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Beach Replenishment Update: Finish of Phase One in Sight

first_imgA sign, fence and parked “crab,” mark the finish line for phase one of the beach replenishment project in Ocean City NJ at 36th Street.Check OCNJ Daily for updates and photos of the progress of work of the Ocean City beach replenishment project for 2015 in the south end of Ocean City between 36th and 59th Streets.A small but steady flow of onlookers have been checking out the Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project going on now between 42nd Street and 36th Street in Ocean City NJ.DATE: Wednesday, April 29PROGRESS: The pipeline and sand-pumping have passed 37th Street, and the beach is now blocked at 36th Street. That marks the finish line for Phase One of the project. The tentative Army Corps of Engineers schedule calls for the first phase to end in “early May.” At this point, with less than one block to go, work appears to be ahead of schedule. Beaches are currently closed from 37th to 39th streets.The completed beaches are wide and elevated, and sand ramps allow beachgoers to cross over a pipeline that now stretches down the beach to the work area. Work can be viewed from the top of the beach at all blocks.A strong northeast swell is in the forecast for Friday, and that possibly could interrupt operations for a day.WHAT’S NEXT: The project will proceed to 36th Street. After work is complete to 36th Street, the next phases of the project will be from 42nd Street south to 49th Street (early May to mid-May), 55th to 49th (mid-May to mid-June), 55th to 59th (mid-June to mid-July).READ MORE: Ocean City NJ Beach Replenishment 2015 Daily UpdateFOR DAILY UPDATES by E-MAIL: Sign up for freelast_img read more

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Nearly $11,000 Donation Helps Rape and Abuse Victims in Cape May County

first_imgMembers of Monday Mahjong Madness present a ceremonial check for $10,749 to the Coalition Against Rape and Abuse in Cape May County. By Donald WittkowskiThe women who belong to the Monday Mahjong Madness club should never be underestimated for their skill in playing the Chinese tile-based game – or for their fundraising prowess.Only half-joking, they noted that they are willing to “beg” even harder if that’s what it takes to raise money for the Coalition Against Rape and Abuse in Cape May County.On Monday, the mahjong club presented a ceremonial check for $10,749 to CARA’s executive director, Claire Galiano, to benefit the organization that helps victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.“We chose CARA because what they do helps Cape May County. We also believe in women helping women,” explained Wendy Dougherty, of Strathmere, a fundraising organizer and member of the club.The money from this year’s fundraising efforts far exceeds the $8,000 donation that the club made to CARA in 2017 and the $5,000 contribution in 2016.“I guess we just went around begging more,” club member Chris Donohue, of Sea Isle City, said with a smile about the fundraising campaign.Donohue, one of the volunteers who helped with the fundraising, said the mahjong club benefited from the generosity of an array of individual donors and local businesses, including real estate companies and restaurants. Even the Girl Scouts chipped in to help CARA, she pointed out.The ceremony at the Deauville Inn also included the dedication of a memorial bench in honor of the late Lynda Brown, the restaurant’s co-owner who was devoted to helping CARA.The check presentation ceremony was held at the Deauville Inn in Strathmere, where the women meet each Monday to play mahjong. The women also dedicated a memorial bench at the Deauville Inn in honor of the late Lynda Brown, the restaurant’s co-owner who was devoted to helping CARA.“It was a cause close to her heart and close to our heart,” Dougherty said of Brown’s support for CARA. “We took a vote, and that’s the organization we chose to help.”Monday Mahjong Madness includes members from Ocean City, Sea Isle, Strathmere, Avalon and some of the mainland towns of Cape May County. The club’s fundraising campaign was co-chaired by Joanne Carino, of Strathmere, and Peg Schwind, of Sea Isle.A fundraiser and luncheon held at the Deauville Inn on June 4 included donated gift baskets that were auctioned off to benefit CARA.Galiano, who became CARA’s new executive director last year, praised the mahjong club for its philanthropy. She said the partnership between the two groups has allowed CARA “to do things we otherwise couldn’t do.”“These women are the finest examples of humanity,” Galiano said.Gift baskets were auctioned off at the Deauville Inn during a June 4 fundraiser benefiting CARA. (Courtesy Monday Mahjong Madness)Money raised this year by the mahjong club will be used to create a technology room and learning center for children who are sheltered at the CARA facility.New computers and interactive technology purchased with the money will turn what had been a children’s playroom into an advanced early learning center. It will help children from toddler age to 14 years old, some of whom have physical or learning disabilities, Galiano said.“These children are victims of domestic violence or are the children of abused women,” she said.Money donated by the mahjong club in 2016 and 2017 helped CARA buy rubber mulch for its children’s playground. The rubber is a safer surface for the children to play on than the wood mulch that was previously used for the playground.CARA asks that the exact location of its facility in Cape May County not be publicized in order to protect the women and children who are sheltered or receive services there.“It’s a very dangerous business that we’re in, so the safety of the clients we serve is paramount,” Galiano said.In addition to providing shelter for victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence, the organization offers a range of social services, including crisis intervention, counseling, legal help and education programs.CARA is also a county-designated food bank, supplying emergency food to its clients and community residents.last_img read more

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News story: World’s largest genetics research project to fight deadly diseases and new offer for international students

first_img This historic whole genome sequencing effort is a welcome asset for researchers and testament to the volunteers who believe in the power of data to advance science. Genetically validated drug candidates are twice as likely to become registered novel medicines, and efforts like this bring us closer to developing transformational medicines that can significantly improve patient health and change lives. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled plans to transform how talented international students are able build successful careers in the UK through a new immigration route, as a new ground-breaking project in the fight against life-threatening illnesses launches.International students make up half of all full-time post-graduate students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects. The new immigration route announced today (11 September 2019) will mean international graduates in any subject, including STEM, will be able to stay in the UK for two years to find work.Students will need to have successfully completed a degree from a trusted UK university or higher education provider which has a proven track record in upholding immigration checks and other rules on studying in the UK.This will build on government action to help recruit and retain the best and brightest global talent, but also open up opportunities for future breakthroughs in science, technology and research and other world-leading work that international talent brings to the UK.One example of pioneering research and international collaboration in the UK is the world’s largest genetics project, the £200 million whole genome sequencing project of all volunteers in the UK Biobank, launching today.The new project aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses including cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis and dementia, through genetic research that can explain why some people develop these conditions and others do not. The partnership of pharmaceutical firms and health experts from the UK and abroad will examine and sequence the genetic code of 500,000 volunteers at the UK Biobank.This sits alongside the work by Genomics England in partnership with NHS England on the 100,000 Genomes Project, which has seen around 25% of patients with rare diseases receive a diagnosis for the first time, and for some conditions a diagnosis rate as high as 60%.Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: Whole genome sequencing on this scale is unprecedented, and through this collaboration we hope to unlock the potential of genomics to evolve our understanding of complex diseases such as cancer, heart disease and chronic kidney disease. These new insights will guide our drug discovery programme and will help us bring innovative new precision medicines to patients who need them most urgently. Today’s funding will support one of the world’s most ambitious gene sequencing programmes ever undertaken, reflecting the UK’s determination to remain at the forefront of scientific endeavour and progress. Its results could transform the field of genetic repeated research – unlocking the causes of some of the most terrible diseases and how we can best tackle them. It will be a major step forward for individually tailored treatment plans, and will help us better understand why some people get certain diseases while others don’t. It is a testament to our world-leading universities that so many students from abroad want to study here. The important contribution international students make to our country and universities is both cultural and economic. Their presence benefits Britain, which is why we’ve increased the period of time these students can remain in the UK after their studies. Our universities thrive on being open global institutions. Introducing the graduate route ensures our prestigious higher education sector will continue to attract the best talent from around the world to global Britain. The new Graduate Route will mean talented international students, whether in science and maths or technology and engineering, can study in the UK and then gain valuable work experience as they go on to build successful careers. It demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest. Britain has a proud history of putting itself at the heart of international collaboration and discovery. Over sixty years ago, we saw the discovery of DNA in Cambridge by a team of international researchers and today we are going even further. Now we are bringing together experts from around the globe to work in the UK on the world’s largest genetics research project, set to help us better treat life-threatening illnesses and ultimately save lives. Breakthroughs of this kind wouldn’t be possible without being open to the brightest and the best from across the globe to study and work in the UK. That’s why we’re unveiling a new route for international students to unlock their potential and start their careers in the UK. This is very positive news. Evidence shows that international students bring significant positive social outcomes to the UK as well as £26 billion in economic contributions, but for too long the lack of post-study work opportunities in the UK has put us at a competitive disadvantage in attracting those students. The introduction of a two-year post-study work visa is something Universities UK has long campaigned for and we strongly welcome this policy change, which will put us back where we belong as a first choice study destination. Not only will a wide range of employers now have access to talented graduates from around the world, these students hold lifelong links in the UK. Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, commented: Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK: This genome sequencing project will provide exciting new insights into the causes of many major diseases. It builds on 70 years of pioneering work in genetics research and exemplifies the creation of a whole new sector in Life Sciences that the UK Life Sciences Industrial Strategy has been developing. We do not know what the project will uncover but it is certain to be both novel and informative.center_img Prof Sir John Bell, HMG’s Life Sciences Champion, said: We are pleased to partner on a project with immense potential to advance public health. This collaboration reflects our belief in the power of human genetics to transform medicine and the need for continued growth in the size and diversity of the data that can be mined for new discoveries for patients with serious life-threatening diseases. We are proud to participate in this ground-breaking initiative to generate genomics data from samples obtained through the generosity of citizens/people in the United Kingdom. The insights gained from the analysis of this rich data set will guide our efforts to develop safe and effective therapies so that diseases aren’t just being treated, they are predicted, pre-empted and stopped in their tracks to help generations of people live their healthiest lives. As one of the half million participants in UK BioBank, I’m very excited by the potential of the Whole Genome Sequencing Project, which will sequence the genetic code of everyone in UK BioBank to help develop novel and personalised forms of healthcare. UK BioBank is globally unique in the depth and quality of the information that it contains about so many people in health and disease. Adding whole genome sequencing data to this will provide major opportunities to improve how we prevent, diagnose and treat the chronic conditions that afflict so many of us as we live longer lives. John Lepore, Senior Vice President, Research at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said: I am incredibly excited by the potential of genomics to change the way we think about disease and healthcare. In an ageing society with an increasing burden of chronic diseases, it is vital that we diagnose earlier, personalise treatment and where possible prevent diseases from occurring altogether. This project will help unlock new treatments and grow our understanding of how genetics effects our risk of disease. It is one part of our world leading set of genomics programmes, including the NHS’ Genomics Medicine Service and the Accelerated Detection of Disease challenge, and shows that the UK is the go-to destination for genomics research and development. David M. Reese, M.D., Executive Vice-President of Research and Development at Amgen said: Richard Tillyer, PhD, Global Head, Janssen Discovery, Johnson & Johnson, commented: Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: Home Secretary Priti Patel said: Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation said:last_img read more

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Prince Songs To Provide The Backdrop For New ‘Mamma Mia’-Style Jukebox Musical Film

first_imgPrince‘s music will help drive the narrative in an upcoming fictional film, similar to how the music of ABBA inspired the stage musical-turned-film, Mamma Mia. According to Variety, Universal Pictures acquired a number of songs from Prince’s catalog and is developing an original film inspired by the material. However, “insiders” stress that the film is not a biopic about Prince (which was loosely attempted in his 1984 film Purple Rain). Instead, his songs will help drive the narrative of a new original story.“Though the film isn’t a biopic,” Variety points out, “studios around town have been on the look for the next great musical after the success of Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody“, which brought in $50 million on its opening weekend in North America, plus an additional $72 million internationally.The Prince estate has been shopping the idea of using Prince’s catalog in a film musical to various studios, and was met with agreement by Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, who worked intensively to acquire the rights to the songs. Beyond that, Universal Pictures has only just begun having meetings with potential writers, producers, and executives about the storyline itself.According to Variety,Atom Factory’s Troy Carter, the entertainment advisor of Prince’s estate will executive produce alongside Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for Prince’s catalog. …President of Global Film Music and Publishing for Universal Pictures Mike Knobloch is playing a key role in the project for the studio. Universal’s Vice President of Production Sara Scott and Creative Executive Mika Pryce will oversee development on behalf of the studio.With Prince’s estate in the driving seat, we’re hopeful that this film is something to look forward to.last_img read more

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County Officials Release Monthly COVID-19 Statistics; One New Death Reported

first_imgMAYVILLE – Chautauqua County officials have released COVID-19 statistics for the month of October along with Friday’s daily update which includes one new COVID-19 related death.On Friday, Chautauqua County reported 22 new positive COVID-19 cases. Of those new cases, six were in Jamestown, four in Fredonia, three in Silver Creek, three in Dunkirk, two in Dewittville, two in Sinclairville, one in Ashville, and one in Sheridan. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 1,060.142 cases remain active with four active cases among employees of Tanglewood Manor while 15 cases among residents remain active.County Health officials have identified at least 21 linked cases related to a wedding in the North County. Nine of those cases are currently active and there have been 12 recoveries. Officials have also identified 17 cases related to social clubs in the Dunkirk area. Six of those remain active and 11 have recovered. There currently remain seven active cases among employees of the Jamestown Fire Department.There are 22 people hospitalized in the county with one new COVID related death; a man in his 70’s with underling health conditions.Officials said with a total number of confirmed cases up to 1,060 since March, 0.8 percent of the counties population have tested positive for COVID-19.With schools and colleges back in session, businesses reopening, and colder weather approaching, residents are spending more time indoors and more time with other people. Spending time indoors with non-household contacts and without masks are key elements to the spread of COVID-19 officials said.“We’ve seen clusters related to a bridal dinner, a wedding, frequenting social clubs and bowling alleys. We’re seeing disease spread amongst households, group homes, health care facilities, co-workers and in places of business mainly because of activities that people partake in outside of work” said Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County’s Public Health Director. “COVID-19 is here and everyone needs to take personal responsibility for not spreading it. Wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you’re not feeling well.”Officials said unannounced inspections of bars, restaurants, clubs, and other venues throughout Chautauqua County will continue.  Owners, operators and patrons may be subject to fines up to $15,000 for violating public health orders and regulations.“Now is not the time to think you’re invincible or to ignore the rules,” said Schuyler. “We all want to get back to “normal” but that will not be possible until more measures are in place to control the spread of this virus.”From October 1 to October 30, 389 cases were reported, equating out to 37 percent of all cases to date since March. Free COVID-19 rapid testing clinics were held throughout this week in Jamestown and Dunkirk. From Monday to Thursday, 41 people tested positive for COVID-19 out of a total 908 tested; a 4.5 percent positivity rate. Results from the Friday testing will be available next week.County officials said these mass testing clinics have nearly exhausted available rapid testing supplies. There will be no free public testing events held by the County Health Department during the week of November 2 while officials wait for the delivery of additional testing supplies. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Cynthia Erivo Will Star in a Harriet Tubman Biopic

first_imgCynthia Erivo photographed at The Skylark(Photo: Caitlin McNaney) View Comments Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo has been tapped to star in an upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic. Seith Mann will direct the film, which will feature a screenplay by Gregory Allen Howard, according to Deadline.The film, titled Harriet, will explore the life of the famed black abolitionist and humanitarian who escaped slavery in the South, became a spy for the Union and paved the way for several others to be freed through the Underground Railroad. Plans for the project were first announced in May 2016.Erivo received a Tony last year for her Broadway debut as Celie in The Color Purple, having first taken on the role at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory. Her additional stage credits include I Can’t Sing! and Sister Act in the U.K. She is also set to star opposite Viola Davis and Jitney’s André Holland in the Steve McQueen-helmed film Widows.In October, Erivo sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”—an anthem that was first written to encourage resilience in the Union during the Civil War—at Stronger Together, a benefit for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign featuring members of the Broadway community. Take a look at an all-too-brief clip below.last_img read more

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Philippines typhoon Haiyan: Chile and Mexico to send humanitarian aid

first_img The governments of Chile and Mexico have announced plans to send humanitarian aid to the Philippines, where an estimated 3,600 people were killed and about 300,000 were left homeless by typhoon Haiyan. The Chilean government announced plans to send aid to the Philippines after the typhoon struck on Nov. 8, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strong storms ever recorded, with speeds up to 195 miles per hour. “Our embassy is getting in touch with Filipino authorities to find out what their needs are and how we can collaborate,” Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said at a press conference Nov. 11. The Filipinos “have faced a disaster of enormous dimensions and we Chileans know what it is to face natural disasters,” Moreno said. Humanitarian aid and solidarity Typhoon Haiyan directly affected a small number of Chileans in the Philippines. The Chilean Consul to the Philippines, María Fernanda Vila, said in a TV interview November 11 that eight of 13 Chilean nationals known to be in the areas worst-affected by Typhoon Haiyan are unhurt. “They are all safe and sound, but shaken,” Vila told CNN Chile. Vila said the Consulate was attempting to track down the remaining five Chilean nationals. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera also sent a personal note of condolence to the government of Philippines President Benigno Aquino III to express the Chilean people’s “deepest sorrow” over the tragedy, according to the Chilean government website. An international response Well, I disagree, as many do, regarding the expression “natural disaster”. For me a disaster is caused by those of us who are anti-nature, we the humans cause the disaster, a typhoon, an earthquake, a landslide, etc. are 98% caused by us….How many nuclear tests have been done in the subsoil? How much pollution have we caused in our air environment? How much logging and destruction of the geological environment have we caused? How many millions of people live in high-risk places? How much poverty is there? Chileans are familiar with the human toll natural disasters can exact. Over the past three decades, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, floods and other natural disasters have killed almost 1,600 people in Chile, according to international disaster statistics. T he natural disaster which caused the most damage was an 8.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred off the coast of central Chile on Feb. 27, 2010. The earthquake caused a tsunami. The earthquake and the tsunami killed 535 people, left 25 people missing and left about nine percent of the country’s population homeless. Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article. By Dialogo November 19, 2013 Chilean natural disasters Chileans in the Philippines The Mexican government announced it will be sending $1 million (USD) in humanitarian aid to the Philippines. The governments of Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico issued statements expressing “solidarity” with the people of the Philippines. In promising aid to the stricken Philippines, Chile and Mexico are part of a growing list of countries that have delivered or promised aid. For example, Australia announced a $9.3 million (USD) aid package, including medical personnel and non-food items such as tarpaulins, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, water containers and hygiene kits. “Given the degree of destruction caused by the typhoon in the Philippines, all international humanitarian aid is important,” said Luis Gomez, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “The help that Chile and Mexico are providing right now is very important, to a country that desperately needs it.” New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, the European Commission and other nations and international bodies have also promised millions of dollars in aid. The U.S., meanwhile, is providing $20 million in immediate humanitarian assistance and has sent a team of about 90 Marines and sailors as an initial assistance force. last_img read more

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Trident Force, El Salvador’s Beacon in the Pacific

first_imgBy Lorena Baires/Diálogo February 01, 2017 The Marines of Task Force Trident, an elite group of the Salvadoran Navy (FNES, per its Spanish acronym) stealthily navigate Pacific Ocean waters. The group is dedicated to dismantling drug trafficking structures that smuggle narcotics into the United States. These criminals are reinventing their drug-mobilization strategies, a challenge that Trident has handled thanks to the constant training it receives, its efficiency in coordinating with other elite naval groups in the region, and international support. For Captain René Merino, FNES chief of General Staff, the effectiveness of the “tridents” forces drug traffickers to find alternatives to achieve their goals. “Before, they would use large vessels to move large quantities of drugs. Now they use several small vessels and distribute the drugs among them. Our goal is to pursue all these vessels at the same time, to use more resources in a more efficient manner. This requires high concentration,” Capt. Merino said. Pacific routes have multiplied. Before Trident came into existence, FNES would identify routes that were very close to the coast. With the emergence of this elite corps in 2014, drug traffickers began to travel more towards the south. Using different specialized protective and attack equipment, Trident now pursues them at distances of over 250 nautical miles from the coast. “At one time, (drug traffickers) used the maritime border between El Salvador and Guatemala as a delivery and resupply point. But ever since we dismantled a small-scale fishing operation that served as a support network in the area, they have migrated to the maritime border between Guatemala and Mexico,” Capt. Merino said. The task force’s effectiveness has been evident since its creation. In 2014, they seized 922 kilos of cocaine, which at that point was the largest drug seizure made by a naval unit in El Salvador. One year later, they seized 2,851 kilos of drugs, three times the previous figure. In 2016, they seized 7,465 kilos of cocaine, an outstanding feat for an elite force with limited resources successfully confronting the challenges presented by the sea and drug traffickers. International cooperation The growing efficiency of Task Force Trident is to a large extent due to the constant training it receives from U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), and from the regional coordination of international agencies that support Central America in the fight against drug trafficking. “The tridents are our first line of defense and the tip of our sword when it comes to threats from organized crime and drug trafficking. They do a very big job so that people can be free,” said Captain Exón Ascencio, commander of La Unión Naval Base, headquarters of FNES. Task Force Trident is part of the Cuscatlán Joint Group (GCC, per its Spanish acronym), an interagency task force charged with combating the movement of large drug shipments and coordinating efforts to slow the passage of drug traffickers through Salvadoran territory. The United States supports FNES thanks to the letter of agreement signed in January 2009 on the Central American Regional Security Initiative, in which a coordination and communication channel was established between GCC and Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S), located in Key West, Florida. “Our special force continues to increase its capacities thanks to shared knowledge. Stopping drugs from getting to black markets is the greatest success of their interdictions, as well as protecting our territory from this type of organized crime,” Capt. Ascencio added. GCC is part of Operation Martillo (Hammer), a JIATF-S effort to neutralize transnational criminal organizations and counteract their capacity to use Central America as a transit zone. New challenges Past achievement will not outshine future work, even as drug traffickers continue reinventing themselves in order to evade the authorities, who are also fighting to prevent money from these organized crime organizations reaching the MS13 and Barrio 18 gangs. Capt. Merino added that with these efforts “we are making sure that the gangs do not grow to the point where they become ‘narco-gangs.’ We are fighting so that drug trafficking stops being an additional source of funding for this type of crime.” Another entity that acknowledges the work of this team is the Specialized Counter-narcotics Trafficking Unit of the Salvadoran Attorney General’s Office (FGR, per its Spanish acronym), the civilian arm of Salvadoran criminal investigation. For Cecilia Rivera, chief of FGR, the elite troops “protect our people and the region, at the same time allowing us to capture and investigate those who are responsible for moving drugs through our territory. Stopping these networks is valuable work.” In accordance with El Salvador’s Penal Code, drug trafficking carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. FNES plans to add more specialized training for Trident’s 75 members in the next few months, and it hopes to have the continuous support and unconditional cooperation of partner nations to stop those who dare cross the Pacific with drug shipments, and to continue being an efficient aquatic force protecting the Salvadoran coastline.last_img read more

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Time for Congress to tackle credit unions’ runaway regulator

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Frank KeatingA tax exemption that has long outlived its usefulness is not the only arbitrary advantage credit unions enjoy over banks. They also benefit from a compliant federal regulator that often acts like a cheerleader for the industry it is supposed to be supervising.If there were any doubts about this advantage, they ought to be permanently banished by the National Credit Union Administration’s June proposal to gut limits on business lending by credit unions. The proposal is just the latest in a long string of actions by the credit union industry and its partisan regulator to make it easier for credit unions to expand their commercial portfolios.Expand they have. Credit unions have moved aggressively into business lending, with average annual growth of 14 percent since 2004. Business loans made by credit unions have more than doubled as a percentage of total assets during that same period. continue reading »last_img read more

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Fine win for Crawford

first_imgFine Rightly toughed it out for Davy Russell in an attritional Naas Directors Plate Novice Chase at Naas. “Fair play to Eddie and the lads as we actually thought this lad was no good at the start but they stuck with him,” said Russell. Gordon Elliott and Davy Condon combined to land the Network Ireland Kildare Branch Supporting International Women’s Day Maiden Hurdle Captain Von Trappe. The 7-2 chance moved sweetly to the lead before the home turn and found enough for pressure to hold off hot favourite Golden Boot by a length. Condon said: “He stays well and didn’t run too bad the last day. A good few winners came out of that race. He enjoys that three miles.” Pat Fahy and Katie Walsh teamed up take the bumper, with Tara Flow (10-1) flooring odds-on favourite Last Encounter. Fahy said of his debutant: “Maybe she could go to Aintree but that would depend on the ground, as it can get quick there. Fairyhouse or Punchestown are options as well.” It was hard work from the final fence in the testing conditions, but Fine Rightly had enough in the tank to hold off Rule The World by a length, with Azorian and Lots Of Memories both close up. Hot favourite Noble Emperor was an early casualty. Crawford said: “We always thought a lot of this horse. He did well in bumpers and over hurdles and is now doing well over fences. He’s still a bit careful over the fences. “He’s a big horse and a proper winter time horse. If the ground is soft at the Festivals he could go and take his chance but ground is the key to him. “His pedigree is all staying and hopefully one day there could be a real nice chase in him.” Russell swiftly completed a double aboard the Eddie Harty-trained Fletcher in the Naas Supporters Handicap Hurdle. The six-year-old was a smart winner at Leopardstown in January, but subsequently finished down the field at Clonmel before falling at Fairyhouse last month. A 20-1 shot for his latest test, Fletcher was played late by the former champion jockey and finished powerfully to get up and beat consistent mare Mrs Mac Veale by half a length. Stuart Crawford’s seven-year-old made it third time lucky in a handicap at Ayr in January and was a 6-1 shot stepped up to Grade Three level. Russell sent his mount to the lead heading out for the second circuit and had his opponents in trouble from the home turn. Press Associationlast_img read more

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