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26
Jan
2021

Senior cadets to join ranks

first_imgWhen the 2013 class of Army ROTC cadets graduates next month, a group that has followed a similar path at Notre Dame will disperse to all corners of the country to begin serving in the United States Army. Senior Michael Dompierre will head to Ft. Huachuca, Arizona in early June to begin officer intelligence training and will then proceed to his first assignment with the 4thInfantry Division, 1st Brigade based at Ft. Carson, Colorado. Dompierre said knew he wanted to join the Army ROTC when he was a high school student and joined as a freshman. “When I received the scholarship, I decided it was a no-brainer,” he said. “The Army would pay for school, and I would have the chance to serve the Nation afterwards, which is something I had always wanted to do – especially after 9/11.” Dompierre said he was surprised by the amount of leadership skills he developed after four years as a University cadet. “Looking back on who I was freshman year, it seems hard to imagine that I am the same person today as I was then. Our program excels at taking intelligent followers as freshman and turning them into even more intelligent and capable leaders by senior year,” Dompierre said. He said he is grateful to the ROTC program for preparing him as a cadet and as well as an adult. “Throughout my time in Army ROTC, I have been pushed and trained to successfully exert my influence as a leader and to get outside of my comfort zone,” Dompierre said. “I feel prepared, as the academic year comes to a close and my time at Notre Dame ends, to become an Army Officer and lead soldiers for the purpose of accomplishing our mission, whatever the American people determine that to be.” Seniors Arthur Kostendt and Abigail Nichols followed a slightly different path than most cadets. Kostendt and Nichols were not involved in the program their freshmen and sophomore years but instead attended a Leader’s Training Course (LTC) in Fort Knox, Kentucky, the summer between their sophomore and junior years. This qualified them for enrolment in the Army ROTC Advanced Course, allowing them to commission with the 4-year cadets. Kostendt said he decided to commission after graduation during the summer of his sophomore year; the University’s LTC program allowed him the opportunity to join the program. “For me, joining Army ROTC was a perfect storm of circumstances. Although my older brother has been involved with the Marine Corps for almost 8 years, military service was not really on my radar until sophomore year,” Kostendt said. “I received a mass-blast email from the Army ROTC unit, advertising the LTC. It seemed like a great way to entertain my new aspirations, while getting some money for college at the same time.” Kostendt said he was apprehensive about adjusting to a junior class of cadets that already had two years to bond, but he said he found that life as a cadet at Notre Dame was far less stressful than he anticipated. “Both ROTC cadre and my fellow cadets made a great effort to ensure that I was up to speed,” he said. “The army has high standards, and our battalion is composed of very high quality individuals, which made adjustment a breeze.” Kostendt said pride keeps him moving forward toward becoming an Armor Officer in the Ohio National Guard. “I experience a real sense of honor, camaraderie, and fulfillment when wearing the uniform, which isn’t something I totally bought into before joining, and it’s not something I expected to motivate me once I was in,” Kostendt said. “Though adventure and scholarship money were powerful enticements to join, pride has been a tremendous reward.” Nichols said she also decided to join the Army ROTC after attending the LTC program in the summer before her junior year. “It took a little while to adjust to a military state of mind, but after a while I developed a more intuitive sense of the army’s very particular culture which promotes hard work and creativity, but is also extremely structured,” she said. Nichols said the time commitment has been the most demanding aspect of being a cadet. “What took me most by surprise was the amount of involvement ROTC requires. It is not just a twice a week activity, but has rather evolved into a full time job, like it will be after we graduate,” Nichols said. Nichols will attend the Basic Officers Course for Military Intelligence this summer until she goes to her first duty post with the 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade in Fort Lewis, Wash. in October.last_img read more

30
Dec
2020

Packing Heat

first_imgGuns will be allowed in our national parks starting Monday, February 22 (George Washington’s birthday). The controversial law, which was first introduced by the Bush administration, was slipped into a massive credit cards bill in 2009 and signed by Obama. The law allows citizens to carry concealed weapons as well as hunting rifles and shotguns in all our national parks. A few states are trying to pass bills that would block the law in their park units, but none of those states sit below the Mason Dixon.Hunting is still illegal in most national parks and the majority of park visitors won’t notice a difference after the law goes into effect on Monday. But I can’t help but think of the hunter that poached an elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a few months ago. He was driving through the park, had a rifle, saw an elk, and obviously was not evolved enough to control himself. So he shot the elk. It was simply a matter of opportunity and means. Beginning February 22, more Elmer Fudds will find themselves in similar situations, faced with the opportunity to kill something, and now, the means to do it.last_img read more

30
Dec
2020

The Parkway Explorers Guide to Meadows of Dan

first_imgJust past the main hub of the village is Nancy’s Candy Company; a giant candy factory! Nancy’s sells primarily wholesale around the world, but visitors to the factory don’t have to buy in wholesale to leave with Nancy’s sugary goodness (unless you just want to!). The retail storefront has every kind of candy you can imagine for purchase. Nancy’s started out primarily making fudge, which has remained their specialty to this day. Alongside their famous fudge sits a variety of truffles and other chocolate-covered treats behind the counter. Around the sales floor are classic candies to take you back, novelty chocolates (like chocolate soap or Virginia-shaped chocolate bars), bagged snacks like cajun snack mix, a wall of Jelly Belly jelly beans and so much more. Along the back wall of the store are large windows where visitors can watch the candy being made in the factory on the weekdays. Be sure to take a selfie at their LOVE sign and tag #loveVA before you leave! Primland Resort Drive along the parkway North of the Meadows of Dan Village and you will find the Rocky Knob Recreation Area. This expansive section of the Parkway is shared with the neighboring county of Floyd. Here there are three trails ranging from easy to difficult. The most challenging is the Rock Castle Gorge National Recreation Trail, a 10.4 mile loop offering intense elevations, meadow strolls, steep descents, historical hideaways, abundant wildlife and even a waterfall. The second is the Black Ridge Tail, a moderate 3 mile loop with its own historical ruins and creeks. The third is The Rocky Knob Trail, an easy 2.3 mile out and back trail with a shelter at the top offering a stunning view. The Rocky Knob Visitors Center is open Friday through MOnday from 10 AM until 5 PM for area information and assistance. Stay for a picnic and you may even spot the family of deer that are often seen grazing in the field near the picnic shelter most evenings! Pitch your tent or park your camper at the Rocky Knob Campground. Reservations are not necessary but are always helpful. www.recreation.gov or (877) 444-6777. Rocky Knob Recreation Area Wine lovers will enjoy the two neighboring wineries in this section of the Parkway. Villa Appalaccia (which sits next to the famous festival grounds of Floydfest) is a charming, Italian-inspired winery. Those with a taste for drier, European-styled wines will find themselves at home in the Villa’s open aired tasting room. Villa Appalaccia offers music on Saturday afternoons in the summer. Just down the road is the well known Chateau Morrisette Winery & Restaurant. The largest producing winery in Virginia, Chateau Morrisette offers guests an expansive tasting room & gift shop, tours, live outdoor music and a French-inspired restaurant. Both wineries are very dog friendly! Chateau Morrisette has three wines named after dogs in honor of the late David Morisettee’s own beloved canine companion. Both locations have lawn space for picnics and Chateau Morrisette Restaurant offers picnic style order to go!   Historic Grist Mills The Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles through the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. To its millions of travelers annually, this mountaintop roadway is known for its scenic beauty, historic attractions and abundant outdoor recreation. Riding on the Parkway can give you that much needed getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life. You can drive for hours without seeing much civilization. At milepost 177.7 you will see one of the rarest views on your ride: a town. Refuel your car, your stomach and your soul in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. Off the Parkway, down the road from the village is Cockram Mill. This 130-year-old grist mill sits on the banks of the Dan River. Visitors can tour the inside of the mill and eat at the accompanying restaurant attached which offers an outdoor patio overlooking the river and the water wheel. The site of the mill was once the docking point for the Dan River Queen, a popular passenger paddle boat tour. The river has since become too small to allow for boats.  Nancy’s Candy Co. Wineries on the Parkway Pull off at one of Patrick County’s greatest treasures, Lover’s Leap Scenic Overlook, located south of the Village on Route 58. The view from this spot is beautiful in any season, but Autumn is truly breathtaking. Legend has it that two Native Americans from separate tribes fell in love, and after their tribes forbade them from being together they tragically ended their lives, jumping together from the cliffs at this very spot. Enjoy a second overlook at neighboring Fred Clifton Park a well as picnic tables and trails, but remember, don’t feed the bears!center_img Just past the Parkway entrance is the quaint hub of the Meadows of Dan Village. Here you will find your road trip essentials like gas, food at Jane’s Country Cafe and unique shopping opportunities. Stop in the Blue Ridge Visitors Center for area information and maps. In Christmas in the Meadows, everyday is Christmas! Get your tree ornaments and holiday decor in this year-round mountain Christmas store. Poppy’swill warm your heart with locally hand-spun yarn, books, quality gifts, and alpaca-themed items. Miles off of route 58 is one of the Parkways greatest hidden treasures, Primland Resort. This five-star luxury mountain resort is best known for it’s award-winning golf course, the Highland Course. Primland offers much to do, many ways to relax, and various accommodation options for travelers. Participate in guided outdoor adventures like ATV rides, hikes, hunting and more. Dine at one of their three styled restaurants. Rejuvenate yourself at their Native-American themed spa. Gaze at the stars in Primland’s very own observatory with nightly shows by their in-house astronomer. Love it so much you want to stay? Book a room or suite in the lodge, a private guest house, or even a luxury tree house with stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Primland is great for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. Children’s activities are constantly being planned to keep the kids entertained while the parents relax.  The historic Mabry Mill is the most photographed spot on the Parkway. You will find this exact mill pictured on postcards, framed prints and used on various “homestyle” product packaging and marketing across the world. This grist mill is over one hundred years old and is open to the public! In the Summer and early Fall Thursday through Sunday 10AM – 5PM, travelers can go inside the mill and learn how it operates with the help of an educational interpreter. See the newly renovated flume and watch the giant wheel turn with the water. There are also live demonstrations of blacksmiths, basket weavers and more. Listen to live traditional music on Sundays as well. After your tour, grab a seat at the restaurant just next door and purchase souvenirs from the gift shop.  Lovers Leap Scenic Overlook Poor Farmers Market has a classic country store feel. Inside you will find souvenirs to satisfy every travelers tastes, freshly prepared sandwiches and snacks, hand scooped ice cream, glass bottle sodas, local honeys, jams, etc. as well as a few oddities here and there. Outside there are fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, potted plants, handmade wooden patio furniture, and much more.  Concord Corner Store sits at the edge of the village. This store sells high quality artisan crafts from the surrounding area. Bring home something beautiful and special from your travels like beautiful quilts, jewelry, woodworks, glasswear, local beers and wines, and so much more.  The Village From rugged mountain trails to deliciously sweet fudge to luxurious pampering, Meadows of Dan can provide the perfect pause in your travels on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Go to VisitPatrickCounty.org to learn more about accommodations, other attractions, and events in Patrick County, VA. last_img read more

20
Dec
2020

Colombian Government Launches Major Military Operation

first_imgAnd on August 19, 2014, Troops with the Army’s Presidential Guard Battalion and the Judicial Police arrested an alleged high-ranking leader of Clan Úsuga in Bosa, south of Bogotá. The apprehension followed an intelligence operation that extended over several months and was conducted by the Army with the cooperation of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Attorney General’s Office. Allegedly, the suspect was in charge of a criminal network comprised of at least 14 Clan Úsuga operatives suspected of collecting ransom and extortion payments and committing assassinations in eastern Colombia. Yikes, bunch of cool guys these men I hope they hit those scruffy s.o.b.s hard. Long live my dear Colombian army brothers “From [Antioquia], Clan Úsuga brokers drug deals and transports drugs into Central America through Panama,” Minister Pinzón said. “It’s no secret that there are large quantities of narcotics here.” The task force, which will also combat extortion, smuggling, and illegal mining, will be based in the municipalities where Clan Úsuga maintains a major presence: Turbo, Chigorodó, and Urabá in Antioquia. Colombian security forces have been highly successful in their fight against Clan Úsuga in recent months. The initiative, known as Operation ‘ Toma Masiva del Urabá’, will be carried out by the Neptuno Task Force, which combines 12 existing task forces and includes members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and National Police. Rear Admiral Ricardo Hurtado Chacón will oversee the task force, while Major General Ricardo Alberto Restrepo Londoño, the head of the Colombian National Police’s Counter-Narcotics Division, will lead the operation. On January 18 in the municipality of Darién in Valle del Cauca Department, the Army captured a suspect who allegedly coordinated drug deals between Clan Úsuga and the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, two Mexican transnational criminal organizations. His extradition has been requested by the United States, where he is wanted on narcotrafficking charges. The initiative, known as Operation ‘ Toma Masiva del Urabá’, will be carried out by the Neptuno Task Force, which combines 12 existing task forces and includes members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and National Police. Rear Admiral Ricardo Hurtado Chacón will oversee the task force, while Major General Ricardo Alberto Restrepo Londoño, the head of the Colombian National Police’s Counter-Narcotics Division, will lead the operation. On January 18 in the municipality of Darién in Valle del Cauca Department, the Army captured a suspect who allegedly coordinated drug deals between Clan Úsuga and the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, two Mexican transnational criminal organizations. His extradition has been requested by the United States, where he is wanted on narcotrafficking charges. The task force, which will also combat extortion, smuggling, and illegal mining, will be based in the municipalities where Clan Úsuga maintains a major presence: Turbo, Chigorodó, and Urabá in Antioquia. The Colombian government will mobilize hundreds of members of the Armed Forces in the Department of Antioquia to combat Clan Úsuga, one of the nation’s largest and most active narcotrafficking groups, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón and General Rodolfo Palomino, director of the National Police, said recently. Colombian security forces have been highly successful in their fight against Clan Úsuga in recent months. As part of the operation, security forces have already captured 15 alleged members of Clan Úsuga and from the country’s two largest guerrilla groups – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Their main objective, however, is to capture Clan Úsuga’s leader, who is known by the alias ‘Otoniel’. The Colombian government has issued a reward of $1 billion Colombian pesos (about $402,090) for his apprehension, Palomino said, adding that security forces are “getting closer to capturing him.” And on August 19, 2014, Troops with the Army’s Presidential Guard Battalion and the Judicial Police arrested an alleged high-ranking leader of Clan Úsuga in Bosa, south of Bogotá. The apprehension followed an intelligence operation that extended over several months and was conducted by the Army with the cooperation of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Attorney General’s Office. Allegedly, the suspect was in charge of a criminal network comprised of at least 14 Clan Úsuga operatives suspected of collecting ransom and extortion payments and committing assassinations in eastern Colombia. “From [Antioquia], Clan Úsuga brokers drug deals and transports drugs into Central America through Panama,” Minister Pinzón said. “It’s no secret that there are large quantities of narcotics here.” The Colombian government will mobilize hundreds of members of the Armed Forces in the Department of Antioquia to combat Clan Úsuga, one of the nation’s largest and most active narcotrafficking groups, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón and General Rodolfo Palomino, director of the National Police, said recently. By Dialogo February 25, 2015 As part of the operation, security forces have already captured 15 alleged members of Clan Úsuga and from the country’s two largest guerrilla groups – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Their main objective, however, is to capture Clan Úsuga’s leader, who is known by the alias ‘Otoniel’. The Colombian government has issued a reward of $1 billion Colombian pesos (about $402,090) for his apprehension, Palomino said, adding that security forces are “getting closer to capturing him.” last_img read more

17
Dec
2020

Put strategy first

first_imgAs leaders of companies and organizations, we have a lot of control over our destiny. Each of the decisions we make – whether it’s related to hiring, training opportunities, product development, or member/customer service – can bring us closer to success. Of course, some of our decisions won’t be the right one, but the best we can do is put a strategy in place to keep us on the right path.Leadership coach Brad Chase has an interesting twist on a well-known equation – Einstein’s E=mc2 – to help leaders develop strong strategy. Chase’s equation: Strategy=E×mc2 in which “E” represents execution, “m” is market potential, and “c” is customer – or member – value.Customer/Member Value: It’s important to first understand your target audience and how your organization can meet their needs. The value your members/customers get out of your products and services is what’s most important (which is why Chase squares it in the equation). That’s why providing “extreme member service” is part of my organization’s mission statement. I previously spoke on this approach and my colleagues’ dedication to our members on the CUInsight Experience Podcast. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

17
Dec
2020

Three insights from Microsoft’s transition to remote work

first_img This post is currently collecting data… This is placeholder text Microsoft had an extremely successful transition to remote work in response to COVID-19. Managers were able to dramatically reduce the impact of this transition on employees lives, helping them prioritize the work that really matters and find work-life balance. Erik Anderson, Director of Workplace Intelligence at Microsoft and co-author of the recent Harvard Business Review article “Microsoft Analyzed Data On Its Newly Remote Workforce,” joined our recent webinar to share three big takeaways and some advice with the credit union industry.Erik is part of the team analyzing data from Microsoft’s recent transition to remote working, and he shared with us three major observations in the way people adapted to this disruption and change. He found that meeting norms changed quickly, that managers prioritizing wellbeing played a key role in team success, and that employees were very effective in maintaining human connections. He also shared a few recommendations that leaders can make to help facilitate successful remote working in their own organizations. Much of the data gathered is what Erik called “digital exhaust.” This is passively collected data around collaboration platforms that can give organizations insights into how employees are working together.  Meeting Norms Changed Quickly In just 3-4 weeks after workers were sent home, new norms around meetings and the workday quickly formed. “We saw this phenomenon we called the rise of the 30 minute meeting,” said Erik. “Short meetings increased over 20%, and they tended to be smaller meetings. Longer meetings decreased, with meetings over an hour decreasing about 10%.” Microsoft issued surveys to better understand this trend, and found that people didn’t have the stamina to stay engaged with lengthy digital meetings that were previously held in conference rooms. The reason for scheduling meetings also shifted, with more employees meeting just to stay connected. Those informal meetings in breakout rooms or at coffee shops that could no longer take place during the lockdown effectively shifted to digital meetings.  The time distribution of these meetings changed as well. As employees adjusted to working from home with schools closed, they found themselves needing to integrate more into their days. Parents, for example, often needed to help their kids with remote learning in the mornings. As a result, collaborations that usually took place in the mornings shifted to the afternoons, the usual lunch slowdown disappeared, and more meetings shifted into late afternoon. With these changes also came major changes to the workday. Managers Prioritized Wellbeing “The concept of traditional workday got thrown out the window,” said Erik. “And people started making their own workdays.” Nontraditional workdays and a shift to working later raised concerns about wellbeing and burnout. But the data showed an interesting trend – managers were stepping up and doing the heavy lifting to adapt to these massive changes. Manager collaboration time increased by eight hours a week, much of it spent in one-on-one meetings with their teams. And the results were incredible. “Employees that spent weekly time with their managers in a one on one setting, their overall working time throughout the pandemic increased 60% less than their peers,” said Erik.  Through helping employees focus on prioritizing their work and finding work-life balance, managers were able to dramatically reduce the impact of the remote work transition on their lives. It turned out that managers’ response to change, and these one-to-one meetings in particular, were the biggest factor in team success.  Employees Maintained Human Connections The networks that people build both inside and outside of their organization play a key role in enabling workers to be successful, leading Erik and his team to study how their employees maintained these networks outside of the office and how the networks evolved. “We’re interested in how networks help people do their work. So, if you think of a credit union, not every group is working only within their own silo,” said Erik. “There’s collaboration that has to happen across the whole credit union and people form networks when they do. We find that these networks of people are really strong enablers of them to be successful.”Erik’s team originally thought that these networks would shrink down to just the people they were closest with when everyone began working from home, and they were surprised by what they found in the data. “For the most part, everyone was able to maintain the network and the connections they had with other employees,” said Erik. Across the board, looking at all 90,000 Microsoft employees, the size of their networks remained constant. And those additional short meetings played a large part. Social meetings increased by 10% and one-to-one meetings increased by 20%. “The use of those meetings to stay connected was clearly being shown in the data,” said Erik. Embracing Change Erik shared some insights into how to achieve a successful transition to remote work. A big part of this is making sure to continue to do things differently, to try new things and stick to the strategies that work, as well as reimaging what the workplace needs to look like in the future. “A lot of it is just starting with things that are really small,” said Erik. “The emphasis on wellbeing and making sure everyone understands the resources they have at their disposal. The data about manager one-on-ones led to a campaign to say to managers ‘hey, make sure you do spend time with your employees.’” Microsoft also found success with a recharge Friday, where every other Friday there are no meetings and no Teams collaboration. People can use that for what they need to. It can be to do really deep focused work, it could be to tend to their families, and it could be used to catch up on other things. “We as an organization are saying it’s okay to take this time to manage what you need to do with your work-life integration,” said Erik. Empowering your employees and giving them the autonomy to choose how they work best, as well as giving them the leadership and support they need to work effectively, can have dramatic positive impacts on their successful transition to remote work. The full webinar recording is available on our website.center_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jay Speidell Jay Speidell is the Marketing Manager at Momentum, a strategic design-build partner that takes a people centric approach to helping credit unions across the nation thrive. Web: www.momentumbuilds.com Detailslast_img read more

08
Dec
2020

Binghamton to enforce social-distancing rules through Memorial Day Weekend

first_img“While I encourage residents to enjoy the long weekend — and especially take time to reflect on the sacrifices of U.S. service members and the meaning of Memorial Day — it must be done in a responsible manner. Limits on social gatherings remain in effect, and the Binghamton Police Department and Park Rangers will continue to enforce state directives in parks and public spaces aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus,” he said. In addition to COVID-19 safety measures, the New York State Police Department announced it will crackdown on drunk and reckless driving through May 26. The mayor says limits on gatherings and social distancing protocols remain in affect for Memorial Day Weekend. “With warm weather in the forecast for the upcoming holiday weekend, I know many residents are eager to take part in cherished start-of-summer traditions,” said Mayor David in a press release sent to 12 News. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Binghamton Mayor Rich David is encouraging residents to be mindful of coronavirus safety measures Friday.last_img read more

19
Oct
2020

Russia’s Putin protected from coronavirus by disinfection tunnel: RIA

first_imgTopics : Russian President Vladimir Putin is protected from the novel coronavirus by a special disinfection tunnel that anyone visiting his residence outside Moscow must pass through, the state-controlled RIA news agency reported on Tuesday.The special tunnel, manufactured by a Russian company based in the town of Penza, has been installed at his official Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow where he receives visitors, it said.Demonstration footage of the tunnel, published by RIA, showed masked people passing through it being sprayed with disinfectant from the ceiling and from the side. The Russian news agency described the disinfectant as a fine cloud of liquid that covered people’s clothes and any exposed upper body flesh.Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said in April that anyone meeting Putin in person was tested for the novel virus. A month later, Peskov said he had himself been infected.Russia has recorded over 500,000 infections, the third highest number of cases in the world after Brazil and the United States, something it attributes to a massive testing program.Russia has registered 7,284 deaths so far – fewer than numerous other countries. Critics are dubious about the accuracy of its mortality figures. last_img read more

19
Oct
2020

Trump asked China’s Xi for re-election help, claims Bolton

first_imgTopics : “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” Bolton writes of the real estate magnate turned president — who was impeached last December for seeking dirt from Ukraine on his 2020 election rival Joe Biden.In a key meeting with Xi last June, Trump “stunningly turned the conversation to the US presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Bolton claims in his upcoming tell-all.Bolton writes that Trump stressed the importance of America’s farmers and how “increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat” could impact the US electoral outcome.”I would print Trump’s exact words but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise,” Bolton says, referring to the requirement months ago that he have his manuscript vetted by US agencies. Donald Trump pleaded with China’s leader Xi Jinping for help to win re-election in 2020, the US president’s former national security advisor John Bolton writes in an explosive new behind-the-scenes book, according to excerpts published Wednesday.In a blistering critique which the White House has sued to block, Bolton alleges that Trump’s focus on winning a second term was the driving principle of his foreign policy — and that top aides routinely disparaged the Republican leader for his ignorance of basic geopolitical facts.In excerpts published by The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Bolton also claims Trump repeatedly showed a readiness to overlook Chinese rights abuses — most strikingly telling Xi the mass internment of Uighur Muslims was “exactly the right thing to do.” ‘Impeachment malpractice’The conservative Bolton, himself a controversial figure in US politics, spent 17 turbulent months in the White House before resigning last September.He declined to testify during the impeachment process in the House of Representatives last December, saying he only would if compelled by a judge.Bolton then said in January he would testify before the Senate trial if he was issued a subpoena, but the chamber’s Republicans circled the wagons and blocked such an effort by Democrats.Bolton did not explicitly say whether Trump’s newly revealed actions amounted to impeachable conduct, but argued they should have been investigated by the House.He also said Democrats committed “impeachment malpractice” by limiting their inquiry to “the Ukraine aspects of Trump’s confusion of his personal interests.”Had they looked more widely, he writes, “there might have been a greater chance to persuade others that ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ had been perpetrated.”Bolton’s non-testimony enraged Democrats at the time, and their anger was revived Wednesday as the excerpts were published.Instead of testifying under oath about what he saw and knew, “he saved it for a book,” House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff tweeted.”Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot.”Bolton depicts a chaotic White House in which even top aides who publicly show fealty to the president were mocking him — while Trump himself allegedly ignored basic facts such as Britain being a nuclear power or Finland being distinct from Russia.During Trump’s 2018 summit with North Korea’s leader, according to excerpts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slipped Bolton a note maligning the president, saying: “He is so full of shit.”Several behind-the-scenes books by aides and journalists have emerged in recent years offering damning details about White House disarray or embarrassing Trump conduct, but Bolton is the highest-ranking official to write such a memoir.It is also one of two such books to be published in the coming weeks.The president’s own niece, Mary Trump, releases her memoir, featuring the scathing title “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” on July 28.Trump filed a lawsuit to halt Bolton’s book, and is reportedly threatening a suit against his niece. Constitutional experts told AFP that it would be highly unlikely for courts to block publication of the memoirs. He also describes multiple episodes of behavior by Trump, including his intervention in cases involving major firms in China and Turkey, in which he appeared “to, in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked,” according to the excerpts.”The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn’t accept,” writes Bolton, who says he reported his concerns to Attorney General William Barr.The book, “The Room Where It Happened,” is due for release next Tuesday.The bombshells come in the thick of a presidential election campaign against the Democratic former vice president Biden.last_img read more

28
Sep
2020

Drewry: Carriers to Mitigate ULCV Impact by Delaying Deliveries

first_imgCarriers would be able to mitigate the capacity inflation of the ultra large container vessels (ULCVs) scheduled to arrive over the next few years by delaying deliveries and slowing services, shipping consultancy Drewry said.A total of 26 containerships of at least 18,000 TEU were delivered to carriers in 2018, the most since ULCVs first hit the water in 2013. All of these ships, with an aggregated capacity of 525,500 TEU, were deployed in the Asia-North Europe trade.The current orderbook schedule calls for a slightly less punishing deluge of 460,000 TEU this year, followed by 620,000 TEU in 2020, marking another record haul.“While it is true that accommodating such large tranches of new capacity will be challenging, especially as the Asia-North Europe trade is in a slow-growth phase, there are reasons to believe that the task will not be as onerous as it initially appears,” according to Drewry.Firstly, it is common that the annual delivery schedules are adjusted downwards in time therefore it is highly unlikely that all of the ULCVs scheduled for the next two years would arrive as originally planned with many being pushed into following years.Additionally, just because a new ship enters a trade it does not automatically follow that the net capacity of the route increases. Slow steaming gives lines the option to phase in a new vessel to a weekly service and maintain the existing capacity, assuming the new ship is of a similar size to those it is joining.Drewry explained that slow steaming was probably motivated by a desire to reduce ship fuel consumption in light of the anticipated higher bunker costs associated with IMO 2020, “but nonetheless it will enable more ships to be entered into the trade without adversely hiking up capacity.”“As difficult as the task of allocating ships is, it is something that carriers are well accustomed to by now. Their long-standing experience gives us some measure of confidence that they will find the appropriate solution to absorb the new tonnage due over the next few years.”last_img read more