for example, could be enhanced by better utilizing information-sharing technologies, said Dr. Nottage. “Improved communication among our nations would also help combat the threat of criminal networks and trafficking in illegal firearms and drugs—something that impacts every nation in this room,” added Gen. Kelly. At last year’s CANSEC, participants identified ways to support the new regional illicit-trafficking response strategy of the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS). According to Gen. Kelly, “We’ve done a lot in the past year, and I think we can build on that momentum. This doesn’t just apply to counterdrug operations; I see opportunities for partnering in many different areas, especially when it comes to humanitarian relief, responding to pandemic diseases like Ebola, and energy security.” And that’s why the main topic of this year’s CANSEC was “Countering Transnational Organized Crime and Threats to Caribbean Territorial Sovereignty.” The conference, co-sponsored by the SOUTHCOM and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, serves as an executive-level forum for SOUTHCOM and defense and security chiefs from the Caribbean, as well as partners from regional organizations, the U.S. government, Canada, and Europe, to discuss the way ahead for a regional effort and strategy to counter transnational organized crime and build a united front against this shared problem. “Your participation in CANSEC demonstrates your country’s commitment to Caribbean security—a commitment shared by each and every one of us in this room,” said Gen. Kelly. “To our Canadian, French, British, and Dutch partners: your participation is a testament to the nature of the threat posed by transnational organized crime.” During their opening remarks, both Dr. Nottage and Gen. Kelly mentioned that while great progress has been made, the countries in the region still face challenges, such as doing a better job of gathering and sharing information. Their maritime and air-domain capabilities, for example, could be enhanced by better utilizing information-sharing technologies, said Dr. Nottage. “Improved communication among our nations would also help combat the threat of criminal networks and trafficking in illegal firearms and drugs—something that impacts every nation in this room,” added Gen. Kelly. And that’s why the main topic of this year’s CANSEC was “Countering Transnational Organized Crime and Threats to Caribbean Territorial Sovereignty.” The conference, co-sponsored by the SOUTHCOM and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, serves as an executive-level forum for SOUTHCOM and defense and security chiefs from the Caribbean, as well as partners from regional organizations, the U.S. government, Canada, and Europe, to discuss the way ahead for a regional effort and strategy to counter transnational organized crime and build a united front against this shared problem. last_img read more

Brazilian Navy Ship Rio Branco Maps Rivers in the Amazon

first_imgUpon taking receipt of the “Rio Branco” in Manaus, the commander of the Navy Admiral Eduardo Barcellar Leal Ferreira emphasized the importance of mapping rivers such as the Solimões and the Madeira, whose characteristics change frequently. That’s been the vessel’s primary task since early April. By conducting cartographic surveys, the ship is gathering information that will make it possible to detect sand banks, improve the signals system, reduce travel times, and avoid nautical accidents. This data will be used mainly by Naval and merchant shipping vessels. That’s been the vessel’s primary task since early April. By conducting cartographic surveys, the ship is gathering information that will make it possible to detect sand banks, improve the signals system, reduce travel times, and avoid nautical accidents. This data will be used mainly by Naval and merchant shipping vessels. Nautical Cartography, which is executed by the Navy. Geological Cartography, which is executed by the Brazilian Geological Bureau; and The “Rio Branco” is part of the Amazônia Cartography Project (ACP), a partnership between the Navy and the Army, Air Force, and Brazilian Geological Bureau (CPRM), which has since 2008 been coordinated by the Amazônia Protection System Operational and Management Center (Censipam), a Ministry of Defense agency. The ACP consists of three subprojects: Charting the Amazon region and helping vessels avoid accidents will also help protect the environment, Minister Wagner said. In addition to cartographic information, the ship is also collecting data on the atmosphere, the rivers, and underwater soil for use in scientific research. Eventually, the “Rio Branco” may also be used for training missions in support of river operations, in civil defense and social actions, as well as environmental preservation. It will additionally support the efforts of river patrol ships that combat crime in the region; the rivers of the Amazon are targeted by some criminals for illegal activities, such as robberies and drug trafficking. “We have to rely on our waterways and increase safety for ships,” Minister of Defense Jaques Wagner said at a press conference on April 1, after the ship’s delivery ceremony in Manaus, Amazonas state. Instead, Brazil has made a long-term investment into the environment — $19.9 billion since 2008. The construction of the “Rio Branco” was itself a two year project of the Ceará Naval Industry shipyard (Inace); and the mapping effort, managed by 36 seamen aboard the vessel, will proceed for another 200 days. “We have to rely on our waterways and increase safety for ships,” Minister of Defense Jaques Wagner said at a press conference on April 1, after the ship’s delivery ceremony in Manaus, Amazonas state. The Brazilian Navy has taken a vital step toward ensuring safe navigation in the nation’s Amazon region by mapping the region’s rivers with the River Hydro-oceanographic Ship (NHoFlu, for its Portuguese name) “Rio Branco”. Geological Cartography, which is executed by the Brazilian Geological Bureau; and Protecting the environment “We need to ensure that the [growing maritime transportation in the region] is occurring safely and as economically as possible. The idea in the mid- and long-term is to have nautical maps with as much up-to-date information as possible available each year.” Instead, Brazil has made a long-term investment into the environment — $19.9 billion since 2008. The construction of the “Rio Branco” was itself a two year project of the Ceará Naval Industry shipyard (Inace); and the mapping effort, managed by 36 seamen aboard the vessel, will proceed for another 200 days. The vessel itself was named after the Rio Branco River – which begins in the state of Roraima – and José Maria da Silva Paranhos, Jr., the diplomat who was known as the Baron of Rio Branco in the early 1900s and finalized the Brazilian border by resolving several conflicts with neighboring countries, without the use of arms. Nautical Cartography, which is executed by the Navy. “There are no cheaper or more environmentally sound methods of transportation than on waterways. Today, people are using the waterways to transport close to 35,000 tons of soy as cargo,” Minister Wagner said. “If we were to transport that much on roadways, we’d be talking about 1,000 highways, burning diesel fuel, and polluting the atmosphere.” The Brazilian Navy has taken a vital step toward ensuring safe navigation in the nation’s Amazon region by mapping the region’s rivers with the River Hydro-oceanographic Ship (NHoFlu, for its Portuguese name) “Rio Branco”. Upon taking receipt of the “Rio Branco” in Manaus, the commander of the Navy Admiral Eduardo Barcellar Leal Ferreira emphasized the importance of mapping rivers such as the Solimões and the Madeira, whose characteristics change frequently. “There are no cheaper or more environmentally sound methods of transportation than on waterways. Today, people are using the waterways to transport close to 35,000 tons of soy as cargo,” Minister Wagner said. “If we were to transport that much on roadways, we’d be talking about 1,000 highways, burning diesel fuel, and polluting the atmosphere.” Charting the Amazon region and helping vessels avoid accidents will also help protect the environment, Minister Wagner said. Protecting the environment Land Cartography, which is executed by the Army and Air Force; The “Rio Branco” is part of the Amazônia Cartography Project (ACP), a partnership between the Navy and the Army, Air Force, and Brazilian Geological Bureau (CPRM), which has since 2008 been coordinated by the Amazônia Protection System Operational and Management Center (Censipam), a Ministry of Defense agency. The ACP consists of three subprojects: By Dialogo June 15, 2015 Land Cartography, which is executed by the Army and Air Force; “We need to ensure that the [growing maritime transportation in the region] is occurring safely and as economically as possible. The idea in the mid- and long-term is to have nautical maps with as much up-to-date information as possible available each year.” In addition to cartographic information, the ship is also collecting data on the atmosphere, the rivers, and underwater soil for use in scientific research. Eventually, the “Rio Branco” may also be used for training missions in support of river operations, in civil defense and social actions, as well as environmental preservation. It will additionally support the efforts of river patrol ships that combat crime in the region; the rivers of the Amazon are targeted by some criminals for illegal activities, such as robberies and drug trafficking. The vessel itself was named after the Rio Branco River – which begins in the state of Roraima – and José Maria da Silva Paranhos, Jr., the diplomat who was known as the Baron of Rio Branco in the early 1900s and finalized the Brazilian border by resolving several conflicts with neighboring countries, without the use of arms. Good Congratulations. They’re working hard at it.last_img read more

Champion Ken Jennings will be first interim ‘Jeopardy!’ host

first_imgJeopardy!’ announced that the last week of shows recorded by Trebek before his death will air starting on Jan. 4, in order to give more fans the chance to see them. NEW YORK (AP) –“Jeopardy!” says champion contestant Ken Jennings will be the first interim guest for the late Alex Trebek, and the show will try other guest hosts before naming a permanent replacement. He’s well-known to fans of the game show for his 74-game winning streak and victory in last year’s prime-time Greatest of All Time’ competition.center_img Jennings begins taping next week and his first episodes will air on the week of Jan. 11. last_img

German government ignores industry in revised pensions reform draft

first_imgThe insurance industry in particular had tried to get the paragraph on the explicit ban of any form of guarantees in the new vehicles deleted from the final draft.But the government stuck to its initial proposal.Stefan Oecking, pension expert at Mercer Germany commented on this decision: “Although guarantees would have probably increased the acceptance of a pure defined contribution model it is understandable in the current market environment not to allow them in the new model.”He confirmed the government had “mostly not considered any of the proposals made by the industry and the social partners during the consultation phase”.Similarly, Michael Karst, head of legal in Willis Towers Watson’s German pensions department, criticised the final draft: “Especially regarding known weaknesses of the existing occupational pension system, which were mentioned in several comments, there was practically no movement by the government.”He added: “Therefore this is actually not a strengthening of occupational pensions.”The name of the law literally translates as “occupational pensions strengthening law”.The final draft has five more pages than the one presented for consultation on 4 November, which can mostly be attributed to small technical changes.The only one of these changes that both consultancies welcomed in their statements is an increase in the tax-free threshold for employer contributions to second pillar plans.In the initial draft the current limit of 4% of the salary base that counts towards social security contributions (“Beitragsbemessungsgrenze”) was to be increased to 7%. In the final draft it is now 8%.Some left-wing parties have already announced that they plan to start a debate in parliament about how companies that are not part of a collective bargaining agreement (“Tarifvertrag”) can participate in the new pension vehicles.At the moment these are only open to companies that are party to a collective bargaining agreement. These agreements exist for different industries. The German government has decided against most of the amendments that were proposed for the new second pillar reform law during an extensive consultation phase with considerable input from the German pension industry and other stakeholders. The new “Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz” (final draft in German), which now has an unofficial abbreviation “BRSG”, was presented to parliament on Wednesday.Industry representatives are still hoping for amendments in this phase of the legislative process given that the government decided to ignore most of their requests for changes to the bill.The law provides for a new form of pension fund, and with it a pure defined contribution system without any guarantees.last_img read more