News story: Design and trial smart energy systems: apply for funding

first_imgDemonstrator projectsDemonstration projects must be based in a large UK location such as a medium-sized town. They should: the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 25 July 2018 projects can be led by a business, university, public sector organisation or a research and technology organisation working with others. They must include at least one SME, one academic organisation and a local authority or equivalent organisation you must carry out at least 90% of your project work in the UK and exploit the results here grant funding for each project is expected to be £13 million or higher, with total project costs between £26 million and £160 million. We expect them to last between 24 and 26 months business could attract up to 45% of their project costs a briefing event will be held on 15 May 2018 Find out more about the competition for demonstrators and apply. Concepts and designStudies into new smart, energy systems should show how they could improve future energy services in a UK location at least the size of a medium-sized town.They should show how implementation by the early 2020s could: Competition information optimise energy across a range of supplies, infrastructure and demands deliver lower costs, lower emissions and economic benefit intelligently link energy supply and demand develop processes and skills for designing, financing, building and operating smart local energy systems encourage private investment to replicate these impacts across the UK The best projects will be invited to develop their ideas further in a future competition.Competition informationcenter_img the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 25 July 2018 projects can be led by a business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or local authority, research council institute or a research and technology organisation. At least one SME must be included you must carry out at least 90% of your project work in the UK and exploit the results here we expect total project costs to be between £100,000 and £200,000 and for projects to last up to 6 months businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs a briefing event will be held on 15 May 2018 Find out more about the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. reduce energy bills by at least 25% and reduce carbon emissions in line with targets produce high-value local jobs and local and export business opportunities improve energy security and make the UK more resilient to environmental, technological, social and economic change improve energy efficiency and infrastructure productivity meet air quality targets create ways to test and scale new technologies and business, consumer and regulatory models to speed up industry growth Innovate UK has up to £41.5 million to invest in both the design and practical demonstration of new business models that intelligently link supply, storage and demand in heating, power and transport.There are 2 parts to this competition. Up to £40 million is available for 3 smart energy system demonstrators, while up to £1.5 million is available for studies into new, smarter approaches to local energy.Supporting the smart energy revolutionThe funding is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programme, prospering from the energy revolution.Demand to meet carbon reduction targets and the emergence of new technologies including artificial intelligence, internet of things and sensing and machine learning are creating new opportunities for smart energy systems.This competition will help businesses to develop local energy approaches at scale that will create better outcomes for consumers and promote economic growth for the UK. By the early 2020s, it aims to prove that smarter local energy systems can deliver cleaner and cheaper energy services.Successful projects will be supported by an energy integration network including the Energy Systems Catapult leading researchers and government and independent regulatory bodies. Find out more about this competition for smart energy system studies and apply.last_img read more

Gaming the political arena

first_imgWhether reveling in the opening ceremony, cheering figure skaters from the stands during a team competition, or directing a massive army of police and military personnel to guard against a whiff of terrorism in the region, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been an oddly ubiquitous, hands-on host during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.At a reported cost of nearly $50 billion, the Sochi games are widely believed to be the most expensive ever, seven times the cost of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. It’s a staggering investment by the Russian state, one that suggests, along with Putin’s constant, watchful presence at the Games, that the Kremlin hopes to recoup by leveraging the Olympics as a global rebranding opportunity for the country. Given the warm, golden glow cast on host countries during the two weeks of competition, not to mention the billions of eyes watching, it’s not hard to see why Putin would find the marketing potential of the Olympics so intoxicating and also want to seize the moment to burnish his own image as a rugged outdoorsman.“Events like the Olympics and the World Cup are capability statements: ‘Look what we can do, we’re stable and strong enough to build stadia, stable and strong enough to organize these events, we’re stable and strong enough to keep these athletes safe, therefore you should invest in our country, therefore you should trade with us,’ ” said Ken Shulman, M.P.A. ’04.A veteran print and radio journalist, Shulman spoke Tuesday at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School about how political regimes of all stripes have historically used sports as grand stages to market and push their ideologies and agendas.From Hitler’s attempt to exploit the 1936 Summer Olympics to consolidate his growing power and bolster his claim of Aryan superiority, as documented in Leni Riefenstahl’s film “Die Gotter des Stadions”; to Jackie Robinson’s integration of Major League Baseball in 1947, which laid the groundwork for the public’s eventual acceptance of desegregation; to President Richard M. Nixon’s historic talks with China following friendly relations between the United States and Chinese national pingpong teams in the early 1970s, sports have been instrumental not only in promoting political values and policies, but in bringing wide attention to global issues and galvanizing change, often more effectively than traditional protests and polemics.A former soccer reporter in Italy for the Associated Press, Shulman is a contributor to NPR’s “Only a Game” and executive producer and host of “Away Games,” a television and Web series in development for PBS. The show tells stories about initiatives from around the world that use sports to raise awareness and precipitate some solutions to an array of human-rights issues.Soccer and cricket are followed by billions of people around the world who share no common language, no common history or culture, and often hold opposing political views. Yet they come together and bond over their love of the game, Shulman said.“Sport has a communicative power even among uneducated people. What we’re trying to do with ‘Away Games’ and what I urge human-rights practitioners is to use this universal power of sport for something more important than selling Coca-Cola,” he said.During the wave of political uprisings known as the Arab Spring that started in late 2010, one of the first organized groups to occupy Tahrir Square in Cairo consisted of militant fans of the Al-Ahly soccer club, a team started by Egyptian nationalists in 1907.“In dictatorial regimes, particularly in the Muslim world, there are two places where large groups of people can legally assemble. One is the mosque; the other is the stadium. In South Africa during apartheid, the only place where black South Africans could gather and talk politics, albeit surreptitiously, was at the soccer stadium. Same thing in Egypt,” Shulman said.“So these [Al-Ahly fans], these people who were always the underdogs, the poor, the working class, who suffered under the [Hosni] Mubarak regime, they were the first people to man the barricades in Tahrir Square. And who were the first people to oppose them? The fans of Al-Zamalek, who are the New York Yankees of Egypt soccer. They are the team that’s allied with the military; they are the team that’s allied with the Mubarak regime.”Despite frequent calls by various groups to harness the extraordinary reach of worldwide athletic events by objecting to political actions or stances taken by leaders or sporting bodies through boycotts, such actions have done little historically to effect immediate and meaningful change, said Shulman.The Russian laws against homosexuality that led to widespread snubbing of the Olympics in Sochi by many world leaders are but one of many state-sponsored practices and human-rights violations that, while clearly objectionable, won’t be undone by athletes skipping competitions, Shulman said.“Discrimination in Russia is not limited to homosexuals; it is broad-spread, both institutionalized and popular. There are things you would see in the newspapers, there are things you would see on the streets that would be taken down and people would go to jail for here. Putin is trying to dress that up. That gesture he made to embrace the [Dutch] speed skater, he did that because he knew he had to. But they have not changed the laws,” Shulman said.“Almost every country that hosts these major events has something in the closet — if not in the closet, they have some sin right out front. Beijing’s human-rights offenses dwarf Russia’s, [yet] we didn’t have half the protests” during the 2008 Summer Olympics. “If we’re really going to limit these major events to countries that don’t have egregious human-rights violations, I can think of a handful of countries” that would qualify, he said.Shulman, who tutors high school students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, said he has seen firsthand how sports can provide an opening to learn and talk about difficult subjects that students and others might otherwise not pay attention to. In addition to airing stories, “Away Games” is developing curricula and learning modules to help foster broader and deeper engagement in the issues the show presents.“One of my great qualms about doing these stories, as a radio reporter and a print reporter, is … they’re very easy stories to do because the injustice is so glaring,” Shulman said. “You make a big splash, and then nothing happens. I’m very excited about developing this educational program because I think we can have a much bigger and more measurable impact than just calling attention to the disasters and distresses of the lives we’re featuring.”last_img read more

New Off-Broadway Drama Our New Girl Begins Performances

first_img Our New Girl will run through June 29 at Atlantic Stage 2. Opening night is set for June 10. Written by Nancy Harris, Our New Girl opens the door to Hazel Robinson’s (McCann) perfect London home, where nothing is as it seems. Hazel’s plastic surgeon husband Richard (Wilson) has embarked on his latest charitable quest in Haiti, leaving the heavily pregnant Hazel with a failing business and a problem son. When a professional nanny arrives unannounced on the Robinsons’ doorstep, Hazel finds her home under the shadow of a perfect stranger with an agenda of her own. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 29, 2014 View Comments Our New Girl Related Shows The U.S. premiere of Our New Girl starts preview performances on May 28. The Atlantic Theater Company production, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, stars Mary McCann, Lisa Joyce, CJ Wilson and Henry Kelemen.last_img read more

The Best Learn from the Best

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo July 26, 2018 On May 2, 1968, in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam, a large-scale North Vietnam Army infantry battalion surrounded a 12-man U.S. Army Special Forces patrol. Upon hearing the patrol’s radio call for help, U.S. Army Master Sergeant Raul Perez “Roy” Benavidez boarded a helicopter to assist with the emergency extraction. Armed only with a knife, he ran with a medical bag to help the troops. The six hours Master Sgt. Benavidez spent on the battlefield left him with seven major gunshot wounds, 28 shrapnel wounds to the head, scalp, shoulder, buttocks, feet, and legs. Enemy combatants slashed both his arms with bayonets and clubbed him to the mouth and head with a rifle butt. A bullet from an AK-47 entered his back and exited just beneath his heart. Despite his injuries, Master Sgt. Benavidez made it out of the battlefield alive and was eventually evacuated to Fort Sam Houston’s Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He spent nearly a year recovering. On February 24, 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan presented Master Sgt. Benavidez with the Medal of Honor. Twenty years later, the soldier was honored again. His name graced the MSG Roy P. Benavidez Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) located at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) in Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia. “Our NCO [noncommissioned officer] Academy has the distinction of being the only institution of its kind in the U.S. Army, because it is a multinational interagency environment that brings a level of knowledge and experience to share with all the NCOs across the Americas, and we do it in Spanish,” U.S. Army Colonel Robert F. Alvaro, commandant of WHINSEC, told Diálogo. “But it’s the same course we give our own soldiers.” International students and instructors While most classes are taught in Spanish, NCOA welcomes students from Brazil and the Caribbean as well. Portuguese and English speaking students are often placed with a Spanish-speaking counterpart, forming an almost instant, and very necessary, bond. “My colleagues who speak English always try to help me out,” said Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (Regiment) Corporal Shevanand Samooj. “When you are participating in a virtual reality training, it’s easier because people are accustomed to using English terms. I am also learning Spanish. In the end, we all understand each other and that’s what’s important.” Instructors at NCOA embody the school’s diversity. According to U.S. Army Sergeant Major Karim Mella, commandant of NCOA, the current roster includes instructors from Belize, Brazil, and Paraguay. Catering to U.S. partner nations U.S. partner nations in the Americas select courses according to their needs. “Their requests normally come after they observe our NCO training, or they notice how our NCOs are developed. They point out what they need and we analyze what kind of training we can offer,” Sgt. Maj. Mella said. “The main focus of the school is on leader development.” WHINSEC’s NCOA offers three courses. The Basic Enlisted Leadership Professional Development, a five-week course, teaches leadership skills for junior NCOs at the team and squad leader level. The Advanced Enlisted Leadership Professional Development, a seven-week course, focuses on developing leadership skills at the sergeant first class/platoon sergeant level. As for the Master Enlisted Leadership Professional Development track, the 10-week course serves as a forum for master sergeants and sergeant majors—and their equivalents in all services—of the Americas to strengthen their skills and knowledge in areas of training, leadership, national studies, and operations. “All subjects taught in the Benavidez NCOA are in accordance with United States Army doctrine and certified by our higher headquarters, the Combined Arms Center, and by the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command,” Sgt. Maj. Mella said. “In addition to the regular leadership subjects taught at the academy, students receive a minimum of 16 hours of democracy, ethics and human rights training, and participate in the Field Studies Program.” The professional development course concentrates on leadership, operations, and war fighting functions. The last week of training consists of using a simulator to allow students to put into practice what was learned. “The computers simulate soldiers in a battlefield, like a video game,” said U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Mario Garcia, course director who is originally from Ecuador. “The students conduct missions, using everything they learned in class for six weeks, like procedures, formation, platoon movements, platoon defense, and observation posts. It’s like a field training exercise, but with computers.” A two-way road Foreign students learn a lot from their U.S. counterparts, and bring much to the table as well. “Countries like Colombia, who have been dealing with a civil war for the last 50 years; countries like Uruguay or Paraguay that have very detailed and successful ongoing peacekeeping operations; all these countries bring concrete experience to the classroom,” said U.S. Army First Sergeant Luis Perez, deputy master sergeant at WHINSEC’s NCOA. “That’s the most important thing—that they bring that experience, that know-how, and we can take a little bit from each country. In essence, being a good leader is also being a good listener. We take our students’ input, and thus, become better instructors.” Gender integration According to 1st Sgt. Perez, NCOA’s leadership promotes gender integration, a difficult task considering the small, at times non-existent, number of female NCOs in the region. “We’re working with the country teams to open that up, and I know it’s a theme that the commandant [Col. Alvaro] really pushes. We preach how important it is to have females in this role [NCO], and the importance of gender integration. We’re working on it, and we will improve.” Chilean Army Staff Sergeant Lorena Gomez Lara, the only female NCO attending classes at the school during Diálogo’s visit in June, said that doctrine similarities between both armies made it easy to adapt. “The most interesting part for me is to learn from soldiers who were in an actual war zone, something that does not happen in Chile, since we have not had a conflict in several years. To be able to share experiences with instructors and even students, who have had the opportunity to apply in real life what they have learned in training, is fascinating.” Perhaps, Brazilian Army Staff Sergeant Breno Lucas Ribeiro best summed up what it means to be an international student at WHINSEC’s NCOA. “Sharing strategies and knowledge is the strongest point of this mission,” he concluded. “Coming here gave me the opportunity to understand and assimilate the school’s motto: Freedom, Peace, and Fraternity. And that is the sentiment I will bring back home to share with my brothers in arms.”last_img read more

Medford Armed Home Invasion Probed

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police are investigating an armed home invasion in Medford last month.Two men armed with handguns knocked on the door of a Torrey Pine Lane home and when a resident opened the door, the duo pushed their way inside and stole cash at 6:23 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24.The victim and her brother were not injured. The suspects fled the scene.No arrests have been made and no description of the suspects was available.Fifth Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.last_img

The high cost of BSA and anti-money laundering violations

first_img 57SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Shari Pogach Shari R. Pogach, NCCO,  has served as Regulatory Paralegal for NAFCU’s Regulatory Compliance and Regulatory Affairs divisions since 2007. Ms. Pogach is the editor of the quarterly BSA Blast … Web: www.nafcu.org Details We in NAFCU’s regulatory compliance department are constantly reminded of the seriousness of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) does not play around when it comes to compliance with its anti-money laundering rules. Compliance failures have resulted in some pretty high penalties assessed by FinCEN and other regulators. We know credit unions are serious about BSA compliance, but just in case you need a reminder, here are some of the more serious compliance failures under recent BSA and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) requirements, and they have exacted heavy costs:In March 2015, Commerzbank AG, a global financial institution based in Frankfurt, Germany, agreed to forfeit $563 million, pay a $79 million fine and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department, a settlement agreement with the Treasury Department’s OFAC and a consent cease-and-desist order with the Federal Reserve. This all-hands-on-deck response was prompted by Commerzbank knowingly and willfully moving around $263 million through the U.S. financial system on behalf of sanctioned entities in Iran and Sudan, using a system known as cover payments. There was even an internal email warning employees to “under no circumstances” tell the New York office about the Iranian connection. BSA violations included poor to no “know your customer” due diligence or reporting of suspicious activity.In June 2015, FinCEN fined a West Virginia bank $4.5 million after finding it had processed more than $9.2 million in structured and suspicious cash transactions between 2008 and 2012. The Bank of Mingo, with $94 million in assets, had failed to file 619 currency transaction reports (CTRs) – 438 of which were all related to one corporate customer.In February, FinCEN announced a $4 million civil money penalty against Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust Company, of Coral Gables, Fla. Despite being warned about its subpar compliance program in 2010, Gibraltar failed to monitor and detect suspicious activity, disregarding repeated red flags, and failed to properly file at least 120 suspicious activity reports (SARs) involving almost $558 million in transactions, between 2009 and 2013. This included transactions related to a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme led by a Florida-based attorney. In some cases, Gibraltar filed SARs years after the suspicious activity had already occurred.In April, FinCEN fined a Nevada casino $1 million for egregiously and willfully violating AML requirements. FinCEN found that Sparks Nugget Inc. routinely disregarded warnings from the employee responsible for BSA compliance and did not file SARs for activity that she flagged. Sparks even failed to file a SAR after a county official was convicted of embezzling at least $2.2 million and gambling with half of it at the casino.Unfortunately, NAFCU’s BSA Seminar in October is already sold out, but credit union professionals looking for more compliance training can still reserve spots at the Regulatory Compliance Seminar, set for Oct. 25-28 in New Orleans. You’ll get an overview of all the compliance hot topics facing the industry, including BSA issues, and have an opportunity to earn all the credits needed for recertification as a NAFCU Certified Compliance Officer (NCCO). We also encourage credit union professionals to follow our quarterly BSA Blast publication for more stories of BSA fails and tips on how to stay on top of compliance issues.Learn from the mistakes of others and make sure your credit union is a BSA success story!last_img read more

PODCAST: 360-degree advocacy

first_img continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CUNA’s grassroots advocacy strategy uses multiple voices to influence policy important to the credit union movement.That includes credit union members and employees, including young professionals, says Adam Engelman, CUNA’s director of federal grassroots and programs.“We’ve been making the argument for a 360-degree type of advocacy—advocating in all different levels and looking at all different avenues and paths—to fight the good fight on behalf of credit unions,” Engelman tells the CUNA News Podcast.Among other responsibilities, Engelman works on CUNA’s Member Activation Program(MAP). MAP allows credit unions to engage their members in credit union advocacy via email.last_img read more

SBA to resume accepting PPP loan applications 10:30 ET Monday

first_imgAdministrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the SBA will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications Monday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. (ET) from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. President Donald Trump signed legislation Friday authorizing an additional $310 billion for the PPP.“We encourage all approved lenders to process loan applications previously submitted by eligible borrowers and disburse funds expeditiously. All eligible borrowers who need these funds should work with an approved lender to apply,” Carranza and Mnuchin said in a joint statement.According to the SBA, the PPP has supported more than 1.66 million small businesses and protected over 30 million jobs since it began accepting loan applications April 3. Those loans include tens of thousands from credit unions, with early estimates indicating that credit union loans averaged around $64,000 per loan. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

NAFCU here to serve CUs

first_img continue reading » Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, credit unions have demonstrated why more than 120 million Americans have chosen them to meet their financial goals. NAFCU is proud to serve the credit union industry as the only trade group focused on representing its interests at the federal level.“We witness daily credit unions’ commitment to the financial wellbeing of their members and communities, that includes those who are underserved or in designated minority communities,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. “Our industry was founded on the premise of supporting our neighbors, coworkers, friends and family through difficult financial times and credit unions have not strayed from that mission, especially as we face national economic crises or a global pandemic.“NAFCU will continue to do what we’ve always done – advocate for the best interests of the credit union industry and ensure that Americans most in need of financial services have access to the best financial services available. Racism and injustice of any kind have no place in this nation or in financial services, and we will continue to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts across the industry.”The association is working closely with the NCUA and Congress on this issue. For instance, NAFCU is currently requesting additional support for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), minority depository institutions (MDIs), and the NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) to ensure Americans and small businesses suffering most from the coronavirus pandemic are not left behind, and has defended the NCUA from banker attacks against its efforts to ensure military members have access to credit unions’ financial services. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The city can’t make the Grade

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img