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Brazilian Army Officers Fulfill Unprecedented Mission in the Central African Republic

first_imgBy Taciana Moury/Diálogo April 23, 2019 Major Felipe Biasi Filho, Captain Pedro Henrique de Araujo Bezerra Mendes, and Captain Albemar Rodrigues Lima, all from the Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese), are part of an unprecedented Brazilian mission to the Central African Republic (CAR). The officers are part of a group of 180 service members from 12 nations, who work at the European Training Mission in the Central African Republic or EUTM RCA (RCA being the French acronym for the African country). EUTM RCA, with headquarters in Bangui, the country’s capital, is a peacekeeping operation that works in coordination with the United Nations Integrated Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic and other international and nongovernmental organizations. The goal is to overhaul the defense department and national security through planning and execution of consulting, training, and operational training activities for the Central African Armed Forces (FACA, in French). “In general, our function is to support the development of FACA’s capabilities, to make it self-sustainable to fulfill legal requirements in the defense and security department,” said Maj. Biasi. The Brazilian officers arrived in the African country in January 2019, and will remain there until January 2020. For administrative purposes, EB service members are linked to the Portuguese contingent. A bilateral Brazil-Portugal agreement approved by the European Parliament secured Brazil’s participation in the mission. History The conflict in CAR started in December 2012. The predominantly Muslim Seleka—a coalition of armed groups from the north of the country, whose name means alliance, in Sango, the region’s creole language—conducted an offensive operation toward the capital and assumed power. Violent incidents led to the emergence of Anti-Balak, Christian allegedly self-defense groups, which aggravated confrontations. EUTM RCA activities are based on three pillars: strategic advice, to aid planning and execution of activities at the Armed Forces General Staff and Defense Ministry levels; educational, to train FACA’s officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs); and operational training to plan and execute training for segments of FACA units. Within this organization, Brazilian service members occupy strategic advisory positions with Capt. Albemar, and educational advisory positions with Maj. Biasi and Capt. Pedro Mendes. “Capt. Albemar performs logistics advisory functions through the implementation of planning and participation in meetings with the Armed Forces General Staff, the Ministry of Defense, and logistics companies within the country to find solutions and promote the strengthening of the sector,” said Maj. Biasi to Diálogo. “I teach intelligence courses and Capt. Pedro Mendes is in charge of International Humanitarian Law and English,” he said. The officers teach their respective areas in officer training classes, short-term internships, and refresher classes for officers and NCOs who are part of FACA’s Territorial Infantry battalions. At EUTM RCA’s base, the official language is English, used for internal documents and daily briefings. However, French is the language for courses, meetings, reports, and interactions with agencies and local institutions. Preparations for the mission took place in two phases. The first was under the coordination of the Land Forces Command, an EB unit with headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. Participants underwent psychological tests, among others, and received all the material for individual protection, uniforms, and medicine needed for the trip. In December 2018, the second phase took place at the Portuguese Army’s 1st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group in Queluz city, Lisbon. The unit prepares the Portuguese contingent. “We receive instructions on the current situation in CAR and on the specifics of EUTM RCA. We do target practice with individual weapons (rifle and pistol) from the Portuguese Army, combat first aid and psychological first aid training, and attend French classes,” said Maj. Biasi. Challenge According to Brazilian service members, the unprecedented nature of the experience was the main challenge to overcome. “We must keep the high standards of professionalism and dedication of Brazilian service members who were part of a UN [United Nations] peacekeeping operation,” said Maj. Biasi. “The fact that this activity has a different characteristic from what we are used to with the UN also makes it difficult.” “There is no room for failure; After all, it’s important to be able to contribute to the development of the armed forces of a country that’s temporarily unstable,” said Capt. Albemar. “The best part is to see the initial results of this work on site, with the assurance that this effort contributed, directly or indirectly, to save lives.” Capt. Pedro Mendes pointed out that the sacrifices and risks related to this type of activity are real, but the magnitude of the mission is motivating. “We can honor one of the principles of our profession, which is to avoid war. We help a country devastated by civil war and with serious social issues,” he said. “To be a peace instructor in one of the countries with the worst HDI [Human Development Index] in the world is, without a doubt, one of the most noble missions I was assigned in my life.” The officer also highlighted the importance of Brazilian service members working with different armies worldwide. “This is a way of expressing Brazilian military national power, showing that we are on equal footing with other countries in the world,” said Capt. Pedro Mendes. “The professional exchange enables the training of EB’s human resources.”last_img read more

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Charles E. Duncan, 81

first_imgCharles E. Duncan, 81, Greensburg, passed away on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at his residence.  Born, September 23, 1936 in Decatur County, Indiana, he was the son of Robert F. and Lula (DePew) Duncan.  Charles worked for over 25 years as a driver for USF Holland. He was a member of the Wyaloosing Creek Golf Course, Westport American Legion, and was past president of the Eagles Lodge in Greensburg.  Charles loved spending time outdoors, cutting wood and brush, all types of animals, hunting, and gardening. He was married Marybelle Owens on August 11, 1961 in Dearborn County and she survives. He is also survived by one son in law, Tommy Barkdull, Greensburg and two grandchildren, Tyler and Courtney Barkdull. He was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, Denise Barkdull; five brothers, James, William Evert, Arnold, Albert, and Earl Duncan; two sisters, Roberta Richards and Imagene Duncan. Visitation will be held on Monday from 2 to 7:00 p.m. at the Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home in Greensburg.  Graveside Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at the Rodney Cemetery with Rev. Glen Seaman officiating. Memorials may be made to your favorite animal shelter. Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.comlast_img read more

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COLUMN: The hype train can officially get rolling

first_imgWe’re finally here. Let’s pat ourselves on the back and trade a few clichés about “surviving the offseason” or getting Christmas in September. Fans always cherish opening week, especially in a sport like football that makes us wait eight months between campaigns. Everyone loves a fresh start, and as the tired phrase goes, all teams believe it’s their year on Week One.The excitement that engulfed this campus after the Trojans’ Rose Bowl victory hasn’t subsided — if anything, the summer months built the hype up to a fever pitch. But as I re-watched USC’s 2016 season on repeat all year (the Pac-12 Network has been running all the games nonstop since January), I realized this fall doesn’t feel like a fresh start, per se. It feels more like an encore.That’s not a mentality Trojan fans are used to as of late. Most season openers in recent memory have presented the opportunity to turn over a new leaf at USC after a disappointing previous campaign. When was the last time an opening-day crowd filed into the Coliseum still riding the high of the year before — and expecting even more?This optimism stems largely from the return of redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold, the preseason Heisman favorite. He saved the Trojans’ 2016 season, and we are running out of superlatives to praise him. Having said that, this USC squad as a whole is chock-full of talent, with multiple national award contenders on both sides of the ball. Without significant contributions from players like junior cornerback Iman Marshall and junior linebacker Cameron Smith, the Trojans won’t go anywhere, no matter what Darnold does.Fortunately, Darnold and the rest of the team know this — despite the media’s single-minded obsession with the potential No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft. During Pac-12 Media Days in July, a throng of reporters gathered around Darnold, peppering him with questions about his game and about adjusting to the limelight. Someone asked if he had a secret weapon on offense.“You guys know about RoJo [junior running back Ronald Jones II], right?” Darnold laughed. “We’re looking to have a balanced attack this year … If we can run the ball, we’re going to have success throwing it.”Darnold’s mentality reflects USC’s greatest strength this year — because head coach Clay Helton loves to establish the ground game and Darnold relishes spreading the ball around, it’s difficult for opponents to key in on a specific Trojan threat. Jones was a 1,000-yard rusher last fall; redshirt sophomore tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe has emerged as a deadly threat in the red zone; junior wide receiver Deontay Burnett reeled in 56 receptions for 622 yards and caught seven touchdowns as a sophomore — including three scores against Penn State last January. To add another cliché, it has become about the team, not the players. It’s a far cry from just two years ago, when Cody Kessler force-fed JuJu Smith-Schuster 1,454 yards, with no other receiver on the team even reaching 500 receiving yards for the season (Adoree’ Jackson — a natural cornerback — had the second most on the team with 414).Of course, USC will undoubtedly miss NFL draftees Jackson and Smith-Schuster this season: The duo turned in three stalwart campaigns during a turbulent era of Trojan football program that saw leadership changes in both positions of head coach and athletic director. Despite the odds, they delivered an iconic Rose Bowl win to cap their college careers. But it’s time for the next generation to spur the program to even greater heights — the heights Jackson, Smith-Schuster and every other recruit dreams of when he signs with the Trojans.That climb begins this weekend, as Western Michigan visits the Coliseum to open the season. The Broncos enjoyed the best season in program history in 2016, but they have lost the services of former head coach P.J. Fleck, who jumped at the chance to coach in a Power Five conference and took the reins at Minnesota. Quarterback Zach Terrell, the school’s all-time leading passer, graduated, and wideout Corey Davis was drafted in the first round of the last NFL Draft. Unlike the Trojans, WMU has been forced into pushing the reset button.It’s a fortunate break for Helton’s squad. If the defending MAC champions still had their superstar trio, they would have almost certainly begun the year in the top 25, and USC would have had three consecutive games against ranked opposition to open the season. Not to say that the Broncos will be a cakewalk, but their weakened roster will be a relief to Trojan fans, considering most other Pac-12 teams square off against the likes of Rutgers and New Mexico State this week.However, unless the Trojans take a shocking loss, no questions will be answered on Saturday. If USC suffers an upset, the team’s lofty preseason dreams could very well go out the window on day one. And if Darnold and company trample the Broncos, it will just mean the first win of many needed over the course of the fall. As much optimism and excitement surrounds this program, there is an equal amount of paranoia. But that’s how you know your team is good — and that’s how you know football season is finally here.Ollie Jung is a senior studying print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, Jung Money, runs on Fridays.last_img read more

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Nola drives in 4, Mariners snap Dodgers streak with 6-4 win

first_img FOLLOW US Last Updated: 20th August, 2020 11:26 IST Nola Drives In 4, Mariners Snap Dodgers Streak With 6-4 Win When he was younger and probably a little more stubborn, Seattle’s Taijuan Walker would have struggled to make a major in-game adjustment that called for abandoning the original game plan SUBSCRIBE TO US When he was younger and probably a little more stubborn, Seattle’s Taijuan Walker would have struggled to make a major in-game adjustment that called for abandoning the original game plan.With the Los Angeles Dodgers sitting on Walker’s fastball on Wednesday night and clubbing it for three early home runs, there had to be a change.“I faced the Dodgers a lot when I was at Arizona and my attack plan was mostly fastball, changeup to them,” Walker said. “But this year I have a curveball now and a pretty good slider, and the confidence I have with them let me be able to go out there and make that adjustment and really trust my pitches.”Walker overcame the early long-ball issues to throw seven strong innings, Austin Nola hit a three-run homer run and had four RBIs, and the Mariners beat Los Angeles 6-4, snapping the Dodgers’ seven-game win streak.Nola had an RBI single in the first inning and added his third home run of the season in the third as the Mariners snapped a seven-game skid. Dylan Moore added a solo home run in the sixth inning.Walker (2-2) was outstanding once he stopped giving up home runs. Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger hit solo homers and Walker seemed destined for an early exit.But after Bellinger’s home run in the third inning gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead, Walker settled down. He found success with his curveball and retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. The only batter to reach came on an error.Walker allowed just four hits and struck out eight.“The last time that Taijuan was a Mariner here a few years ago, he couldn’t have made that adjustment mid-game,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s learned. He went to some changeups, a lot of curveballs, got the cutter going, and it really slowed things down, slowed them down in the batter’s box.”Justin Turner had an RBI single in the eighth off reliever Anthony Misiewicz. Taylor Williams loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth after walking Mookie Betts, but struck out Corey Seager for his fourth save.Dodgers starter Julio Urías didn’t make it out of the second inning. Urías labored to record five outs and was pulled by manager Dave Roberts with two outs in the second. Seattle tagged reliever Dennis Santana (1-1) for four runs in the third inning, including Nola’s long ball. Seattle sent nine batters to the plate.“He’ll pitch his next turn. Just got to continue to be better,” Roberts said of Urías. “The last three starts, it’s been that first inning he hasn’t really looked sharp. I don’t know if it’s the pregame prep, whether it’s too much early, not enough early to get ready for that first inning. We’ll talk about it, but we’ve got to be ready from pitch one.”EARLY EXITRoberts, Muncy and hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc were ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Mark Ripperger. Van Scoyoc and Roberts had been barking from the dugout about balls and strikes for much of the game. Van Scoyoc was ejected first, followed by Roberts during Muncy’s at-bat. Muncy had some words for Ripperger and was tossed after striking out.“Robert didn’t agree with a couple of the calls and got run, and for me, I came out to question why would he throw out our guy and then I got tossed,” Roberts said.TRAINER’S ROOMRookie Seattle 1B Evan White was removed from the game in the third inning after fouling a pitch off his left knee. White was down for a few minutes before walking off on his own. X-rays were negative and the team said he was day-to-day.ROSTER MOVESThe Dodgers recalled LHP Victor González ahead of the series against Seattle and optioned RHP Tony Gonsolin. It’s the second stint this season for González, who appeared in one game last month.The Mariners made a flurry of moves, highlighted by designating for assignment struggling DH Daniel Vogelbach, who was hitting just .094. Vogelbach was an All-Star selection a year ago. The Mariners also optioned right-hander Art Warren and outrighted right-hander Bryan Shaw to its alternate training site.REMEMBERING GORTONThe Mariners held a moment of silence before the game for former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, who died on Wednesday at 92. Gorton was a huge advocate for baseball in Seattle and had a major hand in the Mariners arrival in 1977 as an expansion franchise after the Pilots left for Milwaukee following the 1969 season. He later helped facilitate the sale of the team to local ownership that kept the team in Seattle in the 1990s.“Probably no single person was as important to the history of Major League Baseball in Seattle and the Mariners as Slade,” Mariners chairman John Stanton said.UP NEXTDodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.65) threw seven innings and allowed one run in his last start against the Angels. Kershaw is 3-0 all-time against Seattle.Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 5.28) is scheduled to return to the rotation after being scratched from his last start due to neck spasms. Kikuchi’s last start came on Aug. 7 when he gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings against Colorado.Image credits: AP First Published: 20th August, 2020 11:26 IST Associated Press Television News center_img Written By COMMENT LIVE TV WATCH US LIVElast_img read more

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