Coast Guard, USS Whidbey Island Team Up To Fight Piracy

first_img View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Island View post tag: Whidbey View post tag: to View post tag: Naval Back to overview,Home naval-today Coast Guard, USS Whidbey Island Team Up To Fight Piracy View post tag: Navy An elite U.S. Coast Guard unit joined the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team on amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) to conduct counter-piracy and maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden.Members of a maritime safety and security team, based out of Seattle, Wash., and an advanced interdiction team from San Diego, Calif., came together in February, forming the eight-man team.“Our team specializes in boardings,” said Lt. j.g. Michael Holt, officer in charge of the Coast Guard team. “Back home, our focus is mainly on counter-drug operations, but it’s fairly easy for us to put our training to use for counter-piracy missions.”Prior to joining Whidbey Island, Holt’s team attended three weeks of additional training to prepare them for the unique overseas environment.“It’s a very similar mission, but out here we’re not just enforcing U.S. laws, and of course the threat level is inherently higher,” said Holt.The Coast Guard team provides training, experience, and the perspective of full-time boarding team experts.“For our team, VBSS is a collateral duty that’s incorporated when our schedule permits,” said Chief Master-at-Arms Gil Hurtado, Whidbey Island assistant boarding team officer. “The Coast Guard team is rated and billeted for this mission, making them a more fluid unit. Combining the two forces will sharpen our team’s movements and enhance their tactics.”The Coast Guard unit trains with the ship’s VBSS team twice a week. They cover topics such as mission planning, team integration, boarding fundamentals and detainee processing.“The teams work well together, and we definitely benefit from the merger,” said Hurtado.“This is a unique opportunity, and one of the best Navy ships I’ve been on,” said Holt. “Everyone has been very welcoming, hospitable, and gone out of their way to help us out any time we’ve needed anything.”Whidbey Island is deployed as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG), supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.[mappress]Source: navy, September 13, 2011; View post tag: fight View post tag: Guardcenter_img View post tag: coast View post tag: piracy Share this article View post tag: USS View post tag: up View post tag: team September 13, 2011 Coast Guard, USS Whidbey Island Team Up To Fight Piracylast_img read more

Starbucks profits improve as it eyes a rebrand

first_imgStarbucks Corporation has announced strong third quarter results for the period ended June 28, 2009, and has exceeded its cost saving target the period.Despite a fall in net revenue from $2.6bn in Q3 of 2008 to $2.4bn in 2009, the firm said the success of its consumer facing initiatives and changes to its cost structure have resulted in improvement in comparable store sales – 2009 has seen a sales decline of 5% in Q3 compared to 8% in Q2.Third quarter operating profit stood at $204m, compared to an operating loss of $21.6m in Q3 2008.The coffee chain achieved cost savings of around $175m, exceeding its Q3 target of $150m, which amounts to approximately $370m cost savings for the year-to-date.Troy Alstead, executive vice president and chief financial officer said its store partners had “embraced the cost disciplines and efficiency initiatives”. The chain has also been trying to boost sales by experimenting with an unbranded outlet. One former Starbucks branded outlet in Seattle has been rebranded and will open as 15th Ave. Coffee and Tea on Friday 24 July.“This coffeehouse is a Starbucks, albeit a different one than our customers are accustomed to,” explained a spokesperson for the firm. It will serve Starbucks coffee and share the same missions and values as Starbucks but delivered in a totally different way, she added. The new outlet will also serve beer and wine, and there are plans to open a further two outlets of this type.The spokesperson added that the trial is “very specific to Seattle” and there are currently no plans to roll it out in the UK.last_img read more

A Day at the Green Race

first_img“Give up?” the woman asked as I headed back to my truck after walking past her a few minutes earlier. I was parked aside Green River Cove Road in Saluda, North Carolina for the Green Race, the well-known kayak race on a section of whitewater called the Green River Narrows. The Narrows include the “Gorilla”, a Class V rapid that is the centerpiece of the 23 year-old race.I’d walked up to the trailhead, heard that the two-mile hike-in to the race was four miles, and doubled back to see if I could find a water bottle (unlikely) or an old Clif Bar (possible). I found instead three lacrosse balls, Downy wrinkle remover, a tarp, and a dog blanket. I turned back around.Pat Keller finished second at the 2018 Green Race. Photo by Marc Hunt“Need a map?” asked the woman joined now by someone else, her daughter perhaps, who also was interested in the passing stranger and had pulled up a camping chair next to her.“Sure, I’ll take a map. Thanks.” She hands me a black and white copy of a map with a pink highlight indicating the route to the race.“You up for this? It’s four miles in there. Then you have to come out,” said her daughter. “I went in there the other day and I ended up all over the place.” She shows me another map that highlighted her own recent hike. I was impressed by how well she documented what, to appearances, looked like a wayward drift into delirium.“I’m in better shape than I look,” I said.“You look alright,” she said. The flatness to ‘alright’ suggested that I’d cut bait two miles in.With that, I hiked in, and ultimately joined 1,000 others to watch the Green Race some four and a half miles into the woods. The last part of the trail to get down to the race is an interesting thing. Along with a throng of spectators you snake down a steep hillside grasping rocks, roots and a rope line. By rock climbing standards a modest descent, by spectating standards, a good effort.2018 Green Race champion Dane Jackson hangs with some fans. Photo by Marc HuntAt the bottom, there’s immediate payoff. Spectators line the right side of the river and the racing kayaks break up a backdrop of autumn browns and yellows with an abrupt flash of pink or a blue as they plummet through the whitewater. The crowd whoops and hollers and the echo merges and lifts up and out of the gorge as a single roar that temporarily supplants the roar of the river.I drift up the sometimes slippery rocks on the river’s right side, ascending a slow half-mile upward to the heart of the race. En route, I step to the side as a stretcher takes out an injured spectator who to appearances is unconscious.Once on a rock perch, I take in the race. It’s my first visit to the Green Race, and to get a better feel for it I talk with a few nearby racers who have completed their afternoon’s runs.“It’s about my 15th time. I come back every year because not only is this one of the best deep creeks in the whole world, but it’s an amazing group of talented, top-notch whitewater paddlers,” said Clay Wright, 50, of Rock Island, Tennessee. “We race together and then we hang out together in just an amazing scene.”‘Queen of the Green’ Adriene Levknecht won the Green Race for the tenth time. Photo by Marc HuntWhen prompted as to whether anything stands out about this year’s event, Wright doesn’t hesitate. “I feel like the average age of the race just dropped 10 or 20 years this year. It’s the most amazing thing,” he says with a broad smile. “There are a lot of racers under 20, and there are a lot of racers under 18 and it’s awesome to see the next generation stepping up and riding the lightning.”To his right is Heidi Walsh, who is visiting the States from her native England and participated in the race for the first time.“I’m on an exchange with the University of Colorado. So I’ve come to America and instead of going to University, I’ve just gone kayaking,” said Walsh, 20. In her travels she’s fallen in with a group of fellow kayakers who encouraged her to attend the race.Colin Hunt drops through a chute on the Green. Photo by Marc Hunt“They were like ‘Why don’t you come? The Green Race is huge.’ I naturally assumed they meant ‘Why don’t you race?’ not ‘Why don’t you watch?’ so I bought a bib,” said Walsh. “The next thing you know they were like, ‘Oh no, we meant sit on the side and watch.’ So I had to train up and I don’t regret it at all.”Walsh sports the remnants of a fresh scrape on her upper lip. “For me personally, I’ve had a rough time training. I didn’t always have good lines and today the top section was my best run that I’ve done so far here,” she said. “I’m really pleased that when I feel sick with nerves and I’m really scared, I know that I can still bring it.”The Green Race is held annually on the first weekend of November. For the full 2018 results, click here.last_img read more

Family cluster of avian flu cases reported in Vietnam

first_imgMar 29, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Initial testing indicates that all five members of a family of chicken farmers near Haiphong, Vietnam, have avian influenza, the World Health Organization (WHO) and news services said today.”These cases, which include the parents and their three young daughters, are undergoing further investigation following initial tests indicating infection with the H5 subtype of avian influenza,” the WHO said in a statement. “Reports indicate outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry in the vicinity.”An Agence France-Press (AFP) report said the family members were in stable condition in Haiphong’s Viet Tiep Hospital. An unnamed physician at the hospital was quoted as saying, “Initial tests showed they are positive for H5N1. We are treating them according to plans but we need final confirmation from Hanoi.”If the cases are confirmed, they apparently will represent the largest family cluster since human cases of H5N1 avian flu began occurring in Asia in early 2004.A woman who lives near the family is also being treated for suspected avian flu, another doctor from the Haiphong hospital told AFP. The Chinese news agency Xinhua further reported that a child from the same commune as the other six people is hospitalized.A field investigation of the family cases is under way, WHO reported. “Thorough investigation of all such clusters is essential to determine possible changes in the behavior of the virus and thus support assessment of the risk of an influenza pandemic,” the agency said.The statement also said, “There is currently no evidence that the H5N1 virus is spreading easily from person to person.”The WHO also reported today that the Vietnamese Ministry of Health has formally confirmed several avian flu cases that were previously reported by the news media. The agency listed the people involved as a 5-year-old boy from the central province of Quang Binh, a 17-year-old girl from the northern province of Nam Dinh (who died Mar 23), and a 40-year-old woman from the northern province of Quang Ninh. An earlier case also has been confirmed, the WHO said, but the agency did not describe that person.The WHO also provided a limited update on the investigation of media-reported cases of flu-like illness in Quang Binh province. The agency is awaiting test results but said the number of illnesses appears much smaller than the 195 cases first reported by local media.If the Haiphong family is included, the unofficial count of avian flu cases has risen to 79, including 49 deaths, since late 2003. That includes 60 cases with 35 deaths in Vietnam, 17 cases with 12 deaths in Thailand, and 2 fatal cases in Cambodia.Meanwhile, poultry and politics were taking center stage elsewhere in Southeast Asia, as officials sought to contain outbreaks in Cambodia and North Korea.Using bullhorns and battery-powered tape players mounted on motorbikes, health workers in Cambodia are going from house to house in Cambodia’s Kampot province, said Sok Touch, director of the Health Ministry’s communicable disease control department, in an interview for an Associated Press (AP) story today.”They are telling people not to touch sick or dead birds and that if they have any suspected bird flu symptoms, such as fever and cough, they should go to the nearest healthcare center,” he said. Both Cambodians who died of avian flu lived in Kampot province.An investigation continues in Kampot into the Mar 22 death of Meas Ran, 28, WHO announced today. The agency said Cambodian officials formally confirmed his previously reported case today. Authorities have learned he had contact with sick poultry, but apparently he did not pass the disease to others. Thirty-three of his family members, neighbors, and healthcare providers have tested negative for avian flu, WHO said.Elsewhere, the WHO had been in talks with North Korea about preventing human cases of avian flu even before the recent announcement that the country slaughtered hundreds of thousands of poultry sick with avian flu, according to AFP. North Korea’s state media have said no human cases have occurred there.”The WHO had offered its help to the country to prepare for human cases of avian flu,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told reporters, but didn’t say whether the offer had been accepted.Another WHO official in Asia said the agency sought to obtain a sample of the virus in North Korea for testing, AFP reported today.Although avian flu is killing poultry in five Asian countries, only two of them have maintained timely reporting of the cases to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), as shown on OIE Web site. Thailand reported the deaths or culling of 50 chickens in Sukhothai province from Mar 9 to 17, and Indonesia reported an outbreak among chickens for the week ending Mar 11.North Korea hasn’t notified OIE but is working with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, AFP reported today. Other countries appear to be lagging in OIE notification: Vietnam made its most recent report on Feb 28, and Cambodia made its most recent report on Sep 22, 2004.See also:Mar 29 WHO news release read more

Fireworks on Tap Tonight, Other Plans Changed for Celebration in Sea…

first_imgSEA BRIGHT – Today’s inclement weather has meant the Driftwood beach and cabana club is modifying its plans for what had been scheduled to be a daylong celebration, culminating with fireworks.The club, 1485 Ocean Ave., is still planning its Monday night fireworks display – billed as the largest in the Garden State for the days surrounding the July 4th holiday.The club has rescheduled today’s daytime events, including a clambake and concert featuring Brian Kirk and the Jirks, for tomorrow, and will honor tickets already purchased for the event, Irvine said.Driftwood and its owners, the Stavola family, are spearheading the benefit to raise money for two local rebuilding funds, Sea Bright Rising and the Permit Relief Fund, created specifically to assist residents who are rebuilding their homes and businesses after the destruction caused by Super Storm Sandy.The event is called Rebuild Sea Bright.The Stavola family, which has operated Driftwood Cabana Club since 1956, is donating the cost of the fireworks. In addition, the Stavolas are hosting a one-night-only special menu dinner at Ama on the night of the fireworks.The daytime events at Driftwood, which will be held tomorrow, will include a Beach Bash Clambake with live music starting at noon.Ticket holders will be provided full use of the club, pool and beach with lifeguards on duty, a clambake, children’s menu and two complimentary beverages from the Tiki Bar. The live music headliner will be local favorites Brian Kirk and The Jirks, who will play from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.The purchase of tickets and additional information are available by visiting www.sea, calling 908-400-3617 or emailing to [email protected]last_img read more

Judges competition kicks off Glacier gymnastics season

first_imgThe Glacier Gymnastics club kicks off the competitive season Saturday with the Glacier Judges Cup competition.Teams from Trail, Castlegar and Golden join host Glacier athletes at the one-day event.The meet is being held to promote a new judging format.The Glacier competitive team is expected to attend several meets throughout the province, including the annual Glacier two-day competition.last_img

Klay Thompson on his rehab and the changes to the Warriors offense

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — This is all new for Klay Thompson.Not just the shiny new arena along San Francisco Bay. Not just the residue from Kevin Durant’s departure. Not just the fact that he’ll be starting a season without Andre Iguodala or Shaun Livingston, but also that he’ll be starting the season on the shelf.Thompson, who has never missed more than 10 games in a season since his rookie year, is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the NBA Finals. Now, he’ll miss nearly a third of the season, …last_img read more

Incentives boost for SA aquaculture

first_img2 April 2013 South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched a R800-million incentive programme for marine and freshwater fishing projects aimed at growing the country’s fledgling aquaculture industry. The Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme, launched by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies in Cape Town on Thursday, aims to stimulate investment in a relatively untapped sector. “South Africa is currently at the bottom of the development curve and still in its infancy stage when it comes to the aquaculture sector,” Daives said at Thursday’s launch. “South Africa only contributes about 1% of Africa’s aquaculture production. This launch today can be used as an opportunity to grow the sector in the next few years to remain competitive globally.” Sipho Ntombela, the acting director-general at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said aquaculture formed a key part of the government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and the New Growth Path. According to the DTI, The IPAP has identified aquaculture “as a potential growth sector that can supplement the supply of wild stock with cultured fish products. “Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing food production sectors in the world, growing at an annual rate of 8% to 10% per annum over the last two decades and outstripping livestock three- to four-fold,” the DTI said last week. According to Business Day, the new incentive programme targets fish hatcheries, fish farms and the production, processing and preserving of aquaculture fish. It will function as a reimbursement grant for pre-approved projects once they have been up and running for a year. “Further, it will offer a maximum of R40-million on a cost-sharing basis for investment in machinery and equipment, bulk infrastructure, land and buildings, leasehold improvements, and competitiveness improvement activities,” Business Day reports. The DTI’s head of product development, Tumelo Marivate, told Engineering News that R800-million had been set aside for the grant, and that four investors had already shown an interest. Davies said the programme promised enormous benefits that could contribute to job creation, food security, foreign currency and skills development. “The East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has over the years played a significant role in the aquaculture sector, and given enough resources and investments we can multiply the work in other parts of the country,” Davies added. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Open Thread: When Is The Valley Worth Moving To?

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Open Thread#web For many years, I have been famously (or notoriously) anti-Silicon Valley. There’s nothing wrong with the place in iteself; what I detested was the snobbish notion that the Valley is the de facto or “best” place to run a startup or be involved with the tech world.I’m now forced to eat my words as my hetero life mate and I prepare to move into a Burlingame apartment conveniently located a few blocks away from the startup he’s now working at; I have to admit, living in the Bay Area has been amazing so far, in professional and personal terms.Still, if I were starting a company, would I move from Omaha or Nashville or Boulder to come to the Valley? Would you?UPDATE: It seems the Chatroulette creator is having the same dilemma. How’s that for unwitting timeliness?Back when I started the Never Mind the Valley series, I was fascinated by communities such as Boulder and Los Angeles. The tech scenes are smaller and more easily navigable, and most people are willing and excited to collaborate. When contrasting these areas with the SF Bay Area, NorCal seemed vast, cold, inflated and self-important by comparison.For months, I railed, “You don’t have to be in the Valley to have a successful startup!” Examples of this abound, from Austin’s Gowalla to L.A.’s Mahalo to the dozens of incubated and accelerated teams in cities all over the country.However, on moving to San Francisco, I quickly learned a few of the benefits of being a startup in the Valley. Everything moves much faster. You have more access to more capital. The depth, breadth and strength of the developer pool is unparalleled. Everyone has a fairly public track record. Yes, it can be an insular and self-aggrandizing little echo chamber of Mutual Admiration Society nitwits at times, but I’m no longer saying that the benefits don’t outweigh the cost.Ah, yes – the cost. Living in the Bay Area is, to employ a common NorCalism, hella expensive. Salaries are higher, real estate is more scarce and more spendy, the overall cost of living borders on obscene unless you’re used to, say, Tokyo. But again, perhaps for many startups situated here, the benefits outweigh the financial costs, as well.So, I’m left wondering exactly what alchemy makes the benefits worth all the costs for a startup. I’ve been asked by a few companies about transitioning from other states and even other countries to the Valley, and my advice has tended to be a mixed bag lately.I’m interested to hear from startups living in and outside of Silicon Valley: When do you think being in SF is worth it, and when is it wiser to stay put? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. jolie odell 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

Bolts return to PBA finals

first_imgNonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The Texters have been consistently holding their own against Barangay Ginebra’s imposing frontline and will again have to cut down the Gin Kings to size anew if they want to score a crucial Game 3 victory Friday also at the Big Dome.“We always believe that we’re capable of beating Ginebra. But it takes a lot of focus and a lot of effort to do that,” said TNT coach Nash Racela.Sealing all possible gaps in the lane, the KaTropa leveled the semifinal showdown by humbling the Gin Kings, 103-96, on a road trip in Batangas City last Wednesday. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/PBA IMAGESRanidel De Ocampo has churned out countless highlight reels throughout his career in a TNT uniform.On Thursday night, the 13-year veteran brought his winning act to the Meralco Bolts.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary TNT, Ginebra out to break semis tie De Ocampo hit one of his patented jumpers that keyed a 91-88 overtime win at the expense of the Star Hotshots to send the Bolts back to the finals of the PBA Governors’ Cup.“It’s really hard to close out the series because our opponents are in a do-or-die situation,” said De Ocampo, whose shot near the top of the arc with 1:17 remaining provided the cushion that Meralco badly needed in the game at Smart Araneta Coliseum.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAllen Durham again made a strong case to replicate his personal reward anew after scoring 24 points on top of 19 rebounds and six assists.But a far more meaningful hardware has kept the reigning best import highly motivated. “It’s been our goal since the beginning of the conference to be in the finals. Now, we’re back,” said Durham.Effectively filling up the void left by the injured Paul Lee, Mark Barroca and rookie Jio Jalalon picked up the slack for the Hotshots, who fought for survival on sustained grit and hustle before being swept in their best-of-five semifinal series.Lee was ruled out the rest of the season for the ailing left knee that forced Star coach Chito Victolero to bench his prized guard in Game 2.He was scheduled to go through surgery early Friday and would rest six to eight weeks to heal completely.TNT KaTropa, meanwhile, hopes to keep control of its own best-of-five affair against Barangay Ginebra.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more