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first_img“Basically the same kinds of hormones that work in us are at work in insects,” he said. “The evolution and conservation of these hormones are amazing.” Disease transmissionMosquitoes infect millions of people around the world with parasitic diseases like malaria. Malaria is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in the developing world. According to World Health Organization statistics, malaria caused 1 million deaths in 2008, mostly among African children. When female mosquitoes take blood meals, they can pick up viruses that cause other human diseases in humans, like dengue or yellow fever. They also transmit nematodes that become heartworms in animals. The disease pathogens multiply in the mosquito. When the mosquito takes another meal, the pathogens can pass to another host through the mosquito’s saliva.Brown said understanding the regulation of reproduction in mosquitoes can give researchers insight on how pathogens can multiply in the female’s body during a reproductive cycle. Knowing how mosquitoes translate chemical messages inside their bodies could help scientists develop ways to control mosquito populations, he said. For example, they might be able to disguise a chemical, or a mimic, to disrupt chemical messages and prevent the mosquito from reproducing. The National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture fund Brown’s research. Mosquitoes fly, drink blood, and can live for days without a head. Mosquitoes may seem very different from humans, but one University of Georgia researcher says people have a lot in common with the notorious insect. “We know that insulin is an important hormone for controlling sugar metabolism in humans. It surprises people that insects also have an insulin,” said Mark Brown, an internationally known mosquito biologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Understanding those similarities, and the differences, could lead to better mosquito controls and a reduction in the diseases they can carry.ReproductionInsulin-like peptides control parts of metabolism in a sugar-fed mosquito. But in a blood-fed mosquito, those same peptides “turn on her ovaries to make steroid hormones, just like in humans,” he said. “Ultimately, three to four days later, the female is ready to lay her eggs.” Female mosquitoes need blood to digest and provide nutrients for egg maturation. Brown identifies and studies the hormones released by mosquitoes and the functions affected by those hormones. Female mosquitoes live less than a month and take a blood meal every three to four days.EvolutionInsects have genes for 40 different peptide hormones. The function of many of those is still a mystery. Brown is working to solve the mystery by studying the evolution of these peptide hormones and how their function and structure are preserved.last_img read more

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first_img During its voyage, ARC Gloria will sail more than 15,000 nautical miles in 199 days and will visit the ports of Mayport, New York, Norfolk, Baltimore, and Boston in the United States, then cross the Atlantic Ocean to the ports of Cádiz and Barcelona in Spain; Monaco; Civitavecchia, Italy, Piraeus, Greece; Alexandria, Egypt; Lisbon, Portugal; and Falmouth, Jamaica, returning to Cartagena on November 5. By Dialogo April 24, 2012 it’s a country with hope, it’s a country with a great future,” the minister said upon seeing off the flagship. Cruise ship course At the departure ceremony for the training ship Gloria, in Cartagena, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón called on the cadets who were beginning their voyage to 13 foreign ports to tell the world that thanks to the efforts of the members of government forces, the country has a promising future today. On April 20, Minister Pinzón bid farewell to 168 crew members departing on the Gloria’s 71st training cruise, which will visit 13 foreign ports and participate in two large gatherings of sailing ships from around the world. At the ceremony, the minister stated that the positive moment that the country is experiencing is largely due to the great deal of work done by the country’s Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and police officers, for which reason he called on the departing crew to act as true ambassadors during their journey, telling the world how the country is today. “Tell the world that thanks to your work, to the work of your comrades in the Military and the National Police, this country is a better country, it’s a country with hope, it’s a country with a great future,” the minister said upon seeing off the flagship. center_img During the voyage of more than six months, the 81 cadets, including 10 women, will receive training in seamanship, astronomical navigation, electronics, and meteorology, among other disciplines needed for their service as future Colombian Navy officers. “Tell the world that we’re defeating terrorism in Colombia, and we’re combating drug trafficking and all kinds of transnational crime, and we’re restoring Colombians’ constitutional rights and human rights,” the head of the Defense Ministry added. last_img read more

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first_img This article is a courtesy of the Military Sports Blog, which publishes competitions and sports news for the Armed Forces and Auxiliary Forces in Brazil and abroad For the first time in the history of rifle shooting in Brazil, a Brazilian athlete qualified for the World Cup final. This accomplishment belongs to Major Rippel, of the 28th Light Infantry Battalion, in Campinas, São Paulo, a CDE athlete, and a member of the Brazilian Military Shooting Team. Major Rippel ranked third in the knockout stage, with 625.3 points. He got fifth place in the individual modality in the final, the best ranking of a Brazilian rifle-shooting athlete of all times. Sergeant Felipe Wu also made it to the final in the air gun category. He finished 6th in the qualifying phase, with 580 points. Wu, who is part of the Army World Class Athlete Program, finished the competition in eighth place. By Dialogo May 29, 2013 The Brazilian Olympic Shooting Team participated in the U.S. Sport Shooting International Federation World Cup between May 4 and 13, in Fort Benning, Georgia. Participating athletes from the Brazilian Army Sports Committee (CDE), who are part of the Brazilian national team, achieved excellent results. last_img read more

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first_imgBy Dialogo October 18, 2013 Security forces should concentrate on preventing drug traffickers from establishing permanent coca-producing fields in the border region, said Flavio Mirella, who heads the UNODC office for Peru. “Authorities need to make sure that these new zones do not become areas where coca is hard to eliminate,” Mirella said. “The valley is not only a coca-growing zone, but has become a logistical base for drug trafficking.” Long-term success Security forces are focusing more of their efforts on the border that Peru shares with Colombia and Brazil. For generations, Peruvian drug traffickers cultivated more than 90 percent of the coca produced in that country in jungle valleys not near the border region. In recent years, drug traffickers have shifted most of their coca production to the border that Peru shares with Colombia and Brazil. In 2012, Peru and Brazil set up a task force to develop protocols for joint police and military operations along the 3,000 kilometers of jungle border the two countries share. Authorities have found near nearly 3,000 coca-producing hectares in the border region in Peru, an increase of 73 percent from previous years, according to the UNODC report. In addition to eradicating hectares used for the production of coca, Peruvian security forces are also identifying and destroying clandestine air strips used by drug traffickers to transport cocaine. The National Police has reported finding 50 secret airstrips used by drug traffickers to transport cocaine and unrefined cocaine paste to neighboring countries. Such airstrips are typically about 300 meters long. Drug traffickers use small airplane to transport cocaine and cocaine paste to Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Mexico. Airplanes transport a small percentage of the drugs smuggled out of Peru. Most drugs are smuggled out on large ships. On Oct. 8, 2013 Peruvian security forces seized 3.7 tons of drugs from the port of Paita. The eradication initiative will succeed if the state moves in “with a solid post-eradication strategy that does not offer momentary solutions, but long-term changes that require a strong state presence, access to markets and jobs,” Antezana said. “The population has to know there are other options.” An eradication effort in the VRAEM region is crucial, said Peruvian security analyst Ruben Vargas. Eradicating drugs in the VRAEM region is the only way Peru will make a serious dent in the coca-production business, Vargas said. “The government wants to eradicate 30,000 hectares annually starting next year. This would change the dynamics of drug trafficking, but it is only possible if the VRAEM is included,” Vargas said. The Shining Path’s criminal enterprises extend beyond drug trafficking. Shining Path rebels have committed attacks against workers who are laboring to double the capacity of the pipeline which crosses the VRAEM region from the gas fields of Camisea to Lima. Once completed, the pipeline would produce an estimated $1.5 billion in natural gas exports, as well as 40 percent of Peru’s power supply. Officials slowed down the pace of the pipeline expansion in April 2013 after Shining Path rebels kidnapped 40 people, most of whom were employees of the construction company working on the pipeline. Rebels killed eight security agents during an operation to rescue the workers. All of the workers were released unharmed. The pipeline itself has not been attacked. Coca cultivation along the border CORAH brigades Eliminating new coca-producing zones Peruvian security forces have made important inroads in their battle against drug traffickers, reversing a seven-year trend in the amount of land used to cultivate coca, the raw material which is used to make cocaine, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In 2012, Peruvian Coca Eradication Brigades (CORAH) destroyed 14,000 hectares used to cultivate coca, authorities said. The eradication effort reduced Peru’s coca crop by more than 3 percent, officials said. It was the largest amount of drug-producing land ever eradicated by Peruvian security forces in one year. Peruvian security forces are continuing to eradicate record amounts of drug-producing land. As of early October 2013, security forces had destroyed 19,000 drug-producing hectares, establishing a new annual record, authorities said. Officials have said they plan on eliminating 22,000 drug-producing hectares by the end of 2013. The administration of President Ollanta Humala is spending about $15 million to fund CORAH. Peruvian security forces are planning a sustained eradication campaign in the VRAEM region, which will be launched in 2014, Masias said. “We are going to begin work there,” Masias said. “Eradication will start, but we cannot say when.” Shining Path rebels and drug traffickers will probably resist the eradication initiative, said Peruvian security analyst Jaime Antezana. The Shining Path is already trying to derail the eradication effort, according to Antezana. The Shining Path’s criminal enterprises extend beyond drug trafficking. Shining Path rebels have committed attacks against workers who are constructing a natural gas pipeline in the VRAEM region. The pipeline would Workers attacked Clandestine airstrips The VRAEM region The eradication efforts of the CORAH brigades is having a substantial and positive impact, said Carmen Masias, who head the Peruvian government’s anti-drug office, DEVIDA. “I am optimistic, even though the task is huge,” Masias said. “There will be a reduction after years of seeing increases,” she said. Shining Path threat The majority of cocaine-producing hectares are in the VRAEM region, where the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro rivers converge. Nearly 20,000 hectares in the region are used to grow coca, authorities said. That is about one-third of the national total. The VRAEM is a dangerous region, and not just because of the presence of drug traffickers. The Shining Path, an outlawed Maoist organization that declared a war against the state in 1980, has about 300 armed fighters in the VRAEM area. Shining Path rebels have ties to drug traffickers. Some Shining Path members protect drug traffickers as they transport cocaine out of the region. “The Shining Path is telling peasant farmers to resist the government’s plans and offering to help defend their lands and crops,” Antezana explained. “There is a lot of disillusionment with the state, so this argument could resonate in the zone.” last_img read more

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first_img 88SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfield I am a huge documentary fan, and one of my favorites is Ancients Behaving Badly on the History Channel. This series discusses the worst of the ancients: Caligula, Nero, Attila the Hun, Caesar, Alexander the Great, Nero, Hannibal, and Genghis Khan. Obviously I’m making this comparison to board members for shock value, but some of the examples below of poor board behavior is worthy of sharing in hopes of educating and encouraging change (especially if that change is the removal of the worst offenders).Pitchforks and torchesI don’t know what it is, but there’s been a string of abuses that I’ve either heard about or witnessed. For me, it’s disheartening that so many CEOs and executive management teams have to work around or deal with this bad behavior. In one case, the angst regarding some board members was so strong it reminded me of the serfs with pitchforks rising up in old black and white monster movies.Sins of OmissionBad behavior ranges from unintended to intentional. Regardless, both are harmful to personal interaction, culture, and ultimately to the credit union’s performance and future.First, let’s start with Sins of Omission. For those of you who didn’t spend as much time in Sunday school as I did, Sins of Omission are those we committed when we knew we should’ve done something good, but refused. Here are a couple of examples of board members behaving badly:Lack of commitment – These boards and board members do the bare minimum. They attend meetings but contribute very little. They frequently have attendance issues. When they do attend, they lack preparation, don’t read their board packet or other valuable information carefully prepared by staff to educate the board. They don’t really understand the credit union’s business model, they don’t promote their credit union, and they don’t use any of their credit unions products or services. Their lack of commitment retards growth, morale, and the constant improvement needed to remain relevant in the future. They hold valuable seats that should be held by others who will contribute considerably more.Turning a blind eye – These boards and board members often turn a blind eye to avoid conflict, failing to hold others accountable. This includes other board members and management.Little or no diversity – This isn’t always intentional, but it occurs when friends refer friends, and there is very little turn over on the board. The average board member is a 61-year-old white male. Communities, field of memberships and staff have changed, and our boards should reflect these stakeholders.Sins of CommissionA Sin of Commission is a sin we take action to commit, whether in thought, word, or deed. A Sin of Commission can be intentional or unintentional. Here are a few of the worst committed by board members:Passive/aggressive behavior – Quiet, but intentional resistance to strategies, initiatives, change, and support. This frequently leads to a “board meeting after the board meeting,” usually in the parking lot after a more formal meeting. Decisions made at these meetings undercut trust, kill morale, and stop progress.Theft – It’s a bold accusation, but what else do you call misuse or abuse of expense budgets. Unfortunately, I have seen this abuse range from board members who order $100 shots at the bar during conventions to educational junkets that are so far out of budget or are demanded at a time when the credit union can least afford it. One can try to justify it, but I consider it theft and I think most CEOs do too. But why does it still occur? Not for profit, not for charity, but for service?Sexism and racism – It’s sad, but it still exists in the credit union movement. This immoral behavior is sad and discouraging. Great CEOs are held back, talked down to, and mistreated because of their gender, and vibrant, diverse, and underserved communities aren’t served because of the color of their skin, lifestyle, or economic condition. The real power of our credit union movement will not be realized until all people are treated equally and fairly.Bullying – These credit unions have a bully on their board who dominates everything. Nothing happens unless they agree. They are condescending and disrespectful to others, which leads to less input, inferior decisions, poor performance, and unhappy people.Making things right – here are a few things to consider:Get the right people on the board, those with the ethics, commitment, connections, diversity, skill-sets, and attributes that strongly support the credit union’s vision and mission.Have clear expectations for board engagement, behavior, and compliance, and hold them accountable.Educate the board – there are many quality board-education programs. I’m frequently asked to provide education on board roles, responsibilities, and best practices as part of my credit union strategic planning sessions. Sometimes it easier to have facilitators pull the bandage off or expose the white elephant in the room.Nominate a board chair who sets an example of best behavior and who will inspire others to act accordingly.Keep score and assess performance. There are many quality individual and group assessment programs specifically designed for credit union board members.Create and maintain a good working relationship with the CEO. This is key to making sure the CEO can freely share their thoughts and provide fair feedback on issues that arise.Have zero tolerance for unethical and unprofessional behavior.Consider board term limits. Don’t get me wrong, I know scores of outstanding board members who have been on their boards for decades, and these good people are best practices for volunteer engagement. However, we do have far too many board members whose time has passed and need to move on. One easy way to facilitate this is clear board term limits in the bylaws.Why it mattersIf ever there was a time for quality, high-performing boards “behaving well,” it’s now. Credit unions must be governed by strong boards if they are to survive.If you are reading this and feeling frustrated with the conditions in your shop. I encourage you to have the courage to lead the change that is needed. Your credit union and our credit union movement are depending on you. Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: www.yourcupartner.org Detailslast_img read more

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first_imgYou’ve probably heard the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” The same idea applies to leaders, according to Sandra McDowell, PCC, VP/communication and culture for $275 million First Credit Union, Powell River, British Columbia. Put a bit more grammatically, “if a leader is in a bad mood, everyone is in a bad mood,” she told her CEO/Executive Team Network audience, Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz.Moods (as well as ideas and behaviors) can spread like illnesses among co-workers, due to a phenomenon called social contagion. Negative emotions “are more powerful than positive emotions in how they impact others,” McDowell explained. “And the emotions of the leader are more powerful than anyone else in the room.”She said this is why emotional intelligence is especially important for leaders: to be able to manage the emotions they display to others.In her session, “Neuroleadership: Leading With the Brain in Mind,” McDowell focused her advanced training in neuroleadership on ways to manage workplace stressors (like workload, people issues and work-life balance) that lead to employee disengagement. With disengagement as high as 35-70 percent, depending on the survey, it’s clear to McDowell that “we’re not doing something right in terms of leading the 21st century worker.” continue reading » 46SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr There’s an old saying in business development and marketing — “features tell but benefits sell.” In other words, your bank or credit union will do a better job cross-selling products and services if your employees focus more on the benefits consumers will realize by using them and less on the nuts and bolts of the product or service itself.A terrific case in point — introducing the Little Griddle. We are heading into the warmer time of the year and like many suburban dads, I’m grilling outside more. A few days ago, I came across the Little Griddle at a big box membership store and decided to give it a try on my grill. I’ve been impressed by how easy it is to cook with and clean. Just this past weekend, I did bacon and eggs, hashbrowns and pancakes for my kids — all outside on our grill using the Little Griddle.This isn’t a plug for the Little Griddle. Rather, it’s a cautionary tale for banks and credit unions to try to promote product and service dreams over specific features. Take a moment to look at the following video from Little Griddle.Did you hear them talk a lot about its construction? Its metallurgy? Its history? No. Instead of boring you with these details, they went for the emotional appeal. They sold you the dream. In this case, it was the dream of a parent cooking outside, facilitating invaluable family time all because of a little hunk of stainless steel. continue reading »last_img read more

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first_imgThe term, brand, is likely from a Norse word for “burn”.  Like the cowboys who burn their brands on cattle, marketers try to burn an image (a distinguishing, attention getting, memorable, and complimentary image) in our minds.Every day, we brand ourselves.  Some of us are better at it than others.  Some of us are more aware than others that it is taking place.  For good or for bad, it is true.  It is not by accident that some institutions are better at developing and nurturing their brands. No doubt, you have heard about great branding and advertising campaigns such as those by Nike and Apple.  Not everyone does it that well.More directly to the point, some credit unions are excellent at branding, while others need help. Most likely, there are branding issues that – at times – keep you up at night. Every brand wants to connect to its customers in a perceptible, emotional way that will result in a lifelong bond. This does not happen overnight.  From brand inception, to building a brand, to improving a brand… you must actively make decisions that move the brand forward. continue reading » 17SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on Thursday issued a final update to clarify the effective date for its current expected credit loss (CECL) standard. Sharing credit unions’ implementation concerns with FASB, NAFCU has worked to obtain certain changes and more guidance on the standard.The CECL accounting standard requires financial institutions – including credit unions – to record expected losses whenever they make a new loan. This is causing concern within the industry as it could mean financial institutions may have to either raise more capital or lend less.The final update makes clear that the implementation of the standard for non-public business entities (PBEs) is only required for fiscal years after Dec. 15, 2021. As a result, credit unions would not need to begin reporting data on call reports until the beginning of 2022. The update also clarifies that operating lease receivables are not covered within the scope of CECL – a clarification welcomed by NAFCU. continue reading »last_img read more

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first_img“That is what has led to the negative sentiment,” he added.On the other hand, Mimi Halimin, analyst of Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia, one of Indonesia’s top brokerage houses, wrote that the potential acquisition of Pinehill Company was “short-term pain, long-term gain”.“We think that this announcement will draw a negative reaction from investors. We believe that amid these uncertain conditions and the slackening economy, investors will prefer to invest in a company which has a strong balance sheet,” Mimi wrote in a report published on May 28.“However, on the operational side of the company, we believe that the acquisition could leverage ICBP’s position in the global market, which may potentially boost its volume.”Indofood CBP announced that Pinehill Company’s business in the manufacturing and distribution of instant noodles in eight countries in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Europe, was in line with the development and expansion of the company’s core business.“Therefore, with the proposed transaction, the company will join an elite group of international food companies and become one of the largest producers of instant noodles in the world with a strong market share globally,” the company’s public statement reads.Pinehill Company has 12 instant noodle-manufacturing facilities located in eight countries with a combined population of approximately 550 million people, and has the capacity to produce approximately 10 billion packs of instant noodles per year.In addition to that, the company has distribution networks in 33 countries with a total population of around 885 million people.These markets, which cover a total population of more than three times the population of Indonesia, are growing very rapidly, yet currently have a very low average consumption of instant noodles per capita.“Thus, the acquisition of the target group is expected to contribute greatly to the future growth of the company,” the company wrote.Despite the falling share prices, analysts are of the view that the business prospects of the acquisition in the longer term remain attractive.Hans of Anugerah Mega Investama even noted that the acquisition, which is valued at 23 times price-earnings (PE), was “not that expensive” and “fair value” for such a prospective company.Indofood CBP and its parent company’s president director, billionaire Anthoni Salim, own 49 percent of Pinehill Corpora shares, making the acquisition an affiliate transaction, as reported by kontan.co.id.The acquisition will be finalized after it receives approval from shareholders during an extraordinary shareholders meeting (RUPSLB) that will be held on July 15.Topics : Investors have dumped shares of processed food giant PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur following the company’s decision to acquire instant noodle manufacturer Pinehill Company. The move is viewed as detrimental to Indofood’s financial condition despite the potential boost to its global market outreach, analysts have said.Indofood CBP’s shares, trading under ICBP on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), have dropped 7.3 percent since the company announced the acquisition plans on May 22, to Rp 8,900 (64 US cents) apiece on Tuesday. Parent company PT Indofood Sukses Makmur saw its shares, trading under INDF, drop 3.44 percent to Rp 6,300 during the same period.“Judging from the share price movement, the impact of the [acquisition] is not very favorable as statements have surfaced that the acquisition is mostly financed by debt. Hence, investors are worried about the company’s future finances,” Jasa Utama Capital analyst Chris Apriliony told The Jakarta Post by text message on Monday. On May 22, Indofood CBP signed an agreement worth US$2.99 billion with Pinehill Corpora Limited and Steele Lake, which own 51 percent and 49 percent of the acquired company, respectively. The former will receive $1.53 billion, and the latter, $1.47 billion.The financing of the acquisition and its fees will be derived primarily from bank loans of around $2.05 billion, according to Indofood CBP’s information memorandum published on Monday. Meanwhile, the remaining $950 million will come from other long-term liabilities and cash.Upon completion of the acquisition, Indofood CBP will be the 100 percent owner of Pinehill Company.Anugerah Mega Investama director Hans Kwee said the large chunk of debt securities could potentially reduce future dividends.last_img read more