first_imgYANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her opposition to military rule in Myanmar three decades ago. As the country opened up politically and she became its leader in 2016, Suu Kyi cautioned repeatedly that democratic progress would come only if Myanmar’s powerful army accepted the changes. Her warnings proved prescient. The military detained Suu Kyi and other senior politicians on Monday and said it would rule under a one-year state of emergency. It was a sharp halt in the tentative steps toward democracy by the Southeast Asian nation in the past decade. For Suu Kyi, it was the latest blow in a life spent contending with military might.last_img read more

first_imgWhen pack weights get heavy—which is inevitable, let’s be honest— the Aerolon suspension system on the Maven 55 may save you a trip to the chiropractor with its four inch span of torso adjustment. It also uses a customized lightweight aluminum chassis design to deliver much improved ventilation and load stabilizing trail performance.Other features include an internal divider that doubles as a top flap for lidless use, removable bottom straps that can be used as a hip belt on the SideKick daypack, and a quick-stow feature on the shoulder strap for attaching glasses.Whether you’re logging big miles on the Appalachian Trail during an extended thru-hike or just out for a spur of the moment, one-night backpakcing adventure, the extremely lightweight Maven 55 will make save your back while making your backcountry experience more enjoyable overall.Learn more here. These days, outdoor shops are full of great packs for multi-day adventure. So much so, in fact, that it can be nearly impossible to find a pack that’s just right for you. Here at Blue Ridge Outdoors, we’ve had the opportunity to test copious packs over the years,  but few have exceeded the features or all-around versatility of the Maven series packs from Gregory Mountain Products.New for 2017, the Maven series includes 65, 55, 45, and 35 liter versions. For trips exceeding two days, we would recommend the 55 liter version, not only for the extra space but for the added features that the pack offers.Those features include a rain cover,—an item that usually requires a separate purchase—a bladder sleeve that doubles as a day pack, and the much-heralded Aerolon suspension system.The Maven 55’s SideKick Day Packlast_img read more

first_img 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Federal Reserve has named a Faster Payments Strategy Leader to identify effective approaches for implementing safe and ubiquitous faster payments capability. Sean Rodriguez, senior vice president of the Chicago Fed, will chair the agency’s Federal Reserve Task Force.CUNA advocacy staff met with Rodriguez last week to discuss the Fed’s work on faster payments. CUNA’s Luke Martone, senior director of advocacy, is a member of the task force, and has participated in several calls, as well as a meeting in Chicago. Lance Noggle, senior director of advocacy at CUNA, is part of the Secure Payments Task Force.The task force is comprised of more than 300 payments system stakeholders, including several from the credit union community, interested in improving the speed of authorization, clearing, settlement and notification of various types of personal and business payments.CUNA has been in contact with the Fed in recent months regarding faster payments. continue reading »last_img read more

first_imgThere’s been a lot of buzz recently about whether credit union board members should be compensated. For a long time, this notion was taboo. For many, it literally seemed to go against the very essence of a cooperative credit union.Then the idea of compensation seemed to shift from being taboo to being merely uncommon. Though federal credit unions can provide compensation  only to one member of their board, usually the treasurer, some state-chartered credit unions may compensate more broadly.A recent study published by Filene Research Institute (and underwritten by Quantum Governance and CUES, among others) notes that there has been a new and significant shift, with many beginning to support the notion of paying their boards, “with some even believing that doing so would soon be crucial to their ability to attract and retain effective board members.”The study, aptly titled Should Credit Unions Pay Their Directors?, goes on to report that “At 145 credit unions in 12 states, directors earn somewhere between $60 and $37,597 annually.” The report’s author, Matt Fullbrook, manager of the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics and Board Effectiveness at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management shares that while “In most states, credit union director compensation is dwarfed by fees paid to directors of commercial banks …the pay trend is slowly catching on, especially among large credit unions.” continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_img 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr I love TED Talks.  If I had to pick a favorite, it would be this one: Benjamin Zander and the Transformative Power of Classical Music.Let me set the scene.Mr. Zander acknowledges that only 3% of America really likes classical music. While many are depressed within the classical music community with that number, do not include him among the Debbie Downers. With a smile, he says the following…“Everybody loves classical music, it’s just that many people haven’t found out about it yet.“You need to watch the video. He proceeds to put on a show. And before he’s done, an audience of executives are spellbound, listening to him play a classical piece.His confidence and pure joy when talking about classical music is infectious.  Is classical music for three percent or ten percent of the population? continue reading »last_img read more

first_imgCan CU finance people who remember the Great Recession rely on their experience handling that one to get their organizations through the current slowdown? A little? Not at all? The answer may depend on who you ask.Derek Fuzzell, CPA, CMA, CSCA, doesn’t think lessons learned in the 2008 recession apply now.“Nothing repeats exactly, but the Great Depression is a better model for what to expect,” says the CUES member and CFO of $240 million PAHO/WHO Federal Credit Union in Washington, D.C. He’s a student of history who has studied the Depression.“The Great Recession hit the financial sector hard, but restaurants stayed open,” he notes. “Stores stayed open. The people who worked there got paid and paid their bills. Lots of people continued as usual, and they saved the economy. The finance people who lost their jobs weren’t big spenders anyway. This will hit harder. I’m looking more at the Great Depression for guidance.” continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Thanks to a just-announced overhaul plan, LaGuardia International Airport could be transformed from Third World to first rate. The impacts of this massively ambitious project could resonate well beyond Queens and those 680 worn-out acres between Flushing and Bowery Bays, because it marks the welcome return of large-scale thinking to our region.LaGuardia is notorious to travelers who have had the misfortune of navigating its cramped hallways and crowded gates. Speaking last Monday at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan where the plan was unveiled, Gov. Andrew Cuomo repeated the obvious when he said the airport “is a terrible front-door entranceway to New York. It is a lost opportunity.”For what it’s worth, LaGuardia has the distinction of being voted as the worst airport in the nation by Travel & Leisure, which wrote:“The airport has the dubious honor of ranking the worst for the check-in and security process, the worst for baggage handling, the worst when it comes to providing Wi-Fi, the worst at staff communication, and the worst design and cleanliness. If there was a ray of hope, its location, which ranked 16th, was considered superior to six other airports.”According to The New York Times, the airport is one of the busiest and tardiest for its size, having a 70 percent on-time departure rate, which ranks last out of the 29 largest American airports. Yet despite its many, many shortcomings, the airport is still an economic juggernaut. The current airport employs 11,000 workers and contributes more than $15.6 billion to our region’s economy.“Praise” of the airport reached its zenith last year when Vice President Joseph R. Biden remarked that a blindfolded passenger at LaGuardia might think he’d landed in “some Third World country,” as the Times reported in February 2014.Since then, it seems like the Vice President and the Governor have inspired private developers and the Port Authority of NY & NJ to create a workable plan that seeks to demolish the present Central Terminal Building and start anew. Instead of the four separate terminals today, a rebuilt airport would feature a unified passenger facility that is much closer to the Grand Central Parkway allowing for two miles of new taxiways to help clear up some of LaGuardia’s notorious congestion issues.The project also would improve access to LaGuardia, which is too heavily auto-centric. Talk of an AirTrain extension from Willets Point, finally linking the airport to New York City Transit and the Long Island Rail Road, is also being revisited, as is launching high-speed ferry service from the Marine Air Terminal to Manhattan. Also on the table is additional investment in John F. Kennedy International Airport: the T.W.A. Flight Center, a historic landmark considered by many to be the architectural embodiment of the spirit of air travel (and where the Beatles landed in America for their first tour here), is poised to become a first-class hotel.There is no doubt that Biden’s involvement helped usher the project past the many logistical and financial hurdles that normally hold back something of this scale and cost. It seems that once again large-scale capital investment is coming to New York – and it couldn’t have come soon enough.As a general rule of thumb in the planning world, a city that moves is a city that grows. Whether it be roads, rails or runways, any investment in New York’s decrepit infrastructure should be celebrated. Each day, our old, deteriorating systems bear additional burdens they simply weren’t designed for. Yet, to our shame, they’ve been neglected for decades. LaGuardia is currently providing a level of service that is well out of sync with the region’s needs.After the LaGuardia project was announced, many critics cried foul that the airport is the site of billions of dollars’ worth of new capital investment, citing the sorry state of the rail network.Although they are correct, that doesn’t mean investment shouldn’t be made in other vital components of the region’s transportation system, especially when a new airport is just as critical, if not more so, in driving economic activity for New York City and the tri-state area as a whole. And that certainly includes Long Island.Vice President Joe Biden previously compared LaGuardia International Airport to one you’d see in a “third-world country.”While transit advocates argue that the money should be put toward the city’s rail and subway systems, which are getting worse by the day, the fact of the matter is that if the state has the ability to rebuild LaGuardia, it is wise to pounce.The price of this ambitious project was first announced to be $4 billion, but shortly after the fanfare died down, analysts realistically assessed that figure to be $8 billion. They also cast doubt about the Governor’s target for completion in the year 2021, saying that 2026 is a more manageable timeframe for a project of this magnitude. The financing is to be sourced from a public-private partnership among the state, private developers and Delta Airlines. The costs are huge, but so is the project’s scope. Essentially, we’re poised to place a brand new airport a mere eight miles from Midtown Manhattan, one of the most expensive places in the world.The benefits of a new LaGuardia are likely to include much more than just adding to the convenience of tourists as some have claimed. The airport served 27 million passengers last year, and when the overhaul is finally completed, that number will definitely increase. And it will include millions of people doing business here as well as seeing the sights.On Long Island, the Town of Islip will come under even more pressure to attract flyers to its struggling Long Island MacArthur Airport. A reorientation may be in order so MacArthur doesn’t try to compete with LaGuardia, but rather complement its services. Both Nassau and Suffolk counties should actively step up their tourism campaigns to make our assets more attractive to visitors and draw additional economic activity that the new LaGuardia will surely bring.Our political leaders should lobby to streamline the LIRR’s operations to Willets Point so Long Islanders can easily get from points east to the eventual AirTrain. Policymakers and planners should also conduct an analysis of how increased transit ridership to LaGuardia might further justify the need for the LIRR’s proposed double-track from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma, and its triple track from Floral Park to Hicksville.This is the time for thinking big like Robert Moses did, and who better to put that notion into words than Robert A. Caro, his Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, who wrote The Power Broker about the master builder. Caro made a rare public comment about the creation of a new LaGuardia in the Governor’s press release on the overhaul project, which nicely sums up how much of a big deal the new airport will be upon completion.“To say we’re going to take it from being a ‘third-world airport’ to being one of the greatest and newest airports, if you think about it, that’s quite a heroic vision,” Caro said. “It’s not an improvement; it’s a transformation – and it’s a transformation that, of course, New York needs. Just as the first LaGuardia airport took New York into the modern age of the 1930s and ’40s, now we have this new airport which will take New York into the 21st century.”Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

first_imgThe Czech government said Monday it would lift restrictions on international passenger road and rail transport on May 11, while neighboring Slovakia also announced it would ease measures taken to contain the coronavirus.”It will be possible to use buses and trains to cross the border,” Czech Transport Minister Karel Havlicek said in a tweet.The EU member state of 10.7 million people, which has registered more than 7,700 confirmed cases of the virus including 251 deaths, banned international passenger transport on March 14. The government closed its borders two days later, only reopening them in mid-April for some Czechs with the caveat that they must undergo two weeks of quarantine upon return.With EU business travellers allowed to enter since April 27, the Czech government said Monday it would also let in non-EU travellers as of next week to ensure seasonal jobs. All incoming foreigners will need a negative virus test.The central European nation and neighbor Slovakia will both also reopen all shops and most service providers, restaurants — for outdoor seating only — as well as museums and galleries.Slovakia, an EU member of 5.4 million people, has scheduled the grand opening for Wednesday, while the Czech Republic will follow suit next week.  Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic told reporters the government was easing restrictions because of the low number of new coronavirus cases. His country recorded only five new infections and one new death on Sunday, putting the total tally at 1,413 cases including 25 deaths.According to the EU’s health agency ECDC, Slovakia has Europe’s lowest coronavirus death rate, at 0.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.Matovic said church mass and weddings would be allowed again, but under strict conditions. Other group gatherings are still off-limits unless the individuals share a household.Kindergartens and schools will remain closed for now, said Matovic — unlike in the Czech Republic, where some students will be able to return to school next week. The Czech government added that it would extend the cap on public events to 100 people and allow sports competitions with the same attendance limit. Wearing masks has been mandatory in both countries since March, and that restriction remains in place.center_img Topics :last_img read more

first_imgTopics : The measures applied to all travellers, including Spanish citizens returning to the country. Only truck drivers, airplane and ship crews, cross-border workers and health staff who are entering Spain to work are exempt from the quarantine.Spain is one of the worst-hit countries by the pandemic with more than 26,000 fatalities recorded and more than 220,000 diagnosed cases. The country has started phasing out restrictions in the past ten days. The Spanish government ordered a two-week quarantine for all travellers coming into the country from May 15 in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after one of the Europe’s strictest lockdowns helped slow down the epidemic in Spain.Incoming travellers will have to remain locked in and will only be allowed to exit for grocery shopping, go to health centers and in case of “situation of need”, an official order published on Tuesday said.The quarantine has been enforced for all travellers coming to Spain between May 15 and at least May 24, when the state of emergency is due to end. The quarantine order can be extended jointly with possible state of emergency extensions. Spain has so far extended its restrictions four times since mid-March.last_img read more

first_imgTopics : Rochester, New York’s police chief abruptly resigned on Tuesday along with his command staff, saying there had been a “mischaracterization and politicization” of his actions following the death of Daniel Prude in police custody.Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren told a City Council meeting that she had not asked Chief La’Ron Singletary to resign, though she said there was “information that was brought to light today that I have not previously seen before.” She did not elaborate.Rochester, a city of 200,000 people on Lake Ontario, erupted with protests last week after the Prude family released body camera footage showing officers had used a mesh hood and pinned Prude, a 41-year-old Black man, to the pavement during the March arrest. “The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for.”Warren, who has also come under pressure for the handling of Prude’s arrest and death, said Singletary’s deputy, Joseph Morabito, had also retired and that “there may be a number of others that will decide to leave as well.”The mayor said she was unsure when the retirements would take effect.Free the People ROC, a local Black Lives Matter group, welcomed the resignations in a Facebook post but demanded more.”Let’s keep the pressure up until all those responsible for Daniel Prude’s murder and cover up — including Mayor Lovely Warren – have resigned, taken responsibility and donated their pensions to the families they allowed to be harmed,” it wrote.Warren apologized to the Prude family last week and suggested she had been misled by Singletary – an allegation he denied. Singletary also pointed to his ordering of an internal investigation soon after the incident.The Rochester police union’s head, Michael Mazzeo, defended the officers last week, saying they followed procedure in using the so-called “spit hood,” necessary because Prude claimed he had the coronavirus. Mazzeo also said Singletary’s office told him after the arrest there were “no concerns” with the officers’ actions.center_img The release of the footage five months after Prude’s death had raised questions of a possible cover-up and turned Rochester into the latest flashpoint in a summer of protests over racial injustice first sparked by George Floyd’s May 25 death.Seven police officers involved in the arrest were suspended last week. The medical examiner ruled Prude’s death a homicide by asphyxiation, with the drug PCP a contributing factor. He was having a psychotic episode when he was arrested.Black Lives Matter activists had called for Singletary’s resignation. But as recently as Sunday, amid a weekend of demonstrations, he had said he intended to stay on, and Warren backed him. Both he and the mayor are Black.”As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character,” Singletary said in a statement, noting his 20 years on the force.last_img read more