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Scott Jurek Chases Appalachian Trail Speed Record

first_imgScott Jurek has been eyeing the Appalachian Trail for years. On Wednesday May, 27 at 5:56 a.m., he began his pursuit of the the trail’s speed record.Jurek has won nearly all of ultrarunning’s elite events, including the historic 153-mile Spartathlon, the Hardrock 100, the Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon, the Miwok 100K, and—his signature race—the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, which he won a record seven straight times. In 2010, he set a new US all-surface record in the 24-Hour Run with 165.7 miles—6.5 marathons in one day.Jurek was a central character in Christopher McDougall’s bestselling book Born to Run. Jurek ran alongside the Tarahumara runners in the Copper Canyon Ultra and later won the event.Now 41 years old, Jurek has set his sights on the ultimate ultra prize: the Appalachian Trail speed title. Asheville’s Jennifer Pharr Davis holds the current A.T. speed record of 46 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes, which she set in 2011. Davis averaged 47 miles per day and was supported by her husband, Brew Davis, as well as legendary trail runner David Horton and sixteen-time A.T. thru-hiker Warren Doyle.Jurek is trekking northbound on the A.T. and will be passing through Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia in the next three weeks. He hopes to arrive atop Katahdin by early July.Blue Ridge Outdoors editor in chief Will Harlan will be joining Scott Jurek for part of his Appalachian Trail trek. Look for his reports from the trail at read more

Anti-Drug Fight in Mexico Leads Cartels to Operate in Other Countries

first_imgBy Dialogo April 08, 2011 The intensification of operations against drug trafficking in Mexico is motivating the cartels to transfer their activities to other regions, especially in Central America but also in Africa, experts said at the International Drug Enforcement Conference. “The most affected region is Central America, particularly the Northern Triangle, made up of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Its governability has been affected by violence derived from drug trafficking,” Mexican Security Secretary Genaro García Luna said. However, the cartels are also finding a new niche in the countries of the west coast of Africa in which to consolidate their routes to Europe, which is playing an increasing strong role as a consumer, according to a UN International Narcotics Control Board document cited at the meeting. “Europe is the world’s second largest market for cocaine, with significant concentrations in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France,” the document indicates. García Luna indicated that “besides the enormous attraction exercised by the world’s largest market, the United States, the growth of the European market has led to diversification in the routes of that drug (cocaine), principally by way of the Caribbean and West Africa.” The subject of the cartels’ expansion dominated part of the debates on the second day of the Twenty-Eighth International Drug Enforcement Conference, which is being held amid heavy security in the Mexican beach resort of Cancún. Gen. Oscar Naranjo, commander of the Colombian police, agreed in indicating that trafficking by way of Africa is increasingly important. “A good portion of the large-scale drug traffickers are trying to convert West Africa into an entry point for drugs; no cartel has given up this possibility,” Naranjo indicated. “The most worrisome emerging drug-trafficking route is the route from West Africa to Europe. Drug traffickers don’t want to run risks by confronting the pressure and conflict in Mexico” and are looking for new markets, he added. The Colombian general gave Sierra Leone as an example, where cartel liaisons have been discovered in the capital, Freetown, he said. “In Sierra Leone, we’ve arrested Mexicans and Colombians who were receiving drugs in Africa, the new emerging market; the aim is to convert that city into a warehouse,” he indicated. On 5 April, during the inaugural session of the event, in which delegates from more than a hundred countries are participating, the director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Michele Leonhart, warned about an expansion of operations to new fronts. Leonhart also mentioned the case of Liberia, an African country where “seven leaders of Colombian cartels were arrested last summer.” She indicated that this group “was trying to establish a new transit route for cocaine shipments from Venezuela to Europe, via Liberia.” The DEA director also expressed her concern about the way that Mexican cartels are moving into Central America and mentioned the specific case of Los Zetas. This group, created by military deserters recruited by the Gulf cartel, began to operate independently two years ago and maintains a fierce struggle with its former bosses for control of the routes along Mexico’s east coast. The Zetas draw support from local gangs, such as the Salvadoran and Honduran ‘maras,’ which they convert into subordinates. In this regard, García Luna issued a reminder that the cartels are becoming increasingly dependent on these gangs. “A phenomenon that has been increasing is the use of common criminals and youth gangs by organized crime for territorial disputes over drug distribution,” he indicated.last_img read more

Almost 1,000 Weapons Seized from Criminals Are Destroyed in Guatemala

first_imgBy Dialogo June 15, 2012 The weapons were destroyed at the workshops that the Supreme Court has in a sector of the capital. According to Aldana, this is the fifth time that weapons seized in different operations have been destroyed, for a total of around 10,000 weapons. Guatemalan authorities estimate that more than 3 million weapons circulate illegally in Guatemala, contributing to an increase in violence that is leaving around 16 dead a day, one of the highest rates in Latin America. On June 13, the Guatemalan Army destroyed 983 weapons of various calibers that had been seized from criminals over the last two years, in compliance with an order from the Supreme Court, the court’s presiding justice, Telma Aldana, announced. last_img read more

Uncontrollable Violence in Honduras

first_imgBy Dialogo March 01, 2013 The 2012 murder rate was slightly lower to that of the previous year, but it is still far higher than the worldwide average, considered to be 8.8 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Observatory of Violence at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) said in a report. A law passed by the government forbids two men from riding a motorcycle together, to hinder the operation of hit men or hires assassins. Honduras holds the highest murder rate worldwide, with 91.6 murders per 100,000 inhabitants according to the 2012 UN Homicide Statistics Report, despite the government policy directing military officers to patrol the streets, violence experts said on February 27. Police and military presence is felt not only in urban areas, but also in shanty towns, as well as on public transportation. Recently, President Lobo sent 2,000 troops to patrol the streets of the country’s most violent cities to support a police force of 14,500 members that is struggling with the crime wave that is sweeping the country. Likewise, telephone wiretaps have been approved, cameras have been installed on the streets in main cities, and a report system using a 911 line has been established.last_img read more

7 tips for financial spring cleaning

first_imgby: Vera GibbonsWith spring rapidly approaching, it’s not only a great time to spruce up your home and organize your closets, but it’s also an ideal time to clean up your finances. Here are some ideas from some top consumer finance advisers:Sweep away winter bills Here’s a scary statistic: Consumer Reports estimates that 7% of all shoppers go into a new holiday season carrying debt from the previous one. And it’s costly (To see the real cost of carrying a balance, try this calculator). You certainly don’t want to continue making payments on your holiday purchases for another 9 months.“Clearing away this debt in the spring will strengthen your finances and free you up to save money for the remainder of 2015,” says Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, founder, The Money Coach.Polish your budget We’re three months into 2015. How are you doing so far? Over budget? Under budget? Have you spent more, or less, than you planned to in certain areas? If you’re close to your expectations, great, but if you’ve veered off track for any reason – perhaps because there’s been a job switch, you had a baby, bought a new house, or there’s been another life change – it’s time to re-evaluate the situation, says consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch. “Your budget will need to be refreshed to meet current needs as well as short and long-term savings goals.” continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The convenience/security tradeoff

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr This is bonus coverage from “In-Branch Privacy” from the July 2016 issue of Credit Union Management magazine.In credit union branches and with digital offerings, tension often exists between making services available and convenient and preventing potential breaches of members’ personal information.For example, Sikorsky Financial Credit Union in Stratford, Conn., works with a third-party vendor where the data-sharing and vendor controls are not ideal from Brian Nesgoda’s perspective. However, the vulnerabilities and risks of using this vendor’s offering were identified, the business case was made, and the service went forward, says Nesgoda, SVP/risk management/chief information officer for the $700 million CU.“You pick your battles,” he observes, “and you keep trying to improve the controls.” Where conflicts between offering a convenient service and security are resolved, Nesgoda explains, is at the enterprise risk management level, where the goal is setting appropriate risk tolerances. Sikorsky Financial CU relies on a finance and enterprise risk management committee, made up of management and board representatives, which wrestles with these issues and reports its findings to the board. continue reading »last_img read more

4 key pieces of advice from Warren Buffett

first_img This post is currently collecting data… This is placeholder text continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrcenter_img We each have our role models that inspire us to reach for goals and be the best version of ourselves. Among leaders that are most looked up to, Warren Buffett is at the top of many lists. Buffett is almost synonymous with success, but there’s more to it than his investment strategies.In a recent Inc. column – shared with me by my father-in-law Earle Keirstead (who is always sharing great pieces with me) – leadership expert Marcel Schwantes highlights four principles from Buffett that distinguish people who get things done from those who simply dream of big accomplishments. The key, Schwantes says, is “act[ing] on them with positive intent.”Pick your friends wisely. In one of my recent blog posts, I warned against the influence bad employees can have on the rest of the team. We mirror the behavior of people around us, so why would you surround yourself with friends that limit your potential? Common interests and values are what bring us together, and, as Buffett has said, “it’s important to associate with people that are better than yourself.” By doing this, they’ll motivate you to be better.Go to bed a little smarter each day. Curiosity and continuous learning are key characteristics of great leaders. No matter how busy your schedule is, set aside time to read about the things that will strengthen your leadership and make you better at your job. And encourage your team to do the same.last_img read more

Jakarta declares emergency, but doubts persist over compliance with social distancing directive

first_imgAnies said the city administration would work with the Jakarta Police and the Jakarta Military Command to oversee social distancing measures. The National Police, meanwhile, issued an instruction on Sunday banning all mass gatherings.Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) chairman Rosan Roslani claimed that companies capable of allowing their employees to work from home had complied with the President’s call from the get-go, adding that these companies would also receive incentives from the government.”Those unable to do so would have employers work in different shifts and at [different] locations,” Rosan said on Sunday.Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) chairman Hariyadi B. Sukamdani said it was not surprising that some companies would continue to operate as normal given that the order was optional.He believed, however, that more companies this week, except the retail industry, would comply with the call as the outbreak was escalating rapidly, threatening to cause financial losses.”There’s no need for forced measures. If they [companies] temporarily shut down, they will have their losses reduced,” he said on Sunday.He also warned that some businesses were not prepared to face the outbreak, saying that they might have to resort to a worst-case scenario, such as unpaid leave or pay cuts.A 27 year-old restaurant chef, Ismail Wonggo, said he still had to go to work despite a decline in visitors and pay cut of 20 percent. He said the restaurant he worked for had reduced its hours of operation and provided workers with the necessary equipment to maintain personal hygiene.”I’m not worried about myself; I’m worried about infecting my family,” said Ismail, who commutes from Bekasi, West Java, to his workplace using public transportation.Bhima Yudhistira Adhinegara, an economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance, said businesses in Jakarta would probably still require their employees to go to work, while entertainment places would continue to operate because the administration had yet to address the issue of operating expenses.Bhima urged Jakarta to provide compensation so that businesses would comply with the instructions, such as a temporary regional tax exemption, and to mediate businesses with banks to postpone the installment periods of their business loans.Trubus Rahadiansyah, the head of the Center of Public Policy Studies at Trisakti University, said that while he commended Anies for taking strict measures to slow the spread of the virus, it was important for penalties to be imposed on residents and businesses that failed to comply with orders.“As long as there’s no sanction, or any consequence, for not obeying the administration’s orders, the policy will be useless,” he said on Saturday, citing instructions made by Jokowi and Anies.The central government has appeared to shy away from imposing lockdowns despite mounting calls by experts to shut down regions deemed to be red zones for COVID-19 transmission, such as Jakarta.Experts believe that imposing a lockdown could help flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, which in turn could prevent the country’s already limited healthcare system from being overburdened.Twenty-five medical personnel had tested positive for COVID-19 and one had died from the disease as of Friday, according to the Jakarta administration.The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) told The Jakarta Post that three doctors had passed away after being infected with the virus as of Sunday.Around 17,500 doctors, 27,000 nurses and 900 other medical workers in Jakarta are battling the virus without the proper protective equipment, prompting many of them to make personal requests for public donations. (glh/aly)Topics : Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has declared a two-week state of emergency in the capital and urged offices to suspend operations as part of COVID-19 containment efforts, but questions persist over whether companies will comply with the directive given the lack of enforcement.Anies urged Friday that all corporations close down their offices and operational facilities and arrange for their employees to work from home for the next two weeks. Those unable to do so were instructed to reduce their employee numbers to essential staff only.The governor said all entertainment venues would be closed starting Monday, following the closure of tourist spots last week. Passenger numbers and operational hours of public transportation would also be limited. A gubernatorial decree signed on Friday indicate that the status can be extended depending on the situation. “There will be repercussions for people with daily wages […] There’ll be 1.1 million people in Jakarta who will receive assistance in stages,” Anies said, adding that his administration would discuss the mechanism with the central government.Jakarta is now the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, with 307 confirmed cases and 29 deaths as of Sunday, although experts believe the real number could be higher due to a lack of testing. Nationwide, 514 confirmed cases and 48 deaths were recorded as of Sunday.There are doubts, however, over whether companies will comply with what Anies described as an “appeal” to all stakeholders to have “the moral responsibility” of helping to suppress the spread of the deadly virus.When President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo urged on March 15 the public to exercise social distancing and work from home, some businesses defied his call and ran as usual in Jakarta, with workers crowding public transit areas.last_img read more

Gov. Wolf Issues Statement on Injustice, Encourages Pennsylvanians to Keep Each Other Safe

first_img Equality,  Press Release This weekend, throughout Pennsylvania, people are protesting violence and injustice that occurs far too often against people of color. Everyone should speak out because no one should be at risk of harm because of oppression or racism. We have seen these injustices happen in the Commonwealth, and this week, we were all shaken by the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.As Pennsylvanians protest, I urge everyone involved to be peaceful and to keep each other safe.Throughout the day, my Administration has been in touch with municipalities, and we have offered whatever assistance is needed to keep our communities from suffering from additional violence and pain.Please stay safe, and remember that we all must look out for each other as we seek to make our commonwealth more just and fair for everyone. May 30, 2020 Gov. Wolf Issues Statement on Injustice, Encourages Pennsylvanians to Keep Each Other Safecenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Finland’s Ilmarinen warns of impact of Russia sanctions

first_imgFinland’s Ilmarinen has warned of the detrimental impact on European growth of widening economic sanctions brought by – and against – Russia.Timo Ritakallo, CIO at the €33.6bn pensions mutual, stressed that the portfolio’s risk exposure to Russia was lowered well before the crisis in Ukraine began.“Ilmarinen is, however, a major owner of listed Finnish companies,” he said, “so our portfolio could still be exposed to some indirect negative impacts.”The pensions provider nevertheless saw a return of 3.4% for the first six months of the year, aided largely by 5.5% returns from its equity portfolio. While the returns from share holdings were down over the same period last year, Ilmarinen managed to outperform results from the first half of 2013 by 0.4 percentage points.Fixed income returns were above the same period last year, at 2.2%, while the mutual’s direct real estate returns were on par with the first six months of 2013.Chief executive Harri Sailas stressed the importance of a diversified portfolio, noting that the mutual’s approach had allowed it to weather the current environment.“The current economic challenges, such as the low interest rate level or Finland’s weak economic state, have not shaken our customers’ pension security,” he said.Ritakallio said ongoing geopolitical risk was causing a “headache” for investors and “rattling nerves” in both equity and fixed income markets.He also said he saw the current situation involving sanctions against Russia and counter-sanctions against European Union products as a “disconcerting” factor for Finland’s economy.“The EU’s economic sanctions against Russia and the latter’s countermeasures to the sanctions are weakening the economic outlook for all of Europe,” he said.“The negative impacts will be especially significant in the profit outlook of Finnish companies that have business ties with Russia.”last_img read more