Over 90,000 cruise ship crew members stuck at sea amid coronavirus outbreak

first_imgphotosvit/iStock(NEW YORK) — Even as the last passengers disembarked the Coral Princess, the latest cruise ship in the U.S. with reported cases of COVID-19, the U.S. Coast Guard said over 100 cruise ships and 90,000 crew members are still stuck at sea in or near U.S. ports and waters.Last week, two cruise ship crew members had to be medically evacuated from Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and one from the Celebrity Infinity, who later passed away “due to undetermined medical reasons.” The Coast Guard confirmed that all three crew members had “COVID-19 like symptoms.”Passengers disembarked both Royal Caribbean ships in early March, but crew members remain on both boats that are currently off the coast of Florida.In U.S. territorial waters around Florida alone there are more than 35 cruise ships with 35,000 crew members on board, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.“The entire DHS team is working together to ensure no seafarer will be left untreated during this emergency to the best of our collective ability,” Rear Adm. Eric Jones, commander of the 7th District headquartered in Miami, said. However, “cruise lines need to take additional measures” to be “reasonably self-sufficient” through better medical care and protocols.Over the weekend, Princess Cruises said new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines have caused passenger disembarkation delays from the Coral Princess.The CDC now recommends cruise line guests should not travel on commercial flights and that they should not share transportation with people that weren’t on the cruise.On Wednesday, Princess Cruises confirmed to ABC News that the cruise line is working on a crew repatriation plan for the global fleet. Cruise lines are also dealing with international travel restrictions that vary by country.“Until it is finalized and ready to action, all crew fleetwide will remain onboard in the care of Princess,” Princess Cruises said.According to the CDC, over the last two months, COVID-19 outbreaks on three cruise ships have caused more than 800 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States among passengers and crew, including 10 deaths.From Feb. 7 to 23, the largest cluster of COVID-19 cases outside mainland China were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to the CDC, which was placed under quarantine for more than two weeks in Yokohama, Japan.A report released by the CDC later found that traces of the coronavirus remained inside cabins of the Diamond Princess for up to 17 days after the cruise ship was vacated.“COVID-19 on cruise ships poses a risk for rapid spread of disease, causing outbreaks in a vulnerable population, and aggressive efforts are required to contain spread,” the CDC said.The CDC recommends that everyone should defer all cruise travel worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.On March 13, the Cruise Lines International Association, which has over 50 members, announced ocean-going cruise lines would temporarily suspend operations from U.S. ports of call for 30 days as U.S. officials address the coronavirus outbreak. Many major cruise lines have since extended that temporary suspension timeline. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

All change for staff with Tube PPP deal

first_imgAs the Tube Lines consortium embarks on its mission to modernise thecapital’s crumbling Underground system, Ben Willmott looks at the culturalchanges that will be critical to achieving its high targetsThe success or failure of one of the biggest ever public privatepartnerships (PPP), to upgrade part of the London Underground, will hinge onhow well former public sector staff adapt to a new performance-based workculture. The £16bn agreement between the Tube Lines consortium and London Undergroundis designed to provide an injection of private sector cash to modernise theJubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. The company is contracted to tripleinvestment in the system during the first seven-and-a-half years of the 30-yearcontract. The agreement was finally signed on New Years Day. It had been due forcompletion in November, but was delayed due to financial concerns overcontractor Amey – one of the three-strong consortium, along with Jarvis andBechtel. Andy Good, Tube Lines’ HR director, said one of the biggest challenges willbe introducing a new work culture that is focused on meeting the company’sdemanding performance targets throughout the life of the contract. For example,there are targets on station cleanliness, train punctuality and levels ofaccuracy achieved by track gangs, and fines can be imposed if these goals arenot actually achieved. Tube Lines initially aims to cut delays by 10 per cent within 12 months andthe company is also planning to install new signalling systems on the Jubileeand Northern lines by 2011. “Every aspect of service will have a contract manager,” he said.”We know the level we must perform to because it is laid out in thecontract year-on-year.” To ensure Tube Lines meets its targets, Good will attempt to create a singleorganisational culture based on the three core elements of competence,motivation and leadership. This new work culture is essential if the former employees of LondonUnderground and personnel from Jarvis, Bechtel and Amey, are all to pull in thesame direction. “Giving people the skills they need to do the job to the best of theirability is vital,” said Good. “Developing management competencies and core work competencies areextremely high priorities.” Motivation is also a key factor. He sums this up as: “Knowing the goalsyou need to achieve, being given the freedom to do your job and being rewardedfor doing it well.” He believes effective leadership that gives people the focus to concentrateon elements of their jobs that will help them achieve their targets is alsoessential. The part-privatisation of the London Underground had been significantlydelayed due to a legal challenge by London Mayor Ken Livingstone last year. Under the agreement, 2,500 London Underground staff were transferred to TubeLines, with their terms and conditions protected under TUPE guidelines. Theirfinal salary pensions rights were secured by statute through the Greater LondonAct three years ago, when the agreement was still being finalised. Tube Lines will be responsible for upgrading and maintaining all track andtunnel services, but station and train services will remain in the publicsector, run by the newly-formed Transport for London body. To help achieve the organisational change needed, Good will transform therole of the 30-strong HR department. He said that the structure of his HR team will be changed from a traditionalcentralised command and control approach, to one where HR is much more businessfocused, providing more support for line managers. “What I want is HR people out in the project management arena sharingthe improvement targets with the managers they are working with,” heexplained. Good said it is important that any changes to working practices are madegradually. “The one thing we will not do is go in with a sense of arrogance andsay we know best and change everything,” he said. “We will maintain existing policies and systems and review them to seeif there is a better way of doing things. “We must keep the business running as normal following the transfer. Wecannot see a dip in performance.” One main objection to part-privatisation of the Underground, highlighted byLivingstone, was that safety would inevitably be sacrificed for profit. The unions are not happy, and they believe that safety will never beparamount under the new company regime. A spokesman from the RMT said: “By the very nature of the agreement,corners are going to be cut. “The Tube Lines consortium has an obligation to make money for itsshareholders.” To ensure this does not happen, London Underground has retained overallresponsibility for safety, and Tube Lines has appointed a board level safetydirector to make sure the issue remains a priority at all times. Andy good’s cv– He has 11 years’ diverse HR experience across GEC/Alsthom businesses,operating in various locations in the UK and overseas–  On graduation hejoined GEC Alsthom Turbine Generators (later, GEC Alsthom Power Plants) andprogressed steadily through the HR function –  From 1998 untiljoining Tube Lines in March 2002, he was HR director for Alsthom Transport inBirmingham – a business with 1,450 people – designing, developing, projectmanaging and assembling passenger rail vehicles for the UK marketHR factfilePPP and the London underground– The Tube Lines and Metronet consortiums have won contracts tomaintain and modernise the tunnels and tracks of London’s ageing undergroundsystem–  Station and trainservices will continue to be run by the public sector through the Transport forLondon body–  Tube Lines is made upof Amey, Bechtel and Jarvis and will be responsible for modernising theJubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines–  Metronet consists ofAtkins, Balfour Beatty, Seeboard, Thames Water and Bombardier Transportation–  Metronet is expectedto take over responsibility for the infrastructure of the Bakerloo, Central,Victoria, Waterloo & City, Metropolitan, Circle, District, Hammersmith& City and East London lines in March this year Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article All change for staff with Tube PPP dealOn 14 Jan 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Fincantieri signs MoU with University of Adelaide

first_img Photo: Photo: Fincantieri Australia View post tag: Fincantieri Share this article View post tag: CETENAcenter_img The Australian branch of the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Adelaide to develop a collaborative program of education and research co-operation.CETENA, a subsidiary company of Fincantieri, which undertakes research and consultancy programs in the naval and maritime fields will also be involved in the MoU.Fincantieri is a bidder in the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA 5000 Future Frigates program.Under the agreement, the three organisations will work together to pursue academic and educational co-operation by establishing a program that will see the exchange of University of Adelaide undergraduates and post-graduate students, lecturers and professors, researchers and technical and administrative staff to Fincantieri and CETENA facilities in Italy.Other collaboration will relate to research in complex technical and scientific fields of common interest; and the development of initiatives aimed at sharing lessons in governance and management. The MOU also includes a commitment to develop joint projects across the public and private sectors and to continue to search for further opportunities and areas for collaboration in the future.The Director of Fincantieri Australia, Sean Costello said that the University of Adelaide is one of the country’s leading educational institutions and the move reinforces Fincantieri’s commitment to its Industry Plan to develop a continuous shipbuilding industry that will enable Australia to design and build its next generation of vessels.“This partnership will allow Fincantieri to transfer our knowledge and technology to University of Adelaide students, academics and technical staff, equipping them with the right education and training capabilities as the Australian government’s naval shipbuilding plan enters a critical phase,” Fincantieri Australia director Sean Costello said.The University of Adelaide’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Entrepreneurship) Professor Noel Lindsay said the MOU allows the University to expand its research and academic capabilities in shipbuilding and defense at a crucial time for these industries in the city of Adelaide.“We’re very excited about working with such an iconic global organisation such as Fincantieri and its subsidiary CETENA. Their clear commitment to innovation and development aligns perfectly with the University’s approach to building entrepreneurial capacity not just within our student cohort, but the community as a whole. We’re looking forward to developing some unique and interesting projects together.” View post tag: University of Adelaidelast_img read more

Oxford fail to turn round Varsity

first_imgThe Oxford cross-country cyclists have had little success in their Varsity race in recent years, but had good reason to hope for a win in Sunday’s event. They were very familiar with the race-venue, Marcie Reinhart seemed very likely to win the women’s race again, and Richard Callow had a good chance in the men’s competition. On the other hand, the Cambridge riders had been riding extremely well in preceding races, including the BUSA cyclo-cross competition. Sunday was a cool and clear day – perfect cycling weather – and since there has been little rain over the past few weeks, the course was unusually free from mud given the time of year. The race was over a 7.3km course; the women raced three laps while the men also rode a fourth. All the participants were delighted by the imaginative, high-speed route, characterised by exciting narrow and twisty paths through dense wood. A particular highlight was the notorious ‘corkscrew’, a tricky section in which the course snakes back and forth across a steep-sided eight foot ditch. Marcie Reinhart came second in the women’s race, just three minutes behind the winner, Cambridge captain Rachel Fenton. Oxford’s Kate Harris finished third, three seconds after Marcie. Richard Callow came second in the men’s race despite twice going over his handlebars, finishing two and a half minutes after Cambridge’s Tom Morris. A special mention is due to Nils Gustafsson, who lost his saddle in a crash in the middle of the first lap, but still managed to complete two and half more laps.by Donald Thomson and William Waltonlast_img read more

CHANNEL 44 BREAKING NEWS: EPD Officers Appeal Suspensions At Police Merit Commission Meeting

first_img4 EPD Officers Appeal Suspensions At Police Merit Commission MeetingNOVEMBER 14TH, 2016BRITNEY TAYLOR EVANSVILLE, INDIANAAll four officers suspended after an arrest late last month appeal their suspensions. Dozens of officers show their support for them at Monday afternoon’s Police Merit Commission meeting.The future of these four officers remains unclear. They all appealed their suspensions, but it could take weeks until a decision is made.The four Evansville Police officers are accused of using excessive force in the arrest of Matt Healy on October 29th. Officers filed documents stating Healy fought with them during the arrest. But body cam footage showed that was not the case.Officers Mark Decamps, Marcus Craig, and Nick Henderson could be fired. Sergeant Kyle Kassel could be demoted. Indiana State Police are also investigating to see if the men should face criminal charges.The officers suspensions will be up on Thanksgiving. The chief will decide if they come back to work November 25th or be suspended with pay.The next Police Merit Commission meeting is November 28th, but no disciplinary action will be taken. However there could be disciplinary hearings scheduled.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Tesco raises security on trailer fleet

first_imgTesco is to improve the security of goods in transit by introducing tamper-evident trailer seals by Secureseal. The supermarket will replace the electronic seals for all new-build trailers, as well as any existing faulty seals in order to increase the security across its 4,000-strong fleet.Secureseal is a permanent reusable seal with a unique random security number generator that monitors unauthorised door openings. The devices, made with stainless steel, have a life-span typically exceeding eight years, said the firm. Tesco’s fleet engineering manager Cliff Smith said: “Secureseal offers a more reliable, better-value and longer-term solution that will improve the security of goods in transit.”www.secureseal.comlast_img read more

NASA and Harvard team up to form NASA Tournament Lab (NTL)

first_imgResearchers at NASA and Harvard University have established the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), which will be housed at the Institute of Quantitative Social Science under the leadership of Professor Karim R. Lakhani, who specializes in distributed innovation and crowd sourcing at the Harvard Business School. Lakhani will be working with London Business School Professor Kevin Boudreau, an expert on platform-based competition and chief economist for the NTL.The purpose of the lab will be to design and field a competition to create the best computer code for NASA systems. Software developers will compete with each other for the prize and, upon completion of the competition, a finished software package will be delivered at a comparatively low cost. This approach is often referred to as “crowd sourcing” and, with the creation of the NTL, Lakhani, Boudreau, and others will be able to conduct research into the optimal design parameters for innovation competitions of this type, facilitating the use of these tournaments within the public and private sectors.last_img read more

Smart Tree.

first_img There’s a saying in south Georgia that goes, “Don’t plant until the pecan leaves are as big as mouse ears.” Now that we’re having hard freezes again, those new buds will likely be injured. The more normal weather will set plants back again.The weather is playing a trick on us and nature right now. We’re all fooled except for the pecan tree.There’s a saying in south Georgia that goes, “Don’t plant until the pecan leaves are as big as mouse ears.” That’s because the pecan tree is one of the last trees to pop its new buds in the spring.And that makes pecan trees smart! I know this is going to sound totally ridiculous, but pecan trees are smart. You may wonder how in the heck a tree can know anything. A tree is a tree, and trees don’t have brains. So how can a pecan tree be smart?Well, look around you.My Bradford pear tree is just about ready to pop out in bloom. And if you have Bradford pears, I bet your trees are beginning to show signs of popping out in bloom, too.Spring Bustin’ Out All OverDaffodils are beginning to wake up and break the ground with their spring growth. Star magnolia, fragrant honeysuckle and forsythia are all beginning to break buds. The warm mid-70-degree weather we’ve had lately is gearing nature up for spring.Seed catalogs are coming in the mail and garden supply stores, and the big one (you know the store I’m referring to) is now stocked with garden supplies and plants.Yep. This warm weather is teasing all of us and is even tempting us to plant something. It has us and even nature fooled.But It’s Not Spring YetThe problem is: it’s not spring yet. It’s still winter.Plants need so many chill hours to meet their dormancy requirements. The number of needed chill hours depends on the plant.Below-40-degree temperatures allow the plants to meet these chill requirements. Once they’re satisfied, then warm weather triggers them to come out of dormancy.A Normal PhenomenonThat’s what we’ve been seeing lately. This is a normal physiological phenomenon. There ain’t nothin’ you can do about it because there’s no way you’re going to hold them back.last_img read more

Guaidó: ‘The Armed Forces Are Essential for the Stability of the Country’

first_imgBy Diálogo May 31, 2019 Caracas — In an interview for el Nuevo Herald and Diálogo — initially published in el Nuevo Herald — Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó addresses the talks in Norway that ended without agreement, the role of the military in rebuilding the country, and Cuban interference, among other topics. Diálogo: How would you describe what happened in Norway? Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó: As one more initiative. We are facing a dictatorship that for years has shown itself to use this type of initiative to delay, to gain time, to confuse public opinion, and to make us look weak. In this case it didn’t work for them. Venezuela is out of time, the children of [pediatric hospital] J.M. de Los Ríos [in Caracas] are out of time, the person without food in Maracaibo is out of time; we are going through the worst humanitarian emergency in the history of this continent. And it was created by human factors, bad policies, corruption, and incompetence. The agenda is very clear: the cessation of usurpation, transition process, and free elections. The approximation to this [talk in Norway] would be to equate [Nicolás] Maduro’s government with the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia], if we want to compare it with any process, the mediation of a country like Norway; and 90 percent of the population [of Venezuela] wants change and has been taken hostage by a small group in power. How do I see Norway? As one more initiative. I’m not in love with the means; I’m in love with Venezuela. We are not going to confuse means with objectives; Norway was going to be a means to facilitate the objective. Diálogo: On June 3, the European Union’s International Contact Group on Venezuela will meet with the Lima Group. What do you hope will come of this process? Guaidó: What I would like? What I would have wanted from Norway, an end to usurpation, a transitional government, and free elections. But we Venezuelans have learned that there haven’t been any magic solutions. We would be bringing together the efforts of Europe and Latin America, understanding that the crisis is escalating. Diálogo: Is the crisis escalating? Guaidó: Six children died in Venezuela’s main pediatric hospital [J.M. de Los Ríos] in a week. As we speak, there is no electricity in Maracaibo today [May 29]. We are on the verge of a catastrophe. Diálogo: The National Assembly approved re-entry into the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance or TIAR. What are your thoughts on this? Guaidó: For us the inter-American system is key. Dialogue with countries around the world and recognition from the OAS [Organization of American States] is key. It’s important in the face of the humanitarian emergency we are experiencing. Diálogo: What role will the military in Colombia and Brazil play to end the usurpation? Guaidó: They are giving the crisis more visibility, the unrest that exists within the Armed Forces, exerting pressure on the regime, on their brothers, on their colleagues in arms, who must do the right thing, who must be on the side of the Constitution. And they will have a role in the reconstruction of Venezuela; they will keep their ranks and their positions according to the amnesty law. Both my grandparents were service members. And they will have a key role in exercising sovereignty. The ELN [National Liberation Army] is on the Venezuelan border and there are already 11 states where paramilitaries and guerrillas are present. The Armed Force is essential for the stability of the country. Diálogo: What is the ELN role in the Venezuelan crisis? Guaidó: I don’t know about its specific political participation, but it seems that Maduro’s government allows it to participate in Venezuela. It seems that there is explicit complicity; this is very serious because it would make Maduro a dictator who sponsors terrorism. Colombian intelligence has already said that an ELN member, who was in Venezuela for a long time, allegedly perpetrated the attack on the police academy in Bogotá. Diálogo: Can we talk about Cuban interference or that of other countries in Venezuela’s internal affairs? Guaidó: Mainly from Cuba, I don’t see other countries with such intensity, I see Cuba, Cuba does [interfere], clearly. It’s involved in decision-making, it’s the inner security ring; Maduro relies so little on the Armed Forces that his closest security ring is Cuban. That’s the way it is. The service members who sided with the Constitution said that Maduro’s inner security ring is Cuban. Cuba leads intelligence and counter-intelligence to terrorize and frighten; Cuban officials carry out part of the torture on Venezuelan service members, which upsets the Armed Forces a lot. Cuban interference and intervention in Venezuela is very serious. Diálogo: After the departure of General Cristopher Figuera, how is the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service [SEBIN], how is Maduro’s intelligence and security apparatus today? Guaidó: Imagine that in another country, in the United States or Colombia, the head of intelligence makes a stand against the current president. And not only that, Cristopher’s assistant was assassinated, which Gen. Cristopher himself denounced. Imagine that the head of intelligence of a country X accuses the president of murdering his assistant, because of political retaliation. Imagine how serious this is, so much so that he [Maduro] had to bring back a general who was removed for not trusting him [Gustavo González, former head of SEBIN, who was removed after the death in custody of Councilman Fernando Albán, was reinstated in early May]. So how serious is it [the SEBIN]? Very serious. Diálogo: After Norway, how is the relationship with the United States, with the rest of the international community? Guaidó: Very positive, productive in the face of the cessation of usurpation. I just spoke with [U.S.] Vice President Mike Pence, he is very concerned about the humanitarian crisis and we spoke for several minutes. They are also very worried about the persecution of 15 deputies whose immunity was violated, who were persecuted and abducted, such as Édgar Zambrano, vice president of the parliament. Diálogo: This doesn’t stop; the government continues to act against the Assembly… Guaidó: The regime has been acting since 2015 to weaken the power, and only the regime was weakened. Although it operationally hits and tries to generate fear, since the attack on the parliament began, it’s a minority, fewer people worldwide recognize them; they have fewer loans; they have sanctions. They hit very hard extrajudicially, but don’t have judicial backing. Diálogo: What did Vice President Pence say to you when you told him that Norway didn’t bear fruit? Guaidó: The international community no longer believes in this regime. A few who in good faith are still trying to mediate persevere, but we are very much aligned with our U.S. allies and the Lima Group. Many things brought us to this point. Operation Liberty must continue in the streets and with the Armed Forces, to stir awareness and souls. Diálogo: The J.M. [de Los Ríos hospital] situation has been devastating… Guaidó: That happens every day in [the states of] Portuguesa and Táchira. Those little babies put a face to the tragedy we are living in Venezuela. That’s the face of 7 million Venezuelans today. Diálogo: Canada approached Cuba about the Venezuelan crisis… Guaidó: Yes, I spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau two weeks ago. It’s not like we believe in the good faith of the Cuban regime, which helped build this and maintains part of the intelligence and counterintelligence apparatus. Yet again, we will exhaust all efforts. We have international support. Diálogo: Will oil production continue to fall with the regime and what can be done to recover it? Guaidó: Unfortunately, production will continue to fall, first because they are incompetent, and then because they mortgaged the state-owned oil company at an all-time high. They mortgaged it. They indebted Citgo, our grandchildren’s interests. When Venezuela changes, which won’t be long, Venezuela’s economic potential is very high, not only because of the oil reserves, but also because of its geographical location and the labor force. The recovery is going to be very, very quick. With the political change, benchmark changes will be very fast. I am sure that many would like to come and interfere with a stable country. Diálogo: How do you counter Cuba’s influence on intelligence? Guaidó: The way we’ve been doing it. The intelligence network has diminished in a way, as the supply of oil to Cuba was cut off with the support of our allies, leaving those networks without funding. Through these actions, that network is weaker than it was a year ago. For example, when they had Cuban doctors present, which is no longer the case due to the crisis, they had an intelligence network as well. It continues to be a fear factor, but it’s weaker. Diálogo: What would a military intervention in Venezuela look like? Guaidó: We wouldn’t be able to talk about military intervention in the case of Venezuela, should we request cooperation. The parliament is the only one that could authorize foreign military missions in the national territory, which already exist with the Cubans and the ELN, and with Russian military planes. Those are illegal and illegitimate and should be an outrage. The best solution is the one with the lowest social cost. The best solution is for Maduro to leave today, but that’s not going to happen voluntarily. We will be on the streets again […]. We’re deciding our fate.last_img read more

Members want their money to move as quickly as they do

first_imgLiving life in the fast lane means people want to access their money – and information about it – as quickly as possible. “Real time” is an often used industry phrase to describe faster money movement and management but what exactly does it mean to consumers?When it comes to financial transactions, 69 percent of households define real time as immediately or within a few seconds, according to the household finances module of Expectations & Experiences, the Fiserv quarterly consumer trends survey conducted by Harris Poll among more than 3,000 U.S. banking consumers. Just 11 percent of households surveyed equate real time with same-day results. And there are generational differences. Fifty-three percent of Generation X say real time means immediately, while 29 percent of seniors define real time as same day.“Consumer expectations for speed are being reset by broadband technology experiences, and people don’t understand why moving money should be any different than streaming on Netflix,” said Matt Wilcox, senior vice president, Marketing Strategy and Innovation, Fiserv. “People expect options for real-time money movement – for funds to be credited immediately. Their patience for anything less is approaching zero.” continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more