Speech: A Sustainable Peace Approach to the Lake Chad Region

first_imgThank you Mr President.I would like to thank you and your delegation for organising this briefing and for giving us the opportunity to discuss the situation in the Lake Chad Basin one year after we visited the region and adopted Resolution 2349, which was unique in its comprehensive approach integrating development, human rights and security.I would also like to thank our briefers for their reflections on the humanitarian and security situation and for their suggestions on next steps to address the root causes of the conflict. They’ve already made a number of concrete proposals and I hope careful note has been taken by the Secretariat. We look forward to discussing some of these ideas later with other Member States.Mr President,The security situation in the Lake Chad Basin continues to be of great concern. On 2 March, this Council condemned the attack on humanitarian workers in Rann, and the attack on Dapchi in which a large number of schoolgirls were abducted.The humanitarian crisis remains as dire as when we visited the region a year ago. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance remains at 10.7 million and 5.8 million people are now experiencing severe food insecurity. We call upon donors to keep up the momentum of the response, including fulfilling the financial requirement of $1.6 billion for 2018. And we call on all parties to the conflict to grant safe, timely and unimpeded access to humanitarian organisations in line with International Humanitarian Law.From the humanitarian and security situation, it is clear that the international community, and this Security Council, must remain fully engaged in this crisis. On 21 March, the United Kingdom opened a diplomatic office in Chad to facilitate efforts to stabilise the region and address the root causes of insecurity.Mr President, we welcome the steps taken by the governments of the region, through the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), to tackle the terrorist threat. And I welcome today the presence of the distinguished representative of Nigeria around our table. I take the opportunity to acknowledge his country’s determination and leadership in fighting terrorism, and to salute the partnership that the United Kingdom and Nigeria have formed on this and other vital issues.Although the military approach has an important role to play in stabilising the region, the solution to this crisis cannot be solely military. As recognised by Resolution 2349, to achieve sustainable peace, it is vital that the root causes of regional instability are understood and addressed, including poverty, climate change, inequality and violent extremism.We recognise ongoing efforts of the countries of the region, including Nigeria, both individually and jointly through Lake Chad Basin Commission, towards the achievement of this aim. We need to see regional governments demonstrate stronger leadership, in particular on demobilisation, de-radicalisation and reintegration of former combatants.The international community, and we in the United Nations, must support these efforts through robust strategies on prevention and sustaining peace. The Deputy Secretary-General has shown great leadership in bringing together the diffuse activities of many UN development agencies in the Sahel strategy, linked to wider security efforts. And we need to apply those lessons and that approach to the Lake Chad Basin region.Special Political Missions, in particular, UNOCA and UNOWAS, must work to ensure their efforts are coherent and that regional strategies are mutually supportive. And I fully agree with the Representative of the Lake Chad Basin Commission that a comprehensive analysis should be included in UNOCA and UNOWAS’s future briefings to this Council.The United Nations’ strategy must be based on accurate information so future crises can be predicted, and this Council, the UN and regional governments can take preventative action, in line with the Secretary General’s own focus on prevention.And on this World Water Day, let us remember that climate and ecological changes are a major root cause of this conflict. If we want to build sustainable peace and promote sustainable development, we must support efforts to build livelihoods that are resistant to climate change, including through adequate risk assessments and risk management strategies.It is also vital that the UN and regional governments take the particular concerns of women and children into account in stabilisation, conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts, in accordance with Resolution 1325. The United Nations could support this through a stronger, more consistent in-country presence.Mr President,As the UK’s Representative said when we adopted resolution 2349, “We will fail the people of the region if we do not respond to what we saw.” When we travelled to the region, we saw the root causes and the serious consequences of this conflict. And we must respond.The Lake Chad Basin is a region that requires a sustaining peace approach and we encourage the Secretary-General to demonstrate the UN’s support by visiting the region as set out in resolution 2349.Thank you Mr President.last_img read more

News story: Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act receives Royal Assent

first_imgFor journalists Media enquiries Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @BorisJohnson and Facebook Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Further information Following this news, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: Royal Assent for the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act is an important moment for the UK. It is the first of the bills which prepares for life after our exit from the EU to complete its passage through Parliament. Thanks to this new law, once we have left the EU, we will have full control of our own sanctions policy again. That will give us the power to impose sanctions, including for human rights abuses. Sanctions are a key foreign policy and national security tool for the UK, and the new legislation will allow the UK to act in line with our own priorities, as well as with our international partners. It will also provide us with the power to amend and update anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance legislation, allowing the Government to keep pace with changing international standards and practices, and help to protect the UK from money laundering and terrorist financing. While we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe, and we will continue to have shared values, interests, and threats with our European and international partners. This makes continued foreign policy cooperation, including on sanctions, in all our interests. I’m also proud that we have added a “Magnitsky amendment” to this legislation. The UK Government is committed to promoting and strengthening universal human rights, holding to account those responsible for the worst violations. This legislation also makes clear that individuals or entities can be sanctioned for the purposes of deterring, or providing accountability for, gross human rights abuses or violations. Email [email protected]last_img read more

Willie Nelson Announces 2018 Outlaw Music Festival Tour With Nathaniel Rateliff, Elvis Costello, & More

first_imgToday, outlaw country legend Willie Nelson has announced the first leg of his 2018 Outlaw Music Festival Tour, featuring nine stops with an incredible rotating lineup featuring Nelson, Sturgill Simpson, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Alison Krauss, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Head & The Heart, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ryan Bingham, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, The Wild Feathers, JD McPherson, Delta Rae, and Particle Kid.The tour’s first leg will make stops at amphitheaters in Raleigh, NC, Charlotte, NC, Cincinnati, OH, Noblesville, IN, Detroit, MI, Little Rock, AR, Dallas, TX, and The Woodlands, TX between late May and early July. More artists and dates will be announced in the coming weeks.“We had so much fun on the Outlaw Music Festival Tour last year that we decided to do it again! See y’all out on the road this summer,” says Willie Nelson in a press release.“Family. That’s what this touring group of artists, fans, and friends are when we come together for our annual Outlaw Music Festival Tour. I am thrilled to continue this journey with Willie, this extraordinary group of performers, and Live Nation,” says Keith Wortman, CEO of promoters Blackbird Presents.“This started out with a one-show storyboard two years ago. Now, you can hear, feel, smell and immerse locally in that joyous exuberance,” says Geoff Gordon, Live Nation Philadelphia Regional President. “Outlaw is really just a celebration of everything Willie, which the Picnic has been for decades.”Willie Nelson was forced to cancel several tour dates earlier this year, so the news of the coming large-scale tour is encouraging in regard to his health.Tickets for the Outlaw Music Festival Tour go on sale this Friday, March 16th at 12 p.m. local time. For tickets and more information, head to the event website. For a full list of artists slated to perform at each of the first nine stops on the festival tour, see below:last_img read more

Homing in on bones

first_img“Oh, cool!” Cambridge third-grader Cosmo Cao said as he peered through a microscope’s eyepieces. “I see lots of holes!”Cao wore a fascinated smile as he examined a piece of bone, even though he didn’t really need a scope to see one. Bones were strewn all around him.Cao and his Cambridge elementary school classmates spent part of last Thursday morning working with bones and surrounded by skeletons of fish, birds, and mammals in the Zooarchaeology Laboratory in Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.The lab, on the Peabody’s third floor, specializes in identifying bones from archaeological dig sites, which can tell researchers not just what animals were present, but also provide clues about the broader environment and how humans might have used an area.Though the lab is normally busy with Harvard students and researchers, it opens its doors each winter break to Cambridge schoolchildren, this year hosting 125 children from three schools, according to Polly Hubbard, the Peabody education program manager. It also opens to the public each Columbus Day.“The museum has a wonderful opportunity to open the lab to [give] a special behind-the-scenes look at Harvard’s resources, both its material resources and its human resources,” Hubbard said.On Thursday, third graders from Cambridge’s Haggerty School filled the lab. Small groups of students moved among five stations set up around the large table that dominated the room, each stop highlighting an important aspect of zooarchaeology.On the table were two large plastic sheets outlining skeletons of a dog and a sheep, with a pile of bones nearby. Under the guidance of volunteers, students learned about carnivores and herbivores’ bone structures, including about a ram’s horns and a dog’s teeth.At the other stations, students learned about adaptations made by birds, including talons and beaks for hunting. The students learned about the tools that scientists use, such as microscopes, to analyze findings and ferret out information. They also learned how replicas are made for display in museums, examining molds used to recreate a skeleton of the famed early human ancestor Lucy, the 3.2 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis uncovered in 1974.On the walls and in the cabinets were skeletons of fish, birds, and mammals. Stacks of wooden drawers holding specimens lined part of the room, bearing labels like “extra bird skeletons,” “large mammal, species unknown,” and “Equid” bones — horses, donkeys and the like — that were gathered in Iran. There were skulls, vertebra, leg bones, shoulder blades, and more. One set of shelves held large horned skulls, mainly of the domesticated water buffalo and the humped Indian cattle called zebu.Deyne Meadow, a former science teacher and science education volunteer for Cambridge schools, led the class. She said afterward that it’s important that Harvard provides local children with a look behind the ivy walls.“We just do this once a year, in January when Harvard is not in session,” said Meadow, who is the wife of the lab’s director, Richard Meadow. “We want to reach the public schools and let kids have the opportunity to come behind the walls.”Ashley Warlick, one of the third grade class’ co-teachers, has brought students to the zooarchaeology lab for the past several years. The lab, she said, allows students to engage hands-on with a subject matter they are learning in class: how animals adapt to habitats.“Bones in general are just so cool for them,” Warlick said. “We study habitat as part of the third grade curriculum. This is a wonderful opportunity for kids to see different animals and see how their bone structure affects their choice of habitat.”Warlick said the Peabody and the nearby Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) are both great resources for local schools.  With a limited budget for field trips, Warlick said she can keep costs down by taking public transportation. Admission for Cambridge schoolchildren is free.She brings her class for structured events like the session at the zooarchaeology lab, and then stays to visit the rest of the museum. She also has taken her classes to activities at the HMNH.“This entire place is an outstanding resource,” Warlick said. “It’s amazing to have not only this [zooarchaeology] classroom, but the entire museum. So much of what is here aligns with what is in our curriculum.”last_img read more

Education is pivotal, Faust tells Miami students

first_imgMIAMI — Shaunte Butler’s mother never missed an opportunity to remind her daughter of the pivotal importance of a strong education.“She always told us, me and my brother, that college was the key to success and a better life,” said Butler, who took that sage advice and ran with it. The Miami native graduated with a degree in neurobiology from Harvard College in 2014 and is now a first-year student at Yale Medical School.Butler returned to her old high school Thursday along with Harvard President Drew Faust, one of the nation’s strongest advocates for getting a college education. Faust and Butler urged a rapt student audience at Miami Northwestern Senior High School to keep the goal of higher education firmly in their sights.“Higher education encompasses more kinds of experiences, and more kinds of different experiences, than there are people in this room,” Faust told the crowd in the school’s library media center, “and there is a place for every one of you,” whether at community college or the Ivy League or some other institution.“Higher education encompasses more kinds of experiences, and more kinds of different experiences, than there are people in this room,” said Harvard President Drew Faust at Miami Northwestern High School. Joe Sherman/Harvard StaffMore than 100 students, teachers, and administrators from Miami Northwestern and nearby Booker T. Washington High School, along with city and regional officials, gathered to hear from Faust, Butler, and members of the Harvard Black Alumni Society of South Florida.In her remarks, Faust encouraged her listeners to believe in themselves, to commit to the goal of a higher education, and to share their plans with others. “Write it down, say it out loud, tell your teachers and coaches, tell your friends and your family — tell anyone and everyone who will be supportive of your aspirations,” Faust urged.Finding an encouraging mentor, someone who can help students identify their strengths and refine their ideas, is a critical part of preparing for college, added Faust, as is understanding the financial aid process, preparing for the SAT or the ACT exams, and staying “organized every step of the way.”It’s not an easy process, said Faust, and there probably will be moments of doubt and even the desire to give up. “But you can and you must choose otherwise as well. You must choose to keep going. The only person who is completely in charge of your life — of your successes and your failures — is you.”Faust’s school visit was planned with help from Harvard Law School graduate Marilyn Holifield, J.D. ’72. A member of the Harvard Black Alumni Society of South Florida and the Harvard Club of Miami, Holifield has mentored high school students and helped at college information sessions at public schools in Miami-Dade County.Holifield said the event was a chance “for Harvard to see the context of talent in an inner-city school, and to allow students to be inspired by the fact that Harvard cares enough to come down and spend time here, not only with the students, but with the teachers.”In her remarks, Faust relayed key points that she has made to high school students around the country for years: College education leads to higher incomes, lower unemployment rates, better access to health care, and, above all, the broadest range of life experiences.She said that college “will give you the freedom to understand yourself differently, to see your life in the context of other times and other places.”College, Faust said, also opens up a world of new ideas and fresh perspectives. “You will learn to engage people with a wide range of viewpoints, to agree and disagree with them as you learn to question and reconsider your own point of view,” she said. Attending college also will “encourage dreams that you have never dreamed.”In concluding, Faust said that not only do students need college, but colleges need them, along with the range of experience they can bring to campus.“You have extraordinary gifts, and two extraordinary institutions that are nurturing them. And I encourage you to share those gifts by continuing your education — and building on what has been given to you here, to reach out more broadly to wider worlds and new places, educating others as you educate yourselves and build your futures.”President Drew Faust visited Miami Northwestern High School where she listened to Principal Wallace Aristide, who has made increasing the school’s graduation rate and preparing students for college his top priorities. Joe Sherman/Harvard StaffThe visit also served to highlight the accomplishments of Miami Northwestern’s principal, Wallace Aristide. As assistant principal beginning in 2006 and principal since 2011, Aristide has worked hard to create a culture shift at a school that before he arrived was prone to internal problems and poor state ratings.During his tenure, Aristide has made increasing the school’s graduation rate and college prep his top priorities. In the past several years, the graduation rate has risen from 54 to more than 85 percent. In 2013, after years of receiving near-failing or failing assessments from the state, the school was awarded an “A” rating. In 2016, graduating students received $9.5 million in financial aid and 600 college acceptance letters.Butler said the encouragement of the school’s teachers and mentors provided the support she needed to apply to Harvard. “I didn’t think it would be worth it for me to apply,” she recalled, “but a lot of my teachers encouraged me to kind of go beyond my self-doubts.” After medical school, she hopes to work to reduce health disparities between income groups.The day began in the school’s college resource center, where a large, pastel-colored map of the nation hangs on the wall and is plastered with yellow notes denoting the names of Miami Northwestern graduates and the colleges they attend. Faust’s visit was an important boost, said Aristide, adding even more to his students’ “commitment, dedication and inspiration. They are going to be on fire for this.”Faust’s visit included a tour of the school’s art gallery, where she spoke with student artists and viewed their work, and a roundtable discussion with teachers on topics that ranged from financial aid to college preparedness and retention programs.Faust’s remarks left a strong impression on student Gaelle Manuel. Dressed in dark green scrubs that identified her as part of the school’s medical magnet program, Manuel said Faust had deepened her desire to attend college, where she plans to study medicine or English.The sophomore summed up the day’s theme simply: “Aspire to greatness.”last_img read more

Taylor Louderman, Alex Wyse & More Set for Ride the Cyclone

first_img Ride the Cyclone The cast is now set for the New York premiere of Ride the Cyclone. Among those on board for the MCC production are Peter Pan Live!’s Taylor Louderman, Spring Awakening’s Alex Wyse and Gus Halper. Performances will begin at off-Broadway’s Lucille Lortel Theatre on November 9. Tickets are now on sale.In addition to Peter Pan Live!, Louderman has appeared on Broadway in Bring It On and off-Broadway in Gigantic. Wyse’s additional credits include Lysistrata Jones, Bare and Wicked. Halper will appear opposite Nick Jonas in the upcoming film Goat.The cast will also include four performers from the original Chicago Shakespeare Theatre production: Lillian Castillo, Karl Hamilton, Emily Rohm and Kholby Wardell.Rachel Rockwell directs and choreographs the Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell musical, which follows a group of high school students who take a fatal ride on the Cyclone roller coaster.Ride the Cyclone will feature set design by Scott Davis, costumes by Theresa Ham, lighting design by Greg Hofmann, sound design by Garth Helm and projection design by Mike Tutaj. The production is schedule to open officially on December 1 and run through December 18. Related Shows Taylor Louderman & Alex Wyse(Photos: Bruce Glikas & Emilio Madrid-Kuser)center_img View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 28, 2016last_img read more

Two new start-ups, UVM license agreement featured at Center for Emerging Technologies

first_imgTwo new start-ups, as well as a UVM technology license agreement, were announced Tuesday at the Center for Emerging Technologies’ 4th annual Invention to Venture (I2V) Conference at UVM s Davis Center.Governor Douglas was joined by Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie to announce the new Technology License between UVM and Swanton’s Leader Evaporator to manufacture and distribute a unique Maple Spout Adapter.  The Maple Spout Adapter was developed by Timothy Perkins, Director of UVM s Proctor Maple Research Center. The recently signed license with Leader already produced 15,000 taps for this past season’s sap run. Dubie said the taps were used at his family s sugarbush.  My family was excited to use this Vermont maple spout adapter during this banner sugaring season, said Lt. Governor Dubie.  Our production was up in part because of this innovative new product.  We must continue to do what we can to support the kind of innovation that is being discussed at today s conference.  That is why we need economic development legislation that includes a R&D tax credit. I am proud to announce this unique Vermont partnership, said Governor Douglas.  This is a great example of what can be achieved though ingenuity and innovation.  These adapters are not only more efficient but they are less harmful to our cherished maple trees.   Production from these taps is revolutionizing the industry due to sap output that is up to 4 times greater than traditional taps. Douglas was then joined by VCET President David Bradbury to announce the two start-up companies at VCET. The start-ups are beneficiaries of a Simulated Software investment and incubation initiative launched last fall by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and VCET.  This initiative provides each recipient with VCET technology incubator membership in addition to a $50,000 investment per start-up. The first company is comprised of four faculty and instructors and three students from Champlain College s Gaming and Emergent Media Programs.  With over 40 years of combined experience in the game industry, Hoozinga is an independent game studio focused on the rapidly growing, $1.5 billion serious games sector.  Amanda Fox is the founder and CEO of Hoozinga.The second company Appstone – was founded by Middlebury College junior Bevan Barton and Associate Professor of Computer Science Tim Huang. Barton is a Science major with a focus on artificial intelligence engines and gaming. Appstone provides instructional solutions and user-friendly templates for iPhone application development and publishing.  Apple has already sold over 17 million iPhones and iPod touch devices worldwide. Our support for these companies through VCET represents a true commitment to innovation and high-tech job creation, Douglas said.  Especially in this tough economic climate, we must continue to work together to find ways to invest and support new and existing businesses. We are excited to have these innovative new companies at VCET, said David Bradbury.  We look forward to offering them the continued support they need to grow their companies and create good-paying high-tech jobs right here in Vermont.  There is one more $50,000 simulated software membership remaining and we hope that an entrepreneur from UVM s ranks will steps forward soon and take advantage of this great opportunity. These companies prove that even in the midst of a protracted economic downturn, Vermonters still look to build and expand cutting-edge companies,   added Governor Douglas.  And government must do all it can to support them.last_img read more

American Actress Lucy Liu Launches UNICEF Campaign in Peru

first_imgBy Dialogo August 31, 2009 LIMA, 27 August 2009 (AFP) – American actress Lucy Liu, a star of the film Charlie’s Angels, launched a social-mobilization and fundraising campaign for Peruvian children in Lima on Thursday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced. “It’s very important for me to do something useful here. I only want to be sure that the media who are here will pay attention to what’s happening with children,” the actress said to the press after sharing her experiences as a UNICEF good-will ambassador. The actress, known for her roles in the films Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill, was designated to open the humanitarian campaign named ‘En Buena Onda’ (‘Feeling Good’). The New York actress, who took advantage of her brief trip to Peru to visit Machu Picchu on Wednesday, affirmed that she was amazed by the citadel and above all by the warmth of the Peruvian people. Actors, singers, entertainment-industry figures, and members of civil society are behind the campaign, the goal of which is “to collect funds in support of poor children who also have the right to a better future,” UNICEF indicated.last_img read more

SOUTHCOM Brings New Horizons to Panama

first_imgBy Roberto López Dubois/Diálogo June 20, 2018 Panamanian communities in need benefitted from humanitarian assistance provided through a U.S. Southern Command- (SOUTHCOM) sponsored development assistance campaign. The New Horizons 2018 exercise, conducted in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Panama and the Panamanian government, began April 11th and concludes June 20th. More than 350 SOUTHCOM personnel, including doctors, engineers, and service members, mobilized to lend a hand in the central provinces of Coclé and Veraguas, as well as Darién, on the border with Colombia. Personnel from the Panamanian Border Service (SENAFRONT, in Spanish), Panamanian government officials, humanitarian organizations, and local medical professionals joined the U.S. troops in a combined interagency effort. “[The exercise] is very important because it brings integration in addition to other benefits,” said Commissioner Oriel Óscar Ortega, deputy director of SENAFRONT. “The U.S. forces came here to provide assistance, and we also work alongside them to provide the aid.” New Horizons 2018 had two main focuses: building infrastructure and providing medical and dental care. The purpose of the exercise is to provide help to local communities, train U.S. service members and their counterparts in partner nations, and strengthen their ties of friendship. “We are very excited to be here,” said U.S. Air Force Captain Rosimar Varela-Gradaille, legal advisor to SOUTHCOM’s air component, Air Forces Southern (AFSOUTH), during the exercise’s opening ceremony in Metití, Darién. “We are going to build schools, set up a center for women’s health, and perform surgeries. In short, thousands will benefit from our presence.” Medical assistance The U.S. medical teams, in cooperation with the Panamanian Ministry of Health, conducted two medical readiness training exercises (MEDRETE) and one surgical readiness training exercise (SURGRETE). The MEDRETE offered consultations and diagnoses in general medicine, dentistry, gynecology, physiotherapy, and pediatrics, as well as veterinary services. The medical team cared for more than 7,000 patients and 1,180 animals. The SURGRETE was conducted over two weeks in May and focused on otolaryngological and ophthalmological operations. Doctors performed 275 eye surgeries, 40 ear surgeries, while an additional 30 people received hearing aids. SOUTHCOM doctors and technicians split their time between medical centers in the three provinces, where they became integral members of local healthcare teams to learn about the country’s regulations and standards. This teamwork also allowed doctors to share their knowledge and skills with their Panamanian colleagues. “Each day, we sent one doctor to each clinic or hospital. We would show up and work with the doctor in charge. Often times, we even got to pair up with a resident in training, which proved a huge benefit to both sides,” said U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Brian Reese, commander of the AFSOUTH medical operations squadron of New Horizons. “At every step we saw patients together, side-by-side. We discussed cases and learned from each other.” At the beginning of June, the U.S. military medical personnel kicked off a healthcare workshop with support from the University of Panama’s School of Medicine and the Gorgas Commemorative Institute of Health Studies. The training event on emerging infectious diseases was held in Darién and Panama City, and included a visit to the Panama Canal to learn about and share information on the impact the diseases have on public health. Improving infrastructure Infrastructure projects concentrated in the Darién region, where SOUTHCOM service members built a community center, a center for women’s health, and classrooms at three schools. During the deployment, military engineers—from welding specialists to metalworkers and electricians—rotated between the different construction projects to finish them on time. According to María López de Jaramillo, regional director of the Ministry of Education for the province of Darién, the assistance was a blessing that will improve the quality of education for students. “[New Horizons] improves the quality of our infrastructure and our students’ education,” López said. “For them, it’s life-changing.” The community center built in the Pinogana district of Darién will give the remote region a wireless connection. Pinogana mayor Jannelle González explained that the center will offer business workshops and other activities for locals. “We plan to properly maintain, use, and equip this structure as is necessary,” González said. “These are well-executed projects. I’m honored as mayor of this town, and as a resident of Darién, that this exercise has come to our province.” Decades of assistance The annual New Horizons exercise began with projects in Panama in 1984. Since then, SOUTHCOM has provided assistance to countries in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The 2018 exercise marked the seventh time the operation takes place in Panama. “Each year for the past three decades, we have served throughout Latin America,” said U.S. Air Force Colonel Darren Ewing, commander of the 346th Air Expeditionary Group at AFSOUTH and chief of New Horizons 2018. “Countries ask us to come and we help.” According to Commissioner Ortega, New Horizon projects were up and ready on time. “We are always grateful to every country who wants to help us, and we too have come to the aid of other countries,” he said. “In this day and age, integration between countries is crucial for their development.”last_img read more

Alure Home Improvements Seeks to Inspire ‘Raving Fans’ [Sponsored]

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When it comes to levels of appreciation, some people are enthusiasts—they express themselves politely but they don’t let themselves go. Some folks are fans—they don’t hide who they favor, they let everybody know what side they’re on. And then there the raving fans!You know who they are: They’re the fanatics shouting in the stands in sub-freezing weather, icicles in their beards and the letters of their team painted proudly on their bellies. And they’re like the ones who Sal Ferro, president and CEO of Alure Home Improvements, wants for his customers and employees.He’s one to know. A huge New York Giants fan himself, Sal admits, “I put blue on my eyes for the Super Bowl! My daughter is putting blue on her face! I wore a Giants jersey! I’m jumping up and down for the Giants!”Sal wants to create the same intense culture of loyalty at Alure, both inside and out.“I want raving fans for Alure Home Improvements!” he tells sports marketer Tyler Pyburn in this accompanying video. “I want people who want to wear our shirts, who want to talk about us, who go to our Facebook fan page, who come to our showroom, who come to our events, and who refer us. Those are the people I want to follow us on Twitter.”Sal’s hope is that when raving Alure fans hear the company name, they’ll go: “Oh, I love them! They did a great job for us! They’re good people! They stand behind their work!”The analogy is simple.“Who would you rather have as a customer?” asks Sal rhetorically. “A happy, pleased customer or a raving fan?”At Alure Home Improvements, the answer is clear: Happy is nice, but raving is fantastic. That kind of wild excitement comes from not just meeting expectations but exceeding them, time after time.Click here to learn more about Alure Home ImprovementsIt starts with building a foundation of employees who truly appreciate what Alure does, are great at doing their jobs and are clearly invested in helping the company surpass all its goals. As Sal puts it, he has assembled a team of people who love working at Alure so much they’re willing “to go through a wall for you!”And fostering that spirit is the driving force behind Alure Home Improvements’ philosophy of customer service.It’s nice to have customers say they like you. It’s not easy to have them rave about you.“But you can do it if you focus on it!” says Sal Ferro. “It’s part of our culture—and that’s what we’re doing here!”last_img read more