Video: Behind BB75 Ken McMeikan

first_imgGreggs’ chief executive Ken McMeikan spoke exclusively to British Baker at the first BB75 Lunch about the company’s new shop opening programme, the expanding coffee market and coming away from the event with pockets full of business cards.Music: Pasadena by Emerald Park (Creative Commons licence)YouTube link: http://youtu.be/tTHMjzFg75klast_img

Press release: World Wildlife Day: A helping hand to turtles and mangroves

first_imgFauna & Flora International has been working to protect marine turtles in Nicaragua for 15 years and a key part of that work has been ensuring local communities are central to conservation initiatives.The most recent project received £385,617 from the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative in 2017 and has been achieving significant success for young turtle hatchlings.Joanna Elliott, Senior Director, Conservation Partnerships, Fauna & Flora International said: World Wildlife Day is a rallying reminder of the foundational importance of our planet’s biodiversity to all life on Earth. Wildlife underpins all life, and its loss imperils our own future. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the mangrove forests of the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans. These so-called blue forests protect shorelines, absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide, and form the foundation of fisheries and marine ecosystems that underpin coastal economies for hundreds of millions of people. Defra’s work is on the frontline of efforts to reverse mangrove loss – innovating scalable approaches to conservation that deliver meaningful benefits to people and nature. Projects like these are illustrative of the ‘win-win’ approach encouraging sustainable livelihoods whilst conserving some of the world’s iconic and endangered species and landscapes, which benefits us all. Government-funded projects to protect the world’s turtles and mangroves have been praised by the Environment Minister on World Wildlife Day.Today (Sunday 3 March) marks United Nations World Wildlife Day. The theme for this year is ‘Life below water: for people and planet’.One of the key animals whose plight is being highlighted is the turtle, targeted for their eggs, meat and shells. Turtles have also suffered from habitat loss due to construction on coastlines.The UK Government’s Darwin Initiative has supported the work of Fauna & Flora International to help these important sea creatures. One such project to protect leatherback and hawksbill turtles in Nicaragua has achieved a significant reduction in the illegal harvesting of their eggs.Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: In Nicaragua we have worked with our community partners to bring about a 95% reduction in the number of turtle eggs that are illegally harvested and ensured more than 190,000 leatherback and hawksbill hatchlings have begun their ocean lives that otherwise would have been lost. Support from the Darwin Initiative has been critical in helping us find a solution that has not only benefitted biodiversity but also directly improved the lives and livelihoods of local people through jobs and business opportunities in tourism and related sectors.center_img World Wildlife Day is a chance to celebrate the wonderful individuals and organisations in coastal communities around the globe who are dedicated to protecting our flora and fauna. I am pleased to see this successful work to protect turtles in Nicaragua. The Darwin Initiative is critical in supporting this type of international conservation project. The UK is also a global leader in providing support and finance to help coastal communities protect and enhance vital resources, such as mangroves. This overseas support is critical to delivering on our ambition to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. A video of the project helping turtles in Nicaragua is available to view here.2019 marks the Government’s Year of Green Action, a year-long drive to help people to connect with, protect and enhance nature.The Darwin Initiative is a grants scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment around the globe. These projects reflect the UK Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan commitments to protect the marine environment, to secure the benefits of biodiversity for the poorest communities and to help prevent the extinction of species.Blue ForestsIn 2016, the UK Government funded the establishment of the ‘Blue Forests’ initiative run by British organisation Blue Ventures. The aim of the project is to reduce deforestation of mangroves habitat, create new sustainable livelihoods, support community health and women’s empowerment and increase climate resilience in coastal communities.This initiative has been funded through the UK’s International Climate Finance programme and plays a crucial role in addressing the global challenge of Climate Change.So far, Blue Ventures has worked with over 6,000 coastal people, empowering local management of 160,000 hectares (ha) of mangrove forests at six different sites across three countries, and partner villages have replanted 652,000 mangrove trees.Dr Alasdair Harris, Executive Director, Blue Ventures Conservation, said:last_img read more

Digital society from the bottom up

first_imgAs communications takes an increasingly central role in the postindustrial economy worldwide, the transition to a digital society is threatening those at the bottom — and could marginalize people of color, a University of Southern California scholar said Tuesday as he opened the three-part fall W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture Series, “Exclusions and Inequality in Digital Societies: Theories, Evidence, and Strategy.”Defining the gap simply by access to the Internet “is the old digital divide,” said Ernest J. Wilson III, the Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. “The new digital divide is ownership, control, and content.”Wilson described a “scissor effect,” in which minority ownership, control, and content in the media has decreased in lockstep with the growth of media importance. In 2009, he said, African-Americans owned 1 percent of broadcast assets; today, that number has shrunk to 0.7 percent.“We should care about this because we are citizens and these are matters of the life and death of democracy,” he said. “There is no democracy without a free press. The free flow of information is essential to a democracy, and with the death of so many newspapers it is not clear that we have a healthy flow” in which issues important to minority classes are responsibly reported, and correspondingly addressed.Wilson identified unequal access to capital as a primary factor in the new digital divide, but said other considerations needed to be examined: “Is this a problem of a pipeline, with not enough people in the pipeline? Is it a problem of a glass ceiling? Is it a problem of a club? Is it a problem of mentoring?” he asked the Barker Center audience.Wilson said the lectures were intended to begin a dialogue, to which end he has started a website. There he has posted four questions — including how the introduction of new social media and other communication technologies has affected the African-American community, and what their impact has been on African-American engagement with other communities — as well as responses from authorities such as NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous and Michael Copps of Common Cause. He also encourages responses on Twitter, @Digital_Du_Bois, and he urged feedback from those attending the lectures.“African-American status in a knowledge society may not be a happy picture in the future. We in this room need to prevent a dystopian future,” he said.Wilson provided his own five-point response to the question he posed others — what would W.E.B. Du Bois say about the information revolution?“Whatever the answer is, it has to be based on sound empirical evidence,” he said. “It would require rethinking, and perhaps rewriting, perceived conceptual frameworks. Matters of exclusion, oppression, and discrimination, especially by race, must be front and center. All of this must lead to purposeful and progressive action. Finally, we should be aware at all times that we are operating in a global environment.“The point I want to make is that we’re in a tough place,” Wilson said. “[But] there are these weird moments in time [when] there is a coincidence of a bunch of scholars working on an issue and a federal, state, or public actor who wants to know about it and in turn there is a political world, instead of political actors, who need that information. We happen to be in one of those moments right now.”The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research’s series continues today with “Policy Responses to Digital Inequality: Beyond Economics” and concludes Thursday with “Structure, Agency and Culture in Digital Societies: Struggles at Home and Abroad.” Lectures are free and open to the public and begin at 4 p.m. in the Thompson Room of the Barker Center, 12 Quincy St., Cambridge.last_img read more

Frozen Aims to Cast a Spell on B’way in 2017 with New Songs!

first_imgWanna build a snowman on the Great White Way? We’ll have to wait until 2017! According to The Daily Mail, Disney Theatrical is on track to bring Elsa and company to Broadway at some point that year. Under the direction of Alex Timbers the show will include new songs along with those you may have heard once or twice before. Among the Broadway-friendly voices featured in the film are If/Then supernova Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Kristen Bell. View Comments Timbers received a Tony nomination for directing Peter and the Starcatcher, as well as for the book of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (which he also directed). His additional directing credits on the Great White Way include The Pee-Wee Herman Show and, most recently, Rocky. Most recently, he has helmed Here Lies Love off-Broadway and in London. He is also a co-creator and co-writer of the music-themed Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle. “As has already been announced, Disney Theatrical is working on a stage adaptation of the animated film Frozen,” said Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer Disney Theatrical Productions, in a statement. “It will come as no surprise that the EGOT-winning Broadway veteran Robert Lopez and the Oscar and Grammy winning Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who wrote the indelible songs for the film, will be working on the show and that Oscar winner Jennifer Lee, co-director and screenwriter of the film, will be working on the book of the stage version. No other staffing or dates have been announced.”last_img read more

Termite Geneology.

first_imgKnowing which termites are kin and where they’ve been may bethe key to more effectively controlling the pests. And scientistsare closing in. They’re using DNA technology to track their travelsand find their family trees.”I’m looking at what we call gene flow, which is the geneticrelationship of one termite to another,” said Tracie Jenkins,a geneticist working in the University of Georgia’s entomologydepartment.”DNA can be used to determine termite relationships justas it is used to determine human relationships,” Jenkinssaid. “It can also be used to track termite movement overtime.”Atlanta and Louisiana Termites From SameFamilyJenkins tested theDNA of termites found at four sites in metro Atlanta. She foundthat they came from Louisiana and traveled to Georgia inside railroadties.In her lab at the Georgia Experiment Station in Griffin, Ga.,Jenkins examined a mitochondrial DNA gene from the Formosan subterraneantermites, an imported species.”The mitochondrial DNA gene is inherited from the femaleline and therefore can be used to trace maternal movement,”Jenkins said. “By comparing the Atlanta collections withcollections from many other sites in the Southeast and elsewhere,I discovered a match with sites in Louisiana.”Surveying the four Atlanta homeowners, Jenkins found they allbought infested railroad ties for landscaping. “This studydemonstrates how interstate commerce can help spread termites,”she said.As a result of the research, she said, the Railway Tie Associationis alerting the railroad community to the possible problems ofspreading Formosan termites in crossties. And they’re taking stepsto prevent it.Jenkins’ genetic research is part of the UGA College of Agriculturaland Environmental Sciences’ urban agriculture effort. By understandingtermites’ family relationships and movements, she said, the $2-billion-a-yearpest may be better controlled.”You have to know your enemy before you can fight him,”she said. “You can’t treat for a creature if you don’t knowhow it operates.”Do Colonies Really Have Just One Queen?Jenkins said subterranean termite colonies are traditionallydescribed as having one king and one queen. The mated pair’s matureoffspring fly away and start new colonies.After studying termite sites across Georgia and the world forthe past five years with UGA urban entomologist Brian Forschler,Jenkins isn’t sure she agrees with the one-king, one-queen scenario.At one termite site on Georgia’s Sapelo Island, Jenkins andForschler found termites of one species one month and anotherspecies the next.Jenkins’ research also provided DNA evidence that differentspecies traveled through the same site. Her DNA work uncoveredevidence, too, of four termite species at the site. Entomologistsknew three of those were in Georgia. But one is new to the state.”In this one study we determined they move rapidly whenthey want to, different species can come in and occupy the samesite and there are most likely more than three species in Georgia,”she said. “This opened up a whole new research project forme. I’m obsessed by what I’m learning.”High Cost of DNA Sequencing Slows ResearchThe only problems standing in Jenkins’ way are the numbersof hours in a day and the high cost of DNA testing.”I’d like to be able to run more DNA fingerprinting andDNA sequences,” she said. “But DNA work, although extremelyinformative, is very, very expensive. So I have to design my experimentswith cost in mind.”Jenkins’ next steps are to find whether more than one queenis in each colony and if different species coexist and feed inthe same site.”Every day I’m ferreting out their biology and how theywork,” she said. “Termites are interesting creatures.But because they’re a homeowner’s nightmare, I hope my work willhelp in the fight to control them.”last_img read more

Relationships Matter – Humanitarian Assistance And Disaster Relief In Haiti

first_img Relationships Matter The international military cooperation witnessed during the Haiti relief effort was a unique experi-ence. Two factors had a major influence in the success of the mission. The next morning, Keen surveyed the effects of the quake. Rubble from collapsed buildings choked the streets, cutting people off from food, water, and medical supplies. The earthquake had destroyed the control tower at the international airport, making it impossible to fly in assistance. The people of Haiti had to rely on their own devices to survive. Having MINUSTAH already on the ground was a huge benefit, but with the destruction of the UN headquarters and the loss of its senior civilian leadership, the response required was greater than any one organization or country could shoulder on its own. Seeing that the situation demanded rapid and robust action, General Keen requested the deployment of U.S. military forces to Haiti. U.S. and Partner Nation Militaries: A History of Cooperation Eighteen contributing nations make up the military component of the UN mission in Haiti. These nations include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, India, Jordan, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, the United States, and Uruguay. The United States has a long and distinguished history of partnership and cooperation conducting full spectrum operations with various partner nations. Three notable exam¬ples include offensive operations during the Italian Campaign in World War II, humanitarian assistance during the 1965 civil war in the Dominican Republic, and peacekeeping operations in Ecuador and Peru in 1995. The situation in Haiti continued to decline; diplomacy and economic sanctions had no effect. The United States saw no other option than to initiate military action to reinstate President Aristide. It began “Operation Uphold Democracy” on 19 September 1994 with the alert of U.S. and allied forces for a forced entry into Haiti. U.S. Navy and Air Force elements deployed for staging to Puerto Rico and southern Florida. An airborne invasion was planned, spearheaded by elements of U.S. Special Operations Command and the 82d Airborne Division. However, in February 2004, during Aristide’s second inconsecutive term as president, a violent rebellion broke out that led to Aristide’s removal from office once more. Haiti again threatened international peace and security in the region, and the UN passed resolution 1542 on 30 April 2004, effectively establishing the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) on 1 June 2004. Its mandate even now is to support a secure and stable transitional government, the develop-ment of a political process focused on the principles of democracy, and the defense of human rights. By Dialogo June 28, 2010 Brasil Strong Arm, Friendly Hand Good afternoon, I am Sergeant Jose Ernesto Cubillos of the Columbian National Army. I participated in the Haitian humanitarian mission, it was with pleasure and pride that I shared this experience alongside your reporters such as Mr. Marcos Ommati; who received our anecdotes and comments regarding the medical attention, management and the help we gave the Haitians with a lot, a very lot of affection. I would appreciate it if Mr. Ommati would send me an email. I also want to know if you could send me some samples of the last DIALOGO edition where all of the Haiti documentaries are featured. Hello: I am a Guatemalan nurse and I would like to know how I could join the humanitarian effort for Haiti. This article is reprinted with the permission of Military Review, the Professional Journal of the US Army, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It was originally published in the (May-June 2010) issue of Military Review. ●●Support Haitians. ●●Plan, coordinate, and prepare to execute a phased transition to smaller but longer-term force structure and operations. The United Nations originally authorized MINUSTAH up to 6,700 military personnel, 1,622 police, 548 international civilian personnel, 154 volunteers, and 995 local civilian staff. On 13 October 2009, in an effort to curb illegal armed groups, accelerate their disarmament, and support the upcoming elections, the UN increased MINUSTAH’s authorized strength to 6,940 military personnel and 2,211 police. Eighteen countries currently provide military personnel and 41 different countries provide police officers. Personal Relationships Also Matter In addition to cultivating institutional relationships between partner nations, one cannot overlook the importance of developing personal relation¬ships as well. The better we understand each other in terms of culture, language, and operability, the better we will be able to work together. Under-standing this dynamic, the U.S. Army has sought to develop a corps of officers and noncommissioned officers that have an in-depth understanding of the culture, language, and military organization of other nations, all toward enhancing interoperability. The United States continues to engage in security cooperation activities with countries from all over the world. These engagements take the form of bilateral staff talks, multinational exercises, and personnel and unit exchanges to improve relation¬ships, capabilities, and interoperability. Phase II (relief) began on 5 February. After addressing emergency needs in phase I, it was time to transition to a more deliberate plan. As the government got on its feet and more nongovernmental organizations established themselves in the country, the focus became transitioning JTF-H responsibilities to them. Early on, JTF-H established a humanitarian assistance coordination cell to coordinate its humanitarian assistance efforts with the UN. Phase II priorities shifted to — ●●Support efforts to provide shelter, establish settlements, and conduct debris removal. ●●Transition JTF-H humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts to capable partners when ready. The United States first deployed Special Operations Air Force personnel to open the airfield and manage the huge influx of aid delivered by air. The JTF-H quickly established its headquarters with members of the Southern Command Standing Joint Headquarters and the XVIII Airborne Corps staff. A brigade from the 82d Airborne Division deployed to Port-au-Prince, and the 22d and 24th Marine Expeditionary Units deployed to provide assistance to the west and north of the capital. Ships and aircraft from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, including the USNS Comfort hospital ship, also deployed. Joint Task Force-Haiti established a “port opening” task force so humanitarian assistance could arrive by sea. By the end of January, the U.S. had deployed more than 22,000 civilian and military personnel (about 7,000 on land and the rest afloat), 16 ships, and 58 aircraft. A robust Joint logistics com¬mand also supported the entire effort. MINUSTAH is under the civilian leadership of a special representative to the secretary general, with two deputies that oversee different aspects of the UN mission. The principal deputy is primarily responsible for the UN civilian police, human rights, justice, civil affairs, and electoral issues. The other deputy is responsible for humanitarian efforts on behalf of gender equality, children’s rights, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration, HIV/AIDS issues, and other UN agencies. The military force commander is also under the special representative’s control. The military force consists of ten infantry battalions, two separate infantry com¬panies, and eight specialized detachments (military police, engineers, aviation, medical, and logistics). One of the best examples of coordination and cooperation began on 31 January when MINUS¬TAH and JTF-H troops initiated a combined operation to deliver food and water to the population of Port-au-Prince. The World Food Program — in partnership with the USAID, International Organization on Migration, United Nations Children’s Fund, and numerous NGOs — led this 14-day food drive — using 16 distribution points run by MINUSTAH and U.S. forces. Soldiers from various nations worked together, learned from each other, and showed the people of Haiti that the relief effort was truly an international mission. During the first food surge, the food drive delivered more than 10,000 tons of food to over 2.2 million people, a task that would have been impossible had not multiple countries worked together. From 2006 to 2007, as the commander of U.S. Army South, then – Brigadier General Keen worked once again with then – Colonel Floriano Peixoto, who was assigned to the Brazilian Army Staff G5 International Affairs Directorate. Based on the previous interaction and personal relationship, the first thing Major General Floriano Peixoto and Lieutenant General Keen did when they were brought together by events in Haiti was sit down and develop a combined concept for working through the challenge together. The earthquake prompted offers to send aid and assistance in various forms from governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private foundations.The need for manpower on the ground to orchestrate the relief effort brought together military forces from the world over, to include the United States, which stood up Joint Task Force-Haiti (JTF-H). The combined effort of MINUSTAH and JTF-H in providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Haiti following the earthquake demonstrates the importance of developing strong relationships, both institutional and personal, with partner nation armies. In 1988, then – Captain Floriano Peixoto attended the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. At the time, then-Major Keen worked in the Directorate of Plans, Train-ing, and Mobilization for the U.S. Army Infantry School, and the two continued the relationship they established four years before. The 30-year dictatorship of the Duvalier family in Haiti ended in 1986. Between 1986 and 1990, a series of provisional governments ruled Haiti, and in December 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide won 67 percent of the vote to become the first democratically elected president in Haiti’s history. Aristide took office in February 1991, but was overthrown by dissatisfied elements of the army and forced to leave the country in Sep¬tember of the same year. A provisional government was established, but the true power remained with the Haitian military. Another measure of success has been the drastic decrease in the gang-related activity that threatened political stability. In Cité Soleil, the most infamous slum district in Haiti, MINUSTAH troops took over the main gang’s operations center and transformed it into a health clinic, which now offers free services to the community. This new level of security, established in 2007, allows agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to approach, assess, and provide assistance without the threat of gang violence. The senate elections in April 2009 marked another step in Haiti’s democratic development. The Department of Defense designated the effort as Operation Unified Response. With MINUSTAH responsible for security, JTF-H focused on saving lives and mitigating human suffering. The operation had two primary phases with different priorities for each. Phase I (initial response) lasted from 14 January to 4 February. The priorities were — In 1987, then – Major Keen attended Brazil’s Command and General Staff Course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The experience gave Keen a greater appreciation and understanding of Brazil, something that would serve him well in future assignments. While all the troop-contributing countries to MINUSTAH share these successes, U.S. government officials have praised Brazil’s leadership role in the UN mission as a welcome demonstration of Brazil’s emergence as a leader in regional and global arenas. The next day, Keen went to see Floriano Peixoto at his temporary headquarters to exchange information on the relief efforts and the pending arrival of U.S. forces in Haiti. Dropping in unannounced was against normal protocol, but it seemed necessary at the time. As Keen walked into the headquarters, he learned from a Brazilian colonel that Brazilian Minister of Defense Jobim was assembled with his Brazil service commanders and the MINUSTAH staff. Not wanting to interrupt, Keen was about to leave when the Brazilian colonel insisted he join Jobim, Floriano Peixoto, and the Brazilian contin¬gent. The 1965 civil war in the Dominican Republic led to another cooperative effort between the United States and several Latin American countries. The XVIII Airborne Corps headquarters was activated on 26 April 1965 and three battalions from the 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division, deployed on 30 April and landed at San Isidro Airfield. After intense fighting that day, a cease-fire was established and the paratroopers soon transitioned to peacekeeping and stabilization efforts distributing food, water, and medicine to the residents of San Isidro. A fourth battalion from the 82d’s 1st Brigade joined cooperation conducting full spectrum operations with various partner nations. Three notable examples include offensive operations during the Italian Campaign in World War II, humanitarian assistance during the 1965 civil war in the Dominican Republic, and peacekeeping operations in Ecuador and Peru in 1995. Since 2004, MINUSTAH has created an environment of security and stability that has allowed the political transition to unfold. Haiti reminds us that security and development are inextricably linked and should not be viewed as separate spheres, because the absence of one will undermine progress in the other. To that end, the professionalizing of the Haitian National Police is close to reaching its goal of having 14,000 officers in its ranks by 2011. By mid 2009, over 9,000 police had been trained. The UN remained in Haiti through a series of mandates until 2004 to maintain a secure and stable environment and promote the rule of law. There were a number of positive developments during this period, including the growth of a multifaceted civil society, a political culture based on democratic values, and the first peaceful handover of power between two democratically elected presidents in 1996. While the UN does not have an established pres¬ence in every country where the United States will conduct operations in the future, the combined exercises we conduct with partner nations around the world provide an important opportunity to learn about each other and how each army operates. Working together during exercises enhances interoperability and will facilitate combined efforts when real world events bring us together. Floriano Peixoto added that another contributing factor was “coordination.” Keen met Floriano Peixoto the same day he arrived in Haiti, and they immediately decided both organizations would be completely open and transparent with no classified briefs. Second, Floriano Peixoto and Keen’s 26-year personal relationship — with a solid base of trust, confidence, and friendship — provided clear evidence of the effectiveness of our International Military Education Training (IMET) Program and exchanges. Finding two general officers with this preexisting relationship is definitely not the norm, but this case highlights the importance of provid-ing officers and NCOs with opportunities to meet soldiers from other countries, learn about their cultures and languages, and come to understand other world perspectives. Doing so will facilitate future combined operations by developing relationships of trust and understanding. Earthquake and International Response When the earthquake hit on 12 January, it instantly affected a third of the population of Haiti, including those serving in MINUSTAH.20 Immediately after the quake, hundreds of local citizens flocked to the MINUSTAH headquarters compound located in the old Christopher Hotel. The main part of the building had collapsed, killing numerous UN staff members and trapping several others. Staff members that had escaped injury immediately engaged in the search and rescue of colleagues and provided triage and medical care to the walking wounded. Although MINUSTAH suffered enormous losses, MINUS¬TAH troops quickly took on new tasks such as search and rescue, clearing and opening of streets, providing immediate humanitarian assistance, and preparing mass graves following International Red Cross protocols—all while maintaining focus on their primary security mission. MINUSTAH and JTF-H clearly defined their roles for the operation. MINUSTAH was responsible for security. On any given day, MINUSTAH conducted, on average, more than 600 security operations involving over 4,500 troops. MINUSTAH also planned and conducted relief operations. The JTF-H focus was on saving lives, mitigating near-term human suffering, and accelerating relief efforts. As aforementioned, security operations conducted by JTF-H were in direct support of humanitarian assistance missions such as securing food distribution points, relief convoys, and rubble removal. When JTF-H identified a security issue not linked to a humanitarian assistance mission, they coordinated with MINUSTAH through established relationships and responded accordingly. Within hours of the quake, the Government of Haiti issued a disaster declaration and requested humanitar¬ian assistance from both the U.S. and the international community at large. That night, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance activated a “response management team” to coordinate and lead the federal government’s effort. Keen commented that the combined military presence on the streets of Port-au-Prince made a difference. “Seeing U.S. Army Soldiers standing side-by-side with MINUSTAH Soldiers at food distribution points during the first few weeks sent a strong message to the Haitian people: partnership and unity of effort. It paved the way for all we would do.” Early on, the United States decided not to create a combined Joint task force. With the UN already on the ground, a robust multinational force was in place. In addition, MINUSTAH countries contributing additional resources and personnel already had links to their local UN representatives. Creating a combined Joint task force would have conflicted with those efforts. Instead, Joint Task Force-Haiti deployed to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations. The purpose of Joint Task Force-Haiti was to support U.S. efforts in Haiti to mitigate near-term human suffering and accelerate relief efforts to facilitate transition to the Government of Haiti, the UN, and USAID. The military possesses significant capabilities that are useful in emergencies, but long-term plans for relief and reconstruction are best left to nonmilitary government agencies. The United States also provided an element consisting of aviation, operations, intelligence, communications, and logistical support. The Brazilian general, Lieutenant General Candido Vargas de Freire, held operational control over the observers of all four nations while the colonels retained command for administrative and disciplinary purposes. In February 1995, Ecua¬dor and Peru agreed to seek a peaceful solution. By October 1995, MOMEP observers organized the withdrawal of some 5,000 troops from the Cenepa valley and supervised the demobilization of 140,000 troops on both sides. The combat zone was demilitarized and Ecuador and Peru began to contribute officers to the observer mission. In October 1998, Peru and Ecuador signed a comprehensive peace accord establishing the framework for ending the border dispute. This led to the formal demarcation of the border in May 1999. Both nations approved the peace agreement and the national legislatures of both nations ratified it. The MOMEP mission withdrew in June 1999. Critical tasks included opening both the airport and seaport so that humanitarian aide could get into the country. When asked why relationships matter, Floriano Peixoto responded, “Relationships are a force multiplier. They are essential if you want substantive results. You increase the speed of achieving results by facilitating, forming, and reinforcing relationships. You need to build these associations at all levels of the organization.” As these forces prepared to invade, a diplomatic team (led by former President Jimmy Carter, retired U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, and retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell) persuaded the leaders of Haiti to step down and allow Aristide to return to power. This effort was successful partly because the U.S. delegation was able to reference the massed forces poised to enter the country. At that point, the military mission changed from a combat operation to a peacekeeping and nation building operation with the deployment of a U.S.- led multinational force in Haiti. On 15 October 1994, Aristide returned to Haiti to complete his term in office. Aristide disbanded the Haitian army and established a civilian police force. Operation Uphold Democracy officially ended on 31 March 1995 when the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) replaced it. The relationship between Major General Floriano Peixoto, the MINUSTAH force commander, and Lieutenant General Ken Keen, the JTF-H commander, exemplifies this goal. In October 1984, then-Captain Keen, S3 Operations Officer for 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, participated in a one-month exchange program with the Brazil Airborne Brigade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the exchange, Keen met then-Captain Floriano Peixoto, assigned to the Airborne Brigade as a Pathfinder instructor. The two initiated what would become a long-standing relationship developed over several parachute jumps and dismounted patrols. Little did either junior officer know that 26 years later they would be general officers working together to provide relief and assistance to earthquake-stricken Haiti. Immediate offers for assistance continued to come in from around the world. Many troop-contributing countries offered additional troops. The UN in Haiti To understand the international partnering that took place during the Haiti humanitarian relief effort, an understanding of the history that led up to MINUSTAH’s establishment, and its accomplishments prior to the earthquake, is essential. Lessons Learned Two months into the relief operation, Floriano Peixoto and Keen reflected on what they thought made a difference during the combined operation. Floriano Peixoto commented that clearly defining and understanding the role that each partner was to play in the relief effort was key. When asked what made this possible, he responded, “Trust.” Based on the relationship they had shared, neither needed a signed document that articulated each partner’s role. A statement of principles was later developed, but only to provide organizations outside the participating military forces an explanation of how MINUSTAH and JTF-H worked together. First, MINUSTAH had already been in Haiti conducting security operations since 2004.26 Having a professional, multinational force on the ground with experience and situational awareness facilitated the response of MINUSTAH and other countries that assisted. MINUSTAH’s existing working relationships with the government also helped accelerate and expedite the processes of disaster relief. The UN established a mandate in September 1993 to assist in the effort to democratize the government, professionalize the armed forces, create and train a separate police force, and establish an environment conducive to free and fair elections. The UN effort focused on advising, training, and providing the necessary support to achieve the goals set by the mandate. After a series of incidents, the UN and other international agencies left Haiti in October 1993 due to the instability created by the transitional government and the inability to move forward with the UN goals of reinstituting democracy. ●●Restore medical capacity. ●●Distribute shelter, food, and water. ●●Integrate with MINUSTAH and NGOs. Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the Caribbean Community offered to join in the UN effort. Bilateral contributions came from France, Italy, Spain, Canada, and the Netherlands. On 19 January, exactly one week after the earthquake, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1908. The resolution authorized an increase of 3,500 peacekeepers (2,000 military and 1,500 police) due to additional security risks created by the local government’s incapacity and the resulting 20 percent decrease in the effectiveness of the local police.24 It took time to deploy these additional troops and engineers, but the rapid deployment of U.S. forces helped fill the time gap. On 12 January, over 3,000 prisoners escaped from prisons damaged by the earthquake and fled to Cité Soleil. A troop from 1-73 Cavalry shared responsibility for Cité Soleil with a Brazilian platoon, increasing troop presence by a factor of four. In addition to increasing the sense of security for the local Haitians, this allowed the Brazilian platoon to focus its efforts on capturing the escaped prisoners while 1-73 focused on humanitarian assistance and supported the Brazilian platoon with information sharing. Lieutenant General Keen was in Haiti on a preplanned visit on 12 January. Minutes before the earthquake struck, he was with U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Ken Merten on the back porch of his residence overlooking the city of Port-au-Prince. The Ambassador’s residence withstood the quake and quickly became an assembly point for embassy personnel and Haitian government ministers as well as Keen’s link back to U.S. Southern Command in Miami. More recently, the United States worked together with Argentina, Brazil, and Chile on a smaller scale in “Operation Safe Border.” In early 1995, Peru and Ecuador engaged in sustained combat in a remote jungle area where they had not fully demarcated the border. Dozens were killed, hundreds wounded, and escalation of the conflict to population centers was feared. As guarantors of the 1942 Rio Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Boundaries, which ended the 1941 Ecuador-Peru war and defined the border, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the United States worked for a comprehensive settlement by estab¬lishing the Military Observer Mission Ecuador-Peru (MOMEP). Brazil offered to provide a general officer to lead the observer mission and the other participating nations agreed to define this role as “coordinator” rather than “commander” to preserve a coequal status. Each nation contributed up to 10 officers led by a colonel, as observers. In one example, U.S. Soldiers patrolling with their Brazilian counterparts came across a crowd that had stacked piles of stones in the streets. The paratroopers with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan interpreted this as a roadblock and quickly responded by stopping the vehicles and pushing out security. The Brazilian soldiers, who knew that these people were simply using the rocks to carve out a space to live in the street, quickly explained to the paratroopers what was going on and assured them that there was no immediate threat. Almost a decade later, then – Lieutenant Colonel Floriano Peixoto taught Portuguese in the Department of Foreign Languages at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Floriano Peixoto and Keen maintained contact via email, letters, and phone calls, but they would not see each other for another decade. At 16:53 local time on 12 January 2010, a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, killing over 230,000 people, injuring thousands of others, and leaving over a million people homeless. The earthquake caused major damage to the capital and other cities in the region and severely damaged or destroyed notable landmarks, including the presidential palace and the Port-au-Prince cathedral. The temblor destroyed 14 of the 16 government ministries, killing numerous government employees. The headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) collapsed, killing 101 UN workers, including Head of Mission Hédi Annabi from Tunisia and his principal deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa from Brazil. In less than a minute, life on the small island of Haiti drastically changed. Brazil was the only South American country to send troops to fight in World War II. They formed a 25,000-man Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) made up of Army, Air Force, and Navy personnel led by General Mascarenhas de Moraes. The FEB’s 1st Division, under General Zenóbio da Costa, consisted of three regimental combat teams that fought alongside the U.S. Fifth Army under the command of Lieutenant General Mark Clark in the Italian Campaign. The highlight of Brazil – U.S. cooperation came in February 1945 when Brazil’s 1st Division and the U.S. 10th Mountain Division fought side-by-side in the Battle of Monte Castelo against the German Army under extremely adverse winter conditions. The 10th Mountain Division, supported the other three on 3 May. That month, the forces present saw the transition to an Inter-American Peace Force (IAPF). The IAPF consisted of troops from Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicara¬gua, and Brazil—with Brazil providing the largest contingent, a reinforced infantry battalion. Brazil¬ian Army General Hugo Panasco Alvim assumed command of the Inter-American Peace Force with U.S. Army Lieutenant General Bruce Palmer serv¬ing as his deputy from 23 May 1965 to 17 January 1966. During this time, U.S. paratroopers worked in unison with the Organization of American States (OAS) forces in the area of civil affairs providing humanitarian aid to the people of San Isidro. Partnering on the Ground With transparency and coordination already established at the operational level between Floriano Peixoto and Keen, and roles clearly defined between MINUSTAH and JTF-H, the conditions were set to coordinate at the tactical level. As units from the 82d Airborne Division arrived in Port-au-Prince, commanders at the battalion and company level linked up with their MINUSTAH counterparts. Each MINUSTAH unit was at a different stage in deployment, but its knowledge of the area and experience on the ground put it in a position to greatly assist the newly arrived paratroopers. MINUSTAH units helped the paratroopers quickly understand their operating environment and gain situational awareness by conducting combined patrols to learn their sectors. Floriano Peixoto and Keen later agreed that the most effective way to operate would be combining forces whenever possible. This early dialogue set the stage for the combined operations that followed. They coordinated shared sectors, administered distribution points for food, and provided other humanitarian assistance. To increase communication between their staffs, Floriano Peixoto and Keen established liaison officers in each headquarters. Both organizations also exchanged phone numbers and email addresses of all their branch and section chiefs, senior aides, and advisors. To increase understanding and ensure trans¬parency, both organizations conducted staff briefings for each other during the first week on the ground. JTF-H Organization MINUSTAH is credited for its continued support to Haiti’s electoral process and assisting the Government of Haiti in intensifying its efforts to promote a political dialogue in which all voices can speak and be heard. From this beginning, it was clear that U.S. forces would operate within the envelope of a safe and secure environment provided by the UN forces whose mission was to provide security. While it was recognized this was a permissive environment, it was also a very uncertain time with the chaos following the earthquake, the lack of Haiti National Police presence on the streets, and the escape of over 3,000 prisoners from local prisons. The meeting became a unique opportunity as the Brazilian commander of MINUSTAH provided a detailed report of ongoing humanitarian assistance efforts and the loss of 18 Brazilian soldiers, the biggest loss of life for its armed forces since World War II.22 Jobim asked Keen what forces the U.S. military might deploy. The discussion then centered on how MINUSTAH and U.S. forces might work together and coordinate their efforts. Both leaders knew it was imperative to clearly identify the role of each partner to avoid confusion and duplicated effort. MINUSTAH’s mission of providing security and stability in Haiti would remain as it was. JTF-H would provide humanitarian assistance with U.S. forces executing security tasks only while carrying out such operations. Brazil was the only South American country to send troops to fight in World War II. They formed a 25,000-man Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) made up of Army, Air Force, and Navy personnel led by General Mascarenhas de Moraes. The FEB’s 1st Division, under General Zenóbio da Costa, consisted of three regimental combat teams that fought alongside the U.S. Fifth Army under the command of Lieutenant General Mark Clark in the Italian Campaign. The highlight of Brazil-U.S. cooperation came in February 1945 when Brazil’s 1st Division and the U.S. 10th Mountain Division fought side-by-side in the Battle of Monte Castelo against the German Army under extremely adverse winter conditions. The 10th Mountain Division, supported by Brazilian artillery and the FEB’s 1st Fighter Squadron, captured German defenses surrounding Monte Castelo, allowing the Brazil 1st Division to attack the German forces on higher ground and successfully take control of Monte Castelo itself. Later in the campaign, the FEB also distinguished itself by capturing over 20,000 German and Ital¬ian prisoners to help end hostilities in Italy. By the end of the war, over 900 FEB soldiers had paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. Haiti postponed legislative elections set for February 2010 due to the disastrous effects of the earthquake and has scheduled presidential elections for November 2010. President Préval, who was elected a second time in 2006, said he would not seek office again after his term expires in February 2011, as he has already served two five-year terms, the limit set by Haitian law. Major General Floriano Peixoto was out of the country when the earthquake hit. Upon learning of the disaster, he quickly returned to Haiti on 13 January. He took immediate action to reconstitute command and control by establishing an emergency operations center at the MINUSTAH logistics base at the Port-au-Prince Airport. He redistributed his forces by bringing troops from less-affected or unaffected parts of the country into the capital region and downtown Port-au-Prince. Keen added, “Fundamentally, in peace or war we need to trust one another. We learn to trust each other through building a strong relationship, personal and professional. That is the key to buiing an effective team that works toward a common purpose. In Haiti, this proved to be the case within our own military and with our interagency partners, nongovernmental organizations, and foreign partners. When tough issues were encountered, their strong relationships broke down the barriers.” Keen added, “If our government had one more dollar to spend on security assistance, I would recommend it be spent on the IMET program, not hardware.” The success of the multinational military contribution to the Haiti relief effort proves that relationships matter – both at the institutional and the personal level.last_img read more

Belgium could be at start of localized coronavirus ‘second wave’, virologists say

first_imgTopics : Health Minister Maggie de Block on Friday said “the numbers are clearly not good” and called on Belgians to respect social distancing rules.Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes postponed this week a further easing of rules on social gatherings after infections climbed, and said she could not rule out the reintroduction of lockdowns in worst-hit areas.The government will meet on July 23 to discuss its response to the uptick in new cases. Belgium may be at the start of a second wave of coronavirus infections after reporting a 32% increase in weekly cases, though for now the resurgence appears more localised than the initial outbreak, virologists said on Friday.Belgium, which has reined in the coronavirus after becoming the worst-hit mid-sized country in the world, reported zero new COVID-19-related deaths in 24 hours on July 14 for the first time since March 10.But the national public health institute Sciensano said on Friday that new infections have been increasing. From July 7-13, the country recorded an average of 114.7 confirmed new COVID-19 cases per day, a 32% increase from the previous week.center_img This was still significantly below the 1,600 daily new cases the country logged at the peak of the pandemic.”With the latest numbers and the recent increases of confirmed cases, you can clearly see that we are at the start of a second wave,” virologist Marc Van Ranst told Belgium’s Radio 1.However, Yves van Laethem, a spokesman for the Belgian health ministry, told Belgian broadcaster RTBF that the prospect of a second wave appeared to be localized to particular provinces for now. Speaking to Le Soir newspaper, virologist Marius Gilbert echoed this, adding that transmission rates remain relatively low.The so-called reproduction rate of COVID-19 infections, which shows the average number of infections caused by each person with the virus, has increased in Belgium to above 1 for the first time since the peak of the pandemic on April 4.last_img read more

Last of the large waterfront land in Gold Coast’s North Shore

first_imgFor anyone in search of a waterfront lifestyle, the Gold Coast has been a premier destination for the past 40 years. But as time has passed, prime waterfront sites have become scarcer and scarcer.Opportunities for buyers to grab their own slice of Gold Coast waterfront lifestyle are running out, according to Nerida Conisbee, chief economist at REA Group.“Of all parts of south-east Queensland, Gold Coast has the most acute land shortage,” Conisbee says. “People think of it as being a high-rise area but most of the Gold Coast now actually consists of single dwellings. Land supply in the area is going to fall short quite quickly and land shortage means that the area will become more expensive – particularly near the water.”Last of the north-facing waterfront landSerenity 4212, the latest flagship masterplanned community from respected Brisbane-based developers Keylin Group and Kinstone Developments, will bring to market some of the last large, north-facing, absolute waterfront blocks on the Gold Coast.The development is one of the last opportunities to cash in on the waterfront lifestyle enjoyed by residents of the prestigious Hope Island and North Shore region, says Tony Ashwin, principal of Ashwin Property.“I’ve been working on new projects in this area since 1995 and this development stands out,” Ashwin says. “It offers the last of the large waterfront lots on the northern end of the Gold Coast.”Serenity 4212 offers some of the last waterfront land at the northern end of the Gold Coast. Picture: Keylin GroupThe 65-hectare development makes the most of the beauty and lifestyle afforded by the surrounding natural waterways and reserves, including Lake Serenity, Saltwater Creek, the Coombabah Creek and Coomera River. Mountains and a national park encompass the area, while 27 hectares of the development site will be returned to Gold Coast Council for additional parkland.The nearby Springbrook National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, is one of the Gold Coast’s best-kept secrets and home to an abundance of native flora and fauna.“This is an incredibly special location,” says Ashwin. “When you are on the site you see mountains and water all around. You don’t feel that you are actually in the centre of the northern Gold Coast.“Every home site in Serenity 4212 has a view of the landscape. It brings together natural beauty, great boating access to the water, the benefits of the Hope Island region, the North Shore lifestyle and amenities like nearby Hope Island Marketplace.”The gorgeous Springbrook National Park has some breath-taking natural sites. Picture: GettyAshwin expects many locals will be interested in the opportunity to upgrade their homes. Blocks will be generously proportioned, starting at 500sqm and ranging up to 1,326sqm, with homes, apartments and townhouses available.“People can buy a block of land at 600sqm or 700sqm, build a new home and move in for $1.5 million,” says Ashwin. He expects downsizers and interstate buyers searching for quality waterfront living in a central location will find Serenity 4212 appealing.Keylin Group and Kinstone Developments have a proven track record for creating high-end residential communities on the Gold Coast. Keylin Group has developed at Hope Island and Mudgeeraba, while Kinstone has built a number of residential developments and a masterplanned community in the region.“Keylin have delivered over $100 million in homes through Hope Island in the past three years and Serenity will be a natural extension of that experience,” says Ashwin. “This will be a quality, on-time delivery and we expect the first lots to be registered in November.”The Gold Coast lifestyle offers a little bit for everybody. Picture: GettyInterstaters long for the Gold Coast tooConisbee expects that when sites become available there will be keen demand from buyers across Australia.“When we look at property searches of people from outside Queensland, Gold Coast is usually the first or second most searched area,” she says.“Everyone knows about it – it has a good ‘brand’. But added to all this is the fact this area is a really nice part of the world with good weather, good beaches and lots of amenities – it’s a very liveable area.“It’s going to become harder to find a home on canal estates like Serenity 4212.”last_img read more

Keidra N. Yorn, 24

first_imgKeidra N. Yorn, 24, St. Paul, Indiana, passed away on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at the I.U. Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.Born October 21, 1991 in Greensburg, she was the daughter of Ellis Martinez and Jonathan and Patricia (Yorn) Kloberdanz.Keidra worked at Valeo Mfg. in Greensburg.She is survived by her parents; two daughters, Aiyana Nikole Yorn, Larissa Cheyenne Yorn; two brothers, Briggsley Linville, North Carolina, Stratton Linville, St. Paul.Visitation will be held on Monday from 4 to 8:00 p.m. at the Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home in Greensburg.Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at the funeral home with Rev. Perry Cook officiating.Memorials may be made to the family for Keidra’s daughters.Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.comlast_img

Elizabeth A. “Betty” Heppner

first_imgElizabeth A.  “Betty” Heppner, age 86 of Batesville, died Friday, November 18, 2016 at The Waters of Batesville.  Born October 21, 1930 in Franklin County Indiana, she is the daughter of Loretta (Nee: Lampe) and August Heppner.  Betty was a long time familiar face behind the counter at Band Box Cleaners.Betty preferred to keep life simple.  She enjoyed watching sports and was a longtime Reds and Bengals fan.  She also was a huge fan of the Game Show network and playing cards, especially 500.  Betty’s favorite pastime was doing Sudoku and crossword puzzles.  Most mornings started with the crossword puzzle in the paper.She is survived by her brothers Jim Heppner of Oldenburg, Jerry Heppner of Batesville; sister-in-law Charlotte Heppner of Oldenburg, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.  In addition to her parents, she is also preceded in death by brothers Rev. Sylvester Heppner O.F.M., Martin Heppner and Albert Heppner.Visitation is Monday, November 21st, from 9 – 11 a.m. at Holy Family Church in Oldenburg.  Funeral services follow at 11 a.m. with Rev. David Kobak O.F.M., officiating.  Burial will follow in the church cemetery.  The family requests memorials to Margaret Mary Health Foundation Hospice.  Weigel Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.last_img read more