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Polish Navy to receive ORP Slazak in 2019

first_img View post tag: ORP Ślązak Photo: Photo: Polish Navy View post tag: Polish Navy The Polish defense ministry announced on June 29 that it has awarded PGZ a contract to complete outfitting works and all trials on the offshore patrol vessel ‘Ślązak’ and subsequently deliver it to the Polish Navy.According to the announcement, Ślązak is set to start trials in July 2018 while the delivery and acceptance is expected to take place by March 2019.By 2019, the former-corvette-turned-OPV will be delivered to the navy after missing several delivery deadlines.A keel-laying ceremony for the vessel, which was initially expected to be the first of several Gawron-class corvettes, took place in 2001. Though the vessel’s hull was launched in 2009, the entire project was cancelled in 2012. The government subsequently made the decision to convert the corvette into an offshore patrol vessel.The converted vessel was to be delivered to the navy by November 2016. After that deadline was not met, Polish media reports indicated July 2018 as the new delivery date. According to the latest announcement, the Slazak should be joining the navy in March 2019.The 95-meter-long ship is based on the Blohm + Voss’ MEKO A100 design and displaces 1800 tons. It will be carrying a 76 mm OTO Melara gun, two Leonardo-built 30mm Marlin-WS guns,  and four Grom man-portable air-defense short-range missile launchers.Slazak is also equipped with the SMART-S Mk2 is the naval 3D air and surface surveillance radar and the Thales-delivered TACTICOS combat management system, STING-EO Mk2 fire control radar, MIRADOR electro-optical system and LINK 11/16 tactical data link. Share this articlelast_img read more

Hoboken Council cancels contract with mayor’s lawyers in ethics complaint appeal

first_img× HOBOKEN – The City Council voted 7-2 at Wednesday’s five-hour meeting to cancel a contract for a law firm that had been representing Mayor Ravi Bhalla in his appeal of an alleged ethics violation.The ethics complaint was originally filed against Bhalla by a resident in 2010 after the then-councilman voted on city contract for an attorney with whom he shared an office lease.In September 2013 a summary decision by Judge James Geraghty found that Bhalla’s joint lease and shared receptionist with criminal attorney Paul Condon did not create a conflict of interest that precluded Bhalla from voting to renew Condon’s contract with the city in 2010.However, in November of 2017 the Local Finance Board issued notice of a violation which states that sharing an office space with a professional appointed by the council is not a substantial conflict but that “cosigning a lease agreement is considered a shared business relationship and would appear to constitute a direct/indirect financial involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair one’s objectivity of independence of judgement.”According to the resolution canceling the contract with the Buzak Law Group of Montville who were representing Bhalla, an estimated $10,000 had been spent to appeal the alleged ethics violation.“Last night the City Council voted overwhelmingly to protect Hoboken taxpayers by stopping Mayor Bhalla from continuing to use city resources to defend himself against a personal ethical violation,” said Councilmen Michael DeFusco and Ruben Ramos in a joint statement. “This has gone on for eight years and it’s clear that the mayor’s lack of candor when the situation first developed led the city down a path of being unfairly forced to foot the bill for Bhalla’s indiscretion. That misuse of taxpayer funds needs to end and we’re glad to see the City Council continue to act as a watchdog on this administration.”According to city spokesperson Santiago Melli-Huber, “A press release put out by a campaign spokesperson does not change the fact that the meritless ethics complaint in question was adjudicated twice and thrown out, with Judge Geraghty, in his decision, calling the filer of the complaint a ‘bigoted, malicious crackpot with a personal grudge against Bhalla’.”He added, “This act of political grandstanding sets a bad precedent, as elected officials should have the ability to do their jobs without fear of frivolous lawsuits. Mayor Bhalla believes the council’s primary focus should be working on behalf of the people of Hoboken, saying, ‘I am very proud of the work my administration and I have accomplished so far this year, including keeping municipal taxes level, re-opening the Office of Constituent Affairs, expanding paid parental leave for city employees, making Hoboken a leader in New Jersey for LGBTQ equality, and overseeing the revitalization of Washington Street, which is being paved to 8th Street this week.’”According to Melli-Huber there are currently two appeals pending on the 2017 notice, “one in the Office of Administrative Law, where it was thrown out the first time in 2014, and one in the Appellate Division, where it was thrown out the second time in 2016.”Watch for more coverage of the council meeting and other issues in your next edition of the Hoboken Reporter, in print or at hudsonrreporter.com.last_img read more

Veterans Day Ceremony, Holiday Events Set For Ocean City

first_imgPrimary School students recite the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language at the 2018 Ocean City Veterans Day service. Primary School students recite the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language at the 2018 Ocean City Veterans Day service.Ocean City’s annual Veterans Day ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11 at the Ocean City Tabernacle (550 Wesley Avenue). The event honors all of the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.The ceremony is always well-attended and will include music, remarks, prayers and the placing of a memorial wreath. Ocean City’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion posts sponsor and participate in the event.This year’s keynote speaker is E-4 Lance Corporal Rickey R. Arce. He joined the Marines just out of high school and fought the Taliban in Afghanistan during a deployment in 2009-2010.After returning to the U.S. and leaving active duty, Arce faced new battles against mental health symptoms. He is now committed to sobriety and addressing his health through therapy and support group meetings.Ocean City Primary School students will make remarks, and American Sign Language classes from Ocean City High School will sign the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and “God Bless America.” The Ocean City High School Choir, Ocean City High School Band and OCHS student Julia Mary Wilson will perform music. Free horse and carriage rides are part of the holiday celebration in downtown Ocean City.HOLIDAY EVENTS IN OCEAN CITYOn Monday, work crews began hanging the lights, garland, wreaths and bows that will adorn downtown Asbury Avenue for the holidays. A full schedule of special events is coming up quickly.The celebrations in Ocean City begin with “Earlier Than the Bird” on Saturday, Nov. 23. The annual downtown shopping extravaganza takes place 8 a.m. to noon on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.Jump-start your holiday shopping and shop in your pajamas for early-bird shopping specials at stores on Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 11th Street.Free horse-and-carriage rides will be available starting on the weekend of Nov. 23 and 24. Ride the downtown the old-fashioned way noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Board in front of City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue.The 12th annual Fast and Furriest 5K Turkey Trot goes off at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning on Nov. 28. The course for this 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race is on the Ocean City Boardwalk, and proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Ocean City. For more information, call 609-398-9500 (ext. 4) or visit www.hsocnj.org/events.Ocean City’s small-town version of “Black Friday” takes place on Friday, Nov. 29. The Christmas in the Downtown – “Our Miracle on Asbury Avenue” – takes place 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be a warm and entertaining time featuring carolers and performers throughout downtown Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 11th Street.Pajama-clad shoppers enjoy “Earlier Than the Bird” in 2018.Downtown stores will offer discount shopping for gifts, and many Asbury Avenue restaurants will be open. Free horse-and-carriage rides will be available. Entertainment and Christmas carols will begin at 4 p.m. on the steps of City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue.The event culminates around 5 p.m. when Santa Claus will emerge on the rooftop of City Hall. With the help of an Ocean City Fire Department ladder truck, Santa will descend and help light the City Hall Christmas Tree and illuminate City Hall.The shopping discounts will continue on Nov. 30 as downtown merchants celebrate Small Business Saturday.On the evening of Nov. 30, music lovers can enjoy a special performance of the Ocean City Pops Orchestra.“Holiday Pops: Musical Sounds of the Season” will feature popular holiday and special performances by vocalist Scott Coulter and his cast of Broadway soloists. Children of all ages will enjoy the classic Christmas songs.Joining the show will be professional dancers from the Atlantic City Ballet’s production of the “Nutcracker.”The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. Tickets are $25 and $20. Call 609-399-6111 or visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.The festivities continue with the annual Christmas Parade (Dec. 6), Ocean City Theatre Company’s “Lights, Camera, Christmas: 2019 Holiday Spectacular (Dec. 13-22, see oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice for information and tickets) and the First Night (Dec. 31) and First Day (Jan. 1) New Year’s celebrations.A fireworks display lights up the sky at midnight, ushering in the new year. (Courtesy Ocean City)FIRST NIGHT BUTTONS ON SALE NOW All-inclusive admission buttons for Ocean City’s popular and family-friendly First Night New Year’s Eve celebration are on sale now. The price is a discounted $15 through Nov. 30, and they can be purchased at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or by calling 609-399-6111.You can also purchase tickets in person by visiting the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Ninth Street causeway, City Hall’s Welcome Center at 861 Asbury Avenue or the Welcome Center at 46th Street and West Avenue.First Night includes more than 70 shows and activities at venues throughout Ocean City. Visit firstnightocnj.com for more information. ALSO COMING UP OC READS (Nov. 9): OC Reads and the Ocean City Free Public Library will welcome Delia Owens, author of “Where the Crawdads Sing.” Owens will be giving a book talk, Q&A, and book-signing at the Ocean City Music Pier.Doors will open at 1 p.m. No tickets or advanced registration required. Seating is first-come, first-served and open to the public. For additional information, call 609 399-2434, ext. 5222 or visit www.oceancitylibrary.org.Ocean City Free Public Library Director Karen Mahar will be honored as a “Woman of Wonder” on Nov. 14.WOMEN OF WONDER LUNCHEON (Nov. 14): The Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation and the Cape May County Women’s Commission invite the public to the 2019 Women of Wonder Luncheon 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 at the Flanders Hotel in Ocean City.Ocean City Free Public Library Director Karen Mahar will be honored, along with Stormy Freese and Shirley “Becki” Wilson. Tickets for this scholarship fundraiser are available by visiting www.atlantic.edu/wow or calling 609-463-3621.BOZ SCAGGS (Nov. 16): Rescheduled from July 1, this concert featuring Grammy Award-winner and chart-topping songwriter Boz Scaggs will bring unforgettable hits to the Ocean City Music Pier.The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. Tickets start at $49. Visit www.ticketmaster.com.last_img read more

Celebrate Chaka Khan’s 66th Birthday With These Live Performances

first_imgChaka Khan first came into the spotlight as the frontwoman for the funk band Rufus. Over the past five decades, Chaka Khan has had an immeasurable influence on music as we know it today, taking home ten Grammys during this time. She has been nominated to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice now, for both her work as a solo artist and with Rufus, and in December of last year, Billboard named her the 65th most successful dance music artist of all time. Affectionately referred to as the “Queen of Funk,” today, this powerhouse performer turns 66, still throwing it down and showing no signs of slowing down with each passing year.To celebrate the queen’s birthday, we’ve compiled a handful of our favorite live performances by this epic singer, which you can check out below! Most importantly, happy birthday, Chaka Khan!Rufus- “Stop On By” – 1975[Video: BLAQUEMUSCLE]Chaka Khan live in 1981[Video: funkyscope]Chaka Khan – “Whatcha Gonna Do For Me” – 2002[Video: TheKimRo]last_img read more

Harvard to meet Vanderbilt

first_imgThe Harvard men’s basketball team was awarded a 12 seed in the NCAA basketball tournament and will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to take on No. 5 Vanderbilt in the second round, the NCAA announced Sunday. The Crimson and Commodores will play Thursday at 4 p.m., with the winner set to face either No. 4 Wisconsin or No. 13 Montana Saturday.Second- and third-round ticket information will be available on GoCrimson.com later this week.To read more, visit GoCrimson.com.last_img

New way to model human disease

first_imgWyss Technology Development Fellow Dongeun Huh, who also holds appointments at Harvard Medical School  (HMS) and Boston Children’s Hospital, studied a cancer chemotherapy drug called interleukin-2 — or IL-2, for short — in the lung-on-a-chip. A major toxic side effect of IL-2 is pulmonary edema, which is a deadly condition in which the lungs fill with fluid and blood clots.When IL-2 was injected into the blood channel of the lung-on-a-chip, fluid leaked across the membrane and two tissue layers, reducing the volume of air in the other channel and compromising oxygen transport — just as it does in lungs of human patients when it is administered at the equivalent doses and over the same time course. Blood plasma proteins also crossed into the air channel, leading to the formation of blood clots in the air space, as they do in humans treated with IL-2.But one result came as a surprise.It turns out the physical act of breathing greatly enhances the effects of IL-2 in pulmonary edema — “something that clinicians and scientists never suspected before,” says Ingber, the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at HMS.When the team turned on the vacuum attached to the chip to simulate breathing, it increased fluid leakage more than threefold when treated with the clinically relevant IL-2 dose, and the Wyss team confirmed that the same response occurs in an animal model of pulmonary edema. This result could suggest that doctors treating patients on a respirator with IL-2 should reduce the tidal volume of air being pushed into the lungs, for example, in order to minimize the negative side effects of this drug.Most exciting for the future of drug testing was the Wyss team’s finding that “this on-chip model of human pulmonary edema can be used to identify new potential therapeutic agents in vitro,” Ingber says. The pulmonary edema symptoms in the lung-on-a-chip disease model could be prevented by treating the tissues with a new class of drug, a transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channel blocker, under development by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). In a separate study published by the GSK team in the same issue of Science Translation Medicine, the beneficial effects of TRPV4 inhibition in reducing pulmonary edema were independently validated using animal models of pulmonary edema caused by heart failure.“In just a little more than two years, we’ve gone from unveiling the initial design of the lung-on-a-chip to demonstrating its potential to model a complex human disease, which we believe provides a glimpse of what drug discovery and development might look like in the future,” Ingber says.The cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional team that was led by Ingber and Huh also included Wyss postdoctoral fellow Daniel Leslie; Benjamin Matthews, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Wyss Institute researcher Jacob Fraser; Samuel Jurek, a researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; senior Wyss staff scientist Geraldine Hamilton; and senior scientific investigator Kevin Thorneloe and investigator M. Allen McAlexander from GlaxoSmithKline. Ingber is also a professor of bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.“Organs-on-a-chip represents a new approach to model the structure, biology, and function of human organs, as evidenced by the complex breathing action of this engineered lung. This breathing action was key to providing new insight into the etiology of pulmonary edema,” said James M. Anderson, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, which provided partial support for the research through the Common Fund’s Regulatory Science program. “These results provide support for the broader use of such microsystems in studying disease pathology and hopefully for identifying new therapeutic targets.”The work was funded by the NIH, the Food and Drug Administration, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have mimicked pulmonary edema in a microchip lined by living human cells, as reported today in the journal Science Translation Medicine. They used this “lung-on-a-chip” to study drug toxicity and identify potential new therapies to prevent this life-threatening condition.The study offers further proof-of-concept that human “organs-on-chips” hold tremendous potential to replace traditional approaches to drug discovery and development.“Major pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of time and a huge amount of money on cell cultures and animal testing to develop new drugs,” says Donald Ingber, founding director of the Wyss Institute and senior author of the study, “but these methods often fail to predict the effects of these agents when they reach humans.”The lung-on-a-chip device, which the team first described just two years ago, is a crystal-clear, flexible polymer about the size of a memory stick that contains hollow channels fabricated using computer microchip manufacturing techniques. Two of the channels are separated by a thin, flexible, porous membrane that on one side is lined with human lung cells from the air sac and exposed to air; human capillary blood cells are placed on the other side with medium flowing over their surface. A vacuum applied to side channels deforms this tissue-tissue interface to re-create the way human lung tissues physically expand and retract when breathing.last_img read more

Smartwatches prone to attacks: Study

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Roy UrricoSmartwatches are ticking security time bombs, as virtually all of them contain network and communication functionality that is vulnerable to cyberattacks and personal information breach risks, according to a new report from the Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP.The unveiling of smartwatch technology has led to a seemingly endless supply of buzz around its capabilities and promise, according to the report, “Internet of Things Security Study: Smartwatches.” “But from a security perspective, watches with network and communication functionality represent yet another attack surface area – potentially providing ways for someone to gain access to personal data or knowledge they should not have,” the report stated. continue reading »last_img read more

CUNA secures credit union successes in 2015, sets sights for more

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr As the first session of the 114th Congress enters its final week, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan highlighted some of his trade association’s successes over the last year, while adding that much work remains to be done going forward.The U.S. Congress is expected to vote on a long-term government funding bill this week, and while CUNA is hopeful that regulatory relief provisions will be included, it looks increasingly pessimistic.“We continue to hope that it will include some of the remaining regulatory relief priorities, but we are in the final hours before we expect leaders to file the bill and our confidence is lower than it was just a week ago,” Donovan said. “While there appears to be broad support for provisions that are intended to help credit unions and small banks, such support does not exist for legislation intended to improve Dodd-Frank or impact larger financial institutions. There also seems to be a reluctance to separate the credit union and small bank provisions from the other financial services provisions.”. continue reading »last_img read more

PFZW takes stake in green bonds as part of sustainability drive

first_imgIt is also taking part in a joint venture with Vantage London, which redevelops offices and aims to significantly increase energy efficiency.Last year, PFZW started implementing a 50% reduction of carbon emissions from its equity holdings, to be completed in 2020. It said this year it would look at the reduction potential of its alternative equity, property, and credit allocations.The scheme added that it had transferred part of its responsible investment team to its asset manager, PGGM, in order to increase PGGM’s sustainability expertise.The healthcare pension fund reported a net return of 12% for the year, with equity and private equity generating 13% and 14.6% respectively. Private real estate returned 9.4% and infrastructure yielded 7.3%.PFZW said credit and high yield delivered 11% together, while structured credit gained 21.7%. Securities and credit investments had benefited from a strong US dollar, the fund said.Meanwhile, equity, property, and infrastructure received an additional boost from improving economic prospects as well as low interest rates, it added.The scheme made clear that its credit investments had “maximum tailwind”, benefiting from low and falling interest rates, narrowing spreads, and limited defaults.With a yield of 22.4%, commodities was the best returning asset class, thanks to rising oil prices. The scheme also attributed a 12.3% return on emerging market debt to dropping interest rates and appreciating local currencies.Fixed income produced 13.7% as an effect of declining interest rates on government bonds and interest swaps.PFZW explained that its 0.5% allocation to mortgages gained from movements between the moment of quote acceptance and the execution of the mortgage contract, leading to a return of 9.5%.The scheme indicated that it had driven down asset management costs to 0.46%, a reduction of one-quarter since 2013. Transaction costs stood at 10.3 basis points.It made clear that reducing its administration costs of €67.90 per participant was hampered by costs following new legislation, stricter supervision, and new ICT systems. PFZW said it expected a reduction to €60 by 2020, rather than the planned €58 by next year.The healthcare pension fund also said that it had replaced indexation based on salary inflation with consumer index-linked inflation compensation, and that it would no longer invest with the aim of providing indexation in arrears. The €187bn Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW has started investing in green bonds as part of its plan to quadruple its sustainable investments to €20bn by 2020.In its annual report for 2016, PFZW said it had invested in ABN Amro and Alliander green bonds with proceeds backing energy-efficient buildings and thermal grids, a form of geothermal energy production.The Netherlands’ second-largest pension fund said it had also invested in food security through credit from fertiliser manufacturer Eurochem, and in green projects in Brazil through Latin American paper producer Suzano Papel e Celulose.The investments come amid rapidly growing interest in the asset class. Nikko Asset Management has estimated that the green bond market could double in size to $400bn (€366bn) by the end of this year, and could exceed $1.2trn by 2020 if it continues on this growth trajectory.last_img read more