Temporary Extension Granted for National Flood Insurance Program

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago May 30, 2019 2,721 Views Temporary Extension Granted for National Flood Insurance Program  Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Tagged with: Congress flood Natural Disasters nfip Home / Daily Dose / Temporary Extension Granted for National Flood Insurance Program The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img Congress flood Natural Disasters nfip 2019-05-30 Mike Albanese Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Loss Mitigation, News About Author: Mike Albanese Post updated at 8:31 a.m. on Friday, May 31The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) received a last-minute extension Thursday evening, preventing the program from lapsing.The Advocate reports Congress is expected to pass yet another extension–the 12th in two years–on Monday when it returns from its recess. The anticipated extension set for Monday would extend the program to September as Congress discusses a long-term solution.The NFIP covers 5 million policyholders in flood-prone areas.The program was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 31, and two prior attempts to extend the program failed. The Senate had approved two bills to extend the program: the first is part of the disaster relief legislative package that would extend the NFIP through Sept. 30, and the second would provide a two-week extension.Two prior attempts to gain unanimous consent were block by representatives Chip Roy (R-Texas), Thomas MaThe National Association of Home Builders states that Congress requires all properties with the 100-year floodplain purchase with a federally-backed mortgage to carry flood insurance. A short-term shutdown means insurers and insurance agents cannot sell or renew flood insurance policies back by the program because of lack of government funding. The results could mean new or renewing federal flood insurance policies not be written during the lapse.The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2578 earlier in April, which would have extended the NFIP’s authorization to September 30.“The NFIP plays an important role in disaster preparedness and resiliency by providing flood maps, setting standards for floodplain management, and investing in mitigation for our homes, businesses, and infrastructure. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, everyone is at risk of flooding,” said Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee. “That means that this is not just a coastal issue—we all have an interest in ensuring a strong National Flood Insurance Program. Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Previous: U.S. Bank Sues Bank of America Over RMBS Issues Next: Measuring Pending Home Sales and Affordability Subscribe Sign up for DS News Daily Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agolast_img read more

Bigger Peaches.

first_imgLeft to its own course, a peach tree will bear many more fruits than it can grow to adequate size if they all make it through the late frosts. But proper hand-thinning or judicious pruning can lead to an optimal backyard peach crop.Generally, we advise homeowners to remove fruits to a spacing of 6 inches along shoots on the outer portion of the canopy and 8 inches along shoots in the shaded portion.That sounds pretty easy. But there’s more to thinning a tree than just dropping some fruits on the ground on a Saturday afternoon.Timing Is Everything”Timing is everything,” they say. And in the case of thinning peaches, that’s absolutely true. As fruits develop, every week after bloom that the tree carries too many fruits can cost 3 percent to 6 percent in fruit size.Earlier thinning also improves the crop yield and fruit size you can expect the following year. This is because the following year’s fruit buds are being produced while fruit is still on the tree.So earlier thinning will allow more water and nutrients to be available not only for this year’s crop, but for next year’s as well.Thin Flowers CarefullyIf you’re thinning blooms, be careful to leave more flowers to hedge bets against a late frost. Thin to two or three flowers every 4 inches along a shoot — two near the end of the shoot and three close to the base.You can follow that practice two to three weeks later by removing small fruits to the 6- to 8-inch spacing. Making two trips to the tree is laborious and time-consuming. But it’s effective.Or you can use yet another method of reducing the fruit load per tree. Pruning during the dormant season (after Valentine’s Day to avoid a tree-damaging freeze) can reduce the amount of hand-thinning by 10 percent. Best of all, if you do it properly, you can increase the tree’s yield by 12 percent or more.Less Is MoreYou may wonder why removing shoot tissue that could bear fruit will improve the yield. There are two reasons. The crop load to which the tree will be distributing water and nutrients will be lowered to a level the tree’s systems can handle.The amount of unnecessary vegetative (shading) growth will be reduced. In other words, this pruning can bring a tree into a balance that favors optimum fruit growth. Properly thinned peaches are better able to reach their optimum size. Photo: CAES File Photo Research has revealed that removing all shoots less than 12 inches long resulted in greater numbers and size of fruits and in many more pounds of fruit per tree.Besides removing these smaller shoots, if you also reduce the length of the remaining shoots by 50 percent, the yield on some varieties increased by 30 percent and the size by up to 16 percent in some years, compared to trees that aren’t pruned.It’s worth the effort. A little extra time this spring will bring fruitful results this summer.last_img read more

Russell takes office

first_imgRussell takes office Associate Editor Pledges to fight for judicial independence and work to provide equal access Passionately proclaiming his dual mission to protect the independence of the legal system from political interference while striving to bring equal access to justice for the poor, Terry Russell of Ft. Lauderdale was sworn in as The Florida Bar’s 53rd president. The June 22 General Assembly at the Bar’s Annual Meeting in Orlando was a happy celebration of bright legal stars and the congratulatory swearing-in of new officers that included the historic testament to diversity in the Young Lawyers Division with two minority women in leadership roles: President Elizabeth Gicella Rice, of Hispanic descent, and African-American Juliet Rouhlac, as president-elect.Plenty of laughter, handshakes, hugs, snapping cameras, and well-wishing from family and friends filled the room, but the ceremony was also a sobering call to action at a time of increased criticism of the Bar and judiciary from legislators. Russell takes office • Don Horn “in recognition of distinguished service to the legal profession, his outstanding leadership as a member of the BoG, the Citizens Forum and liaison to the Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, and for his wise counsel and dedication to The Florida Bar for the benefit of all.” Horn receiving his award from Russomanno Providing the backdrop for his message, behind the podium, a giant screen showed a picture of the Florida Supreme Court and the convention’s slogan: “Celebrating the Independence of Our Judiciary.”“Make no mistake about it, the order in our society rests upon the goodwill of our citizens and their respect for the law,” 56-year-old Russell continued.“That respect is embedded firmly in the perception of the great majority of Americans that our courts are open to them for the fair, impartial, nonpolitical resolution of their grievances. For us to do nothing in the face of the challenges to our legal system would be to risk anarchy. To fail would be unthinkable.”U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson promised to congratulate Russell in person later that evening, and delivered the keynote address via videotape, because he was committed to stay in Washington, D.C., during the debate on the Patients Bill of Rights.“Congratulations, Terry Russell, on taking over the reins for the coming year,” Nelson said. “Mr. President, Terry Russell, you’ve got a major task ahead, as the Florida Legislature failed our courts by passing a bill that gives the governor almost total control over the nomination of judges, and it minimizes the role of The Florida Bar. By allowing one person to decide the makeup of our courts and thereby lessening the checks and balances of our system we jeopardize the independence of our judiciary. Unfortunately, Gov. Bush signed this legislation into law.. . . All of us must watch closely to see who is going to be put on these 26 judicial nominating commissions. We can hope that a future legislature will remedy this mistake before it does too much damage to our judiciary.”In giving the annual state of the Bar address, outgoing President Herman Russomanno said: “The state of the Bar is in good shape.”But Russomanno also acknowledged that “justice was under fire in the House of Representatives. Lawyers of The Florida Bar responded to our call for action, and rightly so. There were assaults on the Bar and vitriolic attacks on the judiciary. Fortunately, editorial boards of newspapers of the state have been supportive to help expose the extremist position of some. This education continues.”Russomanno said it was a privilege to work with Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Wells, whom he called “a fearless leader who faced unprecedented attacks on our court.”The audience gave Wells a rousing standing ovation.“There is a rising tide of judge-bashing in our state,” Russomanno said. “Although not new, it is more vitriolic, more determined, and thus more dangerous, because it threatens the independence of the judiciary as an institution, and equally important, the public’s trust and confidence.”But voicing a tone of hope, Russomanno continued: “Each and every day, we are building bridges and continue to work on that struggle so we will have no extreme positions in this state. We want moderation and respect for all branches of government. And I believe with everyone’s help, we will be able to accomplish that.”Turning to Russell, Russomanno said, “I can’t think of a better person to succeed me than Terry Russell. If I look at the attributes of what makes a great leader, I think of someone who gives service to his community, service to his family, service to his God, and service to the profession. This is a gentleman who epitomizes all of those qualities.”Russomanno said Russell is up to the challenge of defending the judiciary under fire.Presidential GoalsRussell outlined his plans, saying he has asked the Bar’s Legislation Committee, executive director, legislative staff, and outside governmental consultants to begin a comprehensive review of the Bar’s legislative programs and policies to “ensure that our ability to deal with state government is as effective as the law will permit.”Paired with that pledge to protect the independence of lawyers and judges, Russell said, is the sworn duty to keep the courthouse doors open to all who seek justice at a time when, despite the generosity and creativity of lawyers, legal aid organizations are forced to turn two out of three eligible persons away because of a lack of resources.“The legal system is ours to care for, and we must work tirelessly to ensure its availability to young and old, rich and poor, alike. We cannot successfully fight to maintain our exclusive stewardship of the legal system without such a commitment,” Russell said.“I am absolutely convinced that our profession’s tradition of public service is its first line of defense against political mischief. Our commitment to public service truly sets us apart from all other professions. Be ever mindful, however, it is not what we say we do, rather what we do, that makes the difference.”One of the first things Russell will do is sponsor a public service retreat focused on equal access to justice issues when the Board of Governors meets in Naples August 24-25.With The Florida Bar Foundation’s help, Russell said, “The Florida Bar will move forward with an ambitious legislative proposal to bring Florida in line with 39 other states in providing some measure of public assistance for civil legal services for the poor. We will ask the governor and the legislature for a $10-million annual budget allocation, and I am pleased to announce that I have secured both Senate and House sponsors for the initiative. With your help and the help of our 70,000 colleagues, we can accomplish this worthy goal.”Along with noble goals, Russell promised, “We won’t forget that our lawyers have to earn a living, and we will continue our strong commitment to helping them do that more efficiently.”A Technology Task Force will bring lawyers and judges the benefits of high-tech innovations. At the behest of the American Bar Association, the Bar will continue studying the multijurisdictional practice concept and will continue the work of the Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice and Ancillary Business.“Globalization and its effect on the modern day practice of law must be clearly understood and cannot be ignored by the organized bar,” Russell said.And with an additional grant from the BoG, the Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, chaired by 11th Judicial Circuit Judge Sandy Karlan, will continue its work.“The Florida Bar is justifiably proud of the important leadership role it has played in defining the legal rights and remedies of the most defenseless among us our children and we will finish that important task this year,” Russell said.Ribbing Russell The speech-making was not all serious, as long-time partner Carl Schuster, who hired young Russell in 1970, took a few good-natured jabs at Russell’s girth and hearty appetite when he introduced the Bar’s new president, while Russell’s wife Mary Kay and daughter Cristy joined in the laughter.“You can take the boy out of Jacksonville, but you can’t take the Jacksonville out of the boy,” Schuster said, of Russell’s hometown.On the serious side, Schuster listed Russell’s many accomplishments and dedicated service to the Bar.“Terry has certainly paid his dues to the Bar, and he certainly deserves the honor being bestowed upon him today as incoming president,” Schuster said.“Terry is absolutely goal-oriented.. . . His ultimate goal is to leave his surroundings a little better than they were when he arrived. Terry has never considered that any goal or task was beyond his reach or ability. He would always rather light a candle than curse the darkness. Now, today, Terry is becoming the president of the 70,000 lawyers of The Florida Bar.“This would be considered a mammoth undertaking to most ordinary human beings. But in Terry’s case, he certainly considered it a responsibility of his to provide leadership to The Florida Bar when this leadership was most needed to counteract the apparent desire of some members of the Florida Legislature to remove some of the Bar functions from the auspices of the Supreme Court and put it under control of a state agency. With President Russomanno’s leadership this year, and a great deal of help from Terry, and a great deal of help from a lot of other people, this attack was staved off this year. As president, Terry will probably again next legislative session have the same fight on his hands. We can have confidence that Terry will be strong-willed and tireless in maintaining the integrity of The Florida Bar.”Leaders Lauded Andy Leinoff, a Coral Gables lawyer, delivered a poignant introduction to Bar President-elect Tod Aronovitz, of Miami, his former law partner and dear friend he’s known since they graduated from the University Miami law school in 1974.Leinoff recounted how Aronovitz met his wife, Leslee, when she was a 15-year-old girl inviting him to a Sadie Hawkins dance. Before she passed away about a year ago, she told her husband that if he really wanted to be Bar president, to go for it, “but promise me you’ll be the best president the Bar has ever had.”With emotion filling his voice, Leinoff said that he knows Aronovitz will “keep his promise to his Sadie Hawkins sweetheart of 36 years ago.”Ed Rice introduced his wife, Liz, as president of the YLD, detailing her talents and accomplishments, both academic and athletic, since he first met her in Dade City at age 12. He’s watched her become who she is today, an accomplished commercial litigator, mother of two little girls, and loving and dedicated wife (“no easy task, I assure you, given her partner”).“But Liz wasn’t elected president because she’s a great mommy, because she’s a terrific wife, or because she’s an exceptional lawyer. She was elected because of her dedication and her service to the Bar. Over the last year, in her position as president-elect, she devoted over 700 hours of her time to this Bar and our profession. Liz, I’m proud of you. Your family is proud of you. And this Bar is lucky to have you in service,” Ed Rice said.Liz Rice told of an e-mail story with the simple words at the end that captured her attention: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths that we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.”“That stuck with me, and it also reminded me of one of the major accomplishments of this division this year. Through Stu Ratzan’s excellent leadership, the YLD adopted a Quality of Life resolution to memorialize our commitment to quality of life initiatives.”Rice said her goal for the next year is to use the award as a springboard to showcase law firms that have successfully implemented quality of life initiatives in order to help persuade other law firms to realize that balancing family life and professional life “does not detract from, but rather enhances, the bottom line for all of us.“Our value systems are changing, and if we are to keep pace with this fast-changing environment, the legal profession is going to have to address not only the quality of life issues, but diversity and gender sensitivity issues, as well. Who better than the YLD to lead us from an old to a new way? Our board exemplifies this very spirit of new thinking,” Rice said.“I am so proud to announce that our incoming board is reflective of our constituents’ commitment to diversity and gender sensitivity, not only in the profession, but in Bar leadership, as well. Our incoming board this year has 21 nearly half women; eight Hispanics or direct descendants, such as myself; and five African-Americans.“To show our commitment to diversity and gender sensitivity, our board also adopted this year a Diversity and Gender Sensitivity resolution and created an award to recognize law firms that not only promote diversity but have actually achieved a diverse workplace.” “The students say this jurist is cool,” Lawrence said. “And the teachers say this jurist makes the law more fun than it ought to be.”In accepting the award, Justice Lewis said: “I am tremendously humbled. To be honored for what you love to do is a real blessing. I learned a long time ago that it’s not what we say about our children, but it’s what we do for them.” John Cardillo received the G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award that “recognizes the unique human qualities that all strive to attain but very few achieve. These include an abiding respect and caring for others, coupled with the ongoing demonstration of actual deeds of legal service with no reward beyond that of the deed itself.”The Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award went to Deborah Kearney, general counsel of the secretary of state, for her dedication to get an overwhelming job done during the presidential election contest.Noel Lawrence, chair of the Law Related Education Committee, presented the outstanding attorneys of the year award to Bobby Pickels, employee of Congressman Allen Boyd, who developed an exercise with the middle school program that used the role of a congressman in the lesson, and Laurie Chane, with Chane & Eble, who coached mock trial teams for many years and worked with the local high schools in organizing and developing local competitions. Rice and Roulhac When Rice introduced Juliet Rouhlac, next year’s YLD president, she said with a smile: “History is being made here today. For the first time in the 50-plus years of The Florida Bar, two women have been elected to lead the Bar’s YLD in two consecutive years. Second, for the first time in the history of the Bar, an African-American has been elected as president-elect.” “Well, we’ve heard it previously, haven’t we? Incoming presidents of the past have warned us that the profession is challenged as never before. I issue the same warning to you again today, the same call to action. Only this time, as recent events have shown, the threat is palpable; it extends across our nation; and our democracy is at risk,” Russell told those gathered for the pomp and pageantry that marked the official dawning of his presidency. Russell is sworn-in by Chief Justice Wells, as his wife looks on. Awards Aplenty Russomanno thanked outgoing YLD President Stuart Ratzan for his leadership, and said: “You’ve set an example in diversity initiatives, which we all embrace.”With that, Ratzan was given a standing ovation before he proceeded to hand out accolades to others.“Remarkably, one school won all three awards,” Ratzan said in presenting the YLD moot court awards of best team, best oralist (Richard Martin), and best brief to the Florida State University College of Law.The YLD presented the outstanding jurist award to 17th Judicial Circuit Judge Renee Goldenberg, which goes to a judge with “the finest credentials, finest demeanor, finest commitment to justice, and the finest respect for young lawyers practicing in the state of Florida.”The most productive young lawyer receiving the Lynn Futch Award went to Kelly O’Keefe, of Tallahassee, who is active in the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, coaches a high school moot court team, works as an intake attorney at a homeless shelter, and received 25 letters of support for her nomination.The YLD Most Significant Single Project for 2001 went to the Palm Beach County’s “Michelle Project,” for providing computers and printers to all 26 “independent living” foster care homes for children ages 16 or 17, who will most likely not be adopted. Lisa Small accepted the award.The first YLD Diversity Award was presented to the Miami law firm of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, which Ratzan described as a firm that “has proven itself to be truly committed to the value of diversity and to see the richness that that brings.”The Quality of Life Award was given to Keane, Reese and Vesley of St. Petersburg. Russomanno presented President’s Awards of Merit to:• Vivian Hobbs “for her wisdom and counsel given during her service as a public member on the Board of Governors, for leadership as chair of the Citizens Forum, guardian of the Constitution and protector of judicial independence for the benefit of all citizens of the state of Florida.”• Manuel Morales, Jr., “in recognition of his distinguished service to the legal profession, his outstanding leadership during eight years of service on the Board of Governors, and for his wise counsel and dedication to The Florida Bar which has benefitted all lawyers.”“I know people refer to my baseball analogies,” Russomanno said, “but this individual had a streak of 48 in a row,” never missing a single BoG meeting in eight years of service. July 15, 2001 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Lawrence presents award to Justice Lewis Outstanding judge of the year was presented to Justice Fred Lewis, who three to five times a month steps out of his black robe and into classrooms for his “Bill of Rights Rap,” reaching more than 15,000 students a year. last_img read more

Firm gets funds for work on avian flu DNA vaccine

first_imgJun 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Vical Inc., San Diego, announced today it would receive early access to $2.6 million in government funds to help it complete preclinical development of a DNA vaccine for avian influenza.Last September the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) awarded the company a $2.9 million challenge grant to develop the vaccine. In May the company reported the vaccine had protected mice and ferrets against a highly virulent strain of H5N1 avian flu virus and had protected mice against multiple human flu strains.On the basis of those results, the National Institutes of Health notified Vical that it had achieved the second milestone required under the challenge grant, the company said in a news release today.The new funds will be used to finish preclinical work on the vaccine and apply to the US Food and Drug Administration for permission to launch a phase 1 clinical trial, the company reported. The firm is seeking additional funds to support the phase 1 trial.DNA vaccines use small pieces of the target pathogen’s genetic material instead of a killed or weakened form of the whole pathogen. Vical says it makes DNA vaccines with simple bacterial fermentation methods that may allow rapid production of large amounts.David C. Klaslow, MD, Vical’s chief scientific officer, said the company’s DNA flu vaccines “have performed remarkably well in animal challenge studies, and this accelerated access to funding allows us to move forward ahead of our original schedule, which is quite important given the imminent threat posed by pandemic influenza.”The company has been collaborating with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis in the early development of the DNA flu vaccines. In reporting the results of animal experiments last month, the company said its three-component vaccine fully protected mice and ferrets against death and weight loss after exposure to an H5N1 virus, whereas animals that received a control vaccine all died. The three-component vaccine targeted one of the virus’s variable surface proteins and two conserved, or stable, core proteins, the company said.The company also said it tested DNA vaccines targeting only the two conserved viral proteins. In that study, 14 of 16 mice in each of two vaccine groups survived with moderate weight loss. “The study is the first to provide evidence that a vaccine targeting conserved influenza virus proteins without matched surface proteins can provide protection against such a highly virulent H5N1 flu strain,” the company said in a May 2 news release.In addition, the firm said the same vaccine formulation protected animals against two strains of human influenza in a previous study.”A vaccine that provides cross-protection against more than one strain of flu is important for addressing a pandemic flu threat because it is likely that the H5N1 virus could mutate before it becomes transmissible from human to human,” said Richard Webby, PhD, of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as quoted in a Vical release.When Vical first announced its NIAID grant last September, it said its goal was “to design a vaccine that could be developed and manufactured quickly and safely, without handling the infectious organism, and stockpiled longer than conventional vaccines.”See also:Jun 2 CIDRAP News story “Epidermal DNA flu vaccine shows promise in phase 1 trial”last_img read more

New networks provide added coverage

first_imgOver the last six years, the USC women’s soccer team has had a game shown on television exactly six times. Two of those games came during the Women of Troy’s run to a national championship in 2007, and two more came against high-powered UCLA teams.National attention · Junior midfielder Autumn Altamirano and the Women of Troy stand to benefit from the Pac-12 Networks’ coverage. – Daily Trojan file photo The last time a USC soccer game was showcased on television was in 2009 — an away game against No. 3 UCLA. Not even the Women of Troy’s 2010 game against UCLA, played at the Coliseum in front of 8,527 fans, managed to crack the airwaves.But with the Pac-12 Networks’ debut last Wednesday, the Women of Troy will be featured on TV nine times this season alone, each time reaching a larger regional audience than their previous local telecasts did.For the players, TV exposure is rewarding and exciting. Families can now watch certain road games and players can watch their friends on other teams (and scout them, too) and have the chance to be seen by a broader audience.And for coaches, the possibilities are endless: recruiting, scouting, building an identity for the program, recruiting again.“The more visibility you have, the more kids are going to be enticed to come play,”  USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have lights here, so it’s hard for people to get out here and see us play. I think the network will allow a lot more people to see us that normally don’t get the opportunity to.”From the pure excitement the current USC players have when talking about the chance to play on TV regularly, it’s obvious that that opportunity will be a big plus to recruits.“It has a huge impact [on recruiting],” said junior midfielder Autumn Altimirano. “Having a network that people can watch your games on is pretty awesome — we’re all really looking forward to it.”Plagued by injuries throughout a disastrous 2011 season in which the Women of Troy suffered the second-most losses in program history, Khosroshahin and the coaching staff went on the recruiting trail like they never had before, bringing in 20 new players, including five transfers. Some of them already felt the pull of the Pac-12 Networks.“When I was in high school, I never even thought about West Coast schools because I’m from 2,000 miles away,” said sophomore goalie Caroline Stanley, a transfer from Missouri. “So I think it will boost recruiting for sure, especially when they see how we play. It will be a showcase for girls all across the country.”Stanley perhaps takes thatmentality — that it’s not just the notion of being on TV that is attractive to potential recruits, but the way USC moves the ball fluidly and attacks downfield — from her new coach.“It’s only going to help us,” Khosroshahin said. “The way we play the game is [an] attractive style, and I think the more people that get to see us play, they’re going to realize what it is we got here.”And Stanley believes that the newfound exposure will be good not only for USC, but for the sport on a national level as well.“Women’s soccer doesn’t get a lot of recognition,” Stanley said. “[The] Pac-12 Networks will really showcase our team, along with the other Pac-12 teams. People will see that Pac-12 soccer can compete with the Atlantic Coast Conference.”last_img read more

Top hierarchy of Soviet military, led by Marshal Dmitry Ustinov, visits India

first_imgSoviet delegation arrhino,: Brass blitzIf ever the US contemplated launching a sneak attack on the Soviet Union, they could hardly have been presented with a more opportune moment than last fortnight.In fact, it looked very much like the Soviet Union was invading India when a matched pair of behemoth AN-62,Soviet delegation arrhino,: Brass blitzIf ever the US contemplated launching a sneak attack on the Soviet Union, they could hardly have been presented with a more opportune moment than last fortnight.In fact, it looked very much like the Soviet Union was invading India when a matched pair of behemoth AN-62 aircraft trundled over the tarmac at Palam Airport and sighed to a stop in the heavily-guarded VIP area. Out from the cavernous depths emerged what, at first sight, resembled the joint Services brass band but turned out to be a veritable Who’s Who of the top hierarchy of the Soviet military machine.Leading the invasion force was Marshal Dmitry Fedorovich Ustinov, 74, the craggy-faced Soviet defence minister resplendent in a mustard green uniform encrusted with medals like barnacles on a neglected ship. Ustinov’s entourage included General Shavanov, the deputy defence minister, Admiral Sergei Gorshkov, the Soviet naval chief and one of the most highly-decorated men in the Soviet defence forces; Marshal Koutakhov, the air force chief and an impressive assortment of 30 lieutenants-general and majors-general.In fact, the only missing link was the Soviet army chief Marshal Ogarkov and the omission was only because Ustinov and Ogarkov, who is head of the Soviet armed forces, never leave the country at the same time. The fact that there was more brass on display than at Moradabad was not the only surprise on the day of the generals. It was the first time that Ustinov had made an appearance in a country outside the socialist bloc. It was also the first time that Moscow-had dispatched such a high-powered delegation to any country and left itself so militarily vulnerable.advertisementDespite that, however, the Ustinov visit was shrouded in utmost secrecy. In mid-February, India’s ambassador in Moscow, V.K. Ahuja, flew into Delhi for hasty consultations with the prime minister to finalise dates for the visit. Both the Foreign Ministry and the Defence Ministry were kept in the dark. The only clue they had was when they were asked to arrange a junket for all the foreign military attaches based in Delhi.Accordingly, two IAF aircraft with the attaches aboard took off from Delhi barely hours before Ustinov and his entourage arrived. The only attache missing was the US military attache who dropped out at the last minute. The junket, labelled a “sight-seeing trip” of Cochin and Trivandrum. returned to the capital a few hours after the Soviet delegation took off for Moscow.Short Notice: It was also, in some ways, very much a sneak attack. Ustinov’s unexpected arrival at surprisingly short notice was in reponse to an invitation extended to him five years ago by the then defence minister Jagjivan Ram during his Moscow visit in 1978. In fact, it was obvious the Indian Government was caught napping by the timing of the visit since the air force chief, Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh was away in London and was forced to cut short his trip while the army chief, General K.V. Krishna Rao, was scheduled to leave on a well-publicised tour to Paris right in the middle of the Soviet visit.The reasons for Ustinov’s terribly belated acceptance of the Indian invitation were obvious. For one, the Soviets had no desire to send a man of Ustinov’s stature-he currently ranks number four in the Soviet hierarchy-during the Janata rule since it would have irritated Mrs Gandhi, a leader they are infinitely closer to and comfortable with. Additionally, India only acquired a full-fledged defence minister in the form of the affable R. Venkataraman last January and, with Mrs Gandhi scheduled to leave for Britain and Saudi Arabia, the Soviet leadership obviously felt that this was the best time. The unspoken fact that India has lately displayed signs of curing its obsession with Soviet defence equipment must have also figured in Moscow’s calculations.In that context, Ustinov’s bland statement that he was only here to “renew personal contacts” only formed part of the larger picture. The visit was, in the words of a Defence Ministry source, a “massive PR exercise”, probably the biggest the Soviets have attempted in recent times and, from all accounts, a highly successful one.Star Soldier: The star of the show was undoubtedly Ustinov himself. A bluff, hearty individual sporting rimless spectacles. Ustinov was described admiringly by a top army officer as a “soldier’s soldier” and by a Defence Ministry official as a “consummate politician”. In fact, he was very much a cocktail of the two as was evident right through his week-long tour of defence installations.advertisementIn Jodhpur, at the sprawling MiG-21 and MiG-23 base, Ustinov was visibly appreciative of the IAF’s skills shown at a demonstration and insisted on chatting to the pilots and inquiring from them through his interpreter how they liked the MiG’s performance. He was equally at home chatting to mechanics, technicians and an air force dispatch rider, particularly the last-named since Ustinov is a motorcycle freak and owns a 30 horsepower BMW. He spent considerable time comparing the merits of Soviet motorcycles and the dispatch rider’s Royal Enfield.On a side trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, he broke away from the group, to the consternation of the security people, and joined a group of schoolchildren having a picnic on the lawns. While the rest of the entourage waited, Ustinov entertained the children between bites of their sandwiches and then, in a spontaneous display of gallantry. presented the delighted schoolteacher with a necklace.Boundless Energy: His most masterful performance, however, was reserved for Babina, which houses the armoured corps and the largest number of Soviet T-72 tanks. “He is a soldier and he knows that for a soldier the most important thing is faith in his fighting equipment,” says an Indian army officer who accompanied the entourage. Displaying energy that belied his considerable age, Ustinov mixed freely with officers and jawans, asking them if they had any problems with the tanks or with spares and complimenting them on their maintenance. He revelled in making unscheduled visits, first to the house of an officer to see how the Indian Army lives, and then a surprise visit to the jawan’s langar to see how they eat.In the langar, he had the jawans guffawing at his antics, particularly when he examined a bench at the dining table and asked how many people it accommodated during meals. On being told it held four jawans, he shook his head as if in sympathy and then called three of his stoutest generals and ordered them to join him on the bench. Naturally, it proved a tight squeeze for just three and wagging his finger at the cook, said, “only three” and then pantomimed to the watching jawans that his officers ate too much. As a finale, he ordered the cook to serve him langar food which he then proceeded to consume with obvious relish.Later, at a luncheon in his honour, he charmed the officers’ wives by making a little speech prepared specially for them. “You have a great deal to do with keeping up the morale of the Indian Army,” he said gravely and then, with a mischievous twinkle added, “you can nag him as much as you like when he gets home but make sure you give him a good dinner.”Exchanging Compliments: Ustinov’s back-slapping bonhomie and quick-wittedness was soon being shared by his more proper colleagues. On a visit to Bombay, the Soviet naval chief, Admiral Sergei Gorshkov applauded the loudest when the western naval chief, Admiral Awasti, delivered his welcoming speech in fluent Russian. At the end of the speech, when Awasti told Gorshkov that he must come again to India, the latter replied: “Only when I can deliver a speech in Hindusthani.”advertisementDespite the hectic schedule, Ustinov and his beribboned party made a point of flying back to the capital almost every day of their visit. Wherever they went, they made a point of eating Indian food and drinking Indian liquor, particularly gin which probably came closest to their standard vodka fare. Ustinov also used his own aircraft for most of the trip except on occasions where the airfield was too small to accommodate it. On a visit to Khajuraho to view the erotic art of ancient India. Ustinov used the IAF’s VIP Boeing while his visit to Babina was accomplished via IAF Soviet-made helicopters.But right through his tour, he made three major points in his discussions with defence officers. One was that the Soviets do not merely say things unless they are prepared to back them up with actions. Secondly, that Indo-Soviet friendship and defence cooperation was not directed against any other country and lastly, that the Soviets knew how the Indian mind, particularly that of the soldier, worked. He did also make one more important point confidentially; that he realised it was indirectly because of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan that there was an infusion of arms into the subcontinent and the formation of a Washington-Beijing-Islamabad axis was of potential danger to India. In that context, confided Ustinov, the Soviets would like to see India strong enough to defend itself and would cooperate towards that as much as possible.Though no defence deals were signed during Ustinov’s visit it is evident that the elaborate foundations of future deals involving more advanced MiGs, tanks and battleships, were laid and unofficial commitments on both sides given. Considering the heavy Soviet involvement in India’s defence infrastructure and the steady deterioration of relations between India and the West, particularly the US, Ustinov’s visit was a masterful diplomatic and image-building exercise and in conjunction with its timing, is probably creating considerable ripples across the globe in Langley, Virginia.last_img read more

ST Marines Former Employee Sentenced

first_imgzoom The former Group Financial Controller and Senior Vice President (Finance) of Singapore-based ST Marine was sentenced to a fine of SGD 300,000, (around USD 217,000) in default 30 weeks’ imprisonment. In relation to the criminal prosecution of former employees of ST Marine, Ong Teck Liam, who held the position from April 2007 to December 2012, pleaded guilty on February 19, 2016 to ten charges under section 477A of the Penal Code.The latest development comes on the back of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau’s (CPIB) probe into certain transactions involving former and current employees of ST Marine, launched in September 2011.In early April 2017, the former President (Commercial Business) of ST Marine, Tan Mong Seng, was sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment for one hundred and one charges under section 477A of the Penal Code.He held the position from January 2000 before leaving in June 2002 as Chief Operating Officer/President (Commercial Business) of ST Marine.last_img read more

Holly RobinsonPeetes Autism Charity Helps Sandy Victims

first_imgSpecial Needs Network is partnering with Los Angeles-based autism organizations The HollyRod Foundation and Wake Up For Autism for a disaster relief drive to help families impacted by autism and related developmental disabilities affected by Hurricane Sandy.“Because our South L.A. families know about the hardships of scarcity,” said SNN President & Founder Areva Martin, Esq., “we know how important it is to come together and help the families on the East Coast during hard times like this.”From now until Thursday, November 15th, they are collecting donations at the SNN headquarters, located at 3530 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 1670 , Los Angeles , CA 90010 . Among items needed the most are: coats, jackets, sweaters, and similar warm clothes, shoes, socks, pajamas, hats, gloves, blankets, sleeping bags, diapers, and other children and baby items. Well wishes included in handwritten notes are also appreciated, as folks who have lost their homes could use a little cheer!“Our thoughts are with everyone who suffered losses as a result of Hurricane Sandy and we hope our donations will aid in their recovery,” said actress and HollyRod Co-Founder Holly Robinson-Peete.In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in Atlantic City , NJ on Monday night with winds up to 90 mph that killed at least 102 people, millions have been left with no power, no gasoline, and no inclination on when their lives may return to normal. While businesses are expected to get power back by Saturday, it could be another week or more for homes in the suburbs and more distant towns along the coast.Estimates currently place the total damage at $20 billion in insured losses and $50 billion in economic losses, making Sandy the 4th costliest U.S. catastrophe, just behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 9/11 attacks, and Hurricane Andrew in 1992.“The need is great and will be ongoing, and we are humbled to be in a position to be able to provide assistance to all those who have been affected by this unprecedented disaster. I’m pleased to be working with my friend Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, who will receive and distribute the items we collect for families”, said Jodi Gomes, Founder of Wake Up For Autism.The Sandy Disaster Relief will go from now until November 15th. Special Needs Network’s office will receive all donations and is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday. They are located at 3530 Wilshire Boulevard, Ste. 1670, Los Angeles , CA 90010. If you have any questions, contact them at (213) 389-7100 or [email protected] For more information on Autism or Special Needs Resources, please also visit www.wakeupforautism.com and www.hollyrod.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

House passes bill allowing governmental entities businesses organizations to stock EpiPens

first_img The House today passed legislation to further protect individuals suffering from dangerous and life-threatening food allergies.Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons’ House Bill 4438 will allow businesses, recreation centers/camps, youth sports leagues, amusement parks and sports arenas to stock auto injector devices to protect patrons who come in contact with allergens that trigger anaphylactic shock. Last term, Rep. Lyons sponsored Public Acts 186 and 187 to require EpiPens be stocked in school buildings across the state.“When it comes to serious allergic reactions, minutes matter and simple treatments can save lives,” said Rep. Lyons, R-Alto.  “Last year, I was proud to work with parents, school nurses and physicians from across the state to place epinephrine in Michigan schools and we’ve already received feedback that an EpiPen played a critical role in saving the life of a student who suffered a reaction while at school.“Expanding the option for any business, organization or venue where there’s a risk of anaphylaxis to stock this simple, lifesaving treatment takes the next step towards saving lives and keeping people, especially children, safe.”The auto injectors are simple devices used to immediately get epinephrine into the allergy victim’s system, slowing down the allergic reaction to give emergency personnel time to treat and save lives.Food allergies have become a serious issue for children and families across the nation. More than 15 million Americans—including 6 million children—suffer from food allergies.A person experiencing anaphylaxis needs to receive an epinephrine injection immediately, as rapid decline and death can occur within 15 to 60 minutes, according to the National Institutes of Health.HB 4438 now goes to the Senate for further consideration. 16Sep House passes bill allowing governmental entities, businesses, organizations to stock EpiPens Categories: Newslast_img read more