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Predicting Ebola’s spread using cell phone data

By on March 1, 2021

first_img Read Full Story Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) epidemiologist Caroline Buckee and her team are using cell phone data to track travel patterns across West Africa to help fight the Ebola epidemic. Such data — including unique cell phone “pings” from cell phone towers — can show where people have gone after leaving a disease hot spot, thus suggesting where a disease cluster might crop up next and where best to focus health care efforts.Buckee, assistant professor of epidemiology at HSPH and associate director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, and her team are working with Flowminder, a Swedish nonprofit, to analyze data from Senegal and Ivory Coast provided by Orange Telecom, a West African mobile carrier. The researchers are also analyzing population movements using more conventional sources, such as surveys.“We are planning to develop epidemiological models to estimate the cost effectiveness of containment for different scenarios of Ebola arrival in different West African countries in the next few weeks,” said Buckee.last_img read more

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John Hurt Joins Kenneth Branagh in London’s The Entertainer

By on January 18, 2021

first_img John Hurt will join Kenneth Branagh in the West End production of John Osborne’s The Entertainer this summer. Directed by Rob Ashford, the production begins performances at the Garrick Theatre on August 20 with opening night August 30.Hurt, who will play Billy Rice, has been on stage in Travesties, Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs, Inadmissible Evidence,The Seagull with Natasha Richardson, A Month in the Country opposite Helen Mirren and Heroes. His film work includes Alien, Midnight Express, The Elephant Man, 1984, The Hit, The Field, Love and Death on Long Island, V for Vendetta, TinkerTailor Soldier Spy, Snowpiercer, Hercules and Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter series.The cast will also feature Jonah Hauer-King as Frank Rice, Sophie McShera as Jean Rice and Greta Sachhi as Phoebe Rice. Set against the backdrop of post-war Britain, The Entertainer conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls for an examination of public masks and private torment.The Entertainer completes Branagh’s takeover of the Garrick, which saw The Winter’s Tale and Harlequinade earlier this season and will welcome The Painkiller and Romeo and Juliet this spring. John Hurt(Photo: Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images) View Commentslast_img read more

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Palette & Palate.

By on January 17, 2021

first_imgElectric Swiss Chard But this is also a delicious vegetable — succulent, sweet and highly nutritious, too. Cooked lightly like spinach, it retains its coloration for a gorgeous presentation on the plate. Swiss Chard “Bright Lights” With bright green leaves, it’s easy to grow with full sun and good garden soil. Chard comes in crimson stalks, too, with bright green leaves. Photo: Park Seed All of the beautiful Swiss chards have been added. Intense, electric stems in a marvelous range of colors on 15- to 20-inch plants make outstanding borders and accents in the garden.center_img Colorful Cabbages Now more than ever, the plants we use in fall and winter gardens can bless both the palette and the palate. For years, pansies were all we had for winter planting, and they do give us a growing array of colors, flower faces and bloom sizes. Now, however, pansies have had to make room for exciting additions to their winter beds. Within the past several years, many new plants have been added to the growing palette for fall and winter. Most of the new winter plants are edible, as are the blossoms of pansies. Now, parsley is a mainstay, both curly and Italian flat leaf. Parsley adds a bright new dimension to beds with its unique, curled leaves and yellow-green color. It’s best planted in the fall and will last throughout the winter in most of Georgia. Next comes the cabbage family. Beautiful ornamental cabbages are familiar now. And kales come in reds, pinks and white, both flat-leaf and curled, along with the Peacock series that’s frilly-leafed. Others include the Scotch curled kales and new thin-leaf kales that add variety to the garden. Red Giant mustard can really brighten up a fall bed, too, with its large maroon-red leaves with green-veined stalks. Lettuces are also a good selection. Now, with their rich colors, you can grow Red Butterhead, Red Sails and both Red and Green Oakleaf, along with Burgundy Ice. No one said you couldn’t have your flower garden and eat it, too. In the “Bright Lights” series, stems come in a brilliant array of yellow, gold, pink, crimson, pink-and-white striped, orange, scarlet, purple, white and green.last_img read more

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Guatemala Hosts Opening Ceremony for Continuing Promise 2017

By on December 20, 2020

first_imgBy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Shamira Purifoy February 08, 2017 An opening ceremony was held to celebrate the arrival of the humanitarian mission Continuing Promise 2017 (CP-17), on February 2nd, at its main medical site in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. Captain Errin Armstrong, Mission Commander for CP-17, expressed the significance of the Continuing Promise mission and the partnerships established in the Central and South American region, including Guatemala. “This year’s Continuing Promise mission is its seventh iteration in a span of ten years, and our visit to Guatemala will be the sixth during the same period of cooperation,” said Capt. Armstrong. “Through Continuing Promise’s spirit of teamwork, all of us have the unique opportunity to enhance our medical, dental, and veterinary capabilities on a local and global scale.” Continuing Promise is a U.S. Southern Command mission introduced in 2007. It provides medical, engineering, veterinary and humanitarian assistance activities in select countries to strengthen partnerships and improve cooperation on many levels with partner nations, interagency organizations and nongovernmental organizations. Guatemala is CP-17’s first stop on its three-month humanitarian and civic assistance mission. Capt. Armstrong said the work done over the 12-day visit will build on relationships developed in previous years and increase the capacities of countries and communities to provide for themselves, making the visit to Puerto Barrios and possible future visits, an exchange of information and chance to strengthen our partnerships. “During Continuing Promise 2017 we will continue to work and train side by side with doctors and nurses; government agencies, including the ministry of health; Guatemalan military forces; and countless volunteers from the community and international aid organizations,” said Capt. Armstrong. “Together, through these partnerships, we will help communities develop the ability to meet their own needs on a daily basis while leaving a tangible positive impact on the people we help.” Prominent Puerto Barrios government officials and community members also addressed the audience of host nation volunteers and U.S. and Guatemalan military members at the engagement. Geraldina Motta, director of Operation Blessing International, a nonprofit humanitarian organization, gave special praise to CP-17 participants for their commitment to service. “I want to thank the U.S. military for what you are doing,” said Motta. “You are doing God’s work.” The event was held at a local athletic complex, turned into the main medical site where service members began proving various medical screenings and treatments for host nation patients after the ceremony ended. After Guatemala, CP-17 will make two additional scheduled mission stops in Honduras and Colombia. This is the seventh CP mission conducted under the guidance of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet.last_img read more

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Western Hemisphere Allies Work Together to Ensure Stability

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first_imgBy Jim Garamone/DOD News November 09, 2020 A sign outside an office in the Pentagon summarizes the feelings of the people inside the office: “The Western Hemisphere Is the Best Hemisphere.”Sergio de la Peña, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere affairs, says that, despite some problems, the “neighborhood” is safe and prospering. Still, this condition requires constant attention and involvement.Members from various nations participating in Exercise TRADEWINDS discuss strategies and tactics during the Operational Planning Process at Las Calderas Naval Base in the Dominican Republic, on June 3, 2019. (Photo: Private Tori Lake/Canadian Forces Combat Camera)De la Peña’s office provides policy guidance for U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command. It has responsibility stretching from the Arctic to the Antarctic. It is half the globe.De la Peña is the only deputy assistant secretary for the region. In contrast, the rest of the globe has eight deputy assistant secretaries.The Western Hemisphere is relatively peaceful compared to the rest of the world, but it isn’t without problems. Transnational criminal organizations call the hemisphere home. Drug and human trafficking are vast problems throughout the hemisphere. Economic disparities exacerbate migration trends and there are a few countries — Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua — that just can’t get with the program, De la Peña said.And the hemisphere is not immune to problems arising in other parts of the world. China and Russia are rising great power competitors of the United States and they see some countries in the region as ripe targets. China and Russia look for any way to sow dissension among friends and create doubt and uncertainty in alliances.The main U.S. military effort is helping the nations of the region build capabilities to guard their sovereignty. The militaries must answer to their civilian leaders and respect the human rights of their citizens.This is working. Many of the Central and South American militaries have embraced this effort and, frankly, have become “exporters” of security. Colombia and El Salvador provided forces in Iraq in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Other hemispheric nations are providing trained, professional forces to United Nations missions.But the most important aspect of this is that the nations are working together in the region in ways they did not in the past.Many hemispheric nations are exchanging intelligence and information on shared threats. Service members are working bilaterally with the United States and multilaterally to improve responses and interoperability.“What we are asking is for them to be situationally aware of their own environment and then be willing to share as they see fit,” De la Peña said. “It’s like a neighborhood watch; nations must have situational awareness over their own sovereign space.”Maintaining situational awareness over land, sea, and air is tough enough, but, now, the new domains of space and cyber add new levels of complexities to an already daunting task, he said.Those new domains are key to understanding threats and combating them.There are very few threats that reside completely within the borders of one nation. Cooperating and sharing is absolutely essential to beating back those threats.On the military-to-military relations side of the equation, leaders have good relationships. They have a common understanding of threats, and they can advise civilian leaders on the strategies necessary to defeat them, De la Peña said.“Militaries can help provide guidance and leadership,” De la Peña said. “That security is key because if you don’t have security, you’re not going to have prosperity.”last_img read more

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Revised Thanksgiving Forecast Calls for Rain and Flurries to Taper Off

By on December 18, 2020

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island may have a wet Thanksgiving, but rain, not snow is more likely to dampen the mood of holiday revelers.The National Weather Service in Upton issued an updated forecast that calls for mostly rain on Wednesday and a slight chance of precipitation on Thanksgiving.Forecasters said snow may mix with rain on Wednesday, though no accumulation is expected. Meteorologists expect the rain to stop before sunrise on Thursday. Forecasters said they had received reports of sleet falling in some areas Wednesday morning.National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Pollina said there’s a 15-20 percent chance of precipitation on Thanksgiving, whether it comes in the form of rain, light snow, or both.The forecast has changed significantly since Tuesday, when forecasters were predicting that the Island would get slammed with up to 5 inches of snowThe low pressure system that meteorologists have been monitoring is now likely to be closer to the coast, Pollina said, bringing in warmer air.As for the rest of Wednesday, usually the heaviest travel day before Thanksgiving, forecasters said a mix of rain and snow could fall until 1 p.m., and then change over exclusively to rain for the remainder of the afternoon and throughout the rest of the evening.The temperature should fall to 34 degrees by 5 p.m., but strong winds could make it feel more like 25 degrees, meteorologists said.The forecast for Thanksgiving calls for a high near 39 degrees, with wind chill readings between 25 and 35 degrees.Giddy shoppers gearing up to wait on long lines for Black Friday sales may want to bundle up. Forecasters expect the mercury to fall below freezing to 28 degrees Thursday night.last_img read more

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The credit union strategic sprint

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first_imgInterested in adding some entrepreneurial zeal to your strategic plan and its execution? Consider including 90-day Strategic Sprints in your operating plans as a means to build start-up excitement and senses of urgency among your executives, managers, and front line leaders. It’s an excellent way to always be in the mindset of building a new business within the context of an existing business.The Strategic Sprint is a natural offshoot of your strategic plan and its Year One operating plan. Odds are, your operating plan contains actions that need to materialize this month, next month, this quarter, and so on. Gantt charts, spreadsheets, and To Do lists inhabit that working space. What’s occasionally missing is the tactical enthusiasm, commitment to action, and enthusiasm about reaching new goals that adds intensity to your strategic plan.The Strategic Sprint is a self-designed, 90-day entrepreneurial race to accomplish a handful of targets built into your operating plan. It’s a technique to break down the enormity of all that must occur in Year One and realize the attainability of related functions in the next 90 days. At heart, it’s a contest to accomplish in the short-term details that add up and create much value in the long-term. It’s short enough to easily visualize success yet long enough to require focus and planning.Call it your Spring Sprint, Summer Sprint, Fall Sprint, or Winter Sprint. Set a deadline and group of measures that specify success. Post and communicate your Sprint goals everywhere. Establish a reward for your team or credit union for success in your Sprint. Then go for it. Incremental activities and victories along the way are effective, realistic, and inspiring. And, repeatable.Many credit unions have incorporated Strategic Sprints in their operating formats to achieve the objectives that make up their strategic plans. It adds an enterprising spirit to their cultures, and allows them to be action-oriented in their continuous service to members and future-focused in their aspiration to remain significant in their members’ lives. Boards can appreciate and recognize progress; executives can design and evaluate success; and, entire credit union teams can be a part of strategy for tomorrow in the here and now of today.Consider Strategic Sprints in the execution of your strategic plan. Once you’ve succeeded in your first Sprint, begin another and repeat the process. You’ll learn that this style of thinking big and acting small creates more than just scorecard results. It produces a culture committed to the exhilaration of growing a business and a set of skills dedicated to the details of real-time execution. 28SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Rendel Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with credit unions that want elite results in sales, service, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates … Web: www.risingaboveenterprises.com Detailslast_img read more

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One-To-One With Geezeo: Michael Edmonds, Executive Director, The Center for Child and Family Services

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first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in financial services and Fintech about where the industry is headed, sometimes the most fascinating insights are revealed. One-to-One with Geezeo is an ongoing series that gives our friends, clients, and partners an opportunity to share their experiences and their knowledge to gain an idea of where this exciting industry is heading. In this installment we talked with Michael Edmonds, Executive Director of the Center for Child and Family Services a non-profit organization that deliver quality counseling programs & support services to those in need around the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.Geezeo: Tell us about the Center For Child & Family Services:Mike: The Center for Child & Family Services is a non-profit organization that has been serving the Hampton Roads community since 1943. We serve thousands of people each year from our Hampton and Williamsburg offices. Over the last 75 years, our goal has not changed which is to help our neighbors in need by empowering them to face life’s challenges through counseling and support services. We provide over 18+ programs and over 40+ services that range from mental health counseling, domestic violence intervention and counseling, job readiness, youth and adult anger management and credit, debt and budget counseling. These are just a few of our client centered programs.Geezeo: How does the Center’s credit counseling differ from similar organizations?Mike: We are one of the few small credit counseling programs that is still providing services. Many credit counseling program over the past 10+ years have merged their programs and services into the larger agencies that serve many clients over multiple states. We, at the Center for Child & Family Services and our Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Hampton Roads program, feel that the best way to help those in financial need is to provide face-to-face in person counseling. Our counselors are all certified credit counselors through the National Foundation of Credit Counseling (we have been a member since 1983), which provides the client with the assurance that they are working with a highly trained individual. Our credit counseling program is small, but our staff has over 90 years of service to the agency – that is what makes us differ from the rest. We provide face to face counseling and it will be the same familiar face they will work with while they are in our program. continue reading »last_img read more

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Grow membership by earning trust through Latino outreach

By on December 17, 2020

first_imgThe bank and credit union communities are beginning to adapt and engage with the Hispanic market and tackle the underlying issues to help Latinos successfully navigate their finances, developing unique products and services that actually help Latinos adapt to American financial culture. Credit unions have partnered with community organizations working toward assisting undocumented immigrants with their best interests in mind. A handful of credit unions have gone above and beyond to rewrite internal policies and procedures to remove roadblocks and genuinely engage with the Hispanic market.The benefits of working with the Latino community are numerous. According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of Hispanics in the United States will grow from 63 Million in 2020 to 88 Million by 2040. As one of the largest and fastest-growing minorities in the United States, authentic outreach is critical to serving them.  Uncovering better ways to serve them and their community builds strong relationships and cultivates the trust needed. The Latino population also tends to be younger than the general US population, providing credit unions a lifetime of service opportunities.As the United States continues to be ravaged by the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, many immigrant families have lost their jobs, are falling behind on their loan payments, and need someone to turn to for guidance and help. The government is not able to help immigrants who don’t have Social Security, so these families won’t receive a stimulus check. Additionally, their primary financial institutions won’t lend to them if they can’t prove stable income. This is where credit unions can shine, be the helping hand for individuals, engage with the Hispanic community and build strong relationships and trust by providing solutions that that suit their specific needs.By engaging with this huge market, credit unions’ long-term goals of growing membership and loans can be fulfilled as Latinos find the solutions to their financial problems in financial cooperatives that will help them conquer the American dream. According to Forbes, the purchasing power of Hispanics in the US is almost $1.7 trillion, and Latinos are well known for their loyalty to brands, especially if the brand is committed to helping their community and families. Supporting local Catholic churches or charities, community centers or soccer-plexes with volunteers and money are just a few ways credit unions can make inroads with Latino households.Family is of utmost importance to Hispanics, and they take recommendations from friends and family very seriously. By reaching one individual, credit unions have a great likelihood of growing the family relationship exponentially. For example, helping one family member with opening a checking account and applying for an auto loan, while providing service with empathy to their needs can build a snowball effect – particularly during times of crisis – of family members opening new memberships and applying for accounts and loans.It’s easy to just do the right thing, be honest and genuine, but analyzing the needs and finding and allotting resources for the appropriate solutions to their financial concerns is hard; that’s why other financial institutions are not doing it. But the long-term dividends of building trust are immeasurable, including members and loan growth. A well-written strategic plan that directs the packaging of the right products and services, collaborating community partners, and then creating engaging messaging that is inclusive will go a long way toward building trust in the community.Many organizations think about the first generation of immigrants when considering service to the community, but it’s important to keep second generation immigrants in mind, too. Many are bilingual and families are investing in their educational futures to ensure their children have the opportunity for a better life. In addition, multiple generations often live together in the Latino culture, so credit unions can also reach the grandparents, effectively capturing borrowers and savers all at the same time. Multigenerational relationships will help further the credit union as the family and community’s trusted financial advisers.The benefits of serving the Hispanic community abound and can create unprecedented opportunities for credit unions willing to do the legwork to grow into this market’s primary financial institution. 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Christian Cuzme For more than a decade, Christian Cuzme has worked in the insurance and finance industries focused on marketing to the Hispanic/Latino community. At Your Marketing Co. he specializes in … Web: https://yourmarketing.co Detailslast_img read more

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Tech Time: 4 signs that your credit union’s website needs an overhaul

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first_imgThe financial services industry has never really been static and has long been subject to shifts in government regulations and tax codes, disruptive technologies, economic policies, inflation rates and, most recently, the pandemic.However, change can be a good thing—evolving banking technology has helped credit unions simplify day-to-day operations, solidify member relationships and identify new revenue opportunities. The success of your credit union all depends on whether you choose to continue business as usual or embrace change as it comes your way.One question that often pops up while working with credit unions looking to build stronger digital strategies is “Do we need a website overhaul to compete or rank better?”This question usually arises when a credit union is considering changing its branding or is having trouble ranking in search results, but there are several additional reasons why a website overhaul may be needed. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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