1. Big on Bigfoot – Troy, N.C.People willing to ignore the critics, and shell out $300, will get the chance of a lifetime: to wander around the North Carolina woods at night with a 70-year-old searching for…Bigfoot. Michael Greene has heard Bigfoot in the woods surrounding his home, caught his likeness with a thermal imager, and even bravely tempted him into his camp with a jar of Skippy. Greene, now an “expert,” will lead a sold out, four-day hunt through the woods just south of Uwharrie National Forest.2. Pooper Scoop – Fairfax, Va.Dog walkers, rejoice! A Virginia jury has found Kimberly Zakrzewski not guilty of violating a pooper scooper law in Fairfax, Va. Neighbor Virginia Cornell dialed the police claiming Zakrzewski neglected to clean up the business left behind by the Westie-bichon frise mix she was looking after. Following a review of photos of the alleged “violation,” the jury heard from the dog’s owner, who stated the doodoo in question was much too large to belong to her “wittle sweetie pie Baxter-Waxter.” After 20 minutes of deliberation, the jury agreed.3. Tire Pyre – Columbia, S.C.Authorities discovered a mass dump of used car tires in South Carolina so big it is visible from space. The pile of nearly 250,000 tires covers 50 acres in rural Calhoun County, S.C. The maximum penalty the guilty party could incur locally is a $475 littering ticket. Luckily, due to the extreme environmental hazard of the pile—including mosquitoes in festering rain water—the case was taken up by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, which can levy hefty fines and jail time. They recently issued indictments against George Brown of Easley, and the tires are set to be recycled by a Florida company (hopefully into 250,000 tire swings for the kiddos.)4. Teach a Man to Fish… – Richland, PALimestone Springs Preserve faced a slippery situation when their inventory went out with the wash, literally. Flooding in eastern Pennsylvania caused the preserve’s quarry to overflow, sending their stock of rainbow trout into nearby rivers. Workers in wetsuits also flooded the rivers attempting to bait the freed fish and scoop them up with nets. Limestone estimates that $400,000 worth of trout (that’s a lotta fish!) made a break for it during the flooding, which also caused millions of dollars in damage. Unfortunately for the preserve, word of the jailbreak spread quickly. Fishermen from around the region flocked to the area in their own attempt to “rescue” the fish—right into the frying pan.5. Bird Battle – Elkins, W.Va.Nearly 500 migratory songbirds were found dead at a wind turbine farm, but their demise was not caused by the spinning blades of the windmills. No, it was because someone left the lights on. The birds became disoriented in heavy fog by the lights left on overnight at the facility and circled like moths to the flame until they became exhausted and perished or flew into the building. This is not the first incident involving migratory birds, foggy conditions, and overnight lights; a similar incident was reported at a high school down the road in 2010. The benefits of renewable energy are undeniable, and the solutions are in the works, but in the meantime, can someone please hit the lights on the way out?Beyond the Blue RidgeBaby on Board27-year-old Amber Miller crossed the finish line of the Chicago Marathon in 6:25, then gave birth a few hours later to a baby girl named June. This was actually June’s second 26.2 mile finish, as mommy also ran the Wisconsin Marathon while pregnant in May, giving baby June bragging rights over one-year-old brother Caleb, who only got one marathon under his umbilical.Distance Persistence100-year-old Fauja Singh, known as the Turbaned Tornado, completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, in just over 8 hours, rocking a “Sikhs in the City” shirt and an impressive white beard.East Rock BottomTwo Yale University students were charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and violating a city ordinance when they attempted to free-climb East Rock in New Haven, Conn. Without rope, helmets or climbing shoes, Peter Kaufman and Sarah Maslin attempted to scale the wall, but Maslin got stuck half way and had to be rescued by firefighters.
By Dialogo April 20, 2009 The Summit of the Americas, held this weekend in Trinidad and Tobago, made a good impression among participating Latin American leaders, particularly regarding the prospects for change in the relations with the U.S. that have been opened. However, reactions to the meeting were very diverse: Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva felt that this was the beginning of a new chapter in the history in the relation between both countries, while Peruvian President Alan García was skeptical, and former Cuban president Fidel Castro, whose country was the most notable absentee in the event, criticized it openly. Lula revealed today in his weekly radio program that he felt that a new relationship between the United States and the rest of the Americas began in Trinidad and Tobago, and attributed this opportunity to the election of Barack Obama as President of that country. “If the United States wishes so, they have the ability to open a new chapter in history, not by interfering, but by establishing a partnership and building positive things with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said. He also said that the summit demonstrated that differences are resolved through dialogue, not violence. “The whole world expected a fight between Obama and (Hugo) Chávez, between Obama and Evo Morales, between Obama and Rafael Correa, between Obama and Daniel Ortega… What happened? People are acting in a civilized way, and have learned to discuss matters democratically and live with their differences,” he said. The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, agreed today that the summit “was held in an atmosphere of great harmony, great cordiality,” which he attributed to Obama’s role, and said that it “has taken significant steps toward building confidence in a new era in international relations between the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. ” In addition, he was pleased that the presidential speeches during the meeting were based on clear, direct, profound, and functional dialogue. The Ecuadorian President’s only objection was the lack of strength he felt in the final statement, since “the summit went far beyond that document.” The Dominican President, Leonel Fernández, also expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Summit and the meeting he held with the presidents of Central America and Obama, a meeting he described as “positive, cordial, and friendly.” In Central America, today’s newspaper editorials praised Obama’s new approach toward the region, among them “La Prensa Gráfica” in El Salvador, which announced “renewed relations between the United States and other countries in the hemisphere, especially with Latin America.” Just as “La Prensa Gráfica,” in Central America today, newspaper editorials also praised the new style introduced by Obama, for whom they predict “renewed relations between the United States and other countries of the hemisphere, especially with Latin American.” In Guatemala, the newspaper “Prensa Libre” said that Obama seems “to have started in the right direction in his debut before his colleagues on the continent” and stressed promises he made, such as “establishing a new era of cooperation with Latin America.” However, the Peruvian Alan García felt less optimistic about by the summit regarding relations with United States because, although he also praised Obama’s personality and his willingness to listen, “the basic interests (of the U.S.) are still a priority,” in reference to his views on democracy and free trade. “I do not think we can either promise or believe that the conflicting relation has been pushed aside, but at least we have a few months of a more fluid relationship,” said the President in an interview published today in the newspaper El Comercio. Another of the skeptics was the President of Costa Rica, Óscar Arias, who said that, unlike in the G20 Summit, “where we achieved important, concrete things,” in Trinidad and Tobago, other matters, “which were not very important,” were discussed. “To be more specific, we all engaged in discussing the (final) statement, which was not very relevant and on which consensus was not achieved,” he lamented. The Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaime Bermúdez, was also cautious about the new era in continental relations announced in the meeting, because, he said, “summits, like wedding parties, are the first celebration, but what is important is what follows day-to-day.” Yesterday, other leaders expressed their satisfaction with the meeting, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who stated that what happened “was unthinkable a few years ago: that the U.S. government” would make a shift and would sit face to face with Latin America and the Caribbean as equals. Chavez stressed that they discussed “matters that, in other summits, it would be unthinkable to discuss,” and attributed the success of the meeting as a personal triumph. “It seems that the changes that began in Venezuela in the last decade of the twentieth century have begun to reach North America,” he said. Additionally, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega called the Summit of the Americas “a positive step” toward a new stage of relations between the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, his Honduran counterpart, Manuel Zelaya, noted that “although confrontation was expected, analysis took place,” and that both Latin America and United States left the meeting “with their heads held high.” The biggest criticism of the meeting in Trinidad and Tobago came from former Cuban President Fidel Castro, although in the summit the end of the of the United States embargo on the island and its exclusion from the Organization of American States (OAS) were major themes. The Cuban leader complained that the summit was “secret,” since neither the representatives nor those who had been “excommunicated” could see what was dealt with. “We were told that the meeting would not be secret, but the show’s owners deprived us of that interesting intellectual exercise,” he added in a report to official Cuban media. In addition, he found that Obama “was harsh and evasive in relation to the blockade (of Cuba by the U.S.) in his interview with the press.”
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo October 24, 2016 The Dominican Republic Ministry of Defense bolstered its Internal and Citizen Security Plan in Support of the National Police with the addition of 1,000 members of the Army, Navy and Air Force. The plan, created in 2013, is coordinated by the Unified Joint Command of the Armed Forces, which rotates its command between the three armed branches Major General Braulio Alberto Alcántara, general commander of the Army, assumed control of coordinating the plan on September 2nd at the Ministry of Defense headquarters. Present at the event, was the Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino, who announced the increased support for the efforts of the National Police (PN, per its Spanish acronym). “This plan has always been updated based on the police presenting us with their needs. Since its implementation, we have made 18 adjustments to keep our cooperation and operability with the police force up to date. Thus, we have been able to combat organized crime and other criminal activity,” said Lt. Gen. Paulino to Diálogo. “Of the 1,000 military members assigned to increase citizen protection, 500 officers were mobilized in September at Santiago de los Caballeros, known as the ‘Heart City,’ in the country’s northern zone. The goal is to reduce the number of assaults, robberies, and violent crimes that occur in that area. The security situation in the country should begin to improve,” said Major General Nelson Peguero, general director of the PN. The remainder of the military troops will be deployed in cities where higher crime rates have been recorded, such as San Cristóbal, La Altagracia, and Santo Domingo, where they will check vehicles, search individuals, and establish checkpoints at intersections jointly with police. Approximately 38.8 percent of Dominican citizens see security as the most important issue facing the country. According to the Latin American Public Opinion Project, published in 2014 by Vanderbilt University, 23.4 percent of Dominicans report having been the victim of a crime. The Dominican Republic is ranked 99th on the global peace index and “can be considered a dangerous country,” the report said. Until September 2016, some 2,000 men have been mobilized in the various places where the police have detected criminal activity. “This is made possible by mapping crime,” the Ministry of Defense reported. “Understanding the police dynamics became a challenge during the plan’s development. But despite that, it has not been hard to do. We have made advances; there are no downsides to the planning. There has been close coordination from the Armed Forces Command to the PN leadership,” added Lt. Gen. Paulino. Daniel Pou, associate researcher for the Latin American School of Social Sciences in the Dominican Republic, said that “between January and August of 2016, the Dominican Attorney General reported a homicide rate of 17.57 per 100,000 inhabitants. This is the lowest rate in the past 15 years. The highest homicide rate was in 2005, with 26.56 percent. The most common crime was armed assault in dwellings, shopping centers, and on the street.” The Dominican Republic has laid the groundwork for the fundamental transformations that are needed in terms of citizen security. In addition to the Internal and Citizen Security Plan in Support of the National Police, the country also has a more modern legal framework. Notable are the PN reform law and other basic initiatives like the Arms law, the Asset Forfeiture Law and the law creating the 911 emergency service. On August 19th, during his swearing-in as president of the Dominican Republic for the 2016-2020 term, Danilo Medina stated in his speech that, “the police reform law allows us to have a police that is up to date, more highly trained, more disciplined, closer to the people. We are going to complement this legal framework with better training, equipment, and a dignified salary for our police officers.” For Lt. Gen. Paulino, the new NP plan will allow for more effective support to the Dominican society. “This is our role. We are Dominicans, and we are a part of society. We must act together to intervene in support of our society. There is a lot of trust as a result of having this coordination among members of the Armed Forces and the National Police.”
By By David Vergun, Defense.gov February 14, 2019 The commander of U.S. Southern Command provided an assessment of SOUTHCOM’s concerns and initiatives to lawmakers February 7, 2019, during testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2020 and the Future Years Defense Program. “China has accelerated expansion of its ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ at a pace that may one day overshadow its expansion in Southeast Asia and Africa,” U.S. Navy Adm. Craig S. Faller told the committee members. The initiative aims at growing China-centered infrastructure development and investments on a transcontinental scale. “Belt” refers to refers to overland road and rail transportation routes, while “road” refers to sea routes. Russian activity in the region is also raising concerns—including its support for autocratic regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, Adm. Faller added. “Russia supports multiple information outlets spreading its false narrative of world events and U.S. intentions,” he said. “Iran has deepened its anti-U.S. Spanish language media coverage and has exported its state support for terrorism into our hemisphere.” Partnership Strategy Partnerships are important to efforts to address these and other concerns in the region, such as criminal organizations, narcotraffickers, illegal immigration, and violent extremists, he told lawmakers. “Strengthening partnerships is at the heart of everything we do,” Adm. Faller said. In several nations, such as Brazil, Colombia, and Chile, these partnerships are important drivers for regional stability and security, he said. Argentina “has reinvigorated military-to-military interactions” and, along with the United States, co-hosted the annual South American Defense Conference in August 2018, the admiral noted. That conference was a forum for dialogue among 11 nations, facilitating the exchange of ideas, experiences and perspectives on defense issues, and promoting cooperative approaches to regional security. Peru continues a tradition of strong liaison officer exchanges with SOUTHCOM and recently conducted training with the U.S. Marine Corps, the admiral said. The command reinitiated security cooperation with Ecuador, and is moving forward with a renewed military-to-military partnership, Adm. Faller said. Similar cooperation efforts are taking place with several other nations, the admiral noted, including El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica. Absence of Permanent Presence In the absence of an enduring U.S. military presence in most of Latin America and the Caribbean, recurring rotations of small teams of U.S. active and reserve forces “play central roles in building trust and enabling the exchange of critical expertise,” Adm. Faller said. For example, the State Partnership Program links a state’s National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner nation, “leveraging National Guard capabilities for engagements that build enduring relationships and advance mutual defense and security goals,” he said. Of the 75 SPPs worldwide, there are 24 partnerships with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, he said, but noted that number includes an inactive partnership between Venezuela and Florida. Another way the United States plays a military nonenduring role is through its participation in multinational exercises such as UNITAS, a naval integration exercise; PANAMAX, the defense of the Panama Canal; and, Cruzeiro do Sul, a regional air exercise hosted by Brazil, he said. These are just a few of the many ways the United States cooperates with partner nations, Adm. Faller said. “The men and women of our team work every day to earn the trust of partners in Latin America and the Caribbean,” he added.
The credit union industry does not need NCUA’s risk-based capital proposal and the agency should withdraw it immediately, said NAFCU’s Carrie Hunt in an editorial published Friday in Credit Union Times.“The first proposal was fundamentally flawed. The second, while addressing some credit union concerns, still is unnecessary and will only impose more regulatory burden on an already extremely well-capitalized industry,” Hunt, NAFCU’s senior vice president of government affairs and general counsel, wrote. “Contrary to NCUA’s stated intent, this risk-based capital proposal will imperil credit unions in the future by forcing them to park more capital on their balance sheets rather than allowing them to grow and lend within their communities.”NAFCU submitted its official comment letter to NCUA on Thursday. The comment period closes today. Hunt explained that NAFCU’s top concerns with the proposal remain its cost to the industry, the definition of a complex credit union and the competitive disadvantage it places on credit unions. continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michael Murdoch Michael Murdoch is the Communications Specialist at Wauna Credit Union in Clatskanie, Oregon. He serves on the board of the Young Credit Union Professionals of Oregon and SW Washington as … Web: waunafcu.org Details Rose, “Miss Rose”, attended every financial education seminar hosted at the Credit Union that year (and we hosted many). Regardless the topic, she listened intently, keen on participation, keen on positivity. One day, following a retirement and investments seminar, long after the other attendees had departed, I was loading the session’s materials into my car. As I finished up, I spied Miss Rose standing to the side of our building. It was raining and she was huddled there watching me. Save for us, the parking lot was empty. The sky was growing dark. Something inside began to hurt, and before I knew what was what, I was giving a ride to a very happy Miss Rose. With International Credit Union Day just around the corner, “Global Service. Global Reach” is not just a theme, it’s a mantra. As cooperatives, our mission is people and it is the people before profit philosophy, which keeps our shops open and thriving. In celebration of our cooperativity, we join tens of thousands of credit unions around the world to share the stories and efforts that truly define this movement. I often tell people my passion for financial education is what inspired me to join the credit union movement, which is mostly true. Each of us has a passion for something. Though on that rainy day with Miss Rose, it was clearer to me than it had ever been before: I wanted to help others. Today, such clarity has fueled an almost obsessive zeal for the industry. By focusing on my expertise in credit union marketing and community outreach; by working closely with my mentors, teammates, and professional network; and by setting professional goals where experiences with people shine brilliantly, we can all of us flourish as invaluable members of our communities and our credit unions. When we pulled into Miss Rose’s driveway, I understood she was alone. Her family was long gone and her days, she said, “blended together.” But she mentioned that coming to the Credit Union helped her feel less alone, and that the people there were about the only thing she didn’t forget. Then Miss Rose told me something I will always remember: while the memories of loved and lost slipped away for her, she would never forget me. This was my Kool-Aid moment, and with it came a powerful urge to lead others to the same awareness. Early this year, I learned that Miss Rose had passed, peacefully in her sleep. While I could not help feeling sad, I found comfort in knowing she was not alone – she had her Credit Union – and that it was as simple as offering her a ride that made all the difference in her life.
1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Throughout our careers, we will experience failure. I’ve previously shared how failure can be good for us: We learn from our mistakes and it can make us more empathetic. But from a leadership standpoint, how can we guide our employees through challenges and failure?Leadership guru Dan Rockwell offers the “plate-drop challenge” to help leaders think through these situations. Part of our responsibility as leaders is to push people – and ultimately our organizations – to reach their full potential.Each year, we extend goals to achieve more growth, which means asking people to take on more; but as you allocate more responsibility to employees, you might see other “plates” start to wobble.Here are Rockwell’s recommendations when this happens:Don’t spin plates with them. Most of us get the urge to step in and fix problems when we see them arise. While this might prevent failure in the short term, it hinders employees’ ability to learn from these situations and could lead to more problems down the road. If it’s approaching crisis-level, leaders should do what they can to avert it, but also consider what contributed to its escalation in the first place. continue reading »
Seoul authorities began carrying out tests anonymously this week to address such concerns, and mayor Park Won-soon said than 8,300 people were tested in the city on Tuesday, compared to around 1,000 per day last week.”This is proof that ensuring anonymity encourages voluntary tests,” Park told reporters.Authorities are using mobile phone data to trace nightclub visitors and will deploy police to track down those who cannot be reached.Officials in the east Asian nation of 52 million announced 26 new cases Wednesday, taking its total to 10,962, after recording only single-digit increases for eight of the preceding 14 days — many of them overseas arrivals. Topics : Seoul officials said that as of Wednesday morning 119 cases nationwide had been linked to the Itaewon cluster.South Korea’s handling of the initial coronavirus outbreak was widely praised, and how it deals with this latest spike will be closely watched as parts of Europe begin a cautious re-opening.Health experts in Europe and the United States have warned that moving too quickly could result in a surge in infection numbers. Rights groups say intolerance towards gay people remains rampant in South Korea.The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vice director Kwon Joon-wook said this week that “prejudice and discrimination” only impede prevention activities. Coronavirus screening has surged in South Korea since authorities introduced anonymous testing, officials said Wednesday, as they scrambled to tackle a nightclub cluster amid concerns anti-gay prejudice could impede the response.The country has been held up as a global model in how to curb the virus, but a spike of new cases, driven by the cluster in venues in Seoul’s Itaewon district — including several gay clubs — forced authorities to delay this week’s planned re-opening of schools.Many nightclub customers are believed to be reluctant to come forward because of the stigma of being gay in the socially conservative country.
In it, he laid out options for reforming the PPM, which is the funded part of the first pillar state pension that allows individuals to choose their own investment provider.Addressing the Pensions Group in AP7’s response, Källstrand said the fund agreed with parts of Lundbergh’s study, welcoming the proposal dealing with a system that was adapted to the needs of the individual.He also welcomed the idea of having a clear principal in charge of the funds market.“However, Lundbergh also proposes that the prescription be converted into an insurance-inspired solution with characteristics similar to a traditional pension insurance,” Källstrand said, which would not be in the best interests of savers. Sweden’s Seventh AP Fund has rejected a proposal by pensions expert Stefan Lundbergh to reduce investment risk in the country’s premium pension system (PPM), saying it will lead to lower pensions.Bo Källstrand, chairman of AP7’s supervisory board, said in the pension fund’s official response to the proposal: “In AP7’s opinion, the proposal reduces the likelihood that more pension savers will get a better premium pension outcome and leads to a worse risk diversification in the overall public pension.”AP7 is the national pension fund responsible for the default option in the PPM. Lundbergh, director at Cardano, presented his report to the Swedish government’s cross-party Pension Group at the end of August. Stefan LundberghThe chairman said the proposal could lead to more people being invested in long-term interest-bearing assets with low growth potential and non-existent diversification in relation to the income pension – the portion of Sweden’s state pension that runs alongside the premium pension.Källstrand argued that even though insurance solutions based on a high percentage of long-term interest-bearing assets had given similar returns to equities over the last 20 years, this was because long-term interest rates had fallen over a long period of years.“A doubling of the interest rate from the current level would mean that the return on such a product would remain negative for a very long time,” he said.