Two Civilians and Two Soldiers Killed by FARC

first_img Two civilians and two soldiers died due to guerrilla attacks perpetrated by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), an insurgency that is currently holding peace talks with the Colombian government in Cuba, Colombian authorities reported on March 23. In the first attack, two men, age 45 and 16 respectively, were killed by guerrillas with rifle shots while they were shooting at civilian vehicles on a highway in César department. Another six people were also injured in the attack, three of which were women and one of which was pregnant, according to reports from Agustín Codazzi hospital, where they were taken afterwards. General Adelmo Fajardo, 10th Brigade Commander, told the press that guerrillas from FARC’s Front 41 set up a check point, where the incident took place on the night of March 22. “The criminals (…) appeared on the road, shooting randomly against civilians, and hitting a taxi with civilians inside,” apparently because they did not stop at the illegal check point, he told the press. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos condemned these actions in a public address in Aracataca, Magdalena department. “Colonel Peña, I heard that an incident took place on a road on March 22, in César department, municipality of Codazzi. Please, tighten the security on the area because this is unacceptable,” Santos said to the military officer responsible for the area. The second incident in which two Soldiers were killed, occurred during combat with the FARC in a rural area of Chaparral municipality, Tolima department on March 22 in the evening, the Army reported in a statement. The FARC, Colombia’s main insurgency group, is carrying out peace talks with Santos’s government since November 2012 in Havana, without a ceasefire of armed confrontation. By Dialogo March 26, 2013last_img read more

An innovative strategy for digital SME lending in Guatemala

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Conor Farrell Conor Farrell has been working in international development for five years, bringing a passion for finding and supporting innovative solutions to address global issues. At World Council of Credit Unions, … Web: https://www.woccu.org Details According to the International Labor Organization, small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs) are responsible for more than two-thirds of all jobs worldwide, along with the majority of new job creation.In Guatemala, the number is even higher. Nearly 75% of the population in the Central American country is employed through SMEs—accounting for approximately 40% of the national GDP. Investment into these entities is integral to the continued expansion of employment opportunities, enabling the required working capital needed to drive growth. Despite those facts, local laws restrict the ability for credit unions to provide loans to SMEs, further restricting the access to much needed capital.La Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito (FENACOAC), with over two million members from its 25-member credit unions united under the MICOOPE brand,saw an opportunity to help bridge this gap. To support this effort,  World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and its Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, enlisted several U.S. credit union CEOs to host a strategic workshop with FENACOAC. During the forum, U.S. credit union professionals discussed their experience lending to SMEs, helping to develop a strategic plan that prioritizes the development and expansion of SME-lending by Guatemalan credit unions.WOCCU President and CEO Brian Branch discusses the global credit union strategy with managers of the 25 MICOOPE Credit Unions in Guatemala.Marking an important next step to achieve this plan, FENACOAC hosted a November event to present the details of an operational plan to the member credit union managers and their representatives. They detailed the innovative decision to create an entirely new entity—termed a credit union service organization (CUSO)—that will develop a refined methodology to begin lending to the SMEs in Guatemala. The CUSO will be owned and operated by the FENACOAC member credit unions but operate as a separate entity under the MICOOPE brand. For the first time in Guatemala, credit unions will now begin to reach out to SMEs and ask about their financing needs—knowing they will be able to meet them (and more) through the newly established CUSO.To complement the lending strategy led by the CUSO, FENACOAC also plans to incorporate two additional aspects that will strengthen credit unions in Guatemala: a new digital strategy and linkages to business development service (BDS) providers.Digital StrategyWhile described as a “transitioner” country in terms of their current mobile connectivity, Guatemala still faces a robust set of barriers to mobile adoption and usage—including an especially large mobile gender divide. However, deemed a “fast grower” by GSMA Intelligence—and with over 20.8 million connections—a digital strategy that will expand the credit union suite of services and reach is an opportune initiative that is well timed to coincide with this growth. Through the development of their digital strategy, credit unions in Guatemala are searching for cost-effective solutions to expand their products to members in a more efficient, transparent and timesaving manner. Beginning with their online banking platform, FENACOAC intends to continue its digital strategy with the CUSO in order to digitize their loan application process and risk analysis. The goal is to enable their loan officers to visit local SMEs and discuss financing needs while collecting basic financial information. From this information, loan officers will be able to provide a pre-approval to the applicants, ask about additional gaps in coverage and establish foundational relationships with the SMEs.Complementing Financial Resources with Non-Financial LinkagesWhile credit unions already offer a variety of services in Guatemala (including insurance, guarantees, savings, credit for consumption and remittance payments), many have not been able to reach the financial and non-financial needs of SMEs. This is largely because they are legally restricted in serving their credit needs and thus cannot establish a relationship with these entities in order to offer complementary services. But it is also because they are often ill-equipped to meet the needs of the SMEs. Through the CUSO, FENACOAC seeks to develop and refine an adequate and appropriate methodology to analyze the needs and risks of SME lending. It will then transfer this methodology to its network of credit unions. While the CUSO will function to meet the needs of formal SMEs, individual credit unions can continue to serve the informal SME market. Equipped with the right methodology and capacity, these credit unions will be able to accurately evaluate the needs and risks of lending to these entities. They’ll also be able to apply the right terms and requirements in order to mitigate risk, while continuing to serve this underserved sector of the economy.Expanding Credit Union CapacityFinally, complementing the development of an adequate methodology, FENACOAC’s strategic plan incorporates linkages to non-financial service providers that provide professional support to SMEs through business development services. These partnerships with BDS providers will expand credit union’s reach and service offerings to SMEs, in addition to ensuring adequate development of new products to meet the needs of SMEs. Coupled with the access to financial resources through the credit unions, these partnerships can link SMEs to new sources of information specifically targeted towards SME growth.With a large market demand and an innovative solution to meet that demand, FENACOAC’s strategic plan is one worth following. Over thirty years, WOCCU is proud to have supported FENACOAC and their network of credit unions to build capacity, expand membership and services, and develop and test demand-driven products. We have been supportive during the formation of this plan and we look forward to continuing our work with FENACOAC as they begin to implement their strategy. Finding innovative solutions to meet the needs of the market is challenging. Be sure to follow the story and stay up-to-date as WOCCU’s network of global credit unions continues this important work. Guatemala City, Guatemalalast_img read more

BRICS customs agencies to cooperate

first_img14 March 2013The heads of the customs services of the BRICS member countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – met for the first time in South Africa this week to discuss common problems and outline ways to extend cooperation.The customs chiefs signed a protocol on cooperation on the results of the three-day meeting, held in Bela Bela, Limpopo province ahead of the 5th BRICS Summit taking place in Durban from 26 to 27 March.“We have similar problems. We’re all in the same boat,” the first deputy head of the Russian Federal Customs Service (FTS), Vladimir Malinin, said, adding that these included substitution of invoices, under-declaration of the value of goods, gray schemes and smuggling.“The fight against drug smuggling is the priority,” Malinin said.For speeding up customs procedures, the BRICS representatives agreed to unify their software, organise preliminary informing and stimulate electronic customs clearance of cargoes.Malinin said his agency had already established contact with colleagues from China and India, but had “practically had no” such contacts with Brazil or South Africa prior to this week’s meeting.He noted that Brazil and South Africa were “advanced countries” in terms of the technological equipment of their customs.“The significance of the BRICS as an international association is growing. We expect the political decisions of the summit to promote their implementation and make life easier for conscientious businesses,” Malinin said.“With the development of trade, the work of customs authorities acquires particular importance,” he stressed.Source: SAnews.gov.za-Itar-Tasslast_img read more

Quick Tip: Super Simple Audio Setup

first_imgGoing out to shoot on your own? Need to travel light? The following audio setup is perfect for one-man-band video production.In the following quick tip video, one of our favorite photo/video content creators, Knoptop, shares his trick for getting clear sounding audio when shooting on his own. For a dramatic improvement over audio simply captured ‘in camera’, try using an external recorder with a lavalier mic. On-board camera mics are typically pretty low quality and pick up unfocused sound (lots of ambient noise).Knoptop’s recipe for success is a Zoom H1 recorder (an industry favorite) and an Azden lavalier microphone. Check out the video tutorial below to see how he uses this setup for his video shoots – and a few other tricks for better sounding success.  Thanks for sharing, Knoptop!last_img read more

10 months agoDONE DEAL: Ipswich sign Huddersfield Town forward Collin Quaner

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Ipswich sign Huddersfield Town forward Collin Quanerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveIpswich Town have signed Huddersfield Town forward Collin Quaner on loan until the end of the campaign.The 27-year-old German has only featured twice for the Terriers this season, making two appearances from the bench last month.The former Ingolstadt and Union Berlin player moved to the John Smith’s Stadium in January 2017.He becomes Ipswich’s third signing of the January transfer window. last_img read more

a month agoLyon playmaker Houssem Aouar back on Man City agenda

first_imgLyon playmaker Houssem Aouar back on Man City agendaby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLyon playmaker Houssem Aouar is back on the agenda of Manchester City.Aouar has emerged as one of the most exciting prospects in football at Lyon.L’Equipe say City showed interest in Aouar once again in the summer window just gone.However, both the player and Lyon decided against a move away but Aouar has since struggled to find his best form during the new Ligue 1 campaign.It is reported that he is one of the players ‘shaken’ by Bruno Genesio’s departure as manager and the recent arrival of Sylvinho. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

13 hours agoJones thrilled for Man Utd duo Garner, Williams

first_imgJones thrilled for Man Utd duo Garner, Williamsby Freddie Taylor13 hours agoSend to a friendShare the lovePhil Jones was thrilled with the performance of Manchester United youngsters James Garner and Brandon Williams in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade.The teenagers were part of seven changes made by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from the line-up that faced Liverpool on Sunday. And Jones thinks the pair more than held their own in Serbia.He said: They’re going to put you under pressure and we dug deep I thought Jimmy Garner and Brandon were outstanding they should be very proud of themselves tonight.”A huge experience at a young age both looked comfortable at this level and have a very bright future the pair of them.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Florida State’s P.J. Williams’ Box Jump Is Extremely Impressive

first_imgP.J. Williams performs a box jump.IG/pjwilliams_26Jameis Winston gets most of the publicity out of this year’s Florida State players in the NFL Draft, but a number of other former Seminoles are enticing prospects as well. Cornerback P.J. Williams was one of the most important players on the FSU defense, and projects to be drafted in the first two rounds of this spring’s draft.Williams posted a video of himself doing a box jump on Instagram this afternoon, in which he shows off the athleticism and explosion that makes him one of the draft’s top defensive backs.We’re not sure exactly how high that jump is, but we are certainly impressed.last_img read more

OPM Live Youth Edition

first_img “The Regulations that will further define how the NIDS will actually work… are still to come. I encourage all Jamaicans to ensure that you are satisfied with the details of the regulations, (and) ask for the support of everyone who wants to see the best for Jamaica,” he said. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has assured that the Government will be hosting public consultations in the form of town hall meetings, to provide further clarification on the National Identification System (NIDS). Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has assured that the Government will be hosting public consultations in the form of town hall meetings, to provide further clarification on the National Identification System (NIDS).The first meeting is slated for Tuesday, December 5 at Emancipation Park in Kingston, beginning at 6:00 p.m.Mr. Holness, who was speaking at an OPM-Live mini town hall meeting at Jamaica College in St. Andrew on Wednesday (November 29), advised that while the supporting NIDS Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, it has one more stage of deliberations before its implementation.“The Regulations that will further define how the NIDS will actually work… are still to come. I encourage all Jamaicans to ensure that you are satisfied with the details of the regulations, (and) ask for the support of everyone who wants to see the best for Jamaica,” he said.Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister and Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, advised persons attending the meeting that the legislation provides for a pilot to be undertaken to determine how the initiative will be rolled out, and, thereafter, for the Bill to be reviewed within an 18-month period.Senator Johnson Smith said based on the project plan, full roll-out “is more likely to be in three or four years”.“So, the anxiety and the concerns that are being raised legitimately, we hear them, we are taking them on board, and we want you to raise the issues, so that we can address them,” the Minister told the audience.Meanwhile, Chief Technical Director in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lyn Stewart, advised that the NIDS public education has started and will be ramped up in 2018.She also noted that additional training is being provided for members of the project team to enable them to provide in-depth information about the NIDS to stakeholders who are engaged at the community level.Mrs. Lyn Stewart also encouraged persons to familiarise themselves with details of the NIDS at: www.nidsfacts.com. Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister and Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, advised persons attending the meeting that the legislation provides for a pilot to be undertaken to determine how the initiative will be rolled out, and, thereafter, for the Bill to be reviewed within an 18-month period. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Satisfaction rises among Air Canada WestJet passengers says JD Power survey

first_imgMONTREAL – A J.D. Power survey says passenger satisfaction with the performance of Canada’s two largest airlines has grown in the past year.Air Canada enjoyed the largest gain in satisfaction among traditional carriers in North America, rising 25 points to 734 on a 1,000-point scale.WestJet scored 747 in the low-cost carrier segment, up from 736 a year ago.Each Canadian airline ranked third overall in their respective segments.Airline investments in newer planes, handling of luggage and cheaper fares drove a seventh straight year of improved customer satisfaction.Alaska Airlines ranks highest among traditional carriers for the 11th consecutive year, while Southwest Airlines tops the low-cost carrier list for a second straight year.Satisfaction with United Airlines dropped. The U.S. carrier received undesirable global attention after a passenger was dragged off an overbooked flight.The exceptions to improved satisfaction with North American airlines were in the categories of in-flight services, including food, beverage and entertainment systems.The study of business and leisure travellers is based on responses from 11,508 passengers who flew on a major North American airline between March 2017 and March 2018.Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:WJA)last_img read more