Brazil, Second South American Country To Become A U.S. Major Non-NATO Ally

first_imgBy Andréa Barretto / Diálogo August 06, 2019 “I am very proud to announce that our visit to the United States bore fruit. President Donald Trump has accepted us as a major non-NATO ally,” said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, at a military event in Brazil, on June 15, 2019.The news was expected since March, when the leaders of both countries met for the first time. Brazil’s designation as a U.S. major non-NATO ally was among the topics of official discussions.Now that both nations are aligned, the possibilities for exchanges and bilateral cooperation have increased, particularly in the areas of defense and security. For instance, countries designated as non-NATO ally by the U.S. have priority in the purchase of U.S. military equipment and technology. They can also participate in auctions from the U.S. Department of Defense that sell military products, and have priority to participate in trainings with the U.S. military.With Brazil’s designation, 17 nations are now part of this group of partners that are not NATO members, but are considered a U.S. priority. Argentina was the only Latin American nation with this status, acquiring the designation in 1998.Trump forwarded the official petition to designate Brazil to the U.S. Congress on May 8. “I am making this designation in recognition of the government of Brazil’s recent commitments to increase security cooperation with the United States, and in recognition of our own national interest in deepening our defense coordination with Brazil,” said Trump.“The U.S. government grants major non-NATO ally status unilaterally. After one month, as mandated under U.S. law, without congressional involvement, the status was instantly granted to Brazil,” stated the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, known as Itamaraty, via their press office. According to the agency, the partnership is political. “No specific mechanism will be created, nor are there any legal or scheduled engagements,” Itamaraty said.During the July 4 celebration at the U.S. Embassy, in Brasília, Bolsonaro cited the news as one more step toward bringing Brazil and the United States together. Bolsonaro met with Trump for the second time on June 28, confirming that he is “available to talk to Trump, establish a partnership, and develop our country.”HistoryNATO was created in 1949, originally as an alliance between 12 countries. Currently, the treaty has 29 members, whose principles include collective defense, meaning that an attack against a NATO member country is considered an attack against all member countries. Since the establishment of NATO, the collective defense principle has only been invoked once, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States. In response, member countries contributed by sending troops to fight in Afghanistan.The collective defense principle doesn’t extend to non-NATO allies of the organization’s member countries. In addition, since the designation of a non-NATO ally is unilateral, it means the United States, as well as the other NATO members, may choose their strategic partners. The process is completely different when it comes to admitting new NATO members, which requires ratification by member states.last_img read more

Long Island Blizzard: What You Need to Know

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Hercules is here.The first winter storm of 2014 dropped up to 7 inches of snow overnight on LI and is threatening to dump even more snow on the area through the morning.The National Weather Service increased its snow total forecast from an original high of 8 to 10 inches to 10 to 12 inches.Snow will continue to fall Friday morning before tapering off in the afternoon, but blustery conditions will remain. Wind chill values could range from five to 10 degrees below zero and strong wind will continue to be a factor. Forecasters said gusts could reach 36 mph with sustained winds topping off at 24 mph.A blizzard warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. for all of Long Island.Roads:The Long Island Expressway reopened at 8 a.m. after ” target=”_blank”>officials instituted a driving ban that started at midnight. The ban was previously scheduled to be lifted at 5 a.m. Friday, but it was extended for three more hours.Still, mostly all major roads on LI are experiencing snow and icy conditions and blowing and drifting snow could further impact driving conditions. Other state roads on LI remain open, though officials are encouraging residents to stay off the roads.Long Island Rail Road:The LIRR is running on a weekend schedule all day Friday. The railroad reported Friday morning that some if its branches are already experiencing scattered five to 10 minute delays due to weather conditions. Due to the reduced schedule, LIRR customers will not be able to board a train from the West Hempstead branch. Instead, riders can catch trains at Hempstead, Lynbrook, Valley Stream or the Merillon Avenue station, the LIRR said. There is also no train service between Ronkonkoma to Greenport, but bus service will be provided, the railroad said.The LIRR warned Thursday that snowfall accumulation of 10-13 inches could force the railroad to temporarily suspend service to make way for snow removal equipment to clear tracks.Air:The Port Authority reported that John F. Kennedy airport was closed as of 6:37 a.m.LaGuardia airport’s website was reporting dozen of cancelled or delayed flights Friday morning.Long Island MacArthur Airport cancelled all flights after 6 p.m. on Thursday, but Southwest was scheduled to resume service at 11:40 a.m.; U.S. Airways Express at 11:50 a.m.; PenAir at 6:40 p.m.Power: PSEG Long Island was only reporting seven active outages across LI as of 7:30 a.m. The outages were impacting 26 customers.Closures: Many school districts throughout the Island have decided to cancel classes and activities Friday.Also canceling classes are: Hofstra University, Stony Brook University, St. Joseph’s College, Farmingdale State College, SUNY Old Westbury, Dowling College and Molloy Colege.For those actually considering shopping:Due to the impact of the winter storm, Smith Haven Mall will be opening at 12:00 today. Department Stores and Restaurant hours may vary.— Smith Haven Mall (@SmithHavenMall) January 3, 2014 And if you’re a Bethpage Federal Credit Union Customer:last_img read more

Can your credit union directors stop the train?

first_imgI serve on the leadership team (basically, the board) of my church, and I wish I’d had the foresight to stop (or divert) the train of risk that was heading toward a recent fundraiser.My inability to focus on the speeding train once it was rolling, or to get traction on suggesting a shift, was part of why we nearly suffered a loss on the event.What happened, exactly? We hired a local barbecue restaurant to cook at our terrific location–alongside a major U.S. highway through the beautiful upstate New York countryside in September. But to get them on site, we had to guarantee 250 dinners. While we figured that would be pretty easy at such a high traffic location, our team still discussed the risk–if we guaranteed the 250 and it rained, we might owe for some dinners we couldn’t sell.Four days before the event I had to confirm our number with the barbecue restaurant. With rain in the forecast, I could have asked the leadership team to think about another available option we hadn’t even really considered: Buy a lesser number of dinners and pick them up to sell at the event. This would limit our profit potential if the weather turned out to be fine, but also cut our potential for losses if it poured. continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Six compelling reasons your credit union should build a digital referral program

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Today’s marketer at a bank or credit union has a tough job. Competing priorities and objectives are typically the norm, with limited budget, resources, and time making growth a challenge. At the end of the day, the tasks garnering the bulk of attention are intended to improve the position of the organization to assist retention and ultimately drive growth. Acquiring customers remains an expensive and time-consuming process.For an average consumer, selecting a financial institution can be a difficult task. The evaluation process involves comparing products and services, examining rates offered, assessing branch reach and locations, as well as reviewing convenience tools like ATM locations and the availability of online and mobile banking solutions.And yet marketing messages from banks and credit unions are awash in a sea of similarity, giving an appearance that each organization offers essentially the same thing. How is a consumer to choose?This lack of differentiation is exactly where a modern referral marketing program can help.Almost every marketer at a bank or credit union has had some experience with a referral program. These executives would agree that a significant percentage of new customers originate from word of mouth referrals, making this lead generation channel the best for new customer acquisition. continue reading »last_img read more

Social media maniac? Here are four tips to help you disconnect

first_img 23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details If you’re like me, even if you head to bed at a reasonable hour, you end up staying up late browsing social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the other popular networking sites are not necessities in life, but somehow most of us find it difficult to stay away. Here are four tips to help you disconnect with social media and reconnect with other simple pleasures in life.Remember books?When you have down time at home, before you turn on that tablet or phone, pick up a good book instead. Check out these popular works on The New York Times bestsellers list.Rules ruleSet guidelines for yourself and make a pledge to stay offline at certain times of the day. Challenge yourself by choosing times you are most likely to log-on, for example first thing in the morning, before bed, and during bathroom breaks.Get a hobbyThat’s right, find something better to do. Try photography, scrapbooking, sports, or just getting together with friends. Make better use of your free time by filling it up with things of more value. What do you actually get out of social media? Not much. So learn a new trade or get better at a certain sport and you’ll be living a more enriched life.No notificationsThis one is easy, but take a minute to adjust your social media settings. Turn off notices, sounds, and anything else on your device that will bring social networks to mind. Set a time during the day to check in for updates or notifications (perhaps at the end of the day). That way you’re logging on with a purpose and you’re not pulled in periodically throughout the day.last_img read more

SPK criticises Sweden’s ‘inefficient’ capital requirement proposals

first_img“I don’t see why we in Sweden should have a heavier impact than the rest of Europe – it seems very odd,” he added.“Taking into account that IORPs are purpose-built, small organisations that should be super-efficient at handling pensions for members, there is no additional money you can draw on, so the impact would be an additional cost on pensioners.”He said the new rules, effective from 2016 after the previous regime for pensions institutions (UFL) was phased out in 2011, was effectively an interim arrangement until the Commission amended the single market’s rules in a few years and that it would only lead to additional costs for all involved.“I don’t see why it should be done if it’s delayed in Europe,” he said.“I see it as a very inefficient way of doing something that is already taken care of under the traffic-light system.”The current traffic-light system, less than a decade old, serves as a warning system to FI if pension funds experience asset price or rate volatility.Hansson was nevertheless adamant the SEK24bn (€2.6bn) SPK would not need to change its asset allocation, only recently put in place after several years of work.“We are well prepared,” he said.“We have a solvency ratio of 140% – there will not be a problem for us.”He added that it was “crystal clear” SPK was an IORP and would therefore register to become one of the new pensions vehicles proposed by the government. Introducing capital requirements for Swedish pension funds – despite the European Commission’s decision not to include similar proposals within the IORP Directive – is “inefficient” and will result in an unnecessary cost burden for schemes.Peter Hansson, head of occupational pension association Tjänstepensionsförbundet and chief executive at banking industry fund Sparinstitutens Pensionskassa (SPK), criticised the proposed new regulatory framework that seeks to establish two distinct regulatory arrangements – one for insurance firms and one for providers of occupational pension benefits.However, Hansson’s complaint was not with the separate regime but with the capital requirements that would soon be imposed on IORPs as a result, despite the revised IORP Directive dropping similar considerations.He questioned why the government would request that Sweden’s regulator Finansinspektionen (FI) put such a system in place “when the whole of Europe struggles with it”.last_img read more

How the EU’s sustainability taxonomy will work for investors

first_imgThe EU’s sustainability “taxonomy” could help investors reduce analysis costs and reputation risks, according to a member of the technical expert group developing the classification system. Speaking at PensionsEurope’s annual conference last week, Brenda Kramer, responsible investment adviser at PGGM and a member of the technical expert group, told delegates that the taxonomy had been devised as a “transparency tool” and would include guidance on investing in a number of sectors.The technical expert group on sustainable finance is set to publish its final report on the taxonomy next week, setting out criteria for sustainable economic activity. During a panel discussion on sustainable finance, Kramer said: “More than helping pension funds classify [investments], it will help with engagement with companies. You can talk to them and help them make the transition [to a low-carbon economy]. “The taxonomy takes away a bit of the reputation risk of making a judgement call on what’s green and what’s not green by yourself”Brenda Kramer, responsible investment adviser, PGGMThe taxonomy sets out which areas of industry are sustainable, and which are not, she said, including analysis of “transitional” elements of industry such as aluminium processing, concrete manufacturing and gas generation.According to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the first industries to be covered by the taxonomy will be agriculture, manufacturing, energy, transport, water, waste, ICT and buildings. Kramer said: “If I want to invest in energy, which energy activities are sustainable, and which are not? Wind is sustainable, but what if you invest in gas? Gas is a bit more complicated. If you combine gas plants with carbon capture and storage that could qualify.“We’ve looked at manufacturing, we’ve looked at real estate. We’ve also looked at sectors… that are important for the transition.”Fellow panellist Thierry Bogarty, head of ESG strategy at Amundi, supported the technical expert group’s work but warned against “normalisation” of ESG investing that could “stifle innovation”.“ESG has been a very fast growing market for the past two or three years, and still is,” Bogarty said. “Now the time has come for a bit of standardisation, a bit of common language, but not for normalisation. That is a big difference and that is what we are cautious about.“ESG has been market-driven for the last 10-12 years and it has been developing in a nice way. It’s good to have regulation now, but not normalisation.”Pierre Bollon, chief executive of France’s asset management association AFG, described the taxonomy as “regulation helping us”.‘Generational shift’: PRI backs taxonomyThe PRI has urged investors to support the sustainability taxonomy, and praised its “breadth and technical quality”.In a blog post, Will Martindale, the PRI’s director of policy and research, described the taxonomy as a “generational shift in how investors think about impact”.“It’s not just about the carbon saved, or the waste diverted from landfill, but whether the economic activities we finance are consistent with the future environmental state to which our governments are committed,” he said.Martindale continued: “The EU taxonomy is a tool to bridge the gap between international sustainability goals, like the Paris climate agreement, and investment practice.“To mobilise private finance, European policymakers understand that they need to translate climate targets into tools that investors can use…“The taxonomy will enable [investors] to determine the proportion of revenue from sustainable economic activities financed by the investment portfolio. The taxonomy will also support active ownership efforts: investors and companies can use the taxonomy to identify future growth opportunities.“Investors will need time to understand the taxonomy and, more time still, to integrate the taxonomy into investment practice. And investors may disagree with categorisations or thresholds. That’s okay.“But at this first stage, we encourage investors to get behind the taxonomy, to endorse the concept and to see how they will apply the taxonomy to investment practice.” “Secondly, it takes away a bit of the reputation risk of making a judgement call on what’s green and what’s not green by yourself… The taxonomy takes away some of the cost of analysing that, but it also takes away some of the reputation risk.”She added that investors would not be required to invest according to the taxonomy. last_img read more

Australia’s offshore regulator transitions to remote work during coronavirus outbreak

first_imgAustralia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has taken steps to ensure continued support as the country’s offshore energy regulator during the coronavirus outbreak.NOPSEMA said on Thursday that its actions were being guided by the needs of the offshore industry and advice from the government such as the Australian Department of Health, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Australian Public Service Commission.“NOPSEMA recognizes the threats presented by COVID-19 to the offshore industry, our staff, and the broader community. In recognition of these threats, NOPSEMA is transitioning our workforce to operate remotely in a manner that will ensure sustainable delivery of regulatory services in the short and longer terms,” the offshore regulator stated.According to NOPSEMA, all of its staff will be working remotely from March 23 until otherwise advised, following significant tests of its systems for large scale remote operations.“We are confident that we have the capacity to provide all required regulatory support and to continue our regulatory operations,” NOPSEMA added.Its staff and inspectors remain contactable and are engage with duty holders and other stakeholders through traditional means, together with teleconferencing and other tools in place of face-to-face meetings.NOPSEMA said that it was ensuring business continuity and appropriate regulatory oversight of the offshore industry.Before the Australian regulator announced its measures, both the Norwegian oil regulator and offshore safety authority, as well as the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) revealed their responses to the coronavirus outbreak.Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product, or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Ivy Tech Recognizes Southeast Professor With Award

first_imgA local professor is one of 14 Ivy Tech faculty members in the state to receive the annual Presidents Award for Excellence in Instruction.In a tradition that began in 1983, one faculty member from each of the College’s 14 regions is chosen to receive the President’s Award. From the 14 recipients, one is then selected to receive the Glenn W. Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction, the College’s highest honor for faculty.Rebecca Rahschulte, Associate Professor of Psychology at the Lawrenceburg campus was recognized with the award.Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.last_img read more