Weapons Destruction Progresses in Central America

first_img GUATEMALA CITY – The Organization of American States’ (OAS) mobile system to destroy weapons and ammunition is eradicating arsenals no longer being used by law enforcement and military personnel throughout Central America. “The idea is to destroy the explosives and weapons that could constitute a danger to the commandos and the surrounding population,” said Col. Rony Urízar, spokesman for the Guatemalan army. “These explosives are literally a ticking bomb where they are stored.” Carmen Rosa de León Escribano, the director of the Training Institute for Sustainable Development (IEPADES), a Guatemala-based organization that promotes the danger of firearms in the hands of civilians, applauds the OAS’ initiative. “It is a joint OAS and Ministry of Defense process to destroy conventional weapons that should be carried out more frequently to keep them from deviating to the black market and into the hands of organized crime,” she said. “[But a] system of arsenal management must be implemented to centralize the management of the weapons deposits at one entity.” The Guatemalan government has dealt with an influx in heavy weapons as the result of an increase in narcotics trafficking. Cartels have turned the nation into a hub in the narcotics trade, which has led to gunfights between rival gangs and between cartel members and law enforcement agents, according to police. Guatemala is one of Latin America’s most violent countries, with an average of 18 killings daily, according to police statistics. The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation reported Guatemala is home to about 10,000 gang members, who are involved in weapons and narcotics trafficking. Since the beginning of last year, about 400 tons of no longer used or damaged ammunition and grenades have been destroyed by the Guatemalan military, according to the OAS. Grenades and bullets are destroyed in a “poporopera,” a machine created by the OAS and Guatemala’s Department of War Materiel of the Ministry of Defense. “[The machine] heats up the ammunition until the gunpowder that impels the bullets explodes,” Urízar said. By Dialogo February 10, 2011 But the OAS and the Ministry of Defense destroy guns by placing them in a chopping machine. The goal is to take the machines on a tour of Central America, so officials throughout the region can destroy their unused arsenals and weapons seized from criminals, especially those belonging to narcotics and weapons traffickers. Why destroy them? In 2005, there was an explosion at a weapons warehouse in the Mariscal Zavala Military Zone located north of Guatemala City. No one was killed during the blast, but the explosion cast doubt on whether the army was storing its weapons safely. Officials also are concerned the unused weapons are being stolen so they can be sold on the black market, where the guns can be purchased by criminals, which is what happened in 2007. At least five hundred guns and 1,000 grenades had been stolen from a depository at one of the largest army bases in the country. The guns were later used during a firefight between narcotics traffickers in the northern city of Cobán, police said. Two years after the robbery, Congress approved the Law of Weapons and Ammunition, which allows someone found guilty of possessing an unregistered weapon without a license to be sentenced to up to five years in prison. “Under this law, we have seized weapons of war such as the AK-47, AR-15 or M-16, several grenades and even mortars,” said Donald González, director of Guatemala’s National Civil Police (PNC) Communications Department. De León Escribano said the country needs tougher laws. “The problem is that the law is too permissive, because DIGECAM can authorize several licenses for the same person and this person can have as many weapons as licenses held,” De León Escribano said. The PNC estimates nine out of 10 violent deaths in the country are gun-related. Officials estimate there are at least 15 million firearms in the country, most of which are illegal. PNC officials said about 150,000 rounds of ammunition are imported daily in a country that does not have any laws regulating the sale of bullets.last_img read more

To hire or to outsource – a compliance consideration

first_imgI’ve had some great conversations with credit unions this week regarding their consideration to hire knowledgeable compliance staff, or to outsource many compliance functions to third party experts. Either option could be an appropriate choice depending upon the credit union.In pre-internet days, it was more practical for a credit union to hire or train a staff member to ensure compliance requirements were being met. This was partially due to the physical presence of the individual at the credit union, and partly because the compliance burden wasn’t so significant. These days the location of the individual is not nearly as critical, however many credit unions prefer the comfort which goes along with having this knowledge on staff. It’s easy to walk down to Bob’s office to run a compliance question past him. And, it’s easy for Sally to grab a file from the filing cabinet to review disclosures. For less complex credit unions, with adequate means, this may be a great option. After all, nobody knows the credit union’s goals and operations better than its own employees, right?Unfortunately, as regulatory compliance rules expand, and additional regulators get into the mix, it is hard for one individual to be an expert on all compliance matters. This means that the credit union may not be paying the salary, benefits and other costs for only one employee, but perhaps a group of employees. And that is if knowledgeable individuals are available for hire. If these individuals are not available, the credit union will need to ensure that sufficient training is provided to existing staff regarding the intricacies of rules and regulations. Additionally, those who possess or obtain compliance knowledge are sometimes difficult to retain. Compliance expertise is in high demand these days and those that have it are subject to a never-ending barrage of calls from head-hunters trying to steal them away. If one of these individuals is plucked from the credit union, it is back to square one. continue reading » 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

No two members are the same: Member lifetime value, accurate predictions, and the importance of data

first_imgYour members are your local doctors and school teachers. They are the businesswoman walking down the side walk and the guy up the street stepping off his motorcycle. They are the husband and wife on the driving range and the high school student operating the ball collector that the couple is aiming at. As a credit union, your members are a smorgasbord of individuals, each of whom consists of a unique combination of demographic, psychographic, financial, and lifestyle attributes. It is this distinct combination that paints the picture of a real human, a member of your Credit Union with real emotions, behaviors, and tendencies. Simply put, no two members are the same!The backbone of the Credit Union world and the differentiator from the “banking competitor” is the member-first mentality. Members first, profits second. It is this slogan that the entire industry was built on and is what appeals to over 100 million Americans today. But what if the two variables, members and profits, could go hand-in-hand? What if a better member experience could in turn be more cost-efficient? What if understanding, and appreciating, member differences could increase loyalty and revenue? Guess what – it can and it does.Member Lifetime Value (MLV) is the best of the two worlds. It is a recognition that no two individuals are created equal and that gaining a thorough understanding of the variations among your members allows each Credit Union to gauge how much to properly invest in each one; bettering experiences and more efficiently allocating time, money, and resources. By definition, it is “the prediction of net profits attributed to the entire future relationship with an individual member”. In practice, it is an understanding of how to, and when to, properly interact with the human.New digital technologies allow Credit Unions to approach members with accuracy and precision. But knowing how to advertise a HELOC on Instagram or emailing out a “1.99% APR auto loan” deal is much different than knowing who to target, when to hit them, and with what specific offer(s) they would be most interested in at that given time. This difference is exactly how member experience and profitability go hand-in-hand. By focusing on the member need and timing rather than the immediate channel results, you, as a Credit Union, have a higher chance of getting individuals to invest in a loan, stay a member longer, and generate more referrals. In fact, returns can include 2x lead conversion rate, 4x campaign engagement rate, 1/3 total spend, and 5x lead generated volume.Here’s the catch: your MLV game plan is only as good as the accuracy of your predictions. You may think Jane Doe needs mortgage refinancing and John Smith looks like he could be in the market for a new car, but a Credit Union’s ROI is directly correlated with the accuracy of their game plan. Whether prospecting, cross and up-selling, or campaigning to avoid member churn, MLV and member-experience-profit-generating game plans stem (or at least should) from predictions. Predictions can be theoretical and “hunch”-based (in this case my fingers are crossed for you) or data-driven and model generated. As the sophisticated organizations are investing in, predictive modeling, built upon massive amounts of data create the most accurate and efficient action. It’s not rocket science… it’s data science!Time to bring it all full circle. As mentioned above, your members are real humans with real emotions, behaviors, and tendencies. They are a unique combination of demographic, psychographic, financial, and lifestyle attributes. Investing in data associated with these attributes allows for a better understanding of your members, both individually and collectively. A better (data-focused) understanding of the member can generate more accurate predictions and models which creates customized MLV game plans. Projects and campaigns that are accurately timed, appropriately communicated, and tailored to the individual lead to better member experiences and increased profitability. All of this can happen because no two members are the same, so don’t market to them as if they are. 55SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Riley Dickie Riley Dickie is in charge of business development at Faraday. Faraday is a Member Intelligence Company helping Credit Unions tackle revenue challenges by applying machine learning and predictive modeling, two … Web: www.faraday.io Detailslast_img read more

Weary ballot counters continue four days after vote as the nation waits for results.

first_imgPhil Armstrong, the county executive in Lehigh County, said the workers were exhausted, in an interview with The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa.“I don’t know how anyone could have done this process both quickly and carefully,” Mr. Armstrong told the newspaper. “It’s just a very tedious process.” In West Chester, Pa., election workers unseal ballots under fluorescent lights, and feed them by hand into high-speed scanners, in video seen on KYW-TV in Philadelphia.They were given the weekend off and will continue counting ballots inside a university gym on Monday morning.At the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, a livestream showed ballot counters in yellow and orange reflective jackets, sitting at opposite ends of tables tabulating ballots throughout the week. Perhaps no one wants the election to end more than the vote counters themselves.With tens of thousands of ballots still to be counted and the world waiting for a final result, counters in several key states, wearing masks and gloves, were set to continue to tally votes into next week, risking their own safety as coronavirus cases in the United States hit record highs.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Cooperation between HAC, ARZ and Bina-Istra: ENC device can be used throughout Croatia

first_imgAccording to the plan, the new toll collection system should be implemented from 2022. Drivers will be able to choose whether to have a transponder (DSRC) in the car that will register their entry and exit from the highway with wireless technology or to pay the toll with the registration reading system (ALPR), which is primarily intended for foreigners, so they do not have to buy transponders arrival in Croatia.  By the way, this year HAC and ARZ merged, which led to the abolition of tolls on the Krk bridge. It is a continuation of the restructuring of the road sector, and toll booths are expected to go down in history soon, through the introduction of a new toll collection system. There are currently two new toll collection systems which will be based on a combination of billing via an enhanced version of the ENC (DSRC) and an automatic license plate reading system (ALPR). / / / New toll collection system: Electronic system DSRC and ALPR is introduced News that has passed under our radar, so it has been since August 17, 2020, except on motorways operated by ARZ and HAC, ENC users can also use them on the Istrian Y operated by BINA-ISTRA dd (includes sections Umag – Pula and Kanfanar – Matulji) without any additional registration. It is a modern electronic toll collection system with free passage of vehicles, which should completely eliminate the current crowds at toll booths, especially during the tourist season.  From 2022, toll booths and ENC devices will be abolished Finally. Thanks to the cooperation of HAC, ARZ and Bina Istra, it is now possible to get from Zagreb to Pula without stopping with one ENC. last_img read more

Lam charged with misconduct

first_img Press Association It follows comments made by Lam to the media immediately after Connacht’s 18-17 PRO12 defeat to Cardiff Blues last Friday. Connacht were leading deep into stoppage time, but then conceded a converted try. In a statement, PRO12 organisers said: “Pat Lam, the Connacht head coach, has been formally charged with misconduct by the disciplinary officer of PRO12 Rugby following comments he made to the media following the Guinness PRO12 match against Cardiff Blues in Cardiff on Friday evening, March 6. “Pat Lam will be required to attend a disciplinary hearing, before an independent PRO12 Rugby disciplinary committee, at a date yet to be determined.” center_img Connacht head coach Pat Lam has been charged with misconduct by the Guinness PRO12 disciplinary officer. last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgUpdate on the latest sports March 1, 2020 Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNBA-BUCKS-HORNETSAntetokounmpo’s 41 points lift Bucks past Hornets 93-85CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) had 41 points, 20 rebounds and six assists as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Charlotte Hornets 93-85 for their sixth straight win. Brook Lopez added 16 points and seven rebounds for the Bucks, who’ve won 20 of their last 22 games and improved to a league-best 52-8 on the season. The Bucks led by two entering the fourth quarter. Charlotte hung tough until the final two minutes, when Antetokounmpo took over.Devonte Graham had 17 points and Willy Hernangomez added 10 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Hornets.NHL-FLYERS-RANGERSFlyers extend win streak to 6 with 5-3 win over RangersNEW YORK (AP) — Carter Hart made 23 saves and the surging Philadelphia Flyers extended their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers. White was every bit as good at skateboarding as snowboarding back in the day. He thought he might try to become one of the rare athletes to compete in both the Winter and Summer Games. But after finishing 13th at the world championships last year, he decided he didn’t want to take away from his snowboarding career to pursue a spot in skateboarding. He says it’s still possible he’ll go for a fourth Winter gold medal two years from now in Beijing. HORSE RACING-SANTA ANITA-FATALITIES9th horse dies at Santa Anita after being hurt in turf raceARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — A ninth horse has died at Santa Anita since late December after being injured in a turf race.Chosen Vessel broke his left front ankle in the $59,000 race on Saturday. He was pulled up by jockey Edwin Maldonado as he approached the far turn in the 1 1/8-mile race. Rasheem Dunn had 19 points, 10 assists and six rebounds for the Red Storm, who stopped a three-game skid. One of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country, St. John’s went a season-best 14 of 22 from long range in its biggest victory under first-year coach Mike Anderson.Damien Jefferson equaled a career best with 20 points for the Bluejays, who had won five straight and nine of 10.In other top-25 action Sunday:— Marcus Sasser scored 21 points, Nate Hinton had 16 and No. 25 Houston beat Cincinnati 68-55. Sasser shot 8 of 16, including 5 of 12 on 3-pointers. Caleb Mills added 15 points for Houston, which shot 36%. The Cougars moved back into a tie atop the American Athletic Conference with Tulsa, one game ahead of Cincinnati. Tre Scott had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Jarron Cumberland added 11 points for the Bearcats. Cincinnati shot 35% but made just 6 of 25 in the second half.MLB-NEWScenter_img The 5-year-old gelding trained by Craig Dollase was taken to the track’s equine hospital for diagnostics and X-rays. According to an incident report from the track, the tests revealed it was an unrecoverable injury and the attending veterinarian recommended the horse be euthanized.It was the fourth fatality on the track’s turf course and ninth overall since the training and racing season began on Dec. 26. There have been no deaths in races on the main dirt track since the season began. Two deaths have occurred on the dirt during training hours and another three on the training track. Yankees’ Judge to have more tests on shoulderUNDATED — New York Yankees star Aaron Judge is scheduled to have additional tests Monday as the team tries to pinpoint the cause of right shoulder soreness.Judge underwent an MRI on Saturday, which was negative.The right fielder was shut down from hitting a week before spring training after experiencing soreness while swinging. Judge is having discomfort under the right pectoral muscle near the shoulder.In other MLB news: She could also become the first Italian overall winner in the 53-year-history of the women’s World Cup. Brignone is 153 points ahead of three-time overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin, who remains on a break from racing following the death of her father, Jeff Shiffrin, four weeks ago. Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, who is leading the slalom and the parallel standings, is third in the overall ranking, trailing Brignone by 189 points.SHAUN WHITE-NO SKATEBOARDINGShaun White says he’ll skip skateboard, stick to snowVAIL, Colo. (AP) — If the world sees Shaun White at the Olympics again, it will be in 2022, not later this year.The three-time snowboarding champ tells The Associated Press he is taking skateboarding off his plate. He won’t try to qualify for the sport’s Olympic debut, which will take place later this year in Tokyo. Matt Niskanen, Sean Couturier (koo-TOOR’-ee-ay) and Travis Konecny each scored power-play goals. Michael Raffl scored short-handed and Derek Grant also tallied for the Flyers, who swept a home-and-home series against the Rangers after also winning 5-2 on Friday night.The Flyers’ run combined with the Penguins’ six-game slide has moved Philadelphia into second place in the Metropolitan Division.T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULESt. John’s hits 14 3s to stop No. 10 Creighton, 91-71UNDATED (AP) — Greg Williams Jr. made seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 21 points as St. John’s slowed down No. 10 Creighton with a surprising 91-71 rout. — Boston Red Sox lefty Chris Sale is back on the mound and pitching to hitters for the first time since last August. Sale faced a couple of minor leaguers in a batting practice session Sunday at spring training. The seven-time All-Star had his season cut short last year because of elbow trouble. His progression has been delayed this spring because he reported to camp with pneumonia. Sale will start this season on the injured list, but the Red Sox hope he won’t miss more than about two weeks.WORLD CUP-WOMEN’S COMBINEDBrignone wins combined title as World Cup finish is in doubtLA THUILE, Italy (AP) — Federica Brignone (feh-deh-REE’-kah breen-YOH’-nay) won the Alpine combined World Cup title on Sunday without clicking into her skis. And the Italian might end up winning the overall and giant slalom globes as well without any further racing this season.Heavy snowfall caused the cancellation of the Alpine combined race on Sunday. That handed the season title to Brignone, who won both combined races that took place this season.last_img read more

Grade Syracuse’s performance against Duke and vote for the player of the game

first_img Published on January 18, 2016 at 8:57 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder textcenter_img Grade Syracuse’s performance against No. 20 DukeABCDFVoteView ResultsCrowdsignal.comGrade Syracuse's performance against No. 20 Dukelast_img

Unemployment insurance fraud on the rise

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, MICH — Unemployment Insurance task force is collaborating with state and federal agencies to investigate and prosecute nationwide unemployment fraud.Since March 15, the Unemployment Insurance Agency has received more than 50,000 reports of unemployment fraud and identity theft.Criminals are using previously stolen or false personal information from data breaches involving Equifax and others.According to Attorney General, Dana Nessel, this unprecedented public health crisis has created an opportunity ripe for abuse by people exploiting the system.The UIA has since developed further fraud protections including additional identification verification.UIA Director, Steve Gray, said their focus remains on doing everything they can to quickly validate authentic claims.If you feel you are a victim of identity theft, visit Michigan.gov/UIA and go to the identity theft link.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Insights Preview: Alpena County Airport Manager discusses plans for CARES Act fundingNext Blue Cross Blue Shield extends benefits for memberslast_img read more

Governor declares Saturday ‘Carson King Day’ in Iowa

first_imgDES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds has declared this Saturday “Carson King Day” in honor of the former ISU student who’s now aiming to raise $2 million for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital by this weekend.“It takes all of us making a difference and we’ve had one individual that has made a big difference in a short amount of time,” Reynolds said Wednesday afternoon during a ceremony in her statehouse office.King, who is 24 years old, held up a humorous sign seeking beer money during ESPN’s “College Game Day” broadcast before this year’s Iowa-Iowa State game in Ames. Donations poured into his Venmo account and King soon announced he’d donate the money to the Children’s Hospital in Iowa City.“Individuals like Carson King demonstrates how ‘Iowa Nice’ isn’t just a slogan, but our way of life,” Reynolds said.King was invited to attend the event and he watched as the governor signed the proclamation in his honor. His impromptu fundraiser ends this weekend. King and his family have been given tickets to Saturday’s game in Iowa City, so he can witness the crowd do “The Wave” to children in the hospital that overlooks the stadium.“Carson King can showcase who we are as a people, not only by selflessly donating to a worthy cause, but spreading the message of generosity,” Reynolds said.Reynolds praised King for being a “force for change.”“The Carson King story embodies a young man’s ability to help a cause greater than himself and can serve as a model for others to follow,” Reynolds said, as she read the proclamation. “And whereas Carson has shown that one person can make a difference and one person can make a positive change, even through the unlikeliest ways.”King shows the governor the total money raised.The crowd gathered around the governor’s desk included King and his family, as well as a group there to see the governor recognize September as “Childhood Cancer Awareness” month.“Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children,” Reynolds said. “…There are approximately 40,000 children on active treatment at any given time.”The governor got her own phone out to take a selfie with King. And King showed the governor his fund raising tally was near the $1.5 million mark.last_img read more