Honduras Augments Military Air Fleet

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo January 15, 2019 The Honduran Air Force (FAH, in Spanish) strengthened its response capabilities for emergencies and the fight against narcotrafficking and organized crime with the addition of three Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX aircraft. The U.S.-donated aircraft are the first of their kind in the Central American country’s fleet. The high-performance turboprop aircraft were acquired through the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Military Sales Program, which manages the acquisition of military equipment and training for use in Honduras. Two of the aircraft were delivered in August and December 2015 and the last one in December 2018. The United States provides most of the Central American country’s air defense equipment. “The addition of these aircraft increased the military air fleet’s operational capabilities and opened new areas where our country’s military aviation didn’t have real operational capability. In the past, the Air Force only conducted CasEvac [casualty evacuation] missions with an aircraft that was not configured as an air ambulance,” General José Luis Sauceda, commander of FAH, told Diálogo. Multiple operations Airmen carry out multiple medical evacuations (MedEvac) in the U.S.-donated aircraft. In addition, they conduct rescue missions for natural disaster, humanitarian assistance, and other emergencies in the country and in Central America. They also take part in reconnaissance missions over areas affected by floods and wildfires and transport Armed Forces equipment and personnel. Since their arrival, the aircraft strengthened the Wings for Health program, assisting 336 patients from remote locations and hard-to-reach areas, such as Gracias a Dios, Lempira, Manto, and Olancho. Thanks to the donation, an injured person can now be transported from a remote area to the Honduran capital in about 45 minutes. Gen. Sauceda said the donated air equipment strengthens operations against narcotrafficking, common and organized crime, and other illegal activities, especially in remote areas, where criminals use clandestine airstrips to smuggle drugs into the country. Through their air, land, and naval shields, the Honduran Armed Forces destroyed 61 clandestine airstrips in 2018, exceeding 2017 activities by more than 95 percent. “We are grateful to the United States for the grand gesture they made to our country,” Honduran Minister of Defense Fredy Santiago Díaz Zelaya told the press. “This commits us to continue serving our population. We know we face a frontal fight against narcotrafficking, and can only counter this crime if we are united.” The support means important progress from various viewpoints. “Basically, it helps with MedEvac missions, which strengthen the institution’s constitutional roles and missions,” Gen. Sauceda said. “From an aeronautical viewpoint, it means the Honduran Air Force can now use automated aircraft, which in the short term will become standard worldwide. In other words, this allowed us to be at the forefront of cutting-edge aviation technology in the region.” Critical condition “The Cessna Grand Caravans are undoubtedly one of the Air Force’s best acquisitions in recent years,” Captain Oscar Josué Elvir Vásquez, FAH pilot instructor and security flight officer, told Diálogo. “They give us the opportunity to operate one of the most important aircraft of its type, recognized and operated worldwide with a very high security standard.” According to Capt. Vásquez, the aircraft operate day and night and are equipped with the latest aviation technology that allows the crew to maintain high situational awareness throughout the flight. “These aircraft save the lives of many fellow citizens,” he said. For example, a few years ago, Roatán Island didn’t have a land or air ambulance. With the new aircraft, patients can be transported to San Pedro Sula’s hospitals within 10 minutes. “It’s time to thank airmen for that service in the name of the people,” said President Juan Orlando Hernández at the third aircraft’s delivery ceremony. “The Honduran Air Force’s main strength is human resources, as we have highly qualified personnel committed to achieving their missions,” Gen. Sauceda concluded.last_img read more

Huntington Station Man Arrested for Wrong-way DWI, Nearly Hitting Cops

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An alleged drunken driver was arrested for nearly running over two Nassau County police officers while the suspect was speeding the wrong way on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow over the weekend, authorities said.Tomas Menjivar drove westbound in the eastbound lanes of Route 24 near Merrick Avenue when he almost hit the cops who were investigating a prior crash at 6:20 a.m. Sunday, police said.The officers jumped out of the way of the 25-year-old Huntington Station man’s Dodge, police said. Menjivar was stopped and found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, police said.No injuries were reported and Menjivar’s vehicle was impounded.Menjivar was charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. He will be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Hempstead.last_img read more

Endicott Police ask public for assistance finding missing man

first_imgHe was last seen on April 10 at 4 a.m. at his residence on Moss Avenue wearing a dark colored shirt, shorts and gray and orange sneakers. Police are requesting residents and businesses to review security footage they have from April 10 between the hours of 4 and 8 a.m. His vehicle, a brown Jeep, was found in the 400 block of River Terrance on April 10. Anyone with information about Davy’s disappearance is asked to contact the Endicott Police Department. Davy is a black male described to be around 6 feet tall.center_img Criminal activity is not expected but has not been ruled out, they say. ENDICOTT (WBNG) — The Endicott Police Department continues to search for 30-year-old Dominic Davy. Police say “numerous leads” have been pursued.last_img read more

James Smith NAV rise sends shares soaring

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Music industry’s lost summer: No Bieber, no Swift and mass layoffs

first_imgTaylor Swift went further on Friday, telling fans she wouldn’t be playing at all in 2020. Justin Bieber also has scrapped his current tour, postponing dozens of dates.Summer is the most lucrative time of year for the concert business, as promoters stage festivals all across the nation and host large outdoor shows at stadiums and amphitheaters. The industry stands to miss out on more than $5 billion in ticket sales if there are no shows all summer, according to Pollstar, an industry trade publication. That doesn’t include the lost revenue from advertising, merchandise, and food and beverages.The ultimate damage is likely to be much worse, and long-lasting. The concert industry stands to remain closed longer than restaurants or movie theaters, which can open with reduced capacity. Sports leagues, meanwhile, make most of their money from media deals with TV networks, and have debated playing games in front of empty stadiums. But concerts depend on large numbers of people gathering in close proximity, the very circumstance in which the coronavirus is most likely to spread.Government officials in Los Angeles and Illinois have warned there may be no events this year, a view held by many agents and managers. One top industry executive predicted the concert business would take three years to make what it normally does in one. “The live concert industry might be in the most difficult position of any industry in America,” Perloff said. “You never hear people talk about it. They talk about airlines. They talk about the auto industry. But the reality is they’ll be back in business way before the concert industry is back.”The immediate impact has already been severe. Live music was one of the very first industries affected by the global health crisis. Many large states outlawed big gatherings on March 12, the same day an industry task force of concert promoters, talent managers and booking agents urged a moratorium on large events through the enough of that month.Shares of Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest concert promoter, have plunged 40 percent since mid-March, erasing billions from its market value. The company has slashed the salaries of its top executives and borrowed as much as $150 million. Paradigm, which operates one of the largest music-booking agencies in the world, has fired staff and slashed salaries, prompting a lawsuit from one dismissed agent. StubHub, one of the biggest ticket resellers, furloughed two-thirds of its workforce.Touring has become the primary source of income for most musicians, many of whom have opted to stage live concerts from home and stream them over the internet using Instagram, Twitch and YouTube. Some have charged tickets for shows on sites like Stageit. But most artists are making a fraction of what they once made, while concert promoters, sound technicians, roadies, agents and managers are struggling to make any money at all.“It’s a really tenuous time for a lot of companies,” said Andrew Morgan, a booking agent with Ground Control Touring. “We don’t have investors, we’re not publicly traded, 100 percent of our income is based on the income of artists.”Many festivals have yet to cancel or postpone their events, including the Pitchfork Music Festival and Lollapalooza in Chicago, and Creamfields in the UK. It’s not hard to understand why. Concert organizer Goldenvoice generates more than $100 million in revenue from Coachella, the largest music festival in the US Though the company canceled the original April date, it still hopes to hold it this year, in October.“It’s not like we’ll have no shows, and then all of a sudden we’ll have a festival with 80,000 people.”But agents and managers have begun to tell their clients not to expect to tour in 2020. Morgan has already rescheduled 13 tours. While his client Angel Olsen is still scheduled to perform at the Pitchfork Music Festival in July, he has little confidence the event will take place. “It’s not like we’ll have no shows, and then all of a sudden we’ll have a festival with 80,000 people,” he said.Most industry experts expect small shows to be the first to return, followed by large events next year. Perloff still has 120 events scheduled between now and the end of the year, some in a 500-capacity venue, others in a 2,800-person theater in Oakland, California, and others on a far larger scale.The festivals are his biggest moneymakers. Outside Lands grossed $29.6 million in ticket sales last year for Perloff’s company, Another Planet Entertainment. Life Is Beautiful, an electronic festival it promotes in Las Vegas, grossed another $17.7 million. No decision has been about this year’s Life is Beautiful, which is slated for September.But without a clear timeline from the government of when rules will relax, it’s hard for his company to market shows or to sell tickets to events. He has been in frequent communication with the offices of California Governor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and is now thinking of discussing some kind of federal support with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.Perloff is trying to avoid the worst-case scenario. While larger companies such as Live Nation and AEG have furloughed employees and cut salaries, Perloff has yet to trim his staff of 47. And while some ticket vendors refuse to make refunds for postponed or canceled events, he has said customers will get their money back for Outside Lands when his company decides what to do.“We’re a very healthy company,” he said. “But no company can have it make sense for 16 months of no revenues.”Topics : Summer concert season ended before it began.While sports leagues and restaurants try to figure out when they can reopen to the public, there’s growing recognition among music industry executives that concerts won’t be coming back anytime soon. In the past couple of weeks, festivals have cleared out of May and June, while those in July and August are just waiting to reschedule.Outside Lands, a music festival held in San Francisco every August, is exploring a move to October or next year, according to Gregg Perloff, one of the festival’s organizers. “The odds of it happening in August go down with each passing day,” Perloff said from his home in Lafayette, California. “We have to have a situation where the public feels safe, we feel safe and the bands feel safe.”last_img read more

ERAFP awards ‘unbenchmarked’ EM corporate bond mandate

first_img“In a universe that financial and non-financial analysts generally cover less well than developed markets, ERAFP deemed it appropriate to encourage portfolio management processes based on an in-depth analysis of issuers’ fundamentals in order to capitalise on market inefficiencies,” it said in a statement.The SRI approach would involve integrating environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria into the fundamental analysis, the pension fund said, relying on continuous dialogue with portfolio companies to generate ratings of all issuers in accordance with the pension scheme’s ESG criteria. A mechanism for identifying, evaluating and monitoring controversial practices would be formally established.The pension fund has instructed managers to run a portfolio of non-benchmarked conviction holdings, and said it would not be setting a specific tracking error limit.As at the end of December, ERAFP had 56% of its portfolio in bonds, 30% in equities, and 9% in real estate. The rest was in unlisted assets, and liquidity and diversification pockets. Regulatory constrains mean it has to invest at least 50% in bonds, and no more than 12.5% in real estate and 40% in diversifying assets.ERAFP received the award for best emerging markets strategy at IPE’s 2018 Awards in Dublin in December.  France’s civil service pension scheme has awarded a €160m emerging market corporate bond mandate to Aberdeen Asset Management as it seeks to increase its exposure to the asset class through segregated mandates.ERAFP also awarded standby mandates to Amundi and BFT Investment Managers, completing a procurement process that was launched in April last year. If BFT’s mandate were to be activated, the financial management would be delegated to Investec Asset Management, a spokeswoman said.The €29.5bn pension fund has invested in emerging market corporate bonds since 2016 through mutual funds.It said increasing its exposure to the asset class through segregated mandates would allow specific investment guidelines to be applied, in particular with respect to its socially responsible investment (SRI) approach. Credit: Patrick FrostERAFP CIO Catherine Vialonga collects the emerging markets strategy award from Janus Henderson’s Nick Adamslast_img read more

Real estate: Why rural land is hot across Far North

first_imgMr Hithersay said the value of rural properties on the Tablelands had risen with a lack of farms for sale coming onto the market driving the current boom.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“Prices are going up for sure and that’s mainly because of supply and demand,” he said.“I try not to do the sales pitch, but am telling buyers they need to act if they don’t want to miss out.”A recent Rural Bank report revealed the median price of farmland in north Queensland increased by 3.5 per cent in 2019 with a 13.5 per cent rise across Australia. Rural properties are in short supply in the TablelandsFAR Northern farms have become a sought-after commodity during the COVID-19 crisis with rural properties rapidly snapped up across the Tablelands. Tablelands.com and Malanda Real Estate principal Darren Hithersay said his office was so busy it was “running out of rural land” and searching for new listings to satisfy requests from buyers prompted by the pandemic to make a lifestyle change.“We have always been busy when it comes to rural land, but it has been a little overwhelming since C19,” he said. MORE NEWS Sweet deal for mum and dad investors Huge Cairns subdivision nobody knows about WHAT IT’S WORTH New subdivisions facing death by dehydration “We currently have properties under contract – including one by people from Western Australia – and are getting inquiries from Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane with many people deciding life is too short and it’s time to make a change.“Buyers are motivated by the climate up here, they want to know if the property has water on it, and most don’t worry if the house is a bit old as they can fix it up.” The median price for farmland in north Queensland was $8947/ha, compared to $4650 across the state. That increased “notably” on the Tablelands and Cassowary Coast while slipping in Douglas and Charters Towers.last_img read more

France’s GTT bags tank design order for Minerva Gas

first_imgImage courtesy of GTT/Roland MouronFrench LNG containment systems specialist GTT has received an order from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for the tank design of a new 174,000-cubic meter LNG carrier.GTT said on Wednesday that Samsung Heavy ordered the tank on behalf of ship-owner Minerva Gas.The company added that GTT’s membrane containment system Mark III Flex+ was selected for the design of the tanks.The delivery of the ship was planned during the third quarter of 2021. Financial or any other details regarding the deal were left undisclosed.This is SHI’s second tank design order in quick succession. Namely, SHI ordered a tank design for an LNG carrier last week on behalf of a European shipowner.last_img read more

MPs back calls for medicinal marijuana

first_imgNZ Herald 13 October 2015Union boss Helen Kelly’s call for better access to medicinal marijuana has been backed by MPs from both sides of the House.Ms Kelly, who is terminally ill, has admitted to using cannabis oil for pain relief and wants Government to improve access to the drug.Prime Minister John Key said yesterday[MON] that Government was not considering a law change.“There’s a process that people can go through and as you see that process works.“We work on an evidence and science-based approach and … if someone wants to bring up a particular case for use to the minister’s office in good faith he will look at it.”Senior Citizens Minister Maggie Barry said there was a case for people to get access to new forms of palliative relief.National MP Chester Borrows said he would definitely vote to decriminalise medical cannabis.Labour’s deputy leader and former Health Minister Annette King said the process for accessing medicinal marijuana was too convoluted.Labour’s associate health spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway said opiates used for pain relief were far more addictive when used as recreational drugs than cannabis.Labour MPs Kelvin Davis, Phil Goff, and Phil Twyford all said they would probably support a law change, while others including David Shearer said the law should at least be reviewed.Social Development Minister said she was firmly against decriminalisation, even if it was purely for medical purposes.“I would absolutely be anti any loosening of our cannabis laws. Children’s lives are completely destroyed by their parents’ use of cannabis.Government Ministers Gerry Brownlee and Paul Goldsmith said they would probably oppose a law change, while Education Minister Hekia Parata said she had not considered the issue.Labour’s West Coast MP Damien O’Connor is drafting a bill private member’s bill which would improve access to cannabidiol.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11528349last_img read more

Ministry working to improve sex education

first_imgNZ Herald 8 November 2015The Ministry of Education is offering schools professional development programmes to help teachers deliver sexuality education after a major overhaul of the health curriculum six months ago.Lesley Hoskin, associate deputy secretary student achievement, said the Ministry worked with sexual health experts, teachers and health professionals to update guidelines to give schools a clearer understanding of what they needed to consider when covering sexuality education.The revision took into account changing social climates, recent youth health research and broader understandings about sexuality and sexuality education.Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.It also covered issues such as abuse, consent and healthy relationships.Hoskin said as the health curriculum was not prescriptive there were a number of resources schools could use.Schools were able to use contemporary issues important to students to explain or or illustrate different scenarios or issues.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11542009Schools Will Reject ‘Extreme’ Sex Ed GuidelinesMedia Release 29 May 2015Family First NZ says that most schools along with the parents in the school community will rightly reject the extreme elements of the new sexuality education guidelines, and that resources should be targeted at parents to help them educate their own children.“Primary school children as young as 5 will be indoctrinated with issues around ‘gender stereotypes and norms’, ‘sexuality and gender well-being’, ‘gender, sexuality and diversity’, and ‘gender and sexuality messages’. But most children that age simply want to play, eat and have fun. We should let children be children,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.https://www.familyfirst.org.nz/2015/05/schools-will-reject-extreme-sex-ed-guidelines/last_img read more