HMAS Huon Recognized for RENDER SAFE Op Efforts

first_img View post tag: HMAS Huon HMAS Huon Recognized for RENDER SAFE Op Efforts Authorities On 9 December, just prior to departing the wharf on patrol, HMAS Huon’s then Lieutenant Commander Richard Caton received a Silver Australian Defence Force Commendation for his achievements and commitment to duty during Operation RENDER SAFE 2013 and was promoted to Commander.Commander Northern Command, Commodore Brenton Smyth, and Captain Patrol Boats, Captain Bryan Parker, boarded the vessel to award the Commendation.Commander Caton was awarded a Silver Commendation from the Deputy Chief of Joint Operations for his “outstanding devotion to duty and delivering outstanding operational results as Chief of Staff to Commander Joint Task Force 663 during the planning and conduct of Operation RENDER SAFE 2013, the Australian led regional assistance operation focused on the clearing of World War Two remnants of war from the South West Pacific.”Commodore Smyth echoed the comments made in the commendation, noting Commander Caton’s extensive understanding of the region, knowledge of the South Pacific geopolitical and cultural sensitivities, and ability to engage fully at all level of government, helped maximise the impact of operations across Central Provence, Solomon Islands during the operational deployment.Commodore Smyth said:Not only did Operation RENDER SAFE 2013 reduce the threat from explosive hazards across areas on Central Provence Solomon Islands, it also enhanced the reputation of the Australian Defence Force and its allied partners across the South Pacific region.Commander Caton said that his task was facilitated by the outstanding efforts of Australian Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving personnel, as well as Explosive Ordance Device qualified personnel from New Zealand, USA, Canada and the Solomon Islands assigned to the operation.At the end of the operation more than 12,000 individual items of unexploded ordnance totalling over 20,000kg were cleared from waterways, farms, gardens and residential areas in the Solomon Islands. In addition, a number of schools, a women’s shelter and an orphanage had been rebuilt as part of the community outreach during the operation.He also noted that the clear lower deck had been probably the most embarrassing one he had been to.Huon departed on patrol, which would include a port visit to Dili, East Timor. the vessel will be operating in support of Operation RESOLUTE until February 2015.[mappress mapid=”14793″]Press release, Image: Australian Navy View post tag: OP View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Asia-Pacific View post tag: Efforts View post tag: Recognized Share this article Back to overview,Home naval-today HMAS Huon Recognized for RENDER SAFE Op Efforts View post tag: Navy December 22, 2014 View post tag: RENDER SAFE View post tag: Navallast_img read more

New York City’s Webster Hall Reveals First Shows For 2019 Re-Opening

first_imgWebster Hall, one of New York City’s most beloved venues, has officially announced the first scheduled performances of its grand re-opening in 2019. The four-level venue located in the East Village of Manhattan closed its doors for some serious renovations starting back in August 2017 following its acquisition by AEG Live and BSE Global. Now, BSE Global and The Bowery Presents, AEG Presents’ regional partner, are responsible for booking Webster Hall’s artist lineup, and they’ve revealed their initial plans for 2019 today.Webster Hall will open up its doors in late-April with an unannounced show and date. Then, on May 1st, singer/songwriter/poet Patti Smith and Her Band will kick off the venue’s first month back in action, representing the origins of New York City punk rock movement in the 1970s. The month of May will also feature performances from Troyboi, Sharon Van Etten, FKJ, Lawrence, Royal Trux, Broken Social Scene (x2), Old Dominion, Chromeo with a Live Band, JohnnySwim, MGMT (x3), The Japanese House, and Aaron Tveit. The rest of the summer months will see performances from Empire Of The Sun (x2), Real Estate, City of the Sun, and Emo Nite LA presents Emo Nite at Webster Hall. In the fall, Webster Hall has confirmed shows with HVOB, Tinariwen, Pinegrove, Built To Spill (x2), Mt. Joy, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Big Thief (x2), and Mumiy Troll.Regarding the legendary venue’s renovations, a press release details:The renovations at Webster Hall aimed to preserve the iconic features of the venue, while modernizing it to meet today’s entertainment standards and enhance the guest experience. The Lounge (formerly The Marlin Room) has been revamped to serve as a bar and meeting spot for ticketholders both before and after shows in the Grand Ballroom. Design details of The Lounge include elegant gold stenciling on the walls that pays homage to the original historic design, and fluted glass along the bar that mimics the venue’s former windows.In the Grand Ballroom, the original stage remains, while acoustics were enhanced to create an optimal live event experience. Fans and artists returning to Webster Hall will notice other new features such as central air conditioning, expanded restrooms, additional stairwells for smoother entry and exit, and the venue’s first-ever elevator that will serve guests with disabilities and speed up each show’s load-in and load-out process.Behind the scenes, an artist compound was built with upgraded amenities to provide direct access to the Ballroom stage, creating a more comfortable and inviting environment for performers and their management. The venue’s basement level, formerly known as The Studio at Webster Hall, will also return, with more details to be announced at a later date.For a full list of shows scheduled at the newly renovated Webster Hall, see below and head to the venue’s website here for ticketing information.WEBSTER HALL CALENDAR:May 1 – Patti Smith and Her BandMay 3 – TroyBoiMay 4 – Sharon Van EttenMay 7 – FKJMay 10 – LawrenceMay 15 – Royal TruxMay 16+17 – Broken Social SceneMay 19 ¬– Old DominionMay 20 – Chromeo with a Live BandMay 21 – JohnnyswimMay 22+23+24 – MGMTMay 28 – The Japanese HouseMay 29 – Aaron TveitJune 6+7 – Empire of the Sun *June 14 – Real EstateJune 15 – City of the SunJuly 26 – Emo Nite LASep 13 – HVOBSep 21 – TinariwenSep 27 – PinegroveSep 30+Oct 1 – Built to SpillOct 5 – Mt. JoyOct 9 – Chris Robinson BrotherhoodOct 10+11 – Big ThiefNov 2 – Mumiy TrollView All Tour Dateslast_img read more

Breaking the Alabama-Clemson monopoly: Sizing up Texas A&M’s chances

first_imgSporting News recently leased its 2019 College Football Playoff predictions, and it comes as no surprise that we picked another Alabama-Clemson matchup in the CFP championship game on Jan. 13 in New Orleans.  Can anybody break up the Alabama-Clemson monopoly at the top of college football? Sporting News will take a closer look at some of the top-10 programs with the best chance to do just that. We have already looked at Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma — schools that have combined for six CFP appearances. We even gave Michigan a look. MORE: Sporting News post-spring top 25Today, we’ll take a closer look at the team still looking to break through for that first appearance out of the SEC West. Texas A&M is ranked No. 11 in Sporting News’ post-spring preseason top 25. The Aggies are coming off a 9-4 season in Jimbo Fisher’s first year and have a loaded schedule where they can prove whether they are Playoff material.  Can the Aggies break through and make a run at the Tigers or the Tide? A closer look:Why Texas A&M can break up Alabama-ClemsonMore Kellen Mond  Mond took over the starting quarterback position for the Aggies last season, and he turned it up in the last four victories. He averaged 213.8 passing yards and 46 rushing yards per game, throwing 12 touchdowns to two interceptions and rushing for three more scores. Mond is a pass-first quarterback who can escape trouble in the pocket, and that development should continue in 2019.Improved defense Fisher had a top-20 scoring defense in his first season at Florida State in 2010. The Seminoles were a top-five defense the following season. The second season under defensive coordinator Mike Elko should produce even better results. There will be bumps considering the defense lost its top-six leading tacklers last season, but the defensive line will evolve around defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, and the depth through recruiting will continue to pop over the next two seasons.  Big stagesTexas A&M is one of only only two teams guaranteed to play Alabama and Clemson in the regular season, the other being South Carolina. The Aggies lost 28-26 in a thriller with the Tigers last season and 45-23 at Alabama. Fisher can use that film as teaching material for another crack at No. 1 and No. 2. Clemson has lost two home games since 2013, but Fisher led the Seminoles past the Tigers in one of those games: a 51-14 blowout in 2013.MORE: 2019 Texas A&M lookaheadWhy Texas A&M won’t break up Alabama-ClemsonThe Aggies did lose a lot on defense, and leading rusher Trayveon Williams and tight end Jace Sternberger are gone for the NFL. Texas A&M will need some new skill position players to develop and a new-look defense to be better than it was without all those veterans. The momentum in recruiting is real, but Fisher isn’t up against the ACC Atlantic. He’s trying to build something in the SEC West, where Alabama and LSU also had top-five classes. No program likes to hear “a year or two away,” but that might be the case here.  Coach factorFisher is one of five active coaches with a national championship. Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney are the only ones at their current schools, and Kansas’ Les Miles and North Carolina’s Mack Brown are back in the game this year.Fisher is the most-recent active coach other than Saban and Swinney to win it all.Fisher is using the same blueprint in College Station that built an NFL factory at Florida State, and he’s doing that with the lessons learned on how it can crumble. Texas A&M beat a pair of 10-win teams in Kentucky and LSU last season, but Fisher wasn’t given that lucrative contract to beat the Wildcats and Tigers.He was hired to break a national championship drought that extends back to 1939.MORE: Texas, A&M among elite recruiters again, especially in Lone Star StateStat that mattersSince joining the SEC, Texas A&M is 14-18 against top-25 teams. That includes a 5-10 record against top-10 teams.The Aggies made their biggest statement victory in 2012 when Johnny Manziel led a 29-24 upset over No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, but the Tide have won the last six meetings by an average of 22.2 points per game.If Texas A&M is going to take over this division, then it has to take out Alabama. Fisher knew that when he was hired.  Can Texas A&M break up Alabama-Clemson?The Aggies also have a demanding SEC schedule that includes a September visit from Auburn and back-to-back road games at Georgia and LSU to end the regular season. Who made that schedule again? You want Texas on top of that?  If Fisher leads the Aggies to 10 wins against that schedule, then they will have more than just a New Year’s Day Six case. Let’s say the Aggies beat three of Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Georgia and lose one more game. Texas A&M somehow squeaks into the SEC championship. Would you put an 11-2 Aggies team in the College Football Playoff?  You probably should at that point.  Texas A&M is one of the teams that can play its way into the Playoff with that schedule. We’ll see if they are truly a year or two away from contention.last_img read more

Russia faces ‘very real’ threat of attack at World Cup

first_imgPresident of Russia Vladimir PutinMoscow, Russia | AFP | Russia says it will take extraordinary measures to combat any terrorist threat when it hosts the World Cup next year, as its military campaign in Syria makes the country a prime target for jihadists.A bombing on the metro in Saint Petersburg in April that left 15 people dead was among the recent high-profile terror attacks on Russian soil.The fear of more attacks was heightened after seven people were stabbed in Siberia in August in an attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, while the authorities have reported breaking up several jihadist cells across the country.“There is a very real threat of an attack in Russia” during the World Cup, which runs from June 14 and July 15 2018, said Alexander Golts, an independent Russia expert specialising in security.Russia has experienced a number terror attacks over the last 20 years and during two wars in Chechnya, but the threat has increased since Moscow’s military intervention in Syria in September 2015 to support President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, making it a priority IS target.“The authorities say they have succeeded in destroying IS. But several thousand Russians have been taking part in (jihadist) conflicts and now they are beginning to return to Russia,” Golts told AFP.According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), about 2,900 Russian jihadists, most of them from the Muslim-majority Caucasus republics, have fought in Syria. Between 2,000 and 4,000 more fighters from Central Asia now live in Russia.The world’s most high profile sporting event, along with the Olympic Games, makes an ideal terrorist target.– Threats against players –Every day, dozens of calls to commit attacks during the tournament from IS propaganda organs are published via social networks. Many of these involve threats against players.But Pascal Boniface, director of the Institute of International and Strategic Relations in Paris, said these threats are put out “to attract attention”.There is a risk of terror at “any global sporting event which attracts cameras and those with a desire to make an impact”.Several months before the Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2014, bomb attacks killed 34 people in Volgograd, also in southern Russia, and “we were very worried about attacks” during the event, Boniface said. FSB director Alexander Bortnikov revealed last month that a number of planned attacks had been thwarted ahead of the World Cup warm-up event the Confederations Cup in June.– Human rights concerns –In 2016 Russia set up an international “working group” charged with overseeing safety at the World Cup and bringing together the security services of 32 countries, despite diplomatic tensions between Moscow and the West, Bortnikov said.“Every country is sending delegations and the common cause of the fight against terrorists goes beyond any disagreement they might have,” Boniface added.Saint Petersburg police last week began deploying dogs trained to sniff out explosives on the underground network, while a list of sensitive areas which will be kept under particularly close watch — including luxury hotels, training grounds and tourist areas of host cities — was published.Although the authorities remain tight lipped on the details of the World Cup security plan, deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko has announced that at least 30 billion rubles (445 million euros, $512 million) will be spent by Russia in this area.A decree concerning “strengthened security measures during the Confederations Cup and the World Cup” signed by President Vladimir Putin came into force this June and will be applied again from May 25 to July 25 next year.The decree includes measures limiting the right to protest and curbing driving in the tournament’s 11 host cities, as well as introducing no-fly zones and forbidding entering these cities by bus without a special permit.Human Rights Watch said it was “impossible not to be concerned” by aspects of the increased safety measures.“We have already seen the consequences of the presidential decree,” its Russia researcher Yulia Gorbunova told AFP, pointing to the 33 people arbitrarily detained during the Confederations Cup.“There are reasons to believe that during the World Cup (these restrictions) will be all the more severe,” she said.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more