GAO: US Navy maintenance periods impede missions

first_img View post tag: maintenance Illustration. Photo: US NavyThe majority of maintenance availabilities, or scheduled periods of ship maintenance and modernization, that were completed from fiscal years 2011 to 2014 took more time than scheduled, thereby reducing the time during which ships were available for training and operations, GAO said in a recently published report.The congressional watchdog, as the U.S. Government Accountability Office is often called, additionally noted that the Navy continues to experience delays on maintenance begun under the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP).The reason GAO did this study is because the Navy has been increasing ship deployment lengths and reducing or deferring ship maintenance to meet heavy operational demands over the past decade. According to GAO, these decisions have reduced the predictability of ship deployments for sailors and for the industrial base that supports ship repair and maintenance.They have also resulted in declining ship conditions across the fleet, and have increased the amount of time that ships require to complete maintenance in the shipyards. Increased maintenance periods, in turn, compress the time during which ships are available for training and operations, referred to as employability. To address these issues and provide a more sustainable schedule for Navy ships, the Navy began implementing the Optimized Fleet Response Plan in November 2014.The goal of the OFRP is to maximize ship employability while ensuring adequate time for maintenance and training with continuity in ship leadership and carrier strike group assignments, and restoring operational tempo and personnel tempo rates to acceptable levels.GAO found that with only a portion of the fleet having entered an optimized cycle, it is too early to assess the OFRP’s effectiveness.The report further said that public and private shipyards involved in Navy ship maintenance face a number of challenges in completing maintenance on time, including unanticipated work requirements, workforce inexperience, and workload fluctuations.GAO found that the Navy has been struggling to accurately define ship maintenance requirements, a step that is crucial to completing maintenance on time. Some private shipyard officials say that they may also face challenges as the Navy implements a new contracting strategy.The agency said it has separate work underway to assess the new contracting strategy. GAO: Overdue US Navy maintenance periods impede mission readiness Share this article Back to overview,Home naval-today GAO: Overdue US Navy maintenance periods impede mission readiness center_img Authorities View post tag: US Navy May 3, 2016last_img read more

Gig: Arab Strap, The Zodiac, 6 Oct

first_imgI’ve waited three years for this to happen; the sainted Arab Strap, on the hallowed ground of the Zodiac. Sadly, Messrs. Moffat and Middleton’s (undeserved) reputation for inconsistent live shows must have reached Oxford; the room’s only half full. The Strap walk on to a decidedly muted reception, and I find myself wondering if this lot’d bother to cheer the resurrected Elvis. Never underestimate people who know you can have a good time in Falkirk; without breaking a sweat, Arab Strap conquer Oxford, and make a 6’4 failed boxer weep. The band tonight is the biggest stage setup yet seen at an Arab Strap gig; the two core members are joined by a string section and three-piece backing band. The sound’s somewhere between the bludgeoning attack of their first live album and the ‘post-folk’ acoustics of their latest. ‘Fucking Little Bastards’ is like Concorde landing on your face; ‘Who Named the Days?’, the sound of male unity in the face of the world, both gentle and majestic, musical Hemingway for modern men; the reworked ‘Here We Go’, unimpeachably brilliant, the strings never threatening to over-sweeten the pill. There are no duds in the set. Aidan does his Elvis impersonation, has a conversation with someone in the crowd, requests good reviews, accepts a few free drinks. The band walk off, leaving Malcolm and Aidan alone on stage, asking for requests. They play ‘Pro-(your) life’, presenting the male side of abortion with an eloquence and nobility to persuade the Pope. The emotional exhaustion, confusion and regret that seep from the song reduce your hard-hearted reviewer to mush. Afterwards, I meet them and shake hands; they go back to move their own amps. There’s no justice for the best band in Christendom; Turin Brakes get roadies..ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003last_img read more

Tarantino Proves Thur-man once more

first_imgKill Bill Vol. 2 Phoenix & Odeon No single figure in recent years has influenced the world of movie-making as resoundingly as Mr Tarantino. His place in cinematic history is already firmly assured, thanks to the slap in the face that his first two films gave to Hollywood and all its cosy conformity. Following lukewarm reaction to Jackie Brown, though, he was faced with the challenge of finding a new direction in order to remain creatively relevant amid the horde of copycat directors striving for that trademark Quentin ‘cool’. The answer? A hibernation of six years followed by Kill Bill, the self-proclaimed realisation of his moviegeek dreams. Volume 1, with almost every scene saturated in pumping blood and littered with dismembered limbs, showed him taking his penchant for ultra-violence to ludicrous levels. Yet the audacity of the battle choreography and the sheer innovation of his directorial vision made it a relentlessly entertaining experience. It’s almost hard to believe, then, that Kill Bill was originally intended to be released as a single movie, so different are the tone and pace of this second half. Elaborate kung-fu remains the staple of the story but there is no trace of the cartoonish gore of Volume 1. Instead, Tarantino opts to give his violence a brutal, palpable realism reminiscent of his earlier work. Most surprising of all, though, is that the movie ventures boldly into sentimental territory wholly uncharacteristic of its director – and die-hard fans will no doubt be equally shocked that these latter stages are actually handled with a sincerity which belies their idol’s cynical persona. Still, credit where credit’s due, it is Tarantino’s muse, Uma Thurman, who carries these scenes and indeed the whole movie. She gives another dazzling turn as ‘The Bride’, which, with its hints of an insecurity and emotional rawness beneath her character’s icy exterior, saves Kill Billfrom descending into a mere “roaring rampage of revenge” with no human interest whatsoever. As she mercilessly ticks off those last few boxes on her ‘Death List’, the cliff-hanging revelation of Volume 1 is interwoven into the story, giving her mission an added poignancy, whilst flashbacks also shed light on the tangled relationship between The Bride and the previously unseen Bill. Sadly, though, this still can’t save the film from ultimately being something of a disappointment when compared to the first. The ending, in particular, is a definite let-down as the script simply peters out in dialogue rather than concluding on the monumental bang Tarantino’s been teasing us to expect all along. During production, he told the press “I’m making this movie for me. Everyone else is along for the ride”. Self-indulgent and flawed as Kill Bill may be, it’s still one hell of a ride worth taking.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img read more

News story: Terrorism insurance gap closed giving peace of mind to businesses

first_imgFurther informationThe Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 includes amendments to the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993. It was this legislation which enabled the government to back Pool Re, the terrorism reinsurance mutual.The “terrorism insurance gap” was caused by a lack of insurers willing to take on risk without Pool Re’s support. Today’s legal change means that this gap is now closed.Julian Enoizi, Pool Re’s Chief Executive, is available for comment. Please contact, Tracey Paul [email protected] Reinsurance Company Limited, also known as Pool Re, was established in 1993 by the insurance industry in the wake of the IRA bombing of the Baltic Exchange in 1992. Businesses can now better protect themselves from financial losses caused by terror attacks thanks to a change in the law given Royal Assent today (12 February 2019).The Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019, which was brought into law today, makes legal changes that means more insurers will offer new policies to businesses that include ‘losses from a terror attack that are not contingent on damage to commercial property’. Currently, Pool Re, the government-backed terrorism reinsurer, can only reinsure losses incurred if a company’s premises had been physically damaged by terrorists. Business owners will now find it easier to buy terrorism insurance that will pay out if they lose custom in the wake of a terror attack because they cannot trade or are prevented from accessing their premises.John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said: We will not allow terrorists to change our way of life. So when businesses raised their concerns about a gap in insurance cover following a terror attack, we worked with Pool Re to come up with a solution. Today, we’ve changed the law to give businesses peace of mind, helping them to insure themselves against financial loss as a result of a terrorist attack, even if there is no physical damage to their property. This means businesses will be able take out new and comprehensive policies to protect them in the future.last_img read more

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst: Credit insurance & debt protection

first_imgThe adage goes, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” While you can never predict what challenges your members might face, you can protect them—even in the event of a serious illness. The first step to protecting your members is making sure they’re educated:One in four 20-year-olds will experience a long-term disability before they retire.1The average length of a long-term disability claim is 34.6 months.2Short-term disabilities (lasting six months or less) affect 5.6% of working Americans each year.3More than a third (69%) of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account to cover an unexpected event.4Although Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can help alleviate some of the financial burden, it may not be enough. As of May 2018, the average SSDI benefit was $1,063 a month.5As a credit union, you want to help members achieve their financial goals. You’re also looking for the assurance that the loans you approve will be paid back. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Love Of Hollywood’s Golden Era Brings Generations Of Filmgoers Together At Cinema Arts Centre

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Watching Hollywood movies never gets old for Raj Tawney, the young director of publicity for the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, especially if the films are classics from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.“They call it the Golden Age for a reason,” says the 29-year-old with a broad smile. “It was an era in which you had almost 60 to 90 million people attending a film all at once. It really reached a mass cultural moment.”Gone are the days when everybody in America routinely flocked to their neighborhood movie palaces to see the same flick the moment it premiered. But Tawney, who grew up on Long Island, is devoted to recreating that experience as best he can by hosting special events and screenings at Huntington’s premier film facility, where the usual fare is primarily foreign and independent movies, as opposed to commercial blockbusters.Recently, he introduced an anniversary screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which he says is “a great example of a movie that bridges generations.” The turnout was very gratifying. “To watch a 50-plus-year-old movie and see so many young people in the audience was really encouraging. We know we’re going in the right direction.”A graduate of Farmingdale State, where he was a communications major, Tawney got exposed to Hollywood’s heyday by watching Turner Classic Movies with his Puerto Rican grandmother at her place in the Bronx.“My family is from all over the place,” he explains, noting that his father emigrated from India in the 1970s. “I grew up in a Puerto Rican, Indian and Italian household. I had the best food!”He learned early on that films could enable him to bridge the generations. His Italian grandfather, who died when Tawney was an infant, used to play Sinatra “all the time.” One day while he and his grandmother were watching Doris Day and Frank Sinatra in the 1955 film Young at Heart, he says it struck a chord.“It was a way for me to connect with my grandparents through a film they had watched when they were teenagers,” he recalls. That passion has become his mission at Cinema Arts, where he’s been since 2015.“I’m always looking for new ideas to reach audiences with different types of genres,” says Tawney, who fittingly is also a member of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Next Generation Advisory Council.Legendary Hollywood agent Budd Burton Moss, who will be the subject of an in-depth discussion and multi-media presentation at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington on Nov. 6.On Nov. 6 at the Cinema Arts, Tawney will be hosting an in-depth discussion and multi-media presentation with the legendary Hollywood agent Budd Burton Moss, who’s a living connection to a world that most young people have only read about. The 86-year-old Moss hung out with Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, to name a few stars. Sidney Poitier was the best man at one of Moss’s weddings. Every week in Los Angeles, Moss still goes out for bagels with his pal Larry King, who wrote the foreword to Moss’ new book, Hollywood: Sometimes the Reality Is Better Than the Dream. When Moss was a talent agent, he represented Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, and, most importantly, Rita Hayworth, with whom he became very close friends, as well as her manager. Currently, Moss is on a crusade to get the underrated actress, who died in 1987, honored with her own U.S. Postal Service stamp.Moss had a fabled childhood growing up on the back lots of Hollywood. His father was a film editor at Fox, and his uncle was Sam Zimbalist, who produced the Oscar-winning Ben-Hur (1960) along with the Oscar-nominees Quo Vadis (1952) and King Solomon’s Mines (1951). First wanting to become an actor himself, Moss was an extra on the set of Sidney Poitier’s breakout film, Blackboard Jungle. Later, after he’d switched careers, they became long-lasting friends.“He’s a fascinating man,” says Tawney, who’s never met Moss, although they talk “almost every day.” It all began one day while his Cinema Arts colleagues were at the Toronto Film Festival. Tawney took a call from a woman who said she knew Moss well, and insisted that he should invite Moss to Huntington. He did. The rest is history: film history.Following the special event in Huntington, Tawney will be hosting Moss at The Amsterdam at Harborside in Port Washington on Nov. 10 to moderate another conversation and book signing, under the auspices of the Gold Coast International Film Festival—the first time the two groups have partnered together on a project.“Raj is amazing!” says Regina Gil, executive director of the Gold Coast International Film Festival. “He’s got the energy and the enthusiasm befitting a young person but he’s also got what they call an alte kopf, a Yiddish expression that means ‘old soul.’ He really knows how to connect to young people, old people, everybody in between.”Gil first met Moss a few years ago at the film festival when he was promoting his first memoir. This time, she connected with Tawney through a mutual friend, and suggested that he host Moss at the festival venue as well as at the Cinema Arts.“Budd has become an activist for the Golden Age of Hollywood,” Gil says. “He is coming back because he’s written another book, and he wants to honor Rita Hayworth. She was one of the great stars of the Golden Era. She started out as an amazing singer and dancer—and she was Hispanic. Hollywood plucked her out of the cantina circuit. You didn’t become a star in those days without having a ton of talent.”Gil has similar regard for Tawney.“Raj is young; he’s talented,” she says. “I’m delighted that our two entities in Nassau County and Suffolk County can partner together.”Budd Burton Moss gushed about working with Tawney.“Since I was introduced to Raj Tawney at the Cinema Arts Centre,” says Moss, “I have found a new excitement due to his unique understanding of many of my clients and his understanding of our motion picture and TV industry.”Tawney does bear an uncanny resemblance to a younger version of Budd Burton Moss, so it will certainly be entertaining to see the two film aficionados on the same stage.Just don’t ask Tawney to name his favorite films.“I hate that question!” he says, laughing. But if Tawney could go back in time for one movie premiere, it would be when Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho came out in 1960.“Can you imagine how scary that might have been to anybody?” Tawney asks. “Hitchcock forced you to use your imagination!”One of the first classic films Tawney helped bring to Huntington was Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten, which came out in 1943 and was nominated for an Oscar. He screened the film on one evening in the middle of the work week but it still found its audience.“I couldn’t believe how packed it was!” Tawney exclaims.Cinema Arts Centre Publicity Director Raj Tawney with an actress at the venue’s recent anniversary screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.In March, the Cinema Arts presented a 70 mm version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood. The original celluloid film stock is always Tawney’s favorite format, because he believes it makes the cinematic experience much more authentic than a slick, remastered digital version.“We’re an art house cinema,” he explains. “We’ve been around for 43 years. We’ve outlived the VCR, the DVD, the Blu-ray…“We want the reel,” says Tawney emphatically. “There’s something about those little chips and cracks in the film stock that make you feel like you’re watching it as an audience watched it when it first came out. Maybe it’s our romanticized vision, but I think there’s something to it.”Recently, Tawney arranged an event featuring film historian Irene P. Eckert, an octogenarian whom he calls “a Renaissance lady,” for a special presentation of Divorce Italian Style, starring Marcello Mastroianni, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1962. It was another successful evening that brought different demographics together.“For me, it’s about the emotional connection,” Tawney says. “We have film historians, event hosts, to lead the discussion. How did you feel about the film afterwards? Not just to psychoanalyze it. That’s what my grandma always asked me, too. Right away, as soon as the film’s done, what do you feel about it?”Tawney knows that someone streaming a movie at home alone won’t have that kind of dialogue.“At the end of the day, the reason people still come to watch movies, is because you’re looking for an experience to share with a group,” Tawney says. “That’s why movies exist. They bring people together.”Main Art: Raj Tawney, director of publicity at Cinema Arts Centre, proudly displaying one of the many original celluloid film reels showcased at the Huntington venue (Spencer Rumsey / Long Island PressCinema Arts Centre is located at 432 Park Ave., Huntington, NY. The Gold Coast International Film Festival runs Nov. 10 to Nov. 15 at various theaters and venues throughout the Town of North Hempstead. For a complete list of films and showtimes, check out goldcoastfilmfestival.orglast_img read more

HHS buys 1.2 million flu vaccine doses from abroad

first_imgDec 7, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The federal government is buying 1.2 million doses of flu vaccine made in Germany to augment the strained US supply, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today.HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced the purchase of the vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline, at a news teleconference. “We’ll have it available this month,” he said. “This will allow us to get more vaccine into the hands of those who need it most.”Because the vaccine is not licensed in the United States and licensing is a lengthy process, it will be used under “investigational new drug” (IND) rules, Thompson said. That means people will have to sign a consent form acknowledging their awareness of possible risks before getting a shot. But Thompson and Lester Crawford, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said the vaccine is safe.The vaccine, called Fluarix, is used in 30 countries. The FDA reviewed GlaxoSmithKline’s manufacturing processes and inspected the plant that makes the vaccine before HHS decided to buy it, Thompson said.The consent form will explain “what the public should expect in terms of risk,” said Crawford. “What the public should know at this point is that the vaccine is not investigational because we have real questions about it, but because the company elected not to enter the US market last year, so they didn’t apply for approval.” He called the probability of safety problems with the vaccine “very low indeed.”Thompson said GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to supply up to 4 million doses to the US under IND rules, but he didn’t predict how many doses HHS might buy beyond the initial 1.2 million.The 1.2 million doses will increase the total US supply for this season to slightly more than 62 million doses, which includes about 58 million doses from Aventis Pasteur and 3 million doses of MedImmune’s FluMist, Thompson said.Thompson said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will distribute the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine doses where they are needed and will release a distribution plan in a few days. The company is charging HHS about $7 per dose, but there will be some additional costs for distribution, he said.GlaxoSmithKline said the IND rules provide that the vaccine can be given to people at least 3 years old who qualify for vaccination under the current US guidelines, which reserve the shots for people in high-risk groups.Another foreign firm viewed as a potential supplier of flu vaccine to the United States, Canada’s ID Biomedical, announced today that it must save its remaining doses for Canada, according to a Canadian Press (CP) report. HHS officials had previously said they were considering buying 1.2 million doses from the Vancouver, B.C., company.The company said it was selling the doses on the Canadian market at the request of the government, according to the CP report. The story said reports of the US vaccine shortage spurred an unusual Canadian demand for flu shots earlier this fall, sparking fears of a shortage in Canada.At the news conference, Crawford acknowledged the ID Biomedical announcement but said the FDA was still discussing the possibility of buying some vaccine from the company. The CP report said FDA officials spent a week inspecting the firm’s vaccine plant in Ste.-Foy, Que.Crawford also said that two companies have announced this week that they want to enter the US flu vaccine market, one as early as 2005 and the other by 2007. This year Aventis Pasteur and MedImmune are the only companies providing licensed flu vaccines in the US. California-based Chiron Corp. was to have supplied up to 48 million doses before contamination problems at the company’s plant in Liverpool, England, prompted British authorities to shut down the plant, triggering the American vaccine shortage.Crawford didn’t name the two companies planning to enter the market, but ID Biomedical yesterday announced a long-term agreement to sell flu vaccine to three US wholesalers, starting as early as next year, depending on licensing of the vaccine. The company said the agreement covers at least 8 years. The firm’s production capacity in 2005 will be about 22 million doses, officials said.GlaxoSmithKline, in a news release about the sale of doses to HHS, said it has “a long-term strategy” to seek FDA licensing of Fluarix.In other comments, Crawford said the FDA has been reviewing proposals by Illinois, New Mexico, and New York City to buy a total of 750,000 doses of non-US-licensed flu vaccine made abroad by Aventis. “By the end of the week we expect to have gotten through all of the information,” but he didn’t predict whether the FDA will approve the plans.last_img read more

Avian flu blamed in another Indonesian death

first_imgMay 1, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – An Indonesian man whose death was attributed to H5N1 avian influenza will bring Indonesia’s death toll from the virus to 25, if his case is confirmed outside the country.The man reportedly had come into contact with his neighbor’s infected chickens in Tangerang, 25 miles west of Jakarta, according to a story on Apr 28.Samples from the man tested positive for H5N1 in an Indonesian laboratory, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Confirmatory testing is under way at a World Health Organization (WHO) reference lab in Hong Kong.The WHO has confirmed 32 human cases, with 24 deaths, from H5N1 in Indonesia.Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal Asia said on Apr 27 that local health officials in China had failed to report possible human cases of avian flu to the central government, according to an Apr 29 Reuters report. The same issue has been raised elsewhere.But the Chinese government denied the allegation. “The release of information has been timely, open and transparent,” Health Ministry spokesman Mao Qun’an told Reuters.In addition, Chinese officials involved with tracking and stemming the spread of the virus among birds have established a quarantine zone in the Qinghai region in north-central China, according to BBC News online. A wild goose found dead in the region tested positive for H5N1.The virus so far has not been found in domestic poultry around Qinghai, according to an AP story today.The region is a major stopover point for migratory birds, and thousands of migratory birds died in an H5N1 outbreak at the Qinghai Lake wildlife sanctuary last year. The H5N1 virus later found in two people in Turkey was virtually identical to bird samples obtained in Qinghai, according to a statement in the AP story attributed to the WHO.last_img read more

Firms opt for safe West End

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Property lending market ‘almost too good to be true’

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img