Brazil Busts Rio Gang Made of Police, Councillors


first_imgBy Dialogo December 28, 2010 Brazilian police have busted a feared criminal gang which killed at least 50 people and counted more than a dozen officers and some municipal councillors in its ranks, officials said on 22 December. Twenty-five members of the 34-strong gang were arrested the day before on warrants based on wiretaps that found the organization sold weapons to drug dealers in a nest of Rio slums that was cleared by police and soldiers last month. The two local councillors of the Duque de Caxias neighborhood were suspected of running the para-police outfit, while the 13 policemen arrested were part of its “muscle” thought to have carried out hits. “The gang worked like a real criminal enterprise, with roles defined for each member. There were managers and hitmen,” the police chief in charge of the arrests, Alexandre Capote, told media. The gang was one of several comprising police officers that operate in Rio’s notoriously violent and lawless slums. They started activities in late 2006, as militias that forced out local gangs then took over to run extortion rackets. The Duque de Caxias outfit is suspected of killing 50 people, and earning 150,000 dollars a month by illegally selling television cable connections, gas and land to residents, Capote said. According to a former captain in Rio’s elite police unit, the Special Operations Battalion, police-manned militias are present in more than 100 of the city’s 250 worst slums.last_img read more

What Is The Best Chimney Cleaning Service on Long Island?


first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Clean chimneys not only make your house smell fresher, they also make it safer and look brand new, but which chimney cleaning service is the best?Long Islanders voted Island Chimney Service the Best Chimney Cleaning Service on Long Island in the 2019 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest.Don’t let a dirty chimney spoil your next open fire. Let the experts at Island Chimney Service make sure your home fires are burning bright and clean. The full-service, licensed, bonded and insured chimney, masonry and construction company prides itself on thoroughly cleaning the chimney from top to bottom.Island Chimney Service provides a 13-point safety inspection along with free estimates for any work that may need to be done. They don’t just clean chimneys, they do flashing, masonry, relining, caps, animal removal, water leaks and much more. Island Chimney Service offer around the clock emergency service for unexpected emergencies.To find all the other 2019 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest winners, visit bestoflongisland.com Vote for your favorite businesses and people in the 2020 Bethpage Best of Long Island program Oct. 1 through Dec. 15.Island Chimney Service is located at 1650 Sycamore Ave. in Bohemia. It can be reached at 631-567-4752 or islandchimneyservice.comlast_img read more

SpaceX Crew Docks at the International Space Station


first_img– Advertisement – The crew overcame iffy weather and launched Sunday at 7:27 p.m. Eastern time from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The journey lasted 27 hours.When the Dragon’s commander, Mike S. Hopkins, made radio contact, Kate Rubins, an astronaut aboard the space station, called out, “Oh, what a good voice to hear,” The Associated Press reported. The Crew Dragon spacecraft, a privately built and operated vessel carrying four NASA astronauts, successfully arrived at the International Space Station on Monday night. “Docking confirmed — Crew Dragon has arrived at the @space_station!” the rocket company SpaceX, started by Elon Musk, announced on Twitter. – Advertisement – The trip is a milestone in the effort to bring private spaceflight to reality. – Advertisement –center_img “For the first time in history, there is a commercial capability from a private sector entity to safely and reliably transport people to space,” Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA, said in a telephone interview with reporters on Thursday.In the future, instead of relying on government-operated spacecraft, NASA astronauts and anyone else with enough money can buy a ticket on a commercial rocket.The four astronauts on this flight are Mr. Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor J. Glover of NASA and Soichi Noguchi, a Japanese astronaut. They are to stay at the space station for six months. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Show respect for the flag and stand up


first_imgRe May 29 letter, “NFL anthem stance is unAmerican”: As I understand it, Denis Brennan seems to think the “piece of cloth” (the American flag), as he puts it, is just that and that it doesn’t represent the ideals of being an American.  I would ask him to check with the family members of the thousands of men and women who lost loved ones fighting for that flag and what it represents to them. To stand for the national anthem, he says, is forced patriotism. I call it respect for what the flag means to most Americans.Linda CorteseNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfect Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

HBS ‘interesting’ but not yet ready for use – Actuarial Association of Europe


first_imgWhile the German pension fund association and PensionsEurope criticised the inclusion of the HBS in the assessment, Valkenburg said it made sense from “an efficiency point of view” to have pension funds calculate the HBS for the quantitative assessment and then use them in the stress test.But the actuary also argued that it was “very difficult to have a single framework for capital requirements” in the pensions sector, as schemes are “executing pension promises in very different ways”.He said using a single risk-free rate would work if all the pensions funds used stochastic evaluations, and the risks were modelled in the same way.But he said this was not the case in reality.“Using a risk-free rate to give a good estimate of the valuation of pension promises that are not fully guaranteed would lead to too high values if the risks are not modelled in the cash flows,” he said. Valkenburg said one of the most “valuable” aspects of the stress tests EIOPA will conduct among European IORPs will be the assessment of defined contribution (DC) plans.While industry group PensionsEurope has questioned whether the stress tests will yield any useful results regarding DC scheme members, Valkenburg stressed the importance of “informing members about how a stressed situation can impact them”.He added: “It is good to see DC is included in the stress tests for the first time because most new accrual of pension assets in Europe is in DC.”One of the goals of the stress test is to assess the impact on the macro economy, which, according to Valkenburg, will not be as great as the impact on individual members who “might have less money to buy a pension” on retirement.“This is important to be aware of, and, hopefully, we can help members to navigate through their lives and minimise the impact,” he said.The AAE issued a paper in February on decumulation in which it warned that the requirement to buy an annuity on the day of retirement might force people to buy at the wrong time.Valkenburg said the stress test might also highlight the problem of guarantees being much higher than the current interest rate. “Guarantees are very expensive, and they were given in times when stakeholders were not expecting a sudden change in the environment like we have seen in the past couple of years,” he said.Valkenburg expects guarantees to come down or be removed altogether in the wake of the stress tests, which he said would, in turn, highlight the problem of people having to work longer. The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) needs to “take another look” at using the holistic balance sheet (HBS) approach as a means of calculating capital requirements, according to Falco Valkenburg, chair of the Actuarial Association of Europe’s (AAE) pensions committee.Valkenburg said the HBS was “an interesting concept that should be explored further, maybe as part of pension funds’ risk management”, but he also stressed that the HBS concept was “quite new”.“Not even we at the AAE are fully convinced it will lead to something that can work in practice,” he said. EIOPA announced the details of its first stress test for occupational pension funds on Monday. last_img read more

Karch criticises German pension system’s interest rate sensitivity


first_imgThe German occupational pension system has overlooked its interest-rate risk sensitivity, a dependency that will force it to re-evaluate its approach to guarantees, according to Heribert Karch, chair of the country’s pension association.Karch, chairman of the aba and chief executive at MetallRente, said that, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the German pensions sector was proud of how well it weathered the crisis.“But we overlooked how sensitive to interest rates we were,” he told the aba’s annual conference in Berlin this week.“Today, we still finance a greater number of countries than we do economies. This results in a interest rate dependency and a sensitivity to interest rates that forces us to re-think the dilemma of [low] returns and guaranteed [payments].” Karch called for the industry to truly re-think the issue and not simply assume a defensive stance.“If we can come to a sensible agreement, then I am not worried that we can ensure [income] security for employees.”The chairman’s comments came shortly after the German government received two detailed reports on pension reform, examining possible tax incentives to boost participation and the role of collective bargaining agreements.The respective ministries, for finance and social affairs, have offered tacit support for one of the main findings, proposing the use of an auto-enrolment system to boost participation rates.However, aba and Karch warned against attempts to introduced a defined contribution-based system, without any guarantees, noting it would be a difficult reform to sell.“The federal government must now look at the numerous reform proposals and settle on the right shape of reform.“The aba stands ready to offer its assistance – both with the big picture and the detail.”last_img read more

NNPC, First E&P, Schlumberger to Develop Anyala and Madu Fields


first_imgNigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), First Exploration & Production (First E&P) and Schlumberger signed a tripartite agreement for development of the Anyala and Madu fields under OML 83 and OML 85, offshore Nigeria.Under the agreement, Schlumberger will contribute the required services in kind and capital for the project development until first oil, the company said.OML 83 and OML 85 are in shallow waters 40 km offshore in the Niger Delta. The Anyala and Madu fields are discoveries with a combined STOIIP of more than 450 million bbl and GIIP of more than 800 Bscf.First E&P holds a 40% interest in the licenses and is the operator of the asset; NNPC holds the remaining 60%.The project will be developed with an existing FPSO and is designed to add 50,000 bbls of oil per day and 120 MMscf of gas per day.Project FID is expected to be made in December 2017, with first oil production in 2019. The investment in the project, phased over several years, is estimated at $700 million.The agreement is based on a guaranteed project return and includes a payment assurance bank facility.last_img read more

The Truth About Losing Baby Weight.


first_img Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Share Sharecenter_img 44 Views   no discussions HealthLifestyle The Truth About Losing Baby Weight. by: – April 26, 2011 The first few months after having a child can be the most rewarding of your life. Well, that could be until you find the time to look in the mirror.But just because your body changes after pregnancy doesn’t mean you can’t get in the best shape of your life. What to Expect When Natalie Fraschetti looked at her stomach for the first time after having her son, she thought, “Wow, how is that ever going to go back to something halfway normal?” Fraschetti, a 30-year-old engineer in Encinitas, California, gave birth to her first child in 2010.A longtime runner, her new physique seemed foreign. “It wasn’t that it was even fat, it was just like a raisin, like a really soft, mushy raisin,” she said. This experience is far from uncommon, and unfortunately, the soft mushiness doesn’t just sit in the stomach.Jenny Burkett Widmaier, 28, an Atlanta-based photographer, exercised throughout her pregnancy with daily yoga routines and occasional boot camp classes. During her pregnancy, she thought the extra weight was solely in her stomach, but after delivering her daughter, she noticed flab in her butt, legs and around a saddlebag area where she’d never had problems before.Many women end up gaining more weight than they’re expecting, according to Mara Newman, a registered dietitian and former Weight Watchers leader in New Jersey. Between 25 and 35 lbs. is considered healthy, Newman says, and underweight women can gain up to 40 while still being within a healthy range. “But when you don’t worry about a waistline, you feel like you have a free hall pass,” Newman said.Practice Patience With pregnant celebrities seemingly going from hospital gowns to size 2 red carpet dresses in weeks, it’s difficult for new mothers to accept physical changes as well as the challenge of getting back into shape. The good news is that it’s possible to get into better shape than before a pregnancy. The bad news is it’s going to take a lot of patience.Dr. Michael Johnson, an OB/GYN physician at the University of California, Los Angeles, advises fighting the urge to hit the gym immediately. During pregnancy, blood volume increases at least 15 percent for cardiac output to increase in preparation for delivery and blood loss. “When women’s rings get tight, that’s the byproduct of expanding blood volume,” Johnson said. But these simple fluids will mobilize quickly after pregnancy, and women can expect to see a dramatic release of the fluid through the kidneys in between two and seven days.Up to 20 lbs. can easily be lost in just the first week after pregnancy. Also, the soft, mushy raisin sitting where your six-pack used to be will take at least six weeks to get back to relatively normal. The uterus increases to support fetal growth, but after giving birth, it will contract during breastfeeding or on its own to regain normal size by at least six weeks.The muscle fibers of the abdominal wall lengthen to accommodate the growth of the baby, which is something that will technically never get back to completely normal. The process may take three to six months before the abdominal wall remodels itself and starts to come down to its normal tone.“You have to have reasonable expectations,” Johnson said. And his biggest tip to getting your abs back? Don’t think or worry about doing situps until after at least four months. “You can do situps or crunches all day long and you’re not going to accomplish anything,” he said. “The body has to do that on its own.” Andrea Rogers, 29, founder of Xtend Barre — a combination of pilates and dance — in Boca Raton, Florida, recently had her first child. “A lot of work that focuses on the core is full body movement,” Rogers said.To strengthen the core, which will eventually lead to tighter abs, she recommends practicing good posture in the first few weeks after giving birth before slowly adding variations of the plank into workouts when the body feels comfortable. “While you’re sitting and nursing or trying to get in a quick email, focus on where your spine and alignment are and think about sitting up straight.”Another way to help with the softness is by using an abdominal binder or girdle for extra support when it feels as if everything is overstretched, according to “The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth,” by Drs. Yvonne Bohn, Allison Hill and Alane Park. Something often forgotten by new mothers is the importance of the pelvic floor muscles, the muscles at the lower part of the pelvis that hold everything up.These muscles are traumatized by the pregnancy and birth and take at least six weeks to start the first phase of the healing process. “I tend to discourage certain types of exercise because you don’t want to put too much stress on (the pelvic floor muscles) in order to preserve bladder support,” Johnson said. He advises against jarring exercises like running and jogging until at least eight weeks after pregnancy.Instead, opt for less intense cardio like the elliptical or swimming. Eating & Feeding Aside from how to exercise when your body is ready for it, the best way to take control is to watch what you eat. The bad news here is that it’s back to the rule of thumb: Take in less and expend more. Ramona Braganza, the celebrity fitness trainer known for whipping Jessica Alba and Halle Berry into the best shape of their lives post-pregnancy, says women should assume they will burn calories if they are breastfeeding. “My clients reduced their calorie intake but still allowed themselves 500 calories for breastfeeding,” she said. “But if you notice a change in milk, you are too low on calories.”While breastfeeding, consume more calcium in yogurt, milk and light cheeses to provide the best milk for your baby. However, while breastfeeding moms can technically drop weight easier, Johnson says that idea is overrated. “I think that it’s misleading because you read about Angelina Jolie and how the nursing burns so many calories, but it just made me hungrier,” said Annabelle Martin, a 30-year-old journalist in Fort Myers, Florida.While it takes nine months to have a baby, it could take another nine to get the weight off and yourself into better shape. Factoring in at least six weeks after giving birth before even starting light exercise, on top of at least another four months of waiting for the abdominal wall to re-tone itself, you might not be sporting a size 2 red carpet dress as soon as the baby is asleep.But with patience and preliminary fitness restrictions, the muscles will react better and faster to eventual exercise than if you jump on the treadmill two weeks after leaving the hospital. Add in a proper diet and you’ll be on your way to losing the baby weight.By Brooke Rossby LIVESTRONG.COMlast_img read more

Haiti to pay mothers school incentives via mobile


first_imgNewsRegional Haiti to pay mothers school incentives via mobile by: – May 29, 2012 Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Share 7 Views   no discussions The earthquake of January 2010 devastated much of Port-au-PrinceThe government in Haiti says it will begin transferring cash credits to mothers who send their children to school regularly.Each mother will receive up to $20 (£13) a month and the transfers will be made via mobile phone. The programme, called Ti Manman Cheri, or Dear Little Mother, aims to benefit initially a 100,000 families in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Venezuela is providing $15m (£9.5m) for the first phase of the programme.Other Latin American countries, such as Brazil and Mexico, have adopted schemes that provide benefits to families who keep their children in education.But the Haitian government says this is the first such initiative to use mobile phones for cash transfers. Prime minister Laurent Lamothe said the programme represented “a revolution in the country.”It will initially benefit families in four of the poorest areas of Port-au-Prince and should be extended to the rest of the country by the end of the year.Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.It suffered huge human and material losses when it was hit by an earthquake in 2010.BBC Newslast_img read more

Decatur County REMC elects new board members


first_imgGREENSBURG, Ind. –The Decatur County REMC held their annual meeting at the Greensburg High School Tuesday evening, and new board members were elected before the night was over.Jeff Lawrence was elected to District 3.Steve AmRhein was re-elected for another term in District 4.Jason Barnhorst was elected to District 7.Dan Schantz was elected to a one year term to District 8 after the previous board member resigned.Randy Ostendorf, Edward Hodson, and Rick Hoeing were elected for nominating committee to Districts 2, 4, and 5 respectively.At the meeting officials gave a re-cap of 2016.Don Schilling was recognized after serving as CEO for 38 years, and Brett Abplanalp was recognized as the new CEO.last_img read more