China: Sharpening Skills

first_img SWAT members of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau use a step ladder to smash the window of a hijacked bus during a joint anti-terrorism and riot control drill with a special unit of China’s paramilitary police force at a training ground on the outskirts of Beijing in September 2010. According to The Associated Press, the drill was performed to show the capabilities of China’s special police forces in maintaining the social stability of the capital and in counterterrorism and anti-riot operations. By Dialogo October 01, 2010last_img read more

Mexican-American Company Develops Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

first_imgBy Dialogo January 09, 2013 Mexican-American company is developing the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Quadcopter. Mexican Jordi Muñoz is a young entrepreneur who designed an automatic pilot for UAVs. At age 26 he is a partner of the company that, according to his estimates, should have generated about $4.8 million in revenue by the end of 2012. According to, once the autopilot was created, Muñoz was able to adapt it to design and manufacture UAVs. The Quadcopter is one of the mini helicopters he developed and is the most popular one. It has a GPS system, it travels through programmed coordinates and it has optional parachutes that activate during landing. This UAV’s applications depend on the creativity and needs of its users. Buyers report that the vehicles have been used to deliver medication in places with difficult access, monitor Palenque Airport in Mexico and high risk areas, check areas at the request of real estate agencies, detect marihuana plantations, or design and construct other robots. Furthermore, this mini helicopter can be equipped with audio recorders and video cameras to watch real-time images, sensors to measure pollution levels, radars to scan areas and create topographic maps, as well as temperature and radiation sensors in case of fires or nuclear disasters. The goal of the latter application is to minimize human casualties. According to the same publication, Jordi Muñoz has not registered any of his works, because he believes that patents hinder technological development. However, this has brought success to his company. “It is a strange phenomenon, but it works. You liberate a product for free, and society rewards you with knowledge,” he assured. This young researcher works under the “open source” system, publishing all of his research on the Internet, so people can access, use, modify or improve it. What is profitable is that, in appreciation for sharing his investigations, users support him with their progress. “The international community gives me knowledge,” stated Jordi Muñoz, which “helps me offer my product at low prices. A company has to invest thousands of dollars in a design department, devote high salaries to engineers and patent paperwork. I’ve already gotten rid of that economic burden and I’ve turned it into savings for my products. For example, I sell a mini helicopter that costs 5,000 dollars in the market for 200 [dollars]. This way, everyone wins,” he added. Muñoz’s story as an entrepreneur started when he traveled from Tijuana to Mexico City, where he sought to be admitted to the National Polytechnic Institute to study in the aeronautics program. This was the only institution that taught this specialty. Although he had excellent grades, he was rejected by that institution of higher education and, having no other option, he returned to northern Mexico. Later, he married an American citizen and emmigrated to the United States. For eight months he was unable to work or study because he was not a resident and needed a Green Card. Muñoz used this time to develop his creations and, in order to share it with other amateurs, he uploaded them to YouTube, where Chris Anderson – director of Wired Magazine – saw one of his videos. Impressed by the young researcher’s work, Anderson decided to create in partnership with Muñoz, a company that already has a branch in the city of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Jordi Muñoz was rewarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the development of his technology as one of the ten Mexican inventors under the age of 35.last_img read more

Central American Firefighters: Prepared to Confront Regional Threats

first_imgBy Kay Valle/Diálogo May 15, 2019 Central American firefighters demonstrated their capabilities during a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise carried out through Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-Bravo). Firefighters put their skills to the test at Soto Cano Air Base, headquarters of JTF-Bravo in Comayagua, Honduras, on April 8-12, during the exercise Central America Sharing Mutual Operational Knowledge and Experiences (CENTAM SMOKE). JTF-Bravo’s 612th Air Base Squadron Fire Department led the exercises that exposed participants to temperatures of more than 600 degrees Celsius. A total of 25 firefighters from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras took part in the training. CENTAM SMOKE seeks to reinforce regional firefighters’ capabilities through a series of difficult tests that put them through new scenarios. The exercise is also aimed at standardizing firefighting skills to respond jointly to natural disasters. “We do CENTAM SMOKE to share experiences between firefighters in the firefighting profession. We hone our skills and continue building the bond between us and our partner nations,” U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Troy Romans, 612th Air Base Squadron assistant chief of training, told Diálogo. “Standardizing the practices is important because it helps make a seamless integration. We learn the practices and the different techniques that we both [U.S. and partner nation firefighters] can provide to give a better service to the community.” Tests and competitions The training included security measure instructions, proper use of breathing equipment and personal protection, and the use of hoses prior to the start of live fire exercises. Together, firefighters engaged in different fire fighting scenarios, including wild fires, a new activity. “Last year for CENTAM18 was the first time we ever did the wildland,” said Master Sgt. Romans. “That was from some of the feedback we had gotten from some of the participants and something that we saw as a need because all of them have that threat.” The exercise also included a competition aimed at promoting a spirit of camaraderie and cooperation. Participants created different teams and faced tests, such as vehicle extrication and rescue (with a dummy), obstacle course, and sledgehammer competitions, among others. Participants also learned about the Bambi Bucket system to extinguish fires with helicopters. For his part, Master Sgt. Romans highlighted the importance of one exercise in particular—aircraft fires. “Most of these countries do not have an aircraft fire trainer unit, so most of them have never seen one,” said the officer. “Hopefully they can take back to their home units and spread the information and skills we’ve taught and used.” Mutual benefits For Alejandra Antillón, Incident Command System officer at the Guatemalan National Coordination System for Disaster Reduction (CONRED, in Spanish), responsible for firefighter and rescue teams in the country, the exercise was a success. Her participation, she added, was a great personal opportunity as the first woman from CONRED to join the exercise. “This is a great experience, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Now we know how [others] work in the region. It will make work easier when real situations arise,” Antillón told Diálogo. “Of the techniques, with vehicle extrication, I learned some positions different from what we use.” Oscar Humberto Pérez Gutiérrez, Rescue and Firefighting team supervisor at El Salvador International Airport, took part in the exercise for the second time. For Pérez, who also faced CENTAM SMOKE challenges in 2015, the 2019 edition offered new knowledge. “There are new techniques every day; we take them to our country and put them into practice,” Pérez told Diálogo. “As for wild fires, we learned to take wind into consideration, to work with the wind in our favor, and encircle the burning area.” Thankful for a second chance, Pérez agreed with Antillón on the importance of standardizing techniques. “Every country has its own way of working; we use different names for tools, so it’s important to standardize terminology,” he said. Learning was mutual, said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Michael Ott, deputy fire chief, 612th Air Base Squadron. “They are showing us some really neat things too, because they are using very rudimentary and hands-on equipment versus our technically advanced hydraulic equipment, and they are showing us some fantastic ways to get into vehicles when we don’t have our high-tech tools.” The exercise started in 2005 as a quarterly training between JTF-Bravo firefighters and their Honduran counterparts. In 2010, the training extended to the region, with the participation of Guatemalan firefighters. Held biannually since 2014, more than 800 Central American firefighters have benefited from CENTAM SMOKE. “The greatest benefit for me is the experience of bringing all of these guys together,” Master Sgt. Romans concluded. “Bringing all these different countries together to do this is the greatest benefit, seeing these different cultures and how they react with emergency situations.”last_img read more

9 must-read payments articles from 2014

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Apple launch and — some say — subsequent holiday fizzle helps make mobile a dominating subject in payments talk this Marc RapportMobile’s surge into payments drew lots of attention in 2014, headlined late in the year by Apple Pay. The rumors, announcement, and launch of the mobile payments play gave us all something to write about.At, our longtime forte, of course, is examining how a credit union does something well and then sharing with other credit unions actionable advice on how to do the same. We also bring to you what we learned at industry trade shows and other gatherings.Here’s my choice for the top nine pieces on payments we wrote this past year.9. Wescom Powers P2P With PayPalOur researcher/writer Erik Payne examined the PayPal-powered person-to-person offering at Wescom Credit Union ($2.5B, Pasadena, Calif.) and found that the familiar service was an effective option for adoption by members as a mobile offering. Now in place for three years, the app has been used to send money approximately 6,000 times so far this year. Not huge numbers for a credit union that size, but Wescom says it’s a good way to position its services for the future as more members expect to transact through that channel.8. The Mighty Mobile OpportunityErik Payne also examined how three big credit unions — Kinecta ($3.5B, Manhattan Beach, CA), Workers’ ($1.1B Fitchburg, MA), and America First ($6.3B, Ogden, UT) — are using mobile wallets, loan applications, and location-based offers to expand the user experience in one small device. These devices have changed the way the public banks and have introduced a wider set of uses that are growing by the day. Here are three evolving capabilities that credit unions should consider right now — mobile payments, mobile loan applications, and location-based offers — as well as an exploration of their benefits for members and the cooperative. continue reading »last_img read more

Eye on Payments 2020: Part II – Contactless payments rise during COVID-19

first_imgThis is placeholder text continue reading » Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers of all generations are looking for new ways to transact for everything from grocery shopping to retail purchases to dining out. In addition, with health and safety remaining top of mind, people are seeking forms of payment that limit physical contact. Contactless cards and other touchless options have filled this need.Welcome to part two of our blog series on Eye on Payments 2020. PSCU’s third annual consumer payments study examines payment preferences among credit union members and other financial institution customers (“non-members”) across the U.S. and how they evolved over the past year. For credit unions, the study shows how you can better meet these preferences and needs to drive member experience and growth.In our first blog from our 2020 study, we highlighted changing consumer preference choices and purchasing behavior as a result of COVID-19. Today, we’ll explore how the pandemic has accelerated contactless payment adoption and usage, along with an increase in mobile wallet usage and digital banking. This post is currently collecting data…center_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

As Biden Inches Ahead in Georgia, Stacey Abrams Draws Recognition and Praise

first_imgNot everyone is celebrating Ms. Abrams. Lee Morris, a Republican who serves as county commissioner in Fulton County, home to Atlanta, said he viewed Ms. Abrams, a fiery orator, as “divisive,” drawing a comparison between her and Mr. Trump.“Like President Trump’s allegations of cheating and corruption have fired up the right side, certainly her efforts have fired up the enthusiasm of folks to get out and vote,” Mr. Morris said in an interview Friday. That said, while Mr. Trump’s false claims of rigged elections and widespread cheating are baseless, Georgia has a long and documented history of voter suppression, particularly among voters of color.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Ms. Abrams has, at times, also run afoul of members of her own party, who criticized her blunt ambition and open desire to be Mr. Biden’s running mate. In the South, where Black politicians are close-knit and traditional, Ms. Abrams has also been a disruptive force. Her political vision can be at odds with the local Democratic establishment, and her shot to national prominence has ruffled feathers.The political payoff of Mr. Biden’s breakthrough in Georgia, however, may put those tensions to rest. The playbook she popularized took root — a combination of winning back metro suburbanites and registering new voters in Black, Latino, and Asian-American communities.Nse Ufot, the current chief executive of New Georgia Project, said electoral campaigns are often too shortsighted to do the long-term work of registering and educating new voters, regardless of party affiliation.- Advertisement –center_img “When you think about the transactional nature of electoral campaigns, I think they prioritize getting people who are already voters to vote for them,” Ms. Ufot said, adding that there was “not enough conversation about 100 million Americans who are eligible to vote who did not vote in 2016.”Astead Herndon contributed reporting.last_img read more

Buyers lining up for waterfront land at Hope Island’s $650m Serenity Cove development

first_imgSerenity Cove.Serenity Cove’s first release of land includes 48 waterfront lots along Saltwater Creek and on Lake Serenity – some with marina berths. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North8 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoThe initial sales ranged from $470,000 up to $763,000.Colliers International national director of residential project marketing Tony Hymus said local buyers had identified the significance of the project to the Gold Coast market and had responded accordingly. Serenity CoveGOLD Coast buyers are charting a course for the $650-million Serenity Cove masterplanned development at Hope Island with locals creating a wave of post-launch sales. The prospect of fresh waterfront land opportunities in one of the Gold Coast’s blue- chip suburbs has seen a tide of predominantly local buyers inundate the initial release with 15 land sales totalling more than $10 million secured following a soft launch in February. Malaysian developers launch $650 million masterplanned community. First blocks now available. Pic of Mark Mehr from ERM Project Management Australia (L) and Colliers International’s Tony Hymus on site at Helensvale. Picture: Richard Gosling“They have recognised what could be the last chance to buy waterfront residential land on Hope Island,” Mr Hymus said.“Serenity Cove comes to the market at a time when waterfront land is becoming more sought after than ever, and particularly as the development of the Hope Island community matures. Mr Hymus said interstate buyers had also expressed interest in Serenity Cove, which is being undertaken by SDSC, a joint-venture partnership between two of Malaysia’s largest developers, Sime Darby and Brunsfield International Group. Serenity Cove will ultimately comprise a mix of 450 apartments, townhomes and freestanding homes, as well as a mini-marina with a 3800sq m retail and dining precinct fronting the centrepiece lake, known as Lake Serenity. Bordering Oyster Cove and Hope Island Resort, the development is considered the final piece of the Hope Island masterplan.Lots in the first release are complete, allowing construction of homes to begin immediately. The parcels range from 630sq m to 1517sq m and are priced from $529,000.last_img read more

Hospices say no to euthanasia

first_imgNewsRoom 9 July 2018Family First Comment: “As euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are against the ethos of palliative care, we believe this will have a detrimental impact on the workforce.” group which represents the 35 hospices in New Zealand says a new bill could require it to host physician-assisted deaths even if it philosophically opposes them.Hospice New Zealand says it strongly opposes David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill, which sets out a process by which people suffering a terminal illness or enduring “unbearable suffering” can apply to their doctor to die using a fatal medication.It questions a clause in the Bill which allows a medical practitioner to have a conscientious objection to carrying out a death but then sets up a body which administers the law and which would provide a second medical practitioner.Hospice NZ says that seems to prevent it from having a policy of not providing physician-assisted suicide. Even if its staff objected to assisted deaths then a patient could ask the administering body, the Support and Consultation for End of Life in New Zealand, for other practitioners.“Could physician-assisted suicide take place in a hospice inpatient unit – provided by a SCENZ member if as an organisation we are unable to conscientiously object?”The submission is one of a record 35,000 submissions made on the Bill, which are being slowly made public by Parliament’s Justice Select Committee.READ MORE: read more

Lady Eagles Battle Lady Spartans On The Links

first_imgGolf ball about to fall into the cup at sunsetThe Jac-Cen-Del Lady Eagles battled The Southwestern Lady Spartans on Thursday (8-24) at Cyprus Run.  SW 220-JCD 228.JCD-Gracie Simon 53, Annalise Boor 56, Lindsey Linville 60, Chloe Strassel 59, Calysta Hartman 61.SW Shelby-Meridian Beal 56, Kaelea Weekly 57, Bailey Smith 60, Deziree Norvell 52, Camrynn Sample 59, Rilegh Smith 55.Courtesy of Eagles Coach Brad Goldsberry.last_img

Carragher expects Suarez to stay

first_img Press Association And Carragher, who retired in the summer but trained with the team last week in preparation for Steven Gerrard’s testimonial, reckons, with the club having made themselves clear, that Suarez will now remain on Merseyside. Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, the former England international said: “I expect him to stay at Liverpool now. “I think if you come out as owner and say that, and then something happens, you make yourself look stupid. I’m glad he has done it and I think everyone in football should be glad he has done it. It is maybe a message for players. “I trained with him once this summer and you are talking about probably one of the best trainers I have ever seen. I’ve only seen him once. God knows what he has been like all pre-season, but he hasn’t been his normal self.” Despite Suarez’s actions, Carragher expects Liverpool’s first-team squad would accept having him back in the fold. “He’s the best player,” the 35-year-old said. “It probably all affects supporters more, who absolutely love the club. Players come and go at different times; we are all probably selfish, we think about our own situation. “I think a lot of them will be probably focused on getting themselves ready for the start of the league. I’m sure they will want Luis to stay because it gives them more chance of being successful.” Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes club owner John W Henry would look “stupid” if the Reds sold wantaway striker Luis Suarez.center_img Henry has told Arsenal to give up in their pursuit of the Uruguay international, who was the subject of a bid from the Gunners of £40million plus £1 – an amount the player claimed would trigger a buy-out clause if it came from a club in the Champions League. Suarez has been ordered to train with the reserves until he has a change of attitude, with boss Brendan Rodgers demanding the former Ajax man apologise to his team-mates before being re-integrated to the first-team picture. last_img read more