SOUTHCOM Returns to El Salvador with Humanitarian Assistance

first_imgBy Lorena Baires/Diálogo July 12, 2018 The Salvadoran Armed Force (FAES, in Spanish) and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) launched the combined military exercise Beyond the Horizon 2018 in the municipality of Zacatecoluca, May 31, 2018. Service members focus on improving schools and providing health services to the population of many villages. “Beyond the Horizon is a SOUTHCOM- and FAES-conducted humanitarian exercise,” U.S. Army Colonel Elliot Harris, senior defense officer at the U.S Embassy in El Salvador, told Diálogo. “Its goal is to provide medical assistance to people with limited resources and conduct engineering projects to strengthen the local capacity for humanitarian response and recovery in case of natural disasters.” The exercise lasts three months, during which more than 2,000 service members assigned to SOUTHCOM deploy in rounds of 500 troops. “We’ll have the support of the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy to work with FAES engineers in different projects,” U.S. Army Colonel Israel Romero, commander of the exercise in El Salvador, told Diálogo. “We learn from each other from this experience and receive the fraternal embrace of those who benefit from it.” The work of SOUTHCOM and FAES involves expanding classrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens of four schools, as well as building a community center and a maternal health area—an investment of about $10 million. “The exercise responds to the current reality, the current needs of the Salvadoran people. In the past, we cooperated in the construction of potable water wells, and now we provide support to the educational system and specialized health services,” Col. Romero said. In addition, doctors will take part in a five-day campaign to offer consultations in pediatrics, gynecology, dentistry, geriatrics, and ophthalmology to thousands of people daily. The communities of San Luis Talpa, Olocuilta, and Zacatecoluca, among others, will benefit from the services. “FAES devotes a great part of its potential in logistics and leadership to assist in the country’s development, especially in those communities that need it the most,” said Salvadoran minister of Defense David Munguía Payés. “The exercise allows us to reinforce strong bonds of cooperation with SOUTHCOM, which has conducted similar exercises for many years in different parts of the country and helped improve the quality of life of children and adults.” The planning of the humanitarian exercise began in 2016 with bilateral meetings between SOUTHCOM and FAES, with the participation of operational personnel from the Salvadoran ministries of Health and Education, the beneficiaries of the facilities under construction. On April 14, 2018, the USNS Brittin (T-AKR-305) docked at Port Acajutla in Sonsonate department with equipment and construction materials for the humanitarian exercise. U.S. Army Private Sair Danilso Silverio, a naturalized American citizen from El Salvador, arrived with U.S. Army South to help with Beyond the Horizon 2018. “The exercise is an opportunity to help with the social development of my family’s hometown,” he told Diálogo. “I once dreamed of being part of the U.S. Army and was able to make it happen. I feel proud to be part of a humanitarian mission, back to my roots, and improve my people’s quality of life. I’m very thankful for this opportunity.” Francisco Salvador Hirezi, mayor of Zacatecoluca, was delighted to receive service members from SOUTHCOM and FAES. “This is a unique opportunity to increase our capabilities. When natural disasters happen, schools are fundamental to provide shelters. Now, Beyond the Horizon 2018 will strengthen schools. Not only will children who study there benefit, but the municipality will be better equipped to face emergencies,” he told Diálogo. Beyond the Horizon 2018 illustrates the cooperation between the United States and El Salvador through SOUTHCOM and FAES. The exercise, first carried out in El Salvador in 1993 under the name Strong Roads, helped build community roads. In later years, the exercise took on the name Beyond the Horizon to address humanitarian issues. The exchange of experiences seeks to help economically disadvantaged people in the target country and improve local infrastructure.last_img read more

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Moving beyond out-of-the-box models

first_img 29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michael Cochrum Michael has worked in the consumer lending industry since 1989. In 1999, he joined the credit union industry, working for the Texas Credit Union League’s credit union. Mr. Cochrum … Web: www.cudirect.com Details I’ve been working in and with credit unions for over fifteen years and in financial services for over twenty five. Based upon my experience, I believe that there is one critical area where credit unions have lost ground when it comes to capturing the consumer market for loans and other financial products; that area is, making fact-based decisions. Years ago, banks and credit unions were all in the same boat when it came to business intelligence technology. At that time, regulation was the biggest barrier for credit unions to compete against commercial banks, because computers were non-existent on both sides. Many on the banking side would now argue, with few exceptions, that regulation is less intensive on the credit union side of the equation. But banks, unlike credit unions, have embraced the insights and efficiencies that can be found in business intelligence technology. Therefore, they have created a competitive edge by understanding consumer behavior better than credit unions.In a recent review of credit union portfolio performance data, it was found that some of the risk factors commonly used by credit unions to decision and price loans had very little impact on default risk using linear regression testing. In other words, when testing a single risk factor, keeping all other risk factors constant, there was no linear correlation between the increase in the risk factor and an increase in default risk. What was even more interesting and important to note is that the risk factors that impacted one credit union’s loan performance were not necessarily the factors that impacted another’s. So, what’s the point?The point is, if your credit union is using risk factors and risk thresholds that you developed by cutting and pasting what other lenders have been doing in your market, and have not re-examined those risk factors over time, you may be doing more harm than good to your lending program. Here is an example of default risk from two different credit unions based on the Loan-to-Value (LTV) risk factor at origination.In the example above, loan originations from 2012 were observed for defaults in the time since origination. It is clear, based on Credit Union A’s data, that there is a linear relationship between default probability and LTV; default probability increases as the LTV increases. However, the same pattern is not observed in Credit Union B, where the default probability seems more random. Most credit unions do not use LTV as a credit decision factor, but rather a factor in determining the maximum loan amount. However, if it is proven in the context of the credit union’s lending policies that LTV does have an impact on default risk, then perhaps it should be used in the decision criteria as well.This reveals another issue related to risk modeling that should be considered. If the credit union is using a default or generic model of any kind, it should be understood that the model is not considering the uniqueness of the credit union in the model and is, generally speaking, statistically invalid for that credit union. In other words, what is true for the general population may not be true for a single credit union membership. This goes for credit bureau models as well as others for default prediction models. Even FICO® suggests that lenders introduce internally derived risk factors into credit risk models to be used in conjunction with a credit score. Credit unions should either do their own testing and analysis of data or contract with a vendor, like CU Direct’s Advisory Services, to conduct the testing using the credit unions own data. If this doesn’t sound like common sense to you, consider the same principle in a different context. If you have ever tried to lose weight, you know that different diets work for different people. That’s because our bodies metabolize food differently. Likewise, the uniqueness of each lender causes loans to “metabolize” in the portfolio differently.In theory, this all sounds simple, and it is if you have the right data and technology in place. In truth, you probably already do — or have it available to you — but you simply haven’t taken the steps to capitalize on it. One of the greatest challenges that Advisory Services, or any other provider will have in assisting a credit union, is that the applicable data hasn’t been collected or hasn’t been stored in an accessible format. The credit union should be collecting and storing any information that it uses to assess risk during the application process. Common data points like credit score, income, LTV, term, etc. should be stored along with credit bureau details, such as inquiries and delinquent loan counts. This information will be invaluable when trying to determine which factors impact loan performance to the highest degree.last_img read more

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The Latest: PGA Tour Series-China canceled due to virus

first_imgMore AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___Storied Russian hockey club CSKA Moscow says that seven players have tested positive for the coronavirus.The club says the unnamed players tested positive Tuesday and that none of them are displaying symptoms.CSKA says in a statement the team has been tested for the virus each day since returning from vacation.The announcement comes hours after another Kontinental Hockey League club, Avangard Omsk, said that it was withdrawing from a pre-season tournament following positive tests for 20 people. That figure included players and staff. Greg Carlson, executive director of the China-based tour, said attempts to move the qualifying tournaments to other sites in Asia were not practical, and restricted access into mainland China made it too difficult to stage tournaments in 2020.“It’s a disappointment, but I know our players and fans understand — given the continuing evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic — staging a tour based in China with players from five different continents is just not feasible at this time,” Carlson said in a statement. The tour, which is owned by the PGA Tour and operates in partnership with the Chinese Golf Association, started in 2014. It is open to all nationalities and attracts players mainly from Asia and the Pacific Rim. Players who earned membership following the 2019 season will maintain their PGA TOUR Series-China status in 2021.___ The KHL is aiming to start the new season on Sept. 2 and expects to finalize the calendar after a board meeting scheduled for next week.___Swimming governing body FINA is giving almost $6.5 million to help athletes prepare for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.FINA says it wants to help athletes who “endure hardships related to their training and competitive opportunities due to the pandemic.”The plan includes $4 million for at least 160 national federations to support athletes with expenses for training, competitions and living over the next year. The UIL’s announcement said it also anticipates that not all schools will start at the same time and could face disruptions during the season.“These adjustments reflect the public health situation at this time and the varying numbers of COVID-19 cases across different geographic areas of the state,” the UIL said in its announcement.___Danielle Collins has been kicked out of World TeamTennis for breaking the league’s COVID-19 protocols.WTT CEO Carlos Silva says Collins left The Greenbrier resort hosting all of the matches during the league’s three-week season and went out of the state of West Virginia. The Ironman World Championship that previously had been rescheduled is now cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.It’s the first time in the 43-year history of the triathlon event that it won’t be run.Ironman had previously announced that the World Championships would be moved from October to Feb. 6, 2021 and that next year would feature two world championship events. The 70.3 World Championships had been scheduled for November in New Zealand and had also been postponed to early 2021,___The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association said Tuesday night it will move high school football to the spring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament that was supposed to mark the official return of men’s professional tennis amid the coronavirus pandemic has been canceled.The Citi Open in Washington, scheduled to start with Aug. 13 qualifying, was called off Tuesday because of what tournament manager Mark Ein said are “too many unresolved external issues, including various international travel restrictions as well as troubling health and safety trends.”The men’s and women’s pro tours both have been suspended since March and are planning to return next month. The first event on the most recently announced calendar is a women’s tournament in Palermo, Italy, starting Aug. 3.With Washington’s hard-court tournament now gone, the first chance for men to play sanctioned matches will be the Masters-level event usually played in Cincinnati that was moved to the site of the U.S. Open, starting Aug. 22.That is to be followed by the U.S. Open, beginning Aug. 31. The NFL Players Association says 95 players are known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.That number is up from 72 in the union’s last report on July 10.On Monday, the NFLPA and the NFL reached agreement on COVID-19 testing as rookies begin reporting to training camps. Most veterans come in next week, though some players rehabbing injuries could report this week.Players will be tested daily for the coronavirus for at least the first two weeks of training camp, per the league’s new testing protocols. After two weeks of daily testing, if the positivity rate of those tests falls below 5% among players and team individuals with close access to them, testing would go to every other day. If the positivity rate doesn’t fall below that threshold, daily testing would continue until it drops. The Latest: PGA Tour Series-China canceled due to virus The Rams announced the decision in an email to their season ticket holders outlining their current plans for the multibillion-dollar stadium, which is on schedule to open next month.Fans can get a refund on their payments for 2020 seats, or they can roll over that money to next season. All single-game tickets already purchased will also be canceled and refunded because the Rams expect their stadium capacity to be limited to only about 15,000, even if fans are allowed inside SoFi at all this season.The team also said it expects the NFL to cancel the entire preseason, which means the stadium’s first scheduled game is now the Rams’ Sunday night season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 13.All of the season ticket holders’ stadium seat licenses have been extended by one year. SoFi Stadium’s seat licenses will be refunded by the Rams after 50 years, essentially turning them into an interest-free loan by fans to finance construction of the stadium.___ Detroit Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris says he found out about his positive test about a month ago, but his COVID-19 symptoms were already clearing up by then.Norris was cleared to rejoin the Detroit player pool and said he threw a bullpen session Tuesday. He has a simulated game Thursday.Norris confirmed his positive test earlier this month to the Detroit News, but he said Tuesday he got the initial result June 23. “That was the test we took down in Florida. I was obviously super bummed, but my symptoms had pretty much cleared up by that time,” he said. “Once the Phillies camp had that little outbreak, they shut our camp down. … I didn’t know I was positive until I got to Detroit.”Norris said he was taking precautions while in Florida. July 22, 2020center_img ___AUSTIN, Texas — Texas will delay the start of the public high school football season for its largest schools by a month as the state grapples with a recent surge of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.Instead of starting practice Aug. 3, those schools can now start Sept. 7. The first games can be played Sept. 24, a month after the originally scheduled opening weekend. The University Interscholastic League said it focused the delay on larger schools as many of them are in the states largest metropolitan areas, which have been hit hardest by the surge of virus cases. Some school districts are already changing their calendars to delay the start of the academic year, or to begin the year with several weeks of online classes. The Houston school district, the largest in the state, won’t meet on campus until mid-October. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The PGA Tour Series-China season has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Associated Press A further $2 million will support 100 scholarships for athletes who currently do not have Olympic qualifying standards to prepare at national or continental centers. FINA supports regional bases in Russia, Senegal, Thailand and the United States.Grants totalling $460,000 will go to continental swimming bodies to distribute.___The ISTAF track meet in Berlin has outlined plans to have up to 3,500 spectators in attendance on Sept. 13.Organizers say they have developed a wide-ranging plan to ensure spectators stay healthy but haven’t revealed specifics. They were hoping for up to 45,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin before the pandemic. Meet director Martin Seeber says he hopes it will be “a first small step back to normality.”Pole vault world record holder Armand “Mondo” Duplantis is headlining the event.The announcement comes as other European track meets plan to bring fans back. Tickets are on sale for the Diamond League meet in Monaco next month and organizers in Lausanne are staging a pole vault competition in the city which could have 5,000 fans if Swiss authorities agree.___This season’s Scottish Cup final will be played midway through next season. The WIAA unveiled a four-season calendar for high school sports, moving team sports deemed moderate or high risk to the early spring. Football, volleyball, girls soccer and small-school boys soccer will be contested beginning in early March and conclude in early May.The majority of high school sports in the state will not be permitted until after the winter break when school resumes in January. The WIAA calendar calls for the primary winter sports of basketball and wrestling to be contested between early January and conclude in early March.Traditional spring sports including baseball, track and field, softball and boys soccer will begin in late April and conclude in late June.___The Los Angeles Rams are deferring their fans’ season tickets for the upcoming season in brand-new SoFi Stadium to 2021. The Scottish soccer federation says the pandemic-delayed competition will be completed on Dec. 20. That is more than seven months after the original date for the final on May 9.The competition was stopped at the semifinal stage. Defending champion Celtic will play Aberdeen and Edinburgh rivals Hearts and Hibernian will meet in the other semifinal on the weekend of Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Hampden Park in Glasgow.Organizers say players who would ordinarily be barred from playing for a second team in the same competition can play for their new club even if they were earlier fielded by a different team.The 2020-21 season in the Scottish league will start on Aug. 1. The 2019-20 league season did not resume after the lockdown and Celtic was declared champion based on average points per game.___ “The protocols have been put in place and communicated numerous times to protect the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff,” Silva said.Collins is a 26-year-old American who was a semifinalist at the 2019 Australian Open. She has been ranked as high as No. 23 and currently is No. 51.She was playing for the Orlando Storm at WTT, which took all nine of its teams and put them at The Greenbrier, where the season began July 12 and ends Aug. 2.The WTT is not affiliated with the WTA or ATP professional tours, which have been suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic and plan to resume next month.___ ___A Russian team playing in the Kontinental Hockey League has withdrawn from a pre-season tournament after 20 people from the club tested positive for the coronavirus.Avangard Omsk general manager Alexei Volkov says the positive tests come from players and members of team staff who were tested during training camp. Volkov adds that the people are in isolation and that most don’t have obvious symptoms.Avangard was scheduled to play in a pre-season tournament from Aug. 4-9 in Sochi.The last KHL season was cut short midway through the playoffs when the coronavirus pandemic made international travel difficult. “It was crazy down there. Everything was like open and semi-normal, but I wasn’t partaking in all that,” he said. “I just kind of figured I was doing enough to not get it.”Norris said his symptoms didn’t seem major at first — he woke up sweating a bit and achy — but in retrospect, he realized those symptoms may have been more significant.“The heavy symptoms only lasted a few days,” Norris said. “A few days after that test, I was like, ‘I feel like 100%.’”He said he sent out a message to the team telling them not to take the virus lightly.___last_img read more

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Maduka Okoye: Answer to Eagles’ Goalkeeping Problem?

first_imgWhen Vincent Enyeama bowed out of international football after over a decade of manning the post for the senior national team, it was obvious he would be leaving a big vacuum. However, Carl Ikeme came in and fitted in perfectly but didn’t last long as the then Wolverhampton Wanderers FC safe hands was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July. From then on, the post had been shared between the trio of Francis Uzoho, Ikechuckwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi, all of whom have not been convincing. Ahead of Nigeria/Ukraine friendly match, Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr extended invitation to Fortuna Dusseldorf II goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, though he did not man the post, but Rohr was convinced that Super Eagles’ goalkeeping problem is now a thing of the pastSuper Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, last week assured Nigerian football fans that the goalkeeping problem that had plagued the national team was now a thing of the past.Since Vincent Enyeama retired from the national team, the Super Eagles have struggled to find a decent replacement, with the likes of Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi failing to impress. Although Francis Uzoho did better than the duo when he was given the chance, his form has regressed since he moved to Cyprus due to a lack of activity at his club. However, after switching clubs last summer, he is back playing regularly and that showed in his performance in Nigeria’s 2-2 draw with Ukraine.With him back playing regularly and Fortuna Dusseldorf II goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye now in the team, Rohr believes the Super Eagles have solved their goalkeeping issues.The former Bordeaux manager said this in an interview on NFF twitter handle: “Our goalkeeper, Uzoho is much better, because he is playing in his club, and even in the goalkeeper positions we had problems, but we see that, we have already the answer.”Okoye could not hide his joy when he hooked up with the Nigeria national team players in Kyiv ahead of the international friendly against Ukraine.The Fortuna Dusseldorf shot-stopper earned his first call up to the senior Team after Rohr released his 18-man list for the September 10 showdown with Ukraine.“Can‘t express my feelings and how happy I am to get my first call up for the Super Eagles. All praise to the Most High ,” he said.Meanwhile, Ikechukwu Ezenwa has stated that Maduka Okoye is a wonderful person to work with, and always want to learn just in his first spell with the senior national team. “Maduka is a brother, a wonderful person that always want to learn. It’s always nice meeting new goalkeepers and I think he is a wonderful person, he wants to learn just like the way I was brought up in my goalkeeping career.“I thank God he is now in the team and we are going to work together as brothers to give our best for our beloved country Nigeria,” Ezenwa concluded.Super Eagles goalkeeper coach, Alloy Agu, has urged 20-year-old goalkeeper to wait for his time, as the youngster was an unused substitute in the international friendly against Ukraine.Despite the concerns over the goalkeeping department in the Super Eagles, Rohr opted not to give the Fortuna Düsseldorf first choice game time.In a bid to quell the growing frustration with the coach’s decision, Agu insists the player will get his moment.“We can’t put everyone at the same time, it’s a gradual process and another friendly is coming up in October,” the former Super Eagles goalkeeper said.“By his grace, we are working with all the players, Maduka inclusive; we have seen him, he has a lot of quality, we would continue to work with him and every player invited will surely get to play.”Maduka was born in Dusseldorf, Germany to a Nigerian father and a German mother and because of his dual citizenship, Okoye is eligible to play for either Germany or Nigeria but the former Bayern Leverkusen safe hands has expressed his desire to represent Nigeria ahead of his country of birth, thus making the job of convincing him easier for Rohr and his technical crew.He started his career in 2012 with Bayer Leverkusen, turning up for their youth team. In 2017, he left Bayer Leverkusen for Fortuna Dusseldorf, where he played for their youth team and the senior team. In 2018, he was fully promoted to Fortuna Dusseldorf II, a football team that plays in the Regionalliga West.In the summer of 2017, he left the youth team of Bayer Leverkusen, where he has played since 2012 to join the youth team of Fortuna Dusseldorf.On 14 October 2017, he made his professional debut in the Regionalliga West for Fortuna Dusseldorf II in a game against Wuppertaler SV, replacing the injured Max Schijns on the 43rd minute of the game. He finished the 2017/2018 season with just five appearances, conceding just one goal and keeping four clean sheets, while his club finished the season in the 15th position with 36 points after 34 games, narrowly escaping relegation to Oberliga.In the 2018/2019 season, he became the club regular goalkeeper and on 13 April, he played his last match of the season after being replaced in goal for the next matches by goalkeeper Jannick Theissen. He finished the season with 15 appearances, conceding 25 goals and keeping three clean sheets. This time, his club did better than the previous season, finishing the season in the 12th position with 42 points after 34 games.On 30 November 2017, Rohr talked about his plans to invite Maduka to the Nigerian national team before the 2018 World Cup, but the plans wasn’t a success.On 22 February 2019, he was invited to the Nigeria U-23 team for the 2019 African U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya, but failed to make a debut, due to club engagement.On 26 July 2019, Rohr, hinted that he was shifting his focus to Maduka as he looks to solve the goalkeeping crisis that has rocked his team since Ikeme quit due to illness. He was invited for a friendly against Ukraine.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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