Seizing a ‘Transformational Moment’ in U.S.-Central America Relations

first_img“From our end,” responded Adm. Tidd, “we’ve already taken some initial steps to improve SOUTHCOM’s support to our government colleagues and to our partners throughout Central America. I’ve tasked our Joint Task Force Bravo to look at improving our common understanding and information sharing, so that we can better address the destabilizing operations, corruptive influence, and transregional reach of criminal networks.” CENTSEC is a multinational forum that brings together defense and security leaders from the United States and Central America to develop a common understanding of the operational environment; exchange ideas and perspectives; and identify opportunities to improve bilateral and multilateral security cooperation. Representatives from the armed and security forces of Belize, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama; senior U.S. government representatives; and observers from regional organizations are in attendance at this year’s event. SOUTHCOM’s commander also said that the goal of the United States is to identify new, innovative opportunities to enhance security cooperation, improve interoperability, and better support partner nation efforts against new and old threats. “Let me know what obstacles remain, what we can do better, what still needs to be done, and what SOUTHCOM can do to help,” he added. “Our commitment is to being an equal and trusted partner.” Following Adm. Tidd, Costa Rican Minister of Public Security Luis Gustavo Mata said that his country and other participating nations were interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts on improving regional cooperation. “It’s important to break down barriers to information sharing and improved interoperability.” Minister Mata also reinforced the enduring strength of U.S.-Central America relations, building on the progress that has been achieved thus far, and identifying new opportunities for cooperation. Transnational threats According to SOUTHCOM’s new commander, “We are bound together by common hopes and a shared vision of a better future where our children can go to school without fearing the violence of drug traffickers and gangs, where our institutions are strong and resilient and impervious to corruption. This is both the promise and the potential of our shared home, and one that we look forward achieving together. This is our home, and we all have a shared responsibility to protect all of our citizens.” Brazil should be included in this program here…But, oh!, how everything this corrupt, communist dis-government supports does no good…naturally it wasn’t interested in something so important for all of us…I have high hopes that everything will change here in my country. In the late 2000s, Costa Rica went through what its former Deputy Minister for Justice and Peace Max Loría called “a crisis” when the homicide rate reached a record 11.5 killings per 100,000 residents, and cocaine seizures by the anti-drug police spiked. Yet crime never reached the levels seen in parts of the region. Even without a military, however, Costa Rica is tackling crime in the same way as its neighboring countries: by investing heavily in security and trying to equip the police with heavy arms. This is one of the reasons why Costa Rica decided to co-host this year’s Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC) on the second week of April. Costa Rican President Luiz Guillermo Solís Rivera was present for the opening ceremony. He thanked the United States for its support helping his country fight “the new threats, and to build a region where our countries can work together to create a hemisphere that is a beacon of peace, prosperity, and partnership in an increasingly insecure world.” President Rivera also said that his government, “is working with local municipalities to develop programs including conflict resolution and providing opportunities and job training for young people, …but Costa Rica’s security problems are largely due to the issues related to drug trafficking in the region.” On the topic of expanding the partnership efforts throughout the region, Adm. Tidd said that, “it’s time to seize a transformational moment in U.S.-Central America relations and be creative and bold in our ideas.” His goal for this year’s CENTSEC, he said, “is to identify additional opportunities to enhance our support to all of you, to find new ways to work together, whether by repurposing a multilateral exercise to improving our collective interoperability, or refocusing our ongoing Operation MARTILLO, or redoubling our information sharing efforts.” Because drug trafficking is a pan-regional problem, the theme for this year’s conference is “Promoting Security Cooperation against Transnational Threats”. During his opening remarks, U. S. Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), co-sponsor of the conference, said, “I’m excited to be here for my first CENTSEC. While I’m still fairly new to the position of Commander of U.S. Southern Command [SOUTHCOM], I’m by no means new to working with our partners in this vital part of the world. From what I know, and from what I’ve learned over the past few months, I see tremendous opportunity to build on the significant progress we’ve made and continue to make confronting transnational threats.” By Dialogo April 08, 2016last_img read more

The importance of open architecture in credit union technology

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr One of the topics of recent conversation in credit union technology has revolved around the impact Millennials are having on the financial industry. Within the next few years, this tech-savvy group will represent close to 75% of the workforce and is becoming an influential part of the financial world. Keeping pace with the ever-changing face of credit union technology is vital to attracting Millennial members. The credit union industry has had to evolve to be able to offer the tools and technology members demand and what once was thought of as taboo in the industry, credit union APIs are now crucial to satisfying current technology needs and staying relevant. A core data processing system with a robust API allows for credit union open architecture so that you can offer the best-of-breed products that might otherwise be unavailable.Staying RelevantBeing able to offer up-to-date technology and engage with the latest applications is important to staying at the forefront of your competition. For example, industry trends are showing that more and more people, many of them Millennials, are using non-traditional alternative banking tools. Alternative payment options such as Venmo, PayPal, and Applepay are just some of these third-party applications to offer this. FICO recently reported that an estimated 52% of Millennials and 27% of Baby Boomers are using these forms of payment. Having the ability to engage third parties via an API, and being able to offer additional options to your members is a great reason to seek a core processor with open architecture. continue reading »last_img read more

Gold Coast beach house going under the hammer

first_img11 Bilinga St, Currumbin. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa20 hours ago11 Bilinga St, Currumbin.“(This is) an outstanding opportunity to refurbish or build a private oasis,” the listing states.“Liveable as is, revitalise or keep as a classic beach house.”The residence offers two levels with two bedrooms and one bathroom. 11 Bilinga St, Currumbin.The property enjoys treetop views while an balcony overlooks a tropical garden with a pool.Andy Hogarth and Laura Dean of McGrath are taking the property to auction on February 3. 11 Bilinga St, Currumbin is going under the hammer on February 3.A CLASSIC Gold Coast beach house in original condition is set to go under the hammer next month.The tightly-held house on Bilinga St is 500m from Currumbin beach but surrounded by leafy trees. 11 Bilinga St, Currumbin.last_img read more

Graduation rates for athletes rise for seventh year

first_imgA recent report released by the NCAA showed that USC varsity athletes who enrolled from 2002-05 graduated at a rate of 79 percent — the seventh-straight year USC’s percentage has increased in this evaluation.The rate increased from 66 percent in 2007, to 68 in 2008, to 69 in 2009, to 74 in 2010, to 78 in 2011 and now to 79 in 2012, according to the university.The new figures, however, did not bear all good news for USC.According to the new numbers, the football program posted a 57 percent graduation rate over the time period — a four-point drop from last year’s figure. In the Pac-12, USC ranked ninth.For other sports, the picture was a little brighter. Five sports — men’s golf, women’s rowing, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball — had a 100-percent graduation rate over the time period. Women’s lacrosse and sand volleyball were not evaluated since the NCAA looked at athletes who started college from 2002–05, according to the university.Notre Dame had the highest national graduation rate for freshmen entering the university from 2002 to 2005, with a rate of 97 percent. Rutgers was ranked second with a 91-percent rate and Stanford was ranked third with a 90-percent rate.last_img read more