Category: ahowa

“We’re for each other.” Allston-Brighton volunteers build a strong community

first_imgOn May 1, elected officials and community volunteers representing the Allston-Brighton neighborhood held their annual Legislators’ Breakfast to celebrate the year’s successes and share a vision for continued partnership and progress. The celebration was held at the new Harvard Ed Portal, an innovative collaborative partnership involving Harvard University, the city of Boston, the Harvard Allston Task Force, and the Allston-Brighton community. The Harvard Ed Portal is a new state-of-the-art facility at 224 Western Avenue in Allston. Read Full Storylast_img

China factor

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaThe U.S. government said last week it would begin to set limits on how much clothing China could ship into the country. The move was praised by the U.S. textile industry. But the decision may not help U.S. cotton farmers, says a University of Georgia economist.Since the global textile quota system ended Jan. 1, U.S. imports of some Chinese-made clothes like trousers and underwear have increased more than 300 percent. In that time, 16,600 textile workers have lost jobs, and 18 U.S. mills have closed, says the National Council of Textile Organizations.The new quota will allow only a 7.5 percent increase annually for certain Chinese clothing products. The U.S. textile industry believes this will save jobs and bolster the faltering industry.But the reinstated quota has angered Chinese officials. China’s minister of commerce will protest the decision, according to a May 18 report by the official Chinese press agency.Big buyerIt’s unclear how the reimposed quotas will affect U.S. cotton farmers, said Don Shurley, a cotton economist with the UGA Extension Service. But one thing is clear: U.S. cotton farmers need China to buy their cotton.Farmers will be hurt, he said, if China decides not to buy U.S. cotton, either to retaliate against the quotas or if it doesn’t need as much cotton to make clothes.The United States produced 23 million bales of cotton last year. (A bale is about 480 pounds of fiber.) It was a record crop. The nation usually grows 19 million to 20 million bales annually. Of that, 13 million to 14 million bales must be bought by other countries.”We’re not going to get rid of that much cotton without China,” Shurley said.There are fewer U.S. textile mills. In 1997, U.S. mills used 11.3 million bales of U.S.-grown cotton, Shurley said. This year, they’re expected to use 5.8 million bales.China has bought a lot of U.S. cotton in recent years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Chinese are expected to buy 8 million bales of foreign cotton this year. The United States typically supplies half of that. China has bought 3 million bales so far this year.China hasn’t threatened to stop buying U.S. cotton. But any cut in the country’s purchase of U.S. cotton will affect prices, Shurley said.The world has a surplus of cotton. Farmers worldwide grew 114 million bales last year. Of that, only 103 million bales were used.”China can get its cotton from other places,” he said.Shrinking industryA healthy U.S. textile industry helps U.S. farmers, too. By creating a demand for their cotton closer to home, they’re less dependent on foreign buyers.”But a small increase in use by the U.S. textile industry won’t immediately help U.S. cotton farmers sell their cotton,” Shurley said.U.S. textile mills have closed for several reasons in recent years, Shurley said. But increased competition by foreign mills and increased imports of finished clothing products have greatly contributed.Cool, wet spring weather kept many Georgia farmers out of their fields and delayed cotton planting, said Steve Brown, a UGA Extension Service cotton agronomist. Warm, dry weather in May, though, has helped them catch up.As of May 15, the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service reported that only 38 percent of the crop had been planted. Only 19 percent had been planted a week earlier. Half the crop is usually planted by this time.”It’s too early to say how the crop will turn out this year,” Brown said. “A lot can happen between now and harvest.”last_img read more

A Race for the Crown: King of the James Adventure Triathalon

first_imgJim Callahan is the man behind the artwork. He runs Barf Comics He is an amazing artist from Richmond (currently living in LA) and a genuinely great person. He does a lot of artwork for skate companies, and punk/metal bands, among other things.  Pictured is 2014 King of the James winner Adam Tremper (photo Rich Young) There can only be one… 9.) What do you look forward to most about this year? Above photo shows the class III paddling of King of the James: Photo by Keith Vincent No portion of the race is easy, and its all in downtown Richmond. There aren’t a lot of places that can pull all of those things together in one place, and certainly not within city limits.  Canoeist competing in King of the James in 2017: Photo by Dave Parrish Logo for 2019’s King of James: Artwork by Jim Callahan 8.) Where does the inspiration come from for the logo designs each year? (Are you or are you not a skater boi?) This event really couldn’t happen without all of the help from the other race organizers. Katie Lemmert, Matt Rosenberg, and Shawna Shade have been instrumental in making this event happen.  Yes, omniscient and all-knowing. In 2018 we raised over $12,000 for the James River Park. Photo of 2018 Queen of James, Penelope Davenport, and Riley Gorman. Photo by Rich Young 2015 Racers are urged to train and understand that this race is for experienced trail runners, mountain bikers, and whitewater paddlers. If you do not have the proper safety gear for any portion of the race, you cannot participate. I don’t want to change the event much. People are always saying we should add more categories (Clydesdale, age groups, etc.). I think they should just get faster and try to win it. I mean, there can only be one king of the James. There was also the time that the president of JROC (at the time) got lost on the course. It was particularly funny because he was running around with his kayak helmet on… The King of the James has grown a good bit over the years. We had over 150 racers last year. The general vibe stays the same though. The James River Outdoor Coalition (JROC), a non-profit organization that helps support the James River Park System, now hosts the event. I work with a committee of volunteers from JROC to plan the race. It’s the largest fundraiser that they host each year. Haha. The first year we didn’t think many people would want to do something this. Hunter and I knew a couple of people who were into the multi-sport stuff, but didn’t really think there were going to be a lot. Originally we just planned on it being a grassroots kinda thing. Just show up at the park and do the thing. Gentleman’s rules. Hunter put a post up on his website and we made a Facebook event. Before we realized it, we had like 100 people saying they were going to come. 6.) What’s your favorite, funniest, RADDEST, worst-est, most eye-opening, plain old silliest memory that has come from running the King of the James event.  The race is not only a fun challenge but also a great way to connect with people in the outdoor community of Richmond and the surrounding area while raising money for the James River Park. Think you got what it takes? Sign up here to compete for the crown! I hope that the event continues to attract more racers. We are starting to see more folks from outside the city come and race. It’s pretty cool to get to showcase what Richmond has to offer. You really get to see all of the best parts of the James River Park. I know several people who have learned to mountain bike or kayak just so that they could participate in the King of the James. We also have a fair number of folks that start on a team and make it a goal to do the event solo the next year. For a lot of people, it’s an accomplishment to just finish the event.   The Details 11.) What’s your fav color? For it is time that the glorious King and Queen of thy mighty James relinquish their rights to the crown to once again challenge the brave athletes of the East for the glory. On the 10th day of November they will endure the intensity of running, mountain biking, and paddling the most treacherous trails and roaring waters that hail within the city limits of Richmond, Virginia. There can only be one…Who shall be crowned the next King and Queen of the James? The other thing is that we do this in a very “Richmond way.” Its kinda gritty, trash-talking is encouraged, and there is only one winner. We don’t have a bunch of categories and participation trophies for everyone. The King is the first male that crosses the finish line, the queen is the first female to finish, and the court is the first team. Really, its all about bragging rights for the next 12 months.  We talked to Joey Parent, one of the creators behind King of the James (the King of the – King of the James? God of the James? Emperor? You decide), and asked him a few questions about this epic event! Probably sitting at the takeout and watching people finish the race. There is always a group of people who do the race off the couch. They don’t really train at all, or maybe go out for a jog the week before the race. Watching them crawl (or swim) out of their boats at the end is hilarious. Most of them can barely walk the week after the race.  This is the best place because its what we have. A Word From the King With that said, I feel really lucky to have the community and outdoor resources that we do here in Richmond. The King of the James is a completely volunteer-run event. We have a ton of support from the local outdoor community. So many local businesses support this event. In the end, all of the money we raise goes straight back to the park. No one makes a cent off of the race (except the insurance company….) Hear ye, hear ye! Having both lived in other cities and towns around the US, few had the immediate access that we are so lucky to have here in Richmond. After work, we would often find ourselves going kayaking and then trail running the shuttle. When we had more time on the weekends, we would meet at the put-in with our bikes and boats and everything and do a paddle/run/mountain bike. Eventually, we were like “Hey, we should make this a race and see who can do it the fastest.”  Video from the first year of King of the James in 2014 by Tijo Media 4.) How has the event grown over the past 5 years? What was that first year like? The Captain Thurmond’s Challenge was also a huge inspiration for the event. I did that race when I was in college and still do now. They put on a really great event in Fayetteville [West Virginia] that is super well organized. It goes together so well, and its a pretty challenging event.  Having the national guard run gear logistics doesn’t hurt either. When we started planning the King of the James, we knew we had all of the ingredients for a great event. We are making the most of what is available to us. There are some other places doing events like this, but there aren’t a ton. I would love to see more technically challenging adventure triathlons. 5.) How do you see King of the James in years to come? One of the things that really drew us back was the great access to trails and the river. This year we should do even better than that. I think its a good fit. Like I have already said, the park system has given a lot to everyone that lives here in Richmond, its good to be able to give back.  Technical riding on the North Bank Trail (photo Hunter Davis)Class III Rapids of King of the James (photo: Dave Parrish)Careful foot placement in Forest Hill (photo Hunter Davis) My friend Hunter Davis and I both moved back to Richmond after some time away chasing water and snow all over the country. 3.) Why do you feel that Richmond is the best place to host this race? What role does the community play? The race begins with the mountain bike portion that loops through the Buttermilk and Northbank Trails (about 10 miles), followed by a trail-run on the Forest Hill Trail Loop (about 4 miles), and finishes with a class III/IV white water paddle of the Lower section of the James River (about 2.5 miles), finishing at the 14th street take out. Joey Parent in King of the James in 2017: Photo by James Vonesh 1.) What inspired the idea? How did King of the James get started? 10.) Anything else you would like to add? Eventually, the Park System folks found out that we were running an unsanctioned event in the park. They were pretty upset and let us know that we couldn’t host the event unless it was registered with the city and we got some insurance. So we did. The first race was super fun and we had lots of people in the community help us make it happen pretty last minute.  His stuff is ridiculous. Its super graphic and has a ton of detail. Racers have the option to get creative in how they compete: Solo, solo with raft support, or as a team. Teams of 2-3 can pick and choose who does what portion of the race and relay off. That also means that if they choose to raft the paddling portion they can all hop in and cross the finish line together! THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. This year marks the 5th annual King of the James Adventure Triathalon in Richmond, Virginia, which has quickly become a yearly tradition and highlight for many. In celebration of the unique access Richmonders have to the outdoors, the race takes place on three of the most technical of trail running, mountain biking, and urban whitewater sections the area has to offer. 7.) If every year you crown a new King and Queen of the James… Does that make you God of the James? Black… and also black. The obvious thing is that its a legit adventure triathlon in the middle of a city. The trail run is all on trail, the mountain bike is all on technical single track and the whitewater section is on a class III/IV river. I really love it for the King of the James because it not what you expect from an outdoor event. Until this year, we have been doing spoofs off of old Powell Peralta Skate decks. I never really skated, I wasn’t that cool, but Jim has illustrated countless skate decks for various companies and done illustrations for Thrasher magazine. We wanted something that had a Richmond flair to it. It was a pretty natural fit for King of the James. This year we went a slightly different route. Its got more of a punk rock album cover look. Also super fitting for Richmond.  2.) What makes King of the James different from other triathlons? Rafters competing in King of the James in 2017: Photo by Dave Parrish I’m always excited to see who comes out for the race. We get a few people from out of town that throw down pretty quick times. Michael Wilson has won the race for the last two years. He is originally from Richmond and has come back home from South Africa each year to compete in the race. Hopefully, we will see him again this year! The two time reigning Queen of the James, Penelope Davenport, will be sitting this year’s race out. Her baby (Princess of the James?) is due right around the day as the race. The women’s race is up in the air this year for sure. I’m excited to see what will happen there. People come out of the woodwork to race king of the James. It’s always exciting to see who shows up.  last_img read more

Panama and Costa Rica Debate Strategies to Confront Organized Crime

first_imgBy Dialogo October 28, 2011 Panamanian and Costa Rican authorities met on October 26 in search of strategies for the fight against organized crime operating on the two countries’ shared border, a Costa Rican source announced. “Crime problems are common to our two countries, so that meetings of this kind serve to strengthen our ties of cooperation at all levels,” Costa Rican Deputy Public Safety Minister Celso Gamboa declared. “We support close cooperation between Panama and Costa Rica through the handling and exchange of information,” his Panamanian counterpart Alejandro Garuz said in a statement, for his part. According to Garuz, despite the efforts made, technological advances, communications, and investments, “it’s necessary to confront the various conditions under which transnational terrorism is abusing the Costa Rican-Panamanian border.” The authorities discussed drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution, smuggling, drugs, and tax evasion, among other topics. Panama “is a fundamental strategic ally in the fight against crime, and we want to improve relations in order to succeed in making an effective impact,” Gamboa said, adding that in his country “there are concerns” about the penetration of drug trafficking on the border at Paso Canoas. The meeting in the Panamanian city of David concluded on October 27.last_img read more

Information Operations Part II: Doctrine

first_imgBy Dialogo July 23, 2012 (Continued from Part I) Many attempts have been made to define the meaning of the concept of Information Operations (IO); they can be understood as the use of a series of tools to manage one’s own information and that of one’s adversary, with the objective of identifying and revealing the enemy’s stratagems. This is done with the aim of developing information strategies that can strengthen the institution’s image and using them to confront 4th Generation Warfare; in this scenario, they become a tool that can transform society’s perceptions and defeat the enemy internally, through an appropriate planning process. U.S. Doctrine Joint Publication 3-13 of 2006 on IO, published by the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard, covers a series of capabilities for their implementation and the achievement of the objectives proposed. Fundamental Capabilities: understood as the means to influence the adversary and make it possible to have a direct impact on his decision-making capability. They are Psychological Operations, Digital Network Operations, Military Deception, Security Operations, and Third-Party Validators. Support Capabilities: those capabilities that directly or indirectly form part of the information environment and contribute to carrying out IO. Ideally, they should be coordinated with the fundamental capabilities in order to achieve the goal most effectively. For Colombia these capabilities are Physical Security and Integrated Action Tools. Related Capabilities: defined as those capabilities that make a significant contribution to the conduct of IO and should be coordinated with the fundamental and support capabilities. As related capabilities, they are not necessarily committed to IO. They are Civil-Military Relations, Government Affairs, and Public Diplomacy. Colombian Doctrine According to the doctrine of Integrated Action, Information Operations rely on five primary capabilities: Psychological Operations, Electronic Warfare, Digital Network Operations, Military Deception, and Security Operations. Support Capabilities: Information Assurance and Logistical Tools (such as combat cameras, loudspeakers, broadcasters, etc.). Related Capabilities: Civil-Military Relations (legally known today as Development Support Campaigns), Civil Affairs, and Public Diplomacy. In addition, and in accordance with Joint Publication 3-13, Intelligence support is decisive in conducting effective IO. This is an element that cuts across multiple areas, because it facilitates obtaining relevant and timely information on the physical characteristics of the environment (population, places, the adversary’s informational capabilities), as well as making it possible to identify characteristics related to the origin of the data and the existence of diffusion, transmission, processing, and storage networks. Likewise, the information environment’s cognitive characteristics, understood as its psychological, cultural, and behavioral characteristics, the flow of information, and its interpretation by individuals and groups, are identified through intelligence. In this way, IO becomes a raw material that cuts across multiple areas in order to successfully neutralize the enemy and undermine his theory of the fight. Colombia and its Military have the capabilities and elements to strengthen their implementation, and as a consequence, the work carried out daily by the Army in this field becomes a way to directly attack the enemy’s message and win the hearts and minds of the Colombian people. (To be continued…)last_img read more

South Korea reports 142 more coronavirus cases, total 346

first_imgCounty officials said Friday that a three-day funeral was held for his brother three weeks ago at a hall owned by the hospital.Shincheonji is often accused of being a cult and claims its founder Lee has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on the day of judgment.But with more church members than available places in heaven, they are said to have to compete for slots and pursue converts persistently and secretively.President Moon Jae-in on Friday called for a “thorough investigation” of everyone who attended the funeral and Shincheonji services. The central government on Friday had declared Daegu and Cheongdo “special management zones”, with Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun saying the region would be supported with medical personnel, beds and equipment and the cabinet will meet three times a week to discuss the outbreak.Authorities in Seoul banned public rallies at three main locations on health and safety grounds.The US army garrison in Daegu — where around 10,000 soldiers, civilians and family members live or work — has restricted access and instructed any American troops who recently attended Shincheonji services to self-quarantine.Shincheonji offered an apology, suspending its worship services and gatherings worldwide.”We are deeply sorry that because of one of our members, who thought of her condition as a cold because she had not travelled abroad, led to many in our church being infected and thereby caused concern to the local community,” it said in a statement.But its leader Lee told his followers the outbreak had been “caused by the Devil” and compared it to the biblical testing of Job, Yonhap news agency reported. Authorities reported another death on Saturday, taking the toll to two. Both victims had been inpatients at the hospital.More than 150 members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus have also been infected, starting with a 61-year-old woman who developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four services at the church’s Daegu branch before being diagnosed.The mayor of Daegu — South Korea’s fourth-biggest city, with a population of over 2.5 million — has advised locals to stay indoors, while access to a major US military base in the area has been restricted.Cheongdo, some 27 kilometers south of Daegu, is the birthplace of Shincheonji’s founder Lee Man-hee.  Topics :center_img South Korea reported 142 more coronavirus cases Saturday, the sharpest spike in infections yet, with more than half of the new cases linked to a hospital in a southern city.The national toll of 346 is now the second-highest outside of China, with the jump in cases at a hospital in Cheongdo following a similar spike among members of a religious sect in the nearby city of Daegu. Among the new cases, 92 were “related” to patients or staff at the hospital in Cheongdo, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.last_img read more

Nearly 900 Bekasi factory workers have tested positive for COVID-19

first_imgThe Bekasi COVID-19 task force has reported that 869 factory workers have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak.Task force member Alamsyah said confirmed cases had been detected in 46 companies following contract-tracing in the area.The largest industrial COVID-19 infection cluster in the region emerged in a factory owned by Japan-based technology company PT Epson Indonesia. “The transmission area is between the factories and the workers’ residences. Local Puskesmas [community health centers] continue to trace those who have had contact [with people found to have the virus],” Alamsyah said.He urged companies to strictly supervise employees’ compliance with health protocols, both in and outside of the workplace.“[Transmission] needs to be controlled to prevent carriers from spreading the virus in the workplace,” Alamsyah added.Bekasi Private Hospital Association head Eko Nugroho previously said the region was running out of available intensive care facilities at its COVID-19 referral hospitals.He said 48 of the 57 ICU beds in the city were occupied as of Sept. 15 as the number of COVID-19 patients who needed intensive care, including those who required ventilators, was fluctuating.As of Tuesday, the region had reported 1,483 confirmed COVID-19 cases. (rfa)Topics : “[Epson] is the largest cluster, considering that it’s a large company with more than 13,000 employees,” Alamsyah said on Tuesday as quoted by said 369 of the 4,000 samples taken at the factory had been COVID-19 positive.The factories of South Korea-based electronics firm PT LG Electronics Indonesia and Japan-based manufacturer PT NOK Indonesia were the sources of other significant clusters with 242 cases and 150 cases, respectively.North Cikarang, South Cikarang, West Cikarang, and Cibitung are home to the largest industrial clusters.last_img read more

No one would set up cross-border scheme under proposed IORP II – expert

first_imgProposed amendments to the IORP II Directive have failed to produce a sound legal framework for the creation of pan-European pension funds, according to Hansjörg Müllerleile, a corporate pensions expert at German industrial company Bosch. Speaking at Towers Watson’s bAV-Tag occupational pensions conference in Frankfurt, Müllerleile argued that “nobody would sensibly set up a cross-border pension fund” at the present moment based on the IORP II draft released this spring.“I could not back such a decision,” he said.Müllerleile cited in particular ongoing legal uncertainty and the possible introduction of capital requirements. Earlier this week, EIOPA published its consultation paper on the controversial holistic balance sheet (HBS) approach.Instead of the HBS, Müllerleile said he would like to see a “bespoke” supervisory framework for occupational pensions focusing on company pension plans or those run by unions and social partners.“It makes no sense to include competitive pension funds or insurers into this supervisory scope,” he said.He also argued that national labour law should have priority over supervisory decisions, and that supervisors “should not call for things impossible to fulfil under national legal frameworks”.As an example, he cited the European Commission’s failure to acknowledge pension contracts negotiated with employee groups such as unions, as well as its “demands for consent” from each individual plan member.Müllerleile also highlighted the fact the draft IORP II still contained a requirement for cross-border plans to be fully funded at all times, and the requirement to ringfence the assets and liabilities in those pension plans.“There should be only one supervisory framework for pension funds – no matter whether or not they ever did any cross-border business,” he said.He said Bosch had tried to accommodate its employees’ increasing mobility in its pension plan but had failed, due mostly to the above-mentioned reasons.Müllerleile claimed that “10 years had been lost” since IORP I was introduced in 2003, as the directive failed to provide legal certainty or the appropriate legal framework.Apart from the “disappointing” IORP II draft, he also argued that Europe was lacking sufficient competition among service providers for cross-border pension plans.last_img read more

US LNG player Cheniere fires up Corpus Christi production

first_imgUS LNG player Cheniere said Wednesday it started producing liquefied natural gas from the first train at its Corpus Christi liquefaction and export terminal in Texas as the facility is preparing to ship its first-ever cargo of the fuel.As previously reported by LNG World News, the 170,000-cbm FSRU Golar Tundra, which is being used as an LNG carrier in the spot market, arrived at the Corpus Christi plant’s jetty on Sunday.An event to mark the commissioning of the Corpus Christi facility will take place at the Port of Corpus Christi on November 15.The Golar Tundra is expected to depart the facility with the first shipment “sometime soon”, according to a Platts report. The destination of the cargo is currently unknown.Cheniere has previously secured an approval from the US Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) to load and export commissioning cargoes at its Corpus Christi plant. However, the company has yet to receive an approval from the regulator for the start of commercial service.Cheniere already owns and operates the Sabine Pass LNG export facility in Louisiana, one of only two facilities currently exporting US shale gas-sourced LNG.The Corpus Christi facility is the company’s second LNG export facility and the third such facility in the US.Corpus Christi is a three-train liquefaction project, with each train expected to have a nominal production capacity of about 4.5 million tonnes per year of LNG.The liquefaction project is the first large-scale LNG export project to be built in Texas, with a cost of approximately $15 billion. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

Sex workers get help to give up

first_imgThe Age (Australia) 3 Oct 2011RITA could never explain the large gap on her resume when she applied for jobs. She’d say she was a stay-at-home mother. But she’d really spent her adult life working as a prostitute to support three children. ”You can’t really tell them what you were doing,” she said. ”Otherwise, if you do, you’re going to be judged.” As her children became teenagers, Rita worried they might discover her secret, perhaps see her working the streets of St Kilda.So, at the start of the year, Rita signed up to Australia’s first exit program for sex workers, run by the St Kilda-based support service RhED and funded by Consumer Affairs Victoria. Like the other 24 women and one man who have joined the ”Pathways to Exit” program so far, Rita was given a case worker to help her negotiate the many steps she needed to take between the oldest profession and a new life. Her case worker took her to the dentist, the optometrist and the gym. She saw a psychologist for depression, she consulted a financial counsellor. Now she’s with an employment agency that knows her past, and next month she starts studying to become a beautician. ”I needed a career I can go for that I’ll be able to do the rest of my life and that’s what I come up with,” Rita said in an interview at the St Kilda drop-in centre. ”I’ve got a partner and we’ve both sort of had a bit of a hard time. We just want to settle right down and fit into society and both have careers and super and buy a house.”The exit program was established after more than half of the sex workers polled by RhED said they wanted help to leave the industry. Half of the first intake has come from the streets, the rest from brothels. Results from the first year are promising, according to an interim report, although it makes clear that leaving the industry is a long, slow process. read more