Bahrain-based Royal Navy minehunters visit Qatar

first_img View post tag: Royal Navy View post tag: HMS Shoreham View post tag: HMS Brocklesby View post tag: Qatari Navy Photo: Photo: Royal Navy HMS Brocklesby and Shoreham, two of the UK’s Persian Gulf-based minehunters, sailed from Bahrain to Doha to give the Qatari Navy an insight into the Royal Navy’s work in the region.Joint training with the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces was conducted both in their base and then out in the gulf.The Qataris do not possess any minehunters in their fleet of more than 80 patrol craft, but they do possess divers.They plunged into the water with Brocklesby’s dive teams to carry out jetty searches. Brocklesby also welcomed 25 Qatari sailors on board for demonstrations of some of their equipment, such as the Seafox remote-controlled submersible device which finds, helps identify and finally destroys mines.After two days in port, the Brits sailed with two Qatari fast patrol boats for combined maneuvers, culminating in practice boarding operations with Qatari sailors bringing their Hurricane RIB rubber boat up to Brocklesby ready to clamber aboard for an inspection.Lieutenant Commander Paul Irving, Brocklesby’s commanding officer, said he and his crew had thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Qatar – and found it very useful.“My divers particularly enjoyed the opportunity to compare procedures for conducting an underwater search of a jetty with their Qatari counterparts during the force protection exercise which was especially practical,” he added. Share this articlelast_img read more


first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare WE NEED A LARGER TENTGavel Gamut by Jim RedwineWhen I was a child religion was clear to me. Other Christian denominations were okay, but mine was right. Jews and Muslims were not to be harmed, but needed to be saved. Pagans were to be treated paternally and atheists were to be pitied.Today I hear some religious leaders postulate their god is different from another’s god. I suppose if one professes a belief in Rah, Apollo, or Neptune this would make some sense. However, some religious pundits claiming Christianity set their god apart from the god of Jews and Muslims, many of whom think the same way.People of The Book, people who trace their faith back to Abraham who was born in what would be Iraq today, include Jews, Christians and Muslims. There are certainly many differences among these major religions and even differences within each religion. However, a belief that there is only one god is common to all.I have no brief for any faith. However, when People of the Book, that is, people who may believe the Torah or the Bible or the Quran, denigrate other Peoples of the Book, history teaches intolerance or even violence may result.During this Advent Season it might be worthwhile for those whose voices are listened to by vast numbers of believers in The Book, to look back to their common roots. This does not require a profession of faith in doctrines differing from one’s own. It only calls for a recognition of the rights of others to worship, or not, as they see fit.Such would be my Christmas wish.last_img read more

Greener cups

first_imgPackaging company Huhtamaki has launched a range of bio-coated paper cups for hot and cold drinks. The BioWare range is manufactured using materials from sustainably-managed forests and the cup’s cartonboard material has the Forestry Stewardship Council’s chain of custody certificate. The cups can be composted in industrial composting facilities.The entire production chain, from raw material input to production and disposal, has been designed to have a minimal effect on the environment. Huhtamaki is also able to customise its range of cups according to company needs.[]last_img

Valera offers fresh display

first_imgEquipment supplier Valera has launched a new display unit – Vision Counter – which forms part of its Vision range of fully refrigerated modular deli counters.The counter has a large base shelf and three further shelves above for chilled display. It has a wipe-clean stainless steel interior and double-glazed curved front glass, which hinges forward for easy access and cleaning.The counter also features under-shelf lighting and digital displays and electronic controls, as well as automatic defrost and condensate removal features.They are available in 600mm and 950mm models in the standard silver colour or a variety of wood-effect and coloured finishes. A self-service option is also offered.’’’’last_img

Speech: Investment and innovation crucial to modernising railway

first_imgGood afternoon.It’s a pleasure to be here.And a welcome opportunity to speak to you after my recent appointment as Rail Minister.I understand the responsibility that comes along with the job.Responsibility for a service that provides 1.7 billion passenger journeys a year.And for the equally vital rail freight sector that keeps our economy on the move.And I understand the pressures – the pressures that you face too.Of busy commuter trains on an over-stretched infrastructure.Of managing massive maintenance and upgrade projects.Of dealing with industrial action.And through it all, trying to provide a reliable service, day-in, day-out.So I know it’s tough.And I congratulate the industry for keeping things going during the recent spell of cold weather.But I also believe that today, the prospects for the railway are brighter than they have been for generations.However, we face 2 significant challenges.First, we have to deal with the consequences of long-term underinvestment and soaring demand.In the 35 years before privatisation 2 decades ago, passenger numbers fell by a third.But in the 20 years following privatisation, they doubled.Putting a significant burden on some of the most intensively used rail lines in Europe.We’re working hard to reverse decades of rail underinvestment.With the biggest rail programme since the Victorian era.One of the first decisions that the government had to take in 2010 – when the current Chancellor was Transport Secretary – was whether to approve the Civil Service’s recommendation to cancel Crossrail.Because the economy was in crisis, and the new line would require significant funding.We saw it differently.And today, as a result, the first Elizabeth Line test trains are running under the Thames and central London.We’ve rebuilt major stations in Manchester, London, Birmingham, Leeds and Reading.Every Northern and TransPennine Express train in the north of England is being replaced or refurbished.And of course we’re building HS2.Towards the end of last year we published our rail spending commitments for the period from 2019 to 2024.Total spending will be around £48 billion.Billions of pounds from franchise operators is also helping to renew train fleets, upgrade stations and transform services across the country.And that leads me to the second great challenge.Compared with other transport, the pace of innovation in rail is slow.Transport is now the most polluting sector of our economy.And while it is cleaner than other modes, rail cannot rest on its laurels.Rail emissions have increased in absolute terms.So it’s time the rail sector made a stronger commitment to cleaning up its act.Electrification of every last mile is unlikely to be the only or most cost effective way to do this.New bi-modes are a good bridging technology to other low emission futures.And in time, as battery technologies improve we expect to see the diesel engines in bi-modes replaced altogether.That’s why we need to continue developing battery technology for hybrid trains.And work towards the real prize which is to develop and introduce zero-carbon alternative-fuel trains to the network.I look forward with great interest to industry taking forward a hydrogen train trial in the next Control Period.Ushering in a new era in low carbon rail travel.So I have called on the railway to provide a vision for how it will decarbonise.Including the removal of diesel-only trains from the network by 2040.I am pleased that the industry has risen to this challenge by forming a task force to lead its response, and I look forward to my meeting with its Chair next week.Our ambitions must also go beyond the method of traction.I want industry to play its part in addressing the public’s very real concerns about air quality.The research which industry is leading into air quality at and around stations, is a good start.Now I want us to find new and innovative ways to tackle this blight.But innovation is not just about new technologies.We can also innovate by changing the way the railway is managed and run.This is still a fragmented industry.And this fragmentation has been a big factor in preventing the railway from focusing on the passenger.That’s why our Rail Strategy goes further than ever before to get private and public sector working more closely together.To end the operational divide between track and train.And to rebuild the railway around the customer.The railway also needs a much stronger regional focus, with integrated teams in place to sort out problems and manage local services.So the strategy sets out plans to reorganise Network Rail into a series of regional businesses.With greater autonomy and responsibility for local decision making.These are common sense changes.But they represent a radical reorganisation of the way the railway works.Joined up management.Simpler, more accountable structures.Regional teams whose whole focus is on the customer.So, to sum up.Privatisation brought a revolution to our railways, and turned round half a century of decline.Increased funding since 2010 – and well into the future – has turned round decades of underinvestment.Now it’s time for the next transformation.Modernising rail services and delivering HS2.Committing the industry to a carbon-free future.And uniting the railway in a relentless focus on the customer.Thank you.last_img read more

Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies Opens Field Office in Tunisia

first_imgThe Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Harvard University today opened its first overseas office, in Tunisia, home to a tradition of learning and research that extends from Antiquity to the present. The office and the year-round programs run from the location are made possible by the support of Harvard College alumnus Hazem Ben-Gacem ’92.“The Middle East is a part of the world that you’ll never fully understand unless you get your feet on the ground and experience it first-hand,” said William Granara, CMES Director and Professor of Arabic. “Thanks to Hazem’s generosity, Harvard students and scholars have greater resources to pursue in-depth field research and can more substantively engage in language and cultural immersion experiences.”Center for Middle Eastern Studies Winter Session study excursion to Tunisia, January 2016“From the beginning the hope has been to establish an outpost where Harvard faculty and students would come to discover Tunisia—its history, language, culture, art, and people—and integrate this experience into their scholarship and education,” said Ben-Gacem. “I’m very excited by this first step towards a substantial Harvard presence in Tunisia.”Founded in 1954, CMES, through interdisciplinary teaching and research, has produced hundreds of graduates with Middle East and North Africa expertise who have gone on to directly impact students, scholars, and the public both in the United States and around the world. Its Tunisia office will provide students and scholars with a bridge to renowned Tunisian archival facilities, serve as an incubator for analysis of the evolving social, cultural, legal, and political movements in the region, and offer an intellectual hub for scholars of, and from, Tunisia, the Maghreb, the Mediterranean, and the wider Middle East region.“Broadening the contexts in which teaching and learning happen at Harvard is a crucial element of our engagement with the world. We are always seeking opportunities to make the University more intentionally global, and the field office in Tunisia will bring the world to Harvard and Harvard to the world in exciting new ways that will shape important work across fields and disciplines,” said Harvard president Drew Faust.Programs available at the Tunis location for students and faculty from across the University include Harvard Tunisia Scholarships for Harvard graduate and undergraduate research, funding for Harvard faculty sabbatical research, an Arabic language summer program for Harvard graduate and undergraduate students, and a three-week Winter Session course for Harvard students.last_img read more

Randi Griffin ’10 to play for unified women’s hockey team at Olympics

first_imgFormer Harvard women’s hockey player Randi Griffin ’10 will play for the unified Korean women’s ice hockey team at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, according to Harvard Athletics.Griffin is a dual citizen of the United States and South Korea and was a four-year letter winner for the Crimson 2006‒10. In 125 career games, the Apex, N.C., native collected 21 goals and 18 assists for 39 points. During her senior season, Griffin was a finalist for the ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year Award; led the Crimson in power-play goals and tied for 10th in the nation (with seven); ranked fourth on the team with 21 points; and scored a power-play goal in the 2010 NCAA quarterfinals against Cornell. Following the decision to have a unified North and South Korean hockey team, the expectations were that a contingent of North Korean players would join the 23-member South Korean roster. The South Korean national team is currently ranked 22nd in the world by the International Ice Hockey Federation and is coached by Sarah Murray, who played for the University of Minnesota-Duluth from 2006‒2010.The two Koreas will march together in the Olympics opening ceremonies on Friday. The unified women’s ice hockey team will play a preliminary round against Switzerland on Saturday and play Sweden on Sunday. The Pyeongchang Olympics run from Saturday through Feb. 25. Medal or no medal, a golden opportunity Brooms at the ready, Harvard’s curling team thrives on the ice To compete, they let it slide Related Following his father’s example, Donato plans to make most of Olympic experience last_img read more

Farm-fresh Food.

first_imgHave you had one too many tasteless tomatoes? Had it with heads of lettuce that are limp the day after you buy them? There is a way to bring fresh produce to your door.It’s called Community Supported Agriculture.Essentially, shareholders (consumers) pay for food before it’splanted to help offset farmers’ production costs. Then thefarmers provide the shareholders fresh, and most oftenorganically grown, produce all season.Community Supported Agriculture began to take hold in the United States in the 1980s. Now there are more than 1,000 CSA farms across the county.”The CSA concept has a greater likelihood for success in an urban area because of the population,” said Mark Risse, an agricultural engineer with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “But it’s not a necessity.”In Georgia, CSAs are close to major cities.”A CSA in northern Florida grows for the local school district in a semirural area,” Risse said. “Anywhere will work as long asthere is a population base with a demand for locally grownproduce.”Atlanta now has two seasonal organic farmers’ markets and abooming direct restaurant supply business.”Many of the chefs in quality restaurants demand high-quality,fresh produce,” Risse said. “And these farmers contract to supplyit.”To tap into the growing demand for fresh food alternatives, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Network put together a list of CSA farms nationwide. The list has names and contact information for 450 CSA farms in almost every state.”Given the growing interest in eating nutritious fresh food, we wanted to provide an easy source of information about CSA,” said Jill Auburn, director of USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, which funds SAN.Georgia CSAs on the list are Gaia Gardens in Decatur and theUnion Agricultural Institute in Blairsville.”CSA provides a great way for the producers and consumers of our food to gain all sorts of benefits, from fair wages to fresh food to on-farm learning experiences, because they live near eachother,” Auburn said.The CSA concept tends to unite people to support a farm. The farm truly becomes a community enterprise. The grower and membersshare both the risks and the benefits of food production.Getting and keeping shareholders is one of the toughest hurdles a CSA faces.”There is a lot of work in developing the CSA and then inmaintaining the market once it’s created,” Risse said. “Once thisis done, usually demand will exceed the CSA’s ability to supply,as is happening in Atlanta. Organizations like Georgia Organicscan help in setting up a CSA or co-op.”So can the Georgia Extension Service. “The SustainableAgriculture Research and Education program, housed on the UGAGriffin campus, has producer grants that could help establishCSAs,” Risse said. Get more information, CSA farmers use organic or sustainable farming methods and strive to provide fresh, high-quality foods. Most CSA farms offer diverse vegetables, fruits and herbs in season. Someprovide a full array of farm products, including eggs, meat,milk, baked goods, honey and even firewood. Many CSA farmersenjoy the chance to teach others about the challenges of growinggood food.To see the complete CSA list, visit the web site There you can search for CSAs bystate.Get a list of CSA farms in any state, too, by writing toCSA/CSREES, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Stop 2207, Washington, DC20250-2207. Organizations can request a free copy of the printedCSA directory at the same address.last_img read more

Are unbanked Millennials that way by choice?

first_img 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Not all unbanked Americans are in that state due to poverty, a new study finds. Some are unbanked by choice.A survey analysis performed for Packaged Facts finds that there is a general trend away from having checking and savings accounts at traditional banking institutions, especially among members of the millennial generation.This is a choice many younger people are making, since many deem traditional banking services to be unnecessary – or at least things one might only occasionally use.Packaged Facts points out that these findings challenge the traditional notion of the unbanked American as someone who is “shut out” of the system due to poverty, or a lack of access. Clearly, an increasing number of Americans are unbanked by choice.It also counters the traditional banking argument that checking and savings accounts are the foundation for lasting customer relationships. continue reading »last_img read more

Is anybody out there?

first_imgIt may be a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true: It is lonely at the top. A sense of isolation isn’t just an issue for newly ascendant CEOs whose relationships with their pre-promotion peers have changed. Longtime executives without a network of supportive colleagues or unable to stay connected to those they are tasked with leading face this challenge as well.An advancement that puts someone in charge of his or her former “equals” can spark an array of interpersonal challenges, says Susanne Biro, master coach and co-founder of Syntrina Leadership LLC, Indianapolis, a boutique leadership development firm specializing in working with senior-level leaders and their teams. Perhaps a former peer (or even several) coveted the position, Biro posits, causing resentment, disappointment and jealously towards the one chosen—emotions that can undermine support for the new leader. Or they might have wanted another person to receive the promotion, resulting in the same problematic attitudes. Trying to keep things as they were before the promotion can also cause problems.“Leaders and peers might try to remain friends and fail to recognize the need for a new relationship with new boundaries of what can be discussed, with whom, how and when,” Biro explains. “This can be extremely subtle, but the results can be large.”The speed at which a promotion happens can also contribute to interpersonal issues, says Deedee Myers, Ph.D., CEO of CUESolutions provider DDJ Myers Ltd., a Phoenix-based firm providing executive search/recruitment, strategic organization and leadership consulting services. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more