HMS Somerset to Return Home After Six-Month Deployment

first_img February 22, 2012 View post tag: Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today HMS Somerset to Return Home After Six-Month Deployment An emotional homecoming is expected when the Royal Navy frigate HMS Somerset returns to HM Naval Base Devonport, Plymouth, on Friday (24 February) following a six-month deployment to the Middle East.HMS Somerset’s second-in-command Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ben Aldous, said:“Our homecoming is a long and eagerly anticipated conclusion to a lengthy deployment. “Although Somerset is well-equipped and her ship’s company well-trained, it cannot be under-estimated how well the spirit and moral of the team is bolstered by the support of family and friends at home. It is going to be an emotional day.”HMS Somerset has remained at sea for up to six weeks continuously at any one time and visited Oman, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and the Seychelles.Whilst in various ports the crew engaged with their host nations on a variety of issues ranging from maritime security tactics to playing football; all of which served to strengthen international co-operation based on the shared need to protect maritime trade routes.The crew of the Type 23 frigate achieved some operational successes as well as providing life-saving assistance to stranded fishermen.The homecoming is expected to be very moving; many of the sailors have not seen loved ones for many months, including separation over Christmas. As well as crowds waving to welcome the ship at Devil’s Point in Plymouth Sound, families will gather inside the naval base and joined by the rousing music of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.Throughout her deployment Somerset’s ship’s company have remained ready to respond to any tasking. She has predominantly been working under Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) as part of a task force which patrols the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman.It is a multi-national endeavour and exists to create a lawful and stable maritime environment free from terrorism, smuggling and piracy. Her principal mission was to deter, disrupt and defeat such actions.Powerful and versatile with the capability to operate anywhere in the world, the Type 23 frigate is the mainstay of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet. The 13 Type-23 frigates form half of the frigate/destroyer force in the Royal Navy. Originally designed for the principal task of anti-submarine warfare, they have evolved into multi-purpose ships.As well as warfare roles, these ships conduct embargo operations using boarding teams, disaster relief work and surveillance operations.[mappress]Naval Today Staff , February 22, 2012; Image: royalnavy HMS Somerset to Return Home After Six-Month Deployment View post tag: after View post tag: Return View post tag: HMS View post tag: Navalcenter_img View post tag: home View post tag: Somerset View post tag: News by topic Training & Education View post tag: Six-month View post tag: Deployment Share this articlelast_img read more

New bug enters state

first_imgTrash ’em is the best control methodIf you find mealybugs on houseplants, Hudson doesn’t recommendtrying to control it with a pesticide.”Most of the time it’s going to be cheaper and more effective todiscard that one plant and buy another,” he said. “But discard itquickly before they can spread to your other houseplants.”The GDA recommends double-bagging infested plants in blackplastic, tying the bags securely and leaving them in the hot sunfor at least two weeks. Hudson agrees.”Our nursery and greenhouse growers may elect to fight it withpesticides,” Hudson said. “We just want to get rid of them thequickest way and not let them get established in our state.” Florida fighting pest for two years”They came into south Florida about two years ago from theCaribbean,” Irvin said. “These insects are a problem to stop andcontain because there’s no effective chemical treatment.”First Foliage Nursery in Homestead, Fla., shipped as many as44,000 infested hibiscus plants into Georgia from early March toearly June, GDA officials said.The plants were shipped to Lowe’s and Home Depot stores inGeorgia. All but four of the 41 stores are in metro Atlanta andnorth Georgia. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of Georgiaand Jackie SosbyGa. Dept. of AgricultureAs bugs go, pink hibiscus mealybugs are cute. They’re light pinkand look as if they’ve walked through powdered sugar. But ifyou’re a greenhouse grower or homeowner with new hibiscus plants,they’re not so cute.Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin issued an alertthis week asking University of Georgia Extension Service countyagents to be on the lookout for the exotic pest.center_img Has potential to hurt ag cropsCotton and okra are hibiscus family members, too. Peanutscould also be affected by the insect. ButUGA entomologist Will Hudson says it’s unlikely the tiny intruderwill affect the state’s farm crops.”Hibiscus doesn’t survive outdoors here, even in the Tiftonarea,” he said. “The annual ones die back to the ground in thewinter, and the tropical ones will, too, if you leave themoutdoors. Most of this insect’s host plants aren’t cold-hardy,because it’s primarily a tropical- and subtropical-area pest. It remains to be seen if it can thrive in south Georgia.”Hudson and his UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences colleagues work on ways to control insects on both cropsand ornamental plants.Outdoor plants should be safe, he said. But indoor plantsaren’t.”It’s really giving us fits in interior-scapes,” Hudson said.Interior-scapes include mall and hotel areas decorated withplants.If you’re managing an interior-scape, Hudson says, inspect plantsfor mealybugs and pull out as many as necessary to make sureyou’re rid of all infected plants.Interior-scapes should be inspected”To fight a bug like this in an interior-scape would be reallyexpensive and ultimately a losing proposition,” he said.”These areas are typically close to human traffic and sometimesto food courts, so spraying pesticides isn’t an option.”If you buy indoor plants, Hudson says, inspect them, particularlyhibiscus, for signs of mealybugs.Adult mealybugs are about 3 millimeters long and pink. Males aresmaller than females and have one pair of wings and two long,waxy tails.”Chances are, you aren’t going to see the adults, because by thetime you can, the plant will have a lot of distorted growth,” hesaid.”The first signs are waxy, dirty, sooty mold growing on theleaves and distorted plant growth,” he said. “Also pay attentionto the stems, where early infestations occur, and look forlittle, cottony masses the size of a Q-tip. This is an egg massthat can contain hundreds of eggs.”If you spot any of that, don’t buy the plant.With most mealybugs it takes a while for the plant to succumb.”But this one injects a toxin as it feeds so that you get a lot of distorted growth and death of the plant pretty quickly,” Hudsonsaid.last_img read more

Putzin’ in P.A.

first_imgThe term “to putz” isn’t really in any dictionary.You know what it means though, putzin’ arahn (around, in yinzer). Dilly-dallying. Dawdling. Lingering. Hem and hawing. Moseying.My last day in Pennsyltucky, I was putzin’ hard. I was not ready to leave.IMG_5890My rig felt in good company all week.My rig felt in good company all week.In the week and a half or so that I had been staying outside of Ohiopyle, I’d managed to keep pretty busy. I knocked off three runs on the Upper Yough, a few solo laps on the Lower Yough loop, a little yoga here, a little hiking there, even a little wake surfing up in the ‘burgh. I’ve never spent much time exploring Pennsylvania, but the few times I’ve visited its southwestern corner in particular, I’ve become more and more enchanted with the Keystone State.So as I sat on the steps in front of Falls Market on my last day in tahn (town), shoving mint chocolate chip ice cream in my face and eyeballing the various trucks and cars that idled by with teetering stacks of kayaks strapped to the roofs, I felt for the first time in a long time very much unhurried. I was in no particular rush to move on to the next destination, and the thought of posting up in a town for longer than a couple weeks actually appealed to me (sorta).DCIM100GOPRODCIM101GOPRODCIM101GOPRONormally, I’m pretty restless. I’m always itching to be on the move.But the pace of life in that corner of Pennsylvania is much slower, though just an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Pittsburgh. After a particularly busy week at work, I found myself really starting to appreciate that quiet. Countryside dominates much of the landscape. Sprawling farms and state park land interwoven with winding backcountry roads connect one-traffic-light-towns. Everything here is charming, down to the last hahs (house), post office, and four-wheelin’-local.IMG_6187 IMG_5928 IMG_6252The more I travel, the more I find that these one-traffic-light-towns are the places I connect with best. Having grown up as part of a small community, being welcomed into these tight-knit towns gives me a sense of ‘home’ despite my transience. It’s the people I’ve met these past few months that have had the biggest impact on me. Strangers, old friends and new, the cashier at the local convenience store. It’s been humbling to see how much the people have really defined this “on the road” experience. Everyday there is someone new who crosses my path and inspires me, or teaches me something new, or redefines my ideas on generosity and selflessness. Everyday, someone somewhere is looking out for me in some way and I feel incredibly fortunate to know so many good people.Sunrise on Laurel Mountain.Sunrise on Laurel Mountain.Ben Crandell cruisin' at dawn.Ben Crandell cruisin’ at dawn.IMG_5618When I think back to some of these great people though, I wonder how many of them I’ll see again. Of the typical challenges I encounter daily with the logistical reality of living out of a vehicle, I’d say none of those compare with the difficulty I have in accepting that sometimes, people aren’t meant to stay a part of your life forever. A stranger at a restaurant can tell you the most profound and sound bit of advice, and you may never even learn his name. One lady’s story may change your life ambitions, but she may never know that.How do you begin to cope with that disconnect? How do you come to terms with these fleeting encounters, with letting people come in and out of your life like a receding tide? How do you begin to ever express the ineffable gratitude that can come from both a simple gesture and a weeklong stay alike? How?I was thinking about all of this as I putzed around that last day in Pennsylvania.“Why don’t you watch a movie?” my friend Jess said. He and his lovely wife Theresa had opened up their cabin to me the week I was in town (thank you thank you) and were on their way out the door that last day. Perhaps sensing my putzin’ mode, they told me I should take a nap, twiddle my thumbs, do nothing, watch a movie.A movie? Of all the things I had done in the past few months, watching a movie was not one of them. But since I was in no rush to leave, I figured, why not? I picked the first DVD (no, those aren’t outdated…yet) my eyes came to, which just so happened to be Eat, Pray, Love, and, after nearly a half hour of trying to work the damn TV (am I really that uncivilized already?), I finally settled in and propped my feet up.Aside from remembering just how much I love Julia Roberts as an actress, one of the things I couldn’t stop thinking about was Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love from which the movie was made. I read the book when it came out in 2006. I was still in high school, but I remember how much her words spoke to me then. I connected with her story, sensing my restlessness may one day lead me down a similar path.I whipped out my laptop and started browsing through some of the quotes from Gilbert’s book, curious as to what I had connected with so well. I scanned her words on God and love, happiness and suffering. Soon I found myself re-reading whole pages.It wasn’t long before I stumbled across a section she wrote on people. Her words, written over a decade ago, seemed, quite literally, to have sprung from my questions on giving thanks and processing kindness, like Gilbert herself was watching me putz and ponder.“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” Some people buy gifts, give money, send cards as tokens of gratitude. Others simply say ‘thanks.’ I fall somewhere in between, always expressing my appreciation in words but somehow feeling as if that alone is not enough yet anything but is insincere.I got to thinking, perhaps Gilbert is right. Perhaps all of this, all of us, are connected. It seems nearly impossible to genuinely thank every single person who has ever had a positive influence on my life. But perhaps one day, I will be the one to contribute to that “miraculous scope of human generosity” by providing a couch to crash on, a kitchen to cook in. Perhaps one day I will be able to return two-fold the kindness I’ve experienced in my journey and become a part of the good people continuum.So to Jess, who pushed me to step up in kayaking, to Theresa, who reminded me how good it feels to let loose and dance, to Crandell who rallyed at 3 a.m. for some Zoolander-sunrise action and taught me more things than I’ll ever remember about our solar system, to Dr. Mitchell, who’s stoke for kayaking was nothing short of entertaining (and contagious), and to Clark, Jay, and all the other super people I met in P.A. – thank you.IMG_4948IMG_4987IMG_5035last_img read more

Bolivia, Brazil, and United States Begin Coca-Monitoring Program

first_img “Drug trafficking has to be defeated jointly, sharing efforts among states. This is the great contribution of this system, this trilateral plan involving Bolivia, the United States, and Brazil,” Interior Minister Carlos Romero affirmed here. The ancient plant is also the raw material for manufacturing cocaine, an activity in which Bolivia is ranked third in the world, behind Peru and Colombia, according to the UN. The trinational agreement, which will last a year, aims to promote technical and scientific coordination among the signatory countries, in order to achieve improved monitoring of and greater precision about the areas where excess coca is grown, for the purpose of its eradication, with a budget of 350,000 dollars. The GPS equipment makes it possible to verify the amount of coca eradicated on site and then do follow-up to come back to check whether rural workers have replanted coca, an unsolved problem in Bolivia. In the town of Chimoré, in Chapare, Brazil’s ambassador in La Paz, Marcel Biato, and the U.S. chargé d’affaires, John Creamer, delivered GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment as part of an anti-drug agreement signed in January. Bolivia has 31,000 hectares of coca, according to United Nations data, of which only 12,000 are legal for traditional uses, such as chewing, infusion, and in Andean religious rituals. On April 1, in the Bolivian region of Chapare, the Governments of Bolivia, Brazil, and the United States began to use a satellite system to monitor a reduction in areas planted with coca, AFP confirmed. Since the late 1980s, the country has eradicated between 5,000 and 10,000 hectares a year, manually and with the participation of police and Military personnel, but at the same time that the Government destroys crops, rural workers replant more coca. By Dialogo April 03, 2012last_img read more

Brazilian NGO Reports New Drug Trafficking Attack against Premises in Rio

first_img “The facade was shot, it is completely destroyed (…) it is an attack perpetrated by drug trafficking against AfroReggae,” José Junior, the NGO’s coordinator, told Brazilian radio station CBN. In addition, Junior said that several young people that participate in social work organized by the NGO, were being threatened. By Dialogo August 05, 2013 Fifteen days ago, the NGO reported that one of their departments in Alemão Complex had been set on fire. The Alemão Complex, dominated by drug trafficking for several years, was retaken by the Army and the Police in 2010 in an operation that took several months, with confrontations that left 37 dead. Since 2008, Rio de Janeiro has been working against time to “pacify” poor neighborhoods in the city that are controlled by drug traffickers and paramilitaries, before the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.center_img A well-known Brazilian NGO, AfroReggae, reported a new attack against its premises located in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, and blamed drug trafficking networks for the attack. The AfroReggae office in Vila Cruzeiro favela suffered the attack when two people on motorcycles opened fire against the facility, the Police told the press. After that incident, Junior said that AfroReggae suspended activities in the complex to keep their collaborators out of danger. last_img read more

Other Sports Sebastian Vettel snatches dramatic pole position in Canadian Grand Prix

first_imgCharles LeClerc secured the third spot in the Canadian Grand Prix.Sebastian Vettel secured pole position for the second time.Vettel had won the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix from pole position. For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Montreal: Sebastian Vettel ended Mercedes’ run of early-season qualifying supremacy on Saturday when he claimed a dramatic late pole position for Ferrari in a crash-hit showdown at the Canadian Grand Prix. “I feel so very, very happy for the team,” Vettel said. “I am full of adrenaline and the last few weeks have been tough for us. The car felt very good and now I hope we can carry that into the race.”     The four-time champion repeated his 2018 success, when he won from pole, by outpacing championship leader Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes by two-tenths of a second at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It was Vettel’s first pole position triumph of the season, his first pole in 17 races since last year’s German Grand Prix and a signal that Ferrari’s superior straight-line speed was well-suited to the track. “Seb did a stunning lap and he deserved to be on pole,” said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff. “Lewis picked up a couple of mistakes in the hairpin.”      Defending five-time champion Hamilton of Mercedes had appeared to be on course for his record seventh Canadian pole until the final laps when he was outpaced by Vettel in the dying seconds. “We’re certainly very happy and the entire weekend here we have been performing ok so this is a positive surprise for us,” said Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto.RELATED     “The track will improve. It will be a lot hotter on Sunday so it will be a tough race.” Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc claimed third place on the grid.    “I don’t really know how I struggled with the car and the set-up,” he said.     “Congratulations to Seb. He deserves it and hopefully, I’ll have a better race from my side tomorrow. We are strong on the long run pace and hopefully, it will be the same tomorrow and we can have a good run.” Pulsating battle     Vettel beamed as he talked to a congratulatory Hamilton after the session.    Vettel clocked a best lap of one minute and 10.240 seconds to beat Hamilton’s lap in 1:10.446. “He’s bloody good in qualifying,” said Vettel, pointing to Hamilton. “Hard to crack … I really enjoyed it.”      “You know what, the feeling in the car when it just keeps coming and the feeling – it felt so good. I enjoyed it and I’m very happy and happy for the team over the last few races, it’s been very tough.” Hamilton said: “I don’t feel disappointment. We gave it everything I had got. They were faster and in the last sector they were killing us, the timing was right, procedures were perfect, we had P1 for a second, but we knew they were quick.    “I’m glad I was able to split the Ferraris. The weather is fantastic, we’ve got some great fans here so hopefully, we can put on a great show.” Mercedes had been fastest in qualifying in five of the six races since the start of the year and will now face a battle to extend their record run of six season-opening wins in Sunday’s race.    It was the 56th pole position of Vettel’s career and came after Kevin Magnussen had crashed into the “wall of champions” in his Haas car at the end of Q2. He was unhurt. Daniel Ricciardo of Renault qualified fourth, ahead of Pierre Gasly of Red Bull and Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes. The Finn spun in Q3 and was unable to recover and clock an improved lap.Nico Hulkenberg was seventh in the second Renault ahead of the two McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. Magnussen qualified 10th.center_img highlightslast_img read more

USC opens season with busy weekend

first_imgThe USC women’s volleyball team looks to begin the year on a high note as it hosts the Luxe City Center Trojan Invitational at the Galen Center this weekend.Jump start · Junior outside hitter Alex Jupiter will once again prove to be a key component of the Women of Troy’s success this season. USC opens the season at the Galen Center. – Eric Wolfe | Daily Trojan The No. 10 Women of Troy face a full slate of matches, as they play three games in two days. They will first take on Loyola Marymount on Friday night, before playing both Bucknell and Cal State Fullerton on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.USC will compete against schools that the current squad has little experience playing. The Women of Troy have never faced Bucknell, have not squared off with Fullerton since 1989 and last played LMU in 2007. But that is not to say that USC’s historical success against these schools is lacking — USC has never lost to either Fullerton or LMU, holding an all-time record of 21-0 against the Titans and 7-0 against the Lions.Nevertheless, the Women of Troy continue to work hard to prepare for all three non-conference opponents.“We’ve been doing really good scrimmaging against ourselves, trying to just get better every day and every game and make sure we push through and go hard,” said junior outside hitter Alex Jupiter. “We’re a lot more competitive and complete, so we’re just very excited to see what we can do against different opponents.”Despite the high expectations that remain for the Women of Troy, the team comes into 2010 looking much different than last year. One major change this season is the addition of six new freshmen — and so far the bevy of new talent has proven to be an added bonus for the Trojans.“It did change the chemistry of the team, and right now it’s for the best,” Jupiter said. “We want to make sure that we can all compete together and really find that team bonding when we’re in trouble against opponents.”Senior co-captain Geena Urango shared Jupiter’s praise for the team’s newcomers.“They’re bringing tons of energy to the court,” Urango said. “I’m so happy to have them on the team.”Even with a top-10 ranking and the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, the Women of Troy will still not have an easy time in the Pac-10. Seven of the conference’s 10 teams are entering the season with a top 25 ranking, making it that much more crucial for the Women of Troy to come away with wins early on in the season.“It’s definitely important to do well,” Urango said. “That helps confidence-wise. Going into the Pac-10, you know it’s going to be a lot of tough matches, and winning at home is also very, very important.”If the Women of Troy are able to come away with at least one win this weekend, they will help make history for coach Mick Haley. With 999 career victories in women’s collegiate volleyball, he is just one away from an impressive milestone — one his players would love to help him reach.“That’s something that not many coaches have, so hopefully we get it for him,” Urango said.last_img read more