Ring in the New Year With Laura Benanti at 54 Below

first_img Star Files We can’t think of anyone we’d rather sing “Auld Lang Syne” with! Laura Benanti will ring in the new year with a new show at 54 Below. The Tony winner and Twitter queen will return to the Times Square hotspot on December 31, along with composer and music director Todd Almond.Benanti stole the show last Christmas as the Baroness in The Sound of Music Live! and is currently appearing on Nashville. She won her Tony for the role of Gypsy Rose Lee in the musical Gypsy. Her additional Broadway credits include The Sound of Music, Swing!, Into the Woods, Nine, The Wedding Singer, In the Next Room and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.Check out Benanti’s recent appearance on Show People with Paul Wontorek here. View Commentscenter_img Laura Benantilast_img read more

Kentucky’s Breaks Park Autumn Getaway Giveaway

first_imgThe Autumn Getaway in Kentucky’s Breaks Park is an incredible giveaway featuring lodging, food, and more. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the South,” Breaks Interstate Park is 4600 acres situated along a 5-mile gorge plunging to 1650 feet. It’s located in the mountains of Kentucky, where uncommon history, heritage, and heart offer a welcome that never wears out.Once lucky winner will receive a 2 night stay in Laurel Lake Cabins, dinner for 2 at the Rhododendron Restaurant, and 2 Breaks Park t-shirts.This giveaway is now closed, but be sure to enter the Tucker County Giveaway!last_img

Rio 2016 Reaches Stage 5 of Preparations for Possible Terrorist Attacks

first_imgBy Fernando Montenegro, Brazilian Army Colonel (R) August 05, 2016 The last few weeks saw the activation of the Brazilian Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Battalion and its bomb squads. Many of these activities were clearly tests to check out the response capabilities of the security structure set up for the Rio 2016 Olympics. In order to expand the capillarity of vectors to allow identifying possible attacks, training was provided to security professionals and workers in other relevant areas, such as the hospitality industry. This action allowed more people to begin to participate more actively in preventing attacks. This is important, because the level of sophistication with which these terrorist attacks were carried out in the last two decades has surprised experts. Their detailed planning is no longer concerned with just causing the highest number of casualties, but also with how these actions can contribute to increasing their own visibility and the public opinion’s feeling of insecurity. This way, terrorist organizations succeed in transforming tactical actions from the operational and strategic levels to directly reach the political level. The methodology to plan an attack follows a primer where seven stages are recommended, regardless of the techniques, tactics, and procedures (TTP) that are chosen to carry out a terrorist attack. The first stage of an attack consists of finding information about potential targets that have more visibility in the public domain information sources. Priority is given to targets which may cause the highest possible impact on the international media, keeping in line with the organization’s strategic objectives. The second stage consists of intelligence surveillance and surveying of the targets selected in the preceding stage. A stronger effort is dedicated to the targets with higher vulnerability potential. During surveillance, priority is given to the observations conducted on individuals, facilities, practices, procedures, routines, transportation, trip itineraries, travel, and security measures already in place. If all goes well over the first two, the third stage will finalize the choice of a specific target, which will then be the object of actual planning to carry out the action. But before making the final decision, they must answer the following questions: – Will the operation succeed in affecting a large public, regardless of the number of immediate casualties? – Will the target in question be covered as high profile by the media? – Does the success of the action impart the right message to the public selected as a priority? – Is the effect produced consistent with the organization’s strategic objectives? – Does the target bring about a substantial advantage to the organization, by giving it the opportunity to demonstrate its operational capability? – Do the results of a cost-benefit analysis support going ahead with the operation? The fourth stage includes the type of surveillance that precedes the attack, in order to fine-tune the final planning. In this stage, more detailed information is needed to decide critical aspects such as the logistics and operational procedures. This phase can take days, weeks, months, and even years for everything to be consolidated. It all depends on the target’s complexity. Here, the priority is checking out existing security measures; detailing preparation operations, especially regarding the concentration on personnel and material means; recruiting the most qualified individuals, accordingto the requirements; establishing one or more operational bases in the area of interest that contains the objective; defining, assessing, and testing escape and evasion routes; and defining in detail the means which will be employed aggressively in attacking the target. The fifth stage is the one the alleged terrorists of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games presently find themselves in. As in any other military operation, particularly special operations, drills are conducted to correct any failures that may not have been detected before and during planning. This increases the chances of a successful attack. These practices are essential because they allow them to confirm data used in planning the operation, and develop tactical alternatives to decisions on how to act. In principle, the following need to be taken into account: devices in the objective area; actions taken to accomplish the objective; escape and evasion routes; and performance of the equipment, weapons, ammunition, and explosives. This stage is the last chance that security managers have to use the established intelligence system to identify terrorist cells, lone wolves, or the chosen target, and thus, to thwart the terrorist attack before it happens. The sixth stage consists of taking action at the objective site. In fact, we notice that various simultaneous attacks can occur over different targets. This characteristic of the most recent terrorist campaigns hampers the prevention and response capabilities of the intelligence agencies and security forces, which will then be at a great disadvantage for not having identified the attack while it was being prepared. It is clear that the response teams arrived at the attack locations only after these attacks have been launched with the best use of the surprise factor. Terrorists have the advantages of choosing the location, tactical surprise, distraction actions, blocking positions to slow down response teams, and finally, the choice of time and way of executing the attack (especially in the case of suicide attacks). The seventh and last stage covers three basic procedures: escape, evasion, and exploration. Normally, the techniques, tactics, and procedures used for escape and evasion are subject to extensive drill and rehearsal. When they succeed, they contribute as a multiplying factor to the overall terror effect. Even if suicide bombers die while carrying out the attacks, there will always be the escape and evasion of those involved in the support operations which, because of their training, are considered more difficult to replace than the suicide bombers themselves. In order to better understand this dynamic situation, these operational support elements are frequently responsible for delivering the suicide bomber to the most adequate location for the attack, or to indicate the ideal moment to trigger an explosive, for example. The post-attack exploration is the very reason of every terrorist action, which attempts to use all available means to publicize the event. A process of preparation takes place in order to be most agile in disseminating and taking the most advantage possible of the moment. Planning the use of media, previously prepared manifestos, use of the Internet, radio, edited videos, TV, podcasts, and other means contribute decisively to all of this. The ramifications of well-planned and successful terrorist actions have significant impact over different target audiences, including effects on personnel recruitment and raising financial support. On the other hand, frustrated or failed attacks have the opposite effect. They destroy the image of the organization, showing it as vulnerable and ineffective. The current scenario clearly shows the high degree of sophistication in the planning, organization, creativity, and technical training of the terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda. Many of the operations have features that are similar to those conducted by special operations forces. Therefore, countries that are the main targets for terrorist attacks have realized that it is practically impossible to prevent this new form of terrorist attack from occurring even by expanding the range of their intelligence operations. To offset this, a decision has been made to invest in preparing the forces dealing with the response and damage control. In general terms, these are the features under which the security for Rio 2016 has been structured in order to fight the terrorism challenge. Since the country has no history of recent terrorist attacks, many residents of Rio de Janeiro have been repeating the very popular saying that “God is Brazilian.” We sure hope that is the case, because, unfortunately, the Olympic Games have a sad history of being the target of terrorist actions.*Brazilian Army Colonel (R) Fernando Montenegro of the Special Forces is a former Officer of Operations of the Anti-Terrorism Detachment, as well as Professor of the Graduate Program on Security Management, and Control at the Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal.last_img read more

It’s time to execute your game winning play

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michael Hudson Dr. Michael Hudson started his first business when he was just 7 years old…riding his bicycle from house to house selling greeting cards and holiday gifts. Since then he … Web: michaelhudson.com Details “If everything is important, then nothing is important.”            – Patrick M. Lencioni It’s a scene repeated countless times each year in just about every sport…The game is on the line, time is running out, and a timeout is called. The team gathers around as the coach maps out the plan for winning the game. The players listen intently, each one silently pondering their role. They return to the game ready to perform and the game resumes.Though the outcome is never certain, the intent of everyone is focused and clear—execute the assigned actions with the intention of creating the desired results.Sometimes it works perfectly. Other times it’s a near miss. And occasionally it’s an abject failure.The reality is that with less than a month remaining in the year the game is on the line for your credit union…And it’s time to call a timeout, assemble the key players, and call your game winning play—the one that will create the most significant impact for the year.Chances are that even if everything has gone according to plan for your team this year, there are still a number of things on the to do list that that were supposed to be completed by yearend (and chances are even higher that some of them are just not going to get done).But that’s OK, because there are things on the list that are not really important when you put them in the context of the game being on the line…Think about it for a minute.When the coach assembles the players and calls the play that is intended to win the game, there is an implicit assumption—nothing else matters when play resumes except for everyone executing their assigned role in that play.As a credit union leader, I encourage you to call a team huddle with your key leaders and review the to do list for the remainder of the year, and answer these two critical questions:1. What is the game winning play for your credit union in the time remaining in the year?2. What do you have to agree will not be done to focus on executing the game winning play?One caveat: Don’t overthink this, don’t overanalyze it, and don’t bog down in debating alternatives. Focus the discussion quickly on what will produce the most valuable impact for the credit union and commit to getting it done, then execute your game winning play!__________Dr. Michael Hudson, founder and principal of CreditUnionStrategy.com, is a speaker, facilitator, consultant and executive coach. Dr. Hudson helps individual credit unions discover and implement strategy, build and sustain culture, and identify and develop leaders. Learn more at www.CreditUnionStrategy.comor connect with Michael atwww.Twitter.com/DrMichaelHudsonwww.Linkedin.com/in/DrMichaelHudson/https://www.facebook.com/DrMichaelHudsonwww.google.com/+MichaelHudsonPHDlast_img read more

UK pensions watchdog unveils quality framework for DC master trusts

first_imgThe framework focuses on six areas – main characteristics of scheme design, governance, the people accountable for the scheme, ongoing governance and monitoring, administration and communication to members.It sets out a number of ‘control objectives’, based on many of the regulator’s DC principles and quality features, the two bodies said.Objectives on standards of practice for trustees should be underpinned by tough control procedures, they said.Andrew Warwick-Thompson, executive director for DC, governance and administration at the Pensions Regulator, said: “Gaining independent assurance will help manage confidence in this growing segment of the DC market and demonstrate the presence of governance and administration standards that meet our DC code and regulatory guidance.”Although the framework has been developed for master trusts, the regulator and the ICAEW said other larger DC schemes – such as group schemes – may want to adopt the framework as best practice.“The current regulatory landscape is a mess, with different regulators and different standards for different types of schemes.”The consultation closes on 16 December, with final guidance planned for publication in the spring of 2014.The NAPF said it welcomed the Pension Regulator and audit profession’s focus on improving the quality of master trusts, but criticised the excessive complexity of occupational pensions oversight in the UK.The association’s chief executive Joanne Segars said: “Master trusts are a good choice for employers looking for a scheme for auto-enrolment, and the sector is growing rapidly.”But she said there were very few barriers to setting up a master trust at the moment, and no guarantee they are all as well run as they should be.“The current regulatory landscape is a mess, with different regulators and different standards for different types of schemes,” she said.She said there was a risk that regulating one type of scheme more heavily would have unintended consequences, and that, with weak enforcement powers, there was no guarantee that badly run schemes would be forced to improve. “What is needed is a more radical overhaul of the regulation of workplace pension schemes with a single regulator, a greater focus on ensuring strong, independent governance and higher barriers to entry,” Segars said.She said the NAPF had already launched its Pension Quality Mark READY scheme to help employers identify good master trusts. UK accountants and the Pensions Regulator have set out their framework for ensuring the quality of defined contribution (DC) ‘master trusts’, which will form a key part of the country’s auto-enrolment occupational pensions system.But the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) said a more radical overhaul of workplace pensions regulation was needed.The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) published a new draft assurance framework in conjunction with the Pensions Regulator, aimed at helping trustees of DC master trusts to show clients their scheme is well run.According to the draft, master trusts are expected to get independent assurance from a chartered accountant every year.last_img read more

Westport man arrested in multiple cases

first_imgGREENSBURG, Ind. — A Decatur County man is facing several felony charges from 4 criminal cases that have been filed against him in the last 7 days.According to police, Chadwick D Lucas, 37, of Westport was arrested on Saturday for domestic battery and criminal mischief.Police say Lucas attacked and injured a woman Thursday night about a month after collecting money on lottery tickets he had already redeemed.Lucas was formally charged with Battery resulting in serious bodily injury and criminal mischief in the first criminal case.He was also charged with battery resulting in moderate bodily injury in a separate case.Lucas also faces 4 counts of lottery forgery after collecting money on lottery tickets he had already redeemed at several different gas stations.He also faces charges of possession of a narcotic drug, possession of a controlled substance, and unlawful possession of a syringe after police found Lucas unconscious earlier in the year.last_img read more

78-year-old man arrested after fatally shooting a woman

first_imgA 78-year-old man is now facing murder charges after he fatally shot a 74-year-old woman before turning the gun on himself.The incident was reported around 8:30 am at a home in the 6800 block of Fairway Lakes Drive.The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reported that when officials arrived at the home, the victim was already dead of an apparent gunshot wound.The suspect Morris Samit, suffered a non-fatal gunshot wound and was then taken to a hospital for treatment. Upon his release, Samit was then transported to a local jail where he was charged with homicide.While the victim’s family is aware of the incident, authorities are unable to publicly release her name because the family signed a form preventing the release of certain details in the case.last_img

2017 Limacol Round-Robin Knock-Out Football

first_imgUitvlugt upset NA United; Den Amstel squeeze SantosIT was a night of contrasting wins when the 2017 Limacol Round-Robin Knock-Out Football competition returned to the Leonora Stadium on the West Coast of Demerara, last Wednesday evening.In the first game, the home side Uitvlugt made light work of their Berbician counterparts New Amsterdam United by three goals to one while Den Amstel eased past Santos 1-0.Uitvlugt’s attacking style of play proved too much for the New Amsterdam team with goals coming from Jamal Harvey (1st, 73rd) and Trayon Bobb (15th)Harvey spoke to the media after, saying “to come from a loss in the first game to a win in the second game is a great feeling”.He says the side will be looking to continue their style moving forward.Meanwhile game two saw Santos downed 1-0 at the whistle with the decisive strike coming five minutes into injury time thanks to Joshua Butts.With that win, Uitvlugt move into second position in Group B, leaving the leaders Western Tigers untouched with six points but pushing Eagles United down to third due to superior goal difference.Den Amstel, on the other hand, move into the lead of Group C with Ann’s Grove second, Santos third and Pouderoyen in the cellar.The final round of matches begins today when Grove Hi-Tech face Northern Rangers at GFC from 18:30hrs and Uitvlugt oppose Western Tigers from 20:30hrs.Currently in third place, the Grove side will have to register at least a draw to climb into second position in Group A, which is held by Milerock (three points from two games), while a win would see them shoot into the lead with Winners Connection on four points from four games.Should Northern Rangers win by a four-goal margin, they will lead the group while a win by less than that margin will place them second.In the second game, the table-toppers of Group B, Western Tigers, will confront second-placed Uitvlugt. Should the Tigers continue their unbeaten streak, they will move further ahead in the group while Uitvlugt must win by more than two goals to move into the lead.last_img read more

Long goal could prove crucial in Euro campaign

first_imgThe 1 all draw means Ireland’s on 8 points while Germany and Scotland are on 10 with the Poles leading on 11.While delighted with the result the Gortnahoe-Glengoole native says the team need to be winning matches at homelast_img

First woman elected to FIFA ExCo

first_imgBurundi’s Lydia Nsekera made history on Friday when she became the first woman to be elected to the Executive Committee of football’s world governing body FIFA for a full term.Nsekera was voted on for a full four-year term at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius, while two other women, Moya Dodd of Australia and Sonia Bien-Aime of the Turks and Caicos Islands, were coopted on for one year.Nsekera was the first woman to be coopted on for one year at last year’s Congress in Budapest.Now there will be three women on the ExCo, compared to none two years ago.It is another step towards gender equality within FIFA, although there is still work to be done, with the ExCo comprising a total of 24 members.“One woman was coopted on to the Executive Committee last year for one year, and now a woman has been officially elected on to the executive committee, with two others coopted.It has taken us 109 years to get this far,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter.last_img read more