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Expanded Child Tax Credit Means My Son Will Have More Options Than Me – Press and Guide

I remember finding out that I was about to become a mother. I felt fear take hold of me. My brain stopped. I remember crying, but I had no tears. I remember trying to run, but couldn’t move.

No one had prepared me for motherhood – my own mother abandoned me when I was not even 2 years old. The father of my child was violently abusive. My life was unstable and I was afraid that another human being would depend on me.

Things are so much better now. My son, Caleb, is entering kindergarten and he is the light of my life. We’ve been through so much together, but we’re doing it.

One thing that helps more than words can express is the expanded new child tax credit. Adopted as part of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief program, it puts money in our bank account – and the bank accounts of almost every parent in this country.

This credit is on track to lift half of all children living in poverty, including mine. This will help them lead safer and happier lives into adulthood.

My own early childhood was filled with trauma.

After our mother left us, my father had to take care of all of us children. He did his best, but he didn’t know how to access social services for us. When he got sick, we lost everything. We ended up living in a tent “village” under a bridge, where I had to cook for 50 people for the next seven years.

I was just a child.

I was afraid of people in the streets, of students at school, even of being with others where I lived. When I took action and skipped school, I was put in juvenile detention for truancy. The years that followed saw cycle after cycle of abuse, instability and trauma.

But eventually I found help. When I was 18 and on the run, I found a job at a homeless shelter called Covenant House and moved in. They helped me get ID and taught me about social services and how to get them.

I didn’t know there was help available for someone like me. I became a team leader there and my life began to change. Now I’m an advocate for a nonprofit called RESULTS, which trains and helps people fight for policies that help families like mine survive and thrive.

Along the way, I learned something really important: Many of us who grew up in abusive situations just don’t have access to mental health services, so we end up in abusive relationships. adulthood. And many others who experience the trauma of poverty simply don’t know how to get help.

Before the COVID-19 relief program, I would never have been able to access the child tax credit – I was just too poor. And complex paperwork and bureaucratic requirements also put other help out of reach.

But now families like mine, and all other families with children, are receiving life-changing assistance right in their bank accounts. I can’t tell you how much of a difference it makes.

Thanks to the Child Tax Credit, Caleb will not suffer the tremendous trauma I suffered as a child. His life will be better. He will have the love and economic support he needs to thrive.

We are the richest nation in the world, but too often we have abandoned our poorest children, like my mother abandoned me. But if we have the political will, we can make smarter economic choices like these to give all children a safe and secure childhood.

Not only will Caleb prosper, but we in society as a whole will.

La’Shon Marshall lives in the Detroit metro area and is a poverty advocate with the RESULTS Educational Fund. This editorial was distributed by OtherWords.org.


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History organization

Haitians see the history of racist policies in the treatment of migrants

The footage – of men on horseback, appearing to use reins as whips to surround Haitian asylum seekers trying to cross into the United States from Mexico – sparked an uproar. But for many Haitians and black Americans, they are just confirmation of a deeply held belief:

US immigration policies, they say, are and have long been anti-black.

The border patrol’s treatment of Haitian migrants, they say, is just the latest in a long history of discriminatory US policies and indignities faced by blacks, sparking new anger among Haitian Americans, advocates black immigrants and civil rights leaders.

They point to immigration data which indicates that Haitians and other black migrants routinely face structural barriers to entering or living legally in the United States – and often experience disproportionate contact with the United States criminal justice system that can jeopardize their residence or accelerate their deportation.

Haitians, in particular, are granted asylum at the lowest rate of any nationality with a consistently high number of asylum seekers, according to an analysis of Associated Press data.

“Black immigrants live at the intersection of race and immigration and, for too long, have fallen through the cracks of bureaucracy and legal loopholes,” said Yoliswa Cele of the UndocuBlack Network, an organization national defense of the rights of current and former undocumented blacks.

“Now, through the videos capturing the abuses against Haitians at the border, the world has now seen for itself that not all migrants seeking a better future are treated equally when the skin color is involved. “

Between 2018 and 2021, only 4.62% of Haitian asylum seekers were granted asylum from the United States – the lowest rate among 84 groups for which data is available. Asylum seekers from the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, have an equally low rate of 5.11%.

In comparison, four of the top five American asylum seekers are from Latin American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. Their acceptance rates range from 6.21% to 14.12%.

Nicole Phillips, legal director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said racism has long been the driving force behind the US government’s treatment of Haitian immigrants.

Phillips, whose organization is on the ground helping Haitians in Texas, says it dates back to the early 1800s, when Haitian slaves revolted and gained independence from France, and continued for decades. decades of American intervention and occupation in the small island nation.

She said the United States, threatened by the possibility of its own slaves revolting, both aided the French and did not recognize Haiti’s independence for nearly six decades. The United States also loaned Haiti money so that it could, in essence, buy its independence, collecting interest while plunging the country into poverty for decades.

“This mentality and stigma against Haitians goes back to that time,” Phillips said.

The United States violently occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934 and supported former Haitian dictator François Duvalier, whose oppressive regime left 30,000 dead and forced thousands to flee.

While the United States has long treated Cubans with compassion – largely because of its opposition to the Communist regime – the administrations of George HW Bush and Bill Clinton have taken a hard line on Haitians. And the Trump administration ended temporary protection status for several nationalities, including Haitians and Central Americans.

Time and time again, the United States has passed immigration legislation that excluded black immigrants and Haitians, and promoted policies that unfairly undermined their legal status in the country, advocates said.

When they do manage to enter the United States, black immigrants say they face systemic racism in the American criminal justice system and American police brutality that is endemic for people across the African Diaspora.

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration, a national racial justice and immigrant rights group, largely defines black immigrants as people from countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Based on this definition, AP’s analysis of 2019 Department of Homeland Security data found that 66% of black immigrants deported from the United States were returned on criminal grounds, compared to 43% of all immigrants.

BAJI executive director Nana Gyamfi said crimes of moral turpitude, including theft or turnstile hopping, were used as partial justification for denying legal status to black immigrants. “We have people who are being kicked out because of train tickets,” she said.

Leaders of the Movement for Black Lives, a national coalition of black-led racial justice and civil rights organizations, have highlighted the treatment of Haitians at the border as a rationale for their broader demands for funding from humanitarian organizations. law enforcement in the United States.

Last year, following the murder of George Floyd, the coalition proposed sweeping federal legislation known as the BREATHE Act, which includes calls to end immigration detention, stop deportations due to contacts with the criminal justice system and to ensure due process within the immigration justice system. .

“Often in the immigration debate, black people are erased and black immigrants are erased from the conversation,” said Amara Enyia, policy researcher for the Black Lives Movement.

Ahead of a visit to the Texas migrant camp on Thursday, civil rights leaders called for an investigation into the treatment of black migrants at the border and an immediate end to the deportation of black asylum seekers.

The camp is “a catastrophic and human disgrace,” Reverend Al Sharpton said after an hour-long tour with several black American leaders in Del Rio. “We will continue to come back, as long as necessary. “

At the border and in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where hundreds of people had previously been sent on flights from the United States, Haitians said there was no doubt race played a role. major in their mistreatment.

“They catch people, they disturb us, especially Haitians because they identify us by skin,” said Jean Claudio Charles who, with his wife and one-year-old son, had stayed in a camp on the Mexican side. near Texas for fear of arrest and deportation to Haiti.

Claude Magnolie, a Haitian citizen deported from the United States this week, said he had not seen border patrol officers treating migrants of other nationalities like him and others were treated: “C ‘ is discrimination, that’s what I call it, they treat us very badly. “

And in Miami, immigrant rights advocate Francesca Menes couldn’t believe her eyes as she watched images of asylum seekers surrounded by men on horseback.

“My family is under this bridge,” Menes said, referring to a cousin, his wife and their newborn baby who recently met in a small town on the Texas border. It took Menes’ cousin two months to make the trip from Chile, where he had lived with his brothers for three years, to escape the political turmoil, violence and devastation in Haiti.

“It made me sick,” Menes said. “This did not happen with unaccompanied minors. You did not see people riding horses, essentially herding people together as if they were cattle, as if they were animals. . “

Menes’ outrage only grew, as did his fears for his family. When she overheard her mother on the phone with family members this week, Menes said she wanted nothing more than to tell them to return to Chile.

“We actually tried to discourage our families,” she said. “People are looking for a better life. And we kind of try to anchor our families: do you know what it means to be black in America?

____

AP staff members Maria Verza in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Fernando Gonzalez in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jasen Lo in Chicago, and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed. Morrison reported from New York. Galvan reported from Phoenix. Both are members of the AP Race and Ethnicity team. Follow Galvan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/astridgalvan. Follow Morrison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aaronlmorrison.



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Canadian army

Canadian Army training in Puslinch, Ontario. this weekend – Guelph

The Canadian Army is training this weekend at a quarry in Puslinch, Ont.

In a statement, a spokesperson said soldiers would be in the McLean Road area conducting various exercises, including the deployment of a C3 howitzer and patrolling the area.

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“The exercise will take place in a private quarry and will be conducted with the cooperation of local authorities in officially approved locations,” said Lt. Andrew McLaughlin.

“All activity will take place throughout the day and night of Saturday and Sunday. Members of the public can see military vehicles and armed personnel participating in the exercise, with unloaded weapons. No ammunition firing will take place.

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He added that the exercise helps prepare members of the Canadian Army Reserve to operate in the basic capabilities of soldiers and artillery.


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All soldiers will follow measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks.

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The army added that all measures are taken to ensure a minimum of inconvenience to those in the area, but that some areas may be inaccessible.

Anyone in the area is urged to exercise extra caution when approaching military vehicles.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Non profit living

Haitian group in Houston seeks to help refugees coming from the border – Houston Public Media

Migrants, many from Haiti, wait to board a bus to Houston at a humanitarian center after being released from the United States Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande and turned into asylum seekers, on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas.

As the United States orders the deportation of thousands of Haitian migrants crossing Mexico to Texas, a local nonprofit is dealing with those who have already made it to Houston.

Organizers of the nonprofit Houston Haitians United this week called for volunteers to cook and translate Haitian dishes, helping to bridge the linguistic and cultural divide. The organization has looked after relief efforts and recently worked with Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office to organize supplies drives in the wake of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti this summer.

HHU is also using its platform to denounce immigration policies aimed at deporting recently arrived Haitians.

“Some people walked two months to come to the United States just to be deported to Haiti and start from scratch,” said James Pierre, president of HHU. “It’s heartbreaking because a lot of money, blood, sweat and tears have been invested in trying to find a better life.”

According to the Houston Chronicle, up to 3,000 additional Haitian refugees are expected to pass through Houston on their way to other destinations in the country. Most or all of those who do will have come from Del Rio, where tens of thousands of migrants were waiting under the international bridge between Del Rio and Mexico.

Florida and northeastern states like New York and New Jersey have historically been stopping places for the Haitian diaspora. There are over 500,000 Haitians living in the United States, nearly half of whom live in Florida.

Pierre is a transplant from Florida who says there are thousands of Haitians in the Houston area alone, and his organization is a way to build a community here.

“When I moved to Houston 18 years ago, it wasn’t around, you know? ” he said. “Haitians have been here since the 1970s. But the reason we created HHU was that they were here, people move here every day.

Buses arrive at a shelter in northwest Houston run by the Mormon Church since Monday evening, with two to three buses of about 65 people each, greeted by HHU volunteers, organizers said.

Rolanda Charles, the group’s secretary, helped coordinate volunteers via social media, posting a call for people who speak Haitian Creole and who can help make large casseroles of comfort food like chicken stew and Diri Kole, Haitian-style rice and beans. plate. Charles also posted the bus arrival times.

“We were there from 6:30 p.m. to almost three in the morning, distributing food, translating, putting people in touch… with their friends and families who are currently in the United States and helping them buy those bus tickets or tickets. ‘plane. to bring them home,’ Charles said.

As of Thursday, the number of Haitian migrants at the Del Rio Bridge had fallen to around 4,000, according to information from the Associated Press. About 1,400 had been returned to Haiti on 13 flights under the pandemic public health authority known as Title 42, while 3,200 others are in U.S. custody and under treatment, several thousand more returning to Mexico, according to the AP.

For those who are allowed to stay in the United States at least for the time being, Charles was hopeful that more organizations would help them along their journey, especially after seeing heartbreaking footage at the border.

“Every person, however they get to the border – whether they stay there or have to go back – must be respected,” Charles said. “They must be treated with respect, dignity and humanity. We are people at the end of the day. We are not animals. We are human beings.

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International headquarters

DIFC-LCIA abolished | King and Spalding

DIAC is the designated replacement

On September 14, 2021, the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, issued Decree No. 34 of 2021 (the “Decree“). The decree, which entered into force on September 20, 2021 and took many commentators by surprise, abolishes the Dubai International Financial Center – London Court of International Arbitration (the “DIFC-LCIA“). In its place, the cases will now be administered by the Dubai International Arbitration Center (“DIAC“), which is now scheduled to open offices at the Dubai International Financial Center (the”DIFC“).

DIAC

DIAC was established in 1994 by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a center for commercial conciliation and arbitration. Its head office is located in Dubai, near Dubai Creek. Over the years, DIAC has developed a pool of experienced arbitrators of different nationalities and legal backgrounds. DIAC arbitrations are conducted in accordance with the 2007 DIAC Arbitration Rules (the “DIAC rules“).

DIFC-LCIA

The DIFC-LCIA was a joint venture between the DIFC and the London Court of International Arbitration (the “LCIA“), started in 2008, which in fact combined an LCIA arbitration with a DIFC seat. The DIFC-LCIA arbitrations operated according to the centre’s own rules, last updated on January 1, 2021 (the”DIFC-LCIA rules“).

The importance of the seat of arbitration

In practice, the DIAC arbitrations were generally seated in onshore Dubai and the DIFC-LCIA arbitrations seated in the DIFC. The distinction was essential, as it meant that DIAC arbitrations and awards were subject to the supervision of Dubai’s onshore courts, operating in Arabic and enforcing United Arab Emirates civil law, while DIFC-LCIA arbitrations and awards were overseen by the DIFC courts, operating in English. and the application of statutory and common law of the DIFC.

In recent years, however, reforms have been made to arbitration laws and rules in the United Arab Emirates. In 2018, the United Arab Emirates enacted a new Federal Arbitration Law based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, similar to the Arbitration Law already enacted in the DIFC in 2008 (also based on the UNCITRAL Model Law). UNCITRAL). The decree is seen by many as a further modernization of Dubai’s arbitration offering. Following the new decree, arbitrations in Dubai will be conducted under DIAC, with the option of an onshore seat in Dubai or DIFC (the latter being the default seat if the parties do not designate a seat).

Practical considerations

The most important point for parties and practitioners going forward is to stop including DIFC-LCIA arbitration in dispute resolution clauses. It may also be advisable to temporarily avoid drafting arbitration clauses within the framework of the DIAC Rules with a DIFC seat, since the Decree gives the DIAC six months to implement certain modifications to its internal structure and its rules. Until these changes are in place, it is difficult to predict how the center will operate.

The decree also provides that the existing arbitration agreements referring to the DIFC-LCIA arbitration will be deemed valid and effective, but with the DIAC automatically replacing the DIFC-LCIA as an arbitration center and the DIAC Rules automatically replacing the DIFC-LCIA Rules, unless the parties agree otherwise. With respect to the DIFC-LCIA cases already in progress, these will continue under the DIFC-LCIA rules, although now supervised by DIAC, unless the parties agree otherwise. Parties and practitioners are therefore well advised to also consider whether alternative arbitration agreements are necessary for these situations.

In the meantime, and as the transition sets in, an alternative option for those drafting dispute settlement clauses referring disputes to arbitration in the United Arab Emirates, is the Abu Dhabi General Market (the “ADGM“). This center provides a flexible platform where parties can select their arbitration institution (e.g. ICC, LCIA) and arbitration rules (e.g. ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL), with an ADGM seat (meaning that arbitrations and awards are supervised by the English-speaking courts of ADGM, applying the ADGM Arbitration Rules modeled on the UNCITRAL Model Law). Likewise, more established international arbitration seats (eg London, Paris) remain a viable option for parts of the region. Like onshore Dubai, DIFC and ADGM, these international headquarters are signatories to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, which means that cross-border enforcement of awards is widely available.


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History organization

Charter committee chairman Darrick Dansby wants the party to be a force again

I wrote about the Greater Cincinnati Charter Committee for about 40 of its 97 years of existence; and, after all these years, the Chartists get cranky when I call them in the print media a “political party”.

Charter is, of course, the organization founded in 1924 to bring down decades of incompetent and corrupt government by political bosses and into the era of the board-manager form of government. The council-manager form of government, beaten and besieged as it is, exists to this day.

The Chartists prefer this rather long title to be called a political party: An independent political organization dedicated to good government.

In my mind, a political organization that has supported and promoted lists of candidates for Cincinnati City Council – and sometimes for other offices – is a political party, but they are, of course, free to call themselves what they are. wish.

Over the years, the fortune of the Charter Committee has increased and decreased on several occasions. But, in 2021, his leadership sees an opportunity to reestablish itself as a major presence at city hall – mainly due to scandals and indictments that have given city council a reputation as a breeding ground for corruption.

This year, under the leadership of a new president, Darrick Dansby, Charter is diversifying.

So far in this municipal election season, Charter has:

  • backed a candidate in a three-person race for an unexpired term in Hamilton County Municipal Court;
  • speak out against number 3, the gigantic eight-part, all-or-nothing Charter amendment that would bring about serious changes in the way city council works;
  • endorsed a very diverse slate of eight council candidates, in a difficult situation where Democratic candidates were told they could not agree to a Charter cross-endorsement.

With only one current board member vying this year who has been elected before – Democrat Greg Landsman – there are plenty of breakthrough opportunities for the massive field of 35 candidates.

Charter, it seems, is in a good position to win a few seats on the new nine-member city council.

The Charter list includes:

  • Two former charter board members to Jim Tarbell and Kevin Flynn, both recognized throughout town.
  • Two Republicans – Steve Goodin and Liz Keating – who were appointed to council seats when the indicted council members stepped down.
  • And four first-time contenders – Jackie Frondorf, whose family is well known in Westwood, the city’s largest neighborhood; Bill Frost, originally from England and an engineer who served as chairman of the Pleasant Ridge Community Council; Galen G. Gordon, an activist from the West End who is the sales manager at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Downtown; and John J. Williams, a lawyer who spent the first 12 years of his career in the city’s notary’s office.

“It’s a good, diverse slate,” Dansby said.

Election of board members is the top priority, but Dansby said the charter committee is very concerned about question 3 and is calling for a “no” vote on all of the charter changes proposed by the rep. state Tom Brinkman, who is also a Republican candidate for council. .

Number 3 would make drastic changes in the way the board does business. This would do:

  • ensure that the salaries of council members are equal to the median household income in the city. This would mean a drop in salary from $ 65,000 per year to about $ 46,000;
  • require council approval of all lawsuits brought by the city;
  • the designated replacement, which has been used to fill vacant board positions since the 1920s, whereby board members choose one or more other board members to choose their replacement, is said to have disappeared;
  • if a board member resigns or otherwise leaves the board, their place will go to 10e place finisher in the last council campaign;
  • eliminate the “pocket veto” of the mayor, where the mayor can choose never to put an item on the council’s agenda or even assign it to a committee;
  • require a one-year residency in the city to serve as mayor or council member;
  • allow individual liability of city employees for certain violations of public meetings and violations of the law on public documents;
  • allow the mayor’s dismissal.

When I spoke to Dansby about it, he did not specifically say whether there were any sections of the Charter amendment with which he and the Charter Committee disagreed.

“It’s not about the problems, it’s about the process,” Dansby said. “It was developed without any input from the community, without any public discussion of the issues.

“It’s a very dangerous thing to have so many amendments in one ballot,” Dansby said. “This is not the way it should be done. Voters should not be forced to vote all or nothing. I cannot support eight major charter changes in one fell swoop.”

Dansby said he believed it all had to do with Brinkman, who gathered more than 4,600 signatures from Cincinnati voters to put number 3 on the ballot.

“It’s just a move by Mr. Brinkman to advance his own candidacy,” Dansby said. “And I don’t like to hear him call him ‘the Brinkman Amendment.’ I don’t want to advertise him. Just call him what he is – Number 3.”

The Hamilton County Republican Party Executive Committee approved Question 3. The Hamilton County Democratic Party has taken no formal action, but party leaders are clearly opposed, as a number of Prominent local Democrats have gone to the Ohio Supreme Court in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the number 3 from being put on the ballot.

Dansby said he was not sure how his approved board candidates were presenting themselves at No. 3.

“We allow our candidates to have their own perspective on the issues,” Dansby said.

This is certainly not the first time that the Charter Committee has taken a stand for or against a ballot issue, but if you combine that with their rather impressive roster of council candidates and the fact that they are involved in a Race to the municipal court, we are definitely seeing a version of the Charter much more aggressive than it has been in recent years.

Last week, Charter lent her support to Elizabeth A. Tye, a North Avondale attorney who worked as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, for the remaining term in District 2 of the City Court of Hamilton County.

Tye has two opponents in the race – incumbent Republican Bertha Garcia Helmick, who was appointed to the vacant municipal court post in April, and attorney Donte Johnson, the Democratic Party-backed candidate for Hamilton County. Tye is also a Democrat, but Johnson has won party support.

Dansby said Tye “has an incredible amount of experience in the legal system and, for Charter, was clearly the best choice of the three. He’s a dynamic person.”

The new chairman of Charter, a real estate agent involved with Charter for seven years, said he “focuses on bringing young people to Charter; and people who don’t necessarily just vote for a party line. We need to diversify our base and reach the 52 neighborhoods. “

Dansby itself represents something new for Charter.

Throughout its history, Charter has consistently led and supported the Black Cincinnatians – from Ted Berry and Marian Spencer to Tyrone Yates and Yvette Simpson.

But, in 97 years of existence, Charter never had an African-American president until Dansby arrived earlier this year.

“The history of this organization has been great,” said Dansby. “And I’m very proud to be a part of it.”

Already, the new president of Charter is signaling his presence. The Charter is once again a force in city politics.

Don’t call it a political party.


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Canadian army

Canadian Army Reservists to Train in St. Jacobs Thursday Night

Members of the Canadian Army Reserve will practice convoy drills and assault boat operations in the townships of St. Jacobs and Woolwich on Thursday evening.

Locals can see military vehicles traveling on area highways and local roads, and there will be inflatable boats with reservists on board on the Conestogo River in the St. Jacobs area.

Reservists from the 31st Combat Engineer Regiment, known as the Elgins, who have units in St. Thomas and Waterloo, will be seen in inflatable boats on the Conestoga River between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Sergio Suarez, a squadron commander in the regiment, said 25 reservists from the Waterloo location will be part of Thursday night’s training session.

“We’re going to be able to use our boats. It’s an inflatable boat that can carry eight to 12 soldiers,” Suarez said.

“The idea behind Thursday’s maritime activity is to just put the boats on the water to get their feet wet and their hands dirty. And above all to give our soldiers the ability to use these boats because it is brand new for the equipment we have. “

Suarez says the training is part of an ongoing effort to maintain and further develop the skills of reservists to prepare for any national response such as the flooding in the Ottawa area in 2019.

National Defense says Reservists will not carry personal weapons or ammunition.

The latest training is part of a number of exercises underway in Waterloo Region and Wellington County.
The entire Waterloo and St. Thomas squadron are scheduled to be in the Meaford area this weekend for what Suarez describes as “a more intense exercise that we will use to confirm the skills … of our soldiers for their time. away from the field and away from the field. to work as a team in person. “


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International headquarters

How augmented reality can advance nuclear operations


Augmented Reality (AR) allows reactor workers to access instructional manuals and videos, and speak directly to colleagues and experts thousands of miles away, as they perform tasks of maintenance. Daryl Roy and Kelly Malone Explain


The safe and efficient operation of a nuclear facility depends on a skilled workforce capable of servicing, diagnosing and maintaining sophisticated systems and complex equipment that must function – and work together – flawlessly.

Utilities can invest a million dollars and more to train an individual operator, over 18 months and more. The goal is exceptional skill and adherence to procedures, as well as a solid knowledge of facility design and theory. But even with the best training, there is no replacement for operators with hands-on experience, who have a level of knowledge that cannot be achieved in a classroom or training program. Utilities need to apply this invaluable knowledge.

At the same time, energy companies need to upgrade the skills of veterans on the front lines. The additional skills are often state of the art and it is essential to provide continuous and regular training to operators.

Technological advancements offer innovative ways to harness the knowledge and skills of experienced workers and train new generations of operators on basic procedures and new protocols. Specifically, advanced augmented reality (AR) systems that allow nuclear facility operators to stay fully abreast of best practices and allow them to access expert instruction on rarely used procedures if needed.

The role of AR can be linked to a SMART approach to operational fundamentals:

  • Solid knowledge – Does what you do provide the individual with powerful and actionable knowledge and enable them to make the right decision at the right time?
  • To watch – Do you have the capacity to effectively monitor the installation?
  • Act with a conservative bias – Do you install the technology for the technology? Do you need it? Does he help?
  • Rigorous control – Do you consider all the risks involved, both physical risks and cyber risks? Are you taking proactive steps to control and manage these risks?
  • Team work – Did you consider more than obvious users? Consider technologically advanced operators, as well as team members who may prefer pen and paper. Make technology easy to use and essential for all people.

Capture valuable organizational knowledge

Unique information – equipment-specific maintenance and repair procedures, system information, information on available organizational resources, even knowledge of management style and corporate culture is knowledge specific to the company priceless.

This unique body of knowledge is complemented by new and expanding SCADA / Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and associated data, provided by a new generation of sensors. The sensors are integrated into existing equipment, as well as standard on new equipment.

Advanced AR systems can meet the need for “hard knowledge” (above), capturing utility-specific knowledge and leveraging system data, turning it into procedures that all frontline staff can use. The result is improved operational efficiency, increased safety, and consistent completion of complex tasks, which increases employee productivity and allows utilities to operate safely and cost effectively.

Provide real-time access to created content

With instructions provided via AR, operators can walk to an equipment and follow step-by-step instructions to perform the job using a phone or tablet, or a headset when operating hands free is needed. Performing complex tasks consistently and efficiently is an essential goal.

The ability of the experts to create content themselves is essential, especially when it comes to communicating procedures for infrequent maintenance tasks such as reactor head ventilation.

With this need in mind, AR systems like Taqtile’s Manifest are designed to be intuitive. Knowledge experts are able to create step-by-step digital work instructions overlaid on plant equipment, which other operators view through their device or headset. The author can also make available materials to aid the repair or maintenance process, such as photographs, videos, PDFs or manuals and documents, delivered in a hands-free head-up display when needed.

Real-time access to content, from step-by-step video instructions guiding frontline staff through complex procedures to detailed holograms, will increase the value of AR. And if needed, live remote support from the facility operations center, head office or OEMs can be made available.

To aid in the audit, capturing evidence – an image or video showing good performance, or visuals demonstrating the completion of a task – is essential. Evidence capture also helps orchestrate operations between teams, where one operator can be located on one piece of equipment, another on an electrical panel, and a third in the control room. Everyone has their specific task in performing a complex procedure, and AR platforms can help guide each individual while keeping other team members informed of status and progress in real time.

The ability to enable two-way video, real-time remote guidance and on-site access to knowledge repositories, helps remove ambiguity from the communication process and allows workers to perform complex tasks on the machine .

Harness the power of 5G

Nuclear facilities plan to embrace 5G, with advanced computing capabilities, support for remote operations, and improved safety and reliability. With 5G, the capabilities and value of AR applications increase as 5G makes data more portable and AR systems faster, more secure and more resilient.

Maximizing expertise within organizations is also supported by AR and powered by 5G. AR platforms can capture and disseminate expert knowledge and distribute it to other staff members, regardless of their location, making employees more productive faster, with less classroom time.

The integration of AR with IIoT technologies will be greatly enhanced by 5G and the incorporation of sensors into existing equipment. It will deliver transparent information on demand, directly to the location of frontline workers, allowing them direct and secure access to critical data. 5G also reduces latency, increases throughput, and enables more sensors to be deployed and connected, providing more data for machine learning to inform maintenance tasks.

Meanwhile, advancements in device authentication measures, encryption of user traffic between devices and the network, and additional security protocols provide a new level of security required by utilities.

The Manifest AR solution

The Manifest Platform is an augmented, end-to-end work instruction platform that enables nuclear utilities to capture knowledge enabling interactive work instructions and provide ‘over the shoulder’ assistance in the event of a failure. need.

The platform functions as an advanced help center for frontline workers. The benefits include increased personnel efficiency and accuracy during complex operations and maintenance tasks.

Real-time interactions between remote experts and field operators have traditionally been limited to simple audio communication. Manifest change by taking full advantage of the power of AR, sharing the full on-site operator experience with the remote expert through enhanced AR communication on the most popular AR-enabled devices – HoloLens, Magic Leap, iPad, Trimble XR10 and Android phones. For example, an expert working from a PC or tablet in a remote location can follow the operator through a first-person view of a valve alignment check in containment, seeing precisely where operators watch with continuous eye movement. This capability mitigates the risk of positioning errors and human error. By following the operator’s view, a remote expert is able to guide the operator with real-time instructions, including annotating directly in the operator’s environment, using directional arrows or highlights to guide the operator.

Help center-style interactions available through the Manifest platform between the remote expert and the frontline worker improve the capabilities and efficiency of all staff:

  • Virtual ink – Experts can draw and place targets within the operator’s field of view, and incorporate spatial sound, producing sounds that emanate from a position in the operator’s environment for easier location.
  • Hologram sharing – In addition to the video feed provided by the headset, operators can share holograms including any Manifest UI or 3D models in their view.
  • Orientation – Remote experts can render holographic directional arrows in the operator’s field of vision to guide them through the on-site environment.
  • Eye tracking – By following the position of the operator’s eyes and projecting a directional image on the expert’s desk, the expert can follow what the operator is looking at, enabling more precise remote assistance.

For example, Taqtile’s industrial customers have seen remarkable improvements in trainee performance, with some companies cutting training times by 700%. At the same time, this has increased precision, reducing operator errors to zero in some cases.

Manifest can also capture evidence and operational data as part of regular inspections and preventive maintenance, supporting regulatory requirements and meeting associated audit and monitoring needs.

From improving training performance to upgrading frontline workers on new technologies, AR will enable utilities to capture the knowledge of their most experienced operators and share that knowledge in real time across the organization.


About the authors

Daryl Roy is Founder, 3D Media

Kelly Malone is Client Manager, Taqtile


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Coaches share 1990s history

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ORCHARD PARK – Washington head coach Ron Rivera wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do when his playing career with the Chicago Bears ended in 1992.

Knowing that, Rivera’s former Bears teammate Leslie Frazier, now the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator, presented an option.

“When I was a head coach at a very small school in Chicago (Trinity International University) and Ron was trying to figure out what he wanted to do after he was done playing, I said, ‘Come on. join my team, man, you’d be a really good coach, ”Frazier recalls. “He didn’t want to coach at the time, he wanted to get into other things.”

This paddling was in the media, and Rivera worked as an analyst for WGN-TV of Chicago and also for SportsChannel Chicago covering the Bears and college football for about four years. However, in the back of his mind were the words of his former Bears teammate – with whom he won a Super Bowl after the 1985 season – that he would be a good coach, and he finally acted.

“I have a lot of history with him,” Rivera said of Frazier.

Rivera went to the Bears before the 1997 season and head coach Dave Wannstedt offered him a low-level defensive quality control position. in Washington.

“His wife (Stephanie), in fact, ended up coming to the school I was in and was the assistant basketball coach, and then eventually Ron went to do some quality control work with the Bears.” , said Frazier.

“Next thing you know, we’re both in Philadelphia as assistant coaches and I said to him, ‘Didn’t I try to tell you that you were a coach, man, and someday you’ll be head coach and a good coach? ‘ He said, ‘Yeah, yeah, I remember you telling me about it.’ So now, whenever we have the opportunity to speak, I remind him, that he owes me leftovers for hiring him in this profession, that’s for sure.

Rivera, of course, also has a close connection to Bills head coach Sean McDermott. McDermott was also on the Eagles staff under Andy Reid, and when Reid fired him after the 2010 season, Rivera – who was hired as the Carolina head coach in 2011 – brought in McDermott to be his defensive coordinator.

They worked together until 2017, when McDermott was hired by the Bills, and the two remain close, but not on Sunday when they meet for the second time as head coaches when the football team will invade Highmark Stadium.

“It started with Andy,” Rivera said. “I mean, it all goes back to 1999, because all of us – Sean and I and Leslie Frazier and the guys who on this team we all started with Andy; we all learned from him. And so a lot of the things we do are very similar. Because it is a plan, it has proven to be effective. Remember, Andy started in Green Bay and those Green Bay roots. We’re going back to San Francisco, and to San Francisco under Bill Walsh. So it’s just kind of an extension of what that tree was.

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The Rivera Panthers beat the McDermott Bills 9-3 in what was only Game 2 of McDermott’s tenure with Buffalo in 2017, and they haven’t met since.

“Ron has been one of my biggest mentors in this business,” McDermott said. “He taught me a lot. Going to Carolina, I learned a lot during those six years under Ron’s tutelage and tutelage both as a head coach and from a defensive standpoint.

“Our ties go all the way back to Philadelphia, of course. So he taught me a lot about the linebacker when I was his QC and also worked with linebackers. And then just with regard to Ron being on the other side, I have enormous respect for Ron.

Logan Thomas makes a comeback

The Bills had the athletic 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight wing in their building for nearly three seasons, but they never unlocked his potential to play the position and continued to play free agent acquisition. high priced Charles Clay.

Thomas played 24 games in 2017 and 2018, playing most of the time on special teams, and he made just 19 catches for 144 yards. He then went to Detroit before landing with Washington in 2020, and that’s when it happened for Thomas.

The football team let him go and he caught 72 passes for 670 yards and 6 touchdowns as he became one of the main weapons in attack. This year he has eight catches for 75 yards and one scoring.

“Always great to watch,” said Bills coach Sean McDermott. “We hope the players play their best football here, and I think most of them have. But in this case, we wish Logan good luck and he did a great job. Credit to him, credit to their staff. He seems to be playing his best football. And I’m happy for him. He is a great person, a great family and a guy with a high character, so happy for him, really proud of him.

A guy who wishes Thomas was still in Buffalo? Josh Allen.

“I miss him,” Allen said. “I actually talk to him a little bit more and it’s great to see what he has done. He made some amazing plays and when he was here you saw guys like that who are big, fast and ultimately smart, these guys usually find a way to stay in this league. Not only does he stick around, but he’s sort of billed himself as one of the best tight ends in this league and one of the best guys too.

Matt Milano was everywhere in Miami

Of all the things the Bills did in the offseason to polish the roster for a Super Bowl run, re-signing linebacker Matt Milano was perhaps GM Brandon Beane’s biggest decision.

Milano was an unrestricted free agent and could have signed anywhere, and probably had options, but he wanted to stay at Buffalo because he enjoys it here and believes in the culture and vision of the organization.

Beane moved on from the fact that Milano struggled to stay healthy in his first four years and focused on the fact that when he’s right he’s one of the best outside linebackers in the league. .

Milano was fantastic last week in Miami as he recorded a record seven presses according to Pro Football Focus, one of which resulted in a sack. And as always, he was a sure tackle (he only missed one tackle in two games) and was reliable on his cover shots.

“How active he was,” Frazier said when asked what stood out from the film. “I mean, he won almost every time he faced their running backs in protection. He also won his battles in passing coverage. He was everywhere at the same time. Very active and disruptive. I had a very good game. “

Dawson Knox has had a busy day

With the Bills playing 70% of their offensive snaps in Miami in 11 people (three wide, a tight end and a back), Knox has played 83% of the snaps overall, more than any other skill position player besides Josh Allen. .

He was only targeted three times and caught two passes for 17 yards, but one of them was a slippery pass from an eight-yard TD early in the third quarter that helped the Bills master the game firmly. Additionally, Knox delivered a great block that helped Devin Singletary pitch his 46-yard TD in Buffalo’s game two of the game.

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said Knox’s number of snaps was mainly due to the game plan, but added, “We have a lot of confidence in Dawson. He played a lot of plays for us. (Sunday) we had, I would say, a variety of staff groups, probably a little more than what we’ve had in the past before this game. And most of them involved the tight end of this game. He’s our tight end we’re looking to, so he’s had a lot of reps.

Of course, that also meant that with the Bills going four or five wide in just four plays, Gabriel Davis was largely knocked out. He was on the pitch for just 22 shots and was never targeted.

Bills OG Jack Anderson claimed by the Eagles

The Bills lost their seventh-round pick guard Jack Anderson on Tuesday when he was pulled from the practice squad by the Eagles.

Teams can protect two players per week in their practice squad, but they can only do so on Tuesday afternoon. Therefore, all players are eligible to be selected before that and the Eagles have stepped in. Anderson had been protected for the first two weeks. To replace him, the Bills re-signed OT Bobby Hart who they cut after training camp.

Anderson was a work in progress and it probably would have been the equivalent of a red shirt year for him in the NFL had he stayed in Buffalo. Because the Eagles have claimed him, he has to be on their 53-man roster, but if he were to be demoted to their training squad, the Bills, if they wanted to, could bring him back.

Sal Maiorana can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.


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Sloppy drone strike in Kabul started with the wrong car

[explosion] In one of the last acts of its 20-year war in Afghanistan, the United States fired a missile from a drone at a car in Kabul. It was parked in the courtyard of a house, and the explosion killed 10 people, including Zemari Ahmadi, 43, and seven children, according to his family. The Pentagon claimed Ahmadi was a facilitator for the Islamic State and that his car was filled with explosives, posing an imminent threat to US troops monitoring the evacuation at Kabul airport. “The procedures were followed correctly and it was a virtuous strike. What the military apparently didn’t know was that Ahmadi was a long-time aid worker, who colleagues and family say spent the hours before his death running office errands. and ended his day by stopping off at his home. Shortly after, his Toyota was hit by a 20-pound Hellfire missile. What was interpreted as the suspicious movements of a terrorist was perhaps just an ordinary day in his life. And it is possible that the soldiers saw Ahmadi loading in his car water cans that he brought back to his family, and not explosives. Using images from Ahmadi’s never-before-seen security cameras, interviews with his family, colleagues and witnesses, we will reconstruct for the first time his movements in the hours leading up to his assassination. Zemari Ahmadi was an electrical engineer by training. For 14 years he worked for the Kabul office of Nutrition and Education International. “NEI has established a total of 11 soybean processing plants in Afghanistan. It is a Californian NGO which fights against malnutrition. Most of the time, he would drive one of the company’s white Toyota Corollas, take his colleagues to and from work and distribute NGO food to Afghans displaced by the war. Just three days before Ahmadi was killed, 13 US soldiers and more than 170 Afghan civilians died in an Islamic State suicide bombing at the airport. The military had given lower level commanders the power to order airstrikes earlier in the evacuation, and they were preparing for what they feared was another impending attack. To reconstruct Ahmadi’s movements on August 29, in the hours leading up to his assassination, The Times reconstructed footage from his office’s security camera, with interviews with more than a dozen colleagues and members of Ahmadi’s family. Ahmadi appears to have left his home around 9 a.m. He then retrieved a colleague and his boss’s laptop near his home. It was around this time that the US military claimed to have observed a white sedan leaving a suspected Islamic State refuge, about three miles northwest of the airport. This is why the US military said it followed Ahmadi’s corolla that day. They also said they intercepted communications from the hideout, ordering the car to make several stops. But every colleague who rode with Ahmadi that day said what the military interpreted as a series of suspicious moves was just a typical day in their life. After Ahmadi picked up another colleague, the three stopped for breakfast and at 9.35am they arrived at the NGO office. Later that morning, Ahmadi led some of his colleagues to a Taliban-occupied police station to obtain permission for a future food distribution at a new IDP camp. At around 2 p.m., Ahmadi and his colleagues returned to the office. The security camera footage we got from the office is crucial to understanding what happens next. The camera time stamp is off, but we went to the office and checked the time. We also matched an exact scene in the footage with a timestamp satellite image to confirm it was accurate. At 2:35 p.m., Ahmadi takes out a hose, then he and a colleague fill empty containers with water. Earlier that morning, we saw Ahmadi bring those same empty plastic containers to the office. There was a shortage of water in his neighborhood, his family said, so he regularly brought water from the office to the house. At around 3:38 p.m., a colleague moved Ahmadi’s car further down the aisle. A senior US official told us that around the same time, the military saw Ahmadi’s car enter an unknown compound 8 to 12 kilometers southwest of the airport. This overlaps with the location of the NGO office, which we believe to be what the military has called an unknown compound. At the end of the workday, an employee turns off the office generator and the camera feed stops. We have no images of the moments that followed. But that’s when the military said its drone feed showed four men carefully loading wrapped packages into the car. The officials said they couldn’t tell what was inside. These images from earlier today show what the men said they were carrying – their laptops in a plastic bag. And the only things in the trunk, Ahmadi’s colleagues said, were the water cans. Ahmadi dropped off each of them, then went to his home in a dense area near the airport. He stepped back into the small courtyard of the house. Children surrounded the car, according to his brother. A US official said the military feared the car would pull away and go down an even busier street or to the airport itself. The drone operators, who had not monitored Ahmadi’s house at all that day, quickly swept the yard and said they saw only one adult male talking to the driver and no children. They decided it was time to strike. A US official told us that the strike on Ahmadi’s car was carried out by an MQ-9 Reaper drone that fired a single Hellfire missile with a 20-pound warhead. We found remnants of the missile, which experts said matched a Hellfire at the scene of the attack. In the days following the attack, the Pentagon has repeatedly claimed that the missile strike set off further explosions and that these likely killed civilians in the yard. “Large secondary explosions from the targeted vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.” “Because there were secondary explosions, there is a reasonable conclusion to be drawn that there were explosives in this vehicle.” But a senior military official told us later that it was only likely that explosives in the car caused another explosion. We collected photos and videos of the scene taken by journalists and visited the courtyard on several occasions. We shared the evidence with three weapons experts who said the damage matched the impact of a Hellfire missile. They pointed out the small crater under Ahmadi’s car and the damage caused by the metal fragments of the warhead. This plastic melted as a result of a car fire triggered by the missile strike. The three experts also pointed out what was missing: any evidence of the large secondary explosions described by the Pentagon. No collapsed or blown walls, including next to the chest with suspected explosives. No sign that a second car parked in the yard was hit by a large explosion. No vegetation destroyed. This all matches what eyewitnesses told us, that a single missile exploded and started a large fire. There is one last detail visible in the wreckage: containers identical to the ones Ahmadi and his colleague filled with water and loaded into his trunk before returning home. Even though the military said the drone team monitored the car for eight hours that day, a senior official also said he was not aware of any water cans. The Pentagon did not provide The Times with evidence of explosives in Ahmadi’s vehicle or share what they say was intelligence linking it to Islamic State. But the morning after the United States killed Ahmadi, ISIS launched rockets at the airport from a residential area Ahmadi had passed through the day before. And the vehicle they were using…… was a white Toyota. The US military has so far recognized only three civilian deaths from its strike and says an investigation is underway. They also admitted not knowing anything about Ahmadi before killing him, leading them to interpret the work of an engineer for an American NGO as that of an Islamic State terrorist. Four days before Ahmadi was killed, his employer requested that his family be resettled in the United States. At the time of the strike, they were still awaiting approval. Rather, turning to the United States for protection, they became one of the latest casualties in America’s longest war. “Hello, I’m Evan, one of the producers of this story. Our latest visual investigation began with news on social media of an explosion near Kabul airport. It turned out to be a US drone strike, one of the last acts of the 20-year war in Afghanistan. Our goal was to fill in the gaps in the Pentagon’s version of events. We analyzed proprietary footage from security cameras and combined them with eyewitness testimony and expert analysis on the aftermath of the strike. You can see more of our surveys by subscribing to our newsletter.


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