Honduran Navy Ship Conducts First Humanitarian Aid Mission

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo December 22, 2017 This is AWESOME![“The regions of La Mosquitia and Gracias a Dios won’t be the same again,” Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández said…] Amen. What great support for that region, the ship and crew will be! Following its christening in Puerto Cortés, Honduras, the Honduran Navy’s (FNH, in Spanish) new logistical support and cabotage vessel (BAL-C, in Spanish) Gracias a Dios began its first humanitarian mission loaded with medical equipment and social welfare supplies to serve thousands of residents of a remote region in the far east of Honduras. “The regions of La Mosquitia and Gracias a Dios won’t be the same again,” Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández said during the mission’s send-off ceremony. “We will continue to work to support them as they rightfully deserve.” The modern ship anchored at Puerto Lempira, on the Mosquito Coast in the department of Gracias a Dios, with more than 150 tons of food, clothing, medicine, and water purification filters. The humanitarian ship also transported medical and dental equipment and three mobile clinics to treat pediatric, obstetric, gynecological, and dental cases. Members of the Gracias a Dios Subordinate Interagency Joint Task Force under FNH and the 5th Army Infantry Battalion coordinated and mobilized residents of La Mosquitia to receive humanitarian aid. The Honduran Air Force supported air transfer of medical personnel to assist the health brigade. Doing its part “Residents of all the communities of that region welcomed BALC-C Gracias a Dios with great joy,” FNH Commander Ernesto Ávila Kattan, head of the FNH Public Relations Department, told Diálogo. “We’re grateful because we don’t have medicine for the sick and the elderly here,” said Glenda Manuel Ransin, a resident of Puerto Lempira. “We had to wait many years for the arrival of a ship of this magnitude and for the medical brigade.” “The Naval Force managed to do its part for this community that so desperately needs it,” FNH Lieutenant Israel Oniel Sánchez, captain of the BAL-C Gracias a Dios, told Diálogo. “This village lacks access to roads to reach urban areas. The only way out is via air or sea.” On its maiden voyage, the FNH positively impacted the lives of more than 5,000 people. Authorities now consider making monthly trips to serve the most vulnerable families in this remote area. “The objective is to become the main humanitarian bridge for thousands of Hondurans,” Lt. Oniel said. “The ship will also serve the remote regions of Colón, the Bay Islands, and the Swan Islands.” BAL-C Gracias a Dios also completed the transfer of 50 artificial reef modules to the Barra and Datillo area, in La Ceiba Atlántida municipality. The goal is to increase marine species of flora and fauna and improve traditional fishing in the region. High capacity The new ship can navigate in waters of less than 1.5 meters deep, which facilitates embarkation and disembarkation without the need for a pier. The vessel can transport up to 220 tons and has a 40-day autonomous range on the open sea with a 15-person crew. “This powerful ally will make it possible for us to improve our response capacities in emergency events or natural disasters—something we couldn’t offer previously,” Lt. Oniel explained. “With this vessel, we can enter and exit more safely.” BAL-C Gracias a Dios joins the maritime shield to defend Honduras from the threats of transnational organized crime. “The Honduran Navy is strengthened with this multipurpose vessel to guard the nation’s vast maritime space,” Cmdr. Ávila explained. “The ship can load two to four interceptor boats, making operations and patrols to reduce drug trafficking in Honduras more effective.” One of the Honduran government’s objectives is to provide greater security to the residents of Mosquitia. Each month, the Armed Forces of Honduras relieve the personnel stationed at different detachments in the department of Gracias a Dios to join the maritime shield mission. Military units perform security and drug enforcement duties. “The Gracias a Dios will provide logistics services during emergencies and natural disasters in all nations of the region that might need humanitarian, social, or medical assistance,” Cmdr. Ávila added. “It can transport heavy machinery for road repairs and furniture for schools in remote or affected areas. All to the benefit of the most vulnerable populations,” he concluded.last_img read more

Read More
House passes bill with amendment to ensure CU presence on CAB

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CUNA wrote in favor of a successful amendment to the Consumers First Act (H.R. 1500) Wednesday, one that would ensure credit unions would be represented on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Consumer Advisory Board (CAB). Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) offered the amendment, which passed with a 418-10 vote.“The CFPB’s CAB is an important tool in identifying and assessing consumer financial practices, trends, and products and providing recommendations,” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote to Stevens.  “However, there is no requirement that representatives of credit unions, community banks, or small businesses be appointed to serve on the board. Currently, there is no credit union representation on the CAB.Thus, we thank you for and support your amendment which would ensure that the CAB has representation from community banks, credit unions, small business owners, and economic growth experts. This amendment will allow all voices and a wider range of perspectives of the financial services industry to be heard,” he added. continue reading »last_img read more

Read More
Clock ticking for small businesses squeezed out of government loans, now have a few months or less to survive, survey reveals

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The 30.7 million small businesses on Main Street that generate 50% of U.S. GDP have been hard-pressed to receive the government relief they need to stay in business.According to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey released Monday, which surveyed 2,200 small business owners across America, while the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program was instituted to give them a lifeline through the coronavirus and economic shutdown, only 13% of the 45% who applied for the PPP were approved. Among all respondents, 7% already received financing and 18% are still waiting for a response from a lender.The experience small business owners have had applying for the $10,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan was worse. Only 3% of all small business owners surveyed were approved for such funding, and 16% are awaiting a response from a lender, the survey revealed.Both relief programs are run by the Small Business Administration. PPP loans are capped at $100,000 per employee and can range in size. The $10,000 advance from EIDL does not have to be repaid, making it effectively a grant.last_img read more

Read More
Binghamton Dollars for Scholars celebrates 20 years

first_img“We understand the value of college, so anytime that we can help our students with a scholarship, it’s only going to help better their education down the road,” said Binghamton High School Principal Kevin Richman. Since 2000, it has awarded scholarships totaling $423,000 to 948 students to help reduce the financial burden of college. The students who receive these scholarships are eligible to get them for four years at an increasing value. It offers awards to students with a grade point average of 72 or above. “We mentor students or stick with them the four years so there will be a continued update where we’re in touch with them, they’re in touch with us, and hopefully we can be a resource for them as well,” said Oberg. “We want to do it, we want the students that received the awards to feel good about our community and come back to our community again,” said Binghamton Dollars for Scholars Co-President Betsy Williams. Because while college is expensive, it’s important. “So the hope is that we will then be able to help them reduce their financial burden,” said Oberg.center_img This year, the organization can offer two additional scholarships, thanks to a matching grant from Scholarship America. “One in honor of Carol Oestrich. A longtime, hardworking, contributor for Dollars for Scholars. And another in memory of Maddie Shaw,” said Binghamton Dollars for Scholars Co-President Roxie Oberg. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Binghamton Dollars for Scholars is celebrating 20 years of helping high school students. These two renewable scholarships also allow Binghamton Dollars for Scholars to continue to support the recipients in other ways. “Education is our answer to our problems — I do know that. And that’s what we’re hoping to promote,” said Williams. On Wednesday, June 24, Binghamton Dollars for Scholars board members will drive around to students’ houses to present them with their scholarships in place of the award ceremony that is typically held in person.last_img read more

Read More
Japan businesses reopen as govt eyes end to emergency measures in some regions

first_imgTopics : As Japan prepares to ease coronavirus restrictions in some parts of the country, a growing number of the country’s businesses are planning to resume operations despite concerns that isolation guidelines were being lifted too early.After a month-long shutdown brought economic activity to a grinding halt, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday that the government was looking at ways to bring some parts of the country out of lockdown measures as the rate of infections has slowed in several outlying regions.”The number of new infections of the coronavirus is significantly falling,” he told reporters. “There are more prefectures with no new coronavirus cases, so lifting the state of emergency is within sight.” Japan this week extended its nationwide state of emergency but said it would reassess the situation on May 14 and possibly lift the measures earlier for some prefectures.Too early?So far, 27 of Japan’s 47 prefectures have lifted some or all requests for residents to remain indoors as much as possible, or are planning to do so in the coming days.About 15,500 coronavirus infections and 590 deaths have been confirmed in the country as of Friday.Businesses were permitted to reopen in Iwate Prefecture in the country’s northeast, which has yet to report any infections, but some local shop owners were wary of resuming normal operations.”It feels like it’s too early to reopen. People have done a good job of keeping infections in the prefecture at zero,” said Mana Takahashi, owner of Clammbon cafe in Morioka City in the prefecture, who has been relying on coffee bean sales for revenue since closing the cafe’s dining area in April.”It would be unfortunate for an infection to occur just as rules are being loosened,” she added, adding that the streets outside her shop have remained largely empty even after the shutdown request was lifted.Across town, sports clubs and karaoke bars were opening for the first time in weeks.”We’ve had a few groups of students, and also single customers have come in so far,” said an employee at a karaoke bar shortly after it reopened at noon on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not permitted to speak with media. “We’re expecting our regulars back tonight.”center_img After lockdown measures led to a record contraction of Japan’s services sector last month, businesses including cafes, bars and sports clubs have been resuming operations even as the coronavirus epidemic has sapped demand.Casual clothing chain Uniqlo reopened 48 stores in Japan on Thursday, including several large stores in Tokyo and Osaka, said its owner, Fast Retailing, while Aeon Co, the region’s biggest supermarket operator, said it was reopening its Aeon Mall shopping centers.A queue of more than 100 people snaked in front of Tokyo’s famed Kinokuniya book store in the Shinjuku district when it reopened on Thursday for the first time in three weeks, local media reported, with most customers waiting to purchase the latest manual for the video game “Animal Crossing.”But Tokyo Disneyland operator Oriental Land on Friday said that the park, one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions, would remain closed through May amid the state of emergency in the city and neighboring Chiba Prefecture.last_img read more

Read More
Central and Eastern Europe: Beyond the Roundtable of Babel

first_imgIn Biblical times, people were punished with the loss of their common language and understanding because of their attempt to build a tower as tall as Heaven – the Tower of Babel. Today, people are encouraged to gather together on equal terms. However, equality requires roundtables so large there is no chance to hear one’s counterpart, let alone understand them. This is becoming the modern paradox of the Roundtable of Babel.What is Bulgaria’s place at the EU roundtable of supplementary retirement provision? The Bulgarian local supplementary retirement vehicles include a mandatory and voluntary element. The mandatory are MUPFs (mandatory universal pension funds, for those born in 1960 onwards) and MOPFs (mandatory occupational pension funds), which cover the early retirement of those working in hazardous occupations.The mandatory vehicles have the benefit of automatic affiliation (in case employees have not made their choice in due time), membership switching options, universal coverage and portability. The voluntary vehicles are the VPFs (voluntary pension funds) and the VPF-OPS (voluntary pension funds with occupational pension schemes). The VPF-OPS allow for the IORP Directive occupational provision.According to the latest data of the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission (as at 30 September 2013), assets under management in the mandatory and voluntary funds are at €3.3bn, an increase of 18.45% compared with 30 Sep 2012. They have 4.2m members out of a total population of 7.4m. Almost 80% of the assets are managed in the MUPFs; MOPFs account for 9.77% and VPFs account for 10.15% of the total. The most recent vehicles – the VPF-OPS – have an insignificant share of 0.1% of the AUM. How can one explain the striking lack of market interest in the typical occupational schemes in Bulgaria? Since the 1990s, supplementary pension funds in Bulgaria, as in other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, have developed as fully funded and portable, individual defined contribution (DC) vehicles, which are sometimes labelled non-European. Have individual DC schemes flourished as a result of some non-European, overseas infatuation characteristic of the CEE region in the 1990s?Having lived in a totally controlled society with almost no risks, Bulgarians and other CEE citizens showed strong risk appetite, desire for job mobility and great interest in financial independence in the 1990s after the Communist regime collapsed. Eastern Europeans opted for an opportunity at retirement; Western Europeans have welcomed a retirement promise.So supplementary pension schemes in Bulgaria have been individual in nature rather than employer-based since their re-establishment in 1994. This has proved wise in a period of economic restructuring and change of ownership of the enterprises. It protected members from unreasonable and unsustainable promises by changing employers during privatisation. And above all, it appealed to CEE citizens’ renewed trust in their individual financial independence.UK pension experts sometimes explain the development of occupational schemes in the UK by the statement that their citizens do not trust their government but their employers. In view of the profound transformation from a totalitarian to a democratic society with deep economic restructuring and change of ownership of the major enterprises, Bulgarians cannot be blamed for their mistrust in both their government and employers.A first warning bell sounded at the end of 2010. A national legal amendment required MOPFs to transfer certain assets to the National Social Security Institute. Those were the assets of the members who were expected to opt for early retirement within the next three years. The actual transfer of €55m took place in March 2011. The Bulgarian Constitutional Court Ruling of 31 May 2011 declared the said transfer unconstitutional. Individual accounts with MOPFs were reopened for new contributions from 18 June 2011. The contribution to the other supplementary mandatory vehicle (MUPFs) is scheduled to increase from the current 5% to 7%.There was a further reminder – this time coming from outside Bulgaria. Misunderstandings about the allegedly improper transposition of the EU law regarding the occupational schemes sometimes become the reason for the admonition to Bulgaria to mind its step towards the common EU pensions market.At its accession to the EU in 2007, Bulgaria fully transposed Directive 2003/41/EC providing for the necessary legal framework for IORP cross-border activities. The national law allows undertakings located within Bulgaria to sponsor IORPs authorised in other member states. It also allows IORPs authorised in Bulgaria to accept sponsorship by undertakings located within the territories of other member states.Trying to convince Bulgarians to favour supplementary retirement solutions that are not consistent with the historically dependent pension fund members’ expectations will definitely add to the Table of Babel. The ongoing EU mapping of the various national systems should not turn (for the obvious financial reporting reasons) into a complete ‘mopping-up’ of diversity in national pension systems, which is at the heart of market innovation and competition. CEE citizens would rather opt for a revival of the forces of market competition, with mobile employees as a cross-border carrier of change and harmony in the EU.A member of a Bulgarian supplementary retirement provision fund is not interested in the bipolar model of definition – DB or DC. What the member wants is a clear and unequivocal advance definition of both the benefit they are to obtain in the form of a secure pension amount, as well as a clear and unequivocal advance definition of the contribution required. Is it possible to have both variables defined in advance in compliance with the members’ individual preferences at the different stages of their lifecycle? The solution to this dilemma is key to the pension problem.Facing the demographic, financial and economic challenges of the 21st century, the EU is set to make a giant step towards adequate, sustainable and safe pensions – a step that requires efforts commensurate with the ones made by our predecessors. And this time it is to be a common step forward.To watch a video associated with this article, go to www.nixartspear.eu/mindyourstepSvobodka Kostadinova is an author with an interest in the social aspects of new EU accession societies. Nickolai Slavchev is a pensions analyst.last_img read more

Read More
Fiery New Year start in Iloilo, Capiz, Boracay; families flee as fire razes 23…

first_imgILOILO City – On the first day of year2020 fire razed a total of 20 houses in this city, Iloilo and Capiz provinces. Regencia said there were no fireincidents in the city since Dec. 24 and he hoped this would be sustained. Families living in all these affected houseseither moved to evacuation centers or sought shelter with relatives andfriends. Fire Officer III Franklin Arubang saidthe blaze started at around 7:30 p.m. in the property of Ruel Santillan who wasoperating a boardinghouse. According to Senior Fire Officer 4Aquilino Sampiono, the fire originated from the house of Melecoton and quicklyspread to nearby houses made of light material. BFP declared a “fire out” at around 10:28 a.m. “Mahiraptayong makapasok sa nasunugan [kasi] hilly at isolated. Maliit ang daan,brownout at halos 500 meters ang layo sa barangay road,” saidArubang, adding the strong winds from the Sibuyan Sea fanned the fire, causingthe flames to spread quickly. With the quick response of the Bureauof Fire Protection (BFP), the fire was extinguished in a little over 30minutes. In Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan firedamaged three houses four hours before 2019 came to a close. December last year BFP-Iloilo recordedfive fire incidents. (With a report fromAkean Forum/PN) Short circuit sparked the fire,according to the Guimbal fire station which estimated the property damage tohave reached P1.5 million. Five houses were gutted before firementotally extinguished the fire by around 4:30 p.m. Some five hours before the Iloilo Cityfire, a house went up in smoke 29 kilometers down south in Guimbal, Iloilo. Quick-responding firefighters of theGuimbal fire station contained the blaze from spreading and declared a fire outat around 6:05 a.m. There were no reported injuries ordeaths in these two New Year fires. In the famous holiday island resort ofBoracay four hours and 30 minutes before the clock struck 12, fire broke inSitio Tulubhan, Barangay Manoc-Manoc and razed three houses. As of this writing, the BFP was stillascertaining the cause of the fire and the damage incurred. “Mayisang bahay doon na walang tao dahil halos lahat nasa trabaho. Karamihan mga workers at boarders ang nakatira sa nasunugan,” Arubang said. In Capiz, fire struck a residentialarea in Barangay Ilaya, Pontevedra town at around 1:35 p.m. Fire gobbled up a two-storey house inBarangay Nanga, Guimbal at around 3:57 a.m. The totally destroyed house were ownedby Baquio Rogador, Totong Depra, Jonathan Gancia, Estrella Melecoton, JohnLibuna, Leonito Libuna, Elmer Macaya, Celso Conde, and Albert Compliza whilethe partially damaged ones were owned by Fred Marbebe, Florence Paglumutan,Andong Gallardo, and Keneth Rhoy Buenafe. The New Year blaze was electrical in nature, preliminary investigation of the Iloilo City Fire Station showed. Here, fire struck 14 houses in Zone 4,Barangay Sambag, Jaro district at around 9 a.m. yesterday. Ten of these houseswere totally gutted. BFP-Iloilo City had been on red alertsince Dec. 27. Two days before the New Yearcelebrations, the BFP in Iloilo City expressed hope there won’t be fireincidents. But just in case fire erupted, ChiefInspector Christopher Regencia, city fire marshal, said BFP-Iloilo City had 50fire officers and 12 fire trucks on standby to respond. These were on top of fire volunteerorganizations in the city, said Regencia. The BFP-Boracay substation, BoracayFire Rescue and Ambulance Volunteers, Boracay Island Water Company, BoracayTubi System Inc., and Kabalikat Civicom 961 Boracay responded to the fireincident. The fire left an estimated propertydamage of P150,000. Arson investigators of the BFP have yetto determine the cause of the blaze.last_img read more

Read More
Delph returns to Villa training

first_img However, Paul Lambert revealed the Yorkshireman is making good progress since having surgery and was able to make a tentative return to training this week. The Villa boss, also without key defenders Ron Vlaar and Philippe Senderos at the moment, said: “Fabian’s coming on, he trained with the team today. “It’s non-contact at the minute but he’s doing really well. “Ron will maybe do a bit of training on Saturday with the team, he’s more advanced than Philippe. He’s coming on. I’d like to think we can get into the new year with both of them back. “That’s the target, though we can’t put too much pressure on them. And if things go well with Philippe, maybe we can get him back by the end of the month. “Slowly but surely we’re starting to get guys back.” Lambert has taken stick from some supporters recently as Villa show signs of heading for another flirt with relegation but he insists things are not as bad as many suggest. Ahead of Sunday’s clash with Leicester, he said: “We’re sitting 12th at the moment, two points behind Everton, who had a massive season last year, so it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s the media who portray that. “We are where we are. We had a hard run of games but we’re undefeated in the last four matches and they’ve been tough, tough games for us but we’re slowly but surely getting there.” Midfielder Joe Cole has been ruled out for around two weeks with a hamstring injury suffered in Tuesday’s win over Crystal Palace but Lambert hopes he can return sooner. Press Association The 25-year-old dislocated his shoulder in October and was ruled out until the end of December. Delph, who has impressed since breaking into Roy Hodgson’s side this season, missed England’s recent Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia and the friendly against Scotland as well as crucial Barclays Premier League games for Villa. center_img England midfielder Fabian Delph returned to training on Friday as he fights to return for some of Aston Villa’s Christmas fixtures. last_img read more

Read More
Joyce Extra: San Francisco Woman Attacked by Homeless Man, Gets Released By Judge

first_imgSometimes I worry for my daughter and grandchildren. Read the full story here@GavinNewsom Please watch this video of me getting attacked at my front door less than 72-hrs ago. The man who attacked me was released this morning because the judge, Christine Van Aken believes that this man is not a danger to our community. PLEASE SAVE OUR CITY!! #savesf pic.twitter.com/XGzmtSLQpP— Paneez Kosarianfard (@paneezkosarian) August 15, 2019last_img

Read More
GSA Eagles Remain on Top In Class C Softball Rankings

first_img State budget vs. job creation – January 22, 2015 Bio Latest posts by admin (see all) Latest Posts ELLSWORTH — Two of the hottest teams in Eastern Maine Class C softball can be found right here in Hancock County.Righthander Tashia Daley has returned to the pitcher’s circle for the Sumner Tigers after recovering from knee surgery. Daley made her debut at Blue Hill last week, striking out 10 batters in a 6-5 loss.—HUGH BOWDENThe high-flying George Stevens Academy Eagles have boosted their record to 7-1, thanks in no small part to the standout pitching of righthander Lydia Clapp.The Eagles are well ahead of the rest of the field at the top of this week’s Eastern Maine Class C standings.Close behind GSA in record are the 6-1 Sumner Tigers, whose only loss so far was 6-5 in extra innings last week to GSA at Blue Hill.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThe Tigers are ranked only 10th in the Class C standings, but likely improved their position with wins on Monday over Narraguagus and Tuesday against Orono. In Class B, the Bucksport Golden Bucks are 4-3 after Tuesday’s 10-6 loss to the Old Town Coyotes and are ranked fifth.Also in Class B, the 2-6 Ellsworth Eagles got their first wins last week, taking both ends of a doubleheader with Caribou; but those wins are not reflected in the standings, which show Ellsworth as 0-4 and ranked at the bottom.The 3-4 Mount Desert Island Trojans are wrongly listed at 2-5 and are shown as 13th in Class B.In Class D, the Deer Isle-Stonington Mariners are off to a slow 1-3 start. For more sports stories, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.center_img Hancock County Court News Nov. 3 thorugh Dec. 11 – January 22, 2015 House fire in Winter Harbor – October 27, 2014 adminlast_img read more

Read More