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first_imgScotland-based ingredients supplier Macphie has partnered with Loch Lomond Distillery to create a hand sanitiser for frontline care services during the coronavirus outbreak.The disinfectant hand rub is designed for use by primary care providers, including hospitals and care homes, and to help mitigate nationwide shortages.Loch Lomond Distillery is blending ingredients supplied by Macphie with its own alcohol, before the bakery manufacturer bottles and packs the final products in its North Lanarkshire production site.“We’re facing difficult times right now and we want to do everything we can to help the people fighting to get us through this pandemic,” said Andy Stapley, CEO of Macphie.“Hand sanitiser has been flagged as an important tool in combating the coronavirus and I’m proud that Macphie is part of this collaboration. We will continue to honour this commitment for as long as possible.”“We’re working hard to continue production while adhering to government guidance and, most importantly, keeping our people safe.”Bottling will start this week with around 11,000 bottles in the first batch.“I welcome the proposal by Macphie along with Loch Lomond Distillery to make and supply hand sanitisers to help fight this outbreak. Their action and community spirit show what a local family company can do in times of crisis, and I commend them for this action,” said Richard Lyle, MSP member of Uddingston and Bellshill.Macphie has also been donating baked goods and long-life products to local nurseries, care homes and vulnerable families that have been struggling to access food supplies.last_img read more

first_imgBy Samuel Bendett, Russian analyst, Center for Naval Analyses November 30, 2020 The Russian Federation considers the Latin American (LATAM) region one of the main areas of its ongoing global outreach. Despite a relatively light footprint in terms of manpower and materiel, Russia has managed to maintain and strengthen its military-security relationship with three key states: Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. Moscow is also seeking to expand its influence beyond these states by engaging in political, economic, or military initiatives with a growing list of LATAM nations. Yet the Russian security establishment is concerned with the loss of Russian influence, given its investments in Venezuela, and the role of U.S. allies in a likely conflict.In order to understand how Russia sees its involvement in the region, it is useful to read official statements via the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or Ministry of Defense’s (MOD) official websites. Such statements may vary from criticizing Colombia for aligning with the United States against Caracas, to calls for a broader dialogue in post-Morales Bolivia, to hopeful and encouraging language about Brazil as part of the larger BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) global initiative. Beyond such obvious sources are outlets that often publish the opinions of Russian military and civilian officials of various standing. Given how much attention the Russian security establishment is paying to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela and the actions of Venezuela’s neighbors, public op-eds and opinions from active and retired Russian military and government personnel are a window into sometimes opaque Russian foreign policy debates. These debates include questions on the Russian military posture, regional order of battle, and larger geopolitical overview of Russian interests in Latin America.Open sourceVenezuela’s illegitimate President Nicolás Maduro (L) greets Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the Kremlin in September 2019. Venezuela’s debt crisis has given China, the troubled country’s largest creditor, and Russia, a golden opportunity to expand their economic — and possibly military — influence in the Americas. (Photo: Reuters)There are several open source publications where Russian military officials, academics, and senior researchers publish on defense, security, and political topics. The Military-Industrial Courier (Voenno-Promyshlennyi Kur’er, VPK, in Russian) and Independent Military Review (Nezavisimoe Voennoe Obozrenie, NVO, in Russian) are of particular interest. For example, VPK runs regular op-eds and articles by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, and Chief of the General Staff General Valery Gerasimov. These publications are tailored to the narrow domestic and international audience specifically interested in Russian military and security matters. Many students in Russian military academies and institutions — often with a rank of colonel or lieutenant colonel, either active or retired — also publish there. Once public, such articles raise the question: To what extent is the content a reflection of official MOD or MFA policy, instead of just that of the author?When it comes to LATAM, article language varies, while at the same time offering an opportunity to discern whether content reflects current military thought and debate. In August 2019, NVO ran an article with opinions from four current and retired senior Russian officials on using LATAM as a countermeasure to the United States leaving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Signed in 1987, this treaty led to the elimination of thousands of U.S. and Soviet nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles. In the article, one Russian military commentator suggested that in the context of a possible termination of nuclear disarmament treaties, Moscow should increase its presence near the borders of the United States, and should deploy strategic aviation on one of the Venezuelan islands in the Caribbean Sea.Another commentator, a senior Russian government official, suggested that Moscow should negotiate with Venezuela for placements of missiles, alluding to the 1962 Caribbean Crisis, which “allowed Americans to cool off for a long time. If a [missile] system were to be located in Venezuela, then the U.S. would behave more cautiously.” A different military commentator said that a permanent Russian naval presence off the coast of the United States would be a powerful message, while his more senior-ranked military counterpart suggested that an answer to U.S. actions should be Russia’s Kalibr missiles placed with Russian allies and assets across LATAM. Kalibr refers to the family of surface ship and submarine-launched airborne cruise missiles, with a range of up to 1,500 miles. The Russian Navy has started to use Kalibr missiles across its surface and submarine fleets.For the record, these were not official MOD or MFA statements. At the same time, the proposals in the article targeted not just the United States, but potentially sent a strong signal to Colombia and Brazil, two nations with large militaries, and whose governments are currently taking an anti-Maduro position. There would be no defense in Colombia and Brazil against Russian long-range missiles stationed in Venezuela, short of an expensive arms race. Such a course of events may run counter to Russia’s recent official efforts to engage Brazil and Colombia via mil-to-mil and economic proposals. Yet Russia’s own announcements in February 2020 that it will increase military-industrial cooperation with Caracas nonetheless keep the possibility of regional conflict open.Russian weaponsWhen Russian civilian high-profile experts voice their opinion in military publications, the content may offer similar viewpoints to military officers mentioned in an earlier VPK analysis. In a VPK article from April 2019, Aleksandr Hramchihin, deputy director of the Russian Institute for Political and Military Analysis (PIR, in Russian), discussed potential combat operations between Venezuela and its pro-U.S. neighbors: Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador. Hramchihin is one of the most recognized security experts in Russia, and has a large body of work related to Russian conduct of war.According to Hramchihin, the Venezuelan army is unquestionably the strongest in South America due to mass purchases of Russian weapons. The Ecuadorean Armed Forces are “small and rather archaic,” and the Colombian army, “with its enormous personnel, is completely unprepared for ‘classical’ [conventional] war.” Hramchihin’s critique of the Colombian military, given its close cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense’s initiatives, includes the lack of main battle tanks and light tanks — a uniquely Russian take on the country’s military strength, given Moscow’s own long history of tank warfare. He does recognize the unique LATAM environment: “Of course, most of the Colombian border with both Venezuela and Ecuador is a jungle — tanks are useless there. But in coastal areas, where the majority of the population of all [three] countries lives, it is quite possible to use heavy equipment like tanks.” Hramchihin notes that the Brazilian Armed Forces are larger than Venezuelan forces, “although much more archaic — they have several hundred tanks, but they are all European and American ‘scrap metal.’”In his article, Hramchihin’s attitude toward Colombian, Ecuadorean, and Brazilian militaries is generally dismissive mostly due to what he sees as older military equipment in service when compared to Venezuela. For example, he notes that while the Brazilian Air Force has more combat aircraft, “[planes] are much older and have no chance of breaking through Venezuela’s air defense,” for pro-Russian Venezuela, there is a threat from the south, as the new Brazilian government has become an active opponent of the Maduro regime. At sea, Brazil’s superiority “seems overwhelming, but it is hardly significant.” He notes that “the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Naval aviation will destroy the Venezuelan army from the air, and Colombians and Brazilians will be assigned the role of ground assault troops.” In this version of conventional combat, Caracas would not last long, “but the guerrilla war in the jungle could drag on for many years.”Hramchihin’s failure to properly appreciate the quality of Colombian, Ecuadorean, and Brazilian militaries may reflect a wider view held across the Russian security establishment, which sees U.S. potential involvement in regional combat as utterly decisive, irrespective of actual strength of regional militaries. But it also may ignore major strides in professionalism made by Colombian and Brazilian militaries in training and equipment made over the past several decades. Despite the lack of certain weapons that some Russia-based analysts may consider decisive (such as tanks), Venezuelan military is also dealing with ongoing anti-government sentiment in the country. On the other hand, the militaries of Colombia and Brazil have a good relationship with their populations and governments, which may prove decisive should conflict break out.Strategic bombers and naval vessel visitsWhat to make of these statements? On the one hand, these publications may have aired some long-held viewpoints about military capabilities of U.S. allies in the region. On the other hand, do such statements from active military personnel broadcast the official Russian policy in LATAM? There have already been demonstrative Russian actions in the region, such as strategic bombers and naval vessel visits. At this point, Russian footprint in friendly states such as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua is still relatively small and contained to select personnel. An opinion or an op-ed in a respected publication could be just that — or it could be an actual public message directed at a wider audience in the region.But why should Russia be involved in the LATAM region in the first place? While pro-Russian states may not stand an actual chance against the United States and its allies in combat, maintaining ties to Moscow’s key partners is essential to prevent a “domino theory” of geopolitical losses in LATAM, and elsewhere. In a November 2019 VPK article, a Russian foreign policy specialist may have reflected a relatively widespread opinion in the Russian security and foreign policy establishment.The author asked what would happen after Bolivia’s Evo Morales fled into exile, and what country would be “next in line for a [post-Bolivian, ‘U.S.-instigated’] coup.” According to the author, Washington would strike Venezuela, where, following the example of Bolivia, the people, with support from the military, would overthrow Nicolás Maduro. Nicaragua would come next, then Cuba, which would be left without Venezuelan oil. The author repeats a now typical Russian viewpoint that the “coup technology” (better known as the “color revolutions” concept), used by the United States in Venezuela and Bolivia, can also be applied in Russia. The author notes that the main issue in Bolivia and Venezuela is not “color revolutions.”  “It is an [actual] coup d’état, organized with an agreement with elite groups. There is no antidote to it today.” His message may also be potentially directed at other nations across LATAM that are not openly aligned with Moscow, hinting at political change should countries end up out of step with Washington’s policies.Such articles in respected Russian publications may reflect a wider viewpoint, or may be a unique reflection of one individual. Regardless, the Russian defense and security establishment continues to debate its role in the Latin American region, as it increases its involvement in Venezuela and elsewhere. While some viewpoints in Russian military magazines may be relegated to the sidelines of mainstream thought, other voices may in fact reflect the opinion of actual decision makers, directed at nations across LATAM that have a major security and military regional role. Such debates deserve attention, given the rapidly evolving situation with respect to the Russian presence in the region.last_img read more

first_imgIt’s been about six months since the Wells Fargo incentive debacle hit the CFPB fan. Since that time many of our credit union clients have asked for a review of their incentive and total compensation programs to make sure they adhere to the required “effective controls and oversight” and their incentives don’t cause “significant harm to consumers posed by incentive programs”.The first (and most challenging) question in any review of incentive programs should be simply: are we sure we really need an incentive program? Many credit union executives assume they need monetary incentives to produce the growth their organization desires. The fact of the matter is many employees, including those in your “sales” positions, don’t rank money as their primary motivator. They’d be just as happy and highly motivated by other forms of recognition.But if you insist on having a monetary-based incentive program, here is a six-pack of considerations to make sure you’re optimally successful and compliant:Are you incenting behavior and production that supports your credit union strategy and mission? The good news about incentives is they drive behavior; the bad news about incentives is they drive behavior. Make sure all incented behavior upholds your goal to be the member’s financial “partner” and you’re not unintentionally driving the wrong behaviors.Are you receiving increased performance as a result of paying an incentive? The only reason you should be paying an incentive is if you’re receiving production you wouldn’t otherwise be receiving. Don’t pay an above-base incentive if you’re not receiving above-base production from sales staff.Are your incentives consistent with your total compensation philosophy? Make sure your incentive payments are keeping you within your market-based pay grades. If you’re already paying above market on a base salary, you don’t need to also pay above market on incentives.Are your incentives easy to understand? Your incentive plan should adhere to the KISS principle – keep it simple, stupid! Limit the calculations to no more than three variables and make sure all employees know exactly what they need to do to earn their incentive.Are you providing additional incentives besides the monetary ones? As noted above, not all employees are going to be motivated by money so make sure you have other motivators in place – time off, awards, President’s Club, etc – and include your employees in the program design.Are you closely monitoring your incentive program? Someone needs to own your incentive program. Often, that owner is the HR Director but others should be included in the management and oversight of it. Board committees, CFO, Sales Manager, Marketing Department, and Senior Executive Team all share the vital responsibility of maintaining the program’s integrity.If your credit union needs to review your incentive program for compliance and appropriateness, I have two options for you: 1) email me at [email protected] to set up a no obligation conversation about what you’re doing today and how to best position your incentive program for the future; and 2) check into a webinar I will be hosting on Thursday, June 8 called “Avoid the Incentive Trap” – contact Lacinda Athen at [email protected] for details. 53SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Paul Robert Paul Robert has been helping financial institutions drive their retail growth strategies for over 20 years. Paul is the Chief Executive Officer for FI Strategies, LLC, a private consulting company … Web: fi-strategies.com Detailslast_img read more

first_img Press Association The 29-year-old Wolves frontman was linked with a loan move to Parkhead on the final day of the January transfer window as speculation mounted over Gary Hooper’s future amid Norwich’s dogged pursuit. However, both men remained where they were when the 11pm deadline passed on Thursday evening. Ireland striker Kevin Doyle has admitted the chance to play Champions League football with Celtic was one he would have relished.center_img Asked if he was tempted by the opportunity to move north of the border, Doyle said: “Obviously. “They are in a fantastic position, going into the Champions League last 16 and at the top of their league, and it would have been a great opportunity at a massive club for four or five months. “But, in the end, the chairman at Wolves convinced me that they wanted me to stay on, so it was as simple as that. “Once the club decided I was staying, that was it, that was the end of it.” Doyle’s comments came in Dublin after he was presented with the FAI International Football Goal of the Year award for his winner in the World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan in September last year. He said: “I knew we were in a bit of trouble. We needed to win out there to give ourselves a good start in the group and we were 1-0 down after 85 minutes. “We got two goals in the last five minutes and it was a bit of a blur. “Stephen Ward knocked one down to me and I caught it nicely and we won the game from nowhere really in the end, so it was nice.” Bolton midfielder Keith Andrews was named International Player of the Year, while Wigan’s James McCarthy lifted the Young International Player title and Hull winger Robbie Brady the Under-21s Player of the Year. Ireland face Poland in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday evening as they prepare for next month’s qualifiers against Sweden and Austria. last_img read more

first_imgRoberts doesn’t see that pattern continuing in 2016. Yasmani Grandal will be the starter, he said this week, and Ellis will be the backup. “(Grandal) caught (Kershaw) last year and Clayton performed well,” Roberts said, “so the idea of a personal catcher, I don’t see that happening. But there will be times A.J. will catch Kershaw as well.”In a smaller sample size (12 starts), Kershaw’s numbers when pitching to Grandal in 2015 were actually better than his numbers when pitching to Ellis (21 starts). His ERA, opponents’ batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage were all lower. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was higher.Grandal was behind the plate when Kershaw threw two shutout innings against the Chicago White Sox in his first start of the spring.“Obviously A.J. and I have been together for a long time,” Kershaw said. “We worked together really well. When Yas caught me last year, we worked together really good as well.” GLENDALE, Ariz. >> A year ago, then-manager Don Mattingly penciled in A.J. Ellis as the Dodgers’ starting catcher for four of Clayton Kershaw’s first five starts of the season, including Opening Day. At the time Mattingly said his decision was the result of a lot of conversations with Kershaw. Maybe Dave Roberts will ultimately have a lot of conversations with Kershaw about who he can expect to see behind the plate. They just haven’t happened this early in camp.“Dave and I really haven’t talked about it a whole lot,” Kershaw said after his first Cactus League appearance Thursday. “That stuff tends to work itself out anyway. I think over the course of the season, you kind of saw last year it works itself out. I’m sure it will do that this year, too.”Mattingly backed off the “personal catcher” track for Ellis and Kershaw somewhat as last season wore on, though the two were paired together for Kershaw’s final six starts, including the playoffs. Roots run deep Non-roster invitee Charlie Culberson doesn’t fall under the traditional definition of a “third-generation major leaguer.” But he’s close.Leon Culberson, who played for the Boston Red Sox and Washington Senators from 1943-48, is the cousin of Culberson’s grandfather. Charlie’s father, Charles, played five seasons in the minor leagues before becoming a coach. His uncle, Calvain, was a pitcher who reached Triple-A with the Reds and Red Sox.On his mom’s side, Culberson counts the Sisler family – Hall of Famer George, and sons Dave and Dick – among his distant relatives.Culberson said that he and his wife welcomed their second child last year. They gave their son a good baseball name: Ace.AlsoZach Lee will start Sunday against the San Francisco Giants in place of injured left-hander Brett Anderson. He’ll throw two innings. Ross Stripling is expected to be the first pitcher out of the bullpen and throw two more innings. … Dodgers president Stan Kasten and other team officials will dedicate the newly renovated baseball field at Muir High School in Pasadena at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation managed the reconstruction of the field at Jackie Robinson’s alma mater.saturday’s spring training gamesDodgers 7, Diamondbacks 2Right-hander Kenta Maeda pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two, in his Dodger debut. “Maybe I was a little nervous before,” Maeda said through an interpreter. “But once I was on the mound, not so much. I was able to add and subtract to my velocity and I was able to command my pitches well.” Non-roster invitee Rob Segedin, a third baseman who was acquired from the Yankees in January, hit a pair of home runs for the Dodgers, who touched Arizona starter Shelby for two runs and five hits in two innings.Angels 9, Mariners 7Daniel Nava, battling for the Angels’ left fielder’s job, went 3 for 3 with three RBIs, including a two-run double. Non-roster players Nick Buss and Sherman Johnson hit back-to-back two-run doubles to give the Angels a 7-5 lead in the seventh inning. Angels non-roster left-hander Nate Smith struggled from the start. He put the first four batters he faced on base via hit or hit-by-pitch and gave up three runs on three hits in two innings, though he retired six straight batters after that. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

first_imgClear Lake’s city administrator Scott Flory was our guest on “Ask the Mayor” on March 13th, 2019. Listen back and/or download the show via the audio player below.last_img

first_imgImage Courtesy: ITV/Getty/ReutersAdvertisement 5dfktNBA Finals | Brooklyn VslmzqWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ei0l( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) bpwWould you ever consider trying this?😱poCan your students do this? 🌚cazceRoller skating! Powered by Firework The Raheem Sterling incident is hitting heavy on Joe Gomez. What starte off as just a normal on the pitch verbal taunt, the Manchester City star reportedly assaulted his compatriot in the training ground canteen just prior to today’s Montenegro qualifier. And now, the Liverpool center back is facing massive heckle from supporters.Advertisement Image Courtesy: ITV/Getty/ReutersSterling missed the fixture as Gareth Southgate’s boys raided the Balkans 7-0 at Wembley, Gomez was subbed in for Mason Mount in the 70th minute, and still one goal to go. However, the home fans weren’t pleased to miss the 24 year old winger, and as soon as Gomez stepped on field, booing started and some even screamed: ‘You’re the reason I can’t see Sterling today’.Check out this clip below, captured by one YouTuber named Owen Howell, who was present today at the stadium, and posted it on Twitter.Advertisement Apparently, the English coach condemned the whole incident that took place behind in the stands.“No, I don’t understand it. No England player should ever be booed.” Southgate told Sky Sports.“Him and Raheem are very close and the whole team are very close so we don’t want to see anybody treated in that way.” the 46 year old added.With the 11 minute opener from Oxlade-Chamberlain, skipper Harry Kane secured a hat trick, along with goals from Rashford and Tammy Abraham, and one own goal from Montenegro defender Aleksandar Šofranac. Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgBy John Burton |RED BANK – Borough Councilman Michael Whelan sees a way to offer modest relief from traffic congestion and offer visitors a ride around the downtown.He wants the Scooter Dudes to handle it.Whelan said he’s been in talks with the operators of the newly formed company, Scooter Dudes, to allow them to operate in the borough’s downtown area for a proposed 90-day trial period.The company would use its small, jitney- style vehicle (think a larger version of a golf cart), that can hold up to six passengers, to transport people around to various stops in the commercial and arts district.“It’s kind of a modern, cool idea,” Whelan said.The thought is people could use some of the available valet parking in the district or other remote parking locations and then take this cart to be chauffeured from a restaurant to, say, the Two River Theater or the Count Basie Theatre to catch a performance. Or the reverse, allowing people to travel from the theaters or other entertainment venues for a nightcap or dessert, without worrying about having to again jump into the car to try to get a highly sought-after parking space closer to the destination.“It’s a fun way to experience the downtown,” Whelan said.Marc Feaster, a Shrewsbury resident, is co- owner of Scooter Dudes, which has taken ownership of two vehicles in the last couple of weeks. This spring, Feaster and his family traveled to Oxford, Mississippi, for his daughter’s college graduation. “And we happened to jump into one.” The cart played music while it took the family around “and we thought it was really cool,” Feaster said.He and a business partner saw an opportunity and “we thought it would be kind of a fun thing.”“They’re cute and fun little vehicles and I think it’ll really help,” the downtown, said James Scavone, executive director of Red Bank RiverCenter, the management and advocacy organization for the commercial Special Improvement District.Whelan will be offering a resolution at the next Borough Council meeting on Sept. 13 seeking support to allow for a trial period for the service. This can be done at no cost to the borough. “He’s buying them, insuring them, he’s providing all the workers,” Whelan said of Feaster’s efforts. “We’re not doing anything other than allowing him to operate.”Scooter Dudes would operate initially during peak hours, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.During the trial period, Feaster doesn’t plan on charging riders; he hopes to underwrite the operation through advertising by local businesses on the LED board on the vehicles and inside on customized digital tablets.If the program continues, “At some point the patrons will have to pay something,” Feaster said. And while the price hasn’t been determined, “It’ll be less expensive than an Uber,” he added.Scavone, Whelan and other borough officials are currently working on establishing a proposed route for the vehicles and “working out the kinks,” Whelan said. And should it be approved by the governing body, Feaster hopes to have it up and running by late September.last_img read more

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