United Against Natural Disasters

first_imgBy Geraldine Cook/Diálogo December 12, 2017 Aviation Major General Eladio Casimiro González Aguilar made a commitment when he took over as commander of the Paraguayan Air Force (FAP, per its Spanish acronym) in November 2016: to lead the FAP with ethical and moral standards. A year after, Maj. Gen. González reaffirmed his professional and institutional responsibilities.Optimistic about the advances within FAP, Maj. Gen. González stressed his institution’s role in promoting regional integration as a tool to support natural disaster relief efforts. During his participation in the South American Air Chiefs Conference, October 31st–November 3rd, 2017, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, Maj. Gen. González spoke with Diálogo about FAP’s challenges, international cooperation, and threats to national security.Diálogo: Why is FAP’s participation in this conference important?Major General Eladio Casimiro González Aguilar, FAP commander: Because it allows for interaction with countries in the region and achieving greater interconnection among the continent’s air forces. It also gives us a chance to understand a little more about the assets of each air force to tackle humanitarian aid operations.Diálogo: What is your assessment of the participation of South American air forces at this conference?Maj. Gen. González: The conference allows us to gain knowledge about the air forces. There are issues we all deal with in general, but, through this event, with the presentations of different air forces, including the United States Air Force, we reach a much broader scale. It was quite interesting everything we learned and evaluated with each commander’s presentation on the particular situation of their country, the natural disasters that occurred in their territory, and the help they provided. The natural disaster issue doesn’t only affect our continent—it’s a global issue.Diálogo: What is FAP’s experience with aid in response to natural disasters?Maj. Gen. González: In comparison with other countries that experience natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and tornadoes, I can say that our country is blessed because we don’t have many natural disasters. These tragedies hit us a bit less, but we also can’t escape climate change and what’s happening around the world. As we’re less exposed to severe conditions from natural disasters, our Armed Forces, and especially the Air Force, participates very little in this context. However, we’re always training for it.Diálogo: Paraguay is a member of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA, per its Spanish acronym). What is your country’s participation in this organization?Maj. Gen. González: SICOFAA is a very important system that facilitates closer ties among air forces and conducting air operations—whether through training opportunities or real operations. It’s a system of mutual aid among all countries and air forces of Latin America. One of the topics discussed during the conference is the need to optimize SICOFAA and be more in touch with different state and international bodies, like ministries of foreign affairs, diplomatic offices, etc. SICOFAA is a very useful tool.Diálogo: How does FAP work with the rest of the air forces in the region?Maj. Gen. González: We always work very closely with neighboring countries. Geographically, we are at the center of South America, which is why we are called “the heart of the Americas.” Overall, our country has a very good relationship with neighboring countries, even more so when it comes to air forces and the fact that we belong to SICOFAA. We always conduct exercises, and, if a real humanitarian emergency presents itself, we can use all the resources available to support a country in need. We also try to coordinate certain events and activities with other countries, especially at the regional level with Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil.Diálogo: What is your main challenge?Maj. Gen. González: First and foremost to provide our personnel with the resources they need. And for that, we work on several projects, such as the acquisition of aircraft, radars, and all kinds of equipment. The second challenge is preparation, training, and specialization of all personnel, to keep our human resources up to date on anything related to technology. To that end, we work with other countries in the region, especially the United States, sending personnel to get training and skills in areas useful to FAP.Diálogo: What is the importance of FAP’s relationship with the U.S. Air Force?Maj. Gen. González: We are going through a great moment in our bilateral relations, directly with the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Security Cooperation in Paraguay, headquartered in Asunción. We work very well. We carry out personnel exchanges, primarily with education of military peers and military attachés in our country. FAP has a liaison officer who serves the Office of Security Cooperation, a situation that really facilitates coordination. For example, in these types of conferences, before meeting with Embassy personnel, invitations are handed out and our participation in an event or seminar is looked into. This not only happens with our officers; we also invest a lot in the education of our non-commissioned officers.Diálogo: Narcotrafficking is one of the threats to security in Paraguay. How does FAP help fight this threat?Maj. Gen. González: This is quite a complicated scenario because transnational organized crime not only transports drugs but also engages in smuggling arms and other contraband, money laundering, human and organ trafficking. We have land borders, especially with Brazil, that allow criminal gangs or narcotraffickers to pass through or establish themselves in certain areas of the country. We support other state institutions on a daily basis because, due to legal provisions, we cannot combat narcotrafficking directly. For example, we support the National Anti-Drug Secretariat and the National Police, the institutions responsible for combating drug traffickers.Diálogo: What is your message to air forces of Latin America?Maj. Gen. González: On behalf of FAP and all the men and women under my command, I want to tell them as a partner nation, as a partner air force, we are at their disposal in any way useful within our limitations. I know that the sentiment is mutual. Our message is one of friendship, professionalism, and unity to work better as a team for our region, for our continent, and have a short-, medium-, and long-term future beneficial to all.last_img read more

Exam satisfaction up, but improvements needed, says CUNA survey

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) 2015 Exam Survey results have been tabulated and summarized, and the results are posted on the CUNA website.Paul Gentile, chair of CUNA’s Exam and Supervision Subcommittee and president/CEO at the Cooperative Credit Union Association, said that survey findings once again reflect that more credit union CEOs are satisfied with their exams (65%) than dissatisfied (21%). “More importantly, this finding is substantially improved compared with that reported last year (58% satisfied vs. 28% dissatisfied),” Gentile said. “These are the highest levels of overall satisfaction seen in the four years this study has been conducted.”Previously, the highest satisfaction was seen in 2012 when 61% were satisfied and 25% were dissatisfied.Still, Gentile noted “while it’s great to see exam satisfaction rising, the fact that over one in five credit unions is dissatisfied is very troubling.”Improving economic and financial results played a significant role in recent progress. A large decrease in the proportion of credit unions reporting being under one or more documents of resolution (DORs) also improved the results. In 2015, 30% of responding credit unions indicate they were under at least one DOR. In 2014, 40% of responding credit unions were under at least one DOR–roughly the same as in 2013 (41%) but a bit lower than in 2012 (43%). Exams conducted by state examiners remain substantially less likely to include DORs than exams in which the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is involved. continue reading »last_img read more

Big Tech stocks soar as results still come in from nail-biter election

first_img– Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – NBC News has not yet projected the presidential election results, as several states remain uncalled. Democrats, meanwhile are projected to hold control of the House, while it’s unclear how the Senate race will play out.Some investors also viewed the potential for Republicans to hold onto the Senate as a positive for tech stocks, since higher capital gains taxes from a Democrat congress could have weighed on the sector.Subscribe to CNBC PRO for access to the livestream of CNBC’s continuous election and business news coverage.center_img Shares of the major tech-related companies jumped early Wednesday as investors flocked toward Microsoft and the FAANG family, comprised of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent company Alphabet, while the U.S. waited for a clear presidential winner.Facebook stock was the biggest winner of the morning, as shares jumped more than 6%. Apple traded up nearly 3%. Amazon stock jumped more than 3.5%. Netflix traded more than 3% higher, while Alphabet’s stock was up more than 3.5%. Microsoft also traded up more than 3.5%. The moves were part of a broader market jump.Investors attributed the move in tech to a number of factors, including the group’s consistently solid returns and safety appeal in times of uncertainty. The group also factored in the possibility that Congress could remain split, which would making sweeping legislation against Big Tech harder to pass.- Advertisement – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2017.KENZO TRIBOUILLARDlast_img read more

Latest letting lifts Leeds office market

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

DI-S boys fall to Jonesport-Beals in Class D North clash

first_imgDEER ISLE — A packed house Tuesday night at Deer Isle-Stonington High School was treated to a physical basketball game as the Deer Isle-Stonington boys fell 79-63 against Jonesport-Beals.The matchup of Class D North contenders saw Jonesport-Beals (8-0) pull ahead by double digits in the second quarter and take a 46-27 lead into halftime. Although Deer Isle-Stonington (7-2) put forth a solid effort on offense throughout the second half, it wasn’t enough to keep the visiting Royals from coming away with a major road victory to remain undefeated.The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for Deer Isle-Stonington, which had not lost since falling to George Steven Academy 70-61 in its season opener. The Mariners topped Greenville 69-55 last Monday before earning an 86-37 win over Bangor Christian on Friday.Deer Isle-Stonington will host Sumner (2-5) at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, before hosting Machias at that time Monday, Jan. 13. The Mariners defeated the Tigers and Bulldogs in their previous encounters Dec. 12 and Dec. 27, respectively.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Saudi allows yoga practice

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI) The Saudi Arabian government has approved the practice of yoga as a sports activity, claimed a social media post of Nouf Marwaai, founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation in the Saudi kingdom.”Yoga, which literally means union. A union of individual with ones wellbeing, a body to mind, emotions & soul, nation to globe has officially arrived at the sea shore of Saudi Arabia. It has crossed the boundaries of fundamentalism…ideological extremism,” she said in a Facebook post dated November 12.However, the account is not verified by the social media site.She also wrote that since, its inception in Saudi, “Yoga has observed a topsy-turvy path, with me as a medium. God gave me strength to fight all difficulties, real difficulties. God was with me as an observer and infused courage in me whenever required. Here is a day, that finally practicing yoga is no more a deviant behaviour in Saudi.”She also thanked the Indian Government and the Consulate General for “unlimited” support.This development comes at a time when many Muslims in India and elsewhere are under pressure from their religious leaders not to practice yoga which they claim is “un-Islamic”.Last week, Rafia Naaz, a woman yoga teacher in Ranchi, was allegedly threatened by members of her community after she performed yoga.Yoga has been promoted in a big way by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with concerted efforts by the government, the United Nations has also declared June 21 as International Yoga Day. PTI PYK ASK ASKadvertisementlast_img read more